Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

Last Battles of Napoleon» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Ligny solo AAR rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Michael Allen
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
After posting an AAR of Quatre Bras using the Stumptner variant rules on this website a few months ago I thought I would next try the battle of Ligny with the same system. Playing QB threw up some rules queries which I posted with the AAR and the designer kindly took the time to address them. The Ligny game similarly yielded some rules queries so I will again list them as a separate post at the end to avoid cluttering up the main text. Because the game was essentially a shakedown of the variant, this report takes the form of a detailed walkthrough of the rules so is quite lengthy.

In the pictures the upside-down units are disrupted. I used all advanced rules as well as the following optional rules: 20.6 Proximity of demoralised units; 20.10 Rout; and 20.13 Artillery opportunity fire. I played using the nice-looking counters and map from Decision Games’ 3rd edition of Napoleon’s Last Battles.


START

Napoleon’s Armée du Nord has crossed into Belgium and is advancing on Brussels. Field Marshall Blücher’s three Prussian corps have deployed in a line centred on the village of Ligny, blocking his path.





TURN ONE (1400 16th June 1815)

Command and Rally Phase

Local decision

Gerard fails to order French IV Corps to Probe Ligny by local decision (rules query 12.4). However, Pajol successfully orders French IIC Corps to Probe Boignee. Exelmans does the same for French IC. The plan is to try to gain some easy strength points from the outpost of Prussian III Corps infantry who are vulnerable, being out of command range in the south easterly hamlets.

New HQ orders

Napoleon orders Exelmans’ IC and Pajol’s IIC Corps to Assign to Grouchy, who will attack Prussian III Corps at the east of their army’s line (this is permitted since Assign is a different type of order to Probe). Prussian III Corps are the easiest target in the sense that they become demoralised after only 14 strength loss, and contain a good number of the weaker 3 morale Prussian Landwehr regiments. Exelmans will receive the order next turn and Pajol in turn 3 (he is out of LOS of Napoleon so the order takes longer to arrive).

Napoleon decides that French IVC and the Guard will stay in reserve and see how the start of the battle develops before committing them.

Perch I’s Prussian II Corps has Defend orders for 0817. Seeing that this would mean the units in Ligny could potentially become out of command, Blücher orders the defence to be centred further forward on the woods east of Brye. The order is given within 3 MP of the two leaders so arrives this turn, but compliance is poor (DR 3, result is R4 which means a dr 4-6 is needed on subsequent turns).

Chit preparation stage

Blücher and Napoleon each gain a coordinated action. Blücher coordinates I and II Corps, while Napoleon coordinates the cavalry of IC Corps and IIC Corps. The French automatically have the initial action and choose to start the battle with a combined Probe on Boignee by the two cavalry Corps.


Formation selection phase

French IC (green) and IIC Corps (maroon) – coordinated action

Aiming at the Prussian regiments deployed in the open fields SE of Boignee (1926) the IC brigades of Soult and Subervie charge. They could have waited until next turn when IIC can move up to within charge range and provide a more powerful punch, but the Prussians may pull back into safer terrain. Despite the presence of the 36th Line, one of the quality Prussian regiments, they fail to manoeuvre into square and take the full force of the charge. Although light cavalry, the French lancers and hussars cut through the exposed infantry and cause two hits, eliminating 1st KRLD (tiny unit rule) and step reducing the 36th; the defenders return fire for 1 hit, reducing Subervie. Shocked by the sudden onslaught the 36th involuntary retreat to the safety of the hamlet, disrupted. The French decide to pursue (rules query 6.3) which is a safe option because the 36th cannot defensive fire at this second charge, nor can form square (disrupted). However, the 36th use the cover of the buildings and the charge is blunted, the cavalry returning to their starting hexes to regroup.

There are no further charges. The remainder of the two cavalry Corps approach the weakened 36th and assault them in the streets of the east side of the hamlet. Cavalry are weak themselves in assault but together with the supporting horse artillery can muster an effective 5 strength attack, scoring 2 hits (DR 11); Prussian defensive musketry has no effect. The 36th are eliminated though the cavalry choose not to remain in the village, keeping their distance from the 8th Line lurking 1/3 mile away in the west end of Boignee. This combined activation has been successful for the French, gaining 6 points from III Corps at the loss of 1 point. Grouchy rides east to join them in 1727 as a prelude to taking command.

French III Corps (orange)

Vandamme has Attack orders for St. Amand (0524). There are no charges since Domon’s light chasseurs à cheval are out of command range at the far NW of the French Army patrolling the right flank. There are no bombardments since Dorgreau’s artillery is better used in assault to try to force the Prussian infantry out of the village (-1 morale vs. artillery). The main attack in strength will be on the two Prussian regiments in 0423, with a smaller action taking place in 0624 by the artillery/infantry stack. The Corps manoeuvres into attacking positions fully in the open in the meadows south of St. Amand, and although the columns would have been made perfect massed targets for enemy opp fire they are safe due to absence of any forward Prussian artillery in the southerly outposts. Attack orders means compulsory assault for attacking infantry in enemy ZOC. The artillery stack causes 2 hits on the 1st WL in 0624, who return fire with 1 hit. The Prussians have first choice for voluntary retreat and do so in good order, crossing the stream, otherwise the regiment would be eliminated; this mitigates their return fire however, and the French suffer no losses. Billiard advances into St. Amand but without the artillery (they are not in the same division so no combined advance). The main attack goes in on 0423 at 23 strength (town mod -25%) causing 4 hits. Defensive fire with 8 strength is not accurate and only achieves 1 hit, however. Facing elimination, the Prussians have no choice but to voluntary retreat into the woods which reduces their losses, though still eliminating their 12th Line (who started the battle already bloodied from an earlier engagement and was weak anyway) and reducing 24th Line. Vandamme leads the French 11th division advance into the village; St. Amand is taken with no French losses. (Arguably the two Prussians units could have sacrificed themselves instead of voluntary retreating which would have meant 4 strength loss for French III Corps, whose demoralisation level is only 12).

Prussian I Corps (blue) and II Corps (green) - coordinated action

With Ligny village not yet under attack, I Corps units rush over to the west to form a line behind the stream north of St. Amand to block the strong, imminent threat from French III Corps to the Army’s entire right flank. French IV Corps artillery in 0825 opp fires at this Prussian movement just across the stream but to no effect. The two I Corps light cavalry brigades occupy their leader Ziethen’s position ready to reaction charge any further French advance (on reflection, it would have been better to put them a hex further back, because now if they reaction charge they may end up disrupted and adjacent to the enemy infantry). The powerful I Corps artillery unlimbers just to the left of this position to give remote support, bombardment or opp fire when necessary - this means abandoning the protection of the crest, but the same crest would prevent any such fire that requires LOS. Prussian II Corps move south from their positions at the rear of Brye to act as a second line of defence, occupying St. Amand-la-Haye (0621) and other units reinforce Ligny from any attack from the west should French III Corps break through. The three II Corps cavalry brigades are joined by Blücher who leads them over to the far west of the line at the hamlet of Marbais (0320) protecting the flank, ready to reaction charge any French approach around Wagnelee. 23rd Line and 3rd Elbe L hold a watching brief in reserve at Sombreffe. At present, any Prussian counterattack would likely be costly since the undepleted French III Corps are occupying strong positions in St. Amand village and also have the defensive benefit of the stream, so there is no assault combat this turn.

Prussian III Corps (orange)

The Corps are stifled by their orders to Defend 0619 which means that Thielman cannot move beyond 2 hexes of this target and the Corps must stay within command range of Thielman if they move. In the beleaguered Boignee, 8th Line choose to pull out north to Tongrinnelle (1622) while the rest of the Corps take up positions around the bridge just to the north of this village ready to prevent any infiltration of the Prussian east flank by the French cavalry.


Reserve action stage

French IV Corps (brown)

Baltus bombards the massed target in 0724 in the open, disrupting the stack (bombardment and charges are permitted on Reserve orders). The rest of the Corps take positions on Tombe Hill south of Ligny, awaiting the order to attack when the right opportunity arises.

French IVC Corps (blue)

Being on Reserve orders, the Corps commander Milhaud is unable to move. His cavalry brigades canter north across the bridge to be closer to the action but must remain in command range.

French Guard (purple)

The Corps moves north through Fleurus but are similarly restricted by their commander Drouot who must remain in the south end of the village.

Disruption recovery

French units recover apart from the reduced Suberve in IC Corps. None of the Prussians recover.


