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Commands & Colors: Napoleonics» Forums » Rules

Subject: Two newb questions rss

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Benjamin Symons
Belgium
Glabbeek
Vlaams-Brabant
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1. Those symbols are to distinguish special units like grenadiers, horse artillery or guard cavalry from the regular units like line infantry, foot artillery, etc.

2. Since going into square happens after an attack is declared by the cavalry, you can't refrain from it. The infantry will roll 1 die first (cavalry can't ignore a flag result) and then the cavalry will roll 1 die.
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Robert Taylor-Smith
Canada
Okotoks
Alberta
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Chris, the only reason I can think of as to why you would want to restrain from attacking a square would be a better adjacent target, artillery maybe. Putting infantry into square is the point of cavalry attacks, then the infantry is a prime target for other infantry and artillery, let alone the card loss and immobility. The infantry can't move out of square while next to cavalry.

Fighting against a infantry square isn't particulary bad for the cavalry unit, since over the long run (ie. turns) it will destroy the square in a one on one clear terrain fight. The cavalry hits the square on 3 sides of the die, plus a flag is usually a block loss, while the infantry hits the cavalry on only two sides of the combat die and a flag result is rarely a block loss for the cavalry.

In historical practice cavalry (ie. dragoons) would keep a squadron mounted pinning the infantry in square while the rest would wear down the square with carbines against the easy massed target. Usually the infantry would be rescued in battle by friendly cavalry or other firepower before the square collapsed, but not if caught isolated or in a post-battle retreat. Think cossacks vs french in 1812 or French cavalry vs Prussians after Jena. The firepower of squares was pretty limited since the outside ranks had fixed bayonets. Even the British squares at Waterloo, while unbroken, suffered terrible losses during the cavalry attacks just from pistol fire (Captain Mercer's Journal eyewitness description of the squares at Waterloo).

Going into square is a way to prevent a possible one turn elimination of the infantry unit if the cavalry is lucky or (dice) powerful. More importantly it prevents the infantry from retreating (a very real possibility fighting cavalry rolling four or more dice) and allowing a cavalry breakthrough and second attack! You'll find with game experience It's critically important to prevent a cavalry breakthough.
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Ferro Ostil
United States
New York City
New York
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Thanks for that helpful post.
 
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