Black Powder Era Gaming

Napoleonic Miniature Wargaming was probably my first foray into serious miniature collecting.  My friends and I have played many different games over the years.  Some were pretty good (Napoleons Battles, Fire and Steel) and some not so much (Empire).  I have learned to appreciate large battles using element based units, where 1 stand equals a brigade.  There are 3 competing products out there right now.  Grande Armee, Polemos and Volley and Bayonet.

I’ve read through Fast Play Grande Armee.  I think it has some interesting concepts but parts of it seem a bit overly fiddly.  Other parts seem a bit bland. 

Poleomoes, I’ve not seen.  I’ve read enough reviews about it to probably take a pass.  I think it is probably a good game but reports are that the combat system bogs down.   This is not good for someone like me with limited time.

Volley and Bayonet is a game a really like.  The simplicity and elegance of the rules are fantastic.  The second version is out.  I read an advanced copy of the rules and was not very fond of them.   VnB has always been a bit fiddly to try to capture the various phases of the Black Powder Era.  VnB 2 seems to take it a bit far.  The reason I don’t stick with the original VnB is that it relies on rosters to keep track of casualties.  This tends to slow the game down. 

In the coming weeks, I will be posting my design thoughts on a very simple Black Powder game that (I hope) will capture the various nuances of the different phases of the Black Powder Era.

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