Sitrep

A successful first turn for the French who occupy St. Amand and have taken the south-easterly hamlets with light casualties. They have eliminated a good number of Prussians and are in excellent shape to continue their attack.

Total strength points tally: French losses 1 point; Prussian losses 11 points. French Army demoralisation level is 35; Prussian Army demoralisation is down to 46 (St. Amand is French controlled).


Things I forgot/got wrong

Napoleon did not specifically issue orders to his WC Grouchy, Grouchy will just be giving his own orders using his initiative.

Blücher was not permitted to give new a Defend order to I Corps because they were already under Defend orders, and the new target was not ≥ 10 hexes away. This could have been tried by the Corps commander using local decision, however.





#################################################################################

TURN 2 (1500 16th June 1815)

Command and Rally Phase

Local decision

In order to increase the movement opportunities for his troops, Thielman of Prussian III Corps wishes to move the centre of his defence down to the bridge but fails his local decision roll.

New HQ orders

The Assign order from Napoleon to IC arrives this turn so they come under Grouchy’s command (automatic compliance). Grouchy successfully orders IC to Probe Tongrinnelle (although the same type of order is not allowed until the current order to Probe Boignee has succeeded or failed, I think the Assign order cancelled the previous Probe order). Grouchy cannot yet issue orders to IIC since their Assign order arrives next turn so they will continue to Probe Boignee.

Napoleon orders Milhaud to March IVC to 0825 (I think this is allowed because a stream is a hexside) then await further orders (switch to Reserve). The order arrives this turn and is complied with (rightward shifts on the table for cavalry corps and having current Reserve status). He similarly orders the Guard to March/Reserve to 0726, wanting to use its powerful artillery to assist in the bombardment of the Prussian west flank.

Blücher’s order to II Corps to move the centre of defence southward fails compliance again (R4).

Chit preparation stage

Neither commander gets a coordinated or initial action.


Formation selection phase

French III Corps (orange)

There are no bombardments because the Corps artillery is out of LOS. There are no charges by Domon’s light cavalry since the attacks would be weak, given the Prussians within range are in town or woods TEM. Even though St. Amand has been taken, the Corps’ Attack order has not yet succeeded since units are still in enemy ZOC so the attack automatically pushes on. Most of the Corps are locked in assault combat so cannot move. Dupyroux moves forward to join Billiard on the east side of the front line. Piat and deVilliers appear over the ridge and approach Wagnelee, joined by the Corps artillery and Domon’s cavalry.

All adjacent hexes will be attacked except for 0523 which is the strongest Prussian stack. Dupyroux and Billiard’s musketry at the stream intersection causes 3 hits, and they receive 1 hit in reply. The disrupted Prussian 1st WL and 3rd WL regiments are eliminated and Dupyroux reduces. The French infantry are shaken by their own losses however, and involuntary retreat to the rear of the village to regroup. Dufour’s and Corsin’s attack is less effective, funnelled by the bridge at 0623 but still scores two hits. The 29th Line voluntary retreat to mitigate losses, though the two French brigades do not fall into the trap, and elect not to follow the retreating infantry due to strong Prussian cavalry and artillery threatening the just vacated position in 0623. Gengoult and Largarde attack the weakened 24th Line in the 0422 woods gaining 2 hits, eliminating it; defensive fire out of the woods is ineffectual (-50%). Gengoult advances with commander Vandamme into the vacated woods which offers good TEM against cavalry charge and artillery fire but is risky because it reduces their morale, though Vandamme’s presence would bolster their spirits. Blücher considers reaction charging the cavalry in response to this advance but the woods would only mean a charge attack of 2 strength at most. The horse artillery to the north opp fires at the advance at 1 strength with no effect. Piat, deVilliers, Domon and the artillery combine to assault Wagnelee. Their 12 strength attack generates 4 hits and they receive no losses themselves. The 2nd WL are destroyed and since the French infantry are from the same division both advance and take Wagnelee, with the Prussian horse artillery again failing with a low odds opp fire shot at the advance.

Blücher now takes his chance and leads a reaction charge into Wagnelee but despite a personal -1 mod for the requisite morale check, only one unit of three (Thuman) actually takes part. Because of Blücher’s +1 mod the defenders fail to form square but the weak charge is blunted as the French use the buildings for cover and the cavalry return to their start hex.

French IIC Corps (maroon)

Having Probe orders for Tongrinnelle they move to within charge range next turn (rules query 12.2).

French IVC Corps (blue)

Ordered to March to 0825 then await further orders, Corps commander Milhaud reaches the target hex this turn which means the March order succeeds, so the Corps automatically switch to their next order, Reserve. However, they will be still able to bombard and reaction charge whilst being held in reserve.

The Guard (purple)

Ordered to March to 0726 then await further orders. As with IVC, the artillery and cavalry move to forward positions then switch to Reserve.

Prussian II Corps (green)

The horse artillery in 0521 (in the picture this group of units are incorrectly placed 1 hex to the left) bombards Wagnelee, and since the contingent of cavalry with Blücher are within charge range the French defenders have to decide whether to form square, which they do. This means the bombardment comes in at +50% for enfilading squares and -50% for the town mod, attacking with 2 strength but scoring no hits (rules query 8.5).

The cavalry then charge Wagnelee with a view to pushing the out the French occupiers. Thumen has previously reaction charged so his horses are spent for the rest of the turn. Dogreau’s artillery in 0223 opp fires at the approaching massed horse formation at 4 strength and disrupts them (I played it that even though disrupted they are still permitted to continue the charge – rules query 6.3). Despite their previous enfilading square mod, defenders still have to roll to form square (rules query 8.5), and fail, so Sohr’s and Schulenburg’s brigades attack with 3 strength to no effect (-50% town mod). French defensive fire at 5 strength is similarly ineffective. The Prussians lose the charge and return north to their start hexes across the stream.

The Corps is restricted to how far forward it can move since it must stay in command range of Pirch I. Unfortunately, the cavalry with Blücher are blocking good defensive positions behind the stream which the infantry could have occupied so the infantry takes up position behind them using the crest to the west of Brye as cover. Units near to Sombreffe are recalled to Brye. The regiments in Ligny hold their position guarding the Prussian centre.

Prussian III Corps (orange)

The artillery units are brought forward to defend the outer limits of Tongrinnelle and the cavalry takes post behind the bridge within reaction charge range. The rest of the Corps’ movement involves shuffling of units to create a kind of defence in depth. Opp fire by the French horse artillery at these manoeuvres has no effect. Despite the presence of the newly arrived Prussian artillery, Chastel’s French dragoons reaction charge 1621 just as the Prussians exit the bridge. Prussian opp fire (just) misses the galloping medium cavalry and the defenders successfully form square, halving the French charge strength which consequently has no effect despite being a backhand blow. However, defensive fire by Mohnpt and 4th KRLD, also at half strength causes one hit and the cavalry returns to regroup, bloodied by the reckless encounter.

French IC Corps (green)

Are still on Probe orders for Boignee so occupy the village and since they will experience no enemy attacks this turn the order is successful (they purposely stayed out of opp fire range of the Prussians in Tongrinnelle). They automatically switch to Defend orders centred on Boignee.

Prussian I Corps (blue)

Significantly depleted and 1 point away from Corps demoralisation, the two Corps artillery units in 0723 bombard the French in St. Amand but despite having 12 factors only attack at 3 strength due to TEM mods, to no effect. Since the French are in good TEM the two Prussian light cavalry brigades currently on a watching brief in 0622 do not charge. Most of the Corps’ infantry are locked in assault with French III Corps and the two units that could move decide not to, in part to avoid potential reaction charges and opp fire from the powerful forces now gathering to the east of St. Amand. There is no assault combat.


Reserve action stage

French IV Corps (brown)

Remain in position to the south of Ligny on Tombe Hill.

Disruption recovery

All French and Prussian units recover.


Sitrep

This turn has been bloody for Prussian I Corps who are now only 1 strength away from their Corps demoralisation level. due largely to the French consistently rolling hot dice during their attacks and the Prussians doing the opposite with their defensive fire and counter-moves. They are however, clinging on despite strong French attacks over the stream, and the loss of Wagnelee. Over in the east minor skirmishes continue while the French cavalry manoeuvre into attacking positions and the Prussians move forward in preparation to receive strong charges aimed at Tongrinnelle.

Total strength points tally: French losses = 4 points; Prussian losses = 28 points. French Army demoralisation level is 35; Prussian Army demoralisation level is down to 43 (St. Amand and Wagnelee are French controlled).


