Napnuts Peninsular Campaign Rules


Welcome to the Napnuts Peninsular Wars campaign rules.  These rules are for campaigning the French invasion of Portugal in 1810-1811, although some modifications from historical fact have been made for the sake of game balance.  They are meant to be used in conjunction with “Republique” grand tactical rules available free from  The campaign map is from Miniature Wargames’ issue number 221 of October 2001. 

Please note that this campaign should be played as a board game.  As such, these rules will comprehensively state what players may or may not do in the campaign.  Anything not stated herein, will NOT be allowed. (Exception:  To preserve fog of war, each side will be provided with confidential rules stating what additional capabilities and limitations their side will face in the campaign.  These additional rules must be adhered to during game play.)

The game begins on 1 August 1810.  The French may choose to invade Portugal from either Leon or Estremadera.  

Players should note that Napoleon intended to lead this campaign to expel the British from the Peninsula once and for all.  However, he got distracted by his divorce from Josephine and subsequent marriage to the Austrian Archduchess Marie-Louise.  Contrary to historical fact, in our campaign, there is a distinct possibility that Napoleon will march across the Pyrenees to expel the upstart Viscount Wellington of Talavera and his ridiculous redcoats, thereby providing an interesting "what if" element in the campaign.

Victory Conditions

To win the game, the French must either destroy the British army in Portugal, or force it to evacuate the Peninsula.  

The British win by preserving Portugal's independence AND by securing one invasion route into Spain (ie by retaining either the route Lisbon-Almeida or Lisbon-Elvas). To secure the invasion route, they must also hold the fortresses along that route - ie Almeida/Ciudad Rodrigo or Elvas/Badajoz. Alternatively, the British may win by destroying the French army in battle.  

The above victory conditions must be attained by 7 June 1811, otherwise the game will be declared a draw.

Available Troops

Click here for the starting OOBs  

(Note that to preserve fog of war, there may be additional troops available to the players which are not listed in the OOBs above.)

In the main, reinforcements and replacements will arrive as per historical schedule.  However, there may be some additional troops available to either side which were not available historically.  To preserve fog of war, these additional reinforcements will not be made known to the players before they arrive. 


Each campaign turn equals 1 week of real time.

Each hex on the campaign map measures 36 miles across

Units and Stacking.

The smallest units that may be represented on the strategic map are infantry divisions, cavalry brigades, detached light cavalry and dragoon units, guerilla units, Portuguese militia brigades, and town/city/fortress garrisons.

There are no stacking limits, except those imposed by the supply rules.

Players may rearrange their assets before the game starts. NO rearranging of assets between units will be allowed once the game has started except under one of the following circumstances:

  • after a major battle if they don't move off from the battlefield for one full turn

  • if the units spend a whole turn in a town/city/fortress without moving

  • dropping off unit bases to serve as town/city/fortress garrisons

  • light cavalry and dragoon bases may be detached at any time for scouting or escort duties. 


At the beginning of the game the CinC will give specific orders for each corps under his command.  These orders will stay in force and the corps must act within the parameters of those orders until new orders are received.

The position of the CinC of each side must be declared to the umpire.  If this is not done, it is presumed that the CinC is with the main body of his army.  The CinC may move up to 4 hexes per turn.

At the beginning of the turn, the CinC of each side will give new orders for each of their corps to the umpire by email.

For those troops stacked with and adjacent to the CinC's hex, any new orders will take effect immediately.

Otherwise, an appropriate time lag will be factored into the execution of the orders bearing in mind the time needed for a messenger to carry the orders to that corps' location.  Note that there is a chance that messengers could get lost, waylaid, or killed by guerillas.  Until the orders arrive, the unit may not act inconsistently with their current orders.  Messengers move at the rate of 4 hexes per turn.


Only Infantry divisions, cavalry brigades, individual light cavalry or dragoon bases, guerilla bases and Portuguese militia brigades may move on the strategic map.  Artillery must always be attached to an infantry division or a cavalry brigade and may not move independently.

