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Optional Rules
Formations · Command · Movement · Artillery · Assaults & Morale · Other

These additional rules may help to spice- up regular games, offering a variety of interesting variations. They are however, somewhat experimental since we have not had the opportunity to thoroughly test all of them. Because these are not part of the main rules, players should make sure that all participants know which optional rules (if any) are being used.

« Formations

101 - Debandade
The French army occasionally deployed a formation which has been called grande tirailleur or en débandade (which means a mob). This involved the deployment of most or all of a unit into open order. The formation used by Davout's 3rd Corps during the 1809 fighting around Ratisbon and also several formations employed at Waterloo were most likely this formation. Using this as an optional game formation would allow any French infantry regiment of veteran quality or better to deploy 2 or 3 skirmish bases per infantry stand. If assaulted however, the skirmish markers would not be allowed to rejoin their parent unit, which would suffer the appropriate (possibly large) minus while dispersed.

There is a possibility for other nations to use this formation, but only on rare occasions, probably with knowledge of a known event. If players decide to exercise this option, they should include limitations such as two skirmish markers per base, inability to pull skirmisher markers in for the duration of the game, etc.

102 - Cavalry Lines
In order to conveniently portray columns and "mixed" formations, Republique cavalry bases represent half-frontage deployments. This does however, cause some distortion when portraying a line formation. If fully deployed in line, each 550 man base in Republique should actually be double its mounted frontage.
Cavalry Lines allows a fully deployed line by placing cavalry bases 4cm apart in line abreast. The result is considered a solid formation despite the gaps between the bases.

103 - The Waterloo Column
The very famous and somewhat mysterious packed infantry columns employed by the French Army at Waterloo were actually the result of long and careful planning by several French Corps commanders. These officers had seen numerous French formations in the Peninsula shot to pieces before they could deploy against well shielded British line infantry. The new formation they invented was a grand-tactical departure from the normal checkerboard formations or grand columns. It employed each battalion in line, arrayed closely behind each other. Upon penetrating the enemy skirmish screen, these compact divisions were able to quickly expand to more than quadruple their original frontage, all under cover of fire from the front battalion(s) which were already in line and thereby able to respond to enemy volleys. This formation (it was not really a column) was very vulnerable to cavalry and artillery, but these were two areas in which the British were known to be weak.

The Waterloo Columns rule allows French Commanders to "pack" up to six infantry bases into one. In essence, "zipping" an entire division into one tiny packet which can be "unzipped" upon confronting the enemy. To do this, move all participating regiments into base to base contact, and then remove from the game board five of every six bases belonging to the participating units. Place the temporarily withdrawn bases to one side of the game board, splitting them into evenly sized groups, one assigned to each base remaining on the board. Including the remaining base, up to six combat bases may be compacted into each remaining base. The remaining bases of each division must operate together on a two base frontage, and while in this ultra-compact formation, they count as a double-enfilade target (this means that an actual enfilade opportunity will double the existing double-enfilade condition!). Bases lost due to artillery fire are randomly removed from the off-board pool of bases. If involved in an assault, the units numerically count only the number of bases present on the board. Morale and panic hits inflicted on a "packed" unit apply to all participating regiments. Any mandatory movements will force a packed unit to "unpack" and for all regiments to be placed back on the board in base to base contact. The use of this formation requires a degree of on-the-spot judgement calls which may require an umpire. Players should agree on possible complications before including it in game play.

104 - Divisional Squares
Early during the famous Egyptian campaign, the French army used very large square formations composed of entire divisions. Using the same concept as the Waterloo Columns mentioned above, a division may condense all of its member regiments by half (each base counts as two bases). The remaining bases in the division are then formed into a hollow square, with the units facing outward. Any assaults made against a unit in one of these divisional squares will count as against a unit in a regular square. In addition, the nearby regiments count as support, as do the bases which were set aside, making divisional squares a potent defense. However, they suffer the same double-enfilade effect at the Waterloo Column (see rule 103), making them most effective against large mounted enemies who own little artillery. Divisional squares are subject to the same movement restrictions as normal squares.

105 - Breakthrough Column
When field commanders were confronted by numerically superior enemies which were qualitatively inferior, they sometimes employed "grand columns" which were design to scare the inexperienced enemy troops. If the ruse succeeded, the attacking columns faced little opposition as they bore down on routing enemy troops.
The Breakthrough Column rule allows an attacking commander to assault with up to three tandem regiments in column with primary contact for all units. The breakthrough column must be declared at the beginning of the controlling commander's movement phase, and all participating regiments must have begun the turn in tandem base to base contact. If they are victorious, each regiment follows standard assault result routine. If they lose the assault, the surviving front regiment automatically loses one base captured and one based killed in addition to any other losses inflicted. Breakthrough columns are considered to be enfilade targets for the duration of their existence.

