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Commands & Colors: Napoleonics» Forums » Variants

Subject: Where are the Roads? And damn the slow infantary! rss

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Mark Foster
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Two thoughts which i'd appreciate your input on.

Firstly where are the roads? They tend to be strategically important in Naploeonic battles eg Quatra Bras. As a tweak ive added road hexes to some battles and we've allowed a +1 movement. Comments please.

Secondly the line infantry move too slowly for our taste. One hex! It does mean for our games line infantry that are towards the edge of the board tend to remain there as neither of want to play five cards to get them into action! Am i missing a trick here? What do more experienced players do? For the timebeing we allow all line units to move like light infantry. Ie up to two hexes but not able to battle.

Your thoughts please.
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Kent Reuber
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The only C&C game where roads appear is in some of the Memoir '44 supplements. The rules are:

Memoir Mediterranean Supplement wrote:
Movement: An ordered unit that starts on a Road hex, moves along the road and ends its movement on it, may move 1 additional hex this turn.

Battle: No combat restrictions.


So your house rule of moving an extra hex while along the road is very compatible. Note that in Memoir, units may battle when moving the extra hex along the road.

The only additional option available to C&C Napoleonics players is the "Grande Manoeuvre" card, which allows you to move large distances but not battle.
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Michael McCalpin
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My understanding from reading posts by experienced C&C:N players is that battles take longer to develop in this game than in C&C:Ancients. The reason for this is because the deadliness of defensive firepower is quite high and therefore an attack is doomed unless the attacker has several cards in hand to press home the attack. It takes a while, so goes the story, to build up such a hand, and in the meantime, both sides are maneuvering units - even those in the back - for the coming blow.

I haven't taken the time or exercised the patience to establish if this is all true, but I have read it often.
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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I've thought about the roads but don't think they're necessary at the current scale. Maybe we could use a few more cards that allow additional movement with no combat like the Breakthrough deck from M44.
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Mark McG
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shouksmiths wrote:
Two thoughts which i'd appreciate your input on.

Firstly where are the roads? They tend to be strategically important in Naploeonic battles eg Quatra Bras. As a tweak ive added road hexes to some battles and we've allowed a +1 movement. Comments please.

Secondly the line infantry move too slowly for our taste. One hex! It does mean for our games line infantry that are towards the edge of the board tend to remain there as neither of want to play five cards to get them into action! Am i missing a trick here? What do more experienced players do? For the timebeing we allow all line units to move like light infantry. Ie up to two hexes but not able to battle.

Your thoughts please.


Roads were important at the operational movement level, having corps move along separate roads, converging on the battlefield etc. Once on the battlefield, I don't think they mattered so much because the formations tended to linear (French assault columns I know, but they formed these up for attacks, not marching columns).

But also, what about the card that allow long movements La Grande March?? (LGM). Don't they represent this?
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Michael Hopcroft
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I have a feeling my first game would have played very, very differently if I had a better understanding of how those cards worked. I had units in my back line that I never got a chance to bring in before my forward units were shot to heck.
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Kevin Duke
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Quote:
Firstly where are the roads? They tend to be strategically important in Naploeonic battles eg Quatra Bras. As a tweak ive added road hexes to some battles and we've allowed a +1 movement. Comments please.


Strategically and operationally important, but CCNap is a tactical game. Adding roads for a tactical game is missing the point.

Like all the other C&C games, movement and shooting range are fixed in relation between units. Line infantry moves one hex because they should be the slowest unit on the board. So making them faster is missing the point and tipping the balance, making the value of lights, cavalry, and artillery weaker.

I'm going to guess you didnt try more than a couple scenarios, or one, before you started fixing things. Have fun, but you're missing a good game.
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Steve Duke
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Michael Hopcroft wrote:
I have a feeling my first game would have played very, very differently if I had a better understanding of how those cards worked. I had units in my back line that I never got a chance to bring in before my forward units were shot to heck.


I bet it would have played much differently Michael.

Working to get the majority of your combat power into the battle is one of the keys to greater success.

The tendency to be overly aggressive and attack piecemeal is common in many people's first 30 games or so.
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Matt Jolly
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shouksmiths wrote:

Secondly the line infantry move too slowly for our taste. One hex! It does mean for our games line infantry that are towards the edge of the board tend to remain there as neither of want to play five cards to get them into action! Am i missing a trick here? What do more experienced players do? For the timebeing we allow all line units to move like light infantry. Ie up to two hexes but not able to battle.


Mark

I would think pretty carefully before changing this, as it is a key part of battle timing. Basically it means that a defending line has a chance of engaging an enemy at range 2 and range 1. Speed the movement and you would have to increase line infantry (and thus all other) firing ranges too.

The cardplay in C&C games is a way of regulating time and simulating command. You can rest assured that if it takes you 5 cards to get into action it'll take your opponent the same. Cardplay in C&C is like time according to Woody Allen - Nature's way of stopping everything happening at once. I think the game designers recognise this; few if any of the scenarios have a turn limit if I remember.

