V2 Turks

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BrettPT
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V2 Turks

Post by BrettPT » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:47 am

Starting to turn my mind to v2 lists, in this case the Ottoman Turks.

I believe that Janissaries should be reclassified from v1 regular drilled or conscripts, to irregulars.

Background
Ottoman armies consisted of paid, permanently embodied units (Kapikulu - basically Janissaries, artillery, Household Cavalry and Nizami e Cedid), and unpaid feudal formations that were summoned as and when needed.

Kapikulu are sometimes described as the 'regular' part of the Ottoman army - which I assume is why they are classed as regulars in most v1 lists. However my feeling is focusing on how they were recruited, rather than how they fought, is the wrong approach.

It is interesting to read the discussion at:
http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthre ... eonic-wars

Monier (a British observer attached to the Ottoman army in 1800 as it marched from Constantinople through the middle east, to Egypt ) also has some useful comments. He described the Sultan's army as having 'no discipline', 'fighting as individuals', 'an armed rabble'.
Monier's book can found at
https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=tEg ... edir_esc=y

Janissaries as Regular??

Janissaries have been noted as resisting being drilled - I recall reading they viewed the drills of western armies as creating 'mindless automatons'. They refused to use bayonets and apparently did not form squares. Their defense against cavalry was to stand behind fortifications, or run away.

I've been reading what I can get my hands on and am struggling to find any instance - at all - of Janissaries doing anything other than slaughtering their own people, standing behind walls, running away or moaning a lot!

My thoughts are that Janissaries are almost the epitome of irregular infantry, and should be reclassified in v2 as mostly being average irregulars. Maybe some Djemaat (Border) Ortas could be classified as superior.
I thought about poor irregular for the Constantinople Ortas - however given that 80% of these Ortas generally declined to leave their barracks and take the field, I assume that those who did show up had a little more bottle than the rest of them!

This would drop them to 5 points a base (Av Irreg), give them 2 dice for CTs, but only 1 for CMTs, mean they cannot form square and drop them to 5 points a base.

Thoughts?

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by BrettPT » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:43 am

Sipahis on most Turkish lists are generally rated as regular conscript LC with lance, impetuous.
I'm proposing to change this to irregular HC, impetuous.

Reasoning:
They were feudal units, raised on demand and dismissed thereafter. It seems to me that they should not be equated with western regular cavalry.
Classifying them as HC distinguishes them from the ottoman skirmishie LC types, and gives them some credit for being armed to the teeth.
Removing the lance bonus is consistent with only giving this to formed and trained lancers (see post on v2 lances) - and makes them cheaper. As HC they would still get +1 dice against infantry not in square.
They could be classified as Poor - which would drop them to 5 points a base and allow them to be fielded in numbers as cheap, but pretty rubbishy, cavalry.

Any views?

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by marty » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:32 pm

I'm on board with the Janissaries been irreg.

I'm more troubled by the Sipahis becoming irregular heavies. I can see the reasoning. They were probably irregulars but in reality probably light. If you rate them that way though they all become skirmishers which is not useful in large numbers and perhaps not right.

If we make them heavies to avoid the skirmisher status though they probably become too good against other cavalry. Should Sipahis crush European light cavalry? If they are irregular heavies they probably will. Personally I look at a poor irregular heavy at 5 points as an absolute bargain. A large unit will cost 30 points and sure it wont manouver well but it will be a real threat to pretty much everything in combat.

Martin

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by Amra » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:52 am

I don't see how you can take away their lance . They had it . All the Ottoman cav used the lance to a greater or lesser extent "the Djellis' primary weapon was a long lance" ( W E Johnson "The Crescent Among the Eagles") "'the majority of the Sipahis ...were usually armed with 2 swords , a pair of pistols, a musket and a lance "

You can take away the lance because it fits the game but it's not historical . I dislike changing the reality to fit the game

They weren't rubbishy , just not drilled in Western methods . Their individual horsemanship & weapon skills were excellent as a British observer wrote "The Turks are excellent horsemen,and must be considered as very formidable cavalry .."

They are miles away from Western conscript cavalry who have to learn to ride and fight and drill , Irregular HC is better than conscript I think . Under v2 is it only second moves and manoeuvre that are affected ?

As for Janisssaries , I agree they didn't drill as groups . They had severe and constant drill but it was all individual weapon skill , I don't think their training and harsh discipline makes them average however ..Under v2 what can Irr infantry actually do ?

The Ottoman armies during this period fought Western powers but were not like them , so are difficult to classify . However , the Napoleonic period is easy to bland out ( same weapons ,tactics and strategy make the wars just men in different hats ) , so I think we should be hesitant to nerf odd armies to unuseable .

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by hazelbark » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:54 pm

I think researching the Russian and Austrian clashes with the turks would give a better answer too. Napoleon's Egyptian campaign did not feature large numbers of European heavy cavalry.

