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  • #11228
    Avatar photoWhirlwind
    Participant

    In the light of recent discussions about historical movement rates, I wondered for how many periods is the tactical movement rate known (pre-WW2)? Is the tactical march rate for ECW troops know, or for 100YW soldiers?

    And the only example cited in the threads was for Napoleonic infantry, is there information around for the other arms of service in that war?  I always wondered if there was an official difference between the prescribed rates for the various types of cavalry, for example.

     

    #11240
    Avatar photogrizzlymc
    Participant

    The further you go forward in time, the more you have standard procedures, drill manuals etc.  But for tactical movement, I would support mcladdie’s view that taking distances actually moved divided by documented time to establish movement rates.  This is a tedious business of extracting snippets from memoirs and not for the faint hearted.

    #11250
    Avatar photoMcLaddie
    Participant

    Actually, it doesn’t have to be that tedious, hunting around for snippets.  First off, to get a solid statistical base for something like movement, you only need 25-30 examples.  Second, each doesn’t have to be totally exact [One of the things that isn’t necessary with statistics and can avoid in sampling]  For instance,  with the battle of Austerlitz you have both French and Allied columns and corps moving within specific time frames and distances can be measured.  Right there you have better than a dozen points for your sampling.

     

    Obviously, these are inexact, and all times and distances are estimates on the part of the participants and you.  Lots of things happened to each force while moving that isn’t documented. Certainly the French and Allies didn’t sync their watches together.   That’s the beauty of statistics: Get enough samples and all those issues fade into the background… in this case with 25-30 examples.

    Now, we can also compare that battlefield movement statistical norm to what the military men of the time thought was the ‘average’ expectation.  And of course, there is training.  How fast did troops practice moving in formation?

    Now, one of two things are going happen when you do this three point comparison:  Either all three are going to basically agree, or there is going to be some significant disagreements between them.

    If there is basic agreement [which is what I found],  then you have something you can depend on.  But if you still aren’t sure, you can then go to other battles and see if your ‘general movement rate’ holds up with new examples.

    If there isn’t a basic agreement, then you have more homework to do in understanding why they don’t agree.  For instance, why do troops appear to move slower than military men thought they did?   Eventually, you’ll have to make a choice between the three.  In most cases, statistical averages of actual battles are more reliable.

    It is hardly an exact science, but what it does is draw an ever-tighter circle around the question.  Players like to be able to read accounts of battles and see the same situations appear on the table top.  This is one way of providing that…

    This is basic simulation analysis of data.  It works with most any question.  For instance, what are the chances [i.e. how often] did French columns retreat from Prussian volley fire?   What were the results for the two sides in close combat? How often did was a ‘draw’ produced?  How long did close combat last in general?

    Another thing that such simple statistical analysis can provide are the exceptions.  For instance,  if 75 yards per minute was the average rate of march, what was it though mud, forests, slopes, swamps,  etc.?  Again, with 25 examples, you can make a determination on the average delay such terrain features cost.

    Best Regards,  McLaddie

     

     

    #11260
    Avatar photorepiqueone
    Participant

    Tempest,

    To more directly answer your question, No, there is little to go on that looks anything like real data.   Especially, prior to about 1740 there was no cadenced marching in great use, and drill, such as it was, was simply trying to keep order in troops as you herded them forward.  Even in later periods, including WWII (ESPECIALLY WWII!) you have no sure indicator in any tactical combat fight as to a sure and predictable rate of advance.  Sure you can use statistical averages, but that leaves you still without any sure data until you get to fairly large groups where an abstracted number is more useful.  You could estimate advances to some degree, but always with the allowance for variation and surprise.

    EVERY designer that I know of postulates some reasonable average for movement based on the simplest of criteria, such as the walking speed of an average man, and the canter rate of horse, deducts some amount for artillery based on the fact that its heavier and more difficult to move in every period.  It is a guestimate based on reasonable assumptions.  Anyone that tells you they have firm, scientific, data that is based on anything else, is blowing smoke.

    Even on the famous, and possibly apochcryphal, Soult “How long will it take you to get to the crest of the Pratzen?” quote that some here view as evidence of something other than a very general guide, if you check a variety of references you get everything from 10 minutes, to 15 minutes, to 20 minutes, to a quarter of an hour as his reply!  ( SEE Segur, Histoire et Memoires p446; Thiebault, Memoires..PP.457, and many others, that all differ!) This reeks of the words of an army bulletin attempting to make Napoleon even more of a genius than he was.  Another one of those, “Look how scientific and methodical our great leader was!”  Some other author’s even state that Napoleon’s request was merely for Soult to delay for 15 minutes before attacking-(possibly to allow the fog to clear a bit more-“Sun of Austerlitz” and all that…) a very different meaning of the use of time.  I might also add that accounts vary as to when Soult took off from roughly 8:30 AMto 10:30 AM. and didn’t actually secure the Pratzen until anywhere from 10:30 AM to past 11:00am and then with Bessieres help because of a brief Russian counter-attack.

    Everytime one of these bits of “data” are chased to ground from days of yore when objective reportage, accurate time, and physical evidence is a little scant, we find the same degree of squishy maleability of the facts.

    That is not to say one cannot make reasonable guesstimates, but marching around these anecdotes as hard data is just a bit over the top.

    #11275
    Avatar photorepiqueone
    Participant

    BTW, there is aboslutely nothing wrong with taking history and applying a bit of Inherent Military Probability and a touch of Occam’s Razor to the evidence and then deciding to give it some weightedfactor in a design.  Just don’t pretend this guesstimate has decimal points of validity attached to it!

    #11283
    Avatar photoMcLaddie
    Participant

    BTW, there is aboslutely nothing wrong with taking history and applying a bit of Inherent Military Probability and a touch of Occam’s Razor to the evidence and then deciding to give it some weighted factor in a design.  Just don’t pretend this guesstimate has decimal points of validity attached to it!

    Well, it is far more than a simple guesstimate when those three points match.  It is all Military Probability.  And no one is talking about decimal points of validity, though Occam’s Razor does apply here, big time.  What is the simplest explanation for all three of those points having matching averages?

    EVERY designer that I know of postulates some reasonable average for movement based on the simplest of criteria, such as the walking speed of an average man, and the canter rate of horse, deducts some amount for artillery based on the fact that its heavier and more difficult to move in every period.  It is a guestimate based on reasonable assumptions.  Anyone that tells you they have firm, scientific, data that is based on anything else, is blowing smoke.

    Is that what every designer you know is doing if they have infantry and cavalry moving at half the normal walking and canter speed?  There is a lot of critical thinking that can be done far more meaningful than a simple guess while not ever meeting some rigid requirement for  firm, scientific data.  There is a lot of methodology which can be used to come up with reasonable, demonstrateably sound conclusions far better than guesstimates without having to meet some imagined criteria for hard scientific data.  Simulation designers in many fields do it all the time as well as historians and a host of other disciplines.

    It’s not science or magic or some WAG.  Anyone can do it. You gather what information you can, compare it to the contemporaries’ view of it, and what they trained to do,  come to some conclusions, then test the conclusion against reality… in this case more historical events.  Basic methodology. No science required other than counting up 25-30 examples.  No math required other than finding an average.

     

     

    #11288
    Avatar photoMcLaddie
    Participant

    Even on the famous, and possibly apochcryphal, Soult “How long will it take you to get to the crest of the Pratzen?” quote that some here view as evidence of something other than a very general guide, if you check a variety of references you get everything from 10 minutes, to 15 minutes, to 20 minutes, to a quarter of an hour as his reply!  ( SEE Segur, Histoire et Memoires p446; Thiebault, Memoires..PP.457, and many others, that all differ!) This reeks of the words of an army bulletin attempting to make Napoleon even more of a genius than he was.  Another one of those, “Look how scientific and methodical our great leader was!”

