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"TMWWBK Mounted Infantry" Topic

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Khartoum Maxim14 Jun 2018 2:54 a.m. PST


How are people representing mounted infantry, such as the Camel Corps or Natal Carbineers? Any ideas for house rules would be appreciated, or is it best to swap out models on the tabletop?

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 7:17 a.m. PST

I have dismounted figures for my Camel Corps and units of mounted infantry so that I can represent them as both mounted and on foot.

magical monstrous steve14 Jun 2018 8:39 a.m. PST

In that rule set, the units never truly dismount or mount- they are portrayed as being capable of either and have a movement rate between the two types as a result, allowing one to buy/paint one set of figures. I do a mix of mounted/foot. It's one of the attractions of the rules.

ToysnSoldiers14 Jun 2018 9:42 a.m. PST

I follow the system used in Pikeman's Lament for Dragoons.

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 10:16 a.m. PST

Here are some rules for US Plains War Cav. From the TMWWBK FB page. It's been a while since I read em, but I think there are some good ideas in there…
Pinning Test: -1 modifier if the unit is at 50% strength or less.
Rally Test: -1 modifier if the unit is at 50% strength or less. A unit reduced to 25% strength or less that fails a Rally test
will automatically break and rout, regardless of the net score. Checking for leader casualties: the risk to the leader increases with
the number of figures killed. Roll 2D6 and any double equal or less than the number of figures killed results in the Leader being
chosen as one of the casualties. For example, if 2 figures are killed, scores of 1-1 or 2-2 will result in the Leader being a casualty.
Regardless of the number of figures killed, a double is always needed (more than 6 casualties in a single check are disregarded).
Mount/Dismount: used by cavalry who are trained to operate on foot as well as mounted, or potentially when cavalry
wish to dismount in order to take advantage of cover. Ideally, a dismounted unit should be represented by figures on foot,
with a single horse-holder stand indicating where the horses are tethered.
Units that dismount are deployed with the Leader within 4" of the horse-holder stand.
Units may attempt to remount if at least 1 figure is within 4" of the horse-holder stand at the start of the turn.
Horse-holder stands that are within 4" of any dismounted figure may be affected by firing on the dismounted unit.
In addition to rolling for Leader casualties, roll a second time with the same chance of the horses bolting
and the stand removed from the table. A dismounted unit whose horse-holders are within 4" that is pushed back
after losing a melee will automatically lose its horses.
Horse-holder stands further than 4" from the dismounted men can only be treated as a separate target for firing or Attacks (defending
with 1D6 if the latter) and are scattered and removed from the table if they suffer at least 1 casualty from enemy firing or attacking.
Troop types, abilities and free actions may vary when dismounted – refer to the particular unit for further information.
Evade: available only to highly trained or skilled skirmishing light cavalry or infantry. When an enemy unit has successfully
tested to Attack the unit but before it is moved into contact, an unpinned unit may attempt to Evade, making a move of 2D6"
(light cavalry) or 1D6" (infantry) directly away from the attacking enemy unit, finishing its move facing away from the Attacker.
The Attacking unit then moves its full charge distance towards the Evading unit. If the unit attempting to evade is still contacted by the
Attacker, it counts as immediately Pinned, fighting at half strength in the melee that follows.

Unless exceptionally well trained to do so, most cavalry units are not permitted to ‘Fire' while mounted. Instead, they must be
ordered to ‘Skirmish' in order to fire at half strength while moving. Cavalry that wish to Fire at full effect must first dismount to do so.
GO TO GROUND & FIELDCRAFT (rule amendment)
Units with this ability may be given additional benefits if appropriate to their troop type as follows:
The unit may Fire at half strength in subsequent turns and remain Gone to Ground, if their historical tactics are appropriate
(Boers and Pathan tribesmen, for example). Other Tribal Infantry are allowed to move at half speed and remain Gone to Ground
provided they are beyond Long Range of any enemy unit at all times. Use an appropriate marker to indicate the status of the unit.
The unit remains Gone to Ground until they are activated by a successful Move or Skirmish order.
In both cases, the GTG unit may still be fired on at Long Range but increase the number of hits required by one,
in addition to that required due to range and cover. For example, Pathans sniping at long range from sangers counting as
hard cover will only suffer one casualty for every five hits inflicted.

US Cavalry are typically rated as Well Armed Irregular Cavalry when mounted and Irregular Infantry when dismounted. In both cases,
each unit is 8 figures strong and armed with modern carbines. Only the very best will be rated as Veterans. Poorly trained units might
be considered Unenthusiastic. US Cavalry have ‘Move' or ‘Stand To' as free actions when mounted and ‘Fire' or ‘Stand To' when dismounted.
To encourage historical tactics, a unit dismounts at full strength (no need to allocate 1 in 4 figures as horse-holders).
A dismounted skirmish line does not suffer the penalties for firing when mounted.
Colt Revolvers (New Ability): When mounted and counting as the Attacker in combat (having moved into contact using
‘Attack' or ‘At the Double'), a US Cavalry unit improves its Fighting value by +1 (usually to 4+), representing the use of Colt revolvers,
carbines and shotguns at point-blank range on contact and during combat. They retain this benefit when Following Up
(p.16). Costs +1 point (variant of the ‘Lancers' ability)
‘Sacrificing the Horses': normally only used for a Last Stand: a dismounted unit may be ordered to shoot their horses (requires a successful
Leadership test), counting as their action for the turn. Replace horse-holder model with suitable dead horses.
They provide Light Cover when fired on but no benefit when fighting.

