REPUBLIQUE
GRAND-TACTICAL NAPOLEONIC WARFARE IN MINIATURE

INTRODUCTION

Scale - Equipment - Units - Formations - Battlefield - Start a Game
 

« Scale
The standard ground scale for Republique is 36 scale meters per 1cm on the game board (27mm equals 100 meters). Infantry and cavalry bases represent 550 men each. Artillery bases represent 12 guns each. Note that for game play, Republique artillery bases are still referred to as "batteries," even though most tactical-level artillery batteries of this period employed fewer guns. Each full turn represents approximately 40 minutes of battle time.

« Equipment
All game play is conducted using ten-sided dice (1D10). A metric tape measure and firing arc are also needed for measuring and targeting. The most important equipment are the many miniatures and markers you will want to fight battles. Below are some guidelines which Republique uses for its gaming system:

Death Caps - A common feature of many wargames are "death caps," which are used by most rules to indicate losses on multi-figure bases. In Republique, these same caps are used to indicate morale hits suffered by a formation. The caps should be colored white, yellow, red and black in order to indicate disordered, rattled, shaken and demoralized morale conditions respectively. A few additional caps may be painted bronze for indicating damage to artillery bases. Death caps are available at most hobby stores, although they can also be bought at industrial supply houses for a fraction of the cost ("death caps" are actually urethane protective caps used for various manufacturing chores).

Marker Bases - Units wishing to execute special formations will need marker bases to indicate those actions. The two marker bases most needed for game play are skirmish markers and square markers:



Skirmish Markers - Skirmish markers are used to depict skirmishers who have deployed out of their parent unit. Unlike the square marker defined below, skirmish markers represent an extension of their parent unit's combat capacity, and the skirmish markers themselves may conduct "morale attacks" against enemy units. Each skirmish marker base may only sustain one base hit before being "killed" and removed from play. The best way to create a skirmish base is by mounting a single light infantry figure on a small, round base (see base sizes below).
Square Markers - Square markers indicate that all of a formation's sub-units (usually battalions) are formed into squares, which are potent anti-cavalry defenses. Unlike skirmish markers, square markers do not represent an extension of a unit's combat capacity, and therefore they cannot be attacked or "killed." A unit which is "in square" however, will be subject to all of the advantages and disadvantages associated with this special formation (see Formations below). The best way to create a square marker is to place a single line infantry figure on a small, square base.
Other Markers - A few other markers which are not mandatory but which add flavor to the game include breakthrough markers, which can be used to show where assault breakthroughs have occurred, and saved-fire markers, which can be used to show artillery batteries which have "saved" their fire by remaining inactive for one turn. An excellent breakthrough marker is any officer figure, especially one which is waving his sword, exhorting his men forward. A saved fire marker can easily be made by gluing together a small stack of four BB's (small metal balls) and then painting them black. In order to prevent game-board confusion, optional markers should be used only for temporary situations or for stationary units.
Gaming Scales »  Micro
(18mm = 100 meters)
Standard
(27mm = 100 meters)
Jumbo
(54mm = 100 meters)
Scale Ratios »  .66 1.00 2.00
Recommended Figure Size »  1/300 scale 15mm scale 25mm scale
Measuring Systems »  Metric (mm) Imperial (inches) Metric (mm) Imperial (inches) Metric (mm) Imperial (inches)
Infantry bases: 20 x 12 ¾ x ½ 30 x 20 11/8 x ¾ 60 x 40 2¼ x 1½
Cavalry bases: 25 x 20 1 x ¾ 40 x 30 1½ x 11/8 80 x 60 3 x 2¼
Artillery bases: 20 x 25 ¾ x 1 25 x 40 1 x 1½ 50 x 80 2 x 3
Artillery Limber bases: 20 x 20 ¾ x ¾ 25 x 25 1 x 1 50 x 50 2 x 2
Leaders: 12 x 20 ½ x ¾ 25 x 30 ¾ x 11/8 40 x 60 1½ x 2¼
Marker bases & skirmishers: 20 x 20 ½ x ½ 20 x 20 ¾ x ¾ 25 x 25 1 x 1
 
Gaming Scales refers to the name and associated ground scale for each scale category. Scale Ratios are the relational values which players may refer to for conversions. These ratios are necessary because the main rules text is written for the Standard scale. Players wishing to interpret distance related rulings for the Micro or Jumbo scales will need to multiply the distances quoted in the rules by the scale ratios shown here. Recommended Figures indicates the figure size for which each game scale was intended. Players should keep in mind that figure sizes other than those listed may be used. For example; players who own 20mm figures may easily use either the standard or jumbo game scales. Alternately, players may also use the jumbo scale to mount numerous 1/300 scale figures arrayed into miniatures battalions for a good visual effect.

