I provided the can opener
as those of you who know me well will acknowledge, I love a debate
These are legitimate points of view and from my perspective hold water to varying degrees.
The line/column thing I am less open to as I think you need to take a few steps further back from French v Brits (a relatively minor part of the wars 1789-1815) to get the perspective on that debate and why varius formations were utilized. As a slight digression we rarely see the use of Column of Companies, Rest orders in our R2E games mostly because players want to get as many troops in action as quickly as possible!
FIBUA, I was never 100% comfotable with although I believe it is many steps ahead of how BUAs are treated elsewhere. In fact I think some of the mechanics were cribbed into another set of Naps rules which have a following.
A good debater will always pick the fruitiest examples to make a point.. good tactic but interestingly the hot issue of 'evacuation versus hold your ground' has only really occured over the last couple of big games.
There has been no mention of the following (in the game incidents)
> Brigade attack declared, some units flater on the way in or do not charge - OBJECTIVE NOT BREACHED
> Brigade attack declared, dice throws on defender side good. on attack side less good: OBJECTIVE NOT BREACHED
Here are some of the variables and issues considered during the construction of FIBUA
> Troops cannot deploy formed into a BUA therefore the defenders are assumed to be in small pockets and well placed. They gain security (RESOLVE bonuses),shooting bonuses (prepared positions) combat bonuses(50% extra dice for secure perimeter) and there is NO Fight or Flight check.
> The attackers receive NO charge bonus, they are disordered if they do not breach (so the first combat round is a gamble) AND they need to commit large numbers of troops to take the objective.
>Fighting often went on for prolonged periods and counterattavks and see saw battles were frequent. It was not the case that epic defences light La Haye Sainte or Hougoumont were the norm, they may well have been the exception.
We have to be relatively cold blooded about the mechanics and not think too much about winning or losing more about what is actually going on.
Interestingly Jim, when discussing one of your own passions.. The Alamo you told me it was all over in 20 minutes because:
1. Santa Ana had the right number of troops
2. The defenders were not numerous enough to hold the perimeter
What the casualties were I don't know but the big picture has to be looked at.
My inclination having been stimulated back to reconsidering this mechanic is to look elsewhere...
Increase defender bonuses such as ;
>double the number of dice not add 50%
>Perhaps increase in some measure, garrison size
>Provide higher morale bonuses in defence
>Offer improved shooting capability
Most FIBUA attacks I had seen up until we did a Fight for Paris 1814 were failures. Dave O Brien threw a Russian Division at a Paris suburb in a well coordinated attack and walked through it in 3 turns.. that set the benchmark for success. Up till that point no one was using odds of more than 1.5 or 2 to 1 to try and take BUAs and this resulted in heavy attacker casualties.
Would be interested in Dave's view and your views of my alternative suggestions
Very Friendly yours