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

Q: On what point do regiments pivot when changing face?

A:  Almost any.  The regiment could wheel on one flank or another, or pivot around the unit's center point…  All this was fairly straightforward parade ground maneuvering.  It should be emphasized that changing a unit's facing by wheeling is not an invitation to move a unit without an order chit.  It can change its alignment, but may not leave the area without a chit.

Q: The ability to form a square formation is mentioned on several occasions in the rules. How is it represented what are its firing and combat properties?

A:  The square was intentionally given short shrift in the 1870 rules because it was an obsolescent formation hardly ever used during the FPW… given the firepower of modern breech-loaders, it was believed (and proven) that infantry could do just as well if not better against cavalry staying in line.  Squares assume a greater importance in the 1859, 1864, and 1866 rules, however, so I had to come up with some rules anyway.  Here's how it's handled in those rules: If the charging horse starts its charge from over 5 inches away, the infantry forms its square before the cavalry reach it.  If the charge is begun from less than 5 inches away from a target, or the infantry unit is disorganized, then the unit can only form square with a low die roll: 1-3.  Any unit that fails this die roll is regarded as being disorganized at the time of impact (if there is impact).

Form stands into a square, triangle, or back-to-back to represent a square, depending on the number of stands available.  A single stand square would have to be marked (I use a inch square counter with a square symbol on it).

Units in a square present a much smaller number of rifles to an attacker than do units in line, so they lose their x2 or x3 fire bonus when engaging cavalry.  Units in square get a Plus ONE to their MR during cavalry attacks, and the cavalry take a Minus THREE when checking their morale before attacking squares (which is composed, by definition, of steady infantry).  If there is a melee, the poor cavalry also lose a couple of Combat Points against steady infantry, too.

Q: When pro-rating for units wish to change formation when being charged by cavalry – if it turns out that the defending unit didn't have enough time for a formation change before the charging cavalry contacts it, is the unit automatically disordered?  (I know it will be eliminated if it is artillery).

A:  For the sake of simplicity, I didn't go into auto-disorder in 1870, since there seemed to be little reason to… units had no real reason to form squares, and few cavalry charges, I figured, would be launched from so close (less than 5 inches) that the infantry couldn't turn at least one stand to face it.  This has generally been borne out in the scores of games I’ve played.  No, so auto disorder in 1870.  You’ll note in the 1859/64 and 1866 rules that it does come into play, however.


Q: Is it move only when moving backwards in Line, or in Extended Order?

A:  Both

Q: Linear Obstacles (streams, low wall, fences, hedges) cost 2 inches for infantry, and 4 inches for cavalry; are these therefore impassable to Artillery as there is no movement modifier?

A:  Good catch.  This has been included on the new cheat sheets.  Treat foot artillery like infantry, and horse arty like cavalry for obstacles.  No such thing as “impassable” unless specifically noted in the scenario Terrain Notes.

Q: As there is no mention of a wheel, sidestep, or oblique movement in the 1870 rules, can units move anywhere within the allowed distance provided that no element moves more than the maximum distance allowed (e.g., 8 inches for infantry in line)?  If so is this irrespective of formation?

A:  “Sidestep” is included in the new 1859/64 Movement Table as “sideways” movement: normal movement rate (basically 4 inches, since this is only done while deployed in line); the other maneuvers are also done while in line, and are therefore subject to the line movement rate… applied to the portion of the unit that moved farthest -- i.e., the outer stand in a wheel.

Q: Artillery may prolong 1” and fire at partial effect.  Can artillery change facing on the spot, and if so is there a limit to its rotation (e.g. 90 degrees) or is the 1” the governing measurement?  Can it combine rotation and movement (and vice versa) in the 1”?

A:  This was an oversight in 1870 that’s been addressed in the new rules (and should be made retroactive to 1870), to wit: “Once unlimbered, a battery can engage targets in its forward 45 arc only.  To engage targets outside that arc requires an entire turn to displace and reorient the battery – during which time it cannot shoot.”

Q: How is movement through towns handled when in line formation?

A: I had originally thought to declare infantry line movement through towns the same as movement through woods:  it would cause the unit to become disorganized, and halve its movement.  But, that seemed a little severe, so line movement through a town is just treated as line movement through an open area.  Cavalry is only allowed to transit through towns on the streets, however – at their normal road column movement rate.

Q: Is infantry disordered by occupying buildings, or can they be reformed in good order in the buildings?

A: A unit in good order can occupy buildings with no disorder (and without an order chit, if it is adjacent the buildings) as a change of formation, or as the last 1/3 of a normal move.  If a unit already in disorder is adjacent the buildings and is ordered to REFORM, it can reform inside the buildings.  As with any REFORM, this would take all turn, so the unit would start the next turn in good order in the buildings.  Of course, a unit could also occupy buildings even if it was in disorder, too, at a cost of 1/3 its (halved) movement rate… but it would remain in disorder.



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