Fate of Battle:

Look, Sarge, No Charts

Napoleonic Wars

 
 

Buck’s first real wargaming love was the Napoleonic Wars.  This is his third set of published Napoleonic rules.  Battles for Empire was designed for those Empire-sized games.  Wellington Rules was designed for much smaller games, in which players commanded brigade.  Fate of Battle is designed for larger games in which which players command one or more divisions.  Like all the Look, Sarge family of rules, this game moves!

Fate of Battle is the most complex of the Look, Sarge family.  We’ve worked hard to remain true to the fell of the series, but we’ve incorporated formations, skirmishing, and other period feel.  You’ll get the paper, scissors, rock of infantry, cavalry, and artillery in columns, lines, and squares.

Many gamers are turned off by the Napoleonic Wars.  Years of pedantic, plodding, overly complex rules and the angry rules lawyers those systems seem to attract have convinced many gamers we know that the Napoleonic Wars cannot be fun to game.  Members of our gaming club who have sworn off the period enjoy these rules and play them regularly.

Whether you are new to the Look, Sarge, No Charts rule system or a fan, whether you are an aficionado of the period or a newcomer, when you play Fate of Battle, you will be challenged and excited.

Simple but not simplistic.

Fight the battle, not the rules!

“Battle should only be offered when there is no other turn of fortune to be hoped for, as from its nature the fate of battle is always dubious” -- Napoleon I, Emperor of France

    Fate of Battle features the Look, Sarge double-random (TM) activation mechanism that ensures unpredictability and friction without everyone standing around watching one person act, like most card activation schemes.

    In Fate of Battle, infantry battalions and cavalry battle groups are represented by a pair of bases, so that columns, lines, and squares can be easily depicted on the table. 

    All the information needed to play the game is written on small labels on the backs of the bases.  Movement, defense, melee, morale, and firepower information is all depicted.  Along with these labels, small special dice are used for morale checks, rolling to stand, and rolling to close with the enemy.   All these mechanics work seamlessly together to create and elegant gaming experience, free of large chart cards cluttering the aesthetics of the table.  All the information you need is right where you are looking -- at the figures.  If, however, players don’t want to use the base labels, you can download a roster to record all the important information instead.

    Players command one or more divisions, each consisting of two or more brigades. 

    Click here to see a thorough review of the rules posed by the IronMarshal on The Miniatures Page.

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Look, Sarge, No Charts: Napoleonic Wars

This is a picture from a recent play test game at a club gaming night.  The scenario was a meeting engagement from Charles Grant’s Scenarios for All Ages.  In this scenario, advanced guards from both the French and the Russians (in this case a corps from each) each were trying to capture the three bridges across the river.  The side with two out of three bridges would be the winner.  

    With Look, Sarge, No Charts, this is what a gaming table looks like during a game.  These pictures were not prettied up for the photo.  Green dice used for activation are placed near the brigade, division, and corps commanders.  There are no large pink rectangles (chart cards) to spoil the aesthetics.  (The rectangle you see in the picture on the left is a notebook someone was using to plan his next game.)  To play the game you need to make some special dice from wooden cubes or blank dice.  The bases have small labels on the backs of them with information on them.  With the labels and the special dice, you have all the information you need to play the game, right where you need it.  The systems are elegant and smooth.

    For the Napoleonic version of LSNC we’ve added formations (column, line, and square) so that you get that paper-scissors-rock feel.  We’ve also added a skirmish phase at the beginning of each turn.  This provides an elegant mechanism to reflect the effect of skirmishers without gunking up the game.

You can download a PDF of Fate of Battle from WargameVault:  http://www.wargamevault.com/product/192619/Fate-of-Battle-Look-Sarge-No-Charts-Napoleonic-Wars