Monday, 31 December 2018

Ramilles - part Deux

Same battle, different day, with Field of Battle at Sgt. Steiner's.

Here's the takeaways vis a vis FoB & Die Fighting.

  •  FoB was more dynamic. That's not to say 'gamey' as such, but everything made sense, in the same way, but the drama was heightened. There were more nail-biting charges, more un-predicted reversals, more lethal volleys combined with heroic attacks, and ill founded moves that could be recovered from. It still wears down your army - but not at the expense of having to manage the rules.
  • The British attack was foiled, and pushed back. A French counter followed, with local counter attacks on both flanks. With too much resource management, we'd have spent our time counting chips rather  than doing something stupid/heroic...or both.

  • Some discussion on - when a commander is lost in FoB, everything under him goes out of command, which can be detrimental to effectiveness - St.Ruth at Aughrim and the collapse of the Jacobite flank echoes this. I can read an a account of a battle and immediately ascribe a rule mechanism from FoB to it. Though there is management of resource in other rules, they just don't seem to ascribe a narrative the way FoB does. 
  • I can attack, get beaten back, rally and attack again in FoB. The cost is my overall army morale, but I know that will ebb down - and that's my narrative - making the enemy ebb down quicker. Isn't that a battle?
  • Now there is management of resource 'by command' in DF as opposed to the army morale in FoB - but it still works as a ready reckoner of force staying power - and you still have chances to stay and fight thanks to the Army Morale roll.
  • Granted - and by virtue of the same mechanism, weaker units can bleed your army morale rapidly - but, using your militia wisely (in AWI for instance), or making allowances for them in the resource pool, can help this.

To the pics (with Sgt Steiner's excellent 10mm Marlburian stuff):

 The Allied centre.

 Allied Left.

 Immediate action there!

The allies come off worst in initial charges.

 ...and sometimes disappear completely (a 1 is never good).

 ...prompting the allies to protect their flank for the rest of the battle.

 Strong French centre.

 French mass on the Allied right.

 ...pull back to the crest boys...


The French attack on the right, supported by cavalry. The British troops are the cream of the army, but won't fare well.

Bold moves in the centre. 

 Allied troops rout on the right after a successful French assault.

 ...with some cavalry success...

 The left flank holds.

Both sides battered - artillery was particularly effective.

Great to compare the two sets. FoB always a winner though.


  1. Yes interesting to compare two sets so quickly and directly.
    Of course there is always Might & Reason and Twilight Of The Sun King and dare I say Black Powder to try :-)

    1. Yes true - Might & Reason worth giving a shot at again. Twilight - I haven't tried but yes would like to.

      Not sure about that Slack Chowder one you mention ;)

  2. Excellent looking game! I'm interested to read your comparison of FoB and Maurice. I'm also interested that you're discussing Might and Reason - I just bought those rules yesterday and have been giving them a read. Which has possibly derailed my 2mm painting plans today in favor of 6mm painting...

    1. Hi Doug. I still think that Maurice is a work of genius, and drives particular focus where the battle is hottest - and that's a wonderful card mechanic. It therefore falls nicely in with its unique campaign ladder. The whole thing work - though it's limited by the number of units it can handle (12-13 or so).
      I think Maurice probably has a more 'natural' system of lulls in the battle, where resource is being taken in in the form of cards, and certainly it has unpredictability combined with using the luck you're given, and very effective specialised unit traits.

      FoB offers similar management potential for the battle, but with less of a focus on the position of the commander and his axis of influence - and it allows large numbers of units to benefit from the single card turn - be it move, reload/shoot, rally.

      Both games offer different outcomes I guess - with Die Fighting, it seemed to be very much focused on managing the resource, which made it difficult to focus on the drama of the battle. FoB and Maurice both allow plenty of drama.

  3. Thanks for sharing! My affection for FoB2 is well known! :-)

    1. T'is indeed sir. I find myself drawn back to your 2011 review, and comparison with FoB1, quite frequently. It highlights some of the best points about the rules, and it's good to see how they developed over time. Your recent Talavera game was FoB too - superb setup.

  4. I enjoyed the comparison, good reports.

    1. Cheers George. It does bring home the different play styles of different sets when fighting effectively the same battle. It was a useful experiment I think.