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REPUBLIC TO EMPIRE -Your thoughts genuinely sought!

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:05 pm
by barr7430

R2E is now in the spotlight for production and it is going to be a bit of a mammoth job but we're up for it.

We have learned a huge amount from BLB and hope to take the best features such as :
Speed of play,
Pictures and artwork

And add in the things we believe will strengthen the offering:

Far more detailed explanation of various mechanisms, definitions and the like.

I am currently mulling over some questions which I think are fundamentally important in terms of the re write.

How about this one:

How important is it for gamers to throw handfuls of dice in a game?
Would gamers(you) be happy with a quick mechanism to resolve melee for example as opposed to bucket fulls of D6?
What are the general views on Simultaneous v Alternate movement systems?

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:28 pm
by RenevandenAssem
Hi Barry,

Throwing handfuls of dice is something which is very distributed amongst players. On the one hand it takes some extra cards (etc) out of the game but also the results are pretty narrow (talking D6). So both have their advantages.

With WHNAP (something like that?) lurking around the corner and the fact that most nap period players are somewhat more traditional (sorry guys just a view nothing personal ) I would think that from a commercial point of view I would know what to pick. I would certainly say that giving some sort of quick resolution (but NOT a la DBM etc) is the way to go.

I would pick simultaneous al the time. Altough I know this makes it harder to use rules in competition environments this could be overcome by using some sort of card/die driven activation. Altough I am not sure if they appreciate my input on this have a look at Look Sarge No Charts. It combines cards and die in a very simple but rather brilliant way. The briljant part being that it is both usable in small games but even more so in large multiplayer games. Even picking the old WRG simultaneous stuff might work. The main disadvantage as viewed by a lot of people is the fact that players can wait and respond to their opponents actions. Well to be honest that is just fine since it gives the bold (and beautiful) a chance to take the initiative and force the opponent to react. It does add some personal characteristics of players to the game. Even that can be exploited to have bold players use the cav and more lets say cautious ones to take charge of the defenders on the hill.

Anyway, hope you get a lot more responses that one from a cloggie.
Good luck with your challenge.


Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:05 pm
by marshalney2000
Barry, i for one am fairly neutral on the question of dice and would tend to judge the rules on other factors. Playability and period feel are for example more key for me.

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:09 pm
by Saxon Warrior
It simply has to be simultaneous movement. Any disadvantages are outweighed by the prevention of the stupidity that can occur with alternative movement. How many times have you been unable to shoot at a unit that dives out of cover, crosses that dangerous open ground and can then melle with you? Or being in a melee and not being able to fight with all your figures because it's not your turn? Ludicrous :evil:
Simultaneous is the way forward.

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:15 pm
by 18th Century Guy
I would agree with marshalney2000 and Saxon Warrior. But I voted for buckets of dice based on how I feel you would make a rule set simple & fast. I prefer realism over playability - to a degree - when I game so if that means more dice then so be it. The hard part is finding the balance which I think every rules author attempts to achieve.

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:56 am
by obriendavid
Barry, my preference is for lots of dice rolling as I feel it gives me a better chance to get one or two decent die rolls. More than dice rolling it's getting the feel of period correct that is more important to me which I think you have managed to do well with BLB and all the games we've had with R2E so far has felt as if they were reflecting the period. As long as the rules give advantages to fighting in historical formations and stop gamers using dodgy tactics that's what I like most of all. What we have discussed at the last couple of LOGW weekends with forcing initiative sounded very interesting.



Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:47 pm
by Churchill
Hello Barry,

I voted No to buckets of dice....please, please, please don't go down that WAB road.I for one don't want to throw a D6 for every single infantryman firing.
Your BLB rules are fantastic, now that we've ironed out some quieries we managed nine moves in four hours on sunday and we're getting quicker :wink: .We are planning on putting a BLB game on at the Border Reiver show at Newcastle in September.
I for one would be very happy if you went down the same road for R2E.....
simultaneous movement, bases of 6 figures for infantry (I have my battalions in 12's so I'd get 2 stands firing) the way round that for me is I'd fire by regiment (2 or more battalions).My cavalry are 4 figures to a base and this represents a regiment, so the way around this is I'd have to fight as a cavalry brigade.Artillery battery is represented by a single gun model with four crew no matter what the calibre.
Obviously people have their own idea's of battalion and squadron sizes that they either play with already or would like to play with, but I think the BLB unit sizes work so well with the rules that I'd like to keep it the same with R2E.
Of course the rules must give the feel of the Napoleonic period, but keep it fast and simple and lets have fun games and not heated arguments.
Barry, far more detailed explanation of various mechanisms, definitions and the like is a deffinate MUST :?
Movement rates for 25/28mm, 15/18mm, 10mm and 6mm......rules to cater for all :D
No points system again and we needn't have the odd scenario within the rules as we can make our own up and these can be put within another book or article.I think troop classification is far more important for each nation thoughout the theres a job :shock:.
This is going to be a massive order for yourself and Clarance to produce, but I want a copy before April 2010 as I want to use them in my planned game of Waterloo at Salute that year, so come on Barry get a move on mate :wink: :D :lol: ..........Ray.

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:02 pm
by barr7430
Dave O' Brien,

I am at the stage with R2E where we have two paths..

one is the current simultaneous movement route but with many new and refined mechanisms...

the second is an alternate movement route. Many mechanisms can be comminly applied to both routes but at some point I will have to make the decision SIM or ALT!

