Sunday, August 3, 2014

Guard Du Corps - Napoleonic rules by Rudy Scott Nelson

So here's my new toy:
Three card stock sheets of charts = FUN!
I just happened to see this game on Ebay. I'd never heard of it, but the price was good and shipping was very low, so I took a chance. I'm glad I did. I have a soft spot for old OOP rules, and with all those charts I new it would be different to todays games. This one is from 1987. In some ways it's more complicated than WRG horse and musket, but it's written in plain english instead of Barkerese which helps a lot. The multitude of charts allows for a wider range of results than simple d6 rolls. There's also a very comprehensive list of troop ratings for all the major nations of the wars, and a bunch of minor nations most napoleonic-newbies like me have probably never heard of. It also lists differences in capabilities by year. Very helpful.

All troops are rated with a 2 character code. French line infantry from 1813 are 5D. The number from 1-10 is fighting ability, the letter is from A-G and rates morale. Prussian line troops from the same year are better at 6C. Number of figures per average sized battalion is listed, with french having 8 figs per battalion and prussians 12, at a 1:60 troop scale.

Time to play!

Rolling on the set up charts, I find that this game will take place in Germany, in the Fall, and with Clear weather. Armies fighting in their own country get a morale bonus. Clear weather means no special rules, but rain and snow are possibilities with effects on movement and visibility. You roll for weather change after 4 turns, each lasting 15 minutes of game time.

The armies: 
France had 6 battalions of Chasseurs who I rated as line infantry. Also 6 battalions of Voltigeurs who I rated as Legere, able to skirmish. Two large battalions of Bavarians rounded out the French roster.

Prussia had 5 battalions of line infantry, split into two regiments. Also a small battery of 2 six-pounder cannons, and a regiment of Cuirassiers. The Cuirassiers are rated 8B, meaning they are almost as good as you can get.

The calm before the storm. The French will be arriving from the left, the
Prussians the right.

French chasseurs surge onto the field, preceded by skirmishing voltigeurs.
The prussian battalions march straight ahead.

The Prussians charge, the voltigeurs evade back. Melees break out between the opposed line units.

Melee is a risky business in Guard Du Corps. You cross-index the melee rating of each unit, add modifiers, then arrive at a percentage chance of the attacker winning. A single d100 roll and you have a winner! One further roll determines by how much they won. In the above picture, in the far distance the cuirassiers charge a bavarian square - bad idea, after calculating the odds the cuirassiers had only a 5% chance to win! They lost and fell back.

A scrum develops in the center of the battlefield.

In the back right bavarians menace the cuirassiers. The prussian cannon are approached
by French chasseurs.

A turn later and the cuirassiers have fled. Most of these units you see are French.

The only prussian infantry to not be wiped out, still advancing bravely.

The Prussian cannon about to be overwhelmed.
I really enjoyed my game of Guard Du Corps. I'm glad I bought it. If you're interested the author has made an updated version available for free at

Of course, that won't be as cool as my original 1987 version, staple bound with card stock handouts, but you'll make do. Thanks for reading!