    You do find all those numbers. However only one of those men was actually there at the time of the conversation.  So, what’s the problem?  Particularly when that original estimate fits well within the movements actually accomplished?  I think you are too quick to label something ‘apocryphal’ simply because various folks misquoted the original.  Just an addendum. From what I understand, that story was passed around Soult’s corps after the battle, and of course got grander with the telling. It was never in a military bulletin… One of the powerful things about statistics is that if I plugged in all three references for movement rates with the other 46 I have at the moment, and calculated an average… guess what it would be?  60-75 yards per minute.

    Every time one of these bits of “data” are chased to ground from days of yore when objective reportage, accurate time, and physical evidence is a little scant, we find the same degree of squishy maleability of the facts.

    And you admit defeat and fall back on WAG.  Of course there is a squishy malleability to narratives and evidence.  EVERY discipline deals with them, when they have data at all.  Even the hard sciences. [Want quotes?]

    Get over it. Others have, which is why they look for better solutions and as a consequence there are methods for dealing with such malleable data–comparing and contrasting for instance.  That is how I can have confidence in the 20 minute estimate. It matches several other estimates given during the battle, generalizations by other military men, comparisons of other battles etc. etc. etc.  It is neither a guess nor science.

     

    #11305
    Avatar photoBandit
    Participant

    The further you go forward in time, the more you have standard procedures, drill manuals etc.  But for tactical movement, I would support mcladdie’s view that taking distances actually moved divided by documented time to establish movement rates.  This is a tedious business of extracting snippets from memoirs and not for the faint hearted.

    It does seem the most practical. Drill rates are neat and tidy but they are also “the plan” not “the actuality”. A non-Napoleonic example is Picket’s Charge though it also appears to be at roughly the same rate, something averaging 75 yards per minute over twenty minutes. I want to say it was actually a bit faster than that.

    Being most familiar with the Napoleonics Wars and the American Civil War I don’t have any good examples of movement rates in earlier periods. I’ve got plans to start digging into the Seven Years War but that is still post-1700…

    I am quite interested in where this topic might go though. I think the easiest way to find historical data on distances actually moved by combatants is likely to look at battle accounts, find the approximately distance between the two opponents, the time the attack began and see if you can locate a time-of-contact.

    #11306
    Avatar photoBandit
    Participant

    if you check a variety of references you get everything from 10 minutes, to 15 minutes, to 20 minutes, to a quarter of an hour as his reply!

    Not trying to be a jerk but, “a quarter of an hour” is “15 minutes”.

    That is not to say one cannot make reasonable guesstimates, but marching around these anecdotes as hard data is just a bit over the top.

    If you find several or many or beyond many of them that line up X distance takes Y time it would seem the data hardens.

    #11311
    Avatar photorepiqueone
    Participant

    Bandit, I would reply, but I’ve been asked by the editor, not to pick on you.  It seems you have appealed to his kinder nature.  So you are now safe to say whatever you like without further “bullying” by me.  I am more than happy to make the forum safe for you.  Please think of it as a gift from a man who wished you no real harm.

    On the other hand, I’m sure McLaddie will fulfill your every wish for repartee.  All the best, see you at the top of the Pratzen, last one there is a weenie!

    Repique

    #11314
    Avatar photoMike
    Keymaster

    You can reply, but don’t call his motives ‘BS’ as you did before, or otherwise try to discourage him from speaking his mind and voicing his opinion.

    EDIT – apology, as BS was not used to describe motives, though BS was used.

    #11362
    Avatar photoMcLaddie
    Participant

    So now that we are safe… 

    Here is an example from Austerlitz:

    Austrian Advance Guard—Kienmeyer   This column started near Augezd after 6:30am and opened the battle against Tellnitz about 7:30. The distance between Kienmeyer’s camp and Tellnitz is around 1.8 miles.  That is approximately 3150 yards in sixty minutes including deploying or 52.50 yards per minute 

    1st Allied Column—Doctorov This column started on the heights about 2/3rds of a mile west of Hostierack. It had been held up by Lichtenstein’s cavalry re-positioning, so didn’t get off until between 7:30 and 8:00. It reach Tellnitz by marching south through Aujezd to come in behind Kienmeyer and the battle between 9:00 and 9:30. They covered nearly about 3.4 miles in something like 1.5 hours.  6125 yards in 90 minutes or 68 yards a minute.

     2nd Allied Column—Langeron Delayed by Lichtenstein’s move, began moving @ 8:00 from a position between Pratzenburg and Hostieradek towards it goal, Solkolnitz more than 2.5  miles away by the route they took near Aujezd. They arrived @ 9:00am.  4375 yards in 60 minutes or 72 yards per minute.

    3rd Allied Column—Przbyswski   Positioned behind Pratzenburg, the column was supposed to cross the Goldbach just north of Solkolnitz. This column was also delayed by the cavalry column but moved by 7:30. It reached its destination four kilometers or 2.5 miles away by 9am, 1.5 hours. That was considered slow at the time. The frozen terrain turned to mud during the march and roads had to be repaired.  4275 yards in 90 minutes or 48 yards per minute. [ A rate about 1/3 less because of the mud.]

     5th Allied Column—Millodorich This column began about ½ mile from Krzenowitz. Kutuzov held it until between 8:00 and 8:30am to let the cavalry jam clear. This column crossed the Pratzen heights, but had to halt and change directions, reaching Pratzenburg by 9:30, more than two miles distant.  3500 yards in @75 minutes or 47 yards per minute.

    Vandamme and St. Hilaire’s Divisions  These divisions were released about 8:45 once the Allied 2nd and 3rd Columns cleared the Pratzen Heights. by 9:30 they were in engaged by Millodorich’s 4th column. They had to cross the Goldbach in battle array and in 45 minutes had crossed two miles of terrain.  3500 yards or 77 yards per minute.

    Now these distances are approximates, no exactness whatsoever. The averaging is what provides the ‘expected’ and normal performances of large bodies of troops–infantry in this case.   These are only six of the distances that Bowen and Goetz’s books on Austerlitz give. There are more than twenty five such times and numbers.  Even with the six above, the average yards per minute is 60.75.   And that is with some of the slowest rates given during the battle.

    Now,  twenty five rates from one battle is useful in determining an average, but if they can be gleened from several battles, from the dead of winter like Austerlitz to Waterloo and Borodino in different seasons and terrain, then you begin to get a range that narrows with every addition example.  It also allows you to see how different terrain and circumstances could affect movement, such as the 3rd column’s traversing mud and the 5th Column’s changes of direction.

     The advantage is that statistically you can use very rough/approximate numbers to come up with solid averages with enough examples, the larger the base [number of examples], the better.  The sources can be what is at hand.  I have done the same thing with Oman’s volumes on the Peninsular war and have come up with the same averages.

    Both Torrens and Dundas, as well as the French Officers’ Training text by Vernor say ‘in general’, a brigade of eight battalions in line and in range of enemy artillery say that they should cross 1200 paces in 13-15 minutes, or 66 yards per minute.   That is faster than ordinary pace and slower than quick pace, so it seems reasonable to assume that officers would change march rates at times as well as dress lines [which could be done in 30 seconds by regular infantry or as they moved].

    Anyway, it’s a basic approach to the question of average performance that is used in a number of disciplines and simulation design, but very down and dirty.  

     

    McLaddie

     

     

    .

