Another major influence on the game's design was Shane's goal to let players fight battles in multiple scales -- that is, for the same set of rules to allow recreations of both the historical battle of Rorke's Drift (a few hundred defending soldiers) and Gettysburg (thousands of troops per side).
|Section||Typically, each stand represents 3 men, and 4-5 stands make up one section. Each turn stands for 5 minutes. 1" = 2 yards.|
|Company||Each company is usually composed of four stands, each representing about 24 men. Each turn is 5-10 minutes long, and the ground scale is 1" = 8 yards.|
|Battalion||A battalion is often composed of 8-10 stands, each stand representing about a hundred men. Turns are 10-15 minutes. 1" = 33 yards.|
|Regiment||There are 5-8 stands in a regiment, and each stand represents roughly 180 men. Each turn stands for 15-30 minutes. 1" = 66 yards.|
|Brigade||Size varies by army organization, with brigades ranging from 2-18 stands in size. Each stand represents approximately 400 men, turns are 30+ minutes, and 1" = 132 yards.|
For some battles, however, players may find that they want to depict the forces at a scale which would make the playing field too large. In these cases, the designer suggests applying a scaling factor in order to shrink the battlefield to fit the playing space.
Each BMU is rated from A-E in three categories: Morale, Fire, and Melee. The unit must also belong to one of three types -- formed, skirmish, or mob.
|Formed BMU's have the ability to adopt various formations on the battlefield. The possible formations are line (in one or more ranks), column of march (a long, vulnerable row of marching men), and the square (a defensive formation). When playing in larger scales, a fourth formation is allowed: column of attack, composed of companies deployed in line individually, but marching one behind the other to form a column. Stands in a formed BMU always contact one another.|
|Skirmish-type BMU's are different from formed units in that their men are more dispersed. In game terms, this means their stands don't touch. Units designated as "skirmishers" can only skirmish; units which "may skirmish" are formed-type units which can change into a skirmish formation.|
|Mob BMU's represent irregular or tribal forces. Like skirmishers, their stands are dispersed. Unlike skirmishers, all stands in a mob unit must remain within a short range of their command stand -- this, in effect, tends to keep them in globular formations rather than in lines or columns.|
Each unit has two Movement Rates: Engaged, and Charge. The Charge rate is used when outside enemy small-arms and charge range; otherwise, the Engaged (lower) rate is used. A unit's movement rates depend upon the scale and the unit's type (infantry, cavalry, and artillery); current formation also affects movement rate.
As they move, formed units may change formation at a penalty in movement. They may also "about face" (reversing direction), "left" or "right face" (changing from line to column, or vice versa), "guide right" or "guide left" (angling sideways while advancing), and "wheel" (moving one end of a formation while the other end holds position).
BMUG's which have not yet moved during the phase are eligible to take "opportunity fire" at enemy BMUG's which are moving or changing formation. These are considered "partial volleys," less effective than a normal attack. A unit which takes opportunity fire loses its chance to move in that phase.
Line of sight is blocked by some forms of terrain and most types of units. Skirmishers are the exception -- you can see through them, but can't fire through them.
Fire is considered simultaneous, but for convenience sake, one player usually resolves all artillery fires before the other player.
Each artillery stand is rated for a number of Attack Dice -- this is the number of attacks which that unit can make in one round. The rating depends upon the class of the gun (light = 2, medium = 3, heavy = 4, and siege = 5), with a penalty if the stand has taken heavy damage. The stand receives a bonus Attack Die when firing shrapnel rounds.
An accuracy check is made for each attack. The guns are individually rated for range (short, medium, long and extreme). Range determines the Accuracy Number, which must be tied or beat on a dieroll in order for the shot to hit. Modifiers apply due to type of gun (smoothbore, rifled, or improved) and whether shrapnel is being fired.
For each accurate shot, a Kill Roll is now made. The Kill Number is based on the target's terrain and formation, the type of round being fired, and the Fire Rating (quality) of the firing stand. The total of all of the Kill Rolls against this target are divided by the Kill Number to determine how many hits are taken by the target.
Besides ordinary shot, guns may fire cannister or shrapnel. Cannister can only be used at short range, and reduces the Kill Number; shrapnel provides an Attack Dice bonus but a penalty on the accuracy dieroll.
EXAMPLE: In a brigade-level game, a Prussian Guard 4 lb. horse artillery stand opens fire on an Austrian Grenadier stand. This gun has 2 Attack Dice, meaning that it could attack this target with both dice, or attack with one die here and the other die against another target. In this case, it attacks with both dice. It fires ordinary shot.
