A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Monday, 30 July 2012

A Nation Divided – into Hexes? (4) – Command Cards


Here is a very first-cut attempt at producing a Command Card pack for my proposed application of Commands & Colors: Napoleonics to the English Civil War. This gives the text for each card, and the number of each card type. The whole listing is very obviously an edited version of the corresponding section in the official CCN rule book – I hope this is neither illegal nor impertinent – regard it as a respectful tribute, if you please!

The proportions of the cards, the wording and (for example) making the cards reflect the less mobile nature of the Foot, compared with their Napoleonic equivalents, owe a lot to the original CCN cards, the Ancients version of C&C, and also White Mountain, from Anubis. The mix, however, is all my own, as is much of the content, so please don’t go blaming anyone else.

This is an Aunt Sally – please feel free to tell me what you like or dislike about it. If it becomes stable enough, and if playtesting looks promising, I hope to produce a set of card images (don't hold your breath).


Section Cards (48)
Section cards are used to order units in a specific section of the battlefield to move and/or battle. These cards indicate which section of the battlefield you may order units or leaders, and how many units or leaders you may order. An attached leader ordered by a Section Command card may be ordered to detach and move separately. Command cards that state ‘order units equal to command’ mean the number of units you may order is equal to the number of Command cards you hold including this card. Cards that are on a player’s Foot in ‘Stand of Pikes’ tracks are not counted as Command cards you are holding.

SCOUT LEFT FLANK - Issue an order to 1 unit or Leader on the Left Flank. When drawing a new Command card, draw two, choose one and discard the other. (2 cards)
SCOUT CENTER - Issue an order to 1 unit or Leader in the Center. When drawing a new Command card, draw two, choose one and discard the other. (2 cards)
SCOUT RIGHT FLANK- Issue an order to 1 unit or Leader on the Right Flank. When drawing a new Command card, draw two, choose one and discard the other. (2 cards) 
PROBE LEFT FLANK - Issue an order to 2 units or Leaders on the Left Flank. (4 cards)
PROBE CENTER - Issue an order to 2 units or Leaders in the Center. (6 cards)
PROBE RIGHT FLANK - Issue an order to 2 units or Leaders on the Right Flank. (4 cards)
ATTACK LEFT FLANK - Issue an order to 3 units or Leaders on the Left Flank. (4 cards)
ATTACK CENTER - Issue an order to 3 units or Leaders in the Center. (6 cards)
ATTACK RIGHT FLANK - Issue an order to 3 units or Leaders on the Right Flank. (4 cards)
ASSAULT LEFT FLANK - Order a number of units or leaders on the Left Flank equal to command (the number of cards held in your hand including this card). (2 cards)
ASSAULT CENTER - Order a number of units or leaders in the Center equal to command (the number of cards held in your hand including this card). (2 cards)
ASSAULT RIGHT FLANK - Order a number of units or leaders on the Right Flank equal to command (the number of cards held in your hand including this card). (2 cards) 
COORDINATED ADVANCE - Issue an order to 4 units or Leaders. Order 1 on Left Flank, 2 in the Center and 1 on the Right Flank. (2 cards)
FLANK ATTACK - Issue an order to 2 units or Leaders on each Flank. (2 cards)
REFUSE LEFT - Order a number of units or leaders on your Right Flank or in the Centre equal to command (the number of cards held in your hand including this card). (2 cards)
REFUSE RIGHT - Order a number of units or leaders on your Left Flank or in the Centre equal to command (the number of cards held in your hand including this card). (2 cards)

Tactic Cards (20) Tactic cards allow ordered units to move and/or battle in ways not normally allowed in the basic rules. Terrain movement and battle restrictions still apply when a Tactic card’s Actions take precedence over basic rules.

BOLD DRAGOONS—One unit of Dragoons may make a further complete move after firing (but may not fire a second time) – thus they may advance, dismount, fire, mount and retire, for example. If you have no dragoons, use this card to order any 1 unit of your choice. (2 cards)  
BOMBARD—Issue an order to 4 or fewer Artillery units. Ordered units may move up to 2 hexes and not battle, or may not move and battle with 1 additional dice. If you do not have any artillery units, issue an order to 1 unit of your choice. (2 cards)
CAVALRY CHARGE—Issue an order to 4 or fewer units of Horse (not Dragoons). Ordered units battle with 1 additional die the entire turn. Ordered Cuirassier and “Trotter” units may move 3 hexes and still battle. If you do not have any cavalry units, issue an order to 1 unit of your choice. (3 cards) 
COUNTER-ATTACK—Issue the same order card that your opponent just played. When you play this card it becomes a copy of the card your opponent played on the last turn. Following the instructions on that card as though you were actually playing it, except when countering a Section card. Then the right flank becomes left flank and the left flank becomes the right flank. (2 cards)  
EVADE—Play this card after opponent declares a melee attack, but before the dice roll. The attacked unit evades. The attacker does not roll dice. The defender may opt to retire 1 hex, but the attacker may not take the ground or carry out Cavalry Breakthrough. At the end of the turn, you draw a replacement Command card first. (2 cards)  
FIRE AND HOLD—Issue an order to 4 or fewer Foot or Artillery units. Ordered units will perform ranged combat with 1 additional die. Ordered units may not be adjacent to enemy troops. Units may not move before or after combat, but foot may come out of ‘stand of pikes’. If you do not have any foot or artillery units, issue an order to 1 unit of your choice. (2 cards)  
LEADERSHIP—Issue an order to all Leaders. When a Leader is attached to a unit, the unit is also ordered as long as the Leader remains with the unit. Any ordered unit shall roll 1 additional die if it battles. A Leader may detach from a unit. If a Leader moves and joins a unit, the unit is not ordered. If you do not have any Leaders, issue an order to 1 unit of your choice. (2 cards)
PUSH!—Issue an order to all units adjacent to the enemy. Ordered units may melee with 1 additional die. Ordered units may not engage in ranged combat. Units may not move before melee combat. After a successful melee, foot may Take Ground and horse may breakthrough and may make a Bonus Melee Attack with its standard number of battle dice. (1 card)  
RALLY—Roll battle dice equal to command (the number of cards held in your hand including this card). For each Foot, Horse or Artillery symbol rolled, 1 block of this type is returned to any under strength unit anywhere on the battlefield, as men return to the ranks. A unit may not gain more blocks than it started the action with. Rallied units that gain at least one block are ordered, and may move and battle as normal. (2 cards)  
THE DEVIL’S MATCH—One enemy artillery unit (dice for which – first to roll an Artillery symbol with 1 dice) suffers a powder explosion. The unit selected will roll 2 dice – an Artillery symbol or a Crossed Sabres symbol will eliminate 1 block. If either of these dice produces Crossed Sabres, the explosion is very severe – roll 1 dice for each adjacent unit (of whatever side) which is not in a town, a wood or earthworks. A Foot, Horse or Artillery symbol will remove 1 block if it matches the unit type – a Flag symbol will remove a Leader. If the enemy has no artillery, use this card to order any 1 unit or Leader of your choice. (1 card)
THE LORD IS WITH US—Roll battle dice equal to command (the number of cards held in your hand including this card). For each symbol rolled, 1 unit of this type is ordered. One unit or leader of your choice may be ordered for each Flag symbol rolled. Sabres order no units or leaders. Ordered units battle with 1 additional die the entire turn. Reshuffle the Command card deck and discard pile. (1 card)  
   