    #11859
    Avatar photoJonathan Gingerich
    Participant

    Some points on the Soult example:

    • According to Goetz, de Segur says Soult say 10 minutes, but in fact it takes more than half an hour to reach the top.
    • The main thrust of the anecdote appears to be Napoleon holding Soult back for another 15 minutes so more Russians leave the heights – it’s a question of the relative speeds of  Soult and the Russians, not just the length of the approach
    • I suspect a lot of the these numbers are being drawn from accounts like Goetz.  And as far as I can tell, the authors lay out all the conflicting pre-wristwatch timings in memoirs and combat reports and squish them around until they seem to make sense.  So basing calculations on them ends up using the authors fudge factors instead of one’s own.
    #11925
    Avatar photoMcLaddie
    Participant

    Jonathan:

    That’s right. de Segur was there for the conversation. There are questions of who heard it as opposed to who passed on the conversation, etc.  And of course, what was considered the ‘top’ by those writing.  Those are all issues.  However, the quote is Napoleon asking Soult how long would it take to “crown that summit.”  The only summit they could see from where de Segur says they were “in the ‘ravine at the foot of the plateau”  is about one kilometer away or 1000 yards from that vantage point.  That could be the reason why others put in 15 to 20 minutes… picking different ending points to the march and thinking 10 minutes was to short a time.

    Goetz chose the actual summit of the Pratzen, which is 1.5 miles away from the ravine, and said it could be reached in 30 minutes, which is actually the same speed as that 10 minutes to the first ‘summit’, about 87 yards per minute, faster than my average, but still slower than quick march and faster than ordinary.

    This is still very squishy–estimates based on estimates, working them until they make sense in this one instance, even though officers measured and estimated everything on the battlefield in paces, so had a great deal of experience in estimating distances.

    But that is just one squishy event.  The idea is 1. To gather a large number of those squishy estimates and create an average.  [That is how averages are created, what statistics can do… take squishy individual estimates and together come up with a more solid average  2. You find out what officers themselves felt was the expected average, 3. See if that is possible with what march rates were practiced, and then 4. compare that average to new movement in other battles.

    When and IF all those align, then you do have something far more meaningful than a squishy estimate from one observer.  Those ‘squishy’ reports from individuals is often all that simulation designers have to go on, whether military, business, production or research.  What I just outlined is just one method for honing them into something useful and representative.

    For example:  The average of 60-75 paces is based on an average of 46 accounts, Soult’s, just one, though I added all the estimates in, as I did others, so actually there are 72 different rates included.  I can say at Austerlitz that Soult’s troops moved at the top or above that average and that the Allied third moved below it.  If I go to Rory Muir’s Salamanca and look at Packenham’s Division’s march, you get the division moving between 2.5  to 3 miles in 1 to 1.5 hours depending on the source being quoted.  Very squishy… until you see that this falls between 60 and 87 yards per minute, [reminiscent of Goetz] regardless of the account. When that is plugged into the other accounts, the average is still between 60-75. You can start saying something about what is better than average and less than average march rates on the battlefield.

    This is really the only way to actually establish a meaningful average of many, many events… lots of examples plugged into that average.  It isn’t perfect by any means, but it is sure far better than a wild-assed guess based on one account or whatever ‘feels right’… It is a darn-sight more reasonable than moving at 30-40 yards per minute that many wargames give as an average… unless it is the Allied 3rd Column at Austerlitz stuck in the mud.  It is just one factor in many, and maybe not the most important one… but why not have it as close to the real thing as you can make it?

    Try it. Find a battle account that gives some times and distances and see how it works.  I’ve even applied it to the Crimean and ACW and the average range holds true… as an average, not some scientific exactness  to the ninth decimal point or an historical Truth.  It is just the way averages are found, rough as it is, based on the information available… which is all one can reasonably ‘mimic’, represent, etc. if that is the goal with a wargame.

    Best Regard,  McLaddie

     

     

     

     

    #11994
    Avatar photoJonathan Gingerich
    Participant

    I feel a bit like I’m holding a piece of cheese and you are explaining how to make a ham and cheese sandwich.

    Yes, that is how normal distributions work.

    Not sure what the fuss is about, as the typical rate of a formation is not something that is particularly obscure.  The numbers you belive you would derive from statistical analysis are the same as Repiqueone’s numbers he derives from guesstimation.  As to how they are attenuated by battlefield environment – I’m unpersuaded one could determine a statistical significant difference.

    But don’t let me stop you.

    My points are merely that the de Segur snippet is an obvious outlier, and that the snippets must come from contemporary accounts (unskewed by selection bias), rather than secondary sources which have already massaged the datums to fit.

    #11996
    Avatar photoBandit
    Participant

    I feel a bit like I’m holding a piece of cheese and you are explaining how to make a ham and cheese sandwich.

    Well, I know how ya feel Jonathan. Bill [McLaddie] just writes that way. Once upon a time it drove me absolutely mad and we argued and argued in circles escaping our chosen topic. At some point or another we seem to have moved past it. What I can tell you is that as annoying as it might be that he always provides depth and background of things that you may consider generally known and obvious to boot… the positive is that this comes from the fact that he responds seemingly without preconception of whatever he is responding to. Thus, generally you can trust he will give a “fair reading” of your own posts… So there is that, for whatever it is worth.

    The numbers you belive you would derive from statistical analysis are the same as Repiqueone’s numbers he derives from guesstimation.

    This is the part that confuses me, to my knowledge Bob’s [Repiqueone] numbers are substantially different. The ones I’ve read in the two threads on here are certainly substantially different. If I missed something though I would ask to be directed at it.

    #12033
    Avatar photoMcLaddie
    Participant

    Not sure what the fuss is about, as the typical rate of a formation is not something that is particularly obscure.  The numbers you believe you would derive from statistical analysis are the same as Repiqueone’s numbers he derives from guesstimation.

    I’m not sure what the fuss is about either. Determining an average isn’t some esoteric alchemy.   I agree that a typical rate isn’t something that obscure, but I’m not sure why you feel Repiqueone’s numbers are the same as mine.  He gave 3-4 miles an hour as an average in a recent post… which is much faster than my average.  With his latest games, His average  move for both Die Fighting and Zouave II appear to be half of my average with a brigade of infantry in line or column off road.  Of course, he has a very wide range of possible move distances.

    In Zouave, the scale is approximately 50 yards to the inch and a 10-15 minute turn.  A regimental column moves on a D12 and line moves on a roll of 2D12, with the worst roll being followed.  A roll could be anything between 1 and 12.  or 50 yards to 600 yards, or liberally, 5 to 60 yards a minute in ten minutes, the extreme top being the lowest of my average.

    Die Fighting is about 25 yards per inch and a turn that could be 10 minutes to an hour.  A unit moves the roll of 2 D6s.   Of course the average hovers around ‘7’ and there are 6 phases in a turn, so an average of 30 inches per turn, or 750 yards. With the time range that could be 75 yards per minute or 12.5 yards per minute.   His extreme ‘average’  is at my high average assuming a 10 minute turn.

    Dundas, in his 1798 regulations believed that “in general” a brigade of eight battalions in line, under artillery fire could be expected to cover 1000-1200 paces in 13-15 minutes.  Torrens, rewriting Dunda’s regs. in 1824 cut that to 12-13 minutes.   A British pace was 30 inches [a long stride–some say 28 inches].  That is 833-1000 yards.  For Dundas, that was between 55 yard per minute at the low end, 76 yards at the high.  For Torrens,  that is 64 yards per minute to 83 yards per minute at the high end.   From my averaging accounts, the 60-75 yards matches most movements.  Rates like 75 or greater, such as Soult’s 75-87 yards per minute are often accomplished in battle formation, but not under artillery fire.

    No doubt that is ‘ball park’ numbers, but it is in the ball park.

    My points are merely that the de Segur snippet is an obvious outlier, and that the snippets must come from contemporary accounts (unskewed by selection bias), rather than secondary sources which have already massaged the datums to fit.

