Strategy - The Big Picture
While the tactics section below deals with points applicable in almost all games
this section focuses specifically on the problem facing the French commander at
the beginning of the battle because:
weaknesses in the game's AI mean that the computer defends better than it
attacks, making it more of a challenge to be the French
players will probably find it more interesting to probe, attack and take ground
than to sit and wait for things to happen
The most challenging scenario is Kutuzov Turns To Fight (Scenario 7) in which
you, as the French commander, have full control over the release times for your
units, including your cavalry and other reserves and most crucially the Imperial
Guard, released too late into the real battle. Equally your opponent, player or
AI, can order the full weight of his defenders into the fray at any time and at
The Map can be divided into four main fronts:
From North to South:
Area 1 - Borodino village, ford and bridge, with the Novoe and Maloe fords to
Area 2 - The Great Redoubt, with Gorkii and Tatarinovo villages to the rear
Area 3 - The Bagration Fleches, with Semyonovskoe to the rear
Area 4 - Utitsa, with Utitsa mound to the rear
We will look at each area, examining the crucial ground, disposition of forces,
Russian weak points and problems facing the French advance. To assist in command
control it is recommended that Corps be allocated to one area only, as fighting
tends to concentrate around a few main points. Splitting Corps forces across
boundaries tends to leave them pulled further and further apart. The one
exception is Eugene's IV Corps, who so outnumber their opponents that some
forces, notably artillery, can and should be spared to move into Area 2 and
assist in the attack on the Great Redoubt.
Thereafter we will look at a recommended overall strategy to win the battle.
As the in game maps, the paper maps and other material all use different
I will use the standard transcriptions from the Cyrillic in the hope that most
people will be able to identify the villages and other geographical features
named. Please remember that pressing SHIFT in game will bring up the names of
Area 1 - Borodino village, ford and bridge, with the Novoe and Maloe fords to
At the beginning of the scenario the French IV Corps is north of the river with
thousands of troops, French, Croatian and Italian. Facing them are three
skirmishers and a horse named Ivan. You have, in a nutshell, too many men for
job. It is simply not possible to get all your men in contact with the defenders
of Borodino. You therefore need to think what you do with the surplus.
The two threats to you, both relatively minor, come from the Borodino bridge and
from Russian crossing at the Novoe ford to the East, the latter unlikely if
playing against the AI but possible if you are facing an aggressive human
opponent willing to commit a few cavalry units to unsettling you. Unlike the
French the Russians can take the riverside road, so expect them to arrive fairly
soon. You can remove an element of uncertainty by destroying the bridge in
but it hampers an attack along the ridge to Gorkii later in the game.
I recommend leaving half your forces in Borodino and pushing most of the rest
across the eastern ford marked by the 1 to assist in the attack on the Redoubt,
especially given that it is one of the few routes for artillery and cavalry to
take to Area 2. Click here to see more about the Fords. You may wish to send a
couple of units to Maloe to unsettle the defender in the hope of pinning his
reserves. See 4 below.
Borodino village is held by light infantry who have broken down into skirmisher
units. Ranged fire doesn't do much to shift them, so after dropping in some
artillery in the hope of disordering the defenders it is simply a matter of
getting in there with enough bayonets to win the melee. It helps if you can
encircle the village, which exerts more ZOC, increasing Russian melee losses as
well as hindering attempts at reinforcement across the bridge.
Once the village it taken set artillery up on its southern edge and start
engaging units on the south bank of the Kolocha in the hope of supporting the
attack on the Redoubt and attracting the attention of the Russian gunners on the
hill. It may help if you send a battalion or two across the bridge - if you are
playing against the AI this will be enough to distract it! Even a human player
may be tempted to leave prepared positions to counterattack. In the later stages
of the game, once the French have taken the Redoubt and beaten off the
counterattack and are ready to move forward Borodino and its bridge provide a
valuable start line for the attack on Gorkii.
