Apr 1, 2018

Victorious Eagle Warfare - 1809 Italian Theatre Solo Campaign Rules

As promised, I'll be conducting a small campaign using my homemade rules in the following days. Before I post the AAR of the first encounter, I thought I could share the rules so everything would be clear later on.

This is a solo campaign supplement for Victorious Eagle Warfare, in which the player controls an Austrian higher echelon formation during the invasion of Italy 1809, and the resulting retreat.

Campaign Rules
This section deals with the ‘larger picture’ of the campaign. 

Campaign Goals
Despite commanding a larger formation, the division commander would have little influence over the larger picture. His first and foremost goal is therefore to secure his forces, and secondly to appease the wishes of the commander in chief.

Campaign Events
The campaign is not set across an actual map or area(s). It has five stages: 
1) Advance; 
2) The battles in Northern Italy; 
3) Retreat; 
4) Rearguard action in Croatia; 
5) Rearguard action in Hungary.
As you can see, whether the actual tasks in a stage are completed or not, the main army would act as it had done during the historical campaign.

Turn order
Each stage has five phases:
1) Allocate pickets
2) Reconnaissance
3) Reinforce/upgrade units
4) Fight pitched battle
5) Calculate battle losses
This may seem a lot, but most of it is minor paperwork and can be done quickly.

Phase 1
Higher command always insists on having multiple cavalry pickets around the way of the advance/retreat. This means that some of the cavalry within the division will not be available to fight battles.

High command gives you a number (1d6/2, rounded up). This is the number of cavalry bases you will have to provide for the cavalry screen of the main army. If you protest or are not able to send as many as they want, you will receive no reinforcements in Phase 3 of the current turn.

If, at any point, you have more than 12 bases of cavalry in your division, an extra base will be taken, and roll another d6: on a roll of 4+, higher command will ask for one more, which you can refuse at the expense of losing important reinforcements in the current turn.

Phase 2
You may send out cavalry patrols, one or two bases strong, to locate the enemy. This is only necessary if the enemy is not in pursuit of the army. 
Roll 1d6 per patrol:
1 – the enemy is not found
2-4 – the enemy is found, battle may commence
5 – the enemy is found and will have a lesser result on its strength roll
6 – the enemy is found unprepared/on disadvantageous ground and will have the above effect
Cavalry patrols rejoin the army for battle, unlike pickets.

Phase 3 and 5
See the next chapter for army management.

Phase 4
During each stage, a pitched battle will be fought between the French/Italian forces and your army. See the details in the last chapter.

Army Rules
Initial Forces
The division is between 4-10 thousand strong. It may never actually reach its complete size (the larger units were part of the army fighting in Germany).

Starting OOB:
Commander [4]
3x4 base Grenzer É2 FI2 FP2
1x Foot battery (Light) 2 cannon
Cavalry Brigadier (Subcommander) [1]
2x4 base Hussars É2 FI3 FP1
1x1 base Hussar patrol É2 FI3 FP1
1x Horse battery (Light) 1 cannon 1 howitzer

Replenishment and Experience
The surmise of the friction rules in VEW is that, although the unit will disintegrate when the casualty markers reach the number of its bases, of course this does not mean that the unit ceases to exist, it only loses its fighting capacity. 

A unit will be promoted and gain an extra score in one attribute if it has one or two casualty markers and no Shaken status at the end of the battle. It may be promoted only once.

If a unit has three or more casualties, it will be filled up with fresh recruits from other parts of the army or the provisional battalion, and retain the same stats as its ranks would be diluted.

A unit will lose a base permanently if their casualties reach the number of its bases, regardless of being broken later. Any further promotion it would gain goes to replenishing these losses. An extra base may be added in the second following stage. If a unit is reduced to one base this way, it will be reintegrated to another one. 

You may combine units with similar attributes, but veteran units may only be replenished by diluting their ranks.

The opportunity for recruitment occurs during Phase 3 of each stage. Instead of promoting an existing unit, you will be able to attach a fresh unit to your command. Possible units are:
4 base Regular (Provisional) infantry É2 FI2 FP1
4 base Unmotivated Grenzer É2 FI1 FP2
4 base Insurrectio (Provisional) Cavalry É2 FI2 FP0
After surviving their first battle (and being actually engaged), these automatically gain an extra attribute without being promoted. As their second promotion, they can be “upgraded” to a regular unit.
With every second unit thus recruited, a light battalion gun will also be attached to your command, which you can combine with an existing battery or use it in a support role as a single piece.

After the first victory, either the subcommander or the general will receive an extra Command value. This may occur only once. If the general loses two battles in a row, he will be disheartened and lose the previously gained Command point – this may also happen once during the campaign, and if it happens early on, a following victory may restore it. Skirmishes do not affect Command value.

Reinforcements during battle
The role of the advance guard formation was to locate and engage the enemy while the rest of the army follows and forms up for battle. 
At least in one battle, you will have the opportunity to receive reinforcements. You may even allow one of your friends to command those. The reinforcements consist of a heavy battery of two or three guns (depending on the enemy strength) and six units, four infantry and two cavalry.

Roll 1d6 for each unit:
1-2: 4 base regular infantry
3-5: 6 base regular infantry
6: 4 base Grenadiers/veteran infantry (a maximum of 2, after that add a large infantry unit on this result as well)

1-4: 4 base Dragoons/Chevauxlegers
5-6: 4 base Cuirassiers (a maximum of 1, otherwise include Uhlans / veteran Hussars)

In the first instance, due to lucky circumstances, the reinforcements will arrive at the selected place and time.

