EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Thursday, March 17, 2011

H&M squared Part 2 - rules ideas (Amended) (again, good grief) and edited

This is a not yet a set of rules, it is a list of rule modifications for Bob Cordery's 20th C Chessboard game.

Where not  stated otherwise, the original rules apply. (I'm sure there are conflicts which will ahve to be hunted down and eliminated)
the term Adjacent always means orthoganally adjacent unless specifically indicated as an exception.

Armies may be of any number of units and do not need to have a General. (it is assumed that someone is in charge but that commander may be ineffective or in a small action may be absent). Normally the number of units on the largest side should not normally be more than 50% more than the number of squares on a players baseline. For example 12 units if there are 8 grid squares.

Activation Dice. The number of dice is rounded DOWN not up, to reflect that early 19thC unit commanders typically had less scope for initiative than later on. Generals replace Command Units.
(Option: If special activation dice are not availablethen players may agree to roll 1 normal die for each 6 units rounding down and 1 per commander, This will change the odds but in the same way for both sides. )



Unit Types:  (The term Melee is being used as a short-cut for Close Combat Power)


UNIT MOVEMENT MELEE RANGE
Infantry w Muskets
 1 
3
2
Infantry w Rifles
 1 
4
3
Light Infantry w Muskets
 1 
2
2
Light Infantry w Rifles
 1 
2
3
Light Infantry Spearmen
 1 
2
-
Heavy Cavalry
 2 
4
-
Cavalry
 2 
3
-
Irregular Cavalry
3  
2
2
Heavy Artillery
 1 
3
10
Foot Artillery
 1 
3
8
Horse Artillery
 2 
3
6
Rockets
 1 
1
8
Mortars
 1 
1
6
Generals
 3 
-
-
Wagons
 1 
1
-
Undisciplined, poorly trained  or low morale troops units units are called Militia.
Average units are called regular or Irregular
Very well trained units with high morale are called Elite..
    Artillery Fire. Heavy, Field and Horse Artillery may only use Direct Fire. They automatically hit the target square and only roll for effect. Rockets and mortars may fire indirect  and must roll as per the 20thC rules to see which square is hit before rolling for effect. 

    ARTILLERY
    EFFECT
    Hit vs tgt in the Open
    at 1/2 range or less 
    Hit vs Target in cover
    at 1/2 range or less
    Hit vs tgt in the Open
    over 1/2 range
    Hit vs tgt in Cover
    over 1/2 range 
    DIRECT FIRE
     4,5,6 
    5,6
    5,6
    INDIRECT FIRE
     5,6
    5,6
    5,6
    5,6 

    Movement.
    Movement is considered simultaneous therefore 2 infantry units which are adjacent may change places,
    A unit which moves adjacent to one or more enemy units must stop and face 1 of them. The opposing unit does not move at this time.
    Units that have been activated with an order to fire should be marked with a puff of smoke as a reminder that an activation point has been spent and that they may not move.
    Light infantry units and cavalry and light irregular cavalry units may may a double move if 2 activation points are paid. Heavy cavalry may not make a double move.
    Cavalry may only enter 1 woods square per turn.
    Artillery may not move adjacent to an enemy unit.

    Non Artillery fire.
    Small arms fire represents sustained long range volleys as well as skirmisher fire.


    SMALL ARMS EFFECT
    Hit vs tgt in the Open

    Hit vs Target in cover 


    ALL FIRE
    5,6 
    6



    Light infantry are always considered to be in cover against shooting, even in an open terrain square.

    Close Combat.
    Close Combat represents close range volley fire as well as charges with cold steel. The active player is the attacker, the inactive player is the defender. If a unit begins its move adjcent to an enemy but not facing then it may be activated and turn and attack it, may move away or may ignore it.


    Reaction. At the start of the close combat phase a unit which is being attacked, may respond by doing ONE of the following : (no activation pts are required)
    • Face. Any unit attacked in the flank or rear  may turn and face. They are not obliged to do so.
    • Evade. Light Infantry and light irregular cavalry may choose to retreat 1 move, following all the usual restrictions  as long as they do not move adjacent to an enemy unit (regardless of facing).
    • Form Square. Regular or elite line infantry only may form square if attacked only by cavalry.
    • Defensive Fire. Infantry with muskets or rifles and artillery which are attacked from the front may roll their close combat dice and apply the result before the attacker rolls. 

    Close Combat. Units in close combat roll 2 dice. For each score which is equal to or less than their Melee value (Close Combat Power) 1 hit is inflicted on the enemy. If there is more than 1 enemy in contact with a unit,then the attacker must roll against the unit which is adjacent to his front. If nne of the attackers are adjacent to his front he may allocate the dice as the player chooses but this must be clear before he rolls,  All attacking units roll only against the defender to their front.

    If the defender is able to claim defensive fire, he rolls his dice first then applies the hit. If the attacking unit survives, it now rolls its dice. In all other cases both sides roll simultaneously

    If the defender survives then all remaining attackers must retreat 1 square
    If, after all close combat rolls have been made, there are still units surviving on both sides then determine which side in the close combat suffered the most hits (include all close combat hits on both sides regardless of units. If the defender suffered the most hits then they will retreat.
    if there is an attacking unit in contact with the flank or rear of the defender, then the defender will retreat. If unable to retreat then the defender will surrender and is removed.** 
    If not then the attacker must retreat. 

