19th Century Rules

19th Century European Wargaming Rules

Introduction

These wargame rules are geared towards the European warfare in the period 1860-1880. The inspiration for the rules comes from the following books and rules: “One-Hour Wargames” and “Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe 1815-1878” both authored by Neil Thomas, and “Tackle Model Soldiers This Way” by Donald Featherstone.

Units

The following unit types are used. 

  • Infantry
  • Skirmishers
  • Dragoons  
  • Cavalry
  • Artillery
  • Commander

Most units are based on two stands. The exception being the commander which is based on one stand.

The positioning of a unit stand represents the formation of the unit. Units can be either manoeuvring (one behind the other) or deployed for combat (side by side).

Sequence of Play

The game is played in a series of turns. Each turn comprises of a series of phases:

Movement - Both players roll a D6 and the highest scoring player moves first followed by the other player (re-roll any ties).

Shooting - Both players roll a D6 and the highest scoring player shoots with their units first applying hits immediately and is then followed by the other player (re-roll any ties).

Melee - Both players roll a D6 and the highest scoring player shoots with their units first applying hits immediately and is then followed by the other player (re-roll any ties)

Movement

During the movement phase players can move units which are in march formation. 

Note - units deploy into battle formation during the shooting phase.

Movement allowances

  • Infantry & Artillery - 6”
  • Skirmisher - 12”
  • Cavalry, Dragoons, & Commanders - 18”
Adjustments

  • Movement is increased by half if all movement is on road.
  • Halve distance when moving through terrain, crossing walls & climbing hills.
  • Halve movement when reforming from battle formation into march formation.

Turning - Units turn by pivoting on their central point. They may do so at the start & end of their move.  Deployed units cannot move, but are allowed to pivot on their central point.

Interpenetration - Only Skirmishers & Artillery may pass through other units.

Terrain

Units are affected by terrain as follows:

  • Woods - Only Skirmishers can enter.
  • Towns - Comprise of buildings and walls. Buildings cannot be entered and block line of sight, while walls provide cover.
  • Hills - Artillery can fire over the heads of units if positioned on a hill.
  • Marshland and Lakes - Impassable to all units.
  • Rivers - These may only be crossed via bridges or fords.
  • Roads - Units moving by road increase their movement distance by 3” if their entire move is spent on the road.

Interpenetration - Only Skirmishers may pass through other units (and vice versa).

Shooting

The procedure for shooting is as follows. Note that Cavalry units do not shoot, all others can.

Units may only shoot at a single target within 45 degree of their frontal facing.

As soon as a unit shoots place the unit in battle formation if not already so and add some cotton wool to indicate the unit has shot. (Remember to remove the cotton wool if a unit does not shoot.)

Infantry and Skirmishers Shooting

For Infantry units roll 2D6 selecting the highest score, while for skirmishers roll 1D6. Then add and subtract for:

  • -1 Short range 0” to 6”
  • -2 Medium range 6” to 12”
  • -3 Long range 12” to 18”
  • -1 Target in cover
  • -1 If shooting in the previous turn
The remaining score is the number of hits a target unit sustains.

Artillery Shooting

For artillery units roll 2D6 selecting the highest score. Then add and subtract for:

  • -1 Short range 0” to 12”
  • -2 Medium range 12” to 24”
  • -3 Long range 24” to 36”
  • -1 Target in cover
  • -1 Target is artillery or skirmishers
  • -1 If shooting in the previous turn

The remaining score is the number of hits a target unit sustains.

Melee

A melee occurs when cavalry or dragoons move into contact with another unit not in cover. They remain locked in melee until one side is eliminated. Cavalry units roll 2D6 selecting the highest score, while dragoons roll 1D6. 

On first contact cavalry units (not dragoons) double their scored hits.

Elimination of units

  • Infantry units are eliminated after taking 13 or more hits
  • Skirmisher, Artillery and Cavalry units after 7 or more hits

Commanders

Only once during a game a commander can move to join an infantry unit. Remove 6 hits from the infantry unit. This represents a commander trying to rally an infantry unit which is bringing to falter or encourage an attack which is beginning to waver. Remember a commander's heroics are limited to once per game.


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