Monday, August 10, 2009

L'Armee Francaise Series/Age of Eagles
By COL (ret) Bill Gray
I freely admit that I am a huge fan of both the Fire and Fury (F&F) rules and the period of the Lace Wars so this supplement was bound to be a hit. Available as a free download from the Age of Eagles (AoR) website, the rules are about 17 pages, include two scenarios, an appendix for unit data charts and two easy to read color two sided quick reference charts. Ownership of the original Fire and Fury rules and Age of Eagles are required in order to use this free supplement correctly.
There was no need to rebase our figures to play a game in 6mm – the large battle looked spectacular! The modified rules were very similar to the original F&F rules and were a breeze to play as everyone already was familiar with F&F – knowledge of the AoR helps interpret some of the charge rules interpretations and multiple melee resolution. One major departure from the original F&F rules is “Reserve Movement” – units outside of 15 inches of enemy units are considered to be in the “Reserve Zone”. The author explains that use of “Reserve Movement… replaces Order Systems to simulate Grand Tactical Command & Control (C2), which in this period was accomplished by extensive, detailed preplanning and the personal attention of the Army Commander when adjustments had to be made. Rare was the subordinate who would rise to the occasion and confront the unexpected himself. In AoH this battle management style manifests itself by making decisions to withdraw from combat, move reserve formations or similar situations the direct responsibility of the King-Commander, as the efficient staff system of the Napoleonic Wars was not yet developed.” In game terms, a special roll must be made in order for reserves to move forward – in the game we played, the failure of one section of one army to move forward in reserve movement severely hampered their forces when the critical part of the battle occurred.
The rules/supplement plays as easily as the original F&F rules. For those gamers who like the ease of F&F and the beauty of 18th Century linear warfare, this supplement is very worthwhile.
Price: Free!


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