    I agree, and there should be lots of them to get a reasonable average.  However, any reasonable person ends up ‘massaging’ the historical datums regardless, such as de Segur and his ‘that summit‘.  What statistical averages can do with enough examples is subsume all that massaging [including Goetz’s 1.5 miles in 30 minutes] and still come out with an average that ‘in general’ matches the evidence– which is what we would like to do with a wargame.

    I feel a bit like I’m holding a piece of cheese and you are explaining how to make a ham and cheese sandwich.

    Sorry.  I thought the issue was what to do with that cheese…  Between trying to figure out what ‘all the fuss is about’ when as you say, the issue isn’t all that obscure, I tend to over-compensate…

    Best Regards,  McLaddie

     

     

    #12062
    Avatar photoJonathan Gingerich
    Participant

    Not sure what the fuss is about, as the typical rate of a formation is not something that is particularly obscure. The numbers you believe you would derive from statistical analysis are the same as Repiqueone’s numbers he derives from guesstimation.

    I’m not sure what the fuss is about either. Determining an average isn’t some esoteric alchemy. I agree that a typical rate isn’t something that obscure, but I’m not sure why you feel Repiqueone’s numbers are the same as mine. He gave 3-4 miles an hour as an average in a recent post… which is much faster than my average. With his latest games, His average move for both Die Fighting and Zouave II appear to be half of my average with a brigade of infantry in line or column off road. Of course, he has a very wide range of possible move distances. In Zouave, the scale is approximately 50 yards to the inch and a 10-15 minute turn. A regimental column moves on a D12 and line moves on a roll of 2D12, with the worst roll being followed. A roll could be anything between 1 and 12. or 50 yards to 600 yards, or liberally, 5 to 60 yards a minute in ten minutes, the extreme top being the lowest of my average. Die Fighting is about 25 yards per inch and a turn that could be 10 minutes to an hour. A unit moves the roll of 2 D6s. Of course the average hovers around ‘7’ and there are 6 phases in a turn, so an average of 30 inches per turn, or 750 yards. With the time range that could be 75 yards per minute or 12.5 yards per minute. His extreme ‘average’ is at my high average assuming a 10 minute turn. Dundas, in his 1798 regulations believed that “in general” a brigade of eight battalions in line, under artillery fire could be expected to cover 1000-1200 paces in 13-15 minutes. Torrens, rewriting Dunda’s regs. in 1824 cut that to 12-13 minutes. A British pace was 30 inches [a long stride–some say 28 inches]. That is 833-1000 yards. For Dundas, that was between 55 yard per minute at the low end, 76 yards at the high. For Torrens, that is 64 yards per minute to 83 yards per minute at the high end. From my averaging accounts, the 60-75 yards matches most movements. Rates like 75 or greater, such as Soult’s 75-87 yards per minute are often accomplished in battle formation, but not under artillery fire. No doubt that is ‘ball park’ numbers, but it is in the ball park.

    It is intellectually illegitimate to take the maximum turn move, divide it by the nominal turn duration and claim that it is what the rules writer believe is the average maneuver rate.  Many a rules commentary make this point explicitly and Tempest, Patrice, myself, and probably others have all made this point repeatedly, yet it keeps coming up.  Part of the turn the unit is moving and part it is not.  The problem is not the movement, but simulating the decision cycle where things simply happen too quickly on the table top.

    Is it a distortion? – yes. Would it be aesthetically  pleasing to have the times match? – yes.  Is it important? – Repiqueone says not for him, but has invited you to differ.

    My points are merely that the de Segur snippet is an obvious outlier, and that the snippets must come from contemporary accounts (unskewed by selection bias), rather than secondary sources which have already massaged the datums to fit.

    I agree, and there should be lots of them to get a reasonable average. However, any reasonable person ends up ‘massaging’ the historical datums regardless, such as de Segur and his ‘that summit‘. What statistical averages can do with enough examples is subsume all that massaging [including Goetz’s 1.5 miles in 30 minutes] and still come out with an average that ‘in general’ matches the evidence– which is what we would like to do with a wargame. [/quote

    This is anathema to any statistical analysis.  If you corrupt the data with systematic bias, your averages will extract the bias.

    This illustrates a problem you will run into with snippets.  You need a time T, a start point A, and an end point B (and in some cases you would need a path P, but let’s leave it out).  When A or B or T is vague, you need a protocol to decide what to do.  In the de Segur example, point B is mildly ambiguous.  Since the numbers yield a ridiculous rate, you postulate that B must be some other ridge a click away.  Confirmation bias at its finest! 

    #12063
    Avatar photoBandit
    Participant

    It is intellectually illegitimate to take the maximum turn move, divide it by the nominal turn duration and claim that it is what the rules writer believe is the average maneuver rate.

    Just to keep the debate honest, that isn’t what he [McLaddie] did.

    Part of the turn the unit is moving and part it is not.  The problem is not the movement, but simulating the decision cycle where things simply happen too quickly on the table top.

    And the response each time has been: what about the units that are spending the whole time moving? and questioning of whether the “overhead” of the decision making cycle is even remotely representative of what it was historically.

    This is anathema to any statistical analysis.  If you corrupt the data with systematic bias, your averages will extract the bias.

    That presumes that all the data has been systematically biased in a given direction. McLaddie’s statement was that he believed all of the data was biased in that it was all somewhat incorrect, not that it was all incorrect skewed one way.

    * One thing I’ve noticed is that all objections to McLaddie’s calculations seem to be targeted at a single example: Soult at Austerlitz climbing Pratzen Heights. Perhaps four examples have been given so far. None of the other three have been objected to, discussed or examined at length. But if I were going to evaluate McLaddie’s claims based on his evidence, the first thing I’d ask for is the other 40 some examples he’s said he has. That is either going to confirm that ‘Soult at the Pratzen’ is an outlier, or that it isn’t, or that the data appears skewed, or that it doesn’t…

    #12101
    Avatar photoMcLaddie
    Participant

    Many a rules commentary make this point explicitly and Tempest, Patrice, myself, and probably others have all made this point repeatedly, yet it keeps coming up.  Part of the turn the unit is moving and part it is not.  The problem is not the movement, but simulating the decision cycle where things simply happen too quickly on the table top.

    Is it a distortion? – yes. Would it be aesthetically  pleasing to have the times match? – yes.  Is it important? – Repiqueone says not for him, but has invited you to differ.

    Jonathan:

    I realize there is this ‘distortion’, that combination of activities within a turn, reducing movement because of combat and the decision cycle, etc. etc.  The issue is when all of those things are included in a number of rules sets, units never move as far as they actually did, let alone ‘in general.’  Pickett’s Charge takes more than an hour to reach the Union lines instead of twenty minutes.  If you walk through a Battle of Austerlitz, the armies aren’t capable of their historical performances.  I have no problem of combining combat, the decision-cycles and anything else, but if that is the final ‘distortion’ what are you simulating of any of those things?

    What statistical averages can do with enough examples is subsume all that massaging [including Goetz’s 1.5 miles in 30 minutes] and still come out with an average that ‘in general’ matches the evidence– which is what we would like to do with a wargame.

    This is anathema to any statistical analysis.  If you corrupt the data with systematic bias, your averages will extract the bias.

    This illustrates a problem you will run into with snippets.  You need a time T, a start point A, and an end point B (and in some cases you would need a path P, but let’s leave it out).  When A or B or T is vague, you need a protocol to decide what to do.  In the de Segur example, point B is mildly ambiguous.  Since the numbers yield a ridiculous rate, you postulate that B must be some other ridge a click away.  Confirmation bias at its finest!

