Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic Shooting at lines of troops that you can't see

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 54 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #7729
    Marshal SinCere
    Participant

    Hello everyone.

     

    So, most of us will be aware of Wellingtons tactic of the Reverse slope at Waterloo and in the Peninsula (I know Wellington didn’t originate the tactic but he is strongly associated with it). We also have reports of batteries firing into towns at troops that they couldn’t directly see, and I’m willing to bet that gun crews often fired at lines of enemy troops that were in the next field (seperated by a hedge or tree-line) and not directly visible.

    My question/s are about how do we go about representing this sort of thing in a wargame? The French artillery fire over the crest of the ridge at Waterloo still accounted for significant losses amongst the allied army (not to mention the effect on morale), so I think it has to be modelled correctly in a wargame.

    If we have a blankett rule that guns can’t target an enemy that is not in line-of-site, then we miss out on an important aspect  of a Napoleonic battle. Yet if we let guns target any enemy that is within range regardless of line-of-sight then that doesn’t seem right either. Hmmm, tricky tricky.

    Any thoughts on this topic?

    (I’m really thinking about grand strategic games where the players are fighting a big battle such as Waterloo or Wagram, portraying the whole battlefield and making army level decisions,  but I suppose the question is relevant to tactical games as well.)

    #7730
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    I can see how troops in a small terrain feature like a village, small wood or farm might suffer losses, but I am amazed that blind fire over a ridge would amount to a round of terror in casualties.

     

    Even ignoring the significant dead ground for a flat trajectory projectile crossing a ridgeline, the ratio of empty space to human beings in the paddock would be enormous.

     

    Can you come up with any numbers ‘re how much shot was lobbed over the ridgeline and how many casualties were suffered there?

    #7733
    Marshal SinCere
    Participant

    I remember the account of the British soldier at Waterloo who said that he welcomed the French cavalry attacks because it gave his side a respite from the artillery bombardment. I’ll try to remember who said it and at what point it was during the battle (the timing could be important because it might mean that the artillery fire at that time wasn’t ‘blind’ anyway).

    I don’t think blind fire over a ridgeline should ever lead to a direct panic check in the enemy. I just mean that slow attritional losses and the horrible experience of having shells come in your general direction all day must have had some sort of effect on the Allies. Why else would Napoleon have spent all day bombarding the enemy lines if it had no effect at all? The things that interest me are;

    i) should we bother to show this sort of thing in a grand tactical game?

    ii) how do we quantify it?

    iii) if a Division (say at Waterloo) suffers some losses from blind fire, to which battalions do we even choose to assign the losses to?

    I appreciate that these are not easy things to address in a wargame, which is probably why rules designers don’t generally adress such things. I just think we should try.

    #7741
    willz
    Participant

    You would not go far wrong by using a bounce rule, (round shot only) range say 1st bounce at 40cm (ranges dependent on rules used) the 2nd bounce would happen at 60cm and the 3rd bounce at 70cm and then have a damage length in the bounce windows (if using a D6 based game 3 bounces and 3 decreasing size of damage areas works well)  Page 58 – 61 “The Wargame” by Charles grant explains it better than me.

    This would allow for you to target troops you can see with a chance of it bouncing over the hill to the reserve slope or targeting one side of a hill with the chance of damage to troops via a bounce.

    #7748
    McLaddie
    Participant

    It wasn’t all that unique an event,  even when it was unintentional.  The troops on the reverse slope were bombarded by the French at Waterloo.  Stuart’s division at Albuera in their advance behind the Spanish line report being under artillery fire even though they couldn’t see the French for the slope to their front.  A number of artillerists speak of ‘random’ fire that was more like interdicting an area of the battlefield rather than targeting a specific unit.  With smoke and visibility beyond about 600 yards, that could be all that the artillery could do.

    #7749
    Bandit
    Participant

    I think at that scope and scale of game there should be minimal control over the artillery by the player. Too often in games the “corps commander player” will be deciding if a battery shoots this turn or holds its fire until the next turn. At Gettysburg on the 3rd day – not a terribly different artillery scenario from your examples – Longstreet gives Alexander the order to commence the bombardment and then it is up to Alexander as to how it is conducted. The Confederates could not see all of their targets, some certainly but many Union regiments laid down behind a low stone wall. At the distance involved seeing even the stone wall was likely quite difficult in July. We have a reasonable idea of how effective their fire was but the question is equally as much about if any lack of effectiveness was due to their inability to see their targets…

    I would guess that for ranged fire most shots were largely area fire. “I know they are roughly there and so I’m going to concentrate on putting rounds nominally at that point.”

