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Napoleon's Last Battles

Standard Rules
for the games
Ligny, Quatre Bras, Wavre, La Belle Alliance

Copyright © Decision Games 2009


[1.0] Introduction

[1.1] The Subject of the Game

Napoleon's Last Battles is an operational level simulation of the battles which comprised the Campaign of 1815 in Belgium, which was the culmination of Napoleon's brief, hundred-day reign after his return from exile on the island of Elba. The four battles are Ligny, Quatre Bras, Wavre and Waterloo.

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[1.2] How the Game is Organized

This rules booklet actually applies to five different games: the four battle games (Quatre Bras, Ligny, Wavre and La Belle Alliance) and the Campaign Game.


The Rules for the game are divided into Major Sections, which are arranged in the order in which they are used in a complete Turn of the game. Each Major Section is numbered with a whole number (e.g., 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc.). The Major Sections lead off with a General Rule, which is a simple summary of the rules in that section.


Players new to conflict simulations should examine all the main components of the game before reading any further in the rules. Examine the charts and tables, the playing pieces and the map.


The complete rules to the game, presented as rigorous positive statements, are contained in the General Rules, Procedures and Primary Cases (e.g., 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, etc.). Players should first read through these, skipping over the secondary cases (e.g., 5.11, 5.12, 5.13, etc.). If any confusion arises concerning intent or interpretation, go back and read the pertinent secondary cases under the topic heading concerned (the index may be used to find the right section).


Players should be sure that they are familiar with all the aspects of at least one of the individual games before attempting the more complicated Campaign Game.

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[2.0] General Course of Play

Each game is primarily intended for two Players, although they can be played solitaire, and the Campaign Game is well suited to multi-Player use. One Player assumes the command of the French Armies, and the other Player assumes the command of the Prussian and! or Anglo-Allied Armies.

During his Turn, each Player may move his units, by expending Movement Points from their total Movement Allowance for each hex entered; after which he may conduct attacks, by comparing the total Combat Strength of all units in an attack with the Strength of the units being attacked, and rolling the die to determine the outcome of each attack.

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[3.0] Game Equipment

[3.1] The Game Map


A hexagonal grid is superimposed over the terrain features printed on the map in order to regularize movement and positioning of the playing pieces..

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[3.2] Game Charts and Tables

Various visual aids are provided for the Players in order to simplify and illustrate certain game functions. These are the Terrain Effects Chart, the Combat Results Table, and the Turn Record Track.

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[3.3] The Playing Pieces

The cardboard pieces represent the actual military units that took part in the original battle. The numbers and symbols on the pieces represent the strength, movement capability and type of unit represented by that piece. These playing pieces will hereafter be referred to as 'units.'

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[3.4] How to Read the Units

[3.42] Definition of Terms

Combat Strength is the relative strength of a unit when attacking and defending, expressed in terms of Combat Strength Points.

Reduced Strength (reverse side) of a unit is shown for some units in the initial deployment at the start of the game; in the Campaign Game, eliminated units which are subsequently reorganized show their Reduced Strength side.

Movement Allowance is the maximum number of Clear terrain hexes that a unit may be moved in a single Movement Phase, expressed in Movement Points. More than one Movement Point may be expended for certain hexes.

Designation is Brigade commander's name or Regiment's name.

Command Designation is to the right of the slash in two part designations; to the left is the division i.d.

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[3.5] Game Scale

Each hexagon on the map represents 480 meters of real terrain from side to side. Each Strength Point represents between 350 and 750 men, or one battery of artillery. The Game Turns are hourly, for the most part, as indicated on the Turn Record Track.

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[4.0] Sequence of Play

The game is played in successive Game Turns composed of alternate Player Turns. During each Player Turn, the Player maneuvers his units and resolves combat in sequence, according to the following outline, and within the limits provided by the rules which follow. At the conclusion of the final Game Turn, the Victory Conditions are consulted and a winner is determined.

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[4.1] Sequence Outline

The Game Turn is divided into a French Player Turn and a Prussian and! or Anglo-Allied Player Turn. The Player whose Player Turn is currently in progress is termed the Phasing Player. The activity which may take place during each Phase is outlined below.

