Scouting Phase

Yes, I’ve renamed the deployment phase as the scouting phase.

I’ve posted one last test of it on YouTube and I’m more than happy to say that the first part of deployment using markers is finished now.

Scouting Phase
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Recruit, Trained & Elite Troops

Now that many of the core principles and mechanics are down for the game and the first play tests start getting carried out (thanks to those of you who have agreed!), I can start focusing on some more detailed information.

In particular how we can differentiate between our different troop types. There are a number of methods we can use:

  • Increase or decrease the morale/Battle Fatigue starting value of the unit (i.e. a Brigade of Old Guard may start with a base of 10 rather than 7, while a unit of conscripts may start with a value of 5).
  • Increase or decrease the units “Steady” stat. For example, the 95th Rifles may have a “Steady” roll of 4+ rather than 5+ to show how confident they are in firing their weapons.
  • Introduce Nation rules/unit rules on top of the above, such as British troops having plus one firing dice to their amount, or Spanish Guerilla’s being able to move through impassable terrain.
  • Perhaps a particular named General may react quicker to situations on the battlefield, so every ten turns they may get an additional 10 CdO points.

You get the idea.

First point of call though is we shall differentiate between Recruited, Trained and Experienced (rather than Elite) troops.

The simplest and easiest way to differentiate here is via either the Morale/Battle Fatigue roll or the “Steady” roll. I want to avoid altering the “Steady” roll as much as possible at the moment as I’d like to reserve that for troops such as the Rifles or Old Guard etc. So initially let’s go with a modifier to their Morale/Battle Fatigue.

We’ve seen through the play testing that morale 7 + number of battalions appears to be a good starting point for units, but let’s break the morale roll down a little so we understand the statistics behind it.

Dice RollChance of rolling exact number on 2D6Chance or number or less on 2D6
22.78%2.78%
35.56%8.33%
48.33%16.67%
511.11%27.78%
613.89%41.67%
716.67%58.33%
813.89%72.22%
911.11%83.33%
108.33%91.67%
115.56%97.22%
122.78%100.00%
2D6 Die Roll Statistics

Our current morale is set to 7 +battalions (with an average of 3-4 battalions), which gives a total morale of 10 or 11, which when referred to the sheet about means a 91.67% or 97.22% success rate respectively.

This may be a little high for both Recruit and Trained troops, I think a trained Brigade should begin at Base 6 +Battalions, giving an average of 9 or 10 with 83.33% or 91.67% respectively.

Recruit should perhaps begin a spot lower than trained at 5 +Battalions, which when taking into account the 3 or 4 average size would bring us to a success rate of 72.22% or 83.33% respectively.

This feels a little more realistic at present and I’ll pencil these into the rules for now. Also remember that to boost the morale a little further the units can form into Column to give +1 morale/battle fatigue for each unit in Column Formation.

SUMMARY

  • Brigades where the lowest battalion status is ‘Recruit’ begin at 5 Morale/Battle Fatigue plus the number of Battalions.
  • Brigades where the lowest battalion status is ‘Trained’ begin at 6 Morale/Battle Fatigue plus the number of Battalions.
  • Brigades where the lowest battalion status is ‘Experienced’ begin at 7 Morale/Battle Fatigue plus the number of Battalions.

Fatigue

One important element we haven’t covered is fatigue. I’ve initially been tying this to morale in my mind as after an attack has been carried out a unit may have suffered 3 or 4 morale damage and would be pretty useless on following up with another attack on a second position or a renewed attack on a previous position it failed to gain. I imagine in my mind the unit resting for a few turns regathering its strength ready to make another push on a second position or getting ready to defend their current one. This can be shown by a unit choosing to use 5 actions to restore one morale.

I therefore need to think about renaming the Morale as something that combine Morale and Fatigue, this may just mean naming it fatigue.

If like me you look up “fatigue in the napoleonic wars” the first hit you’ll get is to a question posted on Quora titled “How was battle fatigue treated in the Napoleonic Wars?

The answers then go on to talk about a lot of morale issues rather than an actual tiredness issue. So perhaps a better term for these rolls would be as a “Fatigue” roll rather than “Morale” roll?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

Do I need a mechanic inside the game separately for tiredness, or should i combine this with the current Morale roll and rename to Fatigue or “Battle Fatigue”?

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Revisions to Coup d’Oeil and Game Principles

COUP D’OEIL / AWARENESS POINTS

After being inundated with comments regarding my Coup d’Oeil post it has become obvious that the system may be flawed in its current format. Therefore I’m going to make a few changes to CdO.