106 - Grand Tactical Incompetence
Many armies which participated in wars of this period still practiced an antiquated method of warfare which failed to emphasize efficient battlefield coordination of units above regimental level. As a result, many grim events occurred when troops who were unfamiliar with each other attempted to maneuver in the presence of the enemy. A classic example is the Austrian cavalry at the battle of Aspern-Essling, whose attack against the French center was sabotaged by the fact that the participating units had never before practiced maneuvering at brigade or divisional levels. During the attack, several of the units ran into each other, causing a great deal of disorder and confusion. This was not an isolated case, and incidences of this kind are known to have occurred at other major battles including Auerstadt, Austerlitz and others.

Forces considered to have inadequate grand-tactical training will suffer one or more of the following penalties:
a) All units passing through each other will suffer one morale hit.
b) Any unit moving to support a friendly unit already engaged in an assault must roll an unmodified rally test if they approach to within 3cm directly to the rear of the friendly unit. If the player fails the die roll, both friendly units immediately suffer one morale hit each.
c) For infantry units, only individual bases (instead of whole units) are counted toward assault combat, and then only for primary contact, not secondary. This makes it very easy for units thus penalized to suffer outnumbered modifiers in local combats.
Armies which sometimes demonstrated various glaring grand-tactical inadequacies included the Austrian and Russian armies before 1810, the French army before 1795 and the Prussian army before 1807 (the later especially for ruling C, which helped contribute to their defeat at Auerstadt). Players may want to bring this rule into effect on a formation by formation basis, since various formations within any army could have different levels of training depending on the whims of the commanding officers.

« Command

201 - Withdrawal Panic
Breaking contact with the enemy was a risky thing. Once set in motion, withdrawing troops had a way of taking matters into their own hands. Such a concern may have been one consideration in Desaix's advice against withdrawing at Marengo. He commented that withdrawing would be "at least as dangerous" as attacking against the odds!
Withdrawal Panic may occur if a player issues any retrograde movement order to a division which is already within the ten inch contact range of enemy formations (not including enemy skirmishers). Test the withdrawing division on the Panic Index at panic level 1. If the division fails the die roll, apply the appropriate results to the division in question. As per the standard panic rules, failure on the part of the withdrawing division will trigger panic tests in adjoining divisions.

« Movement

300 - Dispersing Skirmishers
A combat unit may force enemy skirmish markers to return to their parent unit(s) by declaring a bluff charge during any friendly movement phase. To conduct a bluff charge, announce the unit to conduct the charge, and move it toward the skirmish markers it wishes to threaten. The troop grade of the bluffing formation must be equal to or greater than the grade of the skirmish marker's parent unit and the targeted skirmishers must be in the open. Bluffing infantry must move to within 1cm of the nearest targeted skirmish markers, and bluffing cavalry must move to within 8cm of the closest targeted skirmish marker. Bluffing units must be in line or mixed formation, and may not have any morale hits. All skirmish markers which are directly within the path of a qualified bluffing unit must immediately either rejoin or move to the rear of their parent unit. Note that bluffing unit movement can trigger enemy cavalry reactions and passing fire. A unit may only conduct a bluff charge once per game against elements from any one enemy division.

301 - Cavalry pass through
Napoleonic cavalry breaking through an enemy's lines always had to keep an escape route in mind. One "doorway" out of such a situation was to pass through enemy artillery batteries. They were not easily turned around (due to the presence of horse teams to their rear and enemies to their front) and did not offer the same resistance as other units.
Cavalry Pass Through allows cavalry to pass through enemy artillery batteries without initiating an assault. The enemy artillery must be approached from the rear or flank, and the moving cavalry does not pay a movement penalty for pass through. The enemy artillery may not conduct passing fire on the cavalry immediately upon its pass through. It must instead wait until its normal fire phase (after the cavalry has finished its retrograde move).

302 - Green/Militia Limits
Green and Militia quality units were known for their inability to operate efficiently in the stress of a combat environment. To represent this, units of these troop grades have the following battlefield limitations:
· Artillery batteries may not prolong.
· Changing formation takes a full turn.
· Double dead leader value for panic roll.
· Units may not use assault movement bonus.
· Units may not move while in square.
· Ordered units become disordered while in woods.
· Units received no bonus for being in line.

