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Simple Napoleonic Rules

Napoleonic One Hour Wargame by H C Bannister

Based (Heavily) on Alan Saunders English Civil War One Hour Rules V1.0


Unit Types and Scale


This game features the unit types Infantry, Light Infantry, Skirmishers, Heavy Cavalry, Light Cavalry Horse Artillery and Foot Artillery. All except Artillery are based in units 4-6” wide. Artillery is based in units 2-4” wide. The rules assume 3-8 units on a 3’ x 3’ play area. Scale accordingly for smaller or larger base sizes or playing areas.


Sequence of Play


Each complete turn comprises two player turns. Each general follows the sequence listed below in his or her player turn:


1. Movement 3. Shooting 4. Hand to Hand Combat 5. Eliminating Units




Units may move up to the following distances in a turn:


Unit Type Movement Infantry 6” Light Infantry & Skirmisher 8” Heavy Cavalry 10” Light Cavalry 12” Artillery 6” Horse Artillery 10”




Units turn by pivoting on their central point. They may do so at both the start and at the end of their move.




Units are affected by terrain as follows:



 Woods – Only Light Infantry and Skirmishers may enter.  Villages - Cavalry may not end their moves in a town. Artillery cannot enter a town. Infantry are assumed to spread out and occupy the whole town area which is then counted as their base for measurement and interpenetration purposes.  Marshland and Lakes - Impassable to all.  Rivers - These may only be crossed via bridges or fords.  Roads - Units moving by road increase their movement distance by 3” if their entire move is spent on the road. This bonus may not be received if charging and the unit may not fire if it uses this bonus.




Skirmishers which do not move or pivot, and are entirely in open ground, receive a hedge marker along the front of their base. This provides cover under certain circumstances see below).


Moving and Shooting


All Infantry may shoot after movement. Artillery cannot shoot if it moves and/or pivots.




Units may never pass through each other.


Charge Moves 

 Charges are resolved by moving the attacking unit into contact with an enemy unit. Changes are subject to the following restrictions:


 Turning - A charging unit may turn once, at the start of its move. This evolution may not exceed 45 degrees.  Limited Engagement - Only one attacking unit may contact a target unit  Flank and rear attacks - A unit can only make a flank or rear attack if the front-centre point of the unit is within the targets flank or rear arc at both the start and the end of the charge. This is the arc that extends out 45° from each face.  Fighting - Combat is resolved during the Hand-to-Hand Combat phase.





Cavalry cannot fire. The procedure for all Infantry and all Artillery is as follows:


Adjudge Field of Fire. 


Units may only shoot at a single target within 45 degrees of their front facing. Measure range from the centre of the front edge of firing unit to any part of the target unit. Units cannot fire into combat or fire through a gap of less than half an Infantry unit base width. They may not fire through friendly or enemy units.


Units may fire into but not through woods or a town. They may fire onto, but not over, a hill.


Units in Towns


These have a field of fire of 360 degrees and may target a unit in any direction.


Assess Casualties


Units roll a number of dice when shooting:

 TYPE         RANGE          Number of Die     

Inf             12”                            2 If in Square 1

L/Inf          12”                            2*

Skirmisher 14”                          1

F/Artillery    36”                        2

H/Artillery 24”                         2*


Units which fire  ‘2 Dice*’ cannot score more than 1 hit.


Each die which scored 4 or more indicates a hit on the target unit. 





Units in towns, or in terrain which a scenario designates as cover, or Skirmishers with a hedge marker, roll 1D6 for each hit scored on them. On a 4 or more the hit is ignored.


Hand-to-Hand Combat


The procedure for Hand-to-Hand Combat is as follows:


One Sided Combat


Units only inflict casualties during their own player turn.


Assess Casualties


Units get a number of dice depending on their type:

 TYPE          DICE

Inf                 2

L/Inf              2*

Skirmisher  1

H/Cavalry 2 plus 1 impetus

L/Cav            2

All Artillery 1


Heavy Cavalry who roll a ‘1’ on either of their normal dice lose the Impetus dice in all combats for the rest of the game.


Infantry and Light Infantry may form Square if attacked by Cavalry to form Square roll a dice. Score of 3 or above they are in square. They may leave square during their next move if they defeat the cavalry


Each dice which scored a 4 or more indicates a hit on the target unit.


Terrain Advantage


Each of the following conditions allow a unit to save hits scored against them:


Uphill In woods or a town Defending a bridge or ford Skirmishers with a hedge marker attacked to the front by attacked by Cavalry

Infantry or Light Infantry who form Square.


On a 4 or more the hit is ignored. This is improved to 3 or more if more than one condition applies.


 Flank or Rear Attacks  No rear or flank attacks on Infantry in Square


Units engaging the enemy flank or rear, or all hand to hand attacks against Artillery, double the number of dice rolled. 


Hand to Hand Combat and Movement


A unit engaged in hand to hand combat cannot voluntarily move (see Retreat below), except that a unit engaged to its flank or rear but not to its front may turn to face one enemy unit during its own turn.




If a unit fails to inflict any hits on the enemy in a round of hand-to-hand combat it retreats 3” to its own rear without changing facing. If it cannot complete this move because of the presence of terrain or other units then it is moved back as far as possible.  Infantry in Square cannot move back.


Eliminating Units


Units are eliminated upon the acquisition of 5 hits.


Optional Rules

Troop quality

They can be Elite (Guards units)

Trained (Line Troops)

Conscript (Poor Quality)

Artillery are always trained only

Forming Square

Elite + 1 to die roll

Trained as before

Conscript -1 to die roll


Brtish Inf +1  to one of the die rolled


French Inf +1 to one of the die rolled

Eliminating Units

Elite eliminated of 6 hits

Trained eliminated on 5 hits

Conscript eliminated of 4 hits





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