Infantry Fleeing

So far I’ve used the quick march rate as a fleeing distance for infantry, but I want something a little more scientific rather than just plucking a figure out of the air.

Therefore I have been researching across various websites to try and find an average running speed for humans. So where better to go to that RunnersWorld.com.

On the article I’ve linked you can see that based on 300 million uploads to the Strata App the average running pace for a man running the mile was 9 minutes 15 seconds. So that seems to be a good place to start. Let’s convert this into our scale:

1 Mile Time1 Mile in Metres1 Mile at Scale (1:5300)
9:15 (555 Secs)1,60930.36 cm
Running the Mile

Now we need to establish how far they would run in 10 minutes (1 turn):

DistanceDivided by Seconds (555)Times by 600 Seconds (10 mins)
30.36 cm0.05 cm32.82 cm
Distance in 10 minutes

Next I’d like to break this down into individual 2 minute actions:

Distance in 10 minutesDivided by 5 Actions
32.82 cm6.564 cm
Distance in 2 Minutes

Not exactly a nice round figure, however if we make this 6 cm per action we have a running distance of 30 cm in 10 minutes. Which considering the extra kit that men would be carrying seems reasonable.

THE RULES

So when a unit breaks, following a loss in combat or failing a morale test they would run 6 cm per action. This would form its reaction. For example:

Red Forces Brigade closes to within 2 cm of Blue Forces Brigade on its 3rd Action and unleashes a deadly volley at close range. Once the damage has been calculated Blue takes its morale test as normal for its reaction and fails by more than 2, it therefore flees 6 cm for its reaction directly away from the Red Brigade ending its reaction facing away from the enemy. The Red Forces in its 4th Action pass a morale and advance on Blue Brigade. Blue Brigade once more fails a morale test ad flees 6 cm. On the fifth action Red Forces are now 12 cm away from Blue and choose to hold. When it comes to Blue forces turn, they can attempt to rally at the start of the turn, otherwise they would flee 30 cm (5 actions).

I’ve removed a test every action once a broken unit is outside of 10 cm of the enemy and replaced this with a single test. However i’m willing to consider having a unit test 5 times after each action if people feel that’s a more realistic option.

Let me know your thoughts.

Peter

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Small Game Test 2 – Video

As promised I’ve uploaded a video of the small game test I carried out over the weekend.

One disclaimer, is that I got many of my own rules wrong along the way! Such as fleeing distances and limbering/unlimbering artillery. Just goes to show even the rules writers can’t know all their own rules…..

Let me know your thoughts on the video. I have plans to replicate a small historic battle next, once I do I will also share that via the website.

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Game Revisions

Following the second game test (which I will post a link to later today or tomorrow), I’m making some slight adjustments so that the game flows slightly better.

SHOOTING

The first revision is to change the hitting at short range for all weapons from 5+ to 4+, this should allow firefights at short range to potentially cause on average one damage every six dice.

CHARGE/COUNTER CHARGE

I’m also going to add charge and counter charges as an action and reaction respectively.

This is to take into account that many units would often charge at an approaching enemy to break them up and remove the threat.

I’m going to set charge distances as the ‘Quick’ pace for infantry (3 cm) and cavalry (8 cm) and these can only be performed once the enemy unit is within range to do so.

MOUNTED TROOPS FLEEING

I’ve not yet set conditions for mounted troops and fleeing so I’m going to implement the following rules:

  • A failed morale test of 1-2 will result in the the cavalry unit withdrawing 4 cm while facing the enemy. They will also suffer 1 damage if within 4 cm of an enemy unit armed with muskets or D3 if within 2cm.
  • A failure of 3+ will result in the cavalry unit being ‘Broken’ and fleeing 8 cm. They will also suffer 1 damage if within 4 cm of an enemy unit armed with muskets or D3 if within 2cm.

FLANK AND REAR ATTACKS IN COMBAT

A unit which successfully makes a flank or rear attack will have an additional -1 or -2 to all its combat roll results respectively. This will mean that a unit fighting foot will need 3+ (Flank) or 2+ (Rear). An infantry fighting cavalry will need 5+ (Flank) or 4+ (Rear).

