The questions here are organized by section of the rulebook based on where they best fit. But be aware, since ESR is an integrated system where every part impacts other parts rather than a bunch of independent modules strung together, the answer to a question that is best fit into one area could likely have implications for other areas as well.
ESR Stat Cards
Are [Commander or Stat] Cards required for ESR Series 3?
Nope. But they are handy as all get-out. The same Stats that are available on Stat Cards can be obtained via the ESR Campaign Guides (Series 3 Ed.) or via free downloads. Stat Cards are particularly useful in throwing together pickup games when generating a roster sheet is inconvenient.
Will more Stat Card sets be released?
Yes. We currently offer Stat Cards for the Austrians, English, French, and Russians for purchase. You can also view or download stat summaries for all of those plus Bavaria, Italy, Poland, Saxony, Westphalia, and Württemberg from our Force Composition Guides. We’ll be continuing to release additional Commander and Unit Stats both in card form for purchase and as summary PDFs for free download.
What if a Stat varies between a Campaign Guide and a Card?
On occasion players may find that a Unit’s or Commander’s Stat(s) varies between the Campaign Guides and the Cards. In some cases this is because we completed and published our Campaign Guides prior to ESR Series 3 being completed and future proofed them best we could. In other cases it could be because there was an outright error made, but you should be able to find that corrected in the 1812-1s3 errata or Iberia-1s3 errata. In any case, players should agree prior to their game whether they will consider the Stat Cards or the Campaign Guide as the ultimate authority for their game to ensure no contentious moments arise.
Common Game Terms
How do you count up Cohesion?
To count the Cohesion of a Formation add up:
- The Cohesion Value of all deployed Units Cohesive with each other (225 yards distance).
- The Cohesion Value of all deployed Units Cohesive with the Reformation Area (900 yards distance).
- Add the Cohesion Bonuses of all Commanders leading the Formation.
This is used in basically every part of ESR from the Command Phase, to the Movement Phase, to the Combat Phase.
Does the ployed portion of a partially deployed Formation always count as ‘1’ for Cohesion?
Short answer: No.
Long(er) answer: This is really easy to mess up on the tabletop because it seems natural to count the ployed portion of the Formation as ‘1’ since 5.2.4 says that: “Ployed portions of a Formation are considered a single Unit.” But, the definition given of Cohesion in Common Game Terms is explicit and correct.
The Command Phase
Is the edge of the table the edge of the world?
Short answer: No. Unless the players mutually decide otherwise.
Long(er) answer: The intention of ESR’s design is that the table is effectively infinite and therefore players can issue Orders, attempt Leader Actions, and perform Command Tests targeting Force Commanders or Formations that are off-table simply by estimating their distance away (for the appropriate modifier) based on the target’s arrival time. Note, this is bi-directional, so an off-table Army or Force Commander could presumably “send messages forward” (either Orders or Leader Actions) to interact with target Commanders or Formations on the tabletop.
The Movement Phase
5.2.8.Moving Reformation Areas
How does a Reformation Area move when its Formation is on Defend [D]?
It doesn’t. The restriction of the Defend [D] Directive (2.3.4) overrides 5.2.8.Moving Reformation Areas.
When moving to contact with an enemy that is itself contacting their Formation’s Reformation Area, Units ignore Cohesion, Directive, and Objective – do they ignore Status too?
No. A Formation on a Status (Reform [RM], Retreat [RT], or Break [BK]) may not do this. In this case, the Reformation Area will move away from the enemy in contact with it when the Formation Retreats [RT] or Breaks [BK] as the result of the eventual Status Check (9.1).
What happens if a Broken [BK] Formation has its Reformation Area contacted, it can’t move away?
Correct. The Formation is effectively stuck because its Reformation Area is frozen and its Units are not allowed to move to contact with the enemy because they must move away from Threat (2.4.2). Effectively the likely eventual result is the Formation will disintegrate when Combat Losses are suffered and Units are removed when Routing to a Reformation Area in contact with the enemy.
NOTE: The Formation will move away from the enemy – and the Reformation Area will break contact with the enemy (5.2.8) – during the eventual Status Check (9.1).
The Combat Phase
8.3.When to Assess Threat
If opposing Formations are both Threatening each other during the Threat Assessment Step (of either the Movement or Combat Phases), do they both perform Threat Assessments?
So are those effectively performed simultaneously?
Does Artillery Assess Threat against enemy targets in both the Movement and Combat Phases?
Does Artillery Assess Threat during the Movement Phase even if it is at Contact with the enemy?
Does Artillery Assess Threat during the Combat Phase even if no Units are at Contact with the enemy?
Does this mean Artillery Assesses Threat twice in the turn (potentially)?
Do Units with a Threat Value of 0 still Threaten the enemy?
Yes. If a Unit has a Threat Value of ‘0’, it still causes a Threat Assessment and its parent Formation will still receive its base 1D6 if that Unit is the only one Threatening the target. Other modifiers, including the Threat Bonus of any Commanders present, are applied as normal.
Units with a Threat Value of ‘–’ indicate the Unit does not Threaten at that range, no Threat, no dice.
The Quick Reference Guide says “If Majority Cavalry -2 per Fatigue” to both Cohesion and Threat, what constitutes ‘a majority’?
Having more of one thing than another. So in this case, if the Formation in question has more Cavalry Units than Infantry and Artillery Units combined, then it is considered a ‘majority Cavalry’.
NOTE: While the rules do not indicate, some players exclude Routed Units in the Reformation Area from this tally. So long as all of the players agree, that is perfectly reasonable and consistent with other mechanics.
Can the net-Threat of a Formation against a target go negative?
No. If a Formation has Units Threatening an enemy, the lowest its Threat can go before dice are added is ‘0’, and the Formation will still receive its base 1D6 for the target even if it has 0 Threat to add to the die roll.
Is a Formation’s Threat *added* to the dice or just used to determine the number of dice rolled?
A Formation’s modified Threat determines the number of D6s to be rolled: 1D6, +1D6 for every 9 Threat (modified), and then the Threat is the added to the die roll result (8.5.Determining Threat).
Can Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery Units each support each other?
Yes. The diagrams on page 48 indicate the distances required: For a committed, unlimbered Artillery Unit to be supported an Infantry or Cavalry Unit must be in contact with its rear edge. For an Infantry or Cavalry Unit to be supported, another Unit – of any type – must be within 225 yards of it. Additionally, as stated in 8.10, once the Combat Loss is applied, the flank or rear edge of the supporting Unit cannot be the target of Threat, if it would be, then the Unit is not considered support.