Sunday, 29 December 2013

8e Cuirassiers - Trial Run

I rather like the free rules produced by Pz8, if only for picking up ideas and inspiration. A few months ago I came across a draft version of '8e Cuirassiers', which were simple rules for conflicts from 1700-1870. They seemed interesting so I promise myself that I;d give them a go one day. It's taken me about six months to get around to it, but today I did.

Units in '8e Cuirassiers'  consist of four bases, each 20-30mm square, so my 6mm ACW figures are ideal, set up as they are as four base units on 20mm squares. So an ACW engagement it would be.

The board size for the game isn't give, but given the short movement distances (2" for infantry), and knowledge that Pz8 rules are designed for small, quick games, I went for a 2' x 2' playing area. I set it up as follows:

The farm in the middle was the objective, althopugh I didn't set any more than the vaguest of visctory conditions. really I just wanted to see how the mechanisms worked.

I put together two equal forces, each of six infantry regiments and an artillery battery. The Union had rifled artillery, the Confederates had smoothbores. All units were regular; I didn't want to mess around with varying troop qualities at this stage. Each side had one normal general.

I randomised the setup (I won't bore you with how), and got this - the Union are at the bottom of the picture and the Confederates at the top.

With only a 2" move, and plenty of  terrain limiting visibility it took several moves of advancing before things started to happen. This was the position after four or five turns. Both sides were holding back with their left, advancing cautiously on the farm with their centre and attacking with their right.

The Union advance on the farm.

The Confederate left and centre.

First fire! The Confederates open up on a Union regiment skulking in a wood, and its supporting artillery, but to no effect. Firing is an opposed die roll, with the firer getting modifiers then subtracting the target's roll. A positive score is a hit. A hit causes a unit to become Disordered, a Disordered unit to become Shaken and a Shaken unit to Rout.

The Union return fire, and disorder a Confederate regiment. Generals can remove disorder via a die-roll, but both sides seemed very bad at it.

More firing from the Confederates saw some Union regiments disordered.

The Confederate right attacks! The disordered the Union regiment in the wood, but their unit attacking the artillery was shaken by firing as it charged. However artillery automatically break in melee, so it still won the day.

The Union charged on their left, and ended up with two shaken units and a Confederate line which held. Melee can be quite deadly, as it is based on an opposed die roll; if the attacker gets the higher score the defender can go disordered, shaken or rout. The attacker only takes hits from fire as they go in, but if the defender isn't broken they fight a melee on their turn.

Fighting along the ridge.

Shaken units automatically rout if engaged in melee, so on the Confederate turn they only had to initiate melee to rout two Union regiments

The fight on the Union right continued. The shaken Confederate unit wouldn't rally, so was basically useless, whilst the units fighting for the wood just disordered each other.

On the Union left they finally routed a Confederate unit with a high differential win in a melee.

However two more of their units went shaken, then didn't rally, so would be broken on the next Confederate turn. At that point I decided to end the game.

So how did the rules work? Well, to be honest I'm not sure that they did. On paper they look OK, but I'm not sure that they've really been played at all, as a number of things just didn't seem to work. Units are not very manoeuverable and there's no interpenetration (which makes supporting attacks or relieving damaged units next to impossible). In a way I liked the way firing and melee were handled, but the game needs a mechanism for continuing melees, and shaken units need to be less vulnerable to melee attack as it's hard to get them out of trouble.

Would I play this game again? Unlikely in its present form, so either I need to modify them, or the author needs to come up with a new draft; the one I have is eighteen months old, though, and hasn't been updated since, so I can't see anything happening soon. Still, the game whiled away an amusing hour or two.

At the moment I cant find a link to the rules, so I can't send you in their direction. I would if I could.

Update: A link to the rules (and some discussion of them) can be found HERE


  1. Hi
    I've found it there:
    with some mods.
    Hope that will help

    1. Thanks for that - I've posted a link to this report, and will have a proper look at the suggested changes later.


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