Napoleon Returns (1815) has gone off to The Emperor's Press for art and typesetting. It was a good deal more work than I had anticipated. Now that it's done I thought I'd post the V&B official rule modifications iuncluded in the manuscript. Many of them are things we've discussed here. Others will be a surprise.
Army and Corps Troops: Any troops listed in a scenario as army troops may be commanded by the army commander or any corps commander in the army. Any troops listed in a scenario as corps troops may be commanded by the army commander, the commander of the corps in which the troops are listed, and any division commander of that corps.
Skirmishers: All skirmishers are subject to the same command control restrictions as are formed troops.
Lancers: In a cavalry melee lancers enjoyed a slight shock advantage at first but were generally at a disadvantage when it came to the actual melee, and so had no real net advantage versus other cavalry. The principal advantage lancers enjoyed was against enemy infantry. Their lance gave them better reach than the infantryman's bayonet and the ability to impale prone infantry. As a result the -1 morale modifier for facing lancers now applies only to infantry.
Unsupported: Playing has shown that this rule is often forgotten and adds little to the game when it is remembered, as the facing and command rules provide ample reason not to push solitary units out. Therefore ignore this rule and modifier.
Line Meleed From Flank: This should (for greater clarity) have read Regimental Infantry Stand Meleed From Flank. It refers to infantry mounted on 3"x1.5" regimental stanbds, not large regiments (such as the Prussians in this campaign) mounted on brigade stands.
Cavalry Skirmishers: Any light cavalry brigade can be broken into cavalry skirmishers. Each strength point in the brigade produces one skirmisher. The brigade stand is removed from the table and replaced by two skirmish stands at the beginning of the movement phase and at no movement cost. Any two or more cavalry skirmishers may combine to reform a brigade by moving together and paying half of their movement allowance. The skirmish stands must be of the same morale grade and type as the broken down brigade. The skirmish stands are removed and replaced with a brigade stand at the end of the movement phase.
Infantry Skirmishers: Infantry skirmishers which occupy a village, town, or work melee normally. That is to say it is possible for them to win the melee and hold their ground, forcing the attacking troops back in disorder.
Stands in the game with battalion guns will be identified by the scenario or period rules. Infantry stands with battalion guns roll the same number of dice as similar stands withoiut battalion guns, but one of the dice rolled is treated as a light artillery die. Cavalry stands with battalion guns receive one fire die. This die has a short range of 4 inches and a long range of 8 inches. Subtract one from the gun's die roll if the stand is not stationary. (This means that non-stationary battalion guns hit on a 6 at close range and may not hit at all at long range.)
Cavalry battalion guns may not fire in melee . Cavalry units with battalion guns may go stationary to improve the fire of their guns.
Enemy units within close range of a stand's battalion guns are not required to check morale.
Sand Pit: The sand pit east of La Haye Saint is considered a work for all purposes.
Villages: Villages (and substantial farmsteads, which are also represented by village blocks) are small enough that they do not block line of sight or the movement of artillery or formed troops. Cavalry, artillery, and infantry may move through unoccupied villages without being disordered (in fact they open ranks slightly and move around them) and may end their move with part of the base on the village. They simply receive no benefit from the village terrain. Units may not move through a village which is occupied by an infantry skirmisher, however.
Towns: When multiple skirmish stands occupy a single town block they no longer receive a saving throw from fire for being in open order. When multiple stands (either skirmishers or regimental bases) occupy the same town block, each stand checks morale separately but are all considered to be a single unit for melee. That is, all units in the town may fire at any units attacking any unit in the town and the all losses on both sides are compared to determine the winner. If the attacker wins all surviving defening stands are ejected from the town. If the defender wins all attacking stands are driven back in disorder.
Woods: Infantry in woods receive a saving throw from fire (but not melee). This is noted in the original rules but was omitted from the reference chart. It has been added to the reference chart included in this book.
|Stationary infantry versus cavalry||+2|
Comments: Note that this retains the grenadier advantage, although in something less than an all-or-nothing form. Cavalry is now at a severe disadvantage against stationary infantry, however, reflecting the advantage infantry enjoyed in square. There is now a substantial benefit for providing infantry supports for artillery.
