Last Sunday I got around to the home of Andrew, one of the people I played Might and Reason with at Little Wars, to play Fast Play Grande Armee.
He was expecting a few more people so he had laid on a big Battle of Borodino scenario with his 6mm figures. In the event there were only three of us so we were somewhat overworked, but the table looked great.
I was Napoleon. By the time I had to go home I’d made a bit of a mess of the Russian left flank, but Mark, who arrived after I’d been a bit profligate with the French left flank, had had to take the French cavalry reserve to bolster his flank against the Russian cavalry. We had to call it quits after a couple of hours (I had to go home and cook Sunday dinner), but I had a feeling (Overconfident? Moi?) the battle would probably have gone the way of the French as there was a thin spot developing in the Russian lines that the Guard were in a position to exploit.
FPGA bases are enormous – 75mm x 75mm. Andrew was using 60mm bases but even then there were traffic jams and one had to leave very big gaps to allow recoil. The rules have gone for one base size regardless of figure scale, which may be part of the problem, but there is also no set scale for what each base represents so perhaps there is scope for the scenario being redesigned using a troop scale that results in fewer bases being fielded. Andrew was trialling a set of enhancements to the rules that he and his group had worked out, some were better than others but that’s always the way. The Grande Armee system seems to be a perfectly competent rules set so I’ll have to have a closer look at it when I paint my 1812 Russian vs Napoleon’s Saxon and Austrian allies forces. Other systems to consider would be Napoleon’s Battles (since I own it already), Napoleonic Fire and Fury, Horse Foot and Guns, and I think I have the old WRG rules up on my bookshelf!