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Rifles, Railroads and Rebellions® - Fast Play Wargame for the American Civil War and Later 19th Century Conflicts
by william c. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/04/2019 15:12:19

I bought these expecting a polished version of the old free wargame rules DBACW, but from the onset let me be honest, these rules are very disappointing. Given that they are titled and proposed as quick play ACW or later war rules, yhey do seem to be simply an iteration of the authors earlier ruleset "C'est la guerre" with a couple of nods to the period such as including Rifled Muskets etc. I could be harsh and say the author has not truly designed the rules for this later period at all

First of all I have no objection to abstracted games, but if this was the case why does the author then include rules for advanced weaponry but never explain what that actually means. In one part the Sharps carbine is noted for which you pay an extra cost, but then more because of extra range presumably because carbines (in the rules) have zero range but this is one of the undescribed advanced weapons

There are plenty of other omissions as well, for instance no description of terrain types, but the movement charts note bad going - what is that. Line of sight is never defined but effects command ranges

Next flaw the infantry movement rates are miniscule, infantry in line moving 3cms a turn - yes cms not inches - but ten why move in line at all when you engage in shooting you are not penalised for your shooting or being in a denser target. Although there is a paragraph stating one of the best ways to breakinfantry is to flank them this is near impossible.

The inclusion of combat engineers into a tactical game is strange. However adding the sniper type is frankly ridiculous at this level of combat, use these with cavalry and you will win every time

The biggest issue is that for some reason cavalry are the queen of the battlefield. Cavalry are the only type to get an additional move and so can easily flank enemies or simply charge directly at infantry or artillery units and simply blow them away, abstract or not the rules should reflect the period

As a whole the rules come over as a beta version rather than a full playtested set and as such need tightening up eg several infantry grades are mentioned but only regular infantry are specifcally mentioned in the combat results table does that mean the other types are not (obviously entry should simply be infantry). Another example was Artillery it took me a while to find the note that they are targetted as infantry.but this was not in the Shooting section

A fully fleshed out sequence of play needs to be added

More work needs to be done to expand the role of infantry and its increasing role as the dominant force on the battlefield and nueter the role of cavalry. Add terrain types and their effects, the river rules about unceratinty of crossing are good and could be aplied to woods etc. Expand the weapon types on offer and add a bit of variety and at the same time suggest some form of army listing, even if these are very generic.

Sorry to be harsh, but I hope to have been fair and would be happy to help to improve this ruleset,

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Rifles, Railroads and Rebellions® - Fast Play Wargame for the American Civil War and Later 19th Century Conflicts
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Rifles, Railroads and Rebellions® - Fast Play Wargame for the American Civil War and Later 19th Century Conflicts
by Malcolm D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/12/2019 19:09:41

These rules purport to be for later 19th century wars, but they take no account of breach loading guns used by the Prussians and lump all field artillery into one category. Whilst this is OK for ACW and Crimea - and it may play well for those conflicts - this is no good for Franco-Prussian, or Russo-Turkish wars. There were no sample armies nor were there any scenarios so it is difficult to get an idea of how the author proposes his vague units to be used.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
In the section describing the point system, and in the table regarding weapons and range, I encouraged players to create their own army lists with special weapons treatments and hacks as they think best. I considered trying to come up with sample army lists and weapons, but it seemed hopeless to me. Each army from each period and conflict would/should possibly qualify for their own book rather than a brief sample list. I was imagining the hate mail I would receive for each over-simplification or error I made. I also do not believe I have the expertise to attempt such a monumental task. Instead I am relying upon the gamer to use the point system to create their own army lists and specialty weapons classes (and hopefully then share their discoveries and insights with me so that I could share them with other players). As you point out, just the Franco-Prussian and Russo-Turkish wars provide a dramatic difference in weapons. Please note, I will probably supplement this set of rules with army lists and weapons systems at a later date at no extra charge. For now this is what I was able to accomplish. Thank you for your criticism.
C'est la Guerre - Fast Play Wargame for the Age of Muskets
by Steven P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/01/2017 11:29:58

C'est la Guerre is an excellent rules set that provides enough flavor of the Horse and Musket period for a good game, without bogging one down in the details that can make a game tedious. Anyone familiar with DBA or its derivatives will be able to get into things quickly. Play is fast....My first opposed game, with a former DBA player, took about ninety minutes, playing twelve complete turns, while bringing him up tto speed.

Armies vary in size, based on quality and type of troops. My Seven Years War Prussians fielded fourteen units. The opposing Russian list had twenty. Most will fall somewhere in between. We played on a 4x3 foot table, using 25mm figures.

After setting terrain, and determine which edge each player sets up from, both players roll to see who will go first. This is followed by rolling a d6 to see how many initiative points you work with. Various action cost you points...moving a unit, rallying a unit, etc. you can maximize you efforts by moving in lines or columns, or using a 'command group' based around your command unit. Distance from 'command' means that an action costs more.

After movement, both sides enage in fire, followed by melee. combat involves opposed dice rolls, modified by factors based on unit type and quality Results range from 'no result' to 'push back', flee or destroyed'. casualties may occur, which will induce negative modifiers to the unit involved.

Musketry range is very short, which is good and proper. Close in, trade volleys, and have at it with the bayonet. The real challenge is moving into postion to do some damage with the enemy trying to break your formations with artillery and skirmishing cavalry.

Lists are provided for the major wars of the 18th Century, including the the Great Northern War, the Wars of Marlborough,the Jacobite Rebellion, the Seven Years War, the French and Indian War, and the American Revolution, and there is a Napoleonic List as well. By using the 'rifle ranges' included, I see no reason thse rules could not be pushed to handle the Crimean War and US Civil War as well.

I have found these rules to provide an enjoyable game, either solitaire, or face-to-face , and hope their will be an expansion for campaigns, which could be played over a course of several get togethers. Some lists for the French and English in India would also be most welcome.

A fine value,every club should have a copy.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
C'est la Guerre - Fast Play Wargame for the Age of Muskets
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