Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mr. Madison's War: Wargame rules for the Niagara Campaign 1814

                Mr. Madison's War:  
             Wargame rules for the
             Niagara Campaign 1814

      (Based on Loose Files and
       American Scramble rules)

Infantry:  four figures to a base. Unit size = 12 to 32 figures.

Cavalry:  two figures to a base. Unit size = 4 - 12 figures.

Skirmishers: Individually based. Fire in groups of 4 figures. Maximum unit size = 12

Artillery: Each model gun has a crew of 2 figures and a team of horses

One base in each unit should be clearly identified as the 'Command Group' (e.g. by using a flag of officer figure).


Each unit is given a basic efficiency grade at the start of the game, indicating its training and experience. Morale and training grades are for the Niagara campaign of 1814 and are the authors opinion only.  Please adjust for other campaigns or years.

1st Class: Veterans
American Scott's brigade and 21st regiment
British 1st, 8th, 49th, 89th

2nd Class: Regulars
American regulars, 1st Rifles, Artillery and Regular Dragoons.
British regular Infantry, Artillery and Dragoons, Swiss Infantry, Fencibles and Volunteer Incorporated Militia.

3rd Class: 2nd line regulars
American Volunteer Regiments, Rifles, green regulars and militia cavalry.
British foreign regiments, west Indian regiments, embodied militia.

4th Class: Militia
 Raw militia and Indians with no tribal leader.

5th Class: conscript
Indians with no leader or if you are recreating Bladensburg !

Order of Play in a Turn
 (all movement is simultaneous)

1.Compulsory Retreats/Routs following combat in previous turns.
2.Calculate Morale effects provoked by 1 above.
4.Allocate Command Points. Move commanders and couriers.
5.Move units. Announce attempted advances to contact/charges before moving.
7.Re-dress ranks (according to training) of units that did not move this turn.

This is exercised through the use of Command Points. At the start of the game determine the command points of each side's commander in chief. Unless these are determined by the scenario the number of command points = Average dice roll +1.

The actions possible to a commander are listed below, together with the cost in CP's.

Move your own commander figure up to one dice (Average or D6, as you choose) x inches = 1 CP.

Inspire troops in Combat (i.e. +1 in combat calculation) = 3 CP's *

Rally one D. Point (see below) = 2 CP's *

* Commander figure must be adjacent to unit's command group.

D. Points

Represent the temporary Disorganisation, Demoralisation and Desertion that can affect a unit's performance in action. Unlike casualties (see below) DP's do not have a permanent effect. The number of DP's on a unit may fluctuate up and down according to circumstances, but may never be more than 5. According to their training units may remove D. Points by re-dressing the ranks and otherwise sorting themselves out at the end of a turn. This varies according to training and circumstances.

1st Class units may remove up to 2 DP's per turn, if stationary and not in combat.

2nd Class units may remove 1DP per turn, if stationary and not in combat.

3rd Class units may remove 1DP per turn, if stationary, not in combat and not under fire..

4th Class units may only remove DP's by a commander using his command points.

5th Class units only remove DP's if commander in chief uses his command points.


Infantry move 2 AD (average die) in line, 3 AD in column and 4 AD road column

Skirmishers may move an extra AD if player wishes.

Cavalry may move up to 4 AD if player wishes.

All troops except skirmishers and Indians take 1 DP for each 2 or 3 rolled in woods.

Special Cases:

On movement unit must move full distance rolled unless objective pointed out before dice rolled (regiment will stop at fence line).
Rather then roll for each individual unit, player may roll for brigade.  All units within that brigade have same die roll.

Cavalry may only change speed by one or two dice in a turn (i.e. if a unit is at rest it may only move off at up to two dice x inches, and if it is moving at top speed - four dice - it may only slow down to two dice on the next turn). In any move where it is the intention to close to contact, a cavalry unit must roll at least three dice, whatever the distance to be covered.

On Roads the player may choose his own roll up to a maximum of 4 AD (thus limiting the random effect and preventing too much 'bunching' in marching columns).

Woods/Uphill: Minus highest die from all dice rolled.


Wheeling: Treat as uphill move. Pivot one end of line. Measure distance moved by outer figure. Take 1 DP.

Change Formation: Takes one Turn. Take 1 DP (2 DP's if under fire).

Limber up/unlimber: Takes two turns. Take 1 DP (2 DP's if under fire).

Cross minor obstacle (e.g.. small stream, gully): drop lowest die. Take 1 DP (2 DP's if under fire).

Cross major obstacle (e.g.. abatis): Time and penalties determined by umpire.Cross fence/wall, about face, retire facing enemy: Drop lowest die. Take 1 DP if cavalry or if under fire.


Each unit takes 1 DP.

Retreating or Routing units move round supports that are better formed, (i.e. have less DP's), but run through and collide with units equally or worse formed.


Troops ignore the retreat of friendly units with a lower training grade but take 1 DP if such a unit routs past within six inches.

If equal/higher grade unit retreats past within six inches take 2 DP's.

If equal grade unit routs past within six inches take 2 DP's and 1 casualty.

If higher grade unit routs past within six inches take 3 DP's and 1 casualty.


1) Artillery: 3 classes of gun are recognised:

Light = less than 3 pounders (e.g. 'gallopers' or 'grasshoppers').

Field = Most guns.  6 - 12 pounders were in general use.

Heavy =24 pounders and upwards. Rarely in use in the field.

Ranges: Long 10 inches to 36 inches (minus 6" for light, plus 6" for heavy).

