Sunday, 16 January 2011

Rules - so much choice.

Being thoroughly rusty when it comes to miniatures rules, I have been looking around for a decent set.  As a notorious tightwad, I would favour a system that allows the players to recreate battles from approximately 1720 to the French Revolution.  

This neatly avoids the "pike quandary" of Marlburian gamers but I feel it may be a lot to ask of one system.  After a bit of reading Warlord Games' "Black Powder" looks interesting but I am put off by the fact it sells itself as suitable for 1700-1900.  Surely no set that can depict the American Secessionist War of 1861-65 can also do justice to the War of Austrian Succession and let's say the Corsican Ogre in Russia circa 1812?

What I need is a fairly generic set that can be tweaked for extra flavour.  A system where skill in utilising a force can compensate (somewhat) for bad dice rolling.  Rules that are not bogged down in complex modifiers but that maintain a good "flavour" as it were.  Above all a system that will do credit to the struggle between Beimbach-Schönau and the Savage Turk.

If any of my readership has any suggestions I would be delighted to hear more.


  1. In my time I was pleased with the WRG 1685-1835 set, after a lot of reading and thinking to make it specifically adapted to the 'Lace Wars' - not 'trimming' totally, but heavily penalizing 'napoleonic' formations and tactics except in the very precise -and rare- circumstances where they were historically used during the 18th C.

    Now, Bill Protz' "Batailles de l'Ancien Regime" (BAR) enjoys a favorable press in the 'Old School Wargaming' group and among 'EvE' members?

  2. Thanks again Abdul - I will have a look at those sets.

    I never like asking such questions at TMP as invariably they garner wise-ass remarks!

    I suppose if you could doctor the WRG - Black Powder may be possible to make more era-friendly.

    The authors certainly have a pedigree when it comes to simple rules systems.

  3. I use a modified version of the free ruleset Weight of Fire (my version available to down load at

    -- Allan

  4. Thanks for the suggestion CH and Tidders - free is the best price. I will have a look pronto.

    Thank you.

  5. Black Powder is very tweakable.

    I still enjoy Charge! the most but not to everyone's taste.

  6. Actually, your description of what you're looking for sounds a lot like Black Powder. It uses the same basic rules but tweaks the unit stats and attributes to make them play differently for different periods. It rewards thinking ahead, keeping reserves, and most of all being able to adapt, though the reason this is rewarded is because some unpredictable things can happen, which some people dislike. There aren't many modifiers to remember, but there's still plenty of flavor provided in the game through things like officer personality and blunders, and certainly in the presentation of the rules.

    If you're interested, here is a link to my long-winded review of Black Powder: