Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Flight to the Berezina (draft but feel free to comment!)


Flight to the Berezina
 
We're planning a winter Napoleonics skirmish scenario this weekend.  This is what I've got so far for the game, and comments/suggestions welcome!

 

November 1812.  Napoleon’s Grande Armée is in tatters.  Groups of survivors seek to reach the Berezina River and escape from Russia. 

 

Objective:  reach the bridge over the Berezina River with as many of your comrades as possible.  In addition, each player will draw two Objectives Cards, which will provide additional victory points.

 

There will be one victory point for each survivor, 2 for each sergeant and 5 for each officer (sergeants and officers being of greater value in rebuilding the Grande Armée).  Other victory points will be assigned based on individual objectives.

 

Layout: 

·         4’x6’ table with white drop cloth or similar

·         River with bridge (the Berezina) on one of the long table sides

·         Trees – snow-covered if available, otherwise whatever is available.  Leave paths between the trees.  Treed areas are difficult terrain.

·         Russian village – Brian B to provide

·         Other terrain as available

 

Each player will get one squad as provided by Malcolm M.  Squads should be of similar strength, and each squad should have at least one leader (NCO or officer).

 

Each player will draw a card for lead character’s motivation:

 

·         I must be the last Frenchman in Russia! Bonus points for being the last character to reach the bridge.

·         The Emperor presented this eagle to the regiment with his own hands! It must not fall into the clutches of the Russians. Bonus points for getting eagle off the table. Eagle bearer will be -1 in h-t-h combat, and unable to carry more than 2 rations.

·         That scoundrel d'Hubert embarrassed me at Mme DuLeon's soirée in Strasbourg. Finally I have my opportunity to wreak my vengeance upon him. Bonus points if you duel with and kill the officer leading one of the other parties (determine which one randomly).

·         A damsel in distress must be provided all assistance! Escort a civilian lady to the bridge and ensure that no harm comes to her.

·         This whole operation has been a disaster from the get-go, but at least we managed to loot that nobleman's household. Bonus points to transport a cart full of looted goods to the bridge. Cart will be slow, unable to move in difficult terrain and will prevent the squad from carrying any extra rations.

·         Bloody French. This whole mess is their fault, and the worst part is they dragged us honest Germans (or Italians, or Spaniards, or Dutch or whatever) into it with them. Bonus points for killing French (but only if out of line of sight from the bridge!).

·         Vive La France: If two or more other players achieve their objectives, you win (you beat them).

 

Random Encounters:  each turn, players will roll a die.  On a ‘6’, the player will have a random encounter.  Draw a card:

·         Wild bear attack!  If defeated, the bear yields 6 rations.

            Bear

 

S          F          ST        G          A          W        P          FA       FT

-           6          5          5          2          3          6          0          0

 

Skills:  Heavy Furs, Scout, Dirty Fighter, Fury, Sidewinder

Abilities: Move 8”

 

 

·         Wolf pack!  A pack of wolves attack.  Wolves will run if they are defeated.

Wolf

 

S          F          ST        G          A          W        P          FA       FT

-           5          3          3          1          1          5          0          0

 

Skills:  Scout, Nimble, Dodge, Stealthy

Abilities: Move 8”

 

·         Angry peasants.  6 peasants attack with improvised weapons.  If defeated, each will yield one ration.

·         Marauding Cossacks.  6 cossacks attack.

·         Wandering French or allied civilians.  They may be attacked or assisted.  If attacked, each will yield one ration. 

·         Dead horse:  The party finds the remains of a horse.  One turn spent butchering will provide 1d6 rations.

 

Special rules or modifications to written rules:

Ammunition. Any time a '1' is rolled for shooting, the shot misses. In addition, roll again and if the result is another '1', then the figure is out of ammunition until it manages to get a resupply. This could be from a dead comrade or enemy - spend one turn and on a 4+ the figure finds a few more rounds. (NB – replaces ‘jam’ rule from LotoW rulebook)

 

Running: normal movement for figures on foot is 6". Any figure may attempt to run during the shooting phase. This will yield an additional 1d6" of movement, but if a 1 is rolled, the figure trips and falls. Running will increase fatigue level by 1.