1. French Player Turn

A. Movement Phase. The Phasing Player may move all, some or none of his units as he desires within the

limits and restrictions of the rules of Movement. The Phasing Player may bring reinforcement units onto the map as allotted by the Turn Record Track and the Reinforcement rules. The non-Phasing Player's units may not move.

B. Combat Phase. The Phasing Player uses his units to attack the non-Phasing Player's units according to the rules of Combat and Artillery. During this Phase, neither Player may move his units except when called for as a result of the Combat Resolution procedure.

2. Prussian or Anglo-Allied Player Turn

The Prussian and/or Anglo-Allied Player now becomes the Phasing Player and accomplishes movement and combat in the manner and sequence described above.

3. Game Turn Record inter-Phase

The Game Turn Marker should begin the game on the Turn Record Track in the space marked 'Begin Battle' if the battle game is being played, or 'Begin Campaign' (in both tracks) if the Campaign Game is being played. At the end of each Game Turn, the Game Turn Marker should be advanced one space to mark the passage of one Game Turn and signal the start of another.

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[5.0] Movement

During the Movement Phase, the Phasing Player may move as many or as few of his units as he desires. They may be moved in any direction or combination of directions.

PROCEDURE: Units are moved one at a time, tracing a path of contiguous hexes through the hex grid. As a unit enters each hex, it must pay one or more Movement Points from its total Movement Allowance.

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[5.1] Movement Limitations

The number of Movement Points which may be expended by a unit during a single Movement Phase may not exceed the unit's Movement Allowance.


Movement may never take place out of sequence. A Player's units may be moved during his own Movement Phase. During the Combat Phase, a unit which is either attacking or defending may be called upon to advance or retreat after its combat is resolved. During the Enemy Player's Movement Phase, and during both Players' Combat Phases, except when advancing or retreating as a result of combat, Friendly units must not be moved.


No combat takes place during the Movement Phase. Once a Player has begun to resolve combat, and has thrown the die, he has irreversibly initiated the Combat Phase.


A unit may expend any portion of the Movement Allowance, but unused Movement Points may not be accumulated until another Movement Phase or transferred to another unit.


Movement from hex to hex must be consecutive; that is to say, a unit may not skip hexes.


Once a unit has been moved, and the Player's hand is taken from the piece, it may not be moved any further during that Movement Phase, nor may it change its move without the consent of the opposing Player.

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[5.2] Effects of Terrain on Movement

The basic Movement Point cost is one Movement Point per hex. The cost to enter certain hexes and/or cross certain hexsides may be more or less than one MP, as shown on the Terrain Effects Chart.


A unit which moves from one Road hex directly into an adjacent Road hex through a Road hexside expends only 1/2 of a Movement Point, regardless of other terrain in the hex.


A unit which moves from one Trail hex directly into an adjacent Trail hex through a Trail hexside expends only one Movement Point, regardless of other terrain in the hex.


Units may cross River hexsides only by moving through a Bridge hex-side. There is no additional cost for moving through a Bridge hexside.


Units may cross Stream hexsides. Movement through a Stream hexside costs two additional Movement Points. Example: If an infantry unit moves through a Stream hexside into a Forest hex the cost is four Movement Points.

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[5.3] Stacking Friendly Units

A maximum of two Friendly units may be stacked in a single hex at the end of any Phase.


A Friendly unit may move through hexes occupied by other Friendly units. There is no additional cost for entering a Friendly-occupied hex.


There is no limit to the number of Friendly units which may pass through a single hex in one Movement Phase.


Friendly-controlled hexes never inhibit the movement of Friendly units.

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[5.4] Zones of Control

The six hexagons immediately surrounding a hex constitute the Zone of Control of any units in that hex. A unit may never exit an Enemy controlled hex during any Movement Phase. Zones of Control never extend through non Bridge River hexsides or into Chateau hexes.


All units exert a Zone of Control throughout the Game Turn, regardless of the Phase or Player Turn. The presence of Zones of Control is never negated by units, Enemy or Friendly.


Units do not pay any additional Movement Points to enter an Enemy controlled hex.


There are only two ways to exit a hex in an Enemy Zone of Control: Either by retreat or advance as a result of combat, or by removal of the Enemy unit exerting the Zone of Control as a result of combat.


