Saturday, 20 February 2010

Our Wargame Rules

I have had a couple of queries about the rules we use, or rather what sort of rules we use. The only way to really understand a set of rules is to play a couple of games with them. However I will try to give a short overview.

The rules are our own, designed to give a fast and fun game and to rely more on the luck of the dice than detailed knowledge of the rules. They owe a lot to LFS, which were the last set of commercial rules we used. However they have been amended and altered so much that they now have only a passing resemblance to them.

There are four elements to our rules. Command and control, firing, melee and morale. By far the most important is the first.

In a large game there is one commander in chief and four corps commanders. There is a card for each commander, plus a Poor Card. Each move they are shuffled and drawn one at a time. When his card is drawn the commander has his move. He rolls an average dice and adds his command bonus, Gifted is 3, Average is 2 and Poor is 1. He can then issue one order for each command pip.. When the poor card is drawn the next Poor commander to be drawn misses his turn. His corps can fight if attacked, but he can not issue any orders. Commander in Chief can give his move to a poor commander providing he is in base contact and it costs 3 command pips.

Firing consists of artillery, skirmish or volley fire. It is difficult to score a hit with my rules. For example a roll of 8 or more is required when rolling 2D6 for artillery on infantry or cavalry. However once a brigade receives a hit it then affects its ability to fight or make morale by deducting one for each casualty on a firing or morale test.

A brigade which fails its morale for the first time goes from Formed to Shaken. It must then test its morale at the end of each turn. If it fails again it routs. Any supporting brigade within 4” must also test morale for the first round of rout.

There is, of course, much more to the rules than I have outlined above. But it does cover the main points. The overall effect is that most Gifted and Average commanders can carry out their battle plan providing they do not have particularly bad average dice rolls. Poor commanders are very much at the whim of the Poor Card.

Each game is designed to last 12 moves. By move 8 or 9 one side usually suffers more casualties than the other. Once casualties are taken it becomes progressively more difficult to regain the initiative. In particular the loss of cavalry on one side can be decisive, or indeed artillery casualties.

We have used the rules for about two years, and have played about 50 wargames during that time. So far they have managed to provide the sort of games which we enjoy playing. It has been necessary to make a few minor adjustments, but only a few.

If you would like to see the complete rules they can be found at:

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