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"Napoleonics with Black Powder" Topic

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Alcibiades30 Jun 2018 6:38 a.m. PST

In our search for a set of rules to use regularly for our Napoleonic games we are giving Black Powder and Clash of Eagles a go. Our first game involves a fictitious 1809 clash between Lannes' Composite Corps with around 30 battalions of infantry supported by a light cavalry Brigade and a heavy cavalry Division and an Austrian Corps of roughly similar size with support of a Grenadier. Light cavalry and heavy cavalry brigade. So far things have gone well and rules seem to move quickly and have produced fairly good results.

However, a couple of issues have arisen which I hope the experienced readership of TMP can answer. Lack of activity on the BP forum has prompted me to pose my questions here.

1) Proximity Rule: Does the Proximity Rule prevent a unit from changing facing? We have a situation where the Austrians have occupied a small village ahead of their main line of battle which the French must take. The French have engaged the units in the village from the front while other units bypass the village on the left and right, risking enfilading fire from the buildings. The bypassing units are within Proximity range of the units garrisoning the village. A French unit on the right side of the village does not have any enemy units to it's front. My question: Can that unit change it's facing in order to assault the right side of the village or does it need to get outside Proximity range before it can change it's facing?

The Proximity Rule restricts a unit's movement to the front or rear. It takes a move to change formation. Is a change of formation a move?

2) Issuing Orders: Are we correct in ruling that a Brigade Commander who fails his Orders roll is prevented from issuing further Orders? P. 25 of the MRB refers to a Commander who fails to give an Order. Here, he has given an Order but it was not acted on. One of our guys argues that the prohibition of issuing further Orders is restricted to Commanders who had the opportunity to issue Orders but elected or forgot to do so and another Command has since activated. The majority believe that a failed Order roll prevents further Orders being issued. Which is correct?

Thanks in advance for any insight. BTW, we have given OTH and GdA a go and were mostly satisfied with the gameplay and results but both systems had some idiosyncrasies which kept us looking.


Frederick Supporting Member of TMP30 Jun 2018 8:11 a.m. PST

Good questions

1) We allow units to change facing even if the enemy is not to the front – interested to see how other people play it

2) Yep – You fail, you done – we apply this to all commanders who can issue orders

Texas Jack30 Jun 2018 8:12 a.m. PST

Regarding facing, I donīt have my rulebook handy, but if the above situation occurred in one of my games, then the unit would be allowed to change facing.

As for issuing orders, a commander who fails a command roll is prohibited to making any further orders that turn. The same would apply to a commander who finishes orders and the next command is activated. So essentially you can issue orders as long as you are successful, but once you move on to the next command you are finished for that turn.

Edit: Frederick beat me to it! grin

Alcibiades30 Jun 2018 10:04 a.m. PST

Great minds think alike…:-)

Thank you for your lightening like responses. You have confirmed what I thought.

Overall, we have enjoyed playing these rules with the add ons from Clash of Eagles. They give enough Napoleonic flavour to satisfy us without bogging down in the type of detail which often results in argument.


davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP01 Jul 2018 4:42 a.m. PST

It's good to hear that you are remembering to use the proximity rule. As I see it, the main purpose is to keep an opponent who rolls a triple move from moving from your front to your flank all in one go. If they start the turn on your flank or rear then that seems like a different situation.

GarryWills05 Jul 2018 5:39 a.m. PST

The proximity rule requires the unit to remain in its front or rear quarters so this allows the change of facing providing they dont move off to either flank.

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