FOGN 2nd Edition

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by bahdahbum » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:29 am

I think that we could change a minimum but now we need to focus on what we will try or what proposals we will test

- Initial deployment : done and in test

- Light troops : in general, INF and CAV : in test

- Light INF SK : do we change something or not ?

- Artillery : prolonge or not ?

- Artillery : range : up to 24 MU ?

- Fortifications : need to be sure do wavering units in a fortification test when charged ?

- BUA : Do we change something

- Squares : do they move faster ( cfr french middle guard advancing " pas de charge" at Waterloo and in Square !

- Austrian : a new rule fort the 1809 " masse" formation used vs cavalry ?

And other proposals not named here because I forgat :D

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light infantry

Post by bahdahbum » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:31 am

Here is a proposal as my feeling, light infantry is too strongh ( 5 firing dice )

- light inf small unit get 3 dice as linbe
- Light infantry equiped with riffles - not rifle attachment - get 5 dice because of efficiency .

Just an idea .

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by adonald » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:17 pm

Here is a proposal as my feeling, light infantry is too strongh ( 5 firing dice )

- light inf small unit get 3 dice as linbe
- Light infantry equiped with riffles - not rifle attachment - get 5 dice because of efficiency .
I'd challenge this. A light infantry unit will have more skirmishers than a corresponding line unit and should have more firepower, remembering a light infantry unit doesn't use skirmisher attachments which are available to line units Also, while rifles had a longer range, they were also slower in firing - note that the British did not seek to convert all their light battalions to rifles, it was not due to a shortage of rifles, the higher rate of fire by muskets was considered very useful when acting in the light infantry role, and this was even with the Baker rifle, which could be fired like a musket if required.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by adonald » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:19 pm

Here is a proposal as my feeling, light infantry is too strongh ( 5 firing dice )

- light inf small unit get 3 dice as linbe
- Light infantry equiped with riffles - not rifle attachment - get 5 dice because of efficiency .
I'd challenge this. A light infantry unit will have more skirmishers than a corresponding line unit and should have more firepower, remembering a light infantry unit doesn't use skirmisher attachments which are available to line units .Also, while rifles had a longer range, they were also slower in firing - note that the British did not seek to convert all their light battalions to rifles, it was not due to a shortage of rifles, the higher rate of fire by muskets was considered very useful when acting in the light infantry role, and this was even with the Baker rifle, which could be fired like a musket if required.

Alastair Donald

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by adonald » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:43 pm

- Squares : do they move faster ( cfr french middle guard advancing " pas de charge" at Waterloo and in Square !
I agree. The British formed a square at El Bodon in 1811 - and marched for 6 miles under French cavalry pressure. It was a FoGN unit square. A "square" need not be a hollow square either, it could also be any mass of men designed to repel cavalry, and these formations were mobile. The British had their close column, the later Prussians their columns and I bekieve there was the "Austrian mass".

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by hazelbark » Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:07 pm

adonald wrote:
- Squares : do they move faster ( cfr french middle guard advancing " pas de charge" at Waterloo and in Square !
I agree. The British formed a square at El Bodon in 1811 - and marched for 6 miles under French cavalry pressure. It was a FoGN unit square. A "square" need not be a hollow square either, it could also be any mass of men designed to repel cavalry, and these formations were mobile. The British had their close column, the later Prussians their columns and I bekieve there was the "Austrian mass".
I think you need to be careful.
There is a difference being prepared to go into square and the mobility of being in square.
The troops at El Bodon, highly trained and ready are anomaly.
There will be the odd game effect of seeing squares move fast which to most will look wrong.
I thing we don't want highly mobile automatic squares.

I would suggest. A unit in square with no enemy cavalry able to charge it, and with no enemy within 2 MU, may CMT to make a full move in the same turn it formation changes out of square. This is not 2nd move but a first.

This would allow you to move quicker out of square and if threatened you can go back to square.

But we should not allow firing, moving and being in square.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by adonald » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:46 pm

There is a difference being prepared to go into square and the mobility of being in square.
The troops at El Bodon, highly trained and ready are anomaly.
Hmmm, them, and the Middle Guard attack at Waterloo - strong evidence that it was done in hollow squares even though the British observers thought it was in column- and one Middle Guard group seems to have shaken out of their squares to engage in a firefght on the crest.