Range is 4", which puts it at medium range for this gun. The Accuracy Number would normally be 3 (for medium range), but there is a +1 penalty since this is a smoothbore gun -- 3 + 1 = 4. The attacker rolls one 6-sided die for each attack, getting a "1" (which always fails) and a "5" (beating the accuracy number), for one accurate shot.
The Kill Number is the base value (5), modified by quality (-1 for being a "B" unit), flank shot (-1), against target in light cover (+1), for a final Kill Number of 5 - 1 - 1 + 1 = 4. The attacker must roll at least a 4 to score one hit; a second hit is impossible, since he cannot roll an "8" on just one die (if only that second shot had been accurate!).
The player rolls a "3", missing his Kill Number. No damage is inflicted...
Small-arms combat is similar to artillery combat, with the exception that attacks are made by entire BMU's. The unit receives one Attack Die for each of its stands which (due to its facing) is capable of attacking the target. Line of sight for the attack is traced from the center of the BMU to the center of any stand of the target BMU.
A BMU may split its Attack Dice among multiple targets, if it wishes. Mob-type units have a special restriction -- When firing, they make attack the closest enemy with at least half their firepower.
Again, an Accuracy Roll is made for each Attack Die, with bonus modifiers for using improved rifles, and penalties for using smoothbore weapons.
For each accurate attack, a Kill Roll is then made. The Kill Number varies depending on the attacker's Fire Quality, the attacker's situation (for example: moving, attacking while mounted, firing initial volley), and the defender's situation (i.e.: taking a flank shot, prone, in skirmish formation, mounted, or in cover).
| EXAMPLE: In a company-level game set during the Gwalior War (India),
Sepoy Line Infantry (British Allies) armed with Brown Bess muskets open fire on Baluchi
irregular cavalry (a mob-type unit).
At company scale, the Sepoy company includes 4 stands -- therefore, it has 4 Attack Dice. It uses all against the Balushi unit.
The range of 8" makes this a "medium range" attack. At this range, the base Accuracy Number is 3, but there is a +1 penalty for using Brown Bess muskets -- 3 + 1 = 4 Accuracy. Four dice are rolled: 2, 1, 5, 5. The two 5's beat or tie the Accuracy Number, so two shots are accurate.
The Kill Number starts at a base of 5, but is modified in this case as follows: +1 (attacker is Firing Quality D), -1 (target is mounted), -1 (target is a mob), -1 (initial volley). 5 + 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 = 3 Kill Number.
Since two shots were accurate, the attacker rolls 2 dice and compares their total to the Kill Number. He rolls a 9, which divided by the Kill Number (3) places 3 Hits on the enemy unit.
The charge is the means by which units (cavalry or infantry) cross the intervening ground and engage the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. Depending upon the era involved, a charge can provide the shock value to win a battle...or it might be a waste of good men and good horseflesh.
At the start of the phase, both players write down their intentions. The written charge orders are revealed at the same time. Although all charges are considered to be simultaneous, it is usually simpler to resolve one charge at a time. However, if charges interfere with one another -- for instance, if unit A charges unit B and unit B charges unit C -- it may be necessary to resolve several charges at once.
In order to charge, a BMU must be facing its intended target. Formed units not in a square may pivot up to 45 degrees before charging.
Prior to charging, a Charge Test is made. The modifiers to the roll include the attacker's morale, relative size of the enemy BMU, the type of attacking unit (i.e., cavalry, skirmisher, or mob), and whether the attack is coming from the target's flank.
If the test fails, the unit stays where it is. During the next Move Phase, it may only move at half speed; only half of its stands may attack in the next Fire Phase.
If the test succeeds, the unit must attempt the charge. It is moved its Charge movement rate (which is hopefully sufficient to reach the target, but the attacker is not allowed to pre-measure the distance!). If the charging unit does not reach its target, its charge is over, and it cannot move or fire for the rest of this turn.
If the charge reaches the target, the defending unit must now react. Its options are:
|Form Square||If attacked from the flank, this is the unit's only choice. A Form Square Roll is made, and if successful, the unit redeploys in its new formation. If the roll fails, the unit must Stand and Fire.|
|Stand and Fire||The target remains where it is.|
|Fire and Retire||The target declares its intention to retreat before the charge.|
|Countercharge||The target unit attempts its own Charge Test, and if successful, advances to meet its attacker. If the test fails, the unit remains where it is.|
After Opportunity Fire (if any), the attacker must make a Morale Test. If the roll fails, the unit's charge is over, and the charging unit must withdraw. If the Test is successful, the unit remains in contact with its enemy.
