D. Talks On Games

Click here to edit subtitle

War is Not Chess - Napoleonic War Variant


So I've been reading Carl Von Clausewitz's famous book of Military Theory "On War". Its a very thought provoking book with lots of inspiration for game design.  I'm only 500 Pages in so far, which means these notes are a incomplete/ Rough.  I actually had already created by game "War is Not Chess" before starting to read this book, but I immediately saw how I could make a fun (and more involved) variant using concepts from the book. 


Go to War is Not Chess to read the basic rules of the game.


Here is what I have so far. 


1) Modeling Friction: 


At the beginning of your turn you roll a dice under a cup. After your first action you reveal the dice. The result shows the maximum number of actions you can take this turn. As an example, if your faction normally allows you 3 actions (2 normal and 1 from your leader) but you roll a 1 you have already taken your only action for this turn.  This represents all the things that can make orders not arrive on time, get misinterpretted, or even ignored. I actually think this variant is pretty exciting and would be perfectly fun to play in a normal game of Not Chess.


2) Archers are replaced by Cannons, Men at arms are called Infantry, Horsemen are called Cavalry


Cannons: like Archers but they have a facing. (Wrap rubber bands around the rook for friction and put it on its side to indicate facing).  They can only hit the three spaces 2 away from their facing. They can change facing 1 degree (8 degrees around the square) before or after fire (but lose 1 accuracy if they fire on after changing facing). They can fire in the space directly in front of their facing as well (but only if they didn't change facing this turn). Also, if there are no pieces in the way they can hit the spot directly 3 away from their facing. 

 They have -3 to defend, but enemy units are lost if the cannon manages to win a combat as the defender.

 Much higher attack bonuses though.

 1d6 +1 for being a cannon. 

+1 if there are no friendly units anywhere in front of it.

and an additional +1 for each cannon that can hit the same spot (though that cannon can't attack this turn if another cannon received the bonus from it).


3) Factions

a) France
Genius and Confidence.
Units: 2 Infantry, 2 cavalry, 2 Cannon
Leader Napoleon -> Use Queen. On your turn counts as Cavalry unit. When defending and touching a friendly infantry unit Napoleon counts as an infantry instead of Cavalry. All French Cannons get +1 when attacking a unit that Napoleon is touching. 
Leader Action:  1 Leader action. Can use its leader action on Napoleon or any unit touching Napoleon. 

b) England
Naval Superiority!
Units: 2 Infantry, Cavalry, 2 Cannon, 1 Ship (see special rules0

Leader: Wellington:  Choose a spot on your side of the board and mark it with a coin. The duke of wellington is there and he will never move. Friendly units can be in the same space as the duke of wellington.   If that spot is ever held by an enemy unit the duke of wellington is lost. (The Duke of Wellington will not fall to cannon fire). 
Leader Action: 1 leader action. The Duke is not a normal unit and cannot give his order to himself. Instead he can give his action to any unit within 3 spaces of the Duke token.

Special Unit: England also receives a ship. (use the king). It hangs off the board on the left side. (place it on the edge of the board to indicate what spot it is next to).
Ship Actions:
Move 1 Space.
Attack any spot within 2 spaces of its current position.
Attack any spot within 2 spaces of its current position then move.
Move and then attack any space within 2 of its current position 
Beach: Move onto the board in any space next to its current position. While beached the ship attacks and defends as a cannon with a facing directly inland. (No shot the round it beaches. A beached ship cannot move further inland or up or down the coast. .)
Set Sail: A beached ship can spend its move to leave the board to the position directly next to its current position. (No Shot the round it sets sail).
 
Special Rules: Ship like a cannon does not die when it loses an attack. Ship cannot be attacked by infantry or cavalry while it is off the edge of the board. Ship is fair game while beached.
Combat bonuses:
Ship counts as a cannon for attack and defense bonuses.
The Ship cannot be used when on a completely inland space and is replaced by the grenardier. Grenadier has stats like an archer but counts as a cannon for concentrated fire.

c) Prussia
Superior Morale.
Units: 2 Infantry, 2 Cavalry and 2 Cannon (Remove 1 unit from any 1 category) 
Leader: Blucher and Clausevitzs  -> (Both bishops.) 
Leader Orders: Clausevitz and Blucher can give their order to any unit they touch or themselves. While you have both leaders add 1 to your die rolls for friction
Special Rules: Any unit using a leader action gets +1 to attack.

