Wargame Thoughts and Commentary
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A New Development Model for Repique


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I have spent the last few months thinking about new ways to develop and distribute Repique Rules products, especially Die Fighting II, Die Marching, DFII Command Cards, and any future developments of the rules. This has led me to some changed strategies.

My first widely distributed rule set, Piquet, in 1995 pioneered the historical wargaming practice of a core rule set and multiple supplements, as it was designed to cover all periods from Ancients to WWII. The supplement strategy is a good model for a developer as it allows each add-on to be tailored to the specifics of a period, new ideas be incrementally introduced, and, at the same time, added revenues are generated as each supplement is published. It also brought in the concept of miniature wargame rules being called a tool-box (a term I grabbed from computer software terminology), which the gamer/owner may adapt and easily modify to suit his preferences.

In the last few years, as I developed DF and DFII, I have become more intrigued with the software metaphor. This has occurred as new tools for publishing, providing video support, and distributing rule sets have been provided by computers. I have even explored the use of iPods, computers and tablets in table-top war-games. DFII was delivered as a digital multimedia rules set, the first of its type, I believe. It is all very exciting.

There are still limitations for the use of computers in play, as most miniature gamers seem to prefer a more manual, hands on, approach, and the interface of the computers with the tabletop is, so far, rather clumsy and slow. Sometime in the future that will be solved.

However, one aspect of computer software I have decided to implement in Repique Rules is the idea of upgrades delivered as new ideas and development occur, as well as new files that correct errors in the initial delivery. So far, all customers have received a couple of corrected Free Dice Tables, and two updates with ideas on handicapping, proximity corrections for Red Dice, adjusted 4R card rolls both prior to and during play. The latest update offered some simplifying adjustments to the proximity rules, and a whole new set of rules for extending games beyond the "one bucket being empty-and its over" method found in the basic rules. Every purchaser of DFII has received these free by direct email. These sorts of updates will continue.

I am now adding to this approach by committing to the concept of BETA versions of new period templates, and future DFII related new rule sets. That is, any extensions of DFII into earlier or later periods will be sent as a FREE beta version to all purchasers of DFII. Most importantly Die Marching which I am now in the process of FINALLY completing, will also be sent as a free Beta Version to all customers. The operative word is free, but it will be paid for, I hope, by strong input from people that have already invested in the overall system with their purchase of DFII. I will look forward to many excellent suggestions, and proofing, by the recipients of these "Free" beta versions.

When the rules have garnered a good number of ideas and critique by the early users, I will offer a final version at a reduced price to the beta testers. The final version of Die Marching will be in the same format as DFII with a combined video and digital print file format. I may move from CDs to direct video downloads depending on the state of the computer technology at that time. I am also exploring a print booklet version of DFII and Die Marching for sale. It will use the slide show format for the rules proper-with two slides to a page. The goal will be to make it short and inexpensive.

The first extension of DFII into a new period will be a template written for Early War France 1940, a period that has always fascinated me. If that goes well, a later war template will also be done. Again, the beta version will be free and sent via email as a text file Pdf to all purchasers of DFII.

The Command Cards are also in the works for future publication, but will undoubtedly be sold using the normal channels, on a per deck basis.

At $26 dollars DFII has been a very good buy, and these add-ons will, I think, make it even more attractive. Best of all, they ask nothing more of DFII Customers, than that they try them! I've been messing around with Die Marching for over two years now, in secret, not even my usual gaming group knows what I have up my sleeve! I can't wait to try them out on the group in the next few months, and to get them out to the rest of my customers at that time.

More details as I proceed, but this is the settled course.

Next?

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So what next for Repique Rules? Some things are pretty easy to predict, and others will be a mix of my customer’s requests and my whims.

Firstly, I will, of course, have the Die Marching campaign rules in mind. Die Marching actually preceded Die Fighting in the planning stage, but was then given a lower priority until Die Fighting was fully developed into Die Fighting II. There was an added delay as the new publishing method was worked through and a number of issues concerning doing a multi-media rule set were resolved. I am pretty satisfied with the current state of DFII, and am now planning to move on to the completion of Die Marching.

Die Marching will be closely integrated with the DFII system, including the use of the four colored dice, and will reflect a number of mechanics that will be very familiar to Die Fighting II players. It, too, will be done in multi-media format, and will be made available either singly or as part of a two-disk set with Die Fighting II. My target for shooting and editing is Summer 2015 with and early Fall 2015 release. The system will be more than just a battle generator, but will involve true strategic planning and movement. I hope to make an umpire strictly optional, and aim for a game that provides real reasons for battles and results that have both tactical and strategic consequences. It will minimize the usual "one big battle and the campaign is over" curse of many systems, and will allow for quick generation of scratch battles, and even imagi-nation applications. It will be multi period and centered on the Horse and Musket period.

However, this Spring I’m going to publish a couple of DFII add-ons. A professionally designed, high quality, set of phase cards. One set is a blue themed deck, and the other is a red themed deck. They will be of the highest quality and in a Tarot sized card format. I am also going to do deluxe officer decks for DFII for use with the card draw method of officer assignment. These will be like baseball cards, but with Stats, bios, personality quirks, and the Good day, Average, Day, Bad Day ratings mentioned in the Officer Rating PDF. The initial periods will be the WSS, SYW, Napoleonic, and ACW. I would also like to do FPW, AWI, and French Revolution over time. The initial sets will be out before Historicon 2015.

I am also working on a Spanish Civil War through 1942 WWII application of the DF system. Yes, tanks and planes!

I will be exploring a Die Flying (WWI) application. This at the request of Chris Caudill

I am considering a quasi-skirmish application aimed primarily at the AWI-especially 40mm figures.

But all of the latter items are "In The Future" and will only be concentrated on when the Card Decks and Die Marching are completed.

Die Fighting on its way to me!


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“ Dear Robert:

Great news! Your order has been completed and is ready to be delivered to you.

The following item(s) will be shipping on the next UPS truck out of our facility: “

It is hard to tell if it will arrive by Friday (because of Thanksgiving), but certainly no later than next Monday. The envelopes and customs forms have been completed, as has a two pager insert thank you and guidance note, putting the discs in and posting is all that remains to be done!

I have to say the production house has been first rate at every step. The next time you hear from me will be after I do several post-Thanksgiving four mile runs, and the rules have been posted to you and on their way!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to thank all of you for making DFII the most successful pre-pub launch of any rules I have done. Because of this, I must also ask that you all have some patience as it’s going to take a few trips to the Post Office to get these all mailed!

The first to go out, because of distance and customs, will be ALL foreign orders. Then, immediately following, all domestic orders will be filled at the same time. All orders received through Sunday, November 30th will be fulfilled, no later than Tuesday morning, as I have enlisted the entire Chez Jones Crew (Les Quebecois) in the mailing! You will get a confirming posting here and on Yahoo! when all packages have been posted.

I really look forward to your reactions and comments,

Bob

Die Fighting II 11/21/14 Update!

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UPDATED FRIDAY 11/21/14 11:00 PM


The sleeves have been printed, folded and glued. This will allow them to dry over the weekend. The discs must still be printed. I am hoping that will occur on Monday.

All that would then remain is the assembly of the discs and sleeves and shrink wrapping them.  This looks probable for late Monday or Tuesday with shipment to me on Tuesday.

It's hard to estimate the impact of the Thanksgiving mail holiday, but I'm hoping for a Friday delivery, allowing me the weekend to pack and label your orders and do a thorough quality check on the discs.  This would mean posting them on Monday, December 1st.  The sheer volume is going to be a real challenge.  This would insure all of you, no matter how remote, getting DFII prior to Christmas.

I will, as promised, keep you all informed.

Off To A Great Start!

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This last week has been a real flurry of activity here at Repique Rules. The pre-order for the Die Fighting II rules has been better than any ruleset that I have ever done. There is a very good chance that the entire production costs will be covered by the time I ship the first disk! I thank all of you for your purchase, and i am sure you’ll love the package when it arrives.

This week has been spent in creating the database for purchasers, with their postal and email addresses. Because of the strength of the response this has been a bit of time at the computer! I also began the filling out of customs forms for the international customers. The US has recently declared in a court case involving Netflix that DVD mailers should be treated identically to any form of publishing in terms of rates, etc. This has not extended fully to overseas as customs forms are required for documents on disk, but not in print!?? Oh, well… I’m now creating all labels and forms so the packets can go out immediately once they are received.

