Several of you have requested details about how Two Generals Games manages dice-less "deterministic" combat in our games. This example will present our most advanced set of algorithms to date. The example will be the pivotal Battle of Wagram which took place between the French under Napoleon and the Austrians under Archduke Charles on July 5-6, 1809 near Vienna

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Note that Napoleon's counter represents a much larger group of marshals and units that we have omitted for clarity (they're shown in detail below). Underneath Napoleon's unit is Vandamme, who will not be participating in the attack. The 1-4s are brigades represent corps dedicated to protecting supply lines and lines of communications.  The French Army of Italy under Eugene had just joined Napoleon, so he decided that he had manuvered enough and that it was time to take Charles head on, especially since the Austrian army in southern Austria (Slovenia) under John had "gone the long way around" and had not yet connected with Charles. Even though he'd have to cross the river, Napoleon believed his advantage in men and commanders (and hopefully heavy artillery) would command the day. He orders the attack. Here are the forces involved:

Napoleon has eight corps commanders (mostly 'marshals') to Charles' six. (A few historical corps commanders are not included either because they had little impact, or because this is the only battle they ever fought in.) The important number here is the lower left combat value rating for each leader. For example, Oudinot is "1." The combat units have the combat value on the left, and movement on the right. The Austrian Army has completed Army Reform which allows it to fight at full value, unlike 1805 when no Austrian leader could have a combat value above 2.  The French have 36 combat factors of units, plus another 27 of leaders, for a total combat value of 63. The Austrians have a total of 41 combat value. (Note: Bernadotte is commanding two Saxon infantry, and there is a single Bavarian in the excess infantry at the bottom. Davout and Massena command the bulk of the artillery.)

The CRT (not pictured) shows a total of 8 losses inflicted by each 20 combat value. However, when crossing a river the damaged is reduced by 2 for each 20 combat value. The net damage the French do with 63 combat value is therefore not 8+8+8, but 6+6+6 (the extra 3 normally does "1" but now has no effect thanks to the river), for a net 18 hits on the Austrians. Hits are distributed by the opponent (i.e., the French decides which Austrians will be affected) as follows: 1) unprotected infantry: each hit is a loss; 2) infantry with leaders: first hit to infantry, second hit is avoided by leader, etc. up to the value of the leader. Players may choose either method or combine them as they see fit. So Napoleon goes for creating maximum losses and thus takes out all 11 "unprotected" infantry, and then applies 6 hits to Charles, which takes out the two infantry and the artillery (artillery or cavalry is always lost last in such arrangements), and then the last hit is applied elsewhere, in this case to Hohenzollern's infantry. That's a total of 14 infantry and 1 artillery taken down so far.

Now the Austrians get their strike. Combat value is determined prior to inflicting the French losses, so the Austrians have 26 units, plus 15 in leaders, for a total of 41. Unlike the French, the defenders are not penalized by terrain, so the Austrians do 8+8+0 (the left over "1" does no damage), for a total of 16. The Austrians take out the 9 "unprotected" French/Bavarian infantry, and then use the 7 remaining hits on Massena, which takes out his infantry and the Artillery.

Here's what it looks like, with the lost units tilted.

 

In our system, half the losses are casualties and half are disrupted. A casualty is killed, wounded, captured or missing. A disrupted unit is temporarily unable to function - it's morale is broken, it's split, it's leaders were killed, etc. So the next step is to determine which is which. This is done by the owner. The first unit factor is placed in the disrupted box, the next in the casualty box, etc. until all units have been placed. Here's what it looks like at the end.

The last set of losses have to do with artillery losses and cavalry pursuit. All Austrian artillery was eliminated, as was one of the two French artillery factors. However, the French still have one, and so now it is accounted for by causing one additional loss to the Austrians. Here is the above table, with the extra loss added in the casualty pile (artillery damage is always a casualty.) 

There is no large mass of cavalry in this battle, so no additional losses are taken in pursuit, but even if this was to happen we'd have to determine if the defender is retreating. This is done by again calculating the combat value of the remaining stacks. Leader combat values cannot exceed the number of unit combat factors:

The French are larger, and so the Austrians must retreat. If the French had a mass cavalry unit, it would now cause yet another Austrian casualty.

