Testing out some Napoleonic rules at the Irregulars

The last games night was on the 12th August, and consisted of the small turnout of Paul, John, Jordan and myself.  Paul and Jordan decided to play a 2500 point Late War clash between Brits and Germans, just so Paul could get all of his beloved big cats on the table (not really all – it would have to be 10,000 points for that to happen).  John and I decided to test out my recently updated take on the Irregular’s Napoleonic house rules.

We had a small game, 8 battalions of infantry and 2 cavalry regiments with one battery a side.  John took the French and I took the British.  The game cracked along at a fair old pace and it was looking likely that we would be finished before the others had completed deployment.  Then, things went wrong…

Above: intention cards down the French right advances upon the British lines.

On my right John had occupies a town, and I just didn’t have the troops to evict him from it.  On reflection the terrain was too big for the size of the game.

Above: French troops occupy the town.

Above: The British realise that any assault is pretty much a foregone conclusion.

On my left I ended up without adequate support for my infantry, who had to form square.  When I sent my cavalry over as support they were enfiladed by artillery and driven back.  I had not deployed in any preconceived plan, and too late it dawned on me that I was not going to capture any of the objectives.  Now it was a case of going on the defensive and hoping to inflict more casualties on the French than they did on me in an effort to cause a stalemate.  This also did not go to plan.

Above: The French bear down on the left of the British lines.

The battle then devolved into a slugging match as John whittled down my troops.  They kept passing morale, to the point where even at half strength they were still hanging in there.  On reflection I had not made provision for accelerated collapse one 1/3 of a unit was removed from play.  The game went on and on, and only finished ten minutes before Jordan and Paul at 1.00am.  Unbelievable.

Paul slapped Jordan silly, but having said that Jordan had never played with any army other than Germans before.  Halfway through the battle with his tanks providing large amounts of smoke from their burning engines, Paul suggested that Jordan could fire smoke to even up the playing field a bit.  Of course, their wasn’t much left to actually fire the smoke by that stage – real sporting, Paul!

Above: Jordan’s artillery support… ‘you mean they can fire smoke?’

Above: Big Cats and burning Shermans.  Story of the night…

Above: Schwimmwagens are just cool.

Above: Paul’s love of modelling is quite extraordinary.  His objective marker of repairing Wittman’s Tiger is simply fantastic in its attention to detail.

So 2-0 for Continentals vs British.  A sad day for the Tommies all round.

As for Napoleonic rules, I’ve ordered the new ruleset Napoleon at War.  If what I’ve read is to be believed they are exactly what we are looking for – the Flames of War version of Napoleonics with simple and fun mechanics but good historical results.  I have no doubt that the Napoleon at War crew are aiming to do for Napoleonics what FoW has done for WW2, and I’m hoping that they succeed.  It would be great to have some Napoleonic tournaments with a dozen or more players involved using a ruleset that wasn’t so intricate it made my nose bleed.

I’m tempted by the 1815 range of French and British (and Prussians) that they offer, but I’ll finish building my ‘Napoleon in Italy 1796-7’ armies around these rules first.  If the rules turn out to be a flop I can just keep them based the same way and use Black Powder.




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