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by BrettPT » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:47 pm

hazelbark wrote:I think researching the Russian and Austrian clashes with the turks would give a better answer too. Napoleon's Egyptian campaign did not feature large numbers of European heavy cavalry.
Mikhailovsky-Danilevsky's 2 volume "Russo-Turkish War of 1806-12" is about as in depth contemporary read on this conflict as you could hope for. Unfortunately it's written entirely from the Russian point of view. The Turks just seem to be the mob on the other side.

The vast majority of actions were Russian seiges of Turkish cities - however to grossly overgeneralise, a flippant description of field actions after reading M-D's works would be:

Turkish Jannissaries and artillery defend fortifications or some kind of rough terrain
Turkish cavalry hordes try to lap around and flank the Russians.
Russian infantry all in squares supported by artillery, with cavalry behind.
Russian Cavalry counterattack flanking Turkish mounted, in support of their squares and break them.
Russian infantry come out of squares and start advance
Turkish Jannissaries retreat without putting up much, or any fight.

To be fair, 1806-7 the Turks tried to be aggressive, and actually defeated the Russians in the first field action of the war (Kubia - 8,000 Turkish cavalry mobbed an defeated 3 cossack and 1 dragoon regiments) but this action aside, field battles were a pretty 1 sided affair I'm afraid...

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by BrettPT » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:08 pm

You can take away the lance because it fits the game but it's not historical . I dislike changing the reality to fit the game

Not saying the turks didn't mostly have lances, you are correct, they did. But were they an effective weapon such that turks should get +2 dice against infantry?
See the thread on lances for more discussion. Reasoning is that lances were only effective when used by well drilled units in good order. Cossacks in v1 are in example of troops historically armed with lances, but don't get the lance special rule in the game.
They weren't rubbishy , just not drilled in Western methods . Their individual horsemanship & weapon skills were excellent as a British observer wrote "The Turks are excellent horsemen,and must be considered as very formidable cavalry .."
But unfortunately for the turks, western cavalry tactics emphasised order over individual skills - keeping a solid 'moving wall' of horses. I don't think the turks with their more open order could compete with this.
They are miles away from Western conscript cavalry who have to learn to ride and fight and drill , Irregular HC is better than conscript I think . Under v2 is it only second moves and manoeuvre that are affected ?
Agreed. conscript is just a weird classification for turkish cavalry. You are correct - irregs get 1 dice for CMTs in v2 (same as v1).
As for Janisssaries , I agree they didn't drill as groups . They had severe and constant drill but it was all individual weapon skill , I don't think their training and harsh discipline makes them average however ..Under v2 what can Irr infantry actually do ?
At Obilesti in 1807 the Jannissaries launched an assault in Russians squares and were repelled. As previously mentioned, it's really hard to find examples of janassaries being anything but woeful, outside of defending fortifications.
v2 Irr infantry are the same as v1, except they cannot form square and are a bit cheaper (5 points a base for average). So I wouldn't expect much from them, but they will do ok defending buildings or if well supported by cavalry, and might hold their own in rough terrain.
I think we should be hesitant to nerf odd armies to unuseable .
Agreed. However big dumb armies are significantly better in v2 than v1. The strategy system, dice free CMTs (outside of 6MU) and unreformed moving 6MU (outside of 6MU) all combine to allow a good player to bring numbers his numbers to bare - something that was difficult to achieve in v1.
Lots of small cheap units can also give you a decent ACV which can buy you the time needed to wrap around a smaller opponent.

One of the challenges I see for playability of the turks under v2, (with the lists as they are currently) is that while their army may be a bit dumb, it's not that big. Saving points on having to pay for lance bonus across half your units, and making units generally a bit cheaper across the board (by becoming irregular) may help turkish players get a few more bums on seats.
Last edited by BrettPT on Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by BrettPT » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:14 pm

marty wrote:I'm more troubled by the Sipahis becoming irregular heavies. I can see the reasoning. They were probably irregulars but in reality probably light. If you rate them that way though they all become skirmishers which is not useful in large numbers and perhaps not right.
You make good points Marty. There is no reason why we couldn't classify sipahis in the lists as irreg LC - and note that despite this classification sipahis do not count as "Irregular Lights" under the rules - this would allow them to remain LC but would differentiate them from the skirmishy tartar types of LC.

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by marty » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:18 pm

The question then would be if non-skirmisher irregular lights are worth the same or more points as the skirmisher types?

Martin

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by Amra » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:47 am

Regarding Sipahis , they were definitely battle cavalry , forming the largest part of the army .
Classifying them as lights makes them unusable

All reports speak of the training and use of the lance . They were lancers .Again, I feel we are changing history to fit game mechanics or points. Cossacks don't get lance ( I think) because of their battle field role , they would be very unlikely to charge home against anyone .Not so the Ottoman cavalry who were required to on the battlefield ( eg 10,000 Anatolian Sipahis charge thru the Russians July 15 ,1811 , something Irrg LC couldn't do )

I thing Irregular and impetuous are good terms for them

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by Amra » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:50 am

Brett ,I'm not sure of your logic .

