DaveHollins wrote:I was interested to see Bob Coggins'post on TMP - he was the designer of Napoleon's Battles and it seems there may be some copyright violations involved here, which is in itself potentially not great. Likewise, he notes that NB was the only system using unit ratings - now also adopted by FoG. While there is no copyright in an idea....
A peculiar statement since the "rating" of units has been around since the beginning of war gaming, which, of course, only makes sense since real armies "rated" their troops as guards, conscripts, etc.
Bob's comment was actually, "Up till now NBs was and is the only set that rates over 300 units from 1792 – 1815, so it will be interesting to see what units are rated and in what categories."
So what is the unique idea here?
Rating units? No. I have rules / army lists much older than NB that rate units.
Is that NB rates over 300 units? I do have before me a book published in 1986 (NB was published in 1989), "Napoleonic Army Lists" by R.M. Evans, that provides a comprehensive rating of units for the WRG rules for the period 1805-1815. At only 299 units rates, it misses the magic number of "over 300" unless I miscounted. I leave it to the reader to decide of one can copyright rating "over 300 units". Perhaps Evans should have copyrights the idea of rating "over 298 units".
Is it the dates 1792-1815? Hmm...Empire has a comprehensive rating of units from 1791-1815, perhaps they should have copyrighted "17910-1815 and all other years in between". Is choosing the date "1792" something that can be copyrighted? How about the day and month? "Your honour, the plaintiff's ratings are from 3 July, 1792 but the defendant's are 30 June, 1792. I move the case dismissed?"
Would it be the actual ratings? Having both NB and Field of Glory (Ancients and Renaissance) rules, I cannot possibly see how NB ratings would be of any value for FoG: Napoleonic since it will based on the same core mechanism used by the previous FoG rules. FoG rates according to troop type, weapon capability class and quality. NB rates according to a set of combat modifiers (specific pluses and minuses that are used by the NB combat system), these would be useless for FoG. So, yes, using the actual ratings, applicable only to the NB core combat mechanism, would be copyright infringement since they'd have to replicate the NB rules as well, but then it would be NB and not FoG which uses a different core mechanism.
By all means use innuendo to imply impropriety. Why wait for actual evidence since that evidence might not support one's prejudicial conclusions?