Blücher plays Commands & Colors file · Web viewRoyal Horse Artillery, 9....
Blücher plays Commands & Colors An experiment in game merging. Introduction As an inveterate meddler with other people’s rules I thought I would try a little experiment to see if it was possible to play Sam Mustafa’s new “Blücher” rules with one of Richard Borg’s “Commands & Colors” scenarios on the C&C game board. Naturally some tweaks would be needed to fit the hexagon system. As I begin to write this I have not yet started, so I will make notes as I go along. Scenario I chose the introductory scenario of Rolica (French First Position) 17 August 1808 from the basic C&C game, although the forces are somewhat unbalanced. The First adjustment was to remove the two subsidiary commanders, Trant and Ferguson from Wellesley’s force and the unnamed one from Delaborde’s. This would solve the problem of attributing personalities to them. Wellesley has three “divisions”. Delaborde has two “divisions”. Rather than try to identify individual regiments in the battle, which have already been amalgamated and abstracted in the scenario, I used the order of battle as given: Because I was working at a divisional level rather than corps, and therefore with regiments and battalions, some small changes were needed with the army building. Where non- standard, I have indicated in italic script. Wellesley 1 st Division (Portuguese) 1 st Portuguese Line Infantry, 8 points, Elan 5, Skirmish, Conscript 2 nd Portuguese Line Infantry, 8 points, Elan 5, Skirmish, Conscript Portuguese Caçadores, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish, Mobile Portuguese Light Cavalry, 3 points, Elan 4, Impetuous
Blücher plays Commands & Colors file · Web viewRoyal Horse Artillery, 9. points, Mobile. British Cavalry, 10 points, Elan 6, Shock, Impetuous
Text of Blücher plays Commands & Colors file · Web viewRoyal Horse Artillery, 9....
Blücher plays Commands & ColorsAn experiment in game merging.
IntroductionAs an inveterate meddler with other people’s rules I thought I would try a little experiment to see if it was possible to play Sam Mustafa’s new “Blücher” rules with one of Richard Borg’s “Commands & Colors” scenarios on the C&C game board.Naturally some tweaks would be needed to fit the hexagon system. As I begin to write this I have not yet started, so I will make notes as I go along.
ScenarioI chose the introductory scenario of Rolica (French First Position) 17 August 1808 from the basic C&C game, although the forces are somewhat unbalanced.The First adjustment was to remove the two subsidiary commanders, Trant and Ferguson from Wellesley’s force and the unnamed one from Delaborde’s. This would solve the problem of attributing personalities to them.Wellesley has three “divisions”. Delaborde has two “divisions”.Rather than try to identify individual regiments in the battle, which have already been amalgamated and abstracted in the scenario, I used the order of battle as given:Because I was working at a divisional level rather than corps, and therefore with regiments and battalions, some small changes were needed with the army building. Where non-standard, I have indicated in italic script.
Wellesley1st Division (Portuguese)1st Portuguese Line Infantry, 8 points, Elan 5, Skirmish, Conscript2nd Portuguese Line Infantry, 8 points, Elan 5, Skirmish, ConscriptPortuguese Caçadores, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish, MobilePortuguese Light Cavalry, 3 points, Elan 4, Impetuous2nd Division (British)1st British Line Infantry, 15 points, Elan 6, Firepower, Skirmish, Steady2nd British Line Infantry, 15 points, Elan 6, Firepower, Skirmish, Steady3rd British Line Infantry, 15 points, Elan 6, Firepower, Skirmish, SteadyBritish Light Infantry, 21 points, Elan 7, Firepower, Skirmish, Steady, Mobile1st Foot Artillery, 6 points (I trebled the points to be more in line with the infantry cost)2nd Foot Artillery, 6 points3rd Division (British)4th British Line Infantry, 15 points, Elan 6, Firepower, Skirmish, Steady5th British Line Infantry, 15 points, Elan 6, Firepower, Skirmish, SteadyRoyal Horse Artillery, 9 points, MobileBritish Cavalry, 10 points, Elan 6, Shock, Impetuous. Here I changed the unit type in the game from heavy to light cavalry. I believe they were Light Dragoons historically.
Wellesley’s total: 158 points. I did not count extra points for Wellesley as I would not be using special characteristics. He had not yet proved himself against the French.