    The factor I’d be more interested in is the shooter’s ability to know how effective their fire is…

    #7752
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    William

     

    I would agree that it gives an idea, but the bounce stick needs to be lengthened by the dead ground on the reverse slope where it is difficult, if not impossible to clear the crest and not go some distance (about 6-10 X the crest height) beyond.

    As for the chances of a blind hit, divide the area you can’t see but are targetting by the area covered by the troops.  If they occupy 1% of the area, the chance of hitting should be 1%.

     

    One point which might cause eye witnesses to overplay the effect is that roundshot passing overhead made a demoralising noise.  Perhaps the affect of area fire should be only on morale.  I suspect that skirmishers operated a bit like that for other reasons.

    #7763
    Patrice
    Participant

    say 1st bounce at 40cm (ranges dependent on rules used) the 2nd bounce would happen at 60cm and the 3rd bounce at 70cm and then have a damage length in the bounce windows (if using a D6 based game 3 bounces and 3 decreasing size of damage areas works well)

    but the bounce stick needs to be lengthened by the dead ground on the reverse slope where it is difficult, if not impossible to clear the crest and not go some distance (about 6-10 X the crest height) beyond. As for the chances of a blind hit, divide the area you can’t see but are targetting by the area covered by the troops. If they occupy 1% of the area, the chance of hitting should be 1%.

    Um, don’t forget to multiply it by the integral curve of the angle of the reverse slope. And then, divide it by π.

    Are you guys kidding or do you seriously calculate things so precisely in a game?

    I suspect that you are just making fun of this other thread about Beer & Pretzels games…

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

    #7774
    Cerdic
    Participant

    The question of ammunition expenditure verses casualties caused is interesting.

    Sir Richard Henegan was Ordnance Commissary in the Peninsula. In his memoirs he notes the ammunition used at Vittoria and complains of the amount of waste: “the almost incredible disproportion that exists between the number of shots fired, and the casualties they occasion”.

    He calculates: “each infantry soldier, on entering the field, had sixty rounds of ball cartridges in his cartouch box, making a total of three million rounds.” In addition, during the engagement, “one million, three hundred and fifty thousand rounds of ball cartridges were issued by the Field Train”. Then there is the artillery “which, upon the average, fired, on that day, seventy-three rounds of shot and shell each, making a total of six thousand eight hundred and seventy rounds.” However, “the French lost in killed and wounded eight thousand out of ninety thousand combatants”.

    “At every battle in the Peninsula, except Barossa, the author remarked the same undue expenditure of ammunition, in relation to the small extent of damage done; and, from whatever cause this immense waste of powder and shot may have proceeded……it is a subject well worthy the attention of commanding officers of regiments.”

    Maybe wargames need a mechanism which deems troops to be firing at an empty space!

    #7775
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    The question of ammunition expenditure verses casualties caused is interesting. Sir Richard Henegan was Ordnance Commissary in the Peninsula. In his memoirs he notes the ammunition used at Vittoria and complains of the amount of waste: “the almost incredible disproportion that exists between the number of shots fired, and the casualties they occasion”. He calculates: “each infantry soldier, on entering the field, had sixty rounds of ball cartridges in his cartouch box, making a total of three million rounds.” In addition, during the engagement, “one million, three hundred and fifty thousand rounds of ball cartridges were issued by the Field Train”. Then there is the artillery “which, upon the average, fired, on that day, seventy-three rounds of shot and shell each, making a total of six thousand eight hundred and seventy rounds.” However, “the French lost in killed and wounded eight thousand out of ninety thousand combatants”. “At every battle in the Peninsula, except Barossa, the author remarked the same undue expenditure of ammunition, in relation to the small extent of damage done; and, from whatever cause this immense waste of powder and shot may have proceeded……it is a subject well worthy the attention of commanding officers of regiments.” Maybe wargames need a mechanism which deems troops to be firing at an empty space!

    It is popularly reckoned, and recounted by Hughes in ‘Firepower’ I think, that in WWII a thousand smallarms rounds were expended to cause one casualty. OK, that was an emptier battlefield with fast firing weapons, but it’s obvious that sheer weight of fire is not as lethal as wargamers would like to believe.

