River Crossing

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Hamilton
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:45 pm

River Crossing

Post by Hamilton »

I can't find anything specifically stating whether rivers can be crossed other that at it's crossing, either a bridge or ford. I think it would be interesting for there to be some flexibility for both river's and ford's "obstacle classification" to be declared or rolled for during terrain setup as either minor or major obstacles, and for larger or fast moving rivers be (remain?) "impassable".

Any history or wisdom from the play testing on this?

Reference:
This can be taken to imply that this is the only crossing, or that it's the easy crossing suitable for wagons, carts, etc. Seems to me that men and horses could possibly wade or swim which would be difference between minor or major obstacle? However, wagons and others may only use the ford or bridge?
"Tabble Generator P. 24
Where a river is present, a crossing, either a ford or a bridge, will always be present and should be placed around the centre of its length."
This Random event mentions that with flooding the ford becomes "uncrossable" but no reference to it or the river's normal classification.
Combat Random Events P. 36
"A violent storm erupts. Any river becomes uncrossable at fords until the flood dissipates"
There is no mention of Rivers or Fords as to what type of obstacle they might be classed as in section 5.6 Crossing Obstacles.
"5.6 Crossing Obstacles P. 48
Insignificant Obstacles, such as domestic fences and other minimal obstacles present no impediment to movement, being simply brushed to one side or kicked over.
Minor Obstacles
Crossing improvised defences, a hastily dug ditch, a roughly placed palisade, barricade, a low dyke or earth mound will remove one D6 of movement. They may not be crossed if the Group is in any Formation that already reduces movement.
Major Obstacles
These may be well-prepared defences or solid structures such as high walls, a well constructed palisade or a combination of three or more light defences. Some Major Obstacles cannot be crossed at all, except with scaling ladders or other siege equipment. Others, such as well-prepared defences, take an entire Turn to move across.
A Group crossing a Major Obstacle ends it’s movement at the obstacle, crossing over it when next activated, moving to the other side but no further. During that move the armour of that Group is reduced by one level due to their inability to properly use weapons and shields."

Archdukek
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Re: River Crossing

Post by Archdukek »

I believe that a river is intended to be impassable except at the crossing point which is always present.
Of course it is up to you and your opponent to determine if you want it to operate differently in any scenario you want to play. It could vary depending on the season and location.

John

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Quackstheking
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Re: River Crossing

Post by Quackstheking »

During play testing we experimented with various dice rolled states of the river. However Rich discarded this step as it was

A) unnecessary chrome which added in complexity
B) Many skirmish encounters were fought around bridges and fords which should be replicated.

Therefore as John states the intention is that Rivers should be considered as impassable and only crossable at Fords/Bridges as key focal points of the battle. Indeed if you look at the scenario Rich published in Wargames Soldiers and Strategy 107 (No Pain, No Grain), one of the key actions was based around the Legionaries forcing their way across the ford.

However if you're playing a campaign set in say Italy, Southern France or Spain you might consider that in high summer the river might only be Broken Ground - it's your call. Equally if you want to roll for the river state feel free to do so but you will dilute the narrative aspect which will be sung around campfires for many a time about the battle at the crossing. I seem to remember a Macro and Cato story which involved a lone century holding a crossing against hordes of British warriors and chariots - very cinematic!

Don

Hamilton
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Re: River Crossing

Post by Hamilton »

Thanks, John & Don.

I also thought that might be the intention, but was unsure and not familiar with any historical reference around this.

I can understand that Romans in their heavy armor and shields would not swim or do a deep wade across a river for fear of loosing their footing. But not sure the barbarians lacking armor would not be so hesitant? And I think as long as the river is not to fast moving horses (unarmored) would be fine as well with riders swimming beside them. I seem to remember some cavalry being good enough at this that they were able to remount the horse as it was coming out of the water...or maybe that was the native Americans I'm remembering (◔_◔).

Certainly not a good thing to be doing if "under fire" - is armor reduction for "major obstacle" sufficient?

In any case, depending on rest of the terrain and force deployment I can see this question might come up, so trying to be prepared.

I think I have my answer now, thanks,

Hamilton

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Baldie
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Re: River Crossing

Post by Baldie »

Seem to remember reading something about some Roman aux swam forwarded a river to outflank a barbarian force.
Think it was a scenario in a HC supplement but presumably based on real life.

Sounds an interesting scenario you could o in Infamy.
Interests

Getting slaughtered by a surprising amount of opponents.

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Quackstheking
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Re: River Crossing

Post by Quackstheking »

That was the Battle of the Medway crossing where allegedly the Batavian Auxiliaries swam the river. Roman Legionaries we’re trained to swim as part of their induction.

Generally though troops didn’t swim!

Don

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redmist1122
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Re: River Crossing

Post by redmist1122 »

Our game last night, we placed a river and ran it across the table with the ford in the middle. We agreed upon making the river broken ground. It worked fine.

I think it's about what you want to get out of your game.

With this being the first time playing with a river, didn't want the whole fight centered in one area. Somewhere down the road,I'm sure the river will be impassable and only able to cross at the bridge or maybe a ford.

Just have fun with and don't get hung up around the axle.
Greg P.
Tucson, AZ, USA

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