Newbie Query - Force selection

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Newbie Query - Force selection

Post by stevothedivo » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:36 am

Gentlemen....I'm somewhat lost. I like TFL games, Chain of Command was very intuitive (but again I have some knowledge of WWII structure and organization and I was hoping to use the rules to learn about the Black Powder period I know little about though the Garibaldi period interests me) but can't for the life of me figure out what I'm supposed to buy for this game (in terms of figures)

I have the rules (yay!), I have read said rules (probably not well enough...) and can't seem to find how to select a force (ie what I'm supposed to buy and paint to have a game).
As shipping to Australia is not really cheap from the UK, thought I'd spend $200 or so to get into this game and go from there (10mm - probably Pendraken with some Minifigs as the thickness of Pendraken's bases is a bit offputting)

However I can't seem to understand how to select a force - take the FIW from pg86
It lists
- Leader, Status II
Leader Status I
Three Groups of 8 Regulars, Muskets
- Leader, Status II
One Group of 6 Provincial Rangers, Muskets
Point Value: 39

So....that's 24 British Muskets, 6 Provincial Rangers, 3 Leaders

The French for the same period lists
- Leader, Status III
Two Groups of 8 Marine Infantry, Muskets
- Leader, Status II
Two Groups of 6 Milice Canadiene, Muskets
- Leader Status II
Two Group of 12 Indians, Tribe, Muskets
One Moveable Deployment Point (this is a vignette, correct?)

ie 3 leaders, 24 Indians, 12 Canadian Militia, 16 Marine Infantry.

Then there's a nice healthy array of support options
Say the first entry of the British list - that's 8 British Regulars for 6pt

A. how many points is a game? Since I'm planning the project in 10mm what got me into the rules in the first place is reviews read you could field up to about 100 men per side - I thought painting up forces for these would not take toooooooo long but now I'm baffled by what the heck I'm supposed to buy and what actually gets used.
Do you buy a core (the British Regulars 1755) then bolt on extras to taste until you reach the points allowed? And where do Support Points come from? How are they calculated (surely it's in the rules but I've missed it?)
B. Is there a version of the rules ala "Big Chain of Command"? Or do you just keep going up in points and bolting things on?

Unsure if the best course of action is just to buy a pair of Pendraken pre-made armie for a period or two (FIW, Garibaldi, ACW) but these seem to offer 90 base infantry though which seems excessive - or opt for single packs (for more variety - does the "more variety" get used or am I painting/buying figures I'll never use?)
Thank you.
A confused newbie

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Re: Newbie Query - Force selection

Post by stevothedivo » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:04 pm

As an add on to Pendraken's ranges....
F.I. War French Army Pack GBP27.50
30x Compagnies Franches de la marine, summer uniform
30x Compagnies Franches de la marine, outposts wilderness campaign
30x Troupe de terre, campaign
30x Coereur de bois
30x Canadian militia summer
30x Woods Indians
3x 3pdr gun with crew

The "Two Groups of 8 Marine Infantry, Muskets"- are the Compagnies Franches de la marine
The "Two Groups of 6 Milice Canadiene" - are the Canadian militia summer
The "Two Group of 12 Indians" - are self explanatory.

But in a pack like this what could "Troupe de terre" and "Compagnies Franches de la marine, outposts wilderness campaign" be used as? It lists French Regulars, French Grenadiers, French Chasseurs, French Chasseur Skirmishers - these I assume are from the SYW range (not the Napoleonic one?)

See how as a newbie this could with a little guidance from a friendly more experienced player as I'm somewhat confused. Maybe....buying the ready made packs isn't the best solution at all and I should just buy a pack each of the Marines, Militia, couple packs of Indians, and locate the French Regulars, Grenadiers and Chasseurs instead (though the Coereur can be fielded but only a single unit of 6.

Are Settlers the "Troupe de Terre" (my French is very sketchy...hablo muy bien Castillano y Italiano ma col Francese non cominciano neanche che l'ho imparato dai cartoni animati!)

And how many Big Men would you recommend painting up?
Can these be bought as supports or are they what is in the main list only (ie go through the lists and see what the greatest number by each list is and buy and paint that?)

Thank you again sorry for the confusing post maybe someone can help or share their experience...

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Re: Newbie Query - Force selection

Post by Derek H » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:53 pm

There's a useful thread that will answer most of your questions at viewtopic.php?f=31&t=9597&sid=d22c614a3 ... 6b48c21f83
All the Lard News in one place - Lard Central
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Re: Newbie Query - Force selection

Post by lilljonas » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:36 pm

Basically there are no platoon structures like in CoC, and the lists in the rulebook are just general ideas of one way you could make your force. Just choose a number of points (40-60 for a small game, 60-100 for an average game, 100+ for a big game), and make two forces at that size. That's how we play it, when we're not playing campaign games. We usually play with a couple of formations of 3-4 units of regular infantry, a few units of skirmishers, some cavalry units, and maybe a cannon or two, which you need about 100-140 pts to fit in. We've made some streamlined rules that makes big games easier (see "Moscow 1812" -, but the game plays well at a smaller size and no house rules. I personally think that around 80-100 pts is the sweet spot for me if played without house rules.

Support options are costed on page 80.

The most common question is what leaders cost, and you find that on the same page (3 pts/leader level) even though it is a bit cryptically written.

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Re: Newbie Query - Force selection

Post by Munin » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:09 pm

In terms of how many Support Points are available for a given battle, that's listed in each of the scenarios and tends to be weighted to give whichever player needs to attack/cover more ground a bit of an advantage.

