R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Questions, chat, feedback and developments relating to REPUBLIC TO EMPIRE... Wargaming the wars of Napoleon Bonaparte.
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by barr7430 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:49 am

Everything so far is useful. DPT, I don't think emasculation of battalion guns is on the agenda! :lol:

I just want to wash out a lot of the argumentation and thinking before acting so keep it coming if you are inclined...

thanks
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by obriendavid » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:34 pm

Duke of Plaza-Toro wrote:Gentlemen. I am (slightly) concerned at the apparent trend towards the dismissal of battalion guns as nothing more than “nuisance value”.
(I realise that Jim and David probably weren’t suggesting a complete “neutering” - but I wanted to stick my oar in before the general impression descends that battalion guns were entirely useless).
DPT
I don't want to make them completely useless but just feel that the way they have been used in our last few games has made them too effective mainly due to the morale tests they were forcing enemy units to take. Every player that had a battalion gun loved the fact that being light guns they could move and shoot so they would target one unit hoping for a casualty and test then switch next move to another unit and so on hoping that some bad dice rolls would cause chaos in enemy attacks. The fact that they also had no refit rule meant that they would just shoot at any enemy unit regadless of range just hoping to cause more morale tests and in most cases they weren't even directly supporting their own regiments. Perhaps a better way to represent them would be to have a model gun but give shooting bonus' to the infantry unit they are attached to?
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by Churchill » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:53 pm

Ray.
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by Friedrich August I. » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:56 pm

Churchill wrote:Hi David,

A interesting point of view which I fully agree with!!!
Battalion guns should be used in support of the battalion it is attached to, so my views are no movement and fire in the same turn.
This would mean can't fire if on attack or advance orders and must move with the battalion.
They can only fire at the nearest enemy unit to the battalion it is attached to.
They do not count as support for moral tests, but do count friend's routing within 12".
This way it is what it is a Battalion Gun :|

Ray.
Ray,

Sorry, but the term Battalion Gun died at the and of the 7YW. After that there was only talked about Regimental Artillery
because the supporting guns were designated to the Regiment. But your arguments are not without good reasons.

Dave,

I strongly disagree :| . I know your knowledge comes from years of playing expirience which I dont have. In case of the Regimental Artillery I can only come up with historcal accounts. The French ordered 1812 that each Regiment of Line Infantry has to be supplied with Regimental Artillery of 2 to 4 guns of French, Austrian and Prussian Origin (remnants of the last wars). With their Allies it is somewhat different. While the French deployed 2-4 guns as support for 4-5 Batallions, i.e., Westphalia and Saxony deployed them with 2 Batallions!. In case of Westphalia there were only 2-6pdrs as support for the Infantry. Saxony used 4-4pdr to support their Line Infantry. Both had as a standard 2 Batallions in each Regiment.

You say "...Perhaps a better way to represent them would be to have a model gun but give shooting bonus' to the infantry unit they are attached to?"

But whatfore should I paint a gun and crew when they cant shoot on their own? In my case 16x a waste of time :shock:
It would be if as you gave such units just an extra D6. But what would it be if you fire canister?

The kind of rules that Jim O'Neill implemented seems to be well thought over.

That ends my pondering on that matter

Cheers

Günter
(Owner of 32 4 pdr Regimental guns)
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"Sort your filth out by yourself!" The King of Saxony Friedrich August III., at his abdication 1918, referred to the quarrels in the parliament and the squabbling within the provisional government.
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by j1mwallace » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:31 pm

Re battalion guns.
Agree with Dave. The main "problem" is the unrealistic pot shots at extreme range in the hope of causing a casualty and a subsequent morale check.
There are times when 2 or 3 battalion guns seem to be more effective than a battery of 12 lbrs.
I like the idea of mrale check only if causing casualties on chargers.
good debate chaps
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by 18th Century Guy » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:47 pm

