Sunday, February 26, 2012

Napoleonic Tabletop Rules Playtest

As planned, I playtested the tactical rules from Real Time Wargames' ACW rules this afternoon.

I matched 3 divisions of French versus 3 of British. The British had better command and a slight numerical advantage.

The French deployed with a strong centre and weak flanks, holding some of their forces in reserve. The British deployed a small force in each sector, but opened the battle with an attack on their right.

The French were taken by surprise, and Ney sent his cavalry to counter the British in that sector - after two turns the British cavalry were dispersed but the French cavalry were weakened; they withdrew without taking further part in the battle.

In the centre both sides now carried out an artillery duel, but neither side made a committed attack.

Wellington fed more forces into the other two sectors to pin the French, then launched the remainder of the division into the contested right. Ney rushed a brigade from another division to try to shore up the front, but it was all too late for the weakened French brigade at that flank as the newly arrived British launched a ferocious charge that swept it from the field and captured many men (I rolled two 1s!)

Ney now began to plan his retreat and began to pull his artillery back. Wellington, having secured his right flank, began to the forces there to the transit area, but the French completed their pull-out before he could launch an attack.

The French lost a whole division in this battle, but they will recover 60% of the infantry lost, though none of the guns.

The British will regain all of their cavalry, as well as half of their guns, so in all this was a profitable battle for them.

All in all I liked the rules.

the first thing that struck me was how very little happened across the entire battlefield at one time. With limited command points, one could not hope to launch a co-ordinated attack on all sectors at the same time. In fact, unless you committed the CiC into a sector to lead an attack himself, attacks tended to happen piece-meal.

I will need to read through the army withdrawal rules again, as right now it seems that it is too easy if costly to retreat from the field of battle.

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