Friday, 5 May 2017

GA PA Rule playtest

I picked up a copy of GA PA recently after hearing good things about them. we have trialled Black Powder twice and although it worked we still had doubts about using the same rules for various conflicts and also the inevitable mix ups with using these rules and the others from the same stable Hail Ceasar and Pike and Shotte.

So I printed a set off and have to say immediate impression was wow. Over faced with 2 inch of A4 paper.

However chum Chris was not phased and began to wade through it as Mark and I read the odd page and gave up too quickly. Chris very soon decided these had a lot to offer and not just for Great Northern War.

So we set up a small game.

8 battalions of Danes and 4 regiments of horse with 2 guns took on 7 battalions of Swedes with oen gun and 4 regiments of horse. So a slight imbalance in favour of the Danes but the quality of the Swedes was much higher and a quick look at the points stats shows that the Swedes cost quite a lot more.

Chris warned us it wasn't complicated it was just thorough and different, well he was right in both case.

The Swedes

The Danes

First things first, how far do they move? Well 150 paces. So this is a variable measurement based on the frontage of a unit. So that's OK a base is 50mm so this works. Movement is 150mm or roughly 6 inches for foot, 250mm or 8 inches or so for horse.

Each "wing" and the main body has a commander with a rating, the rating tells us how many orders they can give. My Swedish commander was pretty good so had 4, if your units are in one line or one column then one order brings them all under control. All well and good. So far so good, I did however feel movement would be very slow at 6 inches per move.

So initiative, again this is very different, no" you go I go" if you win initiative you decide who goes first with how many orders. So I can decide I want to hang back and see what you do. I give you three orders to my one, you must issues three orders, then issue one until you have run out and then I issues all my orders that are left. Quite neat really, but you do have to think about. Or not.

Mark wins initiative, decide I will go first. I roll to order my line of foot forward, nothing. Then I order the horse forward and off they go. Mark responds by charging his first two ranks of horse at mine. He is trotters so has to attatch his general to get them moving. The quality of the Swedish horse tells, the Danes bounce and are disordered but no further effects.

The two battle lines creep further forward then I launch my cavalry at Mark, Huzzah both Danish units rout.

The foot are now much closer in the middle, desultory artillery does little damage and we are on to move 2.

Move 2, because of the firing visibility is now reduced which means command ranges are reduced. No impact yet but you can start to see it will do on a  broken battle line. Mark has initiative and again makes me go first, brilliant it worked so well before I throw my cavalry at him. This time he shoots me with closing fire and one my units routs, bugger! The other closes but the melee is inconclusive.

The foot close to 50 paces and a fire fight ensues, Mark has the better as is firing stats are better (I have 1/3 pike) but not enough for either side to be pushed back, so now we close. Mark gets to go first as he has initiative, those that are disordered cant charge so I close with them.

End result one of my units flees, one of marks flees, two or marks retreat.

HOWEVER now neither of us has a battle line intact, remember its one order for all the units in a line or column, I now need to spend my 4 orders getting my foot forward but have 6 units to order.

Mark has exactly the same problem. We both know that those units without orders will roll against a table, the Danes will probably stand, the Swedes either stand or advance.


We run out of tiem about now. Lots still to explore but it is interesting, ery interesting.

And different and thorough. As promised.

So a couple more games needed but this certainly has promise.

Thanks Chris for all the hard work with the rules. Thanks Mark for being your ever patient opponent.
Watch this space gents, we could have a game worth playing here.


  1. Seem an interesting rule set. Look forward to see how you get on with them

    1. Interesting for sure, need to be sure they play well full multi players on big tables but I have high hopes

  2. Love these armies, especially the cavalry...Lovely post!

    1. Cheers Phil, one of the reasons I chose GNW is the Swedes are 50% cavalry and Poles usually 100%.

  3. Nice write up. I too am wading through the rules. Your write helped put a few things into focus. Thanks.

    1. Early days Victor, we have a few things to straighten out. Will do another hopefully in few weeks.

  4. I've read the rules and am unsure of some of the concepts. Your post goes a little way to explain them. I'd love to give them a whirl at some point with some like minded souls.

    1. Should have said how nice the figures looked on the tabletop too - both yours and Marks.

    2. As soon as I have played a couple and got my head around them fully we will have a game.

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