Things I forgot/got wrong

I believe when the Assign order for IIC Corps arrived Grouchy was not permitted to immediately give them another order this turn (rules query 12.2)

Order success is judged during the command phase and not immediately when an objective is reached (I made this mistake with French IC Corps when they occupied Boignee).

When Prussian I Corps bombarded St. Amand I included the -25% stream mod…they should have attacked at 6 strength instead of 3.





#################################################################################

TURN 3 (1600 16th June 1815)

Command and Rally Phase

Local decision

Gerard’s IV Corps’ attack on Ligny might be imminent. Prussian III Corps are in danger of becoming isolated from the rest of their army so Thielman considers marching them to Ligny to help with the defence. However, he decides it would be better to go onto the offensive and surprise the French by attacking west and hitting IV Corps in their flank, potentially rolling them up. If Prussian HQ orders this attack the distance means that the order will arrive in turn 6. Thielman therefore attempts to do the same by local decision targeted on road hex 1324 (the same order cannot be given twice to try to accelerate arrival – rules query 12.4). This order is successful, which is fortunate (DR 8-12 needed).

New HQ orders

I Corps are in a precarious state so Prussian HQ orders them to Fall Back on Brye; the order will arrive next turn.

Prussian II Corps’ Defend order on 0819 is finally complied with (R4).

French IC’s Assign order is received and complied with but Grouchy cannot yet give orders to them and they go to Reserve (rules query 12.2).

Napoleon sends an order to Attack Ligny to IV Corps which will arrive next turn.

Chit preparation stage

Blücher gains the initial action. No coordinated actions.


Formation selection phase

Prussian III Corps (orange)

Taking advantage of the initial action before French IIC can make spoiling attacks, Thielman orders his Corps to proceed for just over a mile down the Fleurus road and attack any enemy forces encountered. Artillery at the outskirts of Tongrinnelle open fire on French IIC Corps guarding the flank of their eastern line and the Prussian horse artillery successfully disrupts Stroltz’s dragoons in 1423 which will prevent them from charging. There are no Prussian charges because the cavalry are beyond 2 hexes. The 27th Line crosses the stream at 1420 to the west of the woods to move adjacent to Chastel’s French dragoons and their supporting horse artillery in 1422, which opp fires but misses, so Chastel then attempts a reaction charge morale check but fails. 8th Line moves out of Tongrinnelle to come around the right flank of Strolz but is reaction charged by Soult led by their commander Pajol from Boignee (they are on Reserve orders but can still reaction charge). The Prussian horse artillery in Tongrinnelle opp fires at this charge with 1 strength and misses (double halved opp fire vs. charge – rules query 20.13). In turn, Godet the French horse artillery opp fires and reduces 8th line (error – 8th Line should have only disrupted). The Prussians fail to form square so the charge counts as a flank attack but not a backhand blow since the Prussian side declares the unit will only be moving 2 hexes. Charge strength is 6 but is ineffective (DR 2). The Prussians cannot return fire at a flank attack; nevertheless, the French lose the charge and return to Boignee to reform. The 31st line and 3rd KRLD are also reduced by Godet’s accurate opp fire as they move forward. The Prussians surround French IIC Corps making it impossible for them to avoid assault.

To avoid a high odds attack, Chastel’s French dragoons and their horse artillery retreat before assault to 1322, surviving opp fire from 1421, though are still assaulted by 27th Line (the Prussian horse artillery in the same hex cannot assault because it bombarded). The attack scores 1 hit, with zero hits in reply despite the horse artillery’s +50% canister mod. The French would prefer to voluntary retreat to mitigate the loss but cannot because retreat must be away from the enemy, and enemy units within LOS are all around its position (rules query 7.4). It remains in place and the horse artillery loses a step, but the stack fails its roll for involuntary retreat anyway, and both units are eliminated. These losses means IIC are now Corps-demoralised. The attackers advance after combat.

In 1423, Strolz and commander Exelmans cannot retreat before combat since enemy cavalry will be assaulting and the Prussian attack goes in at 9 strength scoring 2 hits, with defensive fire at 1 strength having no effect. This stack has the same problem as the previous, it cannot voluntary retreat because it will be moving towards enemy in LOS (rules query 7.4). Therefore Strolz loses 2 steps and is eliminated, and two Prussian infantry brigades advance after combat. Exelmans survives and is displaced to IV Corps infantry in 1322.

French III Corps (orange)

The Attack order for St. Amand has still not been successful because enemy units remain in ZOC. The requirement to move units closer to the target is no longer in force since all units have been within 2 hexes of the target, so the nature of the order changes (rules query 12.2 Attack). However, some units must still enter ZOC each turn. There are no bombardments or charges since Corps artillery and cavalry are out of range. Piat and deVilliers move into 0421. Prussian horse artillery opp fires at this manoeuvre and disrupts both units, which cues Blücher and the II Corps cavalry to reaction charge the hex. This time, all three brigades join in and attack across the stream as a flank charge at 14 strength. The defenders are disrupted and cannot form square, nor fire back at a flanking charge. The charge causes 2 hits which eliminates deVilliers. The survivors retreat back into Wagnelee pursued by Blücher’s force which charges again at 7 strength, but this time the protection of the buildings helps the French and no casualties ensue. French opp fire from 0222 at the pursuit is ineffective (rules query 20.13) and the cavalry return to their start hexes unscathed.

Domon’s chasseurs à cheval move to 0221 to gain a better jumping off point for later actions. Dorgreau’s artillery enters Wagnelee within bombarding range of the main Prussian force around St. Amand-la-Haye (0622). Billiard moves into St. Amand ready to attack across the stream salient at 0523. Dupyroux re-enters the town hex he vacated last turn at the intersection of the streams; Prussian opp fire from 0723 is ineffective at 2 strength. Assaulting is compulsory. Dupyroux attacks 29th Line at the intersection, no effect, as is the case with defensive fire. Note that the powerful Prussian artillery cannot remote support because they bombarded this turn (in the form of opp fire - this was difficult to keep track of for an entire turn). Next, the other two French stacks in St. Amand assault 0523 in the salient of the steam at 14 strength scoring 2 hits, but receive 2 hits in return. Neither side voluntary retreats so 7th line and Dufor are eliminated. This loss means Prussian I Corps are now Corps demoralised. Both sides pass their involuntary retreat rolls so remain in position. Gengoult assaults St. Amand-la-Haye at 0522 but town TEM and firing out of woods make for an ineffectual attack, while defensive musketry creates 1 hit. Gengoult voluntary retreats out of the woods to avoid step reduction and becomes disrupted (the loss of 1 more strength point means French III Corps will too be demoralised).

Prussian I Corps (blue)

The artillery in 0723 bombards St. Amand with 3 points to no effect. The Corps cavalry do not charge St. Amand due to the proximity of the Imperial Guard’s powerful artillery and cavalry and move back a hex. The 19th Line in the salient and 29th Line at the stream intersection are locked in position but being on Defend orders are not required to assault, so do not – they are doing a good job at the moment stalling the French attack. The infantry in St. Amand-la-Haye have also been effective on the defence this turn so hold position.

Prussian II Corps (green)

Their new Defend order has brought the centre of their defence forward and given the Corps more movement options. Because the threat against the west flank has eased this turn, forces in Brye move forward to take up positions in the line behind the stream to the west of Ligny village. However, opp fire from the horse artillery in 0925 disrupts them and causes 1 hit, destroying 3rd Elbe L (tiny unit rule). Maurin’s hussars and dragoons from French IV Corps see their chance and reaction charge the survivors, who being disrupted cannot form square, but the 2 strength charge has no effect (the Prussians should have moved their artillery up first to cover this move). Rohl’s artillery is also brought up, unlimbering in the back streets of Ligny village. The rest of the Corps moves forward. They consider assaulting the disrupted infantry in Wagnelee but helped by the French artillery batteries, return fire would be at 10 strength.


Reserve action stage

French IC Corps (green)

Are assigned to Grouchy but are on Reserve orders (I assumed that the Assign order overrules the previous Defend order so the only state that they could be in is Reserve while they await Grouchy’s new orders – rules query 12.2 Assign). The commander Pajol cannot move but the Corps’ horses trot out of Boignee en masse in readiness to hit Prussian III Corps next turn.

