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Polemos - Franco-Prussian War

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TITLE: Polemos Franco-Prussian War (2008)

  • Commandant de Bataille
  • Kommondant der Armee
Polemos FPW04

AUTHOR: Peter Riley

PUBLISHER: Baccus 6mm Ltd

PUBLICATION DATE: April, 2008

WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM:

  • The Baccus home page offers downloads of additional information, Campaign rules and Designers notes.
  • The Polemos Yahoo group offers advice, support and information on the Polemos series of rules direct from the players and people interested in the periods covered.

PRICE: 15.00 (in 2007)

REVIEWED BY: Peter Riley (author)

The Polemos Franco-Prussian War rules are “two sets of rules in one book”.  The first is for smaller scale battles that deal with Battalions, Brigades and Divisions with the commander in chief being the Division or Corps Commander and is called Commandant de Bataille (CdB). The second is for larger scale battles that deal with Brigades, Divisions and Corps with the commander in chief being the Army Commander and is called Kommondant der Armee (KDA).  The vision of the rules is to be able to use one rules book that allows the player to represent both the smaller and larger scales of the war, to be able to recreate both the small and large scale battles that took place and recreate the sweeping grand strategy without having to invest in two sets of rules. We have achieved that by using a common framework throughout the rules but tailored to represent the scale that is being played in one rule book.

PERIOD COVERED: Franco-Prussian War 1870-71

THE BOOK:

The Polemos Franco-Prussian War book is a glossy paperback a staple bound 8.25” x 11.75” booklet. It runs 76 pages. It has a color cover with a B&W interior that also has a full colour photo section in the middle. It includes two card stock play sheets.

SCOPE:

    Commandant de Bataille: The basic unit base is the battalion and is Tactical / Grand Tactical – For games up to Corps Level.

    Kommondant der Armee: The basic unit base is the brigade and is Operational / Strategic – For Games at Army Level.

ARMY SIZE:

Looking at the army lists most armies will require about 25 bases (750 - 6mm figs) but can go up to 50 bases (1500 - 6mm figs).

In The Polemos Franco-Prussian War, a base (unit) is on average 30 figures for infantry and 9 for cavalry. Most armies require 18 infantry units and 5 cavalry and artillery units.

BASE UNIT:

    Commandant de Bataille: The basic unit is the base this represents a Battalion, 6 Battalions (bases) represents a Brigade, 2 to 3 Brigades (12 to 18 Bases) represents a Division. 2 to 3 Divisions (24 to 54 Bases) represents a Corps.

    Kommondant der Armee: The basic unit is the base this represents a Brigade. 2 to 3 Brigades (2 to 3 Bases) represents a Division. 2 to 3 Divisions (4 to 9 Bases) represents a Corps. 2 to 3 Corps (8 to 18 Bases) represents an Army.

GAME SCALES:

  • All distances in Polemos games are expressed in Base Widths (BW) and Base Depths (BD) in order to allow the use of differing base sizes. A BD is half a BW.

Commandant de Bataille

  • Ground scale. (1BW = 250 metres)
  • Time scale (1 turn = 20 to 30 minutes)
  • Figure/Base Ratio (1 base = battalion 500 to 1000 men)
  • Recommended Figure size (6mm)
  • Table Size: (6ft by 4ft)
  • Game Length: (8 to 12 turns)

Kommondant der Armee

  • Ground scale. (1BW = 500 metres)
  • Time scale (1 turn = 30 to 40 minutes)
  • Figure/Base Ratio (1 base = brigade 1500 to 3000 men)
  • Recommended Figure size (6mm)
  • Table Size: (6ft by 4ft)
  • Game Length: (8 to 12 turns)

BASING SIZES:

The rules can be used with any basing standard.

Commandant de Bataille

  • Infantry, Cavalry & Limbers: 60mm x 30mm
  • Artillery and Officers: 30mm x 30mm

Kommondant der Armee

  • Infantry & Cavalry are based on 60mm x 60mm (CdB bases placed one behind the other)
  • Artillery and Officers: 30mm x 30mm

TURN SEQUENCE:

The tempo bidding process is central to Polemos Franco-Prussian War. At the start of each move, both players will attempt to gain the initiative, allowing them to carry out manoeuvres and attacks and force their opponent to respond.

