Sunday, 18 June 2017

General d'Armee Playtest

A chance to give the new General d'Armee rules a playtest today at the local Woolston Wargames Club.  Chris Packer brought his Russians and I used a mixed Polish/French/Italian force. We played roughly 2K points each on a 6'x10' table.  (Also See my General d'Armee list creator here).

French (1995 points); Campaigner CnC
Infantry Brigade: 4 Veteran Polish Line, Veteran 8 pounder battery
Infantry Brigade: 2 Italian Line, 2 Marine Line, 2 Marie Louise Recruits, 6 pounder battery.
Cavalry Brigade: 2 Veteran Polish Battle Lancer

Russian (2075 points): Campaigner CnC
Infantry Brigade: 4 Jager
Infantry Brigade: 4 Line, Large 12 pounder battery
Infantry Brigade: 4 Line
Cavalry Brigade: 2 Veteran Cuirassier

A look at the table setup and deployment.

On my left I have the Veteran Polish Brigade.

2 ADC's to order them Forwards! (+3D6 inches to move).

They advance to the road.

My central mixed brigade.

Hesistant this turn. (Can't go any closer to the enemy). This large brigade spent rather a lot of time doing this, probably wisely...

Russian Cuirassiers begin their advance on my right flank.

The Russian infantry in assault column and the large 12 pounder battery. on the Russian left.

More Russian Line  in the centre, and Jager's to the top of the photo facing my Polish infantry.

End of turn 1.

Turn 2, my central brigade surges across the table on "Forward" orders (+3D6 inches, and rolling 16), so the columns advance 25 inches - and the skirmishers 28 inches. The skirmishers start firing on the Russian Artillery, trying to pick off the gunners.  

On the right the cavalry closes on each other.
Poles navigate their way through the town and skirmishers from their Brigade engage the enemy.

Turn 3 and the Cavalry charges on the right, with both Brigadiers personally leading the charge ("Glory!" orders). One Cuirassier regiment's nerve fails and it retreats and is chased off the field by my Lancers. First blood to the Poles! But the remaining Cuirassier regiment gives a better account of itself and forces back my other Polish Lancer formation, before itself withdrawing to reform.
(My Polish Uhlan regiments need a few more figures added to them for this 1/20 scale we are playing, Polish Krakus filling up numbers here).

Poles and Jager engage each other on my left.

My Poles charge a Jager battalion forcing it to retreat.

And another Polish battalion charges and forces back a Jager formation that was in skirmish order (mistake here, as my Brigade was on not on "Infantry Assault" orders this turn so only one unit could charge). 

Next turn the Poles deploy into line, and close range volleys are exchanged, though my Poles are taking alarmingly heavy casualties!  The Polish Artillery finally gets into action too.

On the right, my skirmishers have been harassing the enemy gunners effectively, though Russian 12 pounder fire is still bouncing through a couple of my formations each turn causing casualties. Our cavalry face each other warily, reforming for another charge.

 View from the centre.

Long lines of musketry as Poles and Jagers rake each other at close range on my left.

The Russians try to charge forward in the centre, but are beaten back.

The Russian Cuirassiers force one of my Lancer units to retreat, despite the Lancers charging with an enthusiastic "elan" result. The +2 dice Heavy Cavalry rolls is tough to beat, especially when your usual Lancer bonus doesn't count against the armour of Cuirassiers!

In the centre I wheel a a line to bring more fire on the lead Russian battalion. The Russian 12 pounders advance to cannister range, as does my own central artillery.

Then disaster on the my left, as two Veteran Polish battalions break and disperse, after some devastating volley fire from the Jagers!

Some Russian battalions have also been lost in the centre, though this is little comfort!

The Russians close in for the kill on my left, demoralising the Polish Veteran Brigade, which then fails it's command role and disperses! 

The centre is still engaged but my lead units are starting to look shaky.

And my right is not looking fabulous either, with fresh Russian Line supported by Cuirassiers advancing on my Marie Louise conscripts on the end of my line... and my cavalry struggling to reform.

We decide to call the game at this point due to time, but I'm not sure I could have held much longer to be honest.

