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.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

British AWI - Fire and Charge

I haven't played AWI for a while now, mostly because of my dissatisfaction with the various rules I have tried. I've read a few more - tried even less - and none of them strike me as being able to accomplish the style of combat I read of in With Zeal and With Bayonets Only, A Devil of a Whipping, and others. I guess it is because I have my own prejudices on how things should be and none of the rules seem to reflect that.

That can only mean one thing: I need to write my own rules!

It was while reading the ancients rules, Warrior Kings, once again that it struck me what was wrong. I believe that the British, if their morale holds, should advance quickly towards the enemy, only slowing down enough to dress the lines to recover from disorder of terrain and casualties, and when they get to 50 yards or so, deliver a volley, then close in for the charge. The Patriots then react to the fire and to the subsequent charge.

The problem with most rules is that the turn sequence does not typically support this sequence of events. The British move, fire, then charge. Most turn sequences are Declare Charges, Move, Fire, Morale, Melee, and Morale.

Warrior Kings solves this problem, as do most ancients rules, by combining fire that is a part of a charge, as a modifier to the subsequent melee. Think of the Romans throwing their pilum before impact or the Germans throwing their axes. It really is the same sequence: Move, Fire, and Charge.

I've always liked the concepts in Warrior Kings. So much so that I once wrote a set of rules for the horse and musket period using their concepts of a reaction chart. I think I will take them up again.

As it stands now, I am looking forward to hearing about Peter Pig's upcoming Warshington's Army rules. Although not grid-based like Square Bashing or Conqueror's and Kings, it does sound interesting.

1 comment:

  1. I noticed the same thing about "volley and charge", including the same example of pilum and ax. I seem to recall that Field of Glory has a troop type specific to that tactic--will have to dig out my copy again.


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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").