We've had similar issues with these guns. The first question I think that needs to be answered is what did they really do during this period? Were they the battalion guns of the 18th Century or something different? If they were the same as 18th Century battalions guns then we can impose all sorts of restrictions on them. However, if they turn out to be assigned to a 'brigade' then we may need to place them in the more pure artillery role which R2E handles. I prefer to restrict them regardless because, as seen, we end up with situations that seem to be out of character with what the real purpose of them was - close support for the infantry.
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by Churchill » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:21 pm

Ray.
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by barr7430 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:41 pm

The battalion gun thing is interesting...

they crept into R2E by the back door (which clearly I had left open and the Rottweiler was off somewhere else chasing it's dinner!)

I think they first appeared in our Borodino/Shevardino games supporting French infantry brigades(de facto, large regimental brigades). We allowed them some latitude in the content of the slugfest that was 1812 Russia. Since then I have not given them too much thought but they do seem to be the 'pet playthings' of some of our gaming brethern and used in a particular way they appear to punch well above their weight. I am not for wholly neutering them but there defintely seems to be a pro/anti divide and noone in the middle (except me :roll: )

Keep it coming, the strength of argumentation is the important thing I believe.
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by obriendavid » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:18 am

barr7430 wrote:The battalion gun thing is interesting...
I am not for wholly neutering them but there defintely seems to be a pro/anti divide and noone in the middle (except me :roll: )
Bloody typical Hilton attitude, sits on the fence and lets me make up his mind for him :lol:
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by Friedrich August I. » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:23 am

obriendavid wrote:
Bloody typical Hilton attitude, sits on the fence and lets me make up his mind for him :lol:
Cheers
Dave
Dave,

I once titled you as Old Warhorse, now you know why :twisted:

Now back to the Regimental Guns. The use of Regimental guns are not explicit described within the books I know, but Scharnhorst for the Prussian and Rouvroy for the Saxon Army talked about their role in battle.

As forementioned in the Saxon Army there were Regimental Guns deployed with each Infantry Unit. This was not done because of the lower quality of the Infantry as it was Napoleons reason 1812 but far more an ancient thinking dating far back to the 7YW within the Saxon High Command. Since 1766 as the last major Reorganisation of the Artillery System there where Battalion Guns deployed whith each battalion, 2 with each of them, 4 with each two battalion Infantry Regiment. That brought the mass of light guns up to 50! Later, as they recognized that such a dislocation was out of terrible logistic problems they decided to reorganize this system and form an Army Artillery-Park from which the Regimental Guns where drawn and manned by Regular Artillery men of the Artillery Regiment.

Rouvroy, Commander of the Artillery Regiment and later commander of the Artillery Academy, wrote in his book "Vorlesung über die Artillerie zum Gebrauch(Readings about the use of Artillery) 1823" that the Regimental Artillery was designated to "strenghten the firepower of the Infantry".

In this Role they performed well, i.e., at Jena 1806 with the stubborn Grenadier Battalion von Winkel.
The foremost role was to deploy at the Front, before or between in the Intervals, of the Infantry Regiment and shoot at attacking enemy units at medium and short distance. They knowed their chances to hit a moving target at long distances was almost zero.

As a conclusion I take it that their use was restricted to fire only at targets who were carrying out aggresiv movements against the parent Regiment / Brigade. A defensive role only therefore. As soon as the Regiment/Brigade went over to attack the Regimental guns were drawn back to the Divisional Artillery Park to remain there until the Brigade has formed up a new Line of Defense and they were called forward to join again.

To the refit-rule I can only tell that their Ammuniton was carried with them in a seperate Train unit which did include a cart for the Infantry Ammunition. So the refit wont happen in the common way. Because where to go? Back to the divisional Artillery Park? Most unlikely in my opinion. As much as I like the idea behind that invention it wont work for the Regimental Artillery.

