As a change from the summer's diet of boardgames I tried the Perry's Travel Battle game. This was launched at Salute back in April when every other person seemed to have bought a set but I'd never actually seen it out of the box.
My friend Anthony had picked up a set and thought the system was rather good so we gave it a go last week. Anthony, being Anthony, hadn't settled for a straight game out of the box but had replicated it in 6mm using a very nice mat from Deepcut Studios marked out in appropriately sized squares.
The original Travel Battle game comes with 2 hard plastic squares which are configured to form a battlefield complete with villages and woods. The game also comes with 160 infantry, 24 cavalry and 4 guns all either generically Red or Blue. Strangely the figures are 8mm which seems an odd size to pick.
The rules are nicely simple and use grid based movement. An interesting touch is that units have to be linked to a square containing a Brigadier (this can be as part of a chain of units). One effect of combat or shooting is to force units to retire back to the table edge at which point the Brigadier is forced to ride back and lead the unit back to the frontline, leaving the rest of his command waiting and not advancing. I quit like grid based games...they can make the game seem rather chess-like but they make movement and range finding nice and simple.
As I mentioned earlier, Anthony had replicated the boxed game on the tabletop using the original set to determine table layout and then placing appropriate terrain on the mat. We also used his very nice Baccus 6mm Napoleonic figures
As expected Anthony played British (he always does)... I had some lucky early dice throws which caused some casualties from my artillery fire and set the tone for the game. The French right flank advanced slowly with the Guard proving reluctant to get to grips with the enemy but over on my left my cavalry charged straight into the British infantry. There was quite a tussle on this flank but my cavalry were quickly supported by some rapidly advancing infantry and began to carve their way through the British flank and then centre, breaking both Brigades in turn. To be fair this was mainly due to some lucky dice throwing rather than any cunning tactic.
The rules are nice and simple, reminiscent of the Neil Thomas rules (although I think there's more depth to the NT rules) and are ideal for a quick evening game or for the kind of quick game the Travel Battle set aims for. I'm not sure it would tempt me to buy a set of the Travel Set but I can see the attraction if you want to take a game to a friends or play eg in the pub.