Monday, February 2, 2015

Getting the hang of La Bataille and a COA gripe

Clash of Arms has quite a thing with their La Bataille system for Napoleonic battles. For those not familiar the Moscowa game is a simulation, on the regimental/battalion level of the Battle of Borodino, fought between Napoleon`s Grand Armée and the Russian First and Second West Armies under Prince Kutusow on September 7, 1812. The game provides six short scenarios and a grand battle game.

The Moscowa game is part of a long running family of Napoleonic titles dating back to 1979. Many of the titles have been re released or updated as the years have gone by. The Moscow game is the latest in the series (2011) so the the main reason I wanted it was the updated ruleset and charts and counters. 

When I first wanted to get into the series I originally bought the Regulations rulebook for $9.99 off of the Clash of Arms site. Needless to say after MORE research I was in for a big surprise. 

Turns out the entire ruleset is FREE online at the sister site located here:

There are TWO versions. Marie-Louise....a simpler ruleset...and Le Règlement 11. Whatever you NOT buy the $9.99 ruleset on the Clash of Arms site. Like much of their website these rules are OUT OF DATE and not the most updated set. In fact these rules represent version 22...while they are actually on version 30. However Clash of Arms does not tell you this on their site here:

In fact I would say they go out of their way to never mention it and fleece you of 10 bucks. While the $9.99 rulebook is "ok" in its presentation it is a waste of money. The entire Clash of Arms website needs a lot of work. For what they charge for some of their titles you have no idea what you are getting. No images, no proper descriptions...the website is a very vague way to sell games. If it weren't for 3rd party sites like BoardGame Geek I would have no clue what half their titles look like.

Now on to the next interesting surprise. The 100 dollars that I paid for Moscowa comes with ONLY the Marie-Louise ruleset. The SIMPLER ruleset. So it is almost like the company wants to force these rules on people. So regardless if you want to play the full game you need to download the PDF from the website of the XXX series rules. Confusing isn't it? Also even in the PDF's a lot of the rules, charts and tables are woefully undescriptive. It wasn't until I got the Moscow title that things were further explained by charts and tables that are NOT downloadable off of the secondary website. 

So in short. If you want to play this series:

1) Buy a title
2) Go here and download easy or advanced rules:
3) Download the charts and tables:

Do NOT buy any rules books off of the Clash of Arms website:

Don't get me wrong. The game is gorgeous and trove of history and a labor of love. To me however if Clash of Arms Games wants to succeed in this current modern day of business they really need to get on that website and update the information they put out there.