FOGN 2nd Edition

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adonald
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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by adonald » Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:49 am

Now you keep citing El Bodon. How close were the cavalry on an on-going basis? I don't have my books with me.
I have been citing El Bodon mainly because when others have referred to it they have made errors in fact – it didn’t help when I referred to a point my comment could have been read two ways.

However, back to your question. From Oman, Vol. IV, p569: “This left the square composed of the 5th and 7th exposed to the full force of the enemy. Montbrun caused it to be charged on three sides at once; but the British infantry showed no disorder, reserved their fire until the enemy was within 30 paces , and then executed such a regular and effective series of volleys that the dragoons were beaten off with loss, and could close at any point. The German [KGL] squadrons then turned back and charged them as they retired in disorder.
The repulse checked the French for half an hour, but presently they were up again, not only hovering round the two squares, that of the 5th and 77th and that of the 21st Portuguese , which brought up the rear, but riding all down the side of the division, which now formed one long column of march. But they dared not charge again: Mondbrun merely brought up his horse-artillery battery, and plied the enemy with fire from several different positions. It was not ineffective but the allied infantry refused to be troubled by it, and continued to march as hard as they could along the high-road. ‘For six miles across a perfect flat,’ writes an eye-witness, ‘without the slightest protection from any incident of ground, without their artillery, and almost without their cavalry (for what were five squadrons against twenty or thirty?) did the 3rd Division continue to march. During the whole time the French cavalry never quitted them: six guns were taking the division in flank and rear, pouring in a shower of round shot, grape and canister.’”

Looks like they got quite close. Whether they maintained that distance for the time of the engagement it doesn't say. I guess not. It probably fluctuated. You could say the British/Portuguese were a small unit square with a cavalry attachment. French were two heavy cavalry and two light cavalry units, one with a gun attachment. Given a couple of bounds, they'd break a square - in FoGN.

Alastair

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by shadowdragon » Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:12 am

adonald wrote:Given the rather low probabilities you refer to form a group of steady squares (only 55% if drilled, 70% if veteran), it seems that this applies to infantry in line or open-half distance column. Otherwise, the probabilities you have are out of whack with the capabilities of some of those columns to form sqaure of just beat off a calavry attack.
Noting that it's 100% probability of forming square and that the 70% and 55% are the probabilities of the square being steady instead of disordered, I took a look at the probabilities of (1) the square being broken and (2) the attacking cavalry being spent.

Supposedly there were 2,500 French cavalry in the vicinity but not all would necessarily have attacked the square of the 2/5th and 77th Foot. Some would have been doing other tasks such as watching other parts of the British force including the British cavalry and the 21st Portuguese line that were a part of the retreating force. Some of it might even be considered as spent have having earlier lost a combat with the British cavalry (11th Light Dragoons and 1st Hussars). Presumably no artillery was able to fire at close range in concert with the cavalry attacks. The following link suggests that the artillery was used afterwards to harass and not in a combined arms effort.

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/co ... bodon.html

So, I took the defending force to be a small, average veteran infantry unit, initially in tactical, that's attacked by a cavalry force, for which I used two cases (1) a small average veteran dragoon unit or (2) two small average veteran dragoon units.

The relevant outcomes are (a) the square is broken and (b) the cavalry is spent and therefore is significantly less able to impede the retreat of the infantry. If the square isn't broken, likely it will have lost cohesion but it should have a 70% chance (80% if the commander is charismatic) of recovering a level in the infantry's following turn.

The results are averaged over the CT results that the infantry forms a steady square or only forms a disordered square.