The defender must now attempt a Morale Test. If the roll fails, the unit breaks morale and involuntarily retreats. If successful, the unit holds its position -- or, if a Fire and Retire option was chosen, the BMU becomes a "mob" and makes an orderly retreat away from the enemy.
If the attacker and defender still remain in contact, they will be eligible for hand-to-hand combat in the next Melee Phase.
EXAMPLE: During the American Civil War, a Confederate cavalry brigade declares it is charging a "crack" Union infantry brigade.
A Charge Test is made for the Confederates. The base Charge Number is 5, modified by -1 (morale quality B), -2 (charger is cavalry), -1 (sub-commander leads the charge): 5 - 1 - 2 - 1 = 1 Charge Number. However, the Charge Number can never be less than 2. On a die roll of 3, the Confederate player easily beats the low Test number and his brigade begins its charge.
The attacker checks distance, and discovers he can indeed reach the enemy during this turn using full Charge movement.
The Union player decides to Stand and Fire. Opportunity Fire now occurs. He chooses to make his attack at close range (at brigade scale with Springfield rifles, that is 1"). The Union brigade consists of 8 stands, so its Attack Dice is 8. At this range, the Accuracy Number is 2, and there are no applicable modifiers. However, out of 8 die rolls, only 5 shots are accurate -- bad luck for the defenders (rolled three 1's).
The Kill Number is 5, modified +1 (opportunity fire), -1 (target is mounted), and -1 (Fire Quality B), for a final result of 5 + 1 - 1 - 1 = 4. The Union player rolls 5 dice -- 13. That total (13) divided by the Kill Number (4) results in 3 Hits on the enemy. Another disappointing roll.
The attacking Confederates must now make a Morale Test. Not having taken significant casualties, having their commander with them, and being not too far from the Confederate lines, the unit easily passes its check.
The Confederate player moves his stands in contact with the Union infantry.
Now the Union must try a Morale Test. This is a high morale unit within its own lines, so despite a penalty for being the recipient of a charge, the unit succeeds the test and holds its position.
In the upcoming Melee Phase, these two units will be able to attack each other.
Each BMU receives a number of Attack Dice equal to its number of stands. If a defending unit is attacked by multiple attackers, it must split its attack as evenly as possible among all of them. The larger force is limited to a number of Attack Dice less than or equal to four times the enemy's Attack Dice -- any additional Attack Dice do not count.
Each side now determines its Kill Number. Modifiers apply to terrain and formation, the type of each unit, the tactical situation, and the attacker's Melee Quality. The Attack Dice total, divided by the Kill Number, indicates the Hits inflicted upon the enemy.
EXAMPLE: Let's conclude the charge example begun above.
The charging Confederate brigade has 8 stands, as does the Union infantry brigade. Each side has 8 Attack Dice, therefore.
The Kill Number for the Confederates is base 5, modified +1 (enemy is in light cover), -1 (just charged), -1 (Melee Quality B) = 4.
The Union Kill Number is base 5, with no applicable modifiers.
The Confederate player throws 8 dice, getting a total of 30. Divided by the Kill Number of 4, this inflicts 7 hits on the Union.
The Union player also rolls 8 dice, scoring 31. Divided by a Kill Number of 5, he achieves 6 hits on the Confederate unit.
If the unit fails the check, the result depends upon the margin of failure. The possible results are:
|Suppressed||A suppressed unit must immediately move away from the enemy to a distance equal to half its movement rate. This unit suffers a cost penalty for changing formation, and has a penalty against future morale rolls as long as it remains suppressed.|
|Shaken||The unit immediately turns into a mob, does an about face, and runs away. It continues to run on future turns, until reaching a place of security.|
|Routed||Same effects as for Shaken, but the unit is removed from play if it fails a Rally dieroll.|
Now, half of the temporary hits go away. The remaining hits become permanent. For every 3 permanent hits, one stand must be removed from play.
Recovering Morale. Suppressed troops automatically return
to normal morale status on the first turn when they take no casualties and
do not move.
Shaken troops must Rally in order to return to normal morale.
A Morale Test is made. If successful, the unit becomes merely Suppressed.
If the attempt fails, and if the unit is not in a safe place, it must
once again flee.