It is a long way from Borodino to the next crossing points of the Kolocha, the
fords at Novoe and Maloe villages, but they can be reached. The Novoe Ford is
defended by lots of Russians, but Maloe Ford is worth a look. As long as you
out of the way of the Russian artillery by not taking the riverside road it may
be worth sending a brigade with some cavalry all that way for the satisfaction
having units in the Russian rear. It hampers the Russian's freedom to move his
reserves and provides an element of uncertainty in the Russian commander's mind
when fog of war is in effect.
Area 2 - The Great Redoubt, with Gorkii and Tatarinovo villages to the rear
The main geographical disadvantage facing the French in Area 2 is the wood
visible on the left of the picture. Unless it is outflanked it leaves infantry
who have penetrated it and overcome the skirmishers along the Semyonovka stream
the task of crossing an awful lot of open ground under heavy fire without
and artillery support of their own. It is just possible for massed infantry to
take the Great Redoubt alone when playing against the AI but fatigued and low on
ammunition they can be swept away by the inevitable counterattack.
Control of the Fords is therefore one of the keys to Area 2. There are too many
French troops north of the river and the eastern ford allows them to cross and
attack the Great Redoubt head on, without doubling back over the bridges to the
rear. The Ford allows cavalry, artillery and fresh infantry to pour across to
take the Redoubt and defeat the counterattack.
The southern side of the Ford is held by skirmishers, very difficult to shift
with ranged fire. A charge by cavalry crossing the Semyonovka stream will do it
easily. Click here for a picture showing how it's done. The French must control
this small but vital area.
The capture of Borodino is for troops in Area 1 from Prince Eugene's IV Corps.
Having captured it they must hold the bridge against the Russian reinforcements
and so hold the French left flank. This is not a great challenge. However they
can also greatly assist the attack on the Great Redoubt by the troops in Area 2
if they occupy the artillery on the high ground just south of Borodino,
essentially by firing at them and giving them something to shoot at. If the
artillery insists on pointing towards the attack on the Redoubt then make the
best of it by sending a couple of battalions across the river and giving the
Russians something else to worry about.
You can expect a counterattack while your troops are on the open ground and had
best make sure you have the artillery and cavalry up there with you to fight it
off. As they can't come through the woods they will have had to come through the
Fleches and Semyonovskoe (Area 3) so click here for further details.
The Redoubt is held by artillery and infantry and has lots more of both in
reserve. For some reason the AI prefers to let you capture it then
A human opponent will probably counterattack before you get anywhere near it. It
is undoubtedly the prime artillery position on the map, given the high ground
protected hexsides. Whenever the counterattack arrives you want to make sure you
are protected by artillery you have moved up close behind your infantry. Why
a prime site like this and let it go to waste? It is where the artillery
from Area 1 has to go, as those from Area 3 will be bogged down around
Semyonovskoe fighting (probably) a tough defence.
Area 3 - The Bagration Fleches, with Semyonovskoe to the rear
At first sight the Fleches look pretty intimidating but if playing against the
that need not be the case. The AI's main weakness is that it stacks less than
infantry with the Fleche batteries. A few artillery shells amongst them and the
front positions can be meleed and won, after which it is simply a matter of
Against a human player, however, things can become more difficult. If the
defender squares the troops on the flanks of the position, exerting greater ZOC
to prevent the position being outflanked and changes the infantry in the centre
to line formation to add firepower things can get difficult. The Russian player
should concentrate his artillery fire on the advancing infantry columns and
ensure the bypass is blocked with whatever spare troops or reserves one can
If the French player neglects to use it himself the Russians can send a couple
Battalions along the trail to appear on the right flank of the French attack on
In this case the French player needs to make sure he has his guns properly sited
before the attack proper begins. This includes getting guns immediately to the
front of the Fleches, taking the bypass if poorly defended and getting guns to
the area shown by 3.
