Basic Original Fire e Fury (a.k.a. BOFF) is considered by many experienced giocatori wargame to be the most realistic, playable, ed enjoyable set of grand-tactical American Civil War miniatures rules on the market, e for many of us it was only a question of time until a Napoleonic variant of the successful game system would become available.
When Richard Hasenauer’s rules appeared in 1990, they set an industry standard for clarity, attention to detail, design e layout. Spectacular photos, easily understood charts e graphics, e well-written texts made it a joy to learn to play this simple yet incredibly realistic simulation game, even if you were not a native of the English language.
Fire e Fury was, e probably still is the most in-period simulation della guerra civile americana battle. BOFF is the reason why so many giocatori wargame all over the world pried tens of thousands of American Civil War soldatini off their old figure stands e gladly re-based them for this excellent game. Not surprisingly, Fire e Fury soon spawned several variants for other conflicts of the Horse&Musket period of warfare, including the guerra franco-prussiana (published in Wargames Illustrated No. 140) e the Guerre Napoleoniche (WI No. 143). The idea of Napoleonic Fire e Fury appealed to over 1600 giocatori wargame who joined a supporting discussion group on the web ed acted as playtesters for The Age of Eagles which was published in 2005 e sold out immediately.
- Titolo: The Age of Eagles
- Epoca: Guerre Napoleoniche
- Tipo: Grand-Tactical wargame based on Fire e Fury
- Scala del Tempo: 1 turn = 30 minutes
- Scala del Terreno: 1:4320 (1 inch = 120 yards)
- Scala del Truppe: 1 figure = 90 men
- Basette: ¾ inch × 1 inch fanteria stand (4 soldatini)
- Autore: Colonel (Ret) Wilbur E. Gray
- Formato: 100-page rule book
- Lingua: Inglese
- Casa Editrice: David Waxtel, Quantum Printing, New York, NY
- Pubblicato: 2005
Although The Age of Eagles owes a lot to BOFF, it is not a rehash of the original ACW simulation. The good news is that Wilbur Gray has successfully changed the historical flavor of the game by adding a few healthy ingredients.
Grand Tactical Zones of Operation
In the late 1970’s Jim Getz e Scott Bowden, developers of the ground-breaking Empire III miniature rules, pointed out that "each major body of troops, known as a maneuvre element (ME), has a zone of operation which is defined as the ground area it occupies", e they went on to say that "no voluntary deployment o movement may be made that would cause the zone of operation of an ME to overlap the zones of operation of other friendly MEs". Interpenetration of tactical maneuvre elements is dangerous, because it makes the bunched-up troops an excellent target, causes collisions when battaglioni attempt to form line from column, hampers the effective use of firearms, e creates disorder which can lead to panic.
It is important to keep the concept of brigade zones of operation in mind when looking at figure stands now used by many popular grand-tactical miniature rules. At first glance, these stands are too deep to be realistic, because a fanteria francese battalion in attack column would only be 5 mm deep at the typical ground scale of 1 mm on the table representing over 4 metri of actual terrain. The illustration on page 31 of The Age of Eagles rule book indicates that the 25 mm deep fanteria stand actually represents a section of an fanteria brigade’s zone of operation, not a single unit in line o column. Napoleonic battaglioni di fanteria were deployed in a staggered formation "en échelon" at the brigade level (called "Line of Battle Supported, Columnar Infantry" in the illustration reproduced above). In 1805 the typical brigata di fanteria francese of quattro battaglioni di fanteria di linea ed un battaglione di fanteria leggera occupied a relatively square plot of ground approximately 300 metri wide e just as deep. Intervals between the skirmish line, the first reggimento in line formation, e the supporting reggimento in columns of divisions, were necessary to minimize the danger of pass-through fire aimed at one line of troops inadvertently hitting the supporting lines. As can be seen in the illustration, formation changes of battaglioni within the brigade zone, from column to line o line to column, have no effect on the shape o size of the brigade zone itself.
While an 1806 brigata di fanteria prussiana in supported line occupies the same ground area as a fanteria francese brigade en échelon, the due formations operate very differently. The Age of Eagles rates fanteria of all nations, except Francia as Linear Infantry from 1792 to 1808. Linear fanteria has the advantage in firepower, but is slow e cumbersome.
