Tag Archives: Baccus 6mm

Clausewitz Wargames Intro

As the YouTube channel is going to become busier over the next few months with playtest etc I thought it was time to have a professional looking intro to the videos.

If my IT skills are proficient enough this should also start appearing past videos as of next week.

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Austrian Artillery Units

Artillery Officer, Gunner and Train Driver 1809-1813, by Ottenfeld

Austrian artillery units before the Napoleonic Wars were held in high regard by the other nations of the world and were often thought of as the best artillery units. Men volunteered for the artillery units of Austria and were not recruited, all the rank and file were able to read and write in German. Enlistments were for 14 years in the artillery, while a member of the Austrian infantry was enlisted for only 6 years.

Several French generals including Massena admired the Austrian artillery and its professionalism, and the Austrians had both gunpowder and ammunition of higher quality than that of the other nations. However, while the Austrian artillery units were extremely professional and benefited from higher quality supplies the French and many other nations artillery had a larger calibre and further reach than the Austrian weapons.

The accuracy of Austrian artillery far appeared to be superior to that of the other major nations. At the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 a duel occurred between 12 Austrian guns and 21 Saxon and French guns near Paunsdorf. After 30 minutes of fire and despite being outnumbered almost 2 to 1 the Austrian gunners had lost six of their guns while the Saxons and French had lost seven.

www.napoleonguide.com has a very handy table showing the different ranges of the Napoleonic guns of each nation at the time. I’ve summarised this below into the 1/5300 basic scale for Clausewitz.

WeaponMaximum RangeEffective Range
3 Pounder Cannon16 cm8 cm
6 Pounder Cannon17 cm9 cm
12 Pounder Cannon21 cm12 cm
7 Pounder Howitzer23 cm12 cm
Austrian Artillery Ranges at 1/5300 scale

Unit Attributes

Austrian Artillery Unit Card

Special Rules

Artillery – When in melee this unit halves its combat dice.

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SOURCES

http://www.napolun.com/mirror/web2.airmail.net/napoleon/Austrian_artillery.htm

https://www.napoleonguide.com/artillery_ranges.htm

Austrian Cavalry Units

Austrian cavalry contained Cuirassiers, Dragoons, Chaveauxlegers (Light Dragoons), Hussars and Uhlans. All were well trained, well mounted and had a good reputation across Europe.

Much like the article I wrote on the Infantry units for Austria, I’ll run through each type of cavalry and then define their attributes and any special rules after doing so.

CUIRASSIERS

Austrian Cuirassiers being ambushed by French Cavalry

Austrian had eight regiments of Cuirassiers, which were fewer than some of the other nations such as France who had between twelve to fifteen and Russia who has ten to twelve.

In 1809 a regiment of Cuirassiers consisted of 975 men across six squadrons, in 1812 this was changed to four squadrons of 144 men each.

The name Cuirassier comes from the name of the breastplate armour that the cavalry wore; the Cuirass. They were also armed with a brace of pistols as well as a straight broadsword. Each squadron of Cuirassiers had eight men armed with rifles and eight with carbines.

Unit Attributes

Austrian Cuirassiers Unit Card

Special Rules

  • Pistols – Cuirassiers are armed with short ranged weaponry. If the player wishes, this unit may fire its pistols once an enemy closes within range. Pistols have a long range of 2cm and short range of 1cm.
  • Cavalry (-1) – Units of this calibre have a fearsome reputation on the battlefield. As such any enemy foot units that are within 10cm of a unit of Uhlans suffer a -2 modifier to any morale checks that the unit makes.
  • Impetuous (3+) – Uhlans occasionally struggle to maintain their composure in the heat of battle. After this unit has fought in melee, during its next action roll a D6; on a roll of 3+ the unit can act normally, if the unit fails this roll it must make its quickest move towards the nearest enemy unit and contact them in melee if possible.

DRAGOONS

The Austrians possessed six regiments of Dragoons and six of Chevaulegers. Dragoons were armed with carbines and the heavy pallasch. Each squadron had sixteen men armed with rifles.

