Sunday, 3 November 2013

First Look: Regimental Fire and Fury

With the original (Brigade level) Fire and Fury rules one of my favourite sets of rules and now, sadly, no longer available I decided to take a look at their Regimental little brother.

Regimental Fire and Fury comes as a 96 page full colour hardback book and are set out in a two column format interspersed with photographs, diagrams and tables.  The format will be instantly familiar to anyone who has seen the original Fire and Fury.

The rules were written for 15mm figures but are easily converted for larger or smaller figures.  Units are made up on several, multi-figure, stands with each stand representing 40 men.  With the exception of some types of stand having moved to circular bases (more cosmetic than material) and a couple of new markers being introduced everything else looks pretty much the same as the original - which means you can use those troops without any changes. As with the original these rules are based around the d10.

Each game turn is divided into two player turns each of which has three identical phases - Manoeuvre, Musketry & Cannonade and Charge.  The Manoeuvre phase combines movement and morale in a single elegant mechanism.  Musketry & Cannonade allows the opponent to resolve defensive fire before offensive fire is resolved.  And finally Charge is where melee occurs.

Casualties from firing and melee are represented by the removal of stands.  Units have three states of effectiveness - Fresh, Worn and Spent - which is determined by the number of stands lost.  This allows different levels of effectiveness to be reflected (three are suggested Spirited, Reliable and Unreliable) by units being able to have more stands removed before they drop to the next level.

All of this will sound remarkably familiar again to anyone who has played the original rules but there are a number of changes which have been introduced to reflect the different level of engagement being represented.

In Brigade level Fire and Fury a unit's experience (Green, Veteran or Crack) was used to determine its effectiveness; however, in Regimental Fire and Fury these have been expanded to include Trained and contribute their own modifiers and have separate target columns on the musketry table.

Formations remain pretty much the same with line, field column and march column being represented with the main change being line is two stands deep and a single stand deep represents an extended line.

Command radii has taken on something of a new dimension as rather than contributing a bonus on the Manoeuvre table separate columns are included for units In Command and Out of Command which allows for a non-linear impact on the effects.

More granularity has been introduced with regard to weapons (which was mostly abstracted at the Brigade level) with entries for Rifle Musket, Repeater, Breechloader, Inferior Rifle, Rifle Carbine, Smoothbore Musket and Shotgun & Hunting Rifle appearing in the Musketry Fire Point table for example.

There are a number of other changes from the original rules but it looks as if they have incorporated all the changes within the original (excellent) framework and so I am very much looking forward to trying these on the table.  I suspect I may have to develop an aide memoire to the changes which I will post if it's any good.