A Gentleman’s War playtest

“A Gentleman’s War” is a new set of rules that Howard Whitehouse has been working on for a while. They are shortly to be published as a book but I used the playtest rules from April 2018 for a test game.

AGW is a deliberately old school set of rules for playing with toy soldiers on a table top. It used card activation, quite a few dice and single figure removal.

I am planning on running this at the Little Wars Revisited Forum Games Day on March 16th in Woking, so wanted to try out the rules ahead of time and test out the Hook’s Farm scenario to see what tweaks I would need to make. As always, Anthony gave me a hand by playing the British side…

The table laid out for the game, complete with Gizmo the cat surveying the scene…

The Prussian setup at the start of the game.

The British setup at the the start

AGW uses 12-man infantry units, 6-man skirmisher units and 6 man cavalry units. Guns are crewed by 4 figures.

The Prussians advance.

The game uses activation cards which determine which side moves and how many units it can move (it is possible to brigade units together) – you can also have hold cards in your hand which enable you to interrupt the other person’s go before they have taken an action.

The British Cavalry

Shooting is fairly straightforward, rolling a D6 for each figure in the first two ranks and the number needed depending on range. Hits can be saved which is modified by cover.

The melee around Hook’s Farm

Close combat is a little more complex and there are a number of factors which determine whether one side has an advantage or not. This affects the number you need to roll to cause a casualy. I did like the fact that casualties are counted and that determines the winner of the melee and THEN the outcome determines what number you will roll to save your casualties. People running away are more likely to bayoneted!

Hook’s Farm

Terrain does disorder units which restricts what you can do and we have too much terrain on the table for this game – I will run the LWR game on a wider table which should allow for freer movement.

Firefly Church

I also got the melee rules wrong – partly by reading a table incorrectly and also for a couple of other reasons. This seemed to make skirmishers in a building too strong but in retrospect I think that they are about right with the correct rules!

I enjoyed the game – it has an Old School feel and gives a good game with larger units and probably larger forces than The Portable Wargame…

4 thoughts on “A Gentleman’s War playtest

  1. Hi Mike,

    Many thanks for the game. Single figure casualty removal seems appropriately tactile for 54mm figure gaming! Once you had clarified/corrected the rules I definitely felt like having another go sometime soon. I’ll certainly buy the official rules when they come out.


  2. Hi Alan,

    For one thing the units are smaller-12 infantry or 6 cavalry to a unit. Whereas FLW is clearly aimed at garden gaming AGW is designed for tabletop gaming with its shorter ranges and smaller unit sizes. There is of course no matchstick firing cannons! Although FLW does have an alternative mechanism for artillery as well.

    The turn sequence in AGW is very different from FLW as instead of being able to move all your units each turn you draw cards to activate units or brigades so one side might get lucky with the cards and move/fight with a number of units before his opponent draws the right card. as Mike mentioned this can be mitigated up to a point by the three hold cards (assuming you draw the right colour at the beginning of the game) that allow you to interrupt the other side’s actions.

    I would like to see the official rules with everything clarified but based on Howard’s responses to Mike’s questions I think I’m going to like these rules….

    Best wishes

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