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Miniatures Adventure => Gothic Horror => Topic started by: Grumpy Gnome on November 30, 2021, 12:13:55 PM

Title: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on November 30, 2021, 12:13:55 PM
So it has taken longer than I expected but I have finally written my first impressions of The Silver Bayonet and the miniatures from the pre-order. Bear in mind this is from reading the book and watching folks play on YouTube rather than playing a game myself, so take what I say with a pinch of salt.

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/2021/11/30/the-silver-bayonet-first-impressions/

TLDR: The game needs more work, it feels unfinished at this point, but the miniatures are brilliant.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Chief Lackey Rich on November 30, 2021, 01:54:05 PM
Some thoughts:

The shift to d10s and a pool for modifying them is probably the thing that interests me most about the game.  OTOH the weapon chart underutilizes the Skill die for damage, although I suppose more stuff might show up down the road - perhaps bows and daggers might use Skill and Skill-1 respectively, for ex.  Regardless, it's a nice change from the d20 system McCullough's used for so long and opens up some interesting design space.

I agree the stats and rate of fire on the blackpowder weapons seem badly off somehow, although the range issues you mentioned don't bother me much since I'm willing to assume there's considerable distortion of ground scale and the ranges (particularly on the pistol) are assigned largely on the basis of letting you get a shot off before being jumped in melee while also giving melee combatants some chance to reach opponents alive.  I suspect going to most guns needing two consecutive actions (including a move action) to reload and rifles needing three would produce a much better Napoleonic feel, although rifles would probably need +1 Shoot and maybe even +1 damage to compensate.   

Quote
And the blunderbuss does not have the same area affect I would expect. The accuracy seems off as well, although I accept the -1 to hit is not necessarily a specific penalty to actually hitting but also doing damage if it does hit.

Unless I've misunderstood the system, penalties to Shoot no longer reduce your damage the way earlier d20 games did.  Damage stems solely from (in this case) the Power die, so Shoot mods now adjust accuracy alone.  So yeah, the primitive shotgun is less accurate than most guns at all ranges which seems off, to put it mildly.  I'm not sold on it needing a template, but some differentiation between point blank and longer range seems like it should be there.  Maybe something like this to crudely reflect spread of shot:

Range 6" (short) 12" (long)
Damage Power Die +1 (short) Power Die -1 (long)
Shoot -1 (short) Shoot +1 (long)
2 potential targets at long range
Ignore Armor (1) Maybe this should be at short range only?
Shot Bag to reload, can be used as Improvised Weapon

If that works, doing something similar with volley gun would result in something like:

Range 12" (short) 24" (long)  Now it at least matches a musket, albeit with less long range accuracy
Damage Power Die +1 (either range)
Shoot -1 (long)
3 potential targets, Ignore Armor (1), Cartridge Box to reload, takes six actions (including move actions) to fully reload, can be fired after two actions with 1 potential target, every further two actions spent increases potential targets by 1 to a maximum of 3

That a bit closer to the ridiculous thing's real performance?

Pistols don't appear to require any extra gear to reload, which might explain the absurd cap of two per figure as some kind of game balance thing.  While paired pistols were pretty common, there are plenty of historical examples of madmen (frequently of the nautical variety) who'd haul around three, four, or a half-dozen.

Your air rifles (which are certainly no more an oddball than the volley gun, and might be assigned to monster-hunting special forces troops with suitable training) might look like this if going to two actions for most reloads:

Eq Slots 3
Range 24"
Damage Skill Die
Reloads with a single action (which can be a move action), if double ones are rolled for an attack the weapon cannot be fired until three consecutive actions are spent replacing the air reservoir with a spare (which are included in the Eq Slot requirement), can be used as an Improvised Weapon but if used as such the weapon cannot be fired again this game

So fast firing, a bit worse at piercing armor than black powder guns (partly to represent the gradual drop in hitting power as the air reservoir empties), and too fragile to be used in melee without damaging the mechanisms.  The Skill Die for damage reflects better training and the lack of smoke and report.

No constructive suggestions for the other issues you raised, but maybe the reload rate changes and weapon tweaks might make for a better experience for you?
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Patrice on November 30, 2021, 03:23:28 PM
Interesting points.

I always avoid commenting rules (some people could think I'm biased) ;) I'll just react about two points you mention in your blog article (I've just discovered your blog BTW!)

- Firing range vs scale of figures: in many 28mm skirmish rules the shooting ranges are much shorter than actual scale (1/56). Although not accurate, it helps to give a feeling of reality and immersion IMHO. Gaming tables cannot be as large as the real (or unreal) world. An enemy at the other end of the gaming table is much more scary if still out of firing range and approaching menacingly, than already within range as soon as he/she enters table.

- Nock volley gun: if I'm not mistaken it has short barrels and fires rather small bullets, so its effective range is shorter than a musket.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Cat on November 30, 2021, 04:03:58 PM
I'm still waiting for the FLGS to get the rule book in stock...
 
On the ranges/loading issue, I am always fine with the gaming compromise that both are shortened and the game is played at very close quarters to speed game play and reduce playing space.  At full ranges, then we'ld be looking at 15–20mm figures and losing a lot of the figure creativity.   

Will have to ponder musket/rifle differences though.  For playing at the store, we'll very likely stay pretty close to RAW for ease of use with any number of players.

The absence of the Gothickiest monsters is indeed a puzzlement.  I have a pencil, but still tis a very strange omission.

I didn't want to get the official miniatures, largely because we'll likely be playing at the store and other players will certainly have those; and I really enjoy the hunt for crafting unique forces.  A lot of them do look very nice though! 

However, crosses do appear to be the new skulls.  But I won't be decorating my figures so heavily with them.
: 3
 
That hobgoblin figure was just pulled in to fill the role and does seem a bit miscast.  I have one special figure on the workbench now for the part — West Wind's King Rat.  I'm currently thinking gargoyle figures may work better if more than one is called for in a scenario (les gargouilles sont très gothiques, vous savez).
 
I've already been poking Wargames Atlantic about making good on that set of cantinieres!  With a variety of weapon options, one could build a whole French unit with them filling different roles.

Hmm, specific cultists would make for very good themes for mini-campaigns.  I've got West Wind's Egyptian cultists & diggers for one cult; and they of course will have plenty of tana leaves to bring in the mummies, or perhaps The Mummy for the final boss monster.  Evil nuns with polearms could have a variety of monsters involved, leading to the big demon showdown.

I suspect the game will have legs, and we're likely to see supplements coming.  The omens on Facebook are quite favourable.  The Players' group is quite lively and growing steadily, 1.6k members so far.  The game is certainly sparking a lot of creativity and interest.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/460868411872277
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Chief Lackey Rich on November 30, 2021, 04:53:18 PM
- Nock volley gun: if I'm not mistaken it has short barrels and fires rather small bullets, so its effective range is shorter than a musket.

From what I know, there were actually several versions, including early models that rather pointlessly used rifled barrels rather than smoothbores - good luck aiming with the recoil of seven barrels going off at once.  Service models included both a longer barreled version (varying numbers on that depending on source, but likely between 30-36") and the better known short design (some of which may have been modified from the earlier model) with 20" barrels and more limited range.  They were .46 caliber consistently AFAIK.  A roughly average French musket had a 44" barrel and was .69 caliber, with the British Brown Bess being similar length but .75 caliber.

The short barrel version (which was the closest this thing got to being practical in reality) would make the 14" range listed okay for a single-bracket listing, but if you use the short/long split for blunderbusses and volley guns I'd got with 8"/16" for "shorty" Nocks (which realistically might be the only ones seeing action).  You could make an argument for increasing the Shoot penalty to reflect their notorious inaccuracy but I think the damage is okay as-is.  Smaller caliber, sure, but seven rounds in the air at once ought to make up for it well enough to merit a +1 net damage.

Quote
Where is Dracula? The Mummy? Frankenstein?

They aren't written yet.  Frankenstein's science project came along in 1818, the first real mummy novel was written in 1827 (and is set in 2126!) and the Count won't be along till 1897.  So one is still waiting for organ donors, one is a dehydrated corpse, and while Drac might be active he's got close to a century before developing an interest in London real estate.

Monsters from Gothic fiction in the Napoleonic Era tend to be madmen, ghosts and witches, not Universal Pictures/Hammer Horror franchises.

Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on November 30, 2021, 07:33:23 PM
Excellent replies!

Very thoughtful observations, input and suggestions.

I know Sharp Practice is really designed for 15mm with its scale according to Rich (of Toofatlardies) but 15mm is just too small for my poor old eyes. I have no problem with firearms (and bows/crossbows/slings) being a threat anywhere on a 6x4 table.

As usual a like your game mechanic suggestions Rich (of the Chief Lackey variety).

Dracula and the Mummy exist in their lore before the authors put pen to paper. Fair point about Frankenstein though. That said, he will hardly be the first person to think to reanimate a corpse with electricity.

Every person who encourages Wargames Atlantic to make those female minis is appreciated!