Case 1 (one attacking, unsupported cavalry unit):
Current rules:
Infantry Broken 3%
Cavalry unit spent 92%

Rules that allow 'fast' (as in faster than 1 MU) moving, steady squares (i.e., 100% chance the square is steady):
Infantry Broken 0.1%
Cavalry unit speand 94%

Case 2: (two attacking cavalry units - no support):
Current rules:
Infantry Broken 35%
At least one cavalry unit spent 92%
Both cavalry units spent 51%

Rule with moving, steady squares:
Infantry Broken 22%
At least one cavalry unit spent 94%
Both cavalry units spent 56%

Of course, there's the option of one attacking unit with one unit in support but I think the above illustrate the effects. The most significant factor is the number of attacking cavalry units. Presumably two attacking units is about right for the historical situation. There's mention of the real square being attacked on three sides but that's conceivable even with a single unit (brigade) of cavalry attacking and swarming around the square.

So, is the chance of Montbrun's cavalry breaking the square of the 2/5th and 77th 22% or 35%? Who knows. We don't have enough data to say what number is right or wrong. However, a 100% chance of a 'fast' moving square always being steady, even if it consisted of conscripts, doesn't seem right. Certainly not for conscripts.

That's just my opinion. I certainly don't expect to change any minds, but I thought, "well, those numbers are interesting".

ETA: I only saw Alistair's post above after I posted, so this wasn't in response to his post. If I had I might have included the case with 2 cavalry units attacking with 1 in support. I would represent the British cavalry as a small unit since it won it's earlier combat with one of Montbrun's columns. Possibly it was spent as a result of that combat but certainly one of Montbrun's units would have been spent. So the allocation of the French cavalry in this further case would be 1 unit to counter the British cavalry, 2 to attack and the spent unit in support. The odds change, of course, but it's still a reasonable possibility that the square isn't broken and that at least 1 further cavalry unit is spent. The artillery battery only came into play later on and it would seem from the total of 149 casualties suffered by the British for the entire affair that it would only have fired at medium range (in FoGN terms).

The main points of the exercise above, not doubt known to FoGN players are (1) it's risky for cavalry to attack good quality infantry from greater than 2 MU, (2) cavalry is fragile and easily spent and (3) an isolated unit that is ganged up on by 2 or more enemy units isn't likely to survive long but I don't think that's inconsistent with any other set of rules.
Last edited by shadowdragon on Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by BrettPT » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:56 am

I think that the current rules for squares have it about right.
Ok, maybe they move a little slower than a few historical examples. But as other's have pointed out it would be detrimental in game terms to see squares advancing on mounted and threatening them.

Historically, cavalry seemed to attack squares all the time - even when the mounted were well led and the infantry were already in square before the charge began. There needs to be some chance of cavalry riding down squares in the game to encourage players to have crack with their cavalry from time to time.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by adonald » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:44 am

Case 2: (two attacking cavalry units - no support):
If you were using the agrument that in game terms - surely there would be TWO cavalry units to one veteral infantry unit, all small, based on points cost? So Case 1 is irrelevant.

What about what actually happened - Case 3 - Three brigades (units) of attacking cavalry, one with a gun attachment, and one supported?

Surely that's the model you should use. The others are irrelevant. We don't know what Picton would have done when retiring if there had been only one French cavalry brigade, or even two. He may not even have retired (although French infantry were coming up, it appears Montbrun was not intending to use it). And if he did, he may have in quarter columns, feeling no need to form square with his two partial brigades. These are speculations, of course.

It's also hard to determine the material effets on the French from the earlier combat. Alten's cavalry brigade of Britsh/KGL had five squadrons present, but only "500 sabres", leading to an average squadron strength of only 100 men - described as "weak squadrons" in Oman. While they carried out many charges and threw back the French, the French were attacking in constrained columns (march columns under FoGN?) and may NOT have been spent, just forced by combat outcomes to retire. The cavalry that were beaten by the 5th Foot weer described as being in "complete rout" so would have been spent at that point.

I'm not sure what you were trying to say?

Perhaps conscripts shouldn't be able to move in square. It was a standard drill for the British - Dundas' 14th Manoeuvre. Conscripts probably shouldn't be allowed to do alot of things, like being able to form effective line form clumn while under fire - but the rules don't model that.

Alastair

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by adonald » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:51 am

I think that the current rules for squares have it about right.
I like bold statements based on no evidence. They're easy targets.

