Mt Kriegspiel system runs from a Strategic level through to the tactical or battle system. You are welcome to use all or any part as you see fit.
Generally the strategic game can be played with the included battle game, but in some cases players may wish to fight the battles on the table or using their own battle system, so the Strategic level game is designed generally to get armies to battle, from there it is up to the player/s to decide which option to fight with.
As with all things wargaming we must decide on movement in the strategic game, how long does a unit take to travel X miles, even that opens great debates amongst wargamers so feel free to adapt my interpretations to your own if you wish.
In most cases on the strategic level I base movement on a foot unit moving at 3km per hour, now I know may will say that’s too fast or too slow but its worked at the average speed of a Infantry battalion in the late 18th century and it will do as our base movement scale (if you wish to change this please do).
I allow a cavalry unit to move at twice that so lets say 6 km an hour.
So now we have a base scale for our maps and generally when we find a map we need its scale to determine movement distances and time, however sometimes this is not possible, particularly with older maps. When no scale is possible I simply use the well proven guestimate scale and I find it works best when in doubt. If you are playing with a team make sure everyone is familiar with the scale and speed of units. Naturally if you are solo then who cares as long as you are happy.
If you are fortunate enough to have a map with scale or even with your own scale you need to determine what time element you are using. Again this depends on the scale of things, if you are fighting a grand European campaign then a infantry battalion moving at 3 km and hour only becomes relevant if you decide a Infantry battalion can march for 6 hours, so now on your large map you know your regular marching speed now covers 18 miles per day. (Feel free to play around with these as you wish)
So now you have a daily marching speed and thus a weekly marching speed for the grand strategic game. But when things get closer you need to scale back down and then as the maps change as they will most likely do and depending on if you are a team, PBEM or solo you decide on whether you will or need to transfer the meeting of units to smaller maps or even the table. The smaller map allows the player/s greater flexibility in grand tactical movement and adds a much better flavour to our war.
For my system and assuming a solo player system I will go from the grand tactical map down to a battle map. Now here things tend to get a little hairy as if you are fighting in a actual historical country then you will want to find maps of localities in that country, preferably in the area you know you will be fighting. It has been my experience this is harder than pulling hens teeth in many circumstances so I stand proud and admit I fudge maps for the sake of a good battle.
If I am fighting a battle in England I would draw the limit at using a map with Turkish names, but other than that to me the Grand tactical map and the battle map can be anywhere, but if you a capable artist or have an excellent cartography program then you are a fortunate fellow indeed as you can draw maps to your hearts content.
Sow now we have discussed movement rates and the maps we will move on, but now we need to decide what happens as we march across Europe or even as we march blissfully across the Kentish landscape.
Are we in Enemy or friendly territory, this will reflect in the knowledge you gain and in the amount of knowledge your enemy will gain on your movements. So now we come to intelligence gathering, in this I am generally discussing the Grand tactical maps, that is the map on which you will find your battle field.
Recce Patrol Points
Intelligence gathering is an industry on its own and in a Kriegspiel concept it is perhaps the most single vital part of what we are about, apart from winning the battles of course. So I naturally devote quite a bit of detail in presenting the intelligence gathering system.
Every unit in your army has the ability to see and hear so to a greater or lesser extent they are capable of learning information or observing things around them, but generally intelligence gathering should be left to the Light Cavalry so that is what I generally use in this system
You need decide at what level your Light cavalry are operating on, be it squadron or regiment, both sides need to be on the same page with this.
The first thing we must decide is how good are the units at seeing and again that depends on experience. It also depends on the number of Light cavalry units you have screening or patrolling in a given area. For each squadron ( or regiment if you prefer) allocated to patrolling in a given area or road the following applies.
Light Cavalry: Conscript & militia. Regular light troops and pickets = 3 points
Light cavalry: Regular = 4 points
Light cavalry: veteran = 5 points
Naturally if you have a regiment patrolling a particular road, it will have a better chance of gaining intelligence should it discover the enemy than a single squadron will have in similar circumstances.
At this stage as we are on the grand tactical map I am assuming we are moving at daily rates so at the end of each day if you have not bumped into an enemy you will receive a fairly complete assessment of intelligence from your area.
This will include if enemy units (friendly or enemy and occasionally this may be fudged as sometimes locals couldn’t tell the difference) moved though the area your patrols covered.
However if during the day your squadrons find an enemy unit then you will receive a report from that squadron.
First all squadrons/regiments start the day from their regimental headquarters so remember we move at 6km per hour so the solo player/umpire needs to check how far away this discovery was made, for example if its two hours from the beginning of his days patrol the report will include the contact was 12kms away.
Now we need to determine what our units have found and this very much depends on the terrain and the enemy strength that is covering that particular area.
We first of all need to deduct the enemy strength from our own using the recce point chart above.
We deduct the enemy cavalry points on the road (and yes for simplicity sake recce discovery is based on the roads in the area) we found them on. So assume we are patrolling on an agreed squadron level and we have allotted 3 squadrons of regular light cavalry to this road on which we have found the enemy, that means we have 12 recce points.
They have allotted 2 squadrons to this road, 1 conscript Lt cav and 1 regular which gives them 7 points.
So we have out scouted them by 5 points, now we need to discover the terrain and deduct its value.
All road sections have what are called “hide” points, these reflect the terrain they pass through and again reflect the difficulty it may be to gather information simply because of terrain.
Normal open terrain = 3 points
Wooded terrain = 6 points
Mountainous terrain = 9 points
Mountains and woods = 12 points.
So now we have deducted open terrain we have 2 points left, what do we see with 2 points of recce value?
1-3 Points left after all deductions you get 10-40% of the enemy strength (umpire determines by die roll).
4-6 points after deductions you get 30 – 60% of the enemy strength and the locality of their main force within 10 km of their actual position (This 10km can be in any direction from its true position).
7 + points you get 50 – 80% of the enemy strength and the locality of the main force with 5 km of its true position. You will also be told whether there is another force within 20km of the one you have discovered, its strength will remain unknown for now other than its smaller or larger than the one you discovered.
So on the basis of this report the umpire determines that both armies sent a number of squadrons down a particular road to find the enemy. He moves both forces at the rate of 6km and hour and we already know they found each other 2 hours or 12 km from each HQ.
We now know that we marginally out scouted them and the umpire will give us a figure of the total strength of the main body behind the patrol, we know it will be within 10 – 40% of its actual strength and because we couldn’t find out how far back it is we simply are told that there is a force of X strength in the area and that is it.
Now to determine what is a main body, I class a main body as the first force of combined units (Inf, Cav and or art) behind the enemy cavalry screen. Now its all possible that is is merely an advance guard, in which case you are being told a figure that could be far less than what is marching down that road behind the force you have been informed about, it could however be the main body of the enemy army itself, what do you do?
Incidentally the enemy patrol will have will have reported back they were out-scouted by a enemy force 12 km away from HQ and that is all.
We are now near the point where the Grand tactical moves will lead us into the battle map or table, so for those interested I will move onto the Battle system for battles on the map or PC screen.
This section will be more applicable to PBEM and solo gamers.