lauantai 6. tammikuuta 2018

Play testing Rebels & Patriots - new ruleset coming from Osprey

Games for French and Indian Wars 

& American War of Independence

Our friend Micke aka Dalauppror from Stockholm contacted me and asked if we'd like to play test draft rules he's working on with Daniel Mersey. Me and several others gamers from our Nopat & Taktiikka -club stood ready for action! It was quite easy for us, as we have played quite a lot of their previous rulesets like Lion Rampant and specially The Pikemans Lament (see my AAR's for the Russo-Swedish aka "Finnish War 1808"). 

Here's the announcement from Micke regarding this project. A small caption of it:

We are glad to announce that we (Daniel Mersey and Michael Leck) are once again teaming up with Osprey Games to bring you a new set of wargaming rules! 

Rebels and Patriots will be a set of easy to learn and fast-moving miniature wargaming rules offering you the chance to lead small armies of soldiers across the North American continent in the late eighteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries. The rules are written with a focus at conflicts on the North American continent from The French and Indian War (1754–1763), through The American War of Independence (1775-1783), War of 1812 (1812–1815), Texas Revolution (1835-1836), Mexican–American War (1846-1848), up to the American Civil War (1861-1865).

Read on to see the pics and learn about how we experienced the draft rule set.

First go - two games

Just after Christmas 4 play testers gathered to digest on the read rules draft
as well as all the food eaten during the X-mas holidays.

Kalle and Juha set up a beautiful game for AWI:

While me and Ludde played a clash from the French and Indian Wars...

Clash at the River

Scenario: we simply played until one army would break, that is 2/3 of it's 24 points (= 16p.) are destroyed.

Our 24p. forces were:

British - played by me
British Shock infantry 

1st British Line infantry 

French - played by Ludde
2 units of French Shock infantry 
1 unit of French Line infantry
2 units of Skirmishers 

Battlefield & Deployment

Picture taken after round 1, but gives a good overview. My British & native allies on the right.

My sharpshooters took positions on the hill, their range of 24" would dominate  all the way to the center of the village. My Grenadiers (Shock inf.) ready to march to the village...

My large Mohawk Warband taking cover in the forest

Loyal British subjects as the damn French take control of their peaceful small town

Round 1. 

I got to go first and immediately a small disaster struck: my sharpshooters clearly got the order meant to the Grenadiers and the other way round - sharpshooters dashed full speed towards the bridge and Grenadiers stayed put! Oh dear! This pretty much trashed my plan for first two rounds at least!

Round 2. 

During the 2nd turn French advanced into the town and drove my sharpshooters away with their fire.

My line infantry had moved into the small wood and formed a close order there. My Natives rapidly moved toward my left flank hence implementing my refused flank tactics - one of the French units was deployed to their extreme left flank (we also accidentally played on a 6 X 4 feet table, should have been 4 X 4 feet)

French positions after round 2.

 Mid game

 French had taken pretty strong positions in the town, then again 10 points of their army were still quite far, so my plan still was to take out his troops in the village before the rest of the forces could join the fray...

My large Native Warband moved towards the town, taking cover from the river banks

In the mid field French Courier de bois (skirmishers) moved somewhat carefully towards the battle

Overview of the mid game - the other French Shock infantry crossing the river far out. Then again my grenadiers hadn't advanced as rapidly either...

 Strong defensive positions...

Gets attacked by my furious Natives!

Both units take a few steps back to catch some breath... French line moves in...

Finally my Grenadiers get into position on the side of the village...

Only to witness them Natives massacring French defenders with another charge and a follow up charge to that - effectively destroying two French units in one round and spreading panic! Bloody awesome! Having a large unit of them really helped...

End Game

As the town was now taken, the focus of the game suddenly shifted to the mid field, were remaining French forces were still bravely advancing - eager to avenge the fate of their comrades!

Once again my Grenadiers find them self quite far from the action

Fire fight erupts between the forces... I only need to destroy one of the French skirmish units to break their army...

 One of them fails a morale test and moves behind the hill to rally...

But then they fail their Rally test and break - battle is over - the field is ours! -shouts my First Lieutenant with a triumphant voice!

Conclusions, part 1.

After both reading the rules and playing the first games we had quite a few suggestions and ideas on how to make these good draft rules even better. We mainly focused on things we felt
  • Felt unlogical
  • Made the game flow better

Kalle's comments sum up our over all feelings quite well:

  • All in all a nice game.
  • I really like the activation system
  • I like the mechanism on Morale affects Activation tests and unit performance.

In addition to this, there were a lot of suggestions on more detailed level of the rules. We've been very pleased that Micke has taken our feedback and suggestions well and they have had an impact on the rules (I guess other play testers have had similar suggestions).

We look forward to playing more games and eventually, the final and published version of the game!

Game 3. My French vs. Marko's Brits

Our 24p. forces were:

2 units British Line infantry 
1 unit of green British Line infantry 
 2 x Skirmishers 
1 heavy cannon

2 units of French Line infantry
Large unit of Natives
1 unit of Shock Cavalry
1 units of Skirmishers


My commander's trait allowed me to leave one unit to outflank, so my cavalry was left out for that. Otherwise my line infantry deployed behind the hill to stay out of sight from the cannon, one of them was already in Close Order formation. My Natives covered the right flank and my skirmishers the left.