Unit Attributes

Austrian Dragoons Unit Card

Special Rules

  • Pistols – Dragoons are armed with short ranged weaponry. If the player wishes, this unit may fire its pistols once an enemy closes within range. Pistols have a long range of 2cm and short range of 1cm.
  • Cavalry (-1) – Units of this calibre have a fearsome reputation on the battlefield. As such any enemy foot units that are within 10cm of a unit of Dragoons suffer a -1 modifier to any morale checks that the unit makes.
  • Impetuous (4+) – Dragoons occasionally struggle to maintain their composure in the heat of battle. After this unit has fought in melee, during its next action roll a D6; on a roll of 4+ the unit can act normally, if the unit fails this roll it must make its quickest move towards the nearest enemy unit and contact them in melee if possible.
  • Rifles – During an action the unit can choose to fire its rifles instead of performing any other action. If it does so it can use 1 combat dice and fire at the enemy using the rifle weapon profile (long Range 8cm / Effective Range 4cm).

UHLANS

Austrian Uhlan

“I saw a great many French horse carabiniers with lace wounds …”

Dezydery Chlapowski

Austrian has three regiments of Uhlans, and in 1814 formed a fourth regiment. In comparison France had nine lancer regiments and Russia increased the number of their own Uhlan regiments from two to twelve.

Uhlans were armed with pistols, curved sabres and a lance. Each squadron had eight men armed with rifles and eight with carbines. A Uhlan regiment was divided into four divisions, with the central two divisions armed with lances while the flanking divisions were armed with carbines.

Unit Atrributes

Austrian Uhlans Unit Card

Special Rules

  • Pistols – Uhlans are armed with short ranged weaponry. If the player wishes, this unit may fire its pistols once an enemy closes within range. Pistols have a long range of 2cm and short range of 1cm.
  • Cavalry (-1) – Units of this calibre have a fearsome reputation on the battlefield. As such any enemy foot units that are within 10cm of a unit of Uhlans suffer a -1 modifier to any morale checks that the unit makes.
  • Impetuous (4+) – Uhlans occasionally struggle to maintain their composure in the heat of battle. After this unit has fought in melee, during its next action roll a D6; on a roll of 4+ the unit can act normally, if the unit fails this roll it must make its quickest move towards the nearest enemy unit and contact them in melee if possible.
  • Rifles – During an action the unit can choose to fire its rifles instead of performing any other action. If it does so it can use 1 combat dice and fire at the enemy using the rifle weapon profile (long Range 8cm / Effective Range 4cm).

CHEVAULEGERS

“…was of the opinion than, as I am still today, that the Austrian light horse is the best trained in this kind of warfare [skirmish]. The Austrians are always the most skilled at placing outposts to guard their army.”

Chlapowski/Simmons – “Memoirs of a Polish Lancer” P15

As of 1802 there were six regiments of Chevaulegers with a seventh being formed in 1814.

Chevaulegers carried a carbine and a sabre, with each squadron having sixteen men armed with rifles.

The Austrian Chevaulegers formed large regiments and served effectively in pitched battles while also being effective in escort duty, skirmishers and in smaller engagements.

Unit Attributes

Austrian Chevaulegers Unit Card

Special Rules

  • Pistols – Chevaulegers are armed with short ranged weaponry. If the player wishes, this unit may fire its pistols once an enemy closes within range. Pistols have a long range of 2cm and short range of 1cm.
  • Cavalry (-1) – Units of this calibre have a fearsome reputation on the battlefield. As such any enemy foot units that are within 10cm of a unit of Chevaulegers suffer a -1 modifier to any morale checks that the unit makes.
  • Impetuous (5+) – Chevaulegers occasionally struggle to maintain their composure in the heat of battle. After this unit has fought in melee, during its next action roll a D6; on a roll of 4+ the unit can act normally, if the unit fails this roll it must make its quickest move towards the nearest enemy unit and contact them in melee if possible.
  • Rifles – During an action the unit can choose to fire its rifles instead of performing any other action. If it does so it can use 1 combat dice and fire at the enemy using the rifle weapon profile (long Range 8cm / Effective Range 4cm).
  • Deployment Marker – Units of Chevaulegers allows the owning player to use an additional deployment marker in the scouting phase.

