Monday, 5 July 2010

New Wargame Rule Blogs

The 1813 campaign has been running for more than a year, and I am running out of space on the original blog.

Over the past few months I have been making new maps using Profantasy, and this has prompted me to revamp the whole series of the 1813 Campaign blogs.

The first one to be tackled is the Wargame Rules Blog. Over the past year or so there have been many changes to the rules due to frequent play testing. I was going to amend this blog, but then I realised it would use up too much of the remaining space.

I have decided to start a new blog. It will cover the campaign background to the rules, the armies and orders of battle it is designed to use and how to set up the wargames. It will also consider each rule and explain what hope to achieve with that rule. Eventually there will be a new set of rules. There will be an index to each rule, which will allow me to amend and update it without affecting the other rules. Finally the blog will be used to notify each change in the rules and explain why it is necessary.

You can find the new blog at

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Demo Game - Summary

The wargame table at the start of the game. Helmstedt is in the centre of the table. There are two farms (on green bases) and two areas of broken ground (brown patches). The French are in position on the table. There is one corps in Helmstedt and one on the road on either side. There are two corps in reserve behind Helmstedt. All are on "blinds" and must be spotted by the enemy to discover what is on each blind. The Prussians will enter the table from the right.

Having read through the demo game I have realised that it might be a little difficult for an inexperienced wargamer to make much sense of it all. So I though a summary, plus some explanation of the aims of the game, might be useful

Campaign background
The French army are tasked to hold the line of the river Elbe, and in particular Magdeburg. The Prussians have crossed the river in two places and forced the French to withdraw to Helmstedt, where they hope to halt the Prussian advance

The Prussian army have been very successful so far in the campaign. They have defeated the French three times, and have achieved their campaign objective of capturing Magdeburg and the river Elbe. They now want to crush the French and open the road to Hannover.

French Game Plan
You will see from the photographs above that the French have five corps on the table. All are on "blinds" so the Prussian player does not know what is where. One of the corps is a reserve, and it may either contain cavalry or artillery taken from the other corps. Or it may be a blank just used to confuse the other player.

The actual deployment is best corps in Helmstedt, two average corps either side of Helmstedt along the road, one poor corps (without cavalry or artillery) behind Helmstedt together with the reserve which consists of two cavalry brigades and horse artillery. All are on Hold orders.

The Prussian Game Plan
There are also five Prussian corps. They will all enter the table from the right of the photograph. All will be on "blinds" and all will be in column of march (this means that they must deploy in order to be able to fight).

The poorest corps is on the left (nearest the camera). It has orders to move to the front of the broken ground and hold. Two average corps have orders to move to Helmstedt either side of the road, halt out of artillery range and wait for further orders. The best corps has been placed on the right (furthest from the camera) together with the cavalry reserve, which is two brigades of cavalry and a horse battery.

The Prussian intention is to hold with their left, advance and wait with the centre, advance and attack with their right.

The Game
All went well for the Prussians to start. Their right was in position to attack, when the French attacked their reserve. The French only had one cavalry brigade against two and a gun, but they were lucky with the dice. The whole Prussian reserve broke and routed! The Prussian attack came to a halt. All corps halted and took defensive positions until new orders could be issued by the CinC.

The French were slow to react. They did send the cavalry reserve forward in the centre, and this caused panic amongst the Prussian centre, who formed square and moved artillery and cavalry around to counter this threat. However the French cavalry were not strong enough to attack without infantry support. By the time the French infantry came forward it was too late.

The Prussians regrouped one cavalry brigade and the artillery of the reserve. They then attacked again. This time they were lucky, and broke the French left wing. They pressed home their attack and broke the centre left as well.

The French commander now had half of his commant in rout or shaken and he ordered a retreat, covered by his right centre and right.

Due to the early set back, it was too late for the Prussians to complete their victory. There are only 12 moves in the game, and night fall arrived before the Prussians could exploit their victory. The French withdrew under cover of darkness.

Effect of the battle on the campaign
The purpose of the campaign is to provide good wargames, not to attempt to fight a realistic campaign. It has been our experience that in most campaigns the player who loses the first battle probably loses the whole campaign, because he carries the casualties from game to game. In our campaign battle casualties are not carried forward to the next game. The result of the battle is that the winner gains ground, and eventually his campaign objective.

