Napoleonic Command Generation

For many scenario games, WR’s monthly third saturday napoleonic 28mm group just arrange set piece scenarios based upon a pre-determined number of points. Normally one player is assigned for each team side and given x points to create a rostered army from a chosen napoleonic nationality or allied army format (Russians, Prussian, Austrians vs. France and her common allied states). These armies are typically optimum tuned with the best of the nationality for tabletop play. Even points, even command count, evenly spread out along the tabletop edge and typically even the unit count is matched up, leading to stale and predictable game. A common variant of this point assignment gaming is each player is emailed a pre-determined point amount to roster his chosen army flavor of the monthly but still free to choose what he wished to use on the tabletop. These scenarios are a bit more fun but the typical player generally choses common line infantry battalions, light or line cavalry properly ratio’d to the infantry battalions present, one size fits all command TOE structure, and artillery batteries to match his force strength. Rarely elite or guard divisions are seen, no poor 2nd grade line infantry or even militia units, never under-strength or abundance of cavalry for the amount of infantry present, common “safe” nationality armies (no Ottomans, Spanish, Germanic minor states), but all very proper TOE gaming.

Original napoleonic command generation pale yellow card deck.

The original pale yellow napoleonic command generation card deck. Still valid for today’s scenario gaming.

Well, years ago WR created a deck of yellow index cards for players to blindly card deck pull on the actual monthly game day meeting and from those cards roster a group of command from the specific command card instructions. These “command cards” recently have been converted into a MS Excel spreadsheet with a random number generation for remote (via email) player command selection. Now the participating player is faced with the problem of creating his commands to match the randomly selected Command type choice and given a fixed number of points for each command. The army nationality, and year of army organization, could still be player open choice or pre-determined for the scenario (GM decides). The Command types could greatly vary along with the actual points for the command and, expanding out, the total team side strength. How many command selection choices given out is still the GM decision but typically two command choices per team side player with additional two selections to allow discard of the weaker command selections. Sometimes an extra command selection choice is used to represent a reserve late arriving command. Now the players arrive at the monthly game with limited intelligence about their own team side and even less about the opposite team side command structure. The possibilities are nearly endless and the matchup scenario action very different from the perfectly scripted even sided scenario play. Continue reading

Napoleonic Roster Workbook

This is my first attempt for an unglamorous blog posting. Subject today covers WR’s napoleonic gaming roster files and how to use the large MS Excel spreadsheet (.xls). WR’s original purpose creating these roster spreadsheets was to have a standardized template to price out the individual units of cavalry, infantry and artillery, plus create player scenario commands (brigades, divisions and their senior headquarter attachments from these individual units, then place this compiled information into readable format. Over time of years, these roster spreadsheets have been modified, upgraded, new features added and held up pretty well to ingenious player manipulations. In recent years WR has started writing up full historical battle scenario backgrounds, with maps, terrain tabletop design, historical notes, special rules of play and the required contestant force or command rosters. Always helps to use a standardized template spreadsheet to create scenarios, especially WR’s historical efforts since 2011.

With the local playing group’s recent usage of our Napoleonic Command Generation system (NCG); a simple system of points and delineated command structure based from a random number selection (1-120), the latest version roster spreadsheet was re-written to include a calculation zone for assisting players towards their command organization and meet the requirements of the NCG. This beta project has finished preliminary testing and the passage of time will determine the accuracy of the spreadsheet formula programming. For now this blog post will only cover the actual roster spreadsheet and its various zones and worksheets. For the NCG design and usage coverage, WR plans to write about in a future unglamorous blog post.

Top of a Corps level roster spreadsheet. Has Corps HQ and six command slots.

Top of a Corps level roster spreadsheet. Has Corps HQ and six command slots.

The best way to read the following material is to have the actual roster spreadsheet (.xls) file open on a computer monitor and view each section and material below on the roster spreadsheet. Yes… we need a computer to use the Excel file or a similar modern tablet with MS Office installed. Counting toes and fingers carefully stopped working years ago even with WR’s lucky feet. Try some data input and see how the spreadsheet system reacts. Beware that if all the required cell fields are not completed then the final output could be in error or miscalculated. If unsure with the first attempts, double-check your work with a quick paper and pencil calculation till comfortable. The roster spreadsheet is always undergoing improvement and corrections as WR find errors or design improvements. WR posts the latest dated version directly on the blog under the Napoleonic Rules and Videos tab. Basic MS Excel spreadsheet cell protection in effect to prevent misplaced inputs and formula overwriting but can be removed if desired.

Small Command roster with NCG spreadsheet (.xls):  Small Roster Spreadsheet (wNCG) Continue reading

Cosseria 1796 videos

WR video’d this special scenario game for the assault at Cosseria 1796. The scenario had three independent assault attempts, each of three normal game turn length. These three assault segments represent the French attempt to seize control of the castle ruins. Being limited to almost all infantry, WR was able to remove the tabletop influence of charging cavalry and artillery.

The complete scenario was posted on WR at: Cosseria 1796

Since the video covered in some detail the Sequence of Play (SOP), basic firepower for infantry (small arms), and the Shock phase, WR has separately posted the You Tube links to this scenario game below.

There are eight 8-10 minute videos in all. That is a lot of video material to watch so WR’s apology is given to all and feel free to skip and poke about.

Part I,    Part II,    Part III,    Part IV,

Part V,    Part VI,    Part VII,    Part VIII

1st Assault segment set up. Cosseria castle April 1796 storming scenario.

1st Assault segment set up. Cosseria castle April 1796 storming scenario.

Continue reading

Napoleonic Rules: Block Movement system videos

Finished up some basic Nap TV rule videos covering the usage of wooden blocks for tabletop command manuevers, hidden initial deployment, rear area command movements, and decoys. They can be found in the Napoleonic game rules, video & files tab along with other subject material.

Block movement written primer (.pdf) link under Nap TV tab.

Block 1: Overview video

Block 2: Movement…Battle vs. Strategic modes

Block 3: Placement & Markers

Block 4: Scouting reports

Block 5: Deployment of miniatures

Sample Game with Block Deployment

Visibility & Scouting Charts (.pdf)

Tabletop Block Movement Primer (.pdf)