TITLE: 1805: Reenacting the Wars of Napoleon!
AUTHOR: Nick Yankosky
PUBLISHER: Rivertown Publications
PUBLICATION DATE: 2010
WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM: None known
PRICE (with date): $20.00 (in 2010)
REVIEWED BY: Mark “Extra Crispy” Severin
PERIOD COVERED: The Napoleonic Wars
1805 is a comb-bound booklet with an acetate cover. The book is 32 pages long and comes with a single set of quick reference sheet (three pages per set). The interior is a simple black & white with a handful of simple diagrams and charts. The rules are organized following the sequence of play.
SCOPE: 1805 is a tactical rule set covering the Napoleonic Wars.
ARMY SIZE: Shako
BASE UNIT: The base unit of the game in the infantry battalion, supported by cavalry regiments and artillery batteries.
- Ground Scale: 1” = 40 Yards
- Time scale 1 turn = 20 minutes
- Figure/Base Ratio 1 infantry figure = 15-20 men, 60-80 horse or 2 guns.
- Recommended Figure Size: 10mm but conversion for 15mm is covered.
- Table Size: Not stated
- Game Length: Most games should be playable in one evening
BASING SIZES: 1805 works best with the following base sizes:
- Three Rank Infantry: 6 Castings per 20 x 15mm
- Two Rank Infantry: 4 Castings per 20 x 15mm
- Cavalry: 2 Castings per 20 x 20mm
- Artillery: 20 x 25mm
The turn is broken down into nine simultaneous phases. In each phase both players perform all game actions before moving on to the next phase.
- Order Troops
- Charge Declaration
- Morale/Fatigue Recovery
- Initial Charge/Counter Charge Declaration
- 1st Artillery Fire (Check Morale)
- Change formation/facing
- Movement (Chargers move first)
- 2nd Artillery & Small Arms Fire
- Close Action Resolution
Order Troops: Each commander nominates a Lead or Directing unit for each brigade. The units of the brigade then must match the speed and direction of the brigade. Units out of their brigade commander’s radius must make a morale check in order to move. Only brigade commanders within the command radius of their division commanders may change Directing Units. Otherwise they must use the same unit as last turn.
Charge Declaration: Units that wish to charge are marked with a counter. They must have a unit to their front. They may perform a wheel at the beginning of the charge but otherwise must move in a straight line. Units may charge through friendly artillery units, but no others.
If properly aligned, cavalry units in the second rank may perform a follow up charge during close action by passing through the cavalry unit in front of them.
Morale /Fatigue Recovery: When called on to check morale, all units have a base 40% chance of failing. This is modified by unit type, leadership, situation, etc. Percentile dice are rolled and if a failure results, rolled again. Consulting the Morale Loss Results Table the unit may simply halt for one turn, or it may rout. Units may also become shaken. They can remove their shaken status by passing a morale check in this phase during a subsequent turn.
Initial Charge Phase: In this phase initial charges are carried out and counter charges declared.
First Artillery Fire Combat: Artillery units may now fire at enemy units in range, and within its arc of fire (a 30 degree arc). To resolve fire, count the number of guns firing. Multiply this by the Show Weight for the given gun type. This Fire Value is cross referenced with the range to yield a percentage. This is the chance to cause one casualty. If the number is over 100, one casualty is caused with the remainder the chance for a second.
The artillery rules cover supporting charged units, firing over friendly troops (allowed under certain circumstances) and forming grand batteries.
Movement: Movement is split in to two phases. First, units may change formation, at a cost of half their movement. All formation and facing changes happen first. Units may also be deployed into skirmish order during this phase. Artillery may limber or unlimber.
Next units move. Charging units are moved first. units may oblique or wheel during their move but must otherwise move straight ahead. Units may retrograde at half speed. Movement rates vary from 5” (line) to 24” (Light cavalry in skirmish order).
Units may become fatigued through charging, and may recover by spending a turn stationary.
Small Arms Fire: Musketry uses the same basic approach as artillery. Each stand has a fire value based on nationality and range. This gives a base chance to cause a casualty. The fire value is modified for target, morale, cover, etc. Percentile dice are rolled and hits, if any, applied. Only units within range and in an arc of fire (30 degrees) may be targeted.
Melee: In 1805 the melee is called “close action.” Melee is a comparison of morale more than anything. Cross index the charger’s morale with the defender’s and the Close Action Chart yields a percentage. This is the chance for the charger to win the action. The percentage is subject to numerous modifiers for terrain, being outnumbered, being fatigued, etc. Percentile dice are rolled and a winner determined. The winner rolls on the Resolution Table to determine the extent of the victory. Each side may take casualties, suffer morale effects (shaken) and in some cases breakthrough charges occur.
There are no army lists or guidelines for army building - it is assumed players will convert OOB’s on their own using the rough guides contained in the basing section.
Overall 1805 is easy to read, and sounds as if it would be easy to play. The rules address numerous smaller situations so players should be able to resolve any unusual situations easily. The game uses percentile dice which many do not like, and some of the charts have fairly long lists of modifiers which seem out of place given the deisgn goals. However, it may be that they become second nature quickly. In any case the charts are easy to use and understand so play should be fairly brisk.