Sunday, May 5, 2019

Portable Napoleonics: Army Corps Battle of Rosiere

Looking westward from the Ardennes Forest behind
Grand Rosiere.
Driven from the town of Perwez du Pahaux, the 2nd Division of the North German Army Corps drew off eastwards from which direction the main body was expected to arrive.  Despite heavy losses, Generalmajor von Mueller's command retained its good order, the Kurprinz battalions successfully holding the road open that the remainder make their escape.
Grand Rosiere and the main German line.
Arriving in the late afternoon (15 June) at the town of Grand Rosiere, von Mueller received word that the Army Corps main body was not far distant to the east.  On the strength of that intelligence, and in view of the resolve to continue the westward march if possible, he placed the twin towns of Grand and Petit Rosiere in a state of defence.  He would hold there until the rest of the Corps arrived to sweep the enemy from the field.

The battlefield comprised a fairly dense network of roads, and although there were plenty of bridges crossing the river and its tributary stream, the watercourses were everywhere fordable by horse and foot, though not to vehicles and cannon.  The gentle hills rose to no great heights, more casual rises in the ground than eminences of any real significance.
Grid map of the Grand Rosiere battlefield.

The Prussian command comprised:

North German Federal Army Corps, 1815:

General Commanding: Graf Kleist von Nollendorf   (Good: SP8)

1st (Hessian) Brigade; Generalmajor Prinz zu Solms-Braunfels (Average 3SP)
     2nd Grenadier Battalion von Lassberg   (Elite SP1)
     Infantry Regiment Landgraf Carl  (Average SP2)
     Infantry regiment Prinz Solms (Average SP2)
2nd (Hessian) Brigade; Generalmajor von Muller (Average 3SP)
     1st Grenadier Battalion von Haller (Elite SP1)
     Infantry Regiment Kurfurst (Average SP2)
     Infantry Regiment Kurprinz (Average SP2)
3rd (Anhalt-Thuringen) Brigade; Oberst von Egloffstein (Average SP3)
     1st Provisional (Saxe-Weimar/Anhalt) Regiment  (Poor SP4)
     2nd Provisional (Saxe-Gotha/ Schwarzburg) Regiment (Poor SP3)
     3rd Provisional (Lippe/Lippe-Detmold Landwehr/Waldeck) Regiment (Poor SP3)
     Oldenburg Line Infantry Regiment  (Average SP2)
Hessian Cavalry Brigade; Generalmajor von Warburg (Average SP3)
     Life Dragoon Regiment (Poor SP2)
     Hussar Regiment (Poor SP2)
Corps Artillery; (Average SP1)
Placing the Kurprinz Regiment in Petit Rosiere as a strong flank guard, von Mueller drew his main line south from the Rosiere south river bridge to Grand Rosiere, the gun battery hard by the bridge itself, flanked by the Kurfurst Regiment, and Grenadiers von Haller in Gross Rosiere itself.  The cavalry would cover the left flank south of the town. 
3rd (Anhalt-Thuringen) Brigade, advancing along the
Chemin des Ramillies
Meanwhile, the 1st and 3rd Infantry Brigades (Division strength) were marching hotfoot up separate roads from the east. [Which Brigade took which road was decided by die roll.  First Brigade taking the northern route, Avenue des Deportees, 3rd Brigade took the other.  How far along the road the heads of the columns had reached as the battle opened was also determined by die roll, the pip-score determining the number of grid-hexes marched.  Both had, in fact, made very good time.  Along the Avenue des Deportees, 1st Brigade was about to enter Gerompont village; whilst 3rd Brigade, chivvied along, no doubt,  by their impatient commander, had almost reached the Chemin des Ramillies bridge.  The Brigades had rolled 4 and 5 respectively.
1st Hessian Brigade, approaching Gerompont village.
Such was the North German situation as the French appeared to the west.  They had available:

French Army of the Meuse, 1815:

General Commanding: General of Division Henri Count Beaujolais (Average, SP6)

