Mobirise Website Builder


1871 Mash up with AOV
AOV is the distant child of Fire and Fury. It is easily understood by the most obtuse volunteer in 15 minutes.
Its “manoeuver roll” thing is more a mix of morale effects, a bit of unpredictable movement length, and a dose of control by higher command. It does not provide well for good troops commanded by donkeys nor poor ones by efficient commanders and staff.
So why not add a command system which does give you a good dose of the difference from the French armies and the Germans of 1870: slower responses to events, harder to change postures and harder to implement intricate plans?
I adapted the activation roll of 1871 rules. Difficult to give, as I first thought, a sort of central command system. In 66 and 70, from readings, local initiative has a far greater role than in Napoleonic warfare. So the activation rolls (more and a bit easier for the Germans) represent both initiative and better central / corps command for the tudesques.          

  1. We tried 1871 rules- mostly we liked it. good points; the firing table which integrates several results, sort of casualties and morale. We did it in Half scale to have a bit of granularity for casualties. Not to have whole bns vanishing in one shot.
  2. EASY AND SIMPLE -being the only one who reads the rules, I managed to explain the other guy fairly fast. I was a bit disappointed that cavalry is quite impotent; ok in most cases it is a period feature, but it could make surprises thanks to its speed, which it does not have here. The command system does means that any attempt at coordination is just luck. In the old 1870 you could have division orders.
  3. We left it aside - mainly because of my troops basing. I have infantry bases on 2 cm front with 3 figures, up to 10 per German rgt. To fit the system I used 2 bases for a French r bn, and 3 for a German (I don't like his melting all into similar strength, I know it helps the French, but I cannot forego the more troops in most German units. It ended up with ugly little groups of 2-3 bases moving around. And even then the frontage was way too small. With appropriate bases (like he said, 8-12 figs) it would look nice. Back to Age of Valor, with mods, so far. Another thing, units disappear in whole battalion or not. You can have the case of very little casualties (effective) for a fight, and difficulty to represent attrition, as I still persist wanting to play the campaign.

FORLORN HOPEs  FOR XVIITH CTY /30YW with Twilight of the Divine right rules.

Generating musketeers detachments for Commanded shot cavalry support, musket detachment to occupy villages, fortifications etc. as it was done. For example, the advanced redoubts at Nördlingen manned by commanded shot from the tercios, reinforced during the fight. Each formation can generate a number of these (posed as 100 men average “construction block”). One of these is enough to put a CS modifier as in the rules to a cavalry unit.

Forlorn hopes/ commanded shot units, to fit the rules function as dragoons but without the mounted ability, M units. So 4 blocks makes a small one, 5 an average sized, 6 a big one.

These must be created before the game or at start, before moving. Unless stated in a scenario or provided for a campaign, taking these musketeers from their parent units will, up to a point, lower their musketry ability. Already pure M units can be broken down though. A difficult action can send reinforcement to a village or fortification from a unit within 2BW, or use a marker 2Bw moves per turn (to be able to emulate Nördlingen) to join the intended place.

PH can only do one detachment per level. Usually PH units cannot unless really big. So for example a basically average Mh Swedish brigade (their normal way) can generate 1 block and stay the same, 2 blocks and lose one shooting level (in using the sw brigade tricks too so only MX or PH) and one size so in that case becomes small. .

Number of 100 men detachment
without a size loss small/ average/big unit with size and musketry loss

Early tercio 1-2/2-2/3-4

Tercio 0-1 /1 -1/2-2

Swedish brigade 1-1/1- 2/2-3

Regiment 0-0/1- 1/1-2

Musketry loss means Mh becomes MX, MX becomes PH. 

Mobirise Website Builder

Did you ever read numerous historical battles tales and be wondering why your cavalry in games does not end in flanks and why it just does not feel right?

Mobirise Website Builder

Do we shoot too much? Should we keep  (horror!!) a bookkeeping account of artillery rounds? Does it slow down games? 


