SP2 Hit Allocation and Saving Roll Situation

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bunguster
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SP2 Hit Allocation and Saving Roll Situation

Post by bunguster » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:04 pm

Last week a club game of SP2 threw up an interesting situation that prompted some (amicable) discussion.
Imagine a walled farm yard with chest high walls facing South and West.
The defenders were a French group of 8 Line (#1) and a voltiguer skirmish group(#2) of 6 figures facing South.
There was a second Line group of 8 figures (#3) facing West.
They are all in base to base contact mainly because of the restricted area of the yard.
Attacking this position is a two group formation of British (A) at a facing of 5 o'clock and a single group (B) facing at 7 o'clock.
The British are at a range of 12" from the wall.

Our problem was what does each British formation A and B consider as a target?
My thoughts as umpire were that as formation A had all three French groups within the firing arc, all hits should be distributed between all three.
The single group B could in theory select one of the two South facing French units (#1 or #2) but as they are all in base contact I ruled that hits should be distributed. The French are not in formation but the FAQ sheet 5 suggests two groups with a gun in between and in base contact should share the hits.
Have I ruled this correctly?
An additional consideration was that the respective leaders could use a Command Initiative to direct the British firing from both the group and the formation to target a single defending unit, but this did not seem right considering all the French were in base to base contact.

A further line of thought was also how to apply the saving roll. For the French Line this was simple - Hard cover.
But for the Voltiguer skirmishers should they benefit from the "Light Infantry in hard cover" rule on p47 ignoring the first kill?
I'm erring on the NO here but the term Light Infantry might be a typo or inconsistency where any skirmish might have been intended.

If anyone is still with me (sorry for the long post) we found ourselves considering how effective firing from behind such a high obstacle might be.
I can't imagine a full effect two or three rank volley firing let alone controlled volleys emanating from behind an obstacle where possibly only a front rank might be able to fire over the wall. My immediate thoughts (although not relevant to our game situation) are to treat figures within a courtyard or tightly enclosed area as operating as groups only - no formations as in buildings. Also to disallow any firing enhancements such as controlled volley or crashing volley as I don't see the whole group being able to fire at full effect in the first place.

I would be interested to hear the thoughts of this forums esteemed members, especially if others have had similar situations.
Best Regards
Paul C

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Re: SP2 Hit Allocation and Saving Roll Situation

Post by Archdukek » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:27 pm

Hi Paul,
I'm not totally clear if the Voltigeurs are in between the 2 French Line units. If they are then the French groups cannot be considered to be in a formation even if they are in base to base contact so will not share hits for that reason. Also since the Line groups are facing in different directions I'd be inclined to treat them as separate groups. To my mind the FAQ answer is a special case to give a gun directly supported by infantry some additional protection.

However, any hits from British formation A would be allocated across all 3 French groups since all are in its firing arc.

British unit B as a single group is free to select either of the two French groups on the southern wall as its target and all hits will be concentrated on whichever group it picks since the Voltigeurs and Line can never be in a formation together apart from when there is a skirmish screen operating.

The Voltigeurs would benefit from Hard Cover only. The additional benefit for Light Infantry in such terrain is limited to that class of Skirmish Troops as a reflection of their better training as stated. It's not a typo.

As to how best to treat firing in such a case this really comes down to a matter of judgement depending upon the terrain in question. In this case I too would be inclined to rule that the French defenders should be firing as individual groups given the height of the wall along with their different facings.

Hope that helps,

John
Last edited by Archdukek on Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Captain Reid
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Re: SP2 Hit Allocation and Saving Roll Situation

Post by Captain Reid » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:27 pm

I'd play it as

When the Formation fires, all groups share the hits
When the single Group fires, it chooses the Unit it wishes to target. However if (and only if) that involves firing through another Unit then the hits would be shared.

I don't think base to base contact enters into it at all. What does enter into it is the 4" rule, which pertains specifically to sharing hits when a Formation has fired at a target - directed or not - and common sense, which to me dictates sharing hits if you fire through one unit while targeting a more distant (basically opting to share hits that way)

Only the Troop Type Light Infantry get the ignore first kill bonus. Skirmishers and Irregular Skirmishers do not.

As regards the last point. I think you have to decide that sort of thing based on your actual terrain and the precise variation in size of the various models used (if you have big beefy models and I have smaller, slighter ones, it would seem unreasonable for me to be penalised in a situation where you were not based upon where the chest of a model is I relation to a wall). Also, I don't think you can try and encompass what should happen in awkward situations because someone will seize upon such attempts as a precedent and attempt to form case law pertaining to other superficially similar situations where common sense would dictate adopting a different approach. Very few wargames that do not very tightly define unit basing, terrain sizing, etc avoid problems like this, and those tend to run into different issues. So I do think you just have to wing that one a bit.
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Re: SP2 Hit Allocation and Saving Roll Situation

Post by Archdukek » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:40 pm

Hi Dave,

We are agreed on the answers but I'm puzzled by your reference to a unit firing through another to target a unit beyond it. To my mind the first paragraph of section 5.1 precludes that possibility with the exception of the later rules on page 46 about firing on skirmish screen operating within 4" of a Line unit. What am I missing?

John

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Captain Reid
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Re: SP2 Hit Allocation and Saving Roll Situation

Post by Captain Reid » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:20 am

Nothing. But sometimes you have a situation where one group partially blocks another and the further group is the desired target. It just seems sensible to me to split hits in that sort of case.
Faith! If they tried to outrun a Hielandmon, they stood but a bad chance, for Whash! went the broadsword.
- James Thompson, 78th Foot.

The Saindoux Campaign, 1757, my French and Indian War blog

Cerro Manteca, 1811, my Peninsular War blog.

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Re: SP2 Hit Allocation and Saving Roll Situation

Post by Archdukek » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:25 pm

Captain Reid wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:20 am
Nothing. But sometimes you have a situation where one group partially blocks another and the further group is the desired target. It just seems sensible to me to split hits in that sort of case.
Yes I'd agree.

John

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