Sunday, 20 January 2013

Gerard de Gre's Napoleonic Wargame Rules ... as modified by Charles and David Sweet

Dick Bryant – the former editor and publisher of THE COURIER – has sent me scans of the Napoleonic rules used by Charlie and David Sweet. They are based upon those used by Gerard de Gre, and were published in THE COURIER back in the 1970s. As far as I know they have been 'lost' to the general wargaming public for many years, and I think that their 'rediscovery' will be of interest to quite a few wargamers who may have heard of them but who have never seen them.

Dick has given me permission to re-publish them via my blog, and I have spent most of today transcribing them so that this will be possible … hopefully later today. If and when time allows I will also turn them into a downloadable format that potential players can print off for their own personal use.

The rules are a very interesting combination of the old and the new … and I can definitely see a linear development from Gerard de Gre’s original ideas – as modified by Charlie and David Sweet – to those used in Joseph Morschauser’s rules. Likewise there are links back to H G Well’s rules in that all artillery fire is conducted with small toy cannons (for field and horse artillery fire) or catapults (for howitzer fire). It also has what I believe is a unique method for resolving melees that is somewhat akin to the traditional ‘scissors, rock, paper’ game many of us played as children.

8 comments:

  1. Dale,

    I don't think that you will be disappointed.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  2. SAROE,

    Yes ... but transcribing the rules was a longer task than I expected, and I need a rest before I transform them into a blog entry.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bob,

    Most interesting! I'm looking forward to seeing them, too.
    Little did the pioneers of our hobby realise that devising rules around the use of projectile shooting toy artillery pieces was doomed, due to the extinction of such miniature artillery pieces...
    Had the toys remained in production, and continued to be used in wargames, I doubt that the hobby would have developed its emphasis on detailed painting of the figures, since there is little point spending hours on brushwork if the results of one's efforts are going to be dented, scratched and eventually destroyed by the projectiles.
    Another problem with shooting toy guns is that they were only made in the larger scales; there were never toy guns that fitted comfortably with the smaller lead figures, or Airfix plastic ones.
    I wonder if the revival of interest in 'Old School' wargames might stimulate some enterprising manufacturer to produce practical toy artillery pieces once more?

    Best wishes,
    Arthur

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  4. Arthur1815,

    Although firing toy guns are not as widely available as they were, I have seen cheap plastic ones on sale in pound shops and large toy shops in the packs of Chinese-made toy soldiers.

    I suspect you are right and that many wargamers who like their figures to be painted to a 'collector' standard would not appreciate projectiles (even soft ones) being fired at their figures.

    One hopes that the upsurge in interest in 'Old School' wargaming might bring about some changes to that attitude. We can but hope.

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. An alternative to firing projectiles might be to use tiddlywinks. There would still be a skill element and they are less likely to damage painted figures.

    ReplyDelete
  5. John Curry,

    You will pleased to hear that there are more of Gerard de Gre and Charlie Sweet's rules on the way.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete