Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic IGOUGO or not

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    surely you_jest

    Do you prefer IGOUGO rules or not, and which rules would people class as not IGOUGO?




    For me it depends on both period and game scope and scale.

    For instance, in a tactical Napoleonic game – no, I can’t stand IGOUGO. But, we do play FIW skirmish games commonly using Muskets & Tomahawks which is essentially card driven IGOUGO and I find that perfectly acceptable.

    The less dynamic my impression of the period, the more willing I am to accept IGOUGO. We also play Guns of Liberty (American Revolutionary War), which is IGOUGO tactical and that is just fine.

    But for Napoleonics and ACW, tactical or grand tactical… too static and thereby restrictive in reactions.


    The main consideration for me is solo-play – I always go for IGOUGO rules because it allows solo play without brinking on the incipient schizophrenia! Its good to be able to complete all moves from one side of the table, then physically move around ‘to the other side of the hill’ and look at the whole sequence afresh from the other perspective.

    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9


    I’d maintain that any rules which exhibit IGOUGO are such regardless of variation. For instance, if you use randomized activation of either units, unit categories or sides by cards or by dice, if only one side is allowed to move something, everything or anything at once.

    I’d also agree with Sparker (this is a strange and bizarre alternate message board universe we’re living in just now) that IGOUGO is especially adept choices for solo game play.

    Jurgen Leistner

    Our ultra-modern infantry rules are essentially IGOUGO, with individual figures or groups of figures being activated by the draw of their card.  However, while they are doing whatever they are doing, opposing figures can interrupt if their status allows them to do so.

    IGOUGO has its faults, but I feel that simultaneous activity can often result in chaos.



    simultaneous activity can often result in chaos.

    What Jurgen said right there!

    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    Ivan Sorensen

    For FiveCore, it’s IGOUGO but you usually only get to move 2 guys each turn out of 5 or 6. You could scale that up to units too.

    When you do get a chance to do something with everybody on your side, the other side gets to react as well.


    Cards are nice for solo play. They break things up a bit though a lot of games overcomplicate the card sequence a bit too much.

    Nordic Weasel Games

    Mick Sayce

    Gets my vote for solo play as well. The NHS mad houses are already filled to capacity without us wargamers adding to the numbers.  Besides, would that count as self inflicted?

    Blog at : http://thewordsofsubedai.blogspot.co.uk/


    I don’t mind IGOUGO for a simple fun game. Back in the old days we used to play simultaneous movement. Great in theory, but……


    Over the last couple of years I have been converted to the benefits of card-driven games. I never liked the sound of them until I tried it! The opportunity for fog-of-war and the unexpected makes for a more ‘realistic’ game.


    For solo play I have found I enjoy the TSTF / On To Richmond /TFL brand of card play, where one unit per card can move, shoot etc.  IGO/UGO rules where one side moves everything, then the other side tends to be boring with solo play. I always seem to know what the other side is going to try next turn.  Attempting to put together an AI process for solo gaming is what gets complicated.  Hidden cards and random battle plans for the non-player side can work and make for a fun game, but it is another complication and you are looking at cards across the table for much of the game…

    There is not such thing as ‘simultaneous’ rules in the sense that ultimately, somehow, the rules have to determine who does what first, second, and third. That is where simultaneous rules can get messy and complicated.




    I moved away from IGOUGO games years ago. They are good for skirmish and fantasy I suppose but I much prefer interactive games for Horse and Musket. I guess at the end of the day it is why I bought the global rights to Koenig Krieg and have just released a non IGOUGO Napoleonic set of rules called Grand Battles Napoleon available at Siege Works Studios.  I enjoy Zone of control in games and interactive initiative mechanics.

    That said and it really has nothing to do with Napoleonic’s, SAGA is a wonderful IGOUO game. I guess we are all different in our gaming choices 🙂

    Sam Mustafa

    I think that the old concept of IGO-UGO,  in which all my units do everything…  then all your units do everything…   has been largely replaced by more subtle versions of the concept.  You can still have IGO-UGO alternating actions, but those actions don’t necessarily have to be symmetrical, nor equal or “fair.”

    Steve Burt

    Indeed. Saga for instance has alternating player turns, but both players get to do lots of stuff including reacting to each other’s actions, so while it may be IGOUGO it doesn’t feel like it as both players are involved all the time.


    For me it depends on the game, not the period. Card draw or unit activation is a pain when you have multiple players (most of my games have 6-10 players) so you spend an awful lot of time standing around doing nothing. But I like breaking up the Side A, Side B.


    That said, IGOUGO models real time as well as most alternatives. Just a matter of taste more than anything.

    Marshal SinCere

    I’m a big fan of simultaneous play. Games where all the players are potentially involved at all times during all turns is such a great concept. The problem with IGOUGO is that people do things at at different speeds, which can mean that some people can be stood around for ages not doing anything. Then their turn comes around, its over in a flash, and its back to the slower player again. Arrggggg!!!

    I agree that simultaneousplay can be chaotic if the game is not designed well.

    Henry Hyde

    I was raised in the days of written orders and simultaneous moves. Even though the vast majority of the games I play are variations of IGOUGO, I still have fond memories of written orders, if for no other reason than they created a record of the game (including casualties and the 33X table in the era of Bruce Quarrie…) and simultaneous moves really can introduce surprise. Without the simultaneous moves, you need some other system, such as cards or dicing for random events, that can make up for that.

    The fact is that either method has its advantages and problems, and it still comes down to your choice of playing partners getting into the spirit of the game and not taking advantage of the system. My own rules are alternate moves, but with the opportunity to interrupt in certain situations and with a C&C system that makes life less predictable.

    Editor, Battlegames
    Battlegames on Patreon
    Author, The Wargaming Compendium


    Yes, agreed, IGOUGO interleaved with interrupts and reactions by the passive player seem to be the way to go these days, and don’t preclude solo play…I think it also a period thing – whilst we can probably just about accept a horse and musket era unit standing and watching an enemy unit march right across its front without reacting, it wouldn’t feel right for the 20thC!

    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

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