|French Division column of 3 regiments attacking a|
British line of 2 Brigades. Generals accompanying;
the pluses and minuses cancel out. An even fight.
Nor did I like the notion of arbitrarily deciding that rolling a natural '1' on a D6 would be a hit, regardless of modifier (that a '6' on a D6 might be insufficient to 'save' a unit from harm doesn't seem to come into consideration, the way the mechanics work). Hence the methods I've suggested. Before leaving this, it was remarked in response to my last posting that the effect of a supporting stand being a 'plus' for its own side and a 'minus' for the enemy was perhaps to skew the results too much in favour of which side had the edge. That is a reasonable argument, but there are two reasons for my deciding to set it aside:
- I wanted to change the published game mechanics as little as possible - to stay with 'the spirit' of the original game;
- A change to an 'asymmetric' system of adding only or subtracting only seemed likely to lead to rather more sweeping changes being required to the combat mechanics. That of course doesn't rule the notion out of court if I couldn't make the system 'work' they way I wanted within the parameters I had set for myself.
|British line attacking a French column.|
Not the best approach (piecemeal) - a losing proposition for the
|French columnar attack:|
Here the Redcoats can claim flank support from the right -
in contact, otherwise not engaged, but not from the left
(not in contact with the French column).
In the light of this, what have now to suggest is rather less compelling. However, I have decided that for my own purposes, and given the grid size compared with my own elements (see the picture below), even at this scale, there remains scope for 'column' vs 'line' combat. Hence my suggestion of +2 for friendly supporting flanking unit in the same grid area; and -2 to a unit attacking an enemy unit that has a supporting flanking unit in the same grid area. Recall from last time, that who has the more 'pluses' adds 1 to his die roll; who has the more 'minuses' takes 1 from his die roll. The presence of generals, by the way, only adds to his own side, and has no effect - not even if he is Napoleon himself - upon the enemy.
|French column overlapped on both flanks by the British line.|
Not a healthy place for the French to be!
But even that doesn't seem to me to be quite enough.
Let's repeat the second diagram here:
Check it out. A French Divisional column of 4 stands, led by the Divisional commander, advances into contact with the main body of a British Division of 3 brigades. For some reason the British Division commander is no longer commanding (possibly taken by a cannonball or something).
French Roll: n + 4 (General + 3 supporting units) - 3 (enemy flanking supporting units 1 in same hex plus unengaged enemy contacted in adjacent hex)
British Roll: m + 2 (Flanking support in same hex) - 3 (enemy rear supports in same hex)
French have the extra 'plus', so can add 1 to the D6 roll.
Minuses are equal, and so neither side subtracts from the die roll.
The French will be hit if they roll '1'; the British will be hit on a roll of 1 or 2.
Now it is the British turn, and the whole Division counterattacks. As they are already in contact, it is just a matter of their 'initiating' the combat this turn. Now there are two combats. Given that the advantage in both lie with the French, one feels that this is too much a losing proposition for the British. Mind you, it is aruable that this is too piecemeal an approach. The Redcoats would do better concentrated in the one grid area.
I'm very tempted to suggest that a line of two elements as depicted here, both elements initiate combats, still counting their fellow as a flanking supporting rank. But it is still a losing proposition, even with a general present.
However, there is a solution. If the third British brigade were in the same grid area as the main body, it would add a (rear) supporting element. The presence of a general will then put 3 British Brigades, in line with integral rear support, on a par with the four French in Divisional column.
If were are to continue placing negatives for enemy in contact and pluses for for friends in flanking adjacent grid areas, - in effect an overlap - then we might have to look at something a little extra (in the negative direction) for being in contact with enemy on flank or rear.
The British facing the French infantry can count one flanking support unit within the same grid area (+2), and one unengaged flank support from the adjacent grid area (+1) to their left. As the right flank brigade is under attack by French horse, it can not help the rest of the division. That brigade can count no pluses at all, and will have to subtract 1 from the die roll owing to the cavalry's rear support.
French Infantry: Roll i; +5 (General + 3 rear support + flank support*) - 4 (1 flank and 2 rear enemy supports in same grid area.
British Infantry vs infantry: Roll j; +5 (General + 2 rear support + 2 for in-hex flank support); -4 (3 enemy rear supports, and contact with unengaged enemy).
French Light Horse: Roll h; +3 (Marshal + rear support + flank support), -4 (enemy 1 flank and 2 rear supports).
British Infantry vs cavalry: Roll k: + 5 (General + 2 rear support +2 for in-hex flank support), -2 (Cav rear support + flank support)
If i = 1 or 2, the French infantry take a hit
If j = 1 or 2, the British take a hit.
French Cavalry vs British Infantry: Plus modifiers favour the British (5 to 3); Negative modifiers also favour the British (-2 to -4). British add 1 to their roll; French subtract 1).
If h = 1, 2 or 3, the French cavalry take a hit.
If k = 1, the British infantry take a hit.
* Flank support from adjacent grid areas are cancelled if the 'supporting' unit is in close combat itself with another unit. In the above diagram, if a second British unit or formation stood to the immediate right of the one shown, then it would be engaged by the French cavalry. Neither would get the flank support.
|French light horse, led by Marshal Davout, encounters a|
formation of Austrian cuirassiers. Should the linear supporting
element modify die rolls by 1 or 2 in this case? Should the
appearance of line and column be ignored on account of scale?