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Vitoria Epic (Western flanks)

Mark McG
Australia
Penshurst
NSW
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Vitoria was a pivotal battle in the Penisular War, and probably Wellington's 2nd largest battle, with 81,000 troops under command. At Waterloo he had 68,000, but the Prussians were also present and the stakes were higher.

I've never liked the Standard map scenario,
https://www.commandsandcolors.net/napoleonics/maps/peninsula...
since it has in my opinion a flaw in that the Tres Puentes bridge exit is under musketry & artillery fire, when historically it was concealed, and unknown to the French command. Also, the exit hex is by itself unsupportable from the British side, so the attack has to come from Stewart, uphill.

This map gives a better view of the terrain
External image


Being such a large battle, I thought it would be a good candidate for LGB treatment, which I originally started setting up, but the map is so long, I only got from Puebla up to Gobeo (roughly 6 miles) before I ran out of LGB board. I then put on units (Brigade strength) based on the Wikipedia OB
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vitoria_order_of_bat...

Looking at the draft setup, I realised there was virtually no units on the Rightmost section, about 6 hexes, so rather than have an empty map, I settled on an EPIC size scenario following just the British Right, Centre Right and Picton's division for the Centre Left columns. Potentially there is another EPIC scenario for Eastern end of the battle, but most of the excitement was at the Western end of the battlefield. Graham's attack at the Eastern end of the line would be a good standard size scenario I think.

Took a great deal of background from British Battles
https://www.britishbattles.com/peninsular-war/battle-of-vito...

So with that introduction, the scenario;

Battle of Vitoria (21 June 1813) - British Right flank
From gallery of Minedog3

Battle Notes
British Army
• Commander: Wellington
• 5 Command Cards
• Optional 6 Tactician Cards
• Move First


French Army
• Commander: KIng Joseph Bonaparte & Marshal Jourdan
• 4 Command Cards
• Optional 2 Tactician Cards


Victory
15 Banners

Special Rules
• The Spanish Guerrilla Action rule is not in effect.
• The River Zadorra is not fordable.
• The Streams are fordable
• Subijana, Arinez and Lermanda are each worth 1 Temporary Victory Banner to the British
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Tue Jan 5, 2021 11:16 am
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LGB Probstheyda - Dolitz (Leipzig southern flank) - 18 October 1813

Mark McG
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Penshurst
NSW
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Probstheyda - Dolitz (Leipzig southern flank) - 18 October 1813

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
http://www.napolun.com/mirror/napoleonistyka.atspace.com/Lei...
http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/Leipzig_battle_of_the_Nati...

The bloodiest fighting of the battle occurred in Probstheida, a village just southeast of Leipzig. Here, about 60,000 soldiers under Barclay were marching and advancing towards the village in two columns, one under von Kleist advancing through Wachau, and one under General Wittgenstein advancing through Liebertwolkwitz. Barclay was pressured by the monarchs, especially Alexander I, to take the village since it was the key to the positions of Napoleon's troops, and although von Kleist opposed this, the monarchs' orders were paramount, so Barclay had to follow their orders anyway.

The French dispositions at the village, however, were heavily fortified, thanks to the high and thick garden walls that gave excellent protection for the French infantry. The defense was also strengthened with artillery and strong infantry reserves behind the village. A day earlier, the Russians had taken most of the losses incurred during the battle, so it was the Prussians who took the initiative.

Prussian jägers attempted to enter the village by storm but were quickly driven back. Then the artillery of both sides opened fire upon the village; despite the enormous amount of artillery that the Allies had brought with them, the more powerful French Imperial Guard artillery gradually gained the upper hand. The Prussians conducted a series of attacks against the French positions at the village, but because the French artillery repulsed each attack, their efforts were in vain. French cuirassiers, under Murat, charged upon the weakened Prussian lines and drove them back. Counter-charges by the numerous Russian cavalry saved the infantry by repeatedly driving back the French cavalry, albeit with heavy losses. The Prussians again conducted a charge upon French lines, but this charge was less successful than the first one. The third assault was now conducted, this time, by the Russians, commanded by General Raevsky, the hero of Borodino who had arrived a few days earlier from Russia after a delay due to sickness.

