British (Allied) Peninsular Army

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by bahdahbum » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:12 pm

:D Mine also .

I will not play your game and seek lots of battles, small engagements and so on ...there is even a case where the KGL heavy cavalry was beaten by french light cavalry and you will find cases where british cavalry did indeed defeat french cavalry . You might be surprised, even the russians, the prussians and the austrians did beat the french cavalry . The belgian did it at Waterloo , they repulsed the french cuirassier ....so you see , everybody did win a charge, even the poor damn french :D

But if you want I will agree with you and I propose that all french cavalry be rated poor conscript and all British and KGL cavalry superior veteran . :lol:

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by edb1815 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:58 pm

There are many factors that figure into this argument, not the least of which was the quality and size of horses. As time went on the French suffered from poor quality mounts (especially in 1813 no longer having the Prussian stud system to supply them and having lost far too many the year prior). I think it is generally acknowledged that English horses were very good, especially heavy cavalry horses.

Having said all that, didn't Wellington acknowledge that while the British cavalry was superior to French on a squadron for squadron basis, at higher echelons of command, brigade and divisional levels, the French were superior? (at manuevering) So isn't this what we are looking at with FOGN? We are manuvering brigades and divisions of cavalry? This is of course in a general sense, however when you cite to specific actions there are many varibles as have been previously noted.

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by bahdahbum » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:04 pm

I do not say that British cavalry was not good . But it was not constantly superior to the french cavalry .

As you say, there will always be many factors , too many factors that will decide the battle .

Both had their victories, both had their defeats . I thing, they were more equal than anything else but the french cavalry quality did indeed decline in 1813, some of the best regiments being sent to germany .

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by adonald » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:58 am

As I pointed out in my original post, I was concerned about the relativities. At present, the British and French are rated equally in the Peninsula, BUT the British have the (idiotic) 'impetuous' problem (where their enemies trail their coat tails in front of them until they fail their CMT and charge to their doom, or are forced to retire out of harms way, handing the battlefield to the enemy) -this reduces their effectiveness considerably in comparison to the French (they are a little cheaper).

They are also the worst possibly rated horse - Averaged Drilled Impetuous or Average Verteran. Either they charge out of hand, or are deployed in areas of no influence. or are very expensive for no further combat capability (cavalry do not shoot, so being vereran isn't that much help).

It seems much more sensible to have rated the British cavalry Superior Drilled, NOT Average Drilled. The Drilled rating would account for the difficulty in controlling British cavalry AFTER they had been given to be order to charge (and a problem for all cavalry, including the French).

From an analysis of combats from Vimeiro 1808 to Venta del Pozo 1812, there were 23 battles or cavalry actions, of which 17 were outright British victories, 2 were French victories, and 4 were 'draws' (no side left with an outright advantage). It's not a matter of who had the bigger horses, or who was the best trained, but what ACTUALLY OCCURRED.

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by edb1815 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:56 pm

adonald wrote:As I pointed out in my original post, I was concerned about the relativities. At present, the British and French are rated equally in the Peninsula, BUT the British have the (idiotic) 'impetuous' problem (where their enemies trail their coat tails in front of them until they fail their CMT and charge to their doom, or are forced to retire out of harms way, handing the battlefield to the enemy) -this reduces their effectiveness considerably in comparison to the French (they are a little cheaper).

They are also the worst possibly rated horse - Averaged Drilled Impetuous or Average Verteran. Either they charge out of hand, or are deployed in areas of no influence. or are very expensive for no further combat capability (cavalry do not shoot, so being vereran isn't that much help).

It seems much more sensible to have rated the British cavalry Superior Drilled, NOT Average Drilled. The Drilled rating would account for the difficulty in controlling British cavalry AFTER they had been given to be order to charge (and a problem for all cavalry, including the French).

From an analysis of combats from Vimeiro 1808 to Venta del Pozo 1812, there were 23 battles or cavalry actions, of which 17 were outright British victories, 2 were French victories, and 4 were 'draws' (no side left with an outright advantage). It's not a matter of who had the bigger horses, or who was the best trained, but what ACTUALLY OCCURRED.

