Tag Archives: Napoleonic Artillery

adjustment to damage mechanic

Some play testers had reported that going into column to attack enemy positions was at times too difficult and that attacking columns would rarely reach enemy positions. Therefore, I’m going to try a new damage mechanic for formations in the game.

Columns

When an attacker shoots at an enemy column, instead of causing double damage as had previously been the case, the attacker will instead be able to re-roll unsuccessful “Fire!” rolls.

For example, in the image below a British brigade with its three battalions arranged in column formation is attacking a French position held by a Brigade with three battalions in line formation.

British Brigade in column attacks a French Brigade in Line.

The French roll their combat dice for their “Steady” roll as normal, needing 5+ to succeed.

After rolling twelve dice for their “Steady” roll, they roll four successes, three sixes and a five.

“Steady” Roll

The French player now rolls these four successes as their “Fire!” roll, however, as the unit they’re aiming at is in column formation, they are able to re-roll any failures.

The British brigade is at long range, therefore the French player will need sixes to hit.

“Fire!” Roll

The French player rolls four dice and doesn’t succeed in rolling a single 6, however as mentioned before they are able to re-roll unsuccessful rolls as the target is in column formation. Re-rolling all four dice sees the French player make a hit. The British therefore suffer 1 damage to their morale on the Brigade and roll a D6, on a roll of 5+ they lose a combat dice for that Brigade. They must also now make a morale test.

Squares

For attacking units in Squares the rules are similar to those above, apart from the attacker is able to re-roll both “Steady” rolls AND “Fire!” rolls.

Hopefully this means that Brigades don’t suffer quite such catastrophic damage as they were previously.

Please let me know what you think to these rules in the comments below.

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An Adjustment to Command & Control

Following some testing with the new command and control system I’ve decided to make a number of adjustments. This is mainly because the game was inadvertently slowed down in the earlier rounds of the game.

Therefore, going forwards I’m going to retain the ratings of both Generals and Brigades, however I’m going to reintroduce ADC’s to activate Brigades.

I’ve outline below the principles of activations and ordering. On top of the below I’ll also be introducing some new Division orders which can be carried our by the General of Division, where he can order his entire division to advance, fire, change formation etc.

ACTIVATING OTHER GENERALS AND BRIGADES

  • Players start with 5 chits which represent their Commander-in-Chief’s (CinC) actions.
  • Chits are drawn one at a time from the bag, with the colour chit drawn from the bag denoting whose general may act.
  • A CinC may activate a General of Division (GD) by spending two action points (this would require actions to be saved until the player has enough to use), once they do so, an Aide-de-Camp (ADC) is placed in base-to-base contact with the CinC and may use 5 actions to move towards their target – an ADC moves a 8cm per action.
  • Once the ADC reaches the GD, the player may choose which objective that Division has been assigned by placing a dice marker on the ADC. A maximum of two objectives can be given to any GD, however, another ADC must be sent to the GD to do so.
  • Once the GD is activated, another 5 chits are added to that players hand and are drawn next turn with the other chits. Once again, these chits represent the GD’s actions for the turn.
  • A GD may then also spend two action points (again requiring them to be saved), to activate units within their division. If this is done, the process is that same as for activating a GD aside from there are no chits added to the draw bag for the next turn.

ORDERING BRIGADES TO ACT

  • Activated units can then be “ordered” to act in any turn. This is done by their GD issuing an “order” for one action point to the target unit. A combination of the Generals rating, and the Brigades/units rating determines what score is needed on 2D6 for that unit to act that turn.
  • When rolling the order dice, for each number below the target order score, the Brigade loses an action. (i.e., if the target score is 7 and the roll is 6, then the Brigade loses 1 action and may only use four this turn, if the roll is 5, then the Brigade loses two actions, and so on).
  • A General ordering a unit within their Division that is within 8cm of their base, receives no modifiers to the command roll. So if the target score is 7, the player needs to roll 7+ on 2D6.
  • However, for each full 8cm that the target brigade is away from the General, a modifier of -1 is applied to the dice. For example, a GD is ordering a Brigade within its division which is 18cm away from the General. The required target score is 7, however as the Brigade is over 16cm away (8cm x 2) the command roll will suffer a -2 modifier. So in actual fact a roll of 9 is required on two dice for that Brigade to retain its five actions that turn.
  • A natural roll of 12 on 2D6 for ordering is always a success and also gives the target Brigade an additional action, meaning that it can use six actions that turn instead of five.
  • A natural roll of 2 on 2D6 is classed as a blunder and neither the General or the Brigade can act any further that turn.

