Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Sunday, 12 July 2020

Featherstonia: An Occasional New Series?

I was very pleased with the reaction to the posting of the programme for the 1965 Military Festival at the Duke of York's HQ. As a result of this, Iain (The Mighty Albannach, no less) has offered to make some more of his personal collection of old documents available for sharing in this way, which is not only very generous, but also suits me very well for a number of reasons, since my painting efforts have stalled for the moment, and actual wargames are likely to be few and far between for a while. Thus I am delighted to take him up on his kind offer.

We'll see how this goes, but he has a good collection of wargames rules (by a number of authors) and of historical and wargaming notes, all of which were available as "handbooks" and could be ordered through Donald Featherstone's Wargamer's Newsletter back in the day. It is possible that some of this material has been collected into more modern publications, but at least you can be confident that the original documents posted here will have been proof-read at some time, which is not always the case elsewhere.

First off, then - appropriately enough - is DFF's very own Rules for Napoleonic Wargames. I believe the rules employed at the 1965 Waterloo game were a cut-down version of these. Please enjoy them, and please treat them with the respect they (and Albannach, and I!) are due. Potentially, there are some real goodies in the pipeline!

Thanks again, Iain!





















22 comments:

  1. Splendid stuff Tony...

    13 pages!... A modern set of rules would take more to get through the contents and introduce ūüėā

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Correct - and where are all the pictures of painted soldiers?

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  2. Brilliant, real core gaming no fluff just typed up pages. I found a copy of the ECW rules from my first demo game ( Marston Moor 1984) all typed up and looking pretty much in the same condition
    Now the question is when are you going to try these out in a game?

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    1. Now that is a good question...

      40 fusiliers firing at medium range (4-8") in the open on an enemy in line roll 8D6. Avge total is 8 x 3.5 = 28, x 1/2 for med range, gets you to 14 hits. Saving throw is 5 or 6, so 2/3 of your 14 is around 10. In one turn, one such battalion can expect to kill about 1/4 of the enemy's battalion. Not bad, eh?

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  3. Excellent idea! I have a few dozen worth of Wargamers newsletters collected over the years - they still make for an excellent read.

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    1. Someone somewhere has the whole lot online, I think - I had a bookmark for it, but can't find it 8-D Paper would be handier...

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  4. Always liked Wargamers Newsletter but didn't get enough of them - so when it was a two or three part article I would usually miss a part or two :(

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  5. I'll add my voice to the chorus. Occasional helpings of Featherstonia? Yes, please!

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. Thanks Stokes - let's see what Albannach can come up with!

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  6. Thanks for bringing this material back into the public arena. Cheers Greg

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    1. Cheers Greg - it's fine with me - it's Iain who's doing all the hard work!

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  7. Featherstonia certainly does it for me. Cheers, Tony, and many thanks to your friend Iain.
    Best regards
    WM

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  8. Wonderful idea. As for the rules, the influence of this sort of stuff from my early days still haunts my attempts at writing simple rules but oh, what a blood bath of a game!

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    1. My problem was losing track of the number of times you halve the result - half because they in line, half because they are behind a hedge, half because it's Tuesday...

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  9. Wonderful stuff Tony, please keep them coming. What strikes me is that when he typed these rules up there was little room for error or correction or editing!

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    1. Hi Lee - I think the people DFF played with didn't argue much with him(!), though in places you can see the stitches - bits patched into the rules because something was too lethal, or something didn't work. For a while, I thought that everyone in the UK used the same rules, so maybe a lot of this was sorted out from lots of contributions, but Don was very influential. In Iain's list there are items by Tony Bath and others, so they will be interesting to see. My first involvements with wargames used DFF's rules, the Tunbridge Wells rules (Bayonet?) and George Jeffrey's rules from the SESWG. They were all very similar, really, and the games rarely, if ever, finished by going-home time!

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  10. Happy Days. I have a set of the DFF rules (apart from ECW)and a set of the SYW rules formed the basis of rules for AWI that a friend and I played with very happily for many years. I sometimes think I should go back to them but someone once said you should never go back so....

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    1. Hi Jim. You are already a hoarder of legendary status here!

      Certainly my experience is that revisiting scenes and events from your past is unlikely to be anything but a disappointment. Mind you, mostly they were a disappointment for me first time round anyway...

      It's good to see these things - to provide balance and put what followed into perspective. The secret of all successful wargames rules, from my point of view, was getting so familiar with them that they just flowed along nicely, so that you were fighting your enemy rather than the rules themselves. I was always very bad for changing channels, or tweaking things, and (most seriously of all!) I very rarely had a regular opponent for very long. [I can't remember which one, but in one of his movies Woody Allen claims that when he was a kid he had an imaginary friend, but they went off with someone else...]

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  11. It is interesting seeing these rules and thanks for sharing. The Tunbridge Wells rules are the ones published by Bayonet and indeed you can see the similarity with DFs rules. Whilst DF rules influenced me my first rules I used were Charge.

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    1. Charge was certainly a good place to start. I started with DFF, and similar rules from elsewhere - the big lightbulb moment for me was when Charlie Wesencraft's "Practical Wargaming" was published, because his rules all hung together and had a consistent approach.

      Then I got immersed in the WRG, and life became full of tables, and fractions of a casualty.

      Some time after that I had a 15 year sabbatical.

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