I am a big fan of Joe and his games. I want him, Osprey and North Star to do well. I want to see the Silver Bayonet succeed. Hopefully folks will see that in what I have written.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: tikitang on November 30, 2021, 09:24:58 PM
Maybe Joe will write an expansion covering Napoleon's campaign in Egypt. There would be a good opportunity to introduce mummies, as well as rules for Ottomans and Greeks!
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Sarmor on November 30, 2021, 09:44:22 PM
Dracula and the Mummy exist in their lore before the authors put pen to paper. Fair point about Frankenstein though. That said, he will hardly be the first person to think to reanimate a corpse with electricity.
The way I see it, the choice of monsters depends on the approach to the Napoleonic setting: do you want Napoleonic troops to fight creatures that are considered classic horror/gothic monsters today, or ones known to Napoleonic era Europeans? I'm quite happy that Joe chose the latter approach (or maybe that's just my impression?) and used creatures like pixies, black dogs, changelings, etc. Though he did include the slightly anachronistic vampires, which had just started to appear in Western literature and would become more popular after the Napoleonic wars.
That said:

Quote
The title “The Silver Bayonet”, and its lore, seems to be too British focused.
Coming from a non-English speaking country, I'd say at least 95% of wargames seem to be too British focused.  ;D
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Cat on November 30, 2021, 10:25:04 PM
I will certainly argue that Frankenstein is in period.  While the novel was published in 1818, young Shelly visited the ruins of Schloss Frankenstein and Geneva in 1815, with galvanism and occultism both being hot topics of conversation on that trip.  In the novel, the letters are dated 17—, so the recorded events took place in the prior century.
 
While I quite look forward to a possible Egyptian campaign expansion, and yes that would be the place to roll out mummies, I'm bringing Egyptian cultists to Europe who have come in quest of stolen artifacts.  And so mummies may wander earlier than attested.
 
Being a New Englander, vampires are required, and Dracula among them if we're on his turf.  Starting in the late 1700s and running a good century, we had quite the vampire panic going on here!
 
The more I think about it, the more I'm sure that a certain clan of gargoyles would be mightily miffed at suddenly finding themselves perched atop a Temple of Reason, and unrest would be stirred.
: 3
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: tikitang on November 30, 2021, 10:56:22 PM
I have just realised there are rules for creating a Mummy, specifically, in the Creating Your Own Monsters chapter on page 214 of the rulebook.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on December 01, 2021, 06:34:27 AM
Great points Cat.

One of the things I found interesting when researching Gothic Horror for my Tarnished Splendour project was how the genre starts in the Napoleonic era rather than the Victorian era that I had thought. The same with a lot of steampunk genre technology.

I get that the book is something of a tool box but I was hoping for more of a framework to use the tool box to flesh out. A page of suggested setting locations. References to specific historic incidents that could have more meaning hidden from public view.

As to why Dracula specifically rather than just Vampires in general…. to offer a grounding, a baseline, connection to the genre. Vampires are multigenre. Dracula, whilst in a couple of genres is more specific. Same with The Mummy (although granted this may evoke Pulp more than Gothic Horror to some) than mummies in general.

Getting the balance just right for the most people when it comes to how much supernatural to add is tough. I get that. The 2d10s versus the d20 mechanic reduces the chaotic swinginess.Joe said he specifically wanted for the magically universe of Frostgrave. I get the idea of reducing the chaos of a more mundane Napoleonic Earth. I just think he dialed it down too far for my tastes. Your mileage may vary.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on December 01, 2021, 07:38:41 AM
Let me just add with some emphasis…

I am not on Facebook and loathe that things are published there without a mirror somewhere else.

I used to be a big fan of Facebook and encouraged others to use that platform but that was before I realized what it would become. It makes me quite frustrated to know that this isolates me from a lot of online content right now as forums and blogs struggle to continue.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Spinal Tap on December 01, 2021, 08:37:28 AM
Let me just add with some emphasis…

I am not on Facebook and loathe that things are published there without a mirror somewhere else.

I used to be a big fan of Facebook and encouraged others to use that platform but that was before I realized what it would become. It makes me quite frustrated to know that this isolates me from a lot of online content right now as forums and blogs struggle to continue.

I sympathise with these points but can understand why people do so.

Mobile phones rather than PC's/laptops are becoming more and more the norm for access to the internet  and Facebook makes it much easier to access and add content, especially pictures; this site (for example) is difficult in comparison and some are much worse.

The dreaded 'LIKE' button is also a game winner for many as you can see whether your work is seen in a favourable light or not. I know some people just hit 'LIKE' on everything but generally that doesn't happen on hobby pages.

In comparison it's not uncommon for items to be posted on here, get 300 plus views and there be not one comment; it may well be that everyone thought your work was brilliant but also they might look and think ' that's crap, not reading their posts again' -- you will never know.

I really think feedback is important and without it sites like this will eventually wither. I've been on forums for other hobbies that were really vibrant, but over time they have declined into obscurity and death with page after page of viewed but unanswered posts; eventually those posts dry up and the site vanishes.

It's why I try to make an effort to login and comment on the things I like even though it would be easier to view and not bother - at least that person then knows they're not posting in vain.

Just my pre-work ramblings, suppose I better get ready to see my first patient even though I'd rather be painting my new Wizard.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Chief Lackey Rich on December 01, 2021, 01:28:28 PM
One of the things I found interesting when researching Gothic Horror for my Tarnished Splendour project was how the genre starts in the Napoleonic era rather than the Victorian era that I had thought. The same with a lot of steampunk genre technology.

While Gothic Horror as a distinct(?) subgenre generally starts in the early 1800s, more general "Gothic fiction" dates back even further, generally beginning with Walpole's Castle of Otranto (which is a good read, heartily recommend it if you haven't had the pleasure) in 1764.  The Gothic genre grew out of the earlier Romantic fiction movement, which was very focused on (by modern standards) exaggerated emotions, mostly (surprise, surprise) romantic ones.  Walpole, Radcliffe, Reeve and company were some of the first to twig to the fact that fear is an emotion too, and that stories full of dread, menace, and outright horror would grab readers.  Earlier Gothic-but-not-horror fiction tends to be more creepy than frightening, and rarely features monsters as such aside form occasional ghosts.  Still some stuff worth reading, but the feel is quite different from (say) Frankenstein or Dracula.

That first mummy story I mentioned from 1827 is...well, the wiki's about right:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mummy!

Chock full of proper predictive scifi (dated, but predictive) and some steampunk elements, and really quite light on the supernatural elements.  Webb was quite a visionary, and while she was clearly inspired by Frankenstein her approach is very different.  If you can find a copy well worth a look, but I had to get it through the US library loan system and even then it was a struggle - although that was twenty+ years ago now.  Maybe it's up online somewhere.  Neat bit of obscure literary history, if nothing else.

Quote
I have just realised there are rules for creating a Mummy, specifically, in the Creating Your Own Monsters chapter on page 214 of the rulebook.

True, but what type of mummy are people going to build?  The shambling bandage-wrapped monstrosity is one approach, sure, but the perfectly normal looking (well, as normal as Karloff gets, anyway) Imhotep from the 1932 film is way more interesting to me, and easier to imagine fitting into a crew of monster hunters as an advisor, or as a sinister mastermind monster with minions and cultists working for him.

Could probably do something with other unaging-but-not-quite-unkillable types too.  We're early for Mister Gray to sit for his portrait, but surely he's not the first person to make a similar deal.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Bearwoodman on December 01, 2021, 01:31:32 PM
It is very interesting to read your considered and honest thoughts on the game, especially coming from someone (like me) who wants to like it. I have not got much to add as I have not played it yet, or watched a play through on YouTube, or even read the book fully (I have lent my copy to a friend in the hope of inspiring him to create a unit  >:D) - but reading Spinal Tap's comment made me want to contribute something to this thread!

The official figures look excellent, and I may buy some in the future, but like Cat I am currently enjoying creating my own unique unit.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Cat on December 01, 2021, 04:54:28 PM
Castle of Otranto has been on my ought to read list for awhile.  Just went browsing at ABE.com and ordered a collection with that, Vathek, and The Vampyre.  Also a copy of The Mummy!, there are a couple of print versions out there now.  And oh what the heck, The Jewel of the Seven Stars too.
 
The creepiest mummy movie (and full Lovecraftian flavour horror) is Hammer's Blood From the Mummy's Tomb, based on The Jewel of the Seven Stars with a decidedly un-bandaged not-shambling monster.

The bandaged sorts are ideal for NPC monsters, they do have that monstrous look after all.  An unbandaged sort as a player character in the vein of the Dhampir has distinct possibilities for an Eastern unit of hunters.  Cultist flavoured hunting units, distinct from military ones, have intriguing possibilities.
 
Regarding Facebook, I find it invaluable for organising and promoting local games and conventions and keeping up with news from favourite manufacturers, but generally the information is quite ephemeral.  The forum still wins by miles for ongoing discussions and a repository of information that can be found at a later date.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Sarmor on December 01, 2021, 06:23:06 PM
That first mummy story I mentioned from 1827 is...well, the wiki's about right:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mummy!

Chock full of proper predictive scifi (dated, but predictive) and some steampunk elements, and really quite light on the supernatural elements.  Webb was quite a visionary, and while she was clearly inspired by Frankenstein her approach is very different.  If you can find a copy well worth a look, but I had to get it through the US library loan system and even then it was a struggle - although that was twenty+ years ago now.  Maybe it's up online somewhere.  Neat bit of obscure literary history, if nothing else.
The Mummy is available on Project Gutenberg: https://gutenberg.org/ebooks/56426
As are numerous other old gothic, horror and sci-fi books that can serve as inspiration for Silver Bayonet. :)
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Malamute on December 02, 2021, 08:33:06 AM
If you want Vampires more in keeping with the period than Dracula no one has mentioned Mircalla/Carmilla Karnstein or Varney the Vampire for inspiration?

