VWQ - Trotters v Gallopers

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Some Chicken
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:55 am

VWQ - Trotters v Gallopers

Post by Some Chicken » Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:09 pm

I have read the rules and the previous Q&A on this topic but am still confused.

Back in March 2014, flick40 posted the following answer to a question about trotters and charging:

"They are weaker in melee because they trot in vs the gallop, the reduced die is because of a lack of shock on impact."

On an earlier question (November 2013) Joe answered a query about whether trotters get the +1 charge bonus:

"If they meet the requirements to charge, yes."

I may well be missing a nuance here, or perhaps evolution in the rules is at work, but the two answers seem contradictory to me. Specifically,
I thought all horse except cuirassiers get 3D6 in melee, so trotters do not appear to be weaker in melee than gallopers (see 7.1).

From my reading of the rules, the main differences are:

- gallopers have a longer charge move, reflecting pressing home the attack at a gallop (page 4)
- steady gallopers must attempt to counter charge, while trotters may choose not to (page 6)
- trotters are assumed to fire at short range, while gallopers are assumed to always charge to contact without stopping to fire (6.2)

Although the rules do not say so specifically, all this seems to suggest to me that trotters do not (or at least should not) get the +1 charge bonus and the best they can do is avoid taking a -2 penalty in the first round by either:

a) making contact at the trot rather than the gallop if initiating melee, or
b) not being caught flat footed if charged (i.e. they will "counter charge" but won't get the +1 bonus

Am I right in this?

Also, if "charging", I assume trotters would get to discharge pistols at short range per table 6.2 before they trot into contact (assuming any necessary morale test is passed first). This may be at odds with Clarence's answer in January 2014, which suggested that rules evolution now meant that a unit could not fire and then charge. However, the question there was about a regiment of foot and it is not clear whether the answer would have been the same for trotters. Can Clarence, Joe or another veteran clarify please?

Finally, table 6.2 says that horse shooting hit on a 5+ and are assumed to be firing at close range. The list of modifiers does not mention a short range fire bonus, and I assume range is already allowed for in the 5+. Am I correct?

Confirmation and/or clarification from the more knowledgeable would be much appreciated!
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Re: VWQ - Trotters v Gallopers

Post by quindia » Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:26 pm

Whew.. ok, I am going to disregard all of the answers that have come before and simply attempt to answer all of the questions here in one spot. Anything contradictory to earlier answers is trumped by this post, though I think most are consistent with what has gone before.

Both Gallopers and Trotters do get the +1 charge bonus in the first round of melee. They are both still men mounted on big horses with heavy swords. For me the difference is tactical rather than mechanical. The longer charge range and compulsion to counter charge of the Gallopers reflects the tactical doctrine of the formation rather than any physical superiority of strength in combat.

Both are the equivalent of someone trying to run you down in a Volkswagon while swinging a baseball bat out the window or more accurately a mob of Volkswagons wheel to wheel. I don't think dubious accuracy of the point blank discharge of pistols at the gallop added much more to this.

As far as the Trotters' shooting you are correct in that they don't get a bonus for range. They also cannot take a round of shooting before charging. If they are going to shoot, they cannot charge on the same card draw.

I hope this makes sense, but as with everything I write, if something feels wrong on your table, change it! I am not an expert and simply scribble out things that fit my interpretation of the period.
Some Chicken
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:55 am

Re: VWQ - Trotters v Gallopers

Post by Some Chicken » Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:46 pm


Thanks very much for the clarification. Your points are well made and, although I feel that extra momentum would give some kind of benefit, I have never witnessed two units of horse come together in anger and may well be wrong.

I have one further question for you if I may. There are some excellent ideas in VWQ which deserve development and the wider audience that publication should bring. Are we any nearer seeing a fully developed version?
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