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Dragoon vs. Hussar» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A capsule overview of the game, with component manifest rss

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THE MAVERICK
United States
Roseville
California
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Dragoon vs. Hussar
Horse & Musket Era Single Combat
Balboa Game Company
(circa 1986, $15.00)
Designed by Thomas R. Coveney


Players: 2-10
Playing Time: 30 minutes and up
Period: Horse & Musket (1775-1830)
Scale: Tactical
-- Turn: not stated
-- Figure: 54 mm
-- Unit: single horse and rider

Box: 11x9" thin bookcase box.

Components: 26 page rulebook, 2 folding 54mm cardboard horse figures, 2 folding 54mm cardboard rider figures, 2 plastic discs, charts and tables card, light cavalry log sheet, heavy cavalry log sheet, 2 six-sided dice, ten-sided die.



Balboa says: "Become a cavalryman during the American Revolution, the French Revolution, or the Napoleonic Imperial Age. Try to maximize the advantages of a Dragoon, Hussar, Cuirassier, Lancer, Horse Grenadier, Cossack, Light Dragoon or Mameluke . . . The system includes weapon differentiations, increases and decreases in experience leading to combat modifications, one-on-one and team play, and campaign operations. Movement and combat operations are done with written orders and simultaneous moves, with player options for when and where an attack is delivered."

A 1986 reviewer says: "The designer . . . has been a student and scholar of the 'horse and musket' era for over 20 years. He can discuss the most trivial aspect of a grenadier's uniform. In short, he knows his stuff. If he says a shako decreases the chance of being killed by one point, then you know it damn well does. The point of this note is to say that the rules are a bit cumbersome in action . . . The game is great fun, with lots of tactics and handling points to consider in skewering your enemy." Peter Flynn in The VIP of Gaming #4.

Comments: This game looks like it has a lot of potential. It features an incredible wealth of historical detail and the rules cover almost everything imaginable that might affect single combat between horsemen. Topics touched upon include uncontrolled horses, morale, communication, surrender, camels, campaigns, terrain, and optional character development rules.

Unfortunately, each time I open the rulebook I quickly feel compelled to move on to a different game. The rules are poorly organized and extremely wordy. The rulebook would definitely benefit from more attention to editing and layout.

If you are interested in the era covered by the game, Dragoon vs. Hussar is probably worth a look. Just be prepared for 20 pages jam packed with small sanserif type!

Collector's Notes: While titles released by Balboa Games don't seem to turn up that often, there is rumored to be a stash lingering in old store stock somewhere in Southern California. Two years ago I had the good fortune to discover a single copy of Dragoon vs. Hussar still sitting on a game store shelf in Northern California. Although there doesn't seem to be a strong demand for the game, some sellers may expect a premium price because of its apparent scarcity and obscurity. Boone's Internet Wargames Catalog (3rd edition) lists low/high/average auction prices of $5/$23/$10.40 and low/high/average sale listings of $15/$40/$30.

This article was originally published in issue 7 of Simulacrum, April 2000.

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Paul Denhup
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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Re:User Review
The Maverick (#17341),

I agree the rules are tedious at best. I focus on the Sequence of Play and branch out from there. The different variables for combat make each turn a maddening adventure. The Glossary is well researched, as are the tactics and Designer’s Notes. One whole page of Bibliography at the end of the rulebook is a must if one wishes to study the topic in depth. More of a period tactics manual of drill than a game.

PAYDIRT
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Mt Crawford
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You really just need to play this with a whole group of people at Tom's (the designer) house in an evening. Get four guys on a side, once they mostly know how to play and Tom is there to keep things moving along, with each player controlling their own single figure, with the nice 54mm Historex plastics that Tom has collected and painted (or had oh a decade ago) and a great time is guaranteed to be had by all. That kind of semi-umpired multi-player environment is really where this game shines.

In short, this game is tremendous fun and really not very difficult to play. However knowing Tom as I did and the sheer volume of his historical knowledge he is capable of expounding upon... it is possible his rules, while I am sure they will be carefully grammatically correct, might be a bit daunting to take on by someone completely unfamiliar with how the game plays.

But work through it, and it will be worth your while.

I may have the only copy in existence of Tom's unpublished (as far as I know) "mass battle" 1:20 Horse and Musket period rules (if not, tell me who you are by all means please). When I moved he printed me out a copy to take with me and I have kept them for 10-15 years. They are excellent indeed (yes, I played them also at his house and the Balboa store many times).
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Robert Kirchner

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I would love to see a video replay of the game/game mechanics on YouTube!
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Chris Maine
United States
STAFFORD
Virginia
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I just purchased a copy of Dragoon vs. Hussar and was researching it on the internet. I stumbled upon your post here and would be highly interested in a copy of mass battle" 1:20 Horse and Musket period rules, if you're so inclined to share? Thanks for your time in advance!

Chris Maine
napmemorabilia@yahoo.com
 
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