Sunday, 28 December 2014

House amendments to Neil Thomas rules

As I've mentioned on this blog many times, I like the simplicity of Neil Thomas' rules. They are well thought out and give a good game. But I'm not quite so sold on his morale rules as they stand. Basically, if you lose an element to shooting or lose a hand to hand combat you must test morale. If you fail, then you lose another element. This has the effect of whittling away your unit as a visual means of communicating combat effectiveness. I, however, like my units to remain intact so that there is a chance that they can rally and play a further part in the battle, while declining numbers increase the liklihood of failing a morale test. So here are my house rules for morale which can replace the morale system as a plug-in.

Morale Tests
1.    Testing morale. A unit must test morale under the following circumstances:
1.    It has to retreat after hand-to-hand combat.
2.    A base has been removed from the unit this turn, as a result of enemy fire.
2.    Morale procedure. Roll a die and consult the table below.
Troops Type
4 elements
3 elements
2 elements
1 element
3.    If the unit fails to achieve the score required, it becomes staggered. This means that it may not advance towards the enemy.
4.    If a staggered unit fails to achieve the score required it will rout. This means that it will continue to move towards its table edge at full speed until rallied. Carry this out as soon as the test is resolved.
5.    If it is impossible to make a morale test the unit is removed from the table.
6.    Artillery always roll as if they are 4 elements.

7.    A 7 is achievable if the unit has a general attached

This involves two stages of morale degradation - staggered and routing. It also allows for a general to join the unit to rally it from either state. The general rules that I use are as follows:

Generals and morale. If a unit is accompanied by a General, it may add +1 to all morale test die rolls.
Generals and combat. Generals may attach themselves to a unit. From that point until they move away they act as part of that unit. They add an additional dice to combat. Use a different coloured dice. If the general rolls a ‘1’ then they are knocked out of the game. Roll another dice. On a 1-2 they are dead, 3-4 they are wounded, 5-6 they are captured.

Generals and movement. Generals may detach from units and move at 30cm per turn. To attach to a unit the general must be in base to base contact.

The Generals in combat rule is a little bit extra for narrative campaigns, and played a part in the last Crimean War battle that I posted.
Please feel free to try them and decide whether they work for you. They seemed to do a good job in their last outing, but then the Russians rolled some pretty impressive numbers - not so much the Suffolk regiment.


PS Thanks for all the comments regarding my spray can mishap yesterday. My eyes are fine today, so we'll just leave that Darwin awards moment in the past.

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