Obviously, if a given unit is in an Enemy controlled hex, the Enemy unit is also in its controlled hex. The two units are equally and mutually affected.


If there is an Enemy and Friendly Zone of Control exerted over the same hex, both Zones coexist, and that hex is mutually controlled by both Players. There is no additional effect from having more than one unit exerting Zones of Control onto a single hex.

[5.5] Night & Rain Game Turns

Units may not enter Enemy controlled hexes during Night or Rain Game Turns, nor may units already in Enemy controlled hexes exit them.

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[5.6] Terrain Effects Chart


Terrain Effects are cumulative for movement purposes, but not for combat purposes. Thus, to enter a Forest hex through a Stream hexside costs four Movement Points. A unit in a Chateau hex which is attacked through a Stream hexside is merely tripled.


Forest. Town and Chateau hexes and Crest hexsides are the only types of terrain which block artillery bombardment Line of Sight. (see 8.3)

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[6.0] Exiting the Map

A Player may exit his units from the map at specified hexes only. To exit the map. a unit must expend a number of Movement Points equivalent to the cost for entering the imaginary hex off-map identical to the hex it exits from.

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[6.1] Restrictions


An exited unit is removed from play and may never return to the game.


Units exited off the map may count toward the Owning Player's Victory Point total. They are not considered eliminated units for Victory Point purposes.


No unit may exit the map in fulfillment of a retreat as a result of combat. If a unit is forced to retreat due to combat, it may not exit the map; it is eliminated instead.


A unit may exit from a hex regardless of the number of Enemy or Friendly units which exited from the same hex previously.

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[7.0] Combat

All Enemy units that have Friendly units in their Zones of Control must be attacked by the Friendly (Phasing) Player's units in the Combat Phase. Artillery units (8.0) are the only units which may attack units to which they are not adjacent. The Phasing Player is termed the Attacker; the other Player is the Defender, regardless of the overall situation.

PROCEDURE: The attacker totals the Combat Strengths of all the units attacking a given hex and compares the total to the total Combat Strengths of the defending units in the hex under attack. The comparison is expressed as a ratio between attacking and defending Strength Points (attacking Strength Points divided by defending Strength Points) and is simplified by rounding down to one of the odds ratios on the Combat Results Table. Example: If thirteen Strength Points were attacking four, the combat odds ratio would be 3.25 to 1, rounded off (always in favor of the defender) to three to one.

Having determined the actual combat odds. the computer rolls the attackers die. The result indicates a line on the Combat Results Table (7.7), which is cross indexed with the column representing the combat odds. The intersection of line and column yields a combat result. This should be immediately applied to the involved units, before going on to resolve any other combat. Separate combats may be resolved in any order that the attacker wishes, so long as all combats are resolved during that Combat Phase.

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[7.1] Which Units Attack

No unit may attack more than once per Combat Phase, and no Enemy unit may be attacked more than once per Combat Phase.


All of the Phasing Player's units which end the Movement Phase in an Enemy controlled hex must attack some Enemy unit during the ensuing Combat Phase. The Phasing Player may choose which attacking units will attack each defending unit as long as all adjacent Friendly units participate in an attack.


An Enemy controlled hex may be attacked by as many units as can be brought to bear in the six adjacent hexes, and by as many artillery units as are within range.


Units may only attack when adjacent to the defending unit (except artillery, which may make bombardment attacks; See 8.1).

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[7.2] Multiple Unit and Multi-hex Combat

All units in a given hex must attack or defend as a single Strength; the Strength of all the units in the hex is totaled. A single attack may involve any number of attacking or defending units on different hexes. To be resolved as a ingle combat, all the attacking units must be adjacent to all the defending units, with the exception of (nonadjacent) bombarding artillery units.


The defender may not withhold a unit in a hex under attack. The attacker must attack all the units in a stack together. Different units in a given hex may not be attacked separately.


If more than one attacking unit is in a given hex, these units must be used as an integral Combat Strength. They may not be used in separate attacks.


Combat Strength Unit: given unit's Combat Strength is always unitary. It may not be divided among different combats either in attacking or defending.


If a Phasing Player's unit is in the Zone of Control of more than one Enemy unit, it must attack all those adjacent Enemy units which are not engaged by some other attacking unit.


