My lovely bride and daughter went to see Disney Princesses on Ice yesterday, so my son and I had a few hours to kill until we had to pick them up. Naturally we went to the Source Comics & Games, our FLGS. They were having their holiday sale (everything in the store was at least 20% off) with free food and drinks, so naturally the place was literally swarming with geeks. There were hundreds of gamers in the place buying lots & lots of products. It looked like Bob was doing great business, which is excellent.
While we were there I picked up a copy of Lasalle, Sam Mustafa’s new tactical Napoleonic rules set. I spent a good chunk of last night flipping through it while the kids were playing in the living room. First impressions are:
- Nice presentation. The interior binding leave a little to be desired (some cracking/splitting in a brand new books sucks), but for a relatively inexpensive hardcover binding, sacrifices must be made.
- Like the generic basing and counting of distances in ‘base widths.’ That makes sense. Most gamers are not interested in rebasing their collections again.
- Relatively generic troop ratings. No French or British Supermen.
I haven’t dug into the combat resolution mechanisms in enough detail to comment on them right now. Soon, hopefully.
A few things I don’t care for:
- The rules seem to be designed for tournament play. Emphasis is on shorter games, more generic armies, etc. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t care for the tournament scene, and I’m guessing there are some nuggets in the rules I’ll uncover that are designed to speed the game up, possibly at the expense of history. We’ll see.
- The only real rules bugaboo I’ve seen so far is with unit interpenetration. It’s fairly easy for one unit to move through another even if one unit is engaged (‘near the enemy’, not in contact) with no real disadvantage. For a tactical game this seems too permissive, since ‘passage of lines’ was not easy to pull off. I posted about this on the Honour forum and the author responded. I understand his rationale for the rules he set up but do not agree with it. He noted the extreme fluidity of cavalry combats, which is a good point. At the same time I don’t think that also means that one can take a column of infantry and move it through a stationary (or moving) line in musket range of the enemy without penalty, which is possible.
I’m going to want to play a game before passing final judgement on the rules. According to Bob at the Source, it’s one of the few sets of historical rules he’s had to re-order in recent history. Read into that what you will. I’ll try to post another review of the rules at a later date with more ‘meat.’
I also ran into a few of the Saint Paul Irregulars at the shop and heard about their 1:10 10mm Napoleonics project. That sounds interesting to me so I picked up a few packs of the Old Glory 10mm “Grand Scale” figures Bob had on the wall (Russian, naturally). Having brought them home and looked them over at close range, they are really nice figures! I have been looking at doing a few different Napoleonic projects and can see that the 10’s are a nice compromise between the truly micro-scale 6mm figures and the larger ones.
The figures themselves are well-proportioned, and just farting around at home, in double-ranks you can get 10 figures per linear inch of frontage, which looks nice, and the figs are packed in tight on their bases for a really nice mass effect. I’ll mix a few of these in with the 18mm Russians I’m working on as time permits.
EDIT: Fixed bad link for the Source…