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Napoleonic Battles Series            *click here for games*

Bonapare's Peninsular WarCampaign 1814Campaign BautzenCampaign 1814Campaign LeipzigCampaign: AusterlitzCampaign: Jena-AuerstaedtCampaign: WaterlooCampaign: WagramNapoleon's Russian CampaignCampaign: Eckmuehl

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-Napoleonic Battles User Manuals-

Titles in this series will share common traits with one another. The following is an extract from the user documentation.

Sides: A Napoleonic Battles game is played by two sides, one French and one Allied. A battle may be played by one person against the computer, or by two persons using a variety of modes such as Two-Player Hot Seat, Play-By-E-Mail (PBEM), or Network Play.

-Game Scale-

Hexes: Each battle is played on a map made up of hexagons (hexes). Each hex measures 100 meters across. Elevations are given in either feet or meters, depending on the game in the series being played. Each hex contains terrain which affects movement and combat in that hex.

Turns: Each battle is conducted in turns each of which typically represents 15 minutes of real time, although this may vary by scenario and may be 10 minutes depending on the game in the series being played. Each player has a number of units under their control, some of which are on the map at the beginning of the battle, while others arrive as Reinforcements.

Most unit information is displayed in much the same manner as information cards are used in board games or miniature wargaming. This conveys information that is not able to fit on unit/leader counters.

Click to Enlarge

Units: Typically, each unit is a battalion of Infantry, a battalion of Cavalry, or a battery of Artillery. Each Infantry and Cavalry unit has a strength value in increments of single men, while each Artillery unit has a strength value in number of guns. In addition there are specialized units such as Leaders and Supply Wagons. Infantry and Artillery units are capable of firing on enemy units and each has a range value indicating the number of hexes that unit may fire.

-Style of Play-

Turns vs. Phases: Each battle can be fought in one of two modes. In the default Turn-based mode, each player moves, fires, and melees using units under his control in his turn. There are only a few restrictions on this:

  • After firing, a unit cannot move for the remainder of the turn, but may melee in that turn.
  • After meleeing, a unit cannot move or fire for the remainder of the turn.

The purpose of these restrictions is to help ensure that the resulting battles are fought in a manner similar to historical battles and with less flexibility that would be found in more modern combat. As each player performs actions in their turn, Defensive Fire is possible by the opposing side under the control of the computer. In the Phase-based mode, invoked using the Manual Defensive Fire Optional Rule, each turn is played as described in the next section.

Phases: Under the Manual Defensive Fire Option, each turn of the battle is divided into Phases. A Phase will be under the control of one side or the other. A complete turn is made up of a total of 8 phases. Thus the phases will be:

  • Side A Movement Phase
  • Side B Defensive Phase
  • Side A Offensive Fire Phase
  • Side A Melee Phase
  • Side B Movement Phase
  • Side A Defensive Phase
  • Side B Offensive Fire Phase
  • Side B Melee Phase

At the beginning of each Phase (under Local Control) the Phase Dialog is displayed (see the Main Program Help File). In each phase only certain actions are possible. Movement is restricted to the Movement Phase and firing is restricted to the Fire phases, Defensive and Offensive. The Melee Phase allows hexes containing enemy units to be assaulted and possibly captured.

End of Game: As each player finishes their turn or phase, they advance the battle to the next turn or phase by using the Next Turn or Next Phase function of the Turn/Phase Menu. This continues until the time limit specified in the scenario at which point the win, lose, or draw outcome of the battle is determined. Winning and losing are determined by a calculation based on the ownership of certain objective hexes and the relative losses of the two sides.

-Unit Types-

This section describes many of the various unit types that are in the game. Understanding the various unit types, their abilities and their restrictions, is key to successfully mastering Napoleonic tactics.

Leaders: Leaders represent individuals that command the various forces. Leaders are used to improve the effectiveness of the forces under their command and to support other commanders subordinate to them. In general, the presence of commanders improves the Morale of units and thus increases their fighting abilities.

Infantry Units: Infantry units have a strength measured in number of men. They have a Quality value which affects their effectiveness in combat. In general, they have a weapon that allows them to fire at enemy units. They can also attack enemy units in melee attacks.

Cavalry Units: Cavalry units have a strength measured in number of men. They are always considered Mounted on their horses and have no ability to fire at enemy units. However, they are armed with a weapon such as a sword or lance and can effectively attack enemy units using melee attacks.

Artillery Units: Artillery units have a strength measured in number of guns. They can be either Limbered or Unlimbered. When Limbered, they can move but cannot fire. When Unlimbered, they can fire, but not move other than to change their facing.

Skirmisher Units: Skirmisher units represent detachments of Light infantry from a main Infantry unit. Skirmishers are often used to shield a main position against an enemy attack or to hold obstructed terrain.