The Bypass: the ground to the front of the Fleches contains steep embankments,
which disorder cavalry and are impassable to artillery and supply wagons. This
makes progress difficult if all these units have to thread up the Fleches
the few available channels, especially given that these are likely to be blocked
by infantry. You can, however, take these forces through the bypass, a forest
trail which gives onto the rear of the Fleches and onto elevated ground with
fields of fire. The trail can be cleared by a few infantry and cavalry, then get
the guns up there to dominate the area.
Another good artillery position, the west bank of the Semyonovka and Kamenka
streams is accessible through narrow woods at this point and offers guns fire
onto Semyonovskoe village, the rear of the Fleches and the spur of land to the
immediate front of the position. It is tempting to keep the guns in their
starting position behind the wood, but the movement will increase results as
range decreases and provide a continuing opportunity for fire as the battle
You need to get troops into Semyonovskoe quickly to silence those guns on the
hill. If not they will hammer away at your victorious troops on the Fleches and
severely disrupt your chances of further dynamic advance. The big danger comes,
however, if emboldened by your success you allow your troops in Semyonovskoe to
press on across the open ground. You want some support for that.
The picture below shows the open ground immediately to the east of Semyonovskoe
and shows a Russian counterattack as shown by the green arrows in the picture
above, with Russian infantry reserves on the lower ground. Because the French
player has moved too fast he has left his infantry very exposed. While the
artillery and cavalry are still in the Fleches area, French infantry on the open
ground, disordered by ranged fire and unable to change from column formation,
easy pickings for charging Russian cavalry. It is still only 07.45 am and the
infantry should have held their ground in Semyonovskoe and waited for back-up.
Area 4 - Utitsa, with Utitsa mound to the rear
The Area 4 battle around Utitsa is fairly straightforward in that it is
geographically separated from the rest of the battlefield by a largely
impenetrable forest. The attack stands or falls by the forces each side bring to
bear here and no artillery balls will come hurtling from the flanks. It is here
therefore that an early commitment of French reserves (I prefer the Old Guard)
can drastically change the odds and turn the tide of the battle by turning the
Russian left flank. Most of us have played this battle before when we learnt the
game - this time we prefer to fight fair: at least 3 to 1.
Be aware that when holding the French right flank it extends a bit further than
you might think. There are Cossacks out there and Artemki (pronounced Artyomki)
is as good a place as any to fight them. As the forest road is already congested
send two battalions of infantry and some cavalry south down the trail to
remembering the Cossacks weak point - they cannot claim a charge bonus if the
units they are attacking are in good order. Go as far as Artemki then occupy and
defend the village, protecting the right flank and any disordered or routed
from the main Area 4 battle. By defending the village and making the Cossacks
come to your infantry then counterattacking and meleeing with your cavalry it
should be possible to win with inferior numbers of troops.
The main battle in Utitsa is, for the French, a question of getting all your
forces to the right place at the right time. Check especially the rules on road
movement. The skirmisher screen in front of the village can be brushed aside
melee. Take some time to recover from this and bring your artillery up to bear
the main positions. Advance and make sure your artillery occupy the favourable
ground shown by pink dashes in the picture. This allows fire into the main body
of Russian troops while still being screened by your own infantry. Keep cavalry
ready to charge and press ahead, largely with infantry in line formation given
that the enemy have few cavalry to trouble you with. If the enemy cossacks
haven't shown up then probe from Artemki and keep some spare cavalry close on
your right flank for protection.
It is largely a matter of taste as to whether you commit your reserves early. I
prefer to have them close behind the main body of troops, ready to exploit
breakthroughs. It does mean that it is more difficult to effect a rapid movement
to another area but I think reserves become less useful if they take five or six
turns to arrive where they are needed. I would suggest bringing the Old Guard
down here and holding them for an attack on the last line of Russian defence and
for exploitation into the open ground beyond.