"Big dumb "armies ie swarm style of play ,are a bane in any rules system but you want Ottomans to be capable of that by making them cheaper ?

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by pugsville » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:25 pm

I have some turkish figures and sooner or later I will get them on the table.

I can see the argument for the Jannissaries going to irregular (though this may well mean more painting and figures) And I can se the argument about the lance.

I would like to see some consistency in the treatment of cavalry, the shift from conscript too irreg LC in the later lists seems inconsistent

And the classification the various LI units confirmed.

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by marty » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:22 am

I'm curious about how you gents envision the new artillery list restrictions working with the various Ottoman lists. Would seem tricky to replicate the whole immobile guns in field defenses vibe if you can only take one artillery unit, especially if you have other compulsory artillery?

Martin

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by BrettPT » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:10 am

Hi Marty

That's a question we'll need an answer for when the time comes to nail down v2 lists.

My initial thoughts are the Turks didn't actually have very many artillery tubes, on a guns-per-thousand-men basis.
Will have to do the research on this. But if it turns out to be the case, I would imagine 0-1 (small or large) Heavy Artillery unit (with an option to put these in a redoubt), plus a sprinkling of artillery attachments to represent more mobile batteries may be the way to go.

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by marty » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:51 am

I don't know, I've had a bit of a dig around and getting info on the make up of Turkish armies is pretty hard. It's hard to see their traditional "dig in and wait" approach being something you would do unless you had a fair bit of artillery. Given some of the original lists have up to 12 guns, almost none of which can be attachments, the research that they did must have suggested a lot of artillery. The other question when looking at men to gun ratios is how many of the people in a Turkish army should actually be considered combatants? You sometimes get the impression reading some of the accounts that sections of their armies were of so little use they probably don't need to be represented.

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by hazelbark » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:56 pm

marty wrote:It's hard to see their traditional "dig in and wait" approach being something you would do unless you had a fair bit of artillery. The other question when looking at men to gun ratios is how many of the people in a Turkish army should actually be considered combatants? You sometimes get the impression reading some of the accounts that sections of their armies were of so little use they probably don't need to be represented.
The Ottoman army was still very much influenced by their army doctrine of the last couple hundred of years. In the 1700s they were still forging artillery tubes on the spot for sieges. Not from expediency but that is what they planned for. There are a few books around on this era, I will have to try and find them.

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by Amra » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:15 pm

Marty ,what is your evidence for their doctrine as you describe it ?

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by pugsville » Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:33 pm

Is there any thoughts on where the turkish list will go in the future? I'm still pretty keen on getting a turkish army.

On Mikhailovsky-Danilevsky's 2 volume "Russo-Turkish War of 1806-12" thinking of getting this ,is it worthwhile ? (I know it's skimpy of the Ottomans)

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by richafricanus » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:04 am

Probably at this stage it's safe to assume they'll be as per the list guidelines used at the last Melbourne tourney.

8. Turks
For all Ottoman (and Mameluke) lists, players can choose to either (but not both):
(a) Use the classifications contained in the v1 lists; or
(b) Use the classifications contained in the v1 lists with the following modifications:
• All units are now rated Irregular except Nizami Cedid, Artillery, Sipahis of the Porte, Suvarileri and Guard Cavalry
• All Sipahis (including Sipahis of the Porte) are rated as HC (not LC). They remain impetuous if they were before.
• No Irregular Cavalry has Lances special ability. ​​

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Re: V2 Turks

Post by BrettPT » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:15 pm

pugsville wrote:Is there any thoughts on where the turkish list will go in the future? I'm still pretty keen on getting a turkish army.
On Mikhailovsky-Danilevsky's 2 volume "Russo-Turkish War of 1806-12" thinking of getting this ,is it worthwhile ? (I know it's skimpy of the Ottomans)
I think the proposed changes have been working fine, and provide a good feel for the Turks. So yes, the 3 bullet points mentioned by Richard are very likely to feature in v2 Ottoman lists.
I wouldn't bother to paint more than 1 redoubt at this stage as artillery for Ottoman lists is likely to be 0-1 units, with a choice of taking either a heavy artillery unit in a redoubt, or medium artillery without a redoubt. Plus artillery attachments.

Remember that basically all Ottoman LI will be Irreg LI - so you can get away with skirmishy looking bases with 3-4 figures on each, and don't need to model them as ranked up.

Also on the list of potential new armies for v2 lists are Persians (armoured Irreg Shock Cavalry!) & Tipoo Sahibs' Indians (no elephants though, sorry...).

RE. Mikhailovsky-Danilevsky's works, they are notable for being about the only English language contemporary work on the Russo-Turkish conflict that I am aware of. They are an excellent source for the little known campaigns of 1808-12. Sadly however, they are also notable for the huge Russo-centric approach of the writer (understandable, given he was a Russian recording Russian history). The Ottomans are pretty much just the hordes of hapless baddies that got beaten up. You have to wade through a lot of reading to pick out the few useful snippets of information about the Turkish troops types and tactics.

But worth a read IMO.

Cheers
Brett

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