Sunday, September 25, 2016



This classic set of war game rules authored by Brigadier Peter Young and Lt. Colonel James Lawford created anticipation, inspiration and a sincere yearning for what I hoped would become a wonderful pastime; the hobby of historical miniatures war gaming.  It delivered all this plus a strong foundation and more especially for me from 1970. It's echoes even now are still being heard.

The blue coated grenadiers on the cover belong to Peter's Regiment 1/Erbprinz, now disappeared in the distance of time. It took forty-six years for me to finally march my own Erbprinz Regiment onto a tabletop. It's been on my mind all that time.

Here they are --- Stadden 30mms artfully painted by UK friend John Preece in three grand divisions. When he announced the sale of the unit in early 2016, I rocketed out of the starting gate to bring it to the USA. It was an amazing opportunity. I was lucky.

We no longer play CHARGE. I will though if someone invites me to. What may I happily bring?

Instead there were decades playing Ken Bunger's Tricorne which I often still play at the annual Seven Years' War Association Spring gathering. Then in 2007 I published Batailles de l'Ancien Régime. We call it BAR. I reckon we've played near 150 games since then.

Please read descriptive text in the above photo.

The colorful item above is page 1 of BAR's Quick Reference sheets. We barely consult the rule book. It's been this way for a very long time because 99% of what is needed during a game is in the QRs.

Earlier this year friend Lewis S. inspired me to number each rule section and to colorize them. If you ask for Post Mêlée Pursuit stuff, this officer will say to you, "Go to Chart 11. It's light green." Players find things fast this way. Colorizing helps enormously too. No wandering about you see.

The left inside page is mostly about weaponry procedures. The opposite page has mêlée and morale dynamics.

My Eureka 28mm Saxon Leibkürassiers are reading about Saving Throws. They appreciate the second white line on Chart 30 so more of them can be in the pink during combat.

This kind of rule also allows mêlées which burst open holes often causing big trouble especially if there is a breakthrough or pursuit. It also separates types of horsemen from each other more. Otherwise results are often too narrowly similar and therefore less dynamic and fun.

Saving Throws are amazingly fun. It's why we game --- to have fun.

The back of the Quick Reference Charts offers easy ways to maneuver battalions and squadrons closely to how it was done. Here's one example.

"Bill, can I just back up my cavalry?"
"You mean like a truck with lights flashing and the alarm sounding?"
"No. I'm sorry. See the lower right hand diagram and wheel each squadron to the rear."

"Here's how to do it as easy as counting 1, 2, 3 and 4."

Mastering these simple maneuvers is fun, illuminating and frankly will give you an advantage if the chap opposite you can't master and time them right. Give him chances to learn though.

Imagine doing this with a battle line of horsemen. Don't back up like a truck or move diagonally. This is not chess. You can do it.

To accomplish historical maneuvers like this you will need:

  • Long movement rates
  • Side to side and front to back intervals (gaps)
  • Ample room for cavalry 
  • Willing players

Quick Reference Charts are periodically revised/improved. The latest is dated September 22, 2016. Version 2 has shorter movement rates and weapon ranges compared to Version 1.

Here's what makes BAR significantly different.


I owe a lot to Peter Young. His inspiration has been singularly important in my war gaming hobby. He gave me the above Victory Column in 1985 when Dorothy and I visited the Young's.

The column adorns my table moving from place to place observing how we play the game.


1. See the upper left side of this blog to purchase BAR where these words appear.

Fun Rules And Savory For Sale

2. Or see:  to purchase BAR alongside my other published rules. If you only want the latest Quick Reference Charts, they are  available separately. Postage is included. It's not extra.

3. In 2017 BAR will be ten years old. God-willing we'll keep going on and on. For one example, read the immediately preceding story. See

4. Companionable and cheerful new players are welcome. Visitors passing through too.

5. "Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto." Dale Carnegie

6. War gaming has been a great enthusiasm for me. Enthusiasm is BAR.

7. Your remarks are welcome below at Comments.

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