Well worth exploring those and if you want to enjoy Hammer Horror at its zenith then The Vampire Lovers is probably the one to watch.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Sarmor on December 02, 2021, 10:14:26 AM
Going even further back in time, there's "The Vampyre" by John Polidori - probably the first story about a vampire as we know them today (charming, aristocratic blooddrinker). It was conceived during the same contest which gave us Frankenstein. :)
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Onebigriver on December 02, 2021, 03:06:05 PM
2000AD has intermittently published "Fiends of the Eastern Front". The main character is a vampire called Hauptmann Costanza, and the stories have taken place at different stages in history. In September 2018 they published a story over a few progs called "1812", with Constanza as a Wallachian officer accompanying the French in Russia, where they face revenants & Baba Yaga. Well worth a read and would be a good source of inspiration IMO.

(https://i.imgur.com/K9po4R0.jpg)
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: tikitang on December 02, 2021, 04:50:21 PM
So it has taken longer than I expected but I have finally written my first impressions of The Silver Bayonet and the miniatures from the pre-order. Bear in mind this is from reading the book and watching folks play on YouTube rather than playing a game myself, so take what I say with a pinch of salt.

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/2021/11/30/the-silver-bayonet-first-impressions/

TLDR: The game needs more work, it feels unfinished at this point, but the miniatures are brilliant.

So, I got around to reading this at last.

Disclaimer: I, like you, haven't played the game, only read the rulebook and watched others play online.

Bottom-line: I don't agree with your overall assessment (though I do agree with one or two small points)

I make the following counter-points, based on things you mentioned in your review:

1.
Quote from: Grumpy Gnome
That seems off.


I disagree that the firearms rules are 'off'. I'm not an expert on Napoleonic warfare, or black powder firearms in general, but for a light tabletop skirmish game, primarily focussed on gunpowder weapons, I think the rules as written are marvellous. I can't wait to play them for real, and I don't feel any changes need to be made.


2. 
Quote from: Grumpy Gnome
For an arcane/occult game there is remarkably little detail on such things. Spells are few.

I like the fact that spells are few and subtle; I wouldn't want "fantasy-level" sorcery being unleashed in this setting.


3.
Quote from: Grumpy Gnome
Another choice I am not keen on is the Hobgoblin sculpt. I am not sure what a Hobgoblin should look like but the sculpt looks too much like a Ghoul or feral Vampire to me.

The 'Hobgoblin' miniature is not an official Hobgoblin designed for the game; it is a repurposed miniature from one of Northstar's older ranges, the Celtic Myth Fomorians (https://www.northstarfigures.com/prod.php?prod=5774).


4.
Quote from: Grumpy Gnome
Where is Dracula? The Mummy? Frankenstein?

As others have said, I think the Gothic theme comes through sufficiently through the inclusion of many monsters of European folklore, without getting too stuck into specific Gothic novels from a century later, such as Dracula (isn't Dracula a little overdone anyway?)


5.
Quote from: Grumpy Gnome
I was surprised, and disappointed, to see the game focus so much on confrontational competitive play. The Napoleonic era was a time of international war but it is also a time of uneasy peace and shifting alliances. And that is without the supernatural common threat of the Harvestmen or the various gribblies they have unleashed. It just feels a bit with the emphasis on players fighting each other that the overarching plot message is that humans are the real monsters. I get it, “war and violence in general are bad things”… but I am not sure that is a lesson I need to hear in a game whilst trying to recreationally defeat evil supernatural monsters in order to save humanity.

I like the fact that the game is primarily about Napoleonic skirmishing, with monsters being present in the background and interfering with the human conflict, rather than being the central focus.


6.
Quote from: Grumpy Gnome
The Harvestmen background is too abstract, too far removed. There is no sense of discovery, of progress in a war against the Harvestmen.

I actually do agree with you that the Harvestmen backstory, specifically, is weak and undeveloped, but rather than develop it into something more thematic, I would have preferred if there were no references to 'Harvestmen' at all! For me, it would have been enough to make it even more historical, but with the understanding that "by the way, all creatures from European folklore are actually real", thus justifying the sudden appearence of werewolves randomly popping out of the woods.


7.
Quote from: Grumpy Gnome
It would have been interesting to see an Ottoman presence.

I also agree that there's a sad lack of Ottomans. That said, as the rules state, you can easily create another nation by just basing it on one of the existing ones. I mentioned earlier that Napoleon's Egyptian invasion might be a fun expansion in the future, and a good excuse to bring near-eastern nations (and monsters) into the fray with official rules, but should that never happen, I think there's enough potential for a lot of customisation with the rules as they are.

8.
Quote from: Grumpy Gnome
the Silver Bayonet miniatures from Northstar are brilliant. Having bought the pre-order bundle I was very pleased with just about every single figure. The quality of the sculpting, the poses, details and character are great.

While I agree that the official miniatures are great, I actually don't really like using 'official' miniatures for these things, but prefer mining the internet for various alternative options. On that subject (this is where I drift away from your review into my own thoughts on the game)...

The only other criticism I have of the rules, as written, other than the unnecessary inclusion of the 'Harvestmen' backstory (which I will be completely ignoring in my games), is that the troop-types are restricted to particular weapon combinations. I would have preferred it if you could equip your troop types with whatever weapons you wanted, and paid some kind of cost for them, thus allowing for more flexibility with choice of miniatures.

Conclusion: In general, while I've been interested in light skirmish games for about a decade now, I have never really been interested in heavily thematic skirmish games, with specialist miniatures, settings and story-driven campaigns. I've always looked for more of a sandbox/toolkit that could be applied to any setting and miniatures. This is the first time in the history of my short and not very successful wargaming career where I've actually been excited about a rulebook with a specific theme -- and that is largely down to its unique blending of history and folklore in a setting which is rich in both!
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Chief Lackey Rich on December 02, 2021, 05:10:11 PM
Quote
1. I disagree that the firearms rules are 'off'. I'm not an expert on Napoleonic warfare, or black powder firearms in general, but for a light tabletop skirmish game, primarily focussed on gunpowder weapons, I think the rules as written are marvellous. I can't wait to play them for real, and I don't feel any changes need to be made.

5. I like the fact that the game is primarily about Napoleonic skirmishing, with monsters being present in the background and interfering with the human conflict, rather than being the central focus.

Those are self-contradictory statements. 

You can't have "a game that is primarily about Napoleonic skirmishing" without rules that reflect how black powder weapons from the time period actually work.  At best you're playing a Hollywoood pretense of the era, and you certainly aren't going to be modelling anything like the tactics and flow of combat back then, even on a tiny skirmish scale.  Figures just plain fire way too fast relative to movement speeds, even with the ranges nerfed down some for most weapons.  Even Flintloque is a more realistic Nappy rules set, and it's got an army made of pseudo-Italian toad-men.

And if you're okay with playing Hollywood Faux Napoleonic Era (which is fine in theory, the Sharpe show was fun if you don't get hung up on history) then why not make the monster hunting the heart of the game instead of scenario specials?  Make them front and center as the opposition, a real existential danger to the player crews that force a large degree of co-op play, maybe combined with some carefully timed betrayal.  The game sure sells monster hunting as the main attraction, not man-to-man skirmishing, historically realistic or not.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: tikitang on December 02, 2021, 05:26:36 PM
At best you're playing a Hollywoood pretense of the era

The game itself claims to be doing that, and that's fine with me:

Quote from: McCullough, Joseph A.. The Silver Bayonet: 1 (pp. 8-9). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Although it features the weapons and glorious uniforms, as well as the politics and geography, of the Napoleonic wars, this game is more Hollywood than history. It is not overly concerned with whether your soldiers are wearing the correct shakos for the year in question, but demands to know if your soldier is carrying a cold-iron sword when fighting goblins. The game is an excuse to use colourful, historical, toy soldiers on the same table as grotesque fantasy monsters.

When I said "primarily about Napoleonic skirmishing", I meant within the context of how it is presented in the book: "Hollywood" Napoleon. I didn't mean real, nitty-gritty Napoleonic -- if I wanted to play that, I wouldn't be interested in this game at all.

Quote from: Chief Lackey Rich
And if you're okay with playing Hollywood Faux Napoleonic Era (which is fine in theory, the Sharpe show was fun if you don't get hung up on history) then why not make the monster hunting the heart of the game instead of scenario specials?

Because, I can like Hollywood Faux Napoleonic Era (e.g. Sharpe) without it being primarily focussed on monster hunting?

Quote from: Chief Lackey Rich
The game sure sells monster hunting as the main attraction, not man-to-man skirmishing, historically realistic or not.

I am not sure I agree with that assertion.

Even my first glance through the rule book made it clear that this was about nation Vs nation conflict, with monsters popping up now and again to cause a bit of trouble, which is exactly the way I like it.

If, on the other hand, you want to play co-op against monsters, there is a game variant in the rules which caters for it.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on December 02, 2021, 07:21:22 PM
Again you echo my thoughts Rich,

I have read, although not used yet, Joe’s blackpowder weapon rules for Frostgrave in Spellcaster 1. They did not present as problematic for me but that may be because Inhave not seen anyone use them in a game. I did very much like the flavor he added of having firearms noise increase the chance of random monsters appear.

It is flavor like that which I was hoping for, and feel is lacking, in the Silver Bayonet.