French 'Army of the Meuse'.  Again, the flags denote
Divisional command.  Figures: infantry except for
 Grenadiers, '1st generation' Minifigs; Artillery, hussars,
dragoons and mounted command, later Minifigs
chasseurs-a-cheval, Hotspur.  
1st Division; Genl of Div,  Maurice Merlot (Average SP3)
     Carignon Converged Grenadiers    (Elite, SP2)
     3rd Legere (Average SP2)
     20th Ligne  (Average SP2)
     23rd Ligne  (Average SP2)
2nd Division; Genl of Div, Emile Baron Malbec (Average SP3)
     41st Ligne (Average SP2)
     57th Ligne (Average SP2)
     88th Ligne (Average SP2)
3rd Division; Genl of Brigade, St-Amand de Viognier (Average SP3)
     32nd Ligne (Average SP2)
     70th Ligne (Average SP2)
     103rd Ligne (Poor SP2)

Cavalry Division; Genl of Div, St Jean-Anne-Marie Count Cabernet-Sauvignon (Good SP4)
     9th Hussars (Elite SP2)
     21st Chasseurs-a-cheval (Average SP2)
     16th Dragoons (Average SP2)
Corps Artillery; (Average, SP2)

There being three roads available, each was taken by an infantry Division, 1st to 3rd, north to south.  This was determined by a die roll, and just happened to turn out that way.  The cavalry and artillery rolled for the northern or southern half as separated by the wooded ridge, both rolling to appear on the southern wing.   The overall situation as the sun began to peer over the distant forested hills of the Ardennes, may be seen in the following pictures.
The battlefield, looking south.

3rd French Division, cavalry and guns.

Looking north along the French line.
Before continuing the narrative, I should mention here some topics that came to mind during the course of the action.
1. The order system.  I used my dice version of the Bob Cordery system of determining who and what moves.  My version disallows more than two consecutive moves (turns) by the same side, the two alone having a considerable impact as will be seen late in the narrative.  Having said that, whilst formations (Divisions and Brigades) were under command, the whole force of each side was, until near the end of the action, well able to move and act within the constraints of even a poor (below median) 'activation' roll.  This made much of the game simply IGoUGo, but with occasional switches as to who 'I' and 'U' were.

2.  I had simply (and regrettably) forgotten the 'order system' within the Army Corps level game.  It seems to me that it ought to work for solo play, though one would have to roll pretty much for each unit - possibly a source of frustration for the impatient player (me!).
1st Division (nearest viewer) and 2nd
Division, approaching Petit Rosiere.
The action began with the French general advance.  The plan was clearly to erase the flank guard in Petit Rosiere, force the river crossings and envelop the German line.  The rapid onset of the marching Brigades rather complicated that plan, as you would expect.  First Brigade was making the best speed it could to reinforce the Kurprinz Regiment in Petit Rosiere; whilst the numerically strong Alhalt-Thuringen Brigade was, along with the light horse, to form the basis of a strong defence line about Grand Rosiere town.

German reinforcements hurrying to the sound of the guns.
At first there was little action on that sector.  In the north, 2nd Division marched directly towards Petit Rosiere, whilst 1st Division appeared to be aiming to seize Mont St-Andre, at the extreme north of the battlefield.
3rd Brigade, crossing the river at Grand Rosiere

French horse, pushing forward.

