Author Topic: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?  (Read 6269 times)

straylight

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falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« on: April 14, 2012, 01:20:46 AM »
please bear with me for these newb questions. We found the combat resolution sequence very confusing.

I'd just like to check if we are playing this situation correctly as it didn't feel right.

large hussar unit charges french infantry battalion in column. The frenchies got into square, curse them. Despite this, the hussars won an inconclusive combat and the french took 1 DISR. Since the french square doesn't fall back, para c on p59 tells us that the winner (the Austrian Hussars) fall back instead (also taking 1 DISR for being cav). This doesn't feel right, since they won, but is it just a game mechanic for separating units at the end of a combat ?  so someone has to fall back ?

Is the 1 DISR penalty to cav unless it would break it a mute point, since a unit cannot charge if it only has 1 DISR left ?

second question is whether there is any advantage for being in line apart from an extra few shots of musket fire. A unit in attack column moves faster, suffers no penalty for being a more appealing target for gunfire, gets as many attacks in combat as if it were in line (as if everyone was in the front rank), makes formation changes less costly in movement penalties. Is the advantage just tactical in that the breadth of the formation is extended to lessen the chance of being outflanked ?

tia

stu





 

srmlaw

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2012, 04:34:10 AM »
Stu,

Two mechanisms at work here:

(1) Combats never carry over into the other player's turn, so, yes, one side or the other has to fall back in order to break the contact.
(2) Certain combats have to be decisive for the defender to be broken.  If inconclusive, the attacker has not secured a high enough victory margin to succeed.  Hence, squares do not fall back and a victorious cavalry unit falls back instead (unless the inconclusive combat still caused enough DISR to the square to break it.).

The 1 DISR for winning cavalry unless that would break it is not a moot point, since a cavalry unit with only 2 DISR can attack two defenders, break one and suffer a DISR then break the other but not suffer the second DISR as that would break the cavalry.

Seems like you have discovered the basic tactical rationale for the attack column.  More manouevreable, has the same effect in a combat, not dense enough to suffer unduly from fire.  BUT do not expect an attack column to last very long in an extended fire fight and watch out for those vulnerable flanks.

Stephen

straylight

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2012, 04:47:55 PM »
thanks for the very quick reply stephen, appreciate the help.

you can imagine two utter newbs, familiar only with other forms of gaming, trying to nut out how the game works. It is a steep learning curve. We were resolving combats unit vs unit, instead of the whole combat, which didn't help at all ! We got that from p59 para b) (discussing units that don't fall back) "infantry in combat with enemy cavalry, or waiting to resolve a combat against cavalry" led us to think a unit fights off the attackers one at a time.  Nincompoops.

It took quite a bit of searching to find out what breaking meant, single sentence p18 would have been nicely reinforced in the combat resolution section with the addition of the phrase "breaks and is removed from play". Our confusion was over breaking vs falling back. Simple things, obvious in retrospect !

I think we will enforce the linear tactics rule, that will keep the resident naps player happy.   

nonetheless, one game down and eager to play more. Using 1/72 plastics and basing 8 figs per base, 60mm x 20mm, we played the Venzone historical scenario, probably not the simplest way to start, very crowded and limited to a 3' frontage.

one more question, we gathered that pre-measurement was perfectly acceptable and quite necessary.

thanks again. Back to the painting desk !

stu 

ELGamer

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 10:44:29 AM »
Hmm. We have read the rules (newbies to this game also), that combats are resolved one unit vs one unit at a time (sequentially based on who chooses the next combat) and not one unit vs everyone it is fighting. Have we gotten something very basic very wrong?

Also, it is possible for a regular sized unit with 2 DISR to charge, take a 3rd DISR as a result of fire before the combat phase, and then win (not taking that DISR as it would break). Multiple combats as noted above would also give the same general result (combat result 1 DISR would break the unit...).

--Eric

straylight

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 03:54:30 PM »
Quote
Hmm. We have read the rules (newbies to this game also), that combats are resolved one unit vs one unit at a time (sequentially based on who chooses the next combat) and not one unit vs everyone it is fighting. Have we gotten something very basic very wrong?

reading back through the examples (p63), they tally up the dice from all the attackers and all the defenders for a single combat. On p54 it stipulates a combat is decided for each defending unit against all the attackers. We must have been blind not to read that.  It was even put in boldface for our benefit ! :-[

Considering an attacker halves his dice for attacking more than one unit, but a defender doesn't only makes sense if the combats are resolved as a whole. Otherwise a defender gets to roll their full dice against every attacker. Not much point ganging up on someone ! That confused us somewhat  :D






srmlaw

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2012, 03:40:56 AM »
Dear Eric and Stu,

Combats are resolved between a single defender and all attackers in contact with that defender as one single combat.  Combats are not resolved between one defender and (sequentially) each attacker in contact with that defender.

This can get complicated.

Take a look at the example on page 54.  If the French player chose the first combat and chose the combat involving Austrian 1, then the combat would be between Austrian 1 and French A and B.

If the French win decisively, then Austrian 1 breaks and is removed from the game.  However, neither French unit can advance since both are still waiting to resolve other combats, French A against Austrian Cav and French B against Austrian 2.

If the French win but the victory is inconclusive, Austrian 1 suffers 1DISR and falls back.

If the Austrians win decisively, then both French A and French B each suffer 1DISR and both fall back.

If the Austrians win inconclusively, then both French A and French B each suffer 1DISR but only French B falls back.  French A cannot fall back as it lost an inconclusive combat but is still waiting to resolve a combat against Austrian Cav.  Since French A cannot fall back, Austrian 1 has to in order to break the contact.