The disk replication is on schedule. The disk master has been “stamped” and the next step is replication. Then the disks have to be printed. Concurrently, the sleeve for the disk will be printed and given a UV gloss coat. The step that slow s things down is the folding and gluing of the sleeves which must dry for a day or so before the disks may be inserted and the whole thing shrink wrapped. I will keep you informed.

Once I receive them, I will slip them into pre-addressed bubblewrap envelopes, and insert a sheet of paper that is essentially the “Read Me First” document . Rather than placing it on the disk, which gets ignored, I decided a thank you sheet with a few words of guidance about the “Best Practices” when using the package was the better course. It really isn’t very complicated, but a few suggestions might be appreciated by many of you, given the whole approach is somewhat different and new. I expect to spending a bit of time at the local post office!

I had a screening for the cast of the master disk including the video, slide shows, and PDFs, last Saturday, and their reaction was quite enthusiastic. Though it might have been the champagne…

Thanks again for the wonderful response on the Die Fighting II Multimedia Rules, it is beyond any expectation!

A reminder: The Pre-publication pricing ends this Friday, the 21st, and the rules will then return to their full price of $26.00 a copy-still a huge bargain and a great purchase. If any of your friends wish to buy the rules give them a heads up about the end of Pre-publication pricing.

Bob Jones

Die Fighting II is Launched!

As you can see, many changes have been made to the website, and there will be more to come! I have upgraded the software, re-written most pages, changed the color scheme, and revised the content to bring it all up to date. I have also changed the name of the Blog to The Repique Blog from the Zouave Blog to lessen any confusion as to its content. Substantial changes have been made to the Repique Store, where Die Fighting II has joined the product list replacing Die Fighting.

I am offering, for a limited period, 15% off the standard price for those of you that wish to pre-order. Instead of $26 plus post the charge shall be $22 plus post. Remember the post has been reduced for many customers. The rules will be shipped as soon as the DVDs are received back from the production house. That is estimated to be the last week of November. I have opted for a longer turn-around for a considerable savings to me, and to my customers, on the pricing. They will be delivered as a four color printed disk and cardboard sleeve, shrink wrapped, by first class mail.

It would make a relatively inexpensive Christmas present for a fellow wargamer!

For those of you that ordered Die Fighting after December 1st of 2013, please drop me an email. If you’re in my database, I will lower the price by an additional $4.00 for each of you, to $18.00! This will offer will be concurrent with the pre-order pricing. On November 22, the Rules will return to $26.00 for everyone thereafter.

If any on you experience any difficulties with the website, please let me know, because such an extensive re-write usually has a few bumps before it settles in for the duration!

Thank you all for your interest in Die Fighting II. I feel very sure you will not be disappointed!

Bob Jones
Denver, Colorado, 2014

Die Fighting II is Publishing!

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The (changed ) artwork and the master disk have been sent to the replication house and will be shipping by the end of the month.  I will be substantially revamping the website
www.repiquerules.com this weekend, and posting the pre-publication discount rates to my customers.

Here are the final facts and a description of the package:

What is it?  It is a D5 DVD with an enhanced, hybrid, structure.  It will play in any DVD player in the US, and all DVD players in the UK from the last 10-15 years.  It will play in any standard computer DVD or optical drive. 

What's on it?  A one hour video that by slides, graphics, and on-camera "How-Tos" completely covers the basic rules of Die Fighting II.  The professionally produced video is completely menued and has a chapter for each topic for easy access to individual sections of the rules.  It may be played as a complete video, of course. Full color.  

This is not some loosey, goosey, recording of a game, but a point by point, focused, teaching video that covers the complete rules.  Each key point is illustrated by experienced DF players demonstrating on camera, reinforced by text, photos, and a narrative by the designer. This is viewable on either a DVD player and TV or a computer-either Mac or PC.

The disk has a menu and home page, just like movie DVDs that makes selection and finding of any information quite easy.  It will run on either a PC or Mac.  It comes as a fully printed disc with cardboard sleeve, and shrink wrapped.

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here is  Pdf Slideshow, and a QuickTime Version of the same, that supplies all the written rules for DFII.  This is done by individual "topic" slides, each with a photographic illustration.  Tis allows for careful review of the text of the rules, and either may be uploaded to an iPad, and most other tablets for tableside reference. Full color.

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here are eleven PDFs that may be viewed or printed from the PDF:
1.
Designer's Notes-this covers not just the rules, but some recommendations on using this new method of presenting rules.  It also includes a two page bibliography.
1.
Cards- a complete front and back for the twelve card phase deck for DFII for either home or professional printing at your local digital printer.
2.
An Order of Battle sheet to record the officers and units in a command. 
3.
A Rule Summary sheet summarizing the key points of movement, combat, and rally. It includes basic rating for units, weaponry ranges, and other rules that are constantly refered to.  The rules are cross referenced to both the video, and slide show for easy reference.  
4. A two pager on
rating officers both using a random die method and a historical selection and rating using a standard card deck.
5. A one sheeter on recommended
game set-up procedures.
6. A one sheeter with the basic
Engineering and Sapping rules.
7. There is a
Rule Template for the Linear period from 1699-1770 that covers the rules in play, rating guide, and command set-up for this period including the Marlburian and SYW.  It has several period specific rules overlayed on the basic rules.
8.
A Wars of Revolution Template covering the period from 1771-1801, as above, but covering the AWI and The French Revolution.
9.
The Napoleonic Wars Template covering the period 1801-1815 including Europe and the US.
10.
The Wars of Transition Template-covering the period from 1861-1871 including the ACW, Austro-Prussian war, Maximilian, and the FPW, both Imperial and Republican period.
11.
The Colonial Wars Template from 1840-1902 covers the Colonial wars from Sikhs to Spanish American.  A new weapons table to cover later developments of weaponry is introduced.

The templates range in length from 7 to 9 pages of text.  All of the above PDFs, except for the slide shows, totalling over 100 pages of text, are in black and white to minimize ink costs in printing.  Not all are necessary to print as simply viewing and reading them is sufficient.  The slide shows and PdFs are not viewable on a DVD player, but only on a computer.  The Pdfs may be printed.

Full color deluxe versions of the cards, Order of battle sheet, and Rule Summary sheets will be made available in the near future.  Additionally, Special Card decks for the card selection method of officers and command will be forthcoming.

Die Fighting II has been based on some of the basic design concepts from Die Fighting, but is very different, and improved by many developments and new ideas over the last five years.  The introduction of a new phasing method, different combat mechanisms including the new Black Dice, the complete integration of ll game mechanics to a degree not seen in many rules, a new method of red die generation, and the new methods of set-up and victory conditions, have made DFII a very new experience.

The really good news is this DVD which provides vastly more information in full color than any rulebook costing $35-$50 or more, is available by first class mail for $26.00 plus $3 post in the US and $5 to England, Canada, Europe, or Australia/ New Zealand!  In an era of escalating rulebook costs, this rule set, now benefitting from nearly five years of play and development is a REAL bargain!  Its low shipping costs make it much cheaper than most rule books.

It is a new format, but it is, in my opinion very much more effective than a simple rulebook, but requires no more knowledge than needed to play a movie DVD, or access a computer disc file on your computer!  It exists in both digital, and print forms to allow anyone, regardless of their techical proficiency to use the rules. The master disk has been tested on a variety of PCs,Macs, and DVD players with no problems.

I must also say, as one that has written many rule sets over the years,dozens of articles, and kept the Zouave Blog full of AARs, Articles, and information for over 4 years,  that Die Fighting II is the best set of rules I have ver done.  It is innovative, unique in its nmecanisms, and provides a game that is eay to learn, and a lot of fun to play.  It is, in my mind, the perfect blend between history, technology, and classic wargame fun and laughter.  Try it, you'll like it!

The website will be revamped this weekend, and Pre-sales will begin on Die Fighting II on Monday morning! Past customers in my database will be given a discount for pre-ordering with a special discount for those that purchased Die Fighting after December 1st of 2013. . Estimated mailing of the copies is the last week of November.  They will be posted along with review copies as soon as I receive them from the production house.




