Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Reconnaissance In Force

After a lovely early morning walk in some very crisp Winter sunshine with barely a soul about (too cold for the dog walkers!) I settled down to some games of Rebels & Patriots as planned. Not having played for a while I had a trial game in the morning to re-acquaint myself with the rules, then soon followed up with the planned one. I re-used the board from yesterdays HoW game and kept the same units, but transfered them to stats suitable for R&P.

In terms of the game, again I kept things simple, going for another Encounter type scenario. So without further ado, the captioned photos will hopefully give you an idea of how things panned out.
An overview of the table.

The Ruthenian troops, with their commander in the lead.

The Prusskian troops, with their leader to the rear.

The end of Turn 1. Both sides got off to a good start, apart from the Ruthenians who had one unit that failed to move.

The Prusskians continued to advance in good formation, whilst the Ruthenians had their Commander fail to move, but at least the Line Infantry on the left flank (middle left) formed Close Order.

The Ruthenian Commander causes a bit of a traffic jam.

Prusskian efficiency in manouevring in evidence, with the Jagers sitting pretty in the farmhouse.

Speaking too soon about Prusskian efficiency, as all but one of their units failed to move! In contrast the Ruthenians began to play catch up, making some good advances.

The Ruthenian troops try to shake out into some semblance of a battle line.

The stalled Prusskian troops.

The Prusskians got their act together, managing to advance and with two Line Infantry units now formed in Close Order. Again the Ruthenians had some failed moves, but the Commander and the Jagers managed to get some hits and disorder on the Prusskian Line Infantry on the road.

The Prusskian Line Infantry that are disordered are in the middle of the photo on the road.

As the Infantry manouevred and opened fire where possible, the Ruthenian cavalry charged and the Prusskian cavalry managed to get a counter-charge in. The Ruthenians got the better of the first clash and in the follow up, routed the Prusskian cavalry.

The Prusskian Line Infantry on the road failed to rally their disorder off and had to make another retreat away from the fighting. The Prusskian troops had the better of the shooting, disrupting the Ruthenian Jagers in the cornfield and the Line Infantry on the Left Flank. In response the Ruthenian cavalry and Jagers failed to rally off their disorder and so had to retreat back. the less said about their shooting the better!

Both sides struggle to get ascendency, but the Prusskians appear to have an edge.

The Prusskian managed to finally rally their Line Infantry and elsewhere the Line Infantry advanced to close with the enemy. However the Ruthenians were obviously waiting for them as their shooting led to tow Line infantry units being routed by their shooting, including the Prusskian commanders unit and he only just avoided becoming a casualty!

Both sides arrayed to shoot at each other.

The effects of the Ruthenian shooting are plain to see.

The Prusskian commander points to the way home for his troops.

End of the Game
With the losses in Turn 6 and no commander, it was game over for the Prusskians, who fled the field of battle.
Post Game Thoughts
That was a nice little game and played out very quickly and smoothly, which was nice. Having played a warm up game really helped as the game proper worked much better for it. So a few thoughts as always;
  • The rules give a nice, fun game with easy to remember rules. They are simple but not simplistic and units can be tweaked to suit various theatres and conflicts as required. For a club setting or even with some friends over and afternoon, you could easily play 3 - 4 games and so in effect play a mini-campaign with comparative ease.
  • The 2' x 2' table is perfect for this game using 10mm figures, requiring little in the way of terrain and figures. Whilst my figures that are based for bigger games work fine as they are, they really don't give the feel that it is a skirmish game and I kept thinking I was playing and HoW level game. I do have figures based for this game on coins and counters, but will paint them once I have finished other projects in the painting queue.
  • Although the rules are for the North American theatre, they can easily be used for Europe from the early 18thC through to the middle to late 19thC.
  • Whilst the rules play fine solo, I feel half the fun is playing against an opponent, especially with the traits that you roll for the Commanders. Maybe when FtF gaming returns I can persuade my gaming chums to give these rules a go.
  • I would like to compare these to the Sharp Practice II rules that I played a few years ago and see whic I prefer. I think the SPII rules have more detail but for my current gaming needs R&P ticks all the boxes.
I have some partially formed ideas about playing a narrative campaign with these rules, but need to flesh them out a bit. Combining them with Honours of War for bigger games could be fun to do, but again I need to think about this more and see how it might work. As always lots to think about as well as painting that I really should be getting on with. So until next time stay safe!


  1. Interesting observation about the cross-over from HoW to R&P, I did wonder when reading down the page how easy it was to visualise the difference in the games.

    Some years ago, I tried writing some napoleonic hex rules and used my trusty Command and Colors blocks and board to try them out, but I couldn’t disconnect the embedded C&C system in my head from working with my ruleset. then I swapped out the blocks for 10mm bases and immediately that disrupted the visual connection and my mind was ‘freed’ to ‘see’ my rules in play. .... a most interesting exercise / experience.

    1. Certainly once the units had formed Close Order, it was hard not to see them as HoW units in a bigger game. My gaming chum Dave has made a similar comments before. Only by playing games can you really tell what basing works and whilst this is a good interim option, I will certainly be going down the skirmish base route in the future.

  2. Good to see you trying R&P whilst we use them mainly for our mid sized skirmishes I have in the past used them like you for a larger battle. Interestingly to use HoW for my SYW games and really need to get a test game in sometime 🤔

  3. I haven't really played the rules much since I was a playtester, despite doing a load of basing up for the rules. Pretty typical for me though! The game was similar to the ones you have been playing, but looked bigger due to the greater number of figures per stand. In my game each stand equated to 6 models for Line and 3 for Skirmishers, with Cavalry as is. I hope you find time to play HoW and we have used it for the AWI as well, with some minor tweaks.

  4. A great couple of games Steve and it's interesting to note that although you used different rules and the actions took different paths, the results were similar.

    1. Thanks Keith and a good observation about the games.

  5. A fine way to start the day!
    That was an encounter that developed nicely. I really appreciate your clear photos (even with turn numbers added!) and narrative.
    Regards, James

    1. Thanks James and I'm glad you enjoyed it. The Turn numbers I've used for donkey's years and help me keep track during the game and certainly for the AAR later.

  6. Exellent looking game Steve !
    Glad you use Rebels and Patriots :)

    1. Thanks Michael and well, I couldn't really use any other rules, now could I?!