Why do attackers have the advantage when assaulting BUAs?

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Why do attackers have the advantage when assaulting BUAs?

Post by Contrarius »

So, I’m probably not getting this right, but as far as I understand it both defender and attacker of a BUA start with 5 Casualty Dice (CDs) The attacker automatically drops one CD for assaulting a BUA, but then (if he has any sense) he attacks in a column, aka an “assault column” (how this differs from a column I’m not sure) which gives him +2 CDs.

All other things being equal (both sides fresh, etc.) the defender now has 5CDs, while the attacker has 6CDs. How can that possibly be right? I’m just thinking of La Haye Sainte and Hougomont, where despite being vastly outnumbered tiny garrisons were able to keep assaulting enemies at bay for hours. (OK, those are Strongpoints rather than BUAs, but the thesis stands.)

(As an aside, I wasn’t sure about garrisons becoming unformed when they first take up residence as that would give the defender an additional —1 CD, at least in the first round.)

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Re: Why do attackers have the advantage when assaulting BUAs?

Post by Archdukek »

I agree with Polish Lancer. There is no bonus for a column assaulting a BUA. In most cases the BUA defenders will be in place and have removed its Unformed status before its assaulted. However, if they have only taken up position then it seems reasonable that they will suffer a penalty.

The advantage of Strongpoints is that they can only ever be attacked by a single enemy battalion at a time unlike BUAs. Thus they should be able to hold out longer against greater numbers.

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Re: Why do attackers have the advantage when assaulting BUAs?

Post by DCRBrown »


I think you might be confusing the Charge Table with the Melee Table.

Remember there is no Charge procedure when assaulting BUAs and Strongpoints, after taking defensive fire the attackers are moved directly into melee, as they are forced to fight their way in, the defenders are not going to run.

Therefore in the melee the attackers will never have Élan and will always lose 1 CD for attacking a BUA in the 1st round. So, on average the BUA defenders are 1CD up, unless attacked by multiple battalions. The defenders of strongpoints have the advantage that only one enemy battalion can attack and they also lose 1CD in every melee round, not just the first.

Finally if you examine the melee table results you'll see that attackers need to win by 2 casualties or more to secure an outright victory in the first round, making a drawn out and casualty inducing combat more likely.

Hope that helps.


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