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Flank and rear charges 
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:47 pm
Posts: 24
Post Flank and rear charges
The issue of flank and rear charges has puzzled me for some time.......

lets use the example of a heavy cavalry unit of ten figures charging a unit of 24 regular spearmen, Morale 7, in the REAR. The cavalry are in two ranks, the infantry in three.


IF the charged unit passes its unmodified command test, they are NOT disorder, and thus fight as normal, counting ranks. Thus the infantry gets effectively a free change of formation whilst being charged in the rear, as the rear rank does a quick about turn, supported by their other ranks.?

Thus the cavalry gets just plus two combat res. for the rear and one for charging, while the infantry get their full combat resolution rank bonus.!..... The resultant combat only has to be slightly in favour of the infantry for the cavalry to loose the melee. :shock:

All my experience tells me that units charged by formed units, in the flank or rear were at a severe, if not fatal disadvantage, almost akin to charging fleeing troops. I would be willing to make an exception for drilled troops, being better off, but even so, they would still at a marked disadvantage........
Have I got this correct.? What do people think.?


Tue May 30, 2017 10:16 am
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Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:46 pm
Posts: 153
Post Re: Flank and rear charges
We are now playing the house rule where you are automatically disordered by a flank or rear charge. I was asked to do this recently and got some other idea in my head and said no to it, I then had the opportunity to hit an enemy the flank and the defenders stood all game like a stonewall and I simply couldn't budge them until the last moment, my attack then lost momentum. I am now more than happy to play our house rule. On many other occasions I have seen units bounce attackers from front and flank, so as the rules stand it is not a great comfort hitting an enemy if they pass their morale test.

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Tue May 30, 2017 10:58 am
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:47 pm
Posts: 24
Post Re: Flank and rear charges
Well that's a good start. But giving my example the heavy cavalry are worse off than an infantry charge. And I'm not convinced they should be....cavalry charging any units rear would usually herald the end of that unit. Given the rules, the cavalry would have less figures fighting, and the infantry get to fight at full affect. I'm not convinced they would....other rules tackle this with reductions to CA, counting the infantry as unshielded, or giving extra attacks to the attacker. Eg....double for a flank, and treble for the rear. Thoughts?


Tue May 30, 2017 11:37 am
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Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:46 pm
Posts: 153
Post Re: Flank and rear charges
As you say it is a start. We are also trying out cavalry disengaging, which means in your case that if they do not get a good shock charge in and a success they can disengage and reform.

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Tue May 30, 2017 12:14 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:02 pm
Posts: 3391
Post Re: Flank and rear charges
Sorry, came to this post late.

When writing (and playing the rules) the rules I gave very lengthy consideration to the subject of auto disorder when fighting to flank and rear and decided firmly against it, part of the reasoning is in the book, but its important to note that a unit fighting to front and flank (or 2 facings) that fails a combat morale test is automatically removed from play.

This is (deliberately) very severe and thus units do need to have some opportunity to stay 'in the fight' hence the reason they take a command test (remember different to a morale test if you are undisciplined) to see if disordered or not (obviously cavalry striking other cavalry in the rear or flank should run straight through them unless you are really unlucky, its the large infantry blocks that can stand up to the cavalry but then perhaps we should expect that for decent and above quality troops). Even if the unit passes its command test , there are still quite a few potential penalties for them (usually around use of weapons and supporting strikes in subsequent rounds but also if the fight is to the rear, the enemy get +2 CR.)

I accept that at times cavalry (or infantry for that matter) hitting the rear might not quite do as well as we might expect, but then, they should also have support, be that other cavalry or infantry.

If they are shock cavalry they do get extra bonuses when charging so all being well (if the dice gods are kind) you should win the combat, and as you will get supporting strikes in subsequent rounds (extra rank of cavalry can fight) and the infantry won't, you should at least keep an advantage until support arrives, or as George noted if it looks dodgy, try the new disengage rule (and let me know what happens!)

So in conclusion, if auto disorder was added in, you would have to take away the auto removal if fighting on more than one facing and then that would offer up a whole new set of questions about where the unit might flee to and I think that would not really be good :mrgreen:

However, as I just thought of this idea - I would be interested in feedback about the Morale value of the charged unit being reduced by either 1 for the flank or 2 for the rear when taking the disorder test.

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Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:04 pm
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