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

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Compromise in Wargames - (3a) Probability: an Afterthought

This follows from yesterday's post, and the comments on it. I had intended to make this a comment, which is maybe all it merits, but realised that no-one might read it if I did.

The suggestion was made that the figures "laid down" after a volley are not simply killed and wounded, but represent the number who are no longer available to fight back, for whatever reason, and that morale-type considerations will be a large part of this. I'm not talking about Charge! here, but I may well be talking about games of the same general style (and vintage?) as Charge! - if the "casualty" figures are really the overall reduction in combat effectiveness, as discussed, then they represent a nice get-out for those of us who find separate morale testing a tedious overhead.

Further - and this is where we get to this morning's wacky idea - this implies that your Old Guard should be harder to "kill". If they can fight on longer than lesser beings, then the proportional fall-off in CE should be slower in the same situation. It is a commonplace to allow good quality troops to shoot/fight better, and give them an extra dice (or something), but I do not recall ever seeing rules which gave an extra firing dice because the target unit were shaky. Maybe I should have? It would work, I think.


  1. Tony,

    I think what you're driving at is similar to what we see in some 'modern' (WW2 and later) rules - i.e. more experienced troops are harder to hit (although usually the rationale there is that they have better fieldcraft/use of ground, etc. rather than overall greater effectiveness...which they probably have anyway). A related topic that a lot of wargamers seem to have trouble 'getting' is that some experienced troops will be more reluctant than the recruits (at least for western armies from the mid 19th c onwards) - but that's another subject.


  2. It does have similarities, but the angle that I was thinking of was not that they are better at avoiding being hit, rather that they do get hit but better quality troops will be more capable of fighting back afterwards, so combined casualty/morale effect is less (yes - I agree the difference is a bit obscure!). I can't find which set of rules it was, but some old set I've got somewhere has a "50% rule" approach to morale, in which line troops are removed at 50% loss, but guards and other elites can fight on to 66% loss - similar sort of idea, but firepower doesn't decrease in the same way.

    I'm just flying a kite, really!