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.

General
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

Introduction

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.



THE BATTLE SO FAR

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.


THE PRUSSIAN PLAN

All Prussian corps are now on attack orders

Blucher is determined to drive the French from the field



PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN FROM THE PRUSSIAN SIDE OF THE TABLE

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.


BATTLE REPORT

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



PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN FROM FRENCH SIDE OF TABLE


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


SUMMARY OF MOVE 11

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



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


Disordered

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”


Rally

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

Brigade must pass morale test

Rout becomes Shaken

Shaken becomes Disordered


Rout

May not initiate a combat

May not count as a support

Must attempt to rally each move

Becomes Shaken if rallied


Shaken

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.


Background
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.


RULE 17 - MORALE TEST


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

Formed

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”

Routed

Shaken


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.


Background
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.



RULE 16 - REACTION TO ROUT


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


Pursuit

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



Demo Game - Move 10


Taken from Prussian right. The French left flank has broken and the Prussian cavalry reserve are moving towards the centre. The rest of the Prussian army are deploying into column of attack to join the advance.


THE BATTLE SO FAR

Prussian situation greatly improved due to cavalry melee on right

French halt and take defensive position


THE PRUSSIAN PLAN

Right – 1 corps and cavalry will engage enemy

Centre - 2 and 3 corps will engage enemy

Left - 4 corps will engage enemy

His intention is to make one final push to defeat the French



PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN FROM THE PRUSSIAN SIDE OF TABLE

Left. 4 corps is clearing the broken ground and advancing towards the French. The CinC has joined them to ensure that they presss home the attack.


Centre left. 2 corps have formed column of attack and are advancing towards Helmstedt


Centre right. 3 corps have formed column of attack and are advancing towards Helmstedt.

Right. The French left flank is in rout. The Prussian cavalry reserve and 1 corps are advancing into the gap left by the rout.


BATTLE REPORT


Move 1 – Prussian – CinC (chip 7)

Change 3 corps orders to Engage

Move to 4 corps

Move 2 – French – 4 corps (chip 2)

Orders: Engage

Change orders to Halt

Fire at square, roll 8, 1 hit

Prussian infantry make morale

Move 3 – Prussian – 4 corps (11)

Orders: Engage

Fire on infantry, roll 8, 1 hit

French Infantry make morale

All infantry move forward

Move 4 – French – 6 corps (chip 6)

Orders: Engage

Fire on infantry, roll 6, miss

Change orders to Halt

Move cavalry to left flank

Move 5 – French – 13 corps (chip 5)

Orders: Engage

Change orders to Halt

Infantry form line

Move 6 – Prussian – reserve (chip 12)

Orders: Engage

Canister infantry, roll 10, 2 hits

French Infantry fail morale, are Shaken

Cavalry charge and rout same square

2 French infantry and 1 gun test morale

1 French infantry rout, 1 infantry Shaken, Gun OK

Move 7 – Prussian – 1 corps (chip 8)

Orders: Engage

Infantry form column and advance

Artillery limber and advance

Move 8 – Poor Card

Move 9 – French – reserve (chip 6)

Orders: Withdraw

Fire on Shaken square, 1 hit, rout

3 Prussian infantry and 1 gun test morale

2 Prussian infantry and gun all Shaken

Artillery limber and withdraw

Move 10 – Prussian – 2 corps (chip 9)

Orders: Engage

Infantry form column and advance

Move 11 – Prussian – 3 corps (chip 10)

Orders: Engage

Fire on infantry, 1 hit, make morale

Rally infantry

Gun still shaken

Infantry rout continues

Move 12 – French – CinC (chip 1)

Move to reserve change orders to Hold

Move 13 – French – 5 corps (chip 3)

Orders: Hold

1 infantry and gun Rout

1 infantry and cavalry Shaken



PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN FROM FRENCH SIDE OF TABLE


Left. most of 5 corps is in rout and the left flank is broken


Centre left. The cavalry reserve has retreated to the road. the left hand brigade has turned to face the broken left flank.

Right centre. 13 Corps have reached the road and are taking up a defensive position.

Right. 6 corps are deployed either side of the T junction and waiting for the Prussian attack



SUMMARY OF MOVE 10

Prussians now in strong position and all advance

3 corps Shaken due to 1 infantry rout

French have all halted

Left flank has broken and is in rout

Desperately need night fall to save them



Rule 15 - Cavalry v Infantry

Prussian hussars are about to charge French infantry in column of attack. If the cavalry start their charge less than half a move away, the infantry are unable to react. If more they must test to react


Background
Only cavalry on appropriate orders may initiate a combat
Infantry can never charge cavalry
Cavalry can not charge a formed square
Note that the player with the higher combat factor can still lose the combat


