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"Shako to Coal scuttle turn walkthrough." Topic

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819 hits since 24 Jan 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2017 3:45 p.m. PST

I thought I'd post up a quick walk-through of how a game turn works.

For the sake of the example, we're in 1864 with Prussian troops engaging the valiant (and no doubt handsome) Danish defenders.

The basic turn sequence doesn't change for other periods to napoleonics, ACW or WW1 gamers will find it just as useful.

Command dice
The dastardly Prussian first rolls their command dice.
This is a pool of D6's equal to their army Quality rating+4.
Prussians are quite buff, so we give them a Quality of 3, for a total of 7 command dice.

If the army leadership rating is higher than the enemy, you can claim that as extra dice but for our example, we'll treat them the same.

The Prussians roll 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6.

We set aside the 1's and 6's and discard the rest.

Our army receives a single Rallying attempt each turn and since we got a 1 on the command dice, we get a second attempt.

Units accumulate Disarray as they are attacked.
With two rallying attempts available, we can remove 2 points of Disarray from any units we choose.

Some of our front line infantry is in pretty bad shape, so we can opt to have them fall back from the fight.
This moves them back 8" and lets them remove an additional point of Disarray.

Shock actions
Next up, we perform all Shock actions we want to make.
We get one each turn and playing the Prussians, our army counts as Disciplined, giving us a second attempt.

ROlling two 6's on our command dice is worth two more attempts.

Shock actions can be used to double-time cavalry units, move infantry through dense terrain or charge enemy units.

If we needed more, we'd have to commit our leadership to get more shock actions, but that carries a risk of losing said leaders.

With a Leadership rating of 3, we could potentially get up to three extra Rallying attempts or Shock actions, but we'd have to roll a D6 for each, with a 1 in 6 chance of the leadership point being lost for the remainder of the battle, as a captain or colonel is picked off by a lucky shot.

Once Shock and Rallying is done, our units may then move and fire in any order we see fit, then victory conditions are checked and finally our enemy takes their turn.

The next post will cover the charge mechanics and a third will cover firing at enemies with both infantry and artillery examples.

Let me know if you have any questions or any things you'd like to see.

repaint25 Jan 2017 2:38 a.m. PST

Listening… keep the walkthroughs coming.

Rhysius Cambrensis Inactive Member25 Jan 2017 5:32 a.m. PST

I am also interested in these as an avid 19th century gamer.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2017 9:35 a.m. PST

Part 2:

So as we discussed, we can use our Shock actions to charge.

Charging is not just the mad dash to melee, it's any sort of spirited advance on an enemy position.

The defenders will roll to break the charge with fire.

In our example, we'll have three Prussian units charging the Danes.
Minie style rifles receive 3 dice to break hte charge, succeeding if either gets a 6.

The first defender rolls 3, 1, 1. Charge connects.

The second rolls 5, 5, 6. Charge is broken and the moving unit stops at the halfway point.The charging unit takes 1 point of Disarray.

The last unit is charged in the flank and receives a single die, scoring a 4.

Charge impact
When a charging unit makes contact, they roll for Charge impact.
Most "charges" didn't come to bayonet point. If the attackers are sufficiently motivated (Shock actions) and aren't disrupted by defensive fire they will tend to make the defenders wish they were elsewhere.

The number of Charge dice is mainly derived from unit size with certain factors giving more or less dice.
A full strength unit with no Disarray will typically get 4 dice.

We roll for our two charging units, counting out any 1's, 5's and 6's.

The first unit scores 5, 5, 6 , 1. Ouch.
5's cause Disarray and 6's are stand removal.
The 1 causes the unit to be pushed back 2".

The Danes remove a troop stand, add 2 Disarray points and withdraw from their position, thoroughly discouraged.
It opts to withdraw an additional 2", ending that charge.

The second charge roll scores 2, 3, ,3, 5.
1 point of Disarray is inflicted and we move to hand to hand.

Hand to hand
Hand to hand is fairly simple: Roll dice equal to the number of stands, with some bonus dice for cavalry types, 6's kill enemy stands.
The Prussians get 5 dice (4 stands and the Danes have a point of Disarray from the charge) while the Danes get 4 dice.

As luck would have it, the Prussians fail to roll a 6, while the Danes manage it, so a Prussian stand falls and their unit falls back 6" with a point of Disarray.
The Danes get to roll one additional die for losses but don't manage any extra.