I wanted to start arranging some serious playtesting possibly with yourself, Colin, Angus, Peter McC and Dave I. Maybe at the Edinburgh club. If you are interested in this please let me know. It will be potentially heavy work but I feel if Clarence and I are going for an investment in a 100 page full colour big borther to BLB I want to make the right choice on mechanics!!!!
Let me know pls :D

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:19 pm
by martin terroni
Hi Barry. Plenty dice for me , but not hundreds. WAB/WARHAMMER are prime examples and have sold more copies than probably all the rest put together :)

Regards simultaneous movement, a big no no! My experience of these type of rules brings out the worst in gamers. Wait and see moves, sorry I never took my hand off it ! oh! I was meant to move that there etc. It also slows down the game. Plus terrain dictates players to stay put. As I will wait and see, behind this hard cover for the other player's move. Turns are much better, make for a more flowing and balanced game. I also think it mirrors real battles as you have to deploy troops carefully to maximise you chances of taking the field. And turn based games really bring out your deployment strength or weakness

Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:11 pm
by Duke of Plaza-Toro
Great news to hear you're moving forward with this. Good luck guys!

I don't mind modest handfuls of dice (6 - 8 - 10?) when deciding combats and the like, but it does get a bit tedious when you find yourself picking all the fives and sixes out of 20 - 30 dice. So no "bucket fulls" for me please.

I'm not a great fan of 'free-form' simultaneous movement as it promotes too much 'gamey' play (although RenevandenAssem's point about those who hesitate and those who seize the opportunity during simultaneous movement, being kind of realistic, is an interesting one - so I'm not totally closed to the idea) - but I do like the way simultaneous movement works in BLB with the placement of order markers - coupled with the limitation of the command ability factor. As a whole, I admit I'm more comfortable with the more controlled environment of alternative movement systems, but if you go that route I would have to back Saxon Warrior and suggest that the passive player should be allowed some options to respond 'simultaneously' to certain actions by the active player.

Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:05 pm
by marshalney2000
I would also be infavour of alternate movement but with certain reactions available to the non phasing player such as couter charge, square formimg attempts etc.

Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:39 pm
by barr7430
This is all very interesting chaps... please keep the feedback coming as it is helping my thought processes :shock:

I have an innovative mechanism I am trialing right now called 'Exploitation'. This allows repeat actions by the same brigade ALL in the same turn. I am attempting to simulate the 'genius' of a commander who recognises an opportunity and focuses all of his effort and energy in exploiting it to some decisive purpose. It can really only work with Alternative movement.

I may be looking for groups of Napoleonic play testers to trial out certain mechanisms at some point over the near future.

Anyone interested can let me know through the usual channels :wink:

Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:51 pm
by Rank Bajin

its been ages since I last played napoleonics but I've been waiting for a good set to bring me back in.

I don't mind the lots of D6 solution but then again that reflects that I play WAB most of the time.

What often put me off many napoleonic rule sets was the constant casultie record keeping - it was even worse seeing a great set of miniatures and all round good game covered with wee scraps of paper or even worse those horruble casultie caps balancing on shakos!!

I like seeing units wittled down, by removal of figures, but perhaps not as drastic as in WAB.

On movement, the points made from both sides are very good but both have disadvantages. I've been playing a lot of GW LOR with my son and I like the way that even though it is still i go you go, the turn is staggered so that all movement, firing melee happens independantly and its harder to line up the perfect oppurtunities with no chance of your opponent getting a chance to reply. Additionally the mechanism for changing who gets to go first during the cycle is simple and elegant but could easily be modified by some national characteristics (agressive v's defensive).

I know WAB and FOW aren't everyones cup of tea but they bring a lot of new folks into the periods because the books look good and the mechanisms simple. Napoleonics are crying out for this but I don't think WAB is the way to resolve the way - so more kudos to you if you can pull it all together!!!

all the best


Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:51 pm
by obriendavid
barr7430 wrote:Dave O' Brien,
I wanted to start arranging some serious playtesting possibly with yourself, Colin, Angus, Peter McC and Dave I. Maybe at the Edinburgh club. If you are interested in this please let me know. It will be potentially heavy work but I feel if Clarence and I are going for an investment in a 100 page full colour big borther to BLB I want to make the right choice on mechanics!!!!
Let me know pls :D
Barry, the guys will happily help with playtesting the rules and the fact that Colin, Angus and myself have had a few games with the current R2E rules we should be able to pick up any changes much quicker. Just let me know when you want to come over or we could arrange to come over to EK on a weekend. We are having our first big BLB bash this thursday with Colin, Angus, Dave I and myself all taking part.


Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:42 pm
by General Schnapps
Hi Barry,
Definately not buckets of Dice for me for the simple reason that the game becomes an exercise in who can roll highest / lowest with the tactics and feel of the given period going out the window.
A gripe I have with most rule sets is the relationship between morale and rolling of the dice whereby on a successfull roll our little lead heroes merrily advance to their doom in the vain hope that on another successfull roll they can overcome the impossible.
One way to overcome the above would be to adopt a set of " Standing Orders " as briefly mentioned by Charles in one of his Table top Teasers for Battlegames magazine, for instance an Infantry Bn would HAVE to form square when enemy cavalry say over 1 Squadron in strength came within a certain distance of them , this compulsory action could only be countermanded by a specific order not to do so. Players are then obliged to play their games in the spirit of the period and there by ultimately have a bigger influence on the outcome by adopting the correct tactics on the table and not relaying totally on the luck of the dice.
In turn this sort of approach leads to pretty easy to learn and remember rules which speed up games no end and does away with many of the gamey antics of some players I'm sure many of us have encountered at some point.