Tag Archives: 2mm Wargaming


Having considered melee in detail now for a number of days, I know that I want it to be accurate but also fairly quick using our current mechanics without introducing any new attributes.

Melee will occur once units belonging to opposing forces meet in base to base contact.

To resolve a combat each base rolls it’s number of combat/firing dice with each score of 5+ classed as a ‘hit’.

The player with the most hits wins the combat and receives 1 damage point to their base (this represents men lost during the assault), the loser suffers D3 damage to their base, becomes broken and flees 10cm.

Melee was very rarely (if ever) conducted between infantry battalions in the open field. Therefore should an attacking unit make it into base to base contact with the enemy, the enemy will immediately become broken and flee 10cm while suffering D3 casualties. In this case no casualties are suffered by the victor.

This whole process should make the combat swift and simple.


When cavalry are involved in combat with infantry, any rolls of a 4+ on their dice represent hits, while the enemy will require 6+. This should represent the difficulty of fighting cavalry on foot and trying to disable a target that is travelling both faster an in a higher position than yourself.

Cavalry v Cavalry

Cavalry v cavalry attacks are carried out in the same fashion, but both units have to score 6’s to hit the enemy due to the both sides being able to move faster and requiring more skill to hit a man on horseback.

Square Formations

The horses of a cavalry unit would historically refuse to charge a wall of men with big shiny steel blades, therefore if an infantry unit is in square formation, cavalry will be unable to make base to base contact and should remain at least 1cm away from a base in this formation.

Street Fighting

Fighting over villages and towns could be extremely brutal close quarter fighting from building to building. Only infantry were suited to this with light infantry and Skirmishers even more so. Therefore, light infantry and skirmishing troops inside a village or town will need 4’s to hit their opponent instead of the usual 5’s.

Cavalry cannot take part in village or town fighting.

This may need further adjustments once it has been tested further but for now it feels suitable.

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Broken Units

We’ve covered broken units previously but this far have assumed they will act normally the following turn. This obviously didn’t always happen, so I’m going to introduce the following rules.

Units that have broken (a unit that has failed it’s morale test by more than two points) will continue to flee each turn until it has managed to restore order in its ranks.

This can be done via two methods;

1) the unit will make morale checks at the beginning of each of its turns (if outside of 10cm of the enemy). This counts as one action, if it passes, it can carry out its remaining actions as normal.

2) the commander in chief can make base to base contact with the unit, at which point the unit can pass it’s morale check on a 10 or less. However, this does not come without risks to the commander in chief himself! This counts as one action, if it passes, it can carry out its remaining actions as normal.

If a unit still fails it’s test, it will withdraw a further 10cm that turn to its own table edge. If a unit leaves the table edge it can take no further part in the game.


A unit may use a CinC’s to rally itself on a 10 or less as long as the CinC is in base to base contact with that unit at the beginning of the turn. However throughout history there are stories where generals have lost control of their troops and as a result have been under threat themselves from their own men.

The murder of General Dillon

“The force re-formed level with the Fives gate, with a mixture of soldiers from different regiments forming a garrison. Dillon’s second-in-command, the engineer colonel Pierre-François Berthois, was stopped by the soldiers, hung from one of the battlements and fired him and 3 or 4 prisoners from a gun.[3] Wounded, Dillon was shot in a cart and bayonetted. His body was tied to the cart and dragged through the streets as far as the Grand Place, where it was thrown on a fire, made up of signs from several neighbouring shops.[3]

An excerpt taken from Wikipedia on the death of French General Dillon following the battle of Marquain in 1792.

General Jackson

Darkness ended the assault. As Jackson and his staff were returning to camp on May 2, they were mistaken for a Union cavalry force by the 18th North Carolina Infantry regiment who shouted, “Halt, who goes there?”, but fired before evaluating the reply. Frantic shouts by Jackson’s staff identifying the party were replied to by Major John D. Barry with the retort, “It’s a damned Yankee trick! Fire!”[47] A second volley was fired in response; in all, Jackson was hit by three bullets, two in the left arm and one in the right hand. Several other men in his staff were killed, in addition to many horses.

