This blog will be updated from time to time as I find smoother and cleaner ways to play Pub Battles.
I am happy to play with the tried and true “official” rules. Pub Battles is quite a robust system and you can add all kinds of rules. These can be fun or satisfying, but most are unnecessary. I am very leery of adding any rules, other than those that smooth or speed play, as the system can quickly bog down. Remember, Pub Battles is first and foremost a command simulation, not a combat simulation.
Title in bold. Rule is normal font. Discussion/clarification in italics.
Cavalry – Foot retreating from mounted are eliminated.
It just feels wrong to resolve a round of combat, mounted charging foot, and then have the foot pull back while the cav just stands there! Note: this isn’t talking about the chit draw (movement phase), but actual combat!
Artillery – Spent Artillery may fire.
Originally, pre Baggage Train Rally rule, blocks just rallied from spent automatically if they didn’t move. So the proscription from bombardment felt right. Now, with an unpacked Baggage Train required to rally, it is too harsh. If you don’t rally your artillery, it is still very vulnerable, just not nearly useless! Instead of being a new rule, this is just eliminating an old rule!
Support – Supporting blocks may choose to suffer any of the hits of the unit they are supporting.
This makes more sense when Infantry are guarding Artillery, or if you imagine the two defending blocks half as wide and double deep. You can also imagine elite troops or Grenadier Regiments, “stiffening” the line by ignoring the first hit.
Artillery cannot support in combat, but if it is moved into a supporting position it may swap positions with a block that can support it.
This makes it possible to add Artillery to the line without requiring extra turns to get the right chit draw to allow one block to move forward while the other moves back, which isn’t what is literally being simulated anyway!
I have found that I don’t care for any written orders rules when playing Pub Battles. I find they sound cooler than they end up being. When I play solo, I use my own judgement based on how the situation looks to the HQ in question. I find this “narrative dependent technique” is more satisfying.