If you have followed all of the above through carefully you will have gathered
the essence of the plan already:
There is not much to be gained in Area 1 - Borodino
There is not much movement to be had in Area 2 - Great Redoubt - because the
woods hamper artillery and cavalry support and the Redoubt is a very strong
Therefore commit as much strength as possible to Area 3 (Fleches) and Area 4
(Utitsa) in the hope of winning the French right flank battle quickly,
outflanking the Redoubt and getting French cavalry and artillery onto the
east of Semyonovskoe. Defeat the reserves then press the remaining Russians
against the Kolocha river.
Two last points:
Remember to reconnoitre. There is plenty of time. The Russians have units on the
map that you can't see and they are closer than you think. Get some light
squadrons and skirmishers up there before you move a whole Corps in stroll
formation. Remember too to check your flanks with a skirmisher screen. There is
lot of empty space to each flank.
Secondly, remember the value of psychological warfare. If you are playing as the
Russians you can stall a divisions advance by having cavalry appear in the south
near Artemki or to the north of Borodino. If there is dead ground nearby the
French will not know if it is a single unit or more. Put some units in the wood
between Areas 3 and 4. The French player is unlikely to find them and will be
disconcerted to find two good order infantry battalions to his rear. It might
take him several units and three or more turns before he is confident enough to
press forward again. If you are playing as the French there is value in a small
probe towards the Maloe Ford. It may let you know if he is coming the other way
and it may tie down troops he would otherwise commit at the crucial middle stage
of the battle.
This section deals with tips to improve play and points to be aware of that are
not fully covered in the manual. If anyone has any further suggestions, possibly
accompanied by small JPGs illustrating the point, these would be very welcome.
See also Credits below.
I will also include some matters that appear in the manual but are often
overlooked, such as parts of the disorder rules. Furthermore the nature of the
various headings means that several rules or pieces of information are included
under more than one heading.
Zone of Control
Zone of Control (ZOC) is extended by units (not artillery, supply wagons, lone
leaders or skirmishers) into the two hexes they face. This is different to the
threat zone exerted by units. A unit in square creates a Zone of Control in all
adjacent hexes. Moving into a ZOC of line, square or column infantry or of
cavalry or adjacent to a ? unknown unit marker reduces your unit's movement
points to zero. It is therefore important to change facing and/or formation
before moving into the ZOC and also to avoid being "caught" in unexpected ZOC.
Zones of Control are very useful in eliminating whole battalions. If you can
exert ZOC on every possible retreat hex during a melee, whether or not that hex
is occupied by enemy troops, your target battalion(s) in the melee will be
Just before coming into contact with the enemy, i.e. at 2 or 3 hexes range,
change into line formation (unless directly threatened by cavalry). You get
ranged fire bonuses and ranged fire protection. Once in contact with the enemy
there tends not to be much manoeuvre so the reduced movement rate doesn't matter
that much. Also once in contact with the enemy it is usually hard to change
formation as most units become disordered.
When changing formation remember to change the formation of all units in the hex
at the same time, otherwise there will be disorder.
Be very wary with line infantry facing artillery positions: if the artillery
fire through the front facing of the line infantry it can attack ALL line
infantry in that hex, more than offsetting the ranged fire protection enjoyed by
Sometimes it is useful to keep infantry on the flanks of the advance in column
formation to use their higher movement rate aid in the outflanking and
surrounding of enemy units.
If cavalry charge your line of infantry battalions, infantry units adjacent to
the one attacked can usually move and trap the cavalry with their ZOCs. Ranged
fire then destroys the enemy cavalry. Ranged fire is more effective against
cavalry than infantry, receiving a +2 modifier at 1 to 6 hexes range and a +1
modifier at 7 to 12 hexes.
Move your artillery as close to the enemy as possible, especially if that enemy
is in static defensive positions. Remember to go no closer than three hexes,
leaving you the ability to shoot at the target but leaving you (with very few
exceptions) out of range. Close range greatly increases the results on a massed
When manoeuvring stay out of your guns' line of fire to the target. It is easy
site two batteries with enfilade shots on a good target only to move an
unit in the way.