Alastair Donald
I understand the historical outcomes, but when analysing rules mechanics and ratings, there is value in going a step further and asking why a battle occurred in a particular way. So the question is did the British win 17 battles because their cavalry was superior to the French and thus would justify a rating other than AD? How many of the 23 battles cited were decided by or exclusively cavalry actions? Just take Vimeiro for example, which is likely to be cited by proponents of the "impetous" rule, given the charge of the 20th LD routing French infanry and going out of control, only to run into fresh French cavalry and being themselves sent packing. This situation could easily have been reversed or applied to other nations. Essentially, in general fresh well ordered cavalry is more likely than not to beat blown, disordered cavalry. IMO the rules reflect this well (not counting poor die rolls!). However that engagement had nothing to do with the British victory at Vimerio.

I would also note that Veteran status is helpful for CMTs by giving you an extra die.

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by bahdahbum » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:20 pm

but what ACTUALLY OCCURRED
Thank you well what did actually occur . Could you please describe each action ...if the british cavalry did win : why and how ...that is the interesting info . If they did win because they countercharged spent cavalry it is one thing . If they charged and did win frontally , another thing ...and so on .

I am willing to accept that the british cavalry did win so many times . strange nobody told us before .

There are many factors in a battle but as I said, OK let all french cavalry be poor ...and british superior g ..so you will be happy :lol:

Funny, one may ask why Wellington did not have such a high opinion of his own cavalry ...or is it another myth

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by KendallB » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:44 pm

Wellington's opinion of his cavalry is not on their ability to fight but, I believe I read somewhere, it was more to do with the campaigning side - pickets, reconnaissance and the like - a factor that does not appear in a wargame. Not only their seeming inability to reform after a charge.

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by adonald » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:31 am

Just take Vimeiro for example, which is likely to be cited by proponents of the "impetous" rule, given the charge of the 20th LD routing French infanry and going out of control, only to run into fresh French cavalry and being themselves sent packing. This situation could easily have been reversed or applied to other nations
They'd be silly to use Vimero as an example, as Welleseley quite clearly gave the light dragoons the order to charge. That they did not stop at the french infantry is NOT covered by the impetuous rule - that is covered by outcome moves.

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by adonald » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:37 am

Funny, one may ask why Wellington did not have such a high opinion of his own cavalry ...or is it another myth
Wellington was an infantry general, and expected cavalry to behave like infantry - which they don't, so he was bound to be disappointed. There is an often quoted comment by Wellington that was written after a poor performance in the Penninsula, but it was the exception, not the rule.

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by Sarmaticus » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:33 am

adonald wrote:
Funny, one may ask why Wellington did not have such a high opinion of his own cavalry ...or is it another myth
Wellington was an infantry general, and expected cavalry to behave like infantry - which they don't, so he was bound to be disappointed. There is an often quoted comment by Wellington that was written after a poor performance in the Penninsula, but it was the exception, not the rule.

Alastair Donald
Wellington was also a politician and very good at, perhaps, sub-consciously, covering up the inevitable crises in his battles, in which the cavalry saved his bacon (which was doing their job) by snide remarks about them or their commanders: it's a pattern that goes back as far as Assaye. It's a pity because it tends to make him seem less than he was.
IIRC Napoleon was wary, by his own account FWIW, of British cavalry.
It stands to reason that, all other things being equal, cavalry that have charged infantry will be seen off by a reserve of cavalry that charges them in turn. They have done their job routing the infantry.

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by adonald » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:57 am

How many of the 23 battles cited were decided by or exclusively cavalry actions?
Fourteen. Twelve would be considered British victories, two French.

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by adonald » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:45 am

I would add in having created some lists and played some lists and being keen on the period and the OBs for history.

What you find in game terms is i feel a good historical approximation of how the army functioned.

The english player can try to design a mal-proportioned army vis-a-vis history. They will certainly have inferior game results. I own too many english cavalry and guns so i jumped to design lists to use them. I had mal-proportioned lists like what you suggest. Then I looked how i would fight with them and disliked it immensely. As another poster wrote, you need to win with your infantry in this army.

I can take your point that literalism has a weird look when translated. But the game effect is quite sound. There are quibbles Cacadores as you point out. But the "top-down" effect is quite accurate. And even the Cacadores I could backwards justify if i needed to.
I have waited to see the effects of the lists on some army compositions and what has happened as I suspected it would – the army lists are not reflecting Anglo-Portuguese armies and these DO NOT give “good historical approximation” of how the army functioned.

