Monday, July 13, 2020

Learning General d'Armee Napoleonic Rules 1

Several weeks ago my 15mm Russian Napoleonic Army broke out of storage boxes demanding some exercise. Two nearby friends, Greg B. and Matt L. also have 15mm Napoleonics. We decided to field our forces on the tabletop perhaps next month. Reasons: Move units, throw dice and socialize.

Conversation led to acquisition of David Brown's General D'Armee rules and tokens. See the shop at Too Fat Lardies but go to Reisswitz Press there.

The following is my hands on solo attempt to learn using a tactical situation. Surely something will be muddled as is routine when learning, but here we go anyway. The Russians want to force a crossing of the stream.

Russian Right Flank and Center from Right to Left

12th Division
3rd. Jager Brig.: 2xBns. skirmishing supported by 2x columns.
22nd Arty. Battery: 3xCannons. Historically these were light cannons; 6-9 pdrs, in the rules.
1st. Inf. Brigade: 4xBns. with screen.
2nd. Inf. Brigade: 4xBns with screen. (See next photo)

CinC in lower left with seven potential ADCs at the rate of one per brigade/battery. This photo might provide four ADCs while the next photo could add three more --- maybe.

Russian Left Flank and Center from Right to Left

2nd. Inf. Brigade: 4xBns with screen. (Appeared in previous photo)
Converged Grenadier Brigade: 3xBns.
Lancers (Basing needs adjustment)

Seven brigades/batteries allow seven D6 throws.
Results of 3-6  activate ADCs. 1-2 = unavailable.
Six ADCs activated. More mounted ADCs are needed.

2xADCs reported to the 3rd Jager Brigade with a Forwards Order to obtain additional movement. Two are needed for this order.  The enemy has a large skirmish screen ahead needing pushing back.

Two more ADCs brought an Artillery Assault order to stimulate rapid fire. Two ADCs were needed for this. The battery has been ordered to assist the Jagers off image to the right. 

To the left of the battery is the 1st. Infantry Brigade.
One ADC arrives to stimulate the Brigadier if he hesitates. 
The Brigadier will move on a 1D6 = 3-6.
Should a 1-2 result, the ADC is allowed a do over throw.

Same thing for the brigade left of the previous image.

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Question 1: Bill, what about your other brigades? You have no more ADCs.
Answer: Each Brigadier can move on a 1D6 = 3-6; no rethrow without an ADC.

Question 2: What's next?
Answer: D6 throws to activate brigades. But we need to see what the foe is doing next.
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The foe is posted mostly beyond the stream on a ridge. A bold skirmish line holds a reverse slope forward of the stream.

Five ADCs are possible; four from formations on the ridge and one for the screen.

Mission: Hold the river line as long as possible.

The CinC threw five ADC dice.
Only two ADCs were activated/made available.

Worried that the exposed screen might need extra help, two ADCs arrived to help.

The Skirmishers order will enhance firepower; vitally needed.

The ADC order (used incorrectly?) allows a redo of a failed first activation to move.

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Question 3: Umm. Who are those blue and red coated guys the Russians are opposing?
Answer: I do not have Napoleonics to oppose the Russians but do have American Revolutionary War units to operate as a linear trained army.

Question 4: What's next?
Answer: Initiative 2xD6 throws determining which side moves and later fires first.
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Each side throws 2xD6 reducing the total score by the number of Hesitant Brigades.

Red/Blue Army threw a 10 reduced to 8 because two Brigadiers hesitated throwing 1D6 = 1-2.

The Russian score started at 6, reduced to 5 because the Battery hesitated.

Hesitating usually means no movement though reactions are permitted.

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Question 5: The Hessian/British. won initiative and?
Answer: Yes and they chose to not move.

Question 6: Do the Russians get to move soon?
Answer: Yes. See next photos showing them moving forward.
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The Jagers activated. (1D6 = 3-6 needed. A 3 was thrown.) It looks like the Brigadier intends to throw back the foe's screen.

 The artillery "Hesitates" (1D6 = 1-2); may not fire at long range.

 These brigades activated (1D6 = 3-6) and move forward.

 Ditto for the Converged Grenadiers and Cuirassiers. 

The Lancers activated moving forward protecting the Left Flank.

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Question 7; When do units fire?
Answer: After each side moves. The side which won the Turn initiative earlier fires first.
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Allied Right Flank
The Hessians and British 6 pounder artillery hesitated in the beginning of the turn. Cannons may fire at shorter than long range but no target is available. So nothing happening here.

Allied Left Flank
The infantry could shoot if something was in range. Nothing is.

The artillery will fire selecting an enemy column not shown.

Left Cannon
Scores 2D6 = 10 (not shown) inflicting 3 hits and a Discipline Test.

Right Cannon
Scores 2D6 = 8 (not shown) inflicting 2 hits.

The Russian column suffered 5 hits. 
The Discipline Test: 2D6 =11-1 for hits = 10.
Carry on with a modified score of 7 or higher.
No casualties are removed but are tracked.

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Question 8; Did you do this correctly, Bill?
Answer: Unsure. Should I have thrown 2D6 per cannon model or the whole battery?
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The British screen did not hesitate at the beginning of the turn and therefore may fire. 

Skirmisher fire was not lethal. The Russians suffered 1 hit while the British suffered 2. Only when a group suffers 4 cumulative hits are there firing penalties.

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(1) One turn was played using the Quick Reference Charts with consultation back to the booklet.

(2) Should each cannon model fire separately or is there a mechanism for a section/battery. I fired by cannon model.

(3) 28mm movement rates and firing distances are being used to no ill effect. Typically I increase movement rates for 15mms anyway because I am blessed with table space to do so and I prefer sweeping movements.

(4) This tactical study is a learning tool for Greg, Matt, myself and others interested regionally. Playing out the system is much better than just reading about it. Videos are very helpful too.

(5) I also play the Napoleonic version of my Batailles de l'Ancien Regime rules using 28mms in The Peninsular and a clever set named Tin Eagles using flats owned by Kurt D, Lewis S., Joe G. and Mike F. Hopefully I can also take my Russians on the road and play Empire with pards in The Fox Valley one of these days.

(6) Are you familiar with the General d'Armee rules? If so, kindly correct things I missed. Comments from one and all are also welcome.
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  1. Figures look great Bill, sadly I don’t know the rules so can’t comment. I do hope you get that game soon and really enjoy it.

  2. Thank you Allan for looking in and for your kind remarks. Cheers, Bill P.

  3. Ive played Gd'A a good bit and really like the rules - the command control system is elegant and fun. I've always fire batteries as single entities - not per gun but may be wrong


    Try these videos, Bill. I bought these rules a while ago as interest in Empire seems to have gone over here. I get my Empire kicks vicariously through the Fox Valley chaps now so would love to see your Russians on tour.

    Best wishes,


  5. The guns fire as a battery. The size of the battery (4, 6, 8, 12 guns) doesn't matter. The only benefit of the large (12 gun) Russian batteries is they gain an advantage in close range firing. I'm trying REALLY hard to aggregate my fecal matter. ;-)

  6. Interesting concept. Kind of like getting pips in Picquet to perform actions, though more reliable. Heard of the system but never seen a demo before. Thanks.

  7. Thank you Sirs,
    Your remarks are appreciated. Several chaps coached me correcting mistakes. Turn 2 will be improved accordingly. It is already underway.
    Bill P.


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