Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic Rules that offer historically accurate movement rates – are there any?

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  • #9916
    McLaddie
    Participant

    And now back to our regular programing.

    Movement on different sized tables can be scaled up or down for the most part.  Many rules provide for variations in scale.

    While this thread started out simply talking about how to come up with an expected movement rate for infantry across unobstructed terrain, other questions have come up in how that movement could be affected.

    Combat, Terrain and ‘Activation’ which could cover a number of organizational issues.  And of course, there is the proximity of the enemy as a threat.

    So, I guess the questions would be how these things slowed movement and how often.

    McLaddie

    #9923
    repiqueone
    Participant

    Bandit,

    Example in point on not understanding my posts:  “I was confused by Bob calling a 7″ movement rate on a 4′ table slow since it was originally criticized for being too fast…”  I did not call it slow.  Since you didn’t mention on the post exactly how many minutes were being covered I have no way of knowing if its fast, slow, or middling.

    What I did say is it makes for loooong games.  I’m not commenting on the rate of movement, but that small movement increments make for long games, especially as Sheckey points out, when terrain and other brakes on movement come into play making that 6″ half or even less.  I’m stating a problem with the mechanic, not the history.  I repeat, when I see infantry moves of 6″ (or as Sheckey posits LESS) I see a game that will take FOREVER to resolve-rather like watching a combat of snails!   This can be somewhat addressed by having VERY few units which increases the rate of turn completion-making the exercise a somewhat inflated skirmish game, or by making the playing surface minuscule.   Another solution is deploying both armies so that they start almost in musket range as the game starts. (Or treating time and distance differently in a game-but, then, I’ve been told that’s not possible)

    Couple moves like this with a march on battle, and I’ll be making breakfast for the game players as well!

    McLaddie, I did not see you mention any of your works I can peruse.  Perhaps you simply forgot in your rush to post the next chapter in your tale.

    #9928
    Shecky
    Participant

    Just to clarify, I made no mention of the 7″ movement rate being too slow or too fast.

    Assuming a 4′ board where both sides deploy 1′ in from their base lines, that leaves 2′ between the sides. To me, with the stated movement rate, it shouldn’t take too long to get into combat.

    A march on battle would be different and you’d want to allow players to make longer moves when that far apart. This could either be explicitly in the rules or the scenario designer can house rule it.

    As for variable movement rates as brought up in the OP, it probably makes more sense to have a variable rate for an amalgamation of units (brigade or division) instead of the individual units (battalions). For one, if you have 20 units on the board, you don’t want to have to roll 20 times for movement. And secondly, it looks kind of weird to have one battalion move 2″ while its neighboring battalion moves 12″.

    #9929
    repiqueone
    Participant

    For comparison purposes, my personal games are played on a 12 foot by 4 foot table.  In 28mm, my infantry units are about 2×6-8″ in depth and width, and it is not uncommon to have 40 or more units on a side.  An infantry unit may move once or twice in a turn ( rarely not at all)and move up to 18″ in open ground with help from command, though that’s rare.  The usual moves max out at about 9″-12″. They are, as you mused on above, done by die rolls.  Cavalry has the potential of 30″ in a single move, though, again, that’s rare, and not often advantageous There are many ARRs for Die Fighting at http://www.repiquerules.com on the Zouave Blog.  The ARRs include commentary on the mechanics of play.  History articles are also found there. The concentration is on WSS, though we have played a few FPW engagements as well.

    Die Fighting usually plays to a conclusion in 3-4 hours with 3-4 players on a side.  There are many reasons for this, but one of them is larger move increments. Since wargames are games, it is wise to consider the consequences of various mechanics of play and the representation of movement.  The historical record gives the gamer a lot of discretion in this area.

     

    #9969
    McLaddie
    Participant

    When considering movement, there is always the table and the historical movement that the wargame is meant to represent.  There certainly are some conflicts in creating a game.  However, do we start with a game and then make historical movement optional depending on how it fits our game, or do we see the game movement rates having to conform to historical rates? Or is it necessarily an issue, given the ability to change scales and the variety of table sizes?

    Regimental Fire and Fury has movement rates of 12-16 inches or 300 to 400 yards in 10-15 minutes.  John Hill’s new game Across Deadly Fields has movement of 6″ for 15mm figures or 600 yards in 30 minutes–or perhaps 800 yards given the defender’s reactive moves of two inches.  Black Powder gives no ground or time scale, but looking at the historical scenarios provided, it’s pretty easy to determine. For instance, with the Freeman’s Farm scenario, units can move between 12 to 36 inches or @ 600 to one mile a turn.

    Die Fighting has a scale of 1mm to the yard or 25 yards to the inch. Depending on the die rolls of 2 to 5 die, infantry units can move from 2 to 30 inches a turn or 50 to  750 yards per turn. Turns can represent 10 minutes to 1 hour of time.

    Most all strictly Napoleonic games such as Napoleon’s Battles or General de Brigade have that 600 yards to 1 mile per turn regardless of the time scale.  Now in every case, this is not including terrain and command delays or combat movement like charges or advances after combat.

    So, the questions would be 1. whether this general similarity to scale movement has to do with the perceived table limitations or some idea based on history and 2. Whether the variable movement [600 yards to 1760 yards in the same turn] represents something historical.  Was there that much chance variability between unit movement.

    As Sheckly observes…   it probably makes more sense to have a variable rate for an amalgamation of units (brigade or division) instead of the individual units (battalions). For one, if you have 20 units on the board, you don’t want to have to roll 20 times for movement. And secondly, it looks kind of weird to have one battalion move 2″ while its neighboring battalion moves 12″.

    What ‘makes sense’ in this case?  That is both a game and a historical question if that is the basis of ‘making sense’ of a unit or group of unit’s movement.

    Then Repiqueone comments: Since wargames are games, it is wise to consider the consequences of various mechanics of play and the representation of movement.  The historical record gives the gamer a lot of discretion in this area.

    It certainly is wise to consider the consequences of the mechanics of both play and the representation–It has to be believable.  The question is exactly how much ‘discretion’ does the historical record give?

    That was what we were considering here. IF the historical record is what is being represented by the movement and all the mechanics put together, that is the guiding question.

    #9971
    Shecky
    Participant

    What ‘makes sense’ in this case? That is both a game and a historical question if that is the basis of ‘making sense’ of a unit or group of unit’s movement

    In my example, from a historical perspective, it doesn’t seem correct that in a well regulated brigade there would be many instances where two units in the same brigade with the same terrain restrictions would have such a movement disparity. This applies mostly to the horse & musket era and less to the modern era. There may be instances where you can cite such an event occurred but I would see it as an anomaly and thus something which could be excluded from a game. From a gaming perspective, as I said, if you have to dice 20 times to move your 20 units in a turn, it tends to slow down the game.

    Personally, of the hundreds of rules I’ve read and the fewer that I have played, I have never dismissed a rules set because of the movement mechanic – whether is adheres strictly to historical examples or not. I have, however, dismissed rules because of basing standards, figure requirements, overdrawn combat mechanisms, lack of command rules, cumbersome command rules, poor writing, use of odd dice, ability of players to control too much, lack of player control, etc. In fact, the only rules I know where I even had a problem with the movement rates being too slow, I dismissed because the combat and initiative system was not to my liking.

    But then again, people think I have strange wargame tastes as my current shiny object is gridded wargames!