Units in two or more different hexes may combine their Combat Strengths and attack a single hex.


Diversionary Attacks: unit may make attacks at poor odds in order that adjacent attacks against other defenders may be made at higher odds (by allotting most of the attacking force to the major objective). These attacks are known as 'Diversionary' or 'Holding' Attacks.

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[7.3] Effects of Terrain

A unit defending in certain types of terrain may have its Combat Strength increased by a multiple of its original Strength. When halving strengths, round fractions up.


Example: A unit with a Combat Strength of '5' would defend in a Town hex at an effective Strength of '10.'


When halving strengths, round fractions up. Example - Cavalry unit with a combat strength of '5' would defend in a Marsh hex at an effective Strength of '3.'

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[7.4] Retreating as a Result of Combat

When the Combat Result requires that a Player's units be retreated, the owning Player must immediately move those units one hex so that they are no longer in an Enemy controlled or occupied hex. If no hex is open to retreat into, he unit is eliminated (but see 7.6). Two units in the same hex may retreat into two different hexes.


The owning Player may decide the direction that each of his retreating units moves.


A retreating unit may not retreat into a prohibited hex, cross a prohibited hexside, or enter an enemy controlled hex.


A retreating unit may enter a vacant hex (within the restrictions of 7.42) or it may stack with some other Friendly unit (within the Stacking Restrictions) so long as the unit it stacks with is not in an Enemy controlled hex.


If a unit is retreated into a Friendly hex which is subsequently attacked by artillery bombardment. The already retreated unit does not contribute its Combat Strength to the defense (see 7.1), but it does suffer the result of the attack.

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[7.5] Advancing as a Result of Combat

Whenever a hex is vacated as a result of Combat, one victorious unit adjacent to that hex which participated in that combat may advance into the vacated hex. This advance may be made regardless of Enemy Zones of Control. The option to advance must be exercised immediately, before any other combat resolution.


A unit is never forced to advance. A unit may never advance more than one hex as a result of combat.


After advancing, units may neither attack nor be attacked that Phase (see 7.1), even if their advance places them next to Enemy units whose battles are yet to be resolved, or who were not involved in combat. However, advances are useful in cutting off the retreat of Enemy units whose combat has not yet been resolved.


Only one victorious unit may advance into a vacated hex. If two hexes are vacated as a result of a single combat, the victorious Player may still advance only one unit.

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[7.6] Displacement

If the only hex available to the retreating unit is one which it could not normally move into because of stacking restrictions, then one of the units in the hex must be displaced. The displaced unit is moved back by the owning Player (as if it were retreating as a result of Combat) and its position is taken by the retreating unit.


The displaced unit itself may not be forced into Enemy controlled hexes or other prohibited hexes. One retreating unit displaces only one unit in a stack; two retreating units displace two.


If the displacement would cause any of the displaced units to be eliminated, the retreating unit is instead eliminated. Displaced units can themselves displace other Friendly units in a sort of chain reaction of displacement, if that is the only permitted path of displacement open to them.


A unit may be displaced more than once per Combat Phase, if that is the only alternative. Units may not displace other Friendly units if they have other paths of retreat open to them.


Displaced artillery units which have not yet engaged in combat, may not fire during that Combat Phase.

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[7.7] Combat Results Table

(See game charts)

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[7.8] Explanation of Combat Results

Attacks executed at greater than '6-1' are treated as '6-1;' attacks executed at worse than '1-5' are treated as '1-5.' Prior to the resolution of any attack, the attacking Player may announce that he wishes to reduce the combat odds of that attack.


He incurs no responsibility or penalty by doing this, but he may not change his mind subsequent to the die roll.


Example: An attack is computed to be a '5-1' attack. The Player announces that he desires a '3-1' attack, and resolves it using that column. Players may wish to do this to avoid excess casualties through exchanges, or to attempt to retreat Friendly units.

[7.83] Explanation of Combat Results

Ae=Attacker Eliminated. All attacking units are eliminated (removed from the map).

De=Defender Eliminated. All defending units are eliminated.

Ex=Exchange. All defending units are eliminated. The Attacking Player must eliminate attacking units whose total, printed (face value) Combat Strengths at least equal the total printed Combat Strengths of the eliminated defending units. Only units which participated in a particular attack may be so eliminated.

