Sunday, 19 March 2017

Game 53: C&C Napoleonics - Rolica

We've played other versions of Command & Colours, though hadn't yet tried the (early) Napoleonics versions. Interest in this really stemmed from thoughts of a potential large scale game with non-wargamer types, with figures and my larger hexes - and thus a suitable 'gateway' set of rules, and some of the rules that we've heard about the epic scale version of C&CN (C in C hands out card to flank commander, who acts upon it - but with his own smaller unit decisions etc.) sound excellent for a great day's gaming.

So ultimately then, the game will be used with my 20mm plastic collection, though best to try out the rules with the little blocks first.

Only sticking points were (1) there's a little more complexity, though you quickly get used to it and (2) the rules for squares, where cards are withdrawn from the hand, so as to reduce flexibility - seem fine, but were a little clunky on the day.

That said, it's probably something that becomes second nature during a game. The blocks are great, and very tactile, and the sticker detail is a positive replacement for miniatures. That said, I began to think that life was too short to stick all of those bloody stickers on at the weekend; I don't think I'll be getting too many of the expansions :( . I might be downloading the scenarios and going with miniatures.

So, we tried the first scenario from the main game (Rolica, 1708). As usual, and in line with what we've already seen, some great and tense moments, and all finished quite quickly. A unique system for modelling fog of war, and some of the strategy cards come just at the right moment (or wrong moment, depending on your point of view).

 The setup.

I prefer laying the tiles down, as opposed to the popular...'setting them on edge'. (Makes for better pics too...).

Thrusts on the French and British lefts respectively, would see the development of some flanking actions during the day.

Powerful British presence on the French right.

 French moves on their left.

  A cavalry charge by the British in a frantic attempt to wear down the flank.

The British launched a frontal attack on the French defences, and it almost looked like working...for a time.
By game end, the French have done enough damage in blunting the British attack, such that they have captured enough flags to win. Certainly, a close game, with clear victory conditions, and much room for hacking with miniatures.

I can see the 'epic' version of this working well with non-wargamers (although suspect there might be beer involved too...)


  1. You have inspired me to get out my blocks and try a C&CN game on the boards - playing solo, I usually get depressed by the set-up chore, and feel sad about the lack of miniatures.

    The answer, as you have reminded me, is to play the game against someone! Gives the whole thing rather more point...

    1. Yes indeed. I did read a few things online, which stated that the 'epic' version (like Battlelore epic) allows a rack of 5 'open' cards which the C in C can select from at any time in order to add to the deck.

      Also, the C in C basically hands out the relevant card to his sub commander each turn - what the sub commander does with it is up to him/her, but this seems fantastic for a larger game with C&C.

  2. Sounds interesting, and beautiful!

    1. Thanks Phil. There's definitely something about Richard Borg's design which lends itself to ease of gameplay.

  3. For solo play, when you play a card and draw another, do not look at the drawn card - that way at least part of the 'other players hand' is unknown.

  4. Interesting indeed. Have played the Ancients set a bit.

    1. Quite intuitive, but full of surprises.

      And I've ordered 'Over the Hills' by the's all your fault LOL, due to your blog.

  5. I second that! I bought "Over the Hills" probably 75% because of SGT Steiner's posts...

    Bravo with your Rolica fight, Darren. This was a most enjoyable game with 15mm miniatures for me and my game seems to have gone similarly to yours.

    I think this Spring I'll play Quatre Bras using CCN.

    By the way, I am loving reading through Over the Hills. It seems like a very straightforward, and well thought out game.

    1. Cheers Steve. Yes, OTH seems to be getting rave reviews everywhere.

      ...I still blame Steinahhhh! ;)