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Author Topic: Rank and file rules question ?  (Read 786 times)

Offline vtsaogames

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  • Posts: 775
    • Corlears Hook Fencibles
Re: Rank and file rules question ?
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2020, 09:32:41 PM »
Looked at my Camden scenario, think I can handle flighty militia by just making large green units. 8 stand green units vs. 4 stand veteran and regular shock infantry...

Further tempted to import a concept from Loose Files & American Scramble. If friends of equal or better morale grade break within 6", go down a morale level (steady to unsteady to routed). Ignore lesser breeds breaking.

Well, I won't get to try this out until sometime in July when I go home...
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 09:35:44 PM by vtsaogames »
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Offline robh

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2721
  • Spanish offworld colonies
Re: Rank and file rules question ?
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2020, 10:46:42 PM »
"If friends of equal or better morale grade break within 6", go down a morale level (steady to unsteady to routed). Ignore lesser breeds breaking."

That's what we used to call "The Old Guard rule", break the Guard and the rest of the army runs away  >:D
Guaranteed to honour Christopher Plummer's immortal line "....put every gun to them sir, every gun..."

We have played R&F for the 1st Carlist War and even with the most abject Spanish militias have not needed to use anything more detrimental than standard Green morale to reflect their poor performance.
I think if you want to create a Camden (I had to go and read the accounts) it would be best as a specific scenario rule; maybe force a morale test when enemy within firing range, or when unit is under fire or when adjacent unit takes a casualty, or any of the above. They may survive one roll.....

Online FifteensAway

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Re: Rank and file rules question ?
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2020, 12:41:26 AM »
Well, I get your point about testing the rules with the scenario and by all means, keep on using it as you wish.

I do, however, quibble that it is an effective test of rules since, on any given day, either the dice will tumble into an outlier result or, in the real history, the militia could have performed quite well - which on rare occasions it did, witness King's Mountain: exactly one regular on the field on the British side and not one on the Patriotic side.  Camden could have been a draw or maybe even a very minor Patriot victory - I have no illusions about it being a strategic victory.  So, always expecting an historical result of a rule set seems a very slippery slope to travel.  Of course, I have a rather different criteria, history aside, and that is: are the rules fun to play.  Simple goal.  Rank and File, for me, get there.  In a hurry.   ;)

Offline vtsaogames

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Re: Rank and file rules question ?
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2020, 10:44:03 AM »
King's Mountain featured the "over the mountain men". These were a tougher breed than standard militia. They lived on the frontier and many had fought Indians. Militia raised in safer areas might be less likely to have heard shots fired in anger. Other AWI rules sets I've worked with differentiate between standard militia and partisans, like Marion's or Sumter's bands. A big feature for militia is leadership. Charismatic leaders like Stark or Daniel Morgan could make a big difference. One easy way to show this with Rank & File might be smaller units vs large ones. I suspect one large green unit is easier to beat than two smaller ones.

As for Camden as a test: I was working on home brewed rules some years back. The elite British forces on the right went forward and were shot to ribons by the Whig militia. That was a clue that something was badly wrong with my rules. I seek the grail; fun, easy rules that give a fairly historical result. And a winning lottery ticket.

The morale idea imported from Loose Files does give a reason to keep elite troops in reserve. They remain steady when the rest of the force has gone to pieces. It also gives a reason to use Daniel Morgan's deployment of militia up front. The Continentals ignore the flight of the militia.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 10:50:18 AM by vtsaogames »

Offline robh

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Re: Rank and file rules question ?
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2020, 12:03:54 PM »
The ACW expansion to R&F extends the rules around leaders and recommends their use for other eras also (the book provides probably the best simple +/- analysis of ACW leaders around).
Leaders can directly influence units by attachment or indirectly by command radii. The method of influence can be by factors or re-rolls. The simple system recognises and differentiates leader's abilities and charisma.

The "Old Guard" morale rule is a good one and I have seen it used for rules in all eras, it just falls foul of the "law of unintended circumstances" when used by certain types of players.

Offline vtsaogames

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Re: Rank and file rules question ?
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2020, 05:09:56 PM »
The ACW expansion to R&F extends the rules around leaders and recommends their use for other eras also...

The "Old Guard" morale rule is a good one and I have seen it used for rules in all eras, it just falls foul of the "law of unintended circumstances" when used by certain types of players.

I should get the ACW expansion. Certain types of players... cheese merchants, perhaps? I liked that rule in Loose Files. How do cheesy players exploit the rule? Perhaps better not to know...