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Commands & Colors: Napoleonics» Forums » Variants

Subject: Let's try and play Epic Napoleonics a bit early! rss

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Gary Laporte
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Hey guys, I have the opportunity to play a 2vs2 (or maybe even a 3vs3) on friday night (in France).

So I thought to myself: "Hey, why not try and play an unofficial game of Epic Napoleonics and trying to be as close as possible to the real thing?".

Until then, I have used the unofficial set of rules shown here (it's Waterloo but there are other epic scenarios too): http://www.commandsandcolors.net/napoleonics/maps/seventh-co...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's based on CCA Epic with tweaks here and there to adapt to Napoleonics. So, I've read CCA Epic and added a few tweaks of my own, such as the fact that the Commander in Chief (CiC) can only speak to one of his field commander if he has played a special card like Grande Manoeuvre, Rally and a few more I don't remember.

This has worked pretty well until now, making the battles quite interesting and fun, especially when some miscommunications happened.

So, here's for the past, but now, we had a presentation of Epic Napoleonics and with those elements, I'd like to try an unofficial game of it, by trying to have it as close as possible to what the official rules look like.

So, if you could please tell me if you think those changes are right according to the description of the soon to come expansion or if you see other things to change, I'll appreciate it.

Unofficial "as close as possible" Epic Napoleonics Rules:

1 Suitable for 1vs1, 2vs2, 3vs3 with two base boards or the Epic Napoleonics board.


2 A CiC and up to 2 field commanders on each side. The CiC controls a section. As we're playing 2vs2 tomorrow, I'm thinking about having the CiC play the center section and his field commander play the left and right sections.


3 The CiC controls the hand of cards. The field commander(s) has (have) no cards.

From here, I'm going to use quotes of the description of the Epic Napoleonics format: http://www.gmtgames.com/p-575-commands-colors-napoleonics-ex...


4 "Each CIC has a hand of Command cards and on a turn must play one card from his hand to order units in one section of the EPIC battlefield."

From this sentence, I have the feeling that the cards which until then could order units from two or three sections are now limited to only one section. That means that the "assault card" for instance, if you give it to your left field commander, will only order three units there. Or if you use a "La Grande Manoeuvre", it is also limited to units from the left, center or right section.

That's quite a change from the normal format, but the thing is that you play two cards in an Epic Napoleonics format, one from your hand and one from the courier rack, which brings me to the following point:


5 "Also on the turn, the CIC must select one card from the Courier rack to play. The card selected from the Courier rack will also order units in one section of the EPIC battlefield."

So, here you go: two cards are played in the turn and both only order units in one section. If you think I'm wrong about it, and I very well may be, I'd like to hear your arguments.


6 "The Courier rack is a new game mechanic, and starts each battle with five Command cards that are visible to both players. Each turn one card is taken from the rack, so the choice of cards a player has each turn is reduced, until there are only two cards remaining on the rack. The rack is then filled back to five cards before the next player’s turn, and the card selection process from the Courier rack will start again."

Simple to do, even with no rack: just put 5 cards near the battlefield and refill once there are only two cards left. There is a doubt about limitations on the way the cards are played (like always the one from the hand first and then the one from the rack?) but I don't think there is any limitation.

Hm, on secound thought, I wonder if you can play both cards in the same section? I'm not sure about this, what do you think? My guess would be no but I could be wrong.


7 "While tactic Command cards (Command cards with text and no section illustration) can be given to any Corps commanders."

There's no mention in the Epic Napoleonics format of the tactician cards, so I'm going to assume that this rule also applies in the Epic format.

8 "12 Square Counters (two counters for each Nation, with “Square 5” and “Square 6” on counters)"

So, it is allowed to have up to 6 squares.