     

    #9972
    repiqueone
    Participant

    Sheckey,

    What you are confusing is the potential to move a certain distance and the willingness or capacity to do so.  In the actual occurrence every unit in an army had a reason to NOT let the line get too disordered, primarily because of the vulnerability of their flanks, and the desirability of flank support and added fire volume.  If a rule set gives appropriate weight to such matters, and perhaps incentives in coordinated action, then the gamer is no more likely to move in a disjointed manner than the horse and musket period commander- who also, if he broke ranks, and ignored perfectly sound doctrine would be a fool.

    Any unit “could” potentially move at a rate that would leave their peers behind, but this is why lines were dressed and often halted to maintain order. This was especially true for extended lines in variable terrain.  It often resulted in slowing to a common rate, regardless of what they could do.  This was usually a slow rate.  In later periods units would move in columns until forming a line was necessary in order to accelerate their progress.  I.e. You move at the rate of your slowest unit.

    The trick is also to remove the security blanket for gamers that allows them to predict the future and their next move opportunity, and also eliminate the surety of that movement in whole or part.  This puts them in a similar position to their historical models.

    I have dismissed, with good cause I think, the rigid move sequence, the predictable move opportunity, and the absolute surety of distance that may be covered, from my gaming.  It may be the single most unrealistic component of most wargames.  I find Maurice, FOB, Piquet, TFL’s concepts, and Die Fighting all to be better games, better history, and far better modeling of the psychology of command than many rule sets out there.

    If you haven’t rejected a set over how movement and actions are handled, I suggest you think it through a bit more.  You might find that there are some interesting variations in initiative as well.

    Lets be very clear about this, drill rates are to field rates as hamburger TV ads are to the hamburger actually served at your local fast -food joint.

    #9974
    Shecky
    Participant

    Bob,

    Of the rules you list, I have all but Die Fighting – at least I don’t think I have it. I actually thought I had it and went looking for it the other day but found Zouave II instead. I’ve played all but Maurice and Die Fighting.  I’m a big fan of the TFL concepts and have most of Rich’s rules. I prefer TCHAE over Johnny Reb, CoC and IABSM over Bolt Action, Dux B over the other Dux B which is not a TFL product and Charlie Don’t Surf over the FoW Vietnam variant.

    My gaming interests are varied both in periods and flavor of rules. I tend to prefer the rules which have the “interesting variations” in initiative as I’ve found them to be more engaging for the player. I collected SYW because my gaming group at the time played nothing but Napoleonics. I found IABSM because everyone else played FoW. I began building FPW armies for a rules set which uses gridded movement because I thought the period and the game system were interesting.

    So, how does this all relate to the OP? Easy, I don’t tend to get too hung up on if movement rates (different from actions) reflect reality or not. I tend to look at the rules as a whole and the experience it gives me as a player. If the movement rates are accurate but the combat system sucks or if they rules purport to let you refight Gettysburg but don’t easily scale up from a division vs. division match up, then chances are I won’t play them.

    #9975
    repiqueone
    Participant

    Nothing you just posted in the last note do I have any issue with.  I think you’re right on.  In essence,your view that move rates are pretty fungible aspects of any design is something I think a lot of gamers have accepted.  This is at the root of my doubt of the worth of counting drill steps on the tip of a needle.  This belief that d= r*t is essential to a good historical wargame and its validity is totally unfounded as is proven by dozens of wargame designs now on the market that get along without it pretty well.

    I find “traditional” designs just flat boring.  I think that’s true of many gamers.  BTW, I don’t think dicing for movement necessarily adds to play time egregiously.  My last game, which uses card sequencing and variable dice rolls for moves and combat. had about 60 units on the 4×12 table with six players.  Played to a conclusion in 31/2 hours.

    #9989
    1 yorks
    Participant

    Can someone let me off this roundabout. It started off with an interesting question, but after people have put forward opinions including  those who have actually published rule sets, people are still asking the same question, but have not put forward any solutions or, are they looking to publish a set of rules which appear to be so accurate I will need to account for every step, bullet, drinking water in canteens I could go on but we are only playing a game after all and not some military exercise at Sandhurst/westpoint.  I prefer to have what looks right/feels right for the size of table I use. This period seems to be so anal on things like this, I haven’t come across this in say WW2  “how come I can only move my sherman 10″ = 500yds  in a ten minute turn instead of 2 miles”. when  you use historical movement and you can cross the table in one move especially with cavalry then deployment becomes the main focus of the game. Unless you break it down in to phases to allow your line to form square etc. as the said cavalry thunder towards your line. Oh just remembered that’s what we seem to have by using fudged movement rates.

    #10009
    McLaddie
    Participant

    Considering that all the games of the Napoleonic period and Nineteenth Century appear to have the same scale movement of 600 to 1700 yards an hour, from Empire and Napoleon’s Battles to Black Powder, Die Fighting and LaSalle,  that doesn’t strike me as something that designers have treated as particularly ‘fungible.’

    1 Yorks:

    Now, it is an interesting question, and in considering it doesn’t ipso facto make the answer the basis of a traditional game design or any game design, let alone needing some exacting precision, which is not what simulations and wargames are based on. They use ratios and generalizations and relationships.  However, they are expressed in numbers and exactness, e.g.  a unit can move exactly 8 inches on the roll of two dice with the exact numbers, 5 and 3.

    The military has always been an organization working to ensure predictable performance in the face of the vagaries of the battlefield and the chaos the enemy is determined to inflict.  Sheckly makes a pertinent observation when he writes:  “it doesn’t seem correct that in a well regulated brigade there would be many instances where two units in the same brigade with the same terrain restrictions would have such a movement disparity.’  Not when troops were constantly trained to maintain that uniformity of movement.  The military men of the time do seem to be anal about that.

    I agree with repiqueone that wargames try to capture the psychology of the commander:  Present the players with similar challenges, choices and consequences on an artificial battlefield.  So the question has to be what those men were thinking.  Military men weren’t shy about expressing their thoughts on this in AARs, treatises, training manuals, and memoirs.

    So, how do commanders think? What are they concerned with, worry over etc.?

    1. They uniformly expressed the opinion, which is demonstrated on the battlefield, that in general,  battalions in line ‘in general’ , on average, could move @ 75 yards a minute.  Now is considering all the issues of dressing lines, enemy fire, order transmission etc. etc. that they were very well aware of.  And that speed is supported by all the battlefield movement over similar ground that I have found.  Not surprising that the military men give that as a generalization.

    2. So, getting in the mind of the commander, when he wants a corps to move from here to there, what is he thinking?  I gave the example of Napoleon with Soult at Austerlitz. Napoleon asks Soult how long it will take for his two divisions to get to the Pratzen heights.  Soult doesn’t go, “Well shoot, I don’t know, from ten minutes to an hour and a half. You can never tell. It’s really cold and there’s a fog.”   Nope, he says ‘twenty minutes’.  Napoleon doesn’t look at him askance and reply “Are you nuts? You can’t know that.”  Nope, instead he takes that at face value and based on it, [the distance and time corresponding to that generalization] holds off on releasing Soult for another fifteen minutes to let the Allies march farther away.   That strikes me that those two commanders–psychologically–were heavily into issues of D=T*R down to the minute.

