SCENARIO & RULES
The starting positions for European Empires are a few large countries which are roughly those at the start of the Napoleonic Wars (the idea is that we're working towards a version that accurately captures the look and feel of Napoleonic battles and campaigns).
The usual rules for Empires apply, except as amended here (and subsequently in the messages section of the game report). Air forces will not be used. The changes in this game are that armies move and attack differently according to whether you provide additional units called "supply trains". These are cheap but move only up and down supply lines, so that as you move your armies around you need to consider how your supply lines are organised. Get it right and movement will be quicker and cheaper than in the standard rules. Get it wrong and you'll get your armies stranded and dispersed.
Supply trains are built in your capital or in naval bases and can be moved by ships or along supply lines to your armies. They reduce your supply and movement costs and help prevent dispersals. They're used up by your armies when they move or attack, and lost (captured) in retreats. Supply lines are formed by chains of retreat locations (so supply moves along the line in one direction, while retreating armies would move along it in the other direction).
If your supply lines are in good order then you can send the supply trains you've built direct to your army. Once your lines are broken you have to move supplies around one area at a time, which is going to use a lot of actions and slow you down. You need to plan the movement of your armies around maintaining your supply lines, and if you can break your opponents supply lines, all the better.
Note: In this version you're going to spend as much time and effort on supply as on moving your troops. Supply trains are cheap, and you're probably going to build more supply trains than armies.
A "supply centre" in these rules is an area where you can build new supply trains and to which your armies can trace their supply lines. Your capital and your naval bases are supply centres.
The CAPITAL action assigns (or re-assigns) the area nominated as your "capital" and supply centre. If the area is coastal then it will also be a naval base. The cost is 10 BPs.
[ CAPITAL ] [ WHERE] [ blank] [ blank ] to nominate your capital and supply centre
Supply lines are formed by a chain of retreat locations, in the opposite direction to how you move when retreating (so that you can follow the chain of retreat locations back from the end of the supply line to the start). The end of a supply line will normally be an army, and the start will be a supply centre (your capital or a naval base).
For each area the game report shows where an army in that area can draw supply (tracing a chain back to a supply centre, so that if you build supply in the area shown you can then move it to the army - provided no-one else gets in your way).
Note: An area doesn't need to have the retreat mode set in order to use the retreat location to form a supply line.
The normal cost of moving on land is 1 BP per army moved, but this is reduced by 1 BP for each supply train in the area being moved from. Supply has no effect on the extra cost of moving by sea. One supply train in expended in each move, and a from an area with no supply trains (so you can't pay the supply cost) disperses one army instead.
One supply train in expended in each attack. Attacks from areas with no supply are not allowed.
The normal cost of attacking on land is 1 BP per army moved, but this is reduced by 1 BP for each supply train in the area being moved from. Supply has no effect on the extra cost of attacking at sea.
In a successful attack on land an additional supply train (if available) is expended to move the entire attacking force together (instead of dividing it).
Supply trains cannot retreat and any supply in an area being attacked suffer the same collateral damage as population and forts.
MOVING SUPPLIES WITH ARMIES
In all moves and attacks any remaining supply trains move together with the armies, except that if any armies are left behind then one supply train is left behind as well.
The reason for leaving one behind when you leave troops behind is so that they can still move (without dispersing) or attack. You'll also find it useful if your army has to retreat, since retreating armies always leave their supplies behind.
In land areas where there would be dispersals at the end of the turn, if there are any supply trains present then the number of dispersals is reduced by the number of supply trains and one supply train is used up.
In land areas where there would be a supply cost at the end of the turn, if there are any supply trains present then the supply cost is reduced by the number of supply trains and one supply train is used up.
Each kingdom has a supply capacity that is fixed at the start of the game, as below. It cannot be changed during the game.
The SUPPLY action builds supply trains in a supply centre, or moves them on the map. There are several forms of this action, described in the following sections. The "ALL" and "ALL BUT" formats work in all these cases.
BUILDING SUPPLY TRAINS
The number of supply trains that can be built in a single action is limited by your supply capacity and also by the population in the area. Supply trains cost 1 BP each to build.
[ SUPPLY ] [ WHERE] [ blank ] [ NUMBER] to build new supply trains
MOVING SUPPLY TRAINS
The number of supply trains that can be moved in a single action is limited by your supply capacity. There is no cost in BPs for moving supply trains. There are three forms of supply moves: one area to an adjacent area on land, along a supply line, or by sea from a naval base.
[ SUPPLY ] [ WHERE FROM ] [ WHERE TO] [ NUMBER] to move supply trains on the map
SIMPLE SUPPLY MOVE
On land a SUPPLY action can move supply trains from one land area you own to an adjacent land area that you own. This also resets the retreat location of the destination area (but doesn't set the retreat mode - you can use this action to set a retreat location without setting the defence mode to retreat at the same time).
USING SUPPLY LINES
You can also move supply trains "up" a supply line (a chain of retreat locations - see earlier) from a supply centre to any area that's on a supply line starting from that supply centre (ie. any area that shows this supply centre as where that area draws supplies).
SUPPLY BY SEA
Supply trains can be moved from a naval base to a land area adjacent to any ships that come from that base. This action is ordered by entering the code for the sea space in the "where from" box (not the naval base: we know what naval base the supplies should be in because we keep track of which base the ships came from). The number that can be moved this way is limited by the number of ships.
Note: For supply trains to be any use you've got to move them to the area you want them. It's very quick and easy (and cheap) if you've got a supply line running back to a supply centre from the area where your army is located (or if you navy is on the coast). If someone breaks your supply lines then your armies will soon be unable to move and fight, and you have the choice of bringing up another army to remove the obstruction or shifting your lines (by changing retreat locations and/or by making single-step supply moves).
It's likely we'll need some extra actions to help move supply around the map. Probably one to collect all the supply trains from all along a supply line (rather than just from the supply source at the start: there are times it's going to be wanted), and another to distribute supply all along a supply line (and maybe troops along with it).
Sabotage actions should probably work against supply or supply lines rather than against armies directly. We could probably add an option to send supplies to other countries, so that allies can help each other more diectly. At present you can still place reserves in areas that are out of supply, and that probably shouldn't be allowed (now that we've got supply centres, then we should probably restrict reserves to appearing in them).
But let's see how the rules work as they stand before we try to add anything more.