Evaluating Napoleonic rules 'Valour & Fortitude'

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ochoin
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Evaluating Napoleonic rules 'Valour & Fortitude'

Post by ochoin »

Some months ago, I used these rules for two games with 2 members of our group. Today, I ran a game for the final 3 members. Even if you add the two solo games I've played, I'm hardly a seasoned user of these rules. However, some of my opinions of this rule set might prove useful. You never know....

Today's game was loosely based on the 1815 battle at Quatre Bras. A French corps & a cavalry corps under Ney attempted to block a British advance by seizing vital crossroads. A rather larger British/Hanoverian force under Wellington was equally determined to break through. Figures used were plastic 1/72 & metal 20mm from a variety of manufacturers.

The game went for some 4 hours or so and ended after 8 turns in a clear British victory. The table at game's end:
Image As you can see from the photo, the crossroads were in British hands. Equally, as you can see, this looks like a Napoleonic battle. And it felt like one, too. IMO this is an important fact. However, more important was the speed of the game - quite a large game finished in 4 hours.

Image

Now before you think how speed is essentially a superficial quality, let me stress that playing & finishing a large Napoleonic game is usually a marathon effort. And remember, 3 of us were new to the game. So as a side note on speed is the fact that my pals were soon playing like they'd gamed these rules on several occasions. They were actually thinking tactics, not grappling with complex game mechanisms.One comment was, "Next time, let's add a Corps aside & play for 5 hours."

This is not to say this is a perfect rule set. Such a thing doesn't exist of course. For the sake of speed, some aspects of Napoleonic warfare are simplified. Movement, in particular, is not the intricate & convoluted process in many other Napoleonic rule sets. I have to say that, does this matter?

The rules are also open to 'tweaks'. I think it dangerous to change too much, but we want to use 2 gun models for a battery (largely for aesthetics ).
Image
I think heavy & light cavalry should have different move rates.
Image

Image
Overhead fire, with logical stipulations, should be allowed. etc.
I do recognise that these rules have unique & clever features - 'Firing' occurring before 'Actions', the concept of 'defensible terrain' and the fate/card & specific army sheets both of which add flavour to what might otherwise be too generic.

BTW a shout-out to my friend John Simmons who designed these amazing replacements for a standard deck of playing cards:
Image
They're both pleasing to the eye & definitely speed up play.

I'm keen to keep using V&F but it is, of course, a consensus. I suspect that V&F ticks enough boxes for us to make it the staple for our Napoleonic gaming for the future.

donald
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MarshalNey
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Re: Evaluating Napoleonic rules 'Valour & Fortitude'

Post by MarshalNey »

Looks great. Years ago I struggled to find a perfect set of Napoleonic rules. I like Sam Mustafa's Grande Armee.
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Spanner
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Re: Evaluating Napoleonic rules 'Valour & Fortitude'

Post by Spanner »

ochoin wrote: Sat Jan 13, 2024 7:35 am
I think heavy & light cavalry should have different move rates.
donald
Some interesting ideas in there, mate, and a good looking table.

I don't agree that close order light cavalry will move more quickly than the heavies, so agree with the rules you described. Having light cavalry move faster than heavies is an old wargame tradition, but it doesn't stand up to well to the evidence. Basically cavalry in close order travel at roughly the same speed for the same gaits, and that will be the speeds appropriate to each gait that the units have trained for (horses and riders). Where it would make a difference is in the stamina and staying power of the horses, and how long it takes them to recover from a charge or even a fast march. But that may be complicating the rules beyond what you want.
If "The System" is the answer, who asked such a bloody stupid question?
valleyboy
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Re: Evaluating Napoleonic rules 'Valour & Fortitude'

Post by valleyboy »

Looks good Donald
How much does the double battery frontage make a difference? Did you limit the arc of fire to reflect this for example?
Like you the aesthetics are important and I would normally play with a French battalion pf 36 figures and 4 guns in battery and cavalry regiments of 24 figures
ochoin
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Re: Evaluating Napoleonic rules 'Valour & Fortitude'

Post by ochoin »

Hi, VB.
We did use a 45 degree arc but talk about a 22 degree arc was had. To be honest, with the relative weakness of arty (normally 1 firing dice per battery per turn) & the strict rule of targeting the closest target, I don't think it matters much.

The Perry Bros have your large & impressive unit sizes but I'm just trying to shoe horn existing figures into these rules - not too hard BTW.

donald
Willz the Wargamer
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Re: Evaluating Napoleonic rules 'Valour & Fortitude'

Post by Willz the Wargamer »

Great looking game and wonderful figures, thanks for sharing.


Willz.
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DavidNBA
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Re: Evaluating Napoleonic rules 'Valour & Fortitude'

Post by DavidNBA »

Yes, a very good looking game. Thanks for posting. I'm on the lookout for a decent set of Napoleonic rules and will definitely give these a try.

Cheers,
David.
My (mostly 18th century) flag and template blog: https://nba-sywtemplates.blogspot.com/
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Essex Boy
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Re: Evaluating Napoleonic rules 'Valour & Fortitude'

Post by Essex Boy »

I think I must have been asleep for a few days.....

Lovely looking game, Donald.

Iain
ochoin
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Re: Evaluating Napoleonic rules 'Valour & Fortitude'

Post by ochoin »

David. They'll certainly be worth the price.
The biggest - only - issue is if you can live with the trade-off between historical detail & simplicity.
Let me know how you go.

donald

Thanks, Iain. I value your opinion.
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DavidNBA
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Re: Evaluating Napoleonic rules 'Valour & Fortitude'

Post by DavidNBA »

ochoin wrote: Sun Jan 21, 2024 8:14 am David. They'll certainly be worth the price.
The biggest - only - issue is if you can live with the trade-off between historical detail & simplicity.
Let me know how you go.

donald
Thanks, Donald. Yes, will do.

Cheers,

David.
My (mostly 18th century) flag and template blog: https://nba-sywtemplates.blogspot.com/
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