Monday, 11 June 2012

Volley and Bayonet - Another example of Synchronicity at play!

The set that launched thousands of my own dreams of tabletop glory

Way back in the mid 1990s I purchased a copy of Volley and Bayonet by Messrs. Chadwick and the late Greg Novak. I can remember being hugely excited at the sheer nerve of the game scale and how they were designed first and foremost as a 'big battle' set of rules. The basic unit was the brigade and many of the usual tactical considerations that gamers set such store by - formations and similar - simply did not exist. I had a few solo 'dabbles' with them but for one reason or another never got around to getting figure based armies to use with the set. I can remember acquiring the ACW expansion and also the one for 1815 to use in due course but as real life and a couple of house moves intervened I got shot of the same some years ago, forever pursued by dreams of 'if only'.

The ACW expansion - chock full of goodies including some very good campaign maps (as I recall designed to fight the entire war!) and some generic ACW organisations

Fast forward a number of years and the arrival of the second copy of the Napoleon Returns was most welcome for the brigade level orders of battle but I had forgotten about the fact that it contained much else besides in terms of basic army information, campaign maps and period specific tweaks to the core rules. It got me thinking.

It got me thinking along the lines of the scope of the original rules was was effectively the entire horse and musket period - just like my block armies.

The rules work off a roster system with strength points being typically 3 to 5 for an infantry brigade - just like my block armies (and Command and Colours).

The rules are designed for free table use but why couldn't they be turned into a Hex based set for use on my Hexon terrain set up?

This is a development of profound significance for me and one that I will need to give some careful thought to. Could these rules, in conjunction with my block armies and my Hexon collection be the answer to my army level gaming aspirations?

The hunt is now well and truly joined as I need to source a copy of the first edition rules and the ACW supplement if I can - as a matter of some urgency!


Kaptain Kobold said...

The ACW campaign map (and possibly some of the actual system) was lifted from a Chadwick boardgame, 'A House Divided'. If you haven't got it then you might find it of interest.

Nick Atkinson said...

I think I have copies of both

Is there anything I can scan for you

Drop me an email at altmann1961(at)live(dot)com

SAROE said...

An idea for SPs so you can avoid a roster. You could drill a series of holes into the back corner of your blocks, to create a 'strength point track' and put a peg in there (like from cribbage) and countdown left to right. e.g. two holes to the right plus peg equals three SP.

I was going to do this on some thicker figure bases for my home rules, but never actually did. Looking at them, actual cribbage pegs would be too large, but you might be able to find something more appropriate.

David Crook said...

Hi Kaptain,

Now that is a blast from the past! I had forgotten about that but will keep a weather eye open for a copy.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Nick,

many thanks for the kind offer! I will see how my search goes and let you know.

All the best,


David Crook said...


The blocks I am using will probably be too small for such an idea but for bigger, official V and B sized bases that may well be a good wheeze. My plan at the moment is to use a block for a strength point and just remove them when needed.

All the best,


Ross Mac said...

Glad to hear that Napoleon Returned from somewhere else since he didn't make it back from here!

Anonymous said...


There is a VnB variant employing a square grid posted on McNelly's Volley and Bayonet Website. It might be a good reference for you:

Ed M

David Crook said...

Hi Ross,

Old Glory UK have a small supply of these so I had to strike whilst the iron was hot!

Many thanks for taking a look thought - much appreciated.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Ed M,

Many, many thanks for the link for this - it is really useful. I had forgotten about this site so this reminder is very timely!

All the best,