Or that's what I think, anyway.....

What do you think?

Cheers,

Matt
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Michael Dippel
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Normal i am not a fan of to much housrules or changes of official rules,
but the "road" idea is basically not bad.

I think, with the new expansions we get also a few new terrain tiles,
why not tiles (and rules) with roads whistle
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Steve Duke
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I think it has been answered why not.

At this scale road movement and units moving in battle formation instead of march columns, the roads would be irrelevant.

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Matt Jolly
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sduke wrote:
I think it has been answered why not.

At this scale road movement and units moving in battle formation instead of march columns, the roads would be irrelevant.



Steve,

generally I agree with you, and that given the size of the units, and relative size and quality of the roads in this period, there would be no point in representing them.

I would make two points though,

1. saying "at this scale" in reference to C&C games is fraught with opportunities for dispute, as it doesn't seem at all clear what this scale actually is. In Memoir '44 this seems to vary wildly - see my friend
Nick Hare
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's survey of scales in that game Scales for Memoir '44 and there is plenty of opportunity for debate. I simply do not know whether there is as much variation in Commands & Colors: Napoleonics, and

2. Having played a little Napoleonics with miniatures, roads seem to be a key terrain feature irrespective of the size/scale of the battle. Playing Dresden in 28mm on a 18ft x 10ft table (!! at the Wargames Holiday Centre) the roads channelled players thought and movement even though only a tiny % of the units could use them at any given time. So maybe there is a psychological argument for including them - I would have to defer to someone more expert in the period. Certainly I think that Napoleonics players "expect" to see roads, whereas Ancients players are rarely surprised they aren't there.

As someone who only rarely plays Napoleonics, and knows less about the period, I think that most of the time, at the level of abstraction represented by C&C:N they probably shouldn't be there, which is pretty much what you said Steve, but I am sure that there is plenty of room for disagreement!

Or maybe not?

Cheers,

Matt
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Steve Duke
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matt.jolly wrote:
[1. saying "at this scale" in reference to C&C games is fraught with opportunities for dispute,


Well said, Matt. I do agree with your entire post.
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Kevin Duke
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I remember the "road issue" in Mem '44, tho I never actually played that game. I was wondering about all the talk/blather about house rules for CCA (mostly posted by people who had played the game one time or less) and went looking to see if this happened a lot with Mem. In that game, the rules went up well before release, and yes, there were people announcing changes/improvements to the game they didn't even own. Roads was the top of the list, even tho I recall reading something like Richard B saying the roads were already considered (built in) to the map. For "at this scale" every hex would have lots of roads. Didn't matter. People WANTED to see roads because they want a difference to be available.

For me, since CCNap doesn't use formations (aside from square) the road/no road thing is moot. Units are assumed to be in line or column or road column, as needed. It is just, on this scale (of abstraction) the most important thing is speed relative to space and to other types of units.

In combat, the column/line thing is built into the system in those DRMs that various units have. That works for me, and seems to work fine for others who play 10 scenarios or more, and only then really start getting a feel for how to work the CCN machine.

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Matt Jolly
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kduke wrote:
I remember the "road issue" in Mem '44, tho I never actually played that game. I was wondering about all the talk/blather about house rules for CCA (mostly posted by people who had played the game one time or less) and went looking to see if this happened a lot with Mem. In that game, the rules went up well before release, and yes, there were people announcing changes/improvements to the game they didn't even own. Roads was the top of the list, even tho I recall reading something like Richard B saying the roads were already considered (built in) to the map. For "at this scale" every hex would have lots of roads. Didn't matter. People WANTED to see roads because they want a difference to be available.

For me, since CCNap doesn't use formations (aside from square) the road/no road thing is moot. Units are assumed to be in line or column or road column, as needed. It is just, on this scale (of abstraction) the most important thing is speed relative to space and to other types of units.

In combat, the column/line thing is built into the system in those DRMs that various units have. That works for me, and seems to work fine for others who play 10 scenarios or more, and only then really start getting a feel for how to work the CCN machine.



Well said Kevin,

I have played all the C&C system so far, and liked it all except Battlelore, where Battles of Westeros scratches my mediaeval itch better...

everything you say is true I think, although as ever with the system, with so many detractors, I think generalisation has to be a bit of a bugaboo. The problem is with M44 that it does cover so many scales and situations that sometimes a road could be relevant. Examples:

Pegasus Bridge is so tactical that roads may well have an influence on the creation of fire lanes as well as on movement. As the system had no rules for specialist machine guns though,who cared?

Capturing the tactical frustrations of XXX Corps during Market Garden is tough without roads, so roads there are.....

But generally I am sure that they can be ignored over much of western Europe, which has enjoyed an effective road network (during the campaigning season at least) for maybe two centuries, and some good roads back to Roman times. They just are a part of the "clear" terrain all over the place.....

So there may be some specific Napoleonic scenarios where the roads had tactical significance because of specific location, weather, terrain, the requirement to move artillery or the whims of the general, but I am quite content that they aren't there for the most part.

Cheers,

Matt
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