1st Brigade still have a distance to reach Petit Rosiere betimes.
Upon reaching the crossroads, the General Merlot's objective became clearer, as the column veered sharply to the right.  The Petit Rosiere garrison was about to be assailed by more than six times their strength.
Where is 1st Division going?  To Petit Rosiere, you say?
On the southern flank, Graf Kleist gave full rein to his own impatience and von Warburg's impetuosity by permitting the cavalry to attack the French horse.  This bold decision was partly motivated by a need to make room for 3rd Brigade to join the line west of the river, but also in the awareness that the German cavalry had given a very good account of itself over the last couple of days.  Bold this decision was, moreover, in the light of the presence of 16th Dragoons.
The cavalry battle begins...
In the above diagram, the counters used were from my old Command Decision stuff.  The red-spot counter was to indicate 'formation change'.  In connection with that, I am a little unclear as to the point of making the change, as it doesn't seem to make any difference what formation Brigades or Divisions adopt as far as resolving close combat is concerned.  This issue, though simply dealt with in the rules, proved rather bothersome throughout the action.  More of this combat in due course.
Storming Petit Rosiere.
Long before their fellow Hessians could intervene, the Petit Rosiere garrison came under heavy assault from French columns to the north and west of the village.  The French scored an immediate success, within a short time reducing the garrison by half its strength (the above rolls tell part of the story: the green {French} die leaving 2nd Division unscathed; the blue {Prussian} die indicating a hit, and a subsequent further roll {1,2, or 3} led to a SP loss).
Relief for the Kurprinz Regiment is still distant...

....but Kurprinz Infantry holds out...
Any support that Petit Rosiere might have got from the guns beside the creek were disappointed by the latter having important targets elsewhere, namely, the French 3rd Division, distant yet, but closing.  However, the attack by the more powerful 1st French Division was met stoutly by the weakening garrison, and failed to gain an entry into the village (both sides rolled 6s).

... for a time...
In the cavalry fight, it has to be said, that the undertrained German horse belied, as they did the day before, their 'poor' reputation, and held for a very long time.  Nor was this the swirling combat of charge and countercharge, but a trampling scrimmage of thrust and counter-thrust.  The French dragoons and chasseurs, in column,  met and halted the German line, neither side able to inflict much hurt upon the other.
The 9th Hussars join the cavalry battle.
Then the French hussars joined the combat.  Here's where certain issues arose.  First of all, lets examine the combats, as initiated by the French.  The hussars' charge was resolved first, the Germans rolling 6 and the French 4.  The Germans had no negatives to take off ; the hussars' roll reduced to 3 on account of the German flanking support.  This resulted in no loss, but the hussars had to take a hit a turn later.
The French dragoons and light dragoons have the edge -
but not enough to force a result.
In the main fight, the French outrolled the Germans, but not enough to cause a loss.
The French Hussars take a hit!
It was about this time it occurred to me that the poor old hussars - 'elite' light horse in this battle - had no real chance of hurting the enemy, as a roll of  '1' for the latter would increase to 3 what with the supporting unit and the presence of Generalmajor von Warburg.   That the North Germans were consistently rolling high combat dice tended to obscure this.  In the event, the hussars were forced eventually to break off the action temporarily, and the dragoons even broke and scattered.  The melee carried on.
Huge battle erupts around Petit Rosiere - two French
Divisions against one Hessian and a gun battery.
On quite the other wing, the battle for Petit Rosiere was not yet over.  To be sure, the remnants of the garrison were quickly overrun.  As Merlot's Division entered the village, Malbec's pressed on to the south bridge crossing flanking the German gun line.  Just then, storming over the east bridge, came 1st Hessian Brigade, led by the Lassberg Grenadiers.  To protect the guns, the Germans clashed with Malbec's Division - only to be promptly thrown back, minus the Grenadiers. [The dice rolls tell the story, here: the Hessian '1', modified up and down by supports and the presence of Generalmajor Prinz zu Solms-Braunfels himself, led to the Hessians' taking a hit, and, though the Grenadiers counted as elite, a SP loss.  The Grenadiers, as a single battalion, SP=1, was eliminated.]
This is not going well for the Hessians - the grenadiers
destroyed, and eventually the rest of the Brigade falls back.
By this time, the 3rd (Anhalt-Thuringen) Brigade was across the river and deploying south of Grand Rosiere.  At this point, the Germans were getting the better of the artillery duel.  The French gunnery had so far proved ineffective - abysmal dice throws - but the Hessian gunfire had caused 32nd Line Infantry to retire, reducing the divisional column to just 4 battalions (2 regiments).  His cavalry holding on - maybe even getting the better of the enemy horse, and now with 15 infantry battalions (15SP) against barely 6 (6SP), the pugnacious Graf Leist von Nollendorf bethought himself to a major counter-attack.  Success here, provided 1st Brigade could hold off the two French Divisions north of the creek, might well mean the winning of the battle.
General view: the 3rd (Anhalt-Thuringen) Brigade has arrived.
Having said that, things were not looking promising on the northern flank.  The combat dice a turn later proved identical to the previous: 5-1 in favour of the French.  This time, the Hessians had the option to withdraw to the opposite bank of the river.  Having shaken off 1st Brigade's attack, Malbec's Division was at liberty to storm the south bridge onto the flank of the Prussian battery.  At this point French gunnery discomfited the Grenadier battalion garrisoning Grand Rosiere, that they perforce reired to the eastern half of the town.  There they remained, under Graf Kleist's own hand, as a final reserve.
The cavalry fight roared on all the while, the French dragoons scattered and the hussars reduced, but the Chasseurs-a-cheval beginning to assert their superiority at last.  Both German regiments were becoming worn down; though very lucky so far, it was surely but a matter of time before they should be driven from the field.  So intense was the fighting that Count Cabernet-Sauvignon added another minor wound to the collection of contusions gathered the day before.
The French horse is starting to gain the ascendancy,
but it cost them their dragoons.  The Division commander
has taken a sabre edge, but retains his seat.

