Napoleon’s Greatest Gamble: The Invasion of Russia (1812) Campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars vol. I

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The Pieces

3.1 The pieces, henceforth referred to as “units”, represent:

  • Commanders and their staff

  • Artillery [combat unit]

  • Cavalry [combat unit]

  • Infantry [combat unit]

Combat units are further divided according to their Class: Veteran, Line or Conscript [see Rule 3.3].

3.2 The number of men represented by each combat unit is approximate and, indeed, variable. This is inevitable because virtually all units were almost always seriously under-strength. As a rough rule of thumb, the cavalry and infantry units equate to divisions comprising perhaps 4,000 and 8,000 men, respectively. Artillery units represent a sizeable artillery train and supporting troops.

3.3 Each undisrupted combat unit has a Combat Factor [CF] of one (1). Each combat unit, whether undisrupted or disrupted, also has an Occupancy Factor [OF]. The OF of each unit is printed on its counter, and is determined by the unit’s Class. For Veterans the OF is one (1), for Line units one and a half (1½) and for Conscripts it is two (2). Occupancy Factors [OFs] reflect the cohesion, discipline and experience of the various classes of units which, together with their ability to cope with logistical constraints, served to determine the numbers of troops which could operate as a single force. See Rule 4.1.

3.4 A combat unit may become “disrupted” as a consequence of a lack of supply [Rule 6.4], attrition [Rule 8.5], combat [Rule 11.17], or Cossack activity (French only) [Rule 13.1]. Disrupted units are “flipped” onto their reverse side. See also Rules 6.4, 8.4, 10.1, and 11.18 for the disadvantages which accrue as a consequence.

3.5 Commanders do not have a CF. Their OF is also zero (0). Each has a Commander Rating [CR] which is printed on its counter; see Rules 8.1, 10.2, 10.4, 10.6, 11.5, and 11.7.

3.6 The seniority of commanders, their command designation [Advanced Rule 16.2] and any special characteristics [Advanced Rule 16.4] are also indicated on the counters.  

3.7 The background colour of a Commander or a combat unit reflects its nationality:
- Austrian: white

- La Grande Armée (other than Austrians):

dark blue

- Russian: green

- Swedish: yellow
The background colour of a combat unit’s NATO symbol is used to further distinguish guards’ units and the nationality of foreign contingents within the service of France:
- Bayern: White (yellow cross)

- French Guard: Red

- Prussian: Grey

- Italian: Green

- Polish: Magenta

- Saxon: Ancient rose

- Swiss: Crimson

- Westphalian: Forest green

These further distinctions are important for some of the Advanced Rules.
3.8 Other pieces comprise “marker counters”. Their use is explained throughout the Rules folder.

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