Skip to main content

A Tangled Mass: Pared Down Close Combat Rules. . .

Another rousing engraving by Adolph Menzel, showing a clash between cavalry and Infantry at The Battle of Leignitz

 1) Declare charges at the start of a turn.  Move the charging unit half of its charge move toward the enemy target.  

2) Place a purple Bingo chip behind charging units, as a reminder, before attending to other matters on the table during the turn.  

3) Once events elsewhere have been seen to, check to see if charging  units actually close with intended targets for close combat.  Both players roll a D6 and move their units according to the following situations:


a. Charging Infantry versus Infantry in the Open

Close combat occurs if both players manage to roll the same number on their respective D6s.  If not, the unit(s) facing the oncoming bayonet charge 'retire at the double' (Retreat!) directly to the rear while the charging infantry occupy and hold the vacated space if possible.  Lower quality troops (D. or E. class) facing an oncoming charge might rout.

b. Charging Cavalry versus Counter-charging Cavalry 

Close combat occurs if both players roll the same number.  If not, the respective cavalry units pass through each other, turn about, and return to their own lines to reform.  Lower quality troops (D. or E. class) facing an oncoming charge might rout.

c. Charging Cavalry versus Infantry in the Open

If the cavalry rolls high, it closes with the fleeing infantry, gets in among them, and carnage ensues.  If the infantry rolls high, it holds steady and unleashes a volley into the oncoming cavalry.  Lower quality troops (D. or E. class) facing an oncoming charge might rout.


d. Artillery Crew and Light Infantry

Regardless of morale class, these troops evade approaching charges, which is to say they run for the hills. 


4) If close combat occurs based on above procedures, move charging units into contact with enemy targets.

5) Assess hits, saving throws, actual casualties, check morale, and carry out any compulsory moves for units that actually close with one another and/or charging cavalry receiving fire from steady infantry (see 3c. above). 


There is a bit more coming for close combat when it comes to determining casualties, but I think the above might clarify things reasonably well.  

But now, it is time this Sunday afternoon to take care of some preparation for the coming semester, which kicks off on September 1st.  Sigh.

On the bright side, those first 32 Schaumburg-Lippe infantry are finished except for glossing, so I plan to apply gray basecoat to the next batch of 16 bare metal castings this evening after The Young Master's bedtime. 

-- Stokes



arthur1815 said…
I like the simplicity of your method for determining whether troops stand to engage in close combat or break before a bayonet/cavalry charge very much (and may well steal it for use in my own rules!).

Thank you, Arthur! It's odd how difficult it is to keep things simple, but we're trying.

Best Regards,

Rob said…
This is sort of close to what I suggested on an earlier post, obviously you'd got there before me - but I do think caargers stopping short should be more likely.

Popular posts from this blog

Comfortable Rules for Games of Glossy Toy Soldiers in the Old Style. . .

  Introduction A Tangled Mass is a game of toy soldiers in the old style, set more or less in the middle part of the 18 th century.   Our miniature forces are colorful and, we hope, glossy.  Although the latter, like so much else, is up to the discretion of the players.   But it is the modeling, brushwork, and unit organization of hobby greats like Gilder, Mason, and Robinson that provide our visual touchstone and continue to inform "the look of the thing" even now. Tabletop armies in A Tangled Mass can be historic, semi-historic, or whimsically fictitious, but the more flags and mounted officers, the better.  Formations, while bearing some resemblance to their historic precedents, are generic: column, line, or extended order for lighter types.   Squares, while possible, are less common than during all of that later Napoleonic madness with its guillotines and Spanish ulcers.  And we'll simply choose not to mention patent leather dancing pumps, or that unseemly bedr

Finding Inner Peace in Toy Soldiers. . .

  F inding inner peace in toy soldiers is something that I expect non-wargamers, painters, and collectors would not quite understand, but it helps calm me as we prepare to return to campus and business as usual (??!!) tomorrow morning.   Faculty, staff, and students have been advised time and again by our university, in the wake of Monday evening's shootings here at Michigan State University, to practice self-care and find joy/peace/calm/salvation in ways that work for us. So, with that in mind, I made the decision to press on yesterday evening and this (Sunday) afternoon with wrapping up my version of Austria's Wied Infantry, which I've been tinkering with since last August.  Time to get back on the horse and get 'em done.   And they are almost there.  Just a few remaining teeny, tiny things to touch up -- details no one but me will ever notice -- and then Bob's your mother's brother.  I'll call 'em done and get moving with that company of 15 generic ja

Taking Stock Part II: The (As Yet) Unpainted but Planned OOB. . .

  Two companies of Reichsarmee grenadiers painted back in 2017 or 2018.  Minden Austrians of course. A lovely early autumn day here in the grand duchy.  Bright sunshine and a light breeze with cool temperatures will make for some very pleasant late afternoon lawn mowing in a little while.  But first a bit more discussion of painting plans for the future. Last time, I looked back at the various and sundry units, support troops, and civilians that I've managed to paint in the last 17 years as the Grand Duchy of Stollen project has developed.  So today, let's look into the seemingly bottomless Drawer 'o' Lead to my left for a clue to the new direction.  Be forewarned, it's not going to be a quick job getting everything painted and based, but there we are. The following plans are based on the pile of unpainted figures already here.  Any future purchases will be limited to small things that might be needed to fill out the envisioned units (the odd few officers mounted o