Hi, 4th game tonight, and one noob question.
Lets suppose one of my infantry units starts 2 hexes away from an enemy infantry unit (both of us with four blocks and in clear terrain), and the free hex between us is also clear terrain.
1. In the movement phase I move my Infantry unit to the clear hex adjacent to the enemy unit.
2. In the subsequent combat phase I melee attack the enemy unit FIRST with FULL DIE strength (4 dice, eventhough I moved, I have no dice reductions because it is a melee attack), and then I inflict casualties to the enemy.
3. The enemy can just at this point melee attack my unit, with its reduced strength infantry unit.
Is this interpretation correct?
I mean, my unit moved, was not shot at during its advance, it got to close combat range, and attacked FIRST. It sounds a little unbalanced, unless I understood something the wrong way.
Any advice from veteran players would be appreciated! Thanks
In my experience, it is not unbalanced at all. Under normal circumstances, infantry units can only move 1 hex (even Light Infantry cannot battle if it moves 2 hexes). Therefore, after the "preparatory move" where you moved your infantry unit to within range, your opponent would usually have an opportunity to respond. He could have his infantry unit shoot at yours. He could have his infantry charge your unit in melee before you do the same. He could withdraw or otherwise move out of your unit's range.
Of course, it is dependent on having the right command card. But you have to factor in the psychological game beforehand. Even if he does not have a card with which to respond, you usually would not know (!) Thus, when you moved your infantry to within range, you were taking a risk.
With cards like "Bayonet Charge", of course, you could argue that melee really can be very powerful (due to the extra movement hex). But that is the point of this specific card - and such particularly heroic/motivated melee charges did occur throughout the Napoleonic Wars.
P.S. Keep in mind that in your situation, the opponent unit would only be able to battle back if it was not forced to retreat. Flag rolls can be much more devastating than one might think. Thus, maintaining support from adjacent units, attached commanders or terrain can be crucial for increasing one's probability of getting that battle-back roll.
Thank you for your answer, and yes, yours is a good point.
I asked because a similar situation to this one I will have in the start of the Hougoumont Scenario. The french moving first, two hexes away from my beloved Rifle Light British unit (3 blocks), and I see they will loose men without having the chance to do anything unless my oponent decides not to attack (or I get a card that allows me to melee first).
I was just suffering before time
None of the French infantry units are in range of an ordinary melee attack at the beginning of that scenario (518 Hougoumont). As you specified in your example, there must be only one hex between the units for a melee charge to be possible.
Without Bayonet Charge, the Line Infantry on the French left would have to spend one turn to move one hex (and perhaps take a pot shot with fewer dice). Then, on the next turn, they could melee charge your Rifle Lights.
But note that you have one turn in which to fire at the incoming Line Infantry or withdraw. Furthermore, as your Rifle Light Infantry is on a forest hex, the French attack dice would be reduced by one.
I just love this game. I really do. I won the Hougoumont battle (british side), but I specially enjoyed seeing an outcome not different of that of the real historical one.
Oh, and also the post battle coffe analisis of the battle too!