Saturday, 15 November 2014

Cossacks and their reaction to enemy fire in Lasalle

One of the main advantages of solo playing, is that you can change the rules if they do not work. During the play of the Dessau Scenario for Lasalle, I found an anomalous situation: a sort of stalemate between a Cossack screen and some advancing French infantry units. However, this is not a bug or hole in the Lasalle ruleset, but a situation derived from my home-rule about Cossacks. Lasalle does not reserve almost any role for these irregular cavalry units (they can not charge regular units ) and in the section about the Russian Army, Sam Mustafa says:
"Orders of battle for Russian armies frequently list numerous Cossack regiments, sometimes brigaded with other cavalry, or often attached to a corps cavalry structure in some way. To what degree this was theoretical remains uncertain. The Cossacks may have been present, but most likely did not participate in much formal combat. Nonetheless, I know better than to design a Napoleonic game without letting the Russian player have his Cossacks!"

I love Cossacks, so my home rule about irregular cavalry units is addressed to overcome that problem, allowing these oportunistic horsemen of the steppe to charge regular units in some situations. However, the presence of Cossacks in the battlefield, can lead to some absurd collateral situations, such the one described above. But irregular cavalry units, like the Cossacks, Kalmuks etc., usually do not stand in front of enemy fire. and many memories of the time, talked about the Cossacks being dispersed after some volleys. Therefore, I have been forced to introduce a new home rule to take into acount

Irregular cavalry units facing fire
When an irregular cavalry unit suffers a casualty from enemy fire (infantry or artillery), it immediately undergoes a Discipline Test with a -2 modifier. If it passes (i.e. it rolls a six), then it may remain in position facing the fire. If it fails, it must immediately make a fall back movement, running for a distance 2D6 BW away from the enemy.

I expect to test this rule in the Dessau scenario.
Watch this space!

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  1. well it will be interesting to see how it turns out.


  2. Sam sums it up well doesn't he? Our own rule modifications for Cossacks took three, or was it four?, iterations before we were happy with them. Pleased to hear that we are not the only ones struggling with how to make them have an effect somewhat in line with what we read about/perceive of history.