Alasdair Campbell
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Another question, on the rules. I know that units can make a defensive reaction facing change when cavalry declare a charge, but as far as I can see, when infantry move towards unit, a unit cannot make a defensive reaction facing change. Am I correct, and so when you are outflanked by infantry, you have to stay as you are and face flanking penalties in the Close Combat? Even when they move adjacent to the unit.

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Paul Borchers
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You are correct. The defender needs to note the distance of the enemy infantry, its ability to march, and plan accordingly. It does seem a little odd compared to how a defender can react to charging cavalry, but note that Reaction means giving up Defensive Fire, and the unit is subject to a Disorder Check.

Why is Reaction allowed in one case and not in the other? I'm not sure I can fully explain the designer's intent. I would guess that the designer felt that players would have adequate time in the course of activations to take care of their infantry relative to enemy infantry, and if the unit didn't reface to meet an infantry threat, some other concern must be more important(for example, not letting the enemy have a chance at Opportunity Fire, the current threat to the front is greater, and so on). Cavalry on the other hand can make a sudden threatening approach, and what you might have done in your activation (if it came between the enemy cavalry's movement and its charge) now must be done in a rush, with a risk of Disorder. Something similar happens when infantry is confronted by cavalry that has no charge range - the infantry can't react if in an enemy Zone of Control, which they are when this kind of cavalry unit is move adjacent before declaring its attack. The difference is that the cavalry unit is potentially vulnerable to Opportunity Fire as it closes in its Movement Phase.

I've seen flanked units stand up to attackers before, as nothing is guaranteed in Close Combat. It's quite frustrating when you're the attacker in these situations and one of the dice comes up with a zero in the combat resolution.
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Alasdair Campbell
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Thank you once again, and thank you for your thoughts on the designer's intent, that is what I was asking myself, but I couldn't quite think of a reason why units can change facing when cavalry threatens to charge and not when infantry and cavalry move towards them in a more methodical method. As I am not familiar with the tactics or command structures etc of the period, the only thing that crossed my mind was that the cavalry might have to form up before charging and this would give the infantry an advance warning that they were about to be attacked? But then, why is it not the case that when infantry or cavalry moves within say 1 hex, or even adjacent, that the unit can change its facing by one hex or something? Perhaps the lack of opportunity reflects the rigidity of command at the time?

I suppose in the full battle, there are longer lines and less chance of being flanked. In Melle 9, I've allowed myself to be flanked by myself! several times, with so few units on the map.

I must admit that the constraints of the system do favour forward planning.
 
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Paul Borchers
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Quote:
I suppose in the full battle, there are longer lines and less chance of being flanked. In Melle 9, I've allowed myself to be flanked by myself! several times, with so few units on the map.


I'd say that's generally true. Scenarios 8 and 9 are more dynamic than most BAR situations. If you go to the BAR forum on CSW, you'll see a turn-by-turn re-cap of the blind scenario 9 that finished a couple of weeks ago. With each player commanding a single unit (and two others acting as army commanders), the limited visibility caused by the terrain and the delay in sending orders produced some situations that players with full knowledge of the battelfield would not have encountered.
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Alasdair Campbell
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Thank you for the CSW tip, appeared to be a very entertaining experience, and eliminates the overview you get with a normal game.
 
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