Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Solo Piquet Tutorial Part 4: The Battle of Cross Keys

We are finally ready to start fighting the battle.

In this scale of Piquet, Hallowed Ground battalion scale, the game is divided up into 30 minute turns.

You begin the turn by shuffling your Sequence Deck.  Each side then rolls a d20.  The higher die roll wins the Initiative and gets the difference in the die rolls in impetus pips (IP).  If the roll is tied or either deck runs out, the turn is over.

This difference in IP is called the Initiative.  The player can spend IP to flip a card (1 IP) or act on the currently flipped card.  Players continue to flip cards and spend IP until the IP run out.  The players then roll the d20's again and start a new Initiative.  Theoretically, the same player could win the Initiative over and over again.

The only restriction to the amount of IP you can win (from 1-19) is a Phase limit.  Each Phase has a pool of 20 IP in it.   For example, you and I each roll and you win by 16.  You get 16 IP which leaves 4 IP in the Phase limit.  On the next Initiative, we roll and you win by 1.  You get 1 IP which reduces the limit to 3 IP.  I win the next Initiative by 14, but I only get 3 IP because that's all that remains in the Phase.  But then the Phase limit is recharged and we can again draw from a full pool of 20 IP.

The non-Initiative player also has a small pool of IP that he can use when the other player is active called Opportunity Pips.  I'll address these later when they are used during the game.

Also, a unit can only act once on any given card, so the same regiment can't reload twice with 2 IP on the same Musket Reload card, but it could reload on a second flipped Musket Reload card.

So it's 10:30 a.m. (Turn 1)

Initiative roll (d20)
Union 11/ Confederates 17  Confederates win 6 IP

  • Flipped Musket Reload card costs 1 IP (5 IP)
  • Fired 15th Alabama costs 1 IP (4 IP) (Units can fire whenever you want when you have the Initiative as long as they are loaded.  It costs 1 IP to fire.)
  • 15th Alabama fires at 8th NY across the creek
  • I rolled for the 15AL's quality, but I get a vacillating result which means the result will not be permanent.  The re-roll for the temporary quality of the unit is Determined! This means the 15th Alabama will start with a d12 +2 for its fire die.
  • Modifiers:  First Fire UP1/ Target in Extended Line DOWN1 (The 15th AL are armed with minie rifles so the shot is Short range (no modifier).  Both regiments have attached skirmish stands (no modifier).  The Fire Die is modified UP1 to a d12 +3 and DOWN1 back to a d12+2.
  • 15th AL rolles an "11" modified to a "12" versus the defending d6 which rolls a "1".  (The highest result you can get is a modified "12".)  The defender always defends with a d6 unless it is counterbattery fire (d10))
  • Difference between the fire result and the defender result is "11".  Defender takes 11 hits and loses a stand for every 3 hits.  8th NY is down to 1 stand.  Union loses 3 morale chips for the stand losses.  They are down to 9 morale chips.
  • Confederates take advantage of this devastating volley and declare a tactical morale check on the 8th NY.  They are testing the morale of the damaged unit.  
  • Now we have to roll the quality of the 8th NY.  They turn out to be Average with a Morale die of d6.  Modified as follows: Both flanks protected UP1/ 3 stands lost this turn DOWN3/ Initial Strength was Full Strength (before the fire) UP1/ Enemy is Near but not Close UP1.  That is a total of UP3 and DOWN3 so the die size remains the same.  
  • The Confederates roll a d10 on the Tactical Morale Check because they caused 3 stands in casualties.  d10 versus d6.  The result is a "5" versus a "1".  Since the Union result was more than tripled by the Confederate result, the 8th NY routs and cannot be rallied.  The rout costs the Union another morale chip (down to 8 chips) and gives the Confederates 2 bonus IP.  The Union brigade commander is also marked for Officer Risk. 
  • The bonus IP give the Confederates a total of 6 IP (4+2).  These bonus IP do not reduce the Phase limit.  
  • The Confederates spend an IP to reload the 15th AL on the Musket Reload card (5 IP)
  • Flipped Dress Lines card costs 1 IP (4 IP).  Waste card that allows no actions.
  • Flipped Officer Check card costs 1 IP (3 IP) No need to rally anyone or move Trimble.
  • Flipped Infantry Move in Open costs 1 IP (2 IP).  No desire to move the 15th Alabama and they are the only Confederate unit in the open.
  • Flipped Officer Check card costs 1 IP (1 IP).
  • Flipped Melee Resolution card costs 1 IP (0 IP).  No units are engaged in contact so no chance for Melee.
  • The Initiative is over.
So the 15th Alabama fired a fierce volley that caught the 8th NY by surprise and tore through their ranks.  The 8th NY fled in panic and will probably not return.  The Union are down to 8 morale chips and Fremont is considering bringing his battery down from the hill to soften up the 15th Alabama before they attempt to force the creek.  They just have to get the cards to let them do that!

I showed the impetus pips and cards below.  I'm not going to do this for every Initiative.  The turn continues in Part 5.
8th NY routs from the firefight. 2 red arrows mark them
as unrallyable.
Brigade commander has been marked for Officer Risk.
15th Alabama has been reloaded on the Musket Reload card
with one of the bonus IP.
Phase pool of impetus is to the left (14 IP left).
I toss the IP markers in the plastic tower as I spend them.
Dress Lines (4 IP)
The 3 green stones are the Confederates' opportunity pips.

Officer Check (3 IP)

Infantry Move in Open (2 IP)

Officer Check (1 IP)

Melee Resolution (0 IP)


  1. I found the links, thanks. Poor old Union, they don't seem to be having much luck.

  2. I just finished the first turn after work. Lots of fun and action. I'll post the report in the morning.

  3. Yep, the Boys in Blue will have a tough assignment in this game!