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Questions and Answers

[The Most Common Question] [Organization] [Command] [Movement] [Skirmishers] [Artillery] [Assaults]

The Most Common Question:

Q: Why aren't there any infantry volley rules?
A: In Republique, the effects of battalion and regimental volley fire has been merged into the assault rules, resulting in a general "combat zone" within which much of the front-line action occurs. This was done to accentuate the grand-tactical aspect of the rules, which were designed to re-create large battles of the period. The assault rules themselves have been given a wide range of possible results, and their effects are distributed over a larger area than is normal for other rules. This recreates the "spread" of a combat zone due to nearby units being drawn into firefights, subjected to involuntary disorder, etc.


Q: Why do units in line get a +1? This makes a French line more powerful than a French column.
A: The combined bases of a unit in this game represent that unit's deployment area, not the formation of the sub-units of which it's composed. This means that if a regiment is in "Line," it does not necessarily mean that its battalions are in lines. It could be that they are in columns marching abreast, leaving enough room between each to deploy into line. A line is more powerful in this game because a broad, shallow formation allows a better delivery of firepower, which is important to recreate given the absence of actual "volley fire" in the game (The merging of volley fire into other features is an enormous time saver and is done to allow players to finish large battles).

Additional: In order to recreate the famous "checkerboard" formation in this game, two regiments would merely be in line, one immediately behind the other. While it would not appear to be a checkerboard pattern on the game-board, its deployment area and effect would be the same.


Q: Why isn't an army commander, especially a charismatic commander, allowed to intervene and personally change the orders of a division, especially one which is temporarily leaderless? Isn't that what they did when it was needed?
A: If a commander knew that a formation needed the guidance and felt that the violation of chain of command was worthwhile, maybe. But the far more likely scenarios are; a) The commander believes the chain of command to be intact and does not wish to embarrass or confuse (especially the latter!) the other subordinates as to the availability of those units, or b) the commander is unaware that the chain of command has been broken, and believes all is well, or c) There is so much confusion that no one has time to think about it except in an emergency (which is covered by the emergency rallies rule). To give a real life example; at the battle of Wagram, Napoleon had just finished issuing orders that Bessieres' cavalry be moved to support the left flank. Moments later, Bessieres was struck out of his saddle by a ricocheting cannonball. This occurred immediately in front of Napoleon and his staff, and yet Besseires' troops still did not get their new orders even though everyone at headquarters saw that the previous commander was disabled. Imagine the average odds of quickly getting fresh orders to a formation when their leader was disabled even further away from headquarters!

The other reason for this ruling is to inflict some limitations on the "helicopter view" which players already have of the battle field. Miniature gamers have such a good impression of events on the field, that this is a good way to encourage delay and confusion without having to add other "delay and confusion rules" which would slow the game.


Q: Can players voluntarily rout units?

A: No

Q: Can divisions in reserve be issued new orders during the movement phase?

A: No. Orders may only be issued during the Command phase.


Q: Can artillery fire only at skirmishers without firing at the parent unit?

A: Only if the skirmish markers and their parent unit are in different range brackets, otherwise the parent unit is considered close enough to become the dominant target.

Q: If artillery fire can be directed at skirmish markers, what are the effects of the fire?

A: If the skirmishers were the only thing fired upon, the "kill" result is applied to the markers themselves. The "M" result (if any) is applied to the parent unit as a whole. In this respect, the marker is treated as a conduit, by which morale and order problems are passed on to the parent unit.

Q: What happens if a unit's skirmisher(s) is killed?

A: A unit can lose multiple skirmish bases, even if it may only deploy a limited number at any one time. For example; if a line regiment loses its one skirmish marker to artillery fire, it may then deploy another new marker during its next movement. The regiment will however, suffer a permanent modifier in assaults, etc, for the killed skirmish marker, which still counts as deployed. In other words, killed skirmishers represent lost resources to the parent unit, which affect it for the rest of the game.

Q: Why are there no Cavalry skirmishers?

A: Battlefield cavalry skirmishing certainly occurred but was more a function of operational level screening and pursuit which we have chosen to leave in the realm of campaign play.