Combat Bases - Combat bases make up the primary combat units used for game play, including infantry, cavalry and artillery formations. Most wargame figures will be glued directly to the bases, which should be cut from thin sheets of wood or metal. Refer to the Base Size Chart above for a full listing of all base sizes and game scales directly supported by Republique. All of these base sizes are standard, and are available in pre-cut form. The figure scales most commonly used for Napoleonic wargaming are 15mm and 1/300, although other scales such as 10mm, 20mm and 25mm are all widely used in various countries. For game play purposes, unit composition is controlled by the number of combat bases, not the number of figures. This allows players to mount any number of miniatures they wish on their combat bases. Each base should also be marked on the upper rear or bottom with the name or number of the unit they represent. Infantry regiments will usually have a name or number. Brigades made up of weak regiments (a common situation for campaign armies) will usually use the name of the brigade commander. Cavalry brigades may also use the name of the brigade commander or senior regiment in the brigade. Artillery batteries should be marked with their size (heavy, medium or light). Each infantry or cavalry combat base can sustain only one base hit before being "killed" and removed from play. Each artillery base (also called a battery) may sustain two base hits before being destroyed and removed from play. An artillery base with one base hit is considered damaged and should be marked accordingly. Two damaged batteries may not be "merged" to create a single undamaged battery.

« Units
Each unit in Republique is made up of combat bases which, as a group, equal its total strength and depict that formation's deployment area. The different branches of service have varying methods of deployment as explained below.

Regiments or Brigades?
Real life infantry regiments could become severely undermanned while on campaign, and to reflect this, brigades may occasionally be used to depict groups of weak regiments. During game play these brigades behave exactly like regiments, and are even referred to as regiments for purposes of explaining the rules. When deciding which historical formations to use (regiments or brigades), try to maintain average unit sizes of four or five bases, which are the optimal sizes for game play.

Infantry - The standard infantry formation is the regiment. The only ongoing exception to this is the British army brigade, which is employed in the same manner as a regiment. Note that many historical orders of battle include very weak "field strength" units. These reduced formations may result in whole infantry brigades and even divisions operating as regiments on the gaming table. Some infantry regiments may deploy their own "screens" of light infantry using skirmish markers. Light infantry regiments may normally deploy one skirmish marker per active combat base. Line infantry regiments may, if skirmish capable, deploy one skirmish marker per regiment. Light regiments which lose combat bases will have the number of skirmish markers which they may deploy also reduced by one for each combat base lost. For additional information see troop lists and optional rules.

Cavalry - The standard cavalry formation is the brigade. Before game play begins, players have the option of breaking up cavalry brigades and assigning their individual bases to other divisional level formations. The re-assigned base(s) must remain within the command radius of the new divisional commander but may otherwise move freely to support units within that division. These dispersed bases may be reformed back into their parent brigades by successfully rolling a change of orders and then moving the disparate units back to within the command radius of their original divisional commander or equivalent. These newly "reconstituted" cavalry brigades may join an assault on the same turn they reform, but only if no movement rules are violated as a result.

Artillery - Heavy artillery batteries represent 12 pound cannon and their supporting howitzers. Medium artillery batteries represent 6 though 9 pound cannon and their supporting howitzers. Light batteries represent 3 and 4 pound cannon (and their supporting howitzers). Artillery bases in Republique represent fairly "packed" batteries (minimum space between cannon), which is why there are no modifiers downgrading counter-battery fire. It takes two base hits to "kill" an artillery combat base. After the first hit, the base is marked as damaged and will be destroyed if it receives a second base hit.

Local Conditions
The battalions and regiments which make up Republique's combat units are assumed to be in formations best suited to, or under orders of, the local commanders. For example: If a cavalry brigade attacks an infantry regiment in "line" formation, and is bloodily repulsed, it is important to keep in mind that the line may have been a line of battalion squares!

« Formations
Each group of bases representing a unit's deployment area are placed into specific Formations. Available formations include line, column, square and skirmish. Also available are echelon, a variation of a line, and mixed, a variation of column. The words "line" and "column" are only used to distinguish between shallow and deep unit dispositions, not to infer the formations of individual battalions or squadrons making up the regiments. Regardless of the regimental "formation", the sub-units of which they are composed are assumed to be in formations controlled by the "local" formation officers.

Formation Examples - At left are shown the major types of available formations, with the top of the page being the direction in which they are facing (note the Direction of Movement arrow). At upper left is shown the mixed formation, which is always two bases deep. At upper center is a unit in line, its stands are side by side and all facing in the same direction. At upper right is an echelon formation, which is a type of line used to angle a unit's flank line away from potential threats. Echelon may also be formed to the right instead of left (as shown), or off the center, which forms a wedge formation. At lower left is a two base unit with two skirmish markers deployed to its front. At lower center is an attack column, its stands are in single file facing the same direction. At lower right is a road column, it is formed into a T-shape, with all but one base placed into alternate facings. The one remaining base is placed at the "head" of the march column in the direction of movement. For movement and assault purposes, a road column's facing is controlled by the facing of the front "guide base." For artillery targeting purposes however, the long axis of the column is used to align the enfilade arc (i.e. - when checking for status as a enfilade target, position the artillery arc off of the front and back ends of the road column, not off of the sides of the guide base).