Ar=Attacker Retreat. All attacking units must retreat one hex (see 7.4).

Dr=Defender Retreat. All defending units must retreat one hex.

[7.9] Night & Rain Game Turns

There is no Combat Phase during a Night or Rain Game Turn; no combat of any kind is allowed during a Night or Rain Game Turn.


Night and Rain Game Turns have no Combat Phase. Opposing adjacent units do not engage in combat; they simply remain in place. Artillery units may not bombard during Night or Rain Game Turns.

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[8.0] Artillery

Unlike infantry and cavalry units, artillery units may participate in attacks by bombarding the defending unit. Artillery bombards a unit from two hexes distant. Artillery units must participate in combat when in the Zone of Control of opposing units. In other words, artillery may participate in two types of attacks, depending on their distance from the defending unit.

PROCEDURE: Determine the odds of the attack in exactly the same fashion as any other attack. All results are applied in the same fashion, except that bombarding artillery units (i.e., units firing from a nonadjacent hex) are not affected by combat results.

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[8.1] Bombardment Attacks

A bombardment attack is an attack by an artillery unit against an Enemy unit which is not in its Zone of Control. Artillery units may only attack a single Enemy occupied hex when bombarding, except when making a combined attack with infantry or cavalry.


Artillery units may attack nonadjacent Enemy units, up to two hexes distant, but they are never forced to attack an Enemy unit merely because it is in range.


Range from the bombarding artillery unit to the target hex is counted by including the target hex, but not the bombarding units hex.


If two artillery units in the same hex are bombarding, they must both bombard the same hex.


Artillery attacking from a nonadjacent hex (that is, bombarding) suffer no Combat Results; they are never destroyed or retreated as a result of their own attacks.


Thus, if an 'Exchange' were the result in an attack solely by bombarding artillery, the defending unit would be eliminated, but the bombarding units would not be affected. Of course, other units cooperating with the bombarding artillery units from an adjacent position (including adjacent artillery units) would be affected by Combat Results, and they would suffer the effects of an 'Exchange' result.


Bombarding artillery may voluntarily elect to suffer 'Attacker Retreat' if it is the Combat Result.

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[8.2] Combined Attacks

Artillery units may attack alone or in concert with any Friendly units, adding their bombarding Combat Strength to the attack. If Friendly units are attacking Enemy units in more than one hex, the bombarding artillery units need only be within range of one of the defending hexes to add their Combat Strengths to the attack.


When making a combined attack with bombarding artillery units, infantry, cavalry and adjacent artillery units always suffer all Combat Results, though bombarding artillery units do not.

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[8.3] Line of Sight

If any of the hexes or hexsides intervening between the bombarding hex and the target hex is Blocking terrain, the Line of Sight is said to be blocked, and the target hex may not be bombarded by that artillery unit. The terrain in a bombarding unit's hex and in the target hex does not block the Line of Sight. Forest, Chateau and Town hexes and Crest hexsides are the only Blocking terrain.


If a straight line between the centers of the bombarding and target hexes is congruent to a hexside, the target may not be bombarded if:

1) the hexside is a Crest; and/or

2) both hexes adjacent to that hexside are blocking terrain.


If the Line of Sight passes through the juncture of two or more blocked hexsides or the juncture of a Blocking terrain hexside and a Blocking terrain hex, the Line of Sight is blocked.


Blocking hexsides block all bombardment attacks, even if the blocking hexside forms part of the bombarding unit's hex and/or the target unit's hex.


Example: Each hex is labeled as to whether artillery bombardment from that hex against the target hex is possible.

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[8.4] Adjacent Attacks

When in the Zone of Control of an Enemy unit, artillery units must participate in an attack against adjacent Enemy units.


When an artillery unit is in an Enemy controlled hex, it is treated like an infantry or cavalry unit, and may not bombard.


When attacking from a controlled hex, artillery units may attack as many units as they are adjacent to, but may not attack nonadjacent units.


Artillery units attacking from an enemy controlled hex must suffer all the Combat Results of their attacks.


Blocking terrain (see 8.3) does not relieve an artillery unit from the necessity of making adjacent attacks.


