Friday, August 22, 2014

The Charge! Option.

By 8 this morning it was clear that I wasn't going to get a game in. However by this evening I had leisure to consider rules. The options had sorted themselves into 2 options: the Morschauser/Borg inspired updated set that I have been kicking about with 4 man units on a square grid or a new English Old School style game inspired by Lawford and Young's Charge! with 16 man battalions.

The first game would be easy to gather and store armies for allowing me to do several periods but I fear it might lack depth for continued play. The second game might take me months if not years to complete at my current painting rates and will inevitably require mixed armies for larger games and be awkward to store as well as time consuming to set up and take down.

However I have the itch and have decided that before I decide to change direction from the series of smaller games, I should try a quick scratch game as well as playing an updated square brigadier before I make a final decision. To that end, here is the Charge! inspired game.

(Note: My earlier note on originality was not intended to imply that I was against making use of others' ideas but merely that I like to add my own twist or else just call them a variant.)    
A battalion of Zouaves charges.

The Tin Brigadier Take 2, The Charge Option.  Aug 22
Quick Reference Draft version:
Units 4 inf/3 cavalry/1 gun = company. 2-4 company+ MG+HQ make battalion
Extended Infantry (max 1 figure per inch, supports at least 4" back)

Sequence: Players take turns.Player does orders then moves OR shoots units and makes charges in any order.

Orders.. At start of turn roll 1d6 per HQ for initial orders. Players rolls 1d6 per turn for additional orders. An order is required to move, entrench or to fire artillery unless under fire. Battalion, Brigade and Division HQ can each store up to 6 orders. HQ can only issue orders to troops under its control. 

Movement. Infantry/MG: move 8". -4" if extended and in fire zone or if any in woods or town
Cavalry 16"  -4" to mount /dismount. +4" on road. Max 4" in bad going
Artillery 12" -4" to limber/unlimber Heavy artillery 8" Horse Artillery 16"..
Terrain effects by scenario for now.Takes whole move to clear barbed wire.

Shooting. Move OR shoot. Must have LOS except indirect arty fire. 
Casualty modifiers: Drop fractions after combining by battalion.
x 1/2 if tgt is entrenched or in cover or extended
x 2 if tgt in column or enfiladed

or 1d/figure.  4" 4,5,6 hits, 8" 5,6 hits, 12" 6 hits.  +1 if superior firepower, -1 inferior firepower
MG 1 die  8" score = hits. 16" 1/2 score = hits

Artillery.  1 die => range in 8" increments to hit.Once target is hit fire may be repeated without rolling to hit unless it moves more than 4".  If direct 1 die = casualty. If indirect 1/2 score. 
Heavy gun measure in 12" increments. ignore cover.
Howitzers may fire over terrain, other guns may not shoot over terrain within 12" or at target with 12" of intervening terrain or over high hills.

Charges Must begin adjacent. Pair off Max 2 vs 1. Use best die. 1 higher= loser push back, 2+higher=loser ko. .
+1 if shock troops or enemy are conscripts etc. Cavalry vs infantry die x2 before modifier. Side losing most retreat outside rifle shot and must rally or retreat on next turn. while rallying may not shoot and cavalry counts as infantry if charged..  .

a) An extended  company which takes any hits is pinned and may not move or shoot next turn or charge or clear wire.
b) Battalion which has lost over 1/2 of its figures must retreat 2 moves and may not advance for rest of game. . Elite retreat if over 2/3 losses. 

Entrenching. An infantry unit not under rifle fire may entrench. This requires an order to begin. Roll 1d6 per company needing to accumulate 10 pts to entrench. Add 1 d6 if sappers are attached. Entrenchment is lost if unit moves. Units without tools may not entrench.


  1. Ross Mac,

    An interesting set of rules ... and one that could possibly induce me to think about fighting a wargame on an ungridded tabletop!

    As I get older, I seem to be gravitating in similar directions to yourself except that my Morschauser/Borg armies are in 15mm to 25mm-scale (and expected to fight on a gridded tabletop) and my shiny toy soldiers are 54mm-scale (and expected to fight on the lawn).

    The advantage of both is that the number of figures required to field an army is quite small, around 60 per side being enough to guarantee several hours of fun and enjoyment.

    All the best,


    1. Ross

      Over many years I have come to the conclusion that the optimum size infantry unit for the 40mm figures is 16 men in two ranks (SYW). Larger units are just too much painting, and need a huge board, but smaller units lack 'feel', however I do paint units in pairs so that they can make up a 32 man unit.

      If they are painted in 16s they can easily be broken down int 4s, but combining differently painted 4s into 16s could look odd.


    2. Bob, you might notice that all measurements are in multiples of 4". I intend to use it on grids by dividing by 4 to find numbers of squares. Not fully convinced this version will fly but I'm looking forward to trying it.

    3. Steve. Horse and Musket is sooo much easier! (or maybe I'm just more used to it). Oddly I have come to the same conclusion on Horse and Musket units with either 16 man units or Charge! style 16+3.

  2. Ross Mac,

    I sort of guessed that you might have had this in mind when I saw that everything was in multiples of 4 inches. I hope the the rules work both with and without a grid.

    All the best,