As Merlot's Division prepared to follow up the retreating 1st Brigade across the east bridge, Malbec's flung itself across the south bridge in the teeth of the Prussian battery.  At once, the leading battalions of 41st Line took heavy losses, without at once shifting the gun line.
Malbec's Division tries to storm the bridge and the battery beyond.

With heavy engagements on both flanks, Graf Kleist ordered forward his 3rd Brigade against the oncoming French lines.  Seizing a momentary initiative, the French battalions advanced so far forward, angling across 3rd Brigade's front, that the Lippe, Waldeck and Oldenburg battalions had only the French artillery before them - and an extra distance to go to reach them.  The Saxon, Alhalt and Schwarzburg battalions struck 32nd Line Infantry, flanking the French Divisional line.  The Division commander, General Viognier, had placed himself in the middle of the line, with the unreliable 103rd Regiment, whilst the left of the line, the 70th, pushed on towards the North German guns.
Graf Kleist orders a general advance in the centre...
Now the action was general, right across the front, the issue very much in doubt.  Still giving an astonishingly fine account of themselves, the German light horse for the second time forced back the French hussars - there seemed to be no end to their tenacity and determination.
The German counter-offensive under way.  
A terrific combat had developed about the Petit Rosiere bridges.  Split into two columns, Merlot's Division set about forcing the east crossing and driving Solms's Brigade from the field.  Malbec's Division was now being assisted by 70th Line Infantry advancing eastwards along the far bank.  That assistance was cut short as the Kurfurst Infantry advanced to meet them, inflicting some loss.
The fighting has become general along the whole front.
Graf Kleist's counter-offensive proved remarkably successful against the French infantry, but could make no head whatever against the enemy cannon.  The 1st and 2nd Provisional regiments flung back 32nd Line into the woods, then turned upon the luckless 103rd and crushed it in minutes.  General Viognier was lucky to escape uninjured and uncaptured, eventually rejoining 32nd Line.  Meanwhile, the Hessians of 2nd Brigade flung the 70th line into and over the stream near Petit Rosiere.
The Hessian cavalry starts to crumble...
As the North Germans were beating back the French centre, the roles were reversed on the wings.  Rejoining the cavalry battle, the hussars helped to scatter the German dragoons, and now only a depleted light horse unit faced them.  On the other flank, Malbec's Division finally forced their way across the stream, where the Prussian guns had hastily to be hitched up by prolongue and drawn back towards Grand Rosiere. General Merlot had drawn up his whole Division into a column and set about the pursuit of Prinz Solms's command.
French 32nd Line forced back, the 103rd routed, and 70th
driven across the stream.  But the German gun battery has been
forced to withdraw.
Even though his army was still well in hand (well short of its exhaustion point) the situation was such as to persuade Graf Kleist that a general withdrawal was indicated.  So went out the order.  It was about this point that the gradual disorganisation of both army corps - owing to units being split from their parent formations - was becoming a consideration.  That was why Merlot elected to reform his Division into a single bloc.  But 3rd Division was minus 103rd Line, and General Viognier had joined the 32nd.  The 9th Hussars had linked up with the remains of the rest of the Cavalry Division.
Only the Prinz Solms Regiment remains of 1st Brigade...