HUSSARS

Austria had twelve Hussar regiments, eight from Hungary, two from Transylvania and two from Slovakia. The name ‘Hussar’ derives from the Latin word Cursarius which means raider, and originally was used to refer to marauders from the Northern Balkans. It was later adopted by the Magyar people of Hungary as the name for irregular light cavalry.

Hussars carried a large sabre and a carbine. There were six sharpshooters in each squadron carrying rifles.

Unit Attributes

Austrian Hussars Unit Card

Special Rules

  • Pistols – Hussars are armed with short ranged weaponry. If the player wishes, this unit may fire its carbines once an enemy closes within range. Carbines have a long range of 2cm and short range of 1cm.
  • Cavalry (-1) – Units of this calibre have a fearsome reputation on the battlefield. As such any enemy foot units that are within 10cm of a unit of Hussars suffer a -1 modifier to any morale checks that the unit makes.
  • Impetuous (3+) – Hussars occasionally struggle to maintain their composure in the heat of battle. After this unit has fought in melee, during its next action roll a D6; on a roll of 3+ the unit can act normally, if the unit fails this roll it must make its quickest move towards the nearest enemy unit and contact them in melee if possible.
  • Rifles – During an action the unit can choose to fire its rifles instead of performing any other action. If it does so it can use 1 combat dice and fire at the enemy using the rifle weapon profile (long Range 8cm / Effective Range 4cm).
  • Deployment Marker – Units of Hussars allows the owning player to use an additional deployment marker in the scouting phase.

Austrian Cavalry Unit Card

Below is the full unit card for the Austrian Cavalry. Pistols will be removed from the special rules and have their profiles included elsewhere once the full rules are published.

As always, if you have any suggestions, thoughts or comments please let me know.

Austrian Cavalry Unit Card

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SOURCES

https://www.napoleon-series.org/military-info/organization/Austria/ArmyStudy/c_AustrianArmyCavalry.html#:~:text=The%20Austrian%20cavalry%20consisted%20of,wore%20white%20coats%20and%20breeches.

http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/Austrian_cavalry.htm#_cuirassiers

Battle of Roliça: A most important affair

https://www.britishbattles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Batalha_da_Roli%C3%A7a.jpg

Background:

The Battle of Roliça took place on the 17th of August 1808. It was the first battle between British and French forces of the Peninsular War. British Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) commanding a Anglo-Portuguese force met French General of Division Francois Delaborde near the village of Roliça. Anglo-Portuguese forces numbered approximately 15 000 men, including 18 guns. French forces numbered approximately 4 400 men, including 5 guns. (Jac Weller, Wellington in the Peninsula).

Historically Wellesley dispatched a flanking force on the left led by Ferguson and on the right by Trant to attempt encirclement and capture of the French force, while he himself led the bulk of the army in a slow display of force in the center. Delaborde was not distracted by the display, and withdrew behind a cloud of skirmishers to a strong 2nd position. Wellesley repeated the gambit, two wide pincers with a show of force in the center. Before the plan could reach fruition, the 29th advanced alone, resulting in confusion, befuddlement, and the majority of the British casualties of the day. In response, Wellesley ordered a general attack. Delaborde held off the British with a series of counterattacks, before starting a withdrawal. Skillful utilization of his superior cavalry ensured the French could withdraw under cover of their sabres. The British pursuit ended in the capture of 3 guns, but was eventually called off.

French casualties amounted to 600 men killed , wounded or captured, along with 3 guns lost. British casualties amounted to about 500 men killed , wounded or captured.

I started drafting a scenario for the Battle of Roliça for two reasons. First, being in that state of limbo between successive orders of my wee men, I had limited bases to work with in a test game. Second, the first British Battle of the Peninsular War under Wellesley felt oddly appropriate as an entrance to a new ruleset.

Since I am the world’s laziest painter, my British and French are as of today still a ways from completion, hence the empty bases with paper unit names. I solemnly promise to refight this battle with a painted and pretty army to redress the balance in the future.