Current Status of Die Fighting II



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Things are progressing well with Die Fighting II! As I have noted in previous notes the video edit is complete. The Die Fighting Keynote Slide show is completed with both a Pdf version and a QT Film Version, and possibly a download link to an on-line Keynote and Powerpoint version. All have been tested and are perfect!

As of this moment, the printable Pdf elements are all being edited. Already completed are a two-sided Rule Summary sheet that is keyed by running time and slide number to the video and slide show, the Order of Battle Roster Template, and the Linear Warfare and Wars of Revolution period rules and Free Dice tables (in full color). The template for the Phase Cards is completed. The Napoleonic, Wars of Transition, and Colonial templates are still being edited. Also to be completed are the Pdf on Engineering, and the Designer Notes (that shall be the last thing completed, I’m sure). The notes will include suggested best practices for playing DF and a complete bibliography. These will all be completed this week. Finally, there will be a “READ ME FIRST!” page will helpful hints about how to use the disk and its contents.

The disc authoring is to be completed at the end of next week and/or the beginning of the following week. I repeat, this will be a fully chaptered video, and menued for all included printable items. It is to be an “Enhanced” or hybrid DVD, and will play on any disk drive, and all but the most dated DVD players. Regional restrictions will not be an issue. This should take one day. I am personally laying out the sleeve art for the disc (see above) and the disc art , and hope that will be completed this week as well.

This has been a HUGE undertaking entailing rounding up gamers from across the country for a one day shoot in Denver, Editing over three hours of video into the final 59:30 finished product, creating a slide show that serves as the basic core of the rules, and a tremendous review mechanism, and then tying up all the loose ends of the print materials, and then learning the finer points of DVD creation and artwork creation for the album sleeve and disc. It’s been challenging and a lot of fun-and I’ve learned about a number of new software packages in the process!

I feel that, barring any unforeseen problems, I’m about two weeks from duplication and posting for pre-sales. I will await the return of the discs for some random quality testing, and then post the deal both here and on the Yahoo! Site. At the moment, it appears that my estimation of a lower price than my past publications, and cheaper postage (especially to Europe) are proving to be accurate.

I shall be sending review copies to Henry Hyde at Miniature Wargames, Guy Bowers at Wargames, Soldiers, and Strategy, and Nicolas Stratigos at Vae Victus. All copies will be available only directly through me at this time, as I am planning a rather unique Customer/Player Support technique, that will be announced when DFII is released and that part of this project will be complete.

Now back to the editing and artwork design!







Status of DF and DFII


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First, I can announce that Die Fighting is completely sold out, and only my archival copies remain.  

DFII is proceeding nicely.  I have got the slideshow down to a final draft which is out for review with a couple of trusted sources from outside the group-to test many things, including its clarity.

The video will be in final edit this coming weekend.  All that will remain is a possible additional taping of some closing remarks.

The text materials (Cards, Play aids, OOB Roster, Rule Summaries,the five period templates, and the alternative card deck officer selection article) are being finished and brushed up this week.

What remains is art design for the disk and mailing package, and the creation of the final menu-ed master disk and the publishing of several hundred copies of that disk.

When the master disk is sent for the burning of the initial copies, I post the pre-sale notice, and all final pricing and discounts.  I will accept pre-orders at that time.  

The very few people that have seen some of the materials are very excited and encouraging.  I'm very happy with the development and assembly of DFII as well.  As I said, I believe it to be in form and content the very best thing I have done.

Yahoo! Silliness

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This is to let you know that the link to the Yahoo! forum on this site has been changed to the “New” addresses that Yahoo! arbitrarily dumped on everyone last night. If you cannot reach the forum on the old bookmark, you can go there using the new link here for the Forum Page. Refresh your browser and make sure the button on the main page to the left reads “Forum Page” (the old one did no).

You will be redirected to the Yahoo! site with the correct address. Bookmark that and you are fine. I have no idea exactly what Yahoo! did with their latest “fix”, but it certainly was a bit of bother!

The Die Fighting II Video Shoot




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Well, the day finally arrived and The 7:30 AM until 5:30 PM shoot of the video was done! This was followed by a pizza, beer, and wine at a wrap party and discussions that lasted until after 10 PM!

It all went very well, I was very pleased at the excellent on-camera abilities of the DF2 team to explain the rules and show by example exactly how they work.

This has been a very interesting project as it really isn’t simply a video presentation of a game, but, rather a video instruction format, where a step by step explanation of Die Fighting II is done by slide, still photo, and video clips of show and tell. In addition to a video that will run about an hour and will have a menu with topic points for quick reference, the disk will contain a Keynote/Powerpoint slide presentation that presents the main rules in the same sequence as the video. There will be Pdf’s included on the DVD that summarize the rules, provide-ready to print cards, a 2 page rule summary and major tables sheet, an example of the OOB sheet/roster, Six period specific rule templates with any tables peculiar to that period, and a separate Free (Green) Dice Table-all printable. In addition, there will be a READ ME! sheet advising how to best use the DVD and ancillary materials and some advice on printing the materials, buying dice, and any other materials needed to play. Finally, there will be a designer’s notes sheet that will summarize the design philosophy, key changes from Die Fighting, and try to answer the why’s and wherefore of the rules.

This is a VERY different set of rules, and a VERY different way of publishing them. I will be posting more information both here and on theYahoo! site (which you can access from the home page screen of the Repique rules site by hitting the Yahoo site button) as the edit proceeds.


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I especially want to thank the “Guys in the Band” who put up with the grind of production and kept such high spirits and good attitudes throughout the nearly nine hours of shooting video, and even better spirits (of many kinds) after the work was done and conversations went on into the night. “They were ready for their close-ups!” After the Getzcon of last year, perhaps this is becoming the TED conference of Wargaming!

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The Usual Suspects:

LtoR.: Chris Caudill, John Mumby, Freddie Avner, Adolfo Laurenti, Iain Black, Terry Shockey, Ed Meyers, Greg Rold, and Bob Jones. After a long day of production and discussion!

The Battle of Curasso AAR and DFII

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On July 19th the usual suspects (minus Terry and John who ran off to Historicon) played a somewhat smaller Die Fighting! battle, primarily to test some final touches for DFII. We wanted to nail down the sequence details, test new officer ratios and its effect on the officer driven red resource dice generation, and test the final tweak to combat mechanics using black dice.

The battlefield was kept relatively simple with a single town, a few Class II hills and Class III forests, a few objective markers using a new method of die generation for the army that takes it, and the forces were reduced from the last game. OOBs for the two armies may be found at the Yahoo! Site in the Files section in folder labeled The Battle of Curasso.

There was a hill on the Allied Left-French Right.

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A small village (Curasso) in the center.
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A small hill on the French left, which they occupied in a refused flank formation, and wood on the Allied right flank that the Austrian-Prussian Allied forces deployed to the right of in a compact formation.

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But before recounting the Battle, a little background on the rules used and the thinking of the commanders prior to deployment.

The Rules and the Tactical Thoughts of the Commanders.

This game was essentially used to test again several key changes and new concepts for Die Fighting II.

1. A new card phase sequencing procedure that will eliminate “card counting” (“Ahhh!” His remaining card must be the Reload, Rally, and Restore Card!&rdquoWinking and also add some tension to play.

2. Further testing of the new Officer Leadership Dice method of generating resource dice. This had been tested in our previous engagements in June, but we wanted to confirm those findings. This also involved new officer command stand ratios and limitations.

3. Further Testing of the new Black Die combat resolution procedures used in our previous two games.

4. Testing of the game resolution procedures, with some tweaks in response to a few minor issues that were raised.

All four areas were closely looked at and the general consensus was that it really brought the game together, increased tension and interest in decision making, and provided generally simpler and more dramatic outcomes that everyone enjoyed.

The new card sequencing method is very simple and easy to implement. The new phase decks will be made up of 12 potential cards for each side. The cards the numbers of each are: Specialized Actions (1 card), Officer Actions (1 Card), Cavalry Action (2 Cards), Infantry Actions (2 Cards), Artillery Action (1 Card), Rally, Restore, Reload, and Retreat (1 Card), The Creative X Factor (1 Card), Concede (1 Card), and two new cards - Brilliant Command Moment (1 Card), and Command Focus (1 Card). That is a total of 12 possible cards.