    Nor is this movement rate an exception or oddity because the French are experienced and superbly trained at this point.  The Allies’ plan dictated how long the various columns should take to go from their jump-off points to engaging the enemy.  Even with all the delays created by the Cavalry Corps riding in among the southern infantry columns, they all made their schedules, achieving the same general speed.  The variations in speed are less than 15%  overall–as a generalization.  For the third column that  didn’t keep to the schedule, the terrain was identified as the reason.

    This certainly isn’t The Most Important element in a wargame recreating Napoleonic warfare.  It certainly doesn’t have to be on the top ten ‘look fors’ among gamers, or The Reason to drop a game.  It can’t be the basis for a game, simply one of many elements. The backbone of any game is the way time is segmented and monitored.  Again, just a useful fact.  Expected movement rates certainly is only one of many things that would make up the ‘psychology of a commander’ and any planning… and would be different for each level of command.

    It is just the answer to the thread question.  It is what Napoleonic Generals thought about the question ‘In general’.  It seems pretty obvious.  It is also obvious that their general expectations for infantry movement is about twice the movement rates found in most all wargame rules.  Wargame designers have estimated half the rate that the actual military men did.  I suspect that has more to do with hobby conventions than anything else.

    1 yorks, I think the ’roundabout’ feel to the conversation is different folks placing different values on that information, going off topic, or questioning it’s validity… though I haven’t seen any counter evidence.

    #10016
    Bandit
    Participant

    or, are they looking to publish a set of rules which appear to be so accurate I will need to account for every step, bullet, drinking water in canteens

    No one is proposing that… but several people keep claiming it is being proposed, here is an example of how people are responding to things that aren’t proposed:

    Lets be very clear about this, drill rates are to field rates as hamburger TV ads are to the hamburger actually served at your local fast -food joint.

    The examples that McLaddie and I have given have been field rates. You’re the only one in this thread talking about drill rates – why are you arguing against something no one is proposing?

    What you are confusing is the potential to move a certain distance and the willingness or capacity to do so.

    My criticism of wargames is that the movement rates are commonly so slow that they do not resemble the field rates, or the randomized movement (via dice or other mechanics) make the potential distances so polarized that it often isn’t practical to move historically because you immediately cede the initiative to the player who chooses not to move historically.

    I don’t own your game so I can’t speak to its mechanics. But more and more of what is being said in this thread comes down to, “I like games I like, I like gams that are fun to play and are cohesive as games.” I have no complaint with that, seems perfectly valid, I just don’t know why trying to make basic components of the game – like movement, very fundamental – resemble history is decried as ‘button counting’, impractical and unplayable.

    Let me ask you some things very, very directly:

    *If* the following things are accepted as true…
    • Infantry divisions consistently moved at a rate that averaged 75 yards per minute.
    • This was true no matter what terrain they were moving through except in extreme cases.
    • While some minutes of movement would be faster and others slower, in 20 minutes divisions consistently covered ~1,400 yards in the field.
    • The game you’re working with models divisional movement.
    • The turns of the game you’re working with represent 20 minutes.

    Then why should the division’s movement be randomized?
    Why is randomizing the division’s movement more historical?
    How does this constitute “button counting” or “drill book movement”?

    #10017
    Bandit
    Participant

    It is just the answer to the thread question.  It is what Napoleonic Generals thought about the question ‘In general’.  It seems pretty obvious.  It is also obvious that their general expectations for infantry movement is about twice the movement rates found in most all wargame rules.  Wargame designers have estimated half the rate that the actual military men did.  I suspect that has more to do with hobby conventions than anything else.

    I thought I was looking to discuss something very clear and direct in its scope but it has been largely blown out of proportion and misrepresented in the responses of many. Sam expressed frustration that I wasn’t proposing a holistic game system but was seeking to examine a specific aspect of game systems. Bob keeps objecting to drill rates and button counting but I don’t know why since he’s the one bringing such things up.

    And based on the objections to doing movement any other way, it sure seems like your conclusion that people are just fixated on the status quo is correct.

    I feel like there is a real contradiction present in the criticism expressed:
    • When I ask why movement rates are so slow I’m told it represents historical conditions.
    • When I ask for historical examples of what conditions complicated movement I’m button counting.
    • When I ask about speeding up movement radically I’m told dicing for movement is more historical.
    • When I ask why dicing for movement is historical I’m told it represents historical conditions.
    • When I challenge what historical conditions dicing for movement represents I’m told historical ‘snippets’ don’t have value.

    So, what the heck?

    If dicing for movement is more historical than consistent movement rates, what is the basis that allowed someone to determine that?
    And if the historical record doesn’t have value in determining movement rates, how can history be the basis for justifying dicing for movement?

    Look – if someone says “I like random movement because its my preference and I think it makes for a fun game” – I have NO ARGUMENT. But when someone says:
    • Historically movements rates are better represented by random movement.
    • Using historical movement rates makes for a bad game.
    I’m consistently challenging them because I don’t see the necessary relationship that makes those statements true and they are not self-supporting.

    #10023
    McLaddie
    Participant

    What you are confusing is the potential to move a certain distance and the willingness or capacity to do so.

    There is no confusion because we aren’t dealing with either potential or willingness–which is generally hard to quantify–and doesn’t tell you much about performance in any case.  We have been dealing with:

    1.. What military men during the Napoleonic period thought were the expected general capacity of infantry to move over open ground.

    2. What they trained for to produce an expected capacity to move.

    3. The average movement rate of brigades of infantry during the Napoleonic period over open ground.

    4. And how those three agree.

    Whatever potential and willingness resided with Napoleonic infantry brigades on the battlefield, they consistently achieved around 75 yards per minute–under fire, in line… which is what capacity is all about and what, from all the indications I have found, the military men used in planning. [Napoleon, Soult, and the Allies at Austerlitz, for example] How important that information is to a design and how to make such history into a fun game are different questions.

    I think sometimes there is this hobby urge to wrap history and design issues in a fog simply because it makes justifying wargame designs easier or unnecessary. If no one knows where you are, you ain’t lost and any opinion on location is as good as another.  It gives the imagination a blank page rather than an historical one.

    McLaddie

     

     

    #10032
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    I suspect that has more to do with hobby conventions than anything else…

    Surely this has been expressed in rulesets before now?  A rules-writer can get the movement rates right, but can’t get the overall time of the battle correct if they allow those movement rates (hence each turn in the old WRG rules or Quarrie rules ‘representing half-an-hour/an hour of real time’, although they explicitly say that the basic game mechanics represent a turn of 2 minutes or so).

    It isn’t immediately obvious which is more important.  Explicitly in Quarrie’s rules, the real-time represented is the more important, because the campaign has to ‘work’.

    In fact, the ‘problem’ with movement rules is, I reckon, partly a problem of how to represent slowly, attritional combat and partly physical game mechanics (if there is a 10-minute move, your infantry brigade can move 750m, enough to get through the entire enemy position: how to resolve an attack?  How can any gamers carry out enough 2-minute turns to play a battle? ).

     

     

     

     

    #10033
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    And we are skirting close to the Concept Which Dare Not Say its Name!

    #10035
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Ha! Well I thought that ‘that’ was invented to solve this particular problem…

    Or ‘solve’ it, anyway.

