As a veteran wargamer(yes I have grey hair) I have tried many rule sets to prompt me to get my extensive early 18th century armies out of their boxes, including Beneath the Lily Banners and Black Powder rules etc, which I was never happy with. I believe that, finally, I have found the right set for the right period and which always provide a fun game and decisive Victory for one side, rather than the ever familiar inconclusive 'drawn' games. This set I rated 5 - why?
The mechanics are excellent, simple, and produce a fast playing game that chess players would love as it forces you to think ahead and have a clear plan. Armies are subdivided into 2 to 4 battles or 'wings' which are moved singly, using a clever command and control PIP system called CPs, on an IGO wing UGO wing basis rather than the entire army at once. This provides for very interesting tactical and strategic dilemmas and provokes challenging choices to be made with each wing move. CPs cover all movement modes, formation changes, and rallying.
Fire and melee is based on a units Fighting Factor(FF) which can be reduced by fire and morale until 0 and elimination from the game. Lance Flint, the rules author uses tokens with FF value placed next to each unit, which I emulated using small sized coins, labelled 1 to 8(highest FF rating) so attrition tracking became simple and tactile. This facilitates attrition until over 50% loss of units causes wings to melt away and eventually for one of the armies to disintegrate and run, which in itself provides nail biting finishes. The rules also include a points system with three pages of detailed army lists including Swedish and Polish-Lithuanian for the Great Northern War.
On the minus side their is no QRF, but the rules are clear enough so I designed one myself. As rule design is open, I was able to amend move and fire distances for my 15mm figures and amended the quirky 1in3 type factors and replaced with add/deduct D6 for shooting and melee which cuts out maths calculations on the fly. Lance includes design notes and encourages players to amend according to their preferred nuances or historical understanding of the period. Yes, Swedish are quite unstoppable until they come up against Platoon Firers, a historical rarity for them but not on a wargames table !!!
Lance also provides support with colour photo illustrations, a separate 'Army Builder' sheet and a quick personal response to emailed queries about his rules. Overall an excellent rule set, highly recommended, and it is easy to download and is FREE from Wargame Vault!