Sharp Practice better catches the flavor of Napoleonic gunplay but it is admittedly aimed at bigger units.

Not all Hollywood is equal. I do not need correct button count, I do not mind the Sharpe TV series, but I still want to have at least Sharpe level immersion.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Paratrooper 42 on December 02, 2021, 07:34:29 PM
The Ruleset may be good or it may be bad, but shouldn't you actually play the game before you review it?

Bit like an Airline Test Pilot signing off the latest passenger airliner before actually flying it  lol lol
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: tikitang on December 02, 2021, 07:40:59 PM
To be fair, these are "first impressions", rather than a full-blown review!  ;)
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Blackwolf on December 02, 2021, 09:29:13 PM
If you want Vampires more in keeping with the period than Dracula no one has mentioned Mircalla/Carmilla Karnstein or Varney the Vampire for inspiration?

Well worth exploring those and if you want to enjoy Hammer Horror at its zenith then The Vampire Lovers is probably the one to watch.

Good words :)

How about ST Coleridge’s Christabel?
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on December 03, 2021, 05:20:52 AM
The Ruleset may be good or it may be bad, but shouldn't you actually play the game before you review it?

Bit like an Airline Test Pilot signing off the latest passenger airliner before actually flying it  lol lol

As Tikitang noted, I tried to make it clear that these were my first impressions based on pre-game playing observations.

Think of it more like my views from the pre-flight checklist.

Your mileage may vary.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Paratrooper 42 on December 03, 2021, 09:32:23 AM
As Tikitang noted, I tried to make it clear that these were my first impressions based on pre-game playing observations.

Think of it more like my views from the pre-flight checklist.

Your mileage may vary.

CAVEAT: My hobby time is limited, so this may colour my opinion:

I've always found it odd that gamers use their time on 'periphera'l things rather than concentrating on painting and playing.  AARs can be interesting and inspiring in some cases, WIP builds and model making/painting tips are useful too. However I struggle to see the value in long to and fro discussions about the theoretical colour of orc skin and what rules may or may not be like based on a read through.

I'm not sure how long it took you to write the post and your blog article but maybe you could have played a game in that time?  :) To me it makes sense to play the rules and then offer some feedback based on actual play.

I don't know your particular circumstance so maybe you have an abundance of time, whereas I don't.  Maybe I should just ignore the 'talky' posts and concentrate on those that are of value from my perspective.

Each to their own.

P42
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on December 03, 2021, 10:49:03 AM
My blog has a few functions for me. One is to convey my thoughts to folks that may find them interesting, another is to document my hobby journey for my own future reflections. Writing my thoughts helps me focus them, a way of thinking aloud. And it allows conversation to be sparked where people can challenge my perceptions as well as their own.

The internet is a difficult medium to communicate with. For example the way you have written your post Paratrooper 42 has a certain tone to it that I may be misreading.

I have watched several playthroughs now, some more than once. I do not see how that is different from actually playing a game. Or how many games I would need to play before folks all felt I had enough experience to vocalize my opinions.

It is true that I have more free time than many people but of course I could do with more. I chose to share some of my free time with others.

Thank you for sharing some of your limited free time with me. I am however sorry that you did not find any value in it.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: DivisMal on December 03, 2021, 11:07:12 AM
Thank you for the interesting read!

I am really tempted to invest in those rules, but what I would like is to have a feeling of well at least Sharpe or Last of the Mohicans. It’s good to know how people are already houseruling, but for €30,- I would have expected a little bit more period flavor.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on December 03, 2021, 11:29:39 AM
Thank you for the interesting read!

I am really tempted to invest in those rules, but what I would like is to have a feeling of well at least Sharpe or Last of the Mohicans. It’s good to know how people are already houseruling, but for €30,- I would have expected a little bit more period flavor.

You‘re welcome, I am glad you found it interesting and not a waste of your time.

To be fair to Joe, he has gotten off to a decent start in my opinion, it just needs its some polishing in some places and some more atmospheric background to add more flavorful Napoleonic era flavor.

Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: critsmash on December 03, 2021, 12:44:37 PM
I share many of the same first impressions of this game. First and foremost I was hoping for more Solo/coop content. 4 scenarios is too few and 10 is too many for pvp, and it should have been the other way around in my opinion. Another thing is the advancements and rewards. I really like that each member get advancements, but with no remedy (as far as I can tell) for permanent injuries that could neutralize many of the same advancements, I'm not sure how rewarding that in itself will feel after a few games. I wish there was more treasure to be had and variation there as it is naturally a huge motivator in games like this. That the treasure found in the scenarios only can be used for that scenario and not kept for fighting more powerful foes later seems a strange choice to me. The only thing that drives the game forward right now is new scenarios and the advancements of the soldiers. Just speculating, but could it be that this aspect of the game has suffered due to the focus on balancing the game out in line with what many (not me!) seemed to have issues with in the previous games? To avoid making the game too swingy for pvp? I know about houserules and "its your game" etc. but in the current state there is not enough meat on the bone for me to get going with that. Setting is awesome, miniatures are great. I like the d10 system. This game has huge potential, especially in the solo/coop department. Lots of ideas pop up, which I suspect especially this author likes to see happen among players. Forexample, do you need to use your officer as the main protagonist in a coop game? What about a random officer orders table that could affect how you have to move your characters that turn if say, either player want to use a veteran hunter or even a doc as the main protagonist on "their" side and not have two officers in a warband. I've looked at changing the pvp scenarios to solo/coop and it should not be too difficult either, but the reward aspect is something I hope will be expanded upon in the next addition to the silver bayonet.       
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: joe5mc on December 03, 2021, 03:51:20 PM
Always interesting to read what people have to say! I agree with some of it, and disagree with some of it, but it's all helpful in understanding what players want and like.

That said, when working on a game, I tend to go with 'To thine own self be true', and go with what I think is fun or what I want from a specific game, and my preferences aren't always going to align with others. But, I'm not precious either, and believe house rules are the best rules as they tune the game to specific players. I've got some more stuff I'd like to do with the game, but I'd like to see what others get up to as well.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: tikitang on December 03, 2021, 11:27:58 PM
I've always found it odd that gamers use their time on 'peripheral' things rather than concentrating on painting and playing.  AARs can be interesting and inspiring in some cases, WIP builds and model making/painting tips are useful too. However I struggle to see the value in long to and fro discussions about the theoretical colour of orc skin and what rules may or may not be like based on a read through.

I think part of the hobby, for some, is sharing and discussing abstract ideas. Some folks enjoy that. Not sure why that should seem odd? I myself also have very limited time to paint or play. In fact, at the moment I am only able to paint during work hours, three days a week, and only during coffee breaks. Sometimes I have to decide: "Do I want to spend this coffee break painting, or do I want to read or write about something on LAF?" There's naught wrong with either!

Personally, I've found this discussion interesting and inspiring of itself, and it's got me thinking more than any other thread about TSB so far. Though, I am looking forward to the day when I get to actually play TSB myself and post some AARs of my own.

By the way, Grumpy Gnome, I've modified my response to your thoughts on the previous page by actually adding in quotes from your blog-post to give my responses more context.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on December 04, 2021, 07:48:11 AM
Critsmash, good idea on using the pvp scenarios for coop/solo. It is just a matter of tweaking the monsters to ensure it is a challenge. Maybe create NPCs “monsters” that are not exactly a directly opposed supernatural hunting warbands but instead are just soldiers of an opposing army that happen to be in the area. They are not focused on the objective and just follow the standard monster AI, maybe?

Great to hear your thoughts here Joe. I have a lot of respect for your work. Your attitude towards games and gamers is one reason I like supporting your games. Hopefully we will see more Silver Bayonet but given what you have said recently about the lack of financial interest in Ghost Archipelago I am not getting my hopes up too high. Do you think you will offer additional material in Spellcaster?

Tikitang, nicely said mate. I agree with you.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: BZ on December 06, 2021, 11:00:06 AM
I pre-ordered the book, and was very hyped about it. After reading it, honestly, I was dissapointed... But with a little time, as my thoughts settled, I changed my mind a bit. Because at first, my expectations were clearly too high: a direct effect of hype... Next, the basics of the rules are great, its a fantastic evolution of the Grave-engine with a less swingy system (2xD10, although for me would have been more logical to use a meele and a ranged dice for calculating the damage), and some possibilites to save you from the worst rolls (fate dice). And at last, (almost) all the other problems (missing items, monsters, spells, coop/solo scenaios), can (and as we know the other games of Joe, we can pretty surely say, will) be fixed with supplements!
I understand, that somebody is missing the black powder feel, but in a game which is mostly 5-6 turns long, having a whole turn (2 activations) for reloading would make fire weapons pretty useless, and the game much slower. And remember, winding up a bigger crossbow takes also long, and there werent any complains about it in the other systems... Lamenting (sorry about the word, I dont mean it that harsh) about the ranges is the kind of same: its a small scale skirmish, not a big battle game, real ranges here would be pointless. A template for blunderbuss/volley gun is what I would like too, because 1 inch spread with a -1 handicap on hit seems a bit off for me, but I can live with it. Missing the horror aspect? I think it would be hard to really bring this in a PvP game, so Im hoping on more coop/solo, where they can appear more (and to be honest, this is a game with colorful toy soldiers, how sould I feel terrorized?  :)).
All in all, I like Silver Bayonett, even without playing it! What, I didnt played a game, and I dare to have an opinion  ;)? No (and yes), because I dont have any napoleonic miniatures... But if there will be coop/solo oriented supplement (like Rangers of Shadow deep), I certainly have to invest (in a hungarian warband with a betyár and a huszár)!
(Now I used up my thoughts for a new blogpost, but as much time I had lately, its not a real loss... Sadly.)

