Friday, 4 November 2016

Thoughts on Shako rules following recent game

The last post recounted our recent playing of a Shako scenario based on the battle of Tarvis, 1809.  During the play, Steve and I thought that the rules didn't really cover the fighting in redoubts and some 'post match' discussion followed.  Later, I jotted down a few ideas and emailed them to Steve for his input and I thought that they may be of interest here also.  As a point of information we use the early version of Shako, not Shako II.


Generally had a small garrison,(a company or two at most), so could be represented by one 6 figure stand.  This would mean that the feature would not take up too much room.  Constructed of earth with timber/gabion reinforcing and enclosed, (ie had four sides).  Fleches should be considered as earthworks and therfeore use linear obstacle rules?  

Do we assume that they incorporate a ditch and stakes?  (see section on melee) 

Shooting:  From all four sides.  Use skirmisher fire rules, ie first hit inflicts stagger, not kill.   Can target units not attacking redoubt

Melee:  Defenders have an MR of 1 fewer than that of a full unit.  (ie a line reg would be a 3, militia a 2)
            Attackers use disordered MR (again assuming ditch and stakes/abbatis)
            No other modifiers used in melee (support, losses, failed volley) 

            Defenders do not Fall Back if only lose melee by 1, but they do take a casualty.  (start with 3 strength points)
            If Defenders win they use an MR of full unit (ie 4 for line infantry) when determining if they take a casualty. (A roll of 6 is always a casualty)

As an added element, forts and blockhouses could use the same procedure but with a +1 for the defenders in addition to the attackers using their disordered MR.

One further area we discussed was the situation when two staggered units are facing each other within 4 inches and thus unable to recover normal command.  Their command state means that volleys are unlikely to be effective, so the only option is to charge and hope to drive off the enemy.  It seems rather artificial and can lead to units getting in the way of an advance.  So the proposal is:

If a player opts to try and charge their opponent they have to pass a morale test to do so, if they fail they roll again.  A successful test results in the unit making a Fall Back move but remaining staggered.  Failure results in dropping to Fall Back status and moving the 6" backwards.

If any readers of the blog have any thoughts/comments please feel free to join in.

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