Rules Version 3.0!

Version 3.0 of the rules for Command Post Games’ Pub Battles have come out, and they are figuratively and literally a game changer.

One way that you can tell is that I now play with almost no “homebrew” rules. I play the official version. I may add rules for solitaire and so forth, but I play the game primarily by the rules as printed.

The biggest difference is the role of Baggage Trains. They have also added “Detachments” and cleaned up the rules for Hidden Reserves and moved them from merely optional, to regular. They have also added upgrade kits (at no cost!) that include any extra needed blocks, as well as updated scenario booklets.

Baggage Trains – This is the single most noticeable change in 3.0. The rule consists of three components that are inherently simple, but have profound effect on the game play. The first component is that if you contact an enemy Baggage Train, you win a Major Victory. The second component is that if your enemy packs up a Baggage Train, to keep it from being captured, you win a Minor Victory. The third component is the only way a unit can rally is if it is within command range of an unpacked Baggage Train, which cannot move.

If you capture your opponent’s Baggage Train, it signifies you breaking through the defenses and causing the army to rout. If you pack up your Baggage Train first, it signifies you quitting the battlefield in some order and choosing to fight another day.

Baggage Trains signify more than just supplies, they also represent the signal corps, hospital units, fortification tools, etc. They represent everything that comes into play when the General decides on the decisive point of the battle. The loss of which is a good mechanic to determine that point where an army’s morale breaks.

You should devote some resources to protecting your Baggage!

Detachments – Detachments represent those smaller organizations that can have an effect on a battle, yet aren’t divisional in strength. They can only take one hit, and only roll one die in combat. Their primary use is in Fog of War. Until combat, the enemy doesn’t know it’s only a detachment. They can also act as speed bumps, delaying an enemy advance, or even as a last ditch defense when something has to be thrown in the way. They can support an artillery unit in combat, allowing it the retreat option, just like a regular unit.

Hidden Reserves – The rules for Hidden Reserves are cleaned up to avoid some gamey abuses, and they are re-classified from optional to regular rules. You don’t have to use Hidden Reserves, but you always can. In addition to their Fog of War purpose, they are certainly a convenient way to bring on lots of reinforcements, like the Prussians at Waterloo.

New retreat rules – The first is that a retreating unit pushes back and flips to spent any friendly blocks it can’t avoid. The second is that spent dragoons and mounted in column can’t retreat before combat.

Field of Fire – These rules have expanded slightly. One gamey tactic that was being used was to move a unit slightly behind, but not supporting, an attacking unit. If the attacking unit was eliminated, the other unit would remain. Now the unit must retreat if it is in a Field of Fire after combat, but did not participate in combat this turn.

Some folks may wonder why a FoF template wasn’t included, my answer is that it isn’t needed. I made a template and then rarely used it! Just back up till it looks right, and that’s close enough. If it is a big issue, then use the measuring stick. Rather than fiddle with the 45 degree angle, I just measure one third move from the frontcenter of the block. This is slightly less area, which makes sense, as the unit wouldn’t have all that firepower compressed into one corner. Its easy, and it works.

12 thoughts on “Rules Version 3.0!

  1. Beautiful synthesis. I’ll try as soon as the update arrives, hopefully within 15 days.
    I’d like to test it on Austerlitz !!!
    What about the army corps without a Pack train? How do they refuel/rally without a Pack train ?

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    1. The corps designation is only used for movement. Any unit within command range of an unpacked supply train can recover from spent when its chit is drawn.

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  2. Hello, I have some doubts about bombarding artillery hits since the first edition of PUB Battles rules: what does it mean “hits from a bombardment are not carried over to combat”?
    Units hit by bombarding artillery do not get spent?
    Do they simply retreat on 2 hits?
    What if they take on 3 hits?
    Thank you for your time.
    Bruno

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  3. Hello Bruno, great question!

    It means is that an if an elite unit gets bombarded by two separate artillery attacks in the same turn, it will ignore the first hit in each attack. Similarly, if it is in combat later that turn, it will ignore the first hit in that combat.
    But note:
    It only ignores the first hit in a combat, no matter how many rounds of combat are fought!

    The intent here is not to require players to remember a lot of info.

    Artillery hits are treated normally (one hit flips to spent), except that any hits after the unit is forced to retreat are ignored.

    Please let me know if you have any further questions.

    Recently, in cases where a unit is supporting another unit, I have been experimenting with a rule that allows a player to apply each hit received from a bombardment or combat to either the main unit or the supporting unit.

    I like the way it plays, but it isn’t necessary, so it probably won’t get included in any official rules.

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  4. Hello,
    thank you for your prompt and kind reply!

    May be my question sounds silly, but it is still relating to that statement on pag.3 (“hits from a bombardment are not carried over to combat”).

    Example:
    – let’s assume that my artillery bombardment has caused an enemy unit to become “spent”;
    – now that enemy unit is contacted by a unit of mine, which will force it to combat.

    My question is: will the spent enemy unit fight as “spent” or as a fully active unit (because of the above said statement)?

    From my point of view, that enemy unit should count as “spent”, as it was softened up my artillery before being attacked by my line unit……!

    All the best,
    Bruno.

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    1. Correct. The only way a unit can ever recover from spent is per the 3.0 rally rules with an unpacked supply wagon. It is proper to “prepare” an enemy with bombardment before attacking.

      Also, in Napoleonic era pub battles it is most effective to support an attacking infantry unit with a cav unit. The infantry hopes to flip the defender to spent, retreats (becoming spent itself), and then the cav attacks with a bonus vs. spent infantry. Simulating the infantry forcing the enemy out of square so the cavalry can attack. Such combined arms efforts are historical to the period.

      Cavalry was not used this way in the ACW, so is not appropriate in that later, early modern, setting.

      Hope this helps!

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  5. Thank you so much,
    I see that we share common thoughts!

    If so, I think I will mainly disregard that statement on page 8 of the Rules V.3.0 (“hits from a bombardment do not carriy over to combat”) as possibly misleading.

    By the way, I am developing a miniature wargame scenario for the battle of Blenheim 1704, based on PUB Battles Rules as I happen to have many 6mm figures for that period.

    All the best,
    Bruno

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  6. Hello, if still looking for another term for “dispersed troops” you might evaluate “decoy forces”.
    Bruno

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