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Blcher plays Commands & Colors
An experiment in game merging.
As an inveterate meddler with other peoples rules I thought I would try a little experiment to see if it was possible to play Sam Mustafas new Blcher rules with one of Richard Borgs Commands & Colors scenarios on the C&C game board.
Naturally some tweaks would be needed to fit the hexagon system. As I begin to write this I have not yet started, so I will make notes as I go along.
I chose the introductory scenario of Rolica (French First Position) 17 August 1808 from the basic C&C game, although the forces are somewhat unbalanced.
The First adjustment was to remove the two subsidiary commanders, Trant and Ferguson from Wellesleys force and the unnamed one from Delabordes. This would solve the problem of attributing personalities to them.
Wellesley has three divisions. Delaborde has two divisions.
Rather than try to identify individual regiments in the battle, which have already been amalgamated and abstracted in the scenario, I used the order of battle as given:
Because I was working at a divisional level rather than corps, and therefore with regiments and battalions, some small changes were needed with the army building. Where non-standard, I have indicated in italic script.
Wellesley1st Division (Portuguese)
1st Portuguese Line Infantry, 8 points, Elan 5, Skirmish, Conscript
2nd Portuguese Line Infantry, 8 points, Elan 5, Skirmish, Conscript
Portuguese Caadores, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish, Mobile
Portuguese Light Cavalry, 3 points, Elan 4, Impetuous
2nd Division (British)
1st British Line Infantry, 15 points, Elan 6, Firepower, Skirmish, Steady
2nd British Line Infantry, 15 points, Elan 6, Firepower, Skirmish, Steady
3rd British Line Infantry, 15 points, Elan 6, Firepower, Skirmish, Steady
British Light Infantry, 21 points, Elan 7, Firepower, Skirmish, Steady, Mobile
1st Foot Artillery, 6 points (I trebled the points to be more in line with the infantry cost)
2nd Foot Artillery, 6 points
3rd Division (British)
4th British Line Infantry, 15 points, Elan 6, Firepower, Skirmish, Steady
5th British Line Infantry, 15 points, Elan 6, Firepower, Skirmish, Steady
Royal Horse Artillery, 9 points, Mobile
British Cavalry, 10 points, Elan 6, Shock, Impetuous. Here I changed the unit type in the game from heavy to light cavalry. I believe they were Light Dragoons historically.
Wellesleys total: 158 points. I did not count extra points for Wellesley as I would not be using special characteristics. He had not yet proved himself against the French.
Delaborde1st French Division
1st Line Infantry, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish
2nd Line Infantry, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish
3rd Line Infantry, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish
1st Light Infantry, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish, Mobile
Foot Artillery, 6 points
1st Light cavalry, 10 points, Elan 6
2nd French Division
4th Line Infantry, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish
2nd Light Infantry, 12 points, Elan 6, Skirmish, Mobile
2nd Light Cavalry, 10 points, Elan 6
Delabordes total: 110 points.
There are two objectives for the British to capture. These are the two hills on the French baseline.
These had to fit within the hexagons which are 55mm (2 1/8 inches) across. Sams cards are too large, so instead of playing about with reducing them I made some simple ones with Microsoft Excel. The game blocks would indicate the troop type, so only the name, characteristics and ammo/elan would be needed. For example:
British Light Infantry
Royal Horse Artillery
I forgot to include the Division numbers on the cards, so I added it with a pen.
I only had white card available, so I marked the card backs with the divisional number in red or blue. Playing solo I thought the advantage of identifying the separate divisions was more important than absolute concealment.
I set up the board and deployed all the units concealed. For aesthetic reasons all units started facing the enemy (i.e. to the point of a hexagon). The battle lines looked neater that way! They would need to pivot before moving.
Here is the battlefield from Wellesleys side. Troop blocks are awaiting deployment as the cards are revealed.
I decided to use two blocks to represent infantry and cavalry and one block for artillery. That would neatly fit the hexagons with the attached unit cards and they could be laid flat for a better photographic view.
