Terrain and Combat

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alcibiades
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:02 pm

Terrain and Combat

Post by alcibiades » Wed May 22, 2019 4:18 pm

As I continue to peruse the rules in preparation for our next game, I was surprised to note that terrain has little impact on combat. Close order infantry fire on the inferior table but there is no combat bonus, either in the charge or melee phase, for have a superior position whether that be uphill or lining the bank of a stream/river. Am I missing something? I guess you could consider a superior position as a "stronghold" which would reduce the attackers CD. Thoughts?

Kent

PS I just noted on the QRS that an attacker up a steep slope receives a -1 CD penalty. I don't think that's enough. Marching up a gentle slope is much more taxing than marching across level ground. Seeing your opponent on higher ground above you would have some negative psychological affect as well. Likewise or alternatively, being on higher ground would likely have a positive affect. Streams and rivers are another thing. As a long time fly fisherman I have sloshed my way through a fair number of streams and rivers. Even without carrying a heavy pack and trying to keep my musket dry while maintaining order with the guys on my left and right it is dodgy. Even shallow streams pose a problem as footing is uncertain. Even a low bank would give the defender an advantage as the attacker scrambles out of the stream with wet shoes/boots and water laden trousers adding to the discomfort. I think a -1 for superior position would cover it and make it cumulative with steep slopes.

baxterj
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:20 pm

Re: Terrain and Combat

Post by baxterj » Thu May 23, 2019 6:22 am

if crossing a decent stream and certainly a river, wouldnt the unit crossing be regarded as Unformed?

baxterj
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:20 pm

Re: Terrain and Combat

Post by baxterj » Thu May 23, 2019 6:28 am

from the rules, pg 61:
Rough Terrain: Includes woods, shallow rivers, deep streams and steep or rugged slopes.
• Close Order Infantry move at half speed as soon as the unit moves into such terrain, including Fog of War cards. Close Order Infantry fire using the Inferior volley line when in Rough terrain.
• Squares may not enter Rough terrain.
• Skirmishers and Retiring, Retreating or Routed Infantry units are not affected and move at normal speeds.
• Formation changes in such terrain require a full Movement phase regardless of troop grading.
• Cavalry may not voluntarily enter Rough terrain. If forced to Retire, Retreat or Rout and they have no other avenue of withdrawal, a Cavalry unit may pass through such terrain without movement penalty but suffer one casualty loss.
• Artillery may only pass through while limbered, via a road or track, but may not deploy.

baxterj
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:20 pm

Re: Terrain and Combat

Post by baxterj » Thu May 23, 2019 6:29 am

So it doesnt specifically state that a unit is unformed crossing a stream.

alcibiades
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:02 pm

Re: Terrain and Combat

Post by alcibiades » Sat May 25, 2019 6:08 am

I wondered about the unformed too but that would create even more problems as an unformed unit can't charge so it would be almost impossible to dislodge an enemy holding the river/stream bank.

My inclination is to penalize the attacker during the Melee phase with the loss of 1CD.

DCRBrown
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Terrain and Combat

Post by DCRBrown » Sat May 25, 2019 7:26 am

Al,

Streams are an interesting feature in Napoleonic battles, as infantry rarely seemed to man the actual bank of a stream, as we tend to in wargames. Close order infantry often appeared to deploy further back and not hold the immediate bank, this being left to skirmishers.

I suspect this might have to do with the fact that the terrain of a stream or river bank is usually decidedly awkward, boggy, steep and/or full of bushes/shrub/trees, etc, and not suitable for the deployment of close order troops. It's also because wargames stream terrain pieces generally don't come with banks; they are laid directly on the table meaning a defender can deploy his cavalry, artillery and columns directly up against the stream, which rarely seemed to happen in historical deployments.

Higher ground is another interesting aspect. High ground has always been a military objective but, I suspect, mainly for observational purposes as opposed to fighting purposes, unless of course we are talking about very steep slopes such as Bussaco. In all the accounts of the Peninsular the French rarely bemoaned the fact that they were attacking uphill, and nor did the British state that they felt better because they were on higher ground.

However one aspect of a slope, (as pointed out to me by a Dark Age re-enactor, of all things :shock: ), that struck home, was that moving up a slope in close order was not the problem and had minimal impact, he stated the problem occurred when you were pushed back, as being pushed back downhill more often than not resulted in the formation breaking up as it was difficult to go backwards downhill. This concurred with what happen to the French in the Peninsular, they got up the slope ok, but when forced to withdraw they more often then not ended straight back at the bottom of the slope! This is why the slope modifier of an extra casualty lose was introduced in the FAQs.

DB
Last edited by DCRBrown on Wed May 29, 2019 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

nikjen66
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:20 pm
Location: Cambridge UK

Re: Terrain and Combat

Post by nikjen66 » Tue May 28, 2019 8:29 am

Top of page 62 ‘crossing walls, hedges and streams’ states that Infantry and cavalry crossing these at at upto half speed at no affect but, if more than half speed suffer 1 casualty. Seems reasonable (and permanent) penalty if assuming that all chargers moving over half normal speed.

thomalley
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:40 pm
Location: Nags Head, NC

Re: Terrain and Combat

Post by thomalley » Tue May 28, 2019 1:31 pm

So just for clarification. Does that loss while moving across the stream count as a loss in determining "causalties this charge". I would assume so, but I know people that would argue otherwise.

EQUITES
Posts: 137
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Location: MILAN, Italy

Re: Terrain and Combat

Post by EQUITES » Wed May 29, 2019 8:31 am

thomalley wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 1:31 pm
So just for clarification. Does that loss while moving across the stream count as a loss in determining "causalties this charge". I would assume so, but I know people that would argue otherwise.
YES, of course.
Michele

DCRBrown
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Terrain and Combat

Post by DCRBrown » Wed May 29, 2019 11:10 am

T/E,

Yes, that's right - the modifier does not state how the casulaties must be inflicted, its simply casualties suffered in the charge.

DB

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