All the cards retain their same definitions from Die Fighting, except for The Rally, Restore, Reload, and Retreat card, which is used similarly, except that Retreat is added. Any unit that has a black die or dice, and is unrallied, will roll the black dice attached to that unit and retreat that distance from the enemy and toward the board edge.

The new cards will be defined in Die Fighting II.

Using just the eight basic cards-removing Creative X factor, Concede, and the two new cards- the gamers each shuffle their decks, and remove two cards which are set aside unseen. The remaining six cards are the phase deck for each side. Note that both sides decks will likely be different, not just in sequence, but in deck make-up! Your army may have double moves for infantry or Cavalry, but nothing for Artillery, Officers, or even more difficult, no RRRR card! You will never know the exact capacity for actions for your side or the enemy’s-even down to the last card!

This is an excellent change for DF, but may require one option I’ll mention in the AAR.

The use of Officer Dice as the initial generation of Resource dice for each command was adapted somewhat from the last game. We allowed each Officer to roll his Command dice twice prior to play-EXCEPT for the CinC who got a single roll. These rolls allowed a command to place the total rolled in red dice in their command’s bucket. Prior to battle the CinC could distribute his dice to any or all of his sub commander’s buckets as he chose, or he could hold onto as many as he desired.
Thereafter, the commanders would roll on the RRRR card and replenish their Resource Dice by that total. The CinC would also roll, but could only distribute the dice on an RRRR card, and by using the the same procedure as distributing command dice-hoping to roll a higher number of pips that the inches that separated him from the command stand he wished to aid. It worked flawlessly.

The black dice procedures completely replaced those in the rule book. The core concept was that if you lost a combat roll by more than 6 pips (which you could “buy down&rdquoWinking then you were forced to retreat in disorder 6” PLUS the roll of whatever Black dice were attached to that unit. You were again open to retreat on the next RRRR card. This is a very neat rule change and will be standard in DFII.

The game resolution rules were the final development of changes that started many games ago. In essence, if any command suffers a loss to one of its units that it cannot pay from its stock because it is out of Red resource dice, then all units in that command are considered disordered, and may only use whatever Green Dice they are entitled to on the Free Dice Table, and any Yellow Command dice that are sent to roll against any further combat attacks of any sort. They may not advance upon or initiate any form of combat upon the enemy. They may only defend. They may retreat using any Green dice, Command Dice, and black dice for distance. This must be directly away from the enemy and toward a board edge.

If during the turn, an RRRR card appears, they may roll for resource dice, and all units that do not have a black die are considered ordered again, and may behave as usual without any penalty.

Needless to say, this has a tendency to snowball and disabuse any commander of continuing on for much longer, and, at the very least to place the Concede card in the next turn’s Phase deck!

ALL of the new mechanics worked like a charm, and a great time was had by all, even the losers.

The Battle:

The battle was a pretty straight up one with deployments as stated above. For this game we rolled for Commander capabilities and both sides had some disappointments-the Allies Austrian Command was a dismal “Inept” with only 1 command die! (eugene had been badly wounded in a recent previous battle and was feverish from his wounds.) The ratings of units were mixed, though again the Austrians were a sorry lot for the allies and the French Left wing had some distinct problems as well. See the folder “ Battle of Curasso” in the Files section of the Yahoo! site.

We used a command ratio of about 9:1 for both forces with each side having 3 commands of about 9-10 units each and 1 CinC, of course. DFII will use a significant higher ratio for all forces, with none lower than 6:1 and most hovering around 8-10 to one. A few (Russians at Narva, Prussians in 1806) may have as many as 12-14 units to a single command stand!

On the initial Resource dice roll the lowly Austrian commander rolled a 3, which even with the CinC augmenting their supply was only a dozen or so. Likewise, the French Left wing was woefully short of dice.

I played, along with Ed Meyers, on the Allied side, and after noting our command and unit rating weaknesses decided we should play defense with the possible exception of on he left where the Dutch with superior command and good troops-especially the cavalry-offered a chance at Objective dice on the hill and some offensive gains.

Set-up

We used our usual system of die rolls for deployment with the winner forcing the other side to deploy one command. We got the better of that by far and had a pretty good idea of their positioning prior to our deployments.

We noted the refused, flank on our left, which might indicate weakness. However, since the woefully weak Austrians were opposite them we had no real way to exploit that possibility.

Objective markers for 8 dice were at most road exits 4-5 dice were to be had for sections of the village and the crossroads. The hill on the Allied left/ French Right was a 6 die hill. If captured, the commander of the capturing forces was allowed to roll the number of dice stated and collect that many additional red resource dice. ( Friendly road exits and village sections closest to each force had value only for the opposing side.)

Both commanders shuffled the phase cards, as described above, and we began.

The initial moves

We had initially decided to play defense on the allied side, but two of our first three cards were cavalry move! We lost all discipline and launched a strong cavalry attack by the Dutch on the left, and I thought I would demonstrate with the Austrian Cavalry on the Right in an attempt to draw the French forces to attack in that sector.

IMG_0617


The latter move was very wrongheaded. The French opened up with artillery which caused the Austrian horse several red die losses in addition to those spent on moving. I decided to pull the Austrians back out of harm’s way. All in all, it was an unnecessary loss of red dice, that served no purpose, and I didn’t have too much of a margin out there anyway, with less than a dozen dice in the bucket.

In the center I sent British foot and Dragoons forward to invest the village, which was matched by the French sending their center command forward to do the same. He immediately seized the part of the village closest to his forces denying bonus dice to the Allies. Likewise the Allies took the Church and denied the French bonuses as well. The only section worth anything to both side swas the blue roofed section and the crossroads itself.

IMG_0618


On the Allied left the Dutch moved out to take the hill and attack the French left Flank. The French also advanced. It appeared that this might be the decisive front. The Dutch had the most resource dice of any command, but the French command was loaded with Maison Rouge troops such as the Gendarmes, Mousquetiers, The French and Swiss Guards and the redoubtable French Carabinier du Roi. They also were under the command of the superb Boufflers. Overkirk may not prove to be his match.

Stalemate on the Allied Right; The center starts to look dodgy, and a decisive outcome on the Left.

As the turn developed, and the Allies got a second cavalry move, the Dutch galloped forth to seize the high ground and to deal with the French Horse opposing them. The Athlone horse support by the 2nd Jyske Danish Horse rode up the hill. The commander of the Dutch was worried enough about getting to the objective first that he expended couple of command dice to accelerate his advance. This would prove costly in time.


IMG_0619


The Athlone Horse did take the objective (a 6 die roll-netted 19 Resource dice added to the Overkirk bucket) but as they cleared the crest of the hill supported by the Danes, the saw immediately ahead the Mousquetiers du Roi and The Carabiniers du Roi. The lines crashed together in a massive cavalry battle. The Carabiniers were surprised by the Dutch advance and were still deploying from column. The edge certainly appeared to be with the Allied Horse.

IMG_0620



However, Villars and the redoubtable Boufflers, were both nearby and through their staff and command into the fray as they saw the importance of this engagement. They had not spent any command dice prior to this massive cavalry melee. They now sent every one they had to the Mousquetiers and carabiniere-eight in all!

Overkirk threw in his command dice as well but could only muster three command dice. Marlborough was preoccupied in the center and too far from the action to lend any help. Overkirk’s horse did have the advantage in the attack dice thanks to catching the carabiniers in minor disarray, but when the crunch came the French out rolled them, Bouflers officers had whipped the carabiniers into reasonable order prior to the melee, and the fact the French horse was Elite and Guard, gave them just enough to through the Allied horse backward in retreat at a combined loss about equal to what they had gained for the objective.


IMG_0623

In the center, the French aggressively advanced and took the sections of the village nearest to them, while the British sent Lloyd’s dragoons to take the town Church section. The remaining section was going to be a scrap(and the only section that had value for either army as the others only gave dice to their opponents if taken). The Bavarians under Maximilian led by the Royal Italians, respondent in their brown and red jackets advanced on this objective, The English sent Orkney’s First Foot forward in a race for the village.The Allies also sent Hay’s Dragoon off to secure part of the wood to their right as a precaution.

On the Allied Right the demonstration by the Austrian cavalry had proven unwise (since they lost dice to artillery fire, and they had so few) they were immediately called back and resumed their initial position on the flank. At that point the French opposite them were content to observe and evidenced no aggressive intentions.

For Want of an RRRR card.

