Skirmish Formation

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Speedhump
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Skirmish Formation

Post by Speedhump » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:49 am

I am playing a British list at this time.
(6mm Baccuss, based on 15mm bases)

Before I start sticking minis to bases, a few Skirmish questions. (I have looked through all 8 pages of topics, and not found an answer)

Background: I have a unit of 4 bases of British Light Infantry (Ave, Vet, Rifles etc)

My understanding is they can be deployed in the following formations:
(Width x depth)
1x4: March
2x2: Tactical or Square
4x1: Extended Line OR Skirmish*

* If in Skirmish, I would probably replace some or all figures with "Open" formation troops, or use some other sort of marker to show the formation.

Some comments here (and at my games club) are suggesting that the 2x2 formation can also be "Skirmish".
Also, that Light troops always have the front 2 bases as "open" formation troops.

I have looked in the rules (And I agree, whomever did the index... bad job) and can not find anywhere that explains how light troops change/exist between "Normal" and "Skirmish" formations.

Can someone explain it to me, or quote the page numbers?

(Really want to know this before I place my order for 100 pounds worth of 6mm. I may need more...)

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by mellis1644 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:09 pm

I'm still going through the rules but I think this is wrong:

> 4x1: Extended Line OR Skirmish*

I don't believe there is skirmish as a formation per say as far as base structure on the table. A unit in structure can be in as you listed without that.

Page 83 shows Light infantry troops should have have the half their bases being skirmish order bases (i.e. less figs on the base) or skirmish formation where all the bases are that way. A light infantry unit must still be in one of the above structure - march, tactical, square or extended line. It's confusing as formation seems to be used twice for different meanings.

The light infantry being in skirmish formation (i.e. all open bases so is counted as a skirmisher) affect's what it can do (no square formation allowed) but can evade attacks. It also changes their shooting rolls etc. But it can be in either tactical or extended line in either case.

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by hazelbark » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:25 pm

Speedhump wrote: My understanding is they can be deployed in the following formations:
2x2: Tactical or Square
4x1: Extended Line OR Skirmish*

* If in Skirmish, I would probably replace some or all figures with "Open" formation troops, or use some other sort of marker to show the formation.

Some comments here (and at my games club) are suggesting that the 2x2 formation can also be "Skirmish".
Also, that Light troops always have the front 2 bases as "open" formation troops.

I have looked in the rules (And I agree, whomever did the index... bad job) and can not find anywhere that explains how light troops change/exist between "Normal" and "Skirmish" formations.

Can someone explain it to me, or quote the page numbers?
It is one of the poorer worded sections.

There is a skirmish formation. You enter it at deployment or you can change formation as a move.
The front 2 bases are abou visual appeal and have no game effect. The question is how do you indicate to your oppoennt clearly that someone is in skirmisher formation. The idea is you could have a separate bases with smalller numbers of figures.

Yes it can be 2x2.

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by deadtorius » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:23 am

I believe somewhere it states that you use less figs on the front 2 bases of a light infantry unit to signify it is light infantry but is still in a line or partial line type formation so not fully skirmishing.

When skirmishing you would replace the 2 rear full of figure bases with 2 bases of less figures (this assumes you did the half less figs, half full number of figs on your base) to represent the unit going into skirmish formation. Now they are skirmishing and can evade, different shooting etc.

if you did 4 bases with full number of figures you would need 4 bases with less figs in skirmish order as replacements to indicate that they are skirmishing.

Of course it looks less pretty but you could put a marker that says "skirmishing" behind the unit when they enter skirmish mode.

Might want to add some more light to your order.

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by Speedhump » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:29 am

I found the Skirmish rules in the "reference" section last night.

And after some discussion at our club...

It looks like Light infantry can be set up in the 2x2 formation (front bases are "open", back bases are in normal "line"). They are in "Tactical" formation. IF you want to make them "Skirmish" formation, (either 4x1 or 2x2), you replace the "Line" troops with more "Open" ones.

Luckily I ordered enough extra troops to handle these sorts of issues.

(Extra quextion though... how do you represent commands in light troops? I have been told they do not use flags etc, so just have an officer and a drum dude on a base somewhere??)

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by KendallB » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:37 am

My light command bases have officer and bugler surrounded by infantry that are in march attack so they don't look like they're skirmishing (e.g. firing or loading)

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by bahdahbum » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:55 am

Many people forget that most regular light infantry was mainly used as regular line infantry with the exception that light ifantry would have - sometimes- more skirmishers deployed .

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by hazelbark » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:19 am

bahdahbum wrote:Many people forget that most regular light infantry was mainly used as regular line infantry with the exception that light ifantry would have - sometimes- more skirmishers deployed .
Mostly true. But in the period officers generally assumed the light infantry were better troops in general. Or better trained at least. That is one reason they constantly are turning to the light infantry for serious duty.

