How do I get this formation to attack while defending??  

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Fred
 Fred
(@fred)
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Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 16
03/06/2019 12:49 am  

This example happened in our last game.

An Austrian division (yellow box) is attacking a Bavarian infantry division, which has its flank in the village. There is a Bavarian cav division supporting the infantry. The 2 divisions are in one force, with orders to defend the large town (shown as objective on the picture).

The Austrian player wants to swing the cav onto the flank of the Austrian division. How do you go about doing that in ESR terms?


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David
(@david)
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Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 227
03/06/2019 7:50 am  

The Austrian player wants to swing the cav onto the flank of the Austrian division. How do you go about doing that in ESR terms?

Guessing you meant the Bavarian player?

In any case, the mechanics available are as follows:

1) The player could: issue an attack [A] directive to the cavalry Formation, then use the Leader Action: Change Own Objective to move their Force's objective to behind the Austrian target, and, on a subsequent turn, roll to activate the attack [A] directive.

0r…

2) The player could simply convert the cavalry from defend [D] to attack [A] per 4.1.1 (assuming the target enemy is within range and arc).

The only hang up would be the cavalry attacking through the village will take automatic fatigue (optional rule attached to 4.2.1) which is highly encouraged… because it prevents cavalry from doing things like conducting charges through built-up-areas and woods and what-have-you.

-David


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Fred
 Fred
(@fred)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 16
03/06/2019 6:18 pm  

Hi David,

I did mean Bavarian.

How does the Bavarian player try and attack the flank of the Austrian division? I had figured out the 2nd option you presented, but didn't want to attack through the town.

I also figured the objective could be the enemy division. But I don't want to assault head on.

On a related topic, why are objectives set by force/corp? For small scenarios having all your on table formations having 1 objective seems a little strange. What would be the impact on the game if you could order formations independently?


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David
(@david)
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Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 227
03/06/2019 7:16 pm  

How does the Bavarian player try and attack the flank of the Austrian division? I had figured out the 2nd option you presented, but didn't want to attack through the town.

Flanking a Formation isn't easy, at all. First, the Bavarian player will need to lock the Austrians in place – probably by getting into combat with them using their infantry and hopefully preventing them from having spare battalions to shift to their flank. Second, the Bavarian player would need to get their cavalry into a forward position where their axis of attack would carry them into the flank of the Austrians.

Alternatively, if the Austrians attack, and the Bavarian infantry are able to hold them in place long enough, perhaps while giving ground – no, you as the Force Commander really don't have control over this at all – then the Bavarian cavalry could opportunistically charge into the Austrians whole have in effect exposed their flank by pressing forward.

There is a reason that "attacking the flank" generally didn't mean you were actually hitting the flank of a Unit, but instead meant you were hitting the end most Units of a Formation, and when they lost, you "turned the target's flank" by continuing to close down upon and wrap them.

I also figured the objective could be the enemy division. But I don't want to assault head on.

Strictly speaking this is allowed per 3.5, but we do tend to discourage it because it leads to some odd behavior that often doesn't relate to history at all.

On a related topic, why are objectives set by force/corp? For small scenarios having all your on table formations having 1 objective seems a little strange.

An Army Commander is typically the issuer of objectives and the Formations of a Force are intended to coordinate their action together. It was also incredibly rare for a Force Commander to send two large bodies of troops (Formations) in opposite directions. Note that on a Move [M] directive a Formation may follow a road or other regulating piece of terrain that will guide it towards its Force's objective – even if it is not the most direct path. Thus, Formations of the same Force may potentially take different routes towards their shared destination.

What would be the impact on the game if you could order formations independently?

The impacts are increased bookkeeping, greater control for the player – in effect reduced 'command friction', and more broadly, players tend away from seeing their Force as a large body of sub-parts they need to coordinate and more like separate pieces they can wield independently – therefore also a style of play change results.

Hope those answers help!

This post was modified 6 months ago by David

-David


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