Artillery in Melee: Artillery which loses a melee is eliminated.
Blocking Terrain: Units which are forced to retreat or route through disordering terrain lose one additional strength point. However units may pass across bridges and through towns without penalty.
Disordering Other Stands: Stands which retreat or route back through a formed friendly unit disorder the stand only if some part of the retiring unit's bace passes through two opposite sides of the other unit's base and if the first point of contact between the stands is within the first half of the retiring unit's movement.
A routing or disordered stand passing through a non-disordered stand will pass completely through it and leave it disordered. A disordered unit passing back through an already disordered unit will carry the other unit back to the rear with it but will not route it. A routing unit passing back through an already disordered unit will route it.
Troops either routed by a routing unit or carried back in disorder by a retiring unit move back with the routing or retiring unit ahead of it and in a body. Units farther to the rear which the retreating or routing units pass through are considered to be passed through by a single unit, not multiple units.
It makes sense to me to post here the absolute no-question official rule changes to Volley and Bayonet. I will update this file from time to time as additional issues get resolved.
(Change the current entry on the artillery table from "battalion guns" to "light guns")
Melee Combat (page 12): Units which are forced to retreat from melee, but which do not route, end their retreat facing the enemy.
Fire Combat (page 13): All horse artillery, unless specifically noted to the contrary, fires as field guns.
Saving Throws (page 14): In the first column, the fourth line from the bottom should read
"...the throws is a 4, 5, or 6 the hit does not produce a..."
Saving Throws: Ignore the question marks following several of the entries. Add to the entry for "All troops" the following: "and from fire if in woods."
Brandywine American Withdrawal (page 40): American troops may voluntarily withdraw off the east (not west) table edge.
Austerlitz Deployment (page 55): The French deployment should read, "The French may deploy their troops anywhere northwest of the Goldback or Bosenitz streams and anywhere on the southeast side within 6 inches of the streams. For purposes of deployment, the northwestern branch of the Bosenitz is used."
Austerlitz Map (page 57): The road entry points are not labeled, but should be. The roads on the east edge of the map and north of the Littawa River should be labeled (from north to south) A-1 through A-6. The roads on the west edge of the map should be labeled (from north to south) F-1 through F-3. The road leading off the south edge of the map from Telnitz is road F-4. Salamanca Deployment (page 62): Note that the Allied Army may be deployed anywhere behind the Allied Deployment Line.
Salamanca Map (page 63): There are two French 3rd Divisions listed. The southernmost one is actually the 8th Division.
First Manassas Battle Map (page 78): The four entry points are not labeled, but should be in accordance with the following diagram. The map compass orientation should match that shown on the campaign map on page 79.
(There is a printed map in the actual errata sheet, but I'm not sure how to reproduce it here. Point A is on the north table edge approximately 18 inches in from the west edge. Point B is on the north table edge approximately 18 inches in from the east edge. Point C is on the south table edge approximately 6 inches in from the east edge. Point D is on the east table edge approximately 42 inches down from the north edge.)
This should answer most of Steve Alvin's questions. As to saving throws, flanking attacks negate one saving throw per casualty, not total.
Now on to the subject of Quatre Bras. Here is some feedback on the Order of Battle.
1. The French Guard Light Cavalry did start the battle close by Ney, but I believe that it was withdrawn fairly early and was not decisively engaged. It's commitment might make a good "what if?" along the lines of D'Eerlon's corps.
2. Jerome's division wasn't up with the rest of the corps at 2:00PM, but was approaching by road. I'd have it enter in road column on turn 1.
3. Girard's division was detached to Grouchy's right wing and fought at Ligny rather than Quatre Bras.
4. I believe that only Guiton's brigade of l'Hertier's division was forward with Kellermann at 2:00PM. The rest of that division should enter later (say turn 2) along with the corps horse artillery. The bulk of his corps I believe shows up a bit later.
5. I have some notes on arrival times for the Anglo-Allies that I'll have to post later (don't have there here where I'm working), but the only troops initially in place should be de Perchorcher's Division and the Prince of Orange Himself.