Big Al wrote:
So, if it never happened, or if French Attack Columns always formed into line before they went into contact, why do you (anyone, not just Rod) think that most, if not all, wargames rules allow it? Is it just that they are all written by people who haven't done their research properly? Is it because they are following the wrong research? Or is it (Devil's Advocate here ) just that people don't like it when it happens in games and say that it didn't and shouldn't happen because it becomes too powerful a tactic to overcome and as they don't know how to combat it, they just say that it is notwhat happened without any real proof?
Rod MacArthur wrote:Big Al wrote:
So, if it never happened, or if French Attack Columns always formed into line before they went into contact, why do you (anyone, not just Rod) think that most, if not all, wargames rules allow it?
The reasons the French did so are complex, and probably involve a mixture of having relatively untrained troops during the Republican era, who would have had a problem in converting to line, wanting to attack rapidly (which was successful against some unsteady enemies) and sometimes misjudging the point at which to convert from column to line (particularly against the British using reverse slope tactics).
The issue is not whether the French sometimes (perhaps more often than not) attacked in column but whether such columns maintained deploying distance around them (ie were not bunched up so they would be unable to deploy. It would be interesting to see any contemporary source showing two or more French columns in such a close proximity to each other.
Unfortunately, in Blackpowder, the rules also allow a player to adopt a ridiculous "phalanx" of attack columns that get some big advantages. I really hope that the Napoelonics supplement deals with this absurdity.
Comte Michel wrote:
But really the issue here isn't whether we should permit or force deployment into line from column. It's more one of changing people's attitudes to historical wargaming, to the extent that people feel obliged to use historically correct formations at the brigade and divisional level, rather than inventing their own deployments to maximise the numbers under the rules.
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