My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

DBAWI Design Notes: Close Combat

Let's start with the basic close combat values.

Unit TypeOrderFactor
Line InfantryCO+4
Line InfantryLO+3
Light InfantryCO+4
Light InfantryLO+3
Light InfantryOO+2
German RiflesOO+1
American RiflesOO+0
IndiansOO+3
CavalryLO+3
CavalryOO+2
ArtilleryLight+1
ArtilleryMedium+2
ArtilleryHeavy+3


Bruce Bretthauer on the DBA-HX forum noted about tactical factors: "elements with low numbers die". That got me to thinking: the doctrine of the period was definitely that the musketry was to disorder and demoralize the opponent, but the decisive weapon was the bayonet. Shake the enemy up, then go in with cold steel and get them to start running.

As I look at the numbers, I really don't have any room to play with. The American Rifles are at +0 as it is. (Militia rifles would be at a dismal -1, which may be too low and require an exception that states "no roll and factors can take you below a modified roll of '1', otherwise doubling a '0' is rather easy...) If I want to incorporate Bruce's thoughts, I need to either compress the range or modify the shooting factors upwards. I'll look at the latter idea next blog entry.

The next part of close combat is the results table:

Unit TypeResult if BeatenResult if Doubled
OO CavalryRecoil.Destroyed by Cavalry, LO or CO Infantry, and Artillery, otherwise flee 600 paces.
All Other CavalryDestroyed if in Bad Going, otherwise recoil.Destroyed.
ArtilleryGun captured and crew recoil.Gun captured and crew destroyed.
BUA GarrisonNo effect.Destroyed.
Rifles and IndiansRecoil if contacted by Rifles, otherwise flee 300 paces.Destroyed by Cavalry if in Good Going or by OO Light Infantry, otherwise flee 300 paces.
OO Light InfantryRecoil.Destroyed by Cavalry in Good Going or by other OO Infantry, otherwise flee 300 paces.
Militia InfantryFlee 300 paces.Destroyed.
All Other InfantryRecoil.Destroyed.


Some of the results may look a little strange, but it is intended to provide the feel I am looking for. Rifles will flee from close combat, but because of their movement they can simply return back next round (if they have the pips). Light infantry in OO is the same way, but they trump Rifles because of their bayonets. Militia infantry will pretty much run from all combats they lose (which is likely, given they are LO and militia).

The primary difference in tactical factors with DBAWI is that an overlapping element that also contacts the flank or rear (i.e. the element's front corner touches the corresponding corner of the enemy element's or the element's front face full contacts the enemy element's rear face) gets an additional -1. This plays back into the change to the recoil mechanism (see DBAWI Design Notes: Redefining Recoil)).

As always, tell me what you think.

UPDATE: All references to "Patriot Rifle" are now "American Rifle" to reflect that Loyalist militia can also be armed with the same rifle.

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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").