A diversionPosted: June 1, 2016
I should be play-testing the naval rules for my forthcoming COW session; I should be building some model Torpedo Boat Destroyers for that session; I should be putting my ideas for a hexed-based version of AIRFIX BATTLES down on paper; I should be trimming the laurel hedge at the end of the garden.
I am doing none of these things. Instead I am looking at a tabletop covered in Hexon II hexed terrain and playing a wargame with some of the figures from my collection of re-painted Del Prado Napoleonics.
The reason why is simple; I had the sudden urge to push some shiny toy soldiers about … so I have.
I have even jotted down some very simple rules with which to do it:
- Both side throw a D6 at the beginning of each turn. The side with the highest score moves first that turn.
- During its part of a turn a side activates each of its units in turn, starting on the left and moving to the right.
- Activated infantry can do one or more of the following: move, change formation, fire, or assault an enemy unit.
- Activated cavalry can do one or more of the following: move, change formation, assault an enemy unit.
- Activated artillery can move or fire.
- Infantry in column can move up to two hexes.
- Infantry in line can move one hex.
- Infantry is square cannot move.
- Cavalry in column can move up to three hexes.
- Cavalry in line can move up to two hexes unless moving to assault an enemy unit, in which case they can move up to four hexes.
- Artillery can move one hex but cannot fire during the same turn.
- Units expend one hex of movement to change formation (i.e. from line to column, column to line, line or column to square, or square to column or line).
- Infantry weapons have a range of 3 hexes; throw 6 x D6 if in line; 3 x D6 if in column or square.
- Artillery has a range of 6 hexes; throw 4 x D6 per crew figure.
- If target is in column or square: 1 casualty caused by 4, 5, or 6.
- If target is in line or is artillery: 1 casualty caused by 5 or 6.
- Targets in cover reduce D6 scores by one.
- A unit assaulting another must do so by moving into an adjoining hex.
- Both sides throw D6s to resolve an Assault.
- Infantry throw 3 x D6.
- Cavalry throw 4 x D6.
- Artillery throw 2 x D6.
- Casualties as per firing.
- Both sides also total D6 scores; highest total wins the assault and pushed the opposing unit back one hex.
- When a unit is reduced to 50% of its original strength (i.e. infantry have 3 casualties, cavalry have 2 casualties, and artillery has 1 casualty) it throws a D6.
- If the score is 3, 4, 5, or 6, the unit is unaffected but must take a further morale test when it suffers another casualty; if the score is 1 or 2, the unit must fall back one hex at once and must continue to retreat for the rest of the battle.
RALLYING RETREATING UNITS
- A general can attempt to rally a retreating unit by being in the same or an adjoining hex.
- The general throws a D6, and if the score is lower than the unit’s current strength, the unit will rally and stop retreating.
- Infantry units are destroyed when they have suffered 6 casualties.
- Cavalry units are destroyed when they have suffered 4 casualties.
- Artillery units are destroyed when they have suffered 2 casualties.
- When a unit is destroyed it is immediately removed from the battlefield.
THE BATTLE OF NERFBURG HEATH
In the period after the end of the Napoleonic Wars a number of battles were fought between some of the smaller nations to settle boundary disputes. This is one such battle.
The Prussian-sponsored (and uniformed) Principality of Hexland had been allocated the formerly independent Archbishopric of Grosse-Schism under the Treaty of Vienna, but the Archbishop – a well-known cleric with interesting but controversial views about almost everything – objected, and called upon the neighbouring minor states for aid. As a result a small army was assembled on the road between Hexland and Grosse-Schism to ‘persuade’ the ‘invaders’ to depart empty-handed.
The Hexlanders were aware of the presence of the ‘defenders’ of Gross-Schism, and were fully prepared for battle when both sides ‘bumped’ into each other on the flat and almost empty Nerfburg Heath early in the morning. Both sides lined up facing each other, waiting for the other side to make the first move.
The field of battle showing the opening dispositions
The Hexlanders fielded (from top to bottom) the 1st Hexland Hussars, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Hexland Fusiliers, and the 1st Hexland Field Artillery, and they were led by …
… General von Trumpf.
The forces that had come to the aid of the Archbishop of Grosse-Schism included (from top to bottom) the 1st Dutch Carabiniers, the Dutch-Belgian Infantry, the Brunswick Infantry, the Hannover Infantry, and the Guard Horse Artillery, and they were led by …
… General von Klinkerhoff.
The Hexland infantry advanced in column towards the Grosse-Schism army, supported by the Hussars and the artillery.
They were met by a fusillade of musket fire from the the Brunswickers and Dutch-Belgians … and thanks to some very accurate firing, the Guard Artillery destroyed the Hexland Artillery before it could open fire!
The advancing Hexland Hussars proved too tempting a target for the Carabiniers …
… who charged them …
… and forced them to fall back!
The Hexland infantry all moved from column into line and opened fire on the Grosse-Schism troops.
The Hussars now returned the ‘compliment’ they had received at the hands of the opposing cavalry, and shook themselves into line before charging the Carabiniers …
… who they met on equal terms …
… before destroying them!
Whilst the Dutch-Belgians quickly deployed into square to face off any threat from the Hexland Hussars …
… the Brunswick infantry (which had deployed from column into line) fired at the Hexland infantry, and caused them to fall below 50% strength threshold.
The Guard Horse Artillery also fired at the nearest Hexland infantry unit …
… and reduced them to 50% of their original strength.
At this point these two Hexland infantry units began to fall back, and despite the attempts by General von Trumpf to rally them, they began to retreat from the battlefield.
With more than half of his army destroyed or retreating, General von Trumpf had to admit defeat. The Archbishopric of Grosse-Schism was saved … for the moment!
Although this battle lasted only two turns, a lot happened and it was a very enjoyable diversion. I suspect that the combat results are a bit too ‘bloody’ and may need to be changed in order to produce longer battles, but I think that the basic structure and mechanisms of these very simple rules work.
This was the first time that I have used my (not so) newly-varnished and based Del Prado pre-painted 25/28mm-scale Napoleonic figures on the tabletop … and I am very pleased that I have finally got around to doing so! Thanks to Stuart Asquith and Tim Gow I have quite a few more to varnish and base, but once I have I can now foresee myself using the collection in a campaign or two … or even more!