    Yes, manipulating the input is anathema. That’s why I said I included ALL the estimates. Again, there are all sorts of biases and vagueness operating with all those 76+ estimates, historical and otherwise. There is no way to eliminate them other than add them as is for an average.  We don’t know why the writers said what they did, often what they were calculating in terms of time and distances. They were ‘massaging’ their conclusions too.  I added de Segur’s ‘ridiculous’ 10 minute estimate as covering the same distances as the 15 and 20 minutes estimates. I was simply pointed out how all three estimates *might* be right depending on what was seen as the ending point of Soult’s corps.  Again, this composite  average isn’t a stand alone conclusion, but compared against officer estimates and what battlefield ‘speeds’ were practiced– and used. If the three didn’t match up, then we could conclude that the actual battlefield performances had little to do with officer’s estimates of expected speed or drill.

    Best Regards,

    McLaddie

     

    #12105
    Avatar photoMcLaddie
    Participant

    But if I were going to evaluate McLaddie’s claims based on his evidence, the first thing I’d ask for is the other 40 some examples he’s said he has. That is either going to confirm that ‘Soult at the Pratzen’ is an outlier, or that it isn’t, or that the data appears skewed, or that it doesn’t…

    Bandit;

    I’d be glad to do that if there’s a real interest. It will take me some time to get up here–or maybe just email it to you and Jonathan. The issue I was raising is about methodology.  How does one develop average time durations for movement, for combat, for decision-cycles or anything else used as the basis for a wargame system purporting to mimic historical command challenges and opportunities?

    Best Regards,

    McLaddie

    #12124
    Avatar photoJonathan Gingerich
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Jonathan Gingerich wrote:</div>
    It is intellectually illegitimate to take the maximum turn move, divide it by the nominal turn duration and claim that it is what the rules writer believe is the average maneuver rate.

    Just to keep the debate honest, that isn’t what he [McLaddie] did.

    It is what he did.

    Actually, looking at it more closely, I have a second objection.  Repiqueone clearly stated that he believes 3-4  mph represents the top average of marching men, and all the various “frictions” reduce this.  So when you roll the D12 and get a 6, that is not an average drill rate in good conditions.  That is a drill rate beset by various obstactles, alarums,  delays etc.  So when McLaddie compares it against his 75 yd/min “average” he is no longer presenting 75 as the expected rate in good going, but the expected average whatever crops up.  That’s a change.

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Jonathan Gingerich wrote:</div>
    Part of the turn the unit is moving and part it is not. The problem is not the movement, but simulating the decision cycle where things simply happen too quickly on the table top.

    And the response each time has been: what about the units that are spending the whole time moving? and questioning of whether the “overhead” of the decision making cycle is even remotely representative of what it was historically.

    There aren’t any units spending the whole time moving.   The rules don’t allow that.  You don’t have to like it, but you are just kicking the can down the street and making the same argument in a new guise.

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Jonathan Gingerich wrote:</div>
    This is anathema to any statistical analysis. If you corrupt the data with systematic bias, your averages will extract the bias.

    That presumes that all the data has been systematically biased in a given direction. McLaddie’s statement was that he believed all of the data was biased in that it was all somewhat incorrect, not that it was all incorrect skewed one way. * One thing I’ve noticed is that all objections to McLaddie’s calculations seem to be targeted at a single example: Soult at Austerlitz climbing Pratzen Heights. Perhaps four examples have been given so far. None of the other three have been objected to, discussed or examined at length. But if I were going to evaluate McLaddie’s claims based on his evidence, the first thing I’d ask for is the other 40 some examples he’s said he has. That is either going to confirm that ‘Soult at the Pratzen’ is an outlier, or that it isn’t, or that the data appears skewed, or that it doesn’t…

    You are in deep math.  You are going to need a bigger boat.  Conceivably randomization matching the underlying distribution might only require a larger sample size, but, obviously, an author “fitting” timings to make sense is operating with preconceived notions and should go to Vegas if they aren’t skewing the data.

    It’s not Soult at Austerlitz.  Soult went some distance in some time.  He might have made a verbal estimate beforehand, which de Segur recorded from memory, or it might have been an anecdote floating around about what a cool hand Napoleon was, which de Segur thought would make a colorful addition to his memoires and pulled the numbers out of his bicorne.  The number, however, yields 9 mph so of course it’s an outlier.  We aren’t objecting to the caculations; We are skeptical of the quality of the datam.

    #12127
    Avatar photoBandit
    Participant

    It is what he did.

    He has quoted highs, lows and in some cases average movement distances from Bob’s games.

    So when you roll the D12 and get a 6, that is not an average drill rate in good conditions.  That is a drill rate beset by various obstactles, alarums,  delays etc.

    I do not know if this is true or not, my question would be if there are any further reductions based on terrain included in the rules and what all “various obstactles, alarums,  delays etc.” it is meant to include since I presume it doesn’t include all possible, though I could be incorrect.

    So when McLaddie compares it against his 75 yd/min “average” he is no longer presenting 75 as the expected rate in good going, but the expected average whatever crops up.  That’s a change.

    That is not a change, in both threads McLaddie and myself have noted that this average has been drawn from examples that include moving through difficult terrain, dressing lines, changing formation and being under fire. I’d rather not go find the quotes from each thread where we’ve said it but if you really need that, it can be done.

    There aren’t any units spending the whole time moving.   The rules don’t allow that.  You don’t have to like it, but you are just kicking the can down the street and making the same argument in a new guise.

    Yet in reality there are units that move for 15-20 minutes straight without stopping or being delayed. It would seem ridiculously strange to me that a horse and musket rule set is unable to model troops just marching down a road as so many battles include late arrivals who marched to the battle.

    but, obviously, an author “fitting” timings to make sense is operating with preconceived notions

    So show us an author who did this. Pick an author, demonstrate that they had a preconceived notion and that they their estimates of battlefield events match that. Then demonstrate that the rest of the sample authors bare the same preconception, i.e. they all altered the data the same direction.

    Fact is, all the data are estimates, but it is highly unlikely that all the authors of the data points estimated the same direction, all making the speed faster or all making the speed slower. It isn’t like Tolstoi and de Seger and whoever wrote the report for the Allied 3rd Column and the various parties who reported on the other examples got together and agreed “let’s all report travel speeds that come down to nominally 75 yards per minute”. Some of them would have estimated too slow while others estimated too fast.

    Soult went some distance in some time… The number, however, yields 9 mph so of course it’s an outlier.

    You complained that McLaddie was cherry picking data. Now you’re cherry picking data. Soult went about X yards in about 20 minutes, if that distance was about 1,500 yards then that is about 2.5MPH. Or if you think he went farther, then he went faster. But to be clear about the internal consistency of the argument that McLaddie and I have made, it has never included Soult going anything similar to 9MPH.

    #12148
    Avatar photoMcLaddie
    Participant

    It is intellectually illegitimate to take the maximum turn move, divide it by the nominal turn duration and claim that it is what the rules writer believe is the average maneuver rate.

     

    Jonathan:

    I missed this comment. I may not have been clear. I wasn’t ‘dividing’ any nominal or maximum.

    Die Fighting is about 25 yards per inch and a turn that could be 10 minutes to an hour. A unit moves the roll of 2 D6s. Of course the average hovers around ‘7’ and there are 6 phases in a turn, so an average of 30 inches per turn, or 750 yards.  That ‘average’ is what is most likely to be rolled with two D6s and also the average roll over time. Movement  could be as little as 12 inches and as much as 72 inches on the outside or 300 yards to 1800 yards.

    IZouave, the scale is approximately 50 yards to the inch and a 10-15 minute turn. A regimental column moves on a D12 and line moves on a roll of 2D12, with the worst roll being followed. A roll could be anything between 1 and 12. or 50 yards to 600 yards, or liberally, 5 to 60 yards a minute in ten minutes, the extreme top being the lowest of my average.

