Napoleonic Wargame Club

"Impulse Play" System for Nap Series
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Author:  Bill Peters [ Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:50 pm ]
Post subject:  "Impulse Play" System for Nap Series

Ok - here is an experiment I want to try out. I got the idea from someone on my playtest team that said that it would be nice if each player per turn moved a certain amount of formations per impulse and then the other player did the same and then they alternate until all forces have moved. So here is my new game style format which I call "Impulse Play" - its not terribly detailed but will involve additional emails:

1. Each scenario will have an additional number of turns (but see the club scoring note down below) each called an "Impulse." This will usually be x3. So 18 turns will be 48 turns.

2. For each player they will have THREE impulses per turn. This means you can move three formations per turn per corps or wing. In an Allied column of say 3-5 brigades you move ONE of them. In a French division you move ONE brigade. For British - each division usually has 3 brigades .. sometimes more some less. Mutually agree on the amount of formations that can move per impulse per formation.

3. The first player in the game starts it off. They move one portion during their impulse for each major formation. They do their charges, melees, etc. They send the file on to their opponent.

4. Opponent does the same as in step #3.

5. Continue doing all of the moves until all of the formations have moved OR have a limit to the number of portions that can move per "Game Turn" - a Game Turn is a set of turns equal to the multiple used in adding on additional game turns.


1. Yes, there will be a Command test each turn. Thus if there are three turns per "Game Turn" then there will be three command tests. Not much I can do about this but the players might mutually agree to use a modified OB file that LOWERs the Command ratings. H&R is doing this already.

2. There will be the same amount of cannon fire since only a portion of the formation moves every 3 turns per Game turn (or whatever the multiple is going to be).

3. Folks might try using x2 as their multiple to keep the amount of emails lower.

4. This will help folks that want to form square prior to cavalry charges.

5. Turns time length can be changed in the PDT file to match the multiple. Thus if you have a scenario of 24 turns, the turn length is 10 mins. each and you use a multiple of x2 you could set the turn length to be 5 min. turns. This would cause the time to pass at the same exact speed as in a normal game.

1. I decide to play the Teugn-Hausen scenario out of Eckmuhl. We use a multiple of x3. Each turn in the regular scenario is 15 mins. Each turn in our game will equal 5 mins of time. The movement rates will not be affected.

2. I am in command of the Austrians. My Opponent - the French. He opens up by moving his right flank brigade forward. He sends me the turn. I do my turn - move some of my forces in the center. In his phase he moves from forces in the center. Sends me the turn. Now I move forces on the left flank. Send him the turn. He passes .. has no other moves. I get the file and move some of my artillery. Turn is over. Three turns = 1 Game Turn of normal play.

Neither side was able to "blitz" the other.

Partial brigade movement .... if you opt to move just one part of a brigade you need to note it somehow ... the units will all be eligible for movement in your next player phase.


You have a large brigade of French troops. 9 bns. in the brigade. You move your Legere troops first. You do a "Partial Brigade" move. Note this in a text file. On your next move you can move the rest of the brigade.

Optional rule: mandatory reserves.

With this rule in a set piece battle you cannot move all of your forces in turn. You must designate some as reserves. This is historical.


Same example as with French large brigade. You move the Legere .. in your next phase you move another one of the regiments. Per your House Rule with your opponent that last regiment remains in reserve unless one of the regiments is threatened with larger forces. You can feed in the reserve regiment. This is a defensive example.

Attack example: you feed in the Legere and that first Ligne regiment. Then in your last impulse you feed in the last regiment ...

There really is no boundary on this system as to how you can allocate forces other than what the players agree on.

You may also agree that the players should keep a reserve of cavalry. Its up to the players.

Scoring of turns.... as obviously this system is a player's choice thing ... if the scenario is 24 turns in the NWC DOR then you score it as such no matter how many turns you really played in the game. The concept here is to break up the "Game Turn" into impulses.

I suggest the players use a roster system. Build a spreadsheet .. divide up the formations into groups. Move one group per Impulse. A group could be a brigade. It could be an infantry and cavalry brigade. However, you want to split them up.

Author:  Christian Hecht [ Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Impulse Play" System for Nap Series

Sounds very complicated and I'm not sure what it's good for.
For not allowing to much access on an army a command system with order delay would be better and also easier to handle.

Author:  Bill Peters [ Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Impulse Play" System for Nap Series

Well if you just agree to move say 1 brigade per division per impulse with 3 impulses you eventually move all troops on your side. You just dont move them all in one player phase.

I came up with a (complicated) Orders system. It was not a problem for scenarios like Teugn-Hausen out of Eckmuhl. For the Battle of Leipzig it would be a lot of work.

I want to think this system over a bit. The idea of only moving some formations in an impulse is not new. A lot of "chit pick" games use this format. You can find it in the old Panzer Command board game by Victory Games. Rich Berg the designer is fond of the chit pull games too. I think his Great Battles of the Ancient World was based on that. I owned all of those games at one time. You pulled a chit out of cup. That was the formation you moved in that impulse.

We actually could do a similar thing - have chit pulls. If you have 21 brigades in your army and there are three impulses it means you move 7 brigades in each impulse.

I like the chit pull idea and might see about setting up something like that with a friend in the club. Just keep a cup handy with small counters or slips of paper. Pull out 7 seven of them at the beginning of each impulse. Last turn you would pull out the final 7.

Road columns .. as long as they are not in contact with an enemy formation (lone squadrons or skirmishers would not count) the entire column would move as a chain of units. I would have to think on which impulse they would move in ... probably the first so that they cannot react to later things that happen in the "turn."

Here is another idea too: commit certain brigades to the "Reserve" impulse which would be the 2nd or 3rd impulse. Say you have a cavalry brigade .. you commit it to Reserve and it does not move unless an enemy formation comes to where it can be attacked...

Sort of an "overwatch" formation. It cannot be used for offensive attacks. .. just reaction movement.

Author:  Bill Peters [ Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Impulse Play" System for Nap Series

I now am looking into a card draw system or other formula as an alternate approach. For instance in a game where there are 12 brigades active a card could say you can move 8 brigades in your turn. 4 of the brigades would have to remain inactive.

The "Deck" would be based on the situation and the amount of brigades active would need to be calculated before the game began. As new brigades arrive or release then the amount of active brigades allowed to move would likewise increase.

There are pitfalls to any system and I see several issues with this but for some it might be fun to play. Remember that the same limitations apply to BOTH players so your opponent wont be moving his entire army all on the same turn either.

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