Monday, September 13, 2010

Rules: Regiments and Fatigue Grade

We believe that the two primary pieces of information an officer would have about a regiment under his command are its size and its fighting spirit. For reference, let's look at the 2nd Virginia, the lead regiment of the "Stonewall Brigade" at 1st Manassas.

There it is on the right, in column. In a miniatures system each block would be a stand, on a board each block would be a counter. Either way, each one would represent roughly 120 men. The 2nd Virginia was at a fighting strength of about 600 at 1st Manassas, so it has five stands. For convenience's sake we've gone ahead and labeled each of these Companies A through E. This distinction is mostly unnecessary, but it is helpful to note which block will be the "lead company" for the regiment. Distances from this company will determine facing, march distances, weapon ranges, and command cohesion. In the 2nd Virginia we'll assume that Co. A is the lead company.

The 2nd Virginia is also represented off-board by the unit card above. Their title further specifies that they are under Jackson's command. The large "5" in the center is the most important piece of information about the regiment: their "Fatigue Grade." This value is a quantification of their discipline, morale, and, in some part, fighting ability. A yellow-bellied militia unit would have a Fatigue Grade of 2; most regiments at 1st Manassas have a Fatigue Grade of 3.

A regiment's Fatigue Grade, in game terms, is how many Fatigue Points it can regenerate at the end of every turn. Over the course of a turn, moving, firing, and taking fire will inflict Fatigue Point losses on a regiment. After all units have moved and/or fired each regiment will recoup a certain number of those losses. The 2nd Virginia will regenerate 5.

This creates battle fields that organically ebb and flow. Green units melt away quickly at the fiercest points of battle and veteran units earn their pay. But once regiments start taking Fatigue Point losses that exceed their Fatigue Grade (usually a product of particularly severe fire or strenuous maneuver), a crisis of leadership is imminent.

In a little while we'll talk about principles of movement and fire, and compare Then Holler to a few other rulesets (not always favorably!).

EDIT: And while we're not sure if anyone is actually reading this, if you're out there and you have questions go ahead and put them in the comments section and we'll get them answered straight away.

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