Cavalry Double Line vs Column of Squadrons

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dakkadakka
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Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:44 pm

Cavalry Double Line vs Column of Squadrons

Post by dakkadakka »

I am trying to find in the rules whether there is any real difference between having a unit of cavalry in double line formation and having it in column of squadrons. I’m basing my cavalry 4 to a base, with a standard unit having 4 bases. So, both formations have the same frontage.

The movement rates are the same, and I don’t see any modifiers in the charge table. Can anyone point out any advantage one formation has over the other?

Regards,

Jim

Archdukek
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Re: Cavalry Double Line vs Column of Squadrons

Post by Archdukek »

Hi Jim,
The two formations are not the same and have different frontages. One is more manoeuvrable, but could potentially suffer a penalty when charged.

The definition of Column of Squadrons on page 19 requires it to be 3 or 4 squadrons deep. So your units would have a single base width with each base one behind the other with some space in between each usually. Thus it has a narrower frontage than the same unit deployed in double line with a two base frontage, two ranks deep.

The rule for Narrower frontage says “more than double” the frontage, but personally I treat double as sufficient. Otherwise you are relying on having support units to increase the frontage.

John

dakkadakka
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Re: Cavalry Double Line vs Column of Squadrons

Post by dakkadakka »

John:

Thanks for the quick reply. Unfortunately, with only 4 bases in the unit, the only way I can go 3+ squadrons deep would be to deploy in column of companies. So, how can I (legally) form a column of squadrons with the number of bases I have?

Also, I’m not seeing the negative modifier for cavalry in column being charged. Does that stem from the fact that a column is easier to flank (thus incurring those negative modifiers)?

Regards,

Jim

Archdukek
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Re: Cavalry Double Line vs Column of Squadrons

Post by Archdukek »

Hi Jim,
Whether you are forming a column of companies or column of squadrons with your bases depends on the figure scale you are using. Personally I would assume that with 4 bases in a standard unit, then each base represents a squadron not a company. A company would be 2 figures wide in your case.

If you are fielding cavalry units with only 2 squadrons, then you cannot form a column of squadrons. You are restricted to column of companies, single rank or double rank line.

Yes, cavalry units with a narrower frontage than their opponent are easier to flank so are penalised in the charge procedure, it doesn’t matter if they are in column or line.
The modifier is to the Charge Procedure roll in the table on page 46, middle column, “Cavalry - Narrow Frontage -1”. The definition is in the table on page 47.

Hope that helps,

John

dakkadakka
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Re: Cavalry Double Line vs Column of Squadrons

Post by dakkadakka »

John:

I’m generally using a 1:20 scale for my figures; but, the figures are based for another system I play called Le Petit Armee. In this system, cavalry are mounted two per stand; so, for GdA I’m putting two of those stands per base. But you are right - my intention is for one GdA bae to equal a squadron, with four squadrons in a standard unit.

With this basing system I figured I could show a column of squadrons as a 2x2 block with all bases touching, and a double line by separating the rear two bases from the front two. Column of companies of course would be one behind the other. I guess so long as your opponent agrees, then that part doesn’t really matter.

Forgive me for sounding dense, but I still don’t quite understand the difference in effectiveness between the double line and column of squadrons regarding the game rules. If I’m charging a unit of cavalry (assume the frontages are equal), what difference does it make which of the two formations I use? The same holds true when my cavalry is defending. Is one of the two formations better than the other?

Thanks again for your input.

Regards,

Jim

Archdukek
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Re: Cavalry Double Line vs Column of Squadrons

Post by Archdukek »

Hi Jim,
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you can’t represent a column of squadrons as a 2x2 block with all squadron bases touching. Under the rules that is by definition just another form of double line.

Any difference in combat effectiveness between cavalry units only arises if one unit has more than double the frontage of the other, in which case the Narrower frontage modifier applies. If the frontages are equal it doesn’t matter what formation each is in.

John

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Legere
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Re: Cavalry Double Line vs Column of Squadrons

Post by Legere »

I was reading through this and scratching my head a bit currently. Sort of similar but I can't really see any advantage to deploying cavalry in double line over single line. The only difference seeming to be the -1 'narrower frontage' modifier on the charge table. As there seems to be no benefit in terms of either charge or combat bonus I can't actually see a reason to use double line at all, at least against cavalry, other than perhaps where terrain or other units make using a full single line impossible, and even then, it seems better to back into single line ASAP. Unless I'm missing something?

Archdukek
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Re: Cavalry Double Line vs Column of Squadrons

Post by Archdukek »

Hi Legere,
The main benefit of being in double line is the greater manoeuvrability of the unit and ability to move through a smaller gap. However, there is another benefit if you have a second cavalry unit providing support to the first and charging alongside it. If both are in double line then you may be able to manoeuvre so that both units contact the unit in a single rank thus doubling your Melee dice.

Hope that helps,

John

polish lancer
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Re: Cavalry Double Line vs Column of Squadrons

Post by polish lancer »

Also does not a large unit in double line self support?

Archdukek
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Re: Cavalry Double Line vs Column of Squadrons

Post by Archdukek »

polish lancer wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:06 am
Also does not a large unit in double line self support?
I’m not aware of any such rule.
Could you be thinking of the instruction under Cavalry on page 13 to split very large cavalry units into 2. That would make it easier to have a support but in game terms they are treated as 2 separate units.

John

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