Meleeing allows the controlling player to initiate attacks against enemy units in adjacent hexes and possibly occupy the defending hex. In order for a unit to be committed to a melee attack, they must be facing the defending hex.
To initiate a Melee, long press on the location of the attacking units, drag your finger to the defending hex and release. You can attack with units from multiple hexes to one defending hex subject to stacking limits. To resolve the Melee, click on the Resolve Toolbar button.
Certain restrictions apply to units that are committed to a Melee attack.
Disrupted, Fixed or Routed units cannot Melee attack.
Units must be Facing the hex they are attacking.
Infantry units and Dismounted Cavalry cannot Melee attack non-Isolated Mounted Cavalry.
Artillery and Supply Wagons cannot Melee attack.
A unit cannot Melee attack a hex they could not legally move into (it is not possible to Melee attack across an unbridged Creek hexside for example).
Units may only Melee attack once in each turn.
The total number and strength of the attacking units may not exceed the stacking limitations of the defending hex.
Cavalry which is Dismounting cannot Melee attack.
Melees are calculated using total number of men of the attacking side and the total number of men of the defending. Modifiers may be applied to the calculation of the defending men.
Each defending Artillery gun counts as one third Stacking Point (this depends on Parameter Data but would normally work out to 8 men per gun).
Routed and Isolated units have their defending strength divided by 4. However, units that are both Routed and Isolated have a defending strength of 0.
Units that have already defended in melee and have retreated into a hex that is then attacked in melee have their defending strength divided by 2.
Supply Wagons and Uncrewed or Spiked Artillery defend against melee with a strength of 0.
Modifiers are applied to the melee strengths.
If no attacking units have fired in the Turn or preceding Offensive Fire Phase, then 10% is added to the attacking strength.
If the attacking units have a Leader with them, then 10% is added to the attacking strength.
If the defending units have a Leader with them, then 10% is added to the defending strength.
If the defending units are attacked (by a non-Leader) from a hexside they are not facing, then 20% is added to the attacking strength.
The largest hexside modifier of all of the hexsides the attackers are attacking through is applied to the attacking strength. Likewise, if the attackers are attacking across a Breastwork hexside, then the Breastwork modifier, as determined by Parameter Data, is applied to the attacking strength.
If the attackers are attacking across a Creek hexside via a Bridge, then 30% is subtracted from the attacking strength.
Melee attacks against higher elevations have a modifier equal to the elevation change (in elevation increments) times the Elevation Modifier (see the Parameter Dialog for this value).
Fatigue modifiers apply as described in the section on Fatigue.
Under the Quality Melee Modifiers Optional Rule, if the unit of lowest Quality on a given side has Quality of A or B, then that side receives a 10% bonus. If the unit of highest Quality on a given side has Quality of E or less, then that side receives a 10% penalty.
Dismounted Cavalry has an effective strength for Melee purposes that is ¾ of its normal strength to account for horse holders.
If the attacking force consists entirely of Mounted Cavalry and Leaders attacking a Clear hex from all Clear hexes, then 25% is added to the attacking strength.
The final resolution of the melee is done using the standard Combat Results. The adjusted defending strength is used to calculate attacker casualties using a Low Combat Value of 50 and a High Combat Value of 200. The adjusted attacking strength is used to calculate defender casualties using a Low Combat Value of 25 and a High Combat Value of 125. The loser is the side with the greater casualties (defenders win ties). Melee fatigue losses are 50% more than normal and, in the case of the melee loser, fatigue losses are double. The melee defender is subject to normal Morale Checks based on their losses and must automatically take a Morale Check at the end of the Phase if they lose the melee.
Example: Suppose an infantry unit of 450 men melee attacks an enemy infantry unit of 230 men. Two combat results are determined. The attackers would determine a low end casualty value of 11.25 (= 25 * 450 / 1000) and a high end casualty value of 56.25 (= 125 * 450 / 1000). The casualty loss of the defenders would be randomly determined between these two extremes. Likewise, the defenders would determine a low end casualty value of 11.5 (= 50 * 230 / 1000) and a high end casualty value of 46 (= 200 * 230 / 1000). The casualty loss of the attackers would be randomly determined between these two extremes.
Night Attack Penalty
When units melee attack at night, a possible fatigue penalty applies. This penalty is the Night Attack Penalty Parameter Data Value. This value is added to the nominal fatigue accumulation of units attacking at night. This value is subject to the normal modifiers that apply for wining or losing a melee.
When both sides in a Melee consist entirely of Mounted Cavalry and Leaders, the casualties that would normally result are divided by 4. See the Design Notes for a discussion of this rule.
A full-hex bridge that is not occupied can be fired upon by Artillery
and meleed against by Infantry and Cavalry. The purpose of this
is to provide a means for destroying bridges in the game. The
combat results from melees are only applied to the bridge and not the
attacking forces. When the strength of the bridge is reduced to
0, then the bridge cannot be crossed. To repair a bridge, see
the Movement section of this manual.
To damage an unoccupied bridge do the following. Move your units next to the bridge so they are facing it and use the Damage Bridge option from the Command menu to cause them to attack the bridge.
Note that there are two kinds of bridges in the game: hexside bridges over creeks and full-hex bridges over water hexes. Hexside bridges cannot be destroyed. Only full-hex bridges can be meleed against or bombarded.
Defending units which lose a melee must retreat from the defending hex. By default, enemy units block possible retreat hexes. However, the following units when in a hex by themselves do not block the retreat and are instead eliminated when the defending units retreat into their hex:
Uncrewed or Spiked Artillery
Optional Artillery Capture
Under the optional Artillery Capture rule, it is possible to capture enemy artillery in a melee. With this rule, artillery that would by default be eliminated in retreat is allowed to be captured by the attacking side. While the captured artillery is stacked in the same hex with an enemy unit, it can be turned and fired. Fire in this case is automatically halved and the battery cannot be moved to another hex. The captured artillery unit can also be spiked during this time. If the artillery unit is recaptured by a melee, then the owning side can recrew the battery and use it normally. Captured, non-spiked, artillery units count full value towards victory conditions, while spiked captured artillery counts half value.