Now we determine the importance of the battle. Did either side lose 5 or more combat factors? Yes, both lost considerably more! Since BOTH sides lost a lot of men, who "won" the battle? The answer is the French, since they forced an Austrian retreat. Therefore, the French National Morale rating goes up one, and the Austrian down one.

 

 The consequences of this battle are significant, because the Austrian morale has been reduced to 2. This means they cannot attack (until it's back up to at least 3), and it also means the French can initiate a Peace proposal using the Diplomacy rules. If the Austrians wait until their morale is a 1, the French can dictate terms, which are likely to be much worse, so the Austrians agree to 2 of the 3 French demands and the Austrian role in the war against the French is over for several years. 

Comparing the results of the battle to historical shows the accuracy of the system. In the game a combat factor is usually 5,000 men (it can vary, but that's the norm).  In the historical battle, the French had between 25,000 and 37,000 casualties, or 5-7 factors. In our simulation, they had 6 casualties. The Austrians lost 30,000-40,000 historically or 6-8 factors. In our battle, they had 8 total casualties. Two Generals Games checked the system out on 9 of the bigger battles and lots of smaller ones, and the accuracy was quite good. Weather, not a factor in this battle, does play a role in other battles. 

Questions? Drop an email to us, or check in on our Facebook page!

Due to the number of orders we've fulfilled, I am happy to announce that we are switching to Fulfillment by Amazon.

This means two things:

1) Our products will still be available via Amazon, but will not be listed on Amazon for about a week while we ship our games to Amazon, which will soon be mailing them to customers directly, and

2) Shipping from Amazon to you will be included on all orders, so no more shipping surcharge to our customers!

Things should be up and running again by Friday, Oct 14, or shortly thereafter.

As always, contact us at sbrown @ twogeneralsgames.com if you have any questions.

 

There's a typo in the rules describing a two-player game. The correct text is:

"PLAYERS (2)

Islamic State (I.S.) and Syrian Regime vs all others. Each player rolls for control of Iran each turn. The I.S./Regime player will control Hezbollah units, while the other player will control the Shi'a Militia and/or the Iranian air unit and its ground unit (the 81st Division) should it appear."

Now in development Napoleon and his Marshals, our dice-less game on the Napoleonic Wars. The strategic turns are bimonthly, but each of those turns breaks down into six 10-day turns that allows operations to be simulated. So in the strategic turns we deal with production and diplomacy, but in the operational turns we deal with movement and combat. Our maps are based on the wonderful Cambridge University maps from the early 1900s. We're using hexes this time too! Point-to-point just didn't give the detail and flexibility that we wanted this time around. 

Right now we're focusing on 1805, 1806 and 1807, with Spain up next. Here's some pix. 

One option we're considering is new packaging - we'd include a plastic box suitable for storing the counters:

  

Yesterday we posted a major set of errata for World War II: Strategic Decision. This is the culmination of one year of play, so check it out in the Game Rules tab!

This summer we're working on Battleground Virginia and Forgotten Army, both expansions for our recent civil war game, Divided We Fall. Both expansions use the same rules, adding a few extra, as well as the same counters, except adding corps commanders. The big difference is scale, as both maps are (or are at least planned to be) 11x17 maps of Virginia and Tennessee, respectively (along with pertinent border areas like Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, Corinth, and S. Kentucky). We're currently playtesting Battleground Virginia, and expect to start on Forgotten Army soon.

We're also working on Napoleon and his Marshals, which is our strategic and operational simulation of the Napoleonic era. No dice, of course. This is a game of skill. No need to bring Lady Luck. We're deep into design elements at the moment. For the maps (there will be several it appears), we're basing them on the wonderful Cambridge series of the pre-WWI era. But, oh my, they need a lot of graphical car-washing! The big challenge at the moment is the Combat Results Table. Napoleonic battles were not that bloody compared to the Civil War and later wars. There were many battles where we would expect to see zero losses. So maybe we'll have to tweak our system some. It's a pleasant chore!

We also have several other clever ideas that will have to pass the idiocy test! More on them later!

Summer: it's too hot to go out, so stay inside and get your game on!

TGG