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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 4:21 pm
Posts: 232
[Bill, this is for single phase mode]

Any chance of a player being able to "pre-order" units to go into square or counter-charge in the opponent's turn? This should certainly be feasible.

I realize there's the potential danger of creating opportunities for gamey tactics, but this shouldn't really be an issue, especially when you - and John - consider the following:

1./ Currently, infantry have to be placed in square in their own previous turn. The enemy player is aware of this, <i><b>right at the start of his turn</b></i>, and instead of wasting his precious cavalry in a charge can move up infantry to attack or bombard the square with artillery.

2./ However, if infantry could form square as a defensive tactic in response to a charge - which is far more logical than the current system - then the cavalry <b>wouldn't know</b> (certainly when they start their charge and possibly not until they make contact) if the infantry facing them are just going to fire defensive or else form square. Of course there'd always the possibility of low quality infantry disrupting or routing instead of successfully forming square. <i><b>Even if not "preset" to form square, it makes sense that infantry should always have the chance of forming square immediately before being meleed by a sufficiently powerful force of charging cavalry.</b></i>

3./ To prevent gamey tactics, eg. charging with a single regiment, the square forming (and perhaps also counter charge) might only be triggered if the threat is considered great enough. (A calculation of the melee odds might be the best way of handling this). In that case a single squadron might only trigger defensive fire. But if additional squadrons charge this might then trigger a square, possibly only occurring immediately before the melee is resolved.

4./ This possibility of a square change (or a counter-charge) in response to a charge would add an important element of uncertainty for the active player, something which is currently not present, since he can see straightaway whether the enemy unit(s) are in square and knows that the enemy cavalry, however powerful in their own turn, can't move a single hex, whatever ridiculously unrealistic series of actions he conducts, eg even if he attacks nearby units and then subsequently moves fresh units forward to surround and blasts the cavalry, even moving up infantry in line onto the poor cavalry's now exposed flanks.

5./ Thus it's clear that the current system already greatly facilitates gamey tactics, whereas the ability for the inactive players troops to form square and counter-charge adds an element of uncertainty.

6./ Like square forming, counter charging might be "preset" in the previous turn, <i>provided the cavalry had sufficient movement points remaining from their own turn</i>. In this case, a "target" - either an enemy unit or perhaps a hex - for the counter-charge would be selected in advance. This would give the player greater control of the counter-charge than if the A/I were to handle it. The counter-charge would only occur if the "target" unit charges, or once the "target hex" is crossed by charging cavalry.

7./ <b>To prevent gamey tactics, all cavalry charges and melees should occur <i>after</i> normal movement.</b> This would prevent the active player from moving infantry up to attack enemy cavalry that had counter-charged.

8./ Perhaps infantry and guns too could be "preset" to move and/or change formation during the enemy turn, provided they had sufficient movement points remaining? Guns could be "preset" to limber up and fall back when approached. Infantry might be "preset" to move forward into contact or fall back, with the movement pre-plotted in advance. Such movement would make it harder for the active player to plan his move in a chess-like manner with the certainty that the enemy units would all keep perfectly still for the duration of his "turn".

9./ In addition to counter-charging, perhaps cavalry might be "preset" to avoid contact, thus falling back to a pre-determined hex when faced by advancing enemy units.

10./ NB: Maybe there should be greater restriction on the ability for infantry to move adjacent to the frontal hexes of undisrupted enemy cavalry in open terrain?

Lt.Col. Rich White
4th Cavalry Brigade
Cavalry Corps
Anglo-Allied Army

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