WHEELING

Instead of making a ponderous wheel at the cost of many actions, the unit may, if not marching before or after, choose to use the ‘About Face’ action for 1 Action Point to face any direction. To do so the unit pivots on its front centre point.

AWARENESS POINTS

Going forward no commander will start with any Awareness Points.

BROKEN UNITS

Broken units will be unable to rally if within 10 cm of the enemy. If an enemy approaches to with 10cm of the unit, that unit cannot make no reaction and will once more move it’s quick pace distance directly away from the enemy.

CAPTURING UNITS

If a unit is completely surrounded by enemy units and is broken so that it can not make a flee move. That unit is removed from the table and considered to have surrendered to the enemy.

As a result I have updated the quick reference sheet on the Clausewitz Wargame page.

That’s it for now but as always I love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

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Faction Focus: Portugal

HISTORY

1801 – War of the Oranges

In 1800, First Consul Bonaparte and his ally, the Spanish prime-minister and Generalissimo Manuel de Godoy, ultimately demanded Portugal, the last British ally on the continent, to break her alliance with Britain. Portugal refused to cede, and, in April 1801, French troops arrived in the country. They were bolstered by Spanish troops under the command of Manuel de Godoy. Godoy had, under his command, the Spanish Army of Extremadura, with five divisions.

The Spanish attack to Portugal started on the early morning of the 20 May, and focused on the Portuguese border region that included the main Garrison Town and Fortifications of Elvas and the smaller fortified towns of Campo Maior, Olivença (Olivenza in Spanish) and Juromenha. The main force of the Spanish Army advanced to Elvas, while two divisions advanced to Campo Maior and another division advanced to Olivença and Juromenha. Without having their fortifications complete and defended only by a few hundred soldiers, most of the militias, Olivença and nearby Juromenha quickly surrendered to the Spanish forces. The Portuguese garrison of Campo Maior – under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Dias Azevedo – resisted the assault for 17 days, forcing the Spanish to maintain two entire divisions in its siege. The main Spanish force – under the direct command of Godoy – tried to assault Elvas but was easily repelled by the strong Portuguese garrison commanded by General Francisco de Noronha. The Spanish troops then withdrew to a safe distance from the fortress, with Godoy not daring to attack it again until the end of the war. The war entered in a stalemate, with most of the Spanish forces hold in sieges of fortresses and the rest not being able to face the blockade made by the main core of the Portuguese Army, in order to advance further inside Portugal. Despite this, Godoy picked oranges from the outside of Elvas and sent them to the Queen of Spain with the message that he would proceed to Lisbon. Thus, the conflict became known as the “War of the Oranges”.

On 6 June 1801 Portugal agreed to the tenets of the Treaty of Badajoz. Portugal agreed to close its ports to English ships, to give commercial concessions to France, to cede Olivenza to Spain and to pay an indemnity. On 29 September 1801 Portugal agreed to both maintaining the tenets of the Treaty of Badajoz and the alterations made to it, which were all embodied within the Treaty of Madrid.

In response, from July 1801 until the signing of the Peace of Amiens in 1802, a British force of 3,500 men under Colonel William Henry Clinton occupied the Portuguese island of Madeira in the North Atlantic Ocean. Intended to forestall any French or Spanish attack on the island, the occupation took place with the tacit consent of the Portuguese.

1807 – Invasion of Portugal

The Invasion of Portugal (19–30 November 1807) saw an Imperial French corps under Jean-Andoche Junot and Spanish military troops invade the Kingdom of Portugal, which was headed by its Prince Regent João of Bragança. The military operation resulted in the almost bloodless occupation of Portugal. The French and Spanish presence was challenged by the Portuguese people and by the United Kingdom in 1808. The invasion marked the start of the Peninsular War.

Threatened by a humiliating ultimatum from Napoleon, the Portuguese government acceded to most of the demands of the French emperor. Nevertheless, Napoleon ordered Junot to commence the invasion, with the cooperation of three divisions from the Kingdom of Spain. Paralyzed by fear and indecision, the Portuguese authorities offered no resistance. Junot occupied Lisbon on 30 November 1807 to find that João and many of the leading families had left for Brazil aboard the Portuguese fleet. The French quickly occupied the entire country and appropriated or disbanded the Portuguese army. The following year saw the Portuguese revolt against their occupiers. The next action was the Battle of Évora in July 1808.