All of these changes should speed up the command and control of the game, and the game itself considerably. But as always let me know your thoughts.

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Revised Command and Control

Command and Control has been a big in my side since I began this voyage of writing my own ruleset.

I’m hoping to end up with a set of rules that will be fairly accurate to the time period as well as being fun to play.

The issues people were finding with the current command and control system was that once all the units were activated the game slowed down considerably and each turn could take many minutes to complete. I believe the solution that has been created fixes a lot of these issues going forwards.

Therefore I’d like to re-jig the command and control as follows.

COMMAND & CONTROL

Brigades are no longer activated via ADC’s from the Commander-in-Chiefs stand. Instead these ADC’s will carry the orders (objective target) to the General of Division. At that point the whole of that General’s Division is given the objective specified as its target.

Therefore there is now also a reduction on the number of chits involved, as chits will no longer represent each individual brigade in the field but each action for a General of Division level or higher. For example, drawing one chit allows that General to use one action (place the chit next to the General to mark this). Each General can use a maximum of five chits per turn.

Each General and each Brigade will be given a rating of one to five, one being excellent and five being poor. So for example, a Brigade of French Old Guard would be rating one and Marshal Ney may be rating 2.

General Mack – a first rate General?

If a player wishes to activate a unit that turn the General of Division must spend an action point to give them an order (which they can only do if they are within 20cm of the Brigade). By combing the Generals rating and the Brigades rating (in the example above this would be 3 – 1 for the Old Guard Brigade and 2 for Marshal Ney) you have a target value for success. The player rolls two D6 dice and if they roll equal to or higher than this value then their orders are correctly understood and that Brigade may use its five actions that turn.

If a General fails on giving an order by a value of 1 (i.e., the target value is 7 and the General rolls a 6), then that Brigade still acts but its number of actions is reduced by 1. A score of two lower than the target roll reduces the Brigades actions by two, and so on.

If a General rolls a natural 12 on the two dice then the target Brigade gains an additional action and may use 6 actions that turn. However if they General rolls a natural 2 on two dice then the General has rolled a blunder and the General may issue no further orders this turn (this still occurs even if the General is rating 1 and the target unit is rating 1), and the player will have to roll on the blunders table given later on.

Once a General has given an order to a unit that Brigade may use all of its five actions offensively if it wishes (i.e. advancing and taking objectives).

Defensive actions are always available to units that have not acted that turn or units that have acted but have reserved some of their action points for defensive actions.

I’ve no doubt this will be polished a lot before the final version of the rules are released but I feel this is a step in the right direction.

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Battle of Elchingen 1805 Scenario

I’ve recently finished the first scenario for Tabletop Simulator which can be used by playtesters.

The Battle of Elchingen was chosen as the battle itself takes place between two fairly small and evenly matched forces of French and Austrians. The battle itself took place three days after the Battle of Haslach-Jungingen where the Austrians were badly mauled by the French. So, although in this scenario the Austrian’s have many more units than the French, a lot of these consist of only 2-3 combat dice each while the French units are roughly double this value.

Austrian forces holding the ridge between Ober-Elchingen and Unter-Elchingen

The battle starts at 8am where the French have to repair a Bridge over the river Danube in order to attack the Austrian forces and then head towards Ulm to block Mack’s retreat and keep him boxed in so that the Austrian’s are forced to surrender.

