Napoleonic Wars rules

Napoleonic Wargames Rules

Unit Types
This game features the unit types of Infantry (40mm x 20mm bases), Skirmishers (20mm x 20mm bases), Heavy Cavalry (30mm x 30mm bases), Light Cavalry (30mm x 30mm bases) and Artillery (40mm x 40mm bases).
All units have 16 hits.

Infantry line – four bases across by one deep (British and elite French only or all armies before 1807).
Infantry attack column – 2 bases across by two bases deep
Infantry march column – 1 base across by 4 bases deep.
Infantry square – four bases arranged in a square.
Cavalry – 2 bases across by 2 bases deep.
Cavalry in march column – 1 base across by 4 bases deep.
Skirmishers – a line of 8 bases with at least 2cm between each base.
Artillery – Limbered artillery has the gun pointing to the rear of the base. Unlimbered artillery has the gun pointing forward.

Square Formation
The formation has the following affects:
i. No Movement. Units in square may not move.
ii. No Shooting. Units in square may not shoot.
iii. Protection from cavalry. Enemy Cavalry units may not charge an Infantry unit in square formation.

Unit Ratings. Units can be Elite, Trained or Raw.

Sequence of Play
Each complete turn comprises two player turns. Each wargamer follows the sequence listed below in his or her player turn:
1. Command
2. Movement
3. Shooting
4. Hand to Hand Combat

Players may attempt to rally units that generals are in base to base contact with. Roll a d6 and subtract this number of hits from the unit’s casualties.
On the roll of a 1 the general is injured or killed and is out of the game. The general may not recover a lost base.
Generals move as cavalry.

Infantry, Artillery
Heavy Cavalry
Light Cavalry

Turning. Units turn by pivoting on their central point. They may do so at the start and/or the end of their move.

Marching. Units marching double their movement but may not march within 20cm of the enemy. Units marching must be in march column.

Formation changes. Units may either move or change formation.

Terrain. Units are affected by terrain as follows:

i. Woods. Only Skirmishers can enter.
ii. Towns. Only Infantry and Skirmishers may end their moves in a town.
iii. Marshland and Lakes. These are impassable to all units.
iv. Rivers. These may only be crossed via bridges or fords.
v. Roads. Units moving by road increase their movement distance by 3cm if their entire move is spent on the road. This bonus may not be received if charging.

Moving and Shooting. Only skirmishers may shoot if they have moved during the same turn.

Interpenetration. Only Skirmishers may pass through other units (and vice versa).


Charge Moves. Cavalry and Infantry are the only unit types that may enter Hand-to-Hand combat. Infantry may not charge cavalry. Charges are resolved by moving the attacking unit into contact with the victim. They are subject to the following restrictions:
i. Turning. A charging unit may turn once, at the start of its move. This evolution may not exceed 45o.
ii. Limited Engagement. Only one attacking unit may engage any given defending unit.
iii. Fighting. Combat is resolved during the Hand-to-Hand Combat phase.
iv. Outnumbered. Units may not charge an enemy with more bases remaining than themselves.
v. Frontal charges on artillery. Units may not charge the front of artillery so long as it has a friendly unit within 10cm.

The procedure for shooting is as follows. Note that Cavalry units do not shoot, all others can.

Adjudge Field of Fire. Units may only shoot at a single target within 45o of their frontal facing. They may not fire into units in hand to hand combat.
i.              Units in Towns. These have a field of fire of 360o, and may therefore engage any single target in any direction.

Measure Range
Troop type
Close Range/Damage
Long Range/Damage

Assess Casualties. Units roll a die when shooting. The result gives the number of hits the target acquires, which is modified by the following:
Elite unit
Infantry unit in line

Unit deterioration. Units that lose half their strength (8 hits) subtract 1 from all dice rolls for shooting.

Cover. Units in woods or towns only suffer half the registered number of hits (any fractions are rounded in favour of the unit shooting).
Units in March Column. Units in march column are vulnerable to artillery fire. Double all hits from artillery on march columns.

Hand to Hand Combat
The procedure for Hand to Hand Combat is as follows:

One Sided Combat. Only the active player's unit inflicts casualties in the turn.

Assess Casualties. The attacking unit rolls a dice. This denotes the number of hits acquired by the defender. The final score gives the number of hits the target acquires, which is modified as follows (modifiers are cumulative):
Elite unit
Cavalry vs Infantry
Heavy Cavalry
Infantry unit in column
Raw units
i. Terrain Advantage. Defenders on a hill only suffer half the indicated number of hits (rounding any fractions in favour of the attacker).
ii. Flank or Rear Attacks. Units engaging the enemy flank or rear double the registered number of casualties.
iii. Units in March column. Units in march column are not deployed to resist a charge. Double casualties for units attacked in this formation.
iv. Unit deterioration. Units that lose half their strength (8 hits) subtract 1 from all dice rolls for hand to hand combat.
v. Artillery are eliminated if contacted by the enemy.

Retreat. A unit that loses an element as a result of hand to hand combat must withdraw 10cm from combat facing the target. If the attacking unit fails to remove an element from its opponent then it remains in combat if infantry or withdraws 10cm from combat facing the target if it is cavalry. If it meets a friendly unit it reforms behind it but both units take d3 hits to simulate the resulting disruption.
Movement within Combat
Hand-to-Hand Combat only concludes with the elimination or retreat of one of the contesting sides. Units may however turn to face an attack upon their flank or rear, but only if they are not simultaneously being engaged frontally and there is room to turn.
Eliminating Units
Units are eliminated upon the acquisition of 16 hits. For every four hits, remove a base (or two bases for skirmishers).


  1. Can you expand on Generals a bit? How are they based? 20x20 is my guess. Do they have the standard number of hits? Can they engage in combat? I really like the notion. And I appreciate the variety you've added to formations! Cheers, Tim

    1. Hi Tim
      Generals are on a 25mm round base, and can rally units. But if the unit rolls a '1' in it is eliminated. The assumption is that a stray shot has taken him out as he exposes himself to danger.