On the last card turn for the final phase of the initial turn it became apparent that the Allies were not going to get an RRRR card in that turn. No added Resource dice, and no restoration of command dice until the second turn!!! This was ascribed to certain command confusion on the Allies part, but it had the added problem that the Allied force had used all the command dice on the left, and a few in the center-and they needed them replaced quickly!

They had lost the cavalry battle on the left, but that force was still pretty well set with Resource Dice, but without command dice it was not wise to continue the attack. They opted to wait.

IMG_0621


In the center, the French got an infantry move and narrowly won the race to the village. From their protected position the English First foot could not maintain any long term firefight-and didn’t have enough Resource dice to risk a high loss attack. It’s only choice was to retreat out of musket range.

Maximilian got a five dice roll of 16 dice to add to his command bucket and was feeling pretty good about stepping up his attack in the center.

Farther to the right, Hay’s Dragoons made it to the woods, but the French left, given their army’s successes across the front lines, had suddenly become more active and sent Boufflers Dragoons forwards to contest the wood, and the French line on the hill, made up of Navarre, Picardie, and Tallard, stepped off in unison advancing on the Allied Right Center.

IMG_0626



The Austrians were so bereft of Resource Dice, Command Dice, and any meaningful role in the fight, they simply hunkered down in their positions.

The English sent troops forward to stop the French advance, but they, too, were running short of Resource dice. There was going to be one chance, and that was to halt the French attack in the right center at the woods, at least momentarily until the Resource and command dice could be restored. A Massive firelight broke out in the woods and to the left of the woods.

At first, the Allies had some success as Hay’s Dragoons drove off the French Dragoons, but after this initial victory, the weight of the French attack began to tell. They artfully fired off several volleys that the English troops, outnumbered as they were, were hard pressed to equal. The last few English command dice were used by Orkney, but on the second volley the Orkney’s command ran out of Resource dice as well.

IMG_0622


This threw his command into disorder, and left them unable to carry out any offensive moves against the French. They were now easy pickings for the advancing French. They had no choice but to fall back. Marlborough glanced along his lines. The Dutch, as best had a stand off, the center was disordered, out of dice, and had to fall back. The Austrians were so bereft of quality, command, and resource dice as to be worthless.

He began a fall back on the next infantry card, and even though the Allies did FINALLY get a RRRR card on the last card of the turn-shuffled in the Concede for the next turn, which fortunately came up first!

Conclusions

The battle, though smaller than some of our past engagements, still mustered nearly 30 combat units on a side, plus four officer stands ( CinC and 3 sub-commanders) per side. So 65 units of all sorts were in play. It was resolved in roughly three hours, with quite a bit of action.

The Allies should have stuck to their plan to play more defensively, but were suckered into excessive aggressiveness by the added Infantry and cavalry moves in the initial turn. Just because you can move, doesn’t mean you should! We had a force with 1/3 of its effectives under inept command and lacking Resource Dice when the battle began. We had a legitimate chance for victory with the Dutch attack, but tactically were outmaneuvered. Other than the Dragoons taking the Church, the English should have been stalwart on the defense. WE simply misplayed the “hand” we were dealt.

The French, on the other hand, played their army extremely well, aggressive on their right with great concentration of command, and exploiting the perceived weakness as it appeared in the center.

However,the absence of an RRRR card on the first turn was decidedly crippling and put our already weak forces in dire straits very quickly.

The Tested Rules

All of the new changes were very much liked, though there was concern about the severity of missing an RRRR card which has, in the basic deck, a 25% chance of occurring. On one hand some players expressed a certain appreciation of the “Piquet” nature of such an adversity, while others wondered if it might be softened somewhat. This is especially true if it were to happen more than once. The average DF game runs about 4-5 turns.

Two suggestions were offered that could be used:

1. A player could only miss the RRRR card once in a game, on every turn thereafter that card is held out and the phase cards are selected from the remaining 7 cards, with the RRRR card shuffled in. This guarantees its appearance in the following turns.

2. If you have not received the RRRR card by your last phase card of the turn, you can sacrifice the last card of whatever type and do RRRR for any ONE command (not the whole army).

Web are testing these, and they will be offered as alternatives in DFII.

Now it’s on to the taping of DFII on August 23rd. The crew has been assembled and the rules are pretty well structured out. Lights! Cameras! Action! is the motto.

Opening Graphic DFII.001

The Development of Wargames and DF II!


La Guerre
My first rule set “La Guerre” circa 1972

I saw a recent thread on TMP about how often people want a new edition of the game. One of the largest groups of gamers stated, “Never.” They wanted the game to never change, require no future development, and to,” Just make it perfect from the beginning.”

I laughed a bit on reading that, as nothing could be farther from my own feelings on the subject. To be sure you wanted a good initial product, one that provided some fresh ideas, and with a little effort from the gamer produce a fun game, but then I thought back on my own experiences.

When I design games, I am looking for fresh ways to get at various historical issues on the table top that offer original and different approaches to history and game play. I want gamers to experience something new; something challenging; and something that is not just warmed over left-overs from past game designers and rules.

So many new sets of historical miniature rules are very, very derivative, and seem almost fossilized remnants of games from years ago. If that is what a designer wants to do, and if that’s what you as a gamer want-then, yes, you should expect a nearly perfect and unchanging set, because, in a sense, they have been written and rewritten many times before.

I must admit if I see a new set of rules and , upon glancing into them, I see a fixed turn sequence, roll a six hits, saving throws, fixed move distances, troop point values, and pages of army lists-I put them down and move on. Nothing new here! They may be perfectly good rules, and enjoyed by some gamers, they just aren’t going to provide me with anything novel or surprising. I can assume that, within their well-established patterns, they will play reasonably well, but will they lead to many new ideas? Doubtful.


IMG_0015
The many faces of Piquet. Over 20 variants, spin-offs, and descendants

All of the rules I have written in the last 20 years have had a rather different development from that. In the case of Piquet, I brought the rules out after about three years of play and testing. In their use of a variable card sequencing deck, sliding polyhedral dice (d8-D10-D-4 etc.) and the constant threat of unequal opportunity for each gamer they ere very different. So different I created a video to actually demonstrate a turn. (that didn’t prevent one player from using all the cards in one deck!!!) It raised some very strong objections to the design, and some equally strong proponents.

Moreover, it wasn’t even hot off the press before my group and many customer’s groups began to play with changing some of the rules. I encouraged this and even described the rules as a toolbox to be tinkered with and adapted to one’s own tastes and preferences.

Piquet begged to be tinkered with and embraced attempts to experiment with unusual cards, new initiative dice roll systems, and all sorts of modified ways to use the combat dice. It was this environment that lead to Piquet II a mere three years after the original publication. I sold Piquet to Brent Oman in 2000, but the experimentation and tinkering continued among a growing group of gamers, and eventually Brent’s original take in FOB and FOBII grew out of those experiments and further development. In a sense the lineage of Piquet and its development led to at least four permutations and constant growth over 20 years.

Rondel and Rules
Zouave I and II 2010 and 2011

Zouave was my first attempt after returning from a hiatus from gaming, and there too, I tried to create an original way to get at grand tactical level miniature wargaming. In that design I deliberately tried to create a large scale game for the period 1861-1871 that handled operational and divisional gaming without losing the tactical elements. It was developed over a two year period and released in 2010. But here again, the game was not a frozen formula that was forever trapped in its initial form. Within a year I had run across Rondels which quite elegantly replaced a system of coins used in Zouave to track order states. One use of the rondel resulted in such a better design that I immediately brought out Zouave II in mid- 2011. I simply could not let a superior system not become the standard for the game.

Now, I bought back all unsold Zouave from my distributors at some noticeable loss to me, and offered the previous Zouave purchasers a discount on the new edition. Those that had the initial edition still possessed a good ruleset that we had played for nearly three years prior to the Rondel change. This was an extreme case of rapid development to a second edition but I never regretted it.

DF Book
Die Fighting 2011

Die Fighting has taken an even better course. It was, as Piquet, a very different approach to the tactical miniature wargame. It incorporated variable sequencing with a number of variant sequences listed in the rules, It made almost every action on the tabletop; movement, combat, and command a variable that could not be predicted or be totally assured. It simplified the die types to a standard D6, but used them in very unique ways; the primary one being that certain dice, the red resource dice, were used up and when gone-you lost! This linked capability with combat losses and ultimately army morale with one single united device a red die! It even had a proposed scoring
system!

