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Unofficial Rules Variants

Deployment Rules for Campaign Battles

By Jason Ehlers

The purpose of these rules is to show the differences in how armies may have deployed:

These optional rules can be used by groups of players wanting to add some fun and perhaps realism in their campaigns. These rules would not be suitable for a six-player campaign, since they would slow things too much, but they would be good for two, three or four player campaigns.

The basis of the rules is this: the more "strategic areas" moved into in the season before the battle, the less prepared an army will be. Rapidly advancing armies become less disciplined, the column strung out, there will be stragglers, some troops will be off foraging, looting (or worse), and the defender will have had more time to scout the area and prepare what could be a deadly ambush along the extended line of march. Preparedness is represented by the army's DEPLOYMENT POSTURE.

Limits on Deployment Postures

Each army is limited to certain DEPLOYMENT POSTURES by the "number of areas moved into that season." To determine the available DEPLOYMENT POSTURES, count the number of "strategic areas" moved INTO that season. For each army, the number will be:

Armies that have moved *TWO areas are limited to:

Armies that have moved *ONE area are limited to:

Armies that have moved *ZERO areas are not limited, and can use any of the Deployment Postures:

Deployment Postures Defined

In all Deployment Postures, the camp (and camp followers, or element that will occupy the camp) must be placed initially, and as in regular rules. Camp followers do not count as an element when figuring the percentages, but any other element which will occupy the camp does count in figuring the percentages. The General's element must be among those placed on the board at the start, and this element does count in figuring the percentages. Allied contingents enter as in the regular rules, and do not count towards the percentages:

Prepared Defense: 100% of elements in the army are placed on the board at a distance of 0 to 300 paces from the near edge.

Prepared Attack: 100% of elements in the army are placed on the board at a distance of 300 to 600 paces from the near edge.

Hasty Defense: 66.7% (round to nearest integer!) of elements are placed on the board at a distance of 600 to 800 paces from the near edge. The remaining 33.3% of elements may arrive later as "Hasty Reinforcements."

Hasty Attack: 66.7% (round to nearest integer!) of elements are placed on the board at a distance of 800 to 1000 paces from the near edge. The remaining 33.3% of elements may arrive later as "Hasty reinforcements."

Disorganized Defense: 33.3% (round to nearest integer!) of elements are placed on the board at a distance of 1000 to 1100 paces from the near edge. The remaining 66.7% of elements may arrive later as "Disorganized Reinforcements."

Disorganized Attack: 33.3% (round to nearest integer!) of elements are placed on the board at a distance of 1100 to 1200 paces from the near edge. The remaining 66.7% of elements may arrive later as "Disorganized Reinforcements."

Reenforcement

Each friendly bound, starting with the first, players can expend PIPs to move reinforcements onto the board using single element movement, not group movement. To bring on "Hasty Reinforcements" costs 1 PIP per element moved. To bring on "Disorganized Reinforcements" costs 2 PIPs per element moved (once moved onto the board, it only costs 1 PIP to move the units, as usual). Players must bring on reinforcements in the sequence of their "ORDER OF MARCH." Reinforcements enter the board on the near-side board edge, immediately adjacent to the camp. If there is no room on the board edge adjacent to the camp, reinforcements cannot be brought on to the board!

Order of March

Here is how players can make their "Order of March." Players take a blank sheet of paper and write on it as follows:

        "Posture _______ "
        "1"
        "2"

and continue numbering on up to the number of elements in the opponents army (usually 12). Then players exchange sheets so that they write their "Order of March" on a sheet which cannot be tampered with. For example, if you are using a "Disorganized Attack" you write "Disorganized Attack" after "Posture" then you write your elements (note general's element) one after each number.

If you have 12 elements, in this example, the first four would be deployed on the table, and "5" through "12" would be the order you bring on reinforcements.

If you are using a Prepared Attack or Defense, you really don't have to write down anything except what your posture will be.

Players can keep their "Order of Deployment" hidden from the other player until the game is over, after which they must reveal it. If the "Order of March" was violated, the player loses the game and about a million prestige points!

Deployment

  1. Both sides determine how many strategic areas they have moved into prior to >the battle.
  2. Both sides dice.
  3. Both Players determine their "Order of March" and cannot change it afterward.
  4. The low scorer chooses the terrain from that available and numbers its edges 1 to 4 clockwise unless this has already been done.
  5. The high scorer allocates the numbers 5 and 6 to two adjacent edges, so that these are represented twice, then dices for which will be his base edge or "near edge". The low scorer's base edge or "near edge" is the opposite.
  6. The high scorer places his camp, then the low scorer places his.
  7. The high scorer now deploys all the allowable "at-start" elements as directed by the Deployment Posture he is using.
  8. The low scorer does the same, then takes first bound.

More from Jason Ehlers:

As I have continued testing these rules I think the deployment zones of:

are somewhat confusing, especially if there are large (40x40mm) elements involved. I think the deployment zones should be at least 200p depths:

or something like that. I'm sure groups and clubs will find zones they are comfortable with and learn by experience which ones provide the most fun (or "realism").

