Monday, 26 May 2008

Thoughts about Napoleonics

Back at work again tonight (monday Bank holiday) not much to do except think about wargaming again. On my mind tonight is the Napoleonic period, known to gamers as "Nappys".
When I first started wargaming, I was heavily prejudiced AGAINST Nappys. Why was this? It was because the Nappy gamer seemed to be the archetypal Geek, obsessed with uniform accuracy (button counter), the image that most ordinary folk most likely have of a wargamer.
And of course I was different because I was interested in the history and the tactics etc etc....

So anyway I started off playing mostly Ancients and Medievals and a single game of AWI. Then a few years back I met my mate Paul who lives about 40 miles away and was looking for gamers to play on his permanently- set-up table at his home. When I got there he showed me his collection of about 1000 25mm Nappy figures, some 30 plus years old.

Therefore it was inevitable that eventually we would play a couple of games of the period as a rest from WWII. Using his simple home baked rules, these games were something of a revelation to me. In fact I would say that playing Nappys has been the MOST fun I have ever had wargaming, win or lose.

How satisfying it is to march a brigade or two of infantry about the battlefield; judging the right moment to deploy them from column to line or square; wondering if their discipline will survive the first encounter with the enemy-will they hold or run? Then there are the gay dashing cavalry; should I disperse them to scout, probe and threaten or band them together as my mobile battering ram? Some like the Hussars are very unpredictable and hard to control once released. Don't forget the artillery-not yet powerful enough in this era to dominate the battlefield but if used wisely can tip the balance of a game.

So I guess you can say I am a convert to Napoleonics. More about this next time.

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