Delaborde1st French Division1st Line Infantry, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish2nd Line Infantry, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish3rd Line Infantry, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish1st Light Infantry, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish, MobileFoot Artillery, 6 points1st Light cavalry, 10 points, Elan 62nd French Division4th Line Infantry, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish2nd Light Infantry, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish, Mobile2nd Light Cavalry, 10 points, Elan 6Delaborde’s total: 110 points.
There are two objectives for the British to capture. These are the two hills on the French baseline.
Unit CardsThese had to fit within the hexagons which are 55mm (2 1/8 inches) across. Sam’s cards are too large, so instead of playing about with reducing them I made some simple ones with
Microsoft Excel. The game blocks would indicate the troop type, so only the name, characteristics and ammo/elan would be needed. For example: British Light Infantry 21 points Elan 7 Firepower Steady
7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Royal Horse Artillery
Mobile 5 4 4 3 2 2
I forgot to include the Division numbers on the cards, so I added it with a pen.I only had white card available, so I marked the card backs with the divisional number in red or blue. Playing solo I thought the advantage of identifying the separate divisions was more important than absolute concealment.
To BattleI set up the board and deployed all the units concealed. For aesthetic reasons all units started facing the enemy (i.e. to the point of a hexagon). The battle lines looked neater that way! They would need to pivot before moving.
Here is the battlefield from Wellesley’s side.
Troop blocks are awaiting deployment as the cards are revealed.I decided to use two blocks to represent infantry and cavalry and one block for artillery. That would neatly fit the hexagons with the attached unit cards and they could be laid flat for a better photographic view.
TerrainThe river is fordable along its entire length and was designated a minor river and thus difficult terrain. Woods and Urban Areas were as in the standard rules, except that a unit would be either entirely in or out of the area. Any unit on a hill hexagon was determined to be on the crest. The slope of the hill is assumed to extend into the neighbouring hexagons.One hexagon = 1 Base Width.
Momentum RulePlaying solo I had a problem with the concealed momentum dice rule. I solved it by rolling 3 dice after each activation and if the total was less than the current momentum used, that was the end of the player turn. I believe it achieves the same objective as the two player rule.
Turn 1 – WellesleyInformation phaseSix of the nine French units were revealed as they were within 4 hex/bw and visible.Movement phaseAt this point I realised my unit cards had no movement information – DOH!I added it as I needed to move units.Wellesley activated 3 Div and advanced to cross the river. MO=4, MO dice = 15.He activated 1(Portuguese) Div and advanced them, holding the Caçadores back to skirmishing range.
The Caçadores are actually out of contact with the rest of the division – my error) MO = 4, cumulative = 8. MO dice = 17.Finally he tried to activate the two batteries of artillery in 2 Div individually. 1st battery revealed. MO = 2, cumulative = 10. MO dice = 9.2nd battery cannot be activated.In retrospect I think that no momentum was necessary because the batteries would be revealed when they first fired.Shooting phaseThe Portuguese Caçadores fired at skirmish range against the 1st French Light Infantry on the hill crest. Rule change: Shooting is restricted to a 60 degree arc projected from the rear of the shooters hexagon.Elan = 6, halved for either the hillcrest or for the range, with a bonus for skirmish ability. Dice roll = 4,5,6 so two hits, including the 5 granted by the skirmish bonus.1st Foot Artillery fired at the 2nd French Light Infantry also on a hill crest. Ammo = 5, so 5 dice rolled with a result of 2,3,4,5,5 for no hits.There was no combat and no broken units, so this ended Wellesley’s first turn.(Photograph missing)
Turn 2 – DelabordeInformation phaseMost of Wellesley’s 2nd Division were revealed. At this point I decided that the unit blocks looked better standing up, and allowed me to read the cards more easily.Movement phaseDelaborde activated 1st Division for 6 Momentum points.1st Light cavalry made a difficult move onto the hill to face the Portuguese units advancing on the left flank. I decided to allow all units that had not moved yet a free “mini-pivot” to face the hex edge rather than the point that they began the battle facing. You will remember this was purely aesthetic, so I don’t feel guilty about this amendment.1st Light Infantry, 1st and 2nd Line Infantry faced slightly left. The artillery swung to their right.MO dice rolled 13, so it was OK to continue.2nd Division was activated. 2nd Light Infantry faced slightly right, 4th Line made a difficult move into Roliça and 2nd Light Cavalry made a reserve move to the rear of the woods on the right flank. 2nd Division was now too scattered to make a divisional move in future.MO = 3, cumulative = 9. MO dice 12, but Delaborde had finished moving.Shooting phase.1st Light Infantry against 1st Portuguese Line.4 dice halved for skirmish range + bonus for skirmish ability. Rolled 1,2 for no hits.1st Line vs Portuguese Caçadores.6 dice halved + skirmish bonus. Rolled 1,2,3 for no hits.Artillery against the revealed 2nd British Foot Artillery.6 dice halved against artillery rolled 2,2,6 for one hit. The British artillery retreated clean off the board.
