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"Altar of Freedom for Napoleonics?" Topic

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darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2015 2:24 p.m. PST

As the subject line reads, has anyone tried using Altar of Freedom for Napoleonic battles?

Given the scale (single stand as a brigade as the smaller maneuver element), I don't think you need special rules for forming square, etc.

Maybe a distinction between light and heavy cavalry?

As AoF is scenario driven, any national differences are probably captured in the Army Break Point rules (determined, steady, weary) to reflect the overall morale of the army in a given battle and avoid the sweeping "+1 for being French" rules.

So…anyone tried this?

Personal logo McKinstry Supporting Member of TMP Fezian27 Mar 2015 2:30 p.m. PST

We have and it worked OK. We still needed to tweak as cavalry was initially too good (French Cuirassier were PzKw MkVI) and we needed to find the right balances with troop quality.

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2015 2:30 p.m. PST

I'm currently eyeing my Napoleonic minis based for Napoleon's Battles and thinking how an 8-stand brigade could become 4 2-stand brigades using AoF, and also scale down Waterloo from a 9' x 5' table to 6' x 4'.

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2015 2:34 p.m. PST

Thanks for replying.

I know the brigade modifiers in AoF are mostly based on average brigade side for that battle (which I think is a neat way to incorporate it).

What did you do to represent troop quality (Cuirassiers et al)? Were you giving modifiers?

DaleWill Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2015 5:22 p.m. PST

I enjoy alter of freedom for ACW a but I feel 'Blucher' is AOF for napoleonics.

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2015 5:51 p.m. PST

Other than reading a review, I'm not familiar with Blucher. Can you compare them, or at least let me know why Blucher fills that niche for Napoleonics?

John Leahy27 Mar 2015 7:39 p.m. PST

The gent 'Drummer' posted some good ideas on the AOF Perryville thread.

He wrote:

"Having said that, when you use these for Napoleonics you will have to worry about grade. I've been thinking about using AoF for Napoleonics too, and think that I would have to rate the brigades by grade, and then vary the amount of fatigue they can take by size. So a label will have 2 numbers instead of 1, but that's still pretty manageable."

I do agree with his thinking on this. I just haven't sat down and figured out exactly what I would do.

drummer28 Mar 2015 4:15 a.m. PST

Thanks for the compliment.

I would like to take a look at Blucher, while still pursuing this AoF for Napoleonics idea. To successfully convert AoF, getting the cavalry right, and keeping the rule changes as small as possible are the challenges.

I decided cavalry charging infantry should either break and scatter an infantry brigade or be repulsed. It should be difficult to break infantry in good order with cavalry alone. Also cavalry strength diminishes from the act of charging.

So for starters I decided that cavalry should be rated low (most would be -2).

Against infantry, cavalry would not gain support from additional cavalry brigades or leaders, but infantry and artillery could lend support. An infantry brigade beat by cavalry would be routed and not get a chance to rally and the cavalry would advance 3 base depths impetuously.

Against other cavalry the usual support rules and close combat table would be used but breaking the enemy cavalry would not cause fatigue on the winning cavalry and a 3 base depth pursuit would be required.

Cavalry would always take just 1 fatigue after all close combat was complete whether they won or lost, and I would not allow cavalry to recover fatigue.

With these rules, it would be smartest to hold cavalry back and save them as a shock force to finish off badly fatigued infantry, exploit open flanks, destroy HQ, and stop enemy cavalry. I think these rules would encourage historical use and don't greatly complicate the game.

Here's how I'd rate based on quality:

-3 Irregular or poor cavalry (cossacks, etc)
-2 Regular cavalry (heavy and guards cavalry +1 vs light cavalry)
-1 Conscript infantry
-0 Regulars
+1 Well led Veterans and Grenadiers
+2 Guards
+3 Old Guard

I hope this helps

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2015 6:55 a.m. PST

Some great ideas, drummer.

I'm a little concerned that all the different brigade grades would get really fiddly, but certainly no more so than DBA/HOTT, and that's not terribly difficult. Except to read. :)

Thanks, gentlemen!

John Leahy30 Mar 2015 9:07 a.m. PST

The grades would replace the strength modifiers for combat. I am very interested in this. I think AoF has really nailed it in mechanics. I am just not terribly convinced that unit size was the major determining factor in combat. In fact, it goes pretty much against everything I have read in military history. The Crimea in 1854 comes to mind as a stark example.

I need to try this out. I just need to base and paint a few Command figs for my 6mm Naps and it's off to the races!



Ooiittee27 Aug 2015 7:53 p.m. PST

Drummer I like your idea, keep it simple. Couple of points.

Part of the fog of war with AoF is that the units +/- is unknown, if units have a default +/- then lights cav recon function is negated.

I would be inclined to use the alternative points allocation in the AoF rule book with the addition of a limitation for Cavalry (as is already there for Artillery), cavalry units must have at least a -1 strength. This has the added benefit of boosting a forces Infantry with the suplus points that Cavalry will generate, further balancing out the Inf vs Cav match ups.

To add to this I will also have Light Cav gain an additional -1 on top of their purchased level. Cossack could make that -2 if you wanted.

As for Fatigue, I would permit Fatigue recovery but limit it to a point per turn, not the full fatigue removal. Fatigue for charging make sense.

Support match ups makes sense, Infantry neighboring stands of cav would represent their support of the infantry, so no need to work out counter charge and other business.

I like it, going to give it a try this weekend.

daler240D28 Aug 2015 1:49 a.m. PST

Yes, since there really aren't anywhere near enough Napoleonic rules out there already.<irony>
: )

nsolomon9912 Jun 2020 1:17 a.m. PST

Guys, great thread, has anyone made any progress on this idea? Any documents they'd be prepared to share? I'm a long term Napoleonics player (35 years) but I'm looking for a way to convert my 16 year old from Warhammer and want to fight some big napoleonic actions to fire up his imagination.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2020 3:07 a.m. PST

Differences between light and heavy cavalry is way overstated in most napoleonic rules. And at brigade level there shouldn't be any difference.

The best cavalry is the one that is best lead, and keeps control of its men and keeps reserves. Not their horse size, or metal plates on their chest nor the shape of their swords.

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