Another example where men fired on their own General ‘Stonewall’ Jackson mortally wounding him, also from Wikipedia.

Both of these events occurred when the troops morale was low or in great fear of the enemy. I would like to replicate this in the game by introducing an element of danger for the General if he attempts to rally a broken unit.

Therefore when a unit rolls for morale using the Generals morale of 10, any failures on a 12 would mean a further single D6 dice roll, the effects of which are shown below:

1 – The General is killed by his own men and they flee completely from the field of battle.

2 or 3 – The General and his staff are confused for the enemy and shot at. However the troops realise their error and soon cease but not before wounding the General.

4+ the general is ignored and the men continue fleeing.


I’ve only given two options here, however if people make fantastic suggestions as to the fate of the general I’m willing to add them in. The table could be based on D66 rather than D6 of we have enough suggestions, and may add a bit of fun to the fates of our generals.

Please leave a comment below with your suggestions and I’ll try and include them all or as many as I can.


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Revision to Artillery

Following some testing over the weekend, I’ve decided that Artillery will be deployed on their own outside of any Brigades.

This has mainly been due that Artillery will often be remaining in one static position if deployed defensively, if deployed on offence where any artillery are attached to a Brigade, the artillery would often advance before it’s parent unit, deploy, and then fire while the Brigade catches up.

This would mean for the majority of a game, players would be detaching their artillery most of the time. For these reasons and to save time and for more historical sense, I’ve decided to split these away from Brigades.

Because of this any artillery bases are deployed on their own and always have a morale of 7.

As artillery were often firing from the outset of battle, I’ve also revised orders for these units. Each artillery unit deployed at the beginning of the game will have an objective to hold or attack as if it has already been given an order. Therefore these units are all active from the start and can have their representing dice added to the draw bag for each turn.


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The Battle of Talavera – Allied Forces Replication

As a test for how many Brigades an army could place on the battlefield, I conducted a test where I’ve replicated the Order of Battle for the forces at the Battle of Talavera. This is for the British and Spanish forces only.

For the order of battle I’ve used Charles Oman’s figures given from his book A History of the Peninsular War Volume I. & A History of the Peninsular War Volume II.

The total forces you see below amount to 28,000 Spanish Infantry, 6,000 Spanish Cavalry and Spanish Artillery at 800 men and 36 guns, with the British at 20,700 British Infantry, 3,180 British Cavalry and British Artillery at 1,010 men and 30 guns.

A total force of roughly: 57,000 men

If we also add the French forces of 46,000 to this we come to a combined battle field total of 103,000 men.

The British and Spanish forces look fairly spaced but we also have to look at their historical deployment to see if this can be achieved.

Deployment map of Talavera

This may be achievable, but considering the depths of some of our units we may struggle a little. But we do have to remembers that some units were held in reserve further away from the main battle and so wouldn’t appear on our main area at first.

So the next task will be to replicate the French forces and see if both forces can be deployed on a table top in their historical locations.


Wikipedia – Battle of Talavera Order of Battle


Battlefield Objectives

What’s the point of fighting in a particular place? If you look back over history, virtually all battlefields had objectives of some kind for both armies which they fought over.

At Waterloo both armies fought over control of Le Haye Sainte, Hougoumont and the hamlet of Papelotte.

Nassau Troops at Hougoumont Farm

These could have been considered primary objectives on the battlefield, with both armies aiming to control them. Secondary objectives may have been points on the ridge which Wellington’s army held, as well as Placenoit and La Belle Alliance held by the French.

The French aim was to defeat the allied army before the Prussians arrived, to do so they had to secure the farms to stop any fire on their advancing forces after which they had to take the ridge line upon which the allied army stood.

By looking at these battlefields in this fashion we can see between 2 to 3 objectives on each one, sometimes more. Securing these objectives would often mean a tactical victory in the forces that did so.

If we’re to have a pick up and play option in our game and we want to get the most out of historical reenactment as well we need to have objectives of our own battlefield.


First thoughts would be to have 3 primary objectives on a battlefield and 3 secondary objectives. All these would be numbered 1 through 6. Players would place three objectives each, a player’s own objectives would be their primary objectives while the opposing players would be their secondary.

