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Mil 206

Skirmishers represent small detachments in advance of the main line of Infantry. Skirmishers may be Deployed or Recalled only in the Movement Phase. You use the Deploy/Recall Skirmishers function in the Command Menu to do this. The following rules apply:


  • Only Infantry in Line formation and Dismounted Cavalry may deploy Skirmishers.

  • Disrupted and Routed units may not deploy Skirmishers.

  • Units with less than 51 men may not deploy Skirmishers.

  • Units that are in an enemy Zone-of-Control may not deploy Skirmishers.

  • A unit may not recall Skirmishers after it has moved in that phase.

  • It costs 1 Movement Point to deploy or recall Skirmishers.

  • Skirmishers can be deployed at any time during movement.


Once deployed, Skirmishers have the following effects:

  • One is added to the movement cost of any movement taken by a unit that has deployed Skirmishers.

  • An additional movement cost is added to movement into the 2 hex extended range and the Zone-of-Control of an enemy unit that has deployed Skirmishers. This additional cost is determined by the Parameter Data.

  • A unit that has deployed Skirmishers has its effective strength reduced by 50 men when it fires and for the purpose of determining Trench construction.

  • Any unit which attacks or defends in Melee will automatically have its Skirmishers recalled.


Under Fog-of-War, whenever an enemy unit moves into the shaded hexes of a unit with Skirmishers as shown in the illustration, then that unit is displayed as an Unknown unit. This is also true if the skirmishers unit had moved within range of the enemy unit. This detection is prevented however if another enemy unit is adjacent to the skirmisher unit. Skirmishers cannot see across creek hexsides unless there is a bridge or ford in the hex.


Mounted Cavalry Skirmishers

Under the Mounted Cavalry Skirmishers Optional Rule, all mounted cavalry have the ability to detect enemy units like infantry skirmishers can without having to explicitly deploy skirmishers and without having to pay the additional movement costs associated with skirmishers.


Skirmishers were an interesting addition to the WDS games. Some players are very skilled with their use and others never use them at all and do just as good in many cases. I think it depends on how comfortable you are with reading an opponent and knowing where he is located with or without Skirmishers. I think it also has to do with your selection of scenario. Skirmishers are more important in heavily wooded terrain than on fields with large open fields of fire and observation.


The most common way to use skirmishers is to deploy them to pinpoint a defensive line in Forest hexes. This can be highly effective if done right. Rather than moving blindly through impenetrable trees you can deploy Skirmishers who can give you a decent idea where the enemy line is located. A common tactic is to uncover an enemy line using skirmishers and then to “watch them” from a safe distance. If your opponent falls back you will know at once and you can pursue through the woods.


But, generally speaking, skirmishers do not appear as often enough in these games as history might suggest they would. The -100-man Fire Combat penalty and the -1 Movement Cost are the usual reasons why many players choose not to use them. Having Cavalry around also helps fulfill the role of skirmishers along roads to prevent ambushes. But the skilled use of skirmishers in scenarios can still aid a commander in recon and avoiding enemy ambushes in rough terrain.

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