Regiment Playtest #2 - The Thin Red Line

The following log is a run through of Turn 1 of my second skirmish last night.  This time I used the skirmish rules and skirmish formations properly!

I am slowly building my game towards a recreation of the Battle of Vimeiro 1808 in Portugal.  You can learn more about the battle here.

Last night, I put a random French General Staff together using Generals Kellerman and Loison. Their combined orders capacity was 5.  The British General Staff consisted of Arthur Wellesley and Barnard Bowes.  Their orders capacity was 7.

Both front lines start within a card's length of each other with reserve formations behind each. There is no artillery or cavalry present (I am testing artillery tonight).

Turn 1:

French Order 1: The 82e Line Regiment orders skirmishers forward. This regiment sits on the hinge between the French Division Loison and Kellerman's column of Grenadiers and the 2e and 4e Light Infantry.  Ordering skirmishers forward is a defensive move and lowers the hit accuracy of any nearby formations firing on this unit.

British Order 1:  The 95th Rifles move forward 2 card lengths in skirmish formation to position themselves on the left flank of the French line.  At turn 2, if the French don't drive them back, the Rifles will have enfilade fire on the 86e Line regiment which holds the end of the line.

French Order 2:  Volley fire from the 86e against the 95th Rifles in Skirmish formation.  The 86th score a damaging volley on the Rifles.  900 men x .15% hit accuracy = 135 casualties.  The Rifles must now survive their discipline check or they will be driven back from their position in disorder.
The Rifles roll a 7 which is under their 9 discipline.  They survive their discipline check and maintain good order.

British Order 2:  Volley fire from the 50th Foot against the 86e.  The 50th rolls a 6 and 3, failing to score a damaging volley.

French Order 3:  Move 4e Swiss Inf to the left flank of the 86e, opposite the 95th Rifles.  The Swiss unit is one of the better French formations, but it very small with less than 300 men.  Initially I placed it in a reserve position to plug a hole in the line if one opened up.

British Order 3:  Looking for a weak point in the French line I order the 60th Foot to volley fire into 32e Line regiment.  The 60th rolls a 1 and 3 scoring one damaging volley.  In Battle line formation, 360 men are present firing along the line.  360 men * .15% = 54 casualties.  The 32e must now roll a discipline check.  Their roll of 5 helps them maintain good order.

French Order #4:  On the French right two light infantry regiments numbering almost 2000 men are deploying in advance of Kellerman's two heavy regiments of Grenadiers (another 1,900 men).  My plan with the French is to harass the left end of the British line with these Light Inf units and move Kellerman up to punch through them. The 2e Light Inf is ordered to volley fire against the 29th foot. They score one damaging volley and the 29th suffers 80 casualties.  The 29th rolls a 9 and fails their discipline check (they needed to roll 8 or under).  They retreat backwards one card length in disorder. Units in disorder continue to move back one card length each turn until they pass a discipline check.

British Order #4:  Fearful that the hole in the line will be exploited by the French Grenadiers, Wellesley orders Barnard Bowes 6th Foot to move forward and fill the hole in Battle Line formation.

French Order #5:  The 4e Light Inf is ordered to send skirmishers forward.

British Order #5:  Volley fire from the  82nd Foot.  They miss with both rolls 4,4.

British Order #6:  As Wellesley I can see the 95th in the distance engaged with two French regiments.  Concerned about the Rifles, I order the 36th Foot forward in column (so I can move two card lengths instead of one in Line formation).  I've kept the 36th and the 71st in reserve from Ferguson's brigade for this very reason.

British Order #7:  Move the 71st Foot behind the 60th Foot.

Responsive Phase:  Units that did not move or fire under orders may respond to enemy units within range.  Responsive units roll one D6 regardless of their rate of fire.  If an enemy unit has retreated from fire after failing a discipline check or has been wiped out, the unit that delivered the blow may advance one card length into the opening.  For artillery fire this advance movement is disregarded.

The British 32nd Foot volley fires at the 82e Line Inf Regt. It rolls a 5 and misses.

The French 32e Line Inf Regt volley fires at the 60th Foot rolling a 2.  600*.15% = 90 casualties.  The 60th rolls a 4 and survives it's disicpline check.

The French 4e Line Inf Regt volley Fires against the 82nd Foot.  They roll a 1.  The French unit is in a loose skirmish formation with 180 soldiers firing against the British.  They inflict 36 casualties.

Turn 1 Recap:

The French inflicted 341 casualties.  The British inflicted 54 casualties.

Obviously the French inflicted heavy losses.  The inability to capitalize on a number of my combat orders ended up ruining my chances with the British.  I also did a lot of moving behind the British line with my reserves.  Next turn these units will join the battle and almost double the fighting force of the British units I used for this scenario.

The swarms of French Light Inf preceding Kellerman's Grenadiers was a very effective tactic but when the new British units joined the fight the French were pushed back with heavy losses.

Next up...Artillery!

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