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"High Level Napoleonic rules for WSS" Topic

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Last Hussar06 Aug 2022 1:17 p.m. PST

Hi (again)

Could you use (reasonably!) Blucher rules for WSS?

In Blucher a base equals 3000 – 5000 men (at 'Grand' level). There are no formations, except for 'Prepared' which gives infantry a bonus against cavalry charges (ie squares)

Is there any good reason (apart form some mods to remove the Napoleonic feel) they couldn't be used for WSS?

What would you take out/put in?


79thPA Supporting Member of TMP06 Aug 2022 1:27 p.m. PST

I am not familiar with the rules, but to WSS troops march at a slower rate than their Napoleonic counterparts? Is artillery as nimble?

Last Hussar06 Aug 2022 1:33 p.m. PST

The rates of movement are probably slower, but I don't know if this needs to be reflected – both sides will be slow. I was thinking on making the manoeuvring more difficult;

Blucher has a move rule where speed depends on difficulty
Simple – pivot on centre of front edge, move '2'
Difficult Move '1' in any direction, pivot, at start or end.

I was going to have
Simple – move straight 2
Difficult – Pivot on front centre, move 1.

mad monkey 106 Aug 2022 6:41 p.m. PST

Take a look at Sam Mustafa's Might and reason. Somebody did a WSS variant.

Scroll down:

Marcus Brutus06 Aug 2022 7:40 p.m. PST

I agree. I think Might and Reason could work well for WSS. Interestingly, Twilight of the Sun King has evolved from a WSS set into 17th century, SYW and there is a Napoleonic variant in the works. Scale is 2500/3000 men per base.

AussieAndy06 Aug 2022 10:27 p.m. PST

I think that you need rules that allow you to represent formations to credibly game the WSS. Blucher is too abstract. Might and Reason (with the WSS module) is less abstract and works well for the WSS.

Chad4707 Aug 2022 3:15 a.m. PST

Twilight of the Sun King

Chad4707 Aug 2022 3:25 a.m. PST

Napoleonic rules not suitable at any level.

No marching in cadence
Late 17th century artillery
Infantry in 3 or 4 ranks
No light cavalry on the battlefield
No skirmishing as such
Cavalry using both pistols and swords
No corps command structure.
Wooden ramrods

Robert Johnson07 Aug 2022 4:51 a.m. PST

Might and Reason with Greg Savinos' 'Sun King' module was my choice, and they play very well.

The rules are still available as a pdf. from Sam's website, and the module is free on the downloads page.

There were certainly light cavalry in Russian, Polish and Austrian armies in the WSS and GNW, and the French had hussars from about 1705.

I'm not sure that any of your objections are very important in rules at the brigade level and above though.

Chad4707 Aug 2022 7:08 a.m. PST

I did not say there were no light cavalry. What I said was they were not present in major battles of the WSS from any OOB I have seen. Cannot speak for GNW. My understanding is that they were involved in raids and similar.

Last Hussar07 Aug 2022 8:14 a.m. PST

But how does things like wooden ramrods affect a table top game?And with marching in cadence you can restrict movement.

Chad4707 Aug 2022 9:37 a.m. PST

More fragile than iron perhaps reducing rate of fire. There would also be a significant difference between late 17th century artillery and artillery a hundred years later both in size of piece, rate of fire, lack of mobility and accuracy I would think. I am not overly familiar with Blucher, but I would think it's design concept is a long way removed from the WSS. I suggested Twilight of the Sun King which is designed for the period.

Matamoros133707 Aug 2022 3:43 p.m. PST

All games are an abstraction at any level. Try all of these suggestions out and play what gives you a fun and enjoyable experience.

Dexter Ward07 Aug 2022 5:08 p.m. PST

One issue is that in WSS there were no brigades, just battalions and squadrons. So Napoleonic command and control won't be right, and rules with the brigade as the unit such a Boucher or Might and Reason may not give the right feel

Robert Johnson08 Aug 2022 1:03 a.m. PST

Might & Reason are for the mid 18th century, and as I said above, the work fine for WSS.

A unit represents a brigade.

Chad4708 Aug 2022 2:10 a.m. PST

No brigades, just battalions and squadrons! Where did you get that idea from?
Take a look at the OOB for Blenheim

Robert Johnson08 Aug 2022 4:34 a.m. PST


Why do people always do this?


The OP asked for suggestions a set of higher command level rules for the WSS. I suggested M&R, which were written for the SYW. What is your problem with that/me? Why so many objections to something that doesn't affect you personally?

I suggest you take a look at the OOB for Blenheim. Start with perhaps Rowe's BRIGADE.

Get back to me

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2022 5:16 a.m. PST

As others have noted above, WSS warfare was significantly different from Napoleonics. Changing formation or direction was far more difficult, artillery was virtually static, flanks much more vulnerable, hence the need for the infantry to adopt and maintain a solid linear formation with cavalry protecting their flanks. Whatever ruleset you use, if it does not already make provision for such limitations, you will need to make significant modifications.

Matt Bradley of the 'Pushing Tin' blog has done just that with BBB. See his reports of his Blenheim and Ramillies games:

But you might do best to try a ruleset designed for the period from the start!

Chad4708 Aug 2022 5:18 a.m. PST


I don't recall commenting on your suggestion at all. In fact I think it is an excellent suggestion compared with the OP idea of modifying Blucher rules. All my comments were directed at that. Equally my comment on the OOB at Blenheim had nothing to do with your post but that of Dexter Ward. I have Iain Stanfords excellent work ‘Marlborough Goes to War' which gives probably the most accurate and well researched OOB for Blenheim. As for Rowes Brigade it consists of 5 battalions; Ingoldsby, Howe, Marlborough, North & Grey and Rowe. They are all battalions but in a Brigade contrary to Dexter Wards opinion. I hope this clarifies everything for you now.

Robert Johnson08 Aug 2022 5:35 a.m. PST


I apologise for my assumption. The lack of a quote button here tends to make following who is replying to who difficult!

Chad4708 Aug 2022 8:54 a.m. PST


No problem. I will remember quotes in future.😊

Last Hussar14 Aug 2022 10:53 a.m. PST

Why do people always do this?


The OP asked for suggestions a set of higher command level rules for the WSS

Sorry, no I didn't. Can Blucher be used? Don't particularly want to buy another set.

I'm sorry, I don't understand some of the objections

"Wooden ramrods"
If both sides are using them how will this affect play? A turn is about 20 minutes, we are not accounting for individual shots.

"No skirmishers"
So don't use skirmish rules

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