Combat Results

[1871 FAQs]   [General Play]   [Charges]   [Combat Results]   [Command and Control]   [Disorganization]   [Firing]   [Melees]   [Morale]   [Moving]   [Visibility]

Q: If there is another unit immediately behind a unit that is pushed back is it also pushed back or does the unit interpenetrate it?

A: This was finally codified in the 1866 rules, and so can be applied to the whole set of Grand Tactical Rules: Supporting units should not be closer than three inches behind the unit in front of them unless they are in extended line, column, or have fewer stands than the lead unit (leaving stand-wide gaps through which the lead unit can withdraw in the event of a reversal).  Units that have closed up on their lead units without leaving gaps in their line become disorganized if the lead unit is compelled to retreat or tout back through them them.

Q: Are routing units assumed to interpenetrate friendly units with cost no to either of them?

A: If there's insufficient room to stream back after a reversal, the second line is disorganized as mentioned above, and would have to take a morale check if the routers passed within an inch, of course.

Q: In the Morale results (page 30) it specifies that “Units routed while adjacent to the enemy lose one combat point before departing…”; does ‘adjacent’ just mean stands in contact, or does it include uncommitted 2nd Line, or is it all units within 1” of the enemy that were involved in the combat?

A: If any part of the routing unit is adjacent to the enemy (within 1 inch) when it breaks, the unit (usually a regiment, since that’s our normal core morale unit) loses 1 Combat Point.  Most losses in close combat didn’t come from bayonet and butt strokes, but when one side broke and ran… and their opponents shot them down when they presented their backs.  Same with cavalry fights, when the victor pursued a broken enemy and cut them down from behind.  Note that the presence of a support line within 3 inches behind a routing unit will prevent that 1 Combat Point loss – even if the support line belongs to the routing unit.  The engaged portion of the unit routs; the unengaged portion covers their retreat, and then runs after them.  While the whole unit is routed, at least the portion left in support prevented further losses first.

Q: What does a ‘withdraw from combat’ constitute once a unit's second break point has been reached?

A: The unit leaves the fight… clear back out of range of anything that could cause it further casualties.  Depending on where the unit was, this could mean just retreating off the board.

Q: Does it retire directly away from threat?

A: More or less… terrain dependent.

Q: For how long, i.e. number of turns?

A: Until it’s out of range.

Q: If it cannot withdraw does it surrender/is it eliminated?  Can it rally?

A: It won't rally because its not routing, per se… just had enough.  It may be on the verge of a rout, or the commander may have lost his nerve because of the high loses.  It can return fire and fight, if attacked, but its main concern is to get out of the fight.  This rule was designed to keep players from fighting their commands down to remnants… usually individual unit morale results takes care of that, but not always.  Some division size Republican French units simply left the battle after their division break points had been reached… and it could happen to the Germans, too.  At Mars-la-Tour the 6th Div certainly reached their 1st break point, and were precariously on the verge of their second.. a goodly part of the VIII and II Corps troops at Gravelotte failed their 2nd break point test towards the end of the day.

Q: Do you ALWAYS take equal casualties on every stand in a regiment before giving more to one stand than another?  If 3 battalions take 5 casualties, could there be 1 casualty on one and 2 on the other two?  Whilst his reduces morale by 5 it still doesn't trigger a morale check due to stand loss…

A: If the regiment is together, take the casualties from one stand until it is removed, and trigger a regimental morale check.  That's the intention -- to take recurring morale checks as casualties mount.  If the player got to choose, he could conceivably have a regiment operating at 1/3 its combat strength, and never have had to take a morale check.  The only time casualties ought to be split is when one battalion is physically removed (at least 3 inches) from the others.  The detached stand’s loses wouldn't effect the rest of the regiment and vice versa... but, once the stand rejoined, the casualties would be consolidated, which might trigger that check.

Q: When a cavalry brigade suffers a repulse result do both regiments of the brigade fall back?

A: Yes, in the grand tactical scale game nearly all results apply to core morale units -- like cavalry brigades.  Even though I cheerfully admit that this result historically might be rare -- especially when applied to infantry regiments -- the intent was to capture the historical results that were happening to smaller units in a macro sense.  If, in a grand tactical game with scores of stands in play, individual battalions were allowed to behave as independent elements for combat results purposes, we'd shortly have regiments broken and scattered all over the board.  Just because this is what actually happened in many cases is beside the point.  It would fatally slow down the game, and require far more micro-managing on the corps commander/gamer's part to keep track of them all.  So the regiments just hang together and suffer similar fates (unless some element is physically detached from its parent unit, of course).  Quicker, less trouble, and more decisive that way.

Q: "R" Result Against Artillery

A: There’s nothing in the 1870 rules that mention the "R" (repulse) result against artillery.  The intent of the repulse result was to simulate the spontaneous withdrawal of a unit under unexpectedly heavy fire… before enough casualties were actually inflicted to cause a measurable loss.  For an artillery target, this would have meant a snap decision to displace out of an obvious danger zone… So (Official Ruling): artillery hit with an "R" result is treated like infantry (displace 3 inches to the rear).  This has been incorporated into the 1859/64 rules.

As a matter of interest, I’ve had enough queries on that "Repulse" result by bloodthirsty gamers that I magnanimously ruled that (if both sides agree beforehand) an "R" result does carry with it a loss of one combat point as well as the repulse effect… this has also been codified in the 1859/64 rules.



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