This battle was fought with v0.2 of the rules.
My sources for this scenario drew heavily from Sir Charles Oman’s History of the Peninsular War and Jac Weller’s Wellington in the Peninsula. OOB, unit strengths, dispositions etc has been drawn from consulting these sources, with some modifications made in the name of a spirited game. Further modifications will need to be made when the ruleset grows.

This battle is fundamentally unfair. I attempted to address some of the potentially most frustrating elements in giving the French player the opportunity to win in a historical context, rather than demanding 4 000 men crush 15 000 British and Portuguese regulars. In addition, there are some good faith requirements form both sides. We played with the British and French deployments mirroring their historical counterparts, and with the British player following Wellesley’s initial battleplan. We also started with all French forces activated, and gave the French player leeway in deciding his brigade structure.

Below the battle report I am including the Scenario document I drew up, that has been edited to reflect some changes I felt necessary after playing through it. I will note here that most prominently, French Cavalry strengths have been bumped a little higher than their numbers would suggest, based on contemporary observers noting that Delaborde’s chief advantage and indeed greatest security to ensure his withdrawal in good order, was his mure numerous veteran cavalry. His infantry were all between, as the ruleset stood, strength 4 and 5, but I have assigned them strength 5 as the French troops had veterans in their ranks. Secondly, the value players want to assign to objectives certainly needs tweaking. I have attempted to give both players approximately equal points that are theoretically scoreable. In practice, casualties are almost guaranteed to be higher than historically. Though Delaborde managed to withdraw in good order (at the cost of 3 guns), there is an argument to be made that that he incurred a needless risk by standing at Roliça. But stand he did, and this reflects in the scoring I used, a player making the “better” choice and running his men for the hills and the safety of the route past Zambugeira, will lose. I intend to revisit objectives and scoring in the future to create a sandbox environment, and to tweak balance. In addition I’d like to add some scenario specific rules. Any comments or ideas in this regard will be most welcome.

It became clear in this battle that reactions are very strong. Misjudging how close you can bring cavalry can and will have the opposing infantry formed and ready in squares, and will have artillery blast infantry to mewling heaps of gore. Managing morale is incredibly important, and at this stage with frequent morale tests to be able to act, single battalions are vastly outperformed by brigades. Casualties were frequent and high, combat tended to be very bloody. Artillery were the big killers on both sides. There is a lot of tracking happening, but using a mix of pen and paper for brigades not currently in action and dice for units in the thick of the action worked fairly easily and well. Beer and impromptu history lessons certainly extend playtime significantly, but once all parties had the rules more or less in hand the game moved along more speedily than anticipated.

Battlefield:
Roliça on the flank of the small central hill, Columbeira at the mouth of the horseshoe hills, Zambugeira in the valley between the exit (French line of retreat) hills

Battle

Morning Deployment:

In a move of unparalleled tactical genius, the British deployment is made in range of the French guns. At this stage, the French guns are activated but the British are still awaiting orders. The Light Brigade will bleed.

8am:
While the British wait for orders to be dispatched (Awareness points raised) to begin maneuver the French steadily inflict casualties on the Light Brigade. British Guns fire at the Line Regiments on the French 1st position, starting to drive the French to the reverse slope

8:30am:
Trant’s command on the right flank starts to move up to attempt an encirclement of the French 1st position. A squadron of French Cavalry moves to cut them off. The Squadron fails a critical charge, and subsequently get counter charged by the 50 Portuguese horse. In a feat of unbelievable heroism, the 50 Portuguese horse covers themselves in glory by utterly destroying both themselves and the 3rd Chasseurs à Cheval Squadron.

9am:
The British Left wing starts moving to turn the French position’s flank.The French commander is not having any of it, and decides to abandon the hilltop. His infantry falls back to take position on the village of Roliça and Columbeira (instead of the historical hill and flanks of the valley 2nd position). The British Light Brigade take the Hilltop 1st objective at 9:20

10 pm:
An uneasy stand-off ensues, with artillery venturing forward intermittently to punish cheeky infantry placement, while the British bring all their forces to activation and re-task their troops on pushing the French out of the two villages. Trant’s lone Portuguese Brigade start their walk around the world, moving to cut the French retreat near Zambugeira.