     (retreat as laid out in the 20thC rules)  Cavalry may exploit as per the 20thC rules

    Modifiers.  All modifiers are to a unit's melee or close combat power. This may never be reduced to less than 1 or more than 5.
    • for each adjacent enemy unit adjacent to the unit's flank or rear -1  (note that an attacker who moves between 2 enemy units must face and attack 1 of them and will receive a penalty for the unit he is adjacent to and not fighting. 
    • if any unit is attacking an enemy who is on a higher contour -1
    • if any unit is in a river -1
    • if line infantry is attacking woods.-1
    • if cavalry is in woods or is attacking woods -3
    • if any unit is attacking a built up area -2
    • if a General is attached +1
    Effect of hits.
    Militia is destroyed if it takes 1 hit
    Regular or Irregular units are destroyed if they take 2 hits
    Elites are destroyed if they take 3 hits.
    It is best to use some form of marker for hits. This may be a counter, a casualty figure or else an officer, flag or drummer figure may be placed behind a unit, removed when the unit is hit and replaced when the unit rallies. Elite units would get 2 such figures.

    Rallying. During the movement phase, a unit which is activated and does not move may remove 1 hit if it has a general attached. A unit which rallies may not shoot.    

    Squares. A line infantry unit may form square instead of moving. A unit in square cannot shoot. If it moves it comes out of square automatically. A unit in square has no flanks and thus does not pay penalties for being in contact with more than 1 enemy.

    Generals. Instead of Command Units use Generals. 
    Generals do not count as a unit. They may be represented by a single officer figure, usually mounted on a horse or by such a figure plus an ensign with a flag. If a General is in a square with one of his units then he is attached otherwise he is not attached.

    A General who is attached at the start of a turn may move with that unit without paying any extra activation points. A General who is not attached at the start of a turn or who wishes to leave a unit that he is attached to, must pay an activation point to move and may move 3 squares.


     If a General is attached to a unit then its close combat power is temporarily increased by one. It may never be increased to more than 5 regardless of how many modifiers it has. 

    If a General is attached to a unit which is destroyed by shooting or in close combat or which takes at least 1 hit in close combat and is forced to retreat then the General is wounded and removed from the game,

    A General who is not attached may not be shot at. If a General who is not attached to a unit moves into a square orthogonally adjacent to an enemy unit or if an enemy unit moves to a square orthogonally adjacent  to him, then the General is immediately captured and removed from the game.



    .** sorry about the swift amendments. Some testing showed that the first close combat results version didn't quite work for me . I had barely posted the alternate when a "better" idea came to me, one which seems to reflect my ideas better.
    -Ross


    2 comments:

    1. Ross Mac,

      These changes contain some interesting developments. I can see why you have made them, and within the basic architecture of the rules, they should work without any problem.

      I particularly like the following:

      1. The way the number of Units is calculated for grids that are larger than the standard 8 x 8.

      2. Replacing the Command Unit with an optional General (although I think that I would keep a General figure somewhere in the game).

      3. Rounding down the number of Activation Dice for the pre-radio age makes complete sense.

      4. The changes to the Close Combat values are in keeping with the other changes you have made and also make complete sense.

      5. Reaction during the Close Combat phase makes sense for the era you are aiming to use the rules for.

      6. The effect of hits on Units of different quality is something that I may well ‘steal’ from you!

      7. Rallying makes sense for the era you are aiming to use the rules for … and could easily be applied to my 19th century rules.

      I am not sure about the changes to the Close Combat mechanism, and would have to try it before making a comment.

      One thing that I don’t understand is:

      Small Arms hits vs. target in the Open = 5; should that be 5,6?

      I can see myself using some of the ideas you are proposing in any developments I make of both the 19th and 20th century versions of my rules.

      All the best,

      Bob

      ReplyDelete
    2. Thanks Bob, I know you have a heavy workload and wasn't sure you'd have time to look them over.

      I will normally have a general on the table as well, I was primarily thinking of a scenarios such as might occur in a campaign where a small garrison or outpost might be under attack.

      When I was looking at some of the items, I decided to try and use mechanisms that you had used elsewhere where they fit.

      I am a unsure of how the rallying will work in practice. My first partial testing of it as a straight option instead of moving to firing suggested that it seemed to paralyze players, leading to always rallying first then doing other things if any points remained. That might be less true in a larger, full test.

      I am also reserving judgement on the close combat system until I get to test it during a couple of games but limited partial testing looks good at the moment.

      The change to 2 dice was purely so that there would be a chance of units being destroyed out right. Another option was to stay with 1 die but have melees continue until 1 side is destroyed as in morschauser.

      It may be that allowing multiple attackers to fight in addition to lower the CCP of the defender may be double jeopardy. I did want to increase the effect of flank attacks. In the 20th C game that it was safer to attack someone of they were flanked but your odds of destroying the defender or forcing him to retreat didn't go up. This puts me in mind of flanking units providing covering or suppressive fire (appropriate for 20th C) rather than the dramatic collapses that sometimes followed flank attacks in earlier days. The fate of Colburn's brigade at Albuera comes to mind and even the famous Stonewall Brigade broke when flanked at Cedar Mountain. Another option would have been to increase the CCP of the attacker, this is closer to Morschauser where a unit which is flanked is more likely to be destroyed with no reduction in risk to the attack.

      Hmm I need to think about that.

      AH! Yes, The small arms is indeed a typing error and should be 5,6.

      While you're finishing up work on those papers tomorrow, I'll see if I can't get a test game on the table.

      ReplyDelete