Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Hold the Line: lead the way

Leaders in HTL

Fine sausages Sir!
He wasn't called Butcher for nothing. The Duke of Cumberland, a competent leader and inventor of the famous sausage.

Leaders in HTL are very important. Apart from the use of the commanders' capability to save APs for the next turn, leaders will:
  • rally a unit they are stacked with (remove losses) if the leader is activated by spending an AP;
  • help a unit they are stacked with to force march (move one extra hex);
  • add their leadership rating to a defending unit's morale rating when testing during close combat;
  • add their leadership rating to a heavy cavalry unit when it tests its morale for the purposes of withdrawing before combat.
They are also resilient. If alone in a hex that is entered by an enemy unit they are displaced to the nearest friendly unit. Likewise if they are in a hex with a friendly unit subsequently destroyed in combat. If accompanying a friendly unit that is forced to retreat, they follow the retreating unit. However, there is a chance that leaders will be killed in both fire and close combat if any "ones" are thrown in the combat. If you lose a leader it costs you 1 VP.

In the five Highland Charge scenarios there are one, two or three leaders with values of either 1 or 2. Good commanders rated 2 include Argyll, Rob Roy, Murray and Munro. Despite his achievements, Cumberland rates only a 1. Cheer for your favourites!

Rob Roy didn't invent any sausages, unfortunately
Analysis: In board game terms none of this is terribly new. In some ways it reminds me of the old SPI Thirty Years Quad. Not that that is a bad thing, quite the contrary. These are tried and tested mechanisms that allow a range of battlefield command issues to be modelled quite well.