    Wargames are bloodier affairs than than the real thing. Always have been.

    Probably better that way.

     

     

     

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #7776
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Patrice

    However you do things, if artillery with a flat trajectory are firing over a ridge, there is a dead zone immediately behind the crest in which troops literally cannot be hit.  If the ridge is 25m high – one contour in most 1:50,000 topo maps, that zone will be about 200m wide, enough for a line to march  parallel to the crest in safety.  If yuou are going to allow artillery to fire blind, they should not be imbued with the characteristics of a modern day mortar.

    Cerdic

    A reasonable assessment of what it took to kill a man was about 2 roundshot or his weight in musket balls.  Some battles were bloodier, some less so, but the purpose of fire was to shake the enemy so that they could be routed by a charge.  Shooting at people has never been a good way of killing them.

    #7777
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Patrice However you do things, if artillery with a flat trajectory are firing over a ridge, there is a dead zone immediately behind the crest in which troops literally cannot be hit. If the ridge is 25m high – one contour in most 1:50,000 topo maps, that zone will be about 200m wide, enough for a line to march parallel to the crest in safety. If yuou are going to allow artillery to fire blind, they should not be imbued with the characteristics of a modern day mortar

    Though even a ‘spent’ ball rolling along the ground could do some damage, even to an out of sight target. It’s unlikely that any battery commander is going to deliberately fire on a target that can’t be seen though, why waste shot and effort on trying to kill something that might not be there?

     

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #7778
    Iain Fuller
    Participant

    Howitzers anyone?

     

    For your example of firing over a ridgeline, how about just dividing the normal fire effect by a third to model fire of the part of the battery that could engage with shells? And before people start, I know that they were not used as an indirect fire weapon as we know it today, but surely it would have been obvious to officers at the time that they were the best weapons to use for that purpose – why else were they included in batteries and indeed were there batteries formed of just howitzers if not for this?

    Just my two-penneth….

    #7779
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Howitzers anyone? For your example of firing over a ridgeline, how about just dividing the normal fire effect by a third to model fire of the part of the battery that could engage with shells? And before people start, I know that they were not used as an indirect fire weapon as we know it today, but surely it would have been obvious to officers at the time that they were the best weapons to use for that purpose – why else were they included in batteries and indeed were there batteries formed of just howitzers if not for this? Just my two-penneth….

    My understanding is that common shell and plunging fire was employed against buildings.

     

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #7781
    ExtraCrispy
    Participant

    Ah now you’ve opened a can of worms…..

    Rule 3.4: A unit immediately behind a crest may be fired upon by artillery but is treated as concealed, and in hard cover.

    Wellington: “I see units immediately behind a crest can be fired upon. Haversham, there’s a good lad, tell all our officers when they occupy a crest, make sure they lie 20 yards behind it so as to be utterly immune from enemy artillery.”

     

    #7784
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”></div>

    Though even a ‘spent’ ball rolling along the ground could do some damage, even to an out of sight target. It’s unlikely that any battery commander is going to deliberately fire on a target that can’t be seen though, why waste shot and effort on trying to kill something that might not be there?

     

    Connard, I couldn’t agree more.  This is like firing carbines from horses, repelling rear attacks by turning even numbered men around and a thousand other things.  I do not think that it is worth the candle.  But, if it is to be done it should not become the latest gamey way to kill your opponents.

     

    On the matter of howitzers, I have the following for a “7 pdr howitzer” from an unknown source and of an unknown nature.  The 7pdr seems odd because the 1lb charge is 1/15 of bomb weight, which suggests a 15 pound shell, much more reasonable:

    1lb or 1/15 bombweight

    Elevation Range

    2.5             301

    4.5            420

    5.5            500

     

    1.5lb or 1/10 bombweight

    2              500

     

    2lb or 1/7 bombweight

    2             700

    3            900

    4          1100

     

    This is something I would have read long ago and it may have been atypical, but you can see that a howitzer was not elevated to great angles.  Sure the dead ground would have been shorter, and more manageable, and a shell is probably a better area effect weapon than a ball ricocheting or rolling over a crest, but I agree with Connard, the main purpose of howitzers was to come through the roof of a house and set fire to it.

