field test of version 1.0 about to begin
I was ruminating about my dissatisfaction with rules for the War of the League of Augsburg when it occurred to me that I have a word-processor and the ability to type (sort of). I then sat myself down and thought real hard about my impression of warfare before the advent of Marlborough (his impact seems to have completely overtaken the entire English wargaming community's view of the entire period 1688-1718). After I awoke from my nap the kernel of these rules was in my head, so I sat down and typed it. It seems to be working after a couple of tests. If you are interested in such things take a look and give them a try.
Please remember that this is a VERY early version of these rules that I have only begun testing. I would greatly appreciate feedback/input/criticism/condemnation as long as you can back up your thoughts with examples and data
I envision Foot being based in groups of six on 2x3" rectangles and Horse having a frontage of about an inch as the size of the figures permit. All measurements are intended for 28mm figures, I'm sure that you are bright enough to work out the changes for 15mm figures.
My theory is that you should roll a lot of dice, it averages out the odd bad roll and is more fun than turning the results of a battle on a single die-toss. All dice are standard d6.
Rules for the War of the League of Augsburg
Basic Organization: figures are organized into battalions of foot and squadrons of cavalry.
Foot A battalion of foot will be organized in either the French System of the Dutch System. The French emphasized depth and firing by ranks, while the Dutch attempted to get as many men on the firing line and used platoon fire. The differing systems will be depicted on the table as seen below.
French System Dutch System
O= Officer F =Flagbearer D=Drummer
Horse Cavalry are organized by the method of combat they preferred, either the charge a la outrance or the more reserved delivering of fire with pistols from a slow trot. Pistol cavalry are depicted in two ranks of three models , while Aggressive cavalry is depicted in a single rank of six models, see below;
Dragoons were still an unfortunate step-child in this era, they were mounted on poor quality horses and often given lesser quality long arms for dismounted work, yet they were often expected to perform as both cavalry and infantry. They did not adopt close-order drill either mounted or on foot and are thus considered Light troops in either mode.
X XX X X X
X X X X X X
Artillery Only operated in one of two modes Limbered (an unusual sight on the battlefield in this era) and Unlimbered and ready to fire
X G X G XXXXX
X X X
These formations will be organized into larger units; brigades for the foot and regiments for the cavalry then placed under the command of a Brigadier General.
Movement of the battlefield will be conducted in line formation almost exclusively. During this period there was little provision for rapid formation changes or deploying to the flank. Manoeuvring was conducted by forward wheel of the line. Troops may about-face and move rearward at half speed, ending facing the direction they travelled.
Troop type Good Going Bad Going Obstacle
Infantry* 4” 3” -1”
Skirmishing foot 6” 5” -1”
Dragoons, mounted 8” 5” -2”
Pistol Cavalry** 8” 3” -2”
Aggressive Cavalry 10” 6” -2”
Commanders 12” 8” -1”
Limbered Cannon 4” N/A N/A
Charging; charging foot add 1d3”
Charging Aggressive cavalry roll 2d6 and choose the highest,
Charging Pistoleers roll 2d6 and choose the lowest
* French System troops may move forward or backward by the depth of one rank while firing
** Pistol Cavalry may fire both ranks while in deep formation and then retire the full depth of that formation.
Any troops except Skirmishing Foot that enter Bad Going become Unformed and remain so while in that terrain
Buildings are Bad Going
Obstacles counting as Cover are Bad Going
Dismounted Dragoons are Skirmishing Foot
RANGES SHORT MEDIUM LONG
Musket 4” 8” 16”
Carbine 4” 6” –
Pistol 4” – –
Light Cannon 8” 14” 30”
Field Gun 8” 18” 40”
Heavy Gun 8” 24” 60”
Infantry units get one d6 per two figures in the front rank (excluding Pikemen)
Skirmish units get 1d6 for every three figures (firing at the range of the furthest figure)
Pistoleers in deep formation get 1d6 per figure in the front rank, in a single line they get 1d6 per two figures
Aggressive cavalry get 1d6 for every three figures in the front rank
Cannons get one die per figure
These dice are your basic shooting pool. Troops firing from inside buildings or area cover (but not earthworks or fortresses) have the number of their firing dice cut in half
Add or subtract dice for the following circumstances (all factors are cumulative)
+3 First Volley (not cannon) -1 Raw troops
+2 Elite troops -2 Medium range
+6 Target is enfiladed -2 Unformed troops
+1 Grenadiers -3 Disordered troops
-3 Long range
Roll all of the dice and total the value rolled, divide this number by five, rounding down; the final value is the number of figures in the target unit that have been hit.
Under certain circumstances the hit figures are entitled to make a saving throw, the circumstances are listed below;
Target concealed (smoke, light brush, wooden buildings) saves on a 6
Target is in skirmish order or a deployed gun crew saves on 5-6
Target in cover (substantial building, light works, woods) saves on a 5-6
Target in hard cover (substantial works, forts, heavy stone walls) saves on 4-6
Note; gunners or skirmishers in cover add a plus one to the relevant die roll.