French IV Corps (brown)

Baltus bombards 0823 to no effect. French infantry at the easternmost side of the line are vulnerable, especially to an early activation by Prussian III Corps, so pull back out of enemy ZOC – this is permitted in Reserve status. Maurin’s cavalry moves across to the east to counter the continued Prussian aggression.

French IVC Corps (blue)

Duchet bombards 0823 and disrupts the 4th WL. The cavalry brigades remain in position.

The Guard (purple)

Yng and Lallemand bombard the stream intersection at 12 strength and disrupt 29th Line. The rest of the Corps cannot move forwards because they are hemmed in by the streams and must remain in command range of Drouot.

Disruption recovery

All French units recover apart from Soult from IC, as do the Prussians except for Sohr’s cavalry from II Corps.


Sitrep

During this turn the all of French IIC Corps has been eliminated (10 points) though at high cost, since Prussian III Corps are now only 2 points away from Corps demoralisation. Next turn if French IV Corps comply with their Attack order from Napoleon they might be in danger of being overwhelmed by Prussian III Corps because their left flank will be wide open as they advance on Ligny. This turn has also been costly for French III Corps, gaining no ground and losing precious units. The tables have certainly turned on the west flank and Prussian HQ is starting to regret ordering II Corps to Fall Back to Brye. To win, the French now need to take 2 more points without forfeiting 12 of their own points for the rest of the game, at the same time while holding onto St. Amand and Wagnelee.

Total strength points tally: French losses = 23 points; Prussian losses 41 points. French Army demoralisation limit = 35. Prussian Army demoralisation limit = 43 (St. Amand and Wagnelee are French controlled).


Things I forgot/got wrong

French III Corps should have rolled for confidence check this turn since they have lost steps on their current order and Vandamme’s leader rating is only 2 (they would have failed their order on dr 6).

When French IV Corps units withdrew from enemy ZOC, the last units to leave should have threw for disruption.

Some French IIC Corps units were wrongly eliminated because I assumed they were unable to retreat towards enemy in LOS (rules query 7.4).

I forgot the tiny units rule when some of the 3 strength Prussians reduced, they should have been eliminated. However, this was offset by the fact when the French artillery opp fired I step reduced the Prussian units instead of only disrupting them.

More than a few times I applied TEM during defensive fire against attacking units.





#################################################################################

TURN 4 (1700 16th June 1815)

Command and Rally Phase

Confidence checks

Prussian I Corps is demoralised but pass their confidence check and will continue to try to hold their ground in the west. Likewise, demoralised Prussian III Corps also pass confidence so will carry on with their Attack order.

New HQ orders

Napoleon orders Gerard to halt IV Corps’ Attack on Ligny because it may prove too costly – however, this Reserve order will arrive next turn. He also orders Vandamme to Defend St. Amand though the order will arrive on turn 6 due to the envoy having to travel through woods and across streams. He considers ordering the Guard to St. Amand because III Corps are very close to demoralisation but waits to see how Prussian III Corps’ attack in the east pans out as they may be needed more urgently there. He also orders Milhaud to lead IVC Corps over to the east to reinforce IV Corps (1225); this order arrives immediately (helped by having LOS to Milhaud). Grouchy instructs Pajol to ride his IC hussars over to 1225 to also support IV Corps (face-to-face March order).

Prussian HQ realises that the French Army are not far from breaking and plan an all-out attack to achieve this. However, they see French columns massing outside of Ligny and wait to see if any French attack occurs there, since this will provide a good opportunity to kill Frenchmen as they advance across the open fields.

Order compliance

Pajol and Gerard comply; Milhaud complies but the March order will not begin until next turn (1T result on the dr); Ziethen’s order to pull back I Corps and Defend Brye is R4 (due to the demoralised mod).

Chit preparation stage

Both sides gain a coordinated action and the Prussians have the initial action again. The French link IV and IVC Corps while the Prussians link II and III Corps, giving the initial action to these formations.


Formation selection phase

Prussian II Corps (green) and III Corps (orange) – coordinated action

III Corps is on Attack orders for 1324. Although their horse artillery is within bombardment range of Desprez’s stack there is no line of sight due to the hillside. Over in the west II Corps’ horse artillery bombards Wagnelee to no effect, and Blücher follows this by leading 2 brigades on a charge against Domon’s chasseurs à cheval on the outskirts of the hamlet. Opp fire from Dogreau vs. massed cavalry misses completely (DR 2) and the charge attacks at 3 strength, causing no damage. The chasseurs fight back well however, and reduce Thuman. This loss takes the Prussians to their Army demoralisation limit of 43.

Back in the east Marwitz and Lottum opt for assault this turn instead of charging; they lead their cavalry brigades around to the south of 1224 to help cut down French retreat possibilities . However, Cotheraux’s horse artillery are unlimbered next to the woods around Boignee and reduce Lottum with some accurate opp fire as they canter past almost a mile distant (should have merely disrupted). Maurin attempts to reaction charge at this movement from 1224 and fails. As the Corps continue to manoeuvre to envelop the French east line Maurin attempts another reaction charge and is successful, charging down the hill to 1325 as a backhand blow. The defenders fail to form square (demoralised mod) so the charge goes in at full strength and scores 1 hit reducing the 27th line. Mohnpt’s batteries are adjacent and could have opp fired against the French horses but preferred to attack as remote support together with the infantry (cannot remote support if they bombard, and opp fire is a type of bombardment). Their combined defensive fire has the artillery +50% enfilading lines mod which is halved vs. a charge for a 5 strength attack and reduces Maurin. Since both sides had equal losses the defender wins the charge and Maurin returns to 1224, disrupted (and because he charged he cannot later contribute to assault). Marwitz and Lottum fail to reaction charge Maurin’s return up the hill, and Mohnpt again holds his opp fire because he wants to assault.

It might have been preferable for Prussian II Corps to advance out of Ligny and join in the attack but cannot because of their Defend order. Rohl pushes his batteries to the south edge of Ligny village to play an overwatch role while other units move forward to prepare for their planned attack, perhaps next turn.

In the combat segment three stacks assault 1224 with 14 strength but score no hits! Defensive fire applies 1 hit but the Prussians pass their involuntary retreat morale check. Two stacks assault 1223 as a flank attack with 9 strength, scoring three hits and take 1 hit in return. To halve their losses the French retreat but in doing so disrupt two friendly stacks as they avoid enemy ZOC. The 6th KRLD advances after combat into the vacated position on Tombe Hill.

French IV Corps (brown) and IVC Corps (blue) – coordinated action

IVC are still on Reserve orders and cannot enter enemy ZOC so move as far over to the east as they can to try to stem the Prussian tide. IV Corps are under orders to attack Ligny. Baltus moves his batteries to the east, which means that all the units of the Corps that can move have now been within 2 hexes of their target. From now, at least one unit has to enter enemy ZOC per turn; Schoeffer, who has just been reduced and retreated from the Prussian attack, does so by moving to 1125 acting as a sacrificial unit. All units in enemy ZOC must now assault which means attacking 3 French stacks. All the French units apart from Hulot (1224) are currently disrupted and so halved in strength and cannot combine their strength due to the no ganging-up rule. Toussaint and Capitaine attack 1223 with 4 strength and score no damage and receive no hits in return. Hulot assaults 1325 at 4 strength and gains 1 hit, with 1 hit in reply. Hulot cannot mitigate losses by voluntary retreating so takes the hit and both sides pass involuntary retreat checks so remain in place. Schoeffer assaults the Prussian cavalry in 1225 with 1 strength with no hit.

French III Corps (orange)

Are still under Attack orders for St. Amand. Dogreau bombards the cavalry in 0420 and misses. Most of the infantry are locked in enemy ZOC but at least 1 unit per turn that is not in ZOC must enter one, so Gengoult moves into St. Amand, receiving ineffective opp fire from Prussian I Corps’ massed batteries. His and the adjacent stack assault the stream salient (0523) at 15 strength and score 3 hits which eliminates the 19th Line. Return fire is effective at 2 hits (DR 10) as the French attack falters across the stream but they choose not to retreat otherwise they will vacate 2 hexes of St Amand; however, their losses cause them to involuntary retreat anyway, and disrupt. Dupyroux attacks once more at the intersection (0724), misses, but is reduced by the 29th Line’s return fire. He must voluntary retreat because he is already reduced which leaves St. Amand completely open. French III Corps becomes Corps demoralised after these losses.

French IC Corps (green)

Are on March orders to 1225 so move forward a hex then must stop before they enter enemy ZOC (blocking rule). They switch to Reserve status.

