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BrooklynMike

Reflections on Skirmishers

3 posts in this topic

 [Note, this is cross posted from BGG]

Since I'm the 'evangelist' for BoN at our local game club www.nycwargames.com, it falls to me to get people to try the game, teach, coach, encourage. So far, very positive. 

One very common observation is that there seems to be no down-side at all to leaving your skirmishers out all the time. The only impact is that if they get driven in you have to spend a formation change segment to send them out again. This seems a bit blunt to me. Has anyone considered some house rules like:

1) If you assault or are assaulted and your skirmishers are pushed back in they don't contribute to the resulting melee or morale checks in any way. This way, as an attacker you have to decide between attacking with one less fig or taking the extra segment to pull in the skirmishers.

2) The first casualty from fire must come from skirmishers. This balances the great -1 mod they give on incoming fire against the possibility of losing them.

What do you think? Or, is there some nuance to the skirmish rule that I've overlooked that forces some more thoughtfulness around their use?

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BrooklynMike said:

One very common observation is that there seems to be no down-side at all to leaving your skirmishers out all the time.

Why do you think that there should be a downside?

Units which are able to deploy skirmishers have received better training than the ones who cannot. These units should perform better in battle, at least that is what all my reading on the period suggests.

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KlausFritsch said:

BrooklynMike said:

 

One very common observation is that there seems to be no down-side at all to leaving your skirmishers out all the time.

 

 

Why do you think that there should be a downside?

Units which are able to deploy skirmishers have received better training than the ones who cannot. These units should perform better in battle, at least that is what all my reading on the period suggests.

For most other tactical decisions there is a trade off: line shoots better but is less effective in melee. Columns fight better but are juicy targets. Etc. The commander has to make the right trade off at the right time to get the best result. There is really no trade off required for skirmishers to balance the huge benefit. In reality, deploying skirmishers reduced melee combat effectiveness, and exposed these highly trained troops to more danger.

I guess we always have to look to balance playability against "realism", and maybe this is just not worth the extra rules. Just that it was a point all my new playmates seized upon.

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