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"Corps Command IV Review and AAR" Topic


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761 hits since 24 Sep 2019
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Mem691 Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2019 9:24 a.m. PST

Hoplite Research released a thirtieth anniversary edition of Corps Command, their Napoleonic rule set. I have been playing Corps Command for about a year. I like the rules but had a similar experience to John Secker's review of Panzer Korps in 2014 (http://eclecticwargames.blogspot.com/2014/10/panzer-korps-rules-review.html), in that I found them to ‘eccentrically edited', but worth the effort to work out.

The new edition, Corps Command IV cleans up a lot of the eccentricities. We tried out Corps Command IV with an attempt to recreate Valmy (1792).

OOB:
Prussia:
Army Commander: Brunswick (H)
14 Crack Infantry Units
4 Elite Hussar Units
3 Veteran 6lb Units
France:
Army Commander: Dumouriez (E)
12 Conscript Infantry Units
6 Landwehr Infantry Units (fanatic)
4 Elite Hussar Units
3 Veteran 8lb Units

Note: In Corps Command, Landwehr is a morale grade between Militia and Conscript.

08-10 Day Segment: French win the initiative and roll for two turns in the Day Segment.

French ordered all three batteries to focus on the Prussian Infantry Division on the Prussian Left. The Prussians order their artillery to bombard the infantry in the French Center. (In Corps Command, artillery can either bombard or fire tactically. The advantage of bombardment is it can do more damage through ‘devastation' and has an area effect to allow it to hit multiple units; the disadvantage is that it can only change targets at the beginning of a Day Segment. For Day Segments with only one or two turns, bombardment is usually a good choice.)

The fanatic Landwehr (6 Units) were grouped in a division on the French right advanced toward the Prussian Left. The division advanced across the field with two Units deployed as skirmishers (grandes bandes). These troops were a lot of fun to lead--as Landwehr, they had to take a lot of Morale tests, but as fanatics they kept passing them.

10-12 Day Segment: French win the initiative and roll for two turns in the Day Segment.

French ordered all three batteries fire tactically at targets of opportunity. The Prussians kept their artillery bombarding the infantry in the French Center

The French dominated the skirmish battle, annoying the Crack Prussians. (In Corps Command, skirmish combat can cause slight casualties to enemy units, possibly kill enemy leaders and possibly disorder formed units—the mechanic is simple and very playable. The is also a mechanism, based on national characteristics, for units to enter skirmish combat regardless of the commander's desires.)

As the fanatic Landwehr hit the Prussian lines, they weathered the Prussian fusilade, passing the Morale tests with the help of the being 'fanatics.' The Prussians had been softened by the bombardment from French artillery, so with the added benefit of a couple of the assaulting French infantry being 'battlemad,' the French crushed the front line of the Prussians. (If a Unit passes a morale test by a small margin, the may go battlemad—charging the nearest enemy and getting a melee bonus.)

By the end of the day segment two Prussian Units had been dispersed and two had been routed; four fresh Prussian Crack units remained on the Prussian left, facing six weakened French fanatic Landwehr units.

12-2 Day Segment: French win the initiative and roll for three turns in the Day Segment.

French kept all three batteries firing tactically at targets of opportunity. The Prussians kept their artillery bombarding the infantry in the French Center (this was a mistake for a three turn Day Segment).

With the initial successes on the right, the French left advanced to put more pressure on the Prussians, while the French Center advanced to overrun the Prussian artillery. (In Corps Command, artillery ordered bombard cannot retarget and cannot defend itself in a melee.) On the Prussian right, Prussians met the French advance with advancing assault columns en echelon. The French skirmishers were annoying the division and managed to take out the Prussian division command, but the Prussians easily passed the morale checks.

Then disaster hit the French: The fanatics on the French right hit the next lines of Prussians--they were rebuffed in the melee--this caused some cascading morale checks, terminating with an intrinsic morale check for the entire division. The division failed the morale check; the French right decided they had done enough for Liberty, Egality and Fraternity--they went back home. On the French left, the disciplined Prussians won the initial melee, routing a French unit. This route caused some more cascading morale checks, which some of the French conscripts failed.

The French right was leaving the battle due to failing an intrinsic morale check—no possible rally. The French center had been bombarded by Prussian artillery, but had overrun and captured the guns. The French left was melting away (three of six units failed morale and fell back) from a fresh Prussian division. At this point the French called for a sauve peut qui, and withdrew.

Corps Command has a rule that when one side withdraws (sauve peut qui), the winner's cavalry can roll for dispersing withdrawing units. The Prussians failed in the four rolls (one per cavalry unit)—so the French retreated without further loss.

Corps Command IV is a great set of rules--the flavor of Napoleonics and a game with 39 units was played out in three hours by two novices. In this game things that stood out:
1. Realistic effects of Morale and Command & Control
2. Skirmish combat was easily handled and gave historical results.
3. French Levee en Masse troops: Fanatics with Landwehr morale are a lot of fun to 'command'--sometimes you command them and sometimes they do what they want.
4. Battlemad rule adds a lot to the game.

DaleWill Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2019 9:19 a.m. PST

Thanks for the review. I've been wondering how these rules played.

RittervonBek25 Sep 2019 2:58 p.m. PST

Could we have some details on the basics e.g scales, unit sizes, basing?

Mem691 Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2019 5:03 a.m. PST

Could we have some details on the basics e.g scales, unit sizes, basing?

Mike,

There are some links to descriptions of a previous version of the rules (1999):
TMP link
TMP link
TMP link

The data on the sites provided matches what I have found in Corps Command IV.

For the current edition, there is a Yahoo Group:
link

On the Yahoo Group you can find the charts (QRS), maps and scenarios. Also, the author is very patient in answering questions. (If you request to join the group, please be patient, it may take a couple of days to get access.)

For basing and unit size, the official word in the rules: Infantry Unit (three stands 2-by-2): 600-1100 men; Cavalry Unit (four stands 1-by-2): 300-600 men; Artillery Unit (one stand): 50-100 men.

The basing and unit size is very flexible. They give a half-page describing how to use other basing schemes to fit the game. My figures are 20mm plastics, based in accordance with the WRG Horse-and-Musket rules: Elan (Four infantry per stand: 1-by-4): This works fine.

I use three stands (12 figures) for an infantry unit (nominally a battalion/regiment); two stands (6 figures) for a cavalry unit (nominally a regiment). I find this give good aesthetics, while allowing multi-division games: They feel like Napoleonic units, not three-dimensional counters.

The official word in the rules: Infantry Unit (three stands 2-by-2): 600-1100 men; Cavalry Unit (four stands 1-by-2): 300-600 men; Artillery Unit (one stand): 50-100 men.

I hope this answered your questions.

Matt

RittervonBek26 Sep 2019 1:14 p.m. PST

Matt yes it does, thank you.

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