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Cavalry Charge

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:33 am
by CoffinDodger

Apologies if this has been covered before or if I have just missed it in the rules.

1. I fail to see the advantage in charging as opposed to receiving a charge at the halt. In the rules it states that cavalry kill on 5 or 6 or sometimes lower in the first round of melee depending on their type, nationality or period.

Now, I presume that the recipients of the charge also do this as I cannnot see anything in the rules to state otherwise. So, what is the advantage in charging?

2. When a squadron of six cavalry charge infantry and receive say three casualties from musket fire, are hits on infantry only caused by the remaining three figures? I'm thinking of the effect of "simultaneous" movement here. Or are all six allowed to cause casualties and the melee decided by the net result?



Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:00 pm
by flick40
The advantage to charging vs not is you kill on a 5 and 6. Taking the charge at the halt or not going far enough you only kill on a 6.

The reference to killing on 4-5 and 6 (vs cavalry) is only to represent certain nationalities cavalry being better during the dates given. If you aren't playing that timeframe then it's just killing on 5 and 6 if you charge or 6 if not.

The question about shooting casualties in melee would best be answered by others with more xperience than I. But heres my take,

Cavalry tests to charge, pass,
infantry test for being charged, pass
roll on fire at the charge with a close range result,
the infantry fire killing 3 horse.
The horse must now pass another morale to charge home, pass
Melee is fought cavalry only getting 3 figures because you shot down the other 3 before they got there.
cavalry roll 3 D6 killing on a 4,5 or 6, 1 infantry killed (if steady pikes roll to save that casualty)
cavalry lost melee 3 kills to 1
cavalry rolls morale, pass, then bounce 4 inches back and must form next turn and probably shot to pieces. if they fail they rout.

This is a case in point argument why cavalry should not charge fresh formed troops frontally. Cavalry should be attacking cavalry until one side has won the cavalry fight, then you work your cavalry around the flanks and rear causing fear and general havok.


Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:25 pm
by obriendavid
Cavalry receiving a charge at the halt only fight back needing 6's to cause casualties so it is definitely preferable to be charging especially if the chargers fit into a specific period where they might have a 4+ to cause casualties.

Check the section Cavalry V Infantry Melee on page 21.
Cavalry hit infantry on a 4+ and if within a specific period they could be hitting on a 3+ very nasty which is why it is important for infantry to try and stop cavalry with their fire.


Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:49 pm
by CoffinDodger
Thanks for the quick answers, Gentlemen. I could not find it stated anywhere in the rules that stationary cavalry only killed on a six.

Now, something else has cropped up. There are three battalions of infantry in line side-by-side. The eejit (drunkard, buffoon, clown) commanding the cavalry squadron charges the middle battalion. Can all three join in the festivities by firing at the charging squadron or can only the targetted unit stand and fire?



Edited to make more sense

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:56 pm
by flick40
From my readings of the various rules queries on the forum the answer appears to be; Infantry can never charge cavalry (it is a charge test to join an ongoing melee) in anyway join ongoing melee against cavalry.

Only the unit being charged can fire. Since all charge moves and defensive fire is before normal movement or musketry. There is no mechanism for opportunity fire.

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:25 pm
by barr7430
Interpretations by Dave and Joe are right as I read them Jim. The rules attempt to catch the flavour of the period.... non joined up, clumsy and generally not particularly tactically brilliant. The whole idea is to get your troops in the right place BEFORE you need them to do something... any other idea is unlikely to work... Frustrating, not for the Rules Lawyer and definitely recognising that if there is a God then there is only one and he is NOT a wargamer with omniscient powers overseeing a tabletop.....

In many armies the troops were not even marching in step, formations were rudimentary, loading times slow, tactics basically linear, cavalry operating different tactical systems (often in the same army)...

why do we play it?

Have you seen the flags?
What a selection of uniform colours!
The personalities were big and corrupt and colourful (and decadent 8) )
The Lord Grand Prior's Regiment sounds much more interesting than the 4th Foot!!

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:40 am
by CoffinDodger
barr7430 wrote: why do we play it?

