Although I bought the book the release day and read thoroughly in my summer holiday break, I decided to refrain from commenting in the blog until after I had tested on a gaming table and could consider myself enough familiar with the system.
For that purpose, I gathered a small group of players in my local club and have been extensively playing since late September. GdA is not simple, on the contrary, the learning curve is fairly steep at the beginning; but now I feel finally fairly confident and familiar with the rules.
What is General d’Armee?
In GdA players seat in the saddle of a commander of an army or division (in Napoleonic terminology): 5 to 8 brigades, each composed of several regiments. The rules however can be stretched and extended to play with a full Army Corps. So at least on paper, GdA is suited to play medium to large battles.
However the basic manoeuvre unit is an infantry battalion (300 to 1000+ men), cavalry squadrons and artillery batteries, representing the building blocks of the regiments; and this is as we’ll see later one of my main objections to the game.
General d’Armee is an old-school wargaming set; the 100 pages manual is basically all rules, with some photos and a good number of examples to illustrate or clarify the different topics. It is not designed for a light reading; it’s full of details and as I said before, it requires a fair investment of time in reading, annotating and playing with the book on the side for consultation.