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falling back from combat and advantage for being in line ?

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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 ?





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.


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 !


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...).



--- 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?
--- End quote ---

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


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