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Austerlitz 1805: Rising Eagles» Forums » General

Subject: EZOC Counter Charge / Design Questiòn rss

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James C
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I have another design question. In the spirit of the previous one I posted, I once again am not quibbling with the rules, I am simply trying to gain a better understanding of the reasoning behind them.

If I understand correctly, when a cavalry unit enters an enemy cavalry unit's ZOC, the latter may undertake a counter charge against the moving cavalry unit. However, no such counter charge is permitted if the moving unit were infantry or artillery.

Why is this? Why would cavalry be able to launch a counter charge against a newly adjacent enemy cavalry unit, but not a newly adjacent infantry or artillery unit?

It may be unwise to do such a thing, but it would certainly seem possible. In fact, to me, it would be even more easily undertaken, given the slowness with infantry and artillery move as compared to enemy cavalry.

I'm trying to wrap my head around this one, and would appreciate any insights from those who are better familiar with Napoleonic warfare.

Thank you.
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Robert Ellis
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I'm very new to both the game system and the period, but, for what its worth, this would be my take on it;

Enemy cavaly would be the 'natural' target of a cavaly unit as a matter of doctrin for that period.

Infantry would, I assume, be trained to react to a cavaly charge by forming square and projecting a lot of firepower against what would probably constitue be a large target.

Pushing artillery out where it could be charged seems like a bad move to me and would take no account of battlefield situational awareness - but I guess that's the old 'eye-in-the-sky' aspect of gaming.

Anyway, I would again assume that artillery on the move would generally have some protection assign to it.

:-)
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James C
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"Enemy cavaly would be the 'natural' target of a cavaly unit as a matter of doctrin for that period."

That was my best guess, thank you.

But no rule precludes cavalry from charging infantry as an attack (melee).
And of course cavalry did charge infantry.

So this game mechanic must have something to do with the nature of a COUNTER charge under these specific circumstances.

Might there be something about the vulnerability of a cavalry unit that's on the move that would more readily invite an attack (counter charge)?

Maybe it's because infantry and artillery must end their movement in the EZOC, making them subject to attack during the enemy's next activation (potentially), whereas cavalry can continue to move. Perhaps the designer thought it was unfair and problematic to permit cavalry to potentially move into and out of an EZOC without any risk whatsoever (especially if the EZOC is due to the presence of swift-footed cavalry)?
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Norman Smith
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In defence, 'formed' infantry are a danger to cavalry and no push-over.

Against infantry, cavalry due to their mobility have the option to retreat before combat out of harms way.

They do not have that advantage against cavalry, to stand still and receive the momentum of a charge would likely be catastrophic, to counter-charge offers hope and was tactically the only viable option available. The whole thing must have taken some nerve (hence the QF check no doubt), brave men on both sides.

Counter-charging units do not get the penalty of unprepared attack, so against equivalent units, it is encouraged by the system, though it is 'Hobsons Choice' sometimes, as counter charging against Cuirassiers with a QF of 10, such as Milhaud's IV Corps at Ligny, is unlikely to have a happy ending!
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Robert Ellis
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James, yes as you say, the fact that it is a counter-charge makes it a very specific cavalry only event.

Note also though that foot artillery cannot enter an EZOC, and horse artillery can do so only if entering an EZOC already occupied by a friendly unit or if moving as part of a stack (which presumably includes non artillery units).
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James C
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Thank you!
I completely forgot that foot artillery couldn't enter an EZOC, and I was struggling with trying to understand why a counter-charge couldn't be made against foot artillery in such situations!
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Robert Ellis
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Its a bit of a learning curve, but well worth the effort, as it is an outstandingly good system.
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