Divisions may drop-off battalions to garrison key towns and cities.  Once dropped off, these individual battalions or brigades may not move unless they are "picked up" by another infantry division.

Movement rates are as follows:

  • Infantry - 2 hexes on roads, 1 hex cross country

  • Cavalry - 3 hexes on roads, 2 hexes cross country

  • Foot artillery may move at infantry rate, but only on roads.

  • Horse artillery may move at cavalry rate, but only on roads.

If any artillery is attached to an infantry division or cavalry brigade, then that unit may only move along roads.  A stack of units moves along at the movement rate of its slowest unit.

Forced marches increase above movement rates by 1 hex.  To reflect fatigue, troops that are forced marched directly into battle will suffer -1 on all assaults and melees fought by that unit during the current day's battle.  They may recover from the effects of fatigue after one full night's rest.  Troops on the campaign map may not be forced marched for two consecutive campaign turns. 

Note that land movement into Lisbon is not permitted from the 2 hexes south and southeast of Lisbon.


A supply route can only be traced along a road.  It may not be traced cross-country.

The British are always in supply if they can trace a supply route to Lisbon or Oporto.  

Unlike French, the British may not forage.

With the exception of sieges, garrisons are always in supply if they do not move out of their fortress.

French supply is more problematic.  Traditionally, because of an inefficient supply system, French armies relied on foraging to supplement their meager food supplies.  However, conditions in the Peninsula were very poor so that foraging was often insufficient to supply the needs of an entire army on the march.

As a result, French armies have to trace an unbroken supply route from Madrid, Bayonne, Salamanca, Seville or the French border.

French supply may not be traced through the Spanish province of Galicia.

Because of British control of the seas, the French may not be supplied by sea.

The full details of French supply problems, and the British ability to cut those supply lines using guerillas will be contained in the individual player briefings.

The French player may create a limited number of supply depots to shorten his line of supply.  If these depot towns/cities are captured, all the supplies therein are lost.

French troops may forage in the plains around Lisbon and in mountain hexes containing a named town/city on the strategic map.  The amount of forage that may be obtained per hex depends on whether the hex has been "scorched" by the British.  Depending on how badly scorched the hex is, each hex may only supply a limited number of units.  Units that have successfully foraged are not considered out of supply that turn. 

Supply may not be traced through an enemy or a guerilla unit.  To block a supply route, the enemy or guerilla unit has to be in the road hex it intends to block.  An enemy unit that intends to block a supply route must itself be in supply. Guerilla units need not trace a supply route and are presumed to be able to live off the land, and the "generosity" of the natives.

Effects of being Out of Supply

Units that cannot trace a valid supply route can only fight 2 major battles until their ammunition runs out.  Once out of ammo:

  • Artillery may not be used.

  • Infantry assaults will suffer a –2 modifier.  

Units that have been out of supply for more than one week will face mounting desertion problems and higher rates of illness.  Infantry divisions and cavalry brigades that have been out of supply for more than one week will lose 1 base of troops to disease, malnutrition and desertion for every consecutive turn they remain unsupplied. These losses are modified in the following manner.  For each infantry division/cavalry brigade that is out of supply, roll 1D6:

  • 1 - lose an additional base of troops

  • 2-5 - no additional loss apart from the 1 base lost

  • 6 - no losses suffered this turn

A unit that is out of supply may not be forced marched.

Units that have been out of supply for more than 2 weeks will also suffer 1 morale “hit”.   Such morale hits are removed once supply has been restored.


The number and availability of guerillas will be determined by the umpire.

Guerillas may only operate in their home province.  Portuguese guerillas may operate anywhere in Portugal, but may not cross the border into Spain. 

Spanish guerrilla movements will be randomly determined by the umpire.  Portuguese guerrillas may be controlled by the British player.