11pm:
The British Left wing has been looking tasty to the French Commander all game, and he finally decides to chomp down. The two remaining Chasseurs à Cheval squadrons attempts to charge the isolated Fergusons brigade and it’s 6 guns. The French cavalry overruns the flank, breaks Ferguson’s Brigade but with their horses blown they are smashed and routed by the British guns attached to the left flank. Wellesley personally rallies Ferguson’s broken brigade.

11:30:

French hold Roliça and Columbeira, drawing up a defensive line across the mouth of the hills. Trant is now deep on the right. British guns start a close range bombardment of the troops garrisoned in Roliça, who attempt to charge the guns in response. Their commanders haranguing falls on deaf ears, with the troops obstinately refusing to move.

12 pm:
Massed British guns force the French brigade garrisoned in Roliça out, inflicting heavy casualties. Wellesley initiates a general advance on the French line. French artillery reacts and inflicts devastating casualties to Crauford’s attacking brigade when it attempts to dislodge them from the Columbeira.

1pm:

2nd and 4th French Light advances and attempts to rout the vulnerable Light brigade, but fails to execute their maneuver in the face of the enemy. The massed British artillery finally push the French battalions out of Columbeira and into the waiting guns of Trant’s long walk to freedom, whose brigade now sits astride their line of retreat. Two French battalions surrender immediately. At 1:10pm the light brigade storm Columbeira and capture the French guns.

Trant holds the French line of retreat, their guns are captured and with half their forces dead or surrendered, Delaborde surrenders.

British casualties: 200 men of the 60th rifles, 50 men of the Portuguese cavalry detachment, 300 men of Craufords brigade, 350 men of Fergusons brigade, one battalion fled.
French casualties: 90 men of the Chasseurs à Cheval, dead or wounded, the rest fled. 70th line battalions (1st and 2nd) took 400 casualties, the rest captured by Trant. 4th Swiss 200 casualties, the rest fled. 2nd Light and 4th Light surrendered in entirety. 5 guns captured. General Delaborde captured. Complete British tactical and strategic victory, but at heavy cost.

Scenario:

Field of Battle:
Total Maneuver Area approx. 6km x 6km:
4’x4’ playing area.

Primary Terrain Features:
Horseshoe hills: 1’wide, 2’deep
Rolica village in between the wings of the hills
Hills well wooded

British set out from Obidas at dawn (06:24) on the 17th August 1808. Approximately 6km’s to the french first positions. Marching in column at British quick step, covering the ground in minimum 73 minutes. Anticipated British arrival therefore at 07:33. 30 minutes to account for delays, dispatching of orders. Battle commences at deployment zones at 08:00. Sundown at 20:28. Approx 75 turns until darkness falls.

Order of Battle:

French: General of Division Henri François Delaborde
70éme Régiment d’Infanterie de Ligne (2 Battalions)
4éme Régiment Suisse d’Infanterie (1 Battalion)
2éme Régiment Légère (1 Battalion)
4éme Régiment Légère (1 Battalion)
26éme Bataillon de Chasseurs (3 squadrons)
5 guns

British: Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley
Left:
Ferguson’s Brigade: 36th, 40th, 71st
Bowes Brigade: 6th, 32nd
6 guns
Centre:
Fane’s (Light) Brigade: 60th, 95th (4 companies) (on the left)
Nightingale’s Brigade: 29th, 82nd (in the centre)
Hill’s Brigade: 5th , 9th, 38th (on the right)
Caitlin Craufurd’s Brigade: 45th, 50th, 91st (in reserve)
6th Cacadores (in reserve) approx 750 men
6th & 12th Portuguese Cavalry (200 men)
20th Light Dragoons detachment (200 men)
12 guns
Right:
Trant:
12th, 21st & 24th Infantry Regiments (approx 850 men)
11th Cavalry Regiment (50 men)

