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La Bataille des Quatre Bras» Forums » General

Subject: Potential New Player Questions rss

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Brad Koziey
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I'm looking at getting into this system:

1 - What differences are there between the 1st and 2nd Edition?

2 - The rules are about 40 pages. Is this a well written rule set? For example MMPs OCS rules are about 40 pages also but they are easy to read and understand and are nicely cross-referenced. If anyone is familiar with OCS I'd be keen to know your comments.

Thanks
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Paul Borchers
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The first edition was meant to be played with an earlier set of rules (3rd edition). The second edition comes with a different set of rules that was written specifically for the game. Otherwise, the other differences between the first and second editions of the game concern the artwork - the organizational displays in the second edition show the leader names, the map is done in a different style and has different terrain in some of the hexes, and the counter artwork is completely redone (on computer, with more higher-level organizational information included).

The rules in the box I think are clear and usable. Some players of the series prefer to apply series and special rules to the game, as found on the website: labataille.us
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Rick Jenkins
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Hey Paul,

I'm also a bit of a noob. The rules question seems to be more complicated than it first appears: What rules should I use?

The choices seem to be:
1. The Quatre Bras rules that came with the game
1. The 5th edition rules that came with the new Ligny second edition game
2. The Marie-Louise rules on the labataille.us website
3. The premier rules (July 2016) from the www.labataille.me website
4. The “Reglement de l’an XXX” (November 2013) on the labataille.us website
5. The “Regulations of the year XXII” on the COA website

Perhaps I should start with the easiest version and work my way up in complexity? If so, what order would you recommend?

Thanks in advance!

Rick

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Dave
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Dubarnik wrote:
Hey Paul,

I'm also a bit of a noob. The rules question seems to be more complicated than it first appears: What rules should I use?

The choices seem to be:
1. The Quatre Bras rules that came with the game
1. The 5th edition rules that came with the new Ligny second edition game
2. The Marie-Louise rules on the labataille.us website
3. The premier rules (July 2016) from the www.labataille.me website
4. The “Reglement de l’an XXX” (November 2013) on the labataille.us website
5. The “Regulations of the year XXII” on the COA website

Perhaps I should start with the easiest version and work my way up in complexity? If so, what order would you recommend?

Thanks in advance!

Rick



#2 is marginally easier than #4.

But in my opinion, #4 is the best and very well-organized.
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Rick Jenkins
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Dave,

Thanks for the reply. Do you mean to imply that the two versions on labataille.us, Reglement XXX and Marie-Louise, are considered the standard for the series? How do the Marshall Enterprises guys fit in? Are their "premier" rules more or less detailed than the Reglement XXX.

Appreciate your patience!
Rick
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Alan Richbourg
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Rick, you can add to that list:

6. Tactiques Napoleon (http://www.tactiquesnapoleon.com/) It's the easiest, and quite excellent in parts.
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Rick Jenkins
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Alan,

Thanks for the reply. This is all very confusing. I posted a shorter version of my question to Consimworld to see what reply I might get there. As of this moment, I'm leaning towards beginning with M-L with the intent of progressing to Reglement.

What if I added this qualifier? I'm a solo player and am looking for the rule set (or learning progression of rule sets) that will provide me the most historically accurate simulation possible. What are your thoughts?
 
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Alan Richbourg
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Sorry, Rick, for this answer, but my true thoughts are sadly unpublishable, at least at the moment. I've tried all these rules, specifically with Quatre Bras, and I personally really don't like any of them! So I'm making my own, and it is quite a difficult project, despite spending most of the last 15 years studying Napoleonics and designing games. Probably because I want it to be good. But my game is still quite derivative and therefore unpublishable, not to mention still a good way from being finished. It's really just for myself and a few friends.

To find "the most historically accurate simulation possible" first you would have to define which version of historical tactics you most agree with. There are competing visions among the experts, to say the least.

However for you, especially since you are a solo player, I'd recommend going straight to the Regs XXX, like I did at first. It's a worthwhile effort, even if you decide to explore the other rules later.
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Rick Jenkins
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Thanks for the input, Alan. I was hoping for a "graybeard" to give me good advice and I think you've done that for me. Cheers!
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David Hughes
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I seem to post something like this every three months. It doesn't matter where you start. Pick a set, read them, and get playing. You need to learn the basics - combat and movement, line column square, infantry cavalry artillery, fire and melee, morale rout and rally, D66. All the rule sets teach these.

Play the game, learn the basics, and see if you like it. If you do, then you can try the other sets and find the one that's for you.

But no one ever listens.

So, my recommendation is not to start with the rules in the box - they are pretty dense, even for this system. Go with the M/Ls - same great taste, half the calories...
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Paul Borchers
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I've tried all the rules sets, except Premier and the Tactiques ones.

I think David's advice is sound (in this case).

