Friday, November 27, 2015

"Semi-witz"; Pre Game Show

    As mentioned in the scenario post, in Field of Battle 2nd edition, Brent included a simple system for adding some variance to pick up type scenarios. I've never tried it, so I decided to apply it to this game to get a feel for how it works. First a set of roll is made for "Fate" - three D4 rolls for each side. The score determines which of 4 areas is effected, and then a D12 is rolled for each of those, producing an Up or Down 1 modifier and a short descriptive phrase.

"French"  1, 2, 2

Tactical Adjustment: 3 - "Spread out to locate enemy" - Down 1
Strength: 11 = "Main Body" - Up 1
Strength:  4 = "Poor Roads" - Down 1

Allies  4, 2, 4

Deployment: 8 = "Parallel Routes" - Up 1
Strength: 11 = "Main Body" - Up 1
Deployment: 6 = "Inactive" - Down 1

Neither side rolled any 3's, which relates to Reconnaissance. The descriptions of the modifiers can be used to construct a basic pre-battle narrative

Command Decisions:

Each Army C-in-C gets 4 die types (the mix is dependent upon his Leadership Die - better LD gives a better mix of die types to choose from. In this case, both von Bulow and Ney have an LD of 10, so they get a D6, D8, D10, D10, and must allocate one die to each of the four categories - Tactical Adjustment, Strength, Reconnaissance, and Deployment. From the Fate process above, the French Tactical Adjustment die type will be modified by Down 1 die type, and the Allied Strength Die Type will be adjusted by Up 1.

The French choose to allocate their dice as below:
Tactical Adjustment D8 {(Down 1 as above = D6)
Strength  D10
Reconnaissance  D10
Deployment D6

The Allies choose to allocate their dice as below:
Tactical Adjustment  D6
Strength  D10 (Up 1 as above = D12)
Reconnaissance  D10
Deployment D8

The rolls and the outcomes thereof were:
Tactical Adjustment:  French 3 vs Allied 5
Strength: French 6 vs Allied 5
Reconnaissance:  French 8 vs Allied 8
Deployment:  French 6 vs Allied 4

As it turns out, tied rolls or a difference of 1 or 2 has no effect, so there is  no change to the scenario from this process. Had there been more significant differences in the die rolls, then some interesting effects were possible, depending upon how great the difference was. As it was, both sides commanders  had the same LD rating and allocated their dice similarly, Here's a taste of some of the things that could have happened:

Deployment: This envisages the players setting out their command groups one at a time, alternating from one side to the other. Difference of 3 or 4 = 1 enemy Command group must be placed on the table (additional) at any time that the winning side chooses; 5-6 same but 2 Command Groups, 7+ same but three command groups. In addition, if the Winning die roll was even, the command group(s) to be placed may also be specified by the winning player.

Tactical adjustment: Difference of 3 or 4 = all the units in one Command Group may be repositioned within their deployment zone, including changes of facing or formation; 5-6 same but 2 Command Groups, 7+ same but three command groups. In addition, if the Winning die roll was even, the command group(s) may also be re deployed into a different (baseline) deployment are.

Reconnaissance:  Difference of 3 or 4 = 1 add one zone for deployment; 5-6 same but add 2 zones, 7+ same but add three zones. In addition, if the Winning die roll was even, the winning player may instead deploy with a 1 zone gap between zones; only one gap in total is allowed. If the deployment zone(s) added extend to the enemy baseline zones, this will prevent the enemy from deploying said zone(s). The additional zine(s) to be used must be announced prior to commencing deployments.

Strength:  Difference of 3 to 6 = 1/8 of the enemy's command groups will be delayed in arriving at the battlefield. Round all fractions up;  7+ = 1/4 of the enemy command groups will be late arriving. Round all fractions up.  In either case, the Command Groups that are delayed is determined randomly. If the LOSER rolled even, then dice for each command group, rolling a D4. The score is the number of MOVE/MOVE 1 COMMAND cards that must be played in order for the late units to arrive (MOVE ONE COMMAND cards used in this fashion cannot also be used for tabletop movement). If the LOSER rolled odd, then each delayed Command Group must roll a D4 plus a D6, with effects as above.

Earthworks: Either or both armies may elect to build earthworks. Each earthwork built will result in one unit (of the C-in-C's choice) being removed from the forces available. No more than 1/4 of the army's strength may be employed in this fashion. The Army Morale point total is not reduced for units removed for Earthwork construction.

The empty tabletop, looking from the French left; the Church represents the village of Dennewitz itself. 

Looking over the "mountains" (used to hide all the junk on the other 8 feet of the table from view) from the French right.

Looking from the French left, with troops added.

Another view from the Allied right; the gold coins are used to indicate the deployment areas as set out in the scenario. 

Reynier's Corps of Italians and Saxons. The Austrians won't be the white coats in today's battle!

Another view of Reynier';s boys. 

Bertrand's Corps of Poles and Wurttemburgers; I have used my colorful 4 unit Vistula Legion infantry for the Polish infantry. 

The Wurzburg Regiment of the Rhine Confederation has been brigade with the Wurttemburgers. 

Oudinot's Corps of Bavarians, Badeners, and Hessians. Oudinot had been replaced in command of the Army of Berlin after his defeat at Gross Beeren; thus he was not on very cordial terms with his replacement, Marshal Ney!

Roger will be providing the Hessian Chevau-lagers, one of the (seemingly few) Napoleonic units not in my collection. 

Bernadotte's (Crown Prince Carl-Johann) Swedish Corps. It has been at least 12 years since these guys last made it onto the table!

Another view of the very colorful Swedes!

Tauentzien's large Corps of Prussians.

The Prussians are a very mixed bag of Line, Reserve, and Landwehr units!

Winzingerode's Russian Corps. 

In typical Russian fashion, they have so much artillery that they can't deploy it all at the start of the game; the Horse Batteries will have to move out when they get the chance; fortunately, they are highly mobile. 

General Arrighi de Casanova's small cavalry Corps, awaiting its chance to enter the game. 

Cassanova was a cousin of Napoleon's, and distinguished himself at the actual Battle of Dennewitz. 

Morand's French Division, also reinforcements waiting to enter the tabletop. 

Best known for serving under Marshal Davout, Morand had a falling out with him in 1810, believing that he had blocked his advancement. He requested a transfer to another command, which was refused, and he continued to serve under Davout during the Russian campaign. In 1813, his request was granted and he served in Bertrand's Corps, later assuming command of it himself in 1814. 

The Von Bulow monument at Dennewitz.


  1. Very nice Peter, a colour assortment of troops to fight it out!

    1. It was; now I have to write it u[p in the next few days.