Sunday, 7 June 2020

In Deo Veritas

The new set of rules from Helion Publishing's Wargames Initiative is designed for 17th century actions in smaller scales.

 
I used my 25mm forces however, and found absolutely no issue.
Designed for 3"x1.5" Brigade stands, I used infantry and pikes with a 4.5" x 2" footprint on a 6'x4'. No problems with scale at all; these work admirably for large battles in 25mm from the period (and with potential for development - see below).



These are a great set of rules.
The designer freely admits to having been influenced by Volley and Bayonet, and it shows in some of the mechanisms, though there are some excellent period style flavours added which work very well.

  • Activation is by wing. Cards are suggested - I used coloured counters in a bag. I thought I would dislike the random activation (essentially by flank/centre) but it works surprisingly well, given the style and scope of the set. I appreciate that other sets use similar methods, though they're an inch thick.
  • The rules are tightly written. Actually, similar to V&B, there are nuances within the rules which you might not pick up on the first read through, but everything is in there. It is succinct and relevant, and written for play.
  • Saving throws vs firing and combat are low in number, manageable and affected by the disorder/disrupted nature of the defender. V&B fans will instantly recognise saves and unit condition etc. A system which I always deemed almost perfect.
  • Shooting / combat sequence is decided by an initiative roll, but it all works and is essentially simultaneous after order is determined.
  • Charging home can be dangerous, and as with most rules, you can be severely disrupted on the way in, which hampers your intent.

  • A great set, and I would say this: given the potential for these rules, and the sensible package size and tight writing style, they would work admirably with WSS ..and beyond. 
  • Scenarios abound in the same 118 page book, and the format could be replicated for other periods.
  • A little more work and period flavour and they work for AWI, ACW etc. I'm sure a Napoleonic variant could work well.
  • Now, given the softback modular nature, a la Osprey, we have a viable contender for Slack Chowder's crown here, with the correct editorial strategy and development of a customer base.
  • Of course, bearing in mind its V&B heritage, and that set's viability across multiple periods, we have the start of great things (I hope). Helion could really crack it here, and give us something worth developing across multiple periods...and it could be done well.
Very well done. (I don't work for Helion by the way :)   )

 Allied, English and Dutch vs a French attack.


 Some veteran French units.

 Cavalry clash on the flanks. Once you get to grips with the number of dice involved, this becomes fairly seamless.


 Similar cavalry action on the Allied right. Again, seamless, yet with command choices on the part of the attacker. Very much reminded me of V&B at times.

 A swift re-read of the charging section meant that infantry lose saving dice within the last 1" of the charge home, as teh defender fires at close range. That's a real kicker and normally forces them back - very realistically.


 Infantry in defences is normally fairly well supported with an extra save dice, though these guys were very unlucky and ended up disrupted and falling back.

 Cavalry attacks on left.

 the charge home.


 


We didn't get the game finished, but a solid set.
These are worth picking up, and I hope there is significant game development in the months to come.


31 comments:

  1. Enjoyed your table and figures - the book peeks my interest, I like that it seems to have everything, including scenarios in pone package and Father's Day is on the horizon .... vinyl or book hhmmmn!

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    1. Thanks Norm.
      I really enjoyed it. It's everything that a good solid ruleset should be. It's hard to knock as it's based on sound principles with little design fudge.
      I do think they could really hone the system and elaborate for other periods. Hoping the publisher has that in mind with this first release, and they don't go off on a tangent.

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  2. First, your table is superb! Second, these rules sound interesting. I have seen a few reviews of IDV and I may pickup a copy to see for myself.

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    1. Thank you sir. I did get a new phone with a decent camera, so it may have added to the glitz :)
      It's worth a look. There are old school bits, and Volley and Bayonet design philosophies, and perhaps not as groundbreaking as some of the things in Field of Battle, but a well written, elegant set for sure.
      I know that 'Balagan' on his blog has described V&B's 'elegance' in past posts. I'm reminded of that here.

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  3. Interesting.................

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  4. Great looking game, I shall most probably be buying the rules myself. Never hurts to have another set from my fav period!

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    1. They work really well Ray. Easy to set up and pretty quick too.
      Good solid mechanics.

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  5. I shall buy the rules - thank you - this is really all I needed - at the moment I am writing one set and reading two others. Maybe this is what we get to if social gaming is not possible. Excellent post, by the way - the new phone may have been dearer than a new table, but it was a good move.

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    1. Thank you sir. I think you will like them.
      Look forward to developments at your table.
      The new phone is worth every penny yes. :)

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  6. Rules look interesting, I may take the plunge. Your table and forces look great as always

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    1. Thank you mate.
      They are interesting. To be honest they can be made to suit a lot of periods - in the same manner that V&B could be.