I've always found it odd that gamers use their time on 'periphera'l things rather than concentrating on painting and playing.
I never understood people, who are setting their point of view as a general for everybody. It especially felt bad for me in such a nice and supporting community...
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on December 06, 2021, 05:20:42 PM
Well Joe did seem to come across as if there is a chance for more Silver Bayonet books in the future from what I saw in this interview…. I suspect it has a lot to do with whether sales of the core book supports more investment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-WC8IhpXG4

I hope my first impressions do not impede sales at all but instead encourages further growth.

BZ, it is great to hear your thoughts… even when we disagree… which, to be fair, is not all that often.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: BZ on December 06, 2021, 09:31:39 PM
BZ, it is great to hear your thoughts… even when we disagree… which, to be fair, is not all that often.
Yes, I agree with You most of the time. But Im still happy, that we can have a conversation, even if we dont!
I really think, that Silver Bayonet is a good game, but the expectations (without knowing any facts) may mislead a lot of people... Its still a Grave-series game with an (in my opinion greatly) improved engine. And as this, its not a deep and specific rulest, but still an easy to play, fun game, mainly for PvP, and not for coop/solo. Yes, it feels incomplete, but I think this will be changed with supplements.
In my opinion, the setting could really shine with a story driven campaign (like in Rangers of Shadow deep), or with some generated monster hunting scenarios (like in the Dead or alive supplement for Stargrave). Maybe even both types competitive (like the military expeditons in Oathmark): which monter hunter team can catch the vampire first, or the most werewolf heads? I would love this!
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Bearwoodman on December 07, 2021, 12:19:48 AM
BZ I think you are right that ones expectations (or hopes) are key to how positive ones first impression of the game is.

Personally my hopes were dialled at: "Frostgrave with a Napoleonic twist". By this I mean a fun flexible well-presented narrative skirmish game providing an excuse/inspiration to paint a few of the many beautiful Napoleonic figures that are out there. I think the author put it well in his WI interview posted above why the concept appeals to many wargamers who are new to this period - his explanation certainly applies to me!

As for supplements/campaigns I do hope that they are forthcoming. Based on my experience with Frostgrave I am less interested in lots of fiddly new rules than on an extended campaign that tells a story (and allows the players to tell the story of their unit) along the lines of how the Thaw of the Lich Lord supplement really brought the basic Frostgrave rules alive for my gaming group.

The Napoleonic setting provides so many possibilities for campaigns that intersect with historic events and local folklore (in Europe and beyond) in fun and interesting ways that it would be a shame if Mr McCullough was not given the opportunity to properly apply his talents to produce at least one.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: DivisMal on December 07, 2021, 07:16:16 AM
Always interesting to read what people have to say! I agree with some of it, and disagree with some of it, but it's all helpful in understanding what players want and like.

That said, when working on a game, I tend to go with 'To thine own self be true', and go with what I think is fun or what I want from a specific game, and my preferences aren't always going to align with others. But, I'm not precious either, and believe house rules are the best rules as they tune the game to specific players. I've got some more stuff I'd like to do with the game, but I'd like to see what others get up to as well.

Never expected you to comment on our comments :)

Anyway, it was indeed the critical discussion that made me order a copy with Amazon. It arrived yesterday and even though my hobby time is limited due to pre-xmas stress and a nast cold that is generously shared between my spouse, my daughter and me, I found some time to go through the book:

It’s beautiful. No really, I love the design and layout. If I had to name some criticism, I’d say more pictures would have been nice.

The background story could use fleshing out. It’s not all bad, even though I’m not 100% bought on the harvestmen, but this could really profit from more background and a solo campaign like Rangers of Shadow Deep.

System: need to play it. It’s definitely intuitive for those of us coming from Frostgrave and its companion systems. I do like the 2d10 switch, but cannot judge it until I’ve played.

Now I need some good sources to give me nice models that arrive before Christmas…I’ve grown very fond of the various metal sets produced by the Perrys and think I’ll give them a try.

Florian
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on December 07, 2021, 10:10:02 AM
Yes, I agree with You most of the time. But Im still happy, that we can have a conversation, even if we dont!
I really think, that Silver Bayonet is a good game, but the expectations (without knowing any facts) may mislead a lot of people... Its still a Grave-series game with an (in my opinion greatly) improved engine. And as this, its not a deep and specific rulest, but still an easy to play, fun game, mainly for PvP, and not for coop/solo. Yes, it feels incomplete, but I think this will be changed with supplements.
In my opinion, the setting could really shine with a story driven campaign (like in Rangers of Shadow deep), or with some generated monster hunting scenarios (like in the Dead or alive supplement for Stargrave). Maybe even both types competitive (like the military expeditons in Oathmark): which monter hunter team can catch the vampire first, or the most werewolf heads? I would love this!

BZ, Again I like your ideas.

Bearwoodsman, Frostgrave created more atmosphere for me. Much more than I expected. It sold me on high fantasy magic, something I did not like before Frostgrave. I was hoping for the same sense of atmosphere from the Silver Bayonet but with a different flavor. I wanted it to sell me on Gothic Horror, something I have not normally been a big fan of.

Even my Tarnished Splendor project was focused more on exploration than Horror in my original conception.

Divismal, one thing I really appreciate about Joe is him getting involved in the community. I agree with you on the aesthetics of the Silver Bayonet rulebook being great. And the Power/Skill 2d10 is interesting.

I have been reading the Napoleonic skirmish rules for Song of Shakos and Bayonets to see what game mechanics they have used to replicate the feel of Napoleonic combat.

All weapons start loaded. To reload a musket two consecutive actions (ie, two actions performed in the same turn, one after the other) are required. For rifles you can not shoot and reload in the same turn, even if it has the required number of actions. So even if you have three actions you can not shoot and reload in one turn. I think this means with a rifle you also can not shoot with one action, half reload with one action in one turn then in the next turn finish reloading with one action and shoot again with the second action.

With blunderbusses it says models in base to base contact with the target and in line of sight are also hit it at +1 to hit.

The ranges in Song of Shakos and Bayonets seems off to me as well though.

Even though the Silver Bayonet is focused on small units I think it would be interesting to have a volley fire rule for the rare instances a player could more than one shooter to fire at once. Perhaps cause a courage check?  The volley fire rules in Song of Shakos and Bayonets treat it as one attack rolled with the stats of the worst weapon&shooter but causes -1 on the targets Combat score for every shooter beyond the first. But that is ofcourse in relation to opposed roll combat mechanics as in Frostgrave. It would need to work slightly different for the Silver Bayonet. Perhaps cause -1 per shooter beyond the first to the targets Defense stat?



Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: BZ on December 07, 2021, 10:57:22 AM
Now I need some good sources to give me nice models that arrive before Christmas…I’ve grown very fond of the various metal sets produced by the Perrys and think I’ll give them a try.
I really like the Northstar miniatures, but the "Retreat from Moscow" line from the Perrys, is so beautiful!
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Patrice on December 07, 2021, 12:27:15 PM
I really like the Northstar miniatures, but the "Retreat from Moscow" line from the Perrys, is so beautiful!

Yes... How well can they be mixed together?

Some of the other ranges linked with games from Osprey are as large as Copplestone or Pulp Figures (of other periods); others (Dracula's America) seem thinner as also are Brigade Games Napoleonics.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: BZ on December 07, 2021, 12:40:42 PM
I dont know, but I have Perry miniatures (Agincourt and 100 year war) and various Northstar plastics, and as they dont seem off on the same table, but they look odd next to each other. And as I see this Perry line looks true scale too, and the ones from Northstar have pretty heroic proportions. But I would be happy if someone could post comparison pictures about them!
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on December 14, 2021, 01:53:48 PM
I like some diversity in height and weight of miniatures to reflect human diversity. It helps break up the “clone effect”. I am not so hardcore as to use taller minis for grenadiers and shorter for Voltigeurs but that is certainly an option.

As for Nock Volley guns and blunderbuss rules, the following is I believe from the first edition of Sharp Practice from Toofatlardies….

Basically a Nock Volley gun rolls 1D6 per loaded barrel (potentially up to 7) hitting on a 5,6 up to 9" and on a 6 between 9" and 18". It takes 1 action to reload a barrel and the gun may be fired with a partial load.

A blunderbuss spreads its shot over a wide area so the firer needs to select an aiming point 9" away, then rolls 2D6. On a score of 2-5 the aiming point moves 2" left, on a 6-8 it remains were placed, on a 9-12 it shifts 2" right. Damage zone is 9" long and 4" wide at far end, 2" either side of the aiming point. Any figure in that zone takes 1 hit rolling for effect with a -1 on the dice.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Easy E on December 14, 2021, 10:47:53 PM
I appreciate this first look, as my copy is still on the way. 

It sounds like a good, solid release from Joe.  I am glad he is experimenting with his resolution mechanics and action economy.  As a designer myself, building on the "type" has a lot of benefits as a working designer.  I get why he is doing it and would/am doing the same thing. 

