I’m working my way slowly through the rulebook Warfare in the Age of Reason (or AOR) for short. When I began looking at rulesets to use for the Seven Years War, this one seemed the most ubiquitous, and I was able to pick up a copy cheap on eBay.
Of course, by this point, I have begun seeing lots of critical reviews of AOR by people favoring other rulesets, most often Koenig Krieg, or more frequently Batailles de l’Ancien Régime, which seems to be the favorite of many who have commented here. The criticisms of AOR aren’t always clear, but it seems to follow the lines of issues with basing, typos in the rules, and failing to capture the true feel of what warfare in that era was like.
Having little idea what it is supposed to feel like, I can’t comment on the last issue. Basing issues I can understand. The rules call for three 25 to 28mm miniatures on a 1.5″ by 1″ base, which is only slightly larger than a single 25mm base for WHFB. I notice that SYW historical minis lack the wide cast-on base that some other miniatures lines have, probably for this reason, but I worry about tipping a base over, especially a command one (as a side note, I’m considering upon what I would base miniatures, having concluded that taskboard may be too flimsy).
I haven’t found the typos yet, although I’m sure I can procure a list from the AOR Yahoo group. I’m also not really sure how the game plays, although I’m vexed by the fact that unit ratings get used mathematically several different ways, including a target number to roll under and the number of dice rolled hoping to roll high. That’s really no problem, though.
BAR appears to be more flexible, insisting not on miniatures basing but on movement trays. It also favors larger numbers of miniatures to create the illusion of greater battles. On the downside, BAR isn’t really available on the secondhand or PDF market, so it would be a $35 (plus postage) investment in a second rulebook. I have this sneaky suspicion that I’ve picked up the most popular but not necessarily the best option.