Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic 2 on 1: Cav & Inf vs inf.

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  • #24032
    McLaddie
    Participant

    While any number of rules allow for cavalry and infantry attacks on one infantry unit simultaneously [In the same turn, phase, activity etc. ] I have never found any accounts of such actions.  Such attacks have always been described as sequential, one attack and then later another against the same unit.

    I was wondering if anyone have read about such dual actions?

    #24033
    Norm S
    Participant

    No –  I have just put a beta set of napoleonic rules together and the cavalry actions are separate to the infantry actions because I share your observations. I can’t even think of an organisation in which at the tactical level, a commander would have control of both cavalry and infantry to be able to co-ordinate such an instruction.

    #24044
    willz
    Participant

    Ah that’s the abstract side of war-gaming as we generally have the gods eye view of the war game table, thus we are able to make decision not available on the real battle field.

    I am with you Norm Smith on your synopsis on battlefield commanders not having control of two different arms.

    #24056
    janner
    Participant

    Would an example not be found amongst the combined arms corps of the AWI, such as the Queen’s Rangers’ attack on the Stockbridge Indians?

     

     

    http://jannersjaunt.blogspot.dk

    #24057
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Battle of Chacabuco, 1817.

    Checked by Royalist artillery fire, O’Higgins realised that hisps would not stand a prolonged bombardment whilst San Martin’s flank march performed its wonders.

    So he formed up his infantry in attack columns, told the cavalry to see off the Royalist horse and then fall on the opened flank. The infantry attack went in and the cavalry rolled the enemy’s flank up.

    Carried out by a thirld world army fighting its first pitched battle under the command of a man much derided for his amateurishness.

    #24058
    Bandit
    Participant

    Those I’ve read of are mostly sequential but that becomes a timeframe question as many happen in quick succession so depending on how the turn sequence of a game handles a series of subsequent short-term events they may be considered nearly simultaneous in a given game system.

    The time it gets blurry is attacks that indicate a regiment (group of battalions) or group of squadrons attacked together, so while it reads in the account as a singular unit, it is actually an attack by multiple tactical units in coordination.

    Cheers,

    The Bandit

    #24059
    repiqueone
    Participant

    It would seem to me that if you made combat resolution immediate upon a units action either by fire or melee, rather than assigning it to a melee resolution “phase” or requiring any action to be resolved en mass, this issue would be moot, since all actions would be sequential.  This would be further accented by having the various arms move in different phases, and even more so if the sequence of those phases were randomly determined within a turn and not fixed as in many games.

    I agree that absolute simultaneity of an attack by different arms was rare, not by design or command, and never actually simultaneous.  Some of these issues of synchronicity are strictly the artifacts of rigid turn sequences, and, on the tactical level, have no real world equivalent.

    #24075
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Yes but, melee resolution might take a bit more than the time it takes to roll a few dice and consult a chart. In the case to which I point, all the first person accounts suggest that, whilst the Royalists were in combat with the infantr the cavalry hit them, so sequential yes, but not in the sense that the infantry attack was resolved before the cavalry.

    From the point of view of the poor sods on the recieving end it would have been seen a near simultaneous and not as two attacks.

    #24105
    McLaddie
    Participant

    Thanks for the ideas.  Yes,  the question is whether cavalry and infantry were ever engaged with one target infantry unit [say a brigade] at the same time, regardless of which actual ‘hit’ first or left last.  Was it a matter of the two arms deciding that one will take the left and the other the right, or something else, like turns. 

    Others have suggested examples like the action at Eylau involving a battalion of Guard infantry hitting the head of a Russian deep column while light cavalry hit the column’s flank. Then the British cavalry charge at Waterloo going thorugh or charging *with* British infantry engaged with the French columns. And then the French counterattack with Kellerman’s cavalry at Marengo.

    Battle of Chacabuco, 1817 is not one I had come across, but seems to be a clean example.

    So he formed up his infantry in attack columns, told the cavalry to see off the Royalist horse and then fall on the opened flank. The infantry attack went in and the cavalry rolled the enemy’s flank up.

    Like the other combat examples, I try to imagine the physics of the thing and it does get blurry, particularly when the numbers and arrangement of the enemy is not known.  As the cavalry was hitting the thinnest part of either an enemy  line or column in the 1817 example, while moving at a trot if not a gallop, they would cover the ground far faster than friendly columns. Did they simply sweep across the front of the friendly columns as they were engaged, [awkward] or did the infantry ‘engage’ at all even though it ‘went in’ and simply held the enemy’s attention until the cavalry had done the damage?  Is there any further description of the action, Grizzly?

    Coordination could be an issue, but on the other hand, the examples given were ‘coordinated’ to a degree.  It is also difficult to talk about ‘coordination’ when cavalry was such a weapon of threat and opportunity.

    Certainly, games with twenty minute turns and a single combat phase won’t necessarly be representing a single assault with both cavalry and infantry [or defense], but it is still a question.  I haven’t found any suggested methods for such combined attacks in cavalry books such as de Breck.

    I can only speculate that cavalry and infantry hit different parts of an enemy line individually, or took turns.    The only other possibility appears to be a confused mash-up of horse and men on foot which doesn’t sound like something a commander would intentionally create, nor does it sound like most of the actions save the British cavalry at Waterloo as they passed through their own infantry.

    The rules I am working on are moderated more by time/distance rather than phases,  activities, or simply random sequencing, so if possible, I’d like to have a sense of who did what when in these kind of encounters, if only in a general way or as set of choices.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by McLaddie.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by McLaddie.
    #24111
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    McLaddie, I don’t know of any good description of the battle in English. But I may have something in Spanish,work is a bit hectic, but weekend after next I will try and get you something.

    Based on walking the ground, it seems to me that the cavalry would have hit the infantry in the stern quarter, not exactly sandwiching the infantry, but neither hitting along the line.

    Something important here is that O’Higgins was not a great staff officer, but other than Marshal Ney, few men of the era were better able to lead men onto an unbroken line of bayonets. The impact cannot have been square on the rear, because the cavalry hit a second unit further along the line.

    Now, if your abstraction involves close range fire as one with melee then I would say that this sort of thing is pretty easy.

    Other than the Greys at waterloo (which is as far as I know unique) I cannot imagine that multiple impacts are possible from the same direction. It would require amazing control to charge, even at the walk, so as to skirt past the flank of a unit in column. I am all for making attacks from the same axis, seperate attacks, receiving seperate fire.

    #24119
    McLaddie
    Participant

    Grizzly:

    I’ll take what you can get. Thank you. I can fuss through Spanish when I need to.  It is something that you were able to walk the ground where it took place.  Your description of who hit where makes sense.  The Greys at Waterloo are actually said to have walked into their assault on the French getting through their own lines and the hedges.

    Now, if your abstraction involves close range fire as one with melee then I would say that this sort of thing is pretty easy.

     

    Yeah, fairly easy. 

     

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