Monday, February 23, 2009

Volley and Bayonet: Road to Glory

Lately I've been trying to thin out my rules collection and I haven't been buying much new stuff.  However, I made an exception for the new edition of Volley and Bayonet.  So why did I go out and buy a $40 second edition of a set of rules I already own and have never played?

Well, first of all I'm pretty much a Frank Chadwick fanboy and I tended to buy anything he produces.    Second, I've always been a sucker for grand tactical horse and musket games.  I guess I want to pretend to be Napoleon or something.  Third, the original set of rules had a lot of elegant mechanics.  I was eager to see what changes were made for the new edition.

I'm not going to go into a full review here, because others have done so.  Besides, I haven't really run any games with it yet.  Capsule reviews from people who haven't played the game, a staple in some wargaming magazines, don't seem very useful to me.  

I think this edition of Volley and Bayonet will be the one to get me off my butt and painting some figures.  I'm still trying to decide what period I will use the rules for: Seven Years War, Napoleonics, or American Civil War.  Heck, ultimately I'd like to do all three.  But where to start?

I've always been interested in the 100 Days campaign for some reason, so I may start there.  I'm a bit of an Anglophile, so it just seems necessary to be able to play Waterloo.  It's also an interesting campaign in the sense that in addition to French, British, and Prussians, you also have Dutch-Belgians, Hanoverians, and Brunswickers.  There are four battles to fight and the campaign itself could be recreated.  I'm also not adverse to fictional battles using the historical armies.  In all, it gives a lot of options.

Figures are available in a number of scales for this campaign.  The Perry Brothers have a 28mm range that will shortly include all of the participants save the Prussians and it seems like they can't be far behind.  The downside is that I don't think I have the painting chops to pull it off.  Even if I can paint the figures to a standard that does them justice, it will take f-o-r-e-v-e-r.  Another downside it that once I did it, I'd probably be afraid to ever take the figures out of my house!

A more realistic option may be to use 15mm.  Minifigs has all of the combatants available and are sculpted in an old school style that I find appealing.  Painting would be a breeze and it would be a more affordable option.  Plus I wouldn't worrying about running games at the local store or at a con.

Hmmm....  Decisions, decisions.


Anonymous said...

You could always try bacchus 6mm for a truly mass effect.

John - just passing thru

Anonymous said...

Agree with John. Go with 6mm (whether Baccus or any other); I did, and think the effectlooks great. Besides, it's much quicker to get armies off the ground, and cheaper in my experience.