     

    #7786
    Sparker
    Participant

    Lets not conflate the material effect of artillery fire with its morale effect. And I’m don’t just mean morale effect on the enemy. In many ways 12 pounders were not much more effective than 6 pounders – sure they went further and hit slightly harder, but they had half the rate of fire. No, for Napoleon, their importance lay in the far greater volume of noise and shock they created! Particularly as the quality of his troops declined, he placed more and more value in having their assaults ‘fired in’ by 12 pounders to put heart into his young conscripts.

    To an extent, therefore, what the guns were actually firing at was not really the point, so long as they were seen to be firing in the general direction of the enemy!

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #7790
    Bandit
    Participant

    Lets not conflate the material effect of artillery fire with its morale effect. And I’m don’t just mean morale effect on the enemy.

    Good point.

    #7794
    Bandit
    Participant

    Out of curiosity, does anyone have hard stats on the distance bounce through could reliability be presumed to go?

    Nafzinger does provide some data in Imperial Bayonets but it isn’t incredibly directed at that question.

    #7795
    Iain Fuller
    Participant

    Sorry chaps but there are enough accounts of troops being shelled rather than suffering from roundshot to point to their use against all targets and not just buildings.

    Also have to agree with you there Sparker, the morale effect of guns is usually more affective than the actual physical damage caused to targets – although witnessing that would have been more than unsettling for those on the receiving end.

    Making loud bangs is one of the jobs the artillery is for, it makes the pbi either very happy or very sad – it is why they are the only ones who get to play with guns and everyone else has weapons (we got taught this with pride at Woolwich).

     

    #7801
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Damn, the excel tables looked great when I copied them in but just gave piles of html code.

     

    The answer is it depends.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/j9ga0u0ala2spgq/AAA02lZcskhEktH0fSZqSVb1a?dl=0

     

    Try this dropbox link, this is my excel table of what Paddy Griffiths would have called snippets.  Its called firepower, but I just appended Pivka to the file.  The first version of this file was done in Visi Calc.

    #7817
    McLaddie
    Participant

    Well, I think there are a number of things that could be added to the conversation;

    1. Artillery caused a lot of smoke, so either the guns slowed their fire [firing one at a time down the battery] or fired at unseen targets… depending on the situation, artillery men did both. A grand battery was a smoke machine… after a very few shots, nobody was going to see much of anything.  The idea was to throw as much metal down field in the general direction of the enemy as possible.

    2.  Artillerists like Tousard speak of direct fire and ‘random’ fire where artillery would basically ‘interdict’ an area of the battlefield with loosely aimed or unaimed fire, a method particularly helped by bounce through. Even a slow rolling ball had enough inertia to take a man’s foot off.  Enemy units would be focused on the shelling, dodging random balls and be less willing to move, not counting the subsequent morale effects.  Clausewitz wrote about being a courier, knowing how close he was to the front lines by the weight, number and manner in which cannon balls were coming his way… and it started a long way off.  He never mentions any probable targets for all that shot.

    3. Artillerists would use plunging fire and any other methods when it suited, which could include against unseen troops behind slopes.

    4. Artillerists, even in the ACW comment on prolonged, intense fire from their battery, but then report that each gun fired only 12-14 shells average per hour or about one shot per five minutes.    For Vittoria, “Then there is the artillery “which, upon the average, fired, on that day, seventy-three rounds of shot and shell each, making a total of six thousand eight hundred and seventy rounds.”   That’s only nine rounds or less an hour.  Obviously, guns at times would fire much more rapidly, but even firing one round per minute, that is only a little over 73 minutes or an hour and a quarter of fire for a day-long battle–and certainly not anywhere close to the amount of ammo carried by a British battery.   How much of that was just tossing shot out to annoy the enemy with no real aiming, but just ‘random’ fire?

    I don’t have an answer to that, but it is something to add to the other points under consideration.

     

    #7826
    Patrice
    Participant

    Patrice However you do things, if artillery with a flat trajectory are firing over a ridge (…)

    Yes I accept the question is accurate; it is the precise calculations that surprised me…

    I suppose it depends if the gunners really know there is something behind the ridge, or not. And, as it has been suggested, they don’t know if the fire is effective. Perhaps the dice for these shots should be rolled only after their first attacking unit arrives on the ridge and can see what is behind.

    On a slightly different matter – attacking a fortress – Vauban writes that canonballs must pass just above the first wall of the attacked place, so they bounce on the opposite wall and cause death and destruction inside (Vauban, “Traité de l’attaque des places”). That would be quite difficult to quantify in a game too, the canonballs can bounce in any direction inside the fort, that’s like playing billiard blind.

