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Subject: Militia units - 3 dice? rss

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Paul Aceto
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Played my first solo game of HtL (Montmorency Falls); the French won on turn 16 but it was close. I've decided to play through the entire F&IW expansion before getting to the AWI.

One optional rule I have been thinking of trying is giving militia units only 2 dice when they fire instead of 3. I can't imagine they had the fire training and discipline that regular troops had, yet they are just as likely as veterans to inflict hits.


Any thoughts?
 
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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I would check out the optional rules before tweaking too much with the game as is. There are rules for giving British Elites an extra die when they battle. And the optional rules for leaders can also give a healthy Close Combat die bonus. This doesn't tone down the Militia per se, but gives their targets some extra hitting power when they catch them. Don't forget that Militia have little staying power. Put a couple hits on them and you'll never have to worry about their shooting again. And they count just as much for victory.
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Matt Burchfield
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Also consider using the attacker morale check rule for close combat. Makes one much less inclined to throw militia adjacent to regulars.

I would be careful with giving much more of a handicap to militia. They already have the deficiencies that Brady listed above.
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Paul Aceto
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Points taken. Maybe it was just seeing the Quebec milia rip holes in the advancing elite British units that got to me. I know the system has a lot of abstractions, but this is one that seemed particularly ahistorical.

But I still really like the game and am eager to try new scenarios. I am SO happy I pre-ordered and got the F&IW expansion - an amazing deal.
 
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Rob Bradley
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Zouave wrote:
One optional rule I have been thinking of trying is giving militia units only 2 dice when they fire instead of 3. I can't imagine they had the fire training and discipline that regular troops had, yet they are just as likely as veterans to inflict hits.


Any thoughts?


My thoughts: Militia already suck. In a game like this where unit elimination equals a VP, a unit that starts with half the MP’s is at a significant disadvantage. Making them suck worse by reducing their dice would not make them worth fielding.
 
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Barry Kendall
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The Attacker Morale optional rule for Close Combat is a good one and helps model Militia more accurately.

Reducing Militia firepower in some scenarios would slow the game down considerably as it would take much longer to score hits through firing.

Militia should have higher firepower than Woodland Indians since they generally were better supplied with powder and shot and, even if only rudimentally trained, were at least somewhat acclimated to massed directed fire.

Additionally, North American militia from the time of the Seven Years' War, often used a tactic called "reserving the rear" in which the third rank reserved their fire to keep loaded weapons available while the front two ranks reloaded.

This tactic worked well against the British Light Infantry on the shoreline advancing against the fense below Breed's Hill.

To see the value of "reserving the rear" (by its absence), watch the scene in the remake of "Last of the Mohicans" when Magwa's war party ambushed the British company escorting Cora and Alice to Fort William Henry. Heyward has the company present and fire in a three-rank line, but the entire company fires together in volley and no one's left loaded to deter the war party from overrunning the troops.

Eventually as fire and loading discipline improved overall and the British adopted "open files" as commonly used by Continental troops, both sides went to two-rank lines and this tactic was no longer used.
 
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