Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Giving RenPOW a try

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've decided to try out my Turks and Poles as their seventeenth century versions using the Renaissance Principles of War rules.

I'm doing this solo and I decided to make it a bit more interesting by plotting out multiple possible orders for each side and then selecting randomly.  I did so thusly:

Sorry, the green lines for the Polish orders aren't too clear.  Neither of the redeployments (top right of each chart) took place and the selected orders are shown circled.

The RenPOW rules (I'm using the first edition) aren't easy to pick up.  They could certainly do with more examples.  At first I missed the rule that you can't charge as a group.  I also defaulted to a HOTT mindset and lined units up perfectly, which you don't need to do.

The rules could be clearer on things like how far retiring troops and pursuers move.  What happens if pursuers catch retirers?  There are rules for what happens if pursuers hit other enemy troops but not what happens if they hit troops they've previously caused to flee.  At least as far as I can see.

That's what's happening here, by the way.  Unit 1 of Polish Winged Hussars has pursued and caught to Shaken units of Feudal Sipahi.  Do they fight again now?  Edit: Gods this is frustrating!  The section on Pursuit (pg 28) talks about troops who may/must pursue after a melee opponent retires or routs but isn't clear on how far it moves.  Meanwhile the Charge Reaction section on pg 16 talks about units whose opponents evade, retire or rout moving forward immediately by 2" (or occasionally 3").  At no point does it refer to this as "Pursuit" but I'm now guessing (from absence of evidence to the contrary rather than from positive evidence) that this is what it means.  So the Winged Hussars in the pic should be 12cm further back!

Otherwise the two turns or so of action has gone through OK.  The rules aren't exciting me but they're OK.  One odd issue is that a command can't deploy any wider that 18 inches (27cm in my reduced scale) even if it has sufficient units to do so.  As a result a three command army must form up in a relatively narrow and deep formation with only a limited number of units able to fight in the first contacts.

I shall persevere for a while longer and may report back again later.


Kaptain Kobold said...

If I get chance over the next couple of days I'll have a look at my C19th POW, as I recall that, although not explained with examples, the pursuit / move after evade thing is the same and was always something that, whilst we had to look it up every game, made sense afterwards.

If I discover anything I'll let you know :)

Phil Broeders said...

Its Page 24 in my rulebook.

Basically if you win a melee and your opponent retires or routs your troops will or may pursue. Gallopers, tribal foot, skirmish melee, sipahi and class 5 troops WILL pursue if the opponent Retire, Retire Shaken or Rout. No morale roll - they just go for it.

All other pursuing units make a morale roll. If they pass with a result just greater than unit morale (Steady*), then they WILL pursue. On a result of Steady (less than or equal to unit morale) they can choose whether to pursue or not.

If the opponent Retires Shaken, they move a FULL move directly away from the opponent they have been fighting (so if charged in the flank they would move sideways not backwards).

If the opponent routs, they move a FULL move directly away from the opponent (as above) and are then removed from play.

If they Retire (as part of an evade) then it is just as Retire Shaken but they only go back 2".

So if your opponent has Retired then your unit moves forward 2" to contact the enemy again.

If your opponent has Retired Shaken then you move forward a full move and may / may not contact the enemy (depends on what type of unit you are fighting).

If your opponent Routs then you move forward a full move but hit empty space (as the unit has been removed from play).

Note that this may mean that your unit has extended beyond the command area of the commanders' marker. As long as the unit is still in contact with an enemy , they are ok as far as morale is concerned. However if they pursue a Routed unit and go beyond the marker radius, they go Shaken as they are not in contact with an enemy.

Phil Broeders said...

Note that Retiring / Routed units may be forced to retire through friendly units if there is not a 3cm gap available to pass through. This will result (usually) in the unit passed through to become Shaken. Some units cannot be passed through (tercios, pike etc.). If the pursued unit cannot interpenetrate, it will halt at that point. If in contact with an enemy unit at the end of the bound, it counts as Routed and is removed.

Units passed through will usually become Shaken, and may be the unit contacted by the pursuing opponent instead.

So stacking units in a column can create a domino effect in which a pursuing unit can pile through unit after unit, causing more Retired Shakens and Routs and interpenetrations and can therefore cause mayhem.

If you have units behind each other therefore, always leave a 3cm gap between them to prevent such mishaps. That way the pursued unit has a strong unit to hide behind and the pursuing unit will hit an unshaken opponent.