The winner of a battle always has to spend one day resting and regrouping. The loser always spends the next day retreating. Great care is taken to stop both armies concentrating immediately, as that would result in one big battle and the end of the campaign. The aim is to have at least four corps battles (one for each corps) the one or two multi corps battles and finally the big one with both armies complete.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Introduction and Amendments to Wargame Rules


I have had a number of enquiries about the rules Jan and I use for the wargames in the campaign. I have sent out about 20 copies so far, but I feel that they are not really "stand alone".

The rules have evolved from various commercial sets that Jan and I have used over the years, with the most recent influence being the very popular LFS.

Just as we designed the 1813 campaign to suit our particular collection of figures, scenery and wargames table, so we have designed the rules to suit our types and numbers of model soldiers plus the type of games we want to play.

These rules will allow you to fight multi corps games with a relatively small number of figures. They are designed to represent an army corps of 20,000 to 30,000 with just 32 infantry, 4 cavalry and 1 gun. If this is not the type of game you are interested in, then I would advise that you read no further!

The rules as they stand are really just a game aid to allow Jan and I to refer to the appropriate rule as the game goes along. They do not attempt to explain why or how. With this blog I hope to be able to do that. I also hope that I may get some useful suggestions back to help us to improve the rules.

So if you have any comments on the rules do drop me a line.

Demo Game - Move 11

Taken from the Prussian right. The French left flank is completely broken, and the 1 Prussian corps and the reserve cavarly are advancing through the gap. The French have lost the battle.


After an initial set back the Prussians have recovered and are in a strong position to win the battle.

The French counter attack came too late, and has met strong resistance.

Most French corps are not on Halt orders, and waiting for new orders from the CinC

The only thing which might save the French now is nightfall.


All Prussian corps are now on attack orders

Blucher is determined to drive the French from the field


Left - 4 corps have cleared the broken ground. The CinC is moving with them to ensure that they press home the attack.

Left centre - 2 corps approach the French line

Right centre - 3 corps has deployed into column and is approaching the French line

Right - The cavalry reserve have broken the French left and are on the flank of the cavalry reserve. Their aritllery is limbered and moving in support. 1 Corps have formed column and are moving to support the cavalry.


Move 1 - French - 4 corps (chip 2)
Orders: Halt
Fire on artillery (4) miss
Bounce through (4) miss
Move infantry back into town

Move 2 - Prussian - 1 corps (chip 8)
Orders: Engage
Move forward, artillery unlimber

Move 3 - Prussian - cavalry reserve (chip 12)
Orders: Engage
Artillery fire on routers who continue rout
Cavalry advance towards town
Artillery limber and support

Move 4 - Prussian - 3 corps (chip 10)
Orders: Engage
All move forward
Test to rally Shaken gun (1), fail, still Shaken

Move 5 - French - 13 corps (chip 5)
Orders: Halt
All infantry form square

Move 6 - Poor Card

Move 7 - French - 6 corps (chip 4)
Orders: Halt
Fire on infantry (9), 1 hit, make morale

Move 8 - French - cavalry reserve (chip 6)
Orders: Hold
Prussian cavalry attempt to opportunity charge (1) fail
Test morale for lancers (1) fail and rout
Hussars test morale (4) pass, disordered
artillery test (2) fail and rout

Move 9 - Prussian - 4 corps (chip 11)
Orders: Engage
Miss move due to Poor Card

Move 10 - Prussian - 2 corps (chip 9)

Orders: Engage
No artillery
Cavalry charge enemy guns, all gunners killed
Fail morale and Pursue into routing lancers - all killed

Move 11 - French - CinC (chip 1)
Move to 13 corps change orders to retreat
Move to 6 corps change orders to retreat

Move 12 - French - 5 corps (chip 3)
Orders: Halt
Try to rally infantry, fail

Move 13 - Prussian - CinC (chip 7)
Give move to 4 corps
Fire on artillery (8) miss
All advance


Left - 5 corps broken and in rout

Left centre - cavalry reserve also broken and in rout

Right centre - under attack from front and flank, just received orders to retereat

Right - holding flank, but have received orders to retreat


The French left and centre are broken and in rout, the left centre and left are withdrawing to cover the rout.

