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eRules Napoleonic.txt is a set of rules for the Napoleonic wars designed by WargameSystems following the same principles as eRules World War II, except that Napoleonic.txt is provided free as a draft document for you to download, try out and contribute to. Let us have your suggestions for adding to it or improving it.

Again, our aim with Napoleonic.txt is to promote wargaming that is fun and fast while producing results as close as possible to historical accuracy.

The problem with most rule sets is that they badly distort the relationship between movement speeds and casualty rates. For example, in a wargame of the battle of Waterloo, the French typically march up to the English lines, a brief exchange of fire takes place followed by 2 or 3 bounds of melee, then one side or the other turns around and flees. Meanwhile, each side will have lost around a quarter of its figures as casualties. In the round, this is not unrealistic as long as each unit represents a division, musket range is a fraction of the frontage of a unit and each bound of play represents half an hour or an hour in real life. However, there is already a problem here in that in the space of an hour even an infantry unit could have marched 2 or 3 miles, whereas on the wargame table, it will have moved only 200 to 300 meters. This is because wargame rules tend to average out between moves all the delays that occur in real life due to the difficulty in the nineteenth century of getting thousands of men to move in a coherent way as intended by the commanding officer without them all bumping into each other and causing chaos before getting anywhere near the enemy.


In a real battle, generals and unit commanders spent a lot of time issuing orders, lining up in big formations and waiting for signals. Once, the signal was given to advance, though, progress toward the enemy was quite fast and the opposing sides soon came into range.

 A firefight would then begin and could go on for a long time due to the inaccuracy of the weapons, swirling clouds of dense smoke and the progressive deterioration in order and discipline as casualties built up and stress took its toll.

The art of generalship was to plan ahead, coordinate large formations successfully and get units into the right place at the right time despite the delays and obstacles involved in doing so.

Rules authors have increasingly recognised this problem and have invented various ingenious procedures for reflecting the challenges of command and control.

eRules Napoleonic.txt tries to address this challenge by imposing severe limits on the ability of generals to change movement speeds and directions of the individual units under command.

If you are interested in Napoleonics and are ready to try a new set of rules, download eRules Napoleonic.txt now from our Downloads page and try it out.

Let us know what you think by e-mailing

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