These objectives must be placed on a terrain piece on the table top, such as a hill, village, forest etc.

Primary objectives would score an army 3 ‘tactical points’ if they held it at the beginning of a turn. While secondary would score an army 1 ‘tactical point’.

Holding these objectives would also grant a player additional Coup d’Oeil points.


Holding an objective would mean having more units in proximity to the objective than your enemy. The proximity to which a unit could hold an objective could be 10cm.


A unit cannot hold an objective unless they’ve been given an order to do so. For example, an ADC must have been sent to a brigade to assign them an objective number. For the rest of the game once the unit receives it’s objective it may only score points for being near that particular objective. If a player wants to change a units Objective he will have to send another ADC to do so.


Generals can send an ADC to a Brigade once they have enough Coup d’Oeil points to do so. The ADC moves at the same speed as mounted troops at the ‘trot’ pace. If an ADC has to move through difficult ground it is considered to move at the same ‘march’ pace as infantry.

Once an ADC reaches a Brigade that Brigade is considered ‘activated’, players would place a marker next to the unit to denote its activation. The player can also choose which objective he wants that unit to attack, once he’s decided, he then marks this on the marker for his opponent to see. From that point onward that unit can only score ‘tactical’ points should it hold the objective specified.


A player who has accumulated the most ‘Tactical’ points by the end of the game is considered to have won a ‘Tactical’ victory.

The other player may still win a ‘Strategic’ victory if he manages to score more ‘hits’ on his enemy than they do on his own forces. Remember that hits for infantry count as 50 men per hit killed or wounded, while for Cavalry or Artillery a hit would count as 10 men killed or wounded. A player can then calculate how many of his men were killed or wounded during the course of the battle and compare this to their historical counterpart if they are re-fighting a particular battle.


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We’ve covered Infantry and Cavalry (which does need some slight amendments to Light Cavalry) so now we’re onto the third arm.

There were many different types of Artillery available to Napoleonic Generals.

  • 24pdr Cannon
  • 12pdr Cannon
  • 9pdr Cannon
  • 8pdr Cannon
  • 6pdr Cannon
  • 4pdr Cannon
  • 3pdr Cannon
  • 5.5-inch Howitzer
  • 6-inch Howitzer
  • 8-inch Howitzer
  • 6pdr Howitzer
  • 7pdr Howitzer
  • 24pdr Howitzer
  • Unicorns
  • 6pdr Mortar
  • 24pdr Mortar
  • 3pdr Mountain Gun
  • Congreve Rockets

I’m not even sure whether the above list is the full variety of artillery that was present in the Napoleonic period (also some of these would have been used in siege warfare or naval warfare only).

Our first step will be to take the weapon types and where possible establish what their effective and long ranges were.

One useful page I’ve found for this is on www.napoleonguide.com, which has the below table:

Artillery Ranges by Nation

This doesn’t cover our entire list but its a pretty decent summary of the most common artillery types used on the open battlefield during the time. Let’s start by working out an average of the different cannon weights above

NationCannon TypeMaximum RangeEffective RangeCanister Range
Austria3-pounder850 metres400 metres275 metres
British3-pounder1,000 metres400 metres275 metres
Prussian3-pounder920 metres400 metres275 metres
Average920 metres*400 metres275 metres
3-pounder Cannon Ranges
*rounded from 923 metres

For now we’re going to work on averages, eventually we may differentiate between nations but if we do that it will be a long way down the line. Let’s move on to the 6 pounders.

NationCannon TypeMaximum RangeEffective RangeCanister Range
Austrian6-pounder920 metres470 metres370 metres
British6-pounder1,350 metres640 metres360 metres
French6-pounder1,350 metres725 metres410 metres
Prussian6-pounder1,350 metres825 metres360 metres
Russian6-pounder1,350 metres725 metres360 metres
Average1,260 metres680 metres370 metres
6-pounder Ranges
Averages are rounded to the nearest 10 metres

Finally, the 12-pounders:

NationCannon TypeMaximum RangeEffective RangeCanister Range
Austrian12-pounder1,100 metres640 metres460 metres
French12-pounder1,600 metres825 metres550 metres
Prussian12-pounder1,800 metres825 metres500 metres
Russian12-pounder1,800 metres825 metres550 metres
Average1,580 metres780 metres520 metres
12-pounder Cannon Ranges
Averages are rounded to the nearest 10 metres.