The purpose of the rules is to make it more of a gamble to move two strategic areas and then whammo hit and win a battle without any compensation for the defender having three months time getting ready, knowing the enemy is moving through their territory and not being able to make any kind of reaction in the meantime. It also makes me think more about certain kinds of" weak" armies having a chance to knock off a stronger army or pick off their general if they are particulary courageous and willing to take risks.


Anonymous: My question is, why is there a mandatory minimum deployment distance for a prepared attack? If they're prepared, why can't they decide where they want to deploy?

And might it not be better to do something like this:

That way, a prepared attack or defense could involve the careful positioning of troops on much of the battlefield. Less prepared armies would be forced to deploy essentially in a line, and would not be able to get to the central terrain features as quickly as their more prepared foes.

In general, though, the idea behind your deployment rules is a really good one - it looks ideal for a campaign.

Gary Moriarty: The Campaign Rules posted by Jason are very similar to those used in our DBA Campaigns, developed from an article that appeared in "PRACTICAL WARGAMER" some years ago, titled HOTT Lists and DBA Deployment. I have taken the liberty of modifying Jason's rules to reflect some of the additional options that we have included. The intent is to increase the uncertainty, and therefore the tension of battle. Other options you might want to consider are "Raid" (for the attacking force) and "Concealed Ambush" (for the defender). Thanks to Jason for some of the new ideas that you have come up with. Be assured that we will use them well.

Deployment Posture for Battles Which Are Part of Campaigns

The purpose of these rules is to show the differences in how armies may have deployed:

The basis of the rules is this: the more "strategic areas" moved into in the season before the battle, the less prepared an army will be. Rapidly advancing armies become less disciplined, the column strung out, there will be stragglers, some troops will be off foraging, looting (or worse), and the defender will have had more time to scout the area and prepare what could be a deadly ambush along the extended line of march.

First, for each army, count the number of "strategic areas" moved INTO that season. For each army, the number will be:

Second, each army is limited to certain DEPLOYMENT POSTURES by the "number of areas moved into that season".

Armies that have moved TWO areas are limited to Disorganised Attack and Disorganised Defence. Armies that have moved ONE area are limited to Hasty Attack, Hasty Defence, Disorganised Attack, and Disorganised Defence. Armies that have moved ZERO areas are not limited, and can use any of the Deployment Postures: Hasty Attack, Hasty Defence, Disorganised Attack, Disorganised Defence, Prepared Attack, and Prepared Defence.

Third, in all Deployment Postures, the camp (and camp followers, or element that will occupy the camp) must be placed initially, as in regular rules. Camp followers do not count as an element when figuring the percentages, but any other element that will occupy the camp does count in figuring the percentages.

The General's element must be among those placed on the board at the start, and this element does count in figuring the percentages.

Allied contingents enter as in the regular rules, and do not count towards the percentages.

Deployment Postures:

Fourth, REINFORCEMENTS: each friendly bound, starting with the first, players can expend Pips to move reinforcements onto the board using single element movement, not group movement. To bring on "Hasty Reinforcements" costs 1 Pip per element moved. To bring on "Disorganised Reinforcements" costs 2 Pips per element moved (once moved onto the board, units move as usual).

Players must bring on reinforcements in the sequence of their "ORDER OF MARCH."

Normal reinforcements enter the board on the "near-edge", immediately adjacent to the camp. If there is no room on the board edge adjacent to the camp, normal reinforcements cannot be brought on to the board!

Outflanking units count as "Hasty Reinforcements". Outflanking units must enter the board all at once from either the left, or right flank board edge, 1200 to 1500 paces from their "near-edge", and may not do so if there are insufficient Pips available.

Ambushing units differ from outflanking units only in that they arrive 0 to 300 paces from their opponent's "near-edge".

Note that outflanking units may, and ambushing units almost always, cost 2 Pips to move due to distance from the General.

Fifth, "ORDER OF MARCH": players take a blank sheet of paper and write on it as follows:

"Posture _______ "
"1"
"2"

and continue numbering on up to the number of elements in the opponent's army (usually 12). Outflanking and ambushing units must be listed as separate groups.

For example, if you are using a "Disorganised Attack" you write "Disorganised Attack" after "Posture" then you write your elements (note general's element) one after each number. If you have 12 elements, in this example, the first four would be deployed on the table, and "5" through "12" would be the order you bring on reinforcements.

Players can keep their "Order of Deployment" hidden from the other player until the game is over, after which they must reveal it. If the "Order of March" was violated, the player loses the game and about a million prestige points!

Finally, DEPLOYMENT:

Both sides determine how many strategic areas they have moved into prior to the battle.

Both sides dice.

Both Players determine their "Order of March" and cannot change it afterward.

The low scorer chooses the terrain from that available and numbers its edges 1 to 4 clockwise unless this has already been done. The high scorer allocates the numbers 5 and 6 to two adjacent edges, so that these are represented twice, then dices for which will be his base edge or "near-edge". The low scorer's base edge or "near-edge" is the opposite and the mid-line is the line equidistant from both "near-edges".

The high scorer places his camp, then the low scorer places his.

The high scorer now deploys all the allowable "at-start" elements as directed by the Deployment Posture he is using.

The low scorer does the same, then takes first bound.


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Last Updated: Nov. 18, 1998

Comments and suggestions welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley, IamFanaticus@gmail.com.