The assault on the village was somewhat more successful than the first two, taking the gardens and destroying several French infantry units, but it was eventually driven back by the French Imperial Guard, who had just arrived at the scene. Despite Schwarzenberg's request that Alexander send the Russian Guard, the Russian emperor ordered that more assaults were to be undertaken against the village. However, despite their successful, stubborn defense, the French were now in dire straits as they were dangerously short of manpower, and thus the fighting became only a hollow tactical victory for them.

From gallery of Minedog3


Battle Notes
Allied Army
• Commander: Schwarzenburg
• 5 Command Cards

Alled Corps Commanders
Command R2 C3 L3
Tactician R3 C3 L2


French Army
• Commander: Napoleon
• 6 Command Cards
• Move First

French Corps Commanders
Command L2 C2 R3
Tactician L2 C2 R2


4 Player version
Allies
Left: Schwarzenburg 5 Command 3 Tactician
Right: Wittgenstein 5 Command, 3 Tactician, 3 Iron Will, Mother Russia roll


French
Left: Lauriston 5 Command, 4 Tactician
Right: Poniatowski 5 Command, 6 Tactician


Victory
22 Banners

Special Rules
• The Allied player gains 1 Temporary Victory Banner at the start of the turn for occupying
each town hex of Dolitz and Probstheida (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The French player gains 1 Temporary Victory Banner at the start of the turn for occupying
each town hex of Dolitz (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The Allied player gains 3 Permanent Victory Banner at the start of the turn for occupying
the town hex of Connewitz
• The Pleisse River is unfordable
• Napoleon is a Leader of Honour
• Pre-Battle Mother Russia Roll is in effect. Saber rolls have no effect.


Order of Battle
French
https://www.napoleon-series.org/military-info/battles/1813/C...
Allied
https://www.napoleon-series.org/military-info/battles/1813/C...
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Sun Oct 4, 2020 3:09 am
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4 Player LGB variant

Mark McG
Australia
Penshurst
NSW
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Variant to play a La Grande Battle game with 4 players in 2 teams of 2, with each player having a hand of Command and Tactician cards.. In the LGB scenarios, there are 6 sections on the map, and these are divided into 2 boards (Board 1 & Board 2). Both Board 1 & 2 have 3 sections, and 1 Command card is played for each board. In essence it plays as if two normal games were played side by side. Units on the border of Boards 1 & 2 can be ordered by either player (but not both simultaneously). These rules assume the 90 card Command deck, and use of the Tactician deck.

From gallery of Minedog3


GAME TURN SEQUENCE
Phase 1 – Both players from a side play one Command card each from their hand. (The active players)
Phase 2 – Units are ordered on both boards as normal. Units occupying the board division line can be ordered by either player, similar to a unit occupying a section division hex.
Phase 3 – Both players move the units that they ordered with their respective cards. Units may move in any sequence.
Phase 4 – Both players battle the units ordered by their respective cards. Units may battle in any sequence. Only the owning defending player can play Tactician cards for a unit. A unit straddling the boards can have either Defending player play a Tactician card.
Phase 5 –Both active players then draw a Command card. If a player used Scout, they draw two and choose one if applicable. Players draw Tactician cards into their hand as allowed by the cards.