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  7. Thanks for an informative review and a nice looking game. I'm now interested in these rules too.

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    1. Thank you. Just checking out your excellent blog again - glad to hear you're another fan of FoB3 :)

      I'll be doing Killicrankie with either these rules or FoB at some stage.

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  8. I echo other's comments on your good looking tabletop, and thank you for the useful review.

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    1. Thanks Peter.
      The fact that Volley & Bayonet is a basis for the rules is a great start for me.

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  9. I like your 25mm Armies- superbly painted and presented. Curious to know what Brand are the figures? Cheers. KEV.

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    1. Thanks Kev.
      The first pic shows mostly old Wargames Foundry figures from late 90s.
      2nd pic shows the Dixon Minis Grand ALliance range - which are superb.
      The cavalry in 4th pic down is Old Glory WSS - but they do look fab.

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  10. Good review. I do work with Helion and although not my period I do wish them well with their move into wargames.

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    1. Thanks George.
      Great ideas and rules to be sure.
      They have the start of something big here with the right line editor.
      The rules can be bent and shaped to suit multiple periods, and the 'Veritas' label could be applied as Rampant is for Dan MErsey's stuff. I think Osprey have too wide a variance sometimes - whereas a series of period rules becomes very collectable.

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  11. Is there an echo in here? Beautiful figures and table!
    A really useful, wargamers review of a set of rules too, thanks. It always helps when someone has played a game with the darned things.
    Use of the term scale always manages to confuse me. To me they have the subtitle incorrect: I read small scale as lower level of operation (regiment, battalion, squad or whatever) or lower figure to man scale, but they use it to mean fewer figures to represent more men and a larger scale of operation?
    Regardless, it's always pleasing to find a 'new' set of rules that is actually somewhat new (even better if the authors actually 'fess up to where the inspiration/ideas came from rather than professing that their re-hashed stuff is actually novel!) and, *shudder* they work!!
    I have come to Volley and Bayonet late and am looking forward to using them for brigade scale Napoleonics in the not too distant. A similar set for this earlier period sounds attractive. I picked up "Twilight of the Sun King" recently, enjoyed them on reading and was impressed on first use, so they are definitely still 'in play'. These may well be worth having a go at too as they will have pikes included as a matter of course (I'm interested in Great Northern War in the main, a bit back to Great Turkish War and some of the other struggles involving Polish-Commonwealth troops).
    Thanks again, James

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    1. Thanks James, and agreed.
      I think it's a strange sub-title in terms of scale, yes. My thinking is that they want to focus on 15mm and 10mm as that's where the designer's models and experience comes from.
      Operationally, I much prefer the Volley and Bayonet-esque scale, as it promotes 'big' battles.
      I have Twilight too, but remains unplayed - I must rectify this.
      I wonder also if, bearing in mind the source of their next book in this series, the publisher wants to specialise in 25mm with a different set of rules in a 3rd or 4th edition.
      For me, IDV worked beatifully in 25mm, and would be absolutely superb for GNW.

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  12. Hi there! I found my way over here from Norms blog. We all just played in his PBEM game and I thought I would check out the other players blogs. Yours is very nice and I’m having a good look around.
    Your figures and terrain look very nice. 😀

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    1. Thanks Stew.
      I was Armstrong - I had wanted to take part but didn;t have a lot of time, so the militia on the American right was perfect for me.
      Great experience.
      Just joined your blog too. Looks great. Your recent work on the AWI figures is superb.

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  13. I wish whoever ‘borrowed’ my copy of V&B would return it. Great set of rules I could do with now. These look interesting, though, and if based on them I might dip in. And Grand Alliance is also on my radar... with all the other stuff I have lined up. Your splendid pictures are not helping!

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    1. I know ...yeah sorry about that :)

      Which edition of V&B was it? I might have a pdf somewhere.
      And if Grand Alliance is on your radar ...I should have a lot more to come :) ...and there's a lot of stuff on the blog here going back a few years.

      Mind you, I'm tempted to dip back into V&B again with ACW - just got the 1862 supplement.

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  14. Ooo, if you have...🥳 It was the first edition, I think, purchased at Colours around 1988. I tend to look towards One Hour rules now, but I remember enough V&B to slip in the old amendment (like the ‘poorly drilled’ rule). I’ve been eying up Lancer 20mm Grand Alliance figures for some time. I have this thing about wigs.

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    1. Ok - email me at ducdegobin (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll see what I can do

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