Saturday, 16 April 2016

Second Rank and File test game coming up soon

Just thought I'd better post something topical to show I am still at it!
I've planned to have a whole weekend next week with Kevin and James to give the Napoleonic version of Rank and File a really good test.
This is  the next step from our small game in January with a view to finding a good set of rules to refight Quatre Bras at 1:20 scale in 2017. Kevin has organised a game with a small Allied force defending the line of a stream, with woods and village and hill to their backs. A stronger French force will attack and then during the course of the two days both sides will be reinforced.

I've been using Kevin's sketch as an exercise in teaching myself mapping techniques with Adobe Photoshop Elements. Very pleased with the result, but I'm sure I can improve on this for the future.
So this will be the fictional Battle of St Metard
And here is the table I have prepared approximately to the map. The Watermill will stay but Kevin is bringing some better buildings for St Metard that will look the part and be less dominating, however I couldn't resist getting some of mine out meanwhile.

Apart from this I have to work on the rules a bit and try to ensure we have a credible set of status markers for the various aspects of the R and F rules. We are going to try the Wargamer ADC plastic trays again like we did for our 1:3 Waterloo games last year and hope they are not too overpowering with 30-figure battalions.  Also we are hoping to standardise figure bases to approximate to one another through our separate collections. As part of that I had to rebase many of my 95th Rifles.
Here are some photos

You'll have seen these chaps before in my report on the La Haye Sainte refight 
We are using 6-figure bases for close order troops, and 2 x 2-figure bases to
represent those 6 when they are in skirmish order. So these photos show the whole
30 figure battalion (approx 600 men) in both close and open order.
Kevin's happy that skirmishers can fire in two ranks deep as  we are assuming they
are acting in a very fluid open mass.
If anyone is interested in how I made the stream I have a lot of photos of it in progress and can give a "how-to" post, just ask.


  1. Looking very good Chris. Very keen to see how your Adobe Photoshop Elements progresses as your map looks fantastic.

    1. Thanks Carlo. It's quite fun experimenting with the diffrent textures and effects.

  2. Looking lovely Chris. Can't wait to see the game.

  3. Looking good Chris. I've now finished the buildings (yesterday) and looking forward to the whole event. Nice to see the tabletop before arriving at the venue! Great stuff! Buildings ready, troops ready, scenery ready, Waterloo beer ready........all to be fought over! See you tomorrow.

  4. Oh Kevin, I hope you've got enough beer that we don't have to fight over it!

  5. Very interested to read this, and your previous review/AAR with R&F. I heard about R&F from Keefsblog (Keith Flint), which is also how I found your blog. A heavily modified R&F is our rules of choice for SYW (we're up to version 19 of our mods/QRS). We did add a CC component after playing the first game RAW. We didn't like the leaders "helicoptering" about. Another change we made, somewhat in concert with adding the CC element, was to move the Initiative Phase first, and have it dictate things like declaring charges. The RAW says " is OK for players to 'wait and see' whether the enemy is charging before declaring their own charges, so these do not have to be declared in any particular order." After a couple of times sitting there waiting to see if the other guy was going to charge or not, we just decided to let the Initiative Phase at the beginning dictate anything like that. I love the elegant fire and morale system of R&F though, including the fact that fire is simultaneous (I am not a fan of the mechanic of rolling to fire first or second in Keith's Honours of War rules for example). We have a set of mods/QRS for brigade level Napoleonics, but haven't played them yet.

    Dave Franklin

  6. Firstly apologies to everyone that I'm so tardy in writing up an an excellent 2-day game. Ironically I've been testing Honours of War too with my SYW figures. Dave, thanks for your extensive comment. There is a lot to like about R&F for Napoleonics and we like the freedom the leaders have. Since mostly you can countercharge we didn't find any issues with that aspect. I'm liking HoW too though no system is perfect it does seem to encourage the linear shoot-rather-than-melee tactics of the 18th century.