    That is what the rules do.   What the designer believes, I couldn’t tell you. He’s the only one who could do that.  He posted at one point that he believes the average movement rate for a man on foot was 3-4 miles per hour.

    #12159
    Avatar photorepiqueone
    Participant

    Well, McLaddie, you don’t seem to have a good grasp of Die Fighting.  For one thing it is impossible for a unit to move six times in a turn as a turn is six phases, but each phase is only one type of unit moving and their sequence is not fixed.  They are not necessarily limited to two dice, and in several siuations and formations, can roll more than that.  I suppose a range of a turn being 10 minutes to an hour accompanied  by the text indicating that all phases are concurrent, and The the duration is dependent on the amount of activity, the significance of that activity, and the gamer’s perception of its effect on the battle, ALL SUBJECTIVE MEASURES, would be a strong indicator that I am not too worried about, or very interested in,  the use of time as you and Bandit seem to want to use it,i.e. literally.

    I have been designing wargames for about 40 years, and have come to the conclusion that your time-motion studies do not (in tactical land warfare) illustrate much that is very useful, and can be downright tedious, and very misleading, in their application.  There is a very good reason that, as bandit pointed out, the supposed time scales of wargames vary so widely and inconsistently among various authors.  It is not that they can’t do simple math, and can’t grasp the D=R*T concept, but that they CHOOSE to do otherwise in one manner or another in the interest of the design.

    Issues of ground scale (primarily for weaponry and terrain), and relative movement are much more central to the issue than what you are seeking.  I know you disagree, but I have no way of knowing or understanding your application of concept to a wargame, since you have not provided the world with a working example.  Neither has Bandit.  Many applications of a fixed move distance that is rigidly time delimited lead to some of the most tedious and boring games I have ever played, which seems to me to be a terrible sacrifice when they are, in practice, even less illustrative of actual battle movement, and so tenuously connected to actual battlefield performances.

    Die Fighting, BTW, is now sold out and out of print, and as of this month, Die Fighting II, whch is a substantial upgrade and expansion, is being distributed by DVD as a multimedia Miniature Rule set which includes a one hour video, a slide show, and multiple printable PDFs  as a means of teaching the rules and supplying all necessary tools for play other than dice, figures, measuring devices, a tabletop, and a gamer’s time.  I think it demonstrates a new, effective, and less expensive means of providing rules.

    For those interested in more detail go to http://www.repiquerules.com and click on the Zouave Blog.  The same information is now also at the Repique Rules Yahoo! site. I will be running ads in all the usual channels (including here) and providing review copies for the major publications.

    As for the rate of walking issue, see: http://eatrunplay.com/normal-walking-speed-average-human-walking-pace-average-speed-walker-running-speed/   which along with many other sources states an average rate for man walking/marching is about 3-4 miles per hour.  Seems easy enough for a supposedly young soldier.  On a strategic army level, such rates are useful, but all rates at a tactical or even grand-tactical level are extremely variable, and not some fixed constant.

     

    #12173

    repiqueone

    I’ve had a look at your blog, and your Die Fighting II rules look most interesting. The concept of using various formats held on one dvd, with the ability to print out whatever you wish, offers the chance to support gamers new to the periods covered, as well as novice gamers. With the clear design ethos to support a playable game, I’ll be investing in a copy in due course just out of curiousity. It will be a real case of day and night difference between this and the last set of pre-WWII rules I bought, Bruce Quarrie’s Napoleonic Wargaming book in 1980!

    Andrew

    #12177
    Avatar photorepiqueone
    Participant

    Tim?  Is this good ‘ole Tim from Canada?  How are you doing? Well, I hope.   Actually I’m not ashamed to state that I am over 70 and regularly run 5 ks right at 30 minutes!  Walking at 3 miles an hour is a piece of cake, that’s a 20 minute mile!  If reasonably well person can’t do that, they’d better think about their lifestyle!  If a 20 year old can’t do it with a pack he’s never going to get to the top of the Pratzen!

    Now, no one can expect certain rates can be sustained over longer distances, and, just as with tactical movement, there are many things that lower the rate besides poor fitness, rest, etc.  I think if I’ve learned one thing in life it is that real life is more a variable than a predictable thing.  Good command in war as well as business is dealing well with variables, and just doing things “better” than the opposition, not perfectly.  Nothing about war is generally best described as “average.”  Terrific or terrible with a little calm interspersed is more likely.

     

    Buzzard, thank you!  The format relies on a lot of show and tell, and encapsulates the topic info into discrete slide elements.  For those that rely on visual learning, or are new to a rule set, this should be a welcome change from having the local guru interpret the rules for you.  I’m offering a pre-publication price. Check the website on Monday morning.

    #12225

    Will do, many thanks, Andrew

    #12247
    Avatar photoMcLaddie
    Participant

    Repiqueone wrote:

    Well, McLaddie, you don’t seem to have a good grasp of Die Fighting.  For one thing it is impossible for a unit to move six times in a turn as a turn is six phases, but each phase is only one type of unit moving and their sequence is not fixed.  They are not necessarily limited to two dice, and in several siuations and formations, can roll more than that.  I suppose a range of a turn being 10 minutes to an hour accompanied  by the text indicating that all phases are concurrent, and The the duration is dependent on the amount of activity, the significance of that activity, and the gamer’s perception of its effect on the battle, ALL SUBJECTIVE MEASURES, would be a strong indicator that I am not too worried about, or very interested in,  the use of time as you and Bandit seem to want to use it,i.e. literally.

    Bob:

    Yes, I got the disinterest in the answers.  Sorry about failing to grasp Die Fighting.  From your description, that means a unit moves much slower than I thought, and far, far less than 2  miles an hour, let alone the 3-4 miles in an hour you suggested as an average.  19th Century military men did no more than what Tim describes, working to establish–through training–expected movement rates. They spent a lot of time on such issues.  Why, if that all meant nothing on the battlefield?  I am assuming I got the Zoauve II movement right…

    As we are interested in historical wargames as representative art, the question is what historical battle evidence are you representing with that set amount of activity, the game significance of that activity and the gamer’s perceptions of its effect on the battle in Die Fighting? … if they are ALL SUBJECTIVE MEASURES?  Whose subjective measures? The historical participants’, yours, or the players?  IF we are representing historical battle, I would have to assume there is a connection between all three and you got your ideas from specific history.  Some examples or is that too tedious?

    That is all we are doing here.  Discussing what is to be represented, average, expected movement on the battlefield, not how it can be represented in a game system… hadn’t gotten there yet, even when you insist that it can’t be done or has already been done or isn’t important.  Movement is a basic factor in battle, so determining what the historical evidence and military men provide in the way of information isn’t pointless nor is it any more tedious than reading the rules to movement in Die Fighting.

    Issues of ground scale (primarily for weaponry and terrain), and relative movement are much more central to the issue than what you are seeking.  I know you disagree, but I have no way of knowing or understanding your application of concept to a wargame, since you have not provided the world with a working example.

    No you don’t know that I  disagree. And having no way of knowing how I might apply that information to a wargame design hasn’t stopped you from telling me what I’m going to do with the information, characterizing my design preferences, and  grouping me  with your notion of  ‘button-counters’ and much more.

    The issues of ground scale and relative movement are very important, [so we agree there, Bob] but such considerations are meaningless without a reference to some expected average… that is movement relative to what?

    There are lots of ways to incorporate movement averages and ‘relative speeds’ and lots other things that can be represented by the game mechanics.  Those choices are part of the art.  However, if the artist choses to design a model of a T-34, and with great artistic skill and materials creates something that resembles a miniature Abrams 1A, it fails as representative art regardless of who enjoys seeing it and appreciates the skill employed.  And of course, to do either requires some solid reference to the real things.

