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Subject: Rules variant proposal rss

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Stefano Adriani
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Hello,

if anybody he's still playing this game (or any other napoleonic game by International Team) I'd like to share some game variants I have been testing in the last months. Some of these ideas have been discussed with Marco Donanodi (creator of the game) by e-mail, hence I'm confident they could improve the game.

First of all, a step back: why do I want to propose some rules variant? T think IT games are very good games if we consider the concept, the boardgame and the counters. The main flaws noticed by players usually regards the rules and the translations. Since I love this games, I thought: "why do not improve them, in order to fully exploit the basic idea?".

Then here they are my guidelines:
- DO NOT ADD RULES: but change or remove the existing ones. A new rule should be applied only if another rule of the same genre is removed.
- KEEP IT AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE (KISS): the main merits of IT napoleonic games it's that they were simple, if compared to majority of napoleonic games. I'd like to preserve this: in other words, I'd like to preserve the concept of "playability over realism".
- KEEP IN MIND REALILTY: given the guidelines above, all the variants should aim to provide a more realistic game experience, taking into consideration actual napoleonic tactics of napoleonic era.

So... given these guidelines, here they are my current variant proposal:


Artillery

Removed rules:
- "They do not suffer malus (+1,+2) if attacked on flank or rear, as ordinary units" --> hence now they do suffer these penalities, as infantry and cavalry units.

Added rules:
- Line of Sight (LOS): artillery can fire to the target following any path, even not linear, but they are forced to choose one of the paths having the minimal possibile distance to the target. This path must not pass over units (friend or foe), woods, towns, hills (identified by one altimetry closed line).


Cavalry

Modified rules:
- They do get the leader bonus (as infantry)
- Forget about the charge bonus equal to the number of squares that the cavalry moves (not realistic): each cavalry just gets +3 when attacking an infantry or an artillery.
- They cannot attack through rivers and embankments.
- They cannot attack units in square, units in town or from a town.
- They can perform "sortie" attack, like infantries.

I made some testing of these new rules and the results are very encorauging. One of these tests is available here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/play/details/8360940

Any feedback, idea or suggestion?
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Kim Meints
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Stefano

Thanks for the variants. I have all the Napoleonic games from International Team-Austerlitz my favourite.

I would suggest that Cav should be allowed to attack infantry in square but with a minus/negative modifier of some kind on the combat.

Also maybe cav allowed to attack a town but in conjuction with Infantry .Alone No.

THanks for adding some new life into to these old gems.
 
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Stefano Adriani
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Hi Kim!

Thanks for your reply!

Actually I was tempted exactly by the same idea: I don't like the idea that cavalry can not attack infantry in square, I'd prefer allowing it to attack with a malus. Considering the KISS approach I'm trying to follow, I'd like to find an unique "malus" rule applying to both the scenario: cavalry attacking units in square or in town.

This leads to 2 questions:

1) I am not sure a negative modifier could work. Even if a cavalry (with combact value 1) had a mimimal negative modifier (-1), this would mean attacking at 0 (zero), i.e. ... what's the purpose for the attacking player to add this cavalry to the fight? Should we add the negative modifier to the +3 bonus to get a neat new modifier (i.e. minor than 3)? Or should we apply only the negative modifier? It could be but ... now we come to question number 2.

2) I think that the rules for infantry in square should be reviewed too! As you know, squares where made by battalions, hence a brigade (an unit in a IT game) could assume square formation alone (actually creating 3-4 squares, not visibles in the game scale). So the current rule requiring 2 brigades to form a square is very innacurate. I think this is probably the main flaw of IT's design, since it's too much convenient to assume square formations even to attack!

In other words, I think we should first modify the rules about squares (trying to have them both simpler and more realistic), and then we could understand how to calculate the negative modifier for a cavalry charging infantry in square.

I already have some ideas, but I'll wait to explain them... I'm still testing them.

What do you think?
 
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Kim Meints
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Redoing the Square rule sounds better. Like I said I haven't looked at the rules for some time so couldn't remember the factors etc concerning the Cav and squares,CRT.

Looking forward to your further testing
 
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Stefano Adriani
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Hi Kim!

Just a brief note to let you know that this topic is still alive.
A complete test requires a whole weekend, probably I'll test the square rules in the next months... I hope before march.