ORGANISATION

The Anglo-Portuguese Army was the combined British and Portuguese army that participated in the Peninsular War, under the command of Arthur Wellesley. The Army is also referred to as the British-Portuguese Army and, in Portuguese, as the Exército Anglo-Luso or the Exército Anglo-Português.

The Anglo-Portuguese Army was established with the British Army deployed to the Iberian Peninsula under the command of General Arthur Wellesley, and the Portuguese Army rebuilt under the leadership of British General William Beresford and the Portuguese War Secretary Miguel Pereira Forjaz. The new Portuguese battalions were supplied with British equipment, trained to British standards and thoroughly re-organised. Incompetent or corrupt officers were cashiered and appropriate replacements were appointed or promoted from amongst promising Non-commissioned officers.

On 22 April 1809, Wellesley became Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in the Peninsula, replacing General Cradock, whose assessment of the military situation the British government found too pessimistic. At the same time he was appointed by the Portuguese Government as Commander-in-Chief of the Portuguese Army. He then came to have the two armies under his command, transforming them into a single integrated army.

The Army was organised into divisions, most of them including mixed British-Portuguese units. Usually, each one had two British and one Portuguese brigades. In the elite Light Division, the brigades themselves were mixed, each including two British light infantry and one Portuguese Caçadores battalions.

The list belows shows all the Portuguese units that were involved in the Napoleonic Wars.

Infantry

  • 1st Infantry Regiment (Lippe)
  • 2nd Infantry Regiment (Lagos)
  • 3rd Infantry Regiment (1st Olivença)
  • 4th Infantry Regiment (Freire)
  • 5th Infantry Regiment (1st Elvas)
  • 6th Infantry Regiment (1st Porto)
  • 7th Infantry Regiment (1st Setúbal)
  • 8th Infantry Regiment (Castelo de Vide)
  • 9th Infantry Regiment (Viana)
  • 10th Infantry Regiment (Lisbon)
  • 11th Infantry Regiment (Penamacor)
  • 12th Infantry Regiment (Chaves)
  • 13th Infantry Regiment (1st Peniche)
  • 14th Infantry Regiment (Tavira)
  • 15th Infantry Regiment (2nd Olivença)
  • 16th Infantry Regiment (1st Vieira Teles)
  • 17th Infantry Regiment (2nd Setúbal)
  • 18th Infantry Regiment (2nd Porto)
  • 19th Infantry Regiment (Cascais)
  • 20th Infantry Regiment (Campo Maior)
  • 21st Infantry Regiment (Valença)
  • 22nd Infantry Regiment (Serpa)
  • 23rd Infantry Regiment (1st Almeida)
  • 24th Infantry Regiment (Bragança)

Cavalry

  • 1st Cavalry Regiment (Alcântara)
  • 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Moura)
  • 3rd Cavalry Regiment (Olivença)
  • 4th Cavalry Regiment (Meclemburgo)
  • 5th Cavalry Regiment (Évora)
  • 6th Cavalry Regiment (Bragança)
  • 7th Cavalry Regiment (Cais)
  • 8th Cavalry Regiment (Elvas)
  • 9th Cavalry Regiment (Chaves)
  • 10th Cavalry Regiment (Santarém)
  • 11th Cavalry Regiment (Almeida)
  • 12th Cavalry Regiment (Miranda)

Artillery

  • 1st Artillery Regiment (Regiment of the Court)
  • 2nd Artillery Regiment (Algarve)
  • 3rd Artillery Regiment (Alentejo)
  • 4th Artillery Regiment (Porto)
  • Artillery Regiment of the Army