One thing Stargrave missed out, that Frostgrave did so well; was adding little blurbs that added a lot of flavor and a perception of depth.  It sounds like The Silver Bayonet may be in a similar place.  Missed some of the flavor and perception of depth in the core book.  Typically, Joe has resolved this issue with more releases such as Thaw of the Liche Lord, Quarantine 37(?), and Cities of Bronze.***   

One thing I will say, if you want to see where the game goes it will need $$$ support.  If there is an author you like and want to see more games from them, you need to buy their rulebooks or Osprey will stop picking up their books.  Simple economics really. 



***- On a side note, Ghost Archipelago did the best job of the rules reflecting the reality of the game of all of Joe's releases in the initial book.  Top notch bit of work by adding the flavor in the mechanics with swimming, boats, random monsters, Heritors, etc.  IMHO.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on December 15, 2021, 09:07:23 AM

One thing I will say, if you want to see where the game goes it will need $$$ support.  If there is an author you like and want to see more games from them, you need to buy their rulebooks or Osprey will stop picking up their books.  Simple economics really. 


I could not agree more.

My thoughts on releasing my initial impressions was not to discourage people from buying, but rather for people to be informed before they get it and are disappointed. We need folks to support this release if we are going to see more and it does deserve the support. There is clearly more interest in the niche than I expected.

Edit: As you can see, I am a big fan of Joe McCullough games. I am hoping Santa helps with some Stargrave presents under the tree this year.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Bloggard on December 15, 2021, 11:25:42 AM
I appreciate this first look, as my copy is still on the way. 

It sounds like a good, solid release from Joe.  I am glad he is experimenting with his resolution mechanics and action economy.  As a designer myself, building on the "type" has a lot of benefits as a working designer.  I get why he is doing it and would/am doing the same thing. 

One thing Stargrave missed out, that Frostgrave did so well; was adding little blurbs that added a lot of flavor and a perception of depth.  It sounds like The Silver Bayonet may be in a similar place.  Missed some of the flavor and perception of depth in the core book.  Typically, Joe has resolved this issue with more releases such as Thaw of the Liche Lord, Quarantine 37(?), and Cities of Bronze.***   

One thing I will say, if you want to see where the game goes it will need $$$ support.  If there is an author you like and want to see more games from them, you need to buy their rulebooks or Osprey will stop picking up their books.  Simple economics really. 



***- On a side note, Ghost Archipelago did the best job of the rules reflecting the reality of the game of all of Joe's releases in the initial book.  Top notch bit of work by adding the flavor in the mechanics with swimming, boats, random monsters, Heritors, etc.  IMHO.

absolutely, in all respects.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: joe5mc on December 15, 2021, 12:03:48 PM
***- On a side note, Ghost Archipelago did the best job of the rules reflecting the reality of the game of all of Joe's releases in the initial book.  Top notch bit of work by adding the flavor in the mechanics with swimming, boats, random monsters, Heritors, etc.  IMHO.

I completely agree with you.  It all just really seemed to come together there.  Thanks for the kind words.  (Those little 'flavour' boxes in Frostgrave are killer to come with)
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on December 15, 2021, 12:19:29 PM
Ulterior Motives… that is something Mrs. GG and I are big fans of that could add more flavor to the Silver Bayonet. We are in the process of printing out and lamenting the Ghost Archipelago Ulterior Motive cards from the Spellcaster magazines. Great stuff!

Joe, do you think you will be putting Silver Bayonet material in future Spellcasters?
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Bearwoodman on December 16, 2021, 12:12:07 PM
I have still not played Silver Bayonet (still slowing assembling forces) but I agree with Grumpy Gnome that Ulterior Motives adds a lot to our Frostgrave games and it sounds like a similar mechanism would work for Silver Bayonet too.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: vodkafan on December 19, 2021, 01:29:22 AM
We are in the process of printing out and lamenting the Ghost Archipelago Ulterior Motive cards from the Spellcaster magazines. Great stuff!



Lamenting? Could you mean Laminating perchance?
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on December 19, 2021, 09:03:07 AM
Lamenting? Could you mean Laminating perchance?

Doh! That is what I get for writing in haste. I shall now lament my spelling error.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: has.been on December 19, 2021, 11:08:05 AM
Quote
Lamenting? Could you mean Laminating perchance?

I was going to say that if they didn't, they would be sorry. ;)
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Michi on December 22, 2021, 09:27:12 PM
I finally managed to finish reading the book today. Here is my impression:

It is perfectly what I expected to get and even more, because it's less. I will explain - I find the entire thing is a piece of art, perfectly self-containing with exact the amount of information and design provided that appeals to awake my interest and make me think and start playing in mind. I appreciate the lack of historic information about the era and the usual photos of painted samples. This is just a fair rulebook, hardcover, properly bound, nicely designed and well written.
I can't congratulate Joe too much for having it done this way. My kind of book. Many thanks Joe!  :D
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Cat on December 22, 2021, 10:02:09 PM
Got my book at last on Sunday, the FLGS finally got it in.
 
Haven't finished reading yet.  My only critique so far is on Osprey — there's a lot of white space on each page; my eyes would be happier with a little less space between each line and a little bigger font!
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: tikitang on December 23, 2021, 06:49:58 AM
I finally managed to finish reading the book today. Here is my impression:

It is perfectly what I expected to get and even more, because it's less. I will explain - I find the entire thing is a piece of art, perfectly self-containing with exact the amount of information and design provided that appeals to awake my interest and make me think and start playing in mind. I appreciate the lack of historic information about the era and the usual photos of painted samples. This is just a fair rulebook, hardcover, properly bound, nicely designed and well written.
I can't congratulate Joe too much for having it done this way. My kind of book. Many thanks Joe!  :D

These are my sentiments exactly.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Bloggard on December 23, 2021, 11:32:56 AM
These are my sentiments exactly.

and mine ...

apart from the photos of painted figures / dioramas etc.

I still find Osprey's apparent embarrassment regarding showing miniatures etc to advantage really odd and self-defeating - I mean, who else but miniature gamers (or gamers interested in using miniatures) do they think are going to be interested in these products?

when their rulebooks do have more photographic illustration, the size of images are relatively small (no double-page spreads for example - while e.g. the Oathmark books have lots of relatively uninispired digital 'fine' art pieces presented in just that way) and the diorama work in said photos is decidely uninspired (GA - I'm looking at you).

they should really take a look at the original Mordheim rulebook (or maybe it was the 'annual' - can't remember now). Where the rules were set within very atmospheric line-art illos, but there was a superb colour 'miniatures' section as well.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: TheKing30 on December 31, 2021, 03:20:42 PM
Got my book at last on Sunday, the FLGS finally got it in.
 
Haven't finished reading yet.  My only critique so far is on Osprey — there's a lot of white space on each page; my eyes would be happier with a little less space between each line and a little bigger font!

I couldn't agree more.  My son got me the book for Xmas (along with the French and Spanish box sets.  I have a great son) but I also have the book on my Amazon Fire Tablet so I can make it as large and as bright as my eyes need!

Happy New Year all!
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Darkson71 on January 05, 2022, 03:20:16 PM
[Disclaimer] Not had a chance to play the game yet, not even solo.


As a concept, the game is interesting to me, though it feels a little "underfleshed" compared to Joe's other games (which are hardly bursting with fixed details [a good thing!]. I think it calls to me because I used to read a lot of "what if" type novels (Harry Turtledove for example), and as we know there are a lot more species of life out there that science doesn't know about, I like to think there are a few "exotic" kinds we've missed. ;)
That said, being underfleshed does make it easy to reskin to other periods, historical or not.

Without actually using them, I like the variation on the dice type. While the swingy nature of the D20 never bothered me, having a game where you have a bit better chance of predicting your success is reassuring (even if I know I'll still fail! lol). That most models will need more than one hit to be removed is a plus for me.

Weapon ranges: I'm not an historian, nor a historical gamer, the Napoleonic period was not something I was taught at school (even in passing), nor is it a period that has ever really interested me, so I have zero idea on the real ranges, reloading speeds or damage of the weapons, and I'm perfectly fine with that. It's a game, and I'd rather play a game that works because it plays a bit "fast and loose" with the facts than one that sticks laviously to the "real world" and isn't fun. I mean, I came to wargaming via RT 40K, where weapons had fluff ranges of miles (or 100s of miles in some cases) and yet had a gaming range of a few inches.
And also, the minimal weapons list helps with reskinning the game if that's your wont.


TL/DR it's a game, it looks fun, it doesn't claim to be "real life accurate" and I hope to play it sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: tikitang on January 05, 2022, 04:32:36 PM
I completely agree with the above. In particular:

...being underfleshed does make it easy to reskin to other periods, historical or not.
 
That's something I really appreciate about it.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Bloggard on January 06, 2022, 12:15:18 PM
yep, that's how I'm feeling about it too Darkson and Tikitang.

I do have a copy of the rules, although yet to read them properly.

the 'underfleshed' nature will be important to me - as I intend to houserule away from the nationalistic 'teams', and have more of a dirty dozen against the unknown kind of thing going on.

will also prob. be tending more towards a baron Munchhausen type vibe (at least visually) too, as I've picked up some Foundry 7yw figs (copplestone - excellent, 'big' 28s) to give me more choice in the good guys dept.

accuracy (excuse pun) of historical minutiae is of little interest to me.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: NickNascati on January 07, 2022, 02:59:28 AM
The thing I don’t get about most of the Osprey rules, is that the “units” don’t make sense.  Instead of having a core of regular troops, it’s one of these and one of those.  Just looks wrong to me.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: BZ on January 07, 2022, 09:16:01 AM
In Silver Bayonet its a special unit made of mixed soldiers. Why should a small occultist, monster hunting unit be made of just light cavalry?
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: tikitang on January 07, 2022, 09:39:13 AM
Yeah, it's meant to be an elite team of individual specialists from all different types of military branches.