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by david53 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:58 am

hazelbark wrote:
bahdahbum wrote:Many people forget that most regular light infantry was mainly used as regular line infantry with the exception that light ifantry would have - sometimes- more skirmishers deployed .
Mostly true. But in the period officers generally assumed the light infantry were better troops in general. Or better trained at least. That is one reason they constantly are turning to the light infantry for serious duty.

Or maybe cause Sharpe was a better officer :)

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by bahdahbum » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:03 am

Sharpe's series is crap . Nice to read , but it gives a false image of what Napoleonic war was and especially Sharpe's Waterloo . If you believe that book, Dutch-Belgian units were nearly ready to go over to the french ....which is contradicted by historical facts and the repports written by the guys who were there . And also he forget's that Wellington was beaten !

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by KendallB » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:36 pm

If Wellington was beaten the so were the Dutch-Belgians, forming part of his army as they did.

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by bahdahbum » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:05 pm

Did I say otherwise, the allied army was beaten but it does not mean that the units were all poor . Only that one side lost, the other won . The french won against the allies, but lost against the prussians . The Prussians won the day .

Interrestingly, Napoleon did not use his 12 pounders . Or nearly none .

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by david53 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:25 pm

bahdahbum wrote:Sharpe's series is crap . Nice to read , but it gives a false image of what Napoleonic war was and especially Sharpe's Waterloo . If you believe that book, Dutch-Belgian units were nearly ready to go over to the french ....which is contradicted by historical facts and the repports written by the guys who were there . And also he forget's that Wellington was beaten !

Touched a nerve, Sharpe is what it is entertainment it dos'nt sell itself as anything elese, just a bit of fun. Since when would we let someone from the ranks into our mess anyway :)

Not did any reading of the Dutch belgium army to have an opinion,

I'm sure they did what they did, the book below seems to think so.

http://www.napoleon-series.org/military ... y1815.html

Dave

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by david53 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:30 pm

bahdahbum wrote: The french won against the allies, but lost against the prussians . The Prussians won the day .
Interesting take on the battle, was not the whole idea of the allies to hold the French till the Prussians could return and turn their Flank. Was'nt that what happened in the end, not sure how the allies lost since the allies were made up of the Prussians as well.

Dave

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by bahdahbum » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:19 pm

The 8th belgian Husssars lost up to 65% of it's original strengh and still continued to fight . General Trip, commended by Wellignton, was in charge of the dutch-belgian heavy brigade that counter charged the french cavalry . 4th Dutch light Dragoons 38 % loss and fought all day long, 5th Belgian light dragoons 36 % loss at Waterloo . heavily engaged at Quatre Bras and , after having lost 171 men there, where engaged at Waterloo and lost another 157 men . it is that unit that the french tried to entice coming to join them .
That's from The waterloo Companion .

Never forget that most of the cavalry fught in 1814 under fench colours and they did remain steadfast on the allied side and where the last fresh allied cavalry and the light cavalry had to charge the french heavies . The heavy brigade performed well if you believe Wellington's opinion of their commander .

Now as to the general idea that the prussians would assault the flank of the french while Wellington would pni the french down at Waterloo, that's a very modern concept . Wellington was unsure . He could not know if the prussian would come and from where exactly ( somewhere on his left flank ) . Blucher was not sure the british would stand and fight ...his officers wanted to retreat to Prussia towards their line of communications . They had no phones, no radio, no means of quick communication and where unsure of each other position ...So The british lost ..but where saved by thetimely arrival of the Prussians who really won the day .

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by bahdahbum » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:20 pm

and by the way, yes Sharpe is an entertainment , I have the whole collection :D

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by david53 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:51 pm

That piece on the Dutch-Belgium Cavalry was very very interesting.

Since I come a country who could never control their Cavalry, who for some reason charged everything when they were'nt supposed too, or was it just hard stopping any nations Cavalry running wild?


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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by bahdahbum » Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:49 am

Cavalry controll was always uneasy . But as to give you an answer as to why british cavalry had the reputation of being less disciplined, there are many explanations, many theories .
One is that the british cavalry knowing it had not the confidence of their chief wanted to show they could do it .
Another that British cavalry, having fought little action was not as hardened as the cavalry of the other nations and did not really know the value of falling back . One good exemple are the scott greys . Their first and only battle in the Napoleonic era was Waterloo ...see my point ?

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by KendallB » Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:32 am

That doesn't explain the British heavy cavalry at Salamanca. There they charged, reformed, charged again, refomed again and charged a third time! This was due to the leadership of Le Marchant. If he wasn't killed in the battle it would have been interesting to see if the British cavalry would have maintained that control. British cavalry consistantly thought themselves superior to the French and proved it time and again in the Peninsula.

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Re: Skirmish Formation

Post by bahdahbum » Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:37 am

There are cases of french cavalry going amok ...you will always find an exception somewhere . I never said that the british cavalry always did charge and refuse to fall back .

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