Sunday, September 20, 2015

Waterloo Take Two - Rule Adaptions

The rules in use for Waterloo Take Two are Napoleon's Battles 2nd Edition plus some options from Edition IV - The Marechal Edition.  The original (Avalon Hills), 2nd (Five Forks) and 3rd (Lost Battalion) editions are very close.

Basic rules only with following additions/changes:

Napoleon rule, which is already factored in to the French morale factors.

Wellington rule, which allows him to be put on react and move like cavalry (he is plus 3 defence).  Comment - never seen this ability used.

Blucher rule, which provides a separate figure for Blucher who is a +3 attack and defence.  Comment - gives the Prussians their very own Ney.

Will not use the NB IV interpenetration penalty (which counts as rough terrain movement for infantry and cavalry) although I would like to note some examples as they occur. Comment - Arenschildt's cavalry brigade action in the 12:30 turn in Part 1 of the game.  The depth and interior lines of teh Anglo-Allied forces means a lot of interpenetration is going to be required.  Also, just seeing how a lead unit being disordered holds things up, I would not want any additional imposts on movement.

NB IV 10.4 (p80) Out of command units can try and self command (very important for Allied cavalry, but also helps French and Prussians) with a -3 to their response. If success Infantry and 12# half move, cavalry and horse artillery full move, on fail infantry and 12# no move, rest half move.  Comment - this is working really well.

NB IV 10.3 (p79) Routed units can self rally with a -3 to their response number.  Not using additional rout penalty on role of a 10.  Comment - this is working really well too.

Winner's loss occurs only as a result of combat (routing a unit in contact by fire doesn't cause a winner's loss, same as if it routs on withdraw,  although you do get to advance after combat if applicable)

Wheels are done at half speed (i.e. double the distance) and measured corner to corner.  Only restriction is no wheeling within an inch of enemy combat units.  Comment - saves having to us the template which produces basically the same effect and is a very easy concept to master.

A unit in column can turn 90 degrees as a change of formation (although a unit can often do this by wheeling and then moving sideways).  Comment - I want to look at formation changes as they seem unnecessarily restrictive.

Generals attached to a victorious modifying unit must advance with it to occupy the ground.  Comment - not such an issue given the self command option.

Generals over run but not eliminated return in the their side's next movement phase (means they miss a rally and command step).  Generals missing a turn miss a whole turn and come back in the movement step (i.e. miss two rally and command steps).  Same goes for replacement generals.  This is not so bad given optional rules 10.3 and 10.4.  Comment - seems to be working okay.  Means a general being displaced is a negative event, not a potential bonus.

Free rolls - eight per side (calculated as one per 4 turns plus 2 for Excellent Commanders - Napoleon and Blucher).  Comment - Free Rolls, love em!  A great indicator of a player's morale.

An infantry unit is only pinned from forming emergency square by being within one inch of a formed enemy infantry unit (this was the big change from edition 1 to edition 2).  Comment - in NB IV cavalry can again pin infantry.  I well recall the problems this caused in NB I so I'm not going back to this.  Infantry threaten by cavalry form square..

Small units.  Previously an infantry unit had a minimum of four bases (16 figures) and cavalry three (12 figures).  In the order of battle there are a few 8 figure cavalry units and 12 figure infantry units to better reflect the brigade (and in some cases large regiment) structure.  Comment - I've been playing with this for a while and it works well with historical scenarios.  Only complication is deciding which formation a two base unit is in and this gets me thinking of why cavalry has both a line and column formation when the movement and combat factors are so close?  For infantry I see line as deployed and column as maneuver, but for cavalry maybe line should denote react or attack.  Trouble is the depth of a cavalry base causes it to take up so much room.

Units withdrawing do so as columns using unformed movement (they are disordered) however first inch retains the units footprint for disordered units behind them.  Comment - I'm just trying this out as I found lines and squares withdrawing was a problem.  It was inspired by units in NB IV withdrawing from a  BUA do so in column.

Cavalry on react are classed as attacking cavalry.  Comment - this gets over the need for a counter charge rule.

Anglo cavalry start on react (not the DBC, BW or Cumberland).  Comment - the two sides start so close and teh French are in full view so the Anglo-Allied side needs some help.

Rough terrain movement , artillery cannot fire more than 1 inch into a wood
With the exception of the light green orchards, all woods are Dense which means movement in line or unlimbered or changing formation causes disorder.

Artillery may only cross streams at bridges while limbered or in march column.
Infantry and cavalry units may ford streams only in column or march column.
Cavalry units that are in a stream for any part of their movement are automatically disordered.
Crossing at a bridge in march column is without penalty
All other crossing is counted as fording and rough terrain movement

Contours create an artillery dead zone (see  Given the low profile of the terrain, BUAs and
woods in dead zones do block artillery fire.

Built Up Areas

Apart from the villages these are the chateaus and farms of Huogomont, La Haye Saint (including surrounding sandpit and sunken road) and Papelotte and La Marache (Smohain) (which also include sunken roads and extensive hedges).  All BUAs have a factor of +1 except Huoguomont which is +2 - this is a major change from the last game.

If the BUA is not large enough to fit a four base unit in then it is treated as no effect (for example the castle of Frischermont).

Two hits are required to cause one casualty to a unit deployed in a BUA.

Deployed units have their disorder number increased by one.

Remember to count as deployed a unit needs to be in the BUA and then change formation, if they are just in the BUA they only count it as cover.

When a unit defeats a deployed unit it occupies the BUA (i.e. advances fully into it), adopting a column formation.  As it is disordered it will not get the benefits until it remains stationary for a turn, and then changes formation to deployed (and hence able to use its LN combat factor) .  (I've just made the rule about occupying a BUA up as otherwise it would take three turns to deploy into a BUA after successfully attacking it - this way it takes two and gives the opponent time to counterattack.)

Each time a hit is caused by artillery, roll again and a 1 will cause a fire to start from 6# or 9# and 1 or 2 will cause a fire to start from 12pdr batteries or 3 for the BrHHA.  If occupied a roll of 1 to 5 puts out the fire, otherwise it burns for rest of the game.  A BUA on fire counts as rough terrain and disorders any units in or moving through it.  Note being reduced to rough terrain will limit the ability of most troops to deploy into it.

Each time a hit is caused by 12pdr artillery roll again and on a roll of 1 the defensive factor of the BAU is reduced by 1 (never below +0).

Movement in a BUA is not affected (but possibly should be, given the inclusion/abstraction of difficult terrain such as hedges and sunken roads).  Units cannot move through a BUA that is occupied other infantry, friendly or enemy (as they have barricaded the roads etc as part of their deployment).

Artillery cannot be deployed in a BUA (they can in purpose built fortifications).

Comment - I feel BUA rules need to attune to the scenario.  NB IV fixed the problem with fire combat that previously made BUAs death traps, although I don't agree with attacking units in column using their line combat factors.  I also lessened the chance of fire and damage, but also have lower values for the BUAs that are not fortifications.  I like the idea of a unit occupying a BUA after combat occupying the whole thing, something I interpreted as being a change in NB IV.  I don't like the idea of a BUA being automatically rough terrain or a unit being able to deploy forward into a BUA - you need to be in it to deploy.

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