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Subject: BOW Program PDF rss

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Albert Valente
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Welcome to the BOW Program, a companion guide to the rule book. The Battles of Waterloo (BOW) game came with a set of rules (original rules), which were later updated by another rule book (revised rules). Unfortunately, some things covered in the original do not appear in the revised, so in fact we now have two rulebooks. Obviously, where there is overlap the revised rules take precedence, but unfortunately the designer's have done little to remedy any confusion beyond offering a mailing address for questions.

The BOW Program is an interpretation of the rules designed to capture the spirit of the game. The rules are not changed, rather carefully organized to improve playability. It is called a "program" because it is written logically, like a software program. For instance, chits are pulled at the very end of the Operational Phase instead of the beginning, obviously with no adverse effect on game play. BOW Program thus will take the guess-work out of the process. So, no more "grumpy" play due to obscure rules since everything is out in the open for all to see.

The BOW Program is divided into Phases, Segments, and Steps. Phases represent PLAYER activity, Segments represent COMMAND activity (divisions or corps), and Steps represent UNIT activity. In order to allow player(s) to quickly traverse the document, each of the above is assigned a color code, with Phases and Segments given additional bands of color to help distinguish them from the rest.

To begin; there are seven (7) phases to a turn. Each phase is performed sequentially, and once a phase is complete the player(s) may not go back to repeat them. The only deviation is Command Activation in the No-LIM phase. Note, this is not really an exception since the author could simply have re-listed all the same instructions (850 lines) from the Operations Phase, but this would have unnecessarily increased the length of the program.

Next come Segments. The principal Phases: Operations (blue), No-LIM (green), and OOC (red), are each broken down into Segments. Segments, in turn, must be performed sequentially, and a Command (corps or division) may not go back to repeat it. There are certain exceptions such as Strategic Movement LIM, Artillery LIM, and Grand Battery LIM, that skip over several segments, but these are well-defined.

Finally, there are Steps. To facilitate Unit activity, segments are broken down into two or more steps. Again, steps must be performed sequentially, and once the Unit completes a step it may not go back to repeat it. Again, there are exceptions such as the Loose Cannon Unit. In addition, certain Sub-Steps (i.e. Combat Results) also must be done in sequence. The Step Loss sub-step, for instance, spells out the order in which step losses are assigned amongst a group of units. In this case the designers didn't go far enough, so the BOW Program fills the gap to insure fairness of outcomes.

The program itself runs down the left hand column of the spread sheet, with instructions grouped in a logical fashion to make them easier to find. Instructions given in all CAPS are unconditional requirements that must be performed before moving on. To remove any ambiguity, conditional requirements also contain certain words in caps (e.g. MUST, MAY, IF, etc) in order to emphasize the desired outcome.

Program instructions are generally given in black text, but some are color-coded for added emphasis. Red text indicates a restriction, while blue text are situational requirements. Instructions given in italics relate only to shaken or shattered commands. As a visual aid, certain instructions have a colored background. For instance, a blue background depict instructions specific to the French, green for Prussians, and Orange for the Allies. Instructions regarding Chateau play are highlighted in deep yellow, while crest rules have a tan background, Rain, dusk, night, and mud rules also have atypical colored backgrounds.

The writer has been making spreadsheets for board games for many years, it all started with a desire for a truly random number generator to take the place of die rolls as six-sided dies especially can be fudged. Along the way it was discovered that certain rules were lost, forgotten, or misunderstood, and having everything laid out made the game proceed in a more orderly fashion. In this case, the BOW Program is 1750 lines long. Unfortunately, the BOW spreadsheets cannot be released at this time because it takes extensive play-testing to discover any errors. In the mean time, the current .PDF document should suffice for most purposes.

I don't have GOD status on this board, so if you'd like a copy of the .pdf, please send a private message with your e-mail address.

Good luck, and good gaming.

AJ Valente
(a.k.a. "Valentinan" Note: Misspelling intentional as Valentinian was already taken on the board.)
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Martin Gallo
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O'Fallon
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Sounds interesting. Note that you can just upload a copy of the pdf to the files section of the game, that way you do not have to worry about it, people can download as the desire. There is even a comments section where changes can be discussed.
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Albert Valente
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Thanks, I'll check it out.
 
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Albert Valente
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OK. Have uploaded BOW Program.3a PDF for all to use, and just in time for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

Actually, about 6 months late, but IMHO the rules were none to workable at that time.

BOW Program.3a is the product of game testing in the Quatre Bras, Ligny, and Wavre scenarios. It should be good to go for the Mt. St. Jean scenario. There is nothing worse than getting half-way through a good game with a friend only to find that some rules went missing, or others have not be applied consistently.

Good luck, and good gaming.

-V



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Daniel Bourne
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I know this post is years old, but can I get a copy of the BOW pdf please?

Thanks
 
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Albert Valente
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Never too old.

But, I need an e-mail address to send it to.

-V
 
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