To a modern eye, this is a set of mathematical calculations that will slow down the flow of the game. It is actually all just simple math (addition and multiplication, for the most part), but it does seem to be out of favor with modern war game design philosophy.
To that end, I offer the following system (but first, present the current system, for comparison).
The Post-Melee Morale system, as is
On page 15 of the rule book, there is a procedure for calculating Post-Melee Morale. It involves three factors, added together:
- A sum for the side that took fewer casualties in the melee. This is the difference between the two casualty counts, times a d6 roll. Only the winner gets this factor.
- A sum based on the current side of the unit, as number of total figures times their Morale Rating. Both sides get this factor.
- A sum based on who has more figures surviving after the melee. This difference between the two totals of surviving figures, and is multiplied by a d6 roll. Only the side with more figures gets this value.
Compare the two totals, and then consult the difference on this table:
|0-19 difference||melee continues|
|20-39 difference||lower total side moves back 1/2 move, but in good order|
|40-59 difference||lower total side moves back 1 move, but in good order|
|60-79 difference||lower side retreats 1 move|
|80-99 difference||lower side routs 1 1/2 move|
|100+ difference||lower side surrenders, and victorious side may continue a charge if possible, leaving behind 1 guard per 5 prisoners|
|Light Foot and Levies||4|
|Elite Heavy Foot||6|
|Armored Foot, Janissary||7|
|Medium Horse, Landsknechte||8|
|Heavy Horse, Swiss Pikemen||9|
The New Post-Melee Morale System, Proposed
First, the concept - This method involves taking a morale test. Both sides calculate what their target number would be, and the lower total tests first (2d6, trying to roll the target number or less). If the first test fails, then depending on the nature of the fail, it will consult the Post-Melee Morale Test Results table below. If the first test passes, then the second unit will make a test against it's target number. If the second unit fails, then it will also suffer the results from the table below. If it passes, then both units are still engaged in combat, and the melee continues next turn.
Each side determines their target number. This is based on the Morale Rating from the above table. To that number, add/subtract the following:
+1, if larger than the enemy
+1, if took fewer casualties than the enemy
-2, if 1/4 of the original unit is dead
-4, if 1/3 of the original unit is dead
-6, if 1/2 of the original unit is dead, or more
Each side will calculate this target number.
The side with the lower target number tests first.
If the first testing unit fails, then it consults the results table below.
If the first testing unit passes, then the other side will test.
If the second unit has to test, and it fails, consult the results table below.
If the second unit has to test, and it passes, then that means both sides have passed, and the melee continues.
In practice, this amounts to a quick comparison of target numbers, and the lower number tests. If it fails, that is the end. If it passes, then the other side tests. That's all.
If the two target numbers are tied - both sides roll. Either side that fails will suffers the results. If (extremely rarely) both sides try to surrender, then both sides rout instead.
|Miss -1||back 1/2 move, good order|
|Miss -2||back 1 move, good order|
|Miss -3||retreat 1 move|
|Miss -4||rout 1 1/2 move|
|Miss -5 or more||surrender|
Miss -1, etc, means the 2d6 dice roll missed the target number by 1 (i.e. target=7, and 8 is rolled on the dice).
In practice, trying this out with just nominal units fighting it out using pencil and paper, this works fine. It rewards the better quality unit (very medieval), but also modifies that by the realities of the melee.
This method seems to work, it only has to be put into practice in a few solo games. If anyone reading this tries it out, please let me know your results.