This was the end of turn 2
GREEN DICE ARE MO, WHITE ARE SHOOTING ROLLS, RED ARE HITS.
Turn 3 – WellesleyInformation phaseAll the French units had been revealed.Movement phaseWellesley activated 1st Division. 1st Portuguese Line Prepared.The Portuguese cavalry wheeled right and advanced three hex/bw.2nd Portuguese Line moved forward to support 1st Line Infantry.The Caçadores were beyond 1 hex/bw and did not move.MO used = 3. MO dice = 10.3rd Division was activated.4th Line made a difficult move into the woods to their right.5th Line made a difficult move, starting to cross the river.The Cavalry also made a difficult move to their right, aligning against the French 2nd Light Infantry.MO used = 3, cumulative = 6. MO die roll = 3. “Dammit!” said Wellesley.Shooting phaseThe Caçadores fired at 1st Line at 2 hex/bw. 6 dice halved + skirmish bonus. Dice rolled 1,1,5 = 1 hit.1st Portuguese Line against 1st French Light at 2 hex/bw. 5 dice halved + skirmish bonus. Dice rolled 1,5,6 = 2 hits.1st Foot Artillery against 2nd French Light Infantry. 4 dice = 1,1,3,6 = 1 hit.Horse Artillery vs 4th Line in Roliça5 dice halved = 3,5,6 = 1 hit.There was no close combat.Status phaseWellesley has 1 broken unit against his 11, so no problem yet.
YELLOW DICE ARE ALSO SHOOTING ROLLS - I RAN OUT OF WHITE ONES.
Turn 4 – DelabordeInformation phaseAll enemy units in sight had been revealed.Movement phase1st Division was activated.1st Light cavalry Pivoted and charged the Portuguese cavalry on the hill.Charging was indicated by moving the blocks right up to the front edge of the hexagon.3rd Line made a difficult move onto the hill to their left.Momentum used = 2. Momentum dice = 15.2nd Light Infantry of 2nd Division was activated for 2 points.They made a difficult move 1 hexagon to the right.Cumulative Momentum = 4. Dice = 13, but Delaborde had finished his movement.Shooting phase1st Light Infantry against the Caçadores at skirmish range: 2 dice halved + skirmish bonus rolled 6 for 1 hit.1st Line Infantry also fired at the Caçadores at skirmish range. 5 dice halved + bonus rolled 1,2,2, for no effect.The artillery fired at the British cavalry at 4 hex/bw. 4 dice = 2,2,6,6 for 2 hits.Finally the 2nd Light Infantry fired at the British 4th Line in the woods at skirmish range. 5 dice halved + skirmish bonus = 1,3,4 for no hits.Combat phaseI ruled that outflanked meant attacked from any of the 3 rear hex-sides to the unit’s facing.1st French Light cavalry charged the Portuguese cavalry on the hill.Attacker allocates 6 dice.Defender rolls 4 dice, scoring 2,3,3,6 for one success.The 6 was re-rolled because they were flanked, scoring 4. Still a success.The attacker rolled 5 dice (6-1 for the hill), scoring 1,2,3,5,5 = 2 successes.Attacker 2, Defender 1. Difference = 1.The Portuguese took 1 fatigue and retreated.The French took 1 fatigue and pursued.
Status phaseDelaborde has no broken units.