« Artillery

401 - Congreve rockets
Congreve rockets were occasionally used by the British artillery arm at the behest of their inventor. Wellington discouraged their use, but despite this they found their way onto a few Napoleonic battlefields. Because of their rare occurrence and the unnecessary difficulties it incurs on game play, we are not going to address the fire starting capabilities of these rockets. Their effect on a Republique battlefield will be against enemy morale. Use the following Fire Point chart for rocket batteries. They are incapable of scoring base hits (i.e. - kills), only morale hits (i.e. - disorder, rattled, etc.). All base hit results involving rocket fire are ignored. When rolling against targets, rocket batteries may not mass their fire with that of other artillery types.
Congreve Rocket Fire Points
Range 0 5cm 12cm 20cm 28cm

Fire Points 0 10 5 1
Congreve rockets receive a +1 to their fire die when firing against cavalry (this overrides the -1 value in the main fire chart). If the Rocket battery rolls a '1' when firing, the nearest friendly unit will suffer one morale hit. Rocket batteries move the same as their artillery arm equals (foot moves as foot, etc.).

402 - Antique artillery
At certain times during the Napoleonic wars, old fashioned artillery was pressed into service by the various nations. The Ottoman Turks used antique artillery as a matter of course, with newer European type artillery being referred to as rapid fire guns! Whenever the antique artillery is called for in organization, or otherwise used in a scenario, use the fire point bar below for calculating effects. The main problem with these guns was their slow rate of fire (very slow) and the poor nature of their ammunition, which, on occasion, consisted of rocks! Antique artillery should be considered immobile and/or very slow (i.e. - full turn to limber/unlimber, no prolonging, half normal foot artillery movement).
Antique Artillery Fire Points
Range 0 5cm 12cm 20cm 28cm

Fire Points 14 8 3 1
403 - Battalion Guns
At various times during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, infantry regiments were issued small numbers of artillery pieces for use as close infantry support. This method of distributing guns was actually the norm for many armies still using the older Prussian/Seven Years War influenced deployments.

Using Battalion Guns in Republique: Before game play begins, each player may withdraw any number of light category guns from the board, and declare their artillery pieces to be distributed to regiments present on the field. Each battery of Republique artillery withdrawn for this purpose will supply enough battalion guns for two regiments of infantry. Players may record on a sheet of paper those regiments which receive battalion guns. Regiments with battalion guns receive a permanent +1 to all assault die rolls for the duration of the game. The only limit to the number of guns which may be distributed in this manner is that only one "packet" of guns maybe issued to each regiment, limiting the battalion gun bonus to a maximum of +1 per regiment.

« Assaults & Morale

500 - Assault Averaging
Sometimes during game play, several different grades of troops end up fighting together in an assault, but none are present in numbers great enough to constitute a clear majority. Or, in cases where there is a clearly dominant block, the difference in troop grades is so great as to warrant averaging of the troop grade modifier. In such cases, players may want to average the values of the troops present by assigning point values to each troop grade, multiplying them by the number of bases for each type, and then dividing the resulting sum by the total number of bases, thereby averaging the result. Use standard rounding to establish the final troop grade modifier to use in assault. In such cases, an elite, militia and green units fighting side by side might average out as a veteran assault grade. For averaging purposes, count militia bases as 0 points, green troop bases as 1 point, average troop bases as 2 points, veteran troop bases as 3 point and , elite troop bases as 4 points.

Example: Two bases of elite, two bases of green and two bases of militia troops are fighting together in an assault. Their total value would average at 1.66 rounded up to 2, which means that the entire group would fight as average. Players may apply the same formula to order/morale status, with ordered units counting as 0 points, disordered as 1 point, rattled as 2 points, shaken as 3 points and demoralized as 4 points.

501 - Sliding Assault Scale
Occasionally during game play, a greater number of units are thrown into a single assault than the assault chart was calibrated for. When these "super-melees" occur, players may apply both base hits and surrendered base counts on a "per 25 bases engaged" basis for both sides.

For example: an assault which results in 14 average Austrian bases fighting 16 average French bases, with an assault die roll difference of 9 would cause double the number of base hits (two instead of one) and double the number of prisoners taken (four bases instead of two) because there were a total of 30 bases fighting in the assault. In the case of assaults with mixed troop grades, extra prisoner losses suffered due to lower grades should be removed from the lower grade units.

