CHВTEAUX, AND HOW TO TAKE THEM
By Matt Payton
First, we must look at the basic objectives / methods that are used in attacking
First, why are you attacking this chateau? (Hint: The answer is not Victory
Most likely the Chateau is either Papelotte, LHS, or the dreaded Hogomount, and
most likely it is in the way of your main attack, and has been loaded down with
skirmishers ready to pour enfilade fire down upon any troops that try to attack
around it. Right? If that's not the case, ask yourself once again, WHY are you
attacking this Chateau, attacking a chateau can be a lengthy, resource-draining
endeavor, and unless you really need those troops out of there, DO NOT attack
Especially for a mere 200 VP, Granted, you would have to lose 50 cannon or 5000
infantry to make it a wash, but you will add fatigue, waste time, waste
resources, and tie up troops in the attack. THINK before you begin the attack.
Okay, let assume that the chateau must fall.
Question: What must be done to take it?
Answer: The garrison in the chateaux must either be 1) destroyed, 2) or routed
out of it AND it must be impossible for your foe to re-garrison it.
How can you do that? There are two different ways to "destroy" them, w/t ranged
fire or via melee. And since cavalry cannot enter a Chateaux, then it must be
melee w/t infantry, even more bad news, when you do melee a chateau's garrison,
the attacking troops have their strength values halved (for purposes of melee
Getting the troops to rout out of the chateau and, more importantly, getting
to rout out of the chateau and making sure it can't be re-garrisoned is very
tricky. The problem with this method is twofold. 1. They will rout at the
beginning of your foes movement phase, which means.. 2. Since they were able to
rout out of the chateau, most likely, troops can get back into the chateau (but
On a side note, they will not rout out of the chateaux because of losses
during an (obviously) failed melee, it must be either ranged fire or adjacent
troops that trigger the rout check.
What method you use depends on the type of troops, strength (size) of those
troops, the ground around the Chateau, and the Chateau itself.
The ground is the first place to start. This must be analyzed before any attack
can begin on the Chateau.
You are trying to figure out two things when analyzing the ground around a
1. What ground can we attack the chateau from? both from ranged fire and melee's
2. How easy is it to take and hold the ground we must attack from; with (this is
important!) the garrison present in the chateau. Since we only have two options
on getting the garrison out of there, the analysis of the ground is rather easy.
Where can we fire at the chateau from? Think in term's of infantry lines and
cannon. Marching lines up to the Chateau is always less desirable than cannon,
look for cannon spots first. The easy way, make the Chateaux the hot-spot, hit
the 'ol LOS icon on the tool bar and make a note of any hex that has LOS to the
chateau from 2-6 hexes away. (you can go up to 6 with class-A cannon). One hex
always a sure thing, and 3-6 all depend on the type of cannon (3-4 for B, 3-6
A). All cannon are good from a range of two. Not quite a one-hex fire power, but
much better than 3+.
Once you realize where you can/have decided to fire on the chateau from, the
ground must be secured. This can be the tough part but believe me when I say
this, any attack upon a chateau will fail if you do not secure the ground around
it first. I will repeat that. Any attack upon a chateau will fail if you do not
secure the ground around it first. Now, you do not have to secure it an hour in
advance, it can be secured the very turn in which you take the chateau, but it
STILL must be secured by infantry.
The next, and fairly obvious factor is the chateau itself. The main thing we are
concerned with here is path of least resistance. They go in this order 1. Open
Hedge/Embankment/Elevation* 3. Low Wall 4. Gate 5. High Wall (cannot melee,
ranged fire only!)
Gate/High wall are very undesirable unless it is your only option. If a Low wall
or something else exists, I would spend more time taking the ground around the
chateau, so the attack upon the chateaux can take place over the wall/hedge/open
than trying to attack a chateau threw a gate or over a high wall.
*If you can place yourself higher than the chateaux, you can give the defenders
's to their ranged fire; However, if you have to be lower than the chateau you
get more -'s for ranged fire and melee's.
The Type of Troops
Finally, some good news, the only troops allowed in a chateau are infantry, and
infantry comes in two forms. Skirmishers and Line Bn. (lord help us if the game
Skirmishers are the toughest, so we'll talk about those suckers later.
Line. Bn. Have two big weaknesses in defending a chateaux. 1. Line Bn. do not
reduce ranged fire, so cannon from 3-5 hexes can still inflict a good hurt! 2.