Fanteria francese of 1792 to 1804, e 1812 to 1814, as well as other nation’s fanteria from 1809 to 1815 is considered Columnar Infantry which moves faster ed is better articulated than linear fanteria, but sacrifices some firepower.
I britannici/KGL 1809 to 1815, anglo-alleati 1815, francesi 1805 to 1811, e 1815, Davout’s Corps in 1812, la vecchia e media Guardi francese at all times, e la giovane Guardia francese at all times except 1813 to 1814 are considered Impulse Infantry, the most powerful combat doctrine, combining the advantages of linear e columnar fanteria doctrine.
National Combat Doctrine, Firepower, e Morale Parameters
Combat doctrine is the novel e refreshing game concept which sets The Age of Eagles apart from its competitors. Without the combat doctrine parameter, previous regolamenti di wargame have resorted to superhuman "Old Guard" morale ratings, arbitrarily inflating the firepower e melee ability delle truppe della vecchia Guardia francese, in the vain attempt to give these wargame units the same edge in combat that their historical counterparts reportedly had. This procedure was never quite satisfactory, but most Allied players grudgingly accepted it for want of a more realistic approach.
The Age of Eagles rates most guard fanteria, e many granatieri as fanteria d’élite for firepower e morale purposes. Using the combat doctrine parameter, Guardia prussiana e granatieri della Guardia, as well as converged granatieri 1791 to 1807 are considered elite linear fanteria con the same firepower ed initial morale level as fanteria della vecchia Guardia francese. The difference is that fanteria d’élite deteriorates from "fresh" to "worn" when brigade effectiveness drops to 70 percent, e deteriorates again to the "spent" level when the 40 percent mark is reached, whereas la vecchia Guardia francese never achieves the "worn" level, but drops directly to "spent" at the 40 percent point. Thus, while la vecchia Guardia francese are considered to stay "fresh" longer than other elite fanteria, their resolve can e will fail at the same level when caduti mount.
In addition to its freshness bonus, la fanteria della vecchia Guardia francese has skirmish ability which the elites prussiani lack, ed it is rated as impulse fanteria which combines the advantages of the linear e columnar combat doctrine. In The Age of Eagles le brigate della vecchia Guardia francese outclass other guard formations, because of the combined advantages of combat doctrine, brigade effectiveness, e skirmish ability, e not because they are rated a superhuman 7 on a morale scale of 1 to 6.
Campaign gamers will be happy to know that The Age of Eagles introduces a simple e convincing point system to calculate the strength ed average troop rating of a brigade. Using this system, historical brigade strengths e known combat ratings possono essere facilmente convertiti to create realistic table-top scenarios. Jim Getz e Scott Bowden put an enormous amount of detail into their Empire III army lists, using ten morale grades to differentiate Guardia Imperiale, Guardi, Granatieri, e Elites at the upper end, e Conscript, Landwehr, trained milizia, ed untrained milizia at the opposite extreme. In The Age of Eagles the top quattro morale grades are subsumed as "Elites", the bottom quattro are "Conscripts", ed everyone else is "Regular". Tre morale grades e tre different combat doctrines provide 9 unique combat effectiveness ratings in The Age of Eagles, compared to 10 morale ratings in Empire III. Enough to differentiate vecchia Guardia francese from Guardia britannici, e Guardia prussiana like Empire III does.
Like BOFF, The Age of Eagles requires little to no bookkeeping, because all game-relevant unit statistics are on a label underneath the brigade command stand o artiglieria battery. Unlike other regolamenti di wargame, which use cryptic labels like "1B/A/R [10D] PrGN", the labels used in The Age of Eagles are easy to read like "Ziethen / 8th Silesian Landwehr C 7/6/4", being a Conspript Brigade of Ziethen’s 11th Division prussiano. The 8th Silesian Landwehr has a strength of 7 stands at the start of the Battle of Dresden. It becomes worn when strength drops to 6 stands, ed is spent, when it has only 4 stands left.
Trovatore di Avversari
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The Age of Eagles recommends the same figure stand sizes already popularized by other grand-tactical wargame systems, which also happen to be compatibile con popular brigade level regolamenti di wargame. If this were not the case, it is very likely that soldatini all over the world would be force-marching toward the sound of re-basing.
Domande più frequenti
Per ulteriori informazioni, per favore contatta la redazione di Rivista Military Miniatures nel Miniatures Forum.