In terms of buying figures, it's less a question of how much you need to buy and more one of how much you want to buy. For instance, you can very reasonably play the early ACW lists with 60 or so figures per side (I think it's one unit of 3 groups of line infantry [24 figs] with a leader, one unit of 2 groups of line infantry [16 figs] with a leader, and one unit of 2 groups of skirmishers [12 figs] and a leader). With just that basic force you've got plenty to get the game on the table and see how it works, and the best part about ACW is that unlike the Napoleonic Wars there's virtually no difference in uniform between skirmishers and line infantry (especially for the Confederacy), so you don't have to order different figures. Throw in a gun and a couple of crew members to exercise those rules once you're comfortable with how the game works and you're well on your way!

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Re: Newbie Query - Force selection

Post by Archdukek » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:40 pm

As has been said, most typical core forces work out at around 50-60 figures and a points value of around 65-80 depending on period and weaponry. You can download the Sharpulator from the Lard Island News Blog which you can use to calculate the cost of any Group, including its characteristics. Just keep in mind that the points values are not holy writ and you don't need balanced forces for a good game.

When playing with smaller scales than 28mm some players, myself included, like to substitute multi-figure bases for each individual 28mm figure. So for example my ACW collection is based 3-4 figures per 25mm base. I use 8 of these bases for a line Group in the rules, thus giving what I think is a more aesthetically pleasing appearance to the units. A complete base is removed for each casualty. Works fine and looks good.


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Re: Newbie Query - Force selection

Post by Archdukek » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:15 am

As for the Pendraken list, Compagne Franche de la Marine troops were regulars raised for service overseas as well as on board ship in some cases. They came under the control of the Department de La Marine and provided most of the regular troops in the colonies including Canada. They were uniformed and provided garrisons both in towns and in the more remote fur trading posts. Often troops who spent long periods guarding the outposts adopted items of civilian or Indian gear better suited to the conditions. I presume the Pendraken Outpost troops reflect this in their costume. You might want to consider using these as French Marine (Compagne de la Marine) Skirmishers while using the others as Regular Line.

Troupes de la Terre are regular Army regiments who could be despatched to reinforce the colonial forces. I suspect the Pendraken Troupe de Terre are army troops in stripped down uniform as a response to campaign conditions. You could use them as French Regulars, Grenadiers or Chaseurs as an alternative to more formally uniformed troops found in their SYW lists.

You could possibly paint up some of the spare Militia and Coureurs de Bois as settlers if you adapted a slightly different colour palette.

As to the number of Leaders you will need I find the ratio of 1 Status Level per 6 points of troops to be a good guide. So 4 Groups of Compagne de la Marine line troops (French Marine infantry) might have 1 Level II and 2 Level I Leaders or 1 Level III and 1 Level I for example.


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Re: Newbie Query - Force selection

Post by stevothedivo » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:29 pm

Right gents - invaluable all round. Thank you!
So as my end goal remains the Italian Risorgimento period and I'd like to support Leon and the crew who have invested in releasing this, but also clearly the idea of ACW as well. Fact is I don't know enough about the Napoleonic period as yet to pretend I do (though it's growing on me!) thus I've settled on 6 starter armies and go from there (to maximise shipping)
1 each of Confederate and Union, 1 each of the FIW period and 1 each of the Italian wars and Austrians.

I've spent some time calculating what that will might come to and think I can comfortably paint about 50pt of each set (I undercoat everything on long wood sticks and leave them in a cupboard so when I'm inspired I draw one out and can bang out 15-40 figures a session) and see how that works out for me. As I learn the game I'm sure the characteristics and what I like and don't will become more natural and familiar.

As to basing I'm going to go with my tried and tested 10x10mm base, though I've developed a range of sabot bases to place the figures in I have 3D printed as tests and they work fine. The base block is 1"x1" and multiples of this (four 10x10mm on each) and they seem to slide along the table just fine after sanding.
Of course I just received the order I'd made for Fighting Season before I realised they were WIP and not due for release but that's the gamer's life I suppose - I have other rules I can eventually use them for.

Thank you for the various links as well I'll look them over at the weekend.
A presto!

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Re: Newbie Query - Force selection

Post by stevothedivo » Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:56 pm

Hi again. So I'm almost ready to order (turns out I can itemise figures for a premium which is fine - I'll be ordering exactly what I need and paying a tad more but I don't mind)

What caught my attention though was this -
lilljonas wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:36 pm
Just choose a number of points (40-60 for a small game, 60-100 for an average game, 100+ for a big game), and make two forces at that size.
So there is ZERO commitment to purchasing a "starter force" from the rulebook? They're literally just suggestions I can add leaders (3pt/lvl) and units to as I wish?
And what's the deal with formations? They can act completely independently of each other? Is there any prohibition to have more than 1 Lvl 3 leader?
And lastly - do the officers have any advantage if mounted? I'm waiting on this to make my order - ie should I have mounted and dismounted versions??

Sorry for sounding difficult but UK shipping isn't cheap - and takes some time so if I AM going to need mounted and dismounted versions I'll rather have them in the painting-pile-of-doom and not need them than realise they're really nifty and have to wait four weeks to see them...thank you!

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Re: Newbie Query - Force selection

Post by sjwalker51 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:58 pm

As you say, there’s nothing that says you have to start with one of the suggested forces as listed - they’re purely a short-cut to get you started as representative, forces for the period - provided you can come up with some plausible reason why your chosen force is historically appropriate, it’s good to go.

There’s no limit to the number of Leaders of each level fielded, but high Status Leaders are expensive and you’ll want to ensure you’ve got the right balance between Leaders and Groups. There’s no particular need to have mounted and dismounted versions of Leaders (more ‘nice to have’ than essential) but senior Leaders would tend to be mounted (and move faster).

Formations are formed up from two or more of the same Groups capable of doing so in the course of the game - so not quite sure what you’re asking about them?

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