Just a silly idea . We have some fighting in and around villages . In the game they are bombarded by heavy guns and by howitzers but it is never possible to start a fire . But such a thing did happen sometimes and helped dsislodging some ennemies from where they were .
In FOGN it is impossible to do .
Should we not consider the possibility to do it . it would also valorise the howitzers .
In other rule set that have had these components i have seen games devolve into a mini game of trying to set a fire and put it out.
The routine problem being you need to make the effect subtle enough that if the improbable fire starts it does not have an outsize effect.
For all the fires in napoleonic battles, i am hard pressed to recall them having an outsized effect.
I recall I think Wagram, but maybe it was Aspern-essling there was a fire, but it didn't change the outcome. Eylau the night before I think there was a fire when the guard took the village. Ligny, but again it didn't stop the fall of the town and I am not sure it hastened it either.
I agree that fires dont seem to make or break any battles, several of the Osprey campaigns talk about how this village had fires in it or that one did, but the defenders would sometimes hang in there even with flames flying about. Often it seems the attacker heads into what is left of some village the next day and the hard fight starts all over again with one side finally being forced out. Might be better as a scenario based thing.
In the old WRG rules that I started playing Napoleonics with Howitzers firing on a building could start a fire by rolling a 6 on their combat dice, and I think fires forced the defenders out and no one could occupy a burning building for the remainder of the game. Seems pretty stiff to take a building out of play except to block LOS through it for both sides but might make an interesting game changer.
WRG was more tactical than "grand tactical" Remember in FOGN we are not talking about a single building but about a whole village or town being set on fire. A couple of buildings in a village could be on fire yet the village could still be occupied and hence defended.