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Welcome to the site where the story of the battle is as important as the battle itself. Here we will focus on men thrust into extraordinary situations of life and death. They must lead other men with duty and honor to meet their countries objectives. Some will be blessed with great skill, some will carry great shortcomings. No matter what nation, no matter what war, no matter what theater, they are all called to move their Platoon or Squadron forward!

These are their individual stories as played out using my various campaign rules . Hopefully these stories will entertain and inspire you to use your own troops, airmen and sailors to accomplish your own great heroics.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Thoughts on Regimental Fire and Fury

 Hope everyone had a good memorial day and remembered all those who served and especially those who died and their families.  

I am not exactly sure why but I had a yankering for some AWI action.  All I had currently was Donnybrooke which are a very good set of skirmish rules but with my current kick of moving up from skirmish I decided to look at Rich Hausenauer's Fire and Fury system.  As readers will be aware I really like his Battlefront rules.  Turns out Regimental Fire and Fury has a free AWI variant on their website.  Who knew?  

I won't call this a review as you can find detailed reviews on line about how the game is played.  I will do what I have started to do about 2-3 years ago; tell you what I really like and don't like about the rule set.  I try to give you my biases up front and hopefully many of you will find this helpful if you are looking for new rules.  

My biases are I play solitaire and I really like command and control to be modeled well.  Command and Control can be fiddly if it adds value but I really don't like anything else to be.  I also am not very familiar with the Black Powder era.  Donnybrooke and Piquet Field of Battle are my only sets of rules. 

 Eye candy shot of a playtest game.  I have played 4 battles solo before I have done this post.  

In a nutshell Regimental F+F is a IGO UGO game.  However, there is a defensive fire phase which is critical in that in the black powder era melee is really where things get settled.  I suspect this keeps both players busy but when I play solo I am busy all the time!  Ranged combat in F+F is somewhat unique in that there are several modifiers but one of the biggest is the skill level of the target.  Since most of the adverse results are disorganization, this makes perfect sense to me.  In Melee training also is very important; more so than numbers. Regimental F+F also separates skill level from morale so you can have "spirited" troops down to "unreliable".   Regimental F+F has a maneuver chart for movement.  I freely admit I think this is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  On your turn you can activate every unit [boring] but each command has to roll a die to move it's units.  Since each unit has it's own modifiers it is possible that some units will move double quick while some will retreat.  Thus this table rolls morale and fog of war into the movement phase with one roll.  While this can be time consuming at first after a while you realize which units are "fine" and which units you actually have to check on; brilliant!  It is the same concept for Rich's Battlefront rules and why I love them.  

 My scotts charge some pesky rebels.  Each unit is a regiment made up of stands that represent about 40 men.  I think these are companies but I still get confused with the black powder nomenclature.  The rules say each stand is to be an inch with 3 figures on it.  There is no way I have close to that many figures for 2 armies.  For now each figure is a stand!  

The AWI variant for Regimental F+F is free on the fire and fury website which is a great service to gamers.  As you might expect muskets are the weapon of choice so ranges are short and cavalry are even less of a factor.  Militia are introduced and they can only be in open formation.  A fourth morale state is introduced, "dispirited".  This is for much of the militia that basically broke after taken any fire.  It works well in the game as these formations are extremely brittle.  

   Brittle militia fighting off cavalry.

My thoughts:

Good Points:

I love the maneuver table for Regimental F+F.  As I have stated before, I think this efficiently combines several things into 1 die roll and introduces some fog of war.  It makes this game easier to play solitaire.  It is the reason you should buy this game.

I am no expert but the way the formations interplay and how the game flows makes sense to this neophyte.  I felt like a brigade commander moving regiments around. The scenarios are designed for several players to have several brigades but I think for a solitaire player a brigade a piece is about right.

Good Leadership matters.  A good brigade commander is "able" and gives you a +1 on your maneuver roll. Some regiments can have a brave Colonel and they get a +1 in melee.  I like that sort of thing.

Less than Good Points

Combat seems very forgiving and recovery from "disordered" results seems easy.  With Rich's WW II game I actually toned down the combat tables a bit; here I think I will need to do the opposite.  I freely admit I am no expert in black powder but it is very difficult to remove a stand with ranged combat.  I suppose it is hard to hit 20 men with a musket at 60 yards.   More concerning to me is the easy recovery from disordered results.  Maybe I just roll well but in 4 games I had only 1 unit rout.  This doesn't take away from a great game and with some tweaks to the maneuver table this can be fixed.  For instance I might take away the +2 for "fresh" units and see what happens.  

Command and Control is still not enough for me.  There is probably no game that will have enough out of the box for me on this.  The maneuver table does a good job in simply modeling this and I think most gamers will be happy with the system as is.   But I want to be able to show a single regiment reacting quicker or slower due to C+C.  I will port my Piquet cards over and add individual leaders that are eaither really good or bad.

   Col Brighton steadies the 42nd Foot as the enemy gains local superiority...

Overall I think Regimental Fire and Fury is a great rule set. It plays like what I think black powder should play like.  It introduces C+C/fog of war with a simple die roll and the game plays smoothly.  I feel like I am maneuvering regiments on a battlefield. It is pretty easy to play solitaire and if you add some Piquet like cards it should be even easier.  Rich has done a great job;huzzah!



   Its those scotts again!

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