In the meanwhile: Merry Christmas to everybody and Happy New Year.
 
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Kim Meints
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Stefano

Same to you and your family. Looking forward to the new item's in the coming year.
 
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Stefano Adriani
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Here there is proposal for the rules about squares. As above these rules are intented to replace the original ones, with respect to the KISS approach (I playtested them on the Austerlitz game, see: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/play/details/8989522).

First of all: to use this variant it's necessary to produce some dummy counters used to identify squares. I created my own ones, but it's possible to use any other dummy token (e.g. on the Waterloo game it would be fine to use the white side of the "cloud" counters).
I produced just 20 square tokens (to be shared among players), they should be enough for every scenario.

Square system:

1) Square are depicted by simply placing the dummy token below 1 infantry.

2) An infantry forming a square can spend, in that turn, at maximums 2 movement points. This means that an Infantry can move 2 and then form a square, or that an Infantry in square can leave the square formation and then move 2.

3) When unforming a square the infantry chooses the initial front direction freely.

4) It's possible to cover one artillery within a square. Such artillery does not fire and does not contribute to any fight. Id est, the artillery is like a "ghost" counter within a square: it's there but you can completely ignore it. In other words in this case you could even use the artillery as the dummy token!

5) Squares can not be formed in towns.

6) An infantry in square has combact value -1 when attacking, but has value +1 when attacked by cavalry.

7) Cavalries DO NOT have the +3 bonus when attaccking an infantry in square.

8) Infantry in square has a ZOC all around it, but has no front direction (like units in town), hence the attacker does not get any bonus from rear/flank attack (this is just a recap of the original rule).

Notice that with this variant squares can move of 2 move points, as in the original game, but they are formed only by 1 infantry and (optionally) an "invisible" artillery.

Example and comments: the -1 modifier to the attack value of infantry in square can look weird, but it works. Here it is an example. 2 infantries (1 normal with value 1 and 1 strong with value 3) are going to be attacked by 2 cavalries. Each infantry goes in square formation (on his own) and survive the attack. The next turn the 2 squares attack one cavalry by surrounding it. If the strong infantry attacks the cavalry from the front it will fight 2 (3 - 1). If the normal infantry attacks the cavalry from the rear it will fight 0 (1 -1), but since this is a rear attack we'd have a +2 modifier. In this way the 2 squares can fight for a total value of 4, since also the "weak" infantry (the normal one) has contributed by attacking from the rear.

I deem this variant is simple and realistic, since as you may know squares where formed at battalion level and in the game each infantry is usually a brigade, so there is not the need to use 2 infantries to form a square. Such original rule is well designed for beginners, but is not balanced since squares would became very powerful when attacking (not realistic).

I'd wish to thank GIOGAMES for the technical information, feedback and support.
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Kim Meints
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Looks good Stefano,Thanks
 
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Frank Müller
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thanx alot guys, I also love those old games (maybe out of pure romantic reasons ) and I appreciate every improvement effort to bring them to our new century.
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Rob Veenenberg
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Hi Stefano,

Thanks that you solved a lot of problems I had with the game.

For Austerlitz some wood squares were already suggested. Woods terrain should be added in 4 spaces esat of Sokolnitz, adjacent to the river.
Woods terrain should be added in 2 spaces north west of Telnitz, adjacent to the river.
In Austerlitz is a castle, frozen laken and morning mist with negative impact on visibility and hence artilery fire and intelligence.

Now you propose new rules for Cavalry attack bonus, square formations (carrees) and defense of artillery. They al seem logical to me and I can fully agree.
Other players have already suggested LOS rules and they also seem quitre logical.

Cavalry atacks have a bonus of +3 independant of crossed open spaces, but loose that bonus in attacks across rivers, countour lines (uphill) and woods, towns, castle (against them or from them) or enemy units in square formation. Question: to charge they must not at least cross 1 open terrain space to get full speed nad the bounus?? (original idea).

All units attacked from the rear or side loose -2 and -1 CV respectively in combat.

Infantry placed in formations (at start of movement) have bonus from commmanders if in range of them. Cavalry commanders (like Liechtenstein) or Murat have an extra bonus on cavalry attacks of +1 if in range.