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

    #7830
    McLaddie
    Participant

    On a slightly different matter – attacking a fortress – Vauban writes that canonballs must pass just above the first wall of the attacked place, so they bounce on the opposite wall and cause death and destruction inside (Vauban, “Traité de l’attaque des places”). That would be quite difficult to quantify in a game too, the canonballs can bounce in any direction inside the fort, that’s like playing billiard blind.

    Well, along the walls and spaces of a fort would be filled with troops in a generally small area and predictable manner.  In Vaubans forts, there often would be a higher wall behind the first one rather close. Also, Vauban looked for enfilade fire down the length of a wall which would produce a different kind of billiard ball action, and certainly not totally blind.

    #7846
    Marshal SinCere
    Participant

     

    “To an extent, therefore, what the guns were actually firing at was not really the point, so long as they were seen to be firing in the general direction of the enemy!”

    “The idea was to throw as much metal down field in the general direction of the enemy as possible.”

    “Lets not conflate the material effect of artillery fire with its morale effect. And I’m don’t just mean morale effect on the enemy.”

    “No, for Napoleon, their importance lay in the far greater volume of noise and shock they created! Particularly as the quality of his troops declined, he placed more and more value in having their assaults ‘fired in’ by 12 pounders to put heart into his young conscripts.”

     

    Some very interesting posts gentlemen. And yet, whilst all these sorts of things are were so important in a Napoleonic battle, they are precisely the sort of considerations that are usually completely ignored in a Napoleonic war-game and most rule-sets.

     

    How could we go about including this sort of stuff? Are there any games that allow the players to carry out initial (and continuous) bombardments of the enemy, even if they cannot be seen? Should those enemy units be deployed as dummy blinds, some real and some fake, and shots are wasted against the fake units but the player who is shooting is none the wiser?

    How do we model the effects on morale for either side? Perhaps using Blast-markers (cotton-wool is a favourite) that don’t necessarily indicate casualties, but represent changes to a unit morale and/or cohesion instead?

    “Perhaps the dice for these shots should be rolled only after their first attacking unit arrives on the ridge and can see what is behind.” This is an interesting idea. I’ve always wondered about whether the Officers leading Regiments (or maybe the skirmishers) that had just gone over the crest could somehow report back with accurate information on the where-a-bouts of the enemy. Even if they didn’t have their hands full dealing with enemy units on the other side, I’m guessing that there was no way they could give useful information anyway.

     

     

    #7848
    Bandit
    Participant

    And yet, whilst all these sorts of things are were so important in a Napoleonic battle, they are precisely the sort of considerations that are usually completely ignored in a Napoleonic war-game and most rule-sets.

    Are there any games that allow the players to carry out initial (and continuous) bombardments of the enemy, even if they cannot be seen?

    I’d say that is because the masses of rules are tactical at their heart if not in their marketing. What I mean is that tactical concepts and concerns dominate their core mechanics. But are there any rules that allow such, yeah, I suspect there are but far fewer in number.

    Should those enemy units be deployed as dummy blinds, some real and some fake, and shots are wasted against the fake units but the player who is shooting is none the wiser?

    I’m tempted against this because the artillery did typically know there was an enemy there, they just didn’t know if they were hitting em or not. Using a dummy system you could actually have notably portions of the span with no valid targets, whole stretches of ground that were in fact empty and devoid of enemy. That said, it is an implementation problem not a concept problem.

    How do we model the effects on morale for either side? Perhaps using Blast-markers (cotton-wool is a favourite) that don’t necessarily indicate casualties, but represent changes to a unit morale and/or cohesion instead?

    Or just markers that some effect must be later determined against those targets should they ever become engaged?

    I’ve always wondered about whether the Officers leading Regiments (or maybe the skirmishers) that had just gone over the crest could somehow report back with accurate information on the where-a-bouts of the enemy. Even if they didn’t have their hands full dealing with enemy units on the other side, I’m guessing that there was no way they could give useful information anyway.

    I do not believe there was any reliable system in place to provide that level of detail.

    #7867
    willz
    Participant

    Try this system for over the horizon artillery fire.

    Yes as it says on the die.

    d1x

    No is No.

    d2

    Maybe re-roll next turn.

    xd3

    I use this method on all my games if decisions are needed.  Very simple but its quick and efficient.