It is a good idea to plan the artillery positions for your attacks in advance.
There are a number of good positions offering elevation and field of fire
advantages at crucial stages of the battles, including Utitsa village and the
rises to its north and south, the area on the Eastern side of the wood just to
the south of the Fleches, Semyonovskoe village and the rise north of the river
west of Borodino (for supporting attacks on the Redoubt). Don't clog these areas
with infantry - allow your guns to get there, get set up and start firing.
Try to keep at least one battalion with your guns where possible, especially if
close to the enemy. A full battery usually has a melee strength of about 200 to
300, leaving it very vulnerable, especially to cavalry, who can close the
distance after the defensive fire round that would decimate an adjacent infantry
unit. This is not so important when playing against the AI, which normally
prefers to remain in the defensive positions and counterattack (often too late)
with reserves hidden in dead ground to the rear. However against a human
mounting an "aggressive defence" your attacking artillery can be easily lost.
Artillery is one of the biggest killers of your men and large hits will likely
cause routing. It is therefore worth making the enemy's guns a prime target, but
melee is the only way that can be described as very effective in attacking an
artillery position. Therefore if you can reach the enemy guns in a cavalry
or a burst of movement it may be worth firing your artillery at infantry in the
same hex as the problem guns. Good hits may significantly change the melee odds
in your favour and a successful melee will remove all enemy cannon in the hex.
Artillery can be used to damage and destroy an empty bridge. This is unlikely to
be of much practical benefit, especially to the French player. The Russian
may choose to destroy the Borodino bridge if pressed, allowing him to
on defending the fords.
If you are faced with multiple infantry units in line formation in the same hex
fire on them - artillery can attack ALL line formation infantry units if firing
through the front unit's front facing.
If playing as the Russian commander you may wish to consider splitting your
batteries into extended line, effectively allowing you to fire at two different
targets. This may be enough to kill, disorder or rout large numbers of advancing
French infantry, especially if in column.
When meleeing try to eliminate the opposing unit, especially by exerting ZOC
all possible retreat hexes. Click here for a fuller explanation.
Only one leader can affect a melee, increasing the attack/defence strength and
improving morale. Why risk more than one?
Losses against skirmishers are reduced by 80%
Unlimbered artillery forced by the melee result to retreat is eliminated
This (especially by cavalry charge) is the most effective way to attack
Infantry cannot initiate a melee against cavalry. This rule prevents the player
from using the turn system to diminish the dynamic power of cavalry but can be
abused, using "static cavalry " to greatly delay the capture of a position.
Melee can be used to damage and destroy an empty bridge. In practice this is
likely to be used only by the Russian player against the Borodino bridge.
Lancers and Heavy Cavalry attack +25%
Disordered Units attack -50%
Charging Units vs Skirmishers, Line or Column infantry, artillery attack value
Units that did not fire in preceding Offensive Fire phase +1 modifier
Cavalry attacking over unobstructed hexside +1 modifier
Units with low fatigue -1 modifier
Units with high fatigue -2 modifier
Units through any obstructed hexside - maximum modifier applies to all
Units with leader +1 modifier
Units attacking uphill -1 modifier
Enfilade melee +2 modifier
Lancers defend -25%
Routed Units defend -50%
Units with leader -1 modifier
The Actual Tables containing the probabilities of different results of ranged
fire can be found in Section 10 "Parameters" of the file NOTES.HLP (Windows Help
Format) in the NiR directory on your Hard Disk.
