- 21/08/2014 at 13:35 #5310
Does anyone do large historical LOA battles? I mean here not the usually ‘skirmishes’ with 10 or 20 units per side but full major battles with all the units present.
I am getting some LOA for doing small skirmishes of 10 or 20 units per side but I would like to do the full historic battles, continental ones like Steenkirke. My question is if you have done this was it much of a game? It seems to me that the French army is better than their opponents, they have better generals and usually bigger armies. So do their opponents stand any chance?24/08/2014 at 13:17 #5635
Do you include the battles in Ireland? I have played in a couple of those with 70+ units a side. Works very well and is anyone’s victory for the taking. IIRC the League of Augsburg have also done European battles of a similar scale… http://www.leagueofaugsburg.com/gallery/gallery-146-278.html25/08/2014 at 01:32 #5742
I was more talking about the fighting on the continent but I would guess it would be similar in Ireland but the other way round. The Williamite army was considerably stronger, up to 50%, than the Jacobites and mainly well equipped, experienced troops. The Jacobite cavalry was quite good but few in number. While most of the infantry were untrained and poorly equipped. Probably not as one sided as the continent but I would have guessed large battles would not be so good with reasonably historical rules. Which battles did you do and how did they go?
The game in the pictures looks great – hopefully something like my ‘skirmishes’ will be :), although I suspect I will never manage anything so nice 🙁
I can see how small games like this might be good in the war. I am not sure what they have done here but you can choose to do sections of a battle where the sides were more evenly matched, either generally or under the circumstances of the engagement. But as mentioned I am wondering if when you do full historical battles, which look to be fairly one sided, if it is worth doing with reasonably historical rules. Neerwinden is a fairly good example the allied army has a good position but is heavily outnumbered by better troops under better commanders. If doing the full battle I am finding it difficult to see more than one outcome.25/08/2014 at 13:01 #5780
There is I suspect some circular logic causing you problems there. “Reasonably historical rules” would tend to be designed so that the historic victors have a built-in presupposition of superiority. A more level playing field would leave the generalship to the players and encourage the use of actual tactics not the supposed winning sides tactics. Beneath the Lily Banners is the rule set that i have used for big games. It straddles the two approaches with probably a lean towards gameplay as opposed to historicity (is that a word?)26/08/2014 at 10:08 #5876
<span style=”color: #585858;”>There is I suspect some circular logic causing you problems there. </span>
Possible but I think it is just a poor use of language on my part. I have no idea if ‘historicity’ is a word (interestingly the spell checker likes it!) but this is a use full idea.
I used the term <span style=”color: #585858;”>“Reasonably historical rules” </span>but what I meant is what might be called ‘high historicity rules’. ‘Reasonably historical’ in my sense meant close to history, I have doubts about how close that actually is.
So hopefully got the vocab right I would guess low/medium historicity rules like Beneath the Lily Banner would make the large battles playable, although I am less sure about whether they would be practical. But I want to do ‘high historicity’ battles for this war/era.
For say the WSS this is fine. While an individual WSS battle might be tough for one side or the other, that’s the way that things go sometimes, on other occasions things are more balanced or pro the other side. But for this war it doesn’t seem to be this way.
This conversation has been useful and thanks for it. I think it has given me some ideas to work on.26/08/2014 at 23:12 #5972
Please let us know what you end up trying and how successful the historicity end of things works. (I’ll stop using that word now I promise !)14/09/2014 at 15:10 #8287Phil CarringtonParticipant
Hi Hwiccee (Nick ?)
An interesting conversation (particularly as I have recently finished Childs’ book on the
British Army’s limited contribution).
Just looking at the forces involved, the larger battles should be perfectly playable (eg.
Walcourt or Fleurus). However, given the very particular set of circumstances that surround
each battle (eg. differences in enemy intelligence leading to the double-envelopment at Fleurus),
the choice of rules might perhaps not be as important as the restrictions imposed on each player
to replicate conditions on the gound at the time. For example, allowing players full freedom to
react to enemy moves is unlikely lead to another Walcourt or Fleurus. If you want something that
looks like Landen / Neerwinden or Fleurus, I imagine that this aspect may become crucial.
Perhaps, offer historical deployment but consider fixing certain brigades in place until a set
time / circumstance and only then making them available to move. This approach was used in
the ‘Napoleon at War’ / ‘Gettysburg’ PC games but could easily be ported across. Just a thought.
I suppose the other question is how much time you will have available and whether or not you can
leave the game in place for a few days / weeks. A big battle using more complex rules might take
a while to finish ! In addition, if you are using more complex rules, you might also find that going
through the same rule processes hundreds of times becomes a bit wearing (hence the success of
more ‘play’ focussed sets such as Black Powder). I know that this has become more important for
me, particularly with the smaller scale figures our group uses.
On a separate point, I’m currently considering an LOA army using Pendraken’s inspirational
new range and would be interested to know which figures you are planning to use ? Always
useful to know what is out there !
