Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Friday, 20 July 2012

Napoleonic Rules Test Game

Oh the joys of writing rules. Must e something in the air as Big Lee is also writing a set at the moment here, his though are Gladiatorial. The rules seemed to have much of what I wanted but at the same time I knew I was missing large chunks that would jump out once they were actually used in a game. Hence the need for a few solo outings to protect my pride.
Well sure enough I found a plenty that needed tinkering with. Whole sections that I knew I needed to include but had not put to paper etc etc.

As I was not playing proper like, I had not made up unit details so used counters from ASL to represent the three key values, fighting strength, cohesion and morale. I wanted the shooting to be somewhat effective whilst the melee to be bloody as that is how I feel Napoleonic wars to be. Above was the first clash, two similar cavalry units each coming into contact. The one on the right landed a turn earyier and against form the Prussian Hussars are besting the French Hussars. The yellow beads represent loss in cohesion.

Better news for the French to their left as through firepower alone the Prussian Landwehr are forced to surrender the hedge to two French regiments. This was down to first firing on the hapless fellows followed up with a taste of the bayonet. Turns are based on the controlling players selecting a Division or Brigade from the none activated rosta and trying to win the initiative. The successful player then gets to move that formation before both players then getting to select a formation to activate (the just activated now is not part of the unactivated rosta). If the losing player keeps with the failed formation he gets a bonus for that formations attempt. This runs until all formations have either been activated or both sides pass.

The attack by cavalry on the village was rather mixed. The Dragoons on the left were repelled whilst the right and forced the foot away from the villages outskirts. If I had hit the village with the Hussars both unit would have been probably been repulsed. Foot in defencive positions are more likely to stand by a great deal than foot meeting horse in the open and not in square. In fact I would be surprised with a foot regiment keeping any kind of order on such a hit, the dice would have to be stone cold. Possible but almost certain to fail. The rules really reward the use of cavalry to pin regiments in square and foot to break them or foot to make square difficult and cavalry to smash them. How ever charging well formed squares with cavalry would be a painful experience.

With the cohesion in tatters the French Hussars break and run for it. Not that the Prussian Hussars are in a great condition. This is where falling back and reforming would be a good idea. Cohesion is somewhat more than just order and disorder. Disorder can be recovered fairly easily, cohesion is far less easy to regain and can not be fully regained within the scope of a battle.

A nice volley of musket and the already wavering Landwehr break and run for their lives. The attacker has the option of shooting and fighting as one or attacking with two lower odds attacks. Having only a partial frontage reduces firepower dramatically.

Winning a melee is fine but if you lack reserves the unit may well lose the next round of combat to a fresh enemy. The Prussian hussars are about to be broken but the French would then be facing fresh Ulans, not a confidence inspiring thought.

Last of the infantry in the village start to suffer. A second charge by the repulsed cavalry starts to pay dividends. But with the two Ulan and one Hussar regiments between the farm and the village this could be a stalemate.

I left it at this point, happy in that the rule ideas stood up fairly well in a mini practise. Plenty more work required and some rather obvious gaps filled. I think I have enough here to work on further and if they shape up should work well for small to large actions with fairly low paperwork.

Mistakes I did make was making the cohesion too high. Units that fail the cohesion more than by two levels need to rout, if only for counter density! Failed morale results in cohesion loss, as does straight reductions through the melee and shooting charts. I think I will just keep the one bead on the unit to show cohesion issues but have a side note of all units strength, cohesion and morale states. All units will have rear labels that show it's regimental number and starting details making it easy to check up. Next up will be a better prepared mini battle with more units and the order rules fully included so here is hoping for good results and a fun fast game.


  1. Hats off to you, I wouldn't know where to begin!

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