Prussian I Corps (blue)

By the sheer force of defensive musketry the French have been pushed out of St. Amand and so Prussian units move to retake the village. This raises the Prussian demoralisation level by 9 points. As they enter the village the 29th Line are attacked by 6 points of Imperial Guard artillery opp fire and are eliminated despite the protective -75% town mod. Guyot reaction charges with his Guard cavalry as Prussian Uhlans lancers enter 0624. Lützow’s cavalry become reduced but defensive fire is devastating, coming in at 10 strength due to remote support by the massed Prussian batteries now unlimbered in St. Amand and the elite Guard horsemen are eliminated (rules query 20.13). This takes the tally of losses beyond the French 35 point Army demoralisation level and they start to withdraw from the field, defeated.


Things I forgot/got wrong

French III Corps should also have rolled for confidence.

I thought command range along trails and roads was 1 MP (it’s actually ½ MP).

I forgot that the Corps demoralised units only have 3 MPs.

I did not throw for the possibility of Blücher becoming a casualty when his cavalry brigade reduced during a charge.

Maurin had a backhand blow but did not double their charge strength.


Sitrep

Total strength points tally: French losses = 36 points; Prussian losses = 50 points. French Army demoralisation level = 35; Prussian Army demoralisation level = 52 (Wagnelee is French controlled).

Result: Prussian victory.






Postscript

Compared with actual battle this game played out quite differently. There were some similarities such as the see-sawing of occupation in the west - the taking of St. Amand by the French and its subsequent retaking by the Prussians. Blücher led repeated cavalry charges though these were largely ineffective in the game, but did act as a deterrent for French advances over open ground at the west end of the line. Historically there was fierce fighting in and around Ligny village which sucked in a good part of Blücher’s army, while in the game the French attack on Ligny did not even get off the ground. My tactic was to wait until Prussian units in Ligny were drawn away to plug holes that appeared in the west and then attack a much weaker force, but Vandamme’s attack in the west had stalled and so this never happened.

In the actual battle the east flank was relatively quiet and so Prussian III Corps units were drawn off to support the defence of Ligny and the western hamlets. Cavalry from III Corps did attempt an attack on the French right at one point but were quickly repelled by artillery fire and counter charges from IC Corps’ dragoons, who themselves fell back in the face of Prussian artillery and gathering infantry columns. Eventually, with the help of the Guard the French broke through at Ligny village which meant Prussian III Corps had to retreat to prevent being outflanked. In the game however, Prussian III Corps were the key to gaining the win. This was certainly down to good fortune since Corps commander Thielman successfully made his local decision roll and the Corps did not fail their confidence roll despite being demoralised.

The Prussians having the initial activation on the last two turns also helped them significantly since III Corps were able to outmanoeuvre French units and trap them in assault, which helped their side to acquire the required number of French kills. It did feel like a difficult ask for the French to take and hold the villages and also avoid reaching the 35 point loss limit…it could be argued that this limit is set too low (this was set in the original 1976 SPI version of the rules). Equally, it invites a strategy of careful attack by the French where assaults should only be made against stacks that had been already weakened by bombardment and cavalry charges earlier in the turn. This would keep French losses at a minimum. Perhaps I played the French too aggressively and should have been more patient - there was plenty of time to grind down the Prussians from a distance using Probe orders, cavalry charges, bombardment etc.

As with my Quatre Bras experience with the same system I enjoyed using the Stumptner ruleset, and compared with the Zucker version (which I have also played) it gave what feels to be a authentic impression of Napoleonic land combat. As with the QB game it did throw up a number of rules queries, and the only reservation I have when recommending the variant to others is to be prepared to house rule to deal with any potential ambiguities that might arise.

8 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Allen
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
NLC rules questions (see references in the above AAR).

“2.3 Morale modification. A unit that has lost a step has its morale reduced by 1 except British, King’s German Legion, and Russian infantry.”

I guess that this includes all British and KGL units, not just infantry.

########################################################

“6.3 Disruption. Disrupted units have their combat strength halved in assault (7.6) and charges.”

I was not sure why cavalry charges are included here because defender disruption is ignored during charges, and disrupted cavalry cannot charge. Could it be that the rule applies to cavalry that disrupt as a result of opp fire before they reach their target hex, or are disrupted by defensive fire from the target hex before having a further combat as pursuit? However, 7.6 states “[d]isruption: if a unit starts the assault segment with a disrupted marker, its fire strength is halved”, which implies that disrupted cavalry are never halved during a charge because charges do not happen in the assault segment.

More specifically, if a cavalry unit disrupts as a result of defensive fire during charge combat is it then allowed to pursue at all (since pursuit is a charge and disrupted units cannot charge)?

########################################################

“7.1 [Combat] Basic procedure…In certain cases modifiers may apply to the dieroll and fire strengths may be reduced by a certain percentage.”

I presume that if two mods of -50% apply simultaneously, then fire strength is not zero, it would be -75%. E.g. 4 strength unit -50% = 2 strength, then -50% = 1 strength.
But does it work the other way when a charge doubles its strength twice for a flank attack and a backhand blow? E.g. 4 strength unit +100% = 8 strength, then +100% = 16 strength…?

########################################################

“7.4 Retreats.”

On the NLC ConsimWorld forum it mentions that retreats are always away from the enemy. Can a unit retreat towards an enemy unit that is say six hexes away, i.e. in LOS?

########################################################

"7.4…[i]f a stack retreating into a hex with friendly units produces a stacking violation, all units in the hex are disrupted and the excess units in the stack retreat another hex."

I presume the ‘excess units’ are those in the stack that originally retreated and created the overstacking, and not the units that were already in the hex.

########################################################

“7.7 Only clear and crest terrain can be crossed by charges.”


I think streams can too because the Terrain Effects Table gives a -25% penalty for charges.

########################################################

“7.11 Cavalry retreat before assault.”

I presume that the full assault retreat rules do not apply here, e.g. throw for disruption, step reduce through enemy ZOC, disrupt friendly units if they are retreated through, etc. The cavalry merely moves one hex back.

A different query is do all assaults have to be declared first before cavalry decide to retreat? If yes, then cavalry can retreat adjacent to a different enemy unit that is not permitted to assault them because that specific assault was not previously declared.

########################################################

“8.1 Foot artillery that bombards cannot move in the Formation Movement Phase.”

It states in the 4.5 table that “artillery” that bombarded cannot move, which would include horse artillery.

(Formation Movement Phase should be Formation Movement Segment).

########################################################

“8.3 A hex with intermediate elevation blocks LOS between higher and lower elevation if it is closer to the lower elevation hex and there is another lower elevation hex between it and the higher elevation hex.”

I understand the first point but not the second (underlined) point.

########################################################

“8.4 Facing. Artillery that is adjacent to an enemy at the start of the current Stage cannot fire in defense against an enemy unit that moves into a different adjacent hex and attacks.”

Taken literally, an attacking cavalry unit could start adjacent to a defending artillery unit, move into an adjacent hex still in the same defender's ZOC, then assault and the defender could not fire back due to facing. Inserting ‘different’ before “enemy unit” would rule this out I think.

########################################################

“8.5 Enfilading lines:…[i]f the line of sight runs along a hexspine, count the spine as being part of the hexside further away from the friendly unit.”

Does “the hexside further away” mean that with a 2 hex range shot, the target hex and not the intermediate hex? If yes, why?

########################################################

“8.5 Enfilading squares:...any nondisrupted friendly cavalry in range can execute a reaction charge on the target stack immediately after the bombardment has been resolved.”

Does the cavalry have to stand a morale test first as stated in 7.9 or can they just go?

A different query is if during the bombardment segment the defenders choose to form square (i.e. the +50% artillery bonus applies) if they are then charged in the following charge segment do they have to roll to form square again or is it assumed they are already in this state? During the game I played it as they did have to roll.

########################################################

“12.2 Attack: Units (i.e., all units) must move at least one hex closer to attack target until they are at most 2 hexes from enemy units, then some must attack. Artillery bombardment is enough to define “attacking” for at most 2 turns, but once units are in enemy ZOC, some units must enter ZOC every turn ….”

I understand this as there being two phases with an Attack order. The first phase ends when all units are within 2 hexes from enemy units (these enemy units do not have to occupy, or even be close to, the target). During the second phase at least one unit that does not start its move in ZOC, must enter ZOC every turn, and this phase ends when the order is successful or cancelled.