     

    #10038
    Bandit
    Participant

    Surely this has been expressed in rulesets before now?  A rules-writer can get the movement rates right, but can’t get the overall time of the battle correct if they allow those movement rates (hence each turn in the old WRG rules or Quarrie rules ‘representing half-an-hour/an hour of real time’, although they explicitly say that the basic game mechanics represent a turn of 2 minutes or so).

    It isn’t immediately obvious which is more important.  Explicitly in Quarrie’s rules, the real-time represented is the more important, because the campaign has to ‘work’.

    In fact, the ‘problem’ with movement rules is, I reckon, partly a problem of how to represent slowly, attritional combat and partly physical game mechanics (if there is a 10-minute move, your infantry brigade can move 750m, enough to get through the entire enemy position: how to resolve an attack?  How can any gamers carry out enough 2-minute turns to play a battle? ).

    Not ever being a fan of Quarrie’s notion of using a 2 minute turn and then later pretending that two minutes was 30 minutes, I came to believe that turns needed to represent about the same time they take to complete. Therefore, each must represent between 15-30 minutes simply because I think it is generally not viable to complete playing a turn in less than 15-30 minutes.

    Quarrie choosing to do this weird time thing always struck me as a workaround for other mechanics and choices being either broken or inviable. For instance the choice of ground scale he made locked you into doing portions of historical battles or bath tubbing them because geographically little fit on the table. With the size of the tabletop battlefield now so greatly reduced by the ground scale, using historical movement rates gets hard unless your turns represent really short periods of time. Hence the 2 minute turn. But playing out a battle in two minute increments isn’t very doable so then he says that when judging the duration of the battle pretend the 2 minute turns are like 30 or 60 minutes or something like that. Hence the workaround for other choices.

    What I am not yet aware of is why the movement rate / battle time conflict would exist in all scales and scopes – I’m presently of the opinion it doesn’t. If 1″ is at least 75 yards – or more – and your turns are around 20 minutes, I think your table can represent a large enough area that the movement distances are playable and game-time can be linked to battle-time close to accurately while remaining playable in real-time.

    #10039
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    What I am not yet aware of is why the movement rate / battle time conflict would exist in all scales and scopes – I’m presently of the opinion it doesn’t. If 1″ is at least 75 yards – or more – and your turns are around 20 minutes, I think your table can represent a large enough area that the movement distances are playable and game-time can be linked to battle-time close to accurately while remaining playable in real-time.

    There is no reason why you couldn’t.  But then you shift your problems elsewhere – effects of fire, reaction time and so on, because if you allow these things to be broken down into too granular chunks, then you simply re-invent the problem of 2-minute turns: in effect, mini-VLB controversies in your reaction phase.  And it may or may not solve the ‘systemic’ problem of overall battle time.  But no doubt that it would be relatively easily to get the movement itself (relatively) right.

     

    #10041
    McLaddie
    Participant

    I suspect that has more to do with hobby conventions than anything else…

    Surely this has been expressed in rulesets before now?  A rules-writer can get the movement rates right, but can’t get the overall time of the battle correct if they allow those movement rates (hence each turn in the old WRG rules or Quarrie rules ‘representing half-an-hour/an hour of real time’, although they explicitly say that the basic game mechanics represent a turn of 2 minutes or so).

    Tempest:

    That wasn’t quite the convention I was referring to. I meant the apparently ‘600 to 1 mile movement rate in an hour, regardless of the system or scale or period. Sure, getting the overall time of the battle is a real issue. I don’t want to suggest otherwise, but I haven’t seen much to suggest that the ‘overall time’ been solved by any particular set of rules or design approach.  Which rules have gotten the “overall time of the battle correct?” I am not sure whether we are thinking of the same thing here.  Many rules sets fail to allow for any ‘overall’ process for scenarios that require large movement like Austerlitz or Friedland or Bautzen.  The battles move hours behind the historical engagement. They only work in some respect when the opposing units start very close together, like Waterloo or Borodino.  The shorter the scale movement allowed, the more likely the scenarios will have enemy units set up within a move of one another.  Regimental Fire & Fury is a good example. All most all scenarios provided start with enemy units with in one movement [three hundred yards] of the enemy.

    There is no reason why you couldn’t.  But then you shift your problems elsewhere – effects of fire, reaction time and so on, because if you allow these things to be broken down into too granular chunks, then you simply re-invent the problem of 2-minute turns: in effect, mini-VLB controversies in your reaction phase.  And it may or may not solve the ‘systemic’ problem of overall battle time.  But no doubt that it would be relatively easily to get the movement itself (relatively) right.

    This is the argument. Certainly, in a interconnected system, solving one problem can create others elsewhere. The explanation is that one can’t use historical movement rates because things happen too fast and all the events that happen during movement from artillery fire to attrition and enemy reactions can’t be done.  In other words, to allow for all the granular chunks of combat and artillery, movement is slowed down to half speed–the only other option is cutting down movement to a few minutes and seconds.

    Movement has to be sacrificed for all those combat things to occur.  You gotta fudge movement [specifically] to make the game work.  This means that battles are fought at half-speed, with lots of game rationales for that, or historical reasons, which don’t track.  This is most apparent in historical scenarios with lots of movement. Even short engagements like Pickett’s Charge run into this problem, regardless of the ACW rules.  The Confederate divisions spend an hour or more crossing terrain they historically crossed in 20 minutes, under fire, dressing lines by division twice, changing lines of direction and crossing fences.

    Yet, some rules have infantry units move 24 to 36 inches in one turn [and cavalry farther] without those apparent limitations/problems portraying combat…yet still keep the same scale half-speed?  That strikes me more as convention than any game or table needs.  Those movement rates of two to three feet on the table seems to make a hash of both the table limits arguments and the rationales for movement rate vs combat needs.

    Obviously, it isn’t simply the ability of units to move long distances across the table that limits the scale issues or whether combat can be dealt with adequately.  And regardless of the extreme variability of movement of some game systems or how combat is handled, the scale rate of movement remains nearly universal... half speed?

    I’m asking the questions, not because I have The Answer. I’m asking them because the current ‘game design answers’ about scale/movement limitations don’t seem to fit with either the rules published at the moment or any apparent ‘fungible’ variety in scale movement rates, regardless of the scale or rules.

    McLaddie

     

    #10049
    Bandit
    Participant

    But then you shift your problems elsewhere – effects of fire, reaction time and so on, because if you allow these things to be broken down into too granular chunks, then you simply re-invent the problem of 2-minute turns: in effect, mini-VLB controversies in your reaction phase.

    I don’t think I agree with this. It is, as McLaddie says, “the argument made” that if you have historical movement speeds then you’ll break other stuff. However, when I look at tactical game systems from the last 20-25 years, they already address some of these things. As I noted a couple pages back in this thread, the Johnny Reb series provides a couple different specific options for defender reactions to charges, Guns of Liberty offers another, The Sword & the Flame offers yet another.

    This is not to say that using one of these is the solution, rather that solutions appear possible.

    Depending on the scope of the game combat and defensive reactions will need to be handled differently. If you’re playing a more tactical game they will be more nuanced and *I think* harder to design. More macro? I think far, far easier and definitely possible.

    #10052
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    This is not to say that using one of these is the solution, rather that solutions appear possible.

    Sure, I agree: I don’t imagine that the problems are insoluble, but simply that realistic movement rates in large-duration terms creates challenges in other parts of the rules.