I was also making the point that a 'square' in FoGN is also, or should be, other anti-cavalry formations, such as close columns, which were expected to resist a cavalry assault. Certainly the British ones were, and I have been told it was the same for the Prussians, who tended to fight cavalry in that formation rather than in a square anyway.

These formations certainly moved, and is a good foil to cavalry, who tend to tie down FoGN infantry more than they seemed to do historically. I don't think the 'square' should shoot any further than 2 MU as their skirmishers (for reformed troops or those with skirmish attachments) would not be deployed due to the presence of cavalry, but they should be able to move as long as cavalry was not within 2 MU. They should probably only move at 4 MU regardless of being reformed/unreformed.

Perhaps the terminology in the rules should be changed from 'square' to 'anti-cavalry' or 'opposing cavalry' to reflect the various formations infantry could adopt against cavalry, hollow square being only one.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by deadtorius » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:22 am

I always assumed the term square was used as it is a familiar term and most players would relate to as a defensive formation against cavalry which all the different formations were used for. I suppose it would be nice to see a square moving faster however keeping in mind the problems of keeping this formation when enemy cavalry is about. As an example I need to go to the British colonial period where they had to resurrect the Napoleonic formations for use against the masses of charging natives. In the Sudan the British formed a square out of several battalions as they moved across the desert towards their objective. The square was hollow and the center contained the baggage, wounded and command. During the advance either the front moved too fast or the rear ranks started to lag, not sure which was the case but the square opened up. Upon seeing this gap the Fuzzy's charged in and as Kipling wrote "broke" the British Square. Of course veterans of that battle claimed the square was not broken as it was not a square that the Fuzzy's attacked in the first place.
Point being that moving in square has its potential risks. A gap is a gap and I can only imagine that if a square started to open up the cavalry would pour in and the square would break up. Personally I don't have an issue with a square moving 4 MU unless enemy cav is within 2 Mu when it must remain stationary, I just wonder if 4 MU might not be a bit too fast? I guess it would depend on the perceived ground scale.
I think the advantage to a Battalion Mass and the closed up columns is that movement in that formation is probably easier to do and keep the formation. All you need is to present a solid wall and the horses will think twice about if they can pass through the perceived obstacle.
Downside to those formations would be less troops able to fire as those troops in the middle can only stand about while a square presents more muskets per face against attacking enemy.
I think on the table the only way to represent cavalry defensive formations (see square is a whole lot shorter and easier to say) is to still turn the rear bases about.

As for the middle guard at Waterloo, that perhaps needs to be a scenario specific rule. Probably allow to advance in square then when a set move from the British pass a CMT to break out of square and charge ending in contact and in tactical.
Just my thoughts and interpretation of what has been written here.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by geoff » Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:46 am

The main thing that drew me to these rules was the subtle way in which many interactions are handled without having special rules for each instance. If you want to move in a formation that is quickly converted to square then you can now. An infantry unit in tactical is already allowed to take a cohesion test to go into square if charged by cavalry. The higher the quality of the unit the more likely this is achieved. There must be some risk involved in moving at speed when cavalry are nearby. High quality troops deal with this risk nicely.
There are plenty of cases of average quality troops advancing in columns that should be able to form square quickly. Many of them failed when put to the test ( for any number of reasons ) and paid the price.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by terrys » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:01 pm

The 'TACTICAL' formation in these rules is used to cover a variety of deployments within the unit footprint.
It could be:
> a number of battalions in line, multiple lines deep - usually 'unreformed' troops
> a number of battalion in column - usually 'reformed' troops (often column of division)
> a number of battalions some in line, some in column - as 'ordre mixed' (Usually French, although Russians sometimes deployed battalions in line supported by battalions in Column)
> a number of battalions in any other formation of line and/or column, but specifically not all units in line abreast (extended line) or all units in column of march.
This is the formation that the 'hollow square would use is the situations above. They move at 6 MU and can form square when assaulted by cavalry. Obviously better trained units would manage it more effectively than conscripts.

A unit in 'square' formation is specifically that formation used when infantry are assaulted by cavalry, is usually 3-6 ranks deep with the front rank kneeling.
That type of square is quite immobile. If it needs to move, and the threat of cavalry attack has receded it should reform into tactical and them move.
The only question that needs to be asked is: When changing from square to tactical should the unit still be able to move some distance?

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by terrys » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:05 pm

Now that small fortifications become more common I was considering the rules about fortifications and the many post about it and wonder if I got it right :

Firing : the firing area a 180° but from the front or the rear base ?