The Prussians have won the battle, but so late in the day are unable to effectively pursue

There would normally be 12 moves in a game, but it is not worth playing as the battle is already decided.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Rule 18 - Definations


Cavalry Stationery

Formed cavalry who are charged by enemy cavalry will always charge without reaction or morale test, providing the enemy charge commences at least half a move away. If nearer the defending cavalry will be stationery.

Disordered, Shaken or Routing cavalry who are charged will have to make morale to counter charge or evade


All troops are Disordered after hand to hand combat

Both infantry brigades are Disordered when swopped around

May not initiate a combat

May not count as support

Will become Formed at the end of a complete sequence, no Pip required

Multiple Moves

Only allowed if no enemy troops or blinds within 16”


Corps commander or CinC must be in base contact and pay 1 Pip

Brigade must pass morale test

Rout becomes Shaken

Shaken becomes Disordered


May not initiate a combat

May not count as a support

Must attempt to rally each move

Becomes Shaken if rallied


May not initiate a combat

May not count as support

Must attempt to rally each move

Becomes Disordered if rallied.

Rule 17 - Morale Test

The infantry brigade in the foreground has made its test when in Rout and become Shaken. Next move it will have to test its morale again, and if it passes again it will become Disordered. The brigade behind it, with a green D, is Disordered. At the end of this entire move (when all corps have had their turn) all Disordered brigades automatically become Formed again.

Brigades who receive artillery casualties must test morale immediately. All other morale tests are at the end of the corps move. Any brigade in Rout or Shaken must test morale. Any brigade within 4" of a brigade which Routs must test their morale.


Automtic Rout

Brigades or batteries will rout without testing morale when casualties reach:

Infantry 6 casualties

Cavalry 4 casualties

Artillery 3 casualties

Grades of Morale


Disordered removed at end of sequence

Shaken must rally to become Disordered

Rout must rally to become Shaken

When to test

Brigades or batteries must test if:

Receive artillery casualties

Rout of friendly brigade within 4”



How to test

Roll 1 d6 :

Plus 1 - Class A

Plus 1 - General attached

Plus 1 - Supports within 4”

Plus 1 - In BUA

Plus 1 - Behind formed supports

Minus 1 - Class C
Minus 1 - No general within 8”

Minus 1 - Each casualty
Minus 1 - No supports within 8”

Minus 1 - Rout within 4”

Minus 1 - Routed through

Minus 1 - Disordered or pursuit

Minus 2 Rout or Shaken

Result of test

3 + Make morale

1-2 Shaken

0 - Rout

Rule 16 - Reaction to Rout

The Prussian hussar brigade has routed following a combat with the French dragoons. The supporting Prussian dragoons had to test their morale as they were within 8" and they also routed, through the artillery who then failed their morale and routed.

When a brigade fails its morale and routs, any friendly units within 4" must also test their morale. If they have a bad dice throw they may well join the rout, causing even more friendly units to test morale. The effect is even worse if a unit routs back through a friendly unit.


Nearby friendly troops

Routed troops within 4” are removed from table

Shaken troops within 4” will Rout

Other troops within 4” will test Morale

All troops involved, or routed through, are Disordered

Rout moves

Cavalry 12”

Infantry 6”

Move directly away from cause and pass through friendly troops

Attempt to Rally during next move

To Rally Commander or CinC be in base contact and pay 1 Pip

Brigade must pass Morale test

If fail continue rout but avoid friends

If pass brigade becomes Shaken


Cavalry who cause Rout roll 1 d6

5-6 All nations Pursue

4-5-6 British Pursue

If Pursue roll 1 d6

1 or 2 Pursue Routers 12” and cause another casualty

3 or 4 Charge nearest enemy within 8” and 45 degrees

5 or 6 Charge nearest enemy within 4” and 45 degrees

During next move attempt to Rally

To Rally Commander or CinC be in base contact and pay 1 Pip

Brigade must pass Morale test

If fail return to own lines Shaken

If pass brigade becomes Disordered