Above - an 80 man ‘Epic’ square with Warlord Games figures.
In 2015 (yes, where does the time go!) I put together a beta set of napoleonic rules and called them Eagles at Quatre Bras - for no greater reason than that was the scenario that I was working on for design testing.
Around the same time, I was developing my ACW rules, called Two Flags - One Nation, which had older origins, going back at least a decade before EaQB.
TF-ON got the attention and became more refined, whilst EaQB was largely allowed to stand still. As a consequence, not only did TF-ON and EaQB start from different design paths, but the ongoing development of TF-ON meant the designs were increasingly diverging.
I have tried a few time to bring the two rule sets back together under one umbrella, striving to get a single Horse and Musket set, to which I would also eventually like to add an American War of Independence module, to round them out.
While several mechanics could be and were brought together, I couldn’t get past the obstacle that the ACW set was designed for regiments with a turn equating to around 15 minutes of real time (i.e. divisional level), whilst the Napoleonic set were designed for brigades, with a turn representing anything up to an hour, with the goal of the medium sized battle hitting the table (i.e. corps level) - hence Quatre Bras!
|28m Perry 20 man unit on two bases|
I like both for their perspectives, but the only way to create a meaningful merging of the two was to break one of them. With TF-ON being the most complete and tested, I decided that it was the napoleonic set that would have to bend!
EaQB will therefore move from brigades to battalions / regiments.
I have taken the current core TF-ON rules, created a new document and am now introducing the elements of EaQB that I want to retain and losing those parts that relate specifically to ACW.
This of course creates the potential problem of having two very similar rulesets that are different enough to bring confusion.
To negate this, I am limiting rule introduction to specific rule passages that can be highlighted as being new, such as blown horses recovering after a cavalry charge and going into square now being added to the list of responses to cavalry charge etc, while all the other stuff will be dragged into the Play Aid charts, so I can largely run the game from the charts, while remembering just a few new rules. With most of the ACW text being fully preserved and compatible, it should make it easier to get either period to the table without needing full re-reads!
I will introduce two new scenarios into the set. The first will be a standard scenario with battalions, the second will practice some bath-tubbing, just to show the rules recapturing some of that ‘bigger battle’ element that EaQB has seemingly just lost.
The TF-ON rules as part of their evolutionary journey, have split into two documents, one covering hex play and the other open table play. It is the open table version that I am taking forwards for the base Horse & Musket engine.
It is of course early days. These things consume a lot of hours, so I will likely open up a tab on my Commanders website and mostly show progress over there.
I would be the last person to suggest that these are great rules or even that they bring a good representation of subject. When they were hex based, they brought some value in a figure gaming world that does not give too much support to hexes, but as an open table system, they sit amongst some excellent commercial designs, but I like them and they seemingly work to bring a fair ‘game’, plus I know them well, so they are easy to bring to the table. Considering they are just going to regulate the movement and fighting of toy soldiers - I fancy that they are good enough :-).
My sister webspace COMMANDERS is being re-configured to showcase various figure and boardgame systems that I am enjoying and give a flavour of where current ongoing projects are up to. Link.
A lot of joy and interesting games can be produced from a solid game engine that you know well. In fact, I might argue that those are two of the most important qualities for an enjoyable contest since having those two attributes frees a player to focus on strategies and tactics rather than the rules.ReplyDelete
Hi Jonathan, an extremely well put point. Thanks.ReplyDelete
Norm I beg to differ - They ARE great rules and I have played Eckmuhl and all of Aspern Essling with your original Brigade element EAQB! I am very excited about this development and cannot wait to read them and get them back in the table! :)ReplyDelete
Hi Steve, very kind. I have just taken a token scenario and run through it three times with three different systems, by the end of that, I was a bit bruised and just wanted something familiar, so here we are!Delete
Seems you have a fine and cunning plan there Norm.ReplyDelete
Hi Phil, I mean what could possibly go wrong :-)ReplyDelete
Your rules are always well thought through Norm. I’m sure the merging of the two will work out fine.ReplyDelete
Thanks JB, I rather like the Old School dimension to working on home spun rules and for the most part, you are pleasing an audience of one :-)Delete
That’s right! TF ON wins because the ACW is the best W. Naps are totally second fiddle. 😀😀ReplyDelete
Good luck with your rule endeavors.