Guerillas may be used to cut enemy supply lines.  They may also be used to capture depot towns and can be used to attack enemy units.

Scouts and Intelligence

The campaign is a hidden movement game.  Players will not know where the enemy is, and his strength unless he makes contact with them (ie enters into combat) or he uses his cavalry to scout for the enemy.

The British player who is fighting on friendly soil will also be able to gather intelligence from the natives and from guerrilla bands.  The umpire will determine what information the British player can obtain from such sources.  Note that not all intelligence reports are 100% accurate.

A cavalry scouting  unit may not be smaller than 1 base strength.  Only light cavalry and dragoons may be used as cavalry scouts.

Cavalry scouts can obtain information on enemy strengths and movements by entering into the same hex as the enemy unit. 

Cavalry scouts may be prevented from gathering information on enemy strengths if the enemy cavalry strength in that hex is larger than the scouting unit’s strength.  The scouts have been effectively screened.

Scouting units may choose not to engage in combat with enemy troops occupying that hex.


Units may enter into combat only when they both occupy the same hex.  A battle will take place if both sides elect to fight.  If both sides decline combat, no battle takes place. If one side decides to force combat, and the other side seeks to evade, combat could take place if the side seeking combat can catch the side seeking to evade (umpire to resolve).  The umpire will have full discretion to decide whether a game is to be played out on the tabletop, or whether it is to be umpire resolved. If a battle is to be played on the tabletop, the Republique ruleset will be used.  

If a battle is to be umpire resolved, the combat rules from Practical Wargamer May/June 1992 (suitably modified) will be used as follows.  

Each side rolls 1D6, adjust according to the modifiers listed below and look up the result in the appropriate Battle Results Table.


  • +2 if Wellington or Napoleon present

  • +1 if commanded by above average commander

  • +1 per 25% numerical advantage (+1 per 50% if majority Spanish)

  • +2 if British in good defensive position

  • +1 if other in good defensive position

  • -1 if out of supply

  • -1 if forced marched into battle

  • -1 if majority green troops

French vs Spanish/ Militia Battle Results Table

Die Roll Result % French Casualties % Spanish/ Militia Casualties
6 Sp/M routed 1 60
5 Sp/M routed 1 55
4 Sp/M routed 4 50
3 Sp/M routed 5 50
2 Sp/M routed 6 30
1 Sp/M defeated 7 25
0 Sp/M defeated 7 20
-1 Sp/M defeated 8 15
-2 Sp/M defeated 10 15
-3 Draw attacker withdraws 10 10
-4 Fr defeated 15 10
-5 Fr defeated 20 5
-6 Fr routed 25 5

French vs British Battle Results Table

Die Roll Result % French Casualties % British Casualties
6 British routed 6 30
5 British routed 8 25
4 British defeated 8 20
3 British defeated 10 15
2 Draw Br withdraw 12 15
1 Draw attacker withdraw 15 12
0 Draw Fr withdraw 15 10
-1 French defeated 20 8
-2 French defeated 20 7
-3 French defeated 25 6
-4 French defeated 30 5
-5 French routed 35 5
-6 French routed 40 4


For game purposes, only the following cities are considered to be fortresses - Ciudad Rodrigo, Almeida, Badajoz, Elvas and Lisbon (denoted on the map by a red square).  These cities, if garrisoned, can only be taken by siege.   (Note that Torres Vedras and Sobral are not fortresses for purposes of the siege rules.  They are basically defensive lines which must be penetrated before Lisbon can be besieged.  Historically, barring freak occurrences and treachery, sieges in the Peninsula took on average 4-6 weeks.  Note that Lisbon is separated by sea from the 2 hexes directly south and southeast of the city.  As such, Lisbon may not be besieged from those 2 hexes.  Land movement is also not allowed across those 2 hexsides.

Sieges will not be played on the tabletop.  All sieges will be resolved by the umpire using the system described in Practical Wargamer March/April 1992 (suitably modified) as follows.

