The Broken Brigade rule in ‘Black Powder’ is considered overly harsh by many players. These are the amended rules we play.
1) A brigade is broken when OVER half the units in it are shaken or destroyed. i.e. in a six unit brigade 4 units shaken/destroyed are required to break the brigade – not 3 as per the rules.
2) Units in a broken brigade can be rallied if the ‘break’ status is due to Shaken units, and disordered units may reform. For the above brigade with 6 units
– if 4 are destroyed, the Brigade is permanantly Broken
– If 3 are destroyed, and one Shaken, the Shaken unit may be rallied. Once it is no longer Shaken, the brigade is no longer Broken. Remember ‘Rally’ is the last order a commander may give.
– if 2 are destroyed and 3 Shaken, then 2 must be rallied to 2 hits or less to ‘unbreak’ the brigade.
While a brigade is broken it must still retire on initiative so units are more than 12 away from the enemy. As movement on initiative counts as an order, a further Rally order can not be given that turn. This encourages the opponent to keep up pressure on Broken Brigades to stop them reforming, rather ignore broken brigades that are almost useless.
We feel this method is a fairer reflection. It also means that cavalry, who are easy to shake due to their hand to hand role, act like historical accounts – they charge, become blown and spend some time reforming before rejoining the fight.