If you could provide the evidence in the Napoleonic period for a series of steady squares (a unit of them) knocked over by two or more brigades of cavalry.

It would be good to classify the infantry as to their training and experience as well, as well as the cavalry.

I await your analysis with interest. Otherwise your comment is, sadly, worthless.

Alastair

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by adonald » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:53 am

Conscripts probably shouldn't be allowed to do alot of things, like being able to form effective line form clumn while under fire - but the rules don't model that.
Actually, I take that back. The rules probably do (rerolling 6's). Excellent. Let's get the squares thing unto the same level of accuracy then.

Alastair

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by shadowdragon » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:34 am

adonald wrote:
Case 2: (two attacking cavalry units - no support):
If you were using the agrument that in game terms - surely there would be TWO cavalry units to one veteral infantry unit, all small, based on points cost? So Case 1 is irrelevant.

What about what actually happened - Case 3 - Three brigades (units) of attacking cavalry, one with a gun attachment, and one supported?

Surely that's the model you should use. The others are irrelevant. We don't know what Picton would have done when retiring if there had been only one French cavalry brigade, or even two. He may not even have retired (although French infantry were coming up, it appears Montbrun was not intending to use it). And if he did, he may have in quarter columns, feeling no need to form square with his two partial brigades. These are speculations, of course.
What I was merely trying to do was to determine the effect in the game of an infantry unit in tactical requiring a test to form square versus one already being in square. Case 1 was the starting point because it was easier to do the calculations for just 6 dice and not because it necessarily is what happened. Case 2 was extending that to a more realistic situation of 2 attacking brigades without getting into variations of support or attachments. All cases, including your case 3, are speculative. FYI I set up the geometry of this using a battalion level game, I could only effectively get 720 cavalry into contact with three sides of the square as described by accounts, so 2 units plus 1 in support seems reasonable. It would also leave 1 unit to watch or chase off the British cavalry. The artillery didn't seem to be brought up until after this failed attack. So I did not factor it in. Effectively it means I could have added another dice for support but the two cases already provided me the info I wanted; and it's easy enough to extrapolate the results to a case with two attacking + 1 support as it was too tedious to redo the numbers with 1 or 2 more dice.

It's all speculative anyway as you wrote. It's difficult to precisely say how much cavalry was attacking at any given time and how to represent a situation that is essentially beneath the level of resolution of the game. Rather like trying to paint a miniature with a paint roller.

Anyway, as I said, Alistair, I'm not trying to convince you of anything. I went to the bother of doing the calculations and having done so I thought it might be of interest to people. If anyone wants to rubbish it, it's their choice and their right.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by hazelbark » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:21 pm

adonald wrote:
I think that the current rules for squares have it about right.
I like bold statements based on no evidence. They're easy targets.
If you could provide the evidence in the Napoleonic period for a series of steady squares (a unit of them) knocked over by two or more brigades of cavalry.
It would be good to classify the infantry as to their training and experience as well, as well as the cavalry.
I await your analysis with interest. Otherwise your comment is, sadly, worthless.
Alastair
You are either short of sleep or turning into a internet troll with too much of this rhetoric. People have generally engaged your arguments with respect and analysis and this is your reply?

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by bahdahbum » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:30 am

Hy guys

KEEP COOL it's a game !

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by Jilu » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:41 pm

i think it would be good to make a forum "by topic"
meaning :
topic "squares"
topic "skirmishers"
topic "artilery"
etc

it would make discussions more readable

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by Jilu » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:52 pm

shadowdragon wrote:
Jilu wrote:Sokolov sumerises the use of skirmisher companies and light infantry like this in 1811 from Davouts instructions:

