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.

Friday, February 27, 2009

New Concept for AWI Formation Order

I know this concept may not be popular, as it requires more figures, but I thought I would pass it out there and see who responds. Given that DBA-type armies are small, I thought it might play...

The more I read, the better the vision of DB-AWI gets in my mind (i.e. I am changing the concept as I figure out how they really fought), and now that I am reading With Bayonet and With Zeal Only I can see that a unit really did not stick in one order (close, loose, open, extended, etc.) from beginning to end in a battle. I really suspected as such, but I thought that it might work keeping a unit in the same order and simplify the game.

However, I am reading of more instances where these changes occurred fairly often - often enough to model - and decided to try and include it in the game. The basic idea is to replace one stand for another. If the unit is in close order, use the stand with four figures; if in loose, use the three figure stand. Granted, this creates two concerns:

1. I need seven figures for a unit! Okay, so maybe this is the Rich Man's Variant of DB-AWI.

2. Where did the other figure go? I don't worry about that; neither should you. The figure count on the stand is an abstraction and a visual marker of the order, nothing more.

Another way to represent this is to take two loose order stands and put one behind the other, representing a doubling of the line density, but this also represents a column. Which is it? In the end, I felt that swapping figures out was better.

Now, how to accomplish it? Same as DBA dismounting: it costs an extra pip to extend or contract, but you can still move afterwards.

Another advantage of this mechanism is that it allows you to differentiate close and loose in Bad Going: don't allow close to go in. So, what you would see is a unit in close order go loose, move through the woods, and then form up on the other side. If you read detailed accounts of Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, Hobkirk's Hill, and such, you will read descriptions of that very sequence every so often. Not just for the British and Hessians, but for the Continentals too. (I have not read about militia doing it, however.)

Tell me what you think.

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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").