Closing Fire and Traversing Fire
June 29, 2021 at 8:12 am #185815Paul Edward SmithParticipant
Still relatively new to Black Powder and trying to understand the ‘closing fire’ and ‘traversing fire’ rules.
Unit A is charged successfully by unit Z; both units are exactly the same size so no overlap is involved. Unit A can use ‘closing fire’ against Z.
However unit A has a friendly unit, unit B, alongside it in base to base contact prolonging its front and facing in the same direction, it is not overlapped by the charging unit.
Can unit B also use closing fire against the unit that is charging unit A?
If not, could it use ‘traversing fire’ against it instead?
My understanding from the rules is that the answer is ‘no’ to both questions but it does seem odd in the circumstances.
Very grateful for confirmation that we have got this right or any other clarification.
Cheers PaulJune 29, 2021 at 8:38 am #185816Big AlParticipant
No to both questions.
Firstly, closing fire only involves units that are contacted by the charging unit. There is no corner to corner contact in the game, so Unit B is only supporting.
Traversing fire only occurs if and when the enemy unit moves across at least half of your unit’s frontage, while within 12 inches of your unit. In the example you have given, it is extremely unlikely that this had happened, especially considering that the charging unit has to take the shortest route to contact and the Proximity Rule would not allow for any turn to make contact. Mind you, nor would the actual rules for charging – a turn would not be a direct move into contact.June 29, 2021 at 11:58 am #185820MikeParticipant
It might help to understand the nuances in the rules.
While unit B cannot fire it ability to support adds +1 to combat resolution. So while it does not get to throw 3 shooting dice which most often would inflict 1 casualty, when combat is resolved its +1 has the same impact on the melee as inflicting one loss in melee. You can visualize this “support” as some supporting fire as well as even some morale support to the defending unit increasing its likelihood of winning the combat.
Traversing fire to me is simply a way to discourage enemy units from riding across the front of enemy unit in range. Its existence tends to keep players from making crazy moves like a cavalry unit riding across the front of an enemy infantry unit when in real battle that could be catastrophic.June 29, 2021 at 2:40 pm #185821Big AlParticipant
Well said, Mike.June 30, 2021 at 6:35 pm #185827Paul Edward SmithParticipant
Many thanks for the replies and clarification.
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