This third posting of the campaign rules describes how we will be generating the battles and using the armies we have raised. I have tried to use as many of the rules we are already familiar with from PoW.
Battle generation and army orders
Battles are always fought between the principle armies. For example if a great power of three commands is operating in a territory with a single command ally then the great power will fight and the ally will only join the battle if it continues to a second day.
All armies require a movement order and a general level of aggression.
Attack; the army will seek a battle with any army that operates in the regions it moves through.
Engage; the army will maneuver against any army it encounters in the regions it moves through. It will not attack an army on hold but will prevent a besieging army from launching assaults. It may choose to attack an army on engage if the other army wishes to fight a battle otherwise this other army maneuvers out of reach. It must fight another army that is on attack orders.
Hold; The army may dig defences and put all its units into +1 entrenchments. It will also adopt this order when besieging a city.
Once it has been decided that a battle is to be fought, then the type of battle is generated. If both armies are on attack orders then the battle will be an encounter battle when both armies move onto the battlefield from the table edge. If both armies are on engage this will also be an encounter battle but both armies begin up to 12 inches in. If one is engage and the other is attack then the engage army is 12 inches in and the attack army moves from the table edge. When a hold army fights it is deployed up to 18 inches from the table edge and the attacker will move from the table edge.
Holding armies are always the defender and engaged armies are also the defender against attacking armies and therefore place the terrain. Otherwise roll for who is the attacker and they choose which side they attack from.
Terrain is always settled or mountainous dependent on where in Italy we are fighting.
A defeated army will always retire to the nearest friendly controlled region (allied territory will count and by sea if they are non-hostile). If this is not possible, the army must fight any army that bars its way or the army will disintegrate.
Sea battles may occur if two enemy fleets are in the same sea and both fleets accept battle. The one that declines will retire to an adjacent sea or to a port in the same sea region. The winning fleet can then blockade the port and cut off supplies to a land army and prevent any movement by the blockaded fleet. Sea battles are resolved by a D6 thrown for each fleet (with a +1 modifier for Venice) and the loser retiring.
No fleets are built or destroyed in this campaign. Fleets require one gold point for maintenance in the winter season or two for each defeat suffered during the previous three seasons. They will automatically return to their home base in winter.
As ever, let me know what you think.