Although normal combat is not permitted across an un-bridged River hexside, an artillery unit may attack any Enemy unit within range across such a hexside according to the Bombardment Attack rules (8.1).

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[8.5] Defense

Artillery units may never add their Combat Strength to another unit's defensive value by bombardment.


When artillery units are themselves attacked, they suffer all Combat Results in the same manner as other units, even when bombarded by Enemy artillery units.

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[9.0] Reinforcements

Both Players receive reinforcements according to the Reinforcement Track. These enter (are physically placed) on the map in the appropriate hex. The reinforcing units arrive paying the normal terrain cost for the entry hex (including Road and Trail bonus) during the Player's Movement Phase of the Game Turn indicated. The owning Player may determine the exact order of arrival when he moves reinforcements onto the map and may delay reinforcements until later game turns.

PROCEDURE: The Player should visualize the reinforcements as a column of units entering the map from a chain of hexes off-map, so that the first stack brought onto the map expends one Movement Point entering the entry hex, the second stack expends two Movement Points, the third expends three Movement Points, etc.

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[9.1] Entering the Map


The owning Player may enter his reinforcements on the map at any point during his Movement Phase.


Once a unit has entered the map, it may move and attack freely, just as any other unit already present.


Reinforcing units may arrive stacked.


Reinforcements blocked by Enemy units or Zones of Control may enter by the closest open board edge hex.

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[10.0] Chateaux

The Chateaux (walled-farms) were basically small fortresses that dotted the Belgian landscape. If occupied by detachments of infantry these positions are extremely powerful.

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[10.1] Effects on Zones of Control

Units in Chateaux are not required to attack adjacent Enemy units, but if they elect to attack, all adjacent Enemy units must be attacked.


Zones of Control extend out of Chateau at all times. Units adjacent to Chateau hexes must always attack enemy units therein.

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[10.2] Effects on Stacking

No stacking is permitted in Chateau hexes; only one unit per Chateau at the end of any Phase.

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[10.3] Effects on Combat

Attacks on infantry units (only) in Chateaux:

a) Are resolved on the '4-1' odds column if made at '4-1' or greater.

b) Treat Dr results as 'No Effect.' Infantry units do not receive these benefits if they are demoralized.


Infantry units in Chateau hexes are affected only by 'Exchange' and 'Elimination' (Ae or De) results. Artillery and cavalry units do not receive these benefits.

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[10.4] Effects on Bombardment

Artillery units may never bombard into a Chateau hex.

[10.5] Effects on Advance & Retreat

Units may never advance after combat into Chateaux, or retreat into occupied Chateaux.


Units may not be displaced out of Chateau hexes to facilitate the retreat of Friendly units.

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[11.0] Demoralization

Demoralization represents the cumulative effect of combat losses on an army's morale. Units of a demoralized army lose their ability to advance after combat for the remainder of the battle game being played (or, in the Campaign Game, until their Corps or Nationality is un-demoralized).

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[11.1] Demoralization Levels

The individual game rules list Demoralization Levels for each force in each game.

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[11.2] Occurrence of Demoralization

An army is demoralized when the total, in Combat Strength Points, of all its units destroyed (known as the Casualty Level), reaches or exceeds its Demoralization Level.


Either both or all armies in any game may be demoralized. An army is not prevented from becoming demoralized by simple virtue of another army's becoming demoralized. However, it is possible that one army's demoralization level may increase due to an opposing army's demoralization.


If both Players' armies reach, or exceed, their respective Demoralization Levels at the same instant (possible in an 'Exchange' result), the non-Phasing Player is considered to have been demoralized first.

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[13.0] Victory Conditions

At the end of the game, the number of Points is totaled for each Player, and the Player with the highest number of Points is awarded a victory unless otherwise specified in the scenario conditions. Reinforcements that have not entered the map are not counted in the Victory Point totals.

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[13.1] Occupation

Occupation is defined as having a Friendly unit physically on the hex in question or having been the last to have moved a Friendly unit onto the hex in question.


The occupation definition can be met by moving a Friendly unit through the hex in question.

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[13.2] Automatic Victory

If the French Army is demoralized, or if the Anglo-Allied or Prussian Army is disintegrated in any battle game, the opposing Player achieves an automatic victory.

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