My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Command & Colors: Napoleonics (Expanded) Review

There is a lot more that is different with CCN than with CCA than is listed at the beginning of the rules.

  • Leaders mean less
  • Artillery can fire over units from a hill
  • Combined arms attacks kick butt
  • Only Cavalry can evade, and only from infantry
Leaders Mean Less

This actually makes sense in this period. Leaders are not longer generals with elite bodyguards protecting them, who typically are known for their prowess in battle. This is the age of Generals that are old farts who typically do not make people fight more effectively.

This concept manifests itself in the game by not having an attached leader increase the damage you inflict in combat. Their only appreciable effect is to allow you to ignore a single Flag, but at the expense of risking it being killed, and thus yielding another victory point.

Don says: "Leaders suck!"

Artillery Can Fire Over Units From A Hill

An artillery unit on a hill can fire over an adjacent friendly unit at a lower elevation at an enemy unit. Never did this in the three games played, but it may come in handy some day. The exceptions are that you cannot do it if the adjacent unit is in a hex that normally blocks terrain or in the case of Combined Arms attack.

Combined Arms Attacks Kick Butt

Combined arms attacks occur when a friendly infantry or cavalry unit melees an enemy unit and one or more friendly artillery units can also legally fire upon that same enemy unit. In that case you may combine the attack dice from the meleeing unit and the artillery units.

Don says: "What good is that? You have to order both units anyway and you would still get the same number of dice!"

There are two things which makes this better:

  1. Both attacks occur as a single attack, before the enemy can retreat from a Flag. If you fire the artillery first and the enemy retreats, the meleeing unit cannot attack (but it might be able to fire, if infantry). If you melee first and the enemy retreats, the firing artillery will usually fire with less dice, unless the retreat carries them out of line of sight, when the artillery gets no dice. This combining means you will probably get the most optimal number of dice in attack.
  2. Because the dice are not separated between melee and ranged attack, all dice hit on Sabers (assuming the troops meleeing hit on Sabers), effectively increasing the artillery's firepower.
It is this second point - that the artillery's fire effectiveness is increased - that makes Combined Arms attacks kick butt. If you are firing with, say, 2 dice from the artillery at infantry, the number of casualty producing sides goes from 2 sides to 3, increasing effectiveness by 50% for the artillery. Against cavalry it goes from 1 side to 2, increasing effectiveness by 100%.

The one downside to Combined Arms attacks are that you roll for Leader Casualties for each attack that produces casualties. As you are combining the melee and artillery attacks into a single attack, you only get one crack at killing the enemy leader, if present.

Only Cavalry Can Evade, And Only From Infantry

Seems reasonable for the period. Cavalry, attacked by infantry in melee, can choose to Rally and Reform two hexes away from the infantry. Like the CCA evade, this means that only the Cavalry symbol hits, with Sabers missing. Once the cavalry have taken their hits, they retreat, and the infantry can take ground if they choose.

Games So Far

I have played the Rolica (First Position) scenario twice - British victory 5-4 and British victory 5-3 - and the Rolica (Second Position) scenario once - French victory 5-0 - and the games have been fun, and generally well-balanced. (Okay, that last game was obviously a stomp, but that really had more to do with the cards than the scenario design.)

I am sure that I will be playing more of these rules in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Very good points Dale. Glad you like the game. I'm very happy with it as is and I'm glad that leaders are not too influential here, especially in a game where attrition can mount quickly and victory points.


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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").