Siege Battles

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BenMetson
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Siege Battles

Post by BenMetson » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:49 am

Alright, I don't mind admitting that part of the reason I enjoyed wargaming when I first got into it was the prospect of siege battles. We have all seen the siege of Helms Deep, and I can remember spending many happy hours, with a bunch of cardboard boxes roughly resembling a long wall, a load of elves and an endless horde of orcs.
So My question is are siege battles practical in FOG? At it's most basic no modification or special rules are needed, the walls could simply be classed as Field Fortifications, but that just doesn't seem to be enough for me.
I have been toying with this idea for a while now and would like to know what rules you guys use or think of the possibility of FOG siege battles. Here are a few rules which I think night be suitable.

1 Wall are field fortifications, (no-brainer)

2 Troops can assault other troops at the top of walls freely (ladder/grapples) but there is no Impact phase. In addition all troops attacking walls count as disordered, to simulate the effect of having less men on the walls, and the fact that you can't form an effective spear formation on ladders.

3 If a Defending base is killed it is replaced with an assaulting base, and the assaulting unit negates the Disorder effect, having formed a wedge at the head of the ladder

4 Because there is no Impact phase no BG on either side, needs to test to restrain from a charge at the walls.

5 Cavalry can dismount at any time. This might make them a little unbalanced, but lets face it they are useless for attacking walls anyway, and if they have taken a courtyard, but the enemy is still fighting at the walls, they don't want to sit around twiddling their thumbs. Hopefully they will provide a little flexibility.

6 Defending BGs can only be set one rank deep on the walls, and assaulting units only count as having the first rank fighting.

7 Siege towers are the exception. BGs assaulting with these do not count as disordered and count as having 2 ranks in the combat.

8 Rams can destroy gates. In the melee phase after a BG with a ram has contacted a gate it rolls one dice. If at least one three is rolled in the next melee phase an additional die is rolled. Only one die can be accumulated per turn. If an assaulting unit rolls 4 threes in any one melee phase the gate is destroyed and units may pass through freely.

9 Defenders can get burning oil over a gateway or in pots along the walls. Over a gateway oil is three dice at + POA against all troops beneath it, pots on the walls are 2 dice at + POA

Movement along walls and from courtyard to walls or vice versa, may be difficult. I had thought that units on walls could split up to defend or attack different areas and allow players to measure resources more carefully, but this might get to complicated (auto break anyone) and will probably be ignored.

It might be possible to play a siege in a campaign setting, allowing players to attempt certain amounts of preamble before assaults (taking down walls, sallying out, poisoning provisions, calling for reinforcements, biowarfare etc,) But I don't have much of that yet.

Any way that is pretty much all I have to say about straight up siege battles. They are heavily weighted against attackers, but then they always were (Historical accuracy oooo.....) I'd like to know what you guys think, and what you like to use for siege battles. I haven't been able to test these rules either, so don't think that they are perfect. If there is anything I have left out please let me know.
Good Luck to you, Ben

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Re: Siege Battles

Post by berthier » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:13 am

I think you've made a good start. I would be interested to know how play test go.
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BenMetson
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Re: Siege Battles

Post by BenMetson » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:30 pm

Not much chance of a playtest I'm afraid, College work, Farm work and no opponents are a sorry mix.

Jilu
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Re: Siege Battles

Post by Jilu » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:19 pm

9 Defenders can get burning oil over a gateway or in pots along the walls. Over a gateway oil is three dice at + POA against all troops beneath it, pots on the walls are 2 dice at + POA

this is to much...forget burning oil, boiled water yes...oil was very rarely used, way to expensive, most used wat boiling water or hot sand.
Oil was very expensive and rare most of the time.
it is a confusion between oil and naphta that the Bysantines used. "oleum"

BenMetson
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Re: Siege Battles

Post by BenMetson » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:20 pm

I am aware of this, I have fallen into the trap of being raised playing games that use oil. I first read about boiling water being used in horrible histories years ago, and heated sand was used at the sieges of tyre and carthage, to name a few. Boiling oil is a gaming term used to define hot substances dropped onto the attackers, whatever the substance may be. All that really matters Are the Dice and POA's.

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Re: Siege Battles

Post by gozerius » Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:57 am

Didn't Quasimodo use boiling lead? Or was it pitch?
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BenMetson
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Re: Siege Battles

Post by BenMetson » Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:55 pm

Having looked at these rules again I think there are a few things that need to be added.

BG's can only have one rank on the walls, as already stated, but additional ranks can be placed in the courtyard behind them, in contact with the wall. The confer no benefits (POA's or dice) to the defenders except that they are permitted to fire in the shooting phase. This is to allow archers to condense their fire a little, if they were spread out one rank deep across the walls, their firepower would be limited.

BG's on the walls may turn and move as a simple move.

Defenders on walls can't get threatened flanks, and even if assaulted from the courtyard count as defending fortifications, although the assaulters are not disr if in the courtyard.

Pursuit from ladders can only take the pursuers onto the walls, one rank deep. They are free to move inttheir next turn.
Last edited by BenMetson on Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

MDH
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Re: Siege Battles

Post by MDH » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:43 pm

Sieges can be really great - you do need kit though.

