Contact and Deployment
A disengagement operation is conducted when a commander wishes to avoid map contact, evade an engagement, delay an opposing force, or withdraw from a battle. Each disengagement operation is explained below.
Summary: When a commander opts for one of these operations, both commanders roll a dice. The dice throws are modified by each commander’s situation. The disengaging commander subtracts the opponent’s modified results from his or her own modified results and consults the Disengagement Losses Table. Any losses are removed from the disengaging force’s assault regiment. Following a disengagement, the two forces are no longer in map contact.
Multiple Opponents: When one force wishes to conduct a disengagement operation while in map contact with more than one opponent, each commander rolls one dice. The disengaging commander’s modified result is used against each enemy commander’s modified result separately. All losses are applied simultaneously. So, if losses from two opponents are 50% or more, the force is effectively destroyed.
Time and Move Points: Disengagement operations themselves cost no move points and, except for the delay operation, take no additional time. The avoid operation requires that the force has move points for the move, which follows disengagement. The delay operation consumes the half period.
No Rest: A force in map contact may not rest during a half period in which any disengagement operation is conducted or any move points expended.
Disengagement: Once disengaged, the adjacent forces are no longer in map contact. A commander may use the maneuver action to force a second map contact in the half period. When no longer in map contact, a force with sufficient move points remaining may continue movement. Unless one or the other forces moves immediately following a disengagement, the forces are again in map contact at the beginning of the next half period.
Cost of Battle in Time and Move Points
A battle, though it may require only a few minutes of combat, takes a half period of time but no daily move points. Much time is assumed to be taken up with reconnaissance and deployment prior to a battle. Afterward, time is spent tending wounded, repairing or replacing weapons and armor, scavenging the battlefield on the victorious side, setting up a defensive position on the vanquished side, and resting.
To avoid map contact, a commander must have enough move points to move into an adjacent hex or be able to conduct a forced march. After avoiding contact, the commander must move into an adjacent hex.
Either after the contact phase or following terrain selection in the deployment phase, a commander may decide to evade the engagement. Following an evasion, the commander may continue movement.
The delay action is contact with the enemy up to the point of engagement followed by a withdraw. A commander states the intention to delay before the contact phase, thereby foregoing contact and deployment phases as well as the initial exchange of volleys and blows that would normally take place on the wargames table. The delay action costs no move points but takes one half period as if a battle had been fought—which it has, we’ve only cut it short by a few minutes.
By the military definition, a withdraw is an organized retirement from the field. For our purposes, the withdraw operation includes those in which the force is in retreat or rout.
A withdraw is initiated during a tactical battle. Whenever a commander deems the battle is lost, he or she may withdraw. To do so, a number of figures equal to or greater than 25% of the original force must be moved behind the baseline.
Formed in Good Order: When at least 25% of the original force is moved behind the baseline in good order, the force is considered to be formed and in good order.
In Rout: If 25% or more of the original force is routed off the table, the entire force is considered to be in rout for the purposes of the withdraw operation.
In Retreat: Otherwise, the force is considered to be in retreat.
Modifiers to the disengagement dice are divided into categories. Each commander considers his or her own condition for each category and applies the best modifier. Only one modifier is applied from each category. For instance, a commander using the maneuver action adds 1 to the dice. If the opponent is unformed, he or she may order an aggressive pursuit, which adds 2 instead.
|Disengagement Modifiers Table|
|Formed in good order||+2|
|Retreat and Rout: See Withdraw above.|
Maneuver: See “Support, Reserve, Maneuver.”
Fresh cavalry: Cavalry which has not engaged in melee today and is not otherwise fatigued is considered fresh.
Fatigued: From strategic movement, like forced march, not battlefield fatigue.
|Larger force by one regiment or more||+1|
Larger force: Compare the army sizes.
|Half strength or less||−1|
Strength: Consider the engaging regiment only. See “Orders of March.”
Terrain: Consider the commander’s current hex. Mountains are favorable for a disengaging force, clear is unfavorable. For the opponent, vice versa. Forest, swamp, and hill terrain are neither favorable nor unfavorable.
The disengaging commander subtracts the opponent’s modified results from his or her own modified results and consults the Disengagement Losses Table. Losses are reduced from the force’s current strength.
|Disengagement Losses Table1|
|Difference||Delay or Withdraw||Evade||Avoid|
|8 or more||— Negligible —|
|4 to 7||5%||— Negligible —|
|0 to 3||10%||5%||— Negligible —|
|−1 to −4||25%||10%||5%|
|−5 to −7||30%||25%||10%|
|−10||— Destroyed —||75%D||50%D|
|−11||— Destroyed —||75%D|
−12 or less
|— Destroyed —|
D Displaced: The disengaging force is pushed to the hex opposite the contact. If, for any reason, the force cannot enter the hex, read the results from the line below. Reasons include: the opposite hex is occupied by an enemy force or a non-supporting friendly force, or the disengaging force hasn’t enough points to move into it. If a disengaging force is displaced and a supporting force occupies the hex opposite the contact, the supporting force, if it does not reinforce the disengaging force, is also displaced if it has the necessary move points and the next hex is unoccupied.
After the terrain reconnaissance earlier, Hadewych chose to evade the engagement. To her throw of 1, she adds 3 (formed in good order, rearguard, unfavorable terrain). Ingegerd rolled a 4. She adds 4 (formed in good order, supported, favorable terrain). The difference (4−8) of −4 reduces the regiment by 10%. Hadewych’s result is also compared to Aeskrvald’s result, which is 6 plus 3 (formed in good order, favorable terrain). With a −5 difference (4−9), Hadewych suffers another 25% losses.
1 The Disengagement Losses Table and its modifiers are derived from Bath’s section on withdrawing from battle (75-7). I adapted it to cover any disengagement. Where Bath uses a single dice roll, I prefer an opposed roll. So, I stretched out the results range to accommodate wider disparity. The tipping point, where losses increase rapidly, is preserved. The reaper marches before an army in flight.