When I were little, when wargaming was new, I painted some Airfix Napoleonics because that was pretty much all there was to paint. When I discovered metal I quickly calculated that I could not afford to play big battle games, even though those Napoleonic uniforms were pretty swish. I rather liked the Neopolitan uniforms (Italian).
Time rolled on and I forgot games while I chased girls. Later, when I came back to games I settled on the late Renaissance and have been pretty comfortable there.
Recently I decided that I am now at the stage of my life that I should start taking an active interest in the local clubs. My good friend Andrew invited me to the Nunawading club where he and his friends play… Napoleonics… ominous music.
The guys very graciously gave me a few battalions to push around and further favoured me by letting me win my sector of the battle.
The rules used were developed by Andrew and his friends (Ben and Pete and Tim, and others). These rules seemed, at a first test (for me) to offer the impression of choice. I felt as though I was making decisions and seeing the consequences of my actions. Some of the mechanisms seemed a little clunky – but that is always just a consequence of familiarity. Ultimately, any set of rules is good if it gives choice and appears to fulfil the artistic impression of the period.
Did it give me the impression of Napoleonic combat? Not being an expert on the period (but being a nerd that is widely read) I did find a whole new formation I’d not heard of, but was assured it is reference by the venerable Nafsinger so who I am I to quibble? I seemed to have an awful lot of control over the movements individual battalions when the action seemed to be geared to the division (or maybe brigade). But the key elements of the period: line, column, square, charge, were there.
Next time, and there will be a next time, I will play even closer attention to this ‘feel’ factor. And hopefully introduce others to my pike & shot, and Savage Worlds games as well.