|Blue's Lancers rally back in disorder after a clash with Red Dragoons. (Game 2b)|
|Game 2a. Same terrain, different armies, different rules.|
The game worked OK but wasn't particularly interesting as it quickly bogged down in house to house fighting and it didn't feel quite right for the period. In theory the support rules should allow a group of adjacent "companies" to feel like 'battalion" but they don't, especially since the rules don't differentiate between a company of the same battalion or any adjacent friend. Works OK for the 20th C where companies were larger and spread out, being forced to some degree to act as separate units tactically while being coordinated by battalion or brigade HQ. It didn't quite look and feel right here though and never quite seems to for this sub-period.
That was only part of it though. I went back and looked at the scenario again and realized that I had screwed up the translation of map and forces to the table. The scenario was designed for a 36"x36" table with about a 6", maybe 9" wide town in the middle and 6 units each of a 6" (recommended) or 4" frontage. I had increased the table to 48"x48" with an 8"x8" town and reduced the unit foot print to 4". Instead of being able to hold 1 unit or 1/6 of an 'army', my town could absorb 4 or 2/3 of an 'army'. Ah. When I tried this with my War of 1812 troops a year ago, I had doubled the number of units to compensate.
The linear problem was really the same one as had bothered me with the War of 1812 using 40mm figures and the same easy solution suggested itself. Skip the grid and break out Hearts of Tin. I was going to leave the game till another day but, you know, it was still cold and wet out and ...........
|Game 2b. The unit footprints have been enlarged.|
The game had much more of the look and feel that had been in my mind. Of course, since the rules have not yet been updated and these troops have been resisting the orders to conform to 20thC standards and so the infantry were using two different basing systems, the game was a bit loosey-goosey at times, but it still felt right and worked.
One example of the indecision was whether the typical 1870's/80's deployment as a heavy skirmish line for firing with supports and reserves to the rear was better represented by a single line or double line since I had rejected my old way of doing it with a firing line spread out in front with supports in column 6" to 12" behind them. Looked good but was a pain to track in action especially in armies without distinct regimental uniforms.
Note: (After more a more thorough post game review of both theory and practice, the "2 ranks with 3 companies per standard battalion, each with 4 bases of 2 figures" solution has won out despite the fact that this is consistent with my 1812 armies and my 20thC armies will use the same 2 figure stands albeit with only 2 of them per Square Brigadier company.)
Anyway, the game worked well with larger units and more of the action took place outside the town. Red had some disturbingly low die rolls and eventually both armies were exhausted but clinging to at least a quarter of the town so when the dogs signalled that dinner time had rolled around with three turns left to go, I called it a draw.
SEE NEXT POST FOR UPDATE!