Saturday, 13 January 2018

Battle Report - 30 Dec 2017 - Napoleonic Command "The Battle Of San José"

My second game in the Twin Cities, again courtesy of Jeff Knusden and the guys at the delightfully named ATF group (yes, that does stand for what it usually does: Scotch, fine cigars for those who will, and wargames!), hosted at expat Brit Elliot's house.

The rules were Warartisan's Napoleonic Command... very very different to anything I'm used to, and very thought-provoking. Essentially, units have areas of influence that extend out in front of them, into which they assert Threat points. These get matched against a target unit's Cohesion modified by a dice roll, and that determines what happens to the unit.

Also? You start out in column of march, and part of the tactical headache is how to deploy for the battle.

The dice mechanic is interesting - every roll is d6 minus d6 (largest minus smallest) - makes for an interesting probability table.

Annotations by Jeff
The rules are 42 pages, including diagrams and photos (the actual rules take up 12), and the QRS is one side (not double sided) of paper. If you want to learn more, check out Jeff's brief intro on his site.


British Foot in column of... erm... yomp.
A Peninsular scrap, in which the British and the French are converging on the Spanish held town of San José. I got to command the British, and... well... It could have gone better.

The plan was the lead British division (red arrows) yomp for the town, while the cavalry cut across to distract the French. All very well, except that there's a hill on the road, which (perhaps with hindsight) we might have been better skirting round rather than letting it slow us up.

Chasing off the French cavalry
By the time the first division had crested the rise, a unit of French cavalry were most of the way round the back of San José and heading towards us, the valley between the roads was turning into a massive cavalry scrap, and the first French foot were almost in the town.

Those cavalry proved to be a right pain - obviously I couldn't ignore them, and they could get between me and the town. Cue a lot of cautious manoeuvring, until I finally got enough units to bear to drive them off.

And here come the French infantry...
By then, of course, the French had taken the town, and were on their way up the blasted hill as well... It's all a bit of a horrid logjam, since half my infantry have been blocking the road sufficiently that I've only just got my artillery to bear on the cavalry melée, and poor David commanding the rear division hasn't broken out of column of march yet!

Not an auspicious début as British CO.

I'd love to go back and try again :D

For more pictures, and Jeff's description of events, see his Flickr album. Again, a huge thank you to Elliott, for hosting us and running the game, and everyone else for excellent company.


  1. Not a scale I go for, but these pics make it look pretty darn good!

  2. My pleasure Mike, looking forward to seeing you again.

    Elliott (and the ATF/Centurions)


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