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Looking for a Napoleonic Game

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:52 pm
by Chris68
I really like IABSM3, I've got Chain of Command, and I like the concept of 'friction'.

I'm undecided on a Nap wargame though, but I've got 3 options

Est sans resultat
General de Brigade 2ed
Le Feu Sacre

I'd like to play in either 6mm or 15mm and be in control of large armies. I'm also very new to wargaming and an absolute novice on the Napoleonic scene.

I tend to lean toward realistic games but not to the point where nothing much gets done in 4 hours.

Any advice?

Thanks all

Re: Looking for a Napoleonic Game

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:46 pm
by Zippee
Is there a question in there?

I've played LFS - quite a lot unsurprisingly and I have posted very many adaptions and basing options specifically for 6mm. Join the Yahoo group and look for my name in the files/folders there you will find a host of stuff for 6mm LFS.

I've looked at the blurb for ESR - it looks very detailed and from what I can see it's a development of Empire and Elan both are IMO slow and tedious games. ESR does look nicely produced though and I haven't played so can't really comment beyond a gut feel.

GdB I've played quite a bit - it's all the rage at one of my local clubs, hardly surprising as it's the authors club. However it just doesn't quite do it for me - I find many of the mechanics rather 'old fashioned' and intrusive. That said it's extremely popular and has a wide fan base. Despite the title it's really aimed at a division plus per side but often gets used for multi-corps games, that can be a problem at times, leads to very, very crowded tables that just don't look right.

LFS is intended for corps plus games, it has its quirks, and isn't everyone's cup of tea. It is different from most TFL games in that there is no Teabreak type card/chit that prematurely ends the turn. The basic unit is the battalion, the basic manoeuvre element is the division (cavalry brigade). There is no separate musketry as that is subsumed into 'close combat' - for some reason this is a deal breaker for many people.

All three rule sets listed purport to be 'realistic' - can't speak for ESR but GdB and LFS make valiant attempts at authenticity but concentrate on different elements.

You might also want to throw Lasalle and Blucher into the list for Napoleonic games that offer different solutions - Lasalle is brigade plus to supported division, Blucher is multi corps to full army. Both have some very unusual approaches and strive for authenticity - although Lasalle is not without it's issues, mainly in its attempt to reach the 'pick up game' tournament gamer and drag him into Napoleonics, not wholly successfully. However that element can be ignored and the rules work as is. Blucher is a stonking high level game with in built campaign system.

Re: Looking for a Napoleonic Game

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:59 pm
by Chris68
Thanks for that in depth reply Zippee

Blucher sounds interesting

You say musketry is bundled in with close combat, but is there a shooting phase as well?

Re: Looking for a Napoleonic Game

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:04 pm
by Archdukek
One of the other attractions of Blucher is that the author has prepared sets of cards, each of which represents a brigade, which you can use instead of miniatures. Particularly useful in learning the game and deciding if it is for you.

Another couple of options which I would suggest are worth looking at are Rank & File which also focuses on battalion level units and March Attack which is more concerned with Corps level games. Both are published by Crusader Publishing and are available as digital PDFs quite cheaply.

Some of us are currently play testing a new TFL Napoleonic game being developed by the author of La Feu Sacre but that is still some way off from possible publication.


Re: Looking for a Napoleonic Game

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:09 am
by Zippee
Chris68 wrote:Thanks for that in depth reply Zippee

Blucher sounds interesting

You say musketry is bundled in with close combat, but is there a shooting phase as well?
Blucher is well worth a look,

I assume the rest is about LFS:

No there isn't, there is a bombardment phase for saturation artillery and grand batteries including skirmish fire but musketry and support artillery is all bundled into the same close combat 'black box' mechanic - your division executes it's assault with the battalion assets to hand, that is calculated and the result played out, all musketry occurs within that black box.

It works, its authentic and it's simple but for many the lack of working through the fire and result minutiae is a game breaker.

