05/11/2023 at 18:44 #192262
I managed to get another Thirty Years’ War game in – this time, the Battle of Wimpfen, using Baccus 6mm figures and the Twilight of Divine Right rules, with a scenario from the ‘To the Peace of the Pyrenees’ scenario book. Please see here for details.06/11/2023 at 10:42 #192274willzParticipant
Cool looking game, thanks for sharing.06/11/2023 at 15:29 #192293Guy FarrishParticipant
Thanks for posting. This and your (latest!) White Mountain aar have reminded me I meant to get back into Thirty Years War using ToDR some time ago. The Rugby World Cup and subsequent slough of despond put it right out of my mind.
I have as a result of your posts ordered a few more figures from Pendraken this afternoon with the idea of testing a different basing for Early Tercios. At the moment my basing is generic for all infantry (intended for another set of rules some years ago, but I’m not rebasing my existing Regiments/Tercios). My cavalry is all the same as well, which means I still need lots of light horse to do White Mountain! I can either rebase and buy fewer, or stick with the system I’ve got and buy lots more. I think we know which way this is going!
I think Nick has been on your blog to help with the defensive fire point. I would just add that there is provision for infantry (and cavalry) to fire outside of the contact procedure but the ranges are 1/2 and 1/4 base width respectively! Most combat is intended to be dealt with via the ‘contact’ morale phase which rolls up close range fire, melee and morale into one procedure. I like that as it cuts out a lot of (I think) spurious detail and ends up with the same result in the end.
Guy06/11/2023 at 21:21 #192309
Thanks both, appreciate the kind words.
yes, this is why I thought that the defensive fire thing wasn’t that obvious – whether in addition to the modifier on the Action Test, defensive fire also needed to be calculated as a separate fire action. however, Nick (and others) have clarified, so no worries. happily it didn’t actually make any difference at all for Wimpfen since no troops possessed that ability. I am still thinking through the implication of Swedish brigades, Dutch-order cavalry and Harquebusiers possessing ‘Defensive Fire’ whilst musket-armed regiments and Dragoons don’t but hey, other people know much more about this period than me and happy to roll with this for the time being. It is more important to get the mechanics right and then calibrate to taste, anyway.07/11/2023 at 10:43 #192334HwicceeParticipant
I am still thinking through the implication of Swedish brigades, Dutch-order cavalry and Harquebusiers possessing ‘Defensive Fire’ whilst musket-armed regiments and Dragoons don’t but hey, other people know much more about this period than me and happy to roll with this for the time being. It is more important to get the mechanics right and then calibrate to taste, anyway.
I thought you might be interested in why musket armed foot/dragoons don’t get this but the Swedish Brigades, Dutch Style cavalry and Harquebusiers do. The key thing here is the ‘do’s’ use a short high volume of fire as part of their tactics while the ‘don’t’ use a steady but low volume of fire.
So at the time for infantry the standard tactics for foot was for 1 rank of the 6 to 12 ranks to fire standing up and then pass through the unit to the rear. They would then reload and shuffled forward as the other ranks fired & themselves went to the back. So a steady low number of shots. This is usually called ‘counter march’ firing. When charged the units would perhaps get a few ranks firing, depending on how far away the charge was away when it started, how efficient they were, etc. So maybe 1 to 3 of the 6 to 12 ranks might fire.
Foot that have ‘defensive fire’ do things differently. They could fire like above but against charges they would fire a salvo/volley. So Swedish Brigades were in 6 ranks and they would close up to 3 ranks by using the gaps that normally allowed the fires to move to the back to reload to squeeze 6 ranks into 3 ranks. In 3 ranks the ranks would kneel/stoop/rearrange themselves so that all of them could fire. They would then do so in a, hopefully, devastating single firing by all the musketeers that would stop the charge dead. So a lot heavier fire and a ‘shock’ effect compared to ‘normal’ firing.
So ‘ordinary’ musket armed foot and dragoons do ‘counter marching’ and are just as effect as similar units with ‘defensive fire’ but they don’t have the ability to do that tactic if charged.
It was a similar story with the cavalry. Most of the cavalry of the time fired as part of a charge and counter charged if attacked. The exact details on how this was done varied but the following is perhaps a good example. So the ‘other’ cavalry would fire as part of the move forward in a charge or counter charge. Typically just the front rank of 3 or more ranks of cavalry would fire, more or less on the move, a pistol or maybe 2 as part of the charge. Dutch style cavalry and Harquebusiers didn’t do this. Instead they don’t counter charge, at least initially, and they are trying to use ‘mass firepower’ to stop the charge dead. So they would stand their ground and try to get more than one rank to fire by. In addition each soldier would fire his carbine and 2 or more pistols against the attackers. So hopefully more ranks would fire and each rank would fire more than in other types of tactics. Once again a substantially higher volume of fire compared to ‘normal’ which would, hopefully, stop the attack dead.
If the fire worked for the Dutch Style/Harquebusier what they did next varied. For the Dutch Style cavalry it would now be time for them to charge/counter charge the previous attackers who were now hopefully standing in disorder in front of them. The Harquebusiers were generally different as they were intend to be ‘support troop’ to other types, typically Cuirassiers. So in a perfect world they would never engage in close combat. If their fire stopped a charge there should, in theory, be a friendly Cuirassier or other unit nearby to deliver the final blow.
I hope that makes sense? So in short while most units of the time use firing as part of their combat techniques but these use short periods of high firepower.
Finally on your last comment on ‘calibrating to taste’ this is something you should certinly do generally and in this specific case. So for this if you think a standard musket armed or dragoon unit, or indeed any unit,in a particular battle ot scenario can do something like this then please give them ‘defensive fire’. They certainly could have learnt to do it but generally didn’t at this time.08/11/2023 at 16:33 #192390
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