But stil unclear for me is the sequence of movement and combat of units, because the rules in Austerlitz suggest: a player moves some unit in or out of formation, then combat takes place, enemy units are retreated and then the player moves other units (cavalry or light infantry) to attack withdrawn enemy units aso. Bonus are valid only at start of the movement, so if infantry form a formation new added units don't increase the bonus valus. Defenders in formation DO all have the bonus at start, but may be driven out of formation ad attacked after subsequent movements of the phasing player. So movenent and combat are mixed in one players turn with the constraint that each unit may move only once and may attack once, except if enemy units cross its front (opportunity fire).

I would keep these MIXED rules in favour of: first all own units may move and then all own units may attack as in so many other wargames.

For unit placement: ONE infantry, cavalry or artillery unit or 1 artillery and 1 infantry unit per square as a maximum with 1 commander. Artillery in a square is placed UNDER an infantry unit, to indicate it can not fire, but then can not be attacked or fired upon either. Artillery may be placed ON infantry units and then CAN fire and can be attacked or fired upon too. The benefit is that all infantry and cavalry have a bonus if attacking a lone artillery unit, but loose that bonus if infantry is also in the square. Infantry unit placed in towns/castle and in square formation has the front to all sides, but movement is restricted to 2 squares. Units in a town or castle can never be part of a formation. Woods, towns and castle break a formation.
Infantry in a square formation may benefit from commander bonus but only if the commander is placed on the square itself. A square can only be formed ore moved in open terrain and never next to an own infantry unit.The CV is as said +1 against cavalry but -1 against infantry.
The CV of an artillery unit is only used in defense and if not stacked with an infantry unit.

Cavalry units are DIS after attacks (with or without a bonus). When starting a turn DIS, they may remove the marker, but can not move attack. If DIS and attacked the may defense normally.
A retreat result on a square formation makes it dizorganised.
Same rules for cavalry.

Opportuinity fire never have adverse effects for the firing units.

Artillery (not in carree) units may fire oppurtunity fire ar enemy units but only once per artillery unit in an enemy turn and not if attacked themselves.

Artillery units (not in carree) may fire grape shot at enemy infantry units attacking them from distance 1 but add a range of +1 if attacked by cavalry. So attacks by infantry on artillery units is always risky. That is why cavalry must be used for this task.

Lone commanders are killed if attacked by enemy infantry or cavalry unites but can not be fired upon by artillery.

In Austerlitz all French Infantry units under command of Soult, Davout or Napoleon have +1 on movement (but not in morning mist) and except units in a Carree.

Robert





 
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Stefano Adriani
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Hi Rob,

thanks a lot for your feedback!

If I got it right, with your nice post you just summarized the rules, isn'it? Or are there any question or doubts?
For my understanding I found just one question from you, i.e.:

Quote:
To charge they [Cavalry] must not at least cross 1 open terrain space to get full speed nad the bounus??

The answer is: no, the Cavalry gets the bonus even if already in contact with the enemy. I got to this idea after practicing some other Napoleonic wargames.

I'll explain: I'm very fond to IT games and I still play them time to time, but in the last 10 years I tried other Napoleonic systems and I each time I got shocked by the differences. Therefore I asked consulting to some experts and I've been told that Cavalry used to charge only the last 100 or 200 meters. If charging started farther from this distance, horse would impact the enemy already "blown". This means that on "grand tactical" game scale - where an hex is more than 100 meters - you can't "see" the space needed by Cavalry to charge.

In other words: each time a Cavalry charges on IT games without moving, we can assume that such Cavalry Division or Regiment did move back and forth "within" the same hex. Does it make sense to you?
 
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Rob Veenenberg
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Stefanp,

Ha yes!!

Actually I had 2 questions. 1 you answered straight away: the space needed for a charge. Answer 0 to 1 space depending on historical facts or a game aspect. Question is then which MF cavalry may use. I would say the higher factor if no combat and the lower factor if cvalry also has combat. Seems that logic for you?

Is the bounus rule valid for all types of cavalry and when does cavalry becomes DIS, only after using the bonus?

The other question was about the movement and combat sequence because Square formations the unit can move and fight or fifgt and move (only 1 combat allowed). Units in a line can move and fight, while units which did not had combat can move further, breaking the formation and have combat after movement. All lone units or infantry units in a column have combat after movement in the classical way. The big difference with IT games is that there is no such movement phase and then a combat phase for all units.
How would you describe the rules of movement and combat?
 
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