Firstly, I’ll be changing the name from Coup D’Oeil to a more friendly sounding ‘Awareness Points’. This should make it easier for myself to pronounce.

Secondly it’s become apparent that the amount of command points generated from on field activities is far too heavy and could cause one player to run away with the game. Therefore I’m making a number of revisions to this.

OBJECTIVES & AWARENESS POINTS

Firstly awareness points generated from objectives will be changed so that a player may only receive awareness points from holding ‘Primary’ objectives and not secondary objectives. The amount garnered from these objectives will be lessened to 1 per turn instead of the previous 2.

REVEALING UNITS & AWARENESS POINTS

I’m also going to remove Awareness Points being awarded for revealing units.

NUMBER OF TURNS

We currently have 50 turns which is in my opinion too many. They are based on 10 minute periods of historical battle time covering 8 hours of battle.

What I’m proposing to do here to make the game slightly smoother and not as long, is to reduce the number of turns to 30, so instead of 8 hour historical battle lengths we have 5.

That being said, if players want to re-fight historical battles then there is nothing stopping them deciding for themselves to increase the number of turns needed to replicate the battles length.

STRENGTH

It’s becoming apparent that the strength indicators are far too large and require too much in the way of tracking.

This is where my true problems lie.

My original aim with strength was to have a record of the damage inflicted to a Brigade during the course of a battle to show at the end the number of casualties received so that they can be compared to the historical battle (if re-enacting one).

So they’re far too large to keep track of, but any smaller and they’ll have little relevance to the number of men inside a Brigade.

However if we keep the ratio of strength to fire dice as 2:1, as we decrease the strength so the fire dice will decrease. So where previously a unit with 600 men converted to Strength 6 and 3 dice using our ratio of 100 men for every strength point, if we use a ratio of 200 men for every strength point that would convert into 3 strength and 2 firing dice.

With using 200 men for a strength point this would mean that strength can be represented by one die on every units base.

So previously where a 5,000 man brigade was 50 strength it would now be only 25 strength represented by a 5 on each base. Some example bases that I’ve created which have Pendraken 5mm dice holders on are shown below:

A Brigade of British Infantry (6mm Baccus)

UNITS NOT YET ACTIVATED

Any units not yet activated by orders, but approached and attacked by the enemy are still able to make reactions in response to enemy movements.

AWARENESS POINTS GENERATED BY COMMANDERS

Commanders will now generate enough Awareness Points during the course of the game to be able to activate an average to large size force for that game level.

The easiest way would be to assume that a Commander will need to spend Awareness Points equivalent to the number of Battalions in the Brigade to ‘activate’ it.

Divisional Level Game (2-5 Brigades)

If a Brigade consisted of 5 Battalions, it would need 5 AP to activate. Therefore if there are a full 5 brigades in a game at this level, the General will need to raise 25 Awareness Points during the course of the game. He will therefore generate 1 AP per turn.

He will also need to start with enough to activate one Brigade, so a Divisional Commander will begin the game with 5 AP.

GeneralStarting AP*AP Generated per Turn
Divisional (Small Game)51
Commander *Awareness Points (AP) Values

Corp Level Game (up to 25 Brigades)

As a Corp could consist of up to 5 Divisions each with 5 Brigades, this could mean anything up to 25 units on the table. As there are possibly 25 units all with 5 Battalions this means a Corp Commander will need to raise 125 AP during the course of the game, this divided by 30 is 4.167. Lets round this to 5 points per turn. They also need to start with possibly two orders to issue at the start of the game meaning a starting AP of 10.

GeneralStarting APAP Generated per Turn
Divisional (Small Game)51
Corp (Medium Game)105
Commander AP Values

Army Level Game (up to 50 Brigades)

Our final level is the Army level Game of 2 or more Corps on either side, basing this on an army of 2 Corp would mean an AP twice that of the Corp level game would be required. Therefore a general will need to raise 250 AP during the game. Again, divided by 30 this is 8.33 per turn (but let’s make this easier and round it to 10 points).

They will also need to be able to activate units at the start, and we’ll start by giving this as twice that of the Corp level, resulting in a starting AP of 20.

GeneralStarting APAP Generated per Turn
Divisional (Small Game)51
Corp (Medium Game)105
Army (Large Game)2010
Commander AP Values

Even Larger Games

For even larger games with more then 2 Corps, for each Corp beyond 2 simply add an additional 10 starting AP as well as an additional 5 AP generated per turn.

