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Subject: What's a "Force Pool"??? rss

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Richard A. Edwards
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Lacey
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I'm a grognard of many years experience, but this new version of Waterloo 20 (from the double game set Hundred Days 20) is my first Napoleonic 20 series game.

I read through all the standard rules (but not optional) and then setup according to the Exclusive rules book.

All 3 deployments list a "Force Pool" which says to "set aside" specific units.

WHY? What are they for? I cannot find anything in the rules that refers to a "Force Pool"!

The only hint I see is the note that the III:Frederick (2-2) which "might arrive as a reinforcement via Event cards" but that seems to apply to only that one unit?

Given Cadre & Dummy units appear to be part of Optional rules, I was included to just ignore the "Force Pool" altogether, but I like to follow rules exactly when learning a game, so I "set them aside."

Also, the Prussian "Force Pool" contains Roder (1-3) which is described as already Broken so "it can be Rallied normally."

I would have thought the "Force Pool" listings were optional and I could ignore them, but the listing of Roder & Frederick made me think they're part of non-optional rule play too.

I like the rules style and clarity for the most part, but the use of undefined terminology ("Force Pool") and mixing optional (cadre, leaders, dummy) with standard units (Roder, Frederick), has made me pause in the middle of my learning game.

It also just occurred to me, as Broken units put in the "Force Pool"? The rules just say to "set them aside" but don't say where. Yet if Roder is considered broken, then perhaps this is the same place? If so, I wish they'd defined it in the Standard rules!

Any advice that would help make sure I'm on the right track would be much appreciated.
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Lance McMillan
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Re: What'a a "Force Pool"???
"Force Pool" is basically just units that aren't used in the initial set-up (either on-map or on the Game Turn track). We haven't used that terminology in any previous games in the series, so I'm not sure why VPG chose to insert it into the final rules edit.

Anyways...

= For the Anglo-Dutch Frederick unit, you set it aside and it potentially comes into play based on one of the event cards.

= For the Prussian Roder cavalry unit in the Standard scenario, it's assumed to have been Broken during the fighting along the Sambre on the 15th (the day before that scenario begins); it's available to re-enter play via the normal rules pertaining to Rallying (Standard rule [10.0]).

= For the Dummy and Cadre units, if you're not using the optional Fog-of-War or Unit Reduction rules [[16.1] and [16.5], respectively) you won't use these units at all. If you are using those optional rules, then the Dummies and Cadres are available for use as detailed in their applicable sections.

With respect to units which are Broken during play, they're simply kept in a pile off to the side, available to be Rallied per [10.0].

Hope that clears things up. Sorry for any confusion.

Lance McMillan
Developer for VPG's "Napoleonic 20" series
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Richard A. Edwards
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Thanks for such a thorough and quick response, Lance. Much appreciated.

Lancer4321 wrote:
"Force Pool" is basically just units that aren't used in the initial set-up (either on-map or on the Game Turn track).

I thought that might be it, but the game comes with 4 cadres for each force and the scenario instructions say to put three cadres aside.

So what do I do with the one extra since it's also not used in initial setup?

If I might make a suggestion, it would be helpful for those of us new to the system if the scenarios, like the rules, separated standard and optional information.

Lancer4321 wrote:
With respect to units which are Broken during play, they're simply kept in a pile off to the side, available to be Rallied per [10.0].
Just to be clear, they go in the same "set aside" pile as Roeder is in from setup, right? So they're all treated the same?

One question about Rallying, 10.0 says "For each Broken unit attempting to Rally," but doesn't define which units may "attempt" it. Do ALL Broken units get to attempt rallying?

I really appreciate the help. I see the Napoleonic 20 system as a great series to get into now that I'm back into wargaming. I just want to be sure I learn it correctly the first time so I don't have to unlearn any bad habits due to mistakes.

Thanks again!
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Lance McMillan
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SirRoke wrote:
...the game comes with 4 cadres for each force and the scenario instructions say to put three cadres aside. So what do I do with the one extra since it's also not used in initial setup?

To quote Johnny Depp from the movie Donnie Brasco: "Fuhggedaboudit!" Basically, there was extra space on the counter sheet so we figured folks might occasionally find a use for an extra Cadre.

SirRoke wrote:
If I might make a suggestion...

I'll consider it, but it's easier said than done (I hate rules writing).

SirRoke wrote:
...they go in the same "set aside" pile as Roeder is in from setup, right? So they're all treated the same?

Yes. A Broken unit is a Broken unit, doesn't matter how it got that way. Note that Broken is separate and distinct from Permanently Eliminated (which typically occurs only due to a failed Rally attempt); Permanently Eliminated units are out of the game for good - period.

SirRoke wrote:
One question about Rallying, 10.0 says "For each Broken unit attempting to Rally," but doesn't define which units may "attempt" it. Do ALL Broken units get to attempt rallying?

Depends on the situation. The most common form of Rallying is as part of your Night Operations phase, in which case yes, you do get to roll for all your Broken units. Other (usually Event-driven) opportunities to Rally may limit you to just one unit, but those restrictions will be specifically spelled out on the card.

However, take note of the fact that the sequence in which you roll for them can make a difference! This is because you have to place each Rallied unit as it successfully Rallies, so if you manage to fill up all your potential entry points for Rallying units, it may well be that you can't bring all of your Broken units back into play. Accordingly, it's usually wise to roll for your best units first. As a side note, once you're familiar with the basics of the Nappy20 systm, I strongly encourage you to use Optional rule [16.4], "Additional Rally Locations" (we seriously considered shifting this into the Standard rules, but decided not to solely because we wanted to keep the Standard game as simple as possible).
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