 

Pluck tests:  As per LotoW rules subject to following modifications:

Head for the Hills test: if a squad of soldiers fails their ‘Head for the Hills’ test, then the surviving members will drop heavy loads (including weapons and rations) and either run for shelter or surrender to the nearest Russians.  Either way, the squad is effectively done.

 

Good points, Malcolm. LotOW requires figures to check their pluck to avoid ducking for cover, but the head for the hills test can be modified to either run for the nearest cover and directly away from the immediate threat, or surrender if running isn't possible (for example, if all avenues of retreat cut off).

 

Fatigue:  Any extreme exertion will increase fatigue level, and running away will be one of those things that increases fatigue. Runners should also drop muskets or other loads that they are carrying (like food), so even if they escape the immediate threat, they'll still be in a bad way.

 

Ways to increase fatigue level will include running (voluntary or otherwise), hand-to-hand combat, breaking down doors and moving in difficult terrain (deep snow, woods, or whatever else we decide on the day). Fatigue can be reduced by consuming rations. Each figure will start with two rations. Once the rations are expended, then the figure will be fatigued. I think it will be too much bother to keep track of different fatigue levels, so the only distinction will be fatigued or not fatigued. There will be opportunities to find more rations, either by stealing from other French, from Russian peasants or soldiers, dead animals and possibly from encounters or stockpiles. I'm still thinking about the potential effects of fatigue - I'm currently considering a reduction in attributes (minus one to movement, fighting ability, courage, strength and toughness), but might consider a -1 penalty on dice rolls instead.

 

 

 


Profiles

 

Heroes

In addition to what is shown on the profile below, each officer and sergeant will get one skill from p. 90 of the LotOW rulebook (randomly determined, but if an inappropriate skill is generated, then a re-roll will be allowed at the referee’s discretion).

 

Officer

S
F
St
G
A
W
P
Fa
Ft
4+
4
3
3
1
2
4
2
1

Special:  Leader

 

Sergeant

S
F
St
G
A
W
P
Fa
Ft
4+
3
3
4
1
1
4
0
1

Special:  Loyal

 

Village headman

S
F
St
G
A
W
P
Fa
Ft
6+
3
4
3
1
1
4
0
1

Special:  Leader

 

Village Priest

S
F
St
G
A
W
P
Fa
Ft
6+
2
2
3
1
1
5
0
3

Special:  The Holy Bible (per Preacher in LotOW rulebook)

 

Sappeur

S
F
St
G
A
W
P
Fa
Ft
5+
4
4
4
2
2
4
1
1

Special: 

 

Female civilian

S
F
St
G
A
W
P
Fa
Ft
4+
2
2
3
1
1
4
0
1

Special: 

 

Hoy poloi

 

Soldier

S
F
St
G
A
W
P
4+
3
3
3
1
1
3

Special:  None

 

Grenadier

S
F
St
G
A
W
P
4+
4
3
3
1
1
4

Special: 

 

Voltigeur

S
F
St
G
A
W
P
4+
3
3
3
1
1
3

Special:  Light infantry – ignore movement penalties for difficult terrain.

 

Cossack

S
F
St
G
A
W
P
5+
3
3
3
1
1
2

Special:  Life is precious.  Cossack life, that is!

 

Peasants

S
F
St
G
A
W
P
6+
2
3
3
1
1
2

Special:  Safety in numbers

 

Looking at skills or abilities for hero characters, a brief list could include:

Swordsman - rerolls 1s when using a sabre

Trick shooter - ignores penalties for cover

Sharpshooter - rerolls misses

Deadly shot - adds 1 to wound rolls

Fury - gets an extra attack when charging into a fight

Pistolier - may shoot twice if armed with two pistols (still subject to slow reload, though!)

Woodsman - no movement penalty for woods

Nimble - may reroll failed movement tests (jumping, climbing etc)

Dodge - gets a save against being wounded by shooting

Born in the saddle - +1 to riding tests (thrown rider or jump)

Strongman - no penalty for using two-handed weapons

Pugilist - counts as armed with a hand weapon even when unarmed

Dash - may take a second move in the shooting phase instead of shooting