Caçador Battalions

  • 1st Caçador Battalion (Regiment of Volunteers of Portalegre)
  • 2nd Caçador Battalion (Transtagana Legion)
  • 3rd Caçador Battalion (Caçador Company of Vila Real)
  • 4th Caçador Battalion (Caçador Battalion of Beira)
  • 5th Caçador Battalion (Transtagana Legion)
  • 6th Caçador Battalion (Caçador Battalion of Porto)
  • 7th Caçador Battalion (1st Battalion of Loyal Lusitanian Legion)
  • 8th Caçador Battalion (2nd Battalion of Loyal Lusitanian Legion)
  • 9th Caçador Battalion (Remnants of the Loyal Lusitanian Legion)
  • 10th Caçador Battalion (Caçador Battalion of Aveiro)
  • 11th Caçador Battalion (Caçador Battalion of Feira)
  • 12th Caçador Battalion (Caçador Battalion of Ponte de Lima)

ON THE TABLETOP

My initial thoughts are to split the Portuguese lists into pre and post 1809. Post 1809 included the Caçador Battalions and the Portugues Army was essentially combined with the British.

This would in turn mean that British forces will need to be split between periods where the Portuguese were not included (e.g. The Hundred Days) and periods they were.

I’d like to know others thoughts on this as well and in particular any rules you think should be included for particular Portuguese units.

SOURCES

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Special Rules

Now that many of the mechanics are in place my next step is to start creating some special rules which individual units can use to differentiate themselves from other units.

This will allow us to give certain units an element of individuality, such as the old guard, guerillas or the Rifles for example.

We’re also possibly going to need rules for each faction involved to represent that countries personality. These rules can’t be too powerful but have to give enough to give some uniqueness.

Let’s start by creating some rules which can be attached to units once we start looking at factions.

I have a number of rules in my head which may be applied to individual units or to factions. I’m going to list them below and then break down what each one does.

  • Sharpshooters – re-roll one ‘Fire!’ dice
  • Volley Fire – one additional ‘Steady’ dice
  • Brave – re-roll one morale dice
  • El Bruch – Can move across impassable terrain as if it were difficult.
  • Merciless – may re-roll one combat dice when in combat.
  • Stoic – Automatically passes the first morale test of the game they’re required to take.
  • Steady – may re-roll one ‘Steady’ dice.

I’m open to other suggestions I’ve not yet thought of that you may feel may suit a particular unit once we come around to building the army lists.

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Revision to Artillery

Artillery had previous been using a firing dice for each weapon on the base and these were imply using a 6+ to hit at long range and a 5+ to hit at short range.

However after the blood bath of the first test game I’m having to revise this to make artillery less powerful.

Therefore I’m going to implement a ‘Steady’ roll which functions on exactly the same manner as the roll for hand weapons. This Steady roll will also require a 5+ before the weapons are able to fire.

This should decrease the artillery effectiveness and still allow it to fire each action.

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Full Game Test 1 – Feedback and Game Adjustments

I performed the first full game test last night between two evenly sided forces. Both armies had the following strengths;

  • 6,400 Infantry split across three Brigades
  • 200 Cavalry (1 Squadron each)
  • 6 Guns (6 Pounder foot artillery on 1 base)
  • 1 Commander in Chief

This game provided tonnes of feedback for the first version of the rules and shows where the improvement is needed.

The scouting phase and deployment phase went off without a hitch, with both forces having access to their own objectives from the start.

Red forces started on the attack first, sending a single brigade to take the blue objective, however this was repelled by strong Artillery fire once it got close.

Red Attack

Blue responded by also sending a single brigade to try and take reds objective, this was also repelled by artillery fire which score 6 hits in one turn (roughly 1,200 casualties on the current settings). The brigade broken and ran with red cavalry pursuing but never catching (due to the fleeing distance being more than the cavalry trot pace) to the board edge.

Blue Attack repulsed

Blue attempted to push the northern brigades away from its objective by sending it’s cavalry around to threaten the two red brigades. After some strong Artillery fire once more both red brigades broke and fled with cavalry pursuing.

Red Forces in Dissaray

After 10 turns, I felt that I had enough information at that point.

THE RESULT

No objectives had changed hands so the game was a tactical tie.

Blue had inflicted 16 damage and red 11 meaning losses were roughly 3,200 and 2,200 respectively. Far too high! All of these casualties were caused by Artillery.