    #7872
    Patrice
    Participant

    “Perhaps the dice for these shots should be rolled only after their first attacking unit arrives on the ridge and can see what is behind.” This is an interesting idea. I’ve always wondered about whether the Officers leading Regiments (or maybe the skirmishers) that had just gone over the crest could somehow report back with accurate information on the where-a-bouts of the enemy. Even if they didn’t have their hands full dealing with enemy units on the other side, I’m guessing that there was no way they could give useful information anyway.

    I agree with you, I was not suggesting that they could send this information to their HQ.

    I was just trying to say: We are uneasy with the idea that the attacking player knows if his artillery fire is effective over a ridge; so he should not know its results when he fires (because he would take it into account to decide his next moves); so at least he should wait that some of his troops are on the ridge to know it – because the colonels of these troops (even if they cannot tell it to their big general) will then react to what they see. And we all know that the player will then move these units accordingly.

    Um, perhaps I am too much skirmish-minded for this thread…

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

    #7880
    McLaddie
    Participant

    Even if they didn’t have their hands full dealing with enemy units on the other side, I’m guessing that there was no way they could give useful information anyway. I agree with you, I was not suggesting that they could send this information to their HQ.

     

    I’m rather surprised by this conclusion when that was a major reason for skirmishers: Find out what was out there and report back. Obviously, there is a difference between not seeing the troops and knowing troops are there. At Waterloo, there was no doubt that the Allied Center had a goodly amount of troops in it, even if they couldn’t be seen. As most shots could be expected to travel awhile after the initial ground strike, that is a deep swath of terrain covered. [Assuming the shot didn’t bury itself in the mud.  From the eyewitness accounts, that didn’t happen much.

    Fire could be laid against the unseen target, the die rolls being seen by the player with the targeted unit, but not the firer. [Blinds hiding die rolls aren’t new. Just leave the dice untouched until such time as the firing Player can see the target, then the unit is placed on the board with the any attendant damage.

     

    #7890
    Sparker
    Participant

    And yet, whilst all these sorts of things are were so important in a Napoleonic battle, they are precisely the sort of considerations that are usually completely ignored in a Napoleonic war-game and most rule-sets

    Not necessarily. It depends on what is meant by ‘losing’ a figure. In Black Powder, you don’t gain casualties, you lose stamina, and or become disordered through artillery fire. Last Sunday in our Borodino game, my French Grand Battery’s long and seemingly ineffective fire on the Raevsky redoubt paid off when it resulted in one of the Batteries being shaken just as my infantry assaulted! http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/borodino-202nd-grand-redoubt-and-fleches.html

    And of course Empire V built in completely different phases of ‘Bombardment’ artillery fire into the move sequence to allow for the long term effect on a unit or formation, as distinct from tactical artillery firing. Not that I’m recommending this approach!

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #7892
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    I’m curious, I managed to miss out on Empire.  How was “bombardment” effect different from “tactical” effect?

    #7939
    Marshal SinCere
    Participant

    McLaddie,

    I agree with you that one of the major reasons for skirmishers was their ability to report back information. Its just that in the context of what we were talking about, i.e. ramdom fire (i like this phrase btw so i’m going to pilfer it from you and use it for the rest of the thread) over the crest of a ridge, would the knowledge passed on by the skirmishers be a great deal of help? I mean, it would help comfirm if the enemy was still present (which is pretty useful information), but would the guns be able to re-direct their fire effectively just from the info passed on by someone who had gone over the crest but is no longer there? Let me clarify; in WW2 a scout at the front-line could radio back to the teams operating the guns and tell the gunners in real time how far the guns need to re-direct and immediately clarify whether the changes in aim were having an effect. Obviously this couldn’t happen at Waterloo. A scout could report back to a battery and say that the guns had to fire 50 yards more to the right and 80 yards shorter for example, but essentially the gunners are still firing blind because the target could have moved by then or the scout could have mis-read the distances etc etc. Crucially, the scout is back within the French lines by now where he is no longer of any use!

    I’ve always thought that the skirmishers could report back with very useful information about enemy numbers and the presence of enemy cavalry in dead-ground and that sort of thing, but they wouldn’t be that useful as eyes for directly pin-pointing where artillery should fire. I could be very wrong. It’s actually an interesting subject about which I would like to know more.