     

    On a strategic army level, such rates are useful, but all rates at a tactical or even grand-tactical level are extremely variable, and not some fixed constant.

    I don’t remember talking about some ‘fixed constant.’  I have talked about an average expectation… but hardly fixed. So, solid references for comparison.  I’d like to know where you got the idea that movement rates are “extremely variable” on the battlefield, particularly how you determined the parameters for that variability in Die Fighting and Zouave II, given their different mechanics and scale.  I’d really be interested in that information. Very useful.

    And if you actually ask instead of telling me, I’ll be glad to give you an idea how I am using that movement ‘average’ in my wargame design.

    Best Regards,

    McLaddie

    #12253
    Avatar photoBandit
    Participant

    I have been designing wargames for about 40 years, and have come to the conclusion that your time-motion studies do not (in tactical land warfare) illustrate much that is very useful, and can be downright tedious, and very misleading, in their application

    Could you say that again, I couldn’t quite hear your condescension clearly from way up there on that tall horse of yours, her name is “I published a wargame and I don’t think you have so I know better”, right? Long name for a horse, must be awkward to call to from across the pen.

    I have no way of knowing or understanding your application of concept to a wargame, since you have not provided the world with a working example.  Neither has Bandit.

    Considering that I don’t think you even know my name I’m wondering how you’d know what I’ve “provided the world with”.

    #12258

    “historical wargames as representative art”

    Perhaps a consideration of the different movements within the Art world could remind us that we all see history and exactly how things happened from different perspectives. Some may wish to try to simulate the minutiae of a conflict in as realistic a manner as they feel the data they trust can allow, others attempt to design rules to allow a game that gives a reasonable feel of what was different for each period. To achieve the first, the wargames table is now no longer the best option available to us. With the huge number of variables that need to be applied for truthful representation of movement (such as had they marched all day the day before, were they carrying full packs, was the mud sticky, sloppy or just plain irritating etc.) why not create a computer simulation with algorithms that can be tweaked for every eventuality? Otherwise a set of rules to that level of authenticity for a wargame wouldn’t fit on one DVD or in one book, but hundreds instead.

    As a consumer of rules, I am glad to see new sets or major revisions released. Each one will have it’s positives and negatives, though no two people will probably see the same lists. But through the process of innovations and revision, we end up with more choice.

    Whilst I don’t know what the other posters in this thread, with the exception of repiqueone whose work is visible on his website, have released or not, I am sure that until rules are available to be played, the figures and terrain of the gaming table will just collect dust. That then means all types of units have an effective movement rate of zero.

    Andrew

    #12261
    Avatar photorepiqueone
    Participant

    Very perceptive, Buzzard, on many levels. First  the idea that recreational wargames are creative works, which like novels, paintings, and symphonies, may present themselves in varying ways, and will appeal to some people and not others.  They are not,and cannot be, scientific studies. To confuse that fact leads to much of wargaming’s many squabbles.

    Second, is your observation that all figures on a tabletop are moving at a rate of zero!  How true!  In fact, if the players leave the room, they will never move.  They only move in the imagination of the players, and how they move is the result of rules that stimulate the gamers to see in their mind’s eye the charge of cavalry, the boom of artillery, and the crackle of musketry.  Game designers are in the imagination business, just like a good short story writer, playwright, or movie director; they are not truly scientists or historians.

    Sure, we need to use math and good understanding of history, but it is a terrible mistake to confuse the tools with the process.  I daresay that Sam Mustafa, who is a fine historical wargame designer, and an even better, I suspect, historian, never, ever, confuses the skills of those two disciplines.

    #12267
    Avatar photoMcLaddie
    Participant

    Perhaps a consideration of the different movements within the Art world could remind us that we all see history and exactly how things happened from different perspectives.

    Andrew:

    Of course designers and wargamers will see things from different perspectives and value different things in the historical record. That is one thing that makes wargaming interesting. The question is what is being interpreted, what is being represented.  Any perspective without knowing what is being perceived, what is being viewed, is simply smoke and mirrors… Unachored.  To have an interpretation of history requires something, historical evidence  to be interpreted. If what I am doing represents *something *, then the real value of my interpretation can only be determined by knowing what exactly that *something* is.  Can I appreciate 3 inch model of a T-34 without any reference to the actual tank?  That requires artifacts, photos, diagrams… historical evidence to compare to the model.

    Some may wish to try to simulate the minutiae of a conflict in as realistic a manner as they feel the data they trust can allow, others attempt to design rules to allow a game that gives a reasonable feel of what was different for each period.To achieve the first, the wargames table is now no longer the best option available to us. With the huge number of variables that need to be applied for truthful representation of movement (such as had they marched all day the day before, were they carrying full packs, was the mud sticky, sloppy or just plain irritating etc.) why not create a computer simulation with algorithms that can be tweaked for every eventuality?  Otherwise a set of rules to that level of authenticity for a wargame wouldn’t fit on one DVD or in one book, but hundreds instead.

    Computers can’t be tweaked for every eventuality and never will have that capacity, certainly not in this century.  There will always be more variables that need to be applied than a computer can contain.  As long as the idea is a better simulation is more data, more variables, a really valid simulation will appear impossible.  I certainly don’t see that a viable approach to wargames or any simulation.  Nor do any simulation designers I know.  Getting an average rate of movement for infantry during the Napoleonic wars is hardly minutiae.  I am not sure why I would want to do get involved with the minutiae, given the more important, more interesting issues that can be gamed.

    That isn’t what we are talking about here.  We are actually talking about how to determine which variables are really worth bothering with… weeding out the minutiae. That is one thing averaging events can do for you. [There are other methods]  For example, when you try to determine how long it will take you to drive from one place to another, do you try to determine all the possible things that could effect that estimate before attempting to make one? Do you figure on the odds your hoses will break or you will get a flat tire, or there will be a traffic accident delay, or do you look at ‘an average’  of how long it has taken you in the past to reach that destination?  A lot of those variables ‘could’ affect your travel, but most all of them are so improbable or unimportant that you ignore them… and somehow you get to where you are going in the time you estimated most of the time…

    Military men did the same in planning and executing battle plans.  It movement and unit performance was so widely variable because of all those nails being lost, horse shoes etc., then they would have done something else…  Plans always change in the face of  unexpected circumstances and especially enemy actions, but all of those things never convinced military men that ‘in general’ troops could be expected to move so far, commands would be delivered in X amount of time or that planning was pointless because of all those variables.  Even von Moltke, someone that believed no plan survived the start of a battle was one of the most voracious planners to found in the 19th Century military.

    Whilst I don’t know what the other posters in this thread, with the exception of repiqueone whose work is visible on his website, have released or not, I am sure that until rules are available to be played, the figures and terrain of the gaming table will just collect dust. That then means all types of units have an effective movement rate of zero.

    And so?  Exactly how does knowing or not knowing that change the methods for finding averages, historical evidence and wargame/simulation design?  Or do those things only reside on certain commercial websites? Or do you need to sell a wargame to know those things.  If so, then I have ‘earned’ the right to know them.

    Best Regards,

    McLaddie

    #12268
    Avatar photoMcLaddie
    Participant

    Very perceptive, Buzzard, on many levels. First  the idea that recreational wargames are creative works, which like novels, paintings, and symphonies, may present themselves in varying ways, and will appeal to some viewers and not others.  They are not,and cannot be, scientific studies. To confuse that fact leads to much of wargaming’s many squabbles.

    Bob:

    Let’s see. On one hand there are novels and paintings and on the other, scientific studies.  So where does a model of a T-34 reside in your black and white world?  To represent something requires methodology, technology.  Even van Gogh  and Picasso mastered the ‘science’ of mixing colors, perception, perspective, shapes, light and dark in their work–using them to create their art. Novels, paintings and symphonies require a great deal of technical knowledge and even the hardest science has an art to it. Scientists such as the discoverer of the Double Helix of DNA, Crick and even Einstein said as much.

