Tricorn SYW Rules: Some Generalship Ideas & Playtest Rules

I’ve recently been writing scenarios for two of the bloodiest battles of the Seven Years War; the Battles of Prague and Kolin.  Prague was particularly notable for the remarkably high attrition-rate among generals on both sides and it started me thinking once again about how generalship is reflected (or not) in much in Tricorn.  At present, generals in Tricorn don’t do a great deal, other than mark the geographical position of formations, transmit/receive orders and roll for initiative.  I’ve therefore been toying with some ideas based loosely on the original Shako Optional Rules for generals…

At present, Divisional Commanders have a generalship rating which is used to modify their Initiative Roll: Poor (-1), Average (+0), Good (+1) & Excellent (+2).  Any unmodified 6 rolled may be used to remove a Stagger or Casualty from a unit under their command.

Army Commanders do things slightly differently, in that they roll a number of d6 based on their generalship rating: Poor (0d6), Average (1d6), Good (2d6) & Excellent (3d6).  These dice may then be used to replace the Divisional Commanders’ initiative dice, but may not be then modified by the Divisional Commander’s generalship rating.

This system works well, but I’ve been wanting to add a few more options for heroism, orders of chivalry and untimely death…

The playtest rules:

* Generals (either Divisional Commanders or Army Commanders) may attach themselves to a unit under their command and within 12 inches at the start of the turn (i.e. before the Artillery Phase).  Leave their HQ marker in place, but add an extra marker (e.g. a mounted officer figure) to show the personal attachment.

* An attached Poor or Average general will increase the unit’s Morale Rating (MR) by one level (even a bad general can have his moment in the sun). An attached Good or Excellent general will increase the unit’s MR by two levels.  The modified MR may not exceed 7 and the modified Disordered MR may not exceed 2.

* If the unit to which the general is attached is Broken, the general will be killed/captured on a roll of 4,5,6 and will be replaced by a Poor general at the start of the following turn.

* If the unit to which the general is attached is forced to retreat, the general will be killed/captured on a roll of 6 and will be replaced by a Poor general at the start of the following turn.  If the general is killed/captured, the retreating unit’s MR will be reduced by 1 during the subsequent attempt to rally.

* If a general is killed/captured, the formation must roll on the Formation Morale Table during the following Command Phase, applying a -1 modifier (therefore no change if the general was Poor).  Use the next ‘step’ of the table; e.g. if the division hasn’t yet rolled for Formation Morale, use the 1/3rd casualties step.  If it’s already rolled for 1/3rd casualties, use the 1/2 casualties step.  If it’s already rolled for 1/2 casualties, roll again applying the -1 modifier.  If the Army Commander is killed/captured, use the same method at the various ‘steps’ on the Army Morale Table.

* Attached Divisional Commanders may not receive orders from the C-in-C during that turn (the ADC marker waits at their headquarters until the next Command Phase in which the general is unattached).

* Attached Army Commanders may not transmit new orders during turns in which they are attached to a unit.

* Generals apply their generalship rating to Formation Morale rolls, but may not do so when they are attached to a unit (re-living your glory-days as a Colonel is not necessarily effective generalship!).  The exception to this is that divisions led by a Poor general will always apply the -1 modifier, even when the morale-sponge is away from his HQ!

(Note that I’m already amending the rules to add a -1 morale modifier for formations that are already Demoralised.)

* If a formation is broken the general will be killed/captured on a roll of 6 (this is only really relevant to campaign games).

* The Army Headquarters may move during the Movement Phase, provided that the Army Commander is not attached to a unit.  The Army Headquarters may not transmit orders during the turn in which it moves.

Anyway, that’s it for now.  Please let me know what you think.

I’m also mulling over some ideas for intermediate Corps/Line/Wing commanders between Army and Division and would welcome ideas from anyone who has attempted such things using Shako (or indeed Tricorn).

There will shortly be a slight break from Tricorns, as I’m presently writing a small Burma scenario and AAR of the game which we played last week.  I thought I’d better give fair-warning to my fellow Laceheads, so that their manservants can stand by with fans, nosegays, smelling-salts and fresh wigs.

This entry was posted in Eighteenth Century, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules), Tricorn Rules Resources. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Tricorn SYW Rules: Some Generalship Ideas & Playtest Rules

  1. Dal Gavan says:

    I’ve been mulling things over for a while, mate, and they’re good ideas which could be fitted to other rules as well. One change I’d look at is a roll for the replacement, with a 1/6 chance he’s average rather than poor. Occasionally replacements for general officers have been able to step up and take charge fairly well, even with the normal confusion and disorganisation concomitant with the loss of a senior commander.

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