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Adjustment to Musketry

Following a comment that shooting had been based on stats provided outisde of battlefield conditions:

Musket160 YardsAccuracy320 YardsAccuracy
Prussian 1782 Musket6432%4221%
Prussian 1809 Musket11357%4221%
British Musket11658%5528%
French 1777 Musket9950%5528%
Napoleonic Musket Accuracy

I’ve agreed that the current hit rolls need to be changed for effective range. Therefore rather than hitting on 4+, musket equipped units will hit on 5+.

For now I’m going to keep rifles as hitting at 4+ at effective range to differentiate them slightly from muskets and to show their improved accuracy.

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Test Units (WIP)

I’ve started painting up some test bases.

British Regiments

These are test British Regiments, the front two regiments are the 5th (front left) and 48th (front right) regiments of foot and mouth.

I’ve initially based them on 40mm X 30mm bases. There are also dice holders on the units, initially I’ve placed two on each base. One for the formation and one to denote the number of firing dice. I may change this to three holders though and have two for strength and one for formations.

I also may yet narrow the bases to 40mm X 20mm so that the brigade isn’t too bulky to the rear.

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Strength Indicator

There is one benefit/disbenefit to publishing my thought processes on rules creation via this blog that I’ve come across. It is clear to see for everyone the errors that are creeping in when you develop more and more of the game. Strength is becoming one of them.

It is becoming more apparent that I need to revisit the strength indicators and make them both easier to manage and to follow.

STRENGTH

Our current strength settings are set at every 50 men in a battalion contributing 1 strength point to their Brigade. The Firing/Combat Dice are then a quarter of this figure:

StrengthCombat/Firing Dice
53-5614
49-5213
45-4812
41-4411
37-4010
33-369
29-328
25-287
21-246
17-205
13-164
9-123
5-82
1-41
Relationship of Strength to Firing Dice

My proposal for changing this would be to base strength as 1 for every 100 men in a battalion, this figure can then be halved rather than quartered to calculate the firing/combat dice.

When casualties are suffered it would still be a on a 1 hit for 50 men basis, meaning that if (in the unlikely event) a unit was reduced to zero strength, it would only equate to half its original strength. My thinking being that any unit that has suffered half of its strength as casualties wouldn’t stick around too long!

CAVALRY

It’s also become apparent while compiling the Battle of Talavera lists that Cavalry units need to have their strength decreased. Cavalry units were being compiled with over 100 strength each time using the ratio of 1:10 men. Therefore, I’m going to change this to in 1:50 strength and continue testing on that basis. It may need further revision and may even come in line to Infantry in time, but currently i’ll continue with a 1:50 basis.

NEW STRENGTH CHART

StrengthFiring/Combat Dice
49-5025
47-4824
45-4623
43-4422
41-4221
39-4020
37-3819
35-3618
33-3417
31-3216
29-3015
27-2814
25-2613
23-2412
21-2211
19-2010
17-189
15-168
13-147
11-126
9-105
7-84
5-63
3-42
1-21
New Strength Chart

RESULTS FOR TRACKING

This may make it easier for tracking both strength and firing dice. With either a player choosing to represent the strength of each battalion on their own bases with 2D6, or on the commanders base with 4D6. However, it could just as easily be tracked on an Order of Battle Sheet. This strength would then be divided by two (rounding up) to calculate the number of firing/combat dice a unit would have.

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Play Testers Wanted!!

So im getting towards completion of my first draft of the core combat mechanics and as such will be looking to play test in earnest going forward.

Therefore I need volunteers to help me out! Do you fancy having a go with the rules and know another person who may be willing to try them too?

If so drop me an email at clausewitz.tabletop@gmail.com

I’ll send you all the details you’ll need and a series of questions which I’m hoping you’ll be able to answer through your testing.

Thank you!

Peter

Coup D’Oeil

Each general will require Coup d’Oeil (CdO) during the game. The number a general needs will depend upon their rank and the number of men they command.

Generals will be able to generate CdO each turn, with higher ranked generals able to generate more than lower ranks. Someone like Napoleon or Wellington for example would have more than Murat or Junot. They will also start with a number of CdO which they can use at the deployment point to have units on the tabletop at the beginning of the battle.

CdO can then be spent during the course of the game on certain events:

  • Sending an ADC to a unit to activate and task it with taking and holding an objective.
  • Bring reserves onto the battlefield with a purpose to take and hold an objective.

