Andreas E. Gebhardt
LA BATAILLE OPTIONAL RULES
The following are house rules which may be used with the La Bataille tactical Napoleonics game system, published by Clash of Arms Games.
They need not be used en masse; in fact, some of the rules presented here contradict others. Choose the ones that are of interest.
"Regulations of the Year XXII"
VII.3: As each MU activates, any of its units, which will not be moved in any fashion, may fire.
** This rule considerably increases the importance of firepower relative to melee.
VII.5: Just prior to the Reorganization Segment, any combat units may accept a voluntary DR and immediately retreat. A leader stacked with such a unit may retreat with it.
** This adds more flexibility to a defender in a tight spot, but the cost may be terrible.
VII.6: Morale levels are calculated at the end of every Reorganization Segment. This also applies to XX.8.
** Disorder and panic could spread fast on a Napoleonic battlefield. With this rule they will.
VIII.2(a): Non-moving enemy units may change facing if a non-cavalry unit of the friendly active MU moves adjacent. The enemy unit must pass a morale check. A unit not in command subtracts six from the dice roll. Failure results in Desordre.
VIII.2(b): In conjunction with VIII.2(a), if the friendly unit will Assaut, the enemy unit subtracts six from the dice roll; if not in command, subtract twelve.
VIII.2(c): VIII.2(a) does not apply if the friendly unit will Assaut.
** These offer more tactical flexibility for the defender, but are tricky to use.
X.4.B: Cavalry in column, which does not move nor take part in combat during the turn, need not deploy the Column of Companies "tail".
** A pragmatic rule, if nothing else; line markers may be in short supply.
XI.2: Napoleon, or an Army Artillery Leader, may form a Grand Battery MU from any continuous line of batteries.
** This is especially useful in conjunction with optional rule VII.3.
XII.2.A.7: Horse artillery may stack with cavalry in the absence of a leader, as long as stacking limits are not exceeded.
XII.2.A.8: Foot artillery may stack with infantry in the absence of a leader, as long as stacking limits are not exceeded.
** These two are for those who find the standard rules too limiting.
XII.2.A.10: Infantry may voluntarily overstack in the presence of a leader. The overstacking morale penalty is in effect, and elite immunity to negative morale modifiers is waived.
** More tactical finesse, mainly for the attacker. This rule makes for powerful, yet unstable formations.
XII.2.A.11: Units may remain stacked after the leader moves away, as long as the units in the stack do not move in any way.
** This rule was devised by Steve Sickels.
XIV.4: Unlimbered artillery losses are not halved due to infantry fire.
** This increases artillery (crew) vulnerability, unless stacked with infantry.
XIV.6: Opportunity Fire is not halved.
** This makes exiting a ZdI more dangerous.
XV.2(a): There is a six point morale penalty for a unit in line which Rolls to Close.
XV.2(b): There is a six point morale bonus for a unit in column which Rolls to Close.
XV.2(c): A unit which successfully Rolls to Close may not change formation during movement.
XV.2(d): A unit Rolling to Close must target the nearest enemy unit. If two or more enemy units are at equal distance, the phasing player may choose freely among them.
** The above rules place added restrictions on attacking, while somewhat favoring the use of assaulting columns.
XV.2(e): XV.2(d) does not apply to units which begin more than four hexes away from any enemy unit.
** This promotes the employment of tactical reserves.
XV.2(f): Rolling to Close may be undertaken by division or brigade. If this is done, no unit of that organization may Roll to Close individually. The dice are rolled once for all units which are involved. If all pass, the attack goes in; if even a single unit fails, then they all fail. Standard modifiers apply.
** This represents the initial, pre-planned assault.
XV.4: Unlimbered horse artillery may attempt to limber and Retreat Before Assaut in the face of an infantry attack. A morale check is required. Failure results in Desordre.
** Maybe these speedy batteries have just enough time to pull it off. Maybe...
XV.5.A: Assaut still occurs after a successful Roll to Stand if any retreat, however theoretical, would result in the total destruction of the defending infantry unit. This applies to single-increment units in the open, and surrounded units in the open. In such a case, if the Roll to Close succeeds, the Assaut occurs. The Roll to Stand will only determine the formation status of the defender.