Q: Why are far flung skirmishers not penalized in their ability to return to their parent units when attacked by the enemy, especially cavalry?

A: Attacked skirmishers not able to return to their unit had their own way of dealing with the situation. The end result was usually their involvement in the ensuing melee one way or another. Also, in some cases Republique skirmishers are penalized. For example: If skirmishers have already fired during the fire phase and then are caught during a breakthrough attack or continuing assault, they may evade the attacking troops but they may not rejoin their parent unit because they have already committed to a turn of firing.

Q: Can skirmish bases "kill" each other?

A: No, they only "screen" each other.


Q: Can artillery fire at units involved in an assault?
A: Yes, so long as friendly units are not within the battery's frontage zone (not to be confused with arc-of-fire).

Q: What is the difference between an artillery battery's arc of fire and its frontage zone?
A: The arc-of-fire is the potential arc (in degrees) through which the battery guns may "swing" and fire. The frontage zone is the actual area through which the battery guns are actually firing. This "firing path" may be swung back and forth through the arc-of-fire. A battery may fire with friendly units within its arc of fire so long as the battery frontage zone or "firing path" is swung off to one side to clear the friendly troops. A battery may not fire if there are friendly troops in its planned frontage zone or "firing path."

Q: Why can't artillery "converge" fire on distant targets?
A: Artillery can converge fire, but only if there are no other targets more immediately to a battery's front. Spotting and engaging targets on a Napoleonic battlefield was a difficult proposition, and if we were to call odds on the situation, the chances are that most batteries had a tendency to conduct "area fire" to their front. Hence the strict targeting rules.

Q: Why aren't howitzers more prominent in the game?
A: One of the primary missions of howitzers was to supply effective long range fire capabilities. As a unit came within range of artillery, it would first encounter howitzer fire, and as it closed in range it would encounter round shot (cannon balls) fired from the battery's long guns. As the unit came even closer it would begin encountering heavy case fire (incorrectly called grapeshot) from the long guns and when it finally approached really close, the artillery would begin firing light case (also called cannister) from both its long guns and howitzers. In Republique, the fact that an artillery battery has any fire capability to speak of at long range is mostly because of the presence of its howitzers. So the howitzers actually are represented, but their effect is intergrated into each battery's performance. We have not included howitzer's fire-starting capabilities because they were comparatively minor in the overall scheme of a large Napoleonic battle, the re-creation of which is Republique's prime mission.


Q: Can units change formation during a "continue assault" move conducted as a result of combat?
A: Yes, units continuing an assault are subject to all normal movement rules.

Q: Can units assault on the same turn they have changed formation?
A: Yes

Q: A regiment assaults and smashes several enemy units and then ends its assault move within 1" of yet another enemy unit. Does this last enemy unit trigger yet another assault?
A: Yes, but the assaulting unit may not move any further or even carry the position. Assault rounds always continue to be "triggered" so long as enemy units remain facing within one inch of each other (See continuing movement and stalled assaults).

Q: When both infantry and cavalry are attacking, which half of the assault column is used?
A: If any attacking cavalry is involved, the cavalry attacker column is used for calculating effects to the defender. The attacking cavalry and infantry themselves use the features from their respective columns (i.e. - cavalry might continue a charge while accompanying infantry only seize the position). See optional rules for variations on this.

Q: A cavalry unit achieves a breakthrough, but the new "target" unit is so close to the unit just hit that not all of the cavalry bases can clear the unit just struck. Does this cancel or disallow the breakthrough?
A: Probably not. It is unlikely that attacking cavalry would stop in mid assault due to the presence of an "ex-target" in their rear, they would probably just try to hack their way through. Units on the assault are assumed to make room for themselves, especially if they are bulling their way through enemy units. In situations where unit depth interferes with assault resolution, just use the front base of the breakthrough unit for tracking purposes. Rarely should players end up having to adjust their lines in order to make room for "invaders", but this, if necessary, is more realistic than pretending that assaulting cavalry would stop short just as things are going their way. In situations like this, use common sense. If the assault result says that the cavalry breaks through, a breakthrough MUST happen unless the cavalry uses up its available movement before it clears the unit it passes through.

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