Saturday, June 26, 2010

Morale Again

I'm a bit troubled by my take on the morale rules.

Just for my own reference, here is what I want them to do:

I want dispersed units to be able to test by sub-units.

I want morale to be based on officer numbers, casualties and the roll of a single D6.

I want fleeing or retiring sub units to be able to fall back on the parent unit to rally.

I want retiring units to be able to rally if left undisturbed.

I want a General Officer to be able to rally a faltering unit.

Any suggestions?


Mosstrooper said...

In CS Grant's new book "Wargaming in History Vol 1 " there are some thoughts on SYW Freicorps and detatched troops , which may or may not be of use - company size sub-unit 6 figs + 1 officer will retire if it loses its officer or drops below 50% . His light and Friecorps have a morale of 5 and a unit size of 12 figs + 2 officers - 3 for senior off. 2 for 2nd in command = 5 morale . Dont know if this helps ? ( Excellant book by the way - gives some insites to the further development of "The Wargame Rules".

Archduke Piccolo said...

I suspect the Grant rules might have included some kind of 'impact radius' for causes of loss of morale.

For instance, suppose a unit is marching in line (2-deep, we'll call it) when there appears, filled (as the great man himself would say) with malice aforethought, an enemy unit emerginfrom some dense growth upon its flank.

Now, if the flanking unit's sudden apparition was very close to the unit, the whole lot might well incontinently make off towards the tall timber. But if they were a moderate way off - bringing only half the unit within effective musketry range, say, then the adverse reaction might not be felt equally along the line.

This sort of thing will be the more apparent when using extended skirmish lines, of single rank lines.

Positive effects might be equally subject to attenuation over distance - e.g the control of officers.

You might decide that events likely to affect morale might be felt at full effect over a distance of, say, 10cm, diminishing by a pip on the die roll for each 10cm interval subsequently, to a maximum of 30cm. Events further off than 30cm have no moral effect.

Now, in the Grant account of the Seminole Ridge action ('Wargames Tactics'), he does mention at one point, part of a Union regiment giving way. He then indicates that in order to maintain its cohesion and/or integrity, its commander (player) chose to have the remainder of the unit fall back with it.

Your rule might equally well include this option.

Archduke Piccolo said...

I had a look at your YouTube link. For a 7-and-a-half minute programme it was surprisingly good and informative. That dichotomy it mentions between the limitations of control vs effective tactics is what I think Chas. Grant was trying to enact.

That remark about the difficulty of achieving a really decisive battlefield victory is something I have noticed myself. An important point, I think.

By the way: did you notice that Polk-designed battle flag (azure, upon a cross gules, fimbricated argent, 11 stars of the last (i.e. argent also)? More a feature of Polk's Corps in the Army of Tennessee.

Ross Mac said...

Having thought about it, here are 2 suggestions, the first tries to stay as close to the Wargame as possible:

1. A portion of a regiment may be detached but must include an officer. Once the detachment is separated from the main body by at least 6", it counts as a unit for morale. When a regiment is together, the officers count s normal for morale. When an officer is sent with a detachment, he counts as 3 points when the detachment tests morale. (thus being more vulnerable). The main body counts the remaining officers as normal. % casualties are based on the detachments original strength.


2. The other option would be to have fixed sub-units (companies if you will) of 6 men, each including a corporal (just paint stripes). When the company is with the regiment the corporals do not count for morale but if the company is more than a move from the regiment then the corporal is worth 3 pts etc


3. If a subunit fails morale and retreats, it may rejoin its main unit if it can do so while retiring. Once it reaches the main body, it rejoins and adopts the morale status of the main unit.

4. Apart from the rally rules as per the Wargame, if a brigadier joins a unit he may replace any missing officer for morale purposes.