** Wafer-thin lines, or units without secure rear areas, are at greater risk, as this rule makes clear. Establish tactical reserves, maintain a solid line, and protect the flanks!
XV.7: Each unit in a stack loses an increment for each ZdI it exits.
** The French benefit from regimental organization.
XV.13: The definition of a "blank" result presented here-- which appears to contradict the definition in the Assaut chart and the p.59 example-- is correct.
** The broader understanding of "blank" makes for more fluid play.
XVI.8(a): After an infantry unit reaches its morale check-point, as defined in the special rules, it subtracts six from all morale checks.
XVI.8(b): This rule must be used in conjunction with XVI.8(a). An infantry unit which has lost half its original strength subtracts a further six from all morale checks.
XVI.8(c): After an infantry unit reaches its morale check-point, it checks morale with every subsequent increment lost.
XVI.8(d): An infantry unit that has lost half its original strength checks morale with every subsequent increment lost.
XVI.8(e): Cavalry that have lost half their original strength subtract six from all morale checks.
XVI.8(f): If a unit suffers a multiple increment loss as a result of a single combat event, and it is required to check morale, then a check is performed for each increment lost.
XVI.8(g): Units which have routed subtract six from all future morale checks. This penalty may increase with each subsequent PGD.
** Try these if play seems too static.
XVII.8: Artillery must fire at a short range target regardless of a better shot farther away.
XVII.14: Returning batteries may deploy stacked with or adjacent to superior leaders in the ladder of command.
XVIII.9.D: The Movement Potential reduction due to exhaustion takes effect after the initial PGD or bounce.
** These are simple extensions of the existing rules.
XVIII.19: Grande Charges may attack enemy units en Carre.
** If they really want to...
XIX.5: On the first turn a corps leader may be activated if within the command span of an army leader.
** This represents plans made before the battle begins.
XIX.9: If a leader is removed from play, he may be replaced by the aide-de-camp of a leader above him in the "ladder" of command. If no aide is available, then the superior leader may take charge himself.
** This is a semi-official rule.
XX.2.A.2(a): The cavalry unit or stack must be at least three increments, or at least at half strength-- whichever is greater-- in order to cause a disordered unit to rout. This requirement is waived if the cavalry is equal or superior to the disordered unit in number of increments.
XX.2.A.2(b): Any good order units adjacent to the cavalry unit may fire at it first. If the cavalry lose good order, then adjacent disordered units do not rout.
** These rules balance the ability of cavalry to cause mass panic.
XX.4.A(a): Elite units with a morale number (as opposed to a "--") which have lost half their original strength are affected by negative morale modifiers.
XX.4.A(b): Elite units with a morale number (as opposed to a "--") which have lost half their original strength subtract six from all morale checks.
** These set the Old Guard apart from other elites.
XXII.3(a): These are now known as "action" chits. The first action chit is basically the same, with the following possible additions:
XXII.3(b): Units in Desordre may also move.
XXII.3(c): Units which are currently adjacent to enemy units may move.
XXII.3(d): Units may change formation, in order to move as fast as possible.
XXII.3(e): Units may move towards the nearest friendly depot. While doing so, they must stay as far away from enemy units as possible. If the only path not blocked by enemy units requires movement away from the depot, then this rule does not apply.
XXII.3(f): In conjunction with XXII.3(e), leaders stacked with moving units may accompany them.
XXII.3(g): Note that it is possible for a unit to move twice in a turn: once as a member of a MU, and once as a result of the first action chit.
** These enhance group consolidation, and provide a mechanism for general retreat.
XXII.3(h): The second action chit is now the Artillery Fire Phase chit. When it is pulled, all unlimbered artillery may immediately fire.
** This may soon be an official rule.
Bravo! I will have to give these options a close look. I have the game, have never played it, for lack of space, but am itching to. I must try to talk my wife into letting me set this and other monsters in the "bird" room (or, in other words, "her" extra room). As our birds are free to fly and roam about within that room, I may have a few aerial bombardments with which to contend.