View from the Russian centre.

 Where the Poles were. Only the Vistula regiment...

and artillery battery remaining.

Unfortunately for the French, this video pretty much sums up the situation...


I'm happy to recommend the General d'Armee rules. They clip along at a good pace, and have plenty of period flavour. Having played a first game, it would probably be helpful to have another read of the rulebook and check a few minor details.

In terms of force composition, only having up to 3 ADC's per turn vs the up to 4 ADC's per turn for the Russians was something of a disadvantage I think, so that's something to think about when planning a scenario/game. Given Chris had an 80 extra points, I guess could have upgraded my CnC to "Incomparable" status to get an extra ADC perhaps. Despite this the Russians were still thrown back up to until about halfway through the game, before everything started to go wrong for my Polish infantry! No doubt because I had a French rather than Polish Brigadier figure leading them, the Polish one still being on the painting tray. ;) (Edit - and as Chris points out below, they should have been using the superior volley table too!). On the other flank my Polish Lancers not only held off the Russian Cuirassiers, but destroyed a unit of them too, so that was glorious.

Good fun, and looking forward to the next encounter.


  1. Great report Chasseur & very pretty models; its great to see your collection in action after all that painting.
    I suggest you use even more figures as in our experience these rules work better & better the bigger the game ie more brigades.
    Best wishes,

    1. Hi thanks Jeremy, yes bigger is definitely the plan! :)

  2. Nice report, I enjoyed reading it and lovely figures.

  3. Magnificent and wonderful, Mark!

  4. Nice report, thanks for posting it. Liking the sound of these rules more and more.

  5. Far too many figures and gun models for an army level game! Still using skirmisher stands too!

    1. It's not an army level game here, just a division! But it's designed to play army level games with this scale of unit by speeding up the mechanisms :)

  6. Mark great AAR and photos . Great to see your forces getting an outing
    Having played BP etc how have you found GdA?

    1. Thanks, GdA seems pretty good to me. Bit more flavour than BP and I prefer the command system.

  7. Nice write up and pics, Mark!

  8. Imprssive stuff Mark. Those 36 man French battalions really look menacing. Are thos Russian cuirassiers Perry or Front Rank?

    1. Hi Mark. The offending figures are Wargames Foundry. My Russian Army is either WF or Perry figures. I think I have 26 units of foot with 3 x 6 gun batteries so far - need more cavalry though.

    2. They look great. I am about to order two regiments for my own army in thr next few days.

  9. Great to see those lovely figures of yours on the table in a fine looking game. Great stuff!

  10. Great report Mark! Best you get the Polish commander painted up before the next game.

    1. Yes indded Rodger, and let them use the superior volley table like they were supposed to as well! :)

  11. Wonderful battle report Mark and like you, I think these rules are going to suit me right down to the ground. Great to see so many sensational figures on the tabletop.

    1. Thanks Carlo, yes they have some very nice features!

  12. As Mark's adversary, I want to express how much I enjoyed the game and the rules are shaping up as a cracking set. The secret to them is the command and control system, which forces a player to consider carefully how he allocates them.
    There are some parts of the rules we missed (for example if you roll a double 6 in the ADC availabilty you get an extra ADC), but a reread of the rules is helping understand the subtleties.
    I recommend these rules.
    (BTW Mark - your Polish veterans should have rolled on the superior volley line - would likely have accounted for my Jagers rather than the other way round)

    1. Thanks for the game Chris, and yes they are a lot of fun.
      Good point about the superior volley line for the Poles!
      Another rules point I missed, was that it takes 3 hits to eliminate a skirmish base.

  13. Not having received the rulebook yet guys ,are there national/troop type class etc lists???

    1. Hi Peter, in the unit types description it suggests classifications for troop types of various nationalities, and it has a few national characteristics as optional rules at the back (e.g. 50% of French Cavalry from 1813 classed as Campaign grade). No more detailed lists though.

  14. Brilliant job on all those troops Chasseur!!!

  15. Nice seeing all those figures you've been painting making it to the battle field , they look great and seems like a good game.
    Best Iain