I have two versions of my Napoleonic rules. In the oldest, basic units are brigades or big enough regiments (2000-3500 men on foot 800-1600 on horse). The newest one still mostly does things in brigades but not just. Basic units are chunks of 1000 (800-1200) for the infantry. I did not use battalions as it is a sort of forlorn story, these could go from 400 to 1100 so any way we are mostly always wrong. Well, the Austrian is finally happy and thinks this is normal the 1000;) These are grouped in brigades and these most of the time, in division.
I did this because of two things, a game of Eckmühl where I could not replicate the Austrian numerous actions with part of a hussar regiment. 
In the game it was all in one place and for example had to be used, tired, blown etc. on charging a lousy narrow column trying to get out of a bridge. In real life (and in history) they only used a couple of squadrons, the other 6 (!!) can be used elsewhere.
Then we have the Coehorn dilemma. 
His brigade in 1809 was quite big, composed for 2/3 of  conscripts, who did quite well but still new, possibly not too well trained. The 1813 types or so.
But...he had the Tirailleurs Corses and du Pô, nearly 1600 crack troops who did the job on attacking that bridge. You have this king of devil mix quite often.
So if playing in brigade do we count this brigade as  elite or raw (the majority) or average (a sort of mix, blend, tasteless)? If raw no way you  can redo that heroic assault, if all elite well you just tripled the numbers and we can hear the Austrians  complain loudly. 
That's when I created the  1000 version. 1000  or 8000 to 1200 is half an average sized French  or Prussian regiment, one full at Waterloo, one  Austrian battalion, very often a Russian regiment. And, well, that's how I built my armies in chunks of 1000 with 12 figures. So no  changes, mostly.
Now Claparède has one big elite and 3 D class. I also can have the Austrian Jaegers in small units (their full strength 8-900 units) to be more flexible in full skirmish mode. Cavalry is now in chunks of 450-800+, roughly  regiments or "battalions" of big regiments (Austrian and Russian lights). 
It became more fiddly, but gained a lot in history and flexibility. Lost a bit are the ideas that  the number of things you move gives a lot about the game time, the less the faster it goes, and the more troops people are able to handle. But I can also use those little dice for casualties, no need to write on a roster. If my troops were based differently I could, in both systems take of some bases  too. Though I remember my Mondays, sorting out the huge pile of "casualties" on the side, no, merci  beaucoup. 

One week later: it was quite fiddly and too many  little dice.
Back to case 1 or nearly so.
Back to regiments and brigades, but with possibility of detachments for garrisons and gandes bandes skirmish work.  Now I can have smaller units, yes mr Coehorn 1500 or so can be represented separately. Now if only we had accurate 18mm figs for them? 

BATAILLE EMPIRE 2, house rules: 

changed 6-03-2024


It was toned down from the previous version, not a bad thing but still...Other players were more or less rightly complaining that guns were now not poweful enough. While waiting at the dentist I took my smallest book the read, the Maxims of Napoleon. In there, this relatively gifted and famous artilleryman, tells you that no troops can stay within 400m of an artillery unit, the distance of efficient canister (actually heavy grape here). In BE rules as in many others, canister fires too short. Not until Minie rifles does infantry have a superiority of fire close to artillery. So I added 1 UD to all canister fires. Then his efficient range are also a bit short, so 3-4lb-8 Ud, 6lb-10Ud, 8lb-10Ud, 12lb 15 UD, Austrians underpowered having a bit less of maximum ranges (optional).


Cavalry  should not  die easily. I give them 2-3-4 steps. then in the result  4-6 difference in close combat instead of two full casualties they get 1.5. They are too slow, but they can overcome it with enough command points to move fast out of tactical distances, and with a good command, not a bad thing at all. But be careful  setting up the scenario.


Looks he suffered from the NJ Turk syndrome, thinking there is no panics or influence from neighbours in this warfare... My readings tells me otherwise.  not to  harm the rules I decided to give  a modest morale test if a unit of equal or higher status is destroyed or routed within 2  UD. There also needs a formations check, to avoid having a 6 bn brigade getting easier to command and not perturbated by having lost 4 of its components! So I use mr Hopper system (in his scenario books). 
So test if lost 25% then33 % then 50% then 75%(!) same as a morale test (using average remaining units values) count each unit lost as a loss, and if under 5 fail.
fail= all in disorder and order less aggressive. If already in disorder, rout.


You could be sure I would not pass this one. It is obvious these rules were done for battalions scale units.
Players having with too few units but wanting to get out too many different toys for staying even remotely historical (those dreaded order of battles, History argh) pushed to  have a unit being a sort of regiment of 1200. The author does tell you this is flexible and explains that it can work in different representation which is really fine. And it does. The only thing,  he, and most other French players do not change the ground scale with changing the units scales! So, where the bn scale (6-700 men average 120 m front), is fine  (except the horse see further), if kept the same, it become fantasy and a real trouble for 1200men. When your gun was firing at 1.2 km it now become an 1859 rifle shooting at 2 km. It means for example that if you want to play Waterloo, British batteries can nearly shoot everywhere from any part of the crest!
I also found out that for my troops which are at a higher scale (roughly 1 for 80-100) I'd have to get more figs, (Ok  some) and that the cavalry would have too many units.

Skirmishers would go 80-150m away from their unit if not more and be shooting 100-150m further.  Here integrated skirmishers shoot 3UD away 180m; too short add 1 UD.

The game ends up being slow; it does not have to. I found out that one reason is that we cannot move enough to close with the enemy. To close from extreme artillery range will take two-3 turns, at least one hour. To do a km! 
This is because although one can do multiple moves, these have to stop  at what he calls  operational range 8Ud, 500m. If I change that to tactical range, 4UD, then multiple moves to close are possible. If it was done to  give more chance to  the artillery, it failed as the guns are quite feeble. A game turn has to  be 1/2 hour as we have this grand tactical move of up to 5 column moves, 1800m for fast guys. 