Skirmish Markers - At lower left in the formation diagram above is an example of a small two stand unit deploying two skirmish markers. These markers are used to indicate skirmish troops which have been "thrown forward" by their parent units. See the Maneuver section for more about allowed distance between skirmish markers and their parent formations. Not all units are able to deploy skirmishers, and players should consult the troop lists for more information on each nation's particular skirmishing abilities or inabilities.

Infantry Square - Not shown are infantry squares, which are indicated using square markers in conjunction with existing formations. Only infantry units in mixed, line or echelon formations may use square markers. The markers themselves need only be placed in close proximity to a formation to indicate its "square" status. Units marked as being in square may move normally, but may not use the assault movement bonus, and must change to alternate formations (usually line or column) when passing through towns, woods, bridges and other obstacles. Units in square always count as enfilade artillery targets.

Higher Formations - The regiments and brigades discussed so far will usually be grouped into divisions for game play. These divisions will in turn be grouped into larger corps and armies or simply overseen by an overall commander. For a continuation of these next levels of battlefield organization see the Command section of the rules and the various troops lists posted on the main Republique page.

« The Battlefield
The terrain systems most commonly used for wargaming employ plateau-shaped hill segments in 1" and/or ½" thicknesses. For game play, consider the 1" thick hills to be one level high/rough terrain and ½" hills to be one-half level high/normal terrain. Units within two inches of a hill's "edge" may spot and be spotted by those on lower levels, otherwise they are too far away from the edge of the plateau to establish line of sight. Treating gaming hills as the plateaus they usually resemble is the best way around most "ridge" arguments. This also creates "dead ground" along the bases of most hills, another realistic effect. Varying widths of masking tape may be used to show main and secondary roads. Colored felt, cardboard or cloth may be used to cover or outline the locations of woods, towns and fields. Scale trees and buildings may then be placed on these outlines, although these attractive additions are commonly pushed out of the way as large formations pass through.

Each section of "buildings" actually represents a city block, which is why they are outlined. Troops inside these areas are not "in a building" but actually in a built up area which may include anything from fence-lines, plots of land and taverns to churches, cemeteries and government buildings. Consult the Terrain Chart for the game-specific characteristics of various terrain types.

Terrain Types & Effects
Recommended color & material
(if any)
Terrain Feature Movement Height Cover Class
Counts as Rough? Prevents Assault Bonus Move? Impassable to:
Light grey felt Light wood buildings No No none ½ level C
Medium grey felt Heavy wood/light stone buildings Yes Yes none ½ level B
Dark grey felt Heavy stone buildings Yes Yes none 1 level A
Black felt Dense woods Double n/a All but skirmish markers 1 level A
Dk.green felt Heavy woods Yes No artillery 1 level B
Md.green felt Woods Yes No none 1 level C
Lt.green felt Lt.woods/ Orchard No No none ½ level C
- Stream banks Yes Yes none none C
- River banks Yes Yes Artillery none C
Blue felt Lake/River n/a n/a All none -
Blue/brown felt Marshland Double Yes Artillery none -
Brown felt Mud Yes Yes none none -
Brown corduroy Ploughed fields No Yes none none -
Lt.tan corduroy Tall grass/Wheat/Corn No No none Blocks line of sight on same level only. -
Grey heavy corduroy Vineyards Yes Yes Artillery C

ONE PLAYER TURN:
Attacker Command(attacker functions only)
Roll for army panic (if necessary)
Attach and detach leaders
Attempt to rally units
Attempt to change orders
Replace fallen leaders
Attacker Maneuver
Attacker moves units
Artillery/Skirmish Fire
Both sides conduct simultaneous skirmish fire
Both sides conduct simultaneous artillery fire
Both sides check for leader injuries

Assaults
Resolve all assaults
Both sides declare emergency rallies & counterattacks
Both sides check for leader injuries
Attacker applies charge disorder

« Starting a Game
Draw a map of the battle area - Each player must have a battle map, however crude, on which to write their command arrows. The maps may be simple or complex, so long as all players use the same map. Occasionally using inaccurate maps can add a little realistic spice, although a judge should be present to make the fateful rulings.

Fill out divisional locations and orders - Players record the locations of divisions and (if any) corps reserve formations and then "issue" orders to the units under their command. The resulting order/disposition maps should not be shown to the opposing players until the game's end.

Set up units - Players set-up their formations based on the map dispositions.

Preliminary bombardment (optional) - If both sides agree, all artillery may fire repeatedly and continuously until one or both players decides to start the regular turn sequence. Both sides must mutually agree to the bombardment. No saved fire steps may be executed during a bombardment and no other phases such as movement or assaults may be conducted during this preliminary bombardment.

Turn Sequence - Each full turn sequence is split into two player turns during which each side alternately acts as the attacker. In order to establish the initial player turn cycle, each side rolls one die. The high roller may decide which player becomes the first attacker, and the game begins with the first player turn. Players then alternate turns as attackers throughout the rest of the game, with each pair of player turns representing one full turn. Each full turn sequence represents approximately 40 minutes of combat time.



Go to Section One of the rules: Command

 
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