A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Grand Tactical Game - Salamanca OOBs

This feels like jumping the gun a bit - it is my intention to stage some kind of re-run of the Battle of Salamanca at some point during the playtesting of the MEP Grand Tactical Rules. As I mentioned before, I have very mixed feelings about any kind of re-enactment of a real battle, but I've never been able to do it before, so this will be proving a point. In the interests of humanity, it will probably be a solo effort!

One of the things I need to do is check that I am actually going to have enough troops to do it (and that they'll fit on the table!), so I've translated the historic OOB's into MEP terms - you'll find the tables below, somewhere. The numbers in brackets after the unit names show how many elements that unit contributes - this will not necessarily be the number of actual battalions which took the field in 1812, the numbers are tweaked to match the overall headcount. And, especially on the Allied side, some of the very small regimental units have been omitted - the numbers still add up.

Thanks once again to my loyal friend Marco, who emailed me some very useful feedback on the MEP draft. He pointed out that a very large brigade is potentially unstoppable, and that a very small one with bad morale could have a starting points value (PV) of zero, which means, of course, that they are eliminated before they set out! Accordingly, two new amendments have been incorporated in the draft (which can be downloaded here):

* a maximum of 4 elements count towards a unit's (brigade's) PV, thus (for example) a unit with 5 Elements and a Quality Bonus of +1 has it's PV restricted to 4 + 1 = 5.

* any single-element unit whose QB is -1 should have a minimum PV of 1 - do not attach the white (negative bonus) counter. Unless such a unit has a significant role in the battle, it is suggested that single-element units be dropped from the OOB, or rolled into another unit.

So here is my first attempt at the OOBs for Marshal Marmont's Armee de Portugal and the Earl of Wellington's Allied army on 22nd July 1812. Remember that the "Units" are the entities in the "Brigade" column. PV figures in red in the table are ones which have been adjusted for Marco's new rules. I have consciously been niggardly in awarding QB points, and I have also marked Bonet's Division down a bit since his troops appear to have had little battle experience. The "Sk" notes in the details of the Allied army show where, for mainly cosmetic reasons, skirmish figures should be from a particular unit.

Conclusions? I'm a bit short of Brunswick skirmishers, but I can do it, fairly comfortably, if I use stand-ins. I think I'll omit the Portuguese cavalry and Don Sanchez's Spanish lancers, just because they were tiny units.

I am thinking of commencing the action at the point at which the French left becomes over-extended. Since it is a (sort of) re-enactment, I will not need to use Blinds or Command rules, so the current MEP draft will probably suffice. I could do this playtest quite soon, in fact.

I'd better get myself organised. More soon.

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