Saturday, 19 November 2011

In Praise of WRG

Having finally gone with the flow and ordered a copy of Black Powder (a while back now but, well, if Angus Konstam says it's OK then it must be) but having yet to try them out on the battlefield, I felt the urge to look though some of the rules still on my shelves.

Despite my recent purchase(s), and a backlash in some quarters against slick overproduced wargames rules with nice graphics and must-buy supplements, I fall somewhere in the middle ground.  I'm not so extreme that I want to to back to Charge! or Charles Grant (I still find Don Featherstone useful though) but I do have a soft spot (some would say 'penchant', well they would, wouldn't they?) for the good old WRG rules.  I mean what's wrong with a little complication and precision?  Some examples of the might of WRG from my collection (in historical order):
Ah, the 6th edition.  Anyone one still play it?  I never did - I just include it for reasons of completeness.
George Gush's classic set of rules.  Beats Tercio into a cocked hat.  Probably.
What's not to like?
I should have persevered with this one more that I did....
I bought this after playing Operation Flashpoint and ARMA on the computer.  It's a bit more complicated though.

WRG buffs will note that I've not mentioned DBA, DBM and DBR although these I think are of a later vintage and we've had many a good game with them too.  But, things have moved on and it looks like my line up of favoured rules is shaping up like this:
  • Regimental Fire and Fury (and Fire and Fury) - so popular it must be good (the RF&F book is lovely)
  • Black Powder - for 18th and early 19th century - ditto.
  • WRG 1685-1845 - old habits die hard.... and the turn sequence seems perfectly logical to me...
  • Principles of War 2nd edition - never played it but I really like the command system.
As for earlier periods I intend to persevere with DBM (not convinced by FOG) and I've never really tried DBMM.  Even DBR finds favour in this establishment (just for some 1/300 ECW).  So much choice, so little time...


Alessandro "Callaghan" said...

complimenti per il sito! molto interessante. ciao

The Wishful Wargamer said...

Hey! Thanks for the kind words. All the best (and Merry Christmas).

cheers WW

Keith Flint said...

I had a couple of games with the George Gush 1420-1700 rules many years ago, guided by a player from the Bath Wargames Club. Boy was i glad that DBR came along quite quickly - what tedious games, which seemed to be mainly about adding and subtracting endless modifiers and endless morale tests.

I had a similar experience with the 1925-1950 rules you show. The set before (the original WRG WW2 set) were pretty ground breaking and not bad to play, but this set i found unplayable. Perhaps the worst set of rules I have ever attempted to play with.

I'm so glad that things have come back to rules that emphasise more simple game play. Paradoxically it was WRG who led the charge with the excellent DBA.

The Wishful Wargamer said...

Hello Keith, How are you? Glad to see that you are back posting again on your blog. Always interesting.

Yes, I've never played George Gush's rules either - I suppose my post here was just an exercise in nostalgia... and a sort of 'thank you' to WRG for working so hard at trying to come up with standard sets of rules. I suppose it's also partly my reaction against the glossy but not necessarily better rules sets (and many supplements) that are the norm now.

We tried the WRG WW2 rules a few times (for 1/300) but I suppose they are really just useful for detailed reference. We tend to use Rapid Fire (using modified Airfix WW2 guide rules for the AT) for both 1/72 and 1/300 WW2 battles these days.

We have played a lot of DBA and subsequently DBM (and DBR - 6mm ECW) but probably not enough to get sick of them or to go down the 'rule lawyer route'.

As for WRG 1685-1845, I am still a fan of that and will continue to use it, however unfashionable it may be - we never had any problems with the allegedly 'complicated' turn sequence. And I'm considering a SYW project.... (watch this space). May dabble with Black Powder though, seeing as I went and bought it and all.

regards WW