Hi Stew, I have just been to see ‘the wise woman’ to have a spell cast upon you, by tomorrow you should start to feel an urge to want to spend hours and hours painting lace on fancy uniforms and by the next day, you will be pushing out two full regiments of hussars - a rabbit hole for sure :-)ReplyDelete
I don’t readily know what a hussar even is. I think it’s cav? For the French? Maybe Russians.Delete
Probably should get your money back. 😀
or the Wise Woman should change her name :-)Delete
Sounds very interesting Napoleonic now you have my attention, never really taken by the ACW in spite of my airfix book on it! There really is something to be said for understanding a core system, that's why we're sticking with Hail Caesar/ pike and shot and Blackpowder mostly, although nice to try new srs now and again!ReplyDelete
Thanks Iain, more to come. I saw today that warlord Games are bringing out a 2nd Edition Hail Caesar.Delete
You did??? Wher did you see such a thing please?Delete
Stew, it was on their FaceBook page. They have just had an open day and they had some artwork there to show off the new cover. Big on the rumour mill is that the next Epic thing is going to be Rome / Carthage and that would make sense if they are doing a revamp of the ancients rules.Delete
The other set they were considering was English Civil War, but since they are not revamping the Pike & Shotte rules, one might assume that the ancients set is the most likely. Apparently the Napoleonic range has been a huge success and they are talking about Austrians and Russians at some point.
There is quite a bit spoken about this on this weeks Plastic Crack Podcast on YouTube. HERE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdtrZScs2oY Check in at around 16 mins to get to the Warlord stuff.
Thanks Norm. Appreciate it.Delete
Sticking to one set of core rules, Norm - if only! Our Friday Night games have probably mutated through twenty or thirty different sets of rules over the last couple of decades - mind you, the Sunday games at Barrys place, which I am only able to attend occasionally, do use Marks home grown rules, which all have the same/similar core mechanisms in them. regardless of the period.ReplyDelete
Hi Keith, there is always the next new shiny set and we. Can’t help ourselves :-)Delete
I enjoy your ACW rules so I shall have a peep at the Napoleonic rules with interest. I do intend to agree that with advancing years - consistency in rules becomes more important.ReplyDelete
Hi Graham, agree and that applies to the boardgame side of things, I know your recent boardgames purchases have favoured ‘series’ games.ReplyDelete
Norm good luck with them and I think you are approaching the issue with the right mindset.ReplyDelete
"I like them and they seemingly work to bring a fair ‘game’, plus I know them well, so they are easy to bring to the table. Considering they are just going to regulate the movement and fighting of toy soldiers - I fancy that they are good enough :-)."
This is so important. To many people get caught up on chasing the perfect ruleset, "easy to use, realistic, counts ammo, accounts for changing training, etc. "
Hi Ben, yes, increasingly I am wanting fun at the table. A lot of sets are very good, but I find it is the managing of all those different sets that can be confusing and distracting. Choosing just one, even if it your own has much merit. …… I think I should write that down and post it on the fridge door, as I am likely to have forgotten my own advice by this time next week :-)ReplyDelete
I have to confess that I am not familiar with your rulesets Norm (sorry!) but the concept of having a common engine would certainly be ideal. If I remember correctly, Strategy & Tactics had a system called ‘Napoleon’s Art of War’ which consisted of one core system with scenario-induced modifications. Still, this system did not span different 18th century conflicts as you are proposing. Col (ret) Bill Gray has the Age of Honour engine along similar lines based on Fire & Fury . All great concepts.ReplyDelete
Hi Mike, I used to easily dip into a variety of systems with some ease, but these days, not so much! so I am increasingly favouring the series rules / common engine.ReplyDelete
Great looking battle, Norm. Love the image of the infantry square.ReplyDelete
Thanks Dean, that pic turned out better than I thought it would and shows the advantage of the scale.Delete