1: We would actually resolve all the outcomes of one charge (defensive volley, charge impact and potential hand to hand) before the second charge takes place, but for the example, it was easier to do them at the same time.

2: As an optional rule, hand to hand only takes place if the troops are in some sort of terrain feature.
If playing with this option, you'll see more units retreating in face of their attackers.

We'll talk about firing next and then movement and maneuvers last.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2017 12:37 p.m. PST

Next up ranged combat.

The core combat mechanics are fundamentally similar to charging:
You tally up your dice, roll, check for 1's, 5's and 6's and apply the results.

To do a couple of examples:

The base firepower is 1 attack die per stand in battle deployment.
Troops in an advancing deployment can only fire with 2 stands.

Single-shot rifles get an extra firing die, magazine rifles get 2 extra.

So our Prussians get 5 firing dice while our Danes get 4. Only the active player fires and all units can generally shoot, if they didn't perform Shock actions.

Artillery pieces get from 1-5 dice depending on technology and the target types can influence the roll.

Let us do three examples:

Prussians in battle deployment versus Danes in the open.
Five dice grant them a 3, 4, 4, 6, 6
Brutal, two stands removed as losses but the survivors hold their position.

Prussians advancing versus Danes in the open.
Three dice grant them 2, 4 , 5.
the Danes take 1 Disarray but no losses.

And for a bit more oomph, troops with magazine rifles versus infantry in closed order (7 dice)
1, 1, 3, 3, 5, 5, 5 (weird roll),
3 points of Disarray and forced back 4 inches but luckily, the hapless target avoided any losses.

General points
Fire combat is basically results driven: You roll and you know what happened to the target units, even if we don't know the exact details of HOW it happened.

Disarray might mean an officer went down or the unit is faltering under galling fire.
Stand removal might be heavy casualties or it may be desertions or a partial breakdown in order.
And so forth.

Rhysius Cambrensis Inactive Member25 Jan 2017 4:28 p.m. PST

Fantastic break down of mechanics thus far.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2017 4:41 p.m. PST

Thanks! I was worried it was too dense.

the trojan bunny26 Jan 2017 10:24 p.m. PST

I'm really liking the sound of this system!

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2017 1:29 p.m. PST

Alright so moving your boys (and the odd girl disguised as a Prussian soldier, apparently) around:


Formations get abstracted a bit.
Since a unit can represent a fairly varied amount of troops and tactical formations, we don't use exact "line, square, column" approaches.
That's the duty of individual battalion commanders etc.

Instead, we focus on the overall battle.

A unit will typically be deployed for Battle or for Advancing.

When Advancing, a "unit" will have limited firepower but can move faster.
It is also likely to take up less frontage.

Troops moving to assault are in the same general state: They will try to engage on a more narrow frontage, hence we can treat them interchangeably in combat.

Such units have their troop stands arrayed behind each other column-style, can move 6" (7 if the troops are not in close order), roll an extra die when charging and are limited to only counting two stands when firing.

Troops in battle deployment emphasize firepower over mobility and will typically try to expand their frontage to prevent outflanking.
We array the stands in a line, they move 3" (4" in loose or open order) and they can all fire.

There's additional options for troops dispersed along a defensive perimeter, isolated stands and "mob" and "wave" deployments for militia, tribal forces and similar.

Organizing your troops
We borrow a bit of Neil Thomas here:
Troops can adapt either deployment method when its their turn to move, then move off, without imposing a penalty.

The unit then counts as being in that deployment until they change it, for all purposes.

Units turn before they move. If Advancing you can turn to face in any direction and then move off, while Battle deployment limits you to a 45 degree turn.

You then move in a straight line.

This is a little abstract but for a "battle view" it works fairly well.
If you get outflanked, you can turn to face the new threat if you need to, but your unit is in Advancing deployment for the turn, limiting their firepower (and confining their frontage which can mean they fail to block an incoming charge in any event).

Most of all, the goal was to avoid a lot of the fiddly bits of some mass combat rule sets.

the trojan bunny28 Jan 2017 3:33 p.m. PST

Roughly how many units would be in an average sized game?

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2017 3:58 p.m. PST

8-12 is the intention. From memory, playtests went as high as 15.

You can double up and treat them as two separate armies etc.

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