|Tricolor 1975 edition|
Anyway, it was from within the pages of Wargamer's Digest that I first discovered Tricolor. The description of the rules in the advert sounded exactly what I was searching: rules, unit organization, and national characteristics. All of this could be mine for the princely sum of $5.00! I hesitated not so long before stuffing a money order for $5.45 into an envelope and posting.
|Advert from Wargamer's Digest, 1975|
National Characteristics consumed a large chunk of the rules and these provided my first taste of organizing and commanding the various Napoleonic combatants. I recall using Tricolor as a basis for many of my early Napoleonic battles on the floor using Airfix figures.
|Sample National Characteristics|
What about the rules, themselves? For smaller battles, the time scale is one turn about one minute, one foot equals about 150 yards, one figure equals about 20 men, and one gun represents about eight guns. Infantry are typically mounted six figures per stand, cavalry four figures per stand, and one gun and four crew per gun stand. all of my plastic Airfix figures were based in this manner with light companies split into two, three figure half stands.
Movement was simultaneous and troops required orders to perform most actions. Fire was by figure for infantry using three range tables while artillery fired with varying numbers of dice dependent upon range and gun type. Casualties were, similarly, by figure.
Melee was conducted by summing all of the melee points for both combatants and then dividing the larger sum by the smaller sum. This resulted in an odds ratio which was applied to both the larger and smaller forces. Based upon the odds, a die roll determined the result. For each participant, losses were computed as a percentage of the smaller force engaged multiplied by a die roll. With the base loss percentage being either 5% or 10%, a participant could lose between 5-60% of the smaller force in melee. This could be quite bloody and decisive! Melee results also dictated an involuntary move by the loser of either 'Retreat' or 'Disorder and Retreat' with the latter being the more severe.
Casualties may also cause involuntary moves with the same classifications as in Melee. Morale is checked once a unit's casualties (or remaining figures actually) reaches a threshold. Based upon Unit Type (militia, Regular, Elite, Guard) varying casualty levels produce specific effects including 'Retreat' and 'Disorder and Retreat.'
Scattered throughout the rules are various illustrations by Greg Bell. One such illustration shown below is one of my favorites. Classic!
Tricolor might still produce an interesting, Old School flavored game. I think if I planned to tackle Tricolor again, I would do away with SIMO. It might be a fun and nostalgic experiment!