The rationale for only attackers halving dice is in FAQ5 on page 129.

It is perfectly OK to measure distances before doinf something.  After all, the men on the ground would be making their own estimates of distances before doing something.

Although not stated in Lasalle, if you find that the 6 foot X 4 foot board is a bit small if you are using 60mm as a base width, try multiplying the board dimensions by 1.5, to produce 8 X 6.  Since all distances are relative to the base width, you would have the same overall result as if you were using a BW of 40mm.  There is no reason not to, and every reason to, change your board dimensions to suit your BWs.

Stephen

straylight

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2012, 08:40:17 PM »
thanks stephen, pretty conclusive reply  :D

8'x6' board is a bit out of reach unfortunately.

Using the long table edge for deployment might work a little better as well !

thanks for addressing the pre-measurement question as well. I've long been a fan of pre-measuring.

stu

eblingus

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 06:26:34 AM »
"Seems like you have discovered the basic tactical rationale for the attack column.  More manouevreable, has the same effect in a combat, not dense enough to suffer unduly from fire.  BUT do not expect an attack column to last very long in an extended fire fight and watch out for those vulnerable flanks."

 :o
The only reason the attack column in Lasalle "has the same effect in a combat, not dense enough to suffer unduly from fire" is because Sam made it that way.  It has nothing to do with reality.   :D

nickdives

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2012, 04:11:34 AM »
I have the rules and they are looking good for my 28mm project. However from what I can see there is no point in using line, especially against multiple columns. The only problem would come in a long exchange of fire with a single column, however from what I can see in cases of multiple columns the line can only fire at one of them. In addition what is the rationale in firing at a dense column being no different than firing at a line? Perhaps if the rules were called "Archduke Charles" or "Wellington" they might have been different!

Le Grand Fromage

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2012, 06:15:20 AM »
Quote
what is the rationale in firing at a dense column being no different than firing at a line?

The Line shoots with twice as many bases.

nickdives

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2012, 11:46:36 PM »
A line might shoot with twice as many bases, but only at one of the columns. It is looking more like column is the way to go and line becomes a thing of the past!

doomben

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2012, 01:48:24 AM »
A few thing to remember about a 2 column 'phalanx' attack on a line.

First, the line will have got to shoot in their previous turn when the attacker moved into charge range.  They will have shot 4 bases at 1 of the columns.  If they stand and fire they will get to shoot again.  So you could have fired 8 shots at one column before combat.  Put 3 DISR on that column and it will be very nervous in combat.

Second, if the enemy has concentrated 2 units on 1 of yours, then either you are the defender so should be defending favourable terrain, or you will have more units elsewhere on the table to take advantage.

Third, standing and firing is only one option available to a defending line.  They can instead fall back with a pretty good chance of success.  In that case no combat occurs.  Alternatively, if you are that sort of player, you can do a formation change to column so one or both attacking columns halve in combat for not having enemy covering more than half their frontage.

I have not found the 2 column v 1 line attack to be that dominant in Lasalle.  If anything, making an overwhelming attack means the defender automatically chooses to fall back and you can struggle to pin them down.

Cam

srmlaw

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2012, 02:28:00 AM »
I do have a question about falling back that mayhap Le Grand Fromage can answer:

If an attacking infantry unit up against a cavalry unit and an infantry unit loses decisively to the infantry unit, does it fall
back?  The way I read page 59 is that it does not fall back if it loses indecisively because it is still in contact with defending cavalry, but that it does fall back even though it is still in contact with defending cavalry if the defeat is decisive.  However, this distinction is not made on e.g. page 38 "Units that do not Fall Back from Combat."

Stephen

doomben

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2012, 03:39:25 AM »
Does the example on the top of pg 58 cover your example?  There it says that the attacking infantry does not fall back if it lost to the enemy infantry "because an infantry unit never falls back if it is contact with enemy cavalry".  Only if the attacker broke would the defending infantry not fall back.

I take this to mean that the usual fall back exceptions also apply where an attacker loses decisively (even though that is not explicit on pg59).

Cam

Paul Goldstone

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Re: falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2012, 04:18:29 AM »
Cam wrote:
Quote
First, the line will have got to shoot in their previous turn when the attacker moved into charge range.  They will have shot 4 bases at 1 of the columns.  If they stand and fire they will get to shoot again.  So you could have fired 8 shots at one column before combat.  Put 3 DISR on that column and it will be very nervous in combat
.
A line with 4 shots can only inflict 1 DISR.
The two columns also shoot with 4 dice, so will likely inflict 1 DISR on the line.
So realistically, the two columns will charge at -2 DISR, and the Line will be at -1 DISR. So all things considered, assuming Reliable units, two attack columns (14 dice) will mug a line (7 dice).

Attack column phalanxes is one of my pet hates of Napoleonic wargames rules, but I haven't come across a rule set yet which deals with it. If a player is massing troops into a single big column for smashing through an enemy position, then it should be a brigade column (i.e. battalions in line, deployed one behind the other).

Cam wrote:
Quote
Third, standing and firing is only one option available to a defending line.  They can instead fall back with a pretty good chance of success.  In that case no combat occurs.
 
Did this ever actually happen? I can't think of this ever happening, and given that a retrograde manoeuvre was fairly complex, using it to fall back from a charging enemy strikes me as somewhat absurd (of course, the officers could order their men to "run away!!", but that means breaking the cohesion of the unit completely!).

nickdives wrote:
Quote
A line might shoot with twice as many bases, but only at one of the columns. It is looking more like column is the way to go and line becomes a thing of the past!
Which is reasonably historical - after all, apart from the British (whose tactical development went in a different direction) European armies increasingly fought in battalion columns.

Cheers

Paul