Manx House Rules

The Ellan Vannin Conflict Simulation Forum presents rule modifications and suggested variations for the In the Grand Manner Napoleonic rules set, plus an advanced and flexible points system. As developed by the Manx Wargaming Society, by S. Caddy and D. Sharpe, with thanks to K. Charnley.

Brigade Morale
Risk to Generals
Army Points


We fully accept that the original In the Grand Manner rules were written to enable massive battles to be played in settings such at that at the Wargames Holiday Centre (and very enjoyable they are, too). However, the original resources of our group - both in figures and manpower - were much more limited, which led us to modify/tinker with the rules so as to make command functions more relevant and skirmishers/light infantry somewhat more elaborate.

With regard to commanders: Our points system allows the gamer to pay extra points for higher quality generals at various levels of command, with morale bonuses ranging from -1 to +3. the highest rating is limited to generals of proven brilliance such as Wellington, Napoleon and Davout, and the lowest for generals with limited battlefield ability such as Cuesta or King Joseph on a bad day. In addition, we have a system under which generals may die/be seriously wounded.

When it comes to light infantry: Light battalions are based in singles and pairs, so that with the use of sabot-bases they may act as skirmishers. (However, we reduce skirmishers' excessive effect under the rules by firing them as pairs, not singles.) Light battalions cost more points than line battalions, and such a battalion if used as an isolated unit may only deploy 2/3rds of its strength as skirmishers - having to keep the rest in close order. In addition, we allow the light company of a line battalion to be split off, counting this as a formation change for delay to movement, but not in itself counting as movement for volley fire. Any losses to this light company must of course be counted towards battalion losses for morale tests.


All infantry skirmishers fire at one die per pair of figures, to counteract the larger numbers available under our system.

Light infantry battalions are allowed to break themselves down into skirmish squads, counting as a formation change. No light battalion may have more than two thirds of its manpower deployed as skirmish squads at any one time, the remainder forming a close order supporting parent body. These squads should be six figures strong and should test morale as would standard squads under the rules. However, once a squad fails its morale roll, it rejoins its parent body and may no longer be used for skirmishing. It takes half a move for a light battalion to detach one or more squads.

Light infantry battalions may also be totally dispersed as skirmish squads, but each such light battalion must be supported by a minimum of three line battalions, and may never reform into a battalion (i.e.: once a squad fails a morale test, it is removed from play).

Light companies of line battalions may also be detached, counting as a formation change, from those battalions with integral light companies/platoons in their organisation, in a similar way to light battalions. This can result in some very small skirmish squads, which are very likely to fail their morale roll. This problem may be circumvented by combining any such light companies into pure skirmish groups and using them as in the standard rules.

It should be kept in mind that for morale purposes, losses to detached skirmishers are at all times treated as losses to the parent body.

It is accepted that some skirmish-type troops are best used as under the standard rules (except for firing as a pair). Examples would be dismounted dragoons or guerrillas.

As an option, it is suggested that cavalry pickets may be used as a form of mounted skirmishers. This can be done by allowing each pair of light cavalry to fire at up to effective musket range on turns when they have been stationary, and allow them to move at the same speed as their cavalry type. (Note: Such cavalry may not charge or countercharge, and must evade enemy charges.) These squadrons should be treated as standard skirmish squads for morale, but as cavalry for crossing obstacles. Cavalry fulfilling this joint role cost an extra point. It also stands to reason (I hope) that no other body can fire through mounted skirmishers (all those massive horses get in the way!). This option is only open to standard light cavalry and Cossacks, not cuirassiers and lancers etc.

Brigade Morale

We have found that wargames have a tendency to prolong battles beyond the point at which a real general would have disengaged his troops. This is often caused by the rules not preventing a desperate player throwing into battle every last healthy battalion etc., even when the battalion in question belongs to a brigade which has already suffered shattering loses.

We attempt to avoid this situation by having a brigade test morale every time it has a battalion

The commander of the brigade rolls an averaging die per lost battalion, then deducts a factor equal to 3 times their command rating, and then deducts the number of fresh battalions left in the brigade. He must score equal to or less than the number of lost battalions. (Count as lost all units who are currently in rout or retirement on table, and all those which were all cut down, or retired or routed off table without rallying.

If a brigade fails to pass a test as above, all remaining parts of that brigade may no longer advance towards the enemy, but may defend as it would normally do, including countercharging.


There were occasions when battalions etc. managed to continue fighting historically long after they would have been non-functional under the rules (and indeed, most other rule sets). To cover this eventuality, we allow the following reconstituting of units to be done.

Two or more battalions may be reformed together, providing they are:

These reformed battalions may not exceed 60 figures in strength. They count for morale purposes as next highest bracket on the table, and always count as one morale class lower than the lowest class of the parent unit.

When a cavalry squadron completes its two turns of walkabout, such individual squadrons will now count for morale purposes as the next highest standard squadron strength (i.e. if the squadron was 8 figures strong at the start but is now only 5 figures strong, it would after walkabout count as being a weakened 6-figure-strong unit).

