Sunday, July 6, 2008

Changes and Edits to Muskets and Moustaches

To get the original rules, click here

Well, as always I have found a ton of problems, changes, and mistakes. I'll keep them listed here until I put together V2!

1. When a unit has only two stands left, it may count as any formation for no costs to change formation; however, it must be in a final formation at the end of the move phase
; no fair switching from column to line in the middle of the shooting phase and back to column for close combat!

2. A unit can turn up to 180 degrees on a successful move test, not 360 (stupid.)

3. On the movement on page 11, note that the Unlimbered movement penalty should be -2, not -1 inch. It is correct everywhere else.

4. In Close Combat, if a unit is attacking the flank of another unit it gets +1 on its hit rolls.

5. Units may defend against multiple enemies in a single Close Combat phase; just do all the rolling at once.

I'll add more when I get to them, and eventually with the input of you all I'll put together V2.



Snickering Corpses said...

Does the close combat flank attack only apply for the first round, should a close combat continue more than one round? Or is it impossible for a close combat to continue?

Author said...

Hm. I believe it only counts for the first round; the shock of the initial impact and all. After that, the defender can begin to turn some troops to defend more effectively.

Thanks for asking! Have you gotten to try the rules out at all? I know they are rough, so I'll take all the advice you can give!:)

pelopidasofthebes said...

These seem fast and fun, I tried them out yesterday - some ideas:-
How about differentiating between Horse and Foot Artillery?
For bigger games perhaps Brigades or Divisions could be activated rather than battalions and regiments?
How about allowing light infantry units to go into open order on a movement test, or automatically if they are of good enough status?

Author said...


Thanks for the suggestions! And thanks for trying the rules out... I hope they didn't suck!:)

I could easily differentiate between the artillery types; honestly, I was just hoping to keep it more simple than that... it is very much meant to be an overly simple rules set:)

As for the light infantry... I think they are already considered to be in open order... to be honest, the term "light infantry" in the rules is misleading; those rules are really for SKIRMISHING infantry. They get two dice of movement, same as regular infantry, but do not test at all for movement, including for moving through difficult terrain/over obstacles; that is to simulate them being in open order. Light infantry in close order would simply be treated as Regular infantry.

Oh, and as answer to someone else, my original idea was that "Grenadiers" would simply be a Regular infantry unit with Grenadier status (i.e. a +1 in CC.) I suppose anyone could be given Grenadier status; to represent Russian militia maybe or a real top level Guard regiment. Personally tho I would just keep it to Regulars; a Guard regiment with the Grenadier status would be really too powerful.

Thanks for the suggestions; I am reading everything and trying to incorporate what I can in v2!


pelopidasofthebes said...

More thoughts.
1. No the rules don't suck - in fact I think you have the basis here for playing decent sized Napoleonic Games very quickly. I use 15mm and I'm talking of using a corps a side.

2. Artillery.
Let them use tests for movement like everything else. To Limber up, to move and to unlimber. Horse artillery pass their test automatically. Foot artillery don't. If they manage to get unlimbered then they can fire. Let them go on prepare to fire like infantry too.
A further idea might be (and this is as complicated as I'd want to get:
Light artillery =< 4pdrs -1 from dice
Medium artillery - as is
Heavy Artillery >=12 pdrs +1 to dice.

3. Don't like the idea of units that are prepared to fire not being able to fire normally - as per TMP comment (it wasn't me though!)

4.Light Infantry.
I think what I meant was as follows:
Units like British Rifles, Light Infantry and Cacadores could fight in normal formations and skirmish too. These units could form/reform to/from skirmish order by a movement test - or do it automatically even.

5. Reinforcing a melee: Thinking from a British Peninsular (or any linear type army) point of view, how about letting battalions in line be reinforcef by a second such in combat?

From a personal point of view I think that is about as complicated as I would want to get. I was a bit put off by the "Fight to the Death" syndrome in melee, but to be honest, the bigger the game you play, the more sensible it seems.

Keep on with these, I think you have something with great possibilities here.

Author said...


Okay; for the artillery that would be easy enough; as you say, there are a few different ways to address it. I am sure that one of your options is doable:)

The "Prepare to Fire" thing... I envision it as officers yelling at the men told hold their fire... hold their fire... and since in real life there is no movement and then shooting phase, I envision that scenario being an officer simply telling his men to hold their fire until an enemy gets to a certain distance... and they never get there:) Tough, I know, but in the end I think it works; after all, if you really want to shoot, do so in the shooting phase! Honestly, the "Prepare to Fire" rule shouldnt come up that often; really only when faced by imminent enemy cavalry charge or MAYBE infantry charge; even then, the range of muskets is enough that if you want to shoot an attacking infantry formation, you always have that option in the normal shooting phase. I'll give it some playtesting tho!