In the Ligny game I had a situation where French III Corps had Attack orders initially targeted on St. Amand, but three French units moved into enemy ZOC over to the west and through successful combats eventually found themselves moving gradually towards Wagnelee, away from their target. When these three units eventually became free from enemy ZOC they had taken Wagnelee but were now more than 2 hexes from St. Amand. Because the initial Attack order had not yet been successful, should III Corps now revert back to the first phase status, evacuate the units that had won Wagnelee and start moving them east towards St. Amand again so to place all the Corps’ units within 2 hexes of the target? The problem was that their order was sequential – Attack St. Amand/Attack Wagnelee/ Attack Brye, so abandoning Wagnelee did not seem a realistic outcome to me.

A different query is can the last requirement of the rule cited above be satisfied by a cavalry unit that belongs to an infantry formation, entering then leaving ZOC during a charge, or does it have to be during movement?

########################################################

“12.2 Probe.”

For cavalry to be able to charge they must be within two hexes of enemy units at the start of their activation. But when under Probe orders, during the turn that all units in the cavalry formation move to within 2 hexes during their movement, some must attack or their order fails (Attack rules). This means during this initial turn when they come to within 2 hexes, at least one cavalry unit (or the Corps horse artillery) will need to end up adjacent to the enemy to assault (likely a weak attack). If their opponents do not retreat, the cavalry will remain there in enemy ZOC, vulnerable to assault themselves in the enemy’s activation. This goes against the rationale of a Probe, i.e. to keep your distance and make occasional forays at the enemy. I played it that probing units do not have to attack in the turn they move to within 2 hexes, which might be the rule’s intent? You could say that if the cavalry reaction charge the enemy during his activation later that turn then this counts as an attack, but all the enemy has to do is not move within their charge range, then technically the Probe order will fail.

I think Markus might have inadvertently deleted part of this rule during his last edit. The old version had “..the number of units in ZOC is limited to at most two, [and] does not have to increase.”

########################################################

“12.2 Assign.”

I am not sure whether I played this correctly but the Assign mechanic seemed quite a drawn-out process. A formation under Assign orders reaches Grouchy (a wing commander) during the movement phase. During step 4 of the next command phase the Assign order is automatically complied with. However, Grouchy gives his orders during step 3 which means that the formation spends this entire turn idle. I assumed that during this time they are in Reserve status (await further orders).

########################################################

“12.2 Reserve (no orders):…[u]nits may leave (+1 MP) but not enter ZOCs.”

I presume cavalry on Reserve orders can freely enter ZOCs in accordance with 5.4.

########################################################

“12.4 Giving orders…[i]t is not permissible to give the same order to the same leader again before it has been Ignored, Canceled, Succeeded, or Failed.”

A corps commander records an order by local decision at step 1 of the command phase, and whether it has been accepted or not is decided in step 4. An OC gives out his orders in step 3. Therefore for example, if a corps commander records a Defend order by local decision, as an insurance policy the OC cannot also record a Defend order for the same formation during the same command phase just in case the local decision is unsuccessful, because it is the same type of order of that which has already been given. If in step 4 the local decision order is 'no effect' (ignored), in the following command phase the OC could order Defend...or the corps commander could try again by local decision. This prevents an order being given by the OC being accelerated by the same order given by local decision during the same command phase. Is this a correct interpretation?

########################################################

“12.5 Order sequences. A sequence of March and Attack orders can be given to be executed in sequence. The last order in the sequence can be of any type.”

I presume a sequence can be longer than two as long as all are March or Attack, apart from the last in the sequence, e.g. March/Attack/Attack/Attack/Defend.

########################################################

“12.11 Local decision…[the leader] rolls on the Local Decision Table instead of on the Compliance Table.”

Markus has stated in a ConsimWorld post that divisional orders given by local decision do check for compliance. Does this also apply to Anglo-Allied divisions, which are also formations, when the divisional commander is giving an order to himself?

########################################################

“12.12 Order capacity. The overall commander can give as many orders per turn as his capability.”

I was wondering whether ‘capability’ was the printed number on the leader counter (left side number) or is it the same as the leader rating as given in the NLC scenario document? This can make a big difference, e.g. Ney’s printed number is 1 but his leader rating is 3 (for Probe or Attack).

########################################################

“19.1 Disruption and Retreat:…[t]he last unit moving to exit a ZOC hex also must check morale.”

I call this the ‘rearguard MC’ because it applies when units are on Fall Back or Retreat orders. I presume that it does not apply to units on Attack or Probe orders, that move one extra ZOC hex after they first enter enemy ZOC…nor to cavalry leaving or moving through enemy ZOC during normal movement (with any orders).

########################################################

“19.4 More artillery detail. Artillery bombarding multiple non-artillery units stacked in the same hex has its fire strength increased by 50%.”

Opp fire is a type of bombardment so this mod would apply. However, to avoid the mod a player could just move stacked units one at a time. Would this be permissible?

########################################################

“20.6 Proximity of Demoralized units. A formation has its demoralization limit reduced by 2 while its leader is within 5 hexes of the leader of a friendly demoralized formation…”

I understand the rule but on one occasion during my Ligny game it seemed a little unrealistic. For example, when the sole surviving infantry unit of a formation is stacked with its leader, then that infantry unit is eliminated, the leader (if he survives the combat himself) is displaced and moves to the nearest friendly unit. In this case it would be from a different formation because all his own troops are eliminated. Now this second formation would have to pay this 2 point demoralisation limit penalty, which makes it tempting to send the first leader charging towards the enemy in an attempt to get him killed!

########################################################

“20.13 Artillery opportunity fire…[w]hen enemy units enter a hex within range and LOS of friendly artillery that has not moved this turn, the artillery can bombard them in that hex at halved fire value.”

I presume that the halving of artillery strength against charges (7.4) also applies to opp fire, which would mean a quartering of printed strength.

A different query is can charging cavalry claim TEM during opp fire? In the Terrain Effects Table, TEM applies to units “attacking into that type of terrain”, so only defenders can claim TEM. In 7.1 it states that cavalry in charge resolution are “attacking”. If charge resolution starts as soon as the cavalry reach their target hex then the cavalry are attacking and so cannot claim TEM from opp fire in that hex. However, if charge resolution is the act of combat i.e. when dice are thrown, then the cavalry are not yet attacking, which might make the opp firing artillery unit the attacker and the cavalry the defender, and so eligible for TEM.

########################################################

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M St
Australia
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Meeduluk wrote:
NLC rules questions (see references in the above AAR).

“2.3 Morale modification. A unit that has lost a step has its morale reduced by 1 except British, King’s German Legion, and Russian infantry.”

I guess that this includes all British and KGL units, not just infantry.

No it is infantry. For example, British cavalry could hit hard but tended to get disorganised. ("The noblest cavalry in Europe, and the worst led" - Soult)

Quote:

“6.3 Disruption. Disrupted units have their combat strength halved in assault (7.6) and charges.”

I was not sure why cavalry charges are included here because defender disruption is ignored during charges, and disrupted cavalry cannot charge. Could it be that the rule applies to cavalry that disrupt as a result of opp fire before they reach their target hex, or are disrupted by defensive fire from the target hex before having a further combat as pursuit? However, 7.6 states “[d]isruption: if a unit starts the assault segment with a disrupted marker, its fire strength is halved”, which implies that disrupted cavalry are never halved during a charge because charges do not happen in the assault segment.

More specifically, if a cavalry unit disrupts as a result of defensive fire during charge combat is it then allowed to pursue at all (since pursuit is a charge and disrupted units cannot charge)?



[q]“7.1 [Combat] Basic procedure…In certain cases modifiers may apply to the dieroll and fire strengths may be reduced by a certain percentage.”

I presume that if two mods of -50% apply simultaneously, then fire strength is not zero, it would be -75%. E.g. 4 strength unit -50% = 2 strength, then -50% = 1 strength.
But does it work the other way when a charge doubles its strength twice for a flank attack and a backhand blow? E.g. 4 strength unit +100% = 8 strength, then +100% = 16 strength…?

Yes.

Quote:
“7.4 Retreats.”

On the NLC ConsimWorld forum it mentions that retreats are always away from the enemy. Can a unit retreat towards an enemy unit that is say six hexes away, i.e. in LOS?

Yes. Read "away from the enemy" as "so the closest enemy is further away after the retreat" (and when in doubt, "the closest enemy" is the one that attacked you).

