Originally published by Fr. Aelred Glidden in MWAN - modified by Jay Stribling

18th Century "Tricorne Era" Rules

Last updated 06/30/11

Items needed to play the game

Organization and Scale

There is really no scale. These rules are set for our 15mm armies. Our infantry battalions are approximately 5" long when in line.

The Jackson gamers use the following organization for their 15 mm armies. Infantry units are 12 figures (4 stands' of 3), Cavalry units are 8 figures (4 stands of 2) and artillery batteries are 1 gun & 4 crew (all on one stand).

The guns used in this game represent "position" or "reserve" artillery batteries. The small "battalion guns" are not represented on the field, they are assumed to be adding their firepower to the infantry battalions.

If your organization is different, it won't matter.

Sequence of Play


  1. Both sides test "Staying Power" of units that have lost a stand (or artillery units that have lost a gunner) in any previous turn of the game:
  2. Test all cavalry units that were involved in melee in previous turn for "Blown Horses." (optional rule)
  3. Test wounded/unhorsed officers to see if they may return to the battle. Roll a D6 for each officer:
  4. Officers may (except for those "carried away" with troops who failed morale, may now make a 20" move to better position themselfs for the upcoming combat turn. They may move AGAIN during the Combat phase if they wish.
  5. Players must mark the entering position of any reinforcements or flank-marching units and must ensure that the enemy generals are aware that such units will enter in the Combat phase.

The COMBAT Phase

  1. Dice for Initiative - high dice has initiative and must move first.
  2. Side with initiative moves units, or deploys units, or rallies units from disorder, or shoots. Shooting and movement to contact (melee) will cause "morale tests" on units of second side.
  3. This ends the first half-turn.
  4. Second side now has initiative and moves units, or deploys units, or rallies units from disorder, or shoots. Shooting and movement to contact (melee) will cause "morale tests" on units of first side.
  5. This ends the second half-turn


Infantry: deployed into line 5", Line charge 8", column of movement 10" column charge same.
Cavalry: deployed into line 10", Line charge 15", column of movement 20"
Field/Position Artillery: limbered 10", Hand push 1" (after unlimbering)
Horse Artillery Limbered 15", May move 1/2 normal move and then unlimber, may limber and move 1/2 normal move.
Brigadiers or other officers: 20"

Notes on movement:


Arc of Fire

Charges and results

The result of any charge is a melee which is resolved with one or more morale checks. All melees are resolved after all movement is completed.

Terrain Effects

Through WOODS, through ROUGH, across MAJOR obstacle is:
Infantry 1-2 no movement, 3-6 movement halved
Cavalry 1-3 no movement, 4-6 movement halved.
Artillery - no movement across rough terrain, woods or Major obstacle.

Across MINOR obstacle is:
Infantry and cavalry 1 no movement, 2-4 movement halved, 5-6 no penalty
Artillery - 1-2 no movement, 3-5 movement halved, 6 no penalty

Effect of Morale Checks

Player who's unit is being charged or fired upon rolls a die testing morale of target units:

Results of morale test:

MODIFIERS to morale test due to FIRE:
-1 The target unit is in column (or limbered Artillery)
-1 The target unit is already disordered
-1 Unit causing test is full strength infantry unit (has not yet lost a stand.)
-1 Target is cavalry under fire (not melee)
-1 for each additional fire marker, after the first, firing on the target unit.
-1 Officer killed during morale test (see Below).
+1 Target unit is behind hedge, wall, in a town, or in woods.
+1 Firing unit is disordered infantry or artillery.
+1 Officer attached to target unit (see Below).
+1 Target unit is unlimbered Artillery
+1 Firing unit is Artillery over 18 inches away. Heavy or reserve guns do not take this modifier.

MODIFIERS to morale test due to MELEE:
-1 The target unit is in infantry or cavalry in column (or limbered Artillery)
-1 The target unit is already disordered
-1 Target unit is Infantry in melee with Cavalry. Infantry in square or other specialized anti-cavalry formation or infantry or artillery protected behind wall or hedge does not take this penalty.
-1 for each additional unit after the first charging the target unit.
-1 Lighter cavalry testing, in melee with heavier cavalry.
-1 Cavalry with blown horses. (optional rule)
-1 Officer killed during morale test (see Below).
-1 The target unit is not in melee but disordered on previous turn or half-turn.
-1 Unit is in melee, disordered as a result of continuing melee which began on earlier turn or half-turn. Note that Disordered units take either this modifier or the previous, not both.
-2 Target unit is charged from flank/rear
+2 Target unit is behind field works - Cavalry may not charge units in field works or in towns.
+1 charging unit is disordered cavalry - infantry cannot charge disordered. Cavalry may do so, IF it has an officer attached to inspire the disordered men.
+1 Officer attached to unit (see Below).
+1 Target unit is unlimbered Artillery charged frontally.
+1 Target unit is in a town.
+1 Target unit is elite infantry or cavalry.

Please note that a die result of "1" always is a failure, and a die result of "6" always is a pass, no matter how many modifiers accumulate.

Effect of Brigadiers or Higher officers

Officers not "attached" to units cannot be harmed. Just move out of way of enemy troop movements.

If an Officer is "attached" To the unit testing morale, roll two D6 BEFORE making the morale test and sum the total:
Result of 12 = Officer killed.
Result of 11 = Officer wounded or unhorsed. He is taken to the rear and plays no part in the battle for this turn.
Result of 10 or less - Officer carries on normally and gives a +1 die roll bonus to morale tests.

Officers who are attached to a unit which fails morale, fail with the unit and move back with the unit, remaining attached to it.