These are some scratch rules I used for a WOtR 15mm scenario for a siege with a castle/citadel ( by the late great Ian Weekly) in a walled city ( Berwick , Bamburgh?) . Specific to the bits of kit I had available and what would physically fit eg where the width of the ramparts on the walls cannot take a medium foot base which just falls off, so I have some mounted shallower bases specially made and I have only a limited number of collapsed replaceable walls rams siege towers etc etc! Did not even try to calculate the points values of walls towers rams etc

It also involved a relieving and covering force on each side who fought it out using the normal rules but with supply waggons for the city that could be captured. I do allow mounted longbowmen to actually move around as such on a big table ( this was 12x6) and count them as undrilled Cavalry sword if caught on horse back. As its WOtR its the same for both.

Seemed to work well. My regular described it as the most enjoyable wargame he had ever played (he did win :lol: )

The end result was the besiegers lost their ram, but created a breach in the wall and were able to drive the defenders from some walls with longbow fire in one area so that the wavering and routing besiegers and those that were left could only retreat to the citadel ceding the city to the enemy who would have been able to enter unhindered . Their relievers were defeated in the classic way so the net outcome might have been e a negotiated surrender but maybe but the Lords n the city losing their heads. :oops:
Some if it base n stiff that happens in Medieval Total War where city towers can fire . Use, abuse or ignore as suits :)

Sieges
• Each turret on the city walls can fire as 2 stands of average longbowmen or crossbowmen at any target in 6 inches and within 180 degrees of the wall . Long Range is discounted ( height) ie 6 MUs is effective .
• Each turret of the castle can fire as 4 stands of average longbowmen or crossbowmen from any point of the turret at any target in 6 inches. Range is discounted ( height) ie 6 MUs is effective .
• These are in addition to any individual stands of longbow or crossbow placed on the walls.
• Longbowmen and crossbowmen on the walls of the city or the castle are in single rank. Each stretch of wall can take 6 stands plus one in each turret I in addition to the turret troops– the gate walls can have one stand in each turret ( so 4) and 3 on the walls. Any stands in a unit that cannot fit are placed behind the wall at the foot and can replace losses
• A single light artillery piece may be placed on any wall turret and up to 2 on the keeps(s) or Castle turrets
• Archers and Longbowmen firing from the walls etc on siege towers or rams need 10 accumulated hits to set one afire – hitting on 5’s
• Artillery have a 50% per hit to destroy a tower or ram, hitting on 5’s or 6’s.Not cumulative.
• Firing at any target on a wall or in a turret or on a keep has an extra -1 POA to the firer
• Artillery can fire at walls (in range) needing 5+ to hit.
• It takes 20 accumulated hits over any number of turns to make a breach in a wall, 50 to destroy a turret .
• A siege tower has 2 stands of Archers longbowmen or crossbowmen in it.
• A tower or a ram needs a non-fragmented infantry unit in contact to move it - it moves as a waggon, needing CMT if off a road counting as drilled or undrilled according to the unit pushing it.
• Once against the wall, in the following game turn the unit pushing the tower may assault the wall in the active phase assault . Fighting one stand width per siege tower on par so far as the wall is concerned ( weapons may alter that) . If the assaulting unit wins a round of combat it replaces one of the defenders on the wall with a base of its own and with 2 if the defender loses a stand in the death roll. In this case in subsequent combat rounds the assaulting unit counts two ranks of one file.
• A ram reaching a gate attempts to break the gate in the next fire phase. It needs a 6 to hit and 3 accumulated hits to break it down. If there is enemy unit on the other side of the gate the attackers will have to assault to break in – the attackers will be one stand wide the defenders wider if they have the stands and are in position .
• If a breach is caused in a wall with defenders on the wall one stand is automatically lost and the unit loses drops a cohesion level.
• A ram contacted by a steady non wavering enemy stand of any type is destroyed in the JAP if that stand remains in place and likewise a siege tower if it is contacted by steady medium or heavy infantry and has no steady friend in contact with the tower A unit pushing or operating a ram or tower or fighting from it counters this in the next impact pahses and fights back but is counted as having been attacked in the flank.
• Towers and rams can cross a moat if fascine bundles are laid ( two needed per ram or tower) . Fascine unist are represented by stands 1cm wide by 3cm deep . It needs a CMT to lay them across moat if in contact at the end of the JAP phase, counting as drilled . They move as Hvy Ft. If the unit has had a hit from firing and has become disrupted it will affect the CMT. The unit cannot be destroyed but nor can it be bolstered. Once it routs it is gone.
• Single stand artillery in towers and in keeps always take a cohesion test for a hit.
• Ladders are placed up against a wall in the manoeuvre phase and the unit carrying them attempts to assault in the melee phase not counting as an impact attack but a melee. If the wall is undefended they place one stand on the wall for each ladder.
• ( One ladder per two stands in a unit of infantry). If defended they fight a melee with one stand per ladder counting a minus one POA for being downhill and another for fighting fortifications. The defender gets any overlaps. If the attackers are defeated and are wavering the attack fails and the ladders are cast down.

Moving in the City

• The paved area( I have some old tableware matts that I have mounted with model railway card of bricks and cobbles) in a city is treated as a road throughout ignore individual buildings which are just eye candy.
• To mount or dismount a unit to and from a wall or turret requires a CMT. It cannot fire in the same turn. The unit dismounts inside the city in a double rank of stands if facing the wall or facing directly away from the wall or single column of stands if its flank is touching the wall .Artillery cannot move.
• Units cannot dismount from the walls to be outside the city .
• To bolster a unit on the walls a commander has only to be touching the interior base of the wall, likewise to fight in the front rank

Many years back Terry Shaw I and others did a non stop 15m ancient 36 hour siege game - to simulate tiredness :lol: We have certainly heard the chimes at midnight...

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