Wednesday, 17 June 2009

DBMM For The Befuddled – Part 16

The latest cause of Befuddlement is mounted infantry.  Not dismounted cavalry but mounted infantry.  They are an interesting tactical option especially if you can mount Bw(S) and get them round a flank to cause havoc.

The section defining mounted infantry is on page 10 but is mixed up with the rules on dismounting cavalry, knights and light horse.  This is where the chaos begins; there’s mounted infantry that automatically mount & dismount and “dismounted mounted” that have to use PIPs to remount.  Befuddled?  I was. 

For me the first thing to clarify was: how do they move?  It is not straightforward because they can:

  • Move as foot or mounted depending on the circumstances.
  • Lose their mounts permanently when moving as foot.

To make matters worse the two are intertwined.  Circumstances can dictate that a voluntary move by a player must be made on foot resulting in the permanent loss of mounts.

Basics

If the mounted infantry have additional bases of mounts, they:

  • Move as mounted whilst marching, fleeing or routing. 
  • Deploy and interpenetrate as mounted. 
  • Shoot, are shot at, and fight as foot.

So let’s look at how voluntary moves, and only voluntary moves, work. 

Movement & Marching

For basic moves the principle is straightforward in that mounted infantry march as mounted and move as foot at all other times.  Therefore the question becomes when do mounted infantry march? 

A march move is defined on page 28 and must start further than 400 paces from all known enemy troops unless all the enemy:

  • Are Light Horse [LH] or Psiloi [Ps],
  • Are beyond a friendly PF or TF (fortifications),
  • Would be contacted on a flank or rear edge, or rear corner by a hypothetical move of 400 paces straight forward.

In the most common game situations this means that mounted infantry move as mounted unless their move starts within 400 paces of enemy troops when they move as foot.  The exceptions to this generalisation are given by the bullets above.

Interestingly, if mounted infantry have an opportunity to attack an open flank or rear within 400 paces, and have no other enemy (or just LH or Ps) within 400 paces, then they move as mounted.

Movement & Loss of Mounts

Dismounted infantry lose their mounts if they make a tactical move.  This isn’t the only time when they lose their mounts but it is the only one regarding voluntary movement. 

Sadly, I can’t find a clean definition for a tactical move in the rules. By inference a tactical move is anything other than a march, flee or rout move.

This means that mounted infantry lose their mounts the first time they move as foot or, to put it another way, when their move isn’t classed as a march move.  Again, in the most common game situations this means any move starting within 400 paces of enemy troops. There are however, the important exceptions noted above.

Summary

So the moves for mounted infantry can be summarised as follows:

Enemy March Allowed? Move As
Beyond 400 paces Yes Mounted.
Within 400 paces Yes Mounted.
Within 400 paces No Foot & lose mounts.

I hope this helps.  It’s certainly helped me as I’ve a couple of armies that have options to mount infantry.  Now back to the army lists.

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