9 As I've told you earlier, I like that a rule is used to show the miscommmunications which often happen at that time. There is nothing about it in the description of Epic Napoleonics, so here is the description from Epic CCA:

"Historical Alternative. Battlefield communication in this period
was limited. To add a little more “drama” and spontaneity, an
alternative method to playing Epic Ancients is to have the Overall
Commanders have a brief discussion of the overall situation
and their intentions with his Field Commanders BEFORE play
begins, and after this, discussion is very limited. Only when
Army Command cards are played may he speak briefly about the
overall situation with all of his Field Generals. Field Generals
may talk to each other only when they have been jointly issued
a Field Command card."

Do you have any idea how this rule could be adapted to Epic Napoleonics?

Thanks for any help and/or comments!

I forgot: if you are one of the lucky few who had/have the opportunity to play the official Epic Napoleonics rules before they are available, please tell me if those rules are close enough to the official ones!
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Gary Laporte
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Forgot one little thing:

I think we'll play this battle tomorrow:

http://www.commandsandcolors.net/napoleonics/maps/fifth-coal...

I just hope it won't be too long as our time is limited. If you see another epic scenario with less banners or that you know is fast, let me know.
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Steve Duke
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I would like an Epic Austerlitz but I don't see one.
 
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Kent Reuber
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If I had to guess, I bet the Tactician cards are held by the field generals. When I last played Richard's "Big Battle Cry" rules, it was the field general that held the combat cards; the CinC held the command cards.
 
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Mark McG
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something you might find useful are the EPIC BattleLore rules, which uses a similar card rack mechanic
http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/battlelore/BL%...

In both Ancients and BattleLore, there is a distinction between Section cards (that order units by section), and Tactics (or Army) cards that effect the entire battlefield and are played alone. Whether this distinction continues in EPIC CCN isn't clear, but previous models suggest that it will.

My guess is that these cards will be Army Command cards

Army Command Cards
(All sections)
• Leadership
• Elan
• Rally
• Give them Cold Steel

Special Army Command Cards
• Counter Attack - May be used to counter a Field Command card that was given to a Field General or counter an Army Command card played by the opposition.
• First Strike - The First Strike card is a reaction card that is played during the opponent’s battle phase by the Overall Commander.

It also isn't clear how two Section cards will interact.
In Ancients, there is 1 card active per section, so a Line Command might activate the Left & Centre, which means another card can be played but only on the Right.

In BattleLore the Section cards stack, so a Forward card 2-2-2 and Attack Centre card 0-3-0 results in 2-5-2, allowing 2 orders on Left & Right flank, and 5 in the Centre. My hunch is this model, but could be something else.

Finally, Field Commander initiative roll should be covered

An EPIC variation for the old 70 card deck. Might be useful for some cut & paste.
http://www.commandsandcolors.net/napoleonics/forum-main/6-va...
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David Groves
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Eggmühl, eh. I finished reading an Osprey book on this very battle on the train home tonight. Boy, I wish I could join you.

Dave
 
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Gary Laporte
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sduke wrote:
I would like an Epic Austerlitz but I don't see one.


Yeah, don't think there is one yet.

kentreuber wrote:
If I had to guess, I bet the Tactician cards are held by the field generals. When I last played Richard's "Big Battle Cry" rules, it was the field general that held the combat cards; the CinC held the command cards.


Interesting, and how should tactician cards be divided between field commanders then?

Let's say we do a 2vs2 tomorrow, the CiC is also the field commander of the center and the field commander is in charge of the left and right sections. Does that mean that the total of tactician cards are divided by three, with one third controlled by the CiC as acting center section field commander?


Minedog3 wrote:
something you might find useful are the EPIC BattleLore rules, which uses a similar card rack mechanic
http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/battlelore/BL%...

(...)
It also isn't clear how two Section cards will interact.

In Ancients, there is 1 card active per section, so a Line Command might activate the Left & Centre, which means another card can be played but only on the Right.

In BattleLore the Section cards stack, so a Forward card 2-2-2 and Attack Centre card 0-3-0 results in 2-5-2, allowing 2 orders on Left & Right flank, and 5 in the Centre. My hunch is this model, but could be something else.