Though the rules are such that your team COULD be entirely light cavalry, if you so desired.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on January 07, 2022, 09:45:11 AM
Well, there is a certain “Hollywood Heroes” aspect to it… which is part of the charm. In the same way that Sharp Practice seems inspired by the Sharpe TV shows, just with an even more eclectic group.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Darkson71 on January 07, 2022, 05:19:21 PM
Think of The A Team rather than SAS Zero Brave One....
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Cat on January 07, 2022, 05:31:58 PM
Though the rules are such that your team COULD be entirely light cavalry, if you so desired.

I am pondering a Cossack squad after I catch up more on painting the variety of units already on hand.  The Officer and Veteran Hunter could take horsies too.  Old Glory has a lot of very tempting packs of dis/mounted figures.
 
*edit*
Or possibly French Dragoons...
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: NotifyGrout on January 07, 2022, 07:06:31 PM
I still find Osprey's apparent embarrassment regarding showing miniatures etc to advantage really odd and self-defeating - I mean, who else but miniature gamers (or gamers interested in using miniatures) do they think are going to be interested in these products?

...

they should really take a look at the original Mordheim rulebook (or maybe it was the 'annual' - can't remember now). Where the rules were set within very atmospheric line-art illos, but there was a superb colour 'miniatures' section as well.

I'm kind of the opposite. I grew up on Games Workshop's decidedly over-the-top diorama work and lush (sometimes overblown) illustrations, and instead of being inspiring, it felt overbearing and a standard that someone like me (limited hobby time, budget, and especially focus) could never achieve. I was always so frustrated that those super rad John Blanche illustrations rarely showed up in miniatures form ;D

I like the more grounded approach of Osprey and others like them. Sometimes I just want the rules, diagrams, play examples, and just enough art and painted mini photos that the book feels professional. My personal experience has kind of turned me off to the lavish GW presentation style. I have also discovered a lot of great rulesets that don't have that level of production quality but a) have given me a lot more fun and b) cost less, sometimes a lot less, than GW's offerings.

Again, nothing wrong with having a preference. GW books are usually just plain fun to look through. As a manual for playing a game, I tend to prefer to get to the point these days- my fellow players and I will write the stories on the table.

Back closer to the original topic, I am considering picking this up. A friend of mine is really interested in the setting, and we both like Frostgrave, so it's likely just a matter of time.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Kikuchiyo on January 12, 2022, 07:21:38 PM
I've given it alot of thought and while I really like the idea there's just too few solo missions for me to want to commit. If there's an expansion at some point I might take the plundge but it would have to be more like ROSD for me.

Might still build a warband or two though
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Bloggard on January 12, 2022, 07:36:14 PM
I'm kind of the opposite. I grew up on Games Workshop's decidedly over-the-top diorama work and lush (sometimes overblown) illustrations, and instead of being inspiring, it felt overbearing and a standard that someone like me (limited hobby time, budget, and especially focus) could never achieve. I was always so frustrated that those super rad John Blanche illustrations rarely showed up in miniatures form ;D

I like the more grounded approach of Osprey and others like them. Sometimes I just want the rules, diagrams, play examples, and just enough art and painted mini photos that the book feels professional. My personal experience has kind of turned me off to the lavish GW presentation style. I have also discovered a lot of great rulesets that don't have that level of production quality but a) have given me a lot more fun and b) cost less, sometimes a lot less, than GW's offerings.

Again, nothing wrong with having a preference. GW books are usually just plain fun to look through. As a manual for playing a game, I tend to prefer to get to the point these days- my fellow players and I will write the stories on the table.

Back closer to the original topic, I am considering picking this up. A friend of mine is really interested in the setting, and we both like Frostgrave, so it's likely just a matter of time.

fair enough  :)
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Kikuchiyo on January 18, 2022, 11:01:59 PM
anyone know what minis fit with the northstar range?

I'm thinking front rank chunky rather than perry or foundry?
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Bloggard on January 20, 2022, 06:40:23 PM
prob. not period enough for you - but the Foundry Copplestone 7yw are 'big' 28s and fit very well with the official figures.

he did the russians and possibly others.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Cat on January 20, 2022, 06:47:11 PM
Foundry's Napoleonics aren't cartoony chunky, but I think they would mix well enough with anything. 

Their packaging is perfect for TSB — one pack of infantry in mixed skirmishing poses and optionally a command pack if there's a matching one give a great assortment for building a full hunting unit.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Patrice on January 20, 2022, 08:36:15 PM
the “units” don’t make sense.  Instead of having a core of regular troops, it’s one of these and one of those.  Just looks wrong to me.

You could play it with a normal squad of regular troops, with one or two specialists (the officer, and a chaplain or whoever) added?
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Cat on January 20, 2022, 08:55:58 PM
You could play it with a normal squad of regular troops, with one or two specialists (the officer, and a chaplain or whoever) added?

The specialists can also be regular troops who have developed specialised skills and carry specialised weaponry in the field for these missions.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Kikuchiyo on February 10, 2022, 09:03:49 PM
The specialists can also be regular troops who have developed specialised skills and carry specialised weaponry in the field for these missions.

That's my plan...
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Kikuchiyo on February 12, 2022, 06:51:49 PM
I was a bit concerned that 6 solo missions might not be enough for mr but having just discovered a solo mission generator elsewhere i'm going to go all in and give this a go

I would have prefered more narative driven missions like ROSD but I'm also wondering if I just can't convert them too

blood moon and Burning Light seems like good places to start

Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: BZ on February 12, 2022, 06:55:59 PM
I was a bit concerned that 6 solo missions might not be enough for mr but having just discovered a solo mission generator elsewhere i'm going to go all in and give this a go
May it be possible to know, where this elsewhere is?
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Kikuchiyo on February 12, 2022, 08:48:15 PM
How does cross posting work on here

is it ok?

Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Sarmor on February 13, 2022, 07:57:35 AM
May it be possible to know, where this elsewhere is?
It's been shared in the Silver Bayonet FB group - here's the link to author's Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/12iq9UAsctvRWeD5NffdYfX9w0iHTW6RM
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: BZ on February 13, 2022, 08:06:01 AM
Thanks!
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Kikuchiyo on February 13, 2022, 08:50:36 AM
Yep thats the one - wasn't sure if it was published
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Malamute on February 13, 2022, 11:32:29 AM
How does cross posting work on here

is it ok?
I am afraid it’s a no go. Sorry please restrict your posts to one board only. Thank you. :)
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Kikuchiyo on February 13, 2022, 12:44:55 PM
I am afraid it’s a no go. Sorry please restrict your posts to one board only. Thank you. :)

Wasn't quite what I mean - I was asking about reposting links to other forums such as boardgamesgeekv on here

not posting the same thing in multiple sections on here
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Malamute on February 13, 2022, 02:05:40 PM
Wasn't quite what I mean - I was asking about reposting links to other forums such as boardgamesgeekv on here

not posting the same thing in multiple sections on here

Ahh, you should have said in the question, thats  different from cross posting. You are welcome to repost links from other forums. If it’s blog etc, it’s worth posting a photo from the blog if possible. Many forum users won’t click on external links to blogs without a picture to spark an interest.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Kikuchiyo on February 13, 2022, 04:59:49 PM
Ahh, you should have said in the question, thats  different from cross posting. You are welcome to repost links from other forums. If it’s blog etc, it’s worth posting a photo from the blog if possible. Many forum users won’t click on external links to blogs without a picture to spark an interest.

Apologies

 I was following the flow of the thread as I had been asked a question

but its good to know what the forum decorum is

Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Kikuchiyo on February 22, 2022, 11:19:24 PM
So been playing a bit and one think that I can't quite work out is the points cost for some of the troop types

gor example

An 8 point different between an infantry man and a rifleman for the minimmal shoot improvment, compaired to the 5 point difference for the grenadier with 3 stat improvments doesn't seem righ to me? If the Rifleman was the same cost as a Grenadier it would seem more balanced

Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: JollyBob on February 23, 2022, 04:23:38 PM
Rilflemen have more expensive, harder to source equipment, maybe?
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Kikuchiyo on February 23, 2022, 04:52:23 PM
Rilflemen have more expensive, harder to source equipment, maybe?

If it had +1 damage and +2 shoot maybe but for 5% better hit ratio and a few more inches range on a limited table
the 8 points aren't worth it


Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: BZ on February 23, 2022, 06:16:42 PM
I think all of the XGrave games have exponencial growing point values. But as it is ment to be a campaign game, it is possible to start with cheap troops, and then change them later as the wealth grows.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Kikuchiyo on February 23, 2022, 07:19:12 PM
I think all of the XGrave games have exponencial growing point values. But as it is ment to be a campaign game, it is possible to start with cheap troops, and then change them later as the wealth grows.

