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"Saving the Wounded. Something TSATF Got Right" Topic

22 Posts

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Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2017 11:35 a.m. PST

I am reading "The Victoria Crosses That Saved An Empire" about the VC's awarded during the Indian Mutiny. Great read, BTW. Almost half the VC's were awarded for saving the wounded under fire. If you're like me, you most likely think that caring for the wounded in TSATF is a tiresome burden. It has been abandoned for the sake of streamlined playing by other current colonial rules like TMWWBK and Sharpe Practice. Now I am re-examining my thoughts and might try reintroducing it when I play TMWWBK and SP. My hat is off to the great Larry Brom for focusing on that essential trait of colonial warfare. Of course, Brom was a Marine and they never leave their wounded either.

acatcalledelvis18 Jan 2017 11:40 a.m. PST

That's interesting – I don't have the rules – how do they make a player 'save the wounded'? What is the mechanism?

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2017 11:45 a.m. PST

Saving the wounded in TSATF is simple. A figure picks
up the wounded figure and carries it. Of course, the
'carrying' figure can't engage in combat…

lugal hdan18 Jan 2017 11:49 a.m. PST

Also – "Natives" do not have the save their wounded, but wounded natives you walk by might be able to attack you (if I remember correctly – it's been a while).

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2017 12:15 p.m. PST

If you DON'T "save the wounded", the Native player only needs to kill one abandoned British wounded figure, and the British morale goes down. The blood curdling screams are heard all over the tabletop. Genius.

Which also leads to some cynical British gamesmanship. Once one wounded figure is overwhelmed, "Sorry Mate. You're on your own now." The cads!

We don't usually play the ankle biting Native wounded rule. In fact, I don't remember seeing it in the 20th anniversary rules. That doesn't mean it's not there though.
When I'm doing my AWI variant of TSATF, I do a scenario decision on whether wounded should be cared for. When I do King's Mountain, that will be most definitely included. Whigs and Tories hated each other there. Read the aftermath.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2017 12:55 p.m. PST

We used to call the wounded native rule "Native Landmines"

acatcalledelvis18 Jan 2017 1:19 p.m. PST

Aha – I see – that would be a good little rule to put in my Sharp practice games – French Napoleonic versus Spanish Guerrillas – No Frenchman would like to be caught by them!

SgtGuinness18 Jan 2017 6:32 p.m. PST

Nick, we used the same reference on the other side of the continent!

We use the rule where the imperial player has to take care of thier wounded either by bringing them with you or establishing an aid station or marshaling point.

We've gotten away from the native land mine rule for large games but still use it for small Sudan skirmishes as it was that campaign that I'd actually read accounts of it happening.


andysyk19 Jan 2017 4:30 a.m. PST

Just been reading alot of Zulu warstuff. The Native landmine seems to have been quite common.

altfritz19 Jan 2017 3:59 p.m. PST

The problem is that it is really easy to cause a wound so in short order 1/2 the unit is wounded and the other 1/2 occupied carrying them. And then there is the Zulu landmine rule. And the practice of allowing all the officers to leave their units to man the gun after the gunners are all killed.

Nick Pasha01 Feb 2017 8:19 p.m. PST

Figures carrying wounded cannot shoot, but they can melee. If you abandon your wounded and they are captured morale decreases by one number. With British morale high, it is not a major problem. I carry my wounded but there is a point where I can safely leave them behind me and move on. In a village you can leave your wounded in a building and shoot and fight. In a recent game with the Sarge the wounded piled up so we established a defensive position, left the wounded and began to advance again. They were safe.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member13 Mar 2017 9:59 p.m. PST

I don't play with the "Native wounded springs back to life and attacks you" rule and I've come up with a house rule in place of the regular rules about Imperial morale effects for losing wounded. As noted above, the penalty occurs instantly and after that the Imperial player never bothers about wounded again, typically. So what I use is a graduated system where each turn the Imperial player loses wounded to savage foes his required critical morale score degrades by a point (max. 6 points off), which you can easily track with a die, and this cumulative effect keeps the Imperial player more honest. He can afford to lose a couple of men, but if it goes on and on, his troops become shakier and shakier, potentially.

SgtGuinness15 Mar 2017 6:12 a.m. PST

Piper909, I love the rule you've created. I shall use it myself as well. Thank you!!! I owe you a beer for that.

Queen Catherine Inactive Member23 Mar 2017 6:24 p.m. PST

Nice thinking, Piper.

The Skirmish rules we're working on for NW Frontier have loss of wounded / killed bodies as affecting victory points, especially for the Brits. There are plenty of accounts of savage treatment of those taken prisoner, even wounded, and it should shape the decisions of every operation, big or small.

One problem with this is the high body counts in so many wargame rules. Even a vicious series of encounters in the Mahwand [sp?] valley during the Malakand expedition only had about 17% casualties – most wargame rules clock in 50% or more figs as casualties!

For our rules, casualty results are much more realistic as we don't use figures as fatigue / morale markers – which is fitting in an skirmish game, more common at a higher level game. So every casualty really is one!