Quote:
"7.4…[i]f a stack retreating into a hex with friendly units produces a stacking violation, all units in the hex are disrupted and the excess units in the stack retreat another hex."

I presume the ‘excess units’ are those in the stack that originally retreated and created the overstacking, and not the units that were already in the hex.

Yes.

Quote:
“7.7 Only clear and crest terrain can be crossed by charges.”

I think streams can too because the Terrain Effects Table gives a -25% penalty for charges.

Yes, the clause was intended to refer to in-hex terrain.

Quote:
“7.11 Cavalry retreat before assault.”

I presume that the full assault retreat rules do not apply here, e.g. throw for disruption, step reduce through enemy ZOC, disrupt friendly units if they are retreated through, etc. The cavalry merely moves one hex back.

Correct.

Quote:
A different query is do all assaults have to be declared first before cavalry decide to retreat? If yes, then cavalry can retreat adjacent to a different enemy unit that is not permitted to assault them because that specific assault was not previously declared.

No, there is no requirement stated to declare all assaults first.

Quote:
“8.1 Foot artillery that bombards cannot move in the Formation Movement Phase.”

It states in the 4.5 table that “artillery” that bombarded cannot move, which would include horse artillery.

Good point, will address.

Quote:
“8.3 A hex with intermediate elevation blocks LOS between higher and lower elevation if it is closer to the lower elevation hex and there is another lower elevation hex between it and the higher elevation hex.”

I understand the first point but not the second (underlined) point.

Assume the following sequence of hexes: A(1) B(2) C(1) D(3), with the level in parenthesis (2 is high). B(intermediate elevation) blocks LOS because C is another lower elevation hex between B and D.

Quote:
“8.4 Facing. Artillery that is adjacent to an enemy at the start of the current Stage cannot fire in defense against an enemy unit that moves into a different adjacent hex and attacks.”

Taken literally, an attacking cavalry unit could start adjacent to a defending artillery unit, move into an adjacent hex still in the same defender's ZOC, then assault and the defender could not fire back due to facing. Inserting ‘different’ before “enemy unit” would rule this out I think.

What you're describing is the problem of an isolated artillery unit. If they're part of a line or protected by infantry or friendly cavalry they're not under threat. If not, nothing keeps the cavalry from riding around them.


Quote:
“8.5 Enfilading lines:…[i]f the line of sight runs along a hexspine, count the spine as being part of the hexside further away from the friendly unit.”

Does “the hexside further away” mean that with a 2 hex range shot, the target hex and not the intermediate hex? If yes, why?

Simply the problem of deciding where enfilading fire starts with 60 degree angles.


Quote:
“8.5 Enfilading squares:...any nondisrupted friendly cavalry in range can execute a reaction charge on the target stack immediately after the bombardment has been resolved.”

Does the cavalry have to stand a morale test first as stated in 7.9 or can they just go?

It's a reaction charge, so 7.9 (Reaction Charge) applies.

Quote:
A different query is if during the bombardment segment the defenders choose to form square (i.e. the +50% artillery bonus applies) if they are then charged in the following charge segment do they have to roll to form square again or is it assumed they are already in this state? During the game I played it as they did have to roll.

Correct. The "automatic square" only applies for the immediate Reaction Charge.

Second half to follow...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M St
Australia
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Now, the second phase. Thanks for this part of the discussion, because I really like talking about these implications. It may look like a rules question, but these are really the situations that IMO get us closer to notion of Napoleonic generalship.

Quote:
“12.2 Attack: Units (i.e., all units) must move at least one hex closer to attack target until they are at most 2 hexes from enemy units, then some must attack. Artillery bombardment is enough to define “attacking” for at most 2 turns, but once units are in enemy ZOC, some units must enter ZOC every turn ….”

I understand this as there being two phases with an Attack order. The first phase ends when all units are within 2 hexes from enemy units (these enemy units do not have to occupy, or even be close to, the target). During the second phase at least one unit that does not start its move in ZOC, must enter ZOC every turn, and this phase ends when the order is successful or cancelled.

In the Ligny game I had a situation where French III Corps had Attack orders initially targeted on St. Amand, but three French units moved into enemy ZOC over to the west and through successful combats eventually found themselves moving gradually towards Wagnelee, away from their target. When these three units eventually became free from enemy ZOC they had taken Wagnelee but were now more than 2 hexes from St. Amand. Because the initial Attack order had not yet been successful, should III Corps now revert back to the first phase status, evacuate the units that had won Wagnelee and start moving them east towards St. Amand again so to place all the Corps’ units within 2 hexes of the target? The problem was that their order was sequential – Attack St. Amand/Attack Wagnelee/ Attack Brye, so abandoning Wagnelee did not seem a realistic outcome to me.

Let's split this into two parts. First, I would actually say that attacking St Amand if it has not been taken is realistic. An officer who is told to take all three would take all three. The implications of the order may be that another formation is supposed to march through St Amand once it has been taken, but the commandre of III might not be told about this. He can't second guess.

So, then the question of abandoning Wagnelee arises. The interpretation of the orders is intended to be strict, specifically because for comparable rulesets at more detailed scale, the openness of interpretation made many consider them unacceptable. I think the occasional weird looking effect in the strict interpretation is perfectly ok, since in the real world there were constant effects of complex orders that were not intended by the sender, and a sequence of three attack orders is pretty complex. Anyway, the question is whether at that point (when Wagnelee fell) the attack on St Amand, which has not succeeded yet, is in Phase 1 or Phase 2. I can't really tell whehich photos in your AAR match to the time described above, but all the photos show units in contact in front of St Amand. So by that fact, even though some units are at Wagnelee, the rest of the corps is in front of St Amand and presumably attacking. If the units at Wagnelee are within two hexes of the enemy, they can stay where they are. If the enemy is now further away, they would have to drift back towards St Amand but could do so slowly.

I note that if the enemy is more than a couple of hexes away from Wagnelee, then presumably they could not immediately retake it either unless they had orders to cover the area.

Quote:

A different query is can the last requirement of the rule cited above be satisfied by a cavalry unit that belongs to an infantry formation, entering then leaving ZOC during a charge, or does it have to be during movement?

Well, clearly to give Attack orders to an infantry formation would have been done in the expectation of a major infantry assault. That it is explicitly stated that "cavalry charges satisfy the attack requirement for cavalry formations" is intended to imply that they do not satisfy the requirement for infantry formations. I could add an "(only)" to that...


Quote:
“12.2 Probe.”

For cavalry to be able to charge they must be within two hexes of enemy units at the start of their activation. But when under Probe orders, during the turn that all units in the cavalry formation move to within 2 hexes during their movement, some must attack or their order fails (Attack rules). This means during this initial turn when they come to within 2 hexes, at least one cavalry unit (or the Corps horse artillery) will need to end up adjacent to the enemy to assault (likely a weak attack). If their opponents do not retreat, the cavalry will remain there in enemy ZOC, vulnerable to assault themselves in the enemy’s activation. This goes against the rationale of a Probe, i.e. to keep your distance and make occasional forays at the enemy. I played it that probing units do not have to attack in the turn they move to within 2 hexes, which might be the rule’s intent? You could say that if the cavalry reaction charge the enemy during his activation later that turn then this counts as an attack, but all the enemy has to do is not move within their charge range, then technically the Probe order will fail.

I think Markus might have inadvertently deleted part of this rule during his last edit. The old version had “..the number of units in ZOC is limited to at most two, [and] does not have to increase.”

Ha! No, I removed it explicitly, it has been replaced by the new requirement in 2.1.8 that "once 2 units are adjacent to enemy units, no others can move adjacent voluntarily", since it was pointed out to me that the old phrasing was ambiguous in not distinguishing situations where the enemy might move new units adjacent. The new phrasing makes it clear that if the enemy moves so as to bring more of your units into contact, you do not have to move units out or pay any penalties.

Quote:
“12.2 Assign.”

I am not sure whether I played this correctly but the Assign mechanic seemed quite a drawn-out process. A formation under Assign orders reaches Grouchy (a wing commander) during the movement phase. During step 4 of the next command phase the Assign order is automatically complied with. However, Grouchy gives his orders during step 3 which means that the formation spends this entire turn idle. I assumed that during this time they are in Reserve status (await further orders).

One important thing is that the formation does not have to "reach Grouchy" to comply with the order. The moment it is assigned, Grouchy can give it orders, wherever it is. And yes, I short-circuited the notion that Napoleon would send either the order to Grouchy with that formation, or send the order to Grouchy and have him reel the formation in - that is just too much complexity. That does impose a turn of delay, but I'm ok with that, these things did tend to muck up an army's command if done during a battle.

