Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Over The Hills rules solo try

Had a trial run solo with newly acquired Over The Hills Napoleonic rules and jolly nice they are too.
Nothing particularly radical or innovative but they do work.
Game is geared towards a Divisional sized (maybe Corps on larger tables) encounter units grouped into Brigade/Regimental formations (somewhat akin in scale to Lasalle, Imperial Eagles or Napoleon At War)
First half of rule book is essentially the basics with a streamlined set of rules, the second half is Optional rules that add more detail and/or period flavour.
Very much up to players which Optional rules they adopt.
I left out the orders system (very like Gen De Brigade) but tried just about everything else.
I may or may not use the Optional movement rules (by flank, by echelon etc) whilst outside enemy engagement zone or use the simpler 'anything goes' system of the basic rules (very like Black Powders system)
The Combat and Shooting systems use a D10 which is bit different with you general having to roll equal to or under a base number which then yields 0-3 hits after various tactical factors are accounted for (again Options expand the number and effects of these.
Melee is conducted over a maximum of 3 melee rounds with Combat possibly varying between rounds.
Morale is fairly non-existent in Basic game (units are either Dead or in Action) but options introduce various Morale Tests and Wavering and Routing units and suchlike.
Units are rated by Fatigue Strengths which is an amalgam of Morale and Numbers and can be depleted or restored in several ways, again fairly intuitive stuff.
Infantry are also rated by Skirmish ability A - D class with A being best.
Usual formations are available and basing is fairly flexible.
Commanders are rated for Command Range, Rally Ability and Combat Influence/Charisma.
Movement is divided into segments of various rates with differing formations allowing varied numbers of segments.
For example a unit in Line might move 2 possible segments but suffer 1 Fatigue if it uses any part of second segment, whereas an Attack Column could move 3 segments with the third inflicting a Fatigue.
Moving through delaying terrain is either at full pelt but suffering 1 Fatigue or half rate without fatigue being suffered.
The sequence of play consists of several phases but it is essentially, Player A acts then Player B acts with one Moving before the other Fires and so on.
Some example historical OOBs included and a Points system but no Historical Scenarios (no doubt a supplement planned ?)

As I said nothing really earth shattering in how the rules address the various aspects of Napoleonic Wargaming but they do give an enjoyable game.

Only downside I found is that with Basic and Optional rules being split in the book it can get bit confusing searching for which rule you are applying or is updated/optional.
Also one or two key rules are kind of 'hidden' in the text and easily missed.
The QRS included is functional but I feel could be greatly expanded to cover more basic principles.
The set is well supported with a Yahoo Forum and Facebook pages and I had very quick answers to a few minor queries.

Overall a thumbs up for me for this rules set which is a nice alternative to use.

Cuirassiers clash with Prussian Hussars after emerging from a depression

Young Guard advance (rings indicate those still retaining initial volley bonus)

More Young Guard Battalions push forward, they have B Class skirmish ability so 2 bases of skirmishers to the fore (C class have only 1)

Prussian defend a cornfield

And some high ground

From approaching French

Overview of the field of battle

French center advances

French left wing across the river

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