Saturday, 2 November 2013

Anyone used these?

It is Saturday morning and I'm up early browsing the bookshelves. I've been having a read of this.I picked it up for 30p in the summer of '98 when it was withdrawn from stock by our local library.I have incidentally got some splendid books in a similar way over the years.
I have,to my shame,never played the rules in the book but it has been an interesting read I have returned too over the years.I'm wondering if any of you have used the rules, and if so, how did you get on?


  1. Looks like a good book. Amusing title though. Why else would you do Napoleonic Wargaming (or any wargaming for that matter)? Have a good weekend.

  2. You got a fantastic bargain! Personally, the game I have played most often and find most interesting is the Generalship Game, which, IMHO, gives a far better impression of a general's activities than more coventional army-level games. It works well, provided there is a strong umpire to keep players on track [I created a laminated small scale version of the daily track, on which a player could note his actions with an OHP pen, then hand in to the umpire for checking and execution of orders] and resolve matters quickly.
    I once tried it with individual corps CO's, but it proved too much for one umpire to handle without undue stress!
    I imagine it could be adapted easily for other black powder periods and force levels.
    Do give it a try.

  3. Had a lot of fun with these when they first came out - mainly the skirmish and Divisional sized games. Easy to learn and fun to play!

  4. I bought a copy of this book, read it, but never used the rule set in my own games. I flogged it off at a swap meet some 10 or 12 years ago. Stupid, stupid decision.

    Several members of the Christchurch Wargames Club used a slightly modified 'Division Level' game to refight historical battles, played every few months. Whole campaigns would be fought that way. These were big games, too. Unfortunately, I feel, we really needed to do something about the combat system for big actions. They were too 'hit and miss' for clashes involving multiple brigades.

    But these games were a lot of fun, engaging several players at a time. They could be a bit slow, sometimes, though. I recall that Borodino took two days to play just 10 turns, though that was probably the most outstandingly slow game.

    The book is a good read, full of interesting ideas, and some of its rules idiosyncracies, when you try them out, work a whole deal better than you would think. I always thought the 5cm gap always maintained between opposing sides counter-intuitive and likely to diminish the dramatic tension of close combat. Wrong. Once you try that convention, you rapidly find it has no such effect at all. The dramatic tension remains unabated - is possibly even heightened.

    Probably the most difficult aspect to get used to is the amount of bookkeeping required, recording damage (hits) and depreciation of status and, therefore, cohesion and fighting ability. Most units begin at 'C' class. Once reduced to 'E' (if memory serves), the unit has pretty much 'had it.' On the other hand, I think it takes a full 'hit point' to cause a single-level drop in status.

    Possibly one other problem I recall from out 'refight' days (long ago now - last century, withal), had probably little to do with Paddy Griffith's original rule set: we had way too much artillery! Or else it was too effective. Something to watch, perhaps, if you are adapting Mr Griffith's Div Level rule set to Army level games.


    1. John Curry has republished it in his History of Wargaming Project series of reprints of classic wargame books.

    2. Thanks: I'll keep an eye out for it. Just one thing I was reminded of; P.G's rule for marching along a road. As he based his troops in company elements of , say, 4 infantry, to signify a march column along a road, he had the elements 'marching sideways' along a road. I always felt this was aesthetically hideous, and a better method could have been adopted. As this involves leaving the figures free to be placed in (single) file along a road, the price comes in probably requiring sabots for the figures.

  5. I used the 2mm Irregular blocks to play the "Army Game" re-fighting Quatre Bras, and was thoroughly impressed with the how things worked. It was a solo effort, and unfortunately, I never was able to add more minis to my armies.

    The skirmish rules worked well, also, as long as you kept the number of figures low.