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Today I tested irregular light horse (2 LH) and “raw” troops or militia (4Ms) using a big battle encounter. For this test, I fielded 24 elements from the British-Indian collection to fight an Imperial Chinese force of 36 elements.
Both sides divided their number into two commands which gave the Chinese a slight advantage before reaching a demoralized state. Die roll for general’s characteristic resulted in one Rash commander and Bold CinC for the British and two Cautious generals for the Imperial forces.
The Imperial army grouped all their cavalry supported by an equal number of infantry and artillery (rockets). The remaining infantry and artillery, under command of the CinC, were deployed in line with three columns in support.
To counter the Chinese cavalry, the British and Native cavalry were deployed on the right supported by a battalion of Gurkha and cannon. The center was covered by two brigades with a third in support and on the extreme left flank heavy artillery would offer support fire from their hill position. Supporting the battery were two Sepoy battalions.
The British, as aggressor, moved their center forward while the Gurkha on the right advanced on the Chinese infantry. The Chinese responded with flank maneuvers. Half the irregular cavalry became active encircling the British right while the Imperial infantry on the right moved forward to pin the British.
Caught flat footed, the Gurkha were re-deployed to deal with the encircling irregular horse while British and Native cavalry moved forward to counter the Imperial advance.
The Imperial center held their initial position while the right flank continued wheeling inward. An exchange of artillery fire delivered one Imperial casualty. Britain 1-0.
Turn 3 and 4
Now in effective musket range, the center of both sides exchange volleys producing gaps which were quickly re-formed the following bound. The British Rifle brigade had the worst of an exchange losing an element and having another flee. On the British right, the Gurkha bested both irregular horse in successive turns.
The British cavalry emboldened by the Gurkha success were able to deliver a similar result thereby demoralizing the Imperial left. Closing to combat, British line and Native infantry experienced difficulties with the longer reach of the Imperial spearmen. Unfortunately, the militia were less inclined to enjoy the dance and recoiled or left the field all together.
By turn 6, the game was up and the Imperial troops had enough.
Militia, musket armed troops (4Ms) have similar factors as shot (SH) under the current DBA-HX, but now retain a shooting range similar to the British. This meant the Imperial muskets still needed maximum concentration to maintain a slight advantage while the British need not. The Imperial spear and skirmishers held surprises for the British. A typical Imperial brigade comprised of 2 x 4Ms, 1 x 4Sp, 1 x 2Skm.
The irregular horse did use the + 1 for rear support on one instance. This was done against the Gurkha and they paid dearly for it. It would be useful with larger cavalry formations where such tactics could enjoy flank protection.
The advantage of troop type, British trained versus Imperial militia, was more than enough to offset the advantage of a dozen extra elements and outclassed by British command. Further testing will have the Imperial army with a sprinkling of trained troops and hordes of irregular types.