Infantry in column is reduced by 50% (Russians) and 66% (French)
Infantry in square is reduced by 75%
Disordered units is reduced by 50%
Units that moved in the movement phase of that player turn is reduced by 50%
High Quality Units (6+) - increase
Low Quality Units (2-) - reduction
Infantry in column or square is increased by 25%
Infantry in column or square BY ARTILLERY is increased 50%
Skirmishers is reduced by 75%
Cavalry at 1 to 6 hexes +2 modifier
Cavalry at 7 to 12 hexes +1 modifier
Why would you form a square? They have only 1/4 of the firepower of infantry in
They cannot be attacked enfilade
They exert ZOC in all adjacent hexes
They are the strongest defence against cavalry melee attacks, negating the
If you have to hold a position and think you have the odds against you it might
be worth squaring one or more infantry units on the objective (e.g. Utitsa Mound
hill top) before the enemy arrive and it becomes disordered and can no longer
change formation. It may just win enough time for reinforcements to arrive. It
also worth doing this with battalions stacked NEXT TO gun (artillery) positions,
to prevent melees resulting from cavalry charges from sweeping the guns away.
protection squares offer artillery (which is completely destroyed by melee
losses) more than offsets the relatively small increase in firepower that the
rifles can bring. Your cavalry can be kept a couple of hexes to the rear to
counterattack any disordered attackers.
In this example Russian artillery on the right is stacked with an infantry
square. This square exerts 360° of ZOC preventing the French units directly
it in the picture from moving along the road and deep into the Russian rear.
importantly the infantry's protection for the guns from the cavalry waiting in
the French rear is significantly increased. In the game the infantry lost the
ensuing melee badly but did NOT lose the position, meaning that the guns
survived. In the Russian movement phase that followed the French melee more
troops arrive to hold the ground. Note the French artillery in the village on
elevated ground, able to bring two batteries' worth of fire directly into play
close range, even though they are shielded by French infantry.
Squares cannot be formed in obstructed terrain, meaning all terrain except clear
or building hexes.
Opolochenye Militia Units and non-Jager Musket-armed Militia cannot form
This is worth remembering when you have taken the Fleches or Utitsa and see a
couple of thousand militia on the open ground to the rear. Send in the lancers!
A disordered unit has its attack strength and movement halved and receives a -1
morale check modifier
When cavalry and infantry exist in the same hex both will become disordered
When column and line infantry exist in the same hex both will become disordered
When skirmishers and cavalry exist in the same hex the skirmishers will become
disordered, as will cavalry if skirmishers > 250
Line infantry moving at night automatically become disordered
Skirmishers are a blessing and a bane. They are very resistant to ranged fire as
they employ open formations and make better use of cover than troops in column
etc. However they are useless at melee due to their low numbers and can be
completely eliminated by cavalry units during the charge phase before the
player even bother to melee. If the enemy has cavalry that can sweep across your
front or has lines of infantry in contact then skirmishers are a way of
presenting him with easy victory points.
So when do we use skirmishers?
To hold individual buildings and especially the Wolf Pits in front of the
Redoubt - skirmishers get a -2 protection bonus
To give advanced warning of enemy intentions - a thin screen far forward of a
defensive line gives good warning of the enemy's strengths and intentions
To see over that hill - if you are going to advance vulnerable units such as
infantry in column or limbered artillery over a rise send some skirmishers or,
better, a small cavalry squadron over first. Seen the enemy Guard and Cavalry
To protect our flanks - a flimsy screen, but if it hampers the movement of two
enemy battalions into our rear it may save hundreds of men from ZOC Rout
Enfilade fire is fire from the side and is especially powerful. It represents
fire with an element of surprise against unprepared defenders. If a unit is
on or meleed from an enfilade position and any casualties are caused there is a
good chance that the unit will rout as enfilade attacks cause a -2 modifier to
the morale check. Most units, especially if already fatigued and/or disordered
are at serious risk from enfilade attacks and the rout of one unit can easily
become a chain rout, leading to the capture of a position or the collapse of an
attack. In effect enfilade fire and melee attacks can be made against artillery,
line or column infantry and cavalry. They cannot be made against skirmishers or
Enfilade fire and melee attacks are the only ways for infantry and cavalry to
attack "second row" line infantry. Sometimes a defender will move a severely
damaged and fatigued battalion in line formation to the top of the stack, using
the game mechanism to allow these 50 men to artificially shield perhaps 1300
other defenders beneath from the fatigue and casualties resulting from ranged
fire attacks. Enfilade attacks can target all available units.