Finally, Field Commander initiative roll should be covered

An EPIC variation for the old 70 card deck. Might be useful for some cut & paste.
http://www.commandsandcolors.net/napoleonics/forum-main/6-va...


Thanks Minedog, a lot of useful info here and you're probably right about Napoleonics following the battlelore model then. What surprises me though is that Mr Borg, when writing the description of Epic Napoleonics, has not written "one or more sections" but "one section". On the other hand, maybe I'm reading too much into this and he didn't specify as it was obvious.

So I'm not 100% sure but I think we'll follow the battlelore model. And I'll check the initiative roll and the rules of Battlelore that you were kind enough to share here too.

David Groves wrote:
Eggmühl, eh. I finished reading an Osprey book on this very battle on the train home tonight. Boy, I wish I could join you.

Dave


I hear a lot of good things about Osprey and I should really order some of them.

One question though, what kind of info can I hope to find in an Osprey book about a battle? Maps, movements of the troops, uniforms? I'd really like to know more about specific battles.

Is this the one you've been reading David?

https://ospreypublishing.com/eggmuhl-1809-pb

Sorry for all the quotes but it seemed simpler to do it this way.blush

By the way, about point 9, I have scanned (?) the cards and found that 17 cards have 3 stars in the upper right corner. Those are:
- 3 Leadership;
- 3 Take command any section;
- 2 Elan;
- 1 Take command left flank
- 1 Take command center
- 1 Take command right flank
- 2 scout left flank
- 2 scout center
- 2 scout right flank

Those are the ones we'll use to allow a CiC to communicate with one of his field commander I think. Tell me if you think that's a good idea or not but as I said earlier: lack of communication is fun!
 
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Mark McG
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the 3 star cards are very likely the 'Corps Commander' cards that can be held by the Field generals in La Grande Battles.

" In a La Grande Battles game, each Corps field commander also has his own hand of Command cards. During a turn when the Corps commander does not receive a Command card from the CIC, he may choose to play one of his Command cards from his hand. In addition, if the Corps commander does not like the Command card given to him by the CIC, he can discard it and instead play one of the Command cards he has from his hand."
http://www.gmtgames.com/p-575-commands-colors-napoleonics-ex...

However, I think you are keeping this EPIC, which I think means just CinC Command cards
 
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Gary Laporte
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After just checking one type of unit, we can't play Eggmuhl: there are 55 austrian line infantry blocks in the expansion and... 90 are needed for the battle!

I'm going to see if we can find another scenario for tomorrow.

Edit: As I have two base games and as such a lot of british and portuguese units, we'll do Bussaco :

http://www.commandsandcolors.net/napoleonics/maps/peninsular...
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Jon Snow
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Its very simple to "multiply" the blocks you have on hand, which I learned from playing the fan site Epic Napoleonic scenarios (before Expansion #5 came out--see my thread on Epic Waterloo for a short summary of all of these games). Just get some colored markers (I use plastic stones of national colors). Place one real block for each unit, and then add the rest in markers!
 
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David Groves
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Hi Gary

Osprey books contain all the things you have suggested plus more. For one thing the Osprey Campaign series provides the order of battle for each side and many of the maps are annotated with step by step explanations of the troop movements. They often provide information on the state of the battlefield as it was at the time of writing and give war gamer notes for the guys that play with minis and rulers and model battle terrain.

If bought from a shop they are expansive but used copies from Amazon and sometimes new copies work out at reasonable prices.

Yes, that looks like the book I've just read and it was most enjoyable. I'm reading Aspen and Wargram, next.

Dave
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David Groves
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LNAGary wrote:
After just checking one type of unit, we can't play Eggmuhl: there are 55 austrian line infantry blocks in the expansion and... 90 are needed for the battle! :(

I'm going to see if we can find another scenario for tomorrow.

Edit: As I have two base games and as such a lot of british and portuguese units, we'll do Bussaco :):

http://www.commandsandcolors.net/napoleonics/maps/peninsular...


