Thursday, December 6, 2012

Some Thoughts on Cavalry

I have been very busy the last three weeks, with refinishing a kitchen, and trying to rest a cracked ankle (not easily done at the same time). I have, however, been giving a great deal of thought to ways to model the differences between "trotter" and "galloper" cavalry in a Portable Wargame.  The following SUGGESTION is only lightly play-tested, and any feedback will be most appreciated.

Before the game, both sides should indicate whether their cavalry Units are "trotters" or "gallopers".
"Trotters" are those historical units that depended more on pistol and carbine fire, while "gallopers" are units that went for shock of impact, much in the style of the Finnish Troopers of Gustavus Adolphus.

"Trotters" will defend against a charge by 'firing', as the enemy comes in contact. If a "6" is rolled, the charging unit checks the Resolving hits Table. If forced to fall back, the charge does not make contact, and the defender takes no losses. If a "6" is NOT rolled, or the Attacker loses a SP, without losing the Unit, the defender rolls to see if his Unit takes hits in Close Combat.If the attacker is a "galloper", the defender subtracts "1" from his Close Combat dice roll. The "galloper" attacker DOES NOT check for Close Combat hits on the first round of close Combat

Example: Parliament Unit of cavalry is charged by Rupert's "galloper" Cavalry. The Parliament Unit is rated "trotter". They roll a d6 to shoot at the Royalist, rolling a '6'. The Royalist Unit's Strength Points drop from 3 to 2. The charge makes contact.  Parliament "trotters" must roll for Close Combat at a minus 1. They roll a "3', reduced to '2', and take a hit, which is checked on the Resolving hits table. The "galloping" Royalist will not check for additional hits UNLESS the Close combat enters a second round.

Example2: "Galloping" royalist charge a 'trotting' Unit of Parliament. The Parliament lads roll a d6, get a '6', and the Resolving hits Table shows a "must retreat one square' results. The charge does not make contact, and the Royalists are stopped before becoming adjacent to the "trotters".

If "trotters" or "gallopers" charge their own kind, the Close combat is played using the regular rules.

Again, any comments and suggestions are most welcome.  I will try to run a Portable Marston Moor this week with these rules in place and post some results.



  1. A good idea.I await your Marston Moor playtest with great interest.
    best wishes

  2. I've altered the units on my ECW page so that they can hopefully represent 'trotters' and 'gallopers', as well as adding some extra pieces for 'hoisted by your own petard' siege assault type actions.

  3. Hi Steve, and happy Holidays time :)
    Very interesting idea. I have tested it a couple of times with good results IMO.
    But taking into account this rule I thougt that this mechanism could be the same ( o similar with some changes), for example, when a Cavalry unit charge a unit of Muskets. But then this made me think that we can get more realistics results changing the turn sequence and let the firing units fire the same enemie's turn (not sure if they could fire again in their own turn).
    I know several wargaming rules using this sequence or similar. This system coul even be used for other periods (medieval e.g. Knigths charging longbows).
    On the other hand another way to simulate the reaction of the firing units against a charge could be the system used in the close combat order dessigned by Alan Saunders in his ACW Portable wargaming Mighty Mean-Fow figths, when deffending infantry rolls for hits before the attacker.
    Well, again some thought to discuss.
    I will be glad to read your opinions.
    (P.S. Sorry for my english, I hope you undertand my sentences)

  4. I have a simple idea for differentiating Trotters and Gallopers.

    Trotter units will be primarily armed with pistols; and Galloper units will be primarily armed with swords . . . that makes it easy to tell which is which.

    -- Jeff