We played Die Fighting for over two years before its 2011publication, and now we have played an average of 9-12 games a year for the last three years. In that time, we, again, have experimented and tried several ideas and new approaches that over this period have changed the game and provided a lot of new, and better, game mechanisms.

This period has seen the introduction of an additional die, the Black Die, that allows an improved combat and battle loss effect on movement and rally. The creation of the multiple bucket concepts that allows DFII to be a great multi-player game with immense convention play possibilities. The marvelous additional dimensions given to officers and their profiles. Numerous small adjustments to the period rules and tables, and fleshing out of a few rules, and the elimination of a few that simply didn’t work as well as the new systems.

Black DiceMulti-bucketBoufflers, Berwick


Most of all the new sequencing system was the last element needed before I knew a new edition was needed. All the older systems could be used, but I have become very fond of our latest way to use time in the wargame. The time has come for a new edition!

However, I am not planning to do another print edition, nor am I planning some iPad e-book, which I looked into closely. This time I want something that gets Repiquerules into the digital age, avoids the limitations of printed edition both in size and utility, booklet storage demands, and shipping costs that increase on constant basis. I am actually going to return to my roots as a TV producer and crank out the first VIDEO historical miniature rule book. This product will be done in a very unique and different style. It will play on any DVD or computer device, and will allow a full color, full sound, professional “How-to” on how to play Die Fighting II.

Studio

Every rule will be shown step by step in a game example. All tables and a few summaries will be in full color for you to print and use.

IMG_0475

Think about all the war-games you ever played and how many of you learned to play them. You often did it by watching other gamers and being coached by them when you finally got into the game. Every possibility was pointed out to you. Every misstep was corrected by SHOWING YOU how it was done. Sure you occasionally had to review the rules, but, on the whole, you merely absorbed the game by watching and doing. It was not uncommon for only a couple of people to actually throughly read the rules, and then they taught everyone else the gaming system.

This is what DFII will do. I expect new players can be up and running within an hour of watching the video and consulting the tables. New ideas or questions can be answered by looking at an example, not trying to decipher cryptic phrases in a rule book. Remember the old party game of trying to tell a person how to unbutton and take off a raincoat? How much easier to show them how do it!

The director of the video is a professional that has produced several hundred hours of programming with a specialty in how-to instructional videos, The cameraman is an experienced free-lancer using the latest camera and lighting equipment. The editor has edited two award winning educational videos, and numerous instructional short pieces. I will be primary talent on camera, joined by a cast of long time war gamers who are familiar with the Die Fighting rules. I will write the script along with the director.

I’m still running the numbers on this project, but I think there will be some real economies for both the publisher (me) and the customers. Even better, the cost of shipping discs is considerably less than bigger and increasingly heavier print rulebooks.

DVD:CD


The package right now appears to be two disks; a DVD with the video rules, and a CD with the full color tables, summaries, cards and period rules. These can be printed by you. I will offer as deluxe add-ons top quality card versions of the QRS, Tables, and information materials and professionally done cards. Updates and new ideas will be put on the Yahoo! site as print updates, but annual Video Update Editions will be made available on DVDs as needed.

Shooting for the project is planned for late August with a September release. Anyone who purchased DF in the past six months will get a special steep discount on DFII, past website customers will get a pre-publication discount on DFII, and a special sale of my very few remaining copies of DF at a reduced price will be announced in the next week.

More information will follow as this exciting project proceeds. Please ask any questions at the Yahoo! Site. Suggestions are also welcome.

Zouave II Pre-publication Discount!

Zouave II is now available for pre-publication sale! The rule set is an 82 page rule book with a four color cover and B&W interior pages. It has a heavy card, full color, Command Rondel insert. This new tool is the first application in miniature wargames of an exciting new way to sequence turns. It will be used in several new Repique designs including the upcoming Die Marching rules. Zouave II includes templates for the ACW, FPW, and Maximilian wars, and now includes a template for the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, including the Italian Front.

Over 60% of the rule text is new, with a complete re-do of the command rules using the Command Rondel. It will be shipping concurrent with Historicon in the first week of July. I think you will find this is a terrific upgrading of the Zouave rules, but I realize many people have purchased the original version. In order to treat our customers fairly, if you are on my database as an original purchaser of Zouave and purchase Zouave II prior to July 1, 2011, check the appropriate box and you’ll get $10 off the full retail of $29.95! If you are a new customer, and new to Zouave, you’ll get $5.00 off! On MIlitary Matters will also honor the $10 off for any past purchasers of Zouave- if ordered prior to Historicon. Contact them for details! OMM will have the rules for sale at Historicon, and I will be at their booth frequently during the show. When the pre-sale discount ends, Zouave II will be available at full retail of $29.95 plus postage.

This will be a numbered limited edition. Zouave sold out all copies within 6 months of publication and has been out of print for 8 months-so order soon and assure yourself a copy and at a great savings.

This is a substantial upgrade of the rules with a completely new command system, the full color Command Rondel, the added 1866 template, and is 10 pages longer! The game is set at the Grand Tactical level with divisions being the key command units, though combat is resolved at the regimental or brigade level. The ground scale is 1”= 50 yards (25mm=50 meters) and is adjustable for smaller actions or small army wars such as Maximilian in Mexico. Suitable for all scales from 6mm through 28mm, but the smaller scales of 6,10, and 15mm are the best visually. This is a game designed for big battles, and is necessarily a more complex design than Die Fighting. With the new Command Rondel it plays quickly and directly. Three to four hours playing time is typical.

If ordering on line, please make sure you select the proper option of whether you are a new Zouave II customer, or a previous purchaser of Zouave, to get the correct discount. Postage is $10 international, and $3.00 for the US and Canada.

New materials and photos of a Zouave II game have been posted in the Files and Photos section of the RepiqueRules Yahoo forum. More will be posted in the next week. This website has already upgraded the Zouave pages and the store pages to accommodate the new products. Review copies are being sent to Scott Mingus, Mike Siggins at Battle Games, Vae Victus, and Miniature Wargames. I am doing a War College presentation at Historicon this year at Noon on Saturday called “Dice, Cards, and Rondels: A Seminar on Game Design.” I Hope to see you there and answer any questions then, or later at the bar!

Repique Central
A photo of the World Headquarter’s expansive offices at Repique Rules.






Less than 14 hours left!

For the followers of the Repique Forum and website, I offer the reminder that the pre-publication and Zouave discounts, will both end at midnight US Mountain Standard Time today. Starting tomorrow the cost for Die Fighting though all venues will be $29.95.

So, if you are considering buying DF, do it today and save yourself $5-$7.50. If you are not considering buying DF, or want to wait until you're absolutely sure that it is a great ruleset (which it is!) I'll be very happy to take your $29.95 plus postage at a later date. Winking

UPDATE-FEBRUARY 26, 2011-DIE FIGHTING! DISCOUNT HAS ENDED.

Die Fighting! Status 2/24/11


We have in-house the optional phase decks, player aid sheets with rule summary and OOB sheets, envelopes, and our database is fully updated and we are printing the address labels for all mailings.

The rules were shipped in two shipments by the printer on last Friday and onthis Tuesday. We will spend this weekend packaging with some going out onSaturday, and others next Monday, and Tuesday. I will post to this forum whenthe rulebook shipment arrives so you know the wheels are turning.

Friday night is a wine and cheese party for the Denver play testers, and a gamewill be played at Chez Jones on Saturday Afternoon. We will be playing FPW in10mm using Die Fighting! Inches will be converted to centimeters for ground scale. Battle report to follow.

On Saturday, I will also post photos of the completed rule package so you can see what you'll be getting in the mail, and rule definitions for the two new optional Phase cards "Concede!" and "X factor".

I am presently working on the Colonial Addendum for Die Fighting! and I hope to have that posted soon.

Review of Zouave for the Zouave II edition has begun, and I think that a reasonable date for this second edition to be made available is May 5th, the one year anniversary of the initial 2010 release. More to follow.

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Repique Rules, the main website and this forum. Tomorrow morning, I will be posting a summary of the year that you might find interesting.

The Repique Rules website at www.repiquerules.com has been revised with a new home page, and various corrections throughout. Further changes will be made including a new Zouave Blog entry over the next few days.

