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Column vs. Line


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#1 KlausFritsch

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 09:05 PM

Hi

So far, I like the game very much. But there are a few issues that feel wrong.

A column seems to be more useful and powerful than a line.

1 - Melee

When a line melees, it is disordered. That means when a line and a column stand toe-to-toe, a column gets to attack twice (fire and melee) without drawbacks, but a line can only attack once (fire) without harming itself (melee). A line just cannot afford to be disordered when facing a column.

2 - Fire

When attacked in the flank by fire, a column is actually less vulnerable (one rank crossed) than a line (two ranks crossed). While it can be explained that the effect on the line includes the destabilizing effect of being hit in the flank, the advantage of the column is just plain nonsense. A column is a mass of men which is normally still a bit wider at the front than on the flanks, so it should count as having two ranks for fire combat when hit in the flank.

I will continue to play the rules as written, but I would welcome an improvement regarding these issues.

Especially with defense orders acting later than attack orders, it is very tempting (and ahistorical) for a defending unit group to switch from line with defense orders to column with attack order once conatct is made.

What do you think?

Am I overlooking something?



#2 KlausFritsch

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 09:30 PM

Adding to that the bonus a column gets for attacking a British line, there is no real reason for Brits to stay in line, even on the defensive. All my reading suggests otherwise.



#3 KlausFritsch

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 12:00 AM

I sent the same thoughts to Nexus and got the following reply from Roberto Di Meglio:

-

Dear Klaus
1) a line has the advantage of firing first and much more effectively. It can also change to a column formation in the 2nd step to face better the melee in the following round. Each formation has a different purpose, and overall the way they work in the game are a good match to how they were employed historically.
2) a column indeed has 2 ranks crossed if attacked on the flank. Sorry if this is unclear from the rules.

 

I don't think your analysis of relative strenght takes everything into account.
Indeed you should find that for english infantry line is still a good option, even more so when using a defense order. But you should be careful of melee, as it is right to do.
Remember that in sequence between a French column attacking a British line you will get normally the following situtation, with full units and if nobody changes formation or takes damage:
French column - moves
British line - fires (+6)
French column- melee (+6)
French column - fire (+3)
British line - fires (+6)

So the first 2 attacks on each side would be +6/+6 for the english, +6/+3 for the french, a good initial advantage for the line, which however would start to be at a disadvantage in a long melee.

If the British are in column you would get:
French column - moves
British column- fires (+4)
French column- melee (+4)
British column- melee (+4)
French column - fire (+4)

So being in column the Brits would forfeit their initial advantage, but will be on even ground in a more prolonged melee.

It looks like both are viable options to me.

-

I think he forgot the +1 against British lines, but otherwise, his reasoning is sound.
 



#4 KlausFritsch

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 12:07 AM

KlausFritsch said:

I think he forgot the +1 against British lines, but otherwise, his reasoning is sound.

No, he did not forget:

Column:

+ 4 figures

+2 ranks

+1 versus British line

-1 rank of the line

makes +6.



#5 Lord Mykal

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 11:36 AM

 Very interesting ands thanks for raising the question.






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