Now I don't consider myself to be a dinosaur regarding new developments in the hobby but of course what dinosaur would admit or even maybe realise that a dinosaur is what they are. I, like everyone have their own preferences related to wargaming, I like well painted figures but am not so snobby as to being bothered by what others can manage to paint up (draw the line at unpainted however). I will give most rules a fair go but period feel and ease of play are preferable to adding up columns of plusses and negatives. I do love good looking terrain, having a realistic table top to shove those well painted figures around comes pretty high on my should have list. What floats some peoples boats doesn't necessarily float mine and of course vice versa, priorities in gaming are rightly different for each of us and so it should be. It would be a boring old life if that weren't the case.
For some people the historical feel of the game, the flow of the rules and the end result is everything but the look doesn't matter. For others lining up thousands of 28mm Napoleonic figures from one side of the table to the other has them squealing with delight. It takes them three hours to set it all up, the ten people invited roll dice to no tactical purpose what so ever and they spend the rest of the day packing it all away again. Really?
Now to my point, I have looked at the Bloody Big Battles rules set for a number of years now. I have plenty of 15mm Franco Prussian War figures, more Austrians half painted up and I love the period. I have not really settled on a set of rules that I love. I tried the adapted version of Fire and Fury years ago and still want to try Age of Valour which is Fire and Fury based, I even attempted to adapt General de Armee/Pickets Charge to the FPW period see here and found quickly that rule writing isn't my forte!
So back to Bloody Big Battles. I checked out the internet, forums, blogs and of course the page dedicated to the rules, enthusiasm abounded regarding the playing and feel of the rule set but here is the nub, every photograph of games being played looked crap! bits of felt, rivers and roads that didn't connect. I know, I know Dave you snob I can here you all saying and well maybe yes but only to my own preferences as stated above, the people likely had a great time and good for them.
So I got over my own prejudice, finally bought the rules and boy am I glad that I did. Neal and I have only played them for one scenario Froeschwiller 1870 but they are great. Again based on the Fire and Fury system the rules are historically accurate, flow well and just, well, feel right. I won't go into too much detail but for instance, you look at a potential 12" move for infantry and initially think that's a long way in this scale but terrain slows you, your movement die roll may affect you and then if your opponent decides to fire at you he/she can pick any point during your advance at which to commence fire. If you don't reduce the enemies fire power then there is a high likelihood that your unit will at best be pinned in situ getting the proverbial s***e kicked out of it. Cleaver stuff.
Excellent rules, particularly for large encounters, hence the name!
Here's a few photographs:
Enjoyed this so much that I'm looking seriously at completing the Austrian 1859 army I have.