British battle line.

Me and myself pondering on tactics (active evening in the club with games of Guildball, Saga and Warmachine on tables)

Our objective: a French and a British damsel in stress

Marko's oh so cool able British seamen

Early phases

Early in the game units from both sides advanced towards the hill, skirmishers leading the way. My Natives were making a flanking move in the right, but were driven back due to being luckily hit by a cannonball!

We had agreed, that the hill edge was an obstacle and units had to stop at it and then could move normally next round. Several units reached the hill edge on round two.

My Natives reached the cover of the woods and couldn't be seen by the cannon anymore, but there was a British unit expecting them...

My Shock Cavalry arrived on the left flank, behind the Indian village, poised to roll the British flank covered only by small native & skirmish units...

Target in sight!

King of the hill?

British forces opened the fight for the hill by moving on to the target.
One of the sailors was proudly demonstrating his mighty oar for the damsels, I wonder will that have the desired effect?

On my left flank my Cavalry charged forward chasing after the evading indians... damn my charge distance was 1" short!!!

My life infantry also climbed the hill to contest the objective and hence denying 
Brits from scoring points

Overview in the mid game

Fire fight at close range on the hill was terrible and four of my fusiliers fell, you can guess, that my roll of snake eyes for Morale doesn't promise a good future for this unit...

Bloody battle for hill continued, even if it was now in British hands. I focused my fire at the able seamen (skirmishers) to generate a panic, but wasn't able to destroy / break them!

In the meanwhile my Shock Cavalry gave a shock as they all died without ever reaching a melee! I started to feel that this battle really was an uphill struggle for my gallant French men...

Only one skirmisher left standing (of course the one with the mighty oar!), but clearly the Brits had for now won the contest for the hill...

My outflanking / engage in melee tactics seemed to be failing badly as my Natives failed several activation rolls and lingered and lingered - very frustrating!!!

To the bitter end!

So the hill was in British hands and my units were quickly deteriorating or lingering in the shadows!

It was clear to me, that my chances lay in two things: destroy a unit to spread panic and get my Natives into consecutive melees to cripple the British force...

So my skirmishers moved closer to the hill shooting at the last British sailor, but he seemed to be dodging the musket balls! 

British forces were now greatly outnumbering mine and closing in
to the hill from all sides.

To add insult to injury, Marko rolled a double six on an activation roll and then a third six and got four points of reinforcements! Like he needed them! So that's why my Natives had been so reluctant to advance & engage - their tribal friends had arrived!

Marko's Green Line Infantry came under some focused fire from me and they utterly failed  morale and then a Rally -test, sending them packing and spreading panic! Huzzah! That made the Brits retreat from the hill.

In the meanwhile the Seaman with a mighty oar was leading 
the British damsel into "safety"
So it seems, that his boasting and the oar had had the desired effect!

Well, it was too little too late! An as my Natives still refused to get into the fray and my army was almost in tatters, I chose to play it "fluffily" and my remaining Line Infantry moved up to the hill to rescue the French damsel! My Commander leading... Bonjoir Madam!

A true last stand it was (a very short one!)! Guess what happened, when all those enemies opened fire at my Fusiliers?



Conclusions, part II

  • A quite a different game from the previous one! 
    • Proves, that the game is quite scenario driven, which is excellent
    • My Natives totally ruled in the first game, but were now a great disappointment
  • Cannon was good, but not too good - quite a psychological asset
  • Using cavalry takes skill, how to get them into a melee, before being shot to pieces?
  • Few issues on the rules + suggestions arose and they were communicated to Micke and a good dialogue followed!
  • I sure feel this rule set works nicely to 19th century skirmish games. I'm planning to use in our campaign for the Russo-Swedish war of 1808-1809 aka the Finnish war.
  • I'm really happy for the opportunity to play test this!

5 kommenttia:

  1. Bert nice gaming pictures and AARs. Glad that you help out with the playtesting 👍🏻

    1. I'm really happy for the opportunity to play test this! So thanks for the opportunity!

  2. Beautiful games! Are these also an outgrowth of the LR system? I've adapted LR to fit into the Dux Brit campaign system, and also use them for my son's EIR raids. These evidently extend all the way to the ACW?

    1. There's similarity yes... check out Dalaupprors' blog for details (I'm not sure how much I can say really...) Happy to give you a demo, should you want to join in on play testing.

    2. "As with our previous rules, we've focused on the overall 'feel' and 'flow' of the game, rather than worrying ourselves about the minutiae of historical simulation. Our design goal has been to write a set of broad-brushstroke rules that depict the Horse and Musket era by combining elements of our Pike and Shot wargaming rules The Pikeman´s Lament and Dan´s colonial wargaming rules The Men Who Would Be Kings. The aim of the game is to roll some dice and move some models in a Horse and Musket battle game inspired by American history between 1754 and 1865, enjoying yourself as you do so."