In late February we started looking for a good weekend to play, luckily one appeared three or so weeks out that worked for both of us. Barry Frandsen agreed to debut his Hungarians, based on the 16th Century, against my Ottomans from the same period. Barry related it had been a good five years for him since he played BoB; it had been 2 years for me….and longer since the Ottomans had been on the table. With the three week interval, we both had a chance to read the rules through again, which is good to reacquaint with the rule mechanics.
A very little about the rules:
Piquet is the ‘bones’ of Band of Brothers (BOB). The supplement makes a few changes to the card definitions, adds a matrix showing what is required before certain categories of troops can melee. There are also a few tweaks to the melee rules which help to reflect special units and period practices. The opposed die rolls, impetus swings and ‘opportunity pips’ mechanics remain in the rules. As always, players can have the individual mechanics modified to suit tastes…..more on that later.
I am partial to the rules in this set because of the ability to reflect the strengths and weaknesses of various armies in the period within a framework of rules without resorting to a lot of ‘special’ or “one off” rules. The flexibility for this does come at a price, the set up time for a game, at least in the building up of a force requires some time and a passing knowledge of the period to get a force to look and feel like a representative force from the period.
Because of the lack of formal lists and set up work, the lack of a fixed turn sequence and a certain amout of randomization in how events occur, the rules are not everyone’s cup of tea. For anyone interested in looking further, there is a very helpful yahoo group, just search under ‘Piquet’ to find.
Due to the size and configuration of the armies… 20 to 24 units, with lots of cavalry, I did clear of the entire 8 feet of the table in the ‘Cellar of Doom’ and set out a rolling landscape to evoke the plains of Hungary, a likely place or the foes to meet.
Does Barry know something I don't know about one of his commanders?
The table allowed us to deploy the armies as’ deep’ or ‘thin’ as wanted. A typical unit requires four to eight inches of frontage, depending on the formation (I neglected to mention, the scale of the figures is 28mm) which means at least some unit are in a second line. Since I was host and had dressed the table, I offered Barry his choice of sides and or to add or remove terrain as he chose. Barry chose to accept the terrain as give, brave fellow!
More next time.
More next time.