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Subject: Early Modern Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers rss

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Similar to the other cool threads for running discussions of games and so forth. (Changed the name to maintain consistency with terminology among historians and philosophers.)

I never really considered myself a fan of this era, but it turns out that perhaps I am. It's not my fault, though. The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of wargame designers. Ben Hull's Musket & Pike Battle Series games are among my few 10s, and I'm extremely excited about the upcoming Won by the Sword. Then there are the excellent Wilderness War and Washington's War and the classic 1776. And the surprisingly deep block game, War of 1812.

I'm playing a game of Washington's War by email, and this past turn was exciting. Probably more exciting for me, as the British, but I appreciated the way the turn played out in terms of the story it produced.

It was 1776 and massive British force, led by Burgoyne, landed at Alexandria, VA. Benedict Arnold was stationed with a small but potent force in Wilmington, DE.




Burgoyne marched his forces north then swung around, descending on the capital. But Arnold quickly marched to congress' aid and a pitched battle was fought on the outskirts of town, the first major engagement of the war. Unfortunately, the rebels were soundly defeated and Arnold's army demolished (all 3 CUs lost!).

The Crown believed the rebellion all but crushed--defeated in the field, Philadelphia captured, the Continental Congress dispersed. Support for the rebellion melted away in surrounding areas (I removed PCs in NJ, NY, and one in Massachusetts.) Things looked dire for the cause, as people began to accept Royal pardons, now that it seemed the war was over.



But lo! In this dire moment, Thomas Paine took up the pen and fought valiantly against British propaganda, bolstering the spirits of the Americans. The people of New Jersey tore their pardons into shreds after reading his pamphlets and renewed themselves to the cause once more! The Crown declared victory too soon, for the obstinate rebels decided once more they still had fight left in them!
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Re: Gunpowder Era Wargamers


I had a brief flirtation with the English Civil War era.

It didn't lead to anything serious, but we're still friends.
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Re: Gunpowder Era Wargamers
Would I be correct in assuming you're thinking of a cutoff somewhere before the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars?

Gunpowder never has gone out of fashion, and I expect that if it does, it will be due to the development of even more efficient methods of killing one another. This puts me in mind of a passage I enjoyed in the novel I'm currently reading:

"This gallant little eccentric seemed to have a disregard for human life that was two hundred years out of date. But it could have been worse. He might have had a wholly modern disregard."
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Re: Gunpowder Era Wargamers
Peso Pete wrote:
I have always referred to this as the "Blackpowder Era" of warfare and it is my favorite period in wargames. There are so many great games on this period of history now (which is great because that was not always the case in wargaming history).

They use Gunpowder Era on ConsimWorld, but break it down into four subcategories: Pre-Napoleonic, Napoleonic, Post-Napoleonic and Civil War. That's always seemed awkward to me as well; what about something that was contemporaneous with Napoleonic but unrelated, e.g. Ang Snguon's revolt in 1812? And surely the Civil War is Post-Napoleonic?

My trouble is that I'm better at poking holes in categorization schemes than constructing them. My recommendation: add dates to the thread title as guidance to what fits and what doesn't.
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Re: Gunpowder Era Wargamers
Getting back to the topic, I have several relevant but somewhat obscure titles that I hope to revisit in the not to distant future. One is Mohawk, a very interesting title dealing with the French and Indian War. Another is Leuthen: Frederick's Greatest Victory 5 December, 1757, a recent design by Frank Chadwick that was supposed to be the flagship game for a new series. The third is Saratoga: 1777, one of the better titles from the Rand Command Series back in the 70s. It had optional rules for simultaneous movement, which is a big plus for me. I've played all of these, but none of them nearly enough.
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Re: Gunpowder Era Wargamers
Sphere wrote:
Sorry for derailing things Rindu. All I really wanted was to make sure that you weren't intending to include the Napoleonic Wars. I assumed that from your post, but wanted to verify.


That is what I thought, but I didn't put any dates in! I COULD mimic Consimworld's organization scheme and explicitly put "pre-Napoleonic" in the thread title.
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
I see you used 16th to 18th century - I like it.
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Peso Pete wrote:

As for the Civil War, I am going to assume that John gave it its separate category due to the sheer number of Civil War titles.


ACW is really sort of the last hurrah of Napoleonic Warfare but does get its own category because of its psychological impact, I suppose, on Americans.
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Rindu wrote:
ACW is really sort of the last hurrah of Napoleonic Warfare but does get its own category because of its psychological impact, I suppose, on Americans.

You could also say it foreshadows what was to come, what with railroad transport, rifled artillery, trench warfare, etc. I think this explains why it is of interest to many people elsewhere as well, not just Americans. But surely it has its own thread.
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Rindu wrote:
Similar to the other cool threads for running discussions of games and so forth.

I never really considered myself a fan of this era, but it turns out that perhaps I am. It's not my fault, though. The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of wargame designers. Ben Hull's Musket & Pike Battle Series games are among my few 10s, and I'm extremely excited about the upcoming Won by the Sword. Then there are the excellent Wilderness War and Washington's War and the classic 1776.