GENERAL RULES
• Command cards activate only units on their board.
• The Command Card activates units in the appropriate section of that Board.
For example, an Attack Centre card played on Board 1 orders 3 units on the middle section on Board 1 (the 2nd section from the Left of the 6 sections).
• Command Cards that are Tactics cards can be used to order any units on that board (either 1 or 2, not both).
Example 2: Cavalry Charge card played on Board 2 can be used to order 4 cavalry or horse artillery units on any section of Boards 2 (the rightmost 3 sections), but not Board 1.
• Units may move between boards.
• Corps Command Stars can activate any units on the respective Board 1 or 2 for March moves, or a Tactician card if Corps Stars are unused. Corps Stars on Left, Centre and Right cards can March move only units in that section.
NATIONALITY RULES
Each Russian player makes a Mother Russian roll as appropriate, applying results to Russian units on their own board only.
Prussian Iron Will counters are allocated to each player as per scenario. Iron Will can only be used by Prussian units.
Each Spanish general can use Guerrilla counters, and draw new counters when using Scout cards. A Spanish general is defined as a General that starts with 4 or more Spanish units under their command.
SPECIFIC CARD RULES
Élan causes a reshuffle of both decks, and a Tactician card is drawn by the player who played Élan, and his opposite player only.
Élan, Leadership and Take Command any Section March moves can be used anywhere on the Board that it is played (Board 1 or 2)
Take Command cards : The ordered Leader must be in the relevant section., but the 3 adjacent, linked, continuous hexes may cross the Board divide.
SPECIAL UNIT RULES
Combined Arms attacks and Grand Batteries can be made by ORDERED units on both boards provided all the usual conditions are met, and both Active players agree.
Example: A Cavalry on Board 1 attack san enemy cavalry, and may combine with an artillery unit on Board 2 (that has LOS)
Example 2: An ordered artillery on Board 1 adjacent to an ordered artillery on Board 2 could both fire as a Grand Battery against a target.
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Fri Oct 2, 2020 5:49 am
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Battle of Valutino Gora (19 August 1812)

Mark McG
Australia
Penshurst
NSW
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Battle of Valutino Gora (19 August 1812)

Historical Background
The day after the battle of Smolensk, Barclay de Tolly ordered a wheeling retreat towards the Moscow Highway. To prevent the French from marching alongside the Dnieper River by the road, he set a detachment under Tuchkov at Valutino Gora to delay the French advance. AS French pressure built, Tuchkov withdrew behind the Stragan Rivulet, where he was reinforced by IV Corps.

The Battle of Valutino took place on 19 August 1812, between a corps of French and allied troops led by Marshal Ney, about 30,000 strong, and a strong rear-guard of General Barclay de Tolly's Russian army of about 40,000, commanded by the general himself. The Russians were strongly posted in marshy ground, protected by a small stream, about 20 Kilometers east of Smolensk. The French, attacking resolutely, captured the Russian position in the face of considerable physical obstacles.
http://campaigns.x10host.com/maps_war_1812.htm#_maps_ggg

General Gudin lost a leg to a canonball in this engagement, and died 3 days later.
His body has been recently (July 6, 2019) exhumed in Smolensk.
https://www.livescience.com/65920-napoleon-general-found-in-...

From gallery of Minedog3

Battle Notes

Russian Army
• Commander: Barclay de Tolly
• 5 Command Cards
• (Optional 4 Tactician Cards)


French Army
• Commander: Ney
• 5 Command Cards
• (Optional 4 Tactician Cards)
• Move First


Victory
7 Victory Banners

Special Rules
• The Stragan River is fordable
• Gudin is a Leader of Honor
• The French gain one Victory Banner for each French unit that exits the battlefield from any Russian baseline hex.
• Pre-Battle Mother Russia Roll rule is in effect. Saber and cavalry rolls have no effect.
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Thu Oct 1, 2020 9:58 pm
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Epic La Rothiere, February 1, 1814

Mark McG
Australia
Penshurst
NSW
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Epic La Rothiere, February 1, 1814

BACKGROUND
The Battle of La-Rothière, fought on the 1st of February 1814, about five miles south of Brienne, where Napoleon had won an inconclusive victory against Blucher's Army of Silesia just three days before.
Following Blucher through La-Rothière on the 30th in order to keep an eye on the enemy's movements, Napoleon bided his time to await further developments, but the heavy snowfalls hindered his intelligence through this period. He was unaware of the danger, that during this time, the Allies, having linked up near Trannes were in the very process of launching an all out attack against him.
By the 1st, Napoleon had at last made up his mind. He would fall back to Troyes. At 10:00 am, he gave the orders for a general withdrawal, Ney setting out immediately via Lesmont with his three divisions of the Young Guard. Marshal Marmont was ordered to occupy Lesmont itself. As the snow fell from the cold grey sky, the unexpected then happened; Marshal Victor reported that strong enemy columns were marching upon Brienne and Napoleon decided to stand his ground and accept battle in order to clarify whether it was a major attack or just a bluff while the axe fell elsewhere. With his army barely 40,000 strong, Napoleon's decision had placed the French army in great peril, but with the enemy column's rapidly closing, it had become too late to withdraw.
From gallery of Minedog3

