Monday, 31 March 2008

Rules n' stuff

Hi all

A few people have expressee interest in the rules I am using. These are a mix of ideas from FPGA, Grande Armee and Polemos napoleonics - MdE. As these were written by others (and I really don't have the time) I am not going to produce any sort of formal rules of my own, but here are some pointers if you want to try a similar hybrid of your own:

Sequence of play is largely as per FPGA, but without the multipe "pulses" per turn. In each turn, players roll to see how many intitiative/command/tempo points they get. Usualyl this is 1d6 plus a d3 per subordinate, but get more complex for larger battles with "wings". Players then bid to see who has the initiative. The first "proper" phase is skirmishing by the initiative player and any units in buildings, followed by bombardment (initiative player first). Bombardment range is 4BW (1BW for cannister). Batteries roll 1d6 scoring hits on 5+ (horse guns) of 4+ (foot guns) after applying modifiers similar to those in FPGA.

Cavalry and artillery units can absorb 1 hit(shaken) without breaking
Infantry can absorb 2 hits(shaken) without breaking
Excess hits cause a unit to break unless inflicted by skirmishers

After bombardment, the initiative player allocates initiative points to his subordinates. This is pretty much as it works with FPGA, with each subordinate havinga "command rating" and a "personality modifier", rolling 2-4d6 and choosing any 2 rolls to determine his action for the turn. Roll for one subordinate, move his units, then roll for the next. Movement is as per Polemos, so narrower formations move faster. I allow a 1BW bonus to units that can get into contact with the enemy. Cavalry and artillery are allowed "evade" moves ona die roll, with the risk of being captured/destroyed if they fail. Artillery are allowed a final round of cannister before chargers hit home. The movement rate of units is determined by the width of the formation that they started the turn in. Commanders have a radius - all of their formations must stay within this distance. Commanders also have an "orders" rating of 2 or more which specifies the maximum number of separate groups that their command can be divided into at any one time. Foot artillery that bombarded may not move.

The players then resolve any comabts that hve been initiated. This closely follows Polemos, having multiple rounds follwed by an outcome roll. We use Average dice for all of this however, rather than d6, the exception being the unpredictable fighting in towns, where we use d6s instead and a modified combat outcome chart - essentially the defenders need to lose a combat round by 5+ to be bothered. The combat modifiers from polemos are also tweaked a bit, and we do allow elites a +2 modifier (but elites count double against army morale if lost).

The non-initiative player then issues orders, moves and resolves combat.

The turn ends with a morale phase. Each army has a break point of 25-35% of its starting units (elites counting double). Once the BP is passed, players calculate the difference in units lost to the BP and need to roll > than this on a d6 to keep the army fighing. Initiative points saved from earlier can be used to modify the die roll.

Example: The french army from last Wednesday's game was a corps of 9 stand of veteran infantry, 2 of foot artillery and 2 of elite cavalry. Total unit equivalence was 9+2+(2x2) =15. The breakpoint was 35% of this = 5. It can be seen how devesating it would be to lose the two elite cavalry brigades as these would count a 4 units lost, so while they are very effective units, they still need to be protected! The Austrian army had nearly twice the units, but a BP of only 30% was equal to just 8 units.

Lastly roll an average die x 15 to determine the minutes elapsed in the turn and start again.

That's the basics. They give a good game that goes quite fast once you get the hang of it. i hope this gives some help to the people who are keen to get into 6mm napoleonic gaming.

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