One of the ideas I experimented with during this action was using hidden units. I handled this very simply by deploying the units on the table with a red counter on them. As long as they stood still and did not do anything the units thus deployed were invisible. In order to 'see' them the opposing force had to 'attack' them in combat and score a hit in order for them to be revealed. No damage was actually inflicted but it was assumed that the would-be ambushees were then startled into revealing their position. Of course should the ambushees charge or commence firing that would also give away their position. This was a very simple but effective mechanic to use and also had the bonus effect of ensuring that it was more difficult to see units the further away they were. I should also point out that I restricted any spotting attempts to infantry or cavalry only. I have not had occasion to use this mechanic for some time (and in truth I had forgotten about it!) but I fully intend to incorporate this in my Memoir of Battle games going forward.
There is no reason why this mechanic could not be employed with Bob Cordery's Memoir of Modern Battle rules either (although I have yet to try this out) - certainly given the use of units hidden with camouflage etc, should be represented in some fashion and so I think this would also work well as a simple solution to the 'empty battlefield' problem.
The other tweak I have been considering is how best to replicate the effect of charging fanatical natives types - Fuzzy Wuzzies, Zulus and Ghazi types. I have dipped into the rules for Command and Colours Ancients for the idea I am going to employ and it goes something like this:
- Native troops equipped with hand weapons only may move 1 hex and battle or two hexes. They may move two hexes and battle as long as they end their move in contact with an enemy unit.
- Native units equipped with hand weapons only roll three combat dice at a range of 1 hex.
- Native units that have not suffered any casualties so far in the game add a further combat dice when in combat. This bonus remains in place until the unit suffers casualties.
- Native units equipped with hand weapons only must always follow up an enemy unit if they have caused it to fall back.