CONCLUSIONS

  • Artillery is far too strong, it needs to be weakened. I’m going to change the artillery fire to either 5 actions for a round of shooting or 1 firing dice per battery per action. This should minimise casualties on a unit to 200 (current strength settings) per turn.
  • Infantry flee far too quickly. I’m going to change the rate of their fleeing to 5 cm instead of 10 cm.
  • Strength still feels wrong, I’m debating whether to change this back to 1:100 (strength to men ratio) with casualties at a ratio of 1:50 (per damage). This may fix this issue but will mean strength may have to be represented by two dice per base instead of one. Another option would be to show Firing Dice on a units base, and if a unit suffers two hits in one round their firing dice are reduced by 1.
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Terrain

The focus of this article will be terrain that will also provide added benefits/problems to those units who are inside or passing through them.

I will break this down into the different terrain types starting with rough.

ROUGH

Gentle Hill

  • A gentle hill will inhibit the movement of troops up or down it as shown by the usual terrain movement for rough terrain.
  • Hills of any kind allow a unit shooting from a hill to fire over the heads of any friendly units.
  • Units can fire over the heads of units at enemy units on a hill providing there is at least a distance of 2 cm from the unit they are firing over.
  • Artillery units on a hill can extend their range by 4 cm to represent the additional distance artillery would fire.

Villages/Towns

  • A unit that has its entire base within the footprint of a village/town is considered to be ‘Garrisoned’. Cavalry cannot be garrisoned.
  • Garrisoned units have a cover save to any damage received as the result of shooting attacks on a roll of 3+, this is taken once damage has been determined.
  • Garrisoned units receive a morale bonus of 2 in addition to their normal morale.
  • When a Garrisoned unit is defending in melee, the Garrisoned unit will have one additional combat die.

DIFFICULT TERRAIN

Woods/Forest

  • Units that has their base wholly within a wood or forest will receive a cover save of 5+ from shooting attacks.

These are the foundation rules and may be changed or tweaked in the future, but should allow players to play test with the current ruleset.

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Movement Part II

This is a very quick post to explain how I would expect various aspects of unit movement and facings to work inside the game as well as a units Zone of Control (ZC) in more detail.

WHEELING

Red Unit Brigade 4, wishes to use its movement and rotate so that it faces due east.

The Brigade in the above unit is going to use a number of move actions in order for it to wheel towards the east.

Brigade 4, now facing to the east

To do so, the front left hand side of the unit is essentially pinned in place so that when the unit wheels that point on the unit always remains in the same place.

The units movements

The right hand edge of the unit has had to move 6 cm to make this wheel happen, therefore the unit would have used 3 actions to make this wheel.

UNIT FIRING ARCS

Continuing with our example above the Brigade can now fire at any target within range inside its front 45 degree arc:

Firing Arc

ZONE OF CONTROL

All units in the game have a Zone of Control (ZC) which extends from the units front arc for a distance of 10 cm.

Enemy units within this ZC have to react to this unit or the closest enemy unit. i.e. they must either move directly towards or directly away from the unit that is facing them. This is to represent a unit being unwilling to show its flank to the enemy and therefore moving in such a way so as to reduce this risk.

The Zone of Control shown for Red Force B4

In the above example we can see that the Zone of Control of the Red unit extends outwards at a 45 degree angle from its front base edge and includes the Blue unit Brigade 1. Blue Brigade 1 will have to finish all movements facing towards the red unit and it can only move directly towards or directly away from the Red unit.

In this example, the red unit will also be in the blue units zone of control and so will also have to act in the same manner.

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Capturing Enemy Colours

Regimental colours are the focus of pride in any regiment, they often carry the regiment’s battle honours, and in the days when the flag was carried into battle it acted as a rallying point and a statement of where the command post was, something which could be seen above the mess of battle. Losing a flag was a mark of dishonour to a regiment, capturing one was a point of pride and usually an indicator that the losing regiment had been soundly beaten.

Therefore if we’re going to replicate a true Napoleonic battle we need to have a simple mechanic that can replicate this action. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to have bragging rights over your opponent?

THE RULE

I believe the simplest solution to this would be to have a further additional roll once a melee has concluded. This would simply be a single dice roll for the victor where on a 6 the victor has claimed the enemies colours.

This particular rule will be entirely up to the players whether they use it or not, as its only purpose is to add to the flavour of the battle.

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