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Monday, 18 July 2016

All Units Mixed, Big and Small

The mixed unit is an established gaming concept enabling us to reflect formations of troops with different abilities or equipment.  Sometimes it’s a unit with mixed missile and melee soldiers or perhaps the best equipped and ablest at the front and lesser souls in the rear.  It is a very useful device for gaming the Conquest.  Mexica, Tlaxcala and Spanish all fielded some type of mixed unit.
Mexica units were often led by a core of (cotton) armoured veterans with the less skilled or experience warriors behind.  It would be a rare Mexica unit that had no missile capability but for most of them the melee is where they thought to excel.
 I’d rate most Mexica units as mixed with a close range missile ability, the exceptions being at the extremes – Knights and dedicated slingers or archers who have greater range.
The Tlaxcala archers were always accompanied by agile men with shields and are clearly a mixed formation too.

The Spanish out of numerical necessity often used mixed formations but it was also part of their tactical doctrine.

All of the foregoing are different, the Mexica would not manage to equal Tlaxcala fire power with the reverse being so for melee. A unit of Spanish swordsmen would clear the way faster than a mixed Spanish unit would.  All three though are mixed units and rather than create a Gordian knot of factors I’ve simply opted in Have a Heart to rate them Down 1 for both melee and missilery.

Small units, typically two bases for me, were much favoured by the Spanish either to lend an edge of steel to allied formations or because numbers of the ever important cavalry were small and so operated at nothing like European strengths.  In both cases better arms and armour helped make up for lack of numbers but never the less in Have a Heart small units are Down 1 for both melee and missilery.

Big units can be used by all sides as an alternative to the usual four base ones with a Unit Integrity (UI) value of four.  For Have a Heart I suggest big units have either six bases and a corresponding UI or eight bases and ditto UI. The effect of this is simply to make the unit more resilient.

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