Demoralisation levels

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de-pulley
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:32 pm

Demoralisation levels

Post by de-pulley »

Hello there !
Demoralisation levels I am wondering how they work in the following situation , which we came across in our game the other night ,
The French player had a five battalion strong brigade, graded as line , he deployed his five strong skirmish screen , but after several turns it was reduced to 2, now the 85th line had suffered 8 casualties in a fire fight , so the French commander gave a skirmish tasking in the next command phase , and the 85th , reinforced the skirmish screen , with two bases, as it lost two due to the casualties.
fast forward the game several turns and the skirmish screen was again down to two bases and this time the 31st line was up to eight casualties , so again the french commander issued a skirmish tasking in the command phase , and the 31st Line deployed two bases to the skirmish screen (and lost two to the casualties) .
Now my question is , do those two Battalions (the 85th and 31st) count towards the Brigades Demoralisation levels ? which would normally have been three (over half), or is the brigade strength, now considered at three Battalions , and it would have to lose two in straight combat or a fire fight ? or could you continue adding shot up battalions to the skirmish screen until the brigade was no more and thus avoiding the Demoralisation levels completely as well as the Brigade faltering tests ?
This caused a great deal of "Discussion" in the game , and as the umpire I wasnt sure of the correct ruling
thank you Mark

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vlad48
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Re: Demoralisation levels

Post by vlad48 »

Hi Mark,
This is far from an official ruling - but it seems only reasonable that you must base the Morale level of a brigade on its size at the beginning of the game. Stating the obvious, morale tracks the will and ability of soldiers to fight based on their losses - regardless if those losses occurred while men were arranged in battalions or deployed in skirmish lines. Besides, doing otherwise would reward pure gamesmanship - and "break" the game - while defying reality. That's how I'd rule it.

Archdukek
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Re: Demoralisation levels

Post by Archdukek »

Hi Mark,
That's a tricky question I've never considered.

I would be inclined agree with Walt that the Brigade size should be determined at the start of the game, so in your example it would be 6 units since the brigade skirmish screen counts as a unit whose loss can result in a faltering or demoralised brigade. So the brigade becomes demoralised when it loses 4 units. However, I'm not sure that's how it works in practice.

The difficulty is that deploying a battalion into skirmish order and reinforcing the brigade skirmish screen means that although the battalion is removed from play it "does not count as a lost unit" according to the Procedure paragraph on page 67. Thus its "loss" does not count when determining if the Brigade has become demoralised.

In theory then you could keep reinforcing the skirmish screen with succeeding battalions until only the skirmish screen is left and never become demoralised though that's highly unlikely.

The only way around this that I can see is to do as you suggest and effectively recalculate the Brigade size as the game goes on so that in your example it would now be counted as a 4 unit brigade and the loss of 3 units rather than 4 would render it demoralised. Not much difference to be honest.

I will be very interested in DB's response to this one.

John

de-pulley
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:32 pm

Re: Demoralisation levels

Post by de-pulley »

Yes this caused quiet a discussion , the French player arguing , that who knows what percentage of those units remained in the screen , each time , and so the battalion was not effectively lost , however the Allied player didnt see it that way ,
thank you for your thoughts , that is in fact how i ruled it , but i wasnt sure it was right , and i didnt know the screen counted as a unit I was probably thinking of GDB , which we used to play a lot
mark

EQUITES
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Location: MILAN, Italy

Re: Demoralisation levels

Post by EQUITES »

Hello, just my 2 cents...
If a brigade counts 6 units and 2 units are incorporated into skirmish screen,
then the loss of skirmish screen counts 3 units !!! :shock:
Michele

de-pulley
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Re: Demoralisation levels

Post by de-pulley »

Yes but what happens if you dont lose the skirmish screen ? you keep propping it up with shot up battalions ? until there are none left , and as page 69 states battalions put into the screen are not counted as lost .
mark

Archdukek
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Re: Demoralisation levels

Post by Archdukek »

That's certainly a good way to think about it Michele and a sudden loss of the skirmish screen could be catastrophic, but as Mark says if the Brigadier keeps reinforcing the screen you still have an issue until the screen is broken.

Mark,
If you dig around on here you will find a post from DB confirming that the Brigade skirmish screen counts as a unit for determining if a brigade is faltering or demoralised. This was a deliberate design decision to emphasise the importance of the brigade screen and to counter any notion that it was simply a throw away unit as Skirmishers tend to be in other rules.

John

de-pulley
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:32 pm

Re: Demoralisation levels

Post by de-pulley »

yes thanks i have read that post , and i passed it on to my group of players , and hence thats why the French player keeps the screen reinforced , also its his best way of countering the British superior volley , he very rarely goes toe to toe in a shoot out with them , he throws lots of skirmishers at them to keep them occupied and hits the Dutch allies , and hence his frustration I have read most of the posts on this site
mark

siggian
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Re: Demoralisation levels

Post by siggian »

How about every time you lose a skirmish stand, any units contributing to the skirmish screen take a casualty (or two)? So that 85th with 8 casualties goes to 9 (or 10) when the screen loses a stand. Eventually, that unit is going to disperse if the screen keeps losing stands even if it keeps getting replenished by other units. It would mean just adding slightly to the book keeping.

(Full disclosure: I don't have the rules but I do have PC, but it's been a while since I read them)

DCRBrown
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Re: Demoralisation levels

Post by DCRBrown »

De-P,

That's a good tactic! And yes, not one I'd considered either.

Technically, as none of your brigade units have dispersed the brigade is not demoralised. And, historically, the French did do this when their battalions were at such a state that they could no longer form a solid close order formation, e.g. at Lutzen and Waterloo.

I don't have any real issues with this tactic, especially as the brigade is becoming less and less effective and also requires an ADC tasking every time just to keep topping up the skirmishers. Furthermore the brigade's ability to hold its ground when virtually all its units are skirmishers becomes limited to say the least.

However, if you think this is just not gentlemanly conduct, then you could perhaps house-rule that any unit attempting to reinforce the brigade skirmish screen when at 8 or more casualties must take a Discipline Test. If you pass you can reinforce, but if you fail the unit disperses! I.E. It's so fatigued it just collapses as soon as you try this and you never see the men again! :o

Hope that helps.

DB

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