     

    Fire could be laid against the unseen target, the die rolls being seen by the player with the targeted unit, but not the firer. [Blinds hiding die rolls aren’t new. Just leave the dice untouched until such time as the firing Player can see the target, then the unit is placed on the board with the any attendant damage.

    Thats an interesting concept, I hadn’t thought of that.

    #7943
    Marshal SinCere
    Participant

    Bandit,

    I wrote; How do we model the effects on morale for either side? Perhaps using Blast-markers (cotton-wool is a favourite) that don’t necessarily indicate casualties, but represent changes to a unit morale and/or cohesion instead?
    You wrote; Or just markers that some effect must be later determined against those targets should they ever become engaged?

    Yep, thats it. Similar solution to McLaddie’s. Excellent idea IMO.

    #7983
    Steve Burt
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Marshal SinCere wrote:</div>
    And yet, whilst all these sorts of things are were so important in a Napoleonic battle, they are precisely the sort of considerations that are usually completely ignored in a Napoleonic war-game and most rule-sets

    Not necessarily. It depends on what is meant by ‘losing’ a figure. In Black Powder, you don’t gain casualties, you lose stamina, and or become disordered through artillery fire. Last Sunday in our Borodino game, my French Grand Battery’s long and seemingly ineffective fire on the Raevsky redoubt paid off when it resulted in one of the Batteries being shaken just as my infantry assaulted! http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/borodino-202nd-grand-redoubt-and-fleches.html And of course Empire V built in completely different phases of ‘Bombardment’ artillery fire into the move sequence to allow for the long term effect on a unit or formation, as distinct from tactical artillery firing. Not that I’m recommending this approach!

     

    Le Feu Sacre does something similar. Bombardment is something that Grand batteries do. The rest is tactical support and is rolled into the firefight/melee.

     

    #7984
    Bandit
    Participant

    Le Feu Sacre does something similar. Bombardment is something that Grand batteries do. The rest is tactical support and is rolled into the firefight/melee.

    I have a copy but can’t say I’ve played it. How do they handle long range artillery fire that isn’t by grand batteries?

    #8070
    Sparker
    Participant

    I’m curious, I managed to miss out on Empire. How was “bombardment” effect different from “tactical” effect?

    Well I’m not going to blow the dust off my copy of Empire V, I’ll be sneezing for days! So, from my increasingly alchohol riddled memory,  essentially, the basis of Empire in time terms, (they patented a ‘telescoping time concept’) was the hourly round. During this hourly round an army got 1, 2 or 3 ‘tactical bounds’, depending on its C2 and tactical acumen, and a similar number of ‘Bombardment’ rounds for any batteries that remained aloof from tactical engagement and hammered away at longer ranges at a slower rate of fire. Because of the ‘telescoping time concept’ it allowed you to recreate both the steady wearing down of the enemy through bombardment, and strategic flanking marches and the like, whilst also running a ‘up close and personal’ tactical imbroglio.

    The point for this discussion was that the requirement to have actually ‘acquired’ a target for bombardment fire had a fire lower threshold, to simulate LOC interdiction and other more gradual but important harassment missions, but the trade off was a much lower hit rate…

    Sounds complex, but it actually worked quite well within each hourly round. The drawback was that each ‘hourly round’ took about half a day to complete!

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #8080
    Steve Burt
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Steve Burt wrote:</div>
    Le Feu Sacre does something similar. Bombardment is something that Grand batteries do. The rest is tactical support and is rolled into the firefight/melee.

    I have a copy but can’t say I’ve played it. How do they handle long range artillery fire that isn’t by grand batteries?

    Batteries fire in the bombardment phase, which is before movement. A battery fires at the closest target unless a commander spends command PIPs to direct it. In the tactical phase, supporting batteries just give a positive modifier in the combat (so if the commander has previously directed the battery to soften up the enemy you are attacking, you’ll get a bonus).

    #8116
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Thankyou sparker, and Steve, it sounds as though LFS is using a similar approach with a little more elegance.  It probably describes how artillery was used, but we it sounds as though Empire were letting you be the battery commander and the Corps commander at the same time.

     

    Now for what effect Napoleonic blind fire might have had, we return to the underailed part of the thread.

    #8266
    Marshal SinCere
    Participant

    “Ramdom”

    “Comfirm”

    I was having a very bad spelling episode right there, even for me.

    #8271
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    That’s nothing, you should see what my tablet does when I configure it for Spanis and then try to type English!

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 54 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.