RULE 15 - COMBAT CAVALRY V INFANTRY



General

Only cavalry and must Attack orders or Opportunity Charge

One brigade per side

Infantry may not charge cavalry,

Cavalry may not charge a formed square

If infantry advance cavalry must retreat to maintain 4” zone of control


Combat Factors

Plus 1 - Class A

Plus 3 - Lancers in line

Plus 3 - Heavy cavalry in line

Plus 2 - Medium cavalry in line

Plus 1 - Light cavalry in line

Plus 4 - Infantry in square

Plus 1 - Infantry in COA

Plus 1 - Infantry Fire A in line

Minus 1 - Class C

Minus 1 - Each casualty
Minus 1 - Disordered
Minus 2 - Shaken

Result

Winner roll 2 d6 dice

Plus difference in Combat Factors


Cavalry Win


Total 2-3

Cavalry halt 8" from infantry

Both disordered

No casualties


Total 4-5

Cavalry halt 8" from infantry

Both Shaken

Both lose 1 casaualty


Total 6+

Infantry Rout

Cavalry Disordered

Cavalry lose 1 casualty

Infantry lose 3 casualties


Infantry Win


Total 2-3

Infantry Rout

Cavalry Disordered

Cavalry no casualties

Infantry lose 3 casualties


Total 4-5
Infantry retreat 4"
Both Shaken
Cavalry no casualties
Infantry 2 casualties

Total 6-7
Cavalry retire 8"
Both Disordered
Both lose 1 casualty

Total 8-9
Cavalry retire 8" Shaken
Infantry Disordered
Both lose 1 casualty


Total 10+

Cavalry Rout

Infantry Disordered

Cavalry lose 2 casualties

Infantry lose 1 casualty








Rule 14 - Cavalry v Cavalry




Background
Cavalry must have appropriate orders or Opportunity Charge
Only one brigade per side may take part
Note that the player with the higher combat factor can still lose the combat


RULE 14 - COMBAT CAVALRY V CAVALRY


General

Only cavalry and must have Engage, Hold or Attack orders

Only one brigade per side can take part

Both advance to contact


Combat Factors

Plus 2 - Line v Column

Plus 2 - Heavy Cavalry

Plus 1 - Medium Cavalr

Plus 1 - A Class

Minus 1 - Class C
Minus 1 - Each casualty

Minus 1 - Disordered

Minus 2 - Shaken

Minus 2 - Stationery Cavalry


Result
Winner roll 2 d6
plus difference in Combat Factors

Total 2 -3
Winner: Routs
Winner: 2 casualties
Loser : 1 casualty

Total 4-5
Winner: retires 8” Shaken
Winner: 2 casualties
Loser: 1 casualty

Total 6-7
Draw both Disordered
Winner: 1 casualty
Loser: 1 casualty

Total 8-9
Loser: retires 8” Shaken
Winner: 1 casualty
Loser: 2 casualty

Total 10 +
Loser: Routs
Winner: 1 casualty
Loser: 2 casualty






Monday, 1 June 2009

Rule 13 - Combat Infantry v Infantry

If infantry are on attack orders their only option would be hand to hand fighting



Background
If the infantry are on Attack orders they can only hand to hand
Attack orders do not allow skirmish or fire fight
Note that the player with the higher combat factor can still lose the combat


RULE 13 - COMBAT INFANTRY V INFANTRY


General

Only infantry and must have Attack orders

Against infantry in the open

Attackers advance to contact


Combat Factors

Plus 2 - Line v Column

Plus 1 - Class A

Plus 1 - Better Skirmishers

Plus 1 - Better Firepower

Minus 2 - Outnumbered 2 to 1
Minus 1 - Each casualty

Minus 1 - Class C

Minus 1 - Disordered

Minus 2 - Shaken


Result
Winner roll 2 d6
plus difference in Combat Factors

Total 2 -3
Winner: Routs
Winner: 3 casualties
Loser : 1 casualty

Total 4-5
Winner: retires 4” Shaken
Winner: 2 casualties
Loser: 1 casualty

Total 6-7
Draw both Disordered
Winner: 1 casualty
Loser: 1 casualty

Total 8-9
Loser: retires 4” Shaken
Winner: 1 casualty
Loser: 2 casualty

Total 10 +
Loser: Routs
Winner: 1 casualty
Loser: 3 casualty





Rule 12 - Combat Infantry Firefight

The infantry may decide to initiate a firefight. If they do so their target may fire back.


Background
Not allowed if they have already skirmished this move
Note that the player with the higher combat factor can still lose the combat



RULE 12 - COMBAT INFANTRY FIREFIGHT



General

Only infantry and must have Engage or Hold orders

Against infantry in the open

Attackers must half at 2”

Both exchange fire


Combat Factors

Plus 1 - Fire A

Plus 1 - Better Skirmishers

Plus 2 - Line v Column

Minus 2 - Outnumbered 2 to 1

Minus 2 - Square

Minus 1 - Fire C

Minus 1 - Each casualty

Minus 1 - Disordered

Minus 2 - Shaken

Minus 1 - Square


Result
Winner roll 2 d6
plus difference in Combat Factors

Total 2 -3
Winner: Routs
Winner: 3 casualties
Loser : 1 casualty

Total 4-5
Winner: retires 4” Shaken
Winner: 2 casualties
Loser: 1 casualty

Total 6-7
Draw both Disordered
Winner: 1 casualty
Loser: 1 casualty

Total 8-9
Loser: retires 4” Shaken
Winner: 1 casualty
Loser: 2 casualty

Total 10 +
Loser: Routs
Winner: 1 casualty
Loser: 3 casualty