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Friday, 29 September 2017

All that Glitters.


Well yesterday John and I took part in a titanic struggle involving the armies of John Churchill and The Sun King.And what a battle involving 7 brigades each. The rules we used were our old favourites, Volley and Bayonet by Frank Chadwick. They were originally published in 1994 and although they were updated recently we still think the original rules were the best.

 Twenty three years is a very longtime as regards wargaming rules and given the alarming regularity that new rule books appear you would think that something better would have come along in that time.
 After yesterdays battle I seriously think not. The game contained everything that I want in a wargame. Tension, the chance to actually attempt some cunning plan and no need to constantly consult the copious pages of a large rulebook.

 Granted the rule book lacks eye catching photographs of miniatures. It is has a soft cover, and  consists of 20 pages that contain the simple rules written without jargon.The rest of the book is taken up with scenarios of large battles from various periods. So its perfect for wargamers like me who just want to get on playing with their soldiers and thrashing the enemy.
 There is no filling, no fluff just good honest common wargaming sense. Something that is increasingly missing from the current slew of very expensive rulebooks, with the odd exception.

  As for the actual game. Well for the first hour or so I really thought that I was going to achieve an overwhelming victory only to see my ridiculous dream melt away as my British died manfully.I was lucky at the end to achieve a draw. So after the game I was truly knackered and had a blazing headache and left thinking, if only...............
Now that is why I love wargaming.  And remember all that glitters is definitely not gold.

 
 

9 comments:

  1. I think the original version of Volley & Bayonet can best be summed up by "elegant simplicity"; It's worth reading the designer's notes for an example of a well thought out design brief. Add to that mechanisms that evoke the early Featherstone type rules (6 to hit and saving throws), and it manages to combine modern research with nostalgic fun while still being designed as a GAME.
    Mr Chadwick is currently working on a set of WW2 Operational scale rules which hopefully will provide C20th gaming with something akin to VnB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neil,
      Thats a great way to describe the Volley and Bayonet rules.It is exactly why John and I played them for so many years and then were sidetracked by the likes of Blackpowder etc.

      Delete
  2. I have been reading my old battered copy thinking its time I had a game.

    The overall simplicity is an elegant design and we used them for many years to refight the big battles in history.

    I fondly remember playing a campaign , using the ACW supplement, that was not only playable but felt like you where fighting the ACW.

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    Replies
    1. Mark,
      As Neil stated elegant simplicity. A great set of timeless wargaming rules.

      Delete
  3. Any photographs from your game, Robbie? With regard to rules, I began to think a year or two ago that the search for (to say nothing of the continuous publishing of 'new') wargame rules is like searching for THE one magic bullet or pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Donald Featherstone had the right idea about keeping things fairly simple regardless of the era in question. A page or two of rules and a few D6's ought to do the trick in most instances. One simply has to accept that with toy soldiers, there is a certain level of abstraction that is difficult to avoid. If one is after more strictly realistic simulation, then a boardgame with cardboard counters (abstraction again) or a team-based kriegspiel with umpires and maps might be more the thing.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Youre right Stokes,
      I keep returning to simple wargaming mechanisms because they always give you a great entertaining game.

      Delete
  4. My favourite set of rules. Have been playing them for twenty years, Marlborough, 7YW, Napoleonic, Crimea and ACW. Always fun and a good game.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Volley and Bayonet ... a pleasant nostalgic connection indeed.

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My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating