I've been thinking a bit about the test game with the American War of Independence (AWIW) rules, and some possible changes. I think movement was too fast. The basis for the changes to the speeds from NW was that infantry in line would remain at 2 base widths (BW). My goal was to show that American and British troops marched faster than German and French troops, as was often written about in contemporary diaries and journals. The problem is that in order to make a difference between loose order movement and column, you need to increase the speed of columns from that in NW.
If you go back to the source and try to discern why the Americans and British were faster than the Germans and French, you get the following logic:
- Terrain in North American was heavier than what was generally found in Continental Europe.
- Terrain slows a unit down by disrupting its formation.
- When a unit's formation was disrupted enough, it would 'dress the line' in order to recover from the disorder.
- Units with more space between files tended to suffer less from disruption by terrain.
- Units with fewer files tended to suffer less from disruption by terrain.
- The less disruption suffered, the less frequently the unit had to stop and dress the line. The fewer stops, the faster the march.
So, the question goes to whether a loose order line should have the same speed as a column in AWIW. I'll start by examining why an AWI unit uses a column:
- Unlike the Napoleonic, and later, period columns were not generally used for assault, but for pre-battle deployment.
- Columns allow you to maneuver around terrain.
- Columns allow you to take advantage of roads.
- Columns allow the passage of units.
- Maneuver through terrain with less impact than close order.
- Maintain better firepower, compared to a column.
- Maintain acceptable shock power.
I can also see in reviewing the rules that I need to define terrain better, in terms of the effect on movement, line of sight, fire, and hand-to-hand combat. More on that later.
Drop a comment or an email if you have any thoughts.