I hate cleaning out the garage and we have a two-story one (you would need to see it to understand). It’s underway and it’s going to take weeks, countless weeks. It is full of the detritus of five or six moves. I tried to convince SWMBO that it should be left for future archeologists but no sale. On the plus side doing it is better than a gym membership. -d_guy
Some experiments with FK&P troop types.
The Slow Approach
Four units of 1646 New Model Army battalia (seasoned, shot heavy, 5 ammo, 3 hit, 2 to-hit) await the approach of four Highland clan retinues (small, seasoned, 1 ammo, 2 hit, 2 to-hit). The New Model have a +1 to-hit advantage with pikes. The colored dice in the pictures below simply encode the information above as a reminder.
To optimize the experiment, I will simply assume that each unit will automatically get one activation per turn.
There now seems little point in continuing, since the New Model can now pour double volleys into the enemy (two units against each Highlander), flank them, or both.
Short of expending the single ammo chit, Highlanders have no means to counter enemy fire. They need that ammo to maximize their melee’ effect (effectively a simulation of a “Highland” charge). Staying in range of seasoned or veteran musketeers for anything but minimal time is suicidal as demonstrated above.
The Rapid Approach
Let us play it a different way. The unit values are as above but we assume an automatic THREE activations. This allows the Highlanders to make a rapid approach and charge to contact so that they no longer receive enemy musket fire except for the single defensive volley.
The Highlanders will now have to suffer THREE activations of the regulars who will stand and pour repeated double volleys into them. The now unopposed regular battalion on the Highlander left will also be able to first position for a flank attack then charge and likely roll up the remnants.
It seemed pointless to play this out. Even if all of the Highland units survive with no additional disorder (extremely unlikely) they will only have the option of attacking again or running (the most sensible course). If they attack (and they will still suffer defensive fire each time) they are now at a disadvantage in melee’ AND their enemy can absorb more disordering hits.
My sense is the rules are portraying Highlanders against regulars in a very reasonable and accurate way. They are not elite stormtrooper nor are they designed for head-on assaults against well ordered and trained troops. Historically they were most useful when employed where highland terrain could work to their advantage or to operate against the enemy’s flanks in more open terrain.
The hundred or so years between 1640 and 1745 saw the completion of the gunpowder revolution. The slow advance above is similar to the Jacobite left flank advance at Culloden in 1746. An advance that was shredded by the firepower of the British regulars. The quick advance is much like that of the Jacobite right flank at the same battle where full contact was made (and they did somewhat better than in the experiment above) but were defeated in melee’ by disciplined troops. At Culloden, the Jacobite firepower was poorly deployed and ineffectively used, giving the battle more of a 1646 look (with British bayonets replacing the pikes).
I will next move on to trying an experiment where the Highlanders DO have a terrain advantage.