You can have amazing figures, terrain and the most enthusiastic group of gamers.
But if the rules are crap then it becomes a difficult experience.
My club has always used the holy trio of Warlord Games rules for most historical periods (with amendments, hell I even use them with mods to do Russian Civil War!):
Hail Caesar, Pike & Shotte, Black Powder.
I have also played Ga Pa (which I think is pronounced in Swedish as “Gay Pay”, so the less about that the better if that’s true, I can only imagine the table banter if we used them…..).
Black Powder was the obvious candidate. There is also the “Last argument of kings” supplement which covers the GNW.
The problem is that I found the supplement rules/mods to be awful. Plus BP uses BIG movement ranges, which would have to be reduced.
Then I looked at the fact both sides used pikes. Pike & Shotte has a “pike company” rule. So that would work without fudging things, plus the movement ranges are half of those in BP.
Perfect. So I am using P&S for the GNW.
Now there are going to be modifications, and some very aggressive Swedish stats. I have put together two stat sheets for Swedes/Russians, which I will post as pdf’s on here once I have had a couple of trial games.
But basically the mods need to reflect the almost insane, relentless aggression of the Swedes, and their ability to panic and steamroller at times almost infinite amounts of opponents from the field.
So my initial mods will give all Swedish horse and foot ferocious charge (re-roll all misses in a new charge combat), they will be elite 4+ so they can keep going even under disordering fire, they will be 3+ save for the guard, and 4+ with Crack special rule for the others.
Cavalry and infantry will be able to charge and counter charge, even if shaken (but not disordered). The reason for this dramatic change addresses two issues:
1. The Swedish foot and horse could almost always retain an offensive stance, even when badly disorganised and after heavy losses.
2. Allowing them such aggression with a counter charge for both cavalry and infantry will stop the Russian/allied players getting gamey and charging first to stop the ferocious charge rule coming into play. So this mod will allow Swedes to counter charge almost always, which lets face it they would try to do as it’s literally a fifty yard dash. Charge them at your peril, and instead use firepower, which seems pretty historical.
For firepower, because the Swedes usually had a third af a battalion pike armed, pike armed units will only get two firing D6. For the Russians, they had slightly less pikes, so they will get 2 D6 plus a re-roll (sharpshooter rule).
Artillery will be of two types. Light regimental guns that can limber and move, and heavy guns that will be positioned at the start of a game and then cannot move further.
Other than that, I’m going to use the basic rules “as is”, with only three other mods I can see:
– Units moving through each others “leader position” (centre) will be disordered on a roll of 1 (maybe 1 or 2, not sure yet).
– Infantry cannot charge cavalry.
– Musketry reduced from 18″ to 12″.
So that’s the basic ideas I’m having, it will be interesting to see how it pans out….