Melee can only occur as a result of a deliberate charge; i.e. troops moving with the expressed intention to enter hand-to-hand combat. For our purposes that comes about as a result of one of the following;
-An Ordered Charge
-A unit following up on an Ordered Charge that encounters a new unit in its path.
-the highly unlikely event that an enemy unit recoils into your front
Melee Procedure; Generating melee dice
- Attacker declares a Charge by placing a “CHARGE” chit behind his unit
- If the Defender is “Standing Ready” they may either counter-charge or shoot
- If the defender has “FIRE” they may shoot
- Defenders with other orders may take no action, but if changing formation they are disordered
- Attackers center is moved to contact the Defenders nearest figure
- The Defender moves to conform with the Attackers front
- All figures on both side fight generating melee dice as follows;
Cavalry vs foot 1figure =1d6
Cav vs Mounted 3figures=1d6 (but never less than two)
Musketeers; 2 figures=1d6
Skirmish, unformed, gunners 3 figures=1d6
NOTE In all cases numbers are rounded down
Add or subtract further dice as follows:
+2 Elite Unit -1 Unformed
+2 Charging -2 Crossing small obstacle
+2 Cav vs Musketeers -2 if Dragoons
+3 any vs Skirmishers -3 Crossing serious obstacle
+1 Countercharging -3 Disordered
+2 Heavy Cavalry -3 Mounted vs Pike
+1 Grenadiers -6 unit taken from flank or rear
+1 deeper formation
Melee Results This total number of dice is your melee pool; roll them and add up the total score. Divide this total score by 10. This is the total number of melee casualties, add the number of casualties caused by the Defender's fire (if any). The unit that generated the most hits is the winner. The loser falls back d3 Normal moves and becomes Disordered and Unformed and must test Morale in that state. The winner becomes Unformed. In the event of a tie the Charging unit retires to its start point and both units become Unformed, testing Morale for casualties.
-If the winner is Charging Infantry they can elect to follow up 1d2 normal moves, or to stand in the ground held by the loser.
-Winning Defending Infantry and Gunners always stand their ground.
-Charging Cavalry MUST follow up one full normal move and may follow up an additional move.
-Countercharging Cavalry may only follow up one move, if they choose. Otherwise they rally in
place, or retire to their starting location to rally.
Morale tests are taken at the end of any STEP that causes a unit to suffer casualties.
Infantry roll 4d6 (or 1d6 for each multiple of six figures, or portion thereof, in the original unit) Cavalry roll 2d6 per Squadron, choosing the best one, the total of this roll is modified as follows;
Modifiers: modify the total score by the following
-2 Guards or Elites +2 fired upon from Enfilade
-1 Grenadiers +1 Unformed
-1 In light cover +3 Disordered
-2 in substantial cover +3 Foot Skirmishers not in cover
-3 in fortifications +2 routing friend within 6”
Results: If the modified number is equal to or less than the current number of figures in the unit it has passed the test and carries on bravely. If the number is lower than the current total consult the following:
Failed by Results
-1 move back d3” facing foe
-2 move back d6” facing foe
-3 move back d6” Orders Cancelled, facing away become Unformed
-4 move back d6+3” Orders Cancelled, facing away become Disordered
-5 rout away d3+2 Normal Moves, Orders Cancelled, Disordered
-6 Shattered! Flee d3+2 Normal Moves, then disperse in disgrace
Any Unit which has not yet acted and has its “Orders Cancelled” is changed to Stand Ready
Units that have taken fire while Charging and have failed by one or two simply have the distance deducted from their charge move, if they fail to make contact they will halt short of the target and give fire at half effect.
Commanders may order a unit to Rally, if they do this they may add Command Points to the die roll. However they must do this during the Command Phase. They may also join the unit in person and add their Command Number
Organization; Battalions and Squadrons will be organized into Brigades. Each Brigade will under the command of a Brigadier General who is responsible to his Commander In Chief. Brigadiers can only influence troops directly under their command, the CinC may influence all the troops in the army. Brigadiers have a Command Radius of their Command Number plus 4” while Commanders in Chief have a Command Radius of twice their Command Number plus 16”. Orders issued to units outside Command Radius cost double to activate. Command Points may not be given to a Brigadier outside his CinC's radius.
Method: At the start of each turn every Brigadier will place an Order Chit face down behind each of his units. This represents his plan of action for that turn. Once all of the order chits have been placed on both sides (allow 3-5 minutes for this) the CinC will roll a d3 and adds his Command Number, the result is the number of Command Points he has available this turn. He will then assign them to his Brigadiers.
Once all of the CinC points have been assigned each Brigadiers rolls 1d3 then adds his own Command Number and any granted to him from the CinC. This final number represents the total number of Command Points the Brigadier has available to activate issued Order Chits within his Brigade. Excess points may not be transferred or returned up the chain of command.