Line Bn. Cannot form a square in a chateau, so they must be in column or line
therefore they have a flank. Which is a lot more important than you think.
Your best bet here is to just blast away with cannon and infantry lines, don't
bother melee'n them at all .. most likely the numbers and odds will be too great
anyway. They WILL eventually rout out of the chateau or be destroyed from your
cannon's. All it takes is time, if it must be done quickly, bring more cannon.
Only melee when/if the numbers get reasonable (like BELOW 100 left), and then
send in one or two columns for the Coup de Gras. Of course, if they all die,
melee with what you have in the area for that "defending hex overrun" and take
While we are on the subect, this is probably a good time to diverge to the
subject of troops routing out of a chateau. First, YES, it does happen. So:
"Show them a way to live, that way they will not be so willing to fight to the
death" - Sun Tzu
If you want the defenders to rout, DO NOT surround the chateau, well, at least
not completely. Your best beat is to secure the ground around the chateau so you
can leave the exists/entrances open, and have no fear of reinforcements ariving.
If you can`t do that, get ZOC's around the entire chateau, but still allow an
exit to be open. Its a tricky manouver, but can be done. The problem here is a
troop will rout at the beginning of your foe's movement phase, which means he
will be able to re-man it if you keep an exit open. This (sometimes) can be
prevented with creative ZOC's. Figure it out.
This is also why the flank of the columns and lines help out a bunch. If you are
lucky enough to get a line enfilade, then not only will you get a +2 to your FRT
roll, but you also get that ever-important +2 DRM to the rout check! If their in
column, no big deal, no +2 FRT mod but cannon still get there 50% increase in
fire factor (25% for infantry lines), and the +2 DRM for the rout check still
applies. Even Qual-7 troops have a chance of routing with just the enfilade
modifier, qual-5 or 4 forget it.. they are out of there.
This is your nightmare. Skirmishers defending a Chateau. First, if there are
than 250 of 'em in it, blast away just like it was a Line Bn. Until their
are reduced to 250 or less (hopefully you can get 'em to like 275, and kill 50-
100 to get them actually below the 250 skirmish mark, and not right at it). It
very helpful to have the chateau isolated by this point too, otherwise more
troops will keep piling in and you'll never get anywhere. Remember, leave an
open if you can! At this point, the skirmishers have a good chance to rout, if
not completely destroyed, w/t ranged fire. Once one rout's, they all disorder
making the rest easier to rout, then when a couple start running low on ammo,
they rout even easier, etc.. etc..
Once the skirmishers hit the 250 skirmish mark, or if your foe was smart enough
not to overload the chateau, life becomes miserable. And this really becomes a
game of understanding the game mechanics, lucky rolls, and throwing columns of
troops upon the chateau, hoping & praying that you don't lose too many troops,
fatigue too many troops in the attempt. [Editors Note: if you are playing with
the optional isolation rule, once skirm's get below the 250 mark, and are
isolated, their effective force is 125 or less, almost making it possible to
melee with some decent odds, w/o sacrificing your entire army in the process.]
Also, after a couple of failed melee's (it will happen!) the troops inside the
chateaux fatigue should be up around the 4+ mark and beginning to effect the
chances. At this point you might want to really consider giving the troops a
out (of course w/o allowing more troops in), and letting the cannon try and get
the lucky 25-man hit and get the defenders to flee. This is important, even if
you can't get them all to run, at least you can reduce their numbers, making the
melee's a little less painful.
Combo Best bet here. Treat 'em like you would any Chateau defended by
try get 'em to rout and hope they take the skirm's with them. If they don't,
sure you have read the section on skirmishers real well.
The actual numbers are not as important as the quality of the troops defending
the chateau. Everyone knows what a pain those qual-7 Footguard/Coldstream
skirmishers are. We've all tried to dig them out of Hogomount before. Its not
that easy, is it? But yet, Those qual-4 skirmishers in and around Papelotte seem
to go much easier. Weird.
Numbers are numbers, and all numbers can be defeated with more numbers, quality
on the other hand. Quality can overcome numbers and situation, and lets face it
they got a good situation here. Which means its just that much more difficult.
Examples of melee's
2-100 man skirmishers are in a chateaux, to melee it w/t 6:1 odds you must
with 2400 infantry.
I.e. it can't be done.