It was going to be touch and go whether the Anhalt-Thuringen Brigade would be able to extricate itself.  A battle developed between the German 1st and 2nd Provisional Regiments and Malbec's Divisions, both sides facing their own lines of communication.  The French by this time had been the more worn down, the equivalent of perhaps 4 battalions facing 6.  Though the latter were nominally of indifferent quality, they were buoyed up by past success (a plot device to explain the further narrative of events - not the game mechanics!). The presence of the Divisional commander, Oberst von Eggloffstein kept them on their mettle.

Part of Eggloffstein's 3rd Brigade - 6 battalions - give
Malbec's Division a mauling.
Forty-first line were driven back to the stream, and the 'Terrible' 57th were also depleted. It was the reemergence of 70th Line, across the creek and into the left rear of  his command that finally forced Egloffstein to make good his escape - if he could.
The German tide rapidly recedes, and von Egloffstein
appears to be almost surrounded!
Failing to effect anything against the French guns, the other two regiments of Egloffstein's command were also pulling back towards the town.  Just at that moment, the German cavalry at last disintegrated and freed the French horse to pursue the retiring infantry.  They were not to be hustled, however, and rebuffed the tired French horse without trouble.
The French 1st Division forcing the bridge at Gerompont.
The German ebb was now quite pronounced.  First Brigade had fallen right back almost to Gerompont, and well away from rendering any help to the main body apart from drawing off the French 1st Division.

The German guns had withdrawn as far as the Grand Rosiere river bridge, the von Haller Grenadiers had been ordered to cross to the east bank, and Kurfurst Infantry regiment had already fallen back to town itself.  The regiments Landgraf Carl and Prinz Solms tried to make a stand at the east end of the Gerompont Bridge, only to be once more flung back into the town.

Prinz Solms Regiment can not hold the bridge for long...
Attacked in front and rear, General Egloffstein's 6-battalion band, though somewhat reduced (both regiments down to 2 SP apiece), successfully cut their way out from encirclement (inflicting 'retreat' hits upon Malbec's Division and 70th Line, both.  The Prussians might be beaten, by Wotan, but not before handing out a few licks of their own!).
Von Egloffstein has broken clear, and the German army
begins a general withdrawal.  The man himself has taken
a minor chest wound.

The rest of the action was the North German attempt to disengage, and the French attempted pursuit.  If this action is anything to go by, it is a ringing endorsement of the Cordery rule set, for the ensuing action was quite interesting in its way.
The beginning of the German retreat, still under effective
Partly owing to disorganisation, but mainly on account of drawing a timely initiative roll giving them two 'moves' in a row, the German 2nd and 3rd Brigades managed to distance themselves from close pursuit by the French foot.  By disengaging somewhat before their exhaustion point had been reached, the Germans also reserved the option for a quick counter-attack should the opportunity present itself.  The last few pictures show the successful withdrawal of the North German Federal Army Corps.
Von Egloffstein commands the rearguard in the town as the
main body of the Corps, such as remains, draws off.
There could be no doubt about it: a French victory.  Judged by the 'butcher's bill', it was decisive enough: 14 German SP lost; just 9 French.  But though defeated, the Germans were far from destroyed.  In days to come, the Berlin Blatter, the Hamburg Hautboys and other popular journals would tell and retell the story of the gallant fight by the light horse against overwhelming odds, and the manner in which Oberst von Eggloffstein led his men out from the midst of the French army.
Having broken clear of the somewhat disorganised French,
the Germans 'steal a march' (win the right to move twice in succession)
to put some distance between themselves and possible pursuit.
This was quite a fun and exciting action to play out - interesting too - but it did lead to some issues concerning how the close combats involving multiple units and columns are to be played out.  This became most apparent during the course of the cavalry fight.  That the thing lasted as long as it did was due to the German cavalry consistently rolling high combat dice for several turns on end.  But the other had to do with how the supports work.   One is tempted to look to DBM conventions, or maybe Memoir '44.
Prinz zu Solms-Braunsfels's bad day continues -
and Gerompont falls. But what is left of his Brigade
is still in hand.

