Sunday, 30 August 2015

Uneven Campaign Battles

 3 British corps v 2 French corps 

My campaign was created to provide interesting wargames.  So it was designed to allow me to wargaming any battle it produced using 28mm figures on my 6x6 foot table.

It started as a solo campaign, so uneven battles were never a problem.  I would just retreat the smaller army and the larger would achieve their limited objective.   The framework was to take a series of cities and towns, so this type of bloodless victory was a win for the larger army.

When I converted the campaign to PBEM it soon became obvious that this solution would not be acceptable, particularly to the player with the larger army.  He would, quite rightly, want his pound of flesh for catching the other player at a disadvantage.   

In the early days we used to wargame these uneven battles.   It did not happen too often, but when it did it was a drag.  

With five geographical areas there are actually five campaigns being played.   And within each area it is not unusual for more than one battle to require wargaming on the same day.

The whole campaign runs to the same time table, so when there is a large number of battles to be wargamed the whole campaign has to be put on hold until they are resolved.

A small battle usually takes about five days.   A large, four corps per side, battle can take twice that time.  

With this background an uneven battle becomes a problem.  

First it is not much fun for the player with the smaller army
Second it takes about ten days to reach a conclusion which is never in doubt

So the obvious answer was to write a set of rules to resolve uneven battles.   I roll 2D6 and compare the total with a simple chart for the result.   The lower the dice the less the casualties.   Both armies always suffer some casualties, but the smaller one always suffer more.

It has worked well for the five years of the campaign.   Paticularly when we had two corps against one.  But this week we had four against three, and I realised that there needs to be different charts to reflect the larger battles.  

The result is the new combat chart in my campaign rules.   If you would like to read them you should follow the link on the right for Napoleonic Campaign Rules.   The latest entry explains the amendment, and the complete rules can be read by clicking on Label 06 Combat.

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