Anyway, "Thank you Larry Brom"!

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 12:10 p.m. PST

We have kept the Native Landmines rule. But the wounded rule has been up and down. Ever since I read an editorial by Dick Bryant in the old Courier magazine arguing against the carrying the wounded rule. I have been advocating to get rid of it.

We struck a compromise. If you can get the wounded behind your own lines then you can leave them be. But you need to grab them when retreating.

In the FFL variant the Legionaries will form around the fallen officer and fight to the end. Love it.

Smokey Roan Inactive Member11 Apr 2017 3:56 p.m. PST

Hard to do in big, multi player Con games, but in small home games, its ALWAYS in my play.

lugal hdan21 Jul 2017 5:36 p.m. PST

Rallynow – it's been a long time since I've played TSATF, but I also like the idea that a wounded soldier, once moved to (relative) safety, can be put down so his rescuer can rejoin the line.

ITALWARS Inactive Member26 Jul 2017 5:51 a.m. PST

after reading and getting ideas from this long and interesting topic…i put a few naif but practical question…how many of you decided of using castings actually depicting wounded/dead men instead of counters, plastic rings, caps ecc……and above all who succeeded in replacing during the game EVERY fallen mini with another casting representing a wounded soldier?….in my games there are many casualties…50% minimum for Europeans/Imperials…for the natives i lost every math

Mad Guru Supporting Member of TMP26 Jul 2017 12:09 p.m. PST

Ah, my friend, EXCELLENT QUESTION!!!

Few and far between are those games in which I actually manage to do as you suggest, replacing ALL wounded figures with wounded CASTINGS.

Part of the problem is that most of my own supply of "wounded" consists of a combination of "killed" AND "wounded" from Old Glory packs of both types, so I have a number of still standing wounded, grasping their bellies or in the midst of collapse, as well as the "on the ground" wounded, which along with the DEAD sculpts are far more useful as game markers, at least IMHO.

The 2 games I recently played against one of my daughters and then against my son are good cases in point…

The game against my daughter was very small, she commanded just one unit of Gurkhas against my 2 units of Tribesmen. A PERFECT candidate for replacing perhaps BOTH wounded and even DEAD figures, since it would not require that many -- BUT… I don't have a single GURKHA CASUALTY FIGURE, and who wants to set down Brits in khaki to mark the spot where a green-clad Nepali riflemen fell? Not me. Just wouldn't look right. So we just tipped over figures when they were wounded.

The second game was a lot bigger, and we did use casualty figures to replace the wounded, for both sides, but we then ran into the issue of WOUNDED CAVALRY. I have only 2 painted & based injured/dead horse figures, which actually managed to cover 2 out of the 3 Punjab Cavalry sowars who were wounded, but even with only 1 cavalry unit in the game, I came up short.

To completely cover all eventualities in a large Second Afghan War or NWF game, you might need wounded Brits, Highlanders, Indians, Gurkhas, plus British and Indian cavalry -- though just using downed horses is a good shortcut, perhaps supplemented with one or two troopers or sowars for visual sake when a large number of horses go down in one spot.

Then we come to the Pathans or Afghans, where the issue -- as you allude to with your priceless "I lost every math" comment -- is one of pure numbers. This is where the 15 dead or wounded in a single pack of Old Glory "Pathan Casualties" is helpful… but that doesn't even touch on the question of Afghan regular army casualties… which I think would have to be converted, maybe from FPW or Crimean War casualty figures, or maybe from British Indian Mutiny or Zulu War casualty figures, or by cutting the bases off standard Afghan regulars and turning them into their own casualty figures. The same holds true for Gurkha casualty figures -- they'd have to be converted. That's actually something I should look into doing… maybe using plastic Zulu War Brits as the starting point -- don't the new Perry plastic Zulu War Brits come with pillbox cap wearing heads? That might work and not be too expensive. Cost of course is another issue, since spending money for figures who only show up when they're "wounded" is always a tough decision, at least for me!

In my hobby dreams I have enough casualty figures of all types to represent all the WIA and record all the KIA in even my biggest games… but I'm not sure when that dream will become a reality. Maybe after the last of my 3 kids (now 14) is out of college, and any/all additional work my wife wants done to our house has been completed… or maybe not!

crazycaptain27 Jul 2017 9:13 a.m. PST

Winston, where can I find a copy of your AWI supplement you have created. If you could send it via email, my address it is crazy captain 560 at gmail .com

I would greatly appreciate it if you were so kind.

Dentwist Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2017 6:49 p.m. PST

We still use the original unit firing and I don't know the math's but there seems to be less casualties and Carry the Wounded" does seem to be as much of an issue.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member07 Aug 2017 10:02 p.m. PST

By all means, in my games, and as I understand the rules, wounded men don't have to be carried all the time -- only when you want to move them. So yes, typically they are carried to a place of safety behind the lines and then their rescuers return to the firing line. (This is a good job to delegate to those musician figures, by the way, who may not be armed with rifles.)

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