Wednesday, April 22, 2020



I thought it would be useful to run through the rules for cavalry charging infantry and squares.

In TGG we are using the ‘Battalion Square’ rules described at Page 88 of the rules.  These squares are formed by the individual infantry battalions.  The large multi-unit ‘Brigade Squares’ described at Page 91 of the rules are not appropriate to Napoleonics as they are formations from nineteenth century colonial actions. 

A Battalion Square can be formed by a unit in the command phase or as a reaction to a charge if a unit has the ‘Form Square’ special rule.  All the Napoleonic infantry battalions have the ‘Form Square’ special rule which is probably better called ‘Must Form Square’.

Unengaged units that have the ‘Form Square’ special rule even if disordered must as their charge response attempt to form square when charged by cavalry to their front.  They have no choice in this matter. If charged to their flank or rear they cannot respond to a charge.  A unit that attempts to form square as a response to a cavalry charge cannot deliver closing fire – attempting to form square is its charge response. 

A charging cavalry unit must have enough movement to reach the charged infantry unit.  The cavalry unit moves until it is 3” away from the infantry unit.  The infantry unit using the ‘Form Square’ response tests to form square by rolling 2 D6.  On a score of 12 the infantry unit forms square but is disordered.  On a score of 2 the infantry unit does not form square, becomes disordered and receives the charge at the halt.  A disordered unit that successfully forms square is still disordered.

Cavalry can only declare a charge against or charge home on a disordered or shaken square.  The cavalry get no charging bonus including any from Special rules in the combat.  Cavalry must charge home if able to do so.  If they cannot charge home the cavalry unit can use whatever movement it has left to move back or move around the side of the square as preferred.  I must admit I have never seen this move around option used in a game.

Other important things about Squares

A unit cannot move or come out of square if enemy cavalry are within 12”.

A square can make 1 move per turn at half speed towards its base line and this is a free move like for march columns.

A square has 1 shooting dice per face.

A square fights with no more than 2 dice per face.  If engaged on multiple faces the total dice used in combat by the unit cannot exceed its hand to hand value.”

A square gets +3 combat result when fighting enemy cavalry, but this is negated if also fighting enemy infantry.     

Squares cannot be supported but can support.

A square ignores all break tests results other than Break.

My final tips

Cavalry should charge infantry in their flank.  It is very difficult to beat even a shaken square that cavalry can charge home on.

If your cavalry move back and remain with 12” of a square, try to ensure you have units to fire at the immobile square in your next turn.  Squares are vulnerable to artillery and also musketry as they have few firing dice.

Shake the enemy infantry before you countenance sending in your cavalry in frontal attacks.

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