The point being that LFS is about commanding a corps, not getting involved in battalion doctrine. yes it allows squares and columns to be displayed on the table by battalion units so its not as soulless as Napoleons Battles or Volley & Bayonet but the game's about command and control. You need support and an advantage - for most new players the learning curve is advancing, assaulting and seeing their entire corps break and run because it was an inept and amateurish attack. Tweaking a battalion to get +1 on the firing dice won't win you a corps level game, knowing how to support and attack in brigade and regimental waves to wear down and overturn an enemy will.

Re: Looking for a Napoleonic Game

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:36 am
by Chris68
I think I'd like to have a shooting phase in my wargames to be honest.

I might give Blucher a look, partly because LFS doesn't have that shooting phase I require, and partly because I can't paint and find it a chore. If they have cards you can use instead of minis, then that's a major reason for me to play that particular game.

Re: Looking for a Napoleonic Game

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:37 am
by SteveBurt
There's a good case for not having a separate shooting phase in an army level game (except for artillery bombardments).
General de Brigade is an old-school set of rules, with big units and lots of lists of modifiers, and you can't really fight large battles with it.
LFS let's you fight a corps or more per side quite easily
Blucher lets you fight multi-corps battles, as does the older Grand Armee by the same author, but Blucher is much more streamlined.
The ability to play with cards is nice - you can also use the cards even if you use miniatures, as I do. Cards are used when units are in reserve (showing the flag side). When the unit is revealed, the card is flipped over and blu-tacked to the bottom of the base so the elan track shows and can be marked off with an OHP pen.

Re: Looking for a Napoleonic Game

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:29 am
by Chris68
Blucher sounds quite user friendly

Thanks for the info Steve

Re: Looking for a Napoleonic Game

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:37 am
by john de terre neuve
As alluded to above, I believe you need to make a decision about whether you want a Napoleonic ruleset that is played at the tactical (where the maneuverable element is the infantry battalion) or grand tactical level (main element the brigade). At the tactical level you would have an army of 1-3 divisions per side (20-30k men) and at the grand tactical you would be fighting with corps level armies (50K+).

The number of figures you use or the scale size is less important except maybe in rulesets like General de Brigade or Republic to Empire. A lot of players are now favouring element based rulesets (the number of bases that make up the tactical element is the important factor rather then the number of figures on the base).

You say that you are interested in 6 or 15mm figures, I suppose one could favour 6mm for grand tactical and 15mm for tactical, but really what is important I think in Napoleonic wargaming is the look of the thing and what looks good to you. Next up will be what other local players are doing or are interested in doing.

I got into Napoleonic wargaming about 10 years ago and build up a 3000 figure 28mm army over that period based essentially at the tactical level. Over the last 6 months I have sold that army off and purchased both a 18mm army and a 6 mm army so I can game at both the tactical and grand tactical level.

I have tried Black Powder, Field of Battle, Republic to Empire, Lasalle, Waterloo, Rank and File and General de Brigade at the Tactical level and Le Feu Sacre and Field of Glory at the Grand Tactical level. All had pluses and minuses.

I am presently excited about General Bonaparte meets Chain of Command (presently at the late playtest stage, great game but I am not sure when it will be published) at the tactical level and Blucher at the grand tactical level. The great plus of Blucher is that it has a campaign system (for me CoC WWII is all about the campaign system), one can also use just the cards supplied while building up an army.

I am also pretty excited about SP2 for Napoleonic skirmish wargaming, for which I did retain some of my 28 mm figures.

Not much help to you I am afraid but there is a lot to think about when getting into Napoleonic wargaming. It is well worth it though, so good luck.

Re: Looking for a Napoleonic Game

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:44 am
by Chris68
Thanks for the reply John, much appreciated

I think I am going to go for Blucher and when it comes out, the new TFL Napoleonic rules

Might even try a bit of Sharp Practice 2 as well

That's enough to keep me busy for quite a while yet