Welcome to my wargaming blog,
I'm Dave and live in Morpeth, Northumberland in the UK.
This may or may not be a regular thing, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I am a painter/collector of figures first and a wargamer second. My thrill in this great hobby of ours is to place that final well researched & painted unit into the cabinet. The actual gaming with the figures is an important but secondary experience, we all like to win, but it isn't the be all and end all of it, being with good friends and having fun is.
Hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing in it.
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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Test game, General d'Armee rules

As stated previously I/we have been awaiting these Napoleonic General d'Armee rules by Dave Brown with some anticipation for quite some time. I liked his General de Brigade rules which I found to be very accurate and loved his Picketts Charge ACW rules which slimmed things down and sped the game up without detracting from the accuracy and feel of the period.
I will state right away that I do (on one play through) like these rules. I'm not a good rules reader, I find it tedious and rather boring because at heart I'm a lazy sod! It did help that I am familiar with the GdB rules as there are some echoes of these within General d'Armee but mainly that I have played Picketts Charge quite a bit and the play sequences within the rules are very similar but with the added components of Napoleonic warfare covered within them.

Be warned there are lots of pretty pictures here all 28mm by the way, I will put a note of what went on below each set but I will not dissect the rules as I did with my Pickett's Charge post Here as some kind people said that they were very helpful but most didn't seem to give a damn so there you go!

The British set up, one brigade of infantry (inc artillery) and one of cavalry.

The French, again one brigade of cavalry and one of veteran infantry with artillery support.

 The infantry brigade comprised of three line infantry battalions with a brigade skirmish screen, an artillery battery and an attached screen of 95th rifles.

The cavalry, one unit comprising of three squadrons of heavy dragoons. I quickly realised that a minimum of two units comprised a brigade so added a unit of hussars.

British cavalry being what it was decided immediately to charge their French counterparts.

Just in case things went tits up two British battalions decided to form square.

After closing to melee (which is not always guaranteed) six hits to the British cavalry to four for the French curiassiers saw the French retire behind their supports leaving the British dragoons somewhat vulnerable as they were now unformed.

In subsequent turns the French Chasseurs charged and routed the unformed British dragoons following on with elan to rout the remaining hussars, not good for the Brits though the French were unformed and would take a while to get back into some form of order.

Meanwhile the curiassiers were pretty much shot with eleven casualties.

French veteran infantry can be seen advancing through the woods preceded by their brigade skirmish screen.

The remaining French line infantry battalion of the brigade somewhat foolishly decides to attempt to charge a formed British battalion.

The French failed to close, gave off a desultory volley then scarpered back towards their nearest supports in rout. This could have been bad for the rest of the French brigade as a 'Faltering' brigade as it now was must pass it's subsequent brigade morale roll (anything other than a 1 or 2). Fortune favoured the French in this instance.

Meanwhile in the centre the French veteran battalion charged into the British line after taking some casualties, with some very good dice it passed and closed to melee throwing the British line back in retreat.
With infantry attacks you can support a charge with nearby friendly battalions but must have committed two ADC's at the beginning of the turn to allow you to do this on brigade assault orders. I never did get sufficient ADC's to see this happen so battalions had to go in on their own.

Just to give it a go the French Chasseurs charged the British square with the predictable result of being thrown back, both sides having suffered one measly casualty. This replicates cavalry milling round the square and the infantry hardly needing to actually fight. They could have caused casualties in the firing phase but threw crap dice!

One last thing to happen before a halt to proceedings was called. The fresh veteran French infantry battalion having received two ADC's was given a 'Forwards' order. This allows the battalion to add one D6 roll to it's charge distance. Given that it had a choice of halving it's movement going over the hedge in front OR taking one casualty and moving it's full move it chose the latter, got to withing 3 inches of the British line (which had suffered quite heavy casualties). The 3 inches is close enough to attempt to charge but of course the French must first take all of the fire coming to them.
The fire from the British line was pretty poor resulting in no casualties from it and a 'loss of fire disapline', but the square and the 95th hammered five casualties into the French making them Retire unformed.
I called it a day at this point, Hopefully I will get over my bout of 'Man Flue' by the weekend when our club is staging a much larger encounter using these excellent rules.


