Chosen Man - Review

 Chosen Man is skirmish games for Napoleonic era, specifically for Peninsular War. Player controls about thirty models in regiments from five to twenty soldiers. This is basic specification, now let’s talk not about mechanics, but about the design. The main design is based upon classical Warhammer Fantasy Battles mechanics. Well it can be called Warhammer Napoleonic Patrol. You control small light infantry and light cavalry units and the mechanics and scenario are about it.

Yes, you can find all those obsolete Warhammer rules To Hit, To Wound, Random Charge, Saves, to hit crostable reference, etc. But in this game, they works! And if you ever played GW game, you would be at home here. If you like those rules or not, the game use them, so be prepared. However, those Golden Cows, are heavily modernized. You have alternate activation, you have lovely if not huge  command and control mechanics, and the units can do actions based upon their tactical training. No herohammer, commanding officers instead. Still the autor stops at petrol station along Route 66 and stays there with end far far away. I believe there could be some additional changes. Charge + Pile In is idiotic Rule in Age of Sigmar, here it work better but still is over the top. It seems the rule is there just only to make Column to be valid formation game wise. 

Compared to GW games, the game pace well no matter the number of rolls you do per round. And that’s thanks to small units. To be honest 20-man Line Infantry regiment (only 1 is allowed per army) are very cumbersome here, and can slow down the game play so I am not sure you want them. Yes, this is not regular Napoleonic, with hundreds of models or models representing regiments of man. As I said there are small units, which can form Line or Column (but not square, too low model count) but generally you want manoeuvrability, so you will move in loose formations. And that’s the advantage. Where WHFB (or AOS or 9th Age) became more about mathammer, this game is about manoeuvrability and tactical choices. 

Very good. We decided to test it and we immediately like it because it is like Warhammer without Pit of Shades, Always Strike First and other rubbish  mechanics. With speedy gameplay, tactical decisions and acceptable number of models with good price ration (1 box of Perry Line Infantry is enough for full game of 350 to 500 points if you like) the game works well. 

Unfortunately, there are a lot of negative points I should mention. Let’s start with oversights. For example, sometimes you are using CHARGED marker, and sometime CHARGE marker, both for charging units. Hold action cost you 1TAC here and 2TAC there. Deadly Accurate and Bayonet Drills special rules are described, but there is no unit or weapon using this special rule. Just see link to unofficial erratas bellow. 

The biggest issue is Army Lists. Autor decided that he will not use all type of units and that the game due to its nature will be only about light units. I am ok with it and have no issue with it. You can speculate why this or that is not here, but that’s designer’s choice. I am pointing to the point values. You are building units in Warhammer style, you buy 4 to 9 soldiers with sergeant and then upgrades (Flag, Musician, Champion) and special rules or weapons. For example, Drilled special rule cost 2 points for this and 3 points for there. Russian Musketeers (called Fusiliers in 1812) cost same points as French Line Infantry, however its TAC value is one smaller. It means it can do one action less, this has some impact for planing! And that’s not the only ones. I have tried to identify points per unit to recreate new one, and I failed utterly not able to identify why some units cost 10 points per model and are worst in many elements than the one costing 7.  If you think about it, it looks like brushed off. Have to say there are no Austria nor Russia in main rules (see bellow). 

This is not only my suggestion, but, screw the points. Use unit you like. And if you want to work with the point values, note that units are almost the same. So if you use basic French Line Infantry as a BASE you can create almost everything and have some idea how this works. Anyway, it has to be mentioned, that you are playing with three four units here, so even if you spare five or ten points by precise recalculation of points, it is not a game changer.

The Autor wrote on his blog, that he gave away the work to Osprey and he is not paid for anything else, so we will not get anything else. We will not get how the units are builds. No DIY, which is usual workaround for Osprey Wargame series. As we do not know how the units are build, I cannot say for 100% I am wrong with unit prices. In my point of view, it seems that Autor has been haunted by time or he choose to rewrite the lists and did not check if it´s consistent to each other. 

Mentioning this, there is lack of support from Author, or Osprey. The Russian and Austrian list are not downloadable via Osprey, there is no QRS and there is no Errata/FAQ. I hope I can help so here you have some helpful links:

Who is the target for this game? I am not that much into Napoleonic’s so I do not know other game system. This should be competition to Sharp Practice, which is more random with huge emphasis on Command and Control aspect of the game. But itis excellent game very well supported. 

Thus Chosen Man can be entry point to historical games for WHFB/9th Age players – in that case the point value issues in the lists are major drawback as this is something those players generally seek.  It’s very nice game if you want to play some Napoleonic’s without battalion size games and with minor investments, or as entry level or side game to Black Powder. Thumbs Up for this game

Autor: Dalcor
Models: Novalis


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