Friday, October 13, 2006

"Tricorne Wars" Command & Control

While I am still "playing around" with the details of my "command and control" system for my "Tricorne Wars rules, I do not expect the basic concept to change.

As you can see from the picture at left, Brigadiers often have to tell the troops under their command were to go and what to do.

This does not always coincide with what the General in charge of the battle wanted.


Because the brigadier on the spot knows more about his immediate situation than some general overlooking the whole battlefield.

Besides, one of the touchstones of "Tricorne Wars" is a lack of certainty about what's going to happen. So, how do I accomplish this?

In "Tricorne Wars", all generals and brigadiers will have one of four "personalities":
  • Political -- they're related to the monarch (what can you do?)
  • Agressive -- typical cavalry commanders, they want to charge
  • Steady -- usually dependable, you wish there were more of 'em
  • Careful -- they seldom act precipitously, a bit cautious
Each type will have a "matrix" of how they will interpret their orders when they contact the enemy (depending upon a die roll). Now, while I'm still playing with just what each level of orders will require, permit, limit or prohibit, there will be a "ladder" of possible orders. It might look something like this:
Or it might look substantially different . . . but you get the rough idea.

Now, the "matrix" for brigadiers might look something like this:

die roll___careful___steady__aggressive__political


(Note -- there has to be a better way of making a chart in a blog)

So, you have some questions, right? "What does this chart mean?"

Well, the green numbers indicate how many "rungs" up the "Order Ladder" the orders are re-interpreted to. Likewise, the red numbers indicate how many rungs down the ladder the orders are re-interpreted to.

The purple "/h" only comes into play if the superior officer giving the orders is "political"; if he is, there is a 50/50 chance that instead of the orders moving up or down, they will default to "Hold" as the brigadier sends for clarification (just because they're related to the monarch doesn't mean they make sense).

"Okay, but what about the "0" and "7" lines?"

Even the Commanding General has a "personality". In order to "enforce" this, all commands by a "Careful" general will automatically have a +1 added to the d6 roll on the chart; and all commands by an "Aggressive" general will automatically have -1 added to the d6 roll on the chart for interpretation.

Now, since this roll is not made until contact is made with the enemy, the Careful C-in-C will be tempted to write more cautious orders for fear of their getting interpreted too aggressively . . . and, likewise, the Aggressive C-in-C will be tempted to give more aggressive orders for fear of their getting interpreted too cautiously.

You've already seen that the Political C-in-C has the danger of his orders needing clarification. So, of course, everyone wants a "Steady" C-in-C (even though his orders could be interpreted up or down).

Never fear, there's a mechanism to balance this as well.

Remember, "Tricorne Wars" is designed for "Imaginary Countries" and resulting fictional campaigns. Each country will come with a set of four Generals and six Brigadiers (although unique figures are not needed for each officer).

Here, for example, are the four generals and six brigadiers of the Saxe-Bearstein army:
  1. General Baron Helmut von Pilsner (Agr), init 3 -- 10"
  2. Lt. Gen. Hertz von Stout (Stdy), init 1 -- 14"
  3. Maj. Gen. Otto von Lager (Care), init 1 -- 9"
  4. Maj. Gen. Kronprinz Rudolf von Ursa (Pol), init 2 -- 12"
  1. Brig. Karl von Blatz (Agr), init 1 -- 11" / 7"
  2. Brig. Ernst von Bruin (Stdy), init 1 -- 11" / 6"
  3. Brig. Dieter von Maltz (Care), init 2 -- 10" / 5"
  4. Brig. Prinz Gunther von Ursa (Pol), init 1 -- 12" / 8"
  5. Brig. Fritz von Hoptz (Stdy), init 2 -- 10" / 6"
  6. Brig. Wolfgang "Bud" von Weiser (Agr), init 1 -- 13" / 8"
You will note that each of the four "personality types" is represented in the four true "generals". This is deliberate. Those four are then echoed (in the same order) for the four most senior brigadiers. The two most junior brigadiers (5 and 6) echo the top two generals in reverse.

This is to balance the fact that for smaller battles, the more senior generals are unlikely to be called out. In fact, the plan is that before each battle, the players will dice to see which general and which brigadiers the monarch has chosen to send.

(Note -- for small battles, roll 50/50 for the two Major Generals; for slightly larger fights, include the Lt. General; and for larger battles dice for all of them -- and for Wing Commanders if large enough. The senior general is always the C-in-C. If your monarch is one of your generals, he should be the senior.)

When generals and brigadiers are "rolled up" (in front of your fellows, please), besides picking or rolling for the order of your personalities, roll 2d3 and 3dAv.

(Note that "averaging dice" are numbered 2,3,3,4,4,5 -- if you need to use a d6, count the six as a 4 and the one as a three -- this is the easiest way to modify a d6).

The lower of the 2d3 is that officer's Initiative. The total of the 3dAv is his Command Radius if mounted. For brigadiers, please also note the total of the two lowest averaging dice -- this is their command radius if commanding an Infantry Brigade.

Hopefully this will have given you some idea of how I hope to instill some "fog of war" into the "command and control" aspect of "Tricorne Wars".

-- Jeff


marinergrim said...


regarding inserting tables - can you insert a table from a word document like you can a picture?

Bluebear Jeff said...

I don't know, sir, but I doubt it. Anyway, I don't plan on having many tables here on my blog . . . and for those in my rules, I'll be using HTML tables.

-- Jeff

MurdocK said...

try 'cut and paste' from your html?

Bluebear Jeff said...

well, the chart wasn't in HTML . . . I just created it for this blog.

Enough about the chart. How do people like the ideas?

-- Jeff