I am a bit behind in blog entries. Mark and I were able to play a game of Piquet Field of Battle in November. We had played a game with Piquet Field of Battle last January and had a good time. The earlier game was a four player fictional American Revolutionary battle designed to acquaint the players with the rules. All of use enjoyed the game and one of the players, Ian Croxall of Warflag, used them in a War of Spanish Succession game in the spring that I also played in. For our November game, I decided to return to Piquet Field of Battle, this time with an American Civil War game.
Mark and I have played several games of the original Piquet (ancients and American Revolution), and had enjoyed the general system but found it a bit of work to set up a game. We have also played one trial small game of Piquet Field of Battle, WW2 and enjoyed that. Because of our satisfaction with the Piquet Field of Battle rule system, I wanted to play it again. As to the American Civil War setting, I had one of those reformatio moments. What I mean by that is my first historical miniatures game way back in 1982 was an American Civil War game run by Bill Winksi of Attactix and Minifigs USA. The very first historical figures I painted were some Heritage 15mm Confederate Cavalry. From 1982 to 1985 and 1990 to 1993, I played many American Civil War games with rules including Stars and Bars, Johnny Reb I and II and Fire and Fury. For some reason, my old opponents had fallen out of love with the American Civil War and did not want to play it much anymore. I was able to squeeze in a single game of Piquet ACW in 1999 and a few Volley and Bayonet games in 2000-01, but not much since then. While reviewing my figures, I found enough painted 15mm ACW figures for a small game and thought that it would be fun to try the ACW again after so many years. The game was based on the Union right wing attack at Williamsburg (May 5, 1862). With about a dozen units per side, we were easily able to play the scenario twice, with both of us winning as the Union and losing as the Confederates.
Once again we had a great deal of enjoyment with the Piquet Field of Battle rules. I think that they are the most enjoyable rules I have played in 27 years of historical miniature wargaming. They keep the good parts of the original Piquet while removing the tedious parts. As they are card driven, no two games will be the same. For my tastes, Piquet Field of Battle is the best set of rules for battalion level (one unit is an infantry battalion) horse and musket wargames. The big improvements in FOB over original Piquet are the potential for multiple moves in one card play, the different die types for defense based on troop quality that also incorporates moral checks, and the role that command quality plays in both deck composition and rallying lost unit integrities. While my goal is not to provide a full review of the rules, I highly recommend interested parties seek out reviews on the internet and give the rules a chance. If you like games that are fun and reproduce the historical flow of actual battles, these rules are for you. If you are a control freak, then take up chess and avoid these rules. I found that Piquet Field of Battle has revived my interest in ACW games. Over the last month I have rebased several old units and painted some new ones, which will allow us to try a larger FOB ACW game (20 units per side) in the near future.
The actual action we reproduced in our game.