It is a bit foggy as to how many commanders one needs to  have the game move, the few examples on his site suggest 3-5 units per command. I also will always use historical command structure.  It means divisions and brigades, as most brigades end up with 3 to 6 units each  and one division general for 2-3 brigades. In the end it roughly fits his points averages. Corps commanders can also be there, over this, in big games. My aim is to play many of those appealing scenarios I have in Hopper's booklets. 
I might use my order system for orders from corps to divisions.

Mine are mostly based on 4 cm with 3 horsemen, not his 2 on 3cm.  I understand his bases all being (same pb with artillery fi!) the same, simplify the life. My way is that history is the base, rules having to  adapt, especially  if it does not make for so much trouble. 300 horse on 2 ranks, have a longer front than 600 foot in line (c.f. Kriegspiel of Reischwitz 1828 for example!). At least 150m vs 110-120m; it does matter if you have quite a number of each in line and it looks better. Also there is no reason to under represent those beautiful horsemen, 1 foot for 50, one horse for 80? 
I use small cavalry 2 steps, average 3, big 4. 

I will probably normally play with basic infantry units being 7-800 men, big ones 1000-1200  and cavalry basic one around 400-450. Then the UD should be an inch. In case I can go to basic units (inf.) being 1000 then UD be 2 cm. If you do that it does not change the game and distances in historical scenarios are fine. It suits better my existing troops. Some battalions will  have to  be disappearing into bringing others to strength, not so  good, but it will save time and avoid too big historical brigades which slows the game, their leaders having too few command points. Of course, batteries will stay of their real size. It is also a simple way to de facto slightly increase  their effect.

All this said, I like the rules and so far after studying Grande Armée, Valour and fortitude,  Lasalle2, this would be the one of choice for the smaller scenarios; moreover  the other French gamers are playing this which  might help getting one more, occasionally. 


This sure is fast play. It did not take a long time to understand the basics. As often with simple but not simplistic rules, tricks and tactics, using the system properly or rather efficiently would be a bit longer. Especially so as it is rather different from the "traditional" way of doing  Acw. It does go to  the essential, after all acw battles are not very complicated and even less if you  want the big engagements to be played in a sane amount of time and space. The author and team have a

Space and scales

As I said in my first battle report, as we have 15mm figs and I have quite a lot of space, we double all distances and "bases", and it even looks decent then. We do not have enough figs to effectively double ranks in most big battles (the minis were intended for regimental Fire and fury scenarios). So far "brigades" will be 5 stands but ideally they should be 10mm minis and look great. It sure would work well in 10mm with 1.5 the distances. One inch is then mostly around 70m. 

Mechanism and game time

The first shock to usual ACW players, shooting is not much. You go  to  "close combat" to really  have results. But a clever combo of fire that will  repulse some units would help to give you an advantage in closing afterwards. Those commanders who can coordinate two divisions can. Others mess about. The system is easy to modify on the surface though I would be much careful to do  so. The only  thing, it relies a lot on the author assumptions of the traits and abilities of the commanders. these  can even vary to allow for their  historical behavior on each battle. And they have a scenario for EACH! Of course when playing a gang of morons it can be right frustrating. Nothing precludes you from doing what-ifs and for example using a standard  characteristics for Jackson, obviously the one when in full form! More explanations can be found on internet, first of all in their site and numbers of videos and the author's. you can recover damaged units, or try, and the system pushes you to keep your rear secure and have reserves, good!

Verdict (as of 2-24)

Unless my  gamers is adamantly against it (maybe he needs to win to help) we will use it together with RFF for small engagement. Despite my pledge to  resit, it relaunched painting and even buying (aie!!) ACw, using  part of that usual metal pile in wait. There are a few mildly annoying thigs there, understandable, as this kind of rules aim has to get to it's essence via numerous compromises. The first main one, all infantry and cavalry units have the same frontage, whether they represent 800 or 2000 men. As you only fire with one unit at a time, 3 crappy -3  units do nothing (ok slight chance to scare them off) on a 2500 one (or any one- we could have thought it might be different on another small one?) (+3) who in return can damage one of the 3. True that if really, you have 3 vs 1, alone, you should be able to have 2 on the flanks, with better odds. I might study doing abnormally huge brigades in two units (Antietam).            In some ways I have the same thing in my napo rules where one can have a 15000 vs a 3000, at least you can put two small ones on the same front, nearly.
The second annoying thing, they don't care about cavalry much and they maneuver very little. Underestimating the firepower of these dismounted breech-loaders? and the potential threats and speed. On the other hand, the terrain is necessarily (thanks goodness!) simplified and should more often than not be limiting their use in numbers together. 2nd Winchester might need house rules though. I am always an advocate of tanks and cavalry being able to use their real speeds and be limited by the scenario/ terrain  etc. by choice or else.
They chose simplicity and it still works. I might create a pre game recon/ intel system to use more hidden deployment which would make a big difference in those often wooden cut up scenarios.

Free AI Website Maker