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TOPIC: Napoleonic and other historical games
PM McCabeTheMerciless
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Posts: 4
Napoleonic and other historical games
1st Feb 2015 01:49:39

So I received my Goblins a week ago yesterday (thankyou for the rapid tur around Baccus, much quicker than I was expecting :D) and I instantly feel in love with 6mm I'm really up for broadening my horizons in this area of wargaming.

I have always been curious about historical wargaming. Some of the minis out there, from a multitude of scales look amazing, even when they're not easily used for fantasy games I am often fighting the urge to buy some (sadly she who must be obeyed refuses to let me buy toys I wont use) what has turned me off though, aside from the Goddess who has stolen my heart (in case she's reading this ever watchful of unsanctioned purchases :/) is that to my understanding, historical wargaming is all about re-enactment, games are scripted, the outcome a given.

is this true? I would love to know more about it, so if any veteran historical gamers are about please, enlighten me on historical gaming

if you can't be a good example, be a horrible warning.

Email Extra Crispy PM Extra Crispy
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Posts: 109
Napoleonic and other historical games
Extra Crispy
1st Feb 2015 03:26:05


Historical wargames are not "scripted." Much of the idea is Monday morning quarterbacking. "If I'd been put in command I wuld have wiped the floor with Boney/Lee/Marlborough!" I wouldn't have attacked there, but on the other flank; I would have committed the cavalry earlier; I would have pressed more al all fronts, etc.

For a historical battle you may have the same deployment or you may have flexibility to move troops for a differetn battle plan. Many battles are fictional, and often we diguise a battle from one period by setting it in another (think, the fictional Civil War battle of Whiskey-loo).

If the event is scripted and the outcome a given, it's not really a game is it?

Mark "Extra Crispy" Severin

PM Dr Mike
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Posts: 12
Napoleonic and other historical games
Dr Mike
2nd Feb 2015 02:24:33

My love is for fantasy and medievals. However I've been drawn into GNW, SYW, Ancients, Napoleonic's, Dark Ages, Samurai, and ACW. OK I may be a magpie.

On the subject of rules a good rule set should reflect the tactics of the period and reward those that play to those tactics. Then you can take historical forces or battles and fight them out. The result should feel right with a tendency to the historic outcome, excepting the dice of fortune/misfortune.

You can then go with rules which suit the level of play you want.

Our merry band very much enjoy the Black Powder / Hail Ceaser / Shadowstorm stable of rule sets which work well with 6 and 10mm. Lots of fun, share common mechanics, and gives fair results pending the dice of chance.

You can also go one level more with Imagi-nations where the concept is you design your own nation, army, history for a roughly equivalent period. One of my many pipe dreams is a "what would have happened if Charles XII of Sweden had been supported by the Ottoman Empire in the wake of Poltava" - a tense alliance of Swedish and Ottoman troops renewing their efforts against a Russian army on a high following their victory. Historical with a twist 😉



PM Leftblank
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Posts: 27
Napoleonic and other historical games
3rd Feb 2015 12:56:18

I consider my historical wargaming hobby a fantasy hobby. What do we really know about the battles of Alexander the Great, or Julius Caesar? Hastings? A few incomplete paragraphs here and there, hearsay, bias, propaganda. Contradiction. The Napoleonic and later battles are better documented, but still open to controversy.

What I do is playing battle chess with elaborate, well-documented rules based on a historical period. It's a great alibi to read history books and have an evening with the boys and [ahem] 'analyze' the historical and table top match like football pundits.Re-enactment? Scripted outcome? We play a dice game with a balanced scenario. A predictable outcome would be boring.

Warhammer fantasy wargaming is in my opinion bland. Flat. Just a dice game with Wood Elves. I prefer dice games with Napoleon, because Napoleon inspires me more than fiictional Aragorn. But that's a matter of taste.



http://amsterdam6shooters.nl "The tin soldier melted down into a lump, and the next morning, when the maid servant took the ashes out of the stove, she found him in the shape of a little tin heart." Hans Christiaan Andersen The Brave Tin Soldier

PM Glenn Pearce
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Posts: 182
Napoleonic and other historical games
Glenn Pearce
5th Feb 2015 12:30:42

I have played in some historical games that were scripted, but that was over 35 years ago. They were very boring and I've not seen one since. They may still be out there, but if so they are rare. Today most historical games are simply started at a point in the battle before the outcome is clear. The challenge for the players is to do better then their historical counter parts. Not an easy task. The winners must win and the losers try to win. If the winners lose, it's clearly a defeat for them and a resounding victory for the losers (now the winners).

There is clearly a lot of preassure on the players in these types of games that is not always present in other styles of games. This seems to elevate the enjoyment meter for most of the players.

Regardless of the result you also generally get some sense of some of the problems that actually faced the historical commanders. A sort of walking in their shoes feeling.

In my experience nothing beats a well done historical game and thats why our club has been doing mostly that for almost 50 years.






Email dourpuritan PM dourpuritan
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Posts: 352
Napoleonic and other historical games
5th Feb 2015 11:02:52

Can't believe I just wrote a reply then pressed cancel. Here goes again. Sometimes a scenario can be set so that an historical loser can still lose the battle but win the scenario. At Wissembourg 1870 the French force was eventually vastly outnumbered by the Germans and could not possibly win. However, the scenario can be set such that the French win if they can delay the German troops longer than they did in reality, or perhaps, as a what if? can they do much better if nearby reinforcements had actually turned up.

PM Glenn Pearce
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Posts: 182
Napoleonic and other historical games
Glenn Pearce
5th Feb 2015 01:37:11

Good point. What we do when an historical battle is almost impossible for the loser to win is put a time limit on it. In most cases it's two hours. We track each armies effectiveness and which ever side is the lowest when the game ends is the loser. It just adds a huge amount of pressure to the game. The historical winner tries to move as fast as possible to bring his advantages into play. The historical loser scambles to develope a more effective defence or counter attack. These types of games are the most popular with our club. The time limit also allows us to play it two or three times in one day with all the players being able to play different commanders.



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