    I think a great deal of the squabbles comes from such rigid dichotomies, then deciding who is on which side,  and the lack of understanding of either art or science, let alone technology.  There is a reason men study the ‘art and science’ of war for instance.  Science was seen as the technology, the art its application. [Kant and Guibert]  I am certainly interested in the technology of game and simulation design and the art in applying those mediums.  If using a simple method for finding averages is going to be seen as a scientific study or ‘button-counting’, no wonder there are misunderstandings.

    Game designers are in the imagination business, just like a good short story writer, playwright, or movie director; they are not truly scientists or historians.Sure, we need to use math and good understanding of history, but it is a terrible mistake to confuse the tools with the process.

    I think you have just expressed that confusion very clearly, a real roadblock to discussing game design.  In a historical wargame, the game mechanics are the tools the designer uses to represent history, to create a process that mimics the historical experience.  That is a goal of the design process.  Simulation designers are in the imagination business. They call it ‘guided pretending’.   [Scientists are in the imagination business, for that matter–want some quotes?]

    If  Die Fighting  somehow provides an experience of history, then history has stopped being a tool and is part of the game process… we would hope.  Otherwise the design is just a game allowing the players to imagine whatever they want. If history is simply a tool to accomplish something else, what is the goal?  If representing history isn’t a goal, then I can see how it can become just one more tool to accomplish that something else.  Sam Mustafa has repeatedly stated that history can’t be represented or simulated on the game table.  “All we’re simulating is moving lead figures around on a table.”  I can only imagine that means history and historical wargame design aren’t seen as having much of a connection.   It certainly makes it easier to avoid confusing those two disciplines.

    A basic understanding of the practical relationship between art, science and technology would really help here.  That doesn’t require anyone to be truly a scientist, historian, artist or even historical wargame designer.

    Best Regards,  McLaddie

    #12272

    McLaddie
    Regarding my comment about using a computer, to clarify
    “…can be tweaked for every eventuality?”
    Think of it as
    “…can be tweaked for every eventuality desired by the designer and target market?”
    I refer to your last paragraph “And So.”
    What it means is that I personally don’t care whether or not you or anyone else as an individual has released a set of rules. I believe everyone has a right to contribute something. My point was, and always will be, unless there’s a set of rules that can actually be played and tried out, to see how movement fits in as one element of a games design, then the movement of my figures during a game remains theoretical, not actual. They’re not going anywhere.
    You don’t have to “earn” your right to “know” any of the things you’ve listed. That is the core of any hobby, it is something people do for enjoyment, self improvement  (physically or mentally), and often social interaction. People can participate at whatever level they wish. If that shifts over the boundary from hobby to work, then others who have an interest in that hobby can decide whether they wish to buy a particular figure, a piece of terrain or a set of rules from that person.
    “Any perspective without knowing what is being perceived, what is being viewed, is simply smoke and mirrors…”
    You are correct that the issue with perspective is precisely about knowing what is being perceived. However it is the desired level of detail of that knowledge that is the key. To use your example, to some a T-34 is not a T-34, it’s just a tank; to some a Soviet tank; to some a Soviet WWII tank; to some a Soviet WWII tank with a certain size main gun; to some a certain sub-model of…. ; to some a specific tank, that’s been pulled out of a Russian river that was lost in a specific engagement. It is up to the individual end consumer of any set of rules to decide the level of knowledge they want demonstrated. If they wish a detailed breakdown of exactly which data was used, and which discarded, and require this verified, then probably better to produce a new set themselves.

    I don’t question the research a game designer has considered before trying something out, just whether it covers the aspects of a period/event/genre that I want to game. Often an interest in a specific period develops as a result of just playing a set of rules. Yes as we get more knowledgeable we may find inconsistences, or areas for improvement, but that is the beauty of this hobby. We can feed that back in, whether or not we’re correct from another’s perspective. Fortunately no one gets to dictate to another gamer that they can’t use a specific set of rules because in their opinion it’s flawed, it’s up to the individual. Some will make repeated points about a specific design element or rule set, but that’s fine with me. We can all be passionate about our specific areas of interest.
    If a games designer chooses an average rate of movement that plays okay for me in a game that gives an enjoyable representation of a certain period of history from my personal perspective and level of knowledge, then for me it’s a successful product.
    One issue that seems to recur in your comments is seeking the “average” movement rate of troops in actual events to base the design of rules around. Of course military commanders had/have an understanding of what their units are capable of, not just on how far they can march or advance. But the question is within what level of detail we are trying to replicate at a tactical level, how we define the boundary between operational and tactical, and if so whether the historic sources that we have access to, provide us with evidence at that level.
    I always bear in mind the basic advice given to me many years ago by someone who has spent his entire career in military statistical analysis. That is: Who are your sources, not just what they have written. The victor or the vanquished? The meticulous planner or the risk taker?  The person or their biographer? For personal or national propaganda versus historic record? Add to that the simple variants common with all battle accounts:
    Are the troops well rested, fed, led and motivated as they will move faster by default than those that are tired, hungry, poorly commanded and disgruntled?
    How accurate is the recording of distance?
    How accurate is the recording of time elapsed?
    How accurate was the data received by messenger or signal?
    When those variables can be fully quantified and adjusted for each data set, only then can there be grounds to claim a valid statistical average that is more than just an educated guess. Insist on a tighter acceptable range for the speed, the more suspect the answer.
    Tempest
    So based on my interpretation of the data I have accessed, my answer to your original question, is that it appears the accuracy of tactical movement rates becomes more suspect the further back you go. But it’s up to you to decide how much you want to trust anyone’s presentation of “facts” extrapolated from variable sources.
    Andrew

    #12273
    Avatar photoNot Connard Sage
    Participant

    While I do not disagree with what you have posted BDB – indeed  you make some very valid points, can I just mention that the space bar is your friend?

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

    #12275

    Not Connard Sage

     

    The perils of composing on a phone! Pasting in to the webpage from my phone’s text editor lost all the breaks I put in. My attempt at reformatting with a post edit failed as well, probably because your response had gone live? Apologies, just not as experienced at doing long posts as others seem to be 😉

     

     

    Andrew

    #12277
    Avatar photorepiqueone
    Participant

    You’ll certainly see some fine examples of long posts here, whether you should even attempt to challenge for the title is debateable.  If brevity is the soul of wit, then I fear some are witless.

    Your response is a thoughtful one, for all that will get you! 😉

    #12278

    repiqueone

    🙂

    Andrew

    #12316
    Avatar photoBandit
    Participant

    Andrew – I’m enjoying your contributions. Just wanted to say so.

    I daresay that Sam Mustafa, who is a fine historical wargame designer, and an even better, I suspect, historian, never, ever, confuses the skills of those two disciplines.

    He’s actually said they are unrelated which frankly, confuses the heck out of me… but I generally disfavor polarity.

    Game designers are in the imagination business, just like a good short story writer, playwright, or movie director; they are not truly scientists or historians.

    Wait, wait now Bob – I thought from reading the other line that Sam was both :-p

    Not trying to be mean here, my point is that I think game designers are working in a field that requires both the designer and the player to use their imagination but the construct that the experience of imagining is to exist in [in historical wargames specifically] is one based on history. If it were not, then we are back to my BattleMech Imperial Guard defeating your SYW Austrian Grenadiers… Which is fine – but is not a historical wargame. The nature of a ‘historical wargame’ is a necessary relationship to history. So statements to the contrary or those that indicate historical research is not useful, those statements are themselves un-useful because they are by definition contradictory to the premise of their subject.

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