View Full Version : Indians/Lights/Militia (EAW)

Gary McClellan
12 Apr 06, 00:49
One of the biggest differences in playing the EAW games, as opposed to the Naps is in the ability of certain units to go into "extended line". This is an extremely powerful and flexible formation. If you haven't experimented with it, do so. To enter into that formation, hit the "x" button on the toolbar. In order to go into extended line, a unit must be either Indian, Light Infantry, or Militia.

What are the advantages of this formation?
1) Drastically reduced fire losses. In short, your losses to enemy fire will be far less than half what they would have been if you were in regular line formation.
2) Improved movement. They will NOT disrupt on movement, even if Line Movement Disruptoin is picked. They can also use paths-roads. In other words, Extended line has the movement capabilities of a unit in column.

1) Inferior Melee. A unit in this formation will have much worse melee. Now,as a rule, they won't take huge losses in melee, but they can be pushed out of their hex pretty easily.

Each of these unit types plays a bit differently. (Much of this is already in the thread on combined arms, but just staying with the discussion of X line)

First of all, there's militia. Note, in 1812 and FIW, very few units are designated militia. It's been found that the ability of militia to form X line made them entirely too powerful. So, in those games, most militia units are simply rated as really bad line infantry. However, in 1776, the colonials usually have some rifle armed militia around. Range 9 (as opposed to 4), mobile and hard to hit with bullets. They can be really nasty in open terrain.

Light Infantry: The best troops in the game, bar none. Generally have good morale, and can go into X line. As someone who usually plays the Colonial/US side in these games, I dread seeing full battalions of British light infantry. Unless you can get them at bayonet point, they'll beat you every time.

Indians: These are some interesting troops. Unline the others, they are unable to form "normal" line. They're either in column or X line. In a sense, the Indian "column" is sort of an abstraction. It's more useful to think of it not as a formed column, but that a war band has gathered together to add weight to an assault. In 1812 and FIW, Indians usually are armed with "Small Arms". These have range 2, but give an advantage in melee. This advantage isn't enough to make up for the penalties for being in X line, but when Indians are in column, it can make them a potent attack force.

Learning how to deal with Extended Line is probably the biggest adjustment in going from the Napoleonic Games to the EAW games (the only thing that's close is the use of artillery).

As an example, you can use them to "screen" an advance. If you look at the attached file (I just created this as an example in the scenario editor), you can see what I mean. The British are using the Glengarry Light Infantry to screen the troops coming up behind them. The Americans cannot see through the Lights, and if they shoot at them, they won't do much damage. This also gives the British regulars coming up from the rear the ability to get into good musket range (as close as 2 hexes, if you push the Glengarry's forward) without being shot at.

Just some food for thought, and one of the little features that sets the EAW games apart from the others.

Alan Sharif
12 Apr 06, 03:02
Thanks Gary, very interesting post. I think I shall have fun trying this.

13 Apr 06, 18:27
Great stuff Gary!

14 Apr 06, 13:26
Yes GREAT Stuff......I like playing as Indians.......and love to get as close to enemy as I can....(for scalping reasons...)
I was in a 1776 match playing a Very Good adversary......About 3/4's of the way through he says....(you know that American Militia have extended lines....right)....And I was....:OHNO: :nervous: :argh: ...I forgot......
Needless to say...I lost.....anyway
Thanks for the thread!

14 Apr 06, 18:42
Gary forgot to mention that units can jump into and out of X Line without MPS, in enemy ZOCs, and after firing!

I think an engine glitch allows this, but it can be done.

Lt. Stark
14 Mar 07, 17:50
Very Informative ,

I have been using the "extended line". extensively since I came across this thread.

Thank you