Friday, September 19, 2008

Move 56 & 57 - 15:00 to 17:00 (Day 3)

15:00 to 16:00 (Turn 56 & 57) - Day 2..For the last two days DG and I have been wrestling with the delightful nitty gritty of post battle campaign moves...

Prompted by one of the comments to my blog entry for the campaign game (from Bluebear Jeff (click here to go to his blog))....

"Realizing that most "casualties" are not really even dead or wounded, but scattered, I use a simple mechanism for campaign games. I roll 1d6 for each lost stand not whole unit). Depending upon how bloody we wish to make it, we might vary the number needed for a safe return. Typically the winning side gets stands back by rolling 3+; loser on a 4+. Thus about half of the loser's lost stands return; and about two thirds of the winner’s...but sometimes the dice are very fickle. In addition, units that lost more than half of their stands need to make a die roll to keep from losing a morale grade; and units that got "wiped out" need to make a much tougher roll to keep from dropping. The rationale for this is that scattered troops keep filtering back into camp after the battle's over . .. . and the winner gets a better chance because they are (generally at least) in possession of the battlefield. The further rationale is that troops that got mauled and scattered have a good chance of having lost some of their élan."
....I did some thinking on my bike on the way home and came to the conclusion that I liked the simplicity and elegance very much. Accordingly with some small changes I proposed the following to DG:
  • The battle took the duration of two campaign moves, so we have two Berthier turns to do:
    • those British units who were on the road (ie. the group with the Irish & Erbprinz etc.) should be grouped with the rest of the British units at their ‘grouping position’ somewhere near Carnine (I leave it to DG to decide where this should be, but suggested no further than three Berthier squares away, but not within 2 Berthier squares).. this represents the British decision to withdraw and re-group at the end of the battle.
    • My ‘grouping position’ will be across the bridge in the other half of Carnine ie. for the same reason I will withdrawn and re-group (following all those militia and dragoons!)

  • In the rules I use ( click here) our units are always depicted as being two bases, but can have a varying number of strength points (SP's) to reflect the "effectiveness" of the unit. A full strength regiment of infantry is assumed to have in the region of 250 men which equates to 5 SP's. In the game SP's are lost as a result of firing casualties, melee casualties, morale checks etc. so in this case they equate nicely to Jeff's bases. For each SP lost I suggested we throw 2D6 (we use 2D6 as a matter of course in the rules so it seemed easy to use the same process); an SP is then recovered on a score of 6+ with the following modifiers:
    • Add the units morale bonus to the dice eg. for the Grenadiers you would be throwing 2D6+2 - my thinking being that troops with a high morale are more likely to return to the colours.
    • Subtract one from the dice if the unit took over half casualties (Jeff’s rationale about being mauled is good, I really like it!)

  • Once the throws are complete, we can then regroup and condense our units as required so as to meet the requirements of the rules ie. “Units with less than 3 strength points should be combined whenever possible, and units with more than 6 strength points must be split.” I also suggested that when condensing units, morale should never improve ie. if you are combining two units one of which has a 0 morale modifier, and one of which has +1, then the combined unit would be 0, not +1...
  • We track fatigue per unit to ensure that our little metal men don't turn into little supermen marching all day and night, day after day. DG came up with the idea - for each turn, depending on what you do, a unit is deducted fatigue points - once it gets over 25 fatigue points it starts to temporarily lose SP's. Either way, all units engaged in the battle also take 5 fatigue points per turn for being in battle.
  • We can then update Berthier to reflect the changes and push on with the campaign..

DG agreed to all of the above so we're currently in the process of starting campaign moves again..

Oh, and the pictures? They're from a web resource that Tony de Lyall (the author of Berthier) and I were discussing this week... an absolute gem for the American War of Independence players amongst us, I've add the link to my AWI Project page, or you can click here. Specifically, they are the French Saintonge Regiment, and a private of British 17th Regiment of Foot - both units were present at Yorktown, and I have these units in my collection, but they don't look anywhere near as good as Mr. Troiani's paintings... :o))

...all this and I've just noticed that I've gone through the 20,000 visitor mark.... corr!!


  1. Steve,

    First, my congratulations on breaking the 20K barrier.

    Next, I'm glad that my comment spurred your imagination and was useful to you. I like simple solutions . . . and of course they don't always give you back the troops you want.

    By the way, I do vary it depending upon the severity of the fighting . . . so that sometimes I'll use 4+ and 5+ although I usually go with the numbers you quoted for me.

    I'm glad that you're pleased with the concept.

    -- Jeff

  2. Sounds like a fun campaign. I'll be checking back to see how things are going.