What’s immediately apparent to me is that the Austrian artillery design must have either been out of date or flawed, all of their ranges are significantly less than those of the other countries (perhaps I will have to include national ranges on cannon types in the future…).

Now we have a single value for all of the cannon types that we can convert into our game scale of 1:5300.

Cannon TypeMaximum RangeEffective RangeCanister Range
3-Pounder17 cm8 cm5 cm
4-Pounder21 cm12 cm7 cm
6-Pounder24 cm13 cm7 cm
8-Pounder25 cm14 cm9 cm
9-Pounder29 cm16 cm8 cm
12-Pounder30 cm15 cm10 cm
Cannon Ranges in 1:5300 Game Scale

We also have the Howitzers, here there are no averages to calculate so we can just use the information on the original table scaled down.

Howitzer TypeMaximum RangeEffective RangeCanister Range
7-Pounder23 cm12 cm9 cm
5.5-Inch29 cm12 cm9 cm
6-Inch21 cm12 cm10 cm
7-Pounder27 cm12 cm9 cm
12-Pounder34 cm12 cm9 cm
Unicorns42 cm12 cm10 cm
Howitzer Ranges at Game Scale 1:5300

So we’ve established the ranges of the different weapons, what about the type of ammunition they could fire. Essentially this boiled down to Roundshot, canister or shell.


Information I have found about the French 12 pounder suggests that the cannons were able to fire roughly 1 shot per minute.

So in game terms, each of our cannon are able to fire two shots per action. Fairly simple.


Round Shot

A round shot, is exactly as it sounds a massive ball of metal that is launched from the cannon at the enemy. The cannon ball would pass through ranks of infantry or cavalry formations killing all in its path. A round shot in good weather could actually be fired further than the Cannon’s maximum range due to ricochet of the ground if it was hard and dry enough. However, for now we’re going to ignore this and stick with our maximum ranges. The round shot would pass through ranks killing or injuring maybe one or two in each rank before either coming to a stop or passing through the battalion and possibly into any other battalions behind.


The shell was exactly as it sounds a shell packed with shrapnel and a timing fuse which the gun team cut to length. It was then fired from the cannon and exploded after the timing fuse has ran down. This could be quite devastating to enemy units if armed and fired accurately.


Canister were fired at closer range than the other ammunition types and essentially fired a canister filled with musket balls that would disintegrate and pepper the enemy unit.

For the time being, we’re going to leave the types of ammunition alone and say that a hit from a cannon at any range and ammunition type will cause one damage.

We can establish the number of rounds artillery were able to fire based on the information from www.napolun.com.


So from this table we can see that 8-pounders carried roughly 214 rounds, which if fired at once per minute allows them to fire for roughly 3.5 hours. However we’re spreading our battles over 8 hours in time, so let’s spead these out a little more. 214 divided over the 8 hours means one shot every 2 minutes. We can adjust for this by instead stating that per action a cannon will fire once every action. There will be no concerns about running out of ammunition at present as the adjusted shots per action would account for spreading fire across the whole 50 turns of our game.


On the training ground limbering up ready to move usually took at least 2-3 minutes. During battle however the gunners (and horses) were under tremendous stress and their movements were not perfect.

Unlimbering a weapon was easier than limbering up and usually took approximately 1 minute on the training ground.


A company/battery of artillery could consist of between 6-12 guns, two pairs of guns (i.e. 4 pieces) were called “half-company” in France or “Division” in Russia. Two half-companies in France (2×4 = 8 Pieces) or three divisions in Russia (3×4 = 12 pieces) formed “company” or “battery”. This was the fundamental tactical unit.

Each piece of artillery has roughly 50 men allocated to the maintenance, transportation and use of that weapon.

