Bloody Big BATTLES!
This new ruleset does exactly what its title says. It is intended for fighting the biggest, bloodiest battles of 1850-1900 in a manageable way.
The specific design goals included:
- to tackle the major battles such as Solferino, Gettysburg, Königgrätz, Sedan or Plevna, often spanning several days’ combat;
- to fit them on a 6’x4’ tabletop;
- and to fight them in their entirety, in a single 3-to-4-hour session, with typically 4 players.
BBB is not suitable for small actions of a few thousand men a side. There are plenty of rulesets that do that. But none do what BBB does, namely;
- Enabling players to command entire armies of 100,000+ men a side
- Fitting battlefields of up to 20km across on the table
- While still producing a fast, fun game and a result in an evening
Varies according to the battle but is typically:
- Figure scale 1,500 men or 36 cannon per 1” base
(organized into multi-base units usually of 3-7 infantry, 2-3 cavalry or 1 artillery base)
- Ground scale 1” per 200-250 yards
- Timescale 1 hour per turn
Turn sequence: IGO-UGO
Command and Control: highly scenario-dependent. An army’s command quality is reflected partly by how many generals get represented on table, partly by how units are rated.
Movement: Units roll 2D6 to move. Simple memorizable movement table incorporates elements such as difficult terrain, generalship and doctrine, troop quality and morale.
Fire Combat: calculated by adding fire points of all bases firing at a target unit. 2D6 fire table to determine casualties, recorded by base removal.
Assault: opposed D6 roll incorporating a few relevant factors.
BBB is not meant for tournament games or for casual, throw-the-toys-on-the-table games. It is meant for fighting historical battles. BBB and its companion volume, Bloody Big European Battles, therefore provide fully playtested scenarios for 25 of the most important battles of the period. Further free scenarios are also available on the web. All the scenarios fit the battles they depict into a beautiful, tightly engineered game structure. They have clear, simple, but carefully thought-out victory conditions, designed both to recreate the historical situation and to generate an exciting and balanced game that can be completed in a sensible period of time. A particular joy of fighting historical actions on this scale is that usually both sides have several different viable strategies available, meaning the scenarios are full of replay value and can produce quite different games each time.