Rank & File Rules Arrived


I pre-ordered a set of the “Rank & File” fast-play 1700-1900 horse & musket rules from Crusader to take advantage of the free postage deal, and my copy arrived yesterday.   I was able to spend an hour or so going over it after putting the kids to bed last night.

Initial impressions look very good.   The production values are excellent and well worth the £15. Kudos to Crusader for putting out an attractive book at a great price.  Compared to the $70 being asked for what is essentially a reprint of Napoleon’s Battles, Rank & File’s $22 for a full-color, 68 page book is a good deal in my opinion.

My first reading of the rules looks good so far. As befitting a rules set that covers several hundred years of warfare some areas are pretty basic, but I can already think of ways to augment the rules with more period-specific details.  These rules look to be a good ‘toolkit’ set that you can add optional rules just like in the book.

I’m looking at the rules for 28mm Napoleonic combat at the battalion level, and I’m already thinking about some tweaks to better reflect what I’m looking for.  The mechanisms in the rules are straight forward enough that it should be easy for end users of the book to add whatever ‘chrome’ they desire without altering the basic flow of the game.

Well done! There has been talk of releasing more period-specific supplements for these rules… I would be interested in seeing what they do as well.


6 Responses to “Rank & File Rules Arrived”

  1. 1 Joe April 17, 2009 at 9:16 am


    So what can a maneuver unit look like on the table top? How many stands, figures per stand? Base sizes?

    Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂


  2. 2 Bart April 17, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Infanty are based 4 figures 2×2 on a 40mm square base. Horse are 2 figures on 50mm square bases, and guns are 60mm x 80mm or so.

    Units are between 4-10 bases strong, with 6 being a decent size, so 24 figure units of foot.

  3. 3 Jeff April 20, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    I’ll have to double check but I thought the basing was 2×2 on a 50mm wide by 40 mm deep base.

    • 4 Bart April 21, 2009 at 5:29 am

      Nope, it’s 40mm square for infantry. These are the suggested sizes… as long as all units are based more or less the same I don’t think it matters much.

      25mm frontages for horse & musket is too much IMO. I’d rather pack the figures on there tighter both to get smaller unit frontages and because it looks better having infantry more or less shoulder to shoulder.

  4. 5 parrskool May 12, 2009 at 5:11 am

    They look a bit like a variation of “Warmaster” to me ???

    • 6 Dave Gamer May 15, 2009 at 7:20 am

      They’re not like Warmaster at all. They are old school – more like Larry Brom’s rules (such as Chassepot and Needlegun). There are no command control rules. Leaders are only used to attach to units to give them morale and melee bonuses. Hits are taken by base – 3 hits kills a base.

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