Generating CdO

There will be various ways to do so. A general will be able to generate so much CdO each turn, revealing units, holding objectives and routing enemy units from the table will also generate CdO. So let’s look at each of these in turn.

Revealing Units

Each time a friendly unit closes to within 20cm (roughly 1 kilometre at scale) of an enemy that unit will be revealed (perhaps 30cm if the unit is stationed on a hill with clear line of sight), this will generate CdO for the General. At present I will set this to 1 CdO per unit. With games of roughly 50,000 men on each side this should equate to around 50 CdO.

Holding Objectives

CdO awarded for holding objectives will depend upon the objective which are split into Primary or Secondary objectives. The figures for generation from these should also be relatively low, so let’s start out by saying that holding a Primary objective (being within 10cm) will generate 2 CdO, while a secondary objective will generate 1 CdO. Let’s assume a player holds half of the objectives during the course of the game (1.5 Primary and 1.5 Secondary), over 50 turns this would give him 225 CdO.

Routing Units

Each time a unit is reduced to 0 morale it is routed and flees the battlefield. This will obviously not be a regular occurrence and without having performed any in depth play testing as yet, it is hard to determine how many on average will flee. Therefore we will need a holding number in the meantime. Let’s assume at this stage that perhaps 20% of an enemy army will flee, using our assumption of 50,000 men per army that equates to 10,000 men (or 100 strength).

I don’t think it would be entirely fair to have the strength of the unit as the reward, I’d rather have a base number which can be adjusted later if needs be. At the moment let’s assume that each routed enemy generates 10 CdO.

So for CdO generation from other events we have:

EventCdO Gained
Revealed Unit1 CdO
Holding a Primary Objective2 CdO per turn
Holding a Secondary Objective1 CdO per turn
Routed Enemy Unit10 CdO per Unit
CdO Generation

Through these events a General commanding 50,000 men against an army of a similar size, should roughly gain 315 CdO. He has an army of roughly 50,000 men and therefore would need 500 CdO to activate his units. He therefore needs to be able to Generate an additional 185 CdO.

Game Sizes

However not every game will be at 50,000 men a side, some may be smaller and others slightly larger.

To calculate how many Coup d’Oeil points would be needed in a game our first point of call should be some historic information on army organisation during the time.

Some fantastic information can be found as always on Rodwargaming.

During the Napoleonic wars most nations had battalions whose established strength was between 700 to 1200 men, although the Austrians had some battalions which were slightly larger than this range.  In practice however strength fell in the field so that the average effective battlefield strength of most battalions was some 600 men, although there were some significant variations.  The battalion was the primary tactical unit in that although several battalions would co-operate in Brigades or Divisions, each battalion would normally manoeuvre and change formation separately. 

So if we use the basis that an average Battalion is 600-800 men at the moment

ARMY ORGANISATION

LevelMen
Army1+ Corps
Corp2+ Divisions
Division2+ Brigades
Brigade2+ Battalions
BattalionRoughly 600-800 men
Napoleonic Army Organisation

Brigade Strength (2-5 Battalions)

This is unlikely to be a game size, but this will help create the building blocks for larger games.

A Brigade would consist of between two to five battalions of 700 men, at the moment let’s assume this is an average at 3.5 battalions. In Clausewitz this would equate to an in-game strength of 24.5.

Division Level Game (2-5 Brigades) (Small Game)

This will likely by the smallest game size that Clausewitz would do. Using our building block from the previous section, we’ll assume that an average Brigade is roughly 24.5 Strength.

A Division will be made from 2-5 Brigades, so let’s use the average and plump at 3.5

If there are on average three Brigades to a Division each a strength 24.5, we would need to generate 85.75 points (24.5 x 3.5) for our Divisional Commander over the course of the game. So our basic maths once more is 85.75.5 / 50 = 1.715.

But we also have to factor in that other in our earlier calculations for holding objectives etc. We know that holding half the objectives for the entire game will generate 225 CdO. However for a divisional game we only need to generate 85 CdO. This suggests that perhaps for this size game there are too many objective, so let’s assume a Divisional Game will be 1 primary and 1 Secondary objective, this would equate to 75 CdO over the course of the game if an army held half.

We therefore need a further 10 CdO to be generated (85.75 – 75 = 10.75).

We also have the CdO generated from revealing enemy units, if they have a similar sized force we’re looking at 3.5 CdO (1 for each reveal), this brings us to 7.25 CdO to generate (10.75 – 3.5).