The Austrians hold the high ground between Ober-Elchingen and Unter-Elchingen while a small force is posted on the northern bank of the river to delay the French crossing.

The Bridge over the River Danube

In this scenario, the French player must first rebuild the bridge (done by rolling construction points each turn), then push forward and assault the ridge. Victory points are awarded for holding the river crossing, Ober-Elchingen and Unter-Elchingen.

Historically Marshal Ney was victorious in this battle by mid-afternoon, and for his performance Napoleon gave him the title of 1st Duke of Elchingen.

BEAT YOUR HISTORIC COUNTERPART

One of the purposes of building this rule set was to enable myself and other like-minded individuals the opportunity to compare their performance to that of the General commanding at the time. Therefore, if you achieve the below conditions you can safely say that you outperformed your historical counterpart.

In this scenario each hit counts as roughly 20 men killed or wounded.

The French
To beat Marshal Ney the bridge must be repaired by 10am and your forces must suffer less than 43 hits. You must also have captured all three objectives by turn 42.

The Austrians
To beat Feldmarschall-leutnant Riesche you must hold Unter-Elchingen and Ober-Elchingen until at least turn 42. You must also suffer less than 300 hits on your forces.

VICTORY

At the end of each turn players count up the number of objectives where only units of their forces are within 10cm of that objective, if any enemy units are also within 10cm then neither side scores the VP.

At the end of the game the player with the most VP wins a Tactical victory. The player with the most hits caused wins a Strategic victory. If a player is lucky enough to have both then they are considered to have won a major victory.

SINGLE-PLAYER
Plans are being drawn to also turn this into a single player game where the player can choose which force they would like to control. The other force will be controlled by the A.I. (by which we mean a pre-determined move or actions depending upon your own movements and actions). This however is a little way off yet.

To try this out download it from the Steam Workshop today.

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Clausewitz Rules v0.3.2

Following the updates posted yesterday and the skirmish rules posted earlier in the week, I’ve released the latest version of the rules both on this website and on the Tabletop Simulator mod.

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Rulebook Adjustments

So following on from some further testing carried out by members of the Discord server this week, they made some excellent points in regards to some of the rules I’m going to mention below.

FIRING
It’s become more clear with testing that its not entirely clear which units can fire when performing a firing action. Therefore I’ve changed the Fire! action to read as:

Fire! (Cost: 1 Action Point) Offensive or Defensive The Brigade can fire all its available combat dice assigned to the units at the front of the Brigade. Each unit can fire at any units directly to their front.

ENFILADING FIRE
This is for units which are firing on the flank of battalions that are formed in line. I’ve added the following paragraph in the firing section:

Enfilading Fire
Units which fire on the flank of a unit in line formation are performing what is called enfilading fire, when this occurs the target unit receives double damage.

FLANK AND REAR ATTACKS IN MELEE
I’ve added the following section to the rulebook under melee:

Flank and Rear Attacks
Units which are attacking the enemy in the flank receive a +1 modifier to their combat dice roll, while units attacking an enemy in its rear benefits from a +2 modifier.

MINIMUM FLEEING DISTANCES
It became apparent through testing that units could take advantage of units that were fleeing but unable to move due to having no actions left and so being able to constantly cause damage to them. Therefore I’m replacing the following wording:

If the unit fails by a value of more than 2 then the unit will flee the remaining number of actions at 3cm per action and end its turn facing directly away from the enemy

With:

If the unit fails by a value of more than 2 then the unit will flee 3cm away from the enemy plus its remaining number of actions at 3cm per action and end its turn facing directly away from the enemy

FORMATIONS
I’d forgotten to clarify in previous versions how many combat dice can be used by each unit depending upon their formation. Therefore I’ve added a Benefits and Cons section to each in the rule book:

Line
Benefits: Can use all combat dice when firing. Does not suffer extra damage from artillery attacks.
Cons: Cannot use the quick march action. Can be vulnerable to cavalry attacks.