Wavering units will not test when charged if in fortifications ?

What about outcome moves ?
I'll be reviewing and changing the rules for some of the terrain pieces, including building and fortifications. I haven't got anything specific in mind as yet, but simplifying them is a MUST.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by MDH » Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:02 pm

Squares

It is of course not disputed that there were times when more than one battalion formed a single square. I will not bore folk with a long list of examples to illustrate that.

But before addressing that it is as well to note Nafziger’s general comment in "Imperial Bayonets " under “Manoeuvring a Brigade” ( pp 133-152 ) which includes regiments of more than one Btn.

“ Despite the numbers of armchair generals [who us? :lol: ]and the significance of brigade manoeuvres they are the most poorly understood and least documented of all army operations Only two documents exist which contain any significant discussion of Napoleonic brigade tactics .”

These are both French by Ney and Baron Meunier on which he then draws.

Philip Haythornthwaite in “British Napoleonic Line Infantry tactics 1792-1815” makes reference to Dundas and his "Principles of Military Movement", a manual published in 1788 . Nafziger who is clearly aware of Dundas' work from his bibliography does not mention that work and would not seem to see it as significant enough but serves well enough to show that Brigade level manoeuvres practiced in the British army even if patchily and less well documented .

Philip’s work is an excellent and balanced digest, and part of a distinguished body of work, with some thoughtful summaries of the issues of British line versus French column, among other things and with some useful contemporary quotes. It has informed our thinking a lot re the British – but as ever two or more people may read the same text and come to quite different conclusions…. :shock:

This suggests a need to be cautious and conservative about any assumptions we make for example about the nature and capability of squares formed by more than one Battalion. Of single battalion squares we know a great deal more and that may give us some clues.

Jac Weller in ” Wellington in the Peninsula “ ,drawing on Fortescue and Oman, describes the retreat of Crauford’s square at Fuentes de Onoro thus “ The Light Division retired at a carefully controlled speed and in perfect order. Its discipline courage confidence and physical fitness was remarkable ; total losses in a difficult retreat of over two miles were trifling.”

The retreat at El Boden was of course of PIctons’ bobtail division . The best succinct account I have is in Gate’s “ The Spanish Ulcer” . The advancing French cavalry under Montbrun found Picton’s Dvision in “ scattered encampments… dispersed all over the district and quire unprepared for action” .Luckily Montbrun was so surprised at what he saw he waited for infantry support ( in vain) and orders from Marmont before advancing.

Before the march in square of the 5th and 77th (referred to in Haythornthwaite) there was some “ bitter fighting” with interesting encounters between French cavalry and allied batteries and infantry along the El Boden ridge. Picton’s units are then described as streaming south west in considerable disorder . Despite which, the French are said to have been “ ….deterred by the coolness of their opponents….and contented themselves with shelling the retiring columns (sic) with their horse artillery.”

So without challenging the 6 miles in square story the division may not have been in square throughout – ie only so long as they felt threatened by the cavalry.

Picton’s divison at Fuentes d Onoro had 5,480 men in 11 Btns. Digby Smith in his data book says that at El Boden he had 6 British Btns with only about some 1,000 infantry all British . His remaining forces were about 500 KGL and Portuguese cavalry and 2 Portuguese batteries. He incurred some 140 casualties , the French slightly more but their data are not firm.

What conclusions might we draw just from these two examples of which there must surely be dozens if not hundreds over the course of the wars- in all theatres,

a) That the 5th and 77th while a brigade square would have been at battalion if that in strength so that tells us very little about brigade squares.
b) In neither case do we know how long it took to traverse 2 miles and 6 miles in square but given the circumstances it would not have been swift which Crauford’s movements indicate. Although squares as small as theses must have been might have been nippier!
c) Disorder as such would seem not to prevent the use of square although it is also possible that the disorder referred to at El Boden by Gates was after they ceased to be in square and had reformed into columns and come under artillery fire.
d) Steadiness is key.
e) Squares are primarily if not exclusively intended as a defensive posture against cavalry ( who knew? :shock: )

In FoG(N) we make no distinction between a regiment with its individual battalions in square and a Bde or regimental square. There is no need .