Squadron/Platoon Units: Squadron and Platoon units represent detachments from a main Cavalry unit. They can be used for scouting or to block enemy movement.

Supply Wagons: Supply Wagons are used to resupply Infantry units that become Low or Out of Supply. For each unit of strength, they can resupply 10 men. They have no ability to attack the enemy but they can be captured by the enemy.

-Unit Formations-

This section describes the various formations that units may have. Each formation has a purpose, and strengths and weaknesses in the game.

Line Formation: Line formation can be used by Infantry and Dragoon Cavalry units. It has increased firepower over other formations and is less vulnerable to enemy fire. It is a good defensive formation, but is vulnerable to enemy Cavalry charges.

Column Formation: Column formation can be used by Infantry units. It has increased mobility over other formations, but has less firepower than Line formation. It is a good offensive formation, but also is vulnerable to enemy Cavalry charges. Column formation is also the only formation that Supply Wagons can have.

Square Formation: Square formation is used by Infantry to defend against enemy Cavalry charges. It has very little mobility and reduced firepower. It is mainly a defensive formation.

Mounted Formation: Mounted formation is the standard formation for Cavalry. The formation has good mobility and can be used to conduct Cavalry charges. Dragoon Cavalry can dismount and change into Line formation.

Limbered Formation: Limbered formation is used by Artillery units and represents Artillery ready to be moved. While this is the formation you must use to move Artillery, it cannot fire in this formation.

Unlimbered Formation: Unlimbered formation is used by Artillery units and represents Artillery ready to fire. While in this formation, Artillery units cannot move, but may only change Facing.

Skirmish Formation: Skirmish formation is used exclusively by Skirmisher units. In this formation, Skirmishers can move and fire in any direction.

Shortened Line Formation: Shortened Line formation is the name in this game given to Infantry and Artillery units in Line formation that have sufficient strength to go into Extended Line Formation.

Extended Line Formation:Extended Line formation is used by large Infantry or Artillery units to extend their formation over more than one hex. When a unit is in Extended Line formation, it will consist of two counters in adjacent hexes.

-Special Units-

In addition to the standard unit types of Infantry, Artillery, and Cavalry, there are special unit types that apply. These special types have special or restrictive rules that apply to them that are described in detail in the game manual.

Light Infantry: While a normal Infantry battalion had only a single company of Light Infantry, certain Infantry battalions consisted entirely of Light Infantry. These battalions can deploy entirely into Skirmisher units.

Guard Infantry: Guard units are usually the best units and generally have a higher Quality rating than other units. Like Light Infantry, a Guard unit can deploy entirely into Skirmisher units.

Restricted Infantry: Restricted infantry are close order melee infantry which are unable to deploy Skirmishers.

Heavy Cavalry: Heavy Cavalry units have increased ability in Melees.

Irregular Cavalry: Irregular Cavalry represents a type of untrained cavalry that does not have an increased effectiveness against formed units during a Cavalry Charge.

Dragoons: Dragoons are a type of cavalry that are able to dismount and fight on foot. They often represent a type of mounted infantry rather than cavalry proper and so may not be very good at charging or meleeing.

Horse Artillery: Horse Artillery refers to Artillery units which have sufficient horses to carry not only the guns but the crews manning the guns. This is in contrast to Foot Artillery, the normal Artillery type, where the crews must march on foot when the unit moves. Horse Artillery units can fire after moving, unlike normal Foot Artillery. Horse Artillery is also used in the game to represent ultra light guns.

Pioneer Units: Pioneer units represent units capable of engineering functions. They can be used to repair bridges.

-The Campaign Game-

A Campaign consists of a series of Situations. Each Situation offers each side in the Campaign a list of Choices. Each side picks one of these Choices not knowing what the other side has decided. After each side has selected their Choice, then the selections are cross referenced to arrive at an Outcome. An Outcome consists of a Scenario in a Module and 5 other Situations associated with the 5 possible victory conditions that can result from a battle:

  • Major Defeat
  • Minor Defeat
  • Draw
  • Minor Victory
  • Major Victory

In addition, an Expected Value is associated with each Outcome for use by the A/I (Artificial Intelligence).

The Scenario is fought by the two sides and the victory condition resulting from this battle is used to determine the next Situation according to the 5 Situations associated with the Outcome. This process is repeated and continues until a Terminal Situation is reached which represents the resolution of the Campaign.

The Napoleonic Battles Campaign Editor supports the creation and modification of Campaigns for use in the Napoleonic Battles series' games.

- Scenario Editor-

The Scenario Editor can be used to create new scenarios and to modify existing scenarios in the Campaign Series of Napoleonic Battles series' games. The Editor has full support for all unit placement and modification (such as strength and fatigue modification) and full support for other scenario features (such as breastwork and objective placement). The Editor also supports the creation and modification of A/I Scripts in the scenarios.