Each fortified town has a defensive value which are listed below:

  • Abrantes 4

  • Almeida 7

  • Badajoz 8

  • Ciudad Rodrigo 6

  • Elvas 6

  • Lisbon ?? (unknown to French until besieged)

  • Add 1 point per 8 bases Spanish/Portuguese garrison, or per 4 bases British/French garrison.

The defenders' value is compared to the attackers' value (1 point per 8 bases British/French or 16 bases Spanish/Portuguese. The attackers' value is also increased by 1 point per battery of siege artillery.) and the Siege Table consulted:

Siege Table

DV-AV % chance of success % losses (A) % chance of -1 reduction in DV
0 40 0.5 -
1 35 1.0 40
2 30 1.5 35
3 25 2.0 30
4 15 2.5 25
5 10 3.0 20
6 5 3.5 10

The Siege Table gives the percentage chance of the attacker succeeding in capturing the town each move (roll 2D10) and the percentage chance that the attacker reduces the DV of the fortress.  Note that the siege does not begin until (1) the besiegers have spent at least 1 turn in the same hex as the fortress under siege, and (2) the besiegers bring up the necessary siege train.

To speed up the progress of the siege, the attacker may elect to storm the defences.  If this is attempted, then for that move, the chance of success is doubled, but the attacker's casualties must be multiplied by 1 average die.

The defender may try to relieve the fortress.  If this happens, a battle will be fought outside the fortress.  Defenders may attempt to sally forth from the fortress to aid the relieving force.

Note that the umpire may decide to play an important siege on paper using the rules contained in Practical Wargamer, Feb 1999 issue.

After a successful siege, the attacking force must spend at least 1 turn stationary in the fortress to reorganise.  To reflect their higher discipline, British may roll 1D6.  If the result is 1-2, the troops have begun to sack the city and the army must stay put for the whole turn.  If the result is 3-6, they may move off at half movement rate.  


Battlefield casualties are replaced in the following manner.

Winner may recover 50% of his battlefield casualties and 75% of his troops that have routed.

Loser may recover 25% of battlefield casualties and 50% of his troops that have routed.  

All guns abandoned on the battlefield, and all guns captured during the course of the battle may be incorporated into the enemy army and may be used in the next battle.


The winner of a battle may elect to pursue the defeated side only if he has fresh, uncommitted cavalry.  Uncommitted horse artillery may also join in the pursuit. Compare cavalry strengths of the pursuing and defeated army.  If the pursuer has cavalry superiority, those bases in excess of the defender's bases may make a free assault on disordered enemy units of their choice.  If there are no disordered troops, he may assault ordered troops.  For the purposes of this free assault, casualties on the attacker are ignored. 

After this free assault, one round of combat will take place between the pursuing and defeated cavalry.  This is considered a rearguard action by the defender. If defender loses this rearguard action, he must retreat his full movement rate for at least one turn. 

Note that the winner of a battle must spend some time to rest and reorganise his forces before moving off again.  He may continue to press the defeated army with his fresh, unengaged cavalry and infantry.  However, units that were engaged may only move at half speed the next turn.  This is to reflect time spent for rest and reorganisation.  If the attacker elects to move at full speed his next turn, then all units in his army regardless of whether they were engaged during the battle, will suffer 1 morale hit.  During their next battle, they may not be rallied beyond the morale level they began the battle with.  The winning side may recover from this morale hit if they spend at least half a campaign turn resting his army.

Effect of Losing a Battle 

All units of the losing force will suffer 1 morale hit at the end of the battle.  During their next battle, they may not be rallied beyond the morale level they began the battle with.  If they win that battle, all "lost battle" morale hits will be erased.

The losing force may also recover from "lost battle" morale hits if they spend 2 campaign turns stationary and are not engaged in battle during that time.

Note that a unit may not accumulate more than a maximum of 2 morale hits as a result of lack of supply and losing battles.

copyright: Dominic Goh (2002)