4)  Napoleonic War Scenario Win Conditions:

a) Skirmish: Hold the Edge for 10 rounds.

b) Capture The Fort: Choose defender and attacker. Defender starts with the edge but must put a coin on one place in the third row in front of them. If the attacker ever captures that point defender loses. If the defender can hold out for 20? attacker turns they win. 

c) Retreat: All Defender units start on the line 5 in front of the player. Attacker starts with the edge. Defender units can escape if they reach the back row (and may automatically disappear)  Defender wins if 4 units escape or 5 without a commander. Attacker wins if they can kill 4 units or 3 including the commander.

d) Major Battle: Either kill three units in a row (without losing the edge). Or reduce your enemy to an army half the size of your own.

e) Total War: Reduce oponents army to two (or one if either they still have their commander.)

5) Campaign Map Variant! (incomplete, but intriguing)
a) You will need tiles from the game settlers of cataan to play the campaign.  Randomly set up an evenly proportioned map using all the tiles from a cataan. Any islands completely separated from the mainland should be moved the shortest combination of south and east toward the mainland until they connect. 

b) Roll to decide attacker and defender. Attacker gets 7 armies. Defender gets 6 and Campaign Momentum.

c) Campaign win conditions:  
If the either side holds Campaign Momentum for 10 Turns in a row they win the campaign. (This is mostly to help define rolls of Attacker and Defender. Attacker must attack or defender wins).
Campaign Momentum is captured whenever the side that doesn't have it captures a town, empty fortress or wins a battle.

If either side ever has double the Units + Towns + Fortresses of their opponent they win.
(Note: Captured towns, cities and fortresses revert to their owner when there are no armies on their space).


d) Attacker and Defender choose sides (East vs west). Set down a divider to hide the placements from the other player and set up armies in any spaces within 2 of their side of the board (not counting water spaces). Each side can also set out 3 fortresses in spots on their side of the board in the middle of tiles. (use cataan cities). Also set out 5 towns anywhere on your half of the map. (on the center of tiles). They do not all have to be in your country.

e) All spaces held by an army or behind an army are considered part of your country. Mark these spaces with roads to indicate your border.

f) Campaign movement: Roll a dice under a Cup. (to represent campaign friction). Move 1 or more armies on one spot to an adjacent spot. Reveal the dice roll and you may move additional armies equal to the roll -1 (Prussia gets +1 to the roll). Once all campaign movement on your turn is resolved fight a battle in each space where you and your enemy both have at least one army.  Armies that moved are the attacker. Armies that didn't are the defender.
 
g) Supplies: 

Each of your armies carries 5 units of supply. 
Armies that did not move lose one supply each turn unless otherwise noted.

When in your own territory spaces with a friendly city or Fortress can supply 1army a turn. 1 Army staying on such a space does not lose supplies that turn.
Spaces with both a fortress and a Town are called Major Cities and can supply Up to 3 Armies (they do not lose supplies for staying on this spot).
Note: Captured fortresses do not provide supply each turn. 

Armies that shared a space with another army (enemy or friend) this turn lose 1 supply. 

Armies that moved into a space with an enemy town on it gain 1 supply.

1 Army that stayed on a space with an enemy town on it gain 1 supply but the town is removed from the board. Other armies on this space do not lose supplies this turn.

1 Army that stays in a space with an enemy Major city on it gains 1 supply each turn. Each additional army up to 3 does not lose supplies this turn. 

Armies that move into a wheat field space gain 1 supply.
Units moving into a swamp space lose 1 supply.
During a battle when you capture a cannon unit or a fortress you may add 1 to your supplies for this army. (Capturing a space with an undefended fortress grants no supplies).

