We thought so too, but no charge makes contact that way. We played the other way, and it plays balanced. Attacking a village for example. A regiment is hit to 4, still contacts but -3 (attacking hard cover and 3+ hits). Unit in BUA is -1
The idea is they retreat away without melee fighting taking place - the charge has been seen off by firing.
See p.25, 'Firing in the Charge Phase'. Note that the 'react immediately' rule has been superseded by waiting until the end of the move phase before reacting (see the amendments download). The process I play is: move the chargers into contact (it's not a charge unless this is done, see p.21), carry out firing, make retreat or rout moves if required.
It might be argued that the opening sentence of the section on p.25 is a bit misleading. I agree - it would probably be best re-worded. Firing at a charge will almost always be at close range. However, if you prefer to take that sentence at face value, you could play that the defenders state the range at which they are firing and any retreats/routs are measured from there.
And we see it that way, as you say, but our experience thus far limited as it is suggest that the combat be completed. We had a total of four regiments assault a village and all were destroyed or retreated. That’s 4 to 1 ratio that should have made a dent in the hastily prepare defensive position. So we felt that engaging in the combat allowed some attrition on the defender. As it was, we still saw horrific casualties and only dented the defender resolve. At the end of the game the one regiment that defended the unions left-wing village received three hits total. That’s better odds than Bastogne
I always find the key to attacking a BUA is artillery support. On occasion I have seen artillery drive defenders from a BUA with no need to assault.
However, the rules were intended to make attacking a BUA costly and difficult, although less so than when using Black Powder. I would have thought a 4 to 1 advantage should do it in most cases. You might also try and contrive attacking from more than one direction at once - and don't forget the plus modofiers for supporting units in melee.
I can remember our 2nd refight of Weissenburg (1743). We had a Brigade of 2 bavarian batallions, who made the aussault on a redoubt hold by a troop of austrian light infantry. The croats under Trenck could shoot at one of the bn.s and that was driven off at the Moment and the second came into contact but was defeated easily. As Keith said it: to storm a BUA or redoubt is defficult. In most cases we managed it not until we brought a medium or two light batteries into position to blow the defenders away. The Schellenberg 1704, the redoubts at Fontenoy and many examples tell their Story. To storm a well defended redoubt was costly or even impossible. I can recommend the book by our forum's member rebel or the blogentry on obscure-battles about Fontenoy: Ingolsby for example refused their the attack on a Wood and the redoubt of the d'Eu regiment and reclaimed to get artillery Support. Although not always successfull some help by artillery (perhaps 2 pieces only) had a psychologically effect. Sometimes to wait for artillery support changed the events to the benefit of the defender, when the attacker lost their momentum while waiting.
I'm excited to see how well the defensive french fieldworks at Fontenoy will work in our next battle. Will it be possible to fight one after the other down by our second line of battle?
Es marschierten drei Regimenter wohl über den Rhein...