When a regiment of cavalry completes walkabout, it forms a suitable number of squadrons of a standard size. Any under-strength squadrons resulting are treated as isolated squadrons as above (i.e. if a regiment started 32 figures strong in 4 squadrons of 8, and is now 21 figures strong, it would reconstitute as 2 squadrons of 8 and 1 of 5).

Cavalry squadrons of an identical type may be reconstituted in a similar manner to battalions, but may not exceed 10 figures. They also count as their lowest morale class.

Risk to Generals

Under the standard rules, Generals lead a charmed life. Since this was not the case historically, we suggest the following:

If a brigade receives an officer loss from volley or artillery hits, roll a six-sided die. On the score of "1," the lowest ranking general within command radius in that brigade's chain of command dies (instead of a battalion officer).

If enemy skirmishers are within range of a staff group (i.e. potentially the general, ADC's & bodyguards, often just a general), they may fire on the group. Each bodyguard cancels out a pair of skirmishers. For each hit scored, roll 1D6 - a 1 or 2 results in a staff group hit. This hit is then allocated at random.

If a general is killed, then he may be replaced by a spare general from the CinC's staff group, moving to his new position at standard staff movement rates.

We allow cavalry generals to join a squadron/regiment, and give an extra bonus dice equivalent to their command rating to that unit's melee. However, they may then be killed in the same way as a cavalry staff officer.

Army Points

To avoid one-sided games - especially when we have everything in our collection game, which currently results (i) in an imbalance of forces and (ii) in a number of new units being painted - an agreed maximum total of points should be decided prior to the battle. In an encounter game should be 1 to 1. In an attack against troops in the open should be 3 to 2. In an attack on a heavily fortified position, 3 to 1 or more.

Choice of unit and officer types purchased is unrestricted unless an umpire decides otherwise, but we suggest the guidelines below:

  1. A CinC is compulsory for any "all arms" force.
  2. Generals of (+3) rating should be strictly limited in number (but are effectively limited by their points cost).
  3. An Ally-General is recommended for each major allied force, especially if it is to be commanded by another player.
  4. A Cavalry General is compulsory for any force containing more than 12 squadrons.
  5. A General of Division is compulsory for any force with either more than 9 battalions or more than 2 batteries of guns. (A CinC may double as a General of Divison at no extra cost.)
  6. No all-arms force may have more cavalry regiments than infantry battalions.
  7. Pure skirmisher squads (6 men) should not exceed twice the number of line battalions.
  8. No all-arms force may have more foot artillery gun models than it has battalions.
  9. No all-arms force may have more horse artillery gun models than it has cavalry squadrons.
  10. Generals of Brigade and Cavalry Staff Officers are optional.
  11. ADC's must be allocated to any General required to issue more than 1 order a turn, at 1 per ADC/turn.
  12. Bodyguards may be allocated only to CinCs, and may fire as a skirmisher pair on any enemy skirmishers firing on the HQ group, thereby drawing fire away from the CinC and other officers.


Line Infantry

Cost of units is based on the number of musket figures, plus up to 6 extra staff figures if desired (or more if you are painting mad!).

UNIT SIZE1216182024273032364042485460
Guard18 pts24 pts27 pts30 pts36 pts41 pts45 pts48 pts54 pts60 pts63 pts72 pts81 pts90 pts
Elite16 pts22 pts24 pts27 pts32 pts36 pts40 pts43 pts48 pts54 pts56 pts64 pts72 pts80 pts
Veteran14 pts19 pts21 pts23 pts28 pts32 pts35 pts37 pts42 pts46 pts49 pts56 pts63 pts70 pts
British 1st Class13 pts18 pts20 pts22 pts26 pts30 pts33 pts35 pts39 pts44 pts46 pts53 pts59 pts66 pts
1st Class12 pts16 pts18 pts20 pts24 pts27 pts30 pts32 pts36 pts40 pts42 pts48 pts54 pts60 pts
2nd Class10 pts13 pts15 pts17 pts20 pts23 pts25 pts27 pts30 pts33 pts35 pts40 pts45 pts50 pts
Militia8 pts11 pts12 pts13 pts16 pts18 pts20 pts22 pts24 pts27 pts28 pts32 pts36 pts40 pts

Extra Cost for Light Infantry

UNIT SIZE1216182024273032364042485460
Rifle Armed+4 pts+5 pts+6 pts+7 pts+8 pts+9 pts+10 pts+11 pts+12 pts+13 pts+14 pts+16 pts+18 pts+20 pts
Musket Armed+2 pts+3 pts+3 pts+3 pts+4 pts+4 pts+5 pts+5 pts+6 pts+7 pts+7 pts+8 pts+9 pts+10 pts

Skirmisher "Squads"

When bought as 6 figure skirmish squads, light infantry costs are as follow:

Rifle Armed8 pts10 pts+2 pts
Musket Armed7 pts9 pts+1 pt

Elite squads may be indicated by having a cornet as one of the six figures. There is also the option to swell a skirmish squad to 7 men, by using an additional cornet figure to represent the Elite status (at the cost shown above).