Short = under 10 inches.

Effect: Roll one D6 for each model gun firing, modified as follows:

+1 : Heavy Gun.

+1 : Target in column, or limbered artillery.

+1 : Firing at same target, at same range, as in previous turn.

-1 : Firing at new target.

-1 : Each DP on gun firing.

-2 : Target in fieldwork or stone building.

-2 : Target in skirmish order.

-1 : Light gun.

At long range inflict 1 DP for final total of 4 or over.

At short range inflict 1 DP for total of 2 or 3, inflict 2 DP's for total of 4 or 5, inflict 1 DP and 1 Casualty for total of 6 or more.

2) Infantry: Note, only skirmishing infantry may fire and move in the same turn.

Ranges: Musket 8 inches, Rifles 16 inches.

Effect: Roll one D6 for each base or group of 4 skirmishers firing, minus the number of DP's on the firing unit. Halve the total if firing at artillery or skirmishers, halve again if target in fieldwork or building. Halves round up.

E.g.: A seven base unit with 2 DP's firing at skirmishers would roll (7-2) = 5 / 2 = 2 1/2, rounds up to 3 dice.

Inflict 1 DP for throws of six only. Skirmishers roll again for throws of five, with subsequent 4/5/6 = inflict 1 DP.


If a unit under fire has already sustained the maximum number (i.e.. five) of DP's, any subsequent DP's caused by fire, combat or morale only are taken as casualties.

Loss of one 'casualty' = remove one base (4 figures) of infantry or one stand (2 figures) of cavalry. A gun that receives a casualty is knocked out.


Occurs when a unit advances to within 4 inches of an opponent. Each side throws one Average dice, plus or minus the following:

+3 : Each Training grade higher than the opponent.

+3 : Defending fort or stone building.

+2 : Defending fieldwork or wooden building.

+2 : Making bayonet attack.

+1 : Terrain advantage (e.g.. uphill, behind stream, gully, wall, fence, etc).

+1 or 2 : General with unit (depends on how many CP's he spent on 'inspiring troops').

-3 : in skirmish order.

-3 : being attacked in flank or rear.

-2 : each DP on the unit.

-2 : each casualty suffered.

-1 : outnumbered. *

-2 : outnumbered 3:2 *

-3 : outnumbered 2:1. *

-5 : outnumbered 3:1 or more. *

* For these purposes one cavalry figure =four infantry; one gun = eight infantry.

For two units attacking one, the attackers total up all their factors and divide by two (halves round up).

Count highest grade unit for training comparison.

Result: Compare scores. If side A's total is, say, +3 and side B's is -2 then side A is the winner by a total of +5 and B is the loser by -5. Consult the following table for the effect on each unit:

+4 or more: Easy victory. Take 1 DP. 1st/2nd/3rd class troops obey orders. 4th/5th class pursue (see below)

+2/3: Successful action. Take 1 DP and (if facing infantry or artillery and not in a fort, building or fieldwork) one casualty. Halt one turn.

+1/0/-1: Stand off. No clear result. Both sides halt. Action continues next turn. Both take 1 DP and (unless infantry, facing cavalry, or facing a bayonet attack, or in a fort, building or fieldwork) one casualty.

-2/-3/-4: Driven Back. Take 2 DP's and one casualty. Retreat one move at maximum speed (no deduction for abut face).

-5/-6/-7/-8: Defeated. Take 2 DP's and two casualties. Retreat at maximum speed behind next line of friendly troops, or next terrain obstacle if no support.

-9 or more: Routed. Run away at maximum speed to beyond artillery range of enemy or next terrain obstacle (whichever is the further). Take 4 DP's and two casualties.

Note: Pursuit continues until the enemy outdistances the pursuers or is destroyed by them.

Cavalry who get a stand off result against infantry or artillery act as if driven back.

Generals who attach themselves to a unit may not quit that unit until the combat is resolved, and they must share the fate of that unit (ie. risking retreat/rout and getting caught up in a pursuit).

Risk to Commanders;

If a unit to which a commander is attached (e.g.. for rallying purposes, or to give an order, etc) takes a D. point from enemy fire, or takes a casualty in any circumstances, roll one D6 to see if the commander is hit (maximum of one such roll in any one turn):

1 = hit. Roll again.

4/5/6 = Light wound. Lose 2 CP's.

2/3 = Serious wound. Retire from field. Loses all CP's.

1 = Killed.

Special Cases:
Always in a skirmish formation.  No deductions for moving in woods, treat it like clear terrain.  Firing is a 6 for hit only.  Cannot move to close combat unless they have less DP's then target.

Are very erratic and dangerous to friend and foe.  Thus they are great fun!  Use range for medium artillery.  Point out target and roll two D6.

11 - 12.   Hit.

9 - 10.      Roll 1 d6. Rockets hit that many inches to right of target.

7 - 8.     Roll 1 d6. Rockets hit that many inches to left of target.

5 - 6.      Roll  2 d6. Rockets hit that many inches to right of target.

3 - 4.    Roll 2 d6. Rockets hit that many inches to left of target.

2.           Rocket double backs and hits itself!                  Rocket battery destroyed!

Trace path of rocket to target.  Any class 3, 4 or 5 units it passes over takes 2DP.

Treat all hits as short range artillery hits.  Roll one D6;  inflict 1 DP for total of 1 or 2, inflict 2 DP's for total of 3 or 4, inflict 1 DP and 1 Casualty for total of 5 or 6.

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