The rule books are being sent to Scott Mingus at Charge!, Mike Siggins at Battlegames, J.P. Imbach at Vae Victus, and to Wargames Illustrated for possible reviews and comment. I will alert you al when those reviews are available, and will post excerpts on the Repique Rules Forum as I did with Zouave.

The Skype discussion has been moved to Sunday the 20th of March and will be posted on the Zouave Blog on that date. If you have any questions after receiving the rules, please email me and they will be addressed by me, Tony Hawkins, and Jim Getz on that podcast. All of the panel have been closely
involved with the rules from the beginning and should be able to impart great wisdom in their replies.

On Military Matters should have Die Marching available for purchase at Cold Wars starting March 11th. They will also be handling Zouave II and Die Marching!

Work proceeds with Die Marching! aiming at a Historicon release.

I shall be at Historicon this year hanging out a bit at OMM's booth. Dennis Shorthouse at OMM is a key supplier in the US for all things related to historical wargaming, and I encourage all of you to check out his extensive and varied catalog of books, games, and figures. With the demise of US wargame magazines and "thought" pieces being replaced by the ephemeral platitudes of most forums, businesses like OMM take on added importance as a supplier of information, thoughtful writings, and new rule concepts to the US hobby. Thank heaven for BG, WI, and Vae Victus on the international scene! Support them all!



Die Fighting Important Information


Die Fighting Banner #1 jpeg


Die Fighting! is completed and will be sent to the printer after one final review today and tomorrow. The process of proofs and printer's corrections. plus the actual printing process, will take one month.

Die Fighting! will be offered for pre-sale this coming Wednesday, January 26th,and its expected delivery to customers will begin on February 25th, 2011, which is the one year anniversary of Repique Rules. The Repique store page at the website will reflect its availability and will be open for business on Wednesday. The Repique Website will be further revised to carry information and additional details about the rules at that time.

It will retail at $29.95 with $2.50 postage for USA and Canada, and $7.50 postage for the rest of the world. Pre-orders will deduct $5.00 from the cost, and anyone who purchased Zouave directly from me, and is on our database, will get an additional $2.50 off as an established customer for a total of $7.50 off its normal retail price! All discounts will end at midnight, February 24th, 2011 and the retail price of $29.95 a copy will be in effect thereafter.

What is the physical package? Die fighting! is a 60 page saddle-bound booklet with color cover, and B&W interior on quality 60# opaque paper. Production quality will be very similar to Zouave. It has interior photos, art, tables, and clarifying examples. It features an introduction by Pat McGuire and my designer notes and hints. Four separate templates for specific warfare periods within the 1700-1900 era are included. Additionally, three card insert sheets consisting of a rule summary, order of battle sheet, and two sheets of optional phase cards, are included.

The rules cover the period 1700-1900, or what is commonly known as the Horse and Musket period. It features a general set of rules that has been play-tested and developed over the last year by groups in two locations in the US and in England. In addition, there are four rule templates sections, each offering specific rule additions or changes, rating suggestions, and a small bibliography for the Linear Warfare of 1700-1763, the Revolutionary Wars in America and France, the early and later Napoleonic Wars, and finally the Wars of Transition from 1861-1871 which includes the ACW, APW, and the FPW. Additional templates for the Colonial Wars of the later 19th century will be posted on the forum.

The game is set to a battalion/regiment/squadron/battery scale with a ground scale of roughly 25mm to the yard or meter. Twelve to Twenty units a side is the sweet spot, though fewer and greater numbers of units are quite alright. Any figure scale is usable, and test games have been played with 10mm, 15mm, and 28mm figures. Literally, any figure mounting and stands per unit is possible, so no remounting will be required, regardless of the present organization of your armies. Die Fighting! does not use cards, though that is an option, and everybody can move on every turn if he wants to. Only D6 dice are used and only one table is needed during play! Multiple player games are easily done, and two of the optional phasing systems are for solo play.

The game uses several new techniques including the gamers "use up" their die rolls as the game proceeds, an extensive tool-box of turn phasing options is provided which can be crafted to a period's needs or a gamer's tastes, and wagering and the keeping of game statistics over time is easily done. Some of these ideas have been summarized on the Zouave Blog entries on Die Fighting!

Die Fighting! will be closely coordinated with the new "Die Marching!" campaign rules design, slated for publication in time for Historicon in the Summer of 2011.

Die Fighting! will be published in a limited, numbered, first edition, and will be signed upon request. Our previous On Military Matters will represent Die
Fighting! at all shows, and with overseas distributors as they did with Zouave.

Review copies will be sent to the major wargame publications and review websites.

Die Fighting is the best single design I have ever done with a lot of future development possibilities both for campaigns, new eras, and convention play. I look forward to your suggestions and ideas for its future development. The rules are fun, simple, play rapidly, and provide a sure outcome. I hope you all give them a try! If there are any additional questions I'll be happy to answer them here at the forum or by emails sent to me. Thanks to all for your patience over the last few months as Die Fighting's consumed so much of my time. I intend to post here and on the blog more frequently now that the pig is through the snake.

Until then, keep an eye on the website, and order your copy on Wednesday!


Good wargaming!

Bob Jones

Die Fighting! Status

Happy binary day!

As a general status report for all:

1. Cover photos and rights have been secured-they are great!

2. Printing arrangements have been set and arranged.

3. Layout proceeds, but it is going very well. The book will contain, text, graphics, photos, and line art.

4. It should wrap up soon. I will announce on the forum when pre-sales
begin, and the website will include Die Fighting! at discount on the store page. I will check against my mailing list for the Repique "return customer" discount.

Price point looks like $29.95 for the book with playing aid inserts. I will
maintain a $2.50 postage charge for US and Canada and drop the overseas postage to $5.00 on Die Fighting! Discounts for pre-orders ($2.50) and previous buyers of Zouave ($2.50) will apply during the pre-sale period only. On Military Matters will be handling all convention and overseas distribution.

The rules include period-specific tables and rules for NINE different periods-WSS,SYW, AWI, French Revolution, early and later Napoleonic, ACW, Austro-Prussian, and FPW.Bibliographies for texts used and recommended are included along with designer notes, and two six-card "Phase Sequence" sheets in addition to the player aid cards. It’s quite a package!

These rules are the best I've ever done-no question. They are a complete departure from Piquet-no sequence deck, no multi-sided dice, everybody in the game may move on every turn, and there are only two tables used in play-a Weapons table and a Free Dice table which are unique to each period. The games have a definitive end, and are simple enough for convention play. They may be handicapped for play against younger children, wagers may be made and scores may be kept. I'm sure some gamers will keep stats just like sabermetricians.

The rules are very scalable, and offer a lot for future development and
expansion into other periods, as well as new rule ideas. They take the idea of a toolbox, that I first introduced in Piquet, to a new level with many permutations of play sequence begging to be tried and experimented with. Every day brings a number of new ideas to my mind-some that will even surprise the play testers!

This not a pre-sale announcement which will be clearly made, and also indicated at the Repique Rules store, only when I have sent the camera-ready rule set to the printer.

Odds and Ends

Well, Last night I hosted a champagne and caviar publication party for Zouave with the assembled group of playtesters. We had quite a spread including a triple-creme Brie, and some excellent pickled herring-quite good. Equally good was the conversation and joking that three bottles of champagne can encourage! The event also allowed me to premier my new 12 foot wargame table (Big Battles, remember!) and the new wargame room decor. I enclose photos of the crew, the table and room, and, as long as I’m posting odds and ends, some shots of the Dial Dude’s gear with 10 mm. units including a comparison of the old green 25mm and the new 20mm dials. I really like the smaller size for the burden markers. I will retain the 25mm for tracking stored command pips.

A great evening, and we scheduled some games in the upcoming weeks, including an evening with my old friend Pat McGuire on the 12th of June, who will be visiting from back East.





Here’s the Playetest braintrust joyfully celebrating their presentation copies of Zouave. (Left to Right) Bottle of Moet &Chandon, Ed Meyers, Terry Shockey, John Mumby, Chris Caudill, and Greg Cornell.



Here’s the new Wargame room and the magnificent 12 foot wargame table! Part of the Bob Jones Military Library may be glimpsed to the right.

