Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Faux-Bar! (napoleonic FUBAR!)

So I was thinking about how damned burned out I am on trying Napoleonic rules sets (but yet I keep thinking about them and purchasing them!) and how I've always wanted to "break in" to the FUBAR rules system as a whole and see what could be done with the engine under the hood. (Darren would say "hack into" them).

Anyways here is my attempt at Napoleonic FUBAR or as I like to call them "Le FauxBar" because it sounds appropriately French...

Basically the "primary" difference between skirmish FUBAR and "FauxBar" is that instead of rolling for each unit, individually, which would take FOREVER for a bigger game, you just roll 1D6 for every unit you have, right in the beginning of the game, prior to even rolling initiative.  If I have 10 regiments on the table (basic maneuver unit is a regiment, or equivalent portion of a brigade) I roll 10D6.  Every die that passes the activation roll equates to 1 unit that can activate.

During the Command phase, I assign a successful die to one of my Regiments, allowing it to carry out an action during my turn.

By the way, those actions sort of resemble the FUBAR actions in capabilities at least.  They are:

  • Advance moves 6" and shoots.
  • March! moves double no fire artillery limbers/unlimbers
  • En Garde! Doesn't move doesn't shoot.  May shoot during enemy's turn
  • Volley!  Shoot at a +1
  • Skirmish: skirmish specialist unit or a light battalion assumes a skirmish posture.  receives saving throw against all fire and may reroll 1 miss.  automatically recoil from charges
  • Charge: enter close combat

There are 4 grades of troops.  Raw/Conscript, 2nd Rate Line, Regular Line, and Elite/Guard

Units have 3 ratings that determine how effective they are carrying out tasks and fighting or standing in combat.

Those ratings are their:
Activation Level / Training Level (FUBAR calls it "expertise") / Shaken Level (FUBAR calls it "Suppressed")
Activation Level is the D6 number the units activation at.
Training Level is basically the "To Hit" number during firing and melee
Shaken Level are the amount of hits the unit can take before it becomes "shaken"  once shaken, a unit cannot move or shoot.  it must be reorganized/rallied. (eg Regular unit may absorb 3 hits and still function.  Once it absorbs a 4th hit, it is shaken and must be rallied.)

The levels will look like this:
Raw/Conscript:    Activate: 5,  Training: 6,  Shaken:  1
2nd Rate Line:     Activate: 4,  Training: 5,  Shaken:  2
Regular Line:       Activate: 3,  Training: 4,  Shaken:  3
Elite/Guard Line: Activate: 2,   Training: 4,  Shaken: 4

Shaken units must move to cover to reform.  units hit when shaken are removed from play.

Assuming close ordered units, all musket armed units will either shoot 1D6 per stand, or 1D6 per battalion/regiment of 4 stands.

Rifle Armed units will get a longer range and will be allowed to reroll misses once.
Light Artillery get 2D6 to shoot at 24" range
Med Artillery get 3D6 to shoot at 32" range
Hvy Artillery get 4D6 to shoot at 48" range

Cover Saves - To Cancel out Hits
Units hit in light cover get a save of 6
Units hit in med cover get a save of 5
Units hit in hvy cover get a save of 4

Close Combat/Melee - still figuring out how to do melee.  I have some ideas and would like to try and make it close to FUBAR but appropriate for the Horse and Musket era.

My thoughts center around rolling 1D6 against a unit's training level to hit.  Units must roll a successful activation roll to break off combat during a subsequent phase.

Oh and lastly the sequence of play would look like this:

Activation Determination Roll (Roll 1D6 per unit, Corps, and Division commander - set aside each die that is equal to or greater than the activation level of your units)
Command Phase Place successful activation dice next to units you wish to activate
Initiative roll 2D6 per player adding any special modifiers you deem fit (IE Napoleon on the table or Wellington on the table etc)
Operations Side A (winner of initiative), carry out actions including melees, Reactions Side B(units on en garde! orders).
Operations Side B, Reactions Side A
Rout Phase


  1. Seems simple enough! First thing that comes to mind is that when i played FUBAR, I usually had units of different ratings on each side. How would you handle that when rolling in the first phase? Or d you assume everyone on one side would be rated the same? Looking forward to an AAR using these, I would like to get into Nappy's at some point.

    1. Brandon,
      Yes pretty simple stuff here. So if you've units of different ratings on a single side, perhaps even within a single brigade, you could simply just pick out the dice that are highest rolled during the "Activation Determination Roll" phase.

      So if I have 2 brigades of 2 regiments each, that's 4 total units I need to activate. One brigade is "second rate" and one is "regular" that means I will roll 4 total dice during that phase, all at the same time.

      I will need to roll at least 2 "4+"s to guarantee that the 2nd Rate Regiments can activate. The Regulars need a "3+"s to activate.

      So I roll all 4 dice. Ending up with a 1,2,3 and 4. Pretty "meh" so I can either activate a single 2nd Rate and a single Regular, or 2 regular units if I choose. All depends on the tactical situation.

      The cool part is, initiative is AFTER the determination, so you never know how the sequencing will work.

      This is ALL in my head right now and no games have been played but I really want to develop these more.

      The scale that I think is the "sweet spot" for Napoleonic gaming is the unit being a Regiment, or a British collection of Battalions but really the French unit of 2 to 4 Battalions encompassing a Brigade, with me as the overall Corps Commander is where I want to fight.

    2. Ooooo, I like that! Kind of like my favorite part of THW rules :D Definitely looking forward to seeing you get these on the table.

  2. Steve - this is awesome!

    Really inspired. I had never even considered the beauty that is FUBAR, in terms of Horse & Musket.

    Great work, and lots of potential here.

    (and nicely hacked ;) )

    1. Cheers Darren,
      I thought you might like this. I'm going to keep developing this more - I'm just tired of making all these other Napoleonic rules bend to my will :) I think I'd rather just create my own that I like to play. Watch this space!