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Subject: My Favorite Thin Red Line Variant & Play Balanced Version rss

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Dan Zachary
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Alexandria
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Updated March 25, 2017

The following is my attempt to address the play balance issues in TRL and to tweak the game so that is it more interesting. French Guard Commitment Rules are a must unless you want to experiment.


Variant Rules to Balance and Improve Yaquinto's "Thin Red Line"

Die Note: Use a 1-12 die for MC. A "1" is considered a "6" for all purposes. "C" results only cause leader casualty roles; they do not affect unit long-term morale.

1) Fire Combat: Use Leader casualties except entering a hex occupied by an enemy leader causes two leader checks, one for entering and one for retreating. So, do leader casualties every "c" hit as well as every time all friendly units in a hex are eliminated or a leader must retreat through enemy ZOCs (check each instance).

Artillery may fire over friendly units that are on the same elevation as they are and the target is on higher elevation.


2) Charges: Units do not have to charge in a literal straight line; however, each "turn" (except the initial hex for units in column) counts as +1 ma cost even for units in column.

Attacking units that fail a pre-charge check may be immobilized with no add'l effect or re-roll. If the owner chooses to re-roll, they suffer all normal rout penalties: VPs, rout loss, and "c" unit/leader check.

When units check morale, add the following modifiers into the charge:
Morale Modifiers for Distance: 1-2 Cav MA spent: -1 morale; 3 MA Spent: 0 morale; 4-5: +1 morale; 6 MA Spent: +2 Morale

Versus Inf Line: ≥ Morale: Unit Routs; 1 < Morale: Holds but cannot change formation;2 < Morale: Holds and can change into square.

Versus Inf Column: > Morale: Unit Routs; = Morale: Holds but cannot change formation;< Morale: Holds and can change into square.

Versus Cavalry: > Morale: Unit Routs; = Morale: Holds but cannot charge or recall; < Morale: Holds and do nothing or face charger and charge or recall.

Example: Ney with Watier in line (10+2 or 12 morale) in hex 2308 and facing 2207 charges a reduced Weimer 1 in line (7 morale). Ney & Watier would have to rotate to 2208 (1 mf), move into 2208 (2 mf's), rotate to face 2207 (1 mf), and pay cost to enter 2207 (2 mf's) for a total of 6 points. Weimer would have a +2 added for charge distance, so he would be 7+2-2 for unprotected line versus cavalry. Comparing morale would be a 7 to a 12 or a difference of 5, further reducing Weimer's morale by 1/2 (rounded up) or -3 for a final morale of 4. Using the double roll rule, Weimar would have pass one check of 2 chances out of 12. If a 4 is rolled, Weimer in line would rout; a 3 and Weimer holds but cannot change formation; and a 2 results in Weimer holding and being able to change into square.

Enemy cavalry can countercharge if MA spent to enter target hex is < charging enemy cav. (This may result in several adj non-phasing cav units charging into the targeted hex. You may have to adjudicate this using common sense.) Still fuzzy here; feel free to suggest your rule.


3) Cavalry can recall after a charge at the end of the melee phase. See optional rules. (Cavalry can also recall as part of receiving a charge--see above.)


4) Morale rules: Units may reroll morale if they fail. 2nd failure causes a "c" result on the unit and all present leaders in the hex to make a leader casualty roll.

Morale Checks: AR in Village: +1 Morale
Charge Diff: is now -1 per 1/2 (rounded up) of difference.


5) Victory Points: Only the four main hexes of Plancenoit count for VP purposes.


6) Use from Rule Booklet:
• Variable Reinforcements: Start 3 turns before. Need to roll a "1" to cause entry.
• This should be part of the pre-charge mechanic in that a charging unit that clears the target hex, may advance, change facing, and lose charge marker, wait until charge phase to advance, or advance and target a new hex based upon remaining ma points as long as +1 cost per changed hex plus all other normal movement rules are adhered to.


7) Movement bonus to leaderless units: Units may always do a formation change or move or charge one hex; however, the owning army cannot have two turns in a row when units do such a move. Mark the turn track 2 turns in advance with a SK unit of the army's color. Current turn all units may complete one formation change or move or charge 1 hex. Next turn, all normal movement rules apply.


8) Imperial Guard Infantry Commitment When can the French Player immediately commit the Guard? Does not apply to IG cavalry or artillery units. After any condition below is met, remove the movement restriction on applicable IG infantry units.

For example: The French player routs 2 points of AA infantry in his charge phase bringing his total to 61 points. In the next movement phase, the YG may move.

Young Guard:
• Plancenoit: 2 hexes Allied controlled
• Allied player or French player has 60 Victory Points
• Allied player has 20 more victory points than the French total
• French player has 42 or more points than the Allied player before the Prussians arrive
• French player has 56 or more points than the Allied player after the Prussians arrive
• Allied non-routed, non-leader unit is within 3 or fewer hexes of any FR guard inf unit
• Turn 19: YG automatically activated.

Middle Guard:
• Plancenoit: 4 hexes Allied controlled
• Allied or French player has 80 Victory Points
• Allied player has 30 more victory points than the French total
• French player has 51 or more points than the Allied player before the Prussians arrive
• French player has 68 or more points than the Allied player after the Prussians arrive
• Allied non-routed, non-leader unit is within 3 or fewer hexes of any guard inf unit
• Turn 21: MG automatically activated.

Old Guard:
• Plancenoit: All 4 hexes Allied controlled
• Allied or French player has 100 Victory Points
• Allied player has 40 more victory points than the French total
• French player has 51 or more points than the Allied player before the Prussians arrive
• French player has 68 or more points than the Allied player after the Prussians arrive
• Allied non-routed, non-leader unit is within 3 or fewer hexes of any guard inf unit
• Turn 21: OG automatically activated.
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