Square dancing

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Maturin
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:21 am

Square dancing

Post by Maturin »

A conundrum came up yesterday during a play through.
Two french battalions in L’ordre mixte (column and line less than 5cm apart) were set upon by two Spanish cavalry units over 15cm distant. The charge was declared against the French column which chose to stand. The charge went in and a melee was indicated with the Spanish (edit) gaining Elan. The supporting Spanish cavalry unit was within charge reach of the supporting French line - so although they were not technically charged (that would have triggered a DT), the French line were pulled into melee by their requirement to support in defence. The melee went badly……
Question is: Could the French supporting line have tried to form square?
Cheers
Tim

bellebsc
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:57 am

Re: Square dancing

Post by bellebsc »

Hi Tim.

As you said the French line were not targets of a charge but rather the support of the French column within the brigade being charged by the Spanish cavalry. So the only actions the line could do is fire in support at the cavalry at the 3" mark.

As for the Spanish Calvary is support that's exactly all they can do also is support.

Ricky

Maturin
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:21 am

Re: Square dancing

Post by Maturin »

Hi Ricky
Yes your point is well made, the Line unit is supporting, but not really by choice. It is not limited to just firing though. It can move aggressively by wheeling to engage the enemy, so it does have the option to move. My question is, can that also be defensively?
The battalion commander is under orders to support his fellows but it appears he has only one option here i.e. ignore the charging cavalry to his front and remaining in line whatever the cost?
Cheers
Tim

Archdukek
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Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: Square dancing

Post by Archdukek »

Hi Tim,
That’s an intriguing question and I’m not sure how it’s best handled under the rules.

It seems odd that the supporting cavalry unit can simply move into contact with the line without having separately charged it and without the line having the opportunity to form square. I think I would have required both Spanish cavalry units to declare separate charges on both infantry units if the Spanish player wants the possibility of both contacting. Otherwise the supporting cavalry should stop at the 5cm[3”] point.

Your and Ricky’s comments got me wondering if the French line unit was obliged to act as a support, if not then the second Spanish cavalry could not support the charge since it was “opposed by another enemy unit” (paragraph d, page 43).

Reading paragraph 3 on page 44, I noted that it says that:
“The defender must include flank/rear supports if they are within the support distance and unopposed,...” (my emphasis).
You could argue that the French line unit was opposed by the second Spanish cavalry unit so the defending French player was not obliged to declare it as supporting the column. He had a choice whether to do so or not. If he chose not to then it would not be involved in the charge so the second Spanish cavalry unit could not support the first.

Bit of a tortuous argument but I think it delivers what I’d consider the most realistic outcome namely that both cavalry units had to declare charges on both infantry units in order to come into contact.

John

Maturin
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:21 am

Re: Square dancing

Post by Maturin »

HI John
OK, I am with your interesting train of thought here however I was of the notion that “opposed” was meant to designate only those units directly opposing and not involved in the charge (example 2 pg 43). If we accept your interpretation would this not mean you could claim to ‘remove support’ and prevent charging support for ALL charges where charging supports had an ‘intention’ of charging defensive supports.

I envisage then this type of rather terse dialogue would ensue.
Mr D’Arcy: “Madam, I declare a charge with my A supported by my B against your C with my B also aiming to contact your supporting D”,
Ms Bennet: “Verily, but I remove the support of my D from my C and insist you reaffirm your charges separately, sir!”

I am sure DrBrown will be seeking a more simplified solution (probably without shirt wetting).

Being in square AND in melee with cavalry is not an option - so maybe we could allow supports to perform a Discipline Test (if the instance allows) and form square if passed (also providing support, but not fire in the charge combat process) BUT then not include them if a melee is called?
A simple ruling of : 'Infantry in square cannot melee with cavalry" would suffice.
I would envisage this as the commander in the field protecting his troops whilst adding some support prior to melee but then not being able to contribute once the sabre slashing begins. The attacking support cavalry would have seen the formed square and not charged home but remained in support of the lead charger.
Cheers
Tim

Archdukek
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Re: Square dancing

Post by Archdukek »

Hi Tim,
I think where I’m coming from is if supporting unit in line is considered to be part of the charge then it ought to have the opportunity to form square in the circumstances you originally described.

As to the conversation between Ms Bennet and Mr Darcy, I think it is entirely reasonable that Ms Bennett should be able to point out Mr Darcy’s error in so presumptively assuming that unit D is supporting unit C and insist he does the honourable thing by declaring a separate charge on unit D. :)

John

Maturin
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:21 am

Re: Square dancing

Post by Maturin »

Hi John
I suppose so, although I am suggesting the line will have the opportunity to try and form square during its reacting to the charge phase. I feel though that using your 'opposed' interpretation ruling you would need to limit this to Cavalry charges only or else infantry commanders could mis-use the precedent dreadfully and wilfully insist, when they feel it is advantageous, that every supporting unit in a charge likely to contact defensive supports could be forced to resolve as an individual charge, thus breaking intended supports.
Cheers
Tim

Archdukek
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Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: Square dancing

Post by Archdukek »

Hi Tim,
I’m not sure that I see a great problem with the situation you fear with infantry units if my suggested interpretation applied. Surely an advancing battalion and its commander should be more focussed on an enemy unit to its front, rather than providing “support” to the lead charging unit. Both sides are effectively suffering the same penalty of missing out on a reroll during the Charge Procedure.

The attacker still retains the option of deciding which units will actually charge to contact with the enemy. They don’t have to launch separate charges if they choose not to and want to avoid the risk of conducting multiple Charge Procedures.

Or am I missing something?

John

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DCRBrown
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Re: Square dancing

Post by DCRBrown »

Tim,

Can you post a picture of this charge situation, it would help to know where the Spanish cavalry was in relation to the French line and column.

Thanks.

DB

Maturin
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:21 am

Re: Square dancing

Post by Maturin »

Hi Dave
Something close to this.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/511 ... 8566_o.png
Cheers
Tim

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