Infantry in Column

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8 years 2 months ago #803 by Bolkonsky
Infantry in Column was created by Bolkonsky
For me, the very slow rate of movement of most infantry units is somewhat frustrating and not entirely representative of the tactical mobility of Napoleonic warfare (although the enormous variation in scale between battles might certainly justify this in some cases).

As a variant rule, I've been testing the idea of allowing all infantry to move 2 hexes instead of the standard 1, without of course being able to battle when moving 2 hexes, as is the case already with light infantry.

For me this would represent infantry units being able to move more rapidly in column formation before deploying into line. It seems that such thinking already has a precedent within the game with the Forced March card. What else would a forced march for line infantry unit that allows double movement but no battle be but a move in column? For line infantry units (without a leader), therefore, the Forced March card would have no additional value, besides issuing a great many orders.

The distinction with light infantry (which seem to be generically represented as fighting as skirmishers - hence the increased movement, firepower and ability to move through woods) remains perfectly clear due to the ranged fire bonus and ability to operate more effectively in woods, as well as the enhanced move/fire opportunity from Forced March.

I did worry that being able to move 2 hexes might give the French infantry a very significant advantage over the British due to their enhanced performance in melee, however this has not turned out to be a problem in my playtesting and seems to be adequately offset by the loss of immediate firepower. In fact, if this turned out to be a major flaw, the Grand Manoeuvre and Forced March cards would themselves be problematic, allowing the same tactic on a more random basis.

For me, this variant has helped to restore a more dynamic (and hopefully Napoleonic) feel to the game, which I feel often tends to drag, waiting and waiting for enough orders (or special cards) to bring the French line up to battle.

I would welcome any other's feedback on this variant idea.

If everyone made war only according to his own convictions, there would be no war.
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8 years 2 months ago #804 by Achtung-Panzer
I agree about the slow movement being a 'problem' in the game, even with a relatively small battlefield represented by the base game board, and I'm interested in how your house rule effects play balance? I also think this would be a bigger issues if / when an EPIC C&C: N version is produced.

Would you also prevent Battle Back if the Infantry had previously moved 2 hexes in column to represent their poor battle delployment?

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8 years 1 month ago #806 by Bolkonsky
Replied by Bolkonsky on topic Re: Infantry in Column
In answer to your question about play balance, it must undoubtedly have an impact, but I've played solo through all of the scenarios in the base game using this variant and I haven't found the French suddenly winning more often because they are able to bring their infantry up more quickly. It's generally just as advantageous in my opinion for the Allies, but it does mean that there is more opportunity to build an infantry assault and play is a little faster.

As for the battle back, I would personally be reluctant to impose the restriction you suggest simply from the point of view of book keeping. My notion was to keep the change as small as possible and, as I said, it's not so far flung given the Forced March card. I also think the penalty for moving into range of your opponent or even adjacent and giving them the opportunity to battle first is sufficient to represent the effect of moving in column, ie by the time they get a chance to battle back, they will already have been depleted.

I'd be keen to know what your thoughts are if you give it a go.

If everyone made war only according to his own convictions, there would be no war.
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8 years 1 month ago #809 by myness
Replied by myness on topic Re: Infantry in Column
I'll have to give this a try, but I have a couple of observations:

1. It appears to have potential balance in that the opposing player will be able to react to units suddenly moving forward and get the jump on them either through fire or melee (moving up from the reverse slope, perhaps?).
2. What about a bonus die for any unit firing at the moving unit in the next activation only? Given the relatively low number of moves per activation, this should not involve too much record-keeping.
3. What about Light Infantry? Do you allow them to move 3 hexes now, or give them the ability to move two hexes and still battle?
4. Would it be onerous to arrange the blocks of a unit to denote line or column? This entails costs for formation changes (1 hex move if changing into column, none if into line?), but then makes it easy to apply combat modifiers based on block arrangement. A simple front-back or side-side alignment would work easily enough. As for modifiers, an extra die when shooting at columns, but an extra die for columns in melee?

I'll have to experiment a bit myself, as I like the game as it is, but this could add some tactical flavor.

Steve

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8 years 1 month ago #810 by Bolkonsky
Replied by Bolkonsky on topic Re: Infantry in Column
Hi Steve,

I'm keen to hear what you think when you've given it a try and obviously its only a suggestion, so any tweaks/improvements are equally welcome.

As for bonus dice, to my mind firepower is formidable enough (how many times do you see attacking infantry decimated after one volley?) and I think if further penalty were needed it should be with the moving infantry, as Achtung Panzer suggested. But, personally, I don't think it's necessary, and what about for Forced March or Grand Manoeuvre? Having said that, if a bonus was needed, it should most especially be to artillery (column representing a much larger target, ignoring enfilading fire!) - perhaps count sabres as hits in ranged battle?

I don't make any change to Light Infantry. I think the light infantry/skirmish function remains adequately represented by their ability to move into woods and battle (a very big advantage!) and to move 2 and battle with Forced March (also a major edge over line), not to mention bonuses for ranged fire. The British lights are already very elite (move and fire with 4 dice is huge).

The temptation to represent various formations by arranging pieces (line, column, skirmish chain) is certainly there - love to hear how you get on with it!

If everyone made war only according to his own convictions, there would be no war.

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5 years 3 months ago - 5 years 3 months ago #2866 by StealthWolf84
Replied by StealthWolf84 on topic Infantry in Column
Your house rule will speed up things, for sure. B)

But I personally think that it's just unrealistic. I explain:

The troops in our game, even if not trading shots or slashes with enemy, are still VERY committed in the field, and no good commander would order their men to form a column when they have the enemy in sight! Too much time is wasted to form a battle line, if it's needed by rapid changing circumstances... :unsure:

So, even if I like your speeding up (I also like Myness' nice idea to add 1 die against the INF in column), I'd feel this like a "fake" move...

just my 2 cents, anyway... :)
Last edit: 5 years 3 months ago by StealthWolf84.

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