Let's go back to the combat pictured here:
The Hessian Horse began the combat the previous turn, but this turn, the French have the initiative, and the hussars have joined the fight.  Had there been room, by the way, the hussars could have looped around to strike the Hessians in their left rear, but the exigencies of the terrain prohibited such a move.  The Hessian we hit in front and flank-front. No flank or rear strike here.

The respective dice rolls for the dragoons and chasseurs vs Hessians, call them 'G' and 'B'  would be both modified by +1 (General with) +1 (supporting unit) -1 (enemy supporting unit) for a 'G+1' score.  A hit would be incurred in G=1 or B=1.  In any given round of combat the odds of at least one side taking a hit is 11/36 - slightly less than 1/3.  Then one has to determine whether the 'hit' determines a fall back or an SP reduction.
German Army files off covered by 1st and 2nd Provisional
Infantry in the town.
The problem with the hussars, was that without in-hex supports and absent a general officer, they had no positive modifier, nor did their enemy a negative.  So when the Hessians rolled B=1, it was modified (+1 general with; +1 supporting unit) to B=3 - no result. On the other hand, suppose the Hussars rolled G=3 (-1 for enemy supporting base in attacked grid area) = 2.  The Hussars take a hit.  Although elite, the hussars rolled a '1' for their first hit, and went down a SP.  During the course of the game, I felt sure I was doing something wrong with the game mechanics, but now I think there is an issue there that needs to be looked at.
What is left of 1st Brigade abandons Gerompont.
Apart from that, and perhaps the overlong cavalry combats, I thought the thing played out very well.  It looked (to me) and felt like a battle - something moderately large scale, but not quite whole army level.  That will be the next step, perhaps.  Having played out the operations of the Army of the Meuse and the North German Federal Army Corps  to a conclusion, I'm thinking of taking a look at the Battle of Wavre as the next 'logical' step.  This involves an action between a single Prussian Army Corps (III Corps) of 4 Divisions (called Brigades) together with a reserve of horse and guns;  against roughly 2 French also with horse and guns added. 
Finally: a word on how I use my hex grid table.  
Roads:  When laying these out 'against the grain, I have taken to placing them to one side of the hex long axis, right and left alternately.  This is clearest in the early map, especially the Chemin des Ramillies.  This makes the layout job a whole lot easier.

This brings me to unit facing.  The Cordery rules make facing a grid edge mandatory, but I think there is something to be said for permitting the facing towards the grid area points (corners) also - especially on the hex-grid.  It does make a difference to what constitutes flank and rear facing, and the shooting arcs would need to be revisited, but I already have some ideas about that.
Rivers:  I'm beginning to adopt a convention of laying small rivers close to grid edges as much as I can.  This allows the use of the clear part of a 'river hex', say, as if it were altogether clear terrain.  River crossing penalties would apply if crossing the river to an adjacent hex, and vice versa.  No penalty would apply to moving from a river hex to an adjacent river hex if no river crossing is involved.  Of course, this does not apply to large waterways, which span the whole hex (or square) grid area.
Close of the action.  Graf Kleist's Corps is beaten, but far from broken.

To be continued... 


  1. Replies
    1. It was certainly fun and exciting to play - right to the end!

  2. Interesting so far (and an attractive look)

    1. Thanks, Ross. This was going to be the end of the narrative, but...

  3. Archduke Piccolo,

    This battle report reads like the real story of a corps-level battle ... which is one of the objectives I hoped to achieve when I wrote the corps-level rules that are included in THE PORTABLE NAPOLEONIC WARGAME.

