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 Post subject: Melee Question
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 4:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:33 pm
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Location: Canada
Recently I found out one thing very funny. I tried to do a 6:1 odd
melee and found out everytime the attacker loss is equal to the defender loss. There's a modifer of -1 but then I looked up the melee table and found out for 6:1 odd attacker loss is always less than that of defender. So what's the problem there?


Lt. Ranson Lee
4ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne
7ème Division d'Infanterie
IIèmé Corps d'Armee Nord


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:53 am 
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What game are you using and what version of the game. Also, can you state the unit types and numbers that were attacking and defending.

Thanks

Mark


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 11:06 am 
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Just found this out from John Tiller for the HPS games - the losses you see are a compilation of two factors - one is the usual range of numbers and then there is another loss figure. The addition of those two gives you the TOTAL losses that you see in the game.

Thus yes, it looks odd in these cases but just FYI on the losses thing.

I will check this out though - I have usually seen high odds bring on MORE losses for the defender. Let me do a few checks and get back to you.

Oberst-Lt Wilhelm Peters
2nd Kuirassiers, Austrian Army


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 1:09 pm 
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Thank you. I'm talking about BG series. Is it still possible? I mean that's really absurb for a 6:1 odd to have more loss. Even realistically how can that be possible?


Lt. Ranson Lee
4ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne
7ème Division d'Infanterie
IIèmé Corps d'Armee Nord


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 4:39 pm 
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It's been a while since I played the Talonsoft games, but I believe you are correct that at 6:1 the attacker should always win. Of course that is 6:1 after the modifiers and I think that the Napoleonic games also did a conversion to strength points and that included a "round down" function. So if it turned out the odds were just under 6:1, then you are down a level in the tables and there is something like an 8% chance the defender can win.

Of course I never feel sorry for someone who can get even 5.99:1 odds [:)]




Col Sir Bob Breen KT

1st (The King's) Dragoon Guards
Commandant, RMA


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 4:08 am 
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ranzzzz</i>
<br />Recently I found out one thing very funny. I tried to do a 6:1 odd
melee and found out everytime the attacker loss is equal to the defender loss. There's a modifer of -1 but then I looked up the melee table and found out for 6:1 odd attacker loss is always less than that of defender. So what's the problem there?

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Ranson,

You probably meleed skirmishers with a line battalion. In BG series, skirmishers benefit from a -75% casualty bonus in melees. Sometimes, you could also lose 3 times as much men (75 vs 25) and still win this mêlée!! [:0]

[url="mailto:pyguinard@hotmail.com"]Lt Pierre-Yves Guinard[/url],
6e Division, II Corp
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:59 am 
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Sorry for the delay.

The Voltigeur has it almost right.

A skirmisher gains a large benefit in melee in the BG series, in that it's losses are reduced by 80%. However, I believe that this adjustment only applies if the number of skirmishers is less than 250, so if a stack of 600 skirmishers is attacked, they do not gain this benefit.

Next up, if the skirmisher is in open terrain or a building hex, it loses the melee if it's losses before this adjustment are at least 50% of those of the attacking unit.

Here is another interesting case. 225 skirmishers attack a battalion of 225 men. No modifiers. The outcome is loss of 75 to defender, 25 to attacker - who wins the melee? The defender of course [^]

Why? Because the unadjusted losses for the skirmishers was 125.

Turn this around and have the 225 man battalion attack the 225 skirmishers. The outcome is loss of 25 to defender, 125 to attacker. Who won?

That's right, the attacker. Because again, the skirmishers loss before adjustment was actually 75, which is more than 50% of the loss of the attacking unit, so the defending unit, being skirmishers loses.

How to rationalise all of this. How can a handful of skirmishers inflict more casualties on a mass of men much more numerous than them?

First, shelve any idea that melee in the game represents hand to hand fighting between infantry units. It doesn't. Hand to hand fighting was extremely rare in these battles, just as it has been since ranged weapons came to dominate the battlefield. Give a man a musket and he will prefer to keep his distance and fire it rather than take his chances in a hand to hand fight with the enemy.

As the formations closed, one on the other, one would eventually break before contact was made. Possibly the attacking unit would falter and their advance be halted by the defending unit, perhaps the defending unit would break and run. Melee in the game represents the final, bloody exchange of close range fire between the closing formations, at which point the attack is either halted (attacker loses) or the defending units driven back (defender loses).

Because a skirmish formation is in open order, even at close range they are harder to hit than a large mass of men, so, as teh attackig formation closes on them and musketry is exchanged at close range, the formation will suffer a greater number of casualties. If this were not the case our armies would still be marching and fighting in close order formations today !!

However, since the skirmish formation is so disperse, the formed unit will drive it back much more readily, which is why, even though they take fewer casualties in the exchange, the skirmishers can lose the melee.

So, how do yuo minimise losses against skirmishers in melee? You have to be at the bottom right of the table. In other words with odds of 6:1 (more is no extra benefit) and with all the modifiers you can get. Use a leader, attack them in flank with part of your force, use quality units, do not fire before attacking, and you have racked up a potential +5 in modifiers. under these conditions you would only suffer casualties one time in three, and, since there is no fatigue for formed units melee attacking skirmishers unless they take casualties, this can be a cost effective way of dealing with them. Also, there is no disorder for melee by a formed unit melee attacking a skirmisher in the open, and, with the flank attack there is a good chance of routing the skirmisher.

But what general would leave his skirmishers so unprotected.

I don't know how much of the above applies to the campaign engine, I expect most of it, since in this respect, I don't think John T, changed much about teh engine. Maybe Bill P can tell us more on this.

Hope this helps, it is complicated, but the outcome is right if you accept the rationalisation above

Regards

Mark


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:29 am 
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Thank you so much!! it's definitely a really helpful passage! But as how to deal with skirmishers, I always think running them down by cavalry is the most effective way, and of course, they better to have infantry support for their retrieval.

Lt. Ranson Lee
4ème Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne
7ème Division d'Infanterie
IIèmé Corps d'Armee Nord


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