Comparison of Battery Sizes

NationBatteryCannonsHowitzersTotal Pieces
FranceFoot (Position)6 (12 Pounders)28
FranceFoot6 (6 Pounders)28
FranceHorse4 (6 Pounders)28
RussiaHeavy8 (12 Pounders)412
RussiaLight8 (6 Pounders)412
RussiaHorse8 (6 Pounders)412
PrussiaHeavy6 (12 Pounders)2 (10 Pounders)8
PrussiaFoot6 (6 Pounders)2 (7 Pounders)8
PrussiaHorse6 (6 Pounders)2 (7 Pounders)8
PrussiaHowitzer8 (7 Pounders)8
Artillery Battery Composition

Sometimes the light cannons (3 and 4 Pounders) were attached to infantry battalions, or infantry regiments. For example during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 many (but not all) French infantry regiments has 2-4 light guns. There were no light cannons attached to cavalry regiments.

The foot and horse batteries made of medium (6 Pounders) and howitzers were attached to infantry and cavalry divisions as divisional artillery. The infantry division could have one, two or even three foot batteries. The cavalry division usually had on horse battery of medium guns.

The corps commander usually had in his reserve or more batteries. Often the corps artillery consisted of heavy cannons (12 Pounders) and howitzers. The overall commander-in-chief had an artillery reserve also comprising if several foot and horse batteries. In total this could have been 50, 100 or more guns.

There were pros and cons of attaching the artillery to divisions:

+ It greatly increased the firepower of the division.

+ It strengthened the morale of troops, especially the young and inexperienced.

– Terrain favourable to infantry was not always favourable to artillery which required harder and higher ground, good visibility and open terrain for the deployment of ammunition wagons, limbers etc.

– Infantry commanders often pressed gunners to open fire at too great a range and withdrew the guns too early when attacked in fear of losing their artillery.


As the majority of the power from an artillery unit will be coming from its guns, we’ll use the number of guns to represent the strength. Therefore is we want a dice for each gun, each gun should be 4 strength as a starting point.

Artillery units were often attached to brigades, therefore a brigade may have an artillery base attached with a strength representing the number of guns present. (I.e. 5 guns = 20 strength, 3 guns = 12 strength) and so on. A loss of strength from an artillery unit, would like Cavalry, mean a loss of 10 men killed or wounded.


So artillery actions mat be:

  • Move (1 Action)
  • Unlimber (1 Action)
  • Fire (1 Action)
  • Limber (2 Actions)
  • Detach from Brigade (1 Action)
  • Attach to Brigade (1 Action)

This would in theory allow foot artillery to detach from their Brigade move forwards in advance, fire for a few turns while the main brigade advances and then either reattach or stay positioned. In one turn a foot artillery unit may be able to move 2cm, unlimber, fire and then limber up again all in one turn.


Despite games showing this, it was actually very rare for artillery to engage in “duels”. But I’m not going to stop this rule wise, as I think any players that start engaging in firing at their enemies artillery would soon learn the error.




I’m going to take the weekend off from rule writing and have a rest this weekend (I may even paint some models!), but there will be a big announcement early next week!

In the meantime the keen eyes among you may have recently noticed the name Clausewitz popping up here and there.

I couldn’t keep going with the name “Writing a Wargame” and so had to adopt something else that was both shorter and in keeping with the period. My first thoughts were either “Vive le France!” or “Coup d’Oeil”, but in the end I settled on Clausewitz.

Who is Clausewitz?

Mr Clausewitz

Carl von Clausewitz was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the psychological and political aspects of war. His most notable work “Vom Kriege” (On War) was unfinished at his death.

For more information I would direct you to the following sources:

His most telling quotes are, (in my opinion) are “There are very few men-and they are the exceptions-who are able to think and feel beyond the present moment” and “…as man under pressure tends to give in to physical and intellectual weakness, only great strength of will can lead to the objective.”.

With morale being such an important part of the game mechanics it felt suitable that the name Clausewitz should be there on the front.

Anyway that’s it for me until Monday for now. I’m off for a rest over the weekend. But, please check back next week for my announcement!


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