The order in which Brigadiers may activate their units is by the highest total number of Command Points available to the Brigade. The player with the highest number may pass to the next lowest number if he chooses. He may choose to act after that player has completed his moves or pass again to the further lower number. In all cases the highest player MUST act before the very lowest player does. When the highest player acts he MUST activate all of the units that he can that are within his command.
Brigadiers may choose to give Command Points to units as "Rally Points", these points allow that unit to positively modify its morale checks for the duration of that turn by the number of points assigned to it. At the end of the turn those points are removed. Once assigned the points may not be taken back or used by another unit.
Troops may be ordered to undertake ONE of the following actions per turn. You will place an ORDER CHIT face down behind the unit at the start of each Command Phase. It costs a Command Point to act on the order. It costs two Command Points to act on an Order if the unit in question is outside of Command Radius od its Brigadier. When a Command Point is expended the chit is flipped over and the unit completes its actions before the next unit is activated.
The list of available orders are as follows:
S Stand Ready the unit will hold its ground ready to shoot or countercharge as is appropriate
F Fire the unit will give fire when activated
C Charge the unit will charge and attempt to engage the enemy in melee
M Move the unit will move forward
W Wheel the unit will wheel forward on one of its corners
R Retire the unit will about-face and retire at half speed
U Form-up the unit will recover from being Unformed
Y Rally the unit will attempt to recover morale
T Formation the unit will change formation, note that this unit will be Unformed until it completes its next Order
D Dismount Dismount Dragoons or Unlimber Artillery
L Mount Up Mount up Dragoons or Limber Artillery
Units with Stand Ready orders are prepared for action but holding their ground currently. They will either fire or countercharge as best fits the situation. They will AUTOMATICALLY return fire if fired upon from Medium or Short range by any weapons aside from Artillery. If the Commanding Brigadier wishes that they hold their fire they must take a Steadiness Check needing an eight or higher to pass; roll 2d6 and modify as follows;
-1 prior casualties from fire
-1 per casualty inflicted by opposing unit this turn
+2 Elite troops
Units with Stand Ready or Fire orders that are reacting to a charge upon themselves may attempt to hold fire and deliver a devastating volley at point-blank range. A score of eight or higher is needed to pass, roll 2d6 and modify as follows:
+2 Elite troops
-1 Raw troops
-2 Attacker started at Short range for your weapon
Evading is a tiresome and scurrilous business, but the truth is that some troops enter the field of battle with no intentions of employing le arme blanche in an honorable fashion. They intend to lurk and snipe, or scurry annoyingly around the edge of the field of honor trying to pick off one of their betters. This sorry fact must be addressed under the rules.
Gunners will always Evade unless holding works or an obstacle. They will seek shelter behind the nearest friendly foot within 6” if possible, otherwise they Evade as normal if they cannot stop the enemy with fire.
Skirmishers are troops that have little, or no, intention of entering hand to hand combat. They are not simply allowed to retire from the advance of formed units; they are REQUIRED to do so except under the most extraordinary of circumstances.
Skirmishing Foot and Light Horse will fall back from the advance of formed Foot or Horse keeping a distance of at least 4” at all times. These light troops will absorb the fire of the formed unit, removing casualties from the point nearest the center of the firing unit. If the formed troops choose they may charge the skirmishing troops forcing them to evade away (note this is the one time that Foot may charge Horse) and stopping on the position of the skirmishers with no need to rally. Alternately the formed troops may choose to charge an enemy formed body behind the skirmishers as if they were not there. In the this case the skirmishers will Evade away to avoid contact, attempting to form up behind the unit that they were screening.
The only circumstance which would allow skirmishing Foot to stand is if they are holding buildings or an obstacle and have been given Stand Ready or Fire orders. In this case they are treated as a normal infantry unit but do not suffer the effects of the ground.
Light Foot and Light Horse may charge their opposite numbers, and Light Horse may charge Light Foot in good going.
In any and all circumstances Light Troops have the option to change their Orders to “Evade”. If they have already acted within this turn they may still evade but gain Unformed status and will have to spend the next turn rallying.
Light Troops with Stand Ready Orders may choose to execute those orders. If they do so they will act as any other unit, taking all appropriate penalties and suffer any normal outcome.
Light Troops with Move orders may attempt to move out of the way a Normal Move distance instead of Evading. If they choose to do this but do not fully escape the Charging unit they will be caught and will suffer the outcome without being able to Evade. Measurement is not allowed under this circumstance.
Mechanics of Evading
Light Troops can always Evade. If charged by formed troops that are less than 4” away the Light troops will flee a full three normal moves. If the charging unit started outside 4” the Light Troops may take a Steadiness Test, if passed they may choose the number of full normal moves they want to use to avoid contact. These moves must always be directly away from the charging units direction of travel.
Steadiness Test, rolling 2d6, modify as below, total needs to be eight or higher to pass
+2 Light Cavalry
+1 if infantry with bad going within one move to rear
-1 Infantry being charged by Cavalry
-1 if charged by opposing Light Troops