    #10053
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Yet, some rules have infantry units move 24 to 36 inches in one turn [and cavalry farther] without those apparent limitations/problems portraying combat…yet still keep the same scale half-speed? That strikes me more as convention than any game or table needs. Those movement rates of two to three feet on the table seems to make a hash of both the table limits arguments and the rationales for movement rate vs combat needs.

    Which rules are these, Bill?  The only ones I can think of like this are Black Powder.    They are designed to be played on pretty huge tables so they can get away with the big (potential) moves.

    #10055
    Bandit
    Participant

    The only ones I can think of like this are Black Powder.    They are designed to be played on pretty huge tables so they can get away with the big (potential) moves.

    Most setups are still going to be played across the depth so a maximum distance of 6′ edge to edge so I don’t know that this skews much.

    #10056
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    You are probably right.  Still, the Black Powder mechanic is just as problematic for the historically accurate movement rate issue.

     

     

    #10061
    repiqueone
    Participant

    The key here is the interplay of mechanics which almost inevitably imposes a limit, if only from caution and discretion, that is less than the maximums.  Mc Laddie exaggerates the distances moved in Die Fighting, first by stating extreme examples of potential moves, and then by simple error in how the rules work.

    The arguments for longer move distances on the table are:

    1. More closely matches historical possibilities in, say,a half hour turn or more.

    2. Accelerates play allowing more units on the table, and game resolution in less time.

    3. Provides for a much larger range of feints, sudden attacks, and encourages more circumspection on defensive deployments.

    4. Strongly encourages one, or at most two, major attacks in a game and defeats the slow general attack that makes every period play like WWI, in favor of a focused attack in one zone or area.

    5. Provides for a feeling among players that something is really happening, visual change is occuring, rather than being a participant in some tableaux.

    Use of these longer move segments requires rules that restrict movement in different ways than simple short distance segments.  This can be done by the use of cards limiting who can move, and how often moves occur, it can also be done by making move distances sufficiently variable that the gamers wisely begin contemplation of their attempted actions by using an average, and limiting actual moves by their own discretion, rather than getting too far out on some limb and exposed to enemy counter attack.

    In our games, unless unusual circumstances prevail, the usual infantry move is two dice in linear formation.  In a given turn the infantry or cavalry unit may have an opportunity to move of twice, once, or not at all.  This ranges from a 25% chance of twice, to a 66% chance of once, to an 8% chance on not at all.  In rolling two dice the most common outcome is, of course, seven.  So the potential range of movement over open ground( which at the ground scale of most wargames could have extensive minor variations and roughness) is zero to 24″ in possible outcomes, but not all outcomes are equally probable.  So commanders end up doing what actual commanders did and anticipate and act on the likely outcomes, but they are not an average imposed by the move segment but by what is likely to occur.  It makes them deal with probability and risk which fixed turns, and short movement segments do not.  To be clear, even rare large moves are usually tempered by commanders as there are no advantages to getting a unit stuck well out ahead of his fellows and exposed to a number of enemy units, unsupported.  On the other hand, a race to a critical town or bridge can be downright thrilling!

    It is true that most gamers are so risk adverse and protective of their egos that this can be a difficult thing for them to handle when initially presented with a game that throws them into the deep end of the pool.  A number of gamers expect the rules and game play to protect them from such stress, and prefer the slow, unthreatening, totally predictable, and SAFE environments that many traditional designs provide.

    #10070
    Bandit
    Participant

    Use of these longer move segments requires rules that restrict movement in different ways than simple short distance segments.

    Can you explain why you feel this is required? It isn’t evident on its face.

    #10072
    McLaddie
    Participant

    Which rules are these, Bill?  The only ones I can think of like this are Black Powder.    They are designed to be played on pretty huge tables so they can get away with the big (potential) moves.

    Tempest:

    Bob’s Die Fighting, Piquet, the streamlined variation Field of Battle are what I was thinking of, but there are others.  Bob above says: “Mc Laddie exaggerates the distances moved in Die Fighting, first by stating extreme examples of potential moves, and then by simple error in how the rules work.”  He then goes on to list the benefits of long moves and Die Fighting, concluding that, “Use of these longer move segments requires rules that restrict movement in different ways than simple short distance segments.  This can be done by the use of cards limiting who can move, and how often moves occur, it can also be done by making move distances sufficiently variable that the gamers wisely begin contemplation of their attempted actions by using an average, and limiting actual moves by their own discretion, rather than getting too far out on some limb and exposed to enemy counter attack.”  [Bold mine]

    So he has described how mechanisms in Die Fighting handle potential issues with long moves.  However, I didn’t exaggerate.  Units have the ability to move from 2 to 30 inches depending on how many dice are rolled. I was giving the range of potential movement, 50 scale yards to 750 yards, so of course, the extremes at both ends were given.  I made no comment on the frequency of those movements. Obviously, he has other ways to handle what he says are longer movement segments. However, Bob also seems to be saying that most movement is far shorter than 750 yards in what I gather from his comments is an average of a half hour, scale time per turn.

    If  long movement creates problems for carrying out artillery fire and combat, enemy reactions, etc., then how do larger tables help designers “get away with the big (potential) moves?”–particularly when the scale of most all games, large or small, tables large or small, has scale movement running around 600 to 1700 yards per hour? I would assume that any artillery fire attrition and combat would also fit within the same movement/time frame.  So whether the unit is zipping a yard across the table, or just nine inches, you have units moving through artillery fire within the same scale time frame.  Right?

    McLaddie

     

     

     

    #10073
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    If long movement creates problems for carrying out artillery fire and combat, enemy reactions, etc., then how do larger tables help designers “get away with the big (potential) moves?”–particularly when the scale of most all games, large or small, tables large or small, has scale movement running around 600 to 1700 yards per hour? I would assume that any artillery fire attrition and combat would also fit within the same movement/time frame. So whether the unit is zipping a yard across the table, or just nine inches, you have units moving through artillery fire within the same scale time frame. Right?

    I don’t think I understand, sorry.  Playing on a large table with large absolute movement is exactly the same game as playing on a small table with movement reduced in proportion (i.e. I was suggesting that Black Powder is like a traditional set but designed to be played on a bigger table than those found in typical games – but I accept Bandit’s point that it probably won’t make *that* much difference.

    I’m supportive of the idea that using realistic (c.2 mph) moves is a good idea.  I’ll be interested in how designers who use it overcome the problems of sequencing and co-ordinating activity if they use long(-ish) turns (the 15 – 30 mins that Bandit mentioned), or how they make battles last a realistic period if they use short ones.

    #10074
    McLaddie
    Participant

    So commanders end up doing what actual commanders did and anticipate and act on the likely outcomes, but they are not an average imposed by the move segment but by what is likely to occur.

    Bob:

    I appreciate the game mechanics descriptions.  I also agree with what actual commanders did: Anticipate likely outcomes.  The questions are: What outcomes did they think were likely to occur?… why?[the psychology of the estimations in decision-making] … and finally how does that jive with what players will conclude are ‘likely’ in the game.  I would think that connection is what makes the game mechanisms “Believable” and provides for that “Illusion of Reality.”  From the sounds of it, the results of two dice, or 2 -6 inches are the parameters of that ‘likely outcomes’ for infantry acrossing open ground, 50 to 150 yards per turn, or twice that with two moves 100 to 300 yards? This is within 10 minutes to 1 hour scale time?  [Or a half hour average?] Is that right?