Turn 5 – WellesleyMovement phase2nd Portuguese Line Infantry moved to Prepared mode. MO = 2 pts. No roll needed5th British Line made a difficult move into the woods to face the French cavalry. MO = 4 pts, dice roll = 11.The Portuguese cavalry faced about and charged the French Light Cavalry. MO = 6 pts, dice roll = 11.The British cavalry moved ahead, straight through the enemy line and unsupported. MO = 8 pts, dice roll = 16.The British Light Infantry was revealed and made a difficult move into the woods to their front. MO = 10 pts, dice roll = 15.2 Brigade was activated. 1st, 2nd and 3rd British line advanced. MO = 13 pts, Dice roll = 11.End of movement.Shooting phase4th British Line vs 2nd French Light Infantry at skirmish range. 6 dice halved + skirmish bonus. Rolled 2,5,5 for 1 hit.1st Foot Artillery vs 2nd French Light Infantry at range 4 hex/bw rolled 1,1,2,5 for no hits.1st Portuguese Line vs 1st French Light Infantry at skirmish range. 5 dice halved + skirmish bonus. Rolled 1,3,3 for no effect.Portuguese Caçadores vs 1st French Light Infantry at skirmish range. 5 dice halved + skirmish bonus. Rolled 3,5,5 for 1 hit.Combat phasePortuguese Cavalry (Elan 3) against French Light Cavalry (Elan 5) on a hill.Attacker 3 dice -1 for the hill = 2Defender rolls 5 dice, scorring 3,3,3,5,5 for 2 successes.Attacker rolls 1,2 for no use at all.Difference = 2.Defender takes 1 fatigue.Attacker takes 2 fatigues and retreats 2 hex/bw.
Status phaseNo more broken units
Turn 6 – Delaborde Movement phase2nd Light Cavalry made a difficult move back to protect the hill that was a British objective.In reality, how would they know it was the enemy objective?MO = 2 pts, no die roll needed.4th Line Infantry garrisoned Roliça. MO= 4 pts, dice roll = 13.1st Light Cavalry pivoted and charged the (prepared) 2nd Portuguese Line. MO = 6 pts, dice roll = 153rd Line Infantry moved to Prepared status. MO = 8 pts. Dice roll = 9.The Artillery pivoted to fire at 1st British Line. MO = 10 pts. Dice roll = 10.Shooting phase(Left to Right across the board)3rd Line vs 1st Portuguese Line at skirmish range. 6 dice halved + skirmish bonus. 1,2,3 rolled = no hits.1st Light Infantry vs 1st Portuguese Line at skirmish range. 1 die halved + skirmish bonus. 6 rolled for a hit.2nd Line vs 1st British Line at skirmish range. 6 dice halved + skirmish bonus. 2,4,4, rolled for no hits.Artillery vs 1st British line at Canister range. 4 dice + short range bonus. 1,3,4,5 = 1 hit.In retrospect I believe the artillery should not have fired because they pivoted. Although pivoting is a “free” move, I think it’s still counted as a movement.2nd Light Infantry vs 5th British Line in the woods at skirmish range. 5 dice halved + skirmish bonus. 4,5,6 = 2 hits.Combat phase1st Light Cavalry vs 2nd Portuguese Line.Attacker: 4 dice.Defender: 5 dice – 1 for conscript status = 4. Rolled 1,4,6,6 = 3 successes.Attacker rolled 1,3,5,6 for 2 successes, re-rolled against prepared infantry = 1,3 for a failure.Attacker takes 2 fatigues and retreats. Defender takes 1 fatigue.
And there my available playing time came to an end.
Conclusions I will revisit this. Playing time today took longer than would be usual because I was learning the rules and documenting everything for this report. I have proved that the system is easily transferrable to my hex-based tabletop games in 6mm and 2mm scale, but I also plan to play it on a table (probably using unit cards and flat terrain) without the hexagon restrictions.It adds a new dimension to the Commands & Colors board game, making it far more like a conventional wargame. I enjoy C&C, but it’s good to know I can use the components for a quick “pick-up” game with these rules too.I did artificially restrict myself to only making charges directly along a row of hexagons, but in fact this was not found to be a problem.What would I change? The only alteration would be the number of momentum dice in smaller games such as this one. I think this may be covered in the advanced rules but have not discovered it yet. In the absence of any other rule I would count the number of units in the larger army and apply this rule (applicable to both sides): Larger army = 1-6 units: 1 die, 7-12 units: 2 dice, 13+ units: 3 dice.