You will have a second opportunity to trigger reinforcements in any selected engagement, using the rules in the VEW core book, with the chance of them never turning up or arriving late.

Soldiers were used to scarcity, so only the most extreme circumstances could affect their mood. You have to calculate your remaining supplies at the beginning of each stage.
The two main sources in the campaign are food for the men and oat for the horses. Each unit consumes one measure of food, and each cavalry unit one measure of oats in each stage. 

You may give the troops extra rations for a temporary increase in their vigour:
Cavalry: 2” extra movement for 1 oat per unit or +1 Fierceness for 1 food 
Infantry: 2” extra movement or +1 Fierceness for 1 food

You commence the campaign with 6 measures of food and 4 measures of oat. You receive 1d6/2 (rounded up) resupply in Stage 2, and no more after that.

If a unit does not receive food, it will be reluctant to follow orders as the supplies are already at their bare minimum. On their first activation in the battle phase, also test their morale: if the morale test fails, the unit will remain idle (but will not receive Shaken status). Continue rolling for morale until the unit gets moving. It may voluntarily fire volleys at approaching enemies with one less die than the number of its bases and perform reactions against cavalry charges.

If the division runs out of food completely, all units start the battle phase with a Shaken status.

If a cavalry unit does not receive oats, horses will only have a 9” movement range as grass is a poorer resource.

You can send one or two bases of horsemen foraging, and they will increase either supply source by one increment, but they will arrive one turn late into battle as they would be fatigued.

Ammunition would become limited in and after Stage 3. Roll 1d6: on a roll of 4 or less, each unit has only three volleys to fire (including cannon). You can track these on separate markers. This does not affect reinforcements, only the units in the division.

Enemy commanders
Roll 1d6 to determine enemy command value:
1-3 – CIC[4], Subcommander [1]
4 – CIC [4], Subcommander [2]
5 – CIC [5], Subcommander [1]
6 – CIC [5], Subcommander [2]
The general staff is made up of ambitious French officers who will fight aggressively and risk more than the Austrian general, as their manpower is more easily replenished. 

Enemy strength
At the start of the battle, roll 2d6:
2-5 less than current strength
6-8 evenly matched
9-10 slightly more than current strength
11-12 overwhelmingly stronger

The basic components of the French army are Italian and French infantry. Most encounters will include light infantry and line voltigeurs, as the French are prepared for an encounter with Austrian forward elements. 
Most French formations will have one or two Dragoon units attached, and at least one or two light artillery units with a pair of guns each.
Only on a roll of 11-12 will heavy cavalry and heavy artillery appear.

You are free to fight smaller encounters using any small skirmish game rules.
The results of these may even be tied to larger campaign movements, for example a successful cavalry raid would strip the French of some cavalry and skirmishers, detached for chasing the enemy, before a battle in which they would otherwise have outnumbering strength.

Pitched battles

Roll 1d6 and use the table below to determine the main features of the terrain:

If the previous pitched battle had been lost, Austrian infantry starts the battle with Shaken status regardless of the scenario.

Some of the maps above are quite specific, while some are more generic. Roll 1d6 for generic terrain features to determine the way battle will be fought:
1-4 Pitched battle (battle lasts until one side retreats or is annihilated)
5 Running battle (hold the enemy for 6 turns)
6 Breakout (French deploy on three sides and Austrians in the centre) 
A Breakout scenario may be eased to a Running battle by using good reconnaissance in the preceding phase.

In the first two scenarios, both armies deploy within 6” of the friendly table edge and move from there. If a four-base cavalry picket was sent out, it may deploy at 10” length from any edge.

Now the specific scenarios:
River crossing – Fighting erupts along a stream. It has a few (an odd number, but at least three) crossing points, but otherwise the water is too fast. The side controlling more crossing points (by having no enemy in the vicinity, or having units at the opponent’s side) at Turn 8 wins.
Terrain: multiple bogs and a wide stream running across the center of the table.

Defending a roadblock- Austrian pioneers have set up a roadblock in the Croatian mountains and left a 9pdr gun to defend it as well. The French advance guard is marching to take it (all French units enter the table’s furthest edge from the roadblock in march column).
Terrain: mountains and heavy woods, with a clear path leading to the roadblock itself, closer to the friendly edge of the table than the French deployment.

Bridgehead - Leaving one Grenz unit in reserve, the rest of the division guards the main army’s retreat by establishing a bridgehead over a wide river. 
Terrain: An uncrossable river cuts the table at three quarters depth. There is a single bridge across it. Units may cross the bridge only when routing or in march column. March columns can, in this case, charge across the bridge if they are not able to move clear across without contacting the enemy. A small town may also be placed on the secure bank.

Raab farmhouse – the light cavalry must fight a separate delaying action while the infantry holds the farmhouse until the last man.
Terrain: The walled farmhouse is within 12” of the friendly table edge. It is circumvented by a high brick wall, manned by a 6-base Landwehr battalion. Cavalry deploys within 6” of the friendly corner. French dragoons deploy closest to the Austrian cavalry. The French receive a 4-base line infantry and 4-base dragoon unit besides the units dictated by the dice roll.

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