I tend to lean toward the Regs XXX and the 5th edition myself, but I've been trying/playing this system for a long time. Regs XXX would be difficult to pick up as a first rule set, especially if you're going to solo. The ones that come with QB second edition are not quite as dense as the Regs XXX, but definitely more involved than the M-L rules.

What's interesting is that Terry Doherty, the man who developed the Regs XXX into their present state and wrote the M-L rules, playtested all the existing games up to that point with both of those rules sets. He and his playtesters found that both sets of rules produced the same net results, despite the added details of Regs XXX. To me, that says the core engine of fire, melee, and basic movement drive the results more than the details of the rules, when you have experienced hands playing the game. I haven't played enough with the M-L rules to verify that myself.

The Marshal Enterprises guys are the original publishers of the system. Clash of Arms republished some of the older titles, and one of the gentlemen worked with Clash to produce a couple of the games in the last 18 years. In 2011, however, Marshal started producing games on their own again. They've generally stuck to the rules that have their origin in the late 1970s with only minor changes. These really counted on having multiple players for each side and timed movement phases to work. I prefer more restrictions on command that the more recent sets contain. Timed moves work for team play, but not so much with two players or solo play.

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Alasdair Campbell
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Can I ask what the difference is between the 5th Edition and Regs XXX? Is one better suited to solo play than the other?
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David Hughes
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My advice is always sound, but seldom followed - I'm like a Scottish Cassandra...

I've played Schevardino and Quatre Bras with both sets (regs and m/ls.) The only notable difference was the m/ls were mercifully faster. Sure, there are features of the Regs I miss, but I don't miss the headache that goes with them, wonderful though they are. I've also played QB with the rules in the box, and they were fun too.

It really doesn't matter. JFPI. The more time you spend choosing, the less you spend playing.

Edit: here's an AAR of QB with the m/ls- shows what the system can do. Great subsequent discussion too.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/702476/never-daunted-ma...

Or you could read my review of Moscowa in Battles Magazine - spends 7,000 words saying the same things I say here.
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Brad Koziey
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Thanks for all the contributions. Like Rick I'm a solo player. I think I'll learn with M-L and to get a feel for the game and see if I actually like it
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Paul Borchers
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Quote:
Can I ask what the difference is between the 5th Edition and Regs XXX? Is one better suited to solo play than the other?


Key difference between the 5th Edition and the Regs are:

1. Revised Sequence of Play that activates all of the MUs of one side when the first activation chit for that side is drawn (the other side-specific chits are ignored). The number of formations activated and their need to be Activated and/or In Command is the same as the Regs. More chits for one side means a higher likelihood that that side will get to move and attack first that turn. Other chits generally work as they do in the Regs.

2. The Sequence of Play has cavalry charge and melee before infantry movement, fire combat and assault. Both sides still participate in fire combat, but combining that with the change in point 1 means that infantry on both sides get to fire up to twice per turn (once offensive, once defensive). This sequence of combat is nearly identical to how it was under the old 3rd edition rules.

3. Roll to Close is only performed when assaulting an adjacent hex, so there's no advantage to infantry starting their movement leading to an assault from five hexes away versus two.

4. Disorder from combat causes units to initially retreat and check morale. In the Regs, you're likely to have a lot of units Disorder and stall on the front lines (at least in my experience). This is another return to the third edition.

I think the Regs are fine for solitaire play, as the chit draw removes a lot of "perfect" movement and coordination. The fifth edition specifies time limits for the movement phase for each side (typically 10 minutes). That works for team play. If you wanted to replicate that for solitaire play, you'd probably want something like five to seven minutes per MU, or just drop it entirely and see how the game plays out.

Over on the La Bataille de Dresde page I've created a flow diagram that shows the sequence of play for fifth edition, if you want more detail. I may need to tweak one more part of it, depending on how the recovery and rally sequence should be placed relative to the next chit draw.
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Alasdair Campbell
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Thank you Paul,

That answers my question very well. It looks like as a mainly solo player that I should edge towards ML and Regs.

Regards

Alasdair
 
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Rick Jenkins
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cillmhor wrote:
Thank you Paul,

That answers my question very well. It looks like as a mainly solo player that I should edge towards ML and Regs.

Regards

Alasdair


Alasdair has perfectly summed up my thoughts as well. I've decided to start with ML and move to Regs later.

Great thread and thanks to all that replied.
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Neil Mooney
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This discussion has covered a lot of questions I've had as someone looking to try the system. thumbsup
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Troy Kenily
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I also am a OCS player, and some of the OCS players that I play with at winterfest play the la bataille series but they all use the Marie Louise rule set which is very clean. I'm readin them now. You can down load that at la bataille.us. If your interest in this series or playing OCS games and play tests take a look at winterfestwargames.com I just got back from there and we playtested Third Winter which is the hubes pocket replacement.

Troy
 
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