  • Tempo bidding (both players)
  • Tempo Winners Player Sequence
  • Tempo player bombardment phase (Player makes all ranged artillery attacks)
  • Tempo player moves CinC and generals; allocates TPs. (Player moves all officers and allocates available TPs.)
  • Tempo player attack phase (Player makes all ranged attacks and performs any outcomes from the ranged attacks and moves all units launching attacks into contact then completes all close combat attacks and performs any outcomes.)
  • Tempo player other moves (Player completes all other moves)
  • Non-Tempo Winners Player Sequence
  • Non-tempo player bombardment phase (Player makes all ranged artillery attacks)
  • Non-tempo player moves CinC and generals; allocates TPs. (Player moves all officers and allocates available TPs.)
  • Non-tempo player attack phase (Player makes all ranged attacks and performs any outcomes from the ranged attacks and moves all units launching attacks into contact then completes all close combat attacks and performs any outcomes.)
  • Non-tempo player other moves (Player completes all other moves)
  • Outcome moves. (Both players complete all other moves due to, Rallying, Morale, Army Morale Pursuit and Shaken level results)

GAME MECHANICS:

The bidding phase (both players take part)

Tempo is decided in this phase by a bidding process based on the
experience of the general staff. Each CinC is given a Tempo amount based
on his experience +1d6 and is topped up by his generals experience. The
player uses this tempo to bid against the other player to gain the tempo
(initiative). The to need to gain first moves is decided by the winner
of the bidding process.

The bombardment phase

This is the phase in which the player makes all ranged artillery
attacks.  In this phase individual artillery bases, groups of guns or
massed batteries can bring fire to bear on enemy formations or other
artillery units. This is done by choosing targets, rolling dice and
adding modifiers from the bomabardment table. Outcomes are applied
against targets.

The player moves the CinC and generals; allocates Tempo Points (TPs).

This phase covers moves for all officers and the allocation of all the
available TPs. The remaing tempo from the bidding phase is now allocated
to individual generals by the CinC. The CinC will hand out tempo to each
general based on his plans so that the general can perform tasks that
will help him use his command, or not. Tempo allows the the general to
act, the more tempo he has the more he can do. Generals can order moves,
firing, attacks or rallys with the units under his commands these
manouvres help his CinC to win the battle.

The attack phase

This is the phase in which the player makes all non-bombardment ranged
attacks and performs any outcomes from those ranged attacks and moves
all units launching attacks into contact. In this phase units can bring
fire to bear on enemy formations to their front. These attacks are done
by choosing targets, rolling dice and adding modifiers from the ranged
attack table. Outcomes of the attack are applied against the targets.
Some units can launch attacks into contact.

The contact phase

The phase where the player completes all contact phase activity, close
combat attacks and performs any outcomes. Close combats are performed by
"testing to attack" using dice rolls and modifiers, depending on the
outcome the attack units may succeed or fail at that point. Some
defending units may hold on long enough and be able to fire and effect
the outcome after which the final outcomes of the combat are applied to
the units involved.

All other moves

The player completes all other moves for his forces. These are the moves
that will move groups of units or individual units around the board
driven by Tempo. It also covers re-adjusting formations, wheeling
formations or units into position and marching moves.

The Outcome moves. (both players take part)

The players complete all other moves due to, Rallying, Morale, Army
Morale, Pursuit and Shaken level results. These are the combat and
morale driven movement that have occurred during the phase as described
above.

Once the both players have played through the full turn the next turn
begins.

ARMY LISTS/SCENARIOS:

To create armies using the army lists you must decide on a Minimum number of bases in your army.

  • Roll for the Grading of the CinC and any attached Corps assets detailed in the army list using a D6.
  • You will be generating formations from the lists until this minimum is reached or exceeded.
  • The first formation to be generated in each army list is an Infantry Division. 
  • Dice as directed to decide the number of Brigades in the Division, Battalions or Regiments in the Brigade and their type and class.
  • Then Dice for the grading of the commanding General and the number of and type of the Divisional Artillery units.
  • Once the first line Infantry Division is complete, dice at random for what the next formation will be; this may be a Cavalry Brigade or Division, for instance or another Infantry Division.  Continue to dice again for the composition, type and class until this formation too is complete.
  • Once any other type of formation has been generated, the formation which follows will always be a line Infantry Division; therefore line Infantry formations will always equal or outnumber all other type of formations within your army.
  • When the minimum number of bases you decided to start with is reached, continue to dice for the formation you are currently generating until it is complete. 
  • Do not stop generating part of the way through a formation, only when it is complete. You may therefore exceed your minimum by some margin.

Army Lists Included:

  • French Imperial August 1870
  • Prussian Army August 1870
  • Prussian Allies August 1870
  • French Republican September 1870
  • Prussian Army September 1870
  • Prussian Allies September 1870

Scenarios Included:

  • The defence of St.Privat – The Battle of Gravelotte, August 18th, 1870. (Commandant de Battaile - CdB)
  • The Battle of Loigny – Poupry, December 2nd, 1870. (Kommandant der Armee - KDA)

REVIEWER’S COMMENTS:

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PLAYER’S COMMENTS:

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