Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Cavalry Melee

The weather here is a little unseasonably spring-like and this young man's fancy is turning toward... the Cavalry Melee.

My thoughts currently stand at this point, but I recognise that this is very underdeveloped.

Now, I do seem to remember that this topic was discussed at no small length on the OSW site in times past.

I think what I'm wondering is how in many of even the most terrible cavalry fights, there was often relatively little blood was shed, but a decision of sorts was reached. Ultimately, I'm looking for a mechanism whereby we decide that Side 'A' bottles out and runs even though it has taken very few casualties - and indeed they ought to be hard for cavalry to inflict upon each other, as opposed to what happens to disordered Infantry once the Horsemen get among them.

I suppose it's all about the unit which maintains it's integrity, but how do we portray the loss or maintenence of this?

Another consideration is how to represent cavalry haring off into the ountryside after a charge and what mechanisms might be emplaced to make it possible for cavalry to reform after a charge and to become a potent force again?

I could just go and buy a copy of BAR, I suppose..!


Steve said...

I wonder if the following would be of assistance - this a link to the Blog of the autohor of the AWI rules I use.... the mechanisms he uses are broadly the same as you outlined previously....

Bluebear Jeff said...


I've tackled the same questions in working on my "Tricorne Wars" rules. One of the aspects that I suspect comes heavily into play is the intention of the rules writer.

By this I mean whether his intention is to create a "simulation" or simply a "game".

I have opted for the latter approach, so my solutions work as a "game" . . . but how well they work as a "simulation" is quite questionable.

Of course, "Tricorne Wars" is written for a local campaign of "imaginary countries" so there are no "national characteristics" to deal with.

With a more "historically-oriented" set of rules, a lot more factors need to be taken into consideration.

These are interesting questions that you've asked; and ones that every rule writer needs to deal with in the way that they feel works best within their concept of how they see things.

-- Jeff

Grimsby Mariner said...

In our WSS games we have three mechanics to represent the cavalry melee.

Forst at the end of each round of combat the loser tests their morale. Fail and they flee. The winner must pursue.

Second if both stands stand and are ready for a second round we roll an average dice each. If the two numbers are the same the melee ends and both sides withdraw. We feel that this represents the variable length of melee better than a fixed number of rounds being fought.

Thirdly the loser flees and the test to rally is difficult to pass (11 needed on 2D60 with only class and leaders making any difference to the roll.
Pursuers must also pass a test to stop chasing them (9 on 2D6 again only class and leaders altering the roll).
we think that once the horse had been given it's head it took a lot to stop them.