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"Your ratio of Natives to Imperials, etc." Topic

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597 hits since 1 May 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Smokey Roan Inactive Member01 May 2017 1:54 p.m. PST

I never use recommended ratios of forces.

I usually go for 1 "Rub", "Regiment", "Corps", etc of bad guys (no offense intended) to each unit of British infantry.

In Sudan, for example, a "Rub" of Mahdists is two units of sword and spear and one rifle, plus a cavalry.

So for a 1 vs 1 player game, the Mahdists might have two rubs plus a artillery, the British 1 Brit infantry, 1 Egyptian unit, a mounted infantry, artillery and a "command" unit of colonel, ADCs, baggage train and a ten man guard unit.

Makes for a bloody game, where the British have a 50/50 chance of victory at best.

Different than Convention games of 8-12 players, which is usually evenly matched as far as forces for each side, and the objective and time being the critical factor for a British win. (Large games add a din of battle, as you can have 4-6 "Generals" trying to move and shoot, and you know what they say about "Too Many Chefs and Not Enough Indians").

I try to avoid the games where the British/Europeans are so evenly matched it starts and ends with a complete route of the natives.

If I error, it's on the native side.

What do you do?

Rich Bliss01 May 2017 2:04 p.m. PST

I usually aim for 5:1 to 7:1 in the native's favor. I also try to only have one European unit to 2-3 Colonial units

Lascaris01 May 2017 3:52 p.m. PST

I just did a Sudan game with:
1 British infantry
1 Sudanese infantry
1 Egyptian cavalry

2 Ansar foot w/sword
2 Hadendowah w/sword
1 Ansar w/rifles

The terrain favored the Mahdists with lots of scrub which mitigated the Imperial fire power.

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2017 5:06 p.m. PST

A lot depends on the circumstances of the scenario being played and the type and amount of terrain being used. On average I think we usually go with 2.5 Native units to each Imperial unit.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2017 6:33 p.m. PST

Usually 3:1 for "natives" excluding Boers

slugbalancer02 May 2017 1:02 a.m. PST

In the battles I've played using TSATF, I've gone with these approx ratios.
Egyptians v Mahdists 1:1.5
British v Mahdists 1:2

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2017 9:27 a.m. PST

Generally, 3:1 natives versus Imperials, except for
Boers and Afghans, where 1:1 for Boers and 2:1 for

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2017 10:21 a.m. PST

It depends on the situation. If the natives cannot shoot very well and don't close very well, you need a lot of them.
If the terrain allows ambushes, you don't need as many.
Nothing tears up a Native unit like having to advance 30" in clear terrain against a disciplined double line of British.
If you are doing scenarios like that, rethink your philosophy.

There is also the Undead Zulu paradigm. Remove all dead or wounded and bring them back on as new units once you have 20 casualties.

Your scenario should not allow the British to stand in double lines with clear terrain in front of them. Then it doesn't matter how many natives you have. They will lose regardless.
Force the British to go from here to there in difficult terrain and you don't need as many natives.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member02 May 2017 11:38 a.m. PST

I find that the ratios given in the rules work fine, as a generic starting point, but as noted by some, the exact scenario makes all the difference. You have to have a lot more natives if the Imperial player has defense works, or isn't actively forced to move into difficult or hostile terrain. Conversely, if more natives than normal have firearms, or cavalry, they may not need as many bodies.

I always modify the standard ratios for my particular scenario to try and maintain a balance, best as I can predict (which is tricky since the players so often go off on peculiar tangents that hurts their chances of success).

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