Phil15/09/2014 at 21:57 #8427
Hi Phil and thanks for the reply,
I can see what you are getting at but my worry is more basic. I am re-reading Childs book at the moment and I have just read about Fleurus so I will talk about that. Clearly, as you point out, you would have to consider deployment and special rules for the battle but as I see the problem is simpler. According to Childs Fleurus was 40,000 French against 30,000 ‘Allies’, a substantial advantage. The course of the battle and indeed the war clearly points to the French being better, on average, than the allies and incidents like the entire Allied cavalry wing fleeing reinforce this. So even without the poor Allied commander and superior French commander & the things that flow from that it is difficult to see how they can hope to succeed.
The French wouldn’t really need to do much to win. Obviously doing something ‘clever’ would potentially give a better victory. But as the Allies are outnumbered and outclassed without a strong position or say superior leadership to counter balance things it is difficult to see what they can do.
This brings me to rules. We are basically OK with rules and have what we think are some good rules that reflect the era. That is kind of why I am a little worried about the battles – Fleurus would be very tough for the allies to win even without some restrictions they maybe should have. We do a lot of battles with smaller scale figures in an afternoon and usually historic re-fight. So far this year we have done Blenheim and Ramilles & have some more WSS (and GNW) battles in the pipelines. But we would also like to try going earlier.
I am afraid I can’t stand Black Powder and similar rules but I am sure they that is just me. The rules we use, we use 2 sets, have a base with 10 to 15 infantry on as from 1 or 2 to 4 battalions. If possible we use 1 base per battalion in 1 set but that is not always possible and for larger battles we use 1 base for 2 to 4 battalions in another set. Also it depends a little on how many players we will have.
For this kind of era we use 10mm figures and the new Pendraken LOA range is THE major factor in wanting to do this war (although I also want to do the war against the Ottomans). We already have large WSS and GNW armies in 10mm and so when this truly superb range came out it was a natural choice. At the moment I have kind of put the Flanders war on hold. I will try some test games with any old figures before I dive into that theatre I think. But I already have Ottomans and Poles in 10mm so I going for Imperialists, Saxon, Bavarians, etc, to fight these. If the test game for LOA works out I will expand these into armies for that war.
What are your plans?17/09/2014 at 19:24 #8577Phil CarringtonParticipant
This issue is probably faced by all those who game in a period in which one side appears dominant (eg. French v Austrians in 1809). They probably end up trawling through the history to find more ‘balanced’ (smaller) games which offer both sides a chance.
Off the top of my head, some options might be :
a. to move away from purely historical confrontations to a form of points / across the table encounters – allows a more ‘balanced’ game but not very satisfying perhaps;
b. just use those encounters which offer a more balanced game (eg. Landen / Neerwinden) – gets stale fast !
c. retain the the difference in capabilities but not worry about this too much – can I do better than Waldeck / William
d. reflect better the campaign setting of a battle by slanting objectives accordingly. The French objectives are made testing (take both villages incorporated into the allied battle line) while the allies have different goals (scarper intact !)
Just a few thoughts.
I suppose you have to decide what it is you are trying to game and how much of a straightjacket you want to impose. Personally, I wouldn’t want to impose such conditions on the game that it is going to reach a foregone conclusion. What’s the point ? I could, however, see some of the above possibilities allowing a worthwhile investment of time / cash.
I don’t have any fixed plans yet. I’ve previously started a French army in 28mm (North Star 1672 figures) but just couldn’t maintain the willpower to paint in this size. So, my thoughts are to create a later (LOA period) French army with the inspirational Pendrakens. Probably one battalion per base but not sure yet. I’m currently half way through a Pendraken ECW army – loved the infantry and artillery but couldn’t find inspiration in the cavalry. My hope is that the LOA figures will rejuvenate the paint brush !
A few pics of the figures if you are interested :
Phil19/09/2014 at 10:56 #8803
Thanks again for the reply. I think the key point is I need to do is sit down and work out what I want to do. I think that at the moment that is likely to be do this period but just substitute WSS/GNW figues. By the way some really nice figures and photos in your album. My figures are unfortunately not as nice as yours but my photography skills are minimal.
On your specific points. I really was mainly interested in how the war fights when being close to history. I am not really interested in balanced games as such – very few real battles are truly balanced. The problem is that usually the bias is spread to both sides at different times. So while you might have the bad end of history’s deal in one game you have the possibility of a better situation in another historical battle. In short in my experience players don’t mind doing the ;can I better than X’ idea sometimes but they still want sometimes to ‘win’. The problem is I don’t think the Allies have much of a chance in any of the battles, although obviously this varies from battle to battle. In the WSS/GNW for example both sides benefit/suffer from a good/bad situation.
In short I am not sure it is worth, for me, investing the time in getting the figures – but then again the Pendraken figures are so nice……..04/11/2014 at 12:24 #12024Wayne DilworthParticipant
I joined the first kickstarter and got some Polish / Lithuanians and some Ottomans, currently getting ready to move, so when I’ve settled into my new painting room I shall be making a start on them, in all honesty though I think I will be aiming for the Vienna campaign of 1683 and using them against my LoA armies
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