Luke, your classic 1776 has recently been surpassed (IMHO) by Compass Games' latest release End of Empire: 1744-1782. Not only does it cover the American Revolutionary War (with 11 scenarios), but also other wars of the 18th Century in North America, including the War of Jenkin's Ear, King George's War, Lord Dunmore's War and, of course, the French and Indian War. I've just started playing some of the smaller scenarios solo and am having a very enjoyable and engrossing wargaming experience. I highly recommend it.
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Have you looked at Battles from the Age of Reason (BAR)?
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Sphere wrote:
Getting back to the topic, I have several relevant but somewhat obscure titles that I hope to revisit in the not to distant future. One is Mohawk, a very interesting title dealing with the French and Indian War. Another is Leuthen: Frederick's Greatest Victory 5 December, 1757, a recent design by Frank Chadwick that was supposed to be the flagship game for a new series. The third is Saratoga: 1777, one of the better titles from the Rand Command Series back in the 70s. It had optional rules for simultaneous movement, which is a big plus for me. I've played all of these, but none of them nearly enough.


Mohawk is great fun; whipping up the tribes and then sweeping down to burn Baltimore (or was it Philadelphia) only to be driven off by the pesky British.
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Hungadunga wrote:


Looked at but not played--I hear it's on the high end of heavy. There's something pleasing about linear tactical warfare and managing your troops, keeping them in nice neat rows.

I see that someone is posting a series of learning videos under the BAR Primer page which look great. BAR will probably end up as my go-to for revolutionary war battles, since GMT's Battles of the American Revolution series (sorry about this) felt far too simplistic and bland to me.
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Perhaps we can get together and knock out a scenario of BAR - as you know, I have them all.

Thursday night gaming - especially with Chuck likely being out of action for awhile.

Gonna check out those videos - been meaning to.
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Wilhammer wrote:
Perhaps we can get together and knock out a scenario of BAR - as you know, I have them all.

Thursday night gaming - especially with Chuck likely being out of action for awhile.

Gonna check out those videos - been meaning to.


Sounds good.
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Rindu wrote:

... There's something pleasing about linear tactical warfare and managing your troops, keeping them in nice neat rows...


There is indeed. It is very visually appealing. If I ever get into minis it will have to be from a time of linear warfare.

I must have a slight bit of OCD?
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Capt_S wrote:
Rindu wrote:

... There's something pleasing about linear tactical warfare and managing your troops, keeping them in nice neat rows...


There is indeed. It is very visually appealing. If I ever get into minis it will have to be from a time of linear warfare.

I must have a slight bit of OCD?



Does wargaming attract the OCD-inflicted or does it cause OCD? I suppose the subject should have its own thread. whistle
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Capt_S wrote:
Rindu wrote:

... There's something pleasing about linear tactical warfare and managing your troops, keeping them in nice neat rows...


There is indeed. It is very visually appealing. If I ever get into minis it will have to be from a time of linear warfare.

I must have a slight bit of OCD?


I also love that you can often win just in virtue of having the best-organized force.
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Rindu wrote:

I also love that you can often win just in virtue of having the best-organized force.


Exactly. And I would think that games depicting this era would reflect that.

There must have been a compelling reason or two to have those neat lines. LOL!
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Sphere wrote:

"This gallant little eccentric seemed to have a disregard for human life that was two hundred years out of date. But it could have been worse. He might have had a wholly modern disregard."


I only love that. Where does it come from, Sphere?
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Just completed my email game of Washington's War with an overwhelming British victory. Supposedly this game is balanced, but it seems more difficult for the Americans, or perhaps American play requires more nuance. Together with this email game and two other face to face plays in the past 4 days, I've yet to see an American victory. I think I'm going to focus on playing as the Americans in the future so that I can figure them out.
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
hotspur wrote:
Sphere wrote:

"This gallant little eccentric seemed to have a disregard for human life that was two hundred years out of date. But it could have been worse. He might have had a wholly modern disregard."


I only love that. Where does it come from, Sphere?

That's from A Rough Shoot by Geoffrey Household. I've been revisiting favorite authors from years past including Graham Greene, Eric Ambler, John Buchan and B. Traven; Household is one of my favorites in whatever niche that it. If you're not familiar with his work, start with Rogue Male (or The Dance of the Dwarfs if you can find it).
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Rindu wrote:
Just completed my email game of Washington's War with an overwhelming British victory. Supposedly this game is balanced, but it seems more difficult for the Americans, or perhaps American play requires more nuance. Together with this email game and two other face to face plays in the past 4 days, I've yet to see an American victory. I think I'm going to focus on playing as the Americans in the future so that I can figure them out.

The games where I see the Americans win is a strategy where the generals rarely carry troops with them, just bouncing around the board converting PCs.
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers
Continuing my adventure in solo Battles from the Age of Reason (BAR). This is the end of the 0920 turn of scenario 2 from The Battle of Fontenoy: 11 May, 1745. The Dutch advanced without any artillery prep and made contact with the minor fieldworks around Fontenoy. I used the Multiple Fire Effects optional rule that was recently published, and this had the effect of slightly lessening the opportunity and defensive fire of the French, but you'll notice that no Dutch units are standing at the fieldworks anymore.

One of the close combats was especially bloody, with multiple re-rolls and special results. The defenders of the 2 Dauphin infantry were especially stout, watching their leader Vauguyon fall, taking 6 SP losses (out of 7) without routing, and hurling the attackers back.

Now the second line of Dutch infantry girds itself for its meeting with destiny...
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Re: Gunpowder Era (16th to 18th century) Wargamers

BAR may be the next pool I dip my toe into (especially after a look at the above pic). In terms of complexity any players care to comment on how it compares to La Batt?
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