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"Using Stragglers rules for unreliable units" Topic


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186 hits since 30 Oct 2016
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2016 1:06 p.m. PST

I've thought of making a trial of a rules addition others may have previously thought of. To make life more difficult for units of reluctant or possibly mutinous troops (conscripts, unwilling native levies, etc.), how about forcing them to make a 1d6 roll for stragglers as per the normal rules each turn when the unit activates, one roll for any segment of that unit at least four figures strong? If a Leader is present, add one to the die roll.

This optional rule would make poorly disciplined or unreliable units tend to fragment a bit while in action, or move more slowly as they wait for stragglers to catch up (or remain in place rather than leave stragglers behind).

I may try this when I set up my next Northwest Frontier game and put my locally recruited Frontier Guides on the field for the first time. How steady will they be when confronting their Pathan kinsmen across the lines?

Fitzovich01 Nov 2016 3:56 a.m. PST

I believe that the concept has merit. I think it would be best in a game with fewer units as it would require a greater amount of time and effort on the part of the players to keep up with things, but sounds like it could be a fun idea.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2016 9:19 a.m. PST

Oops, my bad; to revise/clarify, the Leader Present modifier should be to subtract one from the number of stragglers rolled, not a modifier to the die roll itself.

SgtGuinness Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2016 4:21 a.m. PST

Piper909, I really like your idea. To clarify, if an officer is present it would reduce the stragglers by 1 man?
Cheers,
JB

Mad Guru Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2016 5:15 p.m. PST

Like Fitzovich and Sgt Guinness I agree that's a very interesting & potentially useful tweak to the rules!

My only concern is using it "each turn when the unit activates" (aka: moves?).

Seems to me over the course of a few moves this would completely destroy any cohesion or usefulness the unit might possess… unless you treated the "stragglers" the same way they're treated after a melee is resolved, and automatically allow them to rejoin the rest of their unit at the end of the turn.

Maybe that's the way you meant for it to work all the time.

It could work well, since the unit in question would still have to spend the bulk of that turn understrength, and there would be a danger of the stragglers being hit by a charge, which would probably sweep them away, since they'd always be leaderless and probably count as "shaken" as well.

By letting the stragglers rejoin rest of their unit at end of turn you'd prevent the effect of this new rule from snowballing out of control.

I think it could be a simple & elegant way to introduce a lower level of troop quality to the rules, and I will definitely give it a try the first opportunity that presents itself.

Thanks for posting this, Piper!

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