Note: Elite six-man skirmish squads may deduct 1 on their morale roll.

Cavalry Points

Cavalry vary in cost by type, and by whether they are bought as complete regiments or as isolated squadrons. Basic unit cost and type-specific modifications are as follow:

UNIT SIZE:403224181098654
BASE COST:60 pts48 pts36 pts27 pts17 pts14 pts13 pts10 pts9 pts8 pts
Guard Cuirassier+40 pts+32 pts+24 pts+18 pts+12 pts+11 pts+10 pts+8 pts+7 pts+6 pts
Guard Heavy or
Guard Lancer
+34 pts+26 pts+20 pts+15 pts+10 pts+9 pts+8 pts+6 pts+5 pts+4 pts
always treat as Elite
+27 pts+21 pts+16 pts+12 pts+9 pts+8 pts+7 pts+5 pts+4 pts+3 pts
Guard Light,
Elite Dragoon or
Elite Line Lancer
+17 pts+13 pts+10 pts+8 pts+7 pts+6 pts+5 pts+4 pts+3 pts+2 pts
Line Lancer or
Elite Light
+14 pts+10 pts+8 pts+6 pts+5 pts+5 pts+4 pts+3 pts+2 pts+1 pts
Light Cossack or
Militia Heavy
Militia Light-10 pts-8 pts-6 pts-4 pts-4 pts-4 pts-3 pts-2 pts-2 pts-1 pt

Note: Skirmish-capable cavalry figures cost an extra point each.

RegimentsGenerally made up of 3 to 8 Squadrons
18-figure regiment 3 x 6 figure squadrons
24-figure regiment 4 x 6 figure
3 x 8 figure squadrons
32-figure regiment 4 x 8 figure squadrons
40-figure regiment 5 x 8 figure squadrons
4 x 10 figure squadrons
SquadronsNearly always 6, 8 or 10 figures strong.
Other, less standard strengths are for peculiar or under-strength units.

Artillery Points

Artillery is costed by the model gun, including the minimum of 4 crew figures. Note:

Guns may be declared as being in a static position before armies are deployed. They may then be placed in a defensive redoubt (counting as hard cover), for three times as many points (ignoring draft animal costs). Static guns may never be moved, even to retreat.

Gun TypeCost
24 pdr* and 12 pdr guns18 pts
Licornes and 10" howitzers15 pts
8/9 pdr and 5.5" howitzers12 pts
Hvy 6 pdr and Hvy 4 pdr guns**10 pts
Lt 4 pdr and Lt 6 pdr guns***12 pts
Battalion guns9 pts

* fire once every other turn with 12 pdr range and increments counting a hit as 10 pts
** fire once per turn
*** fire twice per turn

Quality AdjustmentsCost
Militia gun+1 morale
-1 to hit
-2 pts
Line gun+3 morale
Elite gun+5 morale
+1 to hit
+2 pts
Guard gun+5 morale
+2 to hit
+4 pts

All but static guns or batteries of guns have to pay for limber animals as detailed below. However, once the minimum requirement has been paid for, any extra animals are free.

Draft AnimalsCost
Pair of horses+4 pts
Two pairs of oxen+2 pts

Battery of 3 or more guns-6 pts

Staff Points

All staff figures are costed by quality and type as below.

Command Radius
CinC20 pts25 pts50 pts75 pts150 pts18"
Ally-General*12 pts15 pts35 pts55 pts95 pts15"
Cavalry General**8 pts10 pts15 pts18 pts25 pts15"
General of Division**4 pts6 pts9 pts12 pts18 pts12"
General of Brigade***2 pts3 pts5 pts9 pts15 pts12"
Spare "General"****n/an/a7 ptsn/an/a12"
Cavalry Staff Officern/an/a8 ptsn/an/acontact
ADC's & Bodyguardsn/an/a2 ptsn/an/an/a

* Ally-Generals always count as the CinC for an allied contingent, with the allied units only using the ratings from their own line of command
** both of these General types may be nominated as 2ic at no extra cost
*** Brigade Generals are optional at the umpire's discretion, depending on the requirements of any scenario
**** always attached to the CinC's HQ, and will do nothing (except die) until a General in line of command is killed, when they may be used to replace the casualty

Morale Modifications for Generals

For morale tests, a unit counts the rating of the most senior general in line of command, unless a preferred General is in direct contact with the unit. For rally tests only, all Generals count a maximum of +1, regardless of the general's quality.


Last Updates
21 October 1998page first published
As developed by the Manx Wargaming Society,
by S. Caddy and D. Sharpe,
with thanks to K. Charnley.
Manx ContactGareth J Edwards
Comments or corrections?