Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Some thoughts and New Year plans.

Rules and periods.
Well I played through 7 bounds of 'Paul's Rules' (thanks for all your help Paul). I then decided to reset up the game and play through a few turns of 'Napoleonic Fury' for comparison. I'll try to quickly explain why I did this.

I have never really been 'into' Napoleonics as a gaming period if I'm totally honest, although I'm beginning to learn more as I go. My first love was always the American Civil War and probably at heart it still is. I played so many ACW games with so many rule sets before I discovered 'Johnny Reb' and absolutely loved them. Previously we had used a variation of the old Airfix rules, Newbury (which I could never quite get my head round) and then Circa 1863 rules. But JR was a revelation, at last I thought a set of rules that truly captures the essence of ACW combat. I played many games with them. Then along came Fire and Fury of course and everybody started to shout about how simple and playable they were so I bought a copy, not long after the came out. Games became very simple to set up and play, fast and furious games with a result in 2 to 3 hours, perfect for those mid week/ after work evening games. But I continued to play and love JRII and I will argue that they remain the finest set of ACW rules ever written. I still have my old boxed set of JRII and still enjoy reading through it occasionally, not many rule sets you can say that about?

The Napoleonic variation of F&F is very similar and plays fast with rapid results. I only got through 3 turns but it all came flooding straight back to me and the units seemed to fly around the table! I took a few pics as you can see. I had to reorganise into bigger units and again this did look much more impressive on the table, the Highlanders for example being of 7 stand of 4 for a total of 28 figures. So, I'm going to take a couple of weeks off to think about where I go from here in the New Year. I would need to reorganise my units for Napoleonic Fury and this would mean a bit more painting etc but NO rebasing at least.

Here's a link to 'Napoleonic Fury' . I have now tidied them up a fair bit and have them in Word format, and have removed all Nations except British/French/Prussian. If anybody should like a copy of the tidies up version sent to them please email

Some might wonder WHY I stopped wargaming the ACW? Well, I spent a few years re enacting the period as a member of the 42nd Pennsylvania Infantry Volunteers, the 'Bucktails'. During this time I became a serious student of the period and some of the early battle field photographs taken by the likes of Gardner left me feeling extremely uneasy. The shots of rows of bloated corpses lying where they fell disturbed me deeply and I became uncomfortable with both playing toy soldiers and re enactment of the period. I think I'm largely over this now but I wonder how many of you can understand this? One day I will once again paint the Blue and the Gray though, I just know it !

42nd Pennsylvania 'Bucktails' web page, I must be in some of those older pics!

20,000 page views.
I reset the counter in March and since then have recieved 20,000 page views. I'd like to say a big thank to those who follow my ramblings here and hopefully more battles will follow after Christmas.

Some pics of the Napoleonic Fury test game.


John de Terre Neuve said...

Interesting post Lee. I believe Paul Lenniston has a great system, but I was always uncomfortable with the small units and the corps level of play.

I am not big on petty details, but I like battalion level as it appears more real to me. Is F&F at a lower level?

Congrats on the popularity of your site.


MSFoy said...

Lee - good post, nice pics.

I'll check out the Nap Fury rules with interest.

Very interested in your tale of being put off by the realities of the ACW. My own involvement in wargaming was at a bit of a low ebb at the time anyway, because of other pressures on my time, but I was still doing a lot of reading of military history at the time the Falklands War started.

Sadly, someone I knew was killed out there, which was a bit of a shaker for a start, but I also recall that at the time I was communicating (by written mail, remember that?) with a military enthusiast in Virginia who was, among other things, a collector of Napoleonic firearms. When the Belgrano was sunk, my Virginian friend went into bulging-eyeball mode, and I got a couple of letters including lines like '...sincerely hope Maggie [Thatcher] nukes Buenos Aires...'.

Aaargh. My new friend was a raving hawk - off his trolley. That scared me away from the whole subject for quite a few years. I think it was the fear of being associated with - or even resembling - this freak show.

Whatever, I have recovered, but I still get vaguely uncomfortable from time to time with making a pastime out of something as appalling as war. I have sometimes been gently reprimanded for playing games which 'glorify warfare' - I would dispute that the games glorify anything, other than personal skill and courage - playing wargames gives a very clear idea about just how much chance the rank and file stood if things went against them, and there wasn't much bloody glory in it, that's for sure.

Regards - great blog


Rafael Pardo said...

I did e-mailed you rquesting a copy of Napoleonic F&F. I play with Napoleon's Battles and lasalle but I am interested in all mechanisms

Lee said...

Thanks for the comments.

John, I begin to see the light re bigger units. When I played ACW I would only ever play at regimental level as I identified so strongly with individual units. F&F /Napoleonic Fury is corps level BUT by simply shifting everything down a couple of levels it becomes 'Brigade' level with units representing Regiments, the mechanisms remain exactly the same. That's how we used to play them.

Tony, I'm glad to read that you understand how the realities of war can affect this hobby of ours. With ACW you not only get to read detailed accounts of a very small part of a major battle but you get to see photographs of that very scene in some cases. One typical example is Gardener's photo of the 'Slaughter Pen' at the foot of Round Top, Gettysburg, at first glance you see nothing but rocks but as you look more closely you begin to see bodies scattered across the rocks, over them, beside them, everywhere, and its quite shocking. I'm not too proud to say that I have been moved to tears by them many times.

Rafa, I will send you a copy of the 'tidied up' Napoleonic Fury rules. However, the link in my post takes you to the rules as they stand and they include Peninsula troop types. All I have done is to highlight certain lines as per the original rule set to make them easier to follow.


Stryker said...

Hi Lee

I have to say that I prefer the look of the bigger units. I have never seen this version of Napoleonic F&F but do have a copy of the 'official' version which looks very interesting. Take a look at