"not only the voltigeurs but all the companies must be trained to fight as skirmishers. To help the voltigeurs the battalions should send companies of line. "
It seems there is no difference between line and light units All the infantry was doing the same job as the voligeurs or light inits in the past.
Of course "must be" and "should" does not imply "were" in all cases. Surely not all line regiments or even regiments labelled "light" in all armies should be considered "light" regiments in FoGN. Yes, it's true that some French ligne regiments were trained sufficiently to be treated as light regiments and not all legere regiments were sufficiently trained to be considered "lights". What is that people are proposing? That French armies have no "light" regiments? That all French ligne regiments should be "light" regiments? Both seem a little extreme. We already have a problem with light infantry being over "egged" as Terry says. Indeed Terry is considering that, unless otherwise specified in an army list players would be allowed no more than one light unit per division. That would seem to settle the issue for competition games. For historical battles, be a little flexible folks. If you think a legere regiment wasn't capable of operating as a light regiment classify it as a line regiment. If you think a ligne regiment is capable of operating as light infantry classify it as one. Keep in mind that the French army lists don't say "Ligne" and "Legere" but "Line" and "Light" with appropriate capabilities. Do we really need to have the words "Ligne et Legere" for both entries in the French lists? As for other nations, I'm less convinced that many line regiments could operate as lights even by 1815.

Just as an example, d'Erlon's Corps in the 100 days campaign has just one legere regiment in all four infantry divisions. When playing out parts of this campaign I fully intend to give three of the divisions each one light regiment as I think this is a better representation of the corps. It's also still compliant with the French 1815 list.

Shadow, i have one thing to say here,....i agree yes and no...but there is one thing i am afraid of ...might it be that english speaking people are relying to much on english speaking historians and thus might miss what russian or french historians write.

you all quote only english speaking historians so i am afraid that your view of things might be distorted by this....and fail to see how this were seen by others,...the view of things are somewhat different as the historical approach is different, that being cultural, historical or political (in the times that these historians lived).

When Davout writes that there is no difference anymore i think it means that the french units all were alike and used the same tactics, that maybe for fogin it should all be units with skirmish attachement and perhaps as veterean when lights..i got no idea, but for me it seems there was a leveling and that the "term" light was just historical because the unit started as lights in the past

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by MDH » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:00 pm

Jilu wrote:
shadowdragon wrote:
Jilu wrote:
Shadow, i have one thing to say here,....i agree yes and no...but there is one thing i am afraid of ...might it be that english speaking people are relying to much on english speaking historians and thus might miss what russian or french historians write.

you all quote only english speaking historians so i am afraid that your view of things might be distorted by this....and fail to see how this were seen by others,...the view of things are somewhat different as the historical approach is different, that being cultural, historical or political (in the times that these historians lived).
It is true some of the recent debate on this thread has centred on the British army and citing it as in some sense the “ proof” or basis of some general changes that some have argued for .

Such an Anglo centric approach as I have repeatedly said, was something we were determined we should not adopt when we began this project. Nor will we now.

That did not mean we had the scope, the time , personal or other resources to read or translate foreign language historians in their original languages or do primary or original research . But we used and drew upon many modern historians who did, and do, George Nafziger, Digby Smith , Peter Hofschroer (who is German) , David Chandler, Rosenberg, Scott Bowden etc etc . You only have to read their bibliographies in their works to see how wide and extensive are the sources they use . Writing in English does not make you fixated on the British army . American scholarship in this field is of a very high standard.

On this thread much has been made of Oman. James R Arnold in a series of papers published as part of the Napoleon series( for which he on a prize) is critical of Oman - and Fortescue. He says among many other things

“Numerous modern, popular and academic authors extensively cite Oman's works. However, an examination of primary source information demonstrates that, in both general and specific ways, Oman's understanding of French tactical method was flawed.”

In this he had a sympathetic ear from David Chandler and Paddy Griffiths I recommend his papers to all and indeed the series generally .It is a treasure trove, with a papers and articles from across the globe.

There is peril in relying on British Victorian or Edwardian historians . Relative proximity to the events of 200 years ago did not make them necessarily more knowledgeable than modern historians. They were not free from bias, and their access to data and documentation from across Europe was more limited, unlike today.