I understand what you mean about the Light Infantry, and I'll give that a look; honestly, that is a "left over" of the Civil War rules, where skirmishers weren't really the same as the Nappy era.

By reinforcing... I am not totally sure what you mean? If another unit comes up behind a unit currently engaged it can't really reinforce; however, it is there to get in the fight as soon as the first ends! If you mean something like that a rear unit could move into the melee, and then if the first unit is defeated the second unit gets to fight immediately, I suppose that would work?

The fight to the death thing is tough, yes... made me nervous too:) But in the end I wanted to avoid the idea of units routing... just did it for speed sake.

Thanks for the detailed comments, I REALLY appreciate it!

Author said...

OH! And about that first comment on Close Combat Flank Attack bonuses; it only counts for the FIRST ROUND of a combat, assuming that the first round counts as the first set of rolls. A combat may take multiple rounds; however, it cannot take more than one close combat phase! Sorry I wasn't clear about that!

Steve said...

This is a set of rules with a lot of potential - well done - I added some comments/questions to your document, and filed them here:

Author said...

Thanks Steve, some good points! I really appreciate you taking the time to look at the rules:)

PS I am glad you did not put a virus in there:D

John said...

Like what I have read so far a lot. I have been looking for a simple set like this for a while. One question and one idea...

Question, how big are armies you game with?

I think there should be some form of retreat. I have not worked everything out to make sense but here are some random thoughts.

1) You could make retreats tied in with the combat system and be able to get a saving throw for one or two hits if you decide to retreat. Something combat, I take 4 hits. I can attempt to negate 2 of those hits if I decide to retreat 2 moves. Then I roll two dice. On a 4-6 I negate the hit. On a 1-3, the hit(s) are not negated.

2) Retreats could be a requirement of losing a close combat. For each point of damage more you took over the enemy, you must retreat 1 move (up to 3).
Example: I took 3 hits to your 1. I lost this combat and must retreat 2 moves.

This could be in place of a morale system and pretty much goes along the design of the game.

Nice work!


Author said...

Ahh, interesting! Yes, maybe a retreat option might be interesting... close combat would not be as deadly, but there would be more flow and ebb... hm, I'll have to give that a look. What do other folks think?

Thanks for the ideas; keep'em coming please!:)

John said...

Two more ideas...

Cavalry Break-off
Cavalry is notoriously bad at taking ground. If they do not win a melee by 2 or more in the first round, they must break-off combat and retire 2 or 3 moves(player's choice).

Veteran Units.
you have militia, regular and guard units. veteran units are units that are graded between guard and regular. As such they get 3 movement dice but fight like regulars. This should be reserved for battalions/regiments like the Black Watch or 95 rifles.

I think my second idea would work better for the game. To expand on it, if you are forced to retreat 1 move, you face the enemy. If you are forced to retreat 2 or 3 moves, you face away from the enemy.

John said... second idea for retreats would work better for the game.

pelopidasofthebes said...

I like John's ideas about retreat and saving hits. Simple and effective and gets rid of the fight to the death syndrome.

John said...

pelopidasofthebes made a good point about light infantry not being able to form. A way to address this is to base 2 figures on half stands. For instance, in 15mm, if you normally use 1" squares for 4 figure stands, use 1" X 1/2" stands with 2 figures for skirmish order. Each stand gets 1 die. When you form them up, place them on an appropriate sabot with 2 stands to a sabot. Then each stand gets 2 dice in formed order.

Full example. lets say i have a 4 stand battalion with 4 figures each. This translates into 8 stands of skirmish order troops at 2 figures each. if I am in skirmish order, simple place the battalion in a line of 2 figure stands. If I form form them up, place the battalion in a formation of 4 double sized stands...4 figures each.

Hope that makes sense.


arthur1815 said...