*numbers approximated based on A History of the Peninsular War Volume 1 – Charles Oman & Wellington in the Peninsula – Jac Weller

Order of Battle: (Strength)

French:Delaborde
70th 1st battalion (5)
70th 2nd battalion (5)
2nd Light (5)
4th Light (5)
4th Swiss (5)
26th Chasseurs 1st squadron (3)
26th Chasseurs 2nd squadron (3)
26th Chasseurs 3rd squadron (3)
Artillery contigent (5)

British: Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley
Left:
Ferguson’s Brigade: 36th (5), 40th (5), 71st (5)
Bowes Brigade: 6th (5), 32nd (5)
6 guns (6)
Centre:
Fane’s (Light) Brigade: 60th (5), 95th (2)
Nightingale’s Brigade: 29th (5), 82nd (5)
Hill’s Brigade: 5th (5), 9th (5), 38th (5)
Caitlin Craufurd’s Brigade: 45th (5), 50th (5), 91st (5)
6th Cacadores (3)
6th & 12th Portuguese Cavalry (2)
20th Light Dragoons detachment (2)
12 guns (12)
Right:
Trant:
12th, 21st & 24th Infantry Regiments (5)
11th Cavalry Regiment (1)

Objectives:

British Strategic Objectives:
Take the field
Drive the enemy to Zambugeira
Attempt encirclement and capture of the French Forces

British Primary Objectives:
Capture French First position before 11am (2)
Capture French Second position before 4am (2)

British Secondary Objectives:
Capture French Guns (1)
Destroy/capture French Regiments (1 each)

French Strategic Objectives:
Delay the British Advance
Evade encirclement and capture and escape to Zambugeira
Inflict significant casualties

French Primary Objectives:
Hold First position until 11am (2)
Hold Second position until 4am (2)

French Secondary Objectives:
50 casualties inflicted more than historical (1 each)
50 casualties taken less than historical (1 each)
Artillery escaped (1)

Final thoughts

This battle was heaps of fun to play, even though the odds were rather one-sided. I felt that Delaborde’s skillful handling of the withdrawal is significantly easier to appreciate than to pull off, and that the French position is actually very precarious if their resources are not very carefully husbanded. Lastly, I realised that one always scoffs at the adage, “human waves don’t work on machinegun nests”, thinking surely I could never be that stupid. And one keeps scoffing right up until you charge a brigade headfirst into a storm of cannon. In the immortal words of Boney, “To cannon, all men are equal”.

Discord

First of all, before I begin I’d like to apologise. As you may have noticed I’ve been a littl might on posts recently. There are a number of reasons for this, having a daughter under the age of two who acts like a gremlin after midnight, and studying for exams. So I hope you’ll forgive me!

I have enlisted some help however, Lehann Smith is my primary play tester who has been kind enough to test the rules I concoct over and over again. His support has been fantastic over the last couple of months and his thoughts and input have kept the rules sensible. As such I’ve added him to the site as an author so that he can share his gaming experiences with you.

Lehann has been particularly busy this weekend setting up a Discord Community for Clausewitz. A place where we can discuss the rules one on one and in groups and play test games together on a remote basis using programmes such as tabletop simulator. They’ll also be a section where you can make suggestions for rules or find a list of suppliers for different scales of Napoleonic Wargaming.

If I’ve done this correctly then you should see a link below to join our small little group on Discord.

https://discord.gg/wndq6rNDiscord

I’m hoping that once the first draft of the rules are published the community will grow exponentially.

So what the plans?

Well coming up in the near future you should see articles start to appear on the website in regards to the factions, their units and the abilities they can use. You’ll hopefully also see the first draft of the points system being published once these factions have been finalised.

The first draft of the rule book is still in development. I know I said end of September but it’s much harder to write than I first thought!

In the long term there are also ideas for an accompanying app for the game so that you can more easily track the status of the units in game and build army lists.

Plus lots more (I’ve a list as long as my arm of things that need to be written!).

So again, I’d like to thank Lehann for his hard work and I’m looking forward to working with (and gaming against) him in the future!

