Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rolica, First French Position: Commands and Colors Napoleonics

My CCN mat was finally finished so I decided to set up the introductory scenario in the Commands and Colors Napoleonics game which is Rolica.  Rolica was a French defensive action against Wellesley's initial advance on the Peninsula.  You can read more about the battle here.

with the mat completed, I felt it was time for action!  View from the French side overlooking the British positions.
 For this post, I'm more concerned with getting the setup straight than actually playing turns.  I plan on playing a few more turns this evening.

French light cavalry anchoring their position.

The Portuguese troops awaiting the start of the battle.  Their job was to advance and capture an important hill that would turn the French position.

Cacadores.  Actually British rifles but you get the idea!
 Just for simplicity sake, I used linear 3 x 1 bases for any/all light troops.  Regular line troops got the 3" square "massed" bases.
British units at their start line.

Sir Arthur Wellesley himself!  Obviously wrong figure but none of my British generals are pained yet!

The British left.  Also the main effort for the battle.  Plan is to advance the left while demonstrating to the front and right.  These troops would have the honor of the main advance.

view from the British left wing

The Center

Portuguese Troops 

British Gunners

The "warzone" terrain pieces fit nicely over my hexes.  Going to purchase more of them.

French center.

 The opening moves of the battle see the British advance their left and reach the river with their cavalry.  The French respond and maneuver their own cavalry to sit astride the British advance.  The stage is set for a cavalry battle while the infantry advance!

The British advance!

The French charge the British and score 2 hits.  I had to end  with the end of the melee there but will pick up later on in the evening.  The British are going to be hard-pressed to get to their objectives with the French Cavalry patrolling the flanks.

the 2 markers are hits and represent "block losses" The British cavalry units (disguised as American ACW Cavalry units) are only 3 blocks strong.  So 3 hits and they're out!  The first enagement of the battle goes the French way.

Action on the British left!
Thoughts: So far, so good.  While not my favorite game in the world, Commands and Colors is a great way to get a battle on the table and quickly.  The cards add a very interesting command dynamic in that, if you dont draw the cards you need, you can't carry out the maneuvers you have planned.  I rather enjoy this restriction and feel like it nicely limits what I can do.

The combat system is also fun and different so I can see myself playing this for many years to come, especially in the pressed-for-time world that I live in!

stay tuned for part II coming up after I read the rules over again :)


  1. Excellent report Steve. I've played a lot of 'Battlelore' with the kids, which is a similar rules system/engine - card driven and always unpredictable, so I like this sort of game, and as you say it's fast.

    I'm guessing you'll also be converting Neil Thomas's stuff to hexes. Should be interesting.

    1. Cheers, Darren,
      I really want to get my hands on Battlelore. I used to love "Battlemasters" the old GW/Milton Bradley game that seems like the pre-cursor to CCN.
      Yes I'm going to try and see how the NT stuff plays using hexes. Especially the 1 Hour Wargames stuff, which seems like it would make for a great game where a stand equaled a platoon in the modern sense, or a battalion or brigade in the horse and musket realm. Lots of potential there.

    2. I can email you some battlelore stuff, and I'm pretty sure the cards are available online somewhere.

      NT should work nicely I think.

      Don't know if you've seen the 'Combat HQ' WWII rules yet - but they're the same level as Command Decision - 1 stand = 1 platoon, and you can get a pdf by joining the 'recon team' at the website.

      He's asking for reviews on amazon when you get a free copy of the rules.

    3. Or alternatively, someone might send you a copy ;)

    4. Just thinking, would hexes lend themslevs to the 'angle of shot' rules in Charles Grant's battle - depending on which hexside the shot passes through.

      Might make it easier to add the deflection modifier.

    5. Darren,
      You know it will really help with the C Grant BATTLE rules. Make ranging, LOS, and Armor deflection much easier to carry out.

    6. I am reading up on Combat HQ now - thanks mate :)

  2. Nice work on the hexes! Having once failed miserably at using a template to hand draw hexes onto my table top I salute you!

    1. Thank You Ross,
      There are some nasty SNAFUs (or FUBARs?) on the mat but it was a 25 dollar mat and I can live with the inconsistencies. At least I can play Squad Leader and CCN now!

  3. How do you play C&C solo?

    1. Basically the same way i'd play any other game solo. I just develop a plan before any cards are dealt, and switch sides trying to effect the best outcomes for both sides.
      It's not ideal but it works for me.

    2. I've found that while I enjoy Battlecry/Memoir etc games against opponents its the combination of usual wargame things plus the whole card playing thing, the bluffing and the trying to calculate what sort of hand he's holding etc. That whole side of the game gets lost for me when playing solo so I manage my own hand normally and draw a fresh hand for the enemy each time so that I am never certain what the enemy might be able to do. Its not quite the same but it works, just not well enough for me to use it instead of my usual choices.

  4. Nice looking game, beautiful armies!

  5. great battle report and nice looking table and minis

    1. Thanks Stephen! Stay tuned. Part 2 coming soon.

  6. Very cool... looking forward to part 2.

    1. Just posted, beast! Enjoy and thanks for the mention!