This concludes my Writings.
The rest is up to all of the pro / anti and I step over to Barry, to the middle so that he dont feels so alone :wink:

Best Wishes

Günter
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"Sort your filth out by yourself!" The King of Saxony Friedrich August III., at his abdication 1918, referred to the quarrels in the parliament and the squabbling within the provisional government.
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by Duke of Plaza-Toro » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:48 pm

RE: The ‘battalion guns’ issue (inverted commas for Günter’s benefit :D )

(sorry – as usual – I’m going to go on a bit… :oops: )

The more I think about this the more I think Jim O’Neill’s (CoffinDodger) suggestions are pretty good.

I agree with Dave (and Ray) that players hunting around with their battalion guns trying to force morale checks is very gamey and should be curtailed, but having said that, players should be allowed at least some tactical flexibility with them (as Günter suggests) because from what I’ve read – they did have some! (I think Ray’s suggestions are mostly too restrictive - sorry Ray)

Now I can only really speak from my principal area of interest, the Revolutionary Wars (you Napoleonic chaps will have to tell me if ‘battalion guns’ take on different characteristics when they make a come back later on) but from what 1792-1802 sources we have the infantry at least tried to use their battalion guns flexibly in both attack and defence. Bricard’s journal that I mentioned earlier (which I regret I’ve never read in full – but I’ve seen chunks of it reproduced in various secondary sources) contains a wealth of interesting tactical situations involving battalion guns. From memory these include such things as –

• Battalion guns from several battalions occasionally being combined into temporary mini-batteries and operating with a degree of independence from their parent infantry.

• Battalion guns usually being deployed as a tight integral part of the infantry line when defending, but often being held back during attacks to cover retreats.

• Having said that – battalion guns DO regularly go forward with the infantry and try to support attacks (although a frequent problem seems to be getting them into a position where they can achieve more than fire one quick round because attacks develop so quickly and the target gets masked by friendly attacking troops).

• Battalion guns being deployed forward in support of skirmishers! Rare – but it does happen (one incident of this in Bricard’s journal).

The point I’m trying to make is that as often happens on the battlefield – whatever the ‘rules’ might say, local commanders adopt tactical solutions to the problems they encounter that are often not according ‘to the book’. A good set of wargame rules should certainly discourage atypical (unauthentic?) behaviour by players, but neither should they exclude it completely.

What I like about a lot of RtE is it doesn’t micro-manage everything. It allows broad well thought out concepts to control things while still getting outcomes with a good period ‘feel’. I certainly don’t want to see a whole raft of extra new rules introduced just to control battalion guns. Better to try and resolve things inside the existing rules structure without more than a minor tweak here and there, and otherwise let the players do as they wish (within reason). After all, if the rules are any good as a whole, and players go too far with their improvised tactical solutions, then the rules (and an alert opponent) should be capable of punishing them for their recklessness! But, yes, the gamey stuff has to be stopped.

So I’d go with something along the lines Jim suggested - giving battalion guns only one or perhaps two d6 to start with – but ALL modifiers then apply, including the “Battery” range modifiers at the end. I’m tempted to suggest battalion guns can still fire at extreme range (after all – they did, and as it stands the final 25% dice modifier will knock them down to just one dice whatever other modifiers get applied) but one change I’d make here is to only allow a hit on a 6, or alternatively don’t allow morale checks on casualties from battalion guns at extreme ranges. Dropping the refit rule for battalion guns is a good idea to balance things (with the added pay off of reduced record keeping - as Jim says).

One final thing – Continue to allow (light) battalion guns to move and fire with their attacking infantry (they did – so why not? Remembering to apply the -50% modifier for moving, so just the one dice per gun again; maybe two at Point Blank), but add two new Target Priorities just for battalion guns with Attack orders that 1) limit all firing to the enemy unit(s) or BUA directly targeted by the parent infantry unit, or 2) Other enemy units that counter charge the parent infantry unit during an attack. No other targets allowed during attacks.