The most glaring example is that of the Portuguese cazadore ‘units’ in the lists. They exist in the E&E Anglo-Portuguese Army 1809-1810, Anglo-Portuguese Army 1810-1811, and Allied Army in Spain and France 1812-14. No such brigades existed for the later two lists. Ever.

The Cazadore deployment was in Portuguese Line infantry brigades, where their battalion worked with four Line battalions from two Portuguese infantry regiments:
1st Cazadores Light Division, joined April 1810
2nd Cazadores 7th Division, joined March 1811
3rd Cazadores, Light Division, joined April 1810
4th Cazadores, Independent Portuguese Brigade, joined August 1810
5th Cazadores, Independent Portuguese Brigade, joined July 1811
6th Cazadores 2nd Division, joined June 1811
7th Cazadores 4th Division, joined March 1811
8th Cazadores 5th Division, joined March 1811
9th Cazadores 6th Division, joined April 1812
10th Cazadores Portuguese Division, joined April 1812
11th Cazadores Portuguese Division, joined April 1812
12th Cazadores 3rd Division, joined April 1812


However, the lists allow a player to buy TWO such units, usually also fulfilling the minimum Portuguese contingent requirements of two infantry units. In the first list, Anglo-Portuguese Army 1809-1810, a unit of the Loyal Lusitania Legion and the 1st and 2nd Cazadores DID briefly operated under a British commander (Wilson) during the Talavera campaign (August 1809), but not as part of any Anglo-Portuguese forces, and was dispersed by the French. There is no justification for such a unit in a Corps-level formation modelled by the E&E lists – additionally; the Loyal Lusitania Legion has a separate entry.

The adverse effect of this is that Anglo-Portuguese players are now buying two British light infantry units with rifles (if this is the 7th Division, only one of the brigades actually had a rifle component, not two) and TWO cazadore units, making these four specialised light infantry brigades as the basis for the infantry force. Only two line infantry brigades are then bought while two gun units are purchased. The balance is in cavalry.

This is not a representative Anglo-Portuguese army, which should be characterised by a strong line infantry core supported by good light troops, and steady Portuguese line troops. And definitely not a ‘good feel’.

I suggest this is changed to the following.

1) Remove all references to cazadore FOGN ‘units’.
2) Allow Portuguese line units to have an attached rifle skirmisher element from 1811 (the Anglo-Portuguese Army 1810-1811, the Allied Army in Spain and France 1812-14 a,d the Portuguese Army 1809-14 lists) and adjust the Minimum Bases amounts in the Attachments tables to reflect the ability for further units in a division to have a rifle skirmisher attachment (say three skirmisher attachments per division, as most Anglo-Portuguese divisions had three brigades, one of which was Portuguese).
3) Modify the British and KGL Light Infantry rows in the Anglo-Portuguese Army 1810-1811, and Allied Army in Spain and France 1812-14 lists to have maximums of 4 bases for Rifles, and 4 bases of other skirmishers.

This will also see an increase in Line Infantry in the Anglo-Portuguese divisions, without them being compulsory for every division (the First Division did not have a Portuguese brigade) as the minimum Portuguese units will now be Line Infantry (as they were).

Alastair Donald

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by terrys » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:42 pm

