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A Working Draft of "The Rule". . .

Richard Knoetel's Death of Winterfeldt.  Has the infantry unit in question checked its morale?

Taking care of lots of little stuff this afternoon, but since I am at a good stopping point (The Young Master arrives home from school in a little while), I thought I'd share the emerging morale rule, or rather a 'working draft' of it here.  It's basically a two step process:

A) Check morale using our old friend the venerable D6:

Troop Quality
Passes Morale Check / Rally. . .
Check Morale When. . .
A – Guard/Elite/Grenadiers/Kleist Freicorps
2, 3, 4, 5, 6  
-35%  (Meets Charge 4,5,6)
B – Veteran Line/Artillery/Jaeger
3, 4, 5, 6  
-25%  (5,6)
C – Average Line of Major Powers/ Freibattalions/ Croats
4, 5, 6  
-15% (6)
D – Smaller States’ Line (i.e. Reichsarmee)
5, 6  
-5% (6)
E – Miliz/Garnison/Burgerwehr/1740s Panduren
-1-2% (6)

B) If a unit fails to pass its morale check above, then toss a second D6 to see what happens next:

Advance. . .  A confused, spontaneous advance ½ move forward by center, right, or left flank (dice to decide which)
Halt. . .  Halt current activity for one turn.  Order and cohesion still intact.
Falter. . .  Retires ½ move to rear by center, right, or one flank (dice to decide which).  Order still intact.  Officers and NCOs sort unit out and return to fray next turn.
Retire. . .  Retire one move to rear.  Order (cohesion and discipline) still intact.  Officers and NCOs sort unit out and return to fray next turn.
Retreat. . .  Retreat in disorder two moves to rear.  Cohesion and discipline temporarily limited.  Unit may attempt to rally in two turns. 
Rout. . .  Rout in disorder to nearest table edge.  Unit broken.  Cohesion and discipline lost.  No rallying.  Remove from game when it reaches table edge.

What I am trying to do with this rule are two things.  First, whittle down and reign in the old '50% Rule,' since we know that most of the time, units cease to be an effective fighting force long before they have been reduced by half.  Second, I aim to reflect -- in a purely gaming sense --  some of the confusion, disorder, and gradually eroding control over troops, and resulting frustration experienced by army commanders and unit officers on period battlefields after extended contact with the enemy and related mounting casualties.  Our troops will not always behave as we intend.  Of all this, more anon, but I must hustle outside to meet the school bus since it is now 3:45pm!

-- Stokes

 Gunther Dorn's Battle of Prague.  Clearly, The Austrians' morale must be exceptionally high since they didn't run away before the Prussians closed in.  A loaded D6 perhaps?


I can understand you wanting to discount the 50% rule advocated all those years ago by Charles Grant, it was relevant at the time when the pioneer wargamers fought until all their troops were wiped out. Dont forget Stokes these wargamers started from the Wells ideas which were based on childhood games. Im a bit dubious about the high morale throws for elite troops and Von Kleist's freicorps. These are your personal rules so at the end of the day you decide where the rules are going, but having suffered from Prussian super men Im dubious about their high morale. Its probably a personal thing..
Well, as Donald Featherstone, I think, advised: if we don't like a rule, we can feel free to change it. Put another way, "toy soldiers are very brave" as it says somewhere in A Gentleman's War" A working draft with these rules of course. I'm still trying to figure out to address just the point you mention though. And then of course there must be cononsiderable play testing of them. Stay tuned.

Best Regards,

marinergrim said…
Interested to see how this pans out Stokes. Morale is one of those areas that either gets over simplised or over complicated. Just taking Robbie's note - why not keep the same morale roll as veterans but increase the %age losses? Speaking for an early eighteenth century, guards were often thrown in first and used just as line troops (unless you're French and refuse to fight because it might ruin your uniform as they did at Malplaquet). Barry Hilton wrote an interesting article along said lines in WI a while back I believe.

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