But if we were to do so what might we assume a priori? We should not assume a full regimental square -in numbers of men not just units - would move more swiftly and more easily than a succession of separate battalion squares. More likely the reverse. It would take longer to form. To move , all ranks must face the same direction which requires a longer time for the transmission of orders . But we make no distinction.

For any square to move It must reface the men , move and then face back outwards if needed, or under threat. Individual Btn squares in a regiment need to move in a coordinated fashion especially to allow safe multiple fields of fire . That cannot be done at anything other than a "carefully controlled speed and in perfect order. “ So there may be little in it .

If there is case for change it is not to allow a disordered square to move at all except away from the enemy ( they are anyway if they have to move 3 MUs or more as a result of outcome Move .)

I can see no case whatsoever for allowing infantry in square to move faster and clearly not as fast as unreformed tactical. :lol:

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Firing Range for Skirmish Formations

Post by shadowdragon » Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:48 pm

This is just a random thought, probably due to insufficient coffee this morning. Reformed infantry, unreformed infantry with a skirmisher attachment and light infantry in tactical formation all can fire at medium range since it is assumed that a unit's bases mark the position of the supports and it is assumed that the skirmisher detachments move ahead of those supports, which justifies firing at medium range.

Now comes the random thought....what about units in skirmish formation (i.e., fully deployed)? What position do bases of the unit mark? Two MU behind the screen of skirmishers? A second line of skirmishers? Formed supports, which then begs the question of how are these different than light infantry in tactical?

What if the fully deployed skirmish formation actually marks the skirmish line? Wouldn't their range then be restricted to close range?

It's probably too weird to have a unit's range reduced by going from tactical into skirmish formation but it would curtail use of skirmish formations except in close terrain where visibility is limited anyway. I suppose one option is that when a light infantry unit deploys from tactical to skirmish formation it can deploy 2 MU ahead of its current position.

I suppose the more elegant alternative is to not allow light infantry, with exceptions (e.g., light infantry with some portion armed with rifles), the ability to deploy in skirmish formation in the open.

Now worries, Terry, you can take this as a brain f*rt and nothing more.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by Jilu » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:31 pm

Concerning prolong , i just read the Sokolov's book chapter on artillery tactics :

it seems to me that the way we treat the artillery moves are quite conservative, the french army still used the ancien regime drill book but was very flexicible and usualy did not do it "by the book"
Basicaly , either moves, deploy where said and fire until ordered to move elsewhere.

A battery moves in column to the position where it is required to deploy, that is more or less always from left to right or from right to left never on the center of the unit. eg a large unit should deploy not on its center but from the first base on its right or left and not right and left

to move the battery is remounted and prologned to the new deployement area, meaning it does not form a column to move but stay in line formation, that can be up to 50 meters from the ennemy (done so at friedland and waterloo).

there was a distinct difference between possition artillery and horse artillery. Horse should not be restricted to cavalry divisions, but more seen as more mobile, could move and be deployed independently of its parent division.

i would sugest if a battery has fired it cannot move. And only medium artillery can prolong.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by adonald » Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:06 pm

Mike, your information on El Boden is challenged by eye witness accounts. The Portuguese 21st Regiment was also present and in square. Wellington's General Order after the battle said:

"The troops then retired with the same determined spirit, and in the same good order, with which they had maintained their post: the second battalion 5th regiment, and 77th, in one square, and the 21st Portuguese in another, supported by Major General Alten's cavalry and the Portuguese artillery. The enemy's cavalry charged three faces of the square of the British infantry, but were beaten off, and finding from their repeated fruitless efforts, that these brave troops were not to be broken, they were contented with following them at a distance, and with firing upon them with their artillery, till the troops joined the remainder of their division, and were afterwards supported by a brigade of the fourth division.

Although the 21st Portuguese regiment were not actually charged by the cavalry, their steadiness and determination were conspicuous, and the Commander of the Forces observed with pleasure the order and regularity with which they made all their movements, and the confidence they showed in their officers."

Wellingtons view of the action is somewhat different that what you described. Also, I think you'll agree that the British seemed to be able to manage multiple battalion squares in their stride, this occurred at Waterloo too where there were multiple battalion squares formed as losses mounted - which must have been in the most challenging circumstances with losses in officers and NCOs and yet they were capable of doing it, although not having to move in square of course.

I am pleased you have looked at the Haythornthwaite book on British infantry tactics. Why, then, did you decide that the shoot as reformed, move as unreformed was a sensible position?

