Tuesday, February 1, 2011



In the game Frederick the Great, a turn is a couple weeks. That originally seemed too long; but after doing some thinking, that could amount to 30 turns in a campaign season.. So that seems adequate for a game, and means we don't have to tie ourselves down to a specific movement rate. Aside, I can remember a treadhead getting upset because "everyone knew" that a Panther tank could move at 30 miles per hour, and the movement rate in one game implied that they only moved at 10 miles per hour. Somehow the concept that tanks were not ships couldn't sink in.

The basis of movement is the hex. The map for Blitzkrieg is covered with hexes. Movement from one hex to the next costs one movement point. But the different terrain types will cost more. For rules purposes any terrain other than clear costs one movement point more. Thus rough terrain is woods, and hills. Crossing a river or entering a an enemy occupied hex costs one movement point more.

It might seem odd that there aren't different kinds of woods, and we don't take into account mountains. Armies tend to stay away from jungles, The Wilderness, the Alps, and so on. That's because armies have to eat. There's a good reason armies campaigned in rich agricultureal districts.

What about rivers? These are rivers significant from a military obstacle. This means th the stream that barely comes to the knees won't effect an army, but the Rhine is. So crossing a river might involve a ford such as the Rappahanock, or a bridging train. So one extra movement point more.

Roads are not your ordinary dirt path, or the ones that go from village to village. Roads paved with good bridges, drainage, and things like that. So roads negate terrain, and forces on a road pay only 1/2 movement point as long as they stay on the road.


Troops cannot move without a general (well, there's one exception, but this is voluntary movement).

Generals are rated for their 'get up and go'. Take a look at the Kipling poem "Stellenbosch". Some generals are more willing to move than others. In Freddie terms, this is a number that you add to the throw of 1d6 to to find out how far the general moves (and the men with him). Some generals are really sluggish, and this number is negative. Some will march their troops into the ground, and have the initiative of three. The most a stack can have is six movement points. If the resulting modified die throw is greater than six, there will be attrition (which we'll cover later).

Generals have ranks, and they must be moved in the order of their seniority. The highest ranking general in the stack is the one who controls the whole stack for initiative.

What about cavalry? Don't they move faster? Well, yes, and no. Horses get tired, need periodic rest, and so on. In the American Civil War there were cavalry raids galore, but the horses walked, didn't trot. Cavalry commanders out-thought their pursuers, not outran them. After all, the column gains its strength from all of the men/horses together, so losing them due to stragglers means you weaken their power. So they move at the walk, which is about the same as a walking man. While this isn't intuitively obvious, horses aren't motorcycles or bicycles. They need periodic rest, food, and water.

What about force marches? Actually, this isn't a column running, it's troops marching when normally they would be resting. The Union VI Corps, on its march to Gettysburg, did a force-march and traveled 31 miles in 24 hour period. Marlborough's men, on their way to Oudenarde, did a force-march, and covered 50 miles in one day! Note, 10-15 was normal.

So all of this will move stacks of troops around the map. Next we'll cover what happens when they need to eat. Supply can be complicated (I've written some complex supply rules), but they can also be simple and yet effective.

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