502 - Slaughter Index
The addition of a "slaughter index" increases the casualties suffered by units which lose assaults by amounts far greater than the 8+ result called for on the combat chart. Using the slaughter index option, a unit suffers an additional base hit for each die roll difference point over 13. Players may also alternate the extra points between base hits and prisoner losses. Hence, an average grade unit which loses an assault by 16 points would not only lose the standard base hit and two surrendered bases, but an additional three bases would also be lost, two due to base hits, and one lost to the enemy as prisoners, totalling six bases total lost (which will destroy most units).

503 - Firefights
Infantrymen of the Napoleonic Wars did not like assaults any more than people today. As a result, units had a tendency to become involved in relatively long range firefights, which, after the heavy screen of smoke formed between the combatants, was far more preferable.
The Firefights rule limits the number of infantry versus infantry assault rounds to one. If at the end of this point no decisive result has been achieved, the involved units are left until the next turn, even if they are still within the one inch assault range of each other. This suppresses the time saving feature of the Stalled Assaults rule and recreates the occasional occurrence of prolonged firefights. Participating units with officers attached may "override" this effect and force additional assault rounds.
  • British troops - A variant of the above option is to allow British troops two rounds instead of one. This recreates the British tendency to unload a few lethal, close range volleys followed by decisive charges.

504 - Cavalry Escorts
When both infantry and cavalry are combined into an attack, a numerically inferior attacking cavalry may adopt the final action result of numerically superior friendly infantry. For example; if one stand of cuirassiers and three stands of line infantry jointly attack and score a +7 result against an enemy unit, the cavalry may "adopt" the carry position result of its fellow infantry unit instead of the mandatory continuance of its movement against the enemy. This allows for the cavalry to remain as an "escort" with its accompanying infantry instead tearing deep into enemy lines by itself.

505 - Trotting Attacks
French Napoleonic cavalry practiced an option to the standard galloping cavalry charge employed by the other nations of Europe at that time. The basic concept was that a galloping assault would lend immediate morale benefits to the attacker, but that the maintenance of a slower moving, tightly ordered formation was more intimidating in the long term (minutes instead of seconds). A major drawback was that the trotting attack was more vulnerable to weapons fire, especially artillery. Waterloo may be the best example of the crucial nature of this vulnerability. However, when employed at the right time, this method repeatedly proved effective in cavalry versus cavalry and even cavalry versus infantry confrontations. French Cuirassiers were always said to have moved slowly, well, it was not entirely due to their size and weight, it was also their doctrine!
Trotting Attacks give cavalry an additional +1 to their normal cavalry assault bonus. They do however, also cause cavalry to lose the -1 benefit for being fired at by artillery and to actually suffer a +1 when fired upon! French players wishing to use Trotting Attacks must announce that fact at the beginning of a game. All of that player's cavalry is then considered to be using Trotting Attacks throughout the game.

506 - Trapped Artillery
Setting up artillery in a town or woods was a tricky issue and it was easy for guns to become trapped against obstacles and lost during an overrun. Any artillery batteries set up in a town or woods will be lost if they are involved in an assault from which they must withdraw, retreat or rout.

« Other

601 - Spotting units
The special terrain used for modern gaming repeatedly brings up the issues of spotting. These series of guidelines are to help establish a "standard" for Republique game play.
Calculating Blind Zones
Units located on high terrain will still not be able to see everything on the board due to blind zones behind the surrounding terrain. This chart is for calculating how far these blind zones extend.
  • Establish the Level of the blocking terrain in relation to the spotting unit. If the blocking terrain is at the same level or higher than the spotting unit, the blind zone goes to infinity. If the blocking terrain is one-half level lower, then use the minus ½ level line, etc.
  • Use the Blind Zone Multiple to establish the extent of the blind area behind the obstacle. Multiply the appropriate multiple by the distance from the spotting unit to the furthest point of the blocking terrain along the line-of-sight to the particular target you are attempting to spot. The result will be the extent of the blind zone behind the obstacle.
  • The blind zone chart is "set" for an obstacle which is ½ level higher than the surface it obstructs. The blind zone will increase by 50% for each additional ½ level lower that the obstructed "target" surface rests.
Level* Blind Zone Multiple
same or higher infinity
minus ½ level 1
minus 1 level ½
minus 1½ level ¼
* ½ level features: ½" thick hill sections, woods, buildings. 1 level features: 1" thick hill section.

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