Infantry MUST form squares when charged?

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8 years 9 months ago #649 by Achtung-Panzer
I know that Infantry have the choice to form square when charged by Cavalry, but has anyone tried playing this as MUST form square? This seems more historically accurate, but may take away from the game.

Thoughts?

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8 years 9 months ago - 8 years 9 months ago #651 by Cromwell
Interesting thought. However if the infantry are in woods or other bad going the dice modification for the attacking cavalry can be more benifical for the infantry if they stand their ground.
The problem with a square in real life and in the game is that it is totally static and as such a target for artillery and combined arms attack. The strength of a units manpower and moral could be slowly sapped without any actual succesful attack being made against it.

In the game forming square wittles away at your command hand and that one card you have been saving for your master stroke can suddenly disappear. In real life forming square effectively pinned that unit down.

Historically it was also very hard to get infantry to break out of square if they felt there was the slightest risk of the cavalry returning, they were most vulnerable forming or breaking square. This is well represented in the game when infantry cannot break square if enemy cavalry are in an adjacent hex.

I would vote to keep square as an option.
Last edit: 8 years 9 months ago by Cromwell.

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8 years 9 months ago - 8 years 9 months ago #652 by Achtung-Panzer
I agree about the tactic (historical and game) to use Cavalry to force Infantry into square and keep them there. That's why I wonder whether it should be automatic.

I am no Napoleonic expert but are there any instances of Infantry remaining in line / column when threatened by Cavalry?
Last edit: 8 years 9 months ago by Achtung-Panzer.

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8 years 9 months ago #653 by Cromwell
As far as Iam aware there are three examples of infantry in line defeating cavalry. Battles of Eylau, Albuera and Austerlitz. I am open to correction on this.

Infantry were safe against cavalry if they were formed and disciplined. Horses will not normally run people down or trample on people (They will however push and barge them). Cavalry are dangerous when infantry waver and break, that is when the sabre and lance do their work. A double or more line of infantry could easily see off cavalry.

The advantage of the square was that it protected the flanks and rear, something all soldiers want. An attacking cavalry unit only had a limited front itself and attacking a line was similar to hitting one long side of a square. The effect of square was psychological to a greater or lesser extent on those forming it.

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8 years 9 months ago #654 by Hawkmoon-von-Köln
For myself, the notion of column, line or square has to be developped in the future. I remember a cards game called "Waterloo" (in the same collection of Bull Run), very easy to play with these different ways of moving & charging, firing or defending.
A little example (for C&C) :
Column : Infantry can move 2 hex and engage (like Bayonet Charge) ; no fire. Artillery will score on Sabers (maybe adding one dice) when attacking a column.
Line : move 1 and fire (or melee). Hit on sabers when no moves (maybe a little bit violent...) or one more dice (like english line)
When activated, it will cost one order to change the formation if the unit is in contact with foe.
It will increase game complexity.
I have no idea with cavalry implication against line and column.
Greetz from Le Mans

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8 years 8 months ago #668 by General-Eble
Don't think a fast moving mass of a couple of hundred kilos of horse and rider, multiplied by however many horses are charging, is something that can be easily ignored by any sort of troops. Simple physics dictates that a heavy and fast moving horse (and rider) will always over come any "staunch" infantry man that tries to stand his ground while shooting his musket.

What the infantry square does is put up a wall of fixed bayonets, similar to the pikes of old, that puts the horse and the rider off so those men in the ranks behind the "pikes' can then shoot at the cavalry. Very hard to move such a thing and I feel the rules reflect the square's defensive benefits and lack of movement very well.

No need to change anything.

Cest la guerre B)

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8 years 8 months ago #669 by Achtung-Panzer

General Eble wrote: What the infantry square does is put up a wall of fixed bayonets, similar to the pikes of old, that puts the horse and the rider off so those men in the ranks behind the "pikes' can then shoot at the cavalry. Very hard to move such a thing and I feel the rules reflect the square's defensive benefits and lack of movement very well.

No need to change anything.


But I think your observation makes the point for square being the default formation for infantry when being charged by cavalry. I'm not sure they should be given the option not to form square. From the point of human nature and Napoleonic training, infantry would form square.

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8 years 8 months ago #693 by Joyce
What about an unsupported infantry unit being required to form square when attacked by cavalry. Just a thought.
Dan

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8 years 8 months ago #694 by Achtung-Panzer

Joyce wrote: What about an unsupported infantry unit being required to form square when attacked by cavalry. Just a thought.
Dan


Good idea. I like it and will try it out.

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