Routed troops may also attempt to Rally. If successful at the Morale Test,
they become Shaken and halt in the nearest place of safety. If they fail,
they are removed from play.
Shaken troops must Rally in order to return to normal morale. A Morale Test is made. If successful, the unit becomes merely Suppressed. If the attempt fails, and if the unit is not in a safe place, it must once again flee.
Routed troops may also attempt to Rally. If successful at the Morale Test, they become Shaken and halt in the nearest place of safety. If they fail, they are removed from play.Pursuit. If a unit that was involved in a melee retreats, the enemy units in that melee may elect to pursue.
Both "rout movement" (used both by Shaken and Routed troops) and "pursuit movement" (used by pursuing attackers) are forms of variable movement. The distance moved is a base rate plus a bonus determined by dieroll; rates are different depending on scale and troop type (foot or cavalry). Therefore, what happens is this: the routing BMU receives variable movement, and then the pursuer tries variable movement. The pursuer might not be able to keep up with his escaping enemy. But if he can remain in contact, the pursuer becomes eligible to make a special pursuit attack. During this pursuit attack, the routing unit cannot defend itself, and the attacker receives a substantial modifier to the Kill Number.
EXAMPLE: Continuing our previous example of American Civil War combat, both the Union and Confederate units suffered casualties and must make Morale Tests during this phase.
For the Confederate unit, the base number is 5, modified by +3 (25% casualties), -1 (caused more casualties in melee than enemy unit), -1 (friendly units not too distant), -1 (attached commander), -1 (good morale), results in 5 + 3 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 = 4. Rolling two dice, the Confederate player scores a "6" -- his morale test is successful.
Now it is the Union player's turn. The base number is 5, modified +3 (25% casualties), -1 (friendly units nearby), -1 (high morale), which makes 5 + 3 - 1 - 1 = 6. Unfortunately, the Union player rolls two dice and gets a "3" -- his unit has failed its morale by 3 points, resulting in a rout.
The Union player rolls the die for variable movement, gets a disastrous "1," and so may only rout a distance of 2". Due to being a routed unit, the infantry is now a "mob" and must orient its stands accordingly.
The Confederate unit chooses to pursue, and since it is a mounted unit, two dice are rolled for variable movement -- in this case, the cavalry gets 10" of pursuit movement, more than enough to keep in contact with the routing Union infantry.
The Confederates are immediately eligible for a pursuit attack. First, however, hits must be distributed. The Confederate cavalry received 3 hits from opportunity fire, plus 6 hits in melee combat, for a total of 9 hits. Half the hits (rounded up) are forgiven, leaving the cavalry with 4 permanent hits -- they must remove one stand, and the BMU retains one hit.
As for the Union infantry, they took 7 hits during melee -- half are forgiven, but the 3 remaining hits force them to remove one stand.
Now the pursuit combat can begin. The Confederates are down to 7 Attack Dice due to the missing stand. The Kill Number is base 5, modified -2 (formed unit attacking a mob), -1 (attacker charged this turn), -1 (attacker caused more casualties last round), -1 (enemy struck from rear), and -1 (Melee Quality B). Fortunately for the Union side, the Kill Number cannot be modified lower than 2! Rolling 7 dice, the attacker scores a total of "20" -- divided by 2, this results in 10 more hits against the Union infantry. The defender cannot counter-attack during a pursuit attack.
During the next Movement Phase, the Union infantry will be forced to make another "rout movement," which in turn allows the Confederate cavalry the chance to pursue and, if successful, make another pursuit attack.
|Visibility||Units to which an LOS cannot be traced are not placed on the tabletop. Units within LOS but which are beyond visibility range are represented by Unspotted Markers, and the enemy is not told the size or type of unit represented by the marker. Units which fire are automatically spotted, unless they have smokeless powder.|
|Bombardment||Artillery may destroy buildings and bridges, as well as smaller items such as fences and walls.|
|Surrender||A Surrender Check may be called for when a unit routs, depending upon the exact circumstances. If it surrenders, the opposing force must decide what to do about the prisoners.|
|Entrenchments||Ordinary troops may construct simple earthworks. Engineer units may build or breach fortifications, as well as cut trails through woods.|
|Percussion-Detonated Shells||Shrapnel accuracy penalties do not apply if the attacker has access to this ammunition type.|
|Calamity and Fortune||During the Morale Test, if double "1"s are rolled, a Calamity occurs; if double "6"s are rolled, good Fortune instead strikes. A dieroll is made, and the Calamity or Fortune tables are consulted to learn the exact result. A bad roll on either table may result in a Freak Event, calling for a dieroll and a consultation of the Freak Event table.|
Unit Cohesion. In the advanced rules, the BMU's within each BMUG -- that is,
the companies within a battalion, if playing battalion scale -- must remain within cohesion
range of another BMU within that BMUG, and within LOS of the commander. Any unit
outside of this cohesion range is "out of command."