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by hazelbark » Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:45 pm

Jilu wrote: i would sugest if a battery has fired it cannot move. And only medium artillery can prolong.
If you don't also give Heavy Art something new, this will just accelerate the I don't need heavy artillery view.

Now maybe you make obstacles and buildings more common therefore people will want the ability to punch into those with heavy. I would suggest that is a good solution in nearly all Napoleonic battlefields. Maybe excepting eastern Europe.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by adonald » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:57 am

From Mike
a) That the 5th and 77th while a brigade square would have been at battalion if that in strength so that tells us very little about brigade squares.
There were two multi-battalion squares at El Boden, 2/5th and 77th Foot, and the two battalions of the Portuguese 21st Regiment
b) In neither case do we know how long it took to traverse 2 miles and 6 miles in square but given the circumstances it would not have been swift which Crauford’s movements indicate. Although squares as small as theses must have been might have been nippier!
There is no evidence to support that the British battalions were so depleted taht they constituted a single battalion in size.
c) Disorder as such would seem not to prevent the use of square although it is also possible that the disorder referred to at El Boden by Gates was after they ceased to be in square and had reformed into columns and come under artillery fire.
Given Wellington's General Order it is hard to reconicle the two narratives, anthough, as an author, Gates may used a bit of hyperbole to describe Picton's withdrawl. It could be taken that Picton, being forced to withdrawl in squares across a plain under cavalry pressure was "in considerable disorder'.
d) Steadiness is key.
Absolutely. Perhaps 'squares' should not be able to move without being steady?

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by adonald » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:48 am

a) That the 5th and 77th while a brigade square would have been at battalion if that in strength so that tells us very little about brigade squares.
Fortescue’s A History of the British Army Vol.8 pp262 states:
“Soon after 2 o’clock in the afternoon wellington formed up the Fifth and Seventy-seventh - about a thousand bayonets jointly – into a single square, with the Twenty-first, which had by this time come up, in another square in advance, and ordered a retreat… the Fifth and Seventy-seventh were left to bring up the rear alone. … More than once they [the French cavalry] dashed close up to the bayonets, but fell away at the critical moment before the steady fire of the infantry. Meanwhile Picton, having with some trouble withdrawn his three battalions from the intricate ground around El Bodon, joined Colville’s brigade; and the whole continued the retrograde movement in square, much harassed by the French artillery, but presenting always an unshakeable front to the cavalry.”

Fortescue suggests there were around 1000 men in the 5th/77th square. This is about half the average British brigade for that period.

Fortescue suggests the British foot as a whole retired in square.

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square and light line

Post by bahdahbum » Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:08 am

First : light troops did not have more or better training than line ( after 1805 ) . But were considered to have a better morale or motivation so ..did better . Line units did go into SK formations . The real difference being name and uniform but I already told so .

The question is : do we want to change the current system ? For me I can live with the rules as they are ( for light INF ) . But I felt it was usefull at least to give my impression that light INF was not that better ( usually )

Square : the french middle guard used hollow square to advance . That kind of formation and even divisionnal squares were used by the french in 1813 and 1814 when faced by allied cavalry . Now the question remais, what to do about mobility . I would suggest this : a CMT to advance, if failed the unit advance but looses one cohesion level as the formation is breaking down .

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by MDH » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:22 am

Squares etc ADonald

Without getting into point by point pointless ping pong around the globe I shall say this. We do not set ourselves up to be historians like Nafziger,Digby Smith Gates et al and do their work and primary research for which there was neither the time nor resource, even assuming we were so qualified. That approach would have meant we would still not have published anything ( more likely not even been commissioned to do it).

Had I been an academic historian I doubt I should have been inclined to indulge my time in anything as frivolous as wargames rules. Bibliographies and footnotes have no place in them nor a peer review process. These are wargames rules for miniatures nothing more- trivial ephemera more game than historical model.

I did not deny there were multiple unit squares in the British or in an other army but concluded there was no evidence to show they moved faster or slower than separate ones. It is a red herring anyway as we make no distinction. Nor were there any sound arguments to support changing the way we treat squares in the present game design as proposed. It does not matter if there is a divergence on the details of one particular, minor, action that in the end changes nothing.

By all means take up Fortescue and your sources with Nafziger Gates and Digby Smith and challenge their methods if you like ,but not through me .I am not in competition with them nor their critic nor reviewer neither am I their publishers and certainly not their peer.

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