Officers which are "wounded or unhorsed" and taken to the rear, test to see their fate in the next Administrative phase.

Officer who is with unit can remove disorder;

Brigadiers may only be attached to and influence units of their own brigades. The army commander, wing commanders, aides-de-camp or such other officers as you may see fit to commission may influence any units. Armies of this period did not usually have Divisional or Corps organizations. The French army was the first to organize brigades into divisions, later in the 18th century.

Special rules for Artillery

Artillery units on elevated positions may fire over friendly units or villages as long as the target is 10" or more past the friendly units or villages.

Artillery units on the flat may fire over friendly units or villages, at targets on elevated positions, as long as the firing unit is 10" or more behind any friendly units or villages.

An artillery battery consists of a gun and four gunners. When the battery loses a morale test due to fire, it loses a gunner. It does not have to fall back and does not become disordered.

A battery which is at less than full strength must pass an "effectiveness test" when it attempts to fire:

Artillery batteries which lose a melee are out of action for the game. The victor may tow the guns through the streets of it's capitol city in triumph!


A town or walled farm is a defined area with a few buildings in it. The individual buildings are not "tactical" and may be moved about for convenince if troops occupy the town.

Unless specified by the game-master only one battalion of troops and one battery may occupy a town. The battery must face "out" from one side of the town and its fire is measured out through that side at normal effect.

Infantry occupying a town may fire out through any one side per turn. The infantry's fire range is cut to 4" because the town precludes the effective concentration of the defending troops' fire.

Infantry fire has no effect on the occupants of a town. Artillery fire has normal effect, but it takes "two hits" (one on turn 3 and another on turn 4, for example) to cause a morale test. A unit in a town, which fails morale loses a stand but does not need to fall back out of the town. It may remain in the town in disorder. It may, of course, fall back if it wishes to after a failed morale test.

At any time that a unit in a town must take a morale test due to enemy artillery fire, roll two D6 and sum them. If the total is 11 or 12, the town has caught fire and the occupants must evactuate on the next turn. This applies no matter if the morale test by the occupants was passed or failed.

Misc. Rules about Disorder

Elite units may self-rally without an officer attached, if they roll a 6. Remain disordered on 1-5.

Units that do not rally from disorder, remain disordered, may attempt to rally from disorder on later turns. Disordered units that move may not attempt to rally.

Disordered units attacked by enemy troops:

The Game-Master

The Jackson gamers almost always have an "umpire" or "Game-master" who runs the game but is not a player. He makes final rules interpretations, and these interpretations stand during the course of the game even if patently wrong. He decides what terrain is major or minor obstacles. He adjudicates any hidden movement or hidden deployment. His word is law during the game.

Optional Rules

Elite & Militia The game-master decides what proportion of units may be elite, or must be militia. The players may then decide which of their units actually ARE elite or militia. Both sides must know which units are elite, but there is no need to inform your enemy which of your units are miliita. This may be left as a pleasant surprise.

Hidden Units & Off-table units The Game-Master may allow either or both sides to have hidden units or off-board units. He may allow movement around flanks and may construct special rules for this as needed. Hidden units or off-table movment should not be used without a Game-Master.

Aides de Camp Players may allow the army commander one or two "Aides de Camp." These are extra officers that may assist by rallying units when no brigadier is available. They should stay next to the Commander-in-Chief and be sent to specific units for specific tasks, returning to the C-in-C when the task is complete.

Charge Movement Many people have asked if charging units would not move more quickly. This is a question of philosphy and can be debated endlessly. If you wise you may allow charging units 50% additional movment.

Blown Horses At the start of the turn, each player rolls a die for each of his mounted units involved in a melee or a charge (even if for some reason a melee did not result). If the die result is 6 the that unit's horses are "blown" and it will move at half-rate for the remainder of the game. If attacked, it tests morale at -1. Some would say that this would apply more to the French in this period, whose cavalry suffered from a variety of ills making it less effective.

Notes on unit formations

Infantry fights in line (except elite infantry may charge in column against towns or fortificatons or across bridges) and moves in column. The diagrams below show simple infantry and lines and columns. The Jackson Gamers use four stands per infantry battalion.

Cavalry fight in line but may also charge in double lines (one squadron behind the other). Cavarly do not charge in column, but may fight (at a penalty) if enemy cavalry charge them while in column. Their formations are mainly the same as the infantry except the we mount two cavalry figures per stand.

If you must use cavalry squadrons, use two stands per squadron, so that a regiment has two "squadrons." Most French cavalry regiments during the Seven Years War had only two squadrons. Many other contries had more squadrons per regiment. If you have larger regiments for one side, it will distort the game. The Jackson Gamers make all of their battalions and squadrons the same size.

Infantry Column

Infantry Line

Cavalry Column

Cavalry Line

Cavalry in two Lines

Notes by authors

By Fr. Aelred Glidden This rules set is based on concepts of Donald Featherstone & Stephen Simpson The (above) concepts are developed from Wally Simon's account of Stephen Simpson's rules for the ARW which appeared in "Wargames Illustrated" #75. They are similar to Featherstone's, but SIMPLER, since no roster is required.

By Jay Stribling I have added a good bit to this rules set, mainly to codify how things work - to make it more clear when things may happen during the turn.

We have played the morale tests for this game in two ways. The first way is to allow the player firing the guns or charging the enemy to roll the morale test dice to determine the result of fire or charging. The second way is to allow the "owning" player to roll the die to see what happens to his units as a result of being fired upon or being charged. While the first way "feels better" if you are shooting or charging, I now favor the second way. It is quicker.

If you feed that the firing or charging player must roll the die you may play the game that way. It will not change the outcome in the slightest.

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