Column
Benefits: Can use the quick march action and the Brigade benefits from +1 to their morale rolls for each unit inside the Brigade in this formation. Cavalry effects are reduced.
Cons: Can only use a quarter of their combat dice (rounded up).

Square
Benefits: Cannot be charged by Cavalry and the Brigade benefits from +1 to their morale rolls for each unit inside the Brigade in this formation.  
Cons: Can only use a quarter of their combat dice (rounded up). Cannot move.

CHANGE BRIGADE FORMATION
I’ve changed this slightly so that Brigades can only be a max of three units wide.

OTHER NOTES

A speed play option has also been suggested, this is being considered further.

All of the above changes will be reflected in version 0.3.2 which will be released on the website and on the steam mod on Sunday (possibly along with the Russian army).

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Revised Russian Units for v0.3.1

Following the updated rulebook I’ve re-written the Russian unit stats to go alongside these.

INFANTRY UNITS

Russian Infantry Units

You’ll see that I’ve divided the main infantry (line and light) into three rungs of Recruit, Trained and Veteran. This is to reflect the training and experience of units in campaign situations. If playing matched play games I would advise using trained units a base.

CAVALRY UNITS

Russian Cavalry Units

Any of the above can also be included in the Russian Imperial Guard, if you are taking any of these units as Imperial Guard, then include the Drilled special rule and in the case of Cossacks remove their Cossacks special rule.

ARTILLERY UNITS

Russian Artillery Units

A half company of Russian artillery contained six pieces, and in the case where 6 pounder cannons were used there were four cannon and two unicorn howitzers.

Once again, any artillery units that included as part of the guard add the Drilled special rule.

As always if I’ve made a mistake or you believe something needs to be revised please let me know in the comments.

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Skirmishing

I’ve mentioned skirmishing as a rule, a formation and an action on various occasions but have never gone in depth into the topic. Hopefully I’ll clear this up now.

Units that have the Skirmishing special rule are able to deploy a base (with the same footprint as its own) of skirmishers. These skirmishers are a single combat die worth of men and are armed usually in the same fashion as the unit to which they originated from.

Skirmishers are designed to be a thorn in the approaching forces side. As such although they often lack the firepower to throw back a unit on the advance, they can disrupt them. Skirmish troops often target the NCO’s and Officers of an enemy formation in order to cause this disruption.

My thoughts therefore are that if skirmish troops successfully hit an opposition unit while skirmishing, instead if causing one damage and one morale damage, any hits from skirmish bases automatically inflict 2 morale damage but no physical damage. (i.e., hits from skirmish bases are not counted towards the overall losses at the end of the game, and also the player that suffers the damage is not at risk of losing a combat dice on 5+).

Skirmishers attacking an Infantry Brigade

Infantry battalions would ignore such skirmishers and generally attack the larger infantry units that the skirmishers are screening. Therefore infantry battalions are unable to attack skirmish bases and if they advance into contact with a skirmish base, that skirmish base will withdraw 4cm away from the advancing enemy.

Skirmishers withdrawing from approaching enemy

Cavalry are able to attack skirmish formations in the normal manner.

If two opposing skirmish bases meet, they will engage in exchanging small arms fire and cannot target any larger infantry blocks. When firing on opposing skirmishers, they cause normal damage instead of the 2 morale damage when firing on infantry blocks. The base is removed from play if a successful hit is caused against a skirmish base. The combat die assigned to that base is lost to the parent unit and they cannot deploy any further skirmishers.

This may well be an inelegant solution, but this can be refined further as the game is developed.

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Clausewitz Wargame v0.3.1

This is just a quick post to give you all the latest rules update which includes the small changes made this week around Generals, as well as the inclusion of the Fog of War rules under advanced rules.

These changes are already reflected in the Tabletop Simulator mod which has already been updated.

As always, please feel free to contact me on clausewitz.tabletop@gmail.com if you have any suggestions for changes to these.

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Rulebook Re-wording and Fog of War Rules

As part of my journey into writing the rules for my Napoleonic Wargame I stated from the start that I would keep everyone who read these articles up to date on the changes I make while testing and proof reading is carried out.

