Friday, January 20, 2017

Commands & Colors Napoleonics - For Seven Years War???

I recently had the opportunity to host a Volley & Bayonet game where we attempted to refight the battle of Lobositz.  That entire battle had me thinking about the merits of Commands & Colors Napoleonics for Seven Years War battles.  Well an opportunity for some rare, precious free hours and a host of forces on the table leftover from the battle screamed out for the CCN treatment!

I did not modify the rules much yet as I feel as though I need to give them some serious attention in terms of changes from the SYW to the Napoleonic period.  I also hear that the game designer may release another "tricorn" CC version following the imminent release of the American War for Independence CC which is slated to come out soon.

God only knows how long that variant will take to come out and for those of us who absolutely cannot wait, I thought I'd just use the CCN rules almost as they are and see what happens.
The battlefield.  Lobositz is in the background next to the large River.  Sullowitz is clearly seen in the center along the blue Morellen Bach stream.  The 2 prominent hills are in the foreground.
 I did not bother with assigning special units to flanks, and instead chose to lay down the forces similarly to how they were deployed "in real life" and used the actual number of Regiments.  More on this later.

The Austrians
 I'm using Napoleonic French stats for the Prussians, and the Portuguese stats for the Austrians.

Prussian left flank

Prussian center on the Homolka-berg

Prussian right sans the Cavalry

Prussian Cavalry

Austrian left

Austrian center and reserve Grenadier "division"

Austrian center, continued

The whole field, ready for battle.  Lacy's advanced corps is beyond the morellen bach, all else in the Austrian Army are behind it.  There are 2 units of light infantry (supposed to be croats, but you get the idea) 
The battle started out with both sides getting an opportunity to push troops onto the crucial Lobosch hill, which featured so prominently in the actual battle.  Control of this hill enables the Prussians to easily push onto Lobositz itself, thus winning the battle.

The Austrians moved their 2 units of lights onto the hill and quickly were able to occupy advantageous positions and literally destroy a Prussian unit which had broken down into a skirmish battalion prior to the battle starting.

Prussians advance onto the hill

Austrians advance onto the hill as well

the fight is about to be joined!

Prussians are sent back from close combat.
 So in terms of modifications, I wanted to allow the lights the opportunity to shoot while adjacent but this is still a thought and not a modification.  I played the rules as written and the Austrians won the first engagement in the orchards and vineyards on the hill.

The Prussian cavalry corps gets into position

The center is fairly quiet

More shooting on the Austrian right

The Prussians see an opportunity and launch a Cavalry charge against the Austrian left who, while offering a valiant fight, retreat.

Meanwhile the Austrian lights locate the Prussian attacking Regiments and open fire on them.  They may have bitten off more than they can chew at this point!
 It would also seem at this point there needs to be an appropriate mechanism to ensure things remain somewhat "linear" and while that's really easy to talk about, I have no idea who to actually do it.

Austrian cavalry brigade is sent back

The development of the battle so far.  The Cavalry engagement is in the bottom-center of the picture.  The struggle for the hill is in the top-center of the picture.

I very much enjoy playing CCN as I feel it gives a clean game and has some very ingenious features to it.  I do believe though that when planning your own scenarios, much thought has to be given to balance.

I'm not sure throwing the entire OOB from Lobositz down on the table was the best idea to recreate this SYW clash.  Probably would have been better with not more than 3 infantry units per "division" with a powerful artillery unit in the center.  I feel as if, given the restrictions with the cards, there should be less units on the table as this is extremely slow to develop.

On the other hand, battle during the SYW was, as some have stated, at a very "leisurely" pace compared to Napoleonic battle.  So perhaps more units is more appropriate?  I'm interested to hear your thoughts on that.

Another modification I was thinking of was making artillery much more static, perhaps needing a leader to move once it has started firing.  That makes it much more difficult to move once the shooting has started.

So less units, less mobile artillery, and a forcing function to keep units in line of battle for that vital support they provided each other, are what I'm considering for modifications to bring CCN more in line with the SYW (at least before the author publishes something!).

Oh I also need to read up more on the rules as I find it's been so long that I'm constantly researching seemingly simple things.  Anyways not sure when I'll be able to complete this battle, but it's been much fun so far!

Again, I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts below.


  1. I did a similar thing recently, I tried Lobositz too!. Have a gander here.

    1. Hi Paul! Truth be told your game inspired mine. What mods did you make to CCN for your game? I personally think i had too many units on the table.

    2. I left out the rules for squares and combined arms attacks, and just left the other rules as written. I do have a plan to finish painting my 6mm SYW and do a properly researched CC:SYW, but God knows when I'll manage that.

    3. Thanks Paul.i found the rules to work well although as i stated i feel as if i had too many units on the table. Probably condense the map and have less units per wing next time. Ill also incorporate your ideas as well.

  2. Very interesting, are your hills marked out for hexes, with dots or something?

    1. Hi Norm. In sone cases i used lichen or clump foliage to "guesstimate" the corners. Then i git lazy and tried to "wing it" and use trees to mark the center of of the hexes. Going to use a combination of rocks and trees next time.

  3. That's a great post Steve, and I do love a bit of C&C. Looking forward to Tricorn too, but as you say, maybe we don't need it yet.
    I guess most of the cards can be used almost universally, and it's the introduction of more tactical concepts, specific to the period, that give flavour.

    There's a decent review of all the C&C games on the most recent 'Meeples & Miniatures' podcast.

    They've talked about some tactical cards for CCN and I know they have them in Battlelore through the use of lore points. Not sure if there are separate tactics cards for CCAncients though.

    I guess the magic of C&C is that the Prussians could have more cards or could be allowed to play an extra move card at any time and thus 'steal a march'. It's the kind of rules hack that is easy to do, yet makes sense.

    1. Cheers Darren. I really enjoyed the CCN mechanism and the cards for SYW. I made some mistakes with the scenario such as way too many units on the table but otherwise it worked quite well. In this scenario Frederick was on the table so i gave the Prussians 6 cards and the Austrians only 5.

      Ive been thinking about modifications for the SYW and came up with a few such as giving the Prussians an extra die for firing and forcing the artillery to need a leader attached to move after they begin firing.

      There were also some rules for lights i was thinking about such as allowing lights to shoot when adjacent instead of meleeing.

      I also liked Paul L's suggestions abive about leaving out squares and combined arms attacks.

      Im going to play again, however with a more condensed board, and less forces.

  4. Really clever thinking Steve. Maybe I'll give C&C another try.

    1. I think its worth a look. It gives a good battle and really lets you make army level decisions as opposed to other stuff. I think jts a good operational level game where your overall plan is extremely important. I think if i had remembered some of the rules better it woukd have played much faster.