1) Remove all references to cazadore FOGN ‘units’.
2) Allow Portuguese line units to have an attached rifle skirmisher element from 1811 (the Anglo-Portuguese Army 1810-1811, the Allied Army in Spain and France 1812-14 a,d the Portuguese Army 1809-14 lists) and adjust the Minimum Bases amounts in the Attachments tables to reflect the ability for further units in a division to have a rifle skirmisher attachment (say three skirmisher attachments per division, as most Anglo-Portuguese divisions had three brigades, one of which was Portuguese).
I agree that to be entirely accurate we should do this - About 50% of the Portuguese brigades had a cacadores battalion in them, so we would therefore allow 50% of the Portuguese line units to add a rifle attachment. However, in game terms there is no difference to the firing/fighting ability of a unit of rifles and a unit of line with rifle attachment. A unit of veteran rifles costs 68pts, a unit of veteran line with rifle attachment costs 62 points. We are therefore making players pay a premium for a rifle-armed unit. In reality the Cacadores 'unit' should be represented as 2 stands of line behind 2 stands of cacadores skirmisher bases (since it's the cacadores that would do most of the skirmishing).
A more accurate change would be to leave the choice as it is, but to not allow Cacodores units to use skirmish formation unless they are part of the light division. Since skirmisher formation is the least valuable part of the units abilities (as apposed to the extra dice for medium range fire) we decided not to add the extra bullet point required.
We also used abit of artistic license to allow players to use some of their 'old' units from other rules rather than throw them on the scrapheap (where it makes little difference in game terms).
3) Modify the British and KGL Light Infantry rows in the Anglo-Portuguese Army 1810-1811, and Allied Army in Spain and France 1812-14 lists to have maximums of 4 bases for Rifles, and 4 bases of other skirmishers.
I also agree with this - for accuracy. Although I would perhaps also seperate the British and KGL unit names to leave the KGL as the only unit having rifles. We had to make a decision based upon various possibilities that could occur - one being that the entire light division was not present, but any of the 95th, 43rd or 52nd regiments were. This could leave us with a KGL rifle unit and a 95th rifle unit.

The army lists are designed to permit players to field a reasonably representative force, withough allowing them to cherry-pick all the best units. This isn't always possible, and players (especially in competitions) will try to devise the best list thay can from the choices available. I wouldn't want to stop them doing this. If someone wants to spend 272pts on 4 small units, in addition to the 340pts minimum spent on other compulsaries (assuming a corps of 3 divisions), they are going to end up with an extremely small army.

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by bahdahbum » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:59 pm

but to not allow Cacodores units to use skirmish formation unless they are part of the light division
I once calculated the price of the light division . You cannot field it in a 800 points scénario as it cost more than 300 points . You cannot buy the rest of the army as taking the minimum and the generals all competent except for the light division ( exceptionnal charismatic mandatory ) you have something than 850 points .

So the light division is a good scénario unit :D

But please take a decision . I just bought the caçadores to paint 2 units for Albuera , if you change the army list now ...DO IT BEFORE I PAINT USELESS UNITS :shock:

take a decision please ..

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by adonald » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:50 am

But please take a decision . I just bought the caçadores to paint 2 units for Albuera , if you change the army list now ...DO IT BEFORE I PAINT USELESS UNITS
There were only the 5th cazadores at Albuera, brigaded with the 5th Line infantry in Collins' Independent Brigade. Just one battalion.

One Battalion of the Loyal Lusitanian Legion were present, operating in a brigade of 11th and 23rd Line

In any event, there's no reason why you couldn't have a skirmishing base and a close order base of cazadores in a small or large Poruguese Line unit, where the rest of the bases were Line infantry in blue uniforms. If soeone has made up a so-called cacadore unit of two close order bases and two skirmishing bases, these could be distributed to two Portuguese Line units. It would look just fine.

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by adonald » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:32 am

About 50% of the Portuguese brigades had a cacadores battalion in them, so we would therefore allow 50% of the Portuguese line units to add a rifle attachment.
That depends on the period.

There were 24 Portuguese Line regiments. The ration of cazadore battalions to Line regiments was 1 cazadore battalion to two Line regiments (totalling on average four battalions).

Initially (1809) there were only 6 Cazadore battalions, two of which were attached to the Light Division. The Loyal Lusitatnian Legion light battalions were converted into three cazadore battalions, and three others were raised in 1811 (for service in 1812). In 1809, seven of the Line infantry regiments were at one battalion or below, as Portugal was still recovering from the disbandment and invasion of Portugal by Junot. It wasn't unitl March 1809 that Beresford took control of the Portuguese army.

So, it just depends at what point in time you look at the ratio of cazadores to line infantry. However, one thing is certain, when deployed, there were part of a Portuguese brigade masd up of two regiments (in one case, there was a provisional brigade of one Line regiment and the 5th Cazadores - it fought at Albuera.

