Some dumb questions about fistifuffs

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bandrsntch
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Some dumb questions about fistifuffs

Post by bandrsntch » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:19 am

A single unloaded group of British LI in Line charges the end Group of a three Group American Militia Formation. The LI have the Tomahawks Character. The Tomahawks get two hits.
1.Does the Shock from the Tomahawks go only on the Charged Group or is it split between the Target Group and the Supporting Group or across all three Groups of the Militia.

2.The LI scores five Kills, the Militia none. Ouch! The looser is thrown back 18 inched which in this instance is off the table. Now is it just the Charged Group that goes back or also the Supporting Group? What about the un-engaged Group?

3. It appears there is nothing in the Rules to prevent a LI Skirmisher Group from doing the same thing, but that seems illogical for a Skirmish Group to be able to charge a Formation. Is there anything in the Rules that would prevent that? I suppose for the AWI period it could have happened as the Militia were sometimes notoriously bad, but for Napoleonic's it just doesn't seem right(unless of course you're Richard Sharpe and the 95th Rifles).

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Capt Fortier
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Re: Some dumb questions about fistifuffs

Post by Capt Fortier » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:07 am

Interesting questions. I would think you would first move the contacted group and its adjacent (support) group to face and conform (as per the second and third diagram on p. 53 of SP2 rules) and that helps get a sense of who is having to deal with what.

In terms of (1) the shock from Tomahawks, I'd think these are then evenly shared between the two groups as per standard rules for sharing shock from fisticuffs.

In terms of (2) which groups are effected, it is both the group contacted and the supporting group who are thrown back. This was something that was specifically answered in the official SP2 FAQ. The FAQ also provides some guidance on the possible fate of the now-disconnected third group too:
Q: If a unit is defeated in Fisticuffs by 4+ difference, should they retreat in a straight line opposite to the attacker or can they manoeuvre?

A: They go straight back, no manoeuvre is possible. However, if they are going to run off a cliff or into an uncrossable barrier, such as a river, they may manoeuvre to avoid this. Also, if it is clear that with some minor deviation they can avoid crashing through friendly troops, then they can flow around them, but that is a situation which I feel is eased by an umpire being present.
In terms of (3), is it illogical for Light Infantry skirmishers to charge the flank of a milita formation, and is there anything in the rules preventing it, I'd say "No" to both parts. Light Infantry with Tomahawks were formidable and aggressive whether in line or skirmishing, and militia were notoriously fickle and brittle, so I think if presented with a floating militia flank a small skirmish group might well take advantage.

I think it is always worthwhile remembering that the game is itself a skirmish game, so this is not really a small group of skirmishers attacking a massed formation, but just a smaller group of skirmishers attacking the exposed flank of a larger group of skirmishers spread out in a line; those who are contacted rush to turn to face and those next along come to their support, but before they know it, the enemy is at them and their friends at the bleeding edge are falling and fleeing...

I think the rules - and the example you provide - capture this situation perfectly!
Capt Fortier

“Un optimiste, c'est un homme qui plante deux glands et qui s'achète un hamac.” - Jean de Lattre de Tassigny

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bandrsntch
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Re: Some dumb questions about fistifuffs

Post by bandrsntch » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:50 pm

My case was more like the diagram on top right of p. 52 of SP2 rules. No Flank Attack was involved. The actual event was that I had charged needing eight inches to contact and only got six. So my LI sat in front of thirty Militia waiting to get slaughtered by a volley, but four Red Command cards came up before the Militia could activate. I then finished the charge with the result above. A truly epic turn of events which is what I like about SP games.

I had missed that sentence in the FAQ about supporting Groups suffering the same results.Nothing is said about the unengaged Group, however. I assume they would just sit there and watch in horror as the rest of their Formation runs away.

Another question I forgot to ask(call it question 4) is about unloaded charging troops. There is a deduction for meeting an attack unloaded, but nothing for attacking unloaded. Is it the assumption that charging troops are too engaged in the charge to be able to fire effectively and the effectiveness of their charge depends mainly on their impetus and not any sporadic firing they might give? Was wondering what other players do as i get a lot of negative comments about this when I run a game.

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Captain Reid
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Re: Some dumb questions about fistifuffs

Post by Captain Reid » Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:57 pm

If you're charging unloaded it is indeed the impetus of your charge and the threat of naked cold steel that is important. Loaded or unloaded is no odds. It seems more than fair enough to me. Meeting an attack unloaded is a different kettle of kippers. Having a shot to fire into the face of an onrushing attacker is reassuring and takes the edge of his aggression.
Faith! If they tried to outrun a Hielandmon, they stood but a bad chance, for Whash! went the broadsword.
- James Thompson, 78th Foot.

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bandrsntch
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Re: Some dumb questions about fistifuffs

Post by bandrsntch » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:22 pm

Captain Reid wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:57 pm
If you're charging unloaded it is indeed the impetus of your charge and the threat of naked cold steel that is important. Loaded or unloaded is no odds. It seems more than fair enough to me.
I can buy into that easily. Think I would have gone with "Meeting Attack loaded" as "+1D6 per group" rather than subtracting dice for being unloaded which seems a little severe, but it is what it is.

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