Don't give up. Mix some of your red brit or brown blocks with the Austrian blocks to make up the numbers and make sure that the last block removed when a unit is destroyed is the Austrian one.
 
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Gary Laporte
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Well, the thing is that we'll have two beginners playing tonight (in 12 hours from now, I'm in France ), so there will be a lot of things to teach them and it's the first time I'll use the GMT expansion.

So I wouldn't want to confuse them even more by using different blocks and colors. And Bussaco doesn't seem to use a lot of "special" units, lots of basic units like light and line which could be better for them.Eggmuhl has a bit more diversity with the cuirassiers and more special rules.

Bussaco also seems to be a shorter battle with only 13 banners against 17 for Eggmuhl and our gaming time is limited.

So, Bussaco seems to be the reasonable choice here, in order for the players to get the CCN bug! And if they have fun and we have the time to finish the battle, I'm sure we'll play again and then Eggmuhl will be a possibility.
 
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David Groves
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Good idea and a good choice, Gary.

I love Bussaco and have played out an epic version of it. However, it is the right flank that is the most fun with the Allied light troops stationed at the forward village (Sula?) in front of the French infantry. The action gets going straight away because if the French don't oust the British Rifles within a turn or two they make the French infantry's life a complete misery.

Have a great time.
Dave
 
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Liam
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Moved from General to Variants.
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Gary Laporte
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Just to let you know guys how it went:

I had to adapt a lot of stuff to make it work between the "old" unofficial rules and the official ones. I'm still not sure about the fact that two cards can order units in the same section. There was a "grande manoeuvre" used in conjunction with an assault in a section and that was something like 7 or 8 units ordered there. Seemeds a bit odd. Force March is another card which seems too powerful in the Epic format.

However, the players had a lot of fun and the French won 13-7 with a lot of good draws, die and decisions. The english players were much less experienced which showed. As a referee, I tried to help them a bit so they wouldn't get frustrated, and they weren't and are looking forward to play again.

Oh and it was also the first time I saw the tactician cards in action and their impact is huge! A skilled French player used 3 of them in a turn and won a lot of banners thanks to them.

It was a good game but I think I'll wait for the official expansion now, or to know a bit more about it before playing again in Epic format. I was glad to see that the 4 players involved had a good time though, as that was what mattered. And I had too!

 
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Mark McG
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Quote:
I had to adapt a lot of stuff to make it work between the "old" unofficial rules and the official ones. I'm still not sure about the fact that two cards can order units in the same section. There was a "grande manoeuvre" used in conjunction with an assault in a section and that was something like 7 or 8 units ordered there. Seemeds a bit odd. Force March is another card which seems too powerful in the Epic format.


In the "old" unofficial rules it was a limit of 1 card per section, which meant LGM made sense. With a double wide board, LGM isn't that 'grande' really, at least moving horizontally.

Did you remember the scenario modifications to the Tactics cards?
Modified Tactic Cards:
First Strike: Player battles with FS with +1 die
Assault: up to 6 units in section
Force March: up to 6 units in section
Rally: Roll 1 die for each command card you hold (including the played rally). For all symbols, a block of this unit symbol is recovered to any/different unit(s) in any/different section(s)

We played EPIC Bussaco back last June, and had a good time with it. Even though we had several new players to the system, the EPIC rules we used were close enough to EPIC CCA rules that the majority of players had a good idea what was happening, and the players that were really new played under my guidance. This was with the old 70 card deck of course.
I think the French won then, mostly due to the preposterous good luck of the French right flank.
 
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Phill Webb
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LNAGary wrote:
Oh and it was also the first time I saw the tactician cards in action and their impact is huge! A skilled French player used 3 of them in a turn and won a lot of banners thanks to them.


The rules as written do restrict each player/side(?) to one tactician card per turn so the impact may not be as huge as you saw.