Note that the other case from assignment of a corps to a WC (a rather momentous thing) is going to be a division to another corps, in which case there is no delay because corps commanders don't need to send orders to their divisions as long as they operate in command range, they just take them in and work with them.


Quote:
“12.2 Reserve (no orders):…[u]nits may leave (+1 MP) but not enter ZOCs.”

I presume cavalry on Reserve orders can freely enter ZOCs in accordance with 5.4.

Yes, as written. (Although every time I think about it my fingers twitch and want to change it.)

Quote:

“12.4 Giving orders…[i]t is not permissible to give the same order to the same leader again before it has been Ignored, Canceled, Succeeded, or Failed.”

A corps commander records an order by local decision at step 1 of the command phase, and whether it has been accepted or not is decided in step 4. An OC gives out his orders in step 3. Therefore for example, if a corps commander records a Defend order by local decision, as an insurance policy the OC cannot also record a Defend order for the same formation during the same command phase just in case the local decision is unsuccessful, because it is the same type of order of that which has already been given.

Yes, that's how the rules work. The effect that "the OC cannot also record a Defend order for the same formation during the same command phase just in case the local decision is unsuccessful" is entirely intentional since that is not how the relationship normally worked at all. The normal situation is that the OC gives orders. Local Decisions were something that would only happen in emergency situations or when the distance between OC and a leader would prevent timely communication.

Quote:
If in step 4 the local decision order is 'no effect' (ignored), in the following command phase the OC could order Defend...or the corps commander could try again by local decision. This prevents an order being given by the OC being accelerated by the same order given by local decision during the same command phase. Is this a correct interpretation?

Yes. It is, in fact, still significantly more lenient than the historical situation would be.

The notion that an order could be "repeated" is a gamey artifact created by the wargamer's idea that if he sees that it would make sense, the guy at ground zero must see that as well. In reality, an order would be sent. Only after its failure was communicated (or, rarely, when delay was visible - see Napoleon reminding Davout at Wagram, the largest battlefield in the Napoleonic Wars that could be seen from one position) would another order follow.

As the OC in the game, you literally don't know what's going on with the order; you have to operate as if you are in the assumption that it's working. It's your overall plan for the battle that should be compensating for the possibility of a failure, because you can't correct it on the spot if it happens.

Note that historically, during a battle, Napoleon might only give a couple of orders all day after setting the battle in motion in the morning. That is the ideal to strive for. The rules are intentionally shaped to prevent the gamer's tendency to micromanage the behaviour of the underlings on an hourly basis.

Quote:
“12.5 Order sequences. A sequence of March and Attack orders can be given to be executed in sequence. The last order in the sequence can be of any type.”

I presume a sequence can be longer than two as long as all are March or Attack, apart from the last in the sequence, e.g. March/Attack/Attack/Attack/Defend.

Yes.

Quote:
“12.11 Local decision…[the leader] rolls on the Local Decision Table instead of on the Compliance Table.”

Markus has stated in a ConsimWorld post that divisional orders given by local decision do check for compliance. Does this also apply to Anglo-Allied divisions, which are also formations, when the divisional commander is giving an order to himself?

The discussion on CSW was about divisional order being sent by Local Decision of the corps commander, so in that case the corps commander has to check for the Local Decision and then the division checks for compliance (otherwise this would be a great way to circumvent the planning time for a corps - just send individual orders to each division and they move immediately). If a division commander in Wellington's army makes a Local Decision, that is "for himself" - so he only checks the Local Decision Table.

Quote:
[q]“12.12 Order capacity. The overall commander can give as many orders per turn as his capability.”

I was wondering whether ‘capability’ was the printed number on the leader counter (left side number) or is it the same as the leader rating as given in the NLC scenario document? This can make a big difference, e.g. Ney’s printed number is 1 but his leader rating is 3 (for Probe or Attack).

It is the leader rating, so Ney can give 3 Probe or Attack orders in a turn. (Otherwise he'd never have been able to ruin the cavalry as quickly at Waterloo.) :/

Quote:

“19.1 Disruption and Retreat:…[t]he last unit moving to exit a ZOC hex also must check morale.”

I call this the ‘rearguard MC’ because it applies when units are on Fall Back or Retreat orders. I presume that it does not apply to units on Attack or Probe orders, that move one extra ZOC hex after they first enter enemy ZOC…nor to cavalry leaving or moving through enemy ZOC during normal movement (with any orders).

No, apply rules as written. This means that if you use that rule, you have to have someone in place in the ZOC that the other unit moves through. Cavalry however is exempt from ZOC effects.

Quote:
“19.4 More artillery detail. Artillery bombarding multiple non-artillery units stacked in the same hex has its fire strength increased by 50%.”

Opp fire is a type of bombardment so this mod would apply. However, to avoid the mod a player could just move stacked units one at a time. Would this be permissible?

Yes.

Quote:
“20.6 Proximity of Demoralized units. A formation has its demoralization limit reduced by 2 while its leader is within 5 hexes of the leader of a friendly demoralized formation…”

I understand the rule but on one occasion during my Ligny game it seemed a little unrealistic. For example, when the sole surviving infantry unit of a formation is stacked with its leader, then that infantry unit is eliminated, the leader (if he survives the combat himself) is displaced and moves to the nearest friendly unit. In this case it would be from a different formation because all his own troops are eliminated. Now this second formation would have to pay this 2 point demoralisation limit penalty, which makes it tempting to send the first leader charging towards the enemy in an attempt to get him killed!

Well, what you describe here is the Ney style of leadership at Waterloo and we know what it got him. It is one solution, but note that the leader comes back as a replacement.

Keep in mind that eliminated units do not mean everyone is dead. In reality, what this represents is that the routed and eliminated units of the corps are milling around on the plain in the vicinity of the leader, not formed enough to be a hindrance, but visible enough to be a detriment to the morale of all those around them.

The real (and realistic) solution is to pull that corps back out of the line once it is demoralised. That way, you don't end up in the situation where it is reduced to nothing and its leader doesn't still represent its morale hit on the nearby frontline.

Quote:
“20.13 Artillery opportunity fire…[w]hen enemy units enter a hex within range and LOS of friendly artillery that has not moved this turn, the artillery can bombard them in that hex at halved fire value.”

I presume that the halving of artillery strength against charges (7.4) also applies to opp fire, which would mean a quartering of printed strength.

Yes, it does.

Quote:
A different query is can charging cavalry claim TEM during opp fire? In the Terrain Effects Table, TEM applies to units “attacking into that type of terrain”, so only defenders can claim TEM. In 7.1 it states that cavalry in charge resolution are “attacking”. If charge resolution starts as soon as the cavalry reach their target hex then the cavalry are attacking and so cannot claim TEM from opp fire in that hex. However, if charge resolution is the act of combat i.e. when dice are thrown, then the cavalry are not yet attacking, which might make the opp firing artillery unit the attacker and the cavalry the defender, and so eligible for TEM.

Yes, the artillery is the attacker wrt the bombardment which determines terrain type.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Allen
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
Markus thanks once again for your prompt, comprehensive answers and comments. I think it’s great you're willing to support the system by addressing queries in an approachable and personable way.

I was wondering have you ever considered compiling a list of rules FAQ?

Each time I play using the ruleset I enjoy it more because I feel I'm ‘playing it right’…it has however, taken a bit of time to get to this point. A strength of the rules is that they are brief and so less intimidating for a newbie to give them a go, although the flipside of conciseness is that more is left to individual interpretation.

I was thinking if newbies were able to access a complete set of rules clarifications from the outset then this might ease the learning curve. They could of course search ConsimWorld for your rules posts but I personally find that platform not particularly user-friendly when searching for specific info.

I’m against rules bloatage but I guess the idea would be reading the rules on their own is sufficient to begin play, but if queries arise during a game then hit the FAQ. You might be aware that Eldritch Horror uses a similar kind of system…it has a rulebook and a ‘reference guide’.

Cheers.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Terry Lewis
United States
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
"But first, the children ought to be fed." -- Virginia Held (1980) from "Property, Profits, and Economic Justice"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great stuff, Michael and Markus!!! Its like reading and watching a tutorial!!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Allen
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
TCLCATSPAW8MCHS wrote:
Great stuff, Michael and Markus!!! Its like reading and watching a tutorial!!


Glad you found it useful
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.