Saturday 3 February 2018

Thinking aloud

"Death and the dice level all distinctions" - Samuel Foote

I'm still pondering the epic fail of the scenario that is currently set up in the annexe. In one sense the problem is entirely of my creation as in the boardgame there is no concept of stacking terrain, except in the very limited case of fieldworks, and in that case the rules quite clearly say that one only counts the highest penalty rather than adding them together.  Another way of looking at it is as a reflection of a couple of differences between C&C and other rules. In Piquet one can never attack with worse than a D4; in Black Powder a natural 6 is always a hit. In C&C - unless I've missed something - a unit that has suffered casualties can easily end up unable at all to attack an enemy with a terrain advantage; certainly that's the way that we have always played it. Similarly in both the other games the concept of support or superior numbers can give an advantage to the attacker in combat, whereas in C&C it doesn't come into effect until considering the need for withdrawal because of flag rolls.

The problem is much more significant for the Russian infantry as they start with three UI; the French infantry not only start at four UI, but get a one dice bonus (regardless of strength remaining) when battling other infantry. Even without compounding terrain penalties Russians only have to lose one UI and they can no longer attack, the French would have to lose three before that applied. Of course the Russian ability to ignore a flag is a compensation for this.

It seems to me that I have quite a few options:
  1. Don't make terrain penalties cumulative.
  2. Define the town as only having a penalty of one dice.
  3. Allow all units a minimum of one dice when attacking or defending regardless of strength and terrain.
  4. Allow multiple units to attack at the same time (this is a big change and I suspect the law of unintended consequences would come into play).
  5. Give units a bonus of, say, one dice for supporting units (presumably those that aren't battling themselves in this turn).
  6. Consolidate Russian units into fewer of greater strength.
  7. Invent a rule allowing consolidation of weakened units during the game (I have thought about this before. The ambiguity of scale in C&C and definition of exactly what a unit represents means that perhaps one shouldn't take the word 'consolidate'; too literally; it's more an abstract representation of continuing capability).
  8. Change the layout of the village terrain to allow some attacking on the flat. 
The minimum one dice option would also address the rare, but possible, situations where a unit could potentially be attacked in the certain knowledge that it would not be able to respond even if it survived.

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