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Chef de Bataillon game

We had a blast from the past in our latest game night. Petri demonstrated the semi-skirmish Napolenic ruleset Chef de Bataillon, published in 1995. We pitted one Austrian battalion (144 figures) against two French battalions (72 figs each). The rules are trying to simulate the role of the battalion commander. Which they do fairly well in my personal opinion. Unfortunately this means that the player has very little to do, apart from trying to roll the dice well enough to get his unit to do what he wants. Even shooting is not automatic, you have to get your unit to follow the order to “fire”. Very strange. Personally I think the rules are an interesting anomaly as I prefer grand tactical games, where troops actually set up far from each other, the player can decide where and how to attack and defend, and actually feel that he is fighting the opponent, not the game system. Anyway, in our tense three hour game the Austrian battalion was happily decimating the French troops until a stray bullet killed the Austrian officer. The Austrians then routed from the field. As the Austrian commander the decisions I made during the game were: 1) “Hmm.. I want to shoot the enemy into pieces, that shall be our plan.” 2) “The way to do that is to form in line and advance.” 3) “I will see if skirmishers are useful: Deploy, (not really, therefore) recall skirmishers.” 4) “Advance into close range and keep on shooting until someone breaks.” Not that exciting, but interesting as an... read more

Force on Force – our rules

Force on Force is our favourite skirmish ruleset for many reasons: it’s fast to play, you don’t need a massive investment to start playing, the core system is elegant, and it is good for a wide range of scenarios. Here is a list of the house rules and clarifications we have used in our games.

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Charlie Company rules

by John Reeves, Greg Novak, Kurt Hummitzch, RAFM Miniatures 1997 In Charlie Company each figure represents one man and each player usually plays with just one squad that has more or less 10 men (usually much less…). What makes this game different from others is that all players play American troops and game master plays the opposing NVA/VC troops. This built in blind system enables the game to proceed faster as only those NVA/VC troops that are visible to US forces are placed on board. Even though the game can be played as individual battles it is recommended to be played as a campaign to give more feel to the era. In the campaign each player is represented by one squad leader directing actions of a squad. Each battle of the campaign represents one month´s time "in country", perhaps its most hectic battle and its results and casualties reflect on upcoming campaign months. The obvious purpose is to survive through the one year´s tour of duty. With enough players one can simulate bigger unit operations and in my own games I´ve GMed a campaign with five players, where one of them acts as the platoon leader. The length of turn in the game can variate between one and five minute turns. While the situation seems safe the longer ones are used and when the action starts the shorter ones are used. The turn sequence is quite traditional. First orders and request for support fire are given, movement is executed, direct fire is resolved, indirect fire is resolved, results for the whole turns firing are applied, possible close combats are fought and lastly there is communications phase where players are given chance to communicate with other players IF their miniatures are close to one another or both have radio operators. Sometimes the game can be played even in real time. Also note that there are no morale rules as players themselves can give more belieavable and interesting results if there is any risk involved for them or their squads than any morale rules! There are four different movement types available for each turn and this has an effect to the distance the squad can move, how effectively it shoots and how much cover it uses. When firing six sided dices are thrown and 5-6 is a hit. The amount of dice thrown depends on the armament, the movement types of the shooter and the target and the terrain the the... read more

Form Line of Battle

This ruleset by David Manley, published by A&A game engineering, is probably the best napoleonic naval set we have played. Five thumbs up!

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