Might and Reason is a set of rules by which players can use miniature figures of any size or basing system to recreate the famous, large-scale battles of the mid-18th century. The game is scaled so that one unit of infantry or cavalry represents about four historical battalions or ten squadrons, respectively. Players can fight the great battles like Leuthen or Zorndorf to a decisive conclusion in 3-4 hours.
Might and Reason is not just a rulebook; it is a complete battle and campaign system. It has a points-based army generation system for competitive, “pick-up,” or tournament play. It has two entirely separate campaign games: an operational system for single-year regional campaigns, and the other for an all-European “grand campaign.” lt comes with sample campaigns and scenarios, lavishly detailed army lists, officer ratings, historical essays, and many full-color pictures that will whet your appetite for gaming in this period when men truly “dressed to kill.”
All infantry and cavalry units have two bases, while artillery units have one. The game has two basing options, for small (6-15mm) or large (15-28mm) figures.
An important feature of Might and Reason is that it uses Base Widths (BW) for all measurements. That means you can use any basing system at all, without changing anything in the rules. No re-bnsing is ever required.
In general, for smaller figures, it is best to use a 2:1 ratio of width to depth for each infantry and cavalry base. Artillery and officers should be single-BW squares. For larger figures, a square BW works best for each base (so that you can have greater depth), except for artillery, which needs a 1:2 width/depth ratio.
For example, here are some common, or “recommended” basing systems:
Each base is 2″ (50mm) wide by 1″ (25mm) deep. Officers are mounted on 1″ (25mm) square bases.
Each lnf or Cav. base is 2″ (50mm) square. An artillery base is 2″ (50mm) wide by 4″ (100mm) deep. Officers are mounted on 2~ (50mm) square bases.
The two formations in the game are “March Formation” (MF), representing
columns (one stand in front of the other), and “Fighting Formation” (FF),
representing lines (both stands abreast). Each u nit represents a brigade of @4 battalions or @10 squadrons.
“Can I use Might and Reason for the War of Spanish Succession? What about the Great Northern War? How about the American Revolution?”
What the Game Includes
The rules, army lists, and officers, are calibrated for the period from the 1730s through the 1770s. Furthermore, this is a brigade-scale game, with each side representing anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 men.
This is not really the game you need for the American Revolution, unless you are planning some what-if scenarios involving bigger armies than those which fought in 90% of the historical battles of that conflict. And M&R is definitely not appropriate for the French and Indian War; indeed the entire battle of Quebec, at this scale, would comprise about four units on each side.
The Sun King? The Eastern Gunpowder Empires?
On the other hand, you definitely could use M&R to fight the battles of the early 18th century, both in Europe and Asia. Greg Savvinos has produced modules for the War of Spanish Succession and the Great Northern War. His “Lion and the Crescent module takes Might and Reason to Central Asia for the wars of the Persians, Mughals, and Ottomans. You can download these modules by going to the scenarios page.
Might and Reason is an 84-page book. The actual game-rules comprise about 30 pages. The rest of the book is filled with scenarios, campaign games, appendices for all the major and minor armies of the mid-18th century and all their generals.
A Constant and Unpredictable Challenge
With variable-length turns and initiative swinging back and forth, the commander is always trying to manage his army and his timing to get the first and most advantageous volleys, the right moment to launch a cavalry charge, or the best distance to deploy from columns into lines. And because the day of bailie itself has an unpredictable number of turns, the commander has tough decisions to make regarding when to release reserves, when to press home the attack, and when he can afford to be patient.
Personalized Order of Battle
Like an 18th-century commander, you must create the corps and choose which generals to assign to command them. The O.B. is in your hands, but can you rely on all your generals? Their skills are subject to change, moody fellows!
Use Your Formations Carefully!
Choose carefully the time and place to deploy from columns into line of battle. Too early, and you will have telegraphed your intentions and given your opponent time to react. Too late, and he will catch you in those vulnerable columns and wreck havoc.
Scout Before the Battle and Pursue After It
Your light cavalry is invaluable for gaining advantage in deployment, and then for pursuing the beaten foe, or covering your own retreat afterward.
Like its cousin, Fast-Play Grande Armee, M&R does not require any rosters or unit labels. And like all games of the GA family, all the key rules and tables fit on two sides of a single page.
Design Your Own Armies for Pickup Games
The “Army Builder” section enables clubs or groups to generate points-based competition armies for local tournaments, or for a historical pickup games, such as British vs. Russians.
For more information on the game’s design parameters and assumptions, scales, and philosophy, download the Designer’s Notes.