Thanks for listening
DPT
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by obriendavid » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:29 pm

Lots of valid and interesting comments from all concerned regarding rule changes, says a lot about the rules that only two topics have come up as needing some revision so far.
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by barr7430 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:35 pm

Points on battalions guns heard loud and clear. The fact is that there were never really ANY rles written for battlaion guns and so their use has evolved ad hoc. Time to box that one off and lay down sme simple but clear principles. Including it in the Crimean supplement may be a little odd so Clarence and I will consider where it sits... thanks for the passion on this small but significant subject Gentlemen!


Now... back to FIBUA.
Here are some comments from me on where I agree there is a problem but where I am reluctant to over complicate mechanics. I appreciated very much the comment from DPT that R2E does not attempt to micro manage every tiny detail (my broad idea has been recognized! :D )

1. Casualty table losses for defenders in BUA (Jim's first example) biased it appears especially when compared with units in the open with same factors. In contrast: charges with 3 units going in against 1 in the open are quite rare! The intense fighting at Borodino and in the late stages of Avila DID create some situations of that type.
I would reject the possibility of 2 different casualty/combat outcome tables as more 'data'

2. The Disorder issue: Fully appreciate that units attacking a BUA may not be in battlefield formations (that is the reason there is no charge bonus... no one has commented on that so far!) . As I didn't anticipate the units charging in with bayonets fixed but rather scrambling in over wall or defended perimeter I felt there was no necessity to make them more disadvantaged by disordering them too! Remembering that they will be disordered if they don't make it in on the first push.
So, I am not inclined to make them disordered on the approach for this reason

To keep mechanics simple I am thinking about some old fashioned but simple ways to rebalance or introduce unpredictability. Bill Paterson's computer brain is difficult to argue with and he has, in his own time produced some computer based probability models which have influenced my thinking :idea: without turning me towards the choice of making all wargaming the output of scientific probability! 8)
Applying pure maths would perhaps be the Vulcan approach but history shows us time and again that maths or logic do not always give the right answer!
Bill I very much appreciate what you have worked on and would like to explore it much more deeply with you on a variety of mechanisms but that is an aside. I have been teaching Lanchester Strategy in business for the last 20 years (#troops x weapon efficiency x concentration etc) but in this case I have gone with my heart and not my head!

I think the answers may lie here:

1. After casualties are calculated, ALL hits scored by the attackers are re-rolled whilst they remain outside the BUA. Once in, the table applies as normal.

2. Possibly, the defenders get double dice re: # combat groups but I dont know if that will be overkill based on 1 above.

3. Garrison size may be allowed to increase a little OR the # of attackers may be a little reduced fro, a x3 factor to perhaps x 2.5, x2 probably not enough.

I will set up some play tests on the above but my simple brain is favouring option 1 + a Resolve bonus more than any other so far..

As always.. comments welcome...

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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by barr7430 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:37 pm

btw...


also considering


Storming Parties

Snipers
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Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED

Post by EvilGinger » Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:48 pm

Not played R2E as I was put off Napolionics long ago, but though the arguments are cogent the results seem odd. especially with regard to the disproportion between defenders and attackers casualty's.

I would expect attackers casualties to out number considerably defenders if they did not penetrate the defended area. I would expect them to be more equal if they did with the attackers having the rough end of the stick if they did not take the area vice versa if they did. I would also expect them to be higher on both sides in an confusing restricted environment which would allow ambushes both planed and unplanned by either side than on the open field where you literately knew what side your friends where on. It is also important to note that no one was formally trained how to do this in this period and most training was more about operations in the open & on mass with little personal initiative unless you where a light infantryman.

From dim memories of reading accounts of Quatra Bra & my own limited training in FIBUA in the age of the hand grenade and sub machine gun, I got killed during a casualty evacuation during my last exercise apparently, as I recall I got mild concussion & deafened firing three blank rounds form my side arm in a confined space during it.

:evil: Ginger
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