Perhaps a single of the enemies 3.5 units will be routed during the course of the game, giving us a further 10 CdO. That brings us to above our target by 2.75 CdO. But we’ll need some extra CdO so that our general can issue an order at the beginning of the game, therefore we’ll need to be able to add on our average Brigade strength of 24.5, this brings us to 21.75 CdO needed.

The simplest answer to this would be to allow a Divisional General to start the game with 25 CdO, however a Divisional General will be unable to generate CdO through the game, as they should be able to attain enough through good tactics to activate most of their other units.

Corp level Game (2-5 Divisions) (Medium Game)

This would more likely be a more common game size, with roughly 30,000 men a side a Corp Level General will need to raise around 300 CdO for their troops to be activated.

For the Corp Level Game, we may have two primary and two secondary objectives on the field, these would generate 150 CdO if a General held exactly half through the game.

With 3.5 Divisions each on average each with 3.5 Brigades, the revealed units would equate to a further 12 CdO.

This brings us to 162 CdO generated so far with a further 138 required as a minimum.

We also have the estimated 20% routed enemy at 10 CdO per unit. With an enemy army of roughly 12 units this would equate to perhaps 2 units, which would add a further 20 CdO. This brings our total to 182 CdO with an additional 118 required.

118 CdO over 50 turns would mean the player requires 2.36 per turn. So let’s say that a Corp level Commander can generate 3 CdO per turn as well as starting with 50 CdO so they may activate up to two units at the start. This gives us the following so far:

GeneralStarting CdOCdO Generated per Turn
Divisional (Small Game)25
Corp (Medium Game)503
Commander CdO Values

Army level Game (2+ Corps) (Large Game)

This brings us to our final category of game. We’re going to assume at this point that the largest game we can handle is 2 corps each of roughly 60,000 men. This breaks our game down into 600 that each General will need to create.

We already have 225 from half of the Primary and Secondary objectives (3 of each), and in terms of revealed units this would be roughly be twice that of the Corp Level Game at around 24 units a side for 24 CdO. This brings our total to 249 CdO out of 600 needed.

We also have routed 20% of the enemy units giving us an additional 50 CdO leaving us with 299 CdO.

Our General therefore needs to be able to generate 300 CdO over 50 turns meaning 6 CdO a turn. Plus the usual of being able to activate 4 units in this case means they should start with 100 CdO.

Our final general card is therefore:

GeneralStarting CdOCdO Generated per Turn
Divisional (Small Game)25
Corp (Medium Game)503
Army (Large Game)1006
Commander CdO Values

These are just preliminary thoughts and there are other points to consider:

  • Light Cavalry – Spotting range of 30 cm instead of 20 cm to encourage their use in this role and avoid situations where units are revealing each other once they close to within 20cm.
  • Units that fire revealing themselves, particularly in the case of Artillery.
  • Units that move revealing themselves (possibly).
  • Increasing the CdO generated per turn to avoid so much impact being placed on battlefield success to generate CdO, giving a player a chance who’s behind to catch up.
  • Reduce CdO from Objectives to 1 CdO per turn for primary only and none for secondary.
  • Named Generals being able to perform certain acts. Marshal Ney for example finding it cheaper to activate Cavalry Brigades. Napoleon and Wellington gaining more than average CdO each turn and so on.

Light Infantry

I wanted to cover light infantry and their like briefly as I’ve already covered ‘true’ Skirmishers such as the rifles, Jaegers and Grenzers.

Light Infantry are slightly different, in that they could deploy companies in skirmish formation but their name light infantry was essentially in name only by the time the Napoleonic Wars started. Napoleonic Wargaming on YouTube has an excellent explanation of these troops on his video ‘Napoleonic skirmishing Light Infantry‘.

That being said I would like to give ‘light’ units a role in the game itself that encourages players to take them in matched play battles.

Therefore for each light infantry battalion on the players roster they will be allowed one marker for the deployment phase, a brief test of which is shown here. Units such as Grenzers, Jaegers, Legers etc will also contribute to the number of deployment markers a player can use in the deployment phase.

A few people have also commented that they feel uncertain about Light Cavalry skirmishing during a battle and I’m inclined to agree.

Therefore light cavalry will be unable to skirmish but they will also be able to contribute to the deployment markers at the beginning of the battle.

As always, I do love getting to hear peoples comments and suggestions, so please keep them coming and help me improve this game!

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