Effects of Supply Numbers: 
When an army has zero or less supplies it starts to have morale problems. Remove 1 from your friction roles in combat.
Every turn an army has negative supplies roll a dice if the result minus the negative number of supplies is zero or less the army is lost. (Add 1 if you have campaign momentum) 
When an army has negative 3 supply or worse the army fights with one fewer unit of your choice.

h) Terrain Modifiers:
Fields (Wheat producing) - No terrain Modifiers. Player with Campaign Momentum gains the Battle Momentum
Hills (sheap producting) - Defender gains Battle momentum at the start of the battle.
Swamp (Brick Producing) -  Defender gains Battle momentum. -1 to friction rolls.
Forest (Wood Producing) - Cannons can only attack the 2 spaces directly in front of their facing. Defender gains Battle momentum. -1 to friction rolls.
Mountains (Stone Producing) - Cavalry move 1 or can spend 2 actions to move 2. It takes 2 actions to move a cannon, but Cannons can reach attack 1 further space away in their facing. Changing facing takes 1 action and cannot be combined with a shot.  Defender gains Battle momentum. Defender must have 2 units touching both the left and right sides of the board at setup. -2 to friction rolls.

Special Rule: England Can Only use its ship unit on spaces next to a water space. On such spaces the ship is replaced with a "Grenadier" (acts as an archer) 


Fortress: In addition to terrain and scenario rules Defender places a fortress token anywhere in the third row in front of them. The Fortress acts as a leader that will add 1 action per turn to a unit in the fortress or touching the fortress (Roll friction as usual). If an enemy unit moves onto the fortress space at any time, the defender loses the battle.

Special Terrain Rule: England can only use its ship unit on spaces next to a water space. On such spaces england gets +1 to attack rolls to units receiving leader orders and any unit on the wellington token gets +1 to defense. 

i) Battle Scenarios:
Armies from both sides share a space there is a battle. Each side only gets its normal allotment of units 

1) When both sides have only 1 army the fight is a skirmish. Winner is the side that holds momentum for 10 turns. Winner gains campaign momentum (+1 on supply rolls) and gains +1 supply.. Losing army does not die, but loses 1 supply, campaign momentum (if they had it) and must move their army to an adjacent space of the winners choice (that does not already have an army of the winners side on it.) If there are no such spaces then the losing army is destroyed.

2) If either side has 2 armies present then it is a major battle. 
To win: Either kill three units in a row (without losing the edge). Or reduce your enemy to an army half the size of your own.
Loser loses 1 army and all its supplies. Winner gains campaign momentum.
If the winner has more than 1 army and the loser has at least 1 army left then another battle is fought as a retreat. (Loser is retreating)

3) If 1 side has only 1 army present and the other has 3 or more they defender is encircled. Immediately fight a retreat battle with the smaller army retreating.

4) If both sides have 3 or more units present then it is total war.
To Win: Reduce an oponents army to two (or one if either unit is a commander.)
Loser loses 2 armies. If winner was reduced to 3 or less units they lose an army as well. Winner gains half the supplies from the losing armies (rounded up). 
Immediately fight a retreat with loser as the retreating group.


5) Retreat
Triggered by results from major battle, encircled defender or Total war. 
Special Setup Rules:  All Defender units start on the line 5 in front of the player. Attacker starts with the momentum. 
Special Win Conditions:
Defender units can escape if they reach the back row (and may automatically disappear).
a) Defender causes a draw if 4 units escape or 5 without a commander. They may move to any space without an enemy army. If there is no such space then they can lose 1 supply and move to any space with a friendly army.
b) Defender Wins if at any time they have 3 times as many units as the attacker. Attacker loses 1 army. Defender may move to any space without an enemy army. If there is no such space then they can lose 1 supply and move to any space with a friendly army.
c )Attacker wins if they can kill 4 units or 3 including the commander. Defender has 1 army destroyed. Attacker captures half the destroyed armies supplies rounded up. If Defender has any armies left the Attacker may move the defender to any spot not held by the attacker. If no such space exists then the defending army is completely destroyed.