     It makes them deal with probability and risk which fixed turns, and short movement segments do not.  To be clear, even rare large moves are usually tempered by commanders as there are no advantages to getting a unit stuck well out ahead of his fellows and exposed to a number of enemy units, unsupported.  On the other hand, a race to a critical town or bridge can be downright thrilling!

    I agree that the chance elements in getting from here to there, racing the enemy to critical spots can be thrilling. One of the real pleasures of any game are those chance elements, the surprises. And chance was definitely found on the battlefield. It is one of the reasons I like the unknown in wargames and one reason I enjoyed Piquet. In the end, I just thought you laid chaos on with a trowel rather than a paint brush, making the chaos an inch deep across the entire battlefield rather than how commanders experienced that chaos.  It comes back to ‘believability’ and the game’s relation to historical evidence.

    However, by ‘fixed’ turns, I am assuming you mean turns that have a set series of phases with one ‘short’ movement segment, rather than the possibility of two or no short movement segments, perhaps in more than one segment–such as those for infantry in Die Fighting.   I need to clarify that because ALL games have fixed turns/segments of some short, including Die Fighting–meaning they begin and end in the same ways, employing the same mechanisms in a ‘turn’ throughout the game.

    It is true that most gamers are so risk adverse and protective of their egos that this can be a difficult thing for them to handle when initially presented with a game that throws them into the deep end of the pool.  A number of gamers expect the rules and game play to protect them from such stress, and prefer the slow, unthreatening, totally predictable, and SAFE environments that many traditional designs provide.

    Most generals were risk adverse and protective of their egos too, including Napoleon.  He was quoted several times saying he “calculated every chance.”  It didn’t mean he wasn’t willing to take a risk, but it was very calculated when he did.

    Some folks have fun with extreme sports, some like golf.  On the other hand, MOST people find having fun easier in ‘safe’ environments, though they will define that differently. I have a writer friend who likes rock climbing, scaling the side of a cliff hundreds of feet up.  She is very concerned with safety, both in the equipment and her climbing partners.  However, even the most traditional of wargame designs had die rolls for combat, artillery fire and movement issues, including receiving commands, terrain, and activation and variable distances.  So, how is that any less ‘safe’ than games today?   Is that the difference  between a card draw and a die roll on a chart? Or is it Twelve possible outcomes instead of four?

    I’m thinking of Empire, Fire & Fury, Napoleon’s Battles, Koenigs Krieg,  The Sword and the Flame  and many other games of the 1980s and 90s.

    I think a lot of it has to do with the old and comfortable  and the new and different… rather than some notion of safe and unsafe.  I tend to enjoy the new and different.  I don’t think that qualifies as jettisoning the unthreatening, safe and predictable.  Playing a game for the first time of any sort feels like being thrown into the deep end of the pool, some more than others, for good and bad reasons.  And whenever players are exposed to a new game, the similarities to the games they know make floating easier.  Few people find hard ‘fun’ as a relaxing entertainment.

    Even Piquet came to feel well worn, predictable and ‘safe’ [what is that saying about familiarity breeding….]  If players want safe and predictable, then to sell games, that’s what you give them. [Now whose design philosophy is that?] If not, then do something else, but don’t complain about it.

    We design games to provide certain play experiences. It stands to reason that fewer people will enjoy extreme sports than golf.  Get over it.

    McLaddie.

     

     

    #10079
    McLaddie
    Participant

    I don’t think I understand, sorry.  Playing on a large table with large absolute movement is exactly the same game as playing on a small table with movement reduced in proportion (i.e. I was suggesting that Black Powder is like a traditional set but designed to be played on a bigger table than those found in typical games – but I accept Bandit’s point that it probably won’t make *that* much difference.

    Tempest:

     Perhaps that’s because I don’t understand.  The two arguments against longer movement rates expressed here, a rate closer to what was generally done historically I thought were:

    1. Table limitations. You can’t have longer movements because the units are off the table in a few turns. [Mentioned several places]

    2. You can’t have longer moves because it creates all sorts of serious difficulties calculating artillery fire and enemy reactions, artillery fire, etc. [Sam articulated this one.]

    Hence, the need for short movement rates at half the historical norm, average, generally achieved rate.

    So, it looks like, with larger tables and longer movement, you should still have the problems with #2.  Black Powder doesn’t seem to have those problems… and apparently, neither does Bob J.’s games on smaller tables with potentially longer moves, so are those 2 issues really that limiting a set of problems?

    I’m supportive of the idea that using realistic (c.2 mph) moves is a good idea.  I’ll be interested in how designers who use it overcome the problems of sequencing and co-ordinating activity if they use long(-ish) turns (the 15 – 30 mins that Bandit mentioned), or how they make battles last a realistic period if they use short ones.

    Well, look at Austerlitz. Both the French and Allies moved at or better than two miles an hour.  For all the rules I’ve seen for the Napoleonic period, that produces a battle that is way behind schedule in outcomes.  At 6pm, units just arrive where they should have been able to reach by 3pm, but gamers will conclude it’s a ‘realistic’ or ‘reasonable’ outcome because the game is over and the same end results were achieved.  Off hand, I can think of only game system that even attempted to deal with the issue of the quicker movement rate, Empire with their ‘telescoping time’ mechanism where units moved faster outside of combat range.  To my mind it didn’t work all that well as a game mechanism because it asked player to be more administrators of the system than decision-makers, and the decisions they were asked to make had little if any relation to the actual decisions CinCs had to make about such movement etc.  [That, of course, is just my opinion because I have little idea of what historical evidence prompted the designers to choose those particular mechanisms.]

    Sooo, the issues are how to segment movement and time to allow for:

    1. Movement on an average table such as a 4 X6 dining room table or 5 X9 ping pong ball table.

    2. All the things that can happen during movement and caused by movement.  [This is a time issue. How is time divided up in the game to allow all those things to happen, regardless of how fast or slow the units move.]

    3. How that all works out to achieve an ‘overall relative time’ for a battle… in other words units can and can go where they did over the course of a battle and the same dynamics and events happened during the tabletop battle compared to the real thing.  [This is a holistic view of the system and can only be determined by playing and adjusting the entire system though play, but obviously, how all the subsystems work together is the question.]

    That is how I see it.  In the final analysis, we are shooting for how the commanders in the field saw the issues of movement, combat etc. and using that as the template for the game mechanics, though many different mechanics and systems can fit the same template.

    McLaddie

    #10168
    Steve Burt
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>McLaddie wrote:</div>
    Yet, some rules have infantry units move 24 to 36 inches in one turn [and cavalry farther] without those apparent limitations/problems portraying combat…yet still keep the same scale half-speed? That strikes me more as convention than any game or table needs. Those movement rates of two to three feet on the table seems to make a hash of both the table limits arguments and the rationales for movement rate vs combat needs.

    Which rules are these, Bill? The only ones I can think of like this are Black Powder. They are designed to be played on pretty huge tables so they can get away with the big (potential) moves.

    Volley and Bayonet has relatively huge moves, and is an army level game with long turns, and units representing brigades. To get those huge moves your brigade needs to be in march formation, and hence vulnerable if attacked. When deployed, the brigade moves much slower.

    The game seems to work just fine without any complicated restrictions.

    #10175
    poniatowski
    Participant

    Sorry was on vacation…..

