Friday, 25 November 2016

AWI Campaign - August 16th, 1776

As I work my way through a number of the battles in my American War of Independence campaign. I am making adjustments to various areas of the rules. The latest adjustment is to combat, shooting to be more precise, and the number of hits a unit can absorb before it is eliminated.
Getting ready for another game
When shooting units roll a number of dice (D6) depending the unit type and hitting on 4+.

Artillery, Light Infantry and Frontiersmen roll 1D6
Line Infantry and Militia roll 2D6
Grenadiers roll 3D6

Previously when a unit was in cover a 5+ was required instead of a 4+ to hit. The rule change will try the approach of always hitting on a 4+ regardless of cover and instead increase the number of hits a unit can take (absorb) when they are in cover. Once a unit has taken their limit of hits they are eliminated.

Militia - 4 hits in open and 6 hits in cover (Militia get cover when in fenced fields and buildings)
Artillery - 4 hits and 6 hits in cover (fortifications only)
Frontiersmen - 4 hits in the open and 6 hits in any cover
Cavalry - 5 hits
Light Infantry - 5 hits in open and 7 hits in any cover
Line Infantry - 6 hits in open and 7 in cover (buildings only)
Grenadiers - 7 hits in open and 8 hits in cover (buildings only)

This does mean units are required to remain in cover once they exceed the number of hits allowed outside of cover.

The intent of these rule modifications is to even up Militia and Line Infantry when there is cover available, and limit the effectiveness of skirmishing units (Light Infantry and Frontiersmen) out of cover to a role of harassment and delaying tactics.

Next game in the AWI campaign with Militia convieniently placed in fields
So I have the next campaign battle game lined up to try out this shooting rule approach.


  1. Interesting rule on th effects of cover on the number of hits. So, militia having three hits could seek cover thus increasing their staying power to six. Does defending a fence line count as cover? What about defending higher ground?

    1. Hi - Yes, Militia can increase staying power from 4 to 6. This would apply to a fence line. Line infantry do not get this only skirmishing type units and Militia who tended to utilise available cover. With higher ground I am allowing a unit firing down to re-roll one failed hit dice. I did consider more staying power, but gets confusing with larger hills occupied by both sides.

  2. Hi Peter,
    I don't think I have ever seen cover benefits handled that way before. It's rare to see innovation in a hobby that has been around for 50+ years. Cudos. I can't wait to hear how it works out in your next action.

    1. Thanks John - just completed a game and the approach seemed to work (for one game anyway) so it saying as a rule for now. Battle report in next post. Regards, Peter

  3. Interesting. I read recently that Militia were often deployed with cover in mind to give staying power, so that would match up to your system philosophy.

    The maths are interesting though. Moving from 5+ to 4+ means that EACH die gets a performance boost of around 17%. Since differing unit types roll differing number of dice, that produces quite a range of improvement on a single fire, with Grenadiers getting that 17% performance increase three times per fire.

    It sounds like I am in danger of knowing what I am talking about .... but I don't, I am getting a bit lost on where I am going with this, but I am just wondering whether the maths still works between the relationship of how much fire is put down v the increase in the number of hits that a defender can take v the advantage or otherwise of cover - but am getting hopelessly muddled in the process. For example artillery only fires 1D6, so performance is up by 17% once per fire, Militia say get two extra lives in cover and so are now harder for the artillery to deal with, but easier for the grenadiers. I should just wait to see what your playtest reveals.

    I have been reading a set of Perry rules (firepower for ACW) and they have artillery that fires shot ignoring cover, but canister does not, which is why I think my mind is drawn to the artillery issue. All very interesting never-the-less.

    1. Hi - Just completed a game using the changes. With the grenadiers I increased the number of hits to 8 and kept their shoot to two dice like line infantry. I was double dipping there! Sometimes my maths is more than interesting - its quite dodgy.
      I have a post to be written up on a game with the rules. I had to do some thinking on the effect of hills. Units firing down from a hill can re-roll one failed to hit dice only. This works well for Artillery and does not make line infantry too powerful on a hill.
      Thanks for taking the time to pick up these points.
      Regards, Peter

  4. Interesting example of writing rules for effect. My initial reaction was "hunh? But what about....." but the more I thought of how it would encourage battered units to fallbavk to cover or allow an isolated unit to use a strongpoint (Chew Mansion?) to hold until relieved, the more it would appear to give the right effect. The reluctance/necessity for battered troops in cover to remain also feels right.

    1. When playing a game one is looking to place Militia units in cover and their position on the table in relation to cover - should they have to pull back. Once placed in cover they generally do not get moved after sustaining a couple of hits. The rule mechanism has survived one game and will remain in the AWI rules for the time being.