Wednesday, December 29, 2010

HPS Napoleonic Campaigns Austerlitz add-on: Historicity & Realism project

Just announced yesterday this new mod to the HPS SIMS line of Napoleonic Battles looks to add a level of realism and changes never before seen in a mod for the series. The thread is lengthy and in depth as to why they are making the changes they are making and it even covers casualty losses and morale.

The entire thread can be viewed here:

Lets take a look though at what this mod will do for the series.

The main site for the mod is hosted here:
HPS battles are often short but brutal. In a recent Borodino PBEM (NRC), both French and Russian players sustained 30,000 losses within 11 turns, even though the battle had not started through the entire line and the game was played without morale-boosting optional rules and with overall morale reduction (similar to New Settings project).

"As of now there is only one scenario converted into H&R and it will be available within a next couple of days."


This is exactly what you can expect to see in H&R with a 300 horseman per hex limit, and organizational and morale setting described below: lots of disordered units, a number of routed ones, and stack on stack (typically 200-260 in a stack) casualties would usually be around 10-30 horsemen from both sides. In such a way, H&R cavalry battles will be decided by divisional/brigade level formations and the ability to rally and reorder rather than by total annihilation of the opposing side.


For reasons H&R OOB breaks infantry brigades into smaller tactical units more appropriate for the HPS hex environment. In the H&R OOB infantry units size is in between 385-450 troops, with about 420-430 being the average.

Melee Changes

To stop this behavior, the H&R uses a -60% attack modifier in PDT weather line. This change drops the success rate of 830 attackers in column (with a leader) vs 415 defenders in line (with a leader) to about 40-50%. In the long run even when meleeing with advantage two to one, the attacker can expect to have higher casualties. Accordingly, melee is still more decisive but now it also bears a significant level of risk and there is a more appropriate tradeoff between risk and return.

Leader Changes

Accordingly, the leader loss values have been changed. The overall cumulative casualty probability would be slightly higher (22%) than original (17%). The significant change is that leaders now are a lot more likely to be wounded by enemy fire and melee. The probability of being captured would be extremely rare with the most common leader loss being due to a wound. The overall result of all morale/fatigue changes is that players must be more careful with their units. You cannot just trust the morale bonus to keep your line in place, regardless of the punishment they receive. Rotation of fatigued or disordered units becomes a must. You always have to keep a local reserve in order to plug possible holes in your line. Sending medium-high fatigued units into attack becomes dangerous, since they will easily rout and spread disorder to the whole attack. Melee is less desirable, since it raises fatigue quickly.

The list goes on and on. This is a huge mod make no doubt. Take a look at the website and the original thread to get a grasp and a reason behind every change they made. They even go into the types of cannon balls that were used and the different ricochet values. Again good reading but not for the faint of heart.