    I’ll start with: “I was more interested in how your morale system would handle the prolonged Albuera firefight. It was a combat resolution question rather than a unit size question.”

    My rules take into account attrition and a morale role dictates further reduction of morale and the more steps you lose, the easier it is to lose more… kind of like a domino effect.. but as I said, morale can be regained if out of combat and with a charismatic leader. A large group of soldier can react poorly if led poorly while a reduced strength unit can react heroically is well led… it is *ALL* relative…

    Addressing the rate question…. I factor in morale/discipline here…. well disciplined troops will stay formed better, longer and have less duress under fire… so their movement rates will not suffer much… (all men slow when under fire)….. so, again, somehting that can be relegated to morale level and type of leadership. As both a reenactor and historian… even under drill we have to dress the ranks, but we are NOT professional soldiers who droll regularly… I find it very possible and believable that the cadence of about 2-3 mph is doable, even with amature soildiers… the key here is even well trained troops will have issues if not well led or having poor morale….

    Now, I know I am a very new contender in this ring and there seems to be some folks who think thier age and wisdom is law in these parts. I do not mean this to be insulting in any way and I beg forgiveness if it comes across that way, I respect your opinions, but I beg to differ on a lot of what some of you anointed experts consider “Law” or “the way it is”… A lot of what is written above since my last post is pretty offensive (veiled in some arrogance for that matter too). I say anointer and use arrogance becaue there is a very “down the nose” tone in the wording.. although it might not be meant that way… I took it that way… you guys have your “groups” it seems and no one else can have a valid or respected opinion it seems unless they are “anointed” into your respectfull circle… that reeks of arrogance, sorry….

    It is a game… and there are many types of games out there and even more rules than one can every hope to read in a lifetime. But to flat out generalize other’s opinion as below yours and say they are “olde guard” so to speak…. like there was some critical juinction in wargaming or rules writing where a group of folks all of a sudden decided things would be different… and so it “Was”…. that doesn’t wash with me. Yes, a new style of play might have been developed and even subscribed to, but that doesn’t make it any more right then the old cannon. Just because one group gives up and decides to approach the question from a different angle.. doesn’t make them right or wrong for that matter…. it is just a different “style” utilizing a different mechanic to accomplish the task at hand, whether it be movement or morale….

    Everyone is hitting on some very delicate issues to which they feel they might know best…. says whom? Because you are well read? You cannot generalize and over abstract scale, time or distance…. and rate… that is a HUGE variable…. troops move quickly when not under fire, but how they slooooooooooooow when under fire is directley related to morale, discipline and leadership…. you can factor these in…. each leader has their own ratings in both leadership (tactical prowess) and charisma (motivation)…. couple that with the different types of troops having their own morale levels…. from conscript/green to elite and old guard…. a simple “under fire” morale check for motivation can be adapted to reflect the troops unwillingness to advance under fire.. this, of course, is affected by the leader’s ability to lead…. all modifiers that can be accurately assigned based upon actual recorded accounts… and not “abstracted away”….

    I do not subscribe to turning table top miniatures into an RPG….. yes, leaders have traits.. you can effective relate them through their values….

    You guys are “inventive” and “educated”, but please do not assume the rest are young and stupid or any less educated. Games that abstract a lot are garbage… random events, fog or war.. all good things to incorporate….

    The key here is to produce an accurate game that can be played in a reasonable amount of time. There are many ways to approach this monumental task and do it successfully on many levels…. to each their own, but to insinuate that someone who wants a certain level of detail is “olde guard” and is “behind the times” in wargame developement and writing is absurd…..

    Chef was a great game…. just unplayable by many folk’s opinions. Some people actually want that level of detail in a game….

    For me, it was a bit much…. and I like detail…. but to abstract the whole rate, time, distance thing really is absurd because too many times in history… battles were won because of the timely arrival of much needed support or lost because of the lack of said support.

    Turning a game into a mathematical function of f(x) doesn’t work for me.. I need elements of chance and history blended  together to make it a game, not a forced outcome….

    Dan

    #10199
    McLaddie
    Participant

    Dan:

    Thanks for the post-vacation explanation.  That is what I was interested in.

    Everyone is hitting on some very delicate issues to which they feel they might know best…. says whom?

    That, I think, is the problem.  The conversation devolved into a question of who had the right [fill in whatever personal trait you want] to comment on game design rather than the what.  It became a issue of personalities and ‘my experience is better than your experience’ etc. rather than a discussion of game mechanics and history, as though who was giving their opinion was all there was to game design rather than what was being said.

    So back to the topic at hand:

    time or distance…. and rate… that is a HUGE variable…. troops move quickly when not under fire, but how they slooooooooooooow when under fire is directly related to morale, discipline and leadership…. you can factor these in…. each leader has their own ratings in both leadership (tactical prowess) and charisma (motivation)…. couple that with the different types of troops having their own morale levels…. from conscript/green to elite and old guard…. a simple “under fire” morale check for motivation can be adapted to reflect the troops unwillingness to advance under fire.. this, of course, is affected by the leader’s ability to lead…. all modifiers that can be accurately assigned based upon actual recorded accounts… and not “abstracted away”….

    Do troops slow down when under fire?  How do troop quality and leadership change the average speed or the variability?  Those are testable questions with the historical evidence providing generalizations that correspond to history.  And who provides the evidence or works out the answer really isn’t important–its the quality of the evidence and answers.  Games work according to game mechanics and rules, regardless of who designs the game or who plays it.

    Bill

    #10218
    poniatowski
    Participant

    McLaddie,

    I agree…  the issue of mechanics can be a true bear in the woods, elusive, but dangerous when found. I think the hardest thing to deal with in Napoleonic games is indeed the movement rate. I am no scholar, but I have read a lot of accounts… so many and they all say the same kind of things. Orders aside, troops, even well led, well trained/drilled and well disciplined are not the same under fire. The hardest mechanic to develope is how much does being under fire affect the men in the field… all of the rest is statistical averages… damage is directly proportional to the training and weapon type plus the number of men firing and rage they shoot…. these things can be proven out through tests and records form then and now.

    The crux is getting to that point of unloading that volley and how long can the men handle the attrition of losing men in the field.

    Once battle is joined and the smoke starts.. most men cannot see the big picture… they rely upon their leaders to do what is best and to KNOW what is going on. And, once engaged, a unit would rather fire at range than be told ot march into it….  that is why, I think Chef had the cil roll to actually stop firing and disengage… this replicated the toughness of micromanaging companies in a large game.

    What we do know…. there have been many mechanisms to deal with tactical and grand tactical movement in many games over the years… MOST of them are pretty straight foreward…. they take the average field drill time for marching men ~3mph and decrease it a tad in game scale to represent “other terrain or dressing the ranks, etc…

    How I handled it for infantry was to take the effective musket range and make that the key distance for movement… up until troops are actually in danger of dying, they will maneuver at whatever “rate” their training/skill level dictates… better troops and doctrine determine movement rate while not under fire… that is an easy one….

