In the Field with Grouchy

One of the aspects of Volley & Bayonet which I particularly enjoy is the ability to refight the great battles of the black powder period. Over the years I have indeed been fortunate to refight many of these famous battles, including many from the Napoleonic Wars. These include all those from the Hundred Days Campaign.

Over the last week I’ve revisited the smaller battle of Wavre and twice resolved this battle on the table. First playing against Jim, who I unfortunately infrequently manage a Volley & Bayonet game against. You can find an account of the game here.

Then more recently, we refought the battle as a multiplayer game during our usual Friday evening gaming slot. A report of this game can be found here.

Both refights of course had similarities, yet each was different as players all approached the battles from a different perspective, each with their own views of what could be effective. Indeed at one point there was significant debate in the second refight between the two Prussian commanders who had very different styles – one deliberate and one more aggressive.

Few rule sets produce a narrative which is so similar to these great battles. Yet the games don’t become bogged down with excessive detail. Indeed, as I’ve read accounts of the action at Wavre during the week I’m reminded of the similar narrative that could easily be applied to our refights. A fact that even after using these rules for over 23 years continues to fascinate me.

2 thoughts on “In the Field with Grouchy

  1. I like V&B a lot too but have noted some fans of BBB and wonder if you have tried those rules? If so, how do you compare the two for both realism and ease of play?

    1. Interesting question Bill.

      I’m afraid I have not seen the rules you mentioned, never mind played a game. I have seen a few photos of game reports of course, but nothing more. We fortunate to have so much variety in rules and scales these days. Across all these rules and scales we are very likely to find that perfect rule system, or something that comes near to perceived perfection.

      I’m very satisfied with Volley & Bayonet and it strikes a balance (for me) that addresses the historical narrative with an ability to fight medium or large battles in an acceptable time frame. My biggest problem is organising myself to get painting those extra V&B units and armies I’ve been eyeing up for a while.

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