I like your rules very much: they're a great, fun, toy soldier game! If you want them to have a bit more Napoleonic flavour, may I suggest you get unit frontages and ranges in proportion? Your typical unit seems to be four bases, so, IMHO, musketry and canister range ought to be c.4 base widths, and effective roundshot range c.10-12 base widths.
I would prefer units to flee to the rear rather than just disappear, after failing a test following 50% casualties [veterans] or 25% casualties [green troops]instead of fighting until all stands are killed. Troops physically moving to the rear could be an obstacle for others moving to front, rather like terrain obstacles.
Recovery should succeed on 5 or 6, bringing rule into line with other tests, where 6 always succeeds, and for only one die to be recovered per turn, to prevent too speedy rallying.
I would make Colonels into Brigadiers, who can only loan dice to units in their own brigade, and Generals into division commanders, who can loan to any one brigade in their division per turn.
I'd scrap the hospital rule, which bears no relation to the grim reality of Napoleonic surgery/medicine.
I'd gice Lancers the +1 bonus against infantry, but only in the first round of combat against cavalry [after which the lance proved unwieldy against the sabre].

pelopidasofthebes said...

I second Arthur's comments on the "Hospital"

Author said...

I hate to say it guys, but the hospital will probably stay in, if only because I painted up a French hospital wagon:D However, you are MORE than welcome not to use that rule:)

General Jackson said...

My lord-
Great set of rules- easy to understand and they make sense! I have a mac, so I couldnt get the pictures that go along with the rule set. Could you email me them possibly? Its It would be much appreciated!


P.S. If I broke a rule about putting my email up ina comment, I'm VERY sorry :(

Chris Cummins said...

Hi! I'm dead impressed with these rules. I've been after a quick (and affordable!) rules set for a while, and what with the cheap and plentiful supply of 1:72 Napoleonic figures, I'll be keen to build myself a mini army and get play testing! Like a few other people picked up on, the combat section does seem a little... strange. In an attempt to rectify this (and be wary I haven't play tested either, I'm just trying to envision it in my head), I've -shoddily- written my own attempt at a combat phase, incorporating a really crude morale system to stop entire units getting wiped out in a single turn.

1 Any unit (excluding artillery and generals) that ends the movement phase in base contact with an enemy unit is said to be in combat.
2 Both players roll the appropriate amount of dice (see below) for their side, rolling to hit as per the shooting phase. Casualties are removed according to the number of the enemy’s successful hits.
3 After step two has been resolved, the side which took the most casualties must pass a test with a single die. If the unit falls the test, they move one movement die (automatically pass test) in the direction opposite to the direction they were charged in and the combat is considered to be over. If the unit passes the test then the combat is considered to have moved into the second round and whole process repeats until one unit either retreats or is completely destroyed.

Dice per stand:
Greens 1
Regular infantry 2
Guard 3
Skirmishers 2
Cavalry 4

- Unit is ‘prepared’* +1
- Attacking skirmishers +1
- Infantry charging cavalry* +1
- Charging sides* +1
- Charging rear* +2
- Charging unit in cover -2
- Infantry charging ‘prepared’ unit head on* -2
- Cavalry charging ‘prepared’ unit head on* -3
* First round of combat only.


Note: the altered modifiers may seem a little odd - I'd be willing to provide a justification for each one, it'd be interesting to see what effect they have on the game dynamic.

Thanks a lot for the rules!

P.S: I hope that the word wrapping doesn't butcher the layout....

Author said...

Hey guys!

Sorry for not responding sooner; I've been out of town!:)

Very good ideas for the close combat stuff; I will probably use it, because it does hurt an awful lot that a unit is totally destroyed in close combat. What I will probably add is that the unit that is forced back cannot take any actions in the next turn, except through command dice... that way they are in trouble, unless an officer is there to help out:)

Anyway, thanks so much guys!

Chris Cummins said...

Oh yeah - that seems good. I was assuming that paralyzing the unit would not be necessary, as they would end the turn with their rear facing the enemy they just fought, and within charging range. ;)

Also I just realized it would have to be the unit which takes the largest 'percentage' of wounds, rather than the actual number of them. Otherwise you could get a 40 strong unit of cavalry fleeing from 10 skirmishers just 'cos they got lucky one turn and hit two horses against 1 skirmisher killed!


Cesar Alfredo said...

hank you very much for sharing your rules. I found them very interesting. Please I will thank you if you could answer some questions:
1- How do you balance the opposite armies, do you have some sort of point sistem in mind?
2- About deployment:
A- Do you have to make a pre-game sketch of of your depoyment?
B-You dice for every unit and you deploy in column only those units that get 1 or 2?
C-Those units of your army that fail the initial roll are the ones who came later as reinforcements?
D-Once you managed to field all your army, you keep on dicing for reinforcements?
3- How is move in woods and swamps?
Regars, C├ęsar