Miniatures Rules

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By Richard Moore

It isn't until you start looking that you realise just how many different sets of rules there are out there for playing Napoleonic miniature wargames.

For someone starting out in miniatures it will be confusing as everybody seems to have a favourite rules system and none of the others can match it.

Now here at The Napoleonic Guide we have no favourites - as yet - as we are only just re-entering the world of miniatures wargaming. We can say that we are currently playing General de Brigade 2nd edition and enjoying them hugely - a review is coming soon - and check out our look at Napoleon's Battles: 2nd edition.

Our background is boardgaming and PC strategic games and while our miniatures experience is limited - after playing those others for 20 years we do know what a good game is.

Rules set up the style of game you will play and will decide movement, morale, firepower and casualties. They vary in complexity and one of the major differences between miniatures rules systems is accuracy versus gameplay.

Some devotees adore the complexity of hard-core miniatures rules, which require lots of time but will deliver pretty realistic results, whereas other wargamers prefer faster simpler rules.

The best idea would be to have a look at chat rooms or talk to gamers in your area about what they play and the pros and cons of their rules systems.

Here are only some of what if out there.

General de Brigade
These rules are fast becoming our favourite as they offer a nice balance between ease of play and tactical decision making. Games are of a good length say three to six hours. A review of the second edition rules is here.

Napoleon's Battles
Grand tactical rules to simulate large-scale battles fought between 1792-1815. A new edition is out and this is what you get. The original rules have been out since 1989 and there is a huge following and support base.

Elan Deluxe
Well regarded tactical-level Napoleonic wargame rules designed for 15-25mm miniatures. Created by Australian Phillip Jones, the Elan Deluxe rules are now available for free download from Deep Fried Happy Mice. A web forum has also been established for the rules.

Shako Fields of Glory
Regarded as being high quality battalion-level Napoleonic rules.

Napoleonic Principles of War
Regimental-level rules for battles between 1792 and 1815, including Egypt, Russia and the European theatre.

Grande Armee
A grand-tactical Napoleonic wargame that has won praise for an innovative approach to miniatures battles.

Volley and Bayonet
Grand tactical rules for wars between 1700 and 1890. Units are regiments or brigades.

A Gathering of Eagles
These are large scale strategic gaming rules for 6mm or 15mm that have won admirers for being very player friendly.

Old Trousers
A fast playing set of battalion-level rules. These rules are free and downloadable from here.

The War Times Journal's grand-tactical Napoleonic wargame. These rules are also free and available from the WTJ site.



Napoleonic Rules
Naval, Revolution and Napoleonic Wars rules, painting guide
Volley and Bayonet Napoleonic Rules

Skirmish, ambush rules for small actions

Principles of War

Principle of War rules site




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