Thursday, 13 September 2012

Commands & Colors - Movement experiments.

Having taken a couple of weeks break from playing Napoleonics I have been thinking a lot about the C&CN rules. I am in no doubt still that they represent for me the very best set of Napoleonic rules in terms of pure playability that I have used. Some may recall how I resisted initially the hex grid and experimented with using distance units instead, but in so doing lost much of the C&C feel of the game. So the hex grid table was born, but with the points only painted in yellow dots, a suggestion for which I remain most grateful. I have now fully embraced the hex grid and the new pre cut wooded hexes from ERM have allowed me to begin to develop a more varied terrain in terms of fields and woods etc. This is still in early stages, as I have big plans, but already I'm happy with the look of the table, even though those fields serve no functional purpose in C&C, I think they look nice!

Group movement in C&CN.
This has been one area where I have been slightly frustrated with the rules. I like to deploy my battalions in brigades of 3 to 4 units and I see no reason why a brigade should not be moved as a single entity, especially in the early stages of a game. I outlined previously Tony's very practical suggestion on how the 'probe' card could be used to make a 'march' move for each unit within the section defined by the card. I have now gone a step further and in the experiments so far I'm pleased with how this allows a more fluid development of the early move turns. Basically what I am currently doing is as described below:

A 'scout' card may be used to move a full brigade of light cavalry a full move but not battle. Otherwise the card may be played normally.

A 'Probe' card may be used to move a brigade of infantry or cavalry a full move but not battle, or may be played normally. Where a battery is attached to the brigade in an adjacent hex, the battery may also be moved a normal move but not battle.

An 'Attack' card may also be used to move a full brigade of infantry or cavalry plus an adjacent battery as above but not battle, or played normally.

Essentially, the 3 above cards now have 2 functions, firstly to allow troops to manoeuevre by brigades or secondly to use normally to move and/or battle. What I envisage here is that once troops are within striking distance of the enemy lines the cards will be played normally to allow brigades to advance forward battalions to engage in ranged or melee combat whilst being able to keep reserves in hand. Certainly I'm finding I'm doing less dancing around the table like a snooker player, and the frustrations of having to select just a single or two battalions for movement is gone. I should have added above that where a brigade straddles 2 sections the full brigade may still be moved as a single entity. I have found no problems with this so far.

A few pictures from my latest game. I'm trying different lighting set ups and settings thus the difference in picture quality. I feel the above changes have led to a far more coordinated looking battle line and swift development of the early turns. Note the bases sitting in the new fields and the improved woods bases all now made from the pre cut mdf hexes.

Any comments or suggestions welcome as always, especially on the rule tweak to C&CN movement.

The table - after just a couple of turns.

British heavy cavalry brigade.

The new fields in action!

4th Swiss.

French Grenadier battalion with raw battalions (M) in the rear.

Portuguese troops on the British right, supported by 95th Rifles.

2 battalions of Foot Guards plus the Household cavalry held in reserve on a hill.

A brigade of British light cavalry move up on the right flank.

British artillery with a nice field of fire.
Oi, you surely never made it into Spain! Oh well, Red Lancers in reserve.

Light cavalry on the extreme French right flank.


  1. Those look wonderful. I particularly like the fields. I fear I may end up getting in touch with ERM. *sigh*

    1. Cheers Mr Kinch :-) The hexes are a very good quality product and can be supplied to any size. I have visions of being able to cover the entire board in textured hexes in the longer term. Tony at ERM also has a rather interesting and humorous 'personal' blog that I'm enjoying reading, and as it concerns pipes and pipe tobaccos as well as snuff, beer and whiskey you might find it entertaining too possibly?

      All the best. I have in mind your offer of a FaceTime battle, and would love to take you up on that in the future once I become a slightly less embarrassingly bad General!


  2. This whole project has really come together. You've got a great looking table.


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