Plains Indians should be rated as Tribal Cavalry during an early-period (from the general adoption of a nomadic,
buffalo-hunting horse culture in the 1770's until the more widespread availability of rifled, breech-loading firearms in the late 1870's)
and as Irregular Cavalry thereafter. Regardless of troop type, a unit of Plains Indians will be 8 figures strong, whether mounted or on foot.
Smaller units are more brittle and less resilient to losses than larger ones. Plains Indians have ‘Skirmish' or ‘Move' as free actions when
mounted (must test to successfully ‘Stand To') and ‘Skirmish' or ‘Stand To' when on foot. A mounted unit that fails a Leadership test to
‘Stand To' will immediately make a full move towards the nearest enemy unit that is in sight and within 36" or, if no such enemy is within
36", will instead retreat a half move directly away from the nearest enemy unit.
Tribal Cavalry of the 1860-70's can be upgraded to Obsolete Carbines at +1 point. One unit of Irregular Cavalry per 24 points
can be further upgraded to Modern Carbines. Mounted units that dismount are assumed to leave their ponies with the reins
draped over a convenient bush, so operate at full strength and may return to them and remount. A single pony stand should
indicate the location of the ponies, which may be dispersed by enemy fire or fighting as above. Plains Indians on foot count as
Irregular Infantry but armed with the same type of weapons as their mounted counterparts – Obsolete Carbines rather than
Obsolete Rifles, for example. Early period warriors on foot are armed with foot bows. Indians on foot count as Fierce,
fighting at 5+, at a cost of +1 point. They are also not slowed by Difficult terrain. Some are considered to have Fieldcraft
as an additional ability. Described as the best irregular light cavalry in the world, Plains Indians are not penalised for firing
when mounted – they may choose to ‘Skirmish' (as a free action) or ‘Fire' (subject to a test) at will. They may also attempt to
Evade enemy Attacks. Plains Indians will normally be considered Unenthusiastic (as in ‘Ill-Disciplined') at all times,
unless the personal warband of a particularly charismatic leader. When two mounted units draw a melee, the Attacker passes
through the Defender to the full extent of its charge move (mark the finish point in case of a draw before resolving the melee).
Should this bring them into contact with another enemy unit, a second round of melee is fought immediately.
Before testing to Rally, a Pinned unit of mounted Indians that is within the firing range and arc of an enemy unit may first retreat 2D6"
directly away from the enemy. The warrior culture of the Plains Indians was particularly risk-averse where casualties were concerned.
To reflect this, whenever an Indian unit fails a Rally test, it gains another Pinned Marker, making it increasingly difficult to rally the unit in
subsequent turns, as well as retreating a half-move as normal. Plains Indians taking a Pinning Test due to casualties caused by
Crewed Weapon fire do so with an extra -1 Discipline modifier to the dice throw (each and every time).

Good luck!

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 10:20 a.m. PST

There's more but I left out stuff that I thought didn't pertain too much to the question. Or maybe I didn't!

Basha Felika14 Jun 2018 11:13 a.m. PST

One of the few things I dislike about the MWWBK rules as written is the classification of the 1885 Camel Corps as Mounted infantry. They dismounted long before any action took place and would have been severely disadvantaged if ambushed while still Mounted. I'd simply treat them as Regular Infantry.

Very different from others, like the Carbineers, NMP etc, who habitually fought both mounted and dismounted – I represent them with Figures on foot together with a single horseholder base.

Basha Felika14 Jun 2018 11:17 a.m. PST

BTW, the rules quoted by Ceterman above were written by a member of our local club specifically add a bit more period feel for the Indian Plains Wars – so some of the adaptations may be appropriate to Mounted infantry in the Sudan or Zulu Wars, others less so – depends on your view of US cavalry tactics during the 1860-70's.

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 2:38 p.m. PST

Basha Felika,
Cool add ons tho! Give my thanks to your gaming buddy! Please! And yes, I know what you are saying. But I thought they were a great place to start!

Lion in the Stars14 Jun 2018 6:14 p.m. PST

Camel Corps are pretty much the definition of Mounted Infantry, and IIRC always hobbled their camels when dismounting (so few, if any, 'horse holders').

If you get to the Corps of Guides up in the Northwest Frontier, though, they are closer to cavalry that can fight equally well on foot. The Guides had a brilliant idea for their sword-armed troops, and armed every 4th man with a lance. That man was the horse-holder, since the horse-holder stayed mounted. His 3 friends would dismount and kept their cavalry swords.

I built forces in 15mm, so it wasn't too painful to have both mounted and dismounted versions.

Basha Felika14 Jun 2018 10:33 p.m. PST

LITS, I agree with you – it's the way that the MWWBK rules handle such MI in the game that I have an issue with – once dismounted, the Camel Corps stayed dismounted for the duration of the action, whereas the rules assume the unit is moving around the battlefield, dismounting to fire, moving on etc.

Ceterman, thanks! I'll pass on your kind words to Simon. We've had a lot of fun with these supplementary rules – they show how easy it is to add further depth to MWWBK without adding complexity.

Lion in the Stars18 Jun 2018 2:39 p.m. PST

Yeah, I'd have to give the Camel Corps a bonus movement until they dismounted and then move as infantry after, if we're gaming the time before the shooting starts.

If we're starting the game once the first shots are fired, then Camel Corps are just another infantry unit.

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