Battle Notes
Allied Army
• Commander: Blücher
• 5 Command Cards and 6 Iron Will Counters
• 6 Tactician Cards
• Move First

French Army
• Commander: Napoleon
• 6 Command Cards
• 5 Tactician Cards

Victory
14 Victory Banners

Special Rules
• The River is impassable except at the bridge
• The town of La Rothiere is a Temporary Majority Victory Banner Objective worth 1Victory Banner
for the side that occupies it at turn start.
• Each other town hex is a Temporary Victory Banner for the Allies if occupied at turn start.
• Mother Russia rule is in effect. Ignore sabre results
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Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:16 pm
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Alternative Guerrilla Rules - CCN

Mark McG
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Penshurst
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Something I found very unsatisfactory in Commands & Colors: Napoleonics Expansion #1 – The Spanish Army was the Guerrilla markers, initially because it just seemed a very awkward mechanism, interrupting the IgoUgo balance, but after a few episodes where tactics like using La Grande Maneuver to move Spanish artillery up to the French units, a Guerrilla Marker to cancel the French turn, and then Bombard to blast the French to pieces, or another variant using LGM to move British units up, cancel the French turn and then play Cold Steel, it seemed to me that the Guerrilla Mechanic had deep flaws.

So I came to these variants, some of which are playtested (the Strategic option) and others not so.

Spanish Guerrilla Action
Spanish Guerrilla Action Marker be able to be used in any of the following 3 thematic ways;

AMBUSH: Guerrillas ambush a French movement
- During the French movement phase, when a French unit enters a new hex, the Allied player may interrupt the movement by placing the Guerrilla Marker in the hex.
- The Guerrillas immediately attack rolling 1 die. A symbol causes 1 hit, and a flag may cause a retreat.
- If the French unit is not eliminated or retreats, it immediately battles back. On a Sword result the Guerrilla Marker is eliminated and the French unit can continue moving and battle in the Battle phase. Otherwise the French unit may neither move nor battle for the rest of the turn.
- The Spanish Guerrilla Marker remains in the hex until the end of the French turn, at which time it is returned to the Allied Player.
(Note: this is an effect close to the original rule, smaller in effect but more persistent)

TACTICAL: Guerrillas take a battlefield position.
- During the Allied movement phase, the Guerrilla Marker can be placed in any vacant map hex.
- The Guerrilla marker is henceforth treated as a Garrison marker for all purposes, but will not hit on swords.
- At the start of any subsequent Allied turn, the Guerrilla marker can be returned to the Allied player’s hand in the Allied movement phase.
(Note: those rare occasions that the Guerrillas made a battlefield appearance)

STRATEGIC: Far away, the Guerrillas bleed another drop of French blood in the Spanish ulcer. A depleted French garrison is overrun. A supply column is ambushed and pillaged.
- At the start of the Allied Player’s turn, the Guerrilla marker is removed and a Permanent Victory Banner is taken by the Allied player.
- This acts identically to the Time Pressure Objective, except that the Final Victory banner is also allowed.
(Note: the most effective Guerrilla warfare was the constant raiding of the French rear areas, attacks on French supply trains, interception of couriers and capture (and slaughter) of local garrisons.)

DRAWING NEW GUERRILLA ACTION MARKERS
- The number of Guerrilla Action counters the Allied player(s) will start the game with is detailed in the scenario’s special rules.
- During a game, an Allied player may acquire one additional Guerrilla Action counter each time he plays a Scout card in a section that started with at least 4 Spanish units at scenario start. Instead of drawing two cards, he draws only one card and acquires one Guerrilla Action counter. Acquired Guerrilla Action counters should be kept near the player’s hand of Command cards.
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Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:36 pm
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