I agree but I just think these are off compaired to other games you'd start with the low point troops and see a clear benifit to upgrading later, I can't see why you'd bother spending the extra with some of the choices, once you've a bit of xp with that 10 point infantryman you'd be worst off if you switched them out for an 18 point rifleman

Rifleman should have been 15 points max
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Archduke of Earl on February 23, 2022, 07:37:32 PM
Re the cost vs effectiveness of the rifle/rifleman, I assume the standard ratings for the rifle - including the fact that it can reload as quickly as a musket - indicate the use of unpatched balls which have only slightly more accuracy than shots from a smoothbore musket.  A patched ball load, necessary to get the full effect of the rifling, would take at least twice as long to reload.

Therefore I'm planning on using as a house rule the following: "The first shot of a rifle in a scenario has a range of 36" and an additional +1 shooting modifier. All subsequent shots use the standard rules."
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: BZ on February 23, 2022, 09:14:14 PM
Dont forget that rifleman uses the skil dice and not the power dice. And you have equal amounts of both in the fate (?) pool, and majority of the weapons uses the power one. That means, that you will probably have more oppurtunities to reroll the attacks. Its not that much of a difference, but it is a difference.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: War Monkey on February 24, 2022, 03:03:21 AM
You can fudge the numbers a little by maybe 5 maybe 10 points, after all it is your house rules. Like every team you have to have a Red Shirt or two as fodder, Privates Lead the Way!  lol
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Kikuchiyo on February 25, 2022, 04:59:05 PM
I prefer to stick to the rules - have just settled on not having a rifleman in my unit - already have a pretty even split between skill and power dice re-rolls
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Wilgut Spleens on March 01, 2022, 12:47:16 PM
I have played this game quite a few times now and it is fun!
It works better than any of the X grave games, the mechanics seem sound. There are definite tactical choices to make and they do influence play. The use of monster dice has often proven to be a little subgame all of its own. Especially when the horrible Black Dog appears.
I think you can only expect so much historical accuracy and realism in a game that has trolls, vampires, swivel guns, pixies etc. Nit-picking about ranges and effects of various weapons, quibbles about character classes (no voltigeur!) seems somewhat superfluous in a game where your best weapon might be a bag of salt or a carved leg bone or a piece of wood with a sigil on it. It’s an easy enough matter to write your own house rules or tweak a factor or two.
True the indexing leaves something to be desired and some of the character classes seem a little unbalanced, the Sapper is either way OP or way too cheap. You get the impression it was rushed into print and could have benefitted from some robust proof reading, but it really doesn’t matter. I can’t imagine SB being played competitively so I guess that’s no great issue.
The game does not purport to be a realistic simulation of warfare but it is fun. There’s a refreshingly new approach to traditional monsters such as goblins, which are not any kind of a push over and even a fairly simple foe such as a ghost can produce a few scares for even the hardiest soldier.
The game lends itself to modification too. As any mythical, legendary or even prehistorical beast may be expected to appear, plucked from its home by the mysterious Harvestmen, you can use any figures you choose and writing profiles for new monsters is an easy task.
Its quick to play, we knock out three games on a Sunday. The scenarios are well thought out, each one is very different from the last, some great surprises in there! The campaign is fun but over too soon.
I have written a whole new campaign! “One of our Spies is Missing” which may prove to be a little tougher than what we have become used to
My only gripe with SB is at the moment there is not enough of it, I hope Joe follows up with some more content!


Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on March 01, 2022, 03:31:41 PM
I hear you mate and I am glad you like it.

It was never my intent to try to ruin anyone’s enjoyment.

It just is not for me in its current state and I find comments like…

“ I think you can only expect so much historical accuracy and realism in a game that has trolls, vampires, swivel guns, pixies etc. Nit-picking about ranges and effects of various weapons, quibbles about character classes (no voltigeur!) seems somewhat superfluous in a game where your best weapon might be a bag of salt or a carved leg bone or a piece of wood with a sigil on it. It’s an easy enough matter to write your own house rules or tweak a factor or two.”

… to be problematic.

1) Some historical references, context, physics etc with supernatural elements helps suspension of disbelief for me. I do not expect pure simulation however I would like more simulation than is currently in the mix.

2) Nit-picking? I do not think it is nit-picking to expect weapons in a combat focused game to have mechanics that reflect the historical characteristics of those weapons. Flintlock weapons and warfare have a certain flavor that I find lacking in the Silver Bayonet as it currently stands.

3) Character classes being present or not, balanced or not, are not superfluous conversations otherwise any time you add fantasy or fictional elements to anything then “anything goes” and again my suspension of disbelief goes too. Now, you may be fine with that but I do not like terms like “nit picking” and “superfluous” being brought into the conversation.

4) Of course I can write house rules. I can write my own game if I want to. I had hoped to avoid doing either.

All that aside, and I hope I misread the tone in your post as I know internet conversations are challenging to get exactly right, you make some valid points agree with.

It is interesting to see some monsters break from a lot of common current fantasy tropes.

The game mechanics with the dice pools are interesting.

I do like to hear people are enjoying the game. I want it to do well and for Joe to make more books. I want North Star to keep making great Silver Bayonet miniatures.

I just feel, as you also pointed out, that the game feels like it was not quite ready.

It is not that I expect everyone to agree with my opinion or my observations. I have no problem debating differences but it is a bit irritating to be told I am nit-picking when I want some game mechanics to reflect certain physics.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Wilgut Spleens on March 01, 2022, 03:54:46 PM
Hey Rick! Sory mate, didn't mean to ruffle any feathers! To be honest I didn't read the original post, just probably about the last few pages and my comments refer to those!. And I have no intention of having a"tone " in my post . I am just writing an enthusiastic opinion of a game which is really good fun and works well. I would hope any implied tone would be one of psoitivity for a great game. It's certainly not meant to be antagonistic. I too had some doubts, but , really , you should play it and then you have a valid case for any criticism. I did notice a couple of posts here from people who really do not understand the game at all offering ideas for changing rules and capabilities of weapons which i find extraordinariy when they haven't even played the game as it stands. One comment about increasing the range of rifles to 36" seems particualry strange since the board is only 30" across! However, I write with goodwill and just want tp push the positive as someone who has played the game.I think, knowing a bit about you and your gaming style, that you would absolutely love this game and I would encourage you to give it  a go. Like all narrative games, you tend to get out what you put in. I will write a full review of the game in a blog as soon as I can get some pics done (Long Covid continues to be aproblem and I haven't had the steength to get into the attic where I keep everything!)
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: War Monkey on March 01, 2022, 04:13:36 PM
I haven't played a game as of yet, I'm still waiting to additional figures to come in the mail. In the meanwhile, I am working on terrain. I am also currently working on sculping my idea of Revenants. I have read the rules a couple of times and I am very excited to play. I am hoping that there will be more solo scenarios.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on March 01, 2022, 07:31:47 PM
Fair enough mate, as I said I hoped that I was wrong.

I have dabbled enough with the game solo at this stage to feel that my first impressions have not changed. It has some good aspects. It needs more development but it is on the right track in several regards.

Sorry to hear the Long Covid is still bothering you. I hope it finally fades away and you get all of your physical energy back. You clearly still have your energetic gaming enthusiasm!
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Wilgut Spleens on March 01, 2022, 08:07:26 PM
Fair enough! I have not played it solo yet so I may change my opinion. I want get all the figures and terrain together first so I can create an immersive experience for myself. I have written a new campaign for it that I think will be much tougher than the existing game, I can send you a copy by email if you are interested in play testing it. It will take little work to make it suitable for solo play. We have changed a few rules. The incidents and encounters happen too rarely so for us they occur on any double. I've created some new monsters and attributes too.

I am much better thanks for asking, went through a real rough patch towards the end of last year, didn't think I would make it to Christmas, but therapy is helping and I get stronger every week. It's actually easier to get to the club to play than it is to get into my war room!
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: craigjonwoodfield on May 05, 2022, 12:37:53 AM
I, for one, appreciate your commentary Grumpy Gnome (perhaps because we are of a similar age?), and it has certainly swayed me on this particular game. I shall wait and see.

It's hard to criticize games and games designers without coming across as churlish. It's a relatively small community and most of the designers seem to be thoroughly decent folks. But criticism is necessary, and counteracts the content of the likes of WI, where nary a critical word seems to be published, even for some very sub-standard efforts in recent years.

My observations of this author's output is that it combines the wonderful and mediocre in almost equal measure. Perhaps it is a time pressure thing.
Title: Re: My first impressions of The Silver Bayonet
Post by: Grumpy Gnome on May 05, 2022, 11:11:59 AM
I, for one, appreciate your commentary Grumpy Gnome (perhaps because we are of a similar age?), and it has certainly swayed me on this particular game. I shall wait and see.

It's hard to criticize games and games designers without coming across as churlish. It's a relatively small community and most of the designers seem to be thoroughly decent folks. But criticism is necessary, and counteracts the content of the likes of WI, where nary a critical word seems to be published, even for some very sub-standard efforts in recent years.

My observations of this author's output is that it combines the wonderful and mediocre in almost equal measure. Perhaps it is a time pressure thing.

Cheers mate, I appreciate hearing that. I certainly do not wish to appear churlish but I can see where some folks may see it that way. I am thankful for what Joe has brought into the world. Some things just work better for me than others and since I have been promoting this project in particular for a long time I wanted to give folks my honest opinion.

Nothing I have seen so far has caused me to rethink my views on this game but I am glad to hear so many are enjoying it. As it is, Mrs. GG and I very much enjoyed three Frostgrave games last month for my birthday.