First game and first thoughts with Rebels and Patriots, Osprey Wargames last rules by Michael Leck and Daniel Mersey.
Rules took definitely a lot from Rampant mechanics, but most of all from Rampant mentality: they aim to provide a fast fun game, both cinematic and historically plausible, through reflecting the ebb and flow of the 18th to 19th century warfare without dealing with a lot of minutiae.
Quick insight: they succeed in giving me the feeling of being a company commander of the period, without sinking me in a lot of details to remember.
If you're looking for a ruleset with lot of tables for different weapons this could not be your first choice, but probably you'll missing a lot of fun.
Since my Risorgimento miniatures aren't painted yet, I used Franco painted 1/72 Napoleonic figures to test the rules. We deployed a French and a English company.
English 24 points
Line Infantry x2 @8 points
Light Infantry (Rifles) @6 points
Shock Infantry (Highlander) @6 points
Light Cavalry (Scot Greys scouting) @4 points
French 24 points
Line Infantry x2 @8 points
Light Infantry (Voltigeurs) @6 points
Light Infantry (Dragoons scouting) @4 points
Light Artillery @ 4 points
Skirmishers @2 points
English (commanded by Franco) used the terrain better: their cavalry hidden behind woods and charged against formed Voltigeurs. They inflicted a lot of casualties (4), but Voltigeurs didn't faltered and the following turn delivered a deadly volley against the cavalrymen, who ran away.
On the other side, French failed to cover decently their Dragoons behind the woods, taking some silly casualties from English Riflemen. French artillery was deployed over one hill, but failed to contribute in a significant way.
The battle revolved around the central hill, quickly occupied by the English infantry, but French failed at dislodging them. Franco was pretty aggressive, ordered his highlander to charge downhill (BTW being uphill only provide bonus during defense): they destroyed one French line infantry taking only light losses.
They engaged and badly hurted a second infantry unit the following turn, but this time they were repelled in disorder. At this points French Dragoons (hidden better behind the woods) took the moment and charged the Highlander routing them.
Despite this French were soon in such a bad array any more offensive was impossible for them. Luckily the game ended before the last two English unit (both without any significant loss) can reach them.
Probably a lot of mistakes was made, but a lot of fun was had too, overall the game flowed well (and I just read the rules once).
- Cavalry, even if light, charging formed infantry in good order may (if it can avoid being shot ) inflict heavy losses, nonetheless cavalry seems to be a one shot weapon against good order infantry, lacking staying power.
- It's very useful to place a lot terrain, particularly fence and other light covers and not just broken terrain and woods. This would help reducing shooting deadliness.
- Shock infantry may be very powerful in attack: combining first fire, charging, being in close can bring the needed score to hit the enemy a 2+, pretty deadly!
- Morale tests influenced only by last action losses helps making unit less fragile and stay in game for more turns despite greater casualties rate from firing. I found the morale and order test well thought, overall.
- The game turn continuing after a failed activation has been a very welcomed news. So did the casual charge movement, very well integrated in the order system.
- The officer are more useful now, but I had like more Officers being separated from their "guard unit", since when inside infantry they're quite slow and looks more like sergeants than colonels, but just my opinion and shouldn't be too hard to house rule.
Eventually I think Dan and Michael succeed in create a ruleset easily adaptable to European theater from Seven Years War to French Prussian War, encopassing a lot of (to me) interesting conflicts. I'd resist the urge to buy lots and lots of miniatures!