  1. Glad to see that these passed muster -especially in light of your favour towards Picketts Charge. Also pleased to see that some nice actions comes out of just two brigades on the table.

    Your point about losing motivation to write more because of the lack of obvious support for your efforts last time (Picketts Charge) is well understood - a shame, but well understood, why people cannot just give a simple thanks when they have enjoyed a massive read I just don't know. We seem to live in a world of 'consume and move on' with increasing less regard for the creative people who provide the material (free in this case).

    1. Thanks Norm, at least you support is appreciated.
      I have 15mm and could have put on a much larger game but I think I'll leave it for another time. Lets just get to grip with the mechanism first.
      Thanks again mate.

  2. Great report, thanks Dave! As to people commenting, the number of page hits is also some indication of just how interesting.useful people find things I think :)

  3. Great report Dave. We have our first playtest on Thursday

    1. Good luck with that Scotty I think you will like it.

  4. Nice write up and great looking figures

  5. Thank you for the report.
    I'm very interested in finding a Nappy sustem that's better than Black Powder.
    I've had good time playing Over the Hills that was released earlier this year, but it wasn't quite enough to convince all my friends to concert as well.
    I'm hoping that General D'Armee will do the trick.

    About the game itself, if I read your report correctly, the British Cavalry charged the French Curasiers resulting in the French falling back but leaving the British Cav unformed. On the French turn the Curasiers charged the British Cav and defeated them easily because they were unformed...
    So this would tell me that charging can be a tricky thing where the charged loser has the advanraged and the unit that charged and has won the melee will have a disadvantage on the next turn?

    1. Hi Maldrac, as with everything in this great hobby that we love it comes down to what sort of dice rolls both sides throw. Yes factors such as type of cavalry, casualties on each unit and supports come into it but the range of results that come from a charge can vary greatly. One of the aspects I like regarding the rules (and there are many others) is the fact that an actual melee i.e hand to hand combat, is comparitively rare. One side or the other will often bottle it before contact is made. I may not have explained it quite accurately enough. In this instant the Brits decided to charge and move to 3 inches, both sides then throw 2D6 and after modifiers the result was a pathetic -3 for the Brits:
      'Attacker melee unformed. Defender counter charge and melee with elan'.
      In the Melee phase with 4,5 and 6's to hit the French curiassiers suffered -2 casualties which caused them to retreat 21 inches and the British cav to return to their own lines. The Brits were equal to their own lines anyway so didn't move back far. They retained the unformed marker and were hit by the French Chasseurs in the next turn.
      So Brits threw crap charge dice while the French threw crap melee dice, don't you love this game!
      Hope that helps,

  6. Thanks that was very useful, and confirmed my reading of the rules (which arrived this morning). I intend to use my 15mm Collection which is based on PoW principles with 9 figure Bns. Hopefully it will work out fine. Might need some more skirmish stands and maybe some extra bases to mark the Big Battalions, although I have a lot of Pioneer figures on round bases that could also be used.

    1. Neal and I will be using 15mm most of the time, gives more space on the table for manouvering and reserves.

  7. Impressive figures, terrain...and photos, a fantastic looking game Dave!

  8. Great report Dave (with lots of 28mm eye-candy too!). General d'Armee are certainly a ground-breaking set of rules - love how they play.

  9. Thanks for the write up.
    I wondered how good GDA will be forthefrench revolution. Any idea?

    1. Havn't tried it yet Jan but I will get there soon. Let you guys know when I do.

  10. Hi Dave, I bought these rules yesterday, and I wasn't sure that they were 'the one'.

    I've been wargaming Napoleonics (off and on) for about 30 years, I started with WRG... but I never reaĺly fell in love with a set. Piquet and Black Powder were close.

    Your blog post gives me hope, I just need to crack on with my 28mm troops (my large 15mm French army was sold a while ago) and convince the other members of the Sherwood, Hucknell and Ilkeston Team that this is the right way to go...

    Thanks Dave