Pursuit (Sweeping Advance) Questions

Home Forums Historical Black Powder Pursuit (Sweeping Advance) Questions

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #185481


    I recently looked at another set of wargame rules that I’m comparing to Black Powder. What drew me to it was that it really creates the ambiguity of initiative in war that turn/phase based games don’t really capture. However, one of it’s drawbacks to me is its “pursuit” rules.

    The game designer, a very nice man who always answers questions about his game, doesn’t like or use pursuit rules himself but did include them for players that do like them. His system does give me a change in thinking about pursuit.

    According to the designer, pursuit takes units out of command as they charge away and that they actually lose effectiveness as they go. Thus in his rules 1. The troops (cavalry for the most part) don’t actually move from their spot as it is their “rally point” to return to. Also, the pursuers take 2 casualties if they pursue. There is nothing of benefit to the attacker that wins the battle. That strikes me as very odd. However, he may make a point. A bloodthirsty pursuit of the routed may actually not entirely be of benefit to to the attacker as they charge out of command range and lose cohesion. Case in point, Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava. They won but took heavy losses.

    Most games, like Black Powder, show the units that charge and rout a unit allow them to maintain cohesion and move ahead either to hit the routers again doing more damage to them and even being able to charge other units. Case in point, The Napoleonic Battle of Eylau, where 11,000 French cavalry drove the Russian infantry from the field.

    I’m planning on developing my own house rules for these rules. However, what are your thoughts? Are cavalry charges overall lead to breakthroughs that can be exploited as well as extra hits on the enemy or are they more likely to be detrimental to the attacker?


    Both are possible outcomes.  To some extent Black Powder does “capture” this.  In some cases, after a breakthrough move involving two separate combats, my cavalry unit has sustained enough hits to cause it to be shaken or close to shaken.  This dramatically limits the effectiveness of the unit until it can rally off some damage.  In the meantime, if it does not rally back in time, enemy fire will begin to trigger Break Tests leading the unit potentially falling apart.   This is especially true in the case of cavalry vs cavalry brigades.  Enemy infantry tends to form squares if they get the chance leaving the cavalry unit isolated deep in enemy lines and forced to retreat to save itself.

    But in some instances, especially with heavy cavalry which has more punch… cavalry can shatter an enemy brigade by breaking one unit and shaking a second unit causing the whole Brigade to become shaken.

    Garry Wills

    The one thing that concerns me about the close combat in Black Powder, is the follow up a retiring enemy. I would prefer close combat to be short and  therefore would prefer follow ups to be restricted to Sweeping Advance/Charge. Otherwise I think BP works well, especially if we remember that cavalry always retire from drawn combats.

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.