Friday, September 14, 2012


Two more games from the GBACW series arrived in Wednesday's post. Now I can add Pleasant Hill (S&T 106) and The Horse Soldiers (S&T 119) to the growing collection. Both games are unpunched and in mint condition. I also found a second copy of Stonewall (S&T 67) in unpunched condition at a bargain price that will be arriving shortly.
Getting back to ACW, boardgames, and miniatures, one of the mechanisms that I favor from the GBACW that I want to port over to RFF is Brigade Combat Effectiveness (BCE). With this rule, a brigadier can only push his formation so hard before it begins losing cohesion, effectiveness, and the ability to conduct offensive actions. BCE is governed solely upon casualties; the levels of which are computed as number of stands remaining.

By adding BCE, generals are encouraged to fight a balanced battle with no, one brigade taking the brunt of the punishment. If done, that brigade will quickly lose offense capability. Rotating brigades in and out of 'hot' combat zones helps to prevent any one brigade from sustaining crippling casualties. While RFF does have Regimental Combat Effectiveness (RCE) in the Effectiveness Levels of Fresh, Worn, and Spent, there is no such mechanism at the brigade level. Of course, RFF's Heavy Casualties level does affect performance at the army level.
How will BCE levels be computed? My thought is to sum all of the Fresh, Worn, and Spent values within each brigade to arrive at the equivalent BCE. Using the RFF OB from a Cedar Mountain scenario, Gordon's Brigade is given as,

Gordon - 3 BDE Able
27 Indiana RM 16/12/8 VET
2 Maine RM 12/8/5 CRK
3 Wisconsin SM 16/12/8 TRN
Pa Zouaves d'Afriq SM 6/5/3 VET

Sum(Fresh) 50 Stand Effectiveness (SE)
Sum(Worn) 37 Combat Effectiveness (CE)
Sum(Spent) 24 Lost Combat Effectiveness (LCE)

Summing over all Fresh levels yields 50 stands at maximum effectiveness (SE). When the brigade falls to 37 stands, the BCE drops to CE. Finally, when the brigade has only 24 stands remaining, BCE drops to LCE. the effects for a brigade being at SE is that the brigadier has a +1 DRM to rolls the Maneuver Table. Brigades at CE operate as they normally do. Brigades that have Lost Combat Effectiveness (LCE) have a -1 DRM to rolls on the Maneuver Table, may not initiate assault, and may not voluntarily move into small arms range of enemy units.

There are other limitations for BCE but these lay a basis for thought. Tracking stand loss for BCE may require too much bookkeeping for some. Since each of my regiments begin the game with three flag bases (one for each effectiveness level) and I use the number of flags remaining on the regiment to denote its current effectiveness, tracking flags per brigade may provide an easy alternative. In the example of Gordon's brigade above, when the brigade loses a total of four flags, the brigade drops to CE. When a total of eight flags have been lost (or when only four flags remain among the brigade), the brigade drops to LCE. I'll try this in my next game.

Now, back to painting...

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