The river is fordable along its entire length and was designated a minor river and thus difficult terrain. Woods and Urban Areas were as in the standard rules, except that a unit would be either entirely in or out of the area. Any unit on a hill hexagon was determined to be on the crest. The slope of the hill is assumed to extend into the neighbouring hexagons.
One hexagon = 1 Base Width.
Playing solo I had a problem with the concealed momentum dice rule. I solved it by rolling 3 dice after each activation and if the total was less than the current momentum used, that was the end of the player turn. I believe it achieves the same objective as the two player rule.
Turn 1 Wellesley
Six of the nine French units were revealed as they were within 4 hex/bw and visible.
At this point I realised my unit cards had no movement information DOH!
I added it as I needed to move units.
Wellesley activated 3 Div and advanced to cross the river. MO=4, MO dice = 15.
He activated 1(Portuguese) Div and advanced them, holding the Caadores back to skirmishing range.
The Caadores are actually out of contact with the rest of the division my error)
MO = 4, cumulative = 8. MO dice = 17.
Finally he tried to activate the two batteries of artillery in 2 Div individually. 1st battery revealed. MO = 2, cumulative = 10. MO dice = 9.
2nd battery cannot be activated.
In retrospect I think that no momentum was necessary because the batteries would be revealed when they first fired.
The Portuguese Caadores fired at skirmish range against the 1st French Light Infantry on the hill crest. Rule change: Shooting is restricted to a 60 degree arc projected from the rear of the shooters hexagon.
Elan = 6, halved for either the hillcrest or for the range, with a bonus for skirmish ability. Dice roll = 4,5,6 so two hits, including the 5 granted by the skirmish bonus.
1st Foot Artillery fired at the 2nd French Light Infantry also on a hill crest. Ammo = 5, so 5 dice rolled with a result of 2,3,4,5,5 for no hits.
There was no combat and no broken units, so this ended Wellesleys first turn.
Turn 2 Delaborde
Most of Wellesleys 2nd Division were revealed. At this point I decided that the unit blocks looked better standing up, and allowed me to read the cards more easily.
Delaborde activated 1st Division for 6 Momentum points.
1st Light cavalry made a difficult move onto the hill to face the Portuguese units advancing on the left flank.
I decided to allow all units that had not moved yet a free mini-pivot to face the hex edge rather than the point that they began the battle facing. You will remember this was purely aesthetic, so I dont feel guilty about this amendment.
1st Light Infantry, 1st and 2nd Line Infantry faced slightly left. The artillery swung to their right.
MO dice rolled 13, so it was OK to continue.
2nd Division was activated. 2nd Light Infantry faced slightly right, 4th Line made a difficult move into Rolia and 2nd Light Cavalry made a reserve move to the rear of the woods on the right flank. 2nd Division was now too scattered to make a divisional move in future.
MO = 3, cumulative = 9. MO dice 12, but Delaborde had finished moving.
1st Light Infantry against 1st Portuguese Line.
4 dice halved for skirmish range + bonus for skirmish ability. Rolled 1,2 for no hits.
1st Line vs Portuguese Caadores.
6 dice halved + skirmish bonus. Rolled 1,2,3 for no hits.
Artillery against the revealed 2nd British Foot Artillery.
6 dice halved against artillery rolled 2,2,6 for one hit. The British artillery retreated clean off the board.
This was the end of turn 2
Green dice are MO, white are shooting rolls, red are hits.
Turn 3 Wellesley
All the French units had been revealed.
Wellesley activated 1st Division.
1st Portuguese Line Prepared.
The Portuguese cavalry wheeled right and advanced three hex/bw.
2nd Portuguese Line moved forward to support 1st Line Infantry.
The Caadores were beyond 1 hex/bw and did not move.
MO used = 3. MO dice = 10.
3rd Division was activated.
4th Line made a difficult move into the woods to their right.
5th Line made a difficult move, starting to cross the river.
The Cavalry also made a difficult move to their right, aligning against the French 2nd Light Infantry.