    You raise some interesting points in your comments, including the issue of whether or not units should end a turn facing the edge of a grid areas rather than the edge or corner. When I wrote the rules I spent quite some time tussling with this question, and in the end I went for the simplest expedient (at the end of a move units must face the edge of the grid area) which was also consistent with other versions of the rules.

    As to the cavalry vs. cavalry combat conundrum ... well that is something that I am going to have to look at in some details. To be truthful, I don't much like horses or cavalry (I will a comment about this on my blog tomorrow) and this has probably skewed my attitude to the rule mechanism that is used. The situation you outline didn't crop up in any of my play-testing, which is why I don't have a simple answer to give you. If you have any ideas as to how it could be improved, I'd be very pleased to see them as I know, trust, and greatly value your input.

    Reading your recent battle reports has made me realise that I still have a lot more to do before my Napoleonic project is going to be anywhere near completion ... and that I haven't really done much in nearly two years!

    All the best,


    1. Each of the battles had the 'feel' of the size of action - Brigade, Division, Corps - they intended to be. I admit that ahead of time I thought they might turn out to be a bit 'sameish'. I wish I had remembered the 'orders' thing for the last one, though.

      I don't think the unit facing thing is really all that important, especially given that there are no constraints upon changes to facing in the course of a move. On the other hand, apart from defining front and flanks, and the shooting arcs, I don't think it would add much to the game complexity.

      The cavalry thing, though, is really bugging me as, although I can think of several possible approaches to the problem - up to and including ignoring it! - none of them strike me as THE solution.

      Having the feeling that cavalry actions should go a bit more quickly. Here's a quick proposal that might go some way towards a resolution without changing too much. All close combat hits on cavalry result in a forceback:

      Cavalry Unit Quality: Results
      Elite: 1-2 = Figure base loses 1SP and retreats 1 grid square*
      Elite: 3-6 = Figure base loses 1 SP and retreats 1 grid square OR retreats 2 grid squares.
      Average: 1-3 Figure base loses 1SP and retreats 1 grid square*
      Average: 3-6 = Figure base loses 1 SP and retreats 1 grid square OR retreats 2 grid squares.
      Poor: 1-4 Figure base loses 1SP and retreats 1 grid square*
      Poor: 5-6 = Figure loses 1 SP and retreats 1 grid square OR retreats 2 grid squares.

      Just to make things more volatile, if the cavalry base can not retreat, it loses an extra SP. I think, though, cavalry ought to be allowed to retreat through friends, provided that adds just 1 to the number of grid areas' enforced retreat.

      This is very much a 'first pass' attempt at a solution, as yet not play tested. I'll go off and do that! But before I do, I will admit it does not directly affect the situation of 9th Hussars early in the fight.

      But for now I prefer a 'gradualist' approach...

    2. Archduke Piccolo (Ion),

      I had hoped that the different levels would be similar to each other in order to ease players from using one to another, but sufficiently different to produce the right 'feel'. I think that I have managed that.

      I've looked at your suggested Cavalry vs. Cavalry Combat results table ... and think that it makes a lot of sense. I'd like to play-test it a few times, but if it works (and I can see no reason why it should not, as it fits in with the basic design philosophy of the rules), I'd like to offer it as a fully-credited 'official' addendum to the rules.

      Many thanks for your input.

      All the best,


  4. Greatly enjoyed the read and seeing the Cordery rules in use. I've recently picked up several of the books for some solo play of my own and feel much inspired by this.

    1. Cheers, Patrick. There's endless fun to be had!

  5. Interesting game and report Ion. Little wonder the French won with all that fine vintage leading!

    1. Hi James - Though not especially bibulous myself, and certainly no wine drinker (beer and cider being my tipple of choice), I find the varieties of alcoholic beverages a great source of character names. I thought on this occasion that perhaps the Army of the Meuse too minor an appointment for such as the great and good Marshal Dubonnet.

      Of course, the Empire of Trockenbeeren-Auslese owes its appellation to...

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.