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Friday, 18 September 2015

looks like Blucher.......rules of choice and house rules.

               This follows on from an earlier post I made on which rule set I should be playing . I am still undecided but the group is definitely decided. I intend to change the basing slightly to reduce the size of the label and use a die slot for elan. That however is another story. Having decided on Blucher we took a hard look at things that "bother" us. After a lot of discussion we settled on some changes and carved them in stone for our games. I thought folks might be interested in where we went and why so I repeat here a post I made on the Blucher forum..

                                   I guess this is a touchy subject for some but if we start from the basis that our group loves Blucher as a rules system then in every group, no matter how perfect a rule set are, there will be local preferences .. After a lot of play we have made a few changes to Blucher, some of which I have discussed on this group. The changes were also made after a lot of reading in our preferred period of 1809 Germany  You may be interested to hear what they are.

1/ attached artillery provide a unit with +1 when defending in combat. However if defeated they will lose the attached artillery.
                            We found that most firing was one shot at skirmish range and then a charge next move. Volley fire seldom occurs in our games unless units are depleted or dice are reduced. As a result the players very rarely attached artillery and preferred to use it massed. For our theatre this was not historical most artillery being allocated by battery at brigade or division. We also felt that since massed artillery fired in melee combat when attacked (they use ammo so there is some firing in there somewhere :) ) there is no obvious reason why attached artillery wouldn't fire at advancing enemy attacking "their" brigade during a melee combat. We didn't add this to attack as we saw this as firing into combat.   

2/ Units with the skirmish trait receive a +1 to their elan when fighting in woodlands or rough ground.

                             the series of books by John Gill describing the 1809 campaign describes a large number of combats that took place in woodland especially the Italian theatre. In almost every case the French with troops trained in open order fighting were victorious over their more rigidly trained Austrian opponents. We thought long and hard about this and decided to use the rule described as simple and not hugely game changing   

3/ Troops with the mobile trait may only use complex movement if they wish to fire. ie Horse artillery with 3-1 movement may only fire if they move 1
                          This really is subjective . When used effectively horse artillery in our games were comparable to a mobile machine gun brigade. If you then place an artillery general with them they are almost nuclear. Reducing them to one BW movement reduced what we saw as an OP effect but still left them VERY effective in support.

                                That completes the changes we have made so far. We still have some discussion ongoing re "prepared" but that may be an inability on our part to "visualise" what it represents. The only other is advance after contact. Several players are unhappy that they can't roll up a flank in one turn but this one will need a LOT of talking about   ;D  ;D ;D

                                I really must reinforce the statement that making house rules CHANGE THE GAME and should not be attempted until you have played a lot of games, understand the effect of what you are doing, discuss it fully within your group and if necessary goto the official Blucher forum and discover what Sam's original thinking was! For instance in our games we very rarely see massed foot artillery. Massed batteries are heavy or mobile which to us appears "correct".

                                In conclusion Blucher is a great game system however once you buy the rule book they become YOUR rules. You bought them and paid for them. If you aren't happy with something, change it but be aware of the path you follow. It's your rules, your game, just enjoy it.


  1. "If you aren't happy with something, change it but be aware of the path you follow. It's your rules, your game, just enjoy it."

    I couldn't agree more Robert.

    1. Aye you can get as into this hobby as far as you like but we must never forget we are playing toy soldiers. Very nicely painted they may be but that doesn't change the fact they are toy soldiers. Playing is meant to relieve stress so if your rules don't fit into that scenario change em

  2. Very good suggestions! As we have just started playing Blücher here in Amsterdam, we'll play the rules as is for a while. I'll remember your ideas, though!