On page 16 of the Last Argument of Kings supplement, it's mentioned that the Prussians of the SYW were able to form lines on the leader or front base of the head of the march column. Is this done at the end of movement in 1 move, i.e., the Prussian infantry get to move their up to their maximum 12" and change from column to line at the end of the move? Or does it take 1 move in place for the Prussians to form line from march column just like the other nationalities do when the changing from column to line by turning left of right?
Also, it isn't clear if the formation changes only applies to infantry, or if it also applies to cavalry. I'm assuming that it only applies to infantry. To cavalry of the SYW period in march column turn to their right or left to form into line?
The main difference between the Prussian (and the allied British / Hessians / Brunswicks) and the Austrians or French was that they used the deployment by wings (Flügelaufmarsch) that march and camp in this organisation more often. The Prussians also had a faster Avancier pace that was used to get into formation. In large scale manouevres they trained that, getting an advantage. Obviously that form of deployment is for all arms, not only Infantry.
The average Prussian SYW battle deployment was in the older Deployment by Treffen (Lines) , not wings. And that's the same the others did. Only the better training gave the Prussians an advantage in being faster. And they did not succeed every time!
But all that is for the forming of the battle line, not the actual fighting. The concept of some rules that the Prussians alone form from column to line very close to the enemy is wrong.
Others did use fast deployment systems as well. The Duke of Cumberland advanced at Culloden in a very modern way, the line of march being the battle arrangement. But that was against an enemy that himself used such a fast deployment way and with little artillery.
Yep. You are right. The move from column to line takes a move just as described on page 33 of the rules. In LAOK I was keen to try and represent not only the faster deployment of the Prussians but also their use of tactics such as oblique order. In playtests, the rules became overcomplex and slowed the game down, and so we went with the fairly quick and easy expedient of allowing the Prussians to deploy on the head of the column, whilst everyone else has to present a flank to the enemy before turning.
In playtests, this meant that other armies deployed into line well away from the enemy, for fear of being caught in the flank whilst deploying, but the Prussians were more confident to advance closer. Also advancing in columns made them more manouverable and made it more difficult for their opponent to guess where the main attack would fall. This is not a rule designed to reflect historical acuracy, but rather an attempt to give the Prussians some advantage to reflect their training and speed on the battlefield.
If you want to try replicating oblique order attacks, try allowing the Prussians to stack left or right of the head of the column eg: The lead base becomes either the extreme right or left of the line ( players choice ). This allows the Prussian player to suddenly shift the weight of his attack to one flank. cheers
Thank you BigMike, Invisible Officer, and CplJohn, for your views and answers. One more question for you, CplJohn: was the Prussian column to line method only to be applied to infantry or to cavalry as well?
As to your option to replicate oblique order, I'll have to try that in a game.
The cavalry used the "Depolyieren" post 1747 like the infantry.
The real thing was a little different, the 1st platoon of the squadron rode to the right, the second slowly (Trab) to the front and platoons three and four fast to the left (Gallopp) forming a line.
Regiments rode in column of Squadrons deploying to line of Squadrons before attack or attacking in a series of squadrons in line of platoons order.
But as Cpl John rightly claimed, to play the real thing on the table makes the rule system clumsy. In my opinion the most important thing is that players don't misuse the column to line rules. The Prussians used the "Deployieren" clearly out of musket range and even tried to avoid the artillery. Many gaming tables are simply to small to show the advantages of the fast Prussian deployment correctly.
The original intention was to use it for infantry only, but as Invisible Officer states, you could use it for cavalry as well? See what works for you in platests. I would be interested to know how it works out!
Thank you, again, Invisible Officer and CplJohn, for your suggestions. In our Black Powder SYW games, rarely are our 28mm troops moving in march column due to the fact that, as you state, the table is too small. Mine is 8 ft. x 6 ft., plus we use the 66% of ranges and movement play charts (e.g., 8" for infantry move instead of 12"). Thus, deployment into line is considered done off-board (unless our scenario dictates that some troops are in march column). Still, I will inform the guys that both Prussian infantry and cavalry can deploy as per LAOK.
hi i think the rules in the black powder book are still used ie it takes a full move to change formation so to advance and go into line would be 2 moves and the section on page 16 before the section on prussians say how the other armies perform this they would advance in colum have to wheel the colum to the left or the right depending on which way they want to go exposing the flank of the colum to the oposing baseline then turn 180 degrees into line the difference with prussians is they can form line from the front of the colum while still facing forward and not exposing there flank to the oposing baseline