Game Choices

Initially when I started writing these rules I imagined a set of rules to simply play historical scenarios. To an extent this is still my intention, however having read some of the comments from various people I’ve decided to expand this some what.

POINTS

There will be a points system which will allow players to create pick up and play games where the forces are evenly matched.

I’ve already laid the basic ground work for the math behind the points and so these should be fairly simple to produce once we get to that stage.

RANDOM STRENGTH

Anyone who has played the Polemos system for Napoleonic will be familiar with the randomised army selection process. This will also be a feature for a Clausewitz, enabling players to choose how many generals they would like and then having a random number of battalions, squadrons and artillery units based on this.

HISTORICAL SCENARIOS

A scenario has already been written for the Battle of Rolica and this should be published either inside the rule book once it becomes available or as a downloadable file from this website.

SINGLE PLAYER

I’m also considering writing an AI system which would be available either through an app or via a page on this website. More news on this in the future.

CAMPAIGNS

A campaign systems will also be written further down the line and should be available also with the single player rule set.

CURRENT FOCUS

But these are all future ideas and at present the sole purpose is to make sure that the rule mechanics work, are reflective of the period and are not too difficult to master.

I’m currently working on making sure that the Command and Control is going to be suitable to the time period and fun to play.

Time Off

I’ve been writing rules for Clausewitz now non-stop for six weeks. As such, I’m choosing to take a couple of weeks rest from Clausewitz.

Hopefully I’ll be able to come back with fresh ideas to drive the game forward once more. There are various areas I’d like to improve on at this point and I’ve outlined a list of items I’m hoping to improve/produce upon my return.

  • Command and Control – Chain of command
  • Number of Actions
  • Fatigue
  • Unit profiles
  • Faction specific rules
  • Multiplayer games
  • The Rulebook
  • Tracking issues
  • Reducing the number of dice rolls
  • Victory Points
  • Attack Columns
  • Sieges
  • Campaigns
  • Scenarios
  • Plus many more……

Command & Control Thoughts

There is always a clear chain of command for the issuing of orders in a battle.

  1. Commander-In-Chief
  2. Corp Commanders
  3. Division Commanders
  4. Brigade Commanders
  5. Unit Commanders

For Clausewitz, the CinC may be at any level from Divisional and upwards, therefore I believe I need to implement a sounds system which can replicate the Napoleonic battlefield orders (and their blunders).

Each Brigade already has a morale value which can be used to determine whether orders are interpreted correctly (or followed at all!). However, I need to replicate the dissemination of orders from the upper tiers of the command structure. After all Napoleon wouldn’t order individual Brigades into the fray, he’d leave that to the Divisional Commanders.

At present I’m considering using the Commander-In-Chiefs awareness points to issue the order (as it is currently), but these orders have to be passed down the tiers to the relevant unit.

So for example, Napoleon wants some of his troops to take and hold Hougemont, he sends an ADC to Marshal Ney with orders to that effect and dedicating a certain amount of his AP for that purpose. Marshal Ney receives the orders and tests to see whether he understands and follows them correctly. At present I’m considering using a simple dice roll on 1 D6 (with adjustments for different types of commanders), this may be as simple as passing a simple roll on 2+, perhaps if the general is particularly inept it may be a 3+ or even 4+. If the roll is failed then a number of things may happen. The resources Napoleon has committed to taking this objective is adjusted (meaning not as many brigades can be dedicated to the task), perhaps another random battlefield objective is chosen or maybe the Marshal chooses to ignore the orders altogether believing them to be out of date considering the current Battlefield situation.

If the Marshal then decides to forward the orders, he will send ADC’s to the relevant number of units that Napoleon has given him resource for. For example, Napoleon dedicates 8 Awareness Points to the capture of Hougemont, so Ney uses 4 AP to activate his 1st Brigade (with 4 battalions), 2 AP for two squadrons of cavalry and the last 2 AP for two units of artillery. ADC’s are sent to these units to show that they have been activated.

THE REWRITE

This will of course require some rewriting of the current Command and Control rules. I believe that CinC’s will have a set number of AP that they can use during the course of the battle (dependent upon the battle size), and they ‘lend’ this out to their Divisional Commanders to activate the units required to take the objective.