Phill
 
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Mark Thomsen
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Freeloading Phill wrote:
LNAGary wrote:
Oh and it was also the first time I saw the tactician cards in action and their impact is huge! A skilled French player used 3 of them in a turn and won a lot of banners thanks to them.


The rules as written do restrict each player/side(?) to one tactician card per turn so the impact may not be as huge as you saw.

Phill
I think rather you can play as many as you like, but each unit can only be affected by one card or perhaps I'm mistaken?
 
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Phill Webb
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Mark_T wrote:
Freeloading Phill wrote:
LNAGary wrote:
Oh and it was also the first time I saw the tactician cards in action and their impact is huge! A skilled French player used 3 of them in a turn and won a lot of banners thanks to them.


The rules as written do restrict each player/side(?) to one tactician card per turn so the impact may not be as huge as you saw.

Phill
I think rather you can play as many as you like, but each unit can only be affected by one card or perhaps I'm mistaken?


No, you are correct.

I've gotten mixed up wiht the other C&C tactician deck equivalents

Phill
 
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Gary Laporte
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Minedog3 wrote:
In the "old" unofficial rules it was a limit of 1 card per section, which meant LGM made sense. With a double wide board, LGM isn't that 'grande' really, at least moving horizontally.


I hope I haven't offended anyone with this "old", don't know why I used that as "official" and "unofficial" were enough but my mind sometimes works in mysterious ways. Didn't want to sound like I was criticizing those rules, they're great and allowed me to play 3/4 games of epic format, which was awesome.

The weird thing about the LGM/Assault play too was that there were units ordered by LGM and the others with the assault in the same section, so the player had to be very specific on which unit was ordered by what. Felt a bit "clunky".


Minedog3 wrote:
Did you remember the scenario modifications to the Tactics cards?
Modified Tactic Cards:
First Strike: Player battles with FS with +1 die
Assault: up to 6 units in section
Force March: up to 6 units in section
Rally: Roll 1 die for each command card you hold (including the played rally). For all symbols, a block of this unit symbol is recovered to any/different unit(s) in any/different section(s)


I didn't remember them exactly so I said that it was limited to 5 units instead of 6, oops! I had planned to read it again before the game but had to take care of the baby before going to my gaming club. I wonder how FM will work with the Epic format though...

Minedog3 wrote:

We played EPIC Bussaco back last June, and had a good time with it. Even though we had several new players to the system, the EPIC rules we used were close enough to EPIC CCA rules that the majority of players had a good idea what was happening, and the players that were really new played under my guidance. This was with the old 70 card deck of course.
I think the French won then, mostly due to the preposterous good luck of the French right flank.


Well, in our game, luck favored the French but on the left flank this time. And players had a lot of fun too.


Freeloading Phill wrote:
LNAGary wrote:
Oh and it was also the first time I saw the tactician cards in action and their impact is huge! A skilled French player used 3 of them in a turn and won a lot of banners thanks to them.


The rules as written do restrict each player/side(?) to one tactician card per turn so the impact may not be as huge as you saw.

Phill


I see that this has been discussed and it seems I did follow the rules, but I could very well have been mistaken as it was my first time with the tactician cards and I did not have as much time as I had hoped to read again their rules.

I indeed found them kind of overpowered, as one of the more experienced French player used three of them in one turn, with two of them being the "inspired infantry leader" where the French unit with a leader fight again which had huge consequences on the board.

However, in the Epic format, some questions remain: how are the tactician cards split between the players for instance? I assumed that it was divided by section and used the tactician level of Massena and Wellington to give them to each side. So, the Cic controlling the center had 1/3 of the tactician cards and the field commander controlling the left and right flank had the other two thirds.

Anyway, this game confirmed that I'm REALLY looking forward to this expansion. And thanks to all of you for all your help, guys, that was great to have your help to prepare this game. If you have other ideas, notably about the tactician hand, I'd like to hear them.

(PS: sorry if there are a lot of typo, I'm a bit tired ^^)
 
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