For example:
(L = Line Regiment, C = Cazadores, LL = Loyal Lusitanian Legion)

1810 Bussaco
2L 14L
4L 10L
9L 21L
11L 23L
3L 15L
8L LL
1L 16L 4C
6L 18L 6C
7L 19L 2C

1811 Fuentes do Onoro
9L 21L
3L 15L 8C
8L 12L
7L 19L 2C
6L 18L 6C
Light Div 1C 3C

1811 Albuera
11L 23L 1bnLL
2L 14L
4L 10L
5L 5C

1812 Salamanca
9L 21L 12C
11L 23L 7C
3L 15L 8C
8L 12L 9C
7L 19L 2C
Light Div 1C 3C
1L 16L 4C
13L 14L 5C

So, in 1810 less than 50% of Portuguese Line brigades had a cazadore battalion, by 1812, almost all did (it’s not clear in my sources if one of the brigades in the Portuguese Division ever had a cazadore battalion).

However, for the Allied Army in Spain and France 1812-14 and the Portuguese Army 1809-14 lists all Portuguese brigades should have the opportunity to add a rifle skirmish attachment, and the Anglo-Portuguese Army 1809-1810 and Anglo-Portuguese Army 1810-1811 lists should allow 50% of Portuguese line units to have a rifle attachment.

Alastair Donald

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by terrys » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:12 am

I once calculated the price of the light division . You cannot field it in a 800 points scénario as it cost more than 300 points . You cannot buy the rest of the army as taking the minimum and the generals all competent except for the light division ( exceptionnal charismatic mandatory ) you have something than 850 points .

So the light division is a good scénario unit
The Light division is 320 points and the minima for the main list is 438 pts (including commanders), so you can just about field it in an 800pt army.
But please take a decision . I just bought the caçadores to paint 2 units for Albuera , if you change the army list now ...DO IT BEFORE I PAINT USELESS UNITS
We won’t be removing the Cacadores from the list – so paint away......
In any event, there's no reason why you couldn't have a skirmishing base and a close order base of cazadores in a small or large Portuguese Line unit, where the rest of the bases were Line infantry in blue uniforms. If someone has made up a so-called cacadore unit of two close order bases and two skirmishing bases, these could be distributed to two Portuguese Line units. It would look just fine.
Alastair is quite correct. The accurate way to represent the Cacadores is as he describes.

The light division had 2 brigades of each with a mix of British light infantry, British rifles and Cacadores. The most accurate way of depicting this would be to have 1 large and 1 small veteran unit of light infantry with a rifle attachment. However, we felt that separating the different regiments into discrete units gave the formation the flexibility and firepower it required when used on the table. Forcing the 95th rifles into skirmish formation still leaves only 2 units capable of fighting in formation.
We rarely permit lists to have large units of veteran light infantry because they are so powerful.

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by adonald » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:28 am

We won’t be removing the Cacadores from the list – so paint away......
Well, you should do. They're not a unit as I have clearly demonstrated. They are a component to a Portuguese Line brigade.

If you continue to have them as rifle light infantry, even if they don't skirmish (which is a strange way of applying your FOGN classifications, they shoot BETTER than a small average veteran Portuguese Line with a rifle attachment. That would only get 4 dice, while the 'casadores' would get 5 as light infantrry (at medium range). To get the average veteran Portuguese line to have the same firepower, you's have to give then a gun attachment too.

So your 'cacadore' unit is 17 pts x 4 = 68pts
An equivalent average veteran Portuguese Line infantry with attached rifle and gun is 13 x 4 + 10 + 10 = 72pts for the same firepower at medium rane (4+1=5 dice)

Rush me my non-skirmishing cacadore units now! They are even better than the British average veteran line and more cost effective!

Hmmm, now, wait a minute, that doesn't seem right somehow...

Alastair Donald

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by bahdahbum » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:10 pm

No rule can be perfect

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Re: British (Allied) Peninsular Army

Post by adonald » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:57 am

No rule can be perfect
Agreed, but, barring system issues, and there are plenty in FOGN, at least they could get their facts straight. I find it a bit hard to 'sell' this to other club members when the books have glaring errors in them like the 'cacadores' (given how the rules decribe how units should be constructed), the KGL Line being compulsory at Albuera and Wellington becoming a Duke before the abdication of Napoleon in 1814...

Alastair Donald

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