French cavalry about to begin their charge against an Allied line.
The French cavalry units both declared charges against the opposing infantry who had orders to stand; this enabled me to see how the form square rule worked:
Forming Square: Infantry ordered to form square do so immediately, before any enemy cavalry movement. Other infantry with good morale, charged by cavalry may form square on a D6 roll of 3,4,5,6 (-1 from the die roll for C rated troops, -1 from the die roll if the unit has lost its Colonel).
The allied infantry form square in the nick of time!
Both infantry units successfully formed square and passed their morale tests for units charged. The cavalry were moved up to 2” away from the squares, the point at which they would receive musket fire. The RHA battery was not close enough to fire canister as the horsemen approached and so the resulting casualties were not excessive and both cavalry units passed their subsequent morale tests.
The RHA battery can elect to fire at the charging cavalry at any point during their move. However, they are just out of canister range and cause minimal casualties.
Not quite so minimal now - the results of volley fire from the square and the first round of melee!
The cavalry were now moved adjacent to the squares so that the melees could be fought. The lancers were unable to make a dent in the British square and as melee losers now had to test morale on a -2 becoming disordered.
The British square stands firm against Polish lancers of the Guard.
The French heavy cavalry had better luck because they were rated A and were up against a C rated Prussian Landwehr battalion. There was still a reasonable chance that the square would win the melee but the French had some good die rolls and the Prussians lost. The resulting morale test gave the Prussians a mandatory retreat but as a retreat move for a square seemed unlikely I decided to make a new rule:
A square that loses a melee against cavalry immediately breaks and routs.
The Prussian Landwehr fall victim to my new rule and rout!
I now moved on to turn two – the French heavy cavalry decided to pursue the broken Landwehr while the Lancers fought another round of melee. This time though, as they were disordered, they stood virtually no chance of breaking the square, they lost the melee and then routed.
The British troops roll 5 dice and discard the 2 lowest scores - the French roll only 4 dice and discard the lowest one. The dice are then paired highest to lowest and modifiers are applied to see who wins the melee.
Well, it wasn't them!
All in all I was pretty pleased with how the rules worked – the lancers up against British regulars in square were never likely to fair well whilst the heavy cavalry against poor quality Landwehr should have a chance of succeeding, and in this case they did!
Daddy Hill offers three cheers for the King from the safety of the British square.
As a result of this little playtest I’ve made a few changes to the rules and also included a special rule for Cossacks (This is because Roy keeps threatening to bring his Hinton Hunt Russian army over to do battle with my French!). To view or download the revised version of the rules click here.