Proximity rule

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    Hi all,

    Played our first game of Black power yesterday which raised a question. If you look at the attached picture is shows the situation (note we were proxing a lot of SYW figures as we have only just started painting the Napoleonics).

    Near left is a French line infantry in square, Just beyond them is a Grenadier unit. Opposing them are the Austrians. A small unit of Cheaux Leger, and Grenz battalion, and Jager battalion, and finally a Grenadier battalion.

    The Grenadiers and Jager are just over 7 inches apart. In order to defend the square the French commander wishes to charge the Grenz. There is sufficient movement to allow the Grenadiers to make a legal contact.

    The question is where and how the proximity rule applies. There are 5 Austrain units within proximity range of the grenadiers (you can just see an Austrian battalion facing another French battalion at the top of the picture. Should the Grenadiers react to the closest enemy (the Jagers), the nearest formed unit, or just pick any one of the emeny units.

    Not finding anything to the contrary, we played it that the French grenadiers were able to charge the Grenz, forcing the Jager to evade out of the way.




    I think you are confused regarding the Proximity rule.

    First, you are either in “proximity” or not.  In your picture, you are due to multiple enemy units being within 12″, but it takes only one.  So since you are in proximity what are your options with regard to the Grenadiers.

    1) you can make any move in your front quarter you choose.  As long as the movement is in your unit’s front quarter.  At the end of the move, your unit can face anyway it chooses.

    2) you can make any move in your rear quarter you choose.  As long as the movement is in your unit’s rear quarter.  At the end of the move, your unit can face anyway it chooses.

    3) you can stay in place and pivot your unit (not move).  So no side shuffling disguised as pivoting.  This is the key, when in “proximity” all movement must be in the front or rear quarters, that’s it.  No other restrictions.

    Looking at the photo, I think the grenadiers could have used an Initiative order to charge the Jaegers or the square since they both appear to be in the front quarter.   But since you chose to charge the Jaegers, hopefully, you gave the square “traversing fire” as the Grenadiers passed by…

    As noted on page 88… “A square has four “fronts” and four quarters extending from each facing.  And so your grenadiers would have had to “traverse” one of the “front quarters” of the square to charge the Jaegers.

    Garry Wills

    The proximity rule is straightforward, the French grenadiers need to move into either their forward or rearward quarter (see p.24), the number and position of the Austrians doesn’t matter other than them being within 12 inches. The key point in this example, is that the grenadiers would have to charge the Jagers,  (you cannot contact them without charging them) forcing them to choose whether to evade or not. If they evade, the grenadiers could carry on their charge into the Austrian grenadiers, provided the Jagers have moved out of the way and that your order is explicit in this regard.






    Hi Mike,

    Confused – absolutely!

    The Grenadiers and the square are on the same side. The Grenadiers wanted to charge in order to prevent the Grenz column attacking the square.

    If the simple answer is that being in proximity range of an enemy only restricts you to moving forward in your front quarter or backwards in your rear quarter then the result we played is valid. The Austrian Grenz, Jager and Grenadiers all counted as being within the Grenadiers front quarter, so the grenadiers could could attack any/all of them that it could reach.



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