Introduction: For those of you that don't like to see the American Revolution game migrate to a battle of small skirmish like units with no apparent regimental formation here is a rule you may like.
General Rule: All units of a Regiment (usually 8 cos.) must form a line or column formation when on the map meaning that all elements of the Regiment are adjacent to one another in a traditional formation.
Example of Line Formations:
Please note in the above game view that all 8 cos. of each regiment are in a line formation with 2 cos. per hex. Each stack should have a minimum of 2 cos. when at full strength and perhaps 3 or 4 at the most in cases where the units have taken losses. This produces a historical line formation. Obviously use of an extended line formation is allowed as well when you need to lengthen your line at the expense of unit density.
Here is an example of column formation:
The units are plainly marching down the road in a column formation.
Here is an example of columns used in the attack. Note that formation #1 of the British army is two regiments drawn up in a column of companies 2 hexes wide by 2 hexes deep and each hex has 2 cos. Unit #2 is a regiment drawn up in a Line formation.
Exceptions to the rule:
1. Units that need to garrison towns, VP locations or provide a supply wagon guard may detach up to 2 cos. for this purpose. Simply move the units to the given location or to provide escort duty (mainly cavalry in this capacity).
2. Units such as Lights or Rifle units that were trained to fight in open order may fight in a much more flexible formation. This doesnt mean that you sprinkle the units all over the map! It does mean that you could attempt to use a flank attack with several companies in the woods to catch an enemy unawares.
3. American woodsmen rule - true the Americans were woodsmen and harrassed the British and their allies to no end but the Continental army was not the French Revolutionary army of 1786! They didnt operate in a large cloud of skirmishers! They did, however, harry the British at most opportunities! Here is the gist of this one - when you are in a situation where the Rebs are few and far between lift the restriction on the rule. The British were more prone to group together for mutual protection but the Americans were not. This rule also applies to British Tory units. Being American, they also were at home in the woods; use this exception in small actions like King's Mountain and not at Brandywine Creek.
4. Cavalry are free to roam about the field, but should be used in regimental groupings as much as is possible. Sending a lone company all around Johnny Burgoyne's flank to pick off his supply wagons is not a valid use of cavalry. Instead use them with a commander such as Tarleton or an American commander in this capacity of raiding. This way it is a more legitimate exercise and not a cheap shot attack. Obviously you are free to use individual cavalry cos. as escorts or for reconnaisance duites. Just don't use them as long range patrols or individual company commandos!