Why do attackers have the advantage when assaulting BUAs?

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Contrarius
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Why do attackers have the advantage when assaulting BUAs?

Post by Contrarius » Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:12 am

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

Post by Polish Lancer » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:37 am

I think you are reading his incorrectly. If you are looking at the Melee table you only get the +2CD in assault column if you are "Meleeing with Elan". Which you cannot do against a BAU as there is no Charges phase. Note that sentence is prefixed by a (4) and if you look at the tables above it will become clear.

Not sure how you come to your second conclusion. If a unit enters a BUA they are unformed for the turn they enter only. They will only continue to be unformed if their brigade goes hesitant in the following turn, thus they are assumed to have taken up residence and formed a defence. The only way I can see this occurring is if your defender is moving into the BUA and the enemy has already declared a charge on the BUA in the same move. This would be fine as the defenders are not set and are scrambling to find cover to fight. Otherwise they are good unless what I said in the first instance applies.

Make sense?

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

Post by Archdukek » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:38 pm

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.
John

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

Post by DCRBrown » Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:30 am

C,

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.

DB

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