Because the result of one die cannot affect the result on another, if you roll 6 dice, then your chance of rolling a 6 (or any other specific number) is six separate lots of 1-in-6.
Thus because you cannot ever absolutely guarantee rolling a 6 no matter how many dice you roll, you cannot simply add 3 lots of 1-in-6 as 3/6, because as Steve says, it would follow that if you rolled 6 dice it would mean 6/6, ie. a guaranteed result.
"You're a big man, but you're in bad shape. With me, it's a full time job." – Lt. Bromhead to Prince Dabulamanzi before the Battle of Rorke's Drift.
I had done the maths but wanted to keep it simple - yea adding 6 lots of 1 in 6 suggests 6 in 6. The way I did it was to add up the chances of NOT getting 6 (I was working with paper & pencil) which is 5 in 6 each time. Apologies to any maths purists, it was my intention to illustrate a popint in general terms rather than get bogged down in probability & statistics.
Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don't you think?
Goodness, I hope no ladies have been distressed...
To be more on the point of adapting BP for the Zulu war, I have to first admit to knowing not a lot about the conflict other than being terribly fond of the film "Zulu". I have hwever done a great deal of tinkering with the rules of late, and other rules less lately and I think there is a need to make changes with due care. I am considering adapting BP for some WW1 middle-east battles, so have been thinking about more modern weaponry, etc.
At the outset it is important to consider what outcome is desired that is not already covered in the mighty black-covered tome of rules and having failed to find a special rule or combination of such to produce this outcome the potential ramifiactions of any change must be thoguth through to ensure they don't unbalance the game. BP is open to plent of tinkering but 'tis still a delicate animal in some respects. In my games I have deliberately tried not to create much in the way of "new" rules but rather have tried to make the fullest possible use of the the toolbox that is already there. Crikey, I even use the turn sequence as written; how retro is that?
Shooting: Increasing the number of dice rolled will increase the potential number of hits and the chance of disorder. If this gets out of control, target units may be destroyed more easily than expected or spend so much time disordered that the chap on the other side of the table may become almightily frustrated. A bad show all round. To compensate we could increase the morale or stamina of the target to offer enhanced suvivability or allow it the elite rule to limit the effects of disruption. Overall this will work, but at the cost of slowing the game a little.
Here we need to consider the scope of our game. If playing on a smaller table with smaller forces then a degree of slowing and evening out the random effect of the dice can be desirable. If we are playing on a billiard table with a mighty host of lead (or plastic) then speed may be more of the essence. This is, of course, a personal decision for the fellows engaged in the battle but one size may not fit all.
So then, do we want: more damage on the target? more assurance of getting the hits? more chance of disruption?
The impression I get from the thread and my meagre understanding is that the Zulu's could be held-off by shooting but if they managed to close then things could get somewhat hot & hairy for our brave boys in red. This being the case I wonder if leaving the shooting dice alone but inflicting disruption on 5+ might give the desired effect of halting the Zulus at long range? Over the course of a few turns this would tend to lead to the zulu units being hit my more shooting and accumulating more damage until they may break. The risk is the aforementioned frustration for the zulu player, however with units shooting 3 dice only, there is still scope for some Zulus being able to advance undisrupted. Rolling 3d6 with disruptions on 5+ gives, I think, a 70% or so chance of disruption.
I'm not sure that first fire really seems appropriate to shooting in the colonial period. Having moved away from the musket, was the first shot really that "special"? Hmm, don't know. I have moved away from using it in the AWI for most units as tactics there seldom [sweeping statement alert!!] involved a coordinated first volley and it is always important to reflect back to what we are actually trying to represent, and why.
Combat: The jist of the thread is that once the tribal warriors engage in combat they will quickly overwhelm the thin red line. Picturing sucha a melee in my mind's eye the key differences would appear to be the thin nature of the red line and the willingness of the Zulu's to use their spear in anger. In most cases the Zulus will have the advantage of the charge bonus. This can be further enhanced by a number of combat-related special rules (bloodthirsty, etc). The stretched nature of the British is perhaps most easily reflected (as suggested by others) by reducing their hand-to-hand dice, although for the sake of the game I would probably favour increasing the score needed instead - effectively counting the British as skirmishers when in combat.
I think that one caveat to the above is not to make the Zulus so good in close combat that cavalry cannot have thier historical effect. The more the tribesmen are augmented, the more you might need to do the same to the horsemen. For this reason I'd probably look more at downgrading the British infantry rather than adding extra muscles to the Zulus. Maybe cavalry (or at least lnacers) should be "terrifying" to the Zulus?
Anyway, that is just by 2p, 5p and 10p worth of ideas. We all have our own approaches so good luck in anything you try out.
Moving away a little from the discussion of extended skirmishing line infantry, I'd like to ask a quick question about unit sizes and basing.
The Warlord/Empress models come 32 to a box for the Zulus and 24 for the British. I plan on basing all my models on 40mm squares with 4 to a base. This will result in a 240mm long by 40mm deep British unit and a 160mm long by 80mm deep unit for the Zulus. A thin red line and a large horde of warriors respectively.
However, do you think I would be better off making the British units 20 strong and count that as standard sized and the Zulus counting as large, or just keep things as they are and use them both as standard? I could then use the loose British models as skirmishers or for defending hospital buildings.
I cant open my Rorke's Drift box until the 25th, but I would be interested in knowing how other people out there have gone about organising their units for BP.
Close enough to play with. - My motto for painting historicals.
It depends on the rules you are going to use. Assuming that you are going to use BP, as this is what this thread is about, then it won't matter at all. You could even use 10 British for the unit. The rules are only concerned with units. Doesn't matter what the figure count is. Admittedly, the lower the figure count the odder it would look, but that doesn't matter. You could split the box into two units of 12 and count each as standard. That might even look better, making your Zulu units look even more imposing.
I'm using that idea for my ancients. Hoplite units are 24 strong (8 wide, 3 deep). Warband units are 32 strong (a horde of warriors based on 6 50mm bases, the better armoured to the front!!) and counting both as standard units. If i want to plat the Celts in a game like WAB where the ranks are important I'm just going to put a piece of paper by the side of each unit with a grid of squares on and cross off the casualties as they come so we know where the ranks are at!