6 comments:

  1. Looks ok to me. I see that you mention C&C Ancients. I've only had a brief encounter with it but wonder if you thought of making use of their formation idea where cards allow a number of adjacent units to move as opposed to scattered units being able to make a co-ordinated attack. Mind you with slow movement they have to start pretty close to gang up on someone anyway I guess.

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    1. Hi Ross - yes, I did - in fact I'm still thinking about it. I liked the idea because I thought ECW armies might line up a bit like ancients, but was nervous that it might distort strategy for a smallish army, and might not achieve anything that a loose bunch of units in a sector couldn't offer in a less restrictive way.

      Still thinking about it, though!

      Cheers - Tony

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  2. Tony,
    in a large number of accounts of battles during the ECW, the bagage trains seem to play an important role. I get the feeling that often once bagage trains were captured / looted the battle was over. Not only could a bagage train unit be modeled, maybe a tactic card could be made giving bonus victory tokens or a "sudden death victory" to the side capturing a bagage train and playing such a card. This implies that a unit should be designated rear guard to protect the bagage train. Or maybe a tactic card giving a unit the order to go for the trains and allowing extra movement as they rush the distance, but loosing this advantage if they can't reach the trains. Or a card saying that if a bagage train is destroyed and that card played one or two units nearest the trains leave the field of battle as they consider their side lost.
    Just a thought to add some ECW flavour.

    Pjotr

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    1. Thanks Pjotr - interesting idea. There's certainly scope for making extra Victory Banners (C&C-speak) available for taking the train in a scenario, and Prince Rupert's chaps appear to have been distracted on a few occasions - looting opponents' train instead of helping their colleagues in battle.

      This, and maybe my proposed powder explosion card, could be examples of a separate pack of Chance Event cards - called into play by a "Chance Event" Command Card. That way, there is no certainty that the train gets raided or the powder wagon explodes once every time through the pack - they become examples of some good/bad breaks which can occur from time to time.

      I like it. Must have a look at Ross's recent posts on such cards - just for further inspiration...

      Cheers - Tony

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  3. I like those Tony - I think they will work well. Some of your Tactic cards have a good period feel, I like the 'Devil's Match' and 'The Lord is with us' cards :-)At what level are you thinking of playing your games? My own preference is for the smaller more localised warfare as opposed to the big set piece battles, but like C&CN I think they would work fine for both.

    Great job, and please do create some graphics if you have time!

    Regards,
    Lee.

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    1. Hi Lee - I'm still thinking in terms of using Victory without Quarter or maybe even Very Civile Action for small battles, but the C&C-based rules would probably be fine for smallish scraps too. It will be a while before I have armies of such a size, but 30+ units a side should be good with C&C.

      Speaking of Very Civile Action - the rules look like a lot of fun but may be a bit detailed for my taste - however, the campaign game and the battle generator from the same house (Perfect Captain) look like a good add-on to any rules at all.

      As mentioned in previous comment from Pjotr, am thinking that maybe The Devil's Match and a few other rarer happenings should make up a supplementary Chance Events pack, which could vary from game to game, and might contain a lot of blank or spoof-type entries, all cued by one (or two) Command Cards in the pack inflicting a Chance Event on the opponent. A powder explosion every battle would become boring(!), but there is a whole host of other things which could be added to the mix - freak weather, strategic outbreaks of diarrhoea, humorous tales about tiffs between the celebrities, an unseen terrain feature, the occasional militia unit which decides to go home for no particular reason, and there could be the odd surprise which works in the opponent's favour - extra bonus dice for the colonel's birthday, whatever.

      Currently recovering from what the Austrians described as an easy walk up a mountain river and back down the other side. Mein Gott - something got lost in the translation. Wonderful, but very steep, and scary - lots of nadgering along ledges about 1000 feet above said river. I made it - am now relaxing in a cold weissbier, while my boots lie steaming in the corner.

      Cheers - Tony

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