Three regiments of Prussian Dragoons with a large 25mm. command pip dial and a comparison of the small 20mm and larger 25mm burden dials showing red!


Here’s a French Division (albeit light on artillery) with a command pip dial, and two small burden dials, one showing green, and one black. I am writing an extended blog posting on suggested ways of using the markers for added fog-of-war in game play for posting next week.

Zouave is on Its way to you!

Well, folks, the Zouave Rules have been mailed to each person who-preordered, all reviewers, and some people I just happen to like, as of 2:00 PM MDT today! US customers should receive the rules this Saturday or next Monday at the latest. European and Pacific customers will probably see theirs late next week. Now the fun begins!

Because Repique is now heading into a new stage of its development, I have made a few changes to the website. The pricing and availability page has been removed as it is now moot given the rules being readily available. “What’s in the rulesbook?” has been modified to eliminate the reference to the pre-order discount, but any Charter members have been noted and will get a $2.50 reduction in purchasing the next Repique product. As of June 1, 2010 the Blog archive will be changed to archive by the month rather than the week. Frankly, this is a housekeeping issue, required because of the growing number of blog entries. I have had to adjust my postal rates I’m afraid, as the books are a tad heavier than I thought they would be. That’s good for you in that there’s a lot of content, but I am raising international mail charges to $10.00 ( it costs $9.00 in postage alone!). The Canadian rate will be lowered to the same as domestic US (Those Canadians are such NICE people!) and the Domestic rate for the US will be unchanged at $2.50. The store cart now reflects the new rates.

Zouave is having a release party for the play testers on the 14th of May where champagne, caviar, French and Italian cheeses, and pickled herring will be served while Josh Bell plays his violin. Pictures will be posted on the photo section! It is, of course, a formal affair!

I will be posting a scenario complete with troop lists, rating info, and a map in the next few days. It will be adaptable for either ACW or FPW, and was a scenario well tested during the rule playtesting earlier this year. You can see the table layout in the photo section. St. Croix (FPW) AKA Crossfield (ACW) is its title. The 1866 free PDF will be released in late May.

We’re off to a great start, and It’s going to be a great year!

Thanks, again, to everyone who has supported this effort,

Bob Jones
Repique Rules
Denver, CO

State of the State

Just a reminder that today is the last day you can get Zouave with a $5.00 discount for $24.95. The sale will end at Midnight tonight. At $25 a copy
Zouave is a VERY good deal as it provides innovative rules for three different periods with more to come by FREE PDFs.

For those of you waiting for reviews, they will be appearing soon after Zouave is mailed in Vae Victus, Scott Mingus' Cannonball Blog dedicated to ACW topics,
and also in Battlegames magazine from England.

I am announcing today that Dennis Sweet's On Military Matters will be distributing the game at conventions throughout the East Coast, and OMM will be
Zouave's international distributor. Dennis is a long-time bookseller that specializes in military titles and stocks a wide range of magazines and
rule sets. His stand is a must stop at all conventions. His shop has been my primary source for many a French language title. He is one of the good guys in
wargaming.

Speaking of good guys, I very much appreciate the great response from many on this list, as the Zouave rules will be in the black having paid all costs of
printing prior to being released! That is a vote of confidence in the rules that I very much appreciate, and that support will fuel my determination to
support these rules with added addenda and future expansion rule sets. I will work hard to justify your investment in Repique and Zouave.

After spending some time on the phone yesterday with the Printer, I should have the rules in hand by next Tuesday, and be able to mail on the 5th as promised. We have databased all purchases, run the labels, and have the envelopes ready! Cinco de Mayo is going to be one-packing and mailing flurry at the Worldwide Repique Rules Headquarters!

My schedule is to provide some early support materials including a beginner's scenario, the 1866 Addenda, and the 1859 Addenda (for Giuseppe and Federico!). I have already started on a campaign idea that will integrate with Zouave with a working title of" Zouave Campaign." Very creative, no? I continue the WWI air development as well.

Again, I thank all of you here on the forum, and, especially, those of you that played $25.00 "on the come," for your support, kind words in notes you have
sent, and your resurgent wish for a wargame that does the big battles and is simple to understand, but challenging to play well.


Bob Jones

The Dial Dude Supports Zouave!

Steve, “the Dial Dude,” is now supporting the Zouave rules with two new dials. One to track command pips, and the other to track “Burdens.” They can replace the pennies and paper markers used in the rules, and are not required, but look pretty neat! Check his site for more information about these nifty magnetic game markers!

The Site is Live!

Good Morning! The Repique Rules website is now open for business. PayPal payment is preferred and is available on the store page. Credit card reports will carry “Highwiremedia,” Repique’s incorporated name, on all credit card reports. The payment uses PayPal’s excellent security system and consumer protections.

Alternatively, you may pay by check or money order by using the Direct Order page. After sending your information on the Direct Order form you will receive an email with information as to payment. Any retail or commercial orders should also use this form. The return Email will contain retailer information and terms to any such firms.

Pre-Release Orders on the 16th!

With the help of Jim Getz, I have tested our new store and I think we are now ready to open for business on the 16th of April for the pre-release orders. I remind everyone that I will not be receiving the books until May 4th or 5th as they are shipping on April 30th from back East. Once they are in hand, I will mail them out within 48 hours to all people that have pre-ordered. After the May 5th date all orders will be shipped within 48 hours of receipt.

As many of you know, I have created the website and the Yahoo! forum on my own , and I am quite proud of the amount of material and information that is available there. This will be expanded over the next few months. One of the problems with being a one man band is that all the issues associated with Repique depend on one man-me! The website store has been a fairly involved problem to resolve and has required me to, for now, use two different pages for sales. There is a fairly sophisticated PayPal Store that is on the Repique Store page. It is set up for both domestic and international sales with different rates for postage. It also presently indicates the $5.00 reduction in price Repique Rules is offering for a pre-publication incentive. That will end at midnight of April 30th, 2010, and the price will revert to the usual retail price of $29.95. I expect that this will be the method that most of you will choose as it is easy, fast and secure. It also allows for the use of any credit card, as well as any monies in any PayPal account that you may have.

If you wish to pay by check or money order, please use the Direct Sales Page, which is a simple form for you to fill in. Upon sending it, you will receive a return e-mail with all address and payment information that you will need to pay for the order. Zouave will be sent IMMEDIATELY upon Repique Rules receiving the payment, as we will already have your address and particulars.

Retail and commercial purchasers buying 6 copies or more, should also use this form, and inquire as to commercial rates-which are offered-by checking the appropriate box. The retail terms will be included in the return email. Otherwise the process is exactly as above.

I don’t know if I’ve solved every perturbation of the HTML on the site, and hope you will bear with me if there any problems. I believe we are OK for take-off!

Again, the Store and Direct Sales pages may be previewed, but will not be fully active, until 8:00 AM MDT April 16, 2010.

I thank everyone for the many kind wishes and encouraging e-mails that I have received, and look forward to further developing this system in many creative and unique ways.

The Game's Afoot!

I have posted several changes to the website this morning. Both the “What’s in the Rulebook?” and the “Pricing and Availability” page have a number of new bits of information. The summary version of most of this is that Zouave will ship to the printer this afternoon, and that pre-orders will be possible starting April 15th, 2010. The price has been set at $29.95 for a great set of rules, but any pre-orders after the 15th and prior to May 1st will get a $5.00 discount.

The Austro-Prussian 1866 addenda will be posted as a free PDF on the Repique Rules forum on May 1st, 2010. I plan to follow with free addenda also posted to the forum for the Crimea, 1859, and 1864 S-H war. This will be done at irregular intervals over the next year. I am also very open to any of you, after you get familiar with the rules, posting your version of such rule extensions.

I’m looking at three new ideas after Zouave is firmly launched - a set of WWI air rules incorporating a campaign for ultimate victory conditions; a campaign rule set for Zouave utilizing some new approaches that integrate closely with the Grand tactical rules, and, finally, a project that I’m Calling “Graustark and Ruritania” which will be very off-beat and based on late 19th century fiction. It will also integrate with the Repique: Zouave system.

My personal goals will be to vastly expand my ACW and Maximilian Armies over the coming summer. This will be a busy year! I hope all of you “Earlies” will join me on this little voyage! Thank you for your attention to this point.

Best,

Bob Jones
Denver April 1, 2010

(No-this is not an April Fool’s!)

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