Over the past few months we have tested a number of dynamic changes with the draft copy of 3.0 and how the Horse and Musket variant called DBA-HX (Humberside extension) can be “up-graded”.
Most apparent are shooting and movement distances which increases the chance of flank marches and through fire power bring native hordes to still stand. More significant, however, are the subtle changes in combat resolution and outcome. Other variants add extra factors for elite forces and columns or track the number of recoils to distinguish troop classification.
Fast and Solid type of troops can better define trained and un-trained troops. Further, combat resolution can work as a subtle way to separate veteran from raw troop capabilities as “flank support” offered by elite or veteran troops.
In this recent test, I wanted to explore un-trained troop types, warbands, auxilia and horde and how these would match-up against trained troops. For this, I had the recently painted East India Sepoy and European troops fight Chinese irregulars, a precursor to the First Opium War.
Somewhere in S.E. Asia
The Anglo-Indian force comprised of one artillery element, two European battalions (4Ms), four Sepoy battalions (4Ms) and two skirmishers (2Ps) forming the Nasiri battalion of Gurkha, a total of 9 elements including general. The Chinese formed two commands totaling 18 elements. Half of the large command was horde (5Hd) with the remainder divided between skirmishers (2Ps) and warband (3Wb). The smaller command comprised all warband.
With the artillery taking central position, a brigade formed up on either side with the Nasiri extending the left flank facing the woods. The Chinese horde taking central position, the warband and skirmishers formed up on their right flank. The village on the left covered the warbands of the smaller command.
For this test, I kept musket ranges at 160 paces or 2 BW (note 1), while rifles (Baker) extend their range to 3 BW or 240 paces. This meant charge by Chinese could be launched outside of musket range.
Poor pip throws plagued both sides for the first few bounds, which prompted the hordes to close with the redcoats, while the smaller command worked its way around the British right flank.
With steady musket volley, the Chinese hordes were dropped in their tracks at 80 paces. By bound number four, the Chinese had two hordes remaining. Although hordes do not count toward demoralization, their loss did leave a huge gap between flanks.
Throughout this period, the British were content to wheel their firing lines bringing a maximum of muskets on the Chinese. It was at this moment, the smaller command was able to strike the British right flank and take out a European unit. The following Chinese bound, they encored their successful charge to claim a Sepoy unit.
Both sides, one element away from defeat, the British rallied to slaughter a warband, horde and skirmisher for their effort. Including the horde, Chinese losses were heavy, five warband and five horde. The Anglo-Indian loss tallied two elements.
Among the Anglo-Indian forces, both the Sepoy and Nasiri were trained troops, while the European was classed as veterans. As veteran, they could render flank support bonus to trained troops and they benefited from equal results when fighting horde. This occurred several times to bring a level of tension to the game.
Next test game will take us to the colonies for a French and Indian War action.
Note:1 - By 1850, general infantry service weapon would increase this to 240 paces or 3 BW.