Sunday, August 23, 2015

Napoleon at Pharsalus...courtesy of Donald Featherstone

I may have a new favourite wargaming book:

This book tells you about 15 different battles to war-game from all different periods. But what makes it good for solo wargaming is its format: It starts off with a basic description of the battle, including what forces to deploy and a map of the battlefield. Then it tells you to set up the armies, write orders for your units, and then it gives you orders for the enemy army with possibilities decided by dice. I've never seen this format before but I really like it. And Featherstone helpfully suggests how you can use armies from any period you have to play the games, as few people have armies for every period.

So I decided to test this out with Napoleonic French vs. Prussians. Napoleon will be Caesar, Pompey's forces are the Prussians. I'll be using Bruce Quarries napoleonic rules. Following the guidelines in the book, Napoleons troops have morale and combat bonuses to make up for the fact that they were heavily outnumbered.

Napoleon/Caesars small cavalry reserve of Hussars and Prussian/Pompeian Cuirassiers charge each other. The French are led by Napoleon and defeat the badly led Prussians.

The French (foreground) and Prussians are both deployed in three lines like at Pharsalus. The French advance, but the Prussians simply stand waiting, decided by dice throw following rules in the book.

Napoleons Carabiners charge the Prussian musketeers.

Napoleons Hussars prepare to charge the flank of the Prussians.

In the end Napoleons front line defeated the Prussians who routed. This caused the rear two lines to rout as well, thus winning the day for Napoleon, and this 19th century Pharsalus worked out similarly to the 1st century BC version. A fun game, I love the orders suggested for enemy armies, and I look forward to playing other battles in the book, perhaps with different armies and different rules.

Thanks for reading.