In addition to the effect on morale above, melee enfilade attacks are resolved
with a +2 modifier for the attacker.
Be open to opportunities presented - the cavalry get, in effect, two movement
phases and can be held back a bit behind the infantry to exploit weaknesses, for
example attacking and meleeing a defender that suffered heavily in your
In the example below the French are attacking the northern Fleche from the
Kamenka ravine and find a gun battery positioned with a single light infantry
battalion of 150 men. Although the area immediately behind the Fleche is packed
with Russian troops and there is no guarantee of success two French cavalry
are sent thundering up the hill and over the top into the Russian position. The
ensuing melee is won, the light infantry unit is forced to withdraw and the
Russian guns are destroyed. Immediately thereafter the Russian AI withdraws the
surrounding troops and the French have taken the guns, gained a foothold in the
Fleches and gained valuable objective and artillery victory points.
Cavalry are only really much use when not disordered. Disordered cavalry cannot
charge, have low movement rates and melee very ineffectively. Therefore pamper
shielding them with screening infantry units - this has the added bonus of
the cavalry at least one hex to move during the charge phase so gaining the
charge bonus during the melee phase. The AI will often attack the nearest units
only, and disordered infantry face less of a reduction in effectiveness than
avoiding the crossing of disrupting terrain, like steep hillsides, marshes and
streams, which result in the cavalry becoming disordered
saving the cavalry for effective charges/melees and for cutting off enemy units
and capturing vulnerable targets such as lone leaders and supply wagons
moving them in the movement phase into dead ground close to the target, leaving
them protected against the enemy's defensive fire, then sweeping up over the
ridge/slope during the charge phase.
For an explanation of a possible Cavalry Countercharges bug click here.
Remember to use the serious threat zone that cavalry produce out to six hexes
from their position, with the effect doubled at four hexes and quadrupled at
This threat zone can be utilised by keeping a cavalry unit behind attacking
infantry, hampering the defender's ability to change formation and affecting
Cavalry are very vulnerable to ranged fire, which receives a +2 modifier at 1 to
6 hexes and +1 at 7 to 12.
It should be remembered that cavalry must be in good order to begin the charge.
If they become disordered though crossing poor terrain they may nevertheless
continue the charge providing sufficient movement points remain. Becoming
disordered during the charge does not cut the movement allowance for that
Cavalry that has charged automatically becomes disordered at the end of the
charging player's turn.
Cavalry are especially useful against skirmishers in open ground (i.e. on clear
hexes crossing unobstructed hexsides). If the cavalry is twice as strong as the
skirmishers they have a 75% chance of completely overrunning and eliminating the
skirmishers. This is a good way to clear a line of skirmishers quickly. It is
almost as effective if you charge then use the Cavalry Can Continue to Melee
function (up to four times), although the skirmishers sometimes partially
if there are hexes to retreat to.
In the example below the French are trying to move a build-up of infantry from
Area 1 (Borodino) to Area 2 (the Great Redoubt) over the west Borodino ford.
were being prevented by a line of skirmishers on the south side of the Kolocha
river and ranged fire was not doing much to shift them beyond depleting
ammunition stocks. At this point three cavalry units arrived on the west bank of
the Semyonovka stream. The first charge of two units (see illustration) cleared
the skirmishers from the south bank in THREE successive successful melees. The
second charge combined with infantry (pink arrow) to attack another skirmisher
unit then meleed again to beat another one on the high ground it occupies in the
picture. Two cavalry charges had completely changed the tactical situation in
Before charging split your cavalry units into smaller groups (by using the
Skirmisher button) - it reduces the effect of counterfire following the melee,
allowing more to remain undisordered and so charge again sooner. It also allows
more creative use of ZOC, either to eliminate enemy units or to channel them in
A unit loses a fatigue point when it is fired at resulting in fatigue loss, when
it takes casualties or engages in melee
A unit with low fatigue has a -1 modifier to all morale checks, -2 with high
A unit has a chance of recovering fatigue if it has not moved, fired, been fired
at or engaged in melee for two player turns.
