British Grenadier – rules and firetable questions

Now, after a few games (well 2!) of British Grenadier we’ve had a few questions raised but overall we’ve been very happy with the games and the way they reflect the period. The issues we’ve had have come down to units sizes and how these work with the fire table.

Because I’ve done my units at 1:10 I’ve got some big units. von Bose is 32 and the Guards could be similar with attached Grenadiers and Lights and a few others hit 30+. Now I’d grouped my militia into 40 fig units. We weren’t playing any particular scenario and to be honest a lot of it was that the big units looked good! However, as some of the British units were smaller (16-24 figs) we had a few cases where they’d face fire from the militia, the militia would roll badly and still cause 2,3 or 4 casualties. As the British had been acquiring DPs on the advance this lead to some heavy casualties before they got in to contact or meant they were always on 2-3 DP even with rallying them off and cold never risk going in as they would nearly always be on 3DP after taking fire. We looked the effect of splitting the 40 fig units into 2×20 and on the same rolls the effect was much less than a single 40 fig unit firing.

In our next game we cut the unit size down but still had a couple of 28 fig units and again these seemed to dominate in a firefight even on low rolls. They could be in 3DP and militia and roll average and still do damage. I’ve been discussing this with Eclaireur on the BG forums by PM but wanted to open this up as although I’ve raised the point in other discussions I think it’s got lost.

How do we fix it? Does anything actually need fixing? EC suggested enforcing the fire arcs so bigger units cannot always bring all to bear. I found a rule in I think Terry Wises Battle Gaming where he suggest 45 degrees firing to the left and only 30 to the right as there is more freedom of movement to the left. I quite like that and may use it instead of the blanket 30 for both ways. But I digress…

Even using the arcs still doesn’t change the effect of big units. Looking at the scenario books the vast majority of units (even in 1:10 at Camden) are 16-24 range. There are a few that push to 30 but it is a few. Now I understand that GdeB had proper big units which is why the chart caters for it but I’m not sure how things work in those rules. So maybe it comes down to design. Split the big units into wings etc. and design for effect. My concern is that splitting a lot of units may either unbalance the brigades (too many units) or require too many brigades to make it work?

The alternative would be to modify the Fire Tables to factor out the effect. Richard at the club came up with the following two options. I’ve not looked into them in too much detail yet but the aim is to make bigger units less powerful lower on the table. And to factor in multiple hits from large volleys.

Musketry Hit Table – Alternative 1

Number of figures firing

Modified Dice Score

0

1-2

3-4

5-6

7-8

9-10

11-12

13-14

15-16

17-18

9 or less

1

1

2

2

3

3

4

10-15

1

1

2

2

3

3

4

4

16-20

1

2

2

3

3

4

4

5

21-27

1

1

2

2

3

3

4

4

5

28-34

1

2

2

3

3

4

4

5

5

35-41

1

1

2

2

3

3

4

4

5

5

42+

1

2

2

3

3

4

4

5

6

6

The second alternative makes slight adjustments again. But is a more logical progression of effect.

Musketry Hit Table – Alternative 2

Number of figures firing

Modified Dice Score

0

1-2

3-4

5-6

7-8

9-10

11-12

13-14

15-16

17-18

9 or less

1

1

10-15

1

1

1

2

2

16-20

1

1

1

2

2

2

21-27

1

1

1

2

2

2

4

6

28-34

1

1

1

2

2

2

3

3

6

6

35-41

1

1

2

2

2

4

4

4

8

8

42+

2

2

3

3

3

5

5

5

9

9

Now to be honest I don’t know enough about the design issues to know how these were arrived at. I also don’t want to advocate the rules be changed as stated above, I think a lot of the issues we’ve had are from unit size. But I want to see if other people have had similar effects/experiences and possibly for someone to argue the logic of the original table and why it doesn’t need changing!

When I get chance I’ll amend the table below to show the original. And I’ll point a BG Forum discussion here to see if it leads anywhere. Don’t have my rulebook to hand so this is just a space filler for the moment.

NB 13th April Chart Updated to show original values.

Original Musketry Hit Table

Number of figures firing

Modified Dice Score

0

1-2

3-4

5-6

7-8

9-10

11-12

13-14

15-16

17-18

9 or less

1

2

3

4

4

10-15

1

2

3

3

4

4

16-20

1

2

3

3

4

4

5

21-27

1

2

3

3

4

4

5

5

28-34

1

2

3

3

4

4

5

5

6

35-41

1

2

3

3

4

4

5

5

6

6

42+

1

2

3

4

4

5

5

6

6

7

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