Thursday, July 8, 2010

Setting up a Wargame

Prior to the battle the French have identified the British locations.
The British (top) start the game with figures on the table
The French (bottom) start the game with skirmish blinds on the table

Each player will need the following equipment

One average dice
One 10 sided dice
A few six sided dice
A measure
An order sheet and order of battle
A card or poker chip for each commander

Place Blinds on the table
Hidden movement is optional, but can add an extra dimension to the rules.
Each commander is represented by a “blind” This can be an oblong card 6x3” or it can be a skirmish base. It shows where the head of the corps is, and the width.
Blinds are placed on the table before the game starts. In a campaign game one side may know the location and strength of the other due to overwhelming cavalry superiority. In this case the “spotted” side will place figures on the table and the other side place blinds.

There are five blinds, six if you have a cavalry or artillery reserve.
One for each corps commander and one for the CinC. This is to make it more difficult for the enemy to guess where your real strength lies.
The blind is replaced with the figures when it has been spotted by the enemy (see rule 1)
The frontage of the corps is the same as the blind.
One blind means that the corps is in column of march.
You can extend by one blind each move, and the more blinds the wider your initial deployment.

Writing Orders
Each player writes orders for all of his corps commanders before the game starts (see rule 4).
These orders prevent the corps commander from reacting to what is happening on the table.
These orders can only be changed by the CinC during his move, and he must be in base contact with the corps commander to do so (see rule 2)

Commanders Cards
You will need a number of cards or poker chips to decide sequence of play

One card for each commander
One French Gifted card
One Allied Gifted card
One Poor card

The cards are shuffled and drawn one at a time.
When a commanders card is drawn he takes his turn
When a Gifted card is drawn any Gifted player may take his turn
When a Poor card is drawn the next Poor commander to draw his card must miss his go

Sequence of Play
All artillery fire
Morale for any casualties due to artillery fire
All movement
All combat
Morale for any casualties due to combat
Morale for any Routed or Shaken brigades

Command Points
CinC rolls an average dice at the start of his turn
He adds 1 if Poor, 2 if Average and 3 if Gifted
These are his Command Points (see rules 2 and 3)

Each corps commander gets 1 point for each brigade not shaken or in rout
He adds 1 if Poor, 2 if Average and 3 if Gifted
The total determines the number of orders he can issue during his turn

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Armies

These rules have been designed for use with my campaign order of battle.
However they could be used for any other order of battle.

You can read more about the organisation of all of my armies, and see photographs of each army and corps in 28mm, 18mm and 6mm here

Each of my armies consist of 128 infantry, 32 cavalry and four guns.
All have different orders of battle.
Each has four corps of 32 infantry, 6 cavalry and 1 gun.

First French Army

There are four corps in First French Army

1st corps is the Old Guard
2nd corps is the Young Guard
3rd corps is a French line corps
14th corps is a Westphalian line corps

My wargames table consists of nine 2x2 foot squares and one corps fits comfortably on each square. This accounts for three corps. The fourth corps would be the reserve and could be placed in support of any of the three corps.

If the CinC wishes he may take cavalry brigades or artillery from one or more of his four corps to form a cavalry or artillery reserve. This can also be placed in support of any of the three corps.

Commanders of First French Army

There are six commanders in First French Army
Napoleon is CinC.
There are four corps commanders.
There is also one reserve commander , in this case a cavalry general.

3rd French Corps

This is a typical French corps, and this is the order of battle.

3 French Corps         Average Commander
9 Line Brigade          CA FB SB
10 Line Brigade       CB FB SA
11 Line Brigade       CB FC SB
12 Line Brigade       CB FC SC
3 Cavalry Brigade   CB Heavy
Corps Artillery        CC 9 pounder

The commander is Average, he might have been Gifted or Poor

The first column is the class of the brigade. A is elite, B trained and C conscript.
The second column is firepower efficiency. A is good, B average and C poor
The third column is skirmish ability. A is good, B average and C poor.

The cavalry are cuirassier (heavy) and are trained.

The gunners are conscripts and have 9 pounder field guns.

Note that each brigade has different strengths and weakeness.
For example if you wanted to skirmish, 10 brigade would be the best choice. I
f you wanted to assault a building 9 brigade have the best morale.
12 brigade is the least experienced and would not be much use for either skirmish or firefight.

Care taken in planning which brigade to use in which role will often have significant consequences. If you can bring your best skirmish brigade against an enemy with poor skirmish capability you will probably win the skirmish battle.

It is also important to protect your best brigades in the early stages of the battle. If 9 brigade were to receive just one casualty as they marched into battle it would reduce their morale by -1

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Campaign

1813 Campaign
The rules can be used for any campaign. But I think it will be easier to understand the thought process behind them if you have an idea of how my 1813 campaign works.

The campaign has been designed to provide interesting wargames using all of our model soldiers and model scenery.

There are two campaign strategic maps, one of Germany and one of Spain. These maps are based on the AA Road Atlas of Europe. Each grid square on the map is an area of 20 miles. This is also one days march for each corps.

There are three French armies in Germany. One fighting Prussians in the north. A second fighting Russians in the centre. A third fighting Austrians in the south.

There are two French armies in Spain. One fighting Spanish in the east. One fighting the British in the west.

Campaign Maps
There are three maps for each campaign. I will only show the Spanish maps to illustrate what they look like.

Strategic Map of Spain

First is the overall strategic map. The map has been copied from the AA Atlas of Europe. However most of it has been changed to make it more of a campaign map, and less of a road map. The geographical features such as rivers and towns are correct. The mountain ranges are little more than a guess. The roads in red are the main supply routes. They run between major cities. The yellow are secondary roads. They connect towns and villages within each region. This is the master map from which all other maps are copied.

Strategic Map for Valladolid Campaign
The second is a more detailed map for the strategic movement. This one is used for the Burgos campaign. It covers an area of 360 by 260 miles between Madrid and Bayonne and is used for the corps daily movement.

Extract from Strategic Map to make the Tactical Map

The third map covers an area 80 by 60 miles. This is the area which will be transferred to the tactical map. I have not yet made the tactical map in ProFantasy. I will use a hand drawn one from a previous campaign to illustrate.

Tactical Mapfor Tarragona Campaign

This is a hand drawn map which I used for the Tarragona campaign. Each square on the previous map has been converted to 3x3 squares on this map. Each one is scenery square for my wargames table. Each square is numbered for ease of identification. Three of these squares would be one days march. The nine squares inside the frame is the area to be transferred to the wargames table.

The wargames table at the start of the game

The campaign is the background to the wargame. It provides a reason for each game, and also an endless supply of games without too much effort.