Any unit with a fatigue of 9 that loses another fatigue point takes a morale
It is important to keep leaders close to their units. You can find out who
belongs where by right-clicking the unit or leader in the unit listing at the
bottom of the screen. No command radii are given in the paper manual, so here
they are for Brigade and Divisional level.
Brigade commanders need to be within 3 (French) or 2 (Russian) hexes of their
units to exert their authority.
Divisional commanders need to be within 6 (French) or 4 (Russian) hexes to their
units to command.
It is not clear how the Corps or Army commanders (Napoleon, Kutuzov, Barclay de
Tolly and Bagration) function. It is likely that they exert extra command powers
on troops in a similar radius to that of divisional commanders.
To be resupplied a unit must be within 5 hexes of a supply wagon
The supply path must not cross impassable hexsides or pass adjacent to an enemy
Melee attacks by any troops, even 25 disordered skirmishers, automatically
in capture of that wagon
Resupply of Skirmishers is free - the S# of the wagon is not reduced
Players may instinctively wish to keep the supply wagon near their artillery -
this is pointless as artillery has its own independent supply mechanism. Keep
wagons near the infantry
Avoid wasting ammunition by firing at small groups of skirmishers - 25 or 50.
fire is very unlikely to have much impact and melee is much more effective. You
can get melee bonus modifiers by not firing in the previous offensive fire
Avoid firing if possible - it raises fatigue levels and brings the battalion
closer to maximum fatigue and regular morale checks. Fire at large groups of
enemy infantry to disorder them then get stuck in there with the numbers needed
to melee successfully. To hold a captured position (the computer loves to
counterattack, human opponents love it even more!) you will need your low
Disruptive terrain disorders some units passing through it. Other terrain may be
impassable to some units or formations.
FOREST - disorders line infantry
ORCHARD - disorders line infantry
VILLAGE - disorders line infantry
WOLF PITS - disorders line infantry; artillery and supply wagons cannot enter
MARSH - disorders line infantry; artillery and supply wagons cannot enter
BRIDGE - line infantry cannot enter
Line Infantry and cavalry are automatically disordered by crossing obstructed
Road movement deserves a special mention. Inconvenient though it is every unit
must be moved individually along the road and may not pass through any other
on that road if it is to receive the road movement rate. Stacks of units may not
be moved together. This is especially important when moving through a forest,
such as Poniatowski's Fifth Corps is required to do in the early stages of the
advance on Utitsa. The forest movement rate is very high, especially for
artillery, cavalry and wagons, so care is essential. Leaders are the only
exception to this rule.
Obstructed hexes (all those bar clear and building hexes) prevent the forming of
When you wonder if units will be able to see each other from one hill to another
remember that each map contour is 10 metres and that:
Orchard = 5 metres
Village = 10 metres
Forest = 15 metres
Known Program Bugs
It is sometimes possible to move units during the defensive fire phase - this is
a bug but I am not sure what causes it. The two suggestions that have been put
forward are either that it occurs when the optional rule Cavalry Countercharges
is checked or that it sometimes happens when a player uses the keypad to move
units. Furthermore there have been suggestions that in PBEM games this bug only
applies to one side, unbalancing the game.
I don't know whether this is a bug but it can wreak havoc on the unsuspecting
player, especially if you are defending. Let us suppose you have a line of
defending units closely pressed around a hilltop, village or what have you. The
attacker advances his battalions around your position and melees with superior
numbers and one of your defending battalions has to fall back. You think you are
safe because you have another battalion adjacent and estimate your probable
losses at 50 or 75 men. However if all the hexes you can fall back to are in
Of Control of an enemy unit EVEN if occupied by a friendly unit ALL defenders
eliminated, often with minimal or no loss to the attacker.