Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic Fighting Retreat at El Perez – A Polemos Ruse de Guerre Refight

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  • #162257
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Please see here for the re-fight of a ‘fighting retreat’ Napoleonic scenario, using Baccus 6mm figures and the Polemos Ruse de Guerre rules.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #162260
    ian pillay
    Participant

    Whirlwind thank you for sharing. Looks like a fun game on a small table. To be honest I thought it was a lot bigger the 3×2. I think you’ve got the balance correct between figures and buildings. I love the scenery you have. Especially the river.

    Tally-Ho!

    #162262
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Thanks very much Ian, appreciate it.  I like those rivers too – perhaps a little Ladybird-book blue, but the varnish really gave it a decent ‘wet’ look.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #162268
    Tony S
    Participant

    I’m becoming more and more enamoured of smaller playing spaces too.  So often when we use the full table, charts, dice, rulebooks, tape measures and glasses end up cluttering the game area.  Undermines the whole point of miniatures – that it’s supposed to look great!   Entirely subjective, I know, but I like a clean table.

    And speaking of subjective, do you usually use Ruse de Guerre as opposed to the Polemos Napoleonic (either scale) rules for Napoleonic warfare in Europe?  I don’t own Ruse, so I’d be curious to hear your thoughts about the differences and strengths of it?

    It sounded like a cracking game you had!  Thanks for sharing.

     

    #162274
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Agreed on the virtues of a clean table.  I tend to only use obtrusive markers now when I am trying to make them visible for some reason (perhaps to explain them in a blogpost).  It really is one of the few advantages over a boardgame.

    And speaking of subjective, do you usually use Ruse de Guerre as opposed to the Polemos Napoleonic (either scale) rules for Napoleonic warfare in Europe? I don’t own Ruse, so I’d be curious to hear your thoughts about the differences and strengths of it?

    I use all three.  Once a month I will be using Ruse de Guerre typically, since that is the ruleset that the Napoleonic Miniature Wargames Society of Toronto uses and I attempt to play their monthly scenario using the same rules.

    Ruse de Guerre is an evolution of Polemos Napoleonics, since its author, Glenn Pearce, used the latter a lot and they were gradually changed and amended largely but not entirely as a result of play experience. RdG is set more at the scale of General de Division than Marechal de l’Empire. The play is considerably smoother, mainly by eliminating a lot of the outcome moves and by a little bit more precision in the consitution of forces and in the way certain actions are performed (particularly reorganisations). This also makes the sequence of play more intuitive.

    Firing at range is considerably more effective in Ruse de Guerre – offensively destroying enemy forces by fire is a viable option in a way it really isn’t in Polemos Napoleonics. It uses d10s, so the results are somewhat more swingy too. Although somewhat changing the performance of infantry, the real change is in the value of artillery, which is muich more effective than in the Napoleonic game.

    Ruse de Guerre reduces the differentials between troop types compared to the Napoleonic version, both in reducing how many there are and in the effective of being better. The maximum viable swing between infantry units in RdG is really +2 on an opposed d10 roll (Raw Line Infantry vs Well-Trained Light Infantry), whereas in GdD it could be +5 on an opposed d6 roll (Raw Infantry Skirmish Rating 0 vs Veteran/Elite Guard Light Infantry SK2). All cavalry is ‘cavalry’ in RdG and is either Raw, Trained or Well-Trained – and that is it. No faster moving Hussars, no better fighting Cuirassiers per se. It is a bold call but actually works surprisingly well.

    The command structure in RdG emphasizes the ‘force’ which tends to be the regimental or brigade commander (although might be a battalion commander for certain scenarios), and these commanders are rated separately, whereas divisional commanders are not; whereas GdD emphasizes the divisional commanders and makes brigade or regimental commanders an undifferentiated group.

    My ‘first thoughts’ review is here. I could do another review since I guess I have played maybe around 20 games now, but I haven’t got enough new to say to make it worthwhile yet.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #162428
    Tony S
    Participant

    Thanks for the detailed answer.  Much appreciated.  Initially of course, I was horrified at reading that the rules only have a single category of Napoleonic horse.  Heresy!  Madness!  I had to reread my Oman and bask in his explanation of British line versus French column, to reassure myself of the proper stereotypes.

    I admit I’m not a big fan of Polemos, although I quite wanted to like the rules as they have some interesting bits that fit my biases and preconceptions.  When we tried them however, something just didn’t work.  They were first edition, and as I recall there seemed to be some rules not explained terribly well.  (Which is probably a reflection on we the players, a reflection that is quite accurate I fear).   I do remember that there was an infinite command radius, which we were a trifle dubious about.

    But maybe I should look at Ruse, if it is indeed a bit cleaner.    I do tend to like the more command oriented rules, rather than a more “rivet counting” set.

    #162448
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    No worries.  I think pretty much all of the things that were ‘issues’ in 1e Polemos Napoleonics that weren’t ironed out by errata or the 2e have been resolved in Polemos Ruse de Guerre, pretty much because if you play the Polemos rules long term then you have to get there.  Glenn’s take on it isn’t the only way things could have gone but they are an effective way.  Things that were a bit wonky I thought were the re-deployment rules, the definition of a ‘force’, some of the outcome rules, some of the physical mechanics (how troops appraoch and line up and such like – the bit that DBx pays a lot of attention to defining) and the interaction/timing of the rallying rules.  Every one of those is clearer and simpler in RdG.  Sometimes that comes at a cost, at least potentially – the weirdness of outcome moves is essentially avoided by not having outcome rules, so to take Waterloo as an example, you won’t get an ‘uncontrolled pursuit’ by the British cavalry – in effect, in RdG terms, the player as Wellington decided to rush on, rather than the troopers.  Similarly, there is no automatic advance after successful after winning a close combat.  What this does is make winning and losing the tempo even more important than in other Polemos games, since rushing a vacated position or getting defending supports into place will be more a matter of the tempo than the combat results.  And so on.

    The thing about the command radius I never found myself, in Polemos Napoleonics. Sure, you can avoid the command radius rules and penalties by having all the divisional commanders huddle around the C-in-C, but if you do that you forego the combat bonuses and free rallies you get from having the commander with the troops – that is not usually worth it, in my experience! The optimum strategy of course is to huddle the generals around the C-in-C then disperse them to their commands just before the fighting starts but if you can pull the timing of that off great, you deserve the minor efficiency bonus…

    Ruse de Guerre is specifically designed for horse-and-musket conflicts in North America from the FIW to then end of the War of 1812, where the cavalry simplification is more obviously a good move, but since Glenn is in the Toronto club they use RdG for the full range of ‘Black Powder’ wars. It is easy enough to add in different modifiers for a wider variety of troop types though.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

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