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"Lasalle Test: Austrian vs French" Topic

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Markconz13 Jan 2015 6:14 p.m. PST

Testing out the Lasalle rules in 28mm. New on my blog, enjoy!

Texas Jack14 Jan 2015 2:31 a.m. PST

Nice looking game and a nice AAR as well. I like Lasalle, especially the shoot first then move mechanism, but I think that attack columns are much too strong.

Markconz15 Jan 2015 11:56 a.m. PST

Thanks Jack! Did you end up using a house rule for the attack columns?

Texas Jack16 Jan 2015 5:37 a.m. PST

We decided attack columns side by side can only shoot with three dice as a penalty for being so close together.

Here is a nice link that discusses various options:
These days I play more Black Powder than Lasalle, but I do like some of the ideas they discuss there and that, along with your post, is getting me into a Lasalle mood. grin

CATenWolde16 Jan 2015 6:07 a.m. PST

This was the most disappointing aspect of Lasalle (and many other rules for that matter), but it's easily fixable. I've always played with the following easy amendments:

1. Columns don't fire, period. That wasn't their combat role, and if they found themselves issuing fire then they were also probably flailing around trying to deploy into line, which *they* knew was their only chance to issue effective fire.

2. Only one unit can attack each face of an enemy unit. Again, this reflects actual historical practice, both in terms of command control (difficulty of maneuvering units with tabletop precision) and tactical reality – units would maneuver with space to deploy into line, but obviously they would do so to deploy in line opposite their target, not at some half-arsed gaming angle designed to get another unit "space" to attack. On the other hand, if you let multiple enemy units approach and get on your flank, then you deserve to get piled on.

For the record, I can't think of anything that would be worse than Sam trying to fit Lasalle into a card-dominated system like Longstreet, which has been mentioned in this context. It wouldn't "fix" this problem in any real sense, and would fundamentally change the gaming experience (for the worse IMO, but obviously others will differ). A v2 should just clean up a few issues (like this one), expand the army lists, and include a pre-game and/or campaign linking system to diversify scenario generation – possibly linking back to Blucher?



Texas Jack16 Jan 2015 8:03 a.m. PST

That is an interesting idea about not letting them fire at all. I would rather let them have one shot, and then nothing, as they probably formed into attack column with their muskets loaded. I am trying to think if the front rank ever fired in Sharpe. grin

I totally agree, I would not want to see Lasalle changed into a card driven game, but an extended army list and campaign system would be very welcome additions.

CATenWolde16 Jan 2015 10:39 a.m. PST

If you go with the Sharpe approach, you should allow them to fire with full dice for the sound effect … but the To Hit number for the French would be 7. And the stalwart British would get double dice for Rapid Reload and +1 To Hit if the figures have white cross-belts painted. :)

More seriously, if you want to allow the columns some firepower, I would base it completely on their skirmish rating differential. Come to think of it … this is actually a good idea!

Texas Jack16 Jan 2015 12:24 p.m. PST

That is a good idea! But I like the Sharpe approach better. evil grin

Markconz16 Jan 2015 12:32 p.m. PST

Cheers for the ideas, will have a think on them. I really like the basic Lasalle system, it's very elegant. Have Blackpowder also, though find it can be a bit too random with the moves all over the place, for smaller games at any rate.

McLaddie16 Jan 2015 1:54 p.m. PST

Columns don't fire, period. That wasn't their combat role, and if they found themselves issuing fire then they were also probably flailing around trying to deploy into line, which *they* knew was their only chance to issue effective fire.

Columns, French and Allied, volleyed on any number of occasions… At Talavera, the French columns opened up at 200 yards… [!] In any case, they did it. One reason was the 'sound' effect mentioned, hoping to 'draw' enemy fire, the first volleys at long distance and throwing up obscuring smoke. No fire is certainly simpler and two ranks of a battalion column is at best a platoon/company front depending on the formation.

CATenWolde16 Jan 2015 2:06 p.m. PST

Yes … true enough. In an ideal world I wouldn't have made an absolute statement like that, because in the course of twenty years of warfare anyone can come up with an example of anything. However, what I should have said was that they never issued *effective* fire relative to that of a properly deployed line, and certainly not on the scale that Lasalle depicts.

If you're not familiar with the math of Lasalle, battalions are 4 bases strong, and columns are depicted as 2x2. Fire is issued at a rate of 1d per base – so columns fire with 50% of the value of a line, which is why "stacking" two columns next to each other equals a line in firepower. At this level of abstraction, the relative firepower of a column (in reality usually 1/3 the frontage of a line) should at most be 1d versus the 4d of the line. However, given the level of abstraction in the game, I don't think that even that 1d is worth depicting.



Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2015 3:28 p.m. PST

I see the beer bottle failed to advance. Looks like it was consumed before getting off the line.

Art16 Jan 2015 4:08 p.m. PST

G'Day Gents

Actually it is assaulting columns with the intent of shock, that in accordance to the general principles and general rules do not execute musketry unless staggered. The general principles during this period, only permitted a battalion formed in line to advance and fire.

There were various columns which could fire…but with Lasalle there is no need to go into them.

Of course while on the defensive, you may consider columns with skirmishers on the flanks…such as a colonne de compagnie (battalion in simple column deployed into four small columns)

Best Regards

McLaddie16 Jan 2015 5:35 p.m. PST

However, what I should have said was that they never issued *effective* fire relative to that of a properly deployed line, and certainly not on the scale that Lasalle depicts.

Ah, yes. Understood.

PiersBrand17 Jan 2015 2:37 a.m. PST

Funny, Lasalle with a card mechanic is the only thing that would make me do Napoleonics…

Dave Crowell19 Jan 2015 5:30 a.m. PST

Stop removing the ignorance that lets me cheerily blaze away with French in column. ;)

I am still enough of a novice to Napoleonics that I know almost nothing of the period beyond what the Lasalle rulebook tells me. The happy advantage is odd game mechanics don't make me cringe, I just accept them as being the way things are supposed to work.

I am trying to learn as much as I can though. Last night I realized I had my Austrian artillery train drivers dressed as artillery crew, not as train drivers. An error that was swiftly corrected. I'll make a "proper" Napoleonic gamer yet.

Marc the plastics fan20 Jan 2015 8:07 a.m. PST

Welcome on board Dave – it's worth it (but don't get too hung up on EVERY detail, you still need to enjoy the game, and Lasalle is a good place to start)

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