Have you seen the flags? YES!
What a selection of uniform colours! YES!
The personalities were big and corrupt and colourful (and decadent 8) ) EMPHATIC YES!
The Lord Grand Prior's Regiment sounds much more interesting than the 4th Foot!! YES!

Now, I am not pissing in your pocket* but, these are the rules and period that I have been searching for for over forty years and I am now a convert.

They are simple but elegant and already I have played through a few moves with bases of my Napoleonic troops to get some practice in.

I have put my good lady, Norma, on notice that these gentlemen warriors will be added to my collection despite the protestations and threats of divorce citing leaden infidelity. Give me a few months to paint up some battalions and squadrons and I may even gate-crash one of your games.

A great set of rules, Sir, and made all the more tempting by your article on Malplaquet in last month's Wargames Illustrated.

So far I have purchased second hand copies of both volumes of Funcken - The Lace Wars and new copies of C S Grant's two tomes on uniforms from Partizan. I have also dug out all my volumes on Marlborough by Chandler. Now for the lead.



*Well maybe a little dribble!

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:18 pm
by barr7430
What is a dribble between Lanarkshire men Jim :wink:

On the Funcken note.. it just sparked off a little niggle I have always had about Funcken and I wondered if it was only me..

I have many of said publications including the Lace Wars but I have always felt they were pretty riddled with inaccuracies .. has anyone else ever got a sense of that?

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:20 am
by PaulMc
Hi folks,

Funcken are full of inaccuracies. They are good for a general feel of eighteenth century armies, being nicely illustrated, but that's all. Their Napoleonic books are the same.

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:24 am
by CoffinDodger
Barry and Paul,

I totally agree. I have the Napoleonic volumes and now the Lace Wars but, unless you are unfortunate enough to cross the path of the dreaded Wargames's Fashion Police, they suffice for my 28mm figures. They are good enough to give a flavour for the periods but, are definitely not appropriate for a serious student of military garb.

Can you both please recommed any other books I should be getting my hands on? It would seem that I will be building French and Alliance armies of the earlier periods at first and may only later acquire figures for the Wars of the Spanish Succession.


Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:17 pm
by CoffinDodger

Alright, I am currently messing about on my dining room table with some LEGO bricks and going through the motions of an "All or Nothing" charge. In the example given on page 32, our friends the Mestre de Camp General have taken one casualty from the Dutch infantry. It then states that they test to charge home against the average number of figures left in a squadron which is given as FIVE rounded up.

Surely 17 figures divided by three squadrons equals 5.67 or SIX rounded up. I need to get this one right as it could be the difference between passing or failing the test.

Any comments would be appreciated.



Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:12 pm
by obriendavid
Jim, I don't know if this helps but I can only assume that because cavalry need one less than the number remaining in the squadron to charge then for an average of 6 figures the squadron needs a five to pass it's morale.


Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:17 pm
by CoffinDodger

I don't think so, the regiment was elite and had a -1 modifier already. I think it may be - heaven forbid - a misprint.


Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:47 pm
by obriendavid
Jim, a squadron at full strength which they are needs a 5 or less on the dice to pass because they are elite they still need a 5 or less but being elite allowed them to alter their dice roll. If you re-read the example you will see that they rolled a 6 which would have meant they failed to charge home but being elite saved them.


Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:50 pm
by flick40
The rule as I understand it,

Any cavalry unit that rolls a six (6) fails to charge.

Guard need to equal the remaining figures and get a minus 1 on their roll, ie 4 figures and pass on 5 or less. Fail on a 6 even if full strength.

Elite need to equal their total figures remaining to pass or less, ie 4 figures a 4 or less and they go. Fail on a 6 even if full strength

Drilled units need to roll under their remaining figures, ie 4 figures they need 3 or less. Fail on a 6 even if full strength.

Raw suffer a plus 1, ie 4 figures they need a 2 or less on the die. Fail on a 6 even if full strength.

Brigadiers can join and modify the roll by a minus 1. But a 6 is still a fail if testing to charge.

*WoGA French and WSS Allied units have different results for morale tests only, not to charge.

There is no bonus to fighting based on morale grade, only the units ability to hang in there longer than the opponent.