    But what, onc ethey ar ewithin threatened range of serious enemy fire, do they move when withn that range… the amount of movement reduction is really base dupon their training, morale and discipline…. throw in there the leaders ability to lead and charisma for motivation.. (as modifiers)…. ill equiped troops with poor training and leadership will be very hesitant and slow greatly compared to the old guard…. With that model, you then have to throw in all kinds of other  factors… even poorly trained troops coudl have good morale and then, if led by a charismatic leader, well… they coudl accomplish great things…. the chance is there and in history it has been proven out many times…. but… this is a rarity… in my game, lets say you have that unit of conscripts/green (poor troops)… low morale…. and they see the old guard advancing upon their position. They will be making a morale check to see if they woudl even stay before engaging… this is a simple morale tests that is modified by the leader’s charisma and any situational modifiers (fort, wall, etc..)… you wind up rolling the morale check to stand… but you must subtract -1 per difference in morale grade…. lets assume no modifiers except the morale difference…. straight out of the gate, without any positive modifiers, the militia woudl flee before the old guard.. they coudln’t possibly pass that check to stay. In this way, the only way that they woud stay is by a very lucky role AND have a charismatic leade rthere to stedy them and give them enough of a plus to actually pass…. so, in one fell swoop, I have covered the abilities of the leader and the unit…. it is possible even for a player to attach a very poor leader to the old guard and thus actually make them less effective morale or combat wise…. Now, no one in their right mind would do that… but the possibility exists that a bad roll (taken by chance and casualties) causes the guard to break…. to rally they woudl need ot get that attached leader or they continue to flee…. sometimes, all you have is a crappy leader somehwere… not common for th eFrench ratings, but, well, it coudl happen.

    I just wanted to coerce players to use the tactics and strategy of the day AND realize that yes, there are bad leaders that actually negatively impacted morale, etc.. and likewise those that were very good…. it is a subtle coercion to really give the flavor of the era….

    Is it perfect…? far form it I am sure, but it really has worked for us. The key was not having pages and pages of rules, but rather having a wide spread in morale grades, musket classes and leader capabilities so that the all situations could be handled and have a pretty accurate historical outcome.

    I don’t get into too much with rain, muddy fields and hills, etc…  and how they affect cannon bounce. I let th enumber ssort themselves out.

    I digress, sorry about that.

    Back to how this ties to movement rates…. as I started to mention earlier, units under fire slow… the amount to which they slow is directly based upoon their morale grade and leadership and is handled with a simple roll once they are within engaging range… they are considered engaged and have to make a roll to see how effective they are that turn. This ties in well with accurate artillery too… as that coudl seriously slow up any commander’s plans because his troops might get “engaged” at a much greater distance and thus are slower to do anything.

    As I said, this is a roll by turn. And there is a decent chance that being engaged will not effect movement much at all for regulars and higher morale units, but it sure can affect lower morale or higher wiht bad roles. AND, it can be different form turn to turn.

    I hope this helps. It might not be fo ryou or give you any insight, but it works for us and also seems to reflect history pretty well when played out.

    One of the biggest things this prevents is the “God complex” we have as players. The game mechaniucs do not allow you to leave units in the field that are decimated. This wa snot as common as peopel wopudl believe. Commanders woudl not throw away the lives of their troops unless very desperate. They would, instead, leave the field in order if they could. This is not the rule, but it is very common. Scenario design might say… troops stay to the last man, etc… The rules are there to allow much freedom, but they are also meant to coerce players to play according to the tactics and doctrine of the time….

    #10354
    Jonathan Gingerich
    Participant

    I avoided this thread for a long time, but curiosity finally got the better of me.  What could drive a thread to 195 posts?  I sat down and read through it.  Okay, once my eyes started bleeding I began scanning;-)  I grew increasingly agitated that no one was offering the simple and ancient answer to such a simple and ancient question, and started mentally constructing my reply.   Pretty much every game out there offers historically accurate movement rates.  You take the move in scale yards, divide by 75, and get the interval of movement.

    Of course this allows the players (the 10,000 foot generals) to motor their units around like a destroyer flotilla at Jutland.  The French win Waterloo by “1:30”.  So…pretty much every rule set says the interval of movement is only part of the action represented by a turn which is the average of  friction, fog of war, hurry up and wait, whatever.

    Take Soult for example.  Did they move 3 miles in an hour?  No. They went a mile and a half in 30 minutes.  Then they engaged in a desperate firefight for a good bit.  Then, having routed the 4th column they regrouped headed south and cut off the the 3d column.  About 5 or 6 mile in 5 or 6 hours.  And this is a notably mobile battle.  Meanwhile Buxhoeveden marched 2-3 miles down the Pratzenberg and sat for 5 hours.  This is the essence of Austerlitz, and capturing it organically is what every rule set aspires to.

    Experience tells us that you are never going to get there by starting with 75 yds/1 minute.  It’s just not important.  You need to approach the problem differently.  Look what Crossfire did with modern movement rates, for example.

    So then I get to the 175th message and Tempest says “generally rules say movement is only part of the action represented by a turn”.  And a few posts later Bandit say he knows but he just doesn’t like that.

    Ouch.

    #10355
    Bandit
    Participant

    So then I get to the 175th message and Tempest says “generally rules say movement is only part of the action represented by a turn”.  And a few posts later Bandit say he knows but he just doesn’t like that.

    Ouch.

    I hate to point out that you’re missing the nuance, but to reiterate something McLaddie asked earlier in the thread [Paraphrased]: Sure, the unit that moves into a firefight spends part of its time moving and part of its time fighting and part of its time running away, etc… But what about the guy who does nothing but move all turn and is no where near the enemy. Why does he move at the same sluggish rate as does the fighting unit? Why does *everyone* slow down because one unit is doing more than moving?

    #10363
    Jonathan Gingerich
    Participant

    Typically rules give unengaged units the option to move at an accelerated pace.

    Look, everyone understands what you are looking for.  In the board wargaming world it’s called “design for cause”.  Trying to model each real world interaction and have the sum total reflect the course of a battle.  Experience tells us that you get a complicated unplayable mess and Waterloo is still over by 1:30.  It’s hard.  And if one constantly rattles on about how it should be done, sooner or later someone will challenge them to show us all how with their own set of rules.

    It’s like asking if you enjoyed a movie, and getting a long soliloquy on how a director should operate a camera during a tracking shot;-)

    #10364
    Bandit
    Participant

    Typically rules give unengaged units the option to move at an accelerated pace.

    While there are rules that do that, it is incredibly far from typical.

    Trying to model each real world interaction and have the sum total reflect the course of a battle.  Experience tells us that you get a complicated unplayable mess and Waterloo is still over by 1:30.  It’s hard.

    Yet that is not what I am trying to do.

    And if one constantly rattles on about how it should be done, sooner or later someone will challenge them to show us all how with their own set of rules.

    HA! I am not rattling on about how anything should be executed, I started a thread to discussion the pitfalls of it and what works and what doesn’t and what might be tried, yet I was *immediately* told it was a waste of time.

    It’s like asking if you enjoyed a movie, and getting a long soliloquy on how a director should operate a camera during a tracking shot;-)

    Actually it is like walking up to people talking about camera operation and complaining that they should just talk about if they like the movie…

    #10365
    Patrice
    Participant

    Jonathan Gingerich wrote:
    It’s like asking if you enjoyed a movie, and getting a long soliloquy on how a director should operate a camera during a tracking shot;-)

    Actually it is like walking up to people talking about camera operation and complaining that they should just talk about if they like the movie…

    Um, no. We like the movie.

    It’s you and McLaddie who are talking about camera operation (and yes, it is your right to do so and to have some threads for it).

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

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