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.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

DB-AWI: Some Suggestions from Jim

Jim sent me some suggestions for DB-AWI and I thought I would share them, along with my answers, on the blog. These comments concern the latest version of DB-AWI (version 0.6), which is almost ready for update on Google Documents (see my link).

To start, Jim added in pretty much all of the content from the WADBAG guide. I was reluctant to incorporate their text as I hear the WADBAG text irritates PB and I thought the WADBAG people would be irritated in turn. I guess I need to find out who to contact first.

* Four Letter Codes - Jim commented that I should change all of my troop designations from three to four characters. As the fourth character was always "O" (for "Order") I feel it is superfluous, and therefore just takes up too much space in the tables.

* Passing through elements - Jim commented that the Interpenetraing Friendly Troops table is too complicated:

"With the small unit sizes you keep mentioning and I have read about, I think that any LO or OO element can pass through any LO or OO element, in any direction for any reason. The units were very small and in two ranks or maybe three at most. CO were CO for a reason, so no CO element can pass through or be passed through by any element in any direction for any reason."

Sounds like a good idea. I agree that Close-Order cannot pass through anything, but in DBA Psiloi can pass through a Hoplite wall, so shouldn't open-order also?

* Recoiling through elements - Jim comments:

"With the small unit sizes you keep mentioning and I have read about, I think that any LO or OO element can pass through any LO or OO element, in any direction for any reason. The units were very small and in two ranks or maybe three at most. CO were CO for a reason, so no CO element can pass through or be passed through by any element in any direction for any reason."

Recoiling or fleeing through an element is different from passing through, hence a separate table. If you look at the original DBA rules, you will see that Psiloi pass through anything, but Psiloi do NOT recoil through other Psiloi, they push them back. If you think about it, it is not a matter of can they go through, but whether or not the recoiling Psiloi pass through them or push them back. I think it is the latter. OO not being passed through reflect their lack of morale at standing when a unit breaks in front of it.

* Pursuit - Jim's comments:

"I don’t understand this pursuit rule. I think it should be ANY CAVALRY and ONLY CAVALRY must pursue."

In DBA both Knights and Warband pursue recoiling or fleeing elements. In DB-AWI, it is Open-Order Light Cavalry and Shock troops (heavy infantry in close order). Read the commentary of the day and you see that British infantry frequently got out of hand as they charged into close combat and tried to give the Americans "cold steel" (Camden, Guilford Courthouse). The light cavalry also seemed to lose control more when they were spread out, as opposed to formed.

I may change the units to British regulars and elites in close order, Hessian elites in close order, and the British Legion cavalry, but haven't really gotten that far. There was definitely an incident at Videau's Bridge (see my scenario) in which the Patriot Light Cavalry lost control and pursued to their detriment.

* Push Through - Jim's comment was that I forgot to write the actual rule! It appears that I stopped at that section one night and picked up somewhere else the next. The idea is that the light cavalry moves through and ends in rear edge contact with the rear edge of the enemy element it drew in combat with. The problem is writing the rule such that you cover:

** When a element is in contact with the enemy element being pushed through.

** When an element is behind, but not in contact with the enemy element being pushed through, and there is not enough space for the light cavalry element.

The simplest thing might be to cancel the push through and force the cavalry to retreat. What do you think?

Any comments on this, or the rules, would be greatly appreciated.

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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").