Friday, 18 October 2013

How should this differ from this or even that?

I am considering (having looked at the unpainted figures I have and will have soonish- already paid for through a kickstarter thingy) taking Tradgardland in the Napoleonic period.I have already done so in my gaming with some very enjoyable portable games against the Danes and British naval landing crews.
What I have in mind is what I call the "Archduke Piccolo" solution- namely that one can have a good tactically satisfying,not to mention fun,game with sides consisting of 2inf batts,1 cavalry regt and a gun.I can't recall where he wrote this but it has stuck with me ever since...
That is what I think I might go for. Batts of around 24 figs,half of that for cavalry But how should my imagination gaming with

differ from my battles with
In other words how, using simple rules can I make my gaming experience  in 1806 differ from mine set around 1750?
You thoughts and ideas are needed.


  1. I think for simple rules you can't go far wrong with Don Featherstone's. As for the differences between SYW and Napoleonic Wars, the primary one is the increasing use of light infantry, followed by the use of shock columns in place of linear deployment. The concentration of artillery at brigade or divisional level rather than it being parceled out between battalions is another factor. A commander has a lot more concentrated firepower that way. Then there's the appearance of rifles at a regimental level.

    Overall, for Napoleonics I'd say make provision in the rules for faster infantry movement when in column, with increased shock value in the assault as a trade-off for greatly decreased firepower and a vulnerability to artillery fire. Light infantry would have great harassment value when deployed in skirmish order so would have an increase in movement, and perhaps also firepower for riflemen as a trade-off for vulnerability to cavalry. I'm not sure you could accurately use historical artillery deployment unless you chose to go for, say, the Austrian army which still stuck to battalion guns to a late date. Perhaps one scenario could be for a force charged with protecting the flanks of a massed battery either on the board or just off, and the opposition has to push aside the defenders in order to get at the guns. Just my two cents.

  2. The biggest differences were operational - the development of army corps etc which don't show on the table but also in increased command and staff capabiity at lower levels (brigade/division), none of which shows up really well in a small game.

    Luckily the increasing use of skirmishers and improved drill allowing quicker change to/from line and column does show up. The French revolution is one of my favorite periods though I no longer have my armies. Not only are bicornes and especially tattered striped trousers cooler than shakos, but the opposing armies used somewhat different tactics but battles won vs battles lost were fairly even.

    On the one hand specialist light infantry supported by line infantry against a more flexible enemy with the light infantry component integral to every unit. (The ideal Lawford and Young Charge! period) . The old armies were modernized enough that battle lines did not need to be miles long anymore but the use of "attack" columns were only for assaulting defiles or strongpoints while the enemy used both line for a defensive fire and a swarm of skirmishers supported by columns for attack.
    My .02