Divisional Commanders will need to then activate the units required and stay within a certain distance of these troops to ensure that reports from the battle line and the ability to call of an attack is still possible. This may be a range of 30cm. Any activated units outside of this command range cannot act in an aggressive manner, only defensively the same as the un-activated units inside the army.

If Divisional commanders are wounded/killed during the course of the battle, it will take some time to find a replacement in order for that Division to be effective again. This may also be determined by a dice roll as simple as on a 5+ a new commander is selected from the Brigade Generals.

Some units have a degree of independence and may operate outside of their Divisional Commanders zone of control (e.g. Hussars, Rifles and Guerillas).

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Cuirassiers

I’d like to take time to dedicate an article to each type of troop type that took part in the Napoleonic Wars. As such I’d thought I’d start this little series with the Cuirassiers.

WHAT IS A CUIRASSIER?

Cuirassiers were cavalry equipped with cuirass armour, sword, and firearms, first appearing in late 15th-century Europe. The first cuirassiers were produced as a result of armoured cavalry, such as the men-at-arms and demi-lancers, discarding their lances and adopting the use of pistols as their primary weapon. In the later 17th century, the cuirassier lost his limb armour and subsequently employed only the cuirass (breastplate and backplate), and sometimes a helmet. By this time, the sword or sabre had become their primary weapon, pistols being relegated to a secondary function.

Cuirassiers achieved increased prominence during the Napoleonic Wars and were last fielded in the opening stages of World War I. Cuirassiers continue to be employed as ceremonial troops by a number of countries. The French term means “one with a cuirass” (cuirasse), the breastplate armour which they wore.

During the first few decades of the 19th century most of the major states of Europe, except Austria which had retained its armoured cavalry, readopted the cuirass for some of their heavy cavalry in emulation of the French. The Russians fielded two divisions of armoured cavalry, but most other states armoured a few senior regiments: Prussia three regiments, the Kingdom of Saxony three, the Kingdom of Westphalia two, Spain one (Coraceros Españoles) and the Duchy of Warsaw one. The three Household Cavalry regiments of the British Army (1st and 2nd Life Guards and Royal Horse Guards) adopted cuirasses shortly after the Napoleonic Wars as a part of their full dress uniforms, but never had occasion to wear the armour in battle. However as late as 1887 these regiments were still wearing cuirasses on manoeuvres in “field day order”.

GAME ATTRIBUTES

I’m also going to allow Cuirassiers to have a base 6+ save. I say base as some nations Curiassiers were better armoured than others, while some had no armour at all. For example the French were equipped with helmets as well as the Cuirasse, so for these regiments I’m tempted to give a 5+ save.

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Broken Units

I established how units became broken in an earlier post, where a unit fails their morale test by a value of 3 or more. I also stated that other units that are near a unit that fails its morale test and becomes broken also have to test. What I haven’t covered is some of the after effects of units breaking.

MAKING FRIENDLY CONTACT

A unit may break as part of a reaction, a move or as a result of losing combat. Units will flee a certain distance (5cm for foot troops, 12cm for mounted troops). However what happens if a unit that is broken collides with another unit broken or otherwise?

There are four options here;

  1. The unit that is collided with automatically becomes broken and also flees.
  2. The unit that is fleeing rallies once it makes contact with a friendly unit.
  3. The fleeing unit is classed as destroyed and removed from the table.
  4. The fleeing unit ‘skips’ over the friendly unit to line up in the same direction as to when it made contact. With the unit that is being ‘Skipped’ taking a morale test (possibly with a morale modifier).

Personally at the moment I’m favouring the fourth option with a +1 modifier to the skipped units morale test. But that said I’d love to here other people’s opinions.

MAKING ENEMY CONTACT

A unit which flees into an enemy unit should be removed from the table with the men if the unit classified as captured for all intents and purposes.

A NOTE ON MORALE TESTS

A unit that is broken can use every subsequent action to attempt to rally using a morale test. For each action where the rally is failed, the unit will flee the distance required for that unit type.