An "out of command" BMU acts according to its written orders (see below), if it has any.
Otherwise, it attempts to move towards its BMUG; if it can't see other BMU's in the BMUG,
then it holds its position.
An "out of command" BMU acts according to its written orders (see below), if it has any. Otherwise, it attempts to move towards its BMUG; if it can't see other BMU's in the BMUG, then it holds its position.Leaders. There are four types of leaders, though not all will be used in every scenario. Each BMUG has a sub-commander. Each army has a commander (he represents the player on the tabletop). Large forces may require mid-level commanders, to act as corps or wing commanders. In special circumstances, a player may have an artillery sub-commander to lead massed artillery formations.
Unlike normal units, leaders do not have a fixed movement rate. Instead, they use variable movement (just as do routing and pursuing units). Leaders cannot ordinarily be fired upon.
Leaders may attach themselves directly to individual BMU's in order to provide morale bonuses or the leader's special advantage (see Personalities, below) to that unit. A benefit which all attached leaders share is the ability to direct sniper fire. Stands which normally cannot be fired upon (for instance, leader stands) can be fired upon if the firing unit has an attached leader to guide them.
Personalities. Certain leaders may be assigned personality traits, either based on history or (for a custom scenario) by dieroll. There are 17 possibilities:
Within the higher command, each sub- or mid-commander may begin the game with written orders. Once play begins, these orders may only be changed by the commander. Without orders, troops will simply hold their positions.
At the tactical level, sub-commanders have the ability to give orders to the BMU's within their BMUG's. However, written orders only matter if the BMU becomes out of command.
A leader may give an order verbally if he is in contact with a unit or lower-ranked leader. Otherwise, he must send a messenger. Messenger stands function similarly to leader stands (variable movement, can be fired on only by snipers). When the messenger reaches his target, the orders are delivered; if the messenger is killed, his orders may be read by the next stand to reach him.
There are eleven possible Orders, although players may add restrictions or limitations in addition to the basic definition of each order. The Orders are:
If an order is unclear (or has become unclear due to circumstances -- that is, the target enemy is no longer in view), the unit must attempt to interpret its orders in such a way that they can be obeyed.
Detachments. Up to half of the stands in a BMU may be detached and given an Order to perform. If the detachment suffers morale penalties, these are lost when the detachment rejoins the parent unit -- that is, when a routed detachment reattaches to its mother unit, the mother unit does not gain any morale problems.
|Battle of the Alma (1854)|
|Suggested Scale||Regimental or Brigade|
|Approximate Forces||80 stands (British), 80 stands [French] and 30 stands [Turkish] versus 160 stands [Russian] (brigade scale)|
|Battle of Isandlwana (1879)|
|Approximate Forces||110 stands (British) versus 780 stands [Zulu]|
|Battle of Gravelotte-St.Privat (1870)|
|Suggested Scale||Regimental or Brigade|
|Approximate Forces||60 stands (French) versus 80 stands [Prussian] (brigade scale)|
|Approximate Forces||70 stands (British) versus 260 stands [Ansar]|
|The Little Big Horn (1876)|
|Approximate Forces||22 stands (United States) versus 100 stands [Sioux]|
The Organization Charts provide sample organizations (that is, number of companies per battalion, and so forth) for five common patterns -- the British, French, Prussian, American (Civil War), and Irregular armies.
Generic troop data, including point costs, are also provided in the Appendix. In addition, specific troop types are listed for several major wars of the period:
Depending upon the type and size of the scenario, each player has a certain number of points to spend in order to buy an army. Each troop type has a point cost; in addition, certain troop types are limited to no more than a specified percentage of the total army.
If the players do not wish to design their own battlefield, they can generate one based on all or a portion of the five generic maps provided in the rulebook; settlements are placed randomly.
Lastly, the players take turns placing Objectives on the tabletop until eight have been placed.
Victory Points. At the end of a battle, each player receives points depending upon how well he did. A commander loses points for his own casualties, gains points for casualties inflicted, and receives bonus points for each Objective which he controls.
|3 July 1996||reformatted|
|9 April 1996||reorganized|
|Comments or corrections?|