Q. A Spanish unit in Line was hit by 2 French columns and held them ! (Don’t ask, I never saw so many 9’s and 10’s in my life.) Both French formed line at the end of combat – there was room to go sideways at both ends. Was this correct ?
A. If you take a look at page 31 , Changing Formation , this section explains that a unit has a command base and where that base should be placed depending on the units formation. When changing formation, the unit reforms equally as possible around the command base. If the two columns complied with this then everything is fine and legal , if they didn't then both should have stayed in column and taken a Fatigue Hit.
Q. On the next move a cavalry unit charged the outermost French infantry (Not a direct flank charge, at an angle) I assume the engaged French had no option to form square, but how should we have resolved the subsequent mess ? Both French lines were still in 50% contact with the Spanish, but one of them was also contacted by cavalry
A. Work out the score required for all four units taking into account all the modifiers applicable and then roll to see what Fatigue Hits are caused. You still only apply one of the results (Page 49). I think the French would be pretty much up against it so if the unit that was in contact with the Spanish cavalry lost by two or more they would be destroyed, (page 48) Whereas the other French infantry unit is only fighting infantry so would follow the infantry v infantry combat result page 46
Looking at the question above regarding columns in the second round of combat having to form line, I initially read this to mean if they had sufficient room to do so - seemed a good way of getting people away from the "cram 'em in tight" mentality
During a recent game my opponent placed a different interpretation on this - rather than simply expand into line because you have room, he said it amounted to a change of formation within 6" of the enemy and therefore required a roll against the current fatigue factor - if the roll was achieved AND there was sufficient room then the column deploys. If, however, the roll isn't achieved then the column stays as is and picks up the additional fatigue point, as it would if there was insufficient room to deploy
Thinking about it this sort of feels right, with a stalled column attempting to deploy for a firefight and suffering if it fails to carry out the manoeuvre, rather than getting a free formation change just because there's room to do it
The deployment into line is not considered a formation change within 6" inches of the enemy so no test is required, it is part of the ebb and flow of the 3 combat rounds after all the column passed its test to move into close contact. In order to form the line it must simply have the room to do so around its command base, if it does not then it takes the fatigue hit.
It is rare when 2 columns hit a line that both have the space to form as equally as possible around the command base, but then if a line is this exposed you are likely in trouble !