With the latest version now out both on this website and via the mod for Tabletop Simulator, I thought I would update you to some minor tweaks and changes I’m making that will be reflected in these on Sunday.

Firstly on page 3 under Generals. I don’t believe this covers the role of Divisional Generals or encompass everything either a CinC or a Divisional General does. Therefore I’m rewording this paragraph to read as follows:

Generals – Generals encompass both the Commander-in-Chief (You) and the Generals of Division. All orders for your battle are issued from your Commander-in-Chief (CinC) via Aide-de-Camps (ADC’s), see the orders section for more information on issuing orders and ADC’s. All orders must reach a General of Division (GoD) before being passed on to Brigades.

Both the CinC and the GoD can also contribute to the battle by attempting to rally broken units or by adding a combat dice to a unit’s melee roll, in both these circumstances the CinC and GoD must be in base-to-base contact with the friendly that is fleeing or in melee. These both come with a risk to the General however!

Generals move at a rate of 8cm per action.

Secondly under the section of the same name (Generals) on Page 8. This section will be renamed as Orders and the following paragraph will apply:

ORDERS
Each player will be represented by a single base on the tabletop representing them as Commander-in-Chief (CinC). Players can move their commanders around the field of battle to issue orders to their Generals of Division (GD) or to their Brigadier Generals (BG) if playing in a smaller game.

The CinC can issue ADC’s to send orders to a General of Division or Brigade, when they do so an ADC base leaves the CinC with a dice representing the number of the objective that the Brigade can attack.

An ADC must first make base to base contact with the General of Division for that Brigade (chain of command and all that). Once they have made contact with the General of Division, the ADC remains with them until issued to a Brigade from the General of Division. Generals of Division issue orders in the same manner as Commander-in-Chiefs but must have an ADC present to do so.

The ADC moves at a rate of 8cm per action, once the ADC reaches a Brigade it is activating the Brigade can use any actions remaining for the ADC that turn as their own. For example, should an ADC take three actions to move to a Brigade, the Brigade can use two actions that turn to perform their own offensive or defensive actions.

FIGURE 4 – CHAIN OF COMMAND FOR ORDERS

Generals of Division and the Commander-in-Chief all have 5 command points they can spend each turn. If they’re within 15cm of any friendly Units command points can be used to buff a Brigades command stat to make it easier for them to enact orders that turn. (For Example, a Divisional General may spend two Command Points to buff a nearby Brigade, in which case the Brigade goes from needing 8+ to act that turn to 6+.

If Generals are in base-to-base contact with a friendly unit in melee with the enemy the General can also take part and adds one additional combat dice to the friendly Brigade in combat.”

This in turn had meant a change to the Activated Elements section, which has been renamed to Activated Brigades. This now reads as:

ACTIVATED BRIGADES
Each Brigade can use up to five actions per turn, some actions cost more than others a list of actions is shown later on.


Actions usually revolve around moving, changing formation or attacking the enemy.


Once a Brigade has been activated that Brigade will need to pass a Command Test each turn in order to act. This is done against the Brigades command value of 8+. This value can be modified by nearby Generals of Division or the Commander-in-Chief who can add command points to each roll.

OTHER NOTES

I’m also reducing the number of special rules around impetuous from three to two. These will now be Impetuous (3+) and Impetuous (4+).

NEW ADVANCED RULE

FOG OF WAR
I’m introducing an additional rule into the Advanced Section of the book called ‘Fog of War’.

Fog of War
Players may wish to deploy their units as markers instead of models. These markers must be the same size as the base its replacing with the name of the unit on its face. When players deploy their army these markers are then placed face down on the tabletop.

Markers are revealed in two situations during the course of the battle:

1) If the marker closes to within 30cm of an opposing unit or marker.

2) If the hidden unit fires any weapons.

All of these changes will be reflected on the website and on Tabletop Simulator on Sunday.

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