But this is not an academic forum even if some people like to think it is. These rules are not an University dissertation on the period or the basis of a PhD thesis. They are rules for a game - nothing more. We try to have some reasonable historical credibility in its elements , but our design is deliberately selective , and the game must work as a game . that people want to play. And FOG(N) is not a supposed to be a simulation . Miniatures are a very ineffective way to do that.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by adonald » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:53 pm

On this thread much has been made of Oman. James R Arnold in a series of papers published as part of the Napoleon series( for which he on a prize) is critical of Oman - and Fortescue. He says among many other things
Indeed, Oman has been outed as getting confused over the formations adopted by the French at Albuera by Gus Dempsey in his book Albuera 1811: The Bloodiest Battle of the Peninsula War, where Oman misread a French manuscript suggesting what SHOULD have been done as opposed to what actually happened.

Nevertheless, in discussing El Bodon I initially used the text of Wellington's General Order, which, I suspect, was contempory... :twisted: ... as opposed to an account by Gates that was, shall we say, less detailed that required...

And I wouldn't worry about thinking you'll be accused of being Anglo-centric, you've heeled so far over the other way it looks like the Mary Rose... :D

As always, a delight

Alastair

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by shadowdragon » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:06 am

Jilu wrote:Shadow, i have one thing to say here,....i agree yes and no...but there is one thing i am afraid of ...might it be that english speaking people are relying to much on english speaking historians and thus might miss what russian or french historians write.

you all quote only english speaking historians so i am afraid that your view of things might be distorted by this....and fail to see how this were seen by others,...the view of things are somewhat different as the historical approach is different, that being cultural, historical or political (in the times that these historians lived).

When Davout writes that there is no difference anymore i think it means that the french units all were alike and used the same tactics, that maybe for fogin it should all be units with skirmish attachement and perhaps as veterean when lights..i got no idea, but for me it seems there was a leveling and that the "term" light was just historical because the unit started as lights in the past
Hi Jilu,

I wrote a much longer reply but in the end deleted it.

I do read non-English authors but that doesn't mean my view isn't distorted. In fact I'd be surprised if it wasn't. I've read all four volumes (3,000 pages) of Battles and Leaders of the American Civil War, a collection of first hand accounts of battles from that war. Everyone who thinks he or she understands what really happened should read those books. Nothing should be taken at face value.

I do not dispute that French ligne and legere regiments had the same doctrine and training but I would not say they were all alike with the same experience and proficiency. What I do question is if allowing an army too much skirmishing capability would distort FoGN as a balanced GAME.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by KitG » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:32 am

I've read as many as THREE whole books about the entire period and think it is fair to say that anyone with a funny sounding name is probably 100% wrong with anything they say...

These rules have (and in some cases HAD) some very good features - the lack of extensive 'national character' rules is something
I like, the exception of the British to this general principle is not one of the very good features in these rules.

El Bodon is nice, but if those Frenchified ninnies had rolled a few more 5's and 6's then Picton would've been toast!

Old von Bock managed it at Diego Garcia or Diego Hernandez or Garcia Hernandez or Diego Whereever and he was a half blind, mostly deaf, sausage eating nutter - so a bunch of fit young war gaming lads like yourselves should've no worries cracking those squares.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by MDH » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:27 am

adonald wrote:
On this thread much has been made of Oman. James R Arnold in a series of papers published as part of the Napoleon series( for which he on a prize) is critical of Oman - and Fortescue. He says among many other things

And I wouldn't worry about thinking you'll be accused of being Anglo-centric, you've heeled so far over the other way it looks like the Mary Rose... :D

As always, a delight

Alastair
Then I may feel well pleased at a job well done and splice the mainbrace. My bilges are nonetheless pretty dry and the ship is weatherly :lol:

I will not re-enter the lists ( pun intended) for the le Grand Prix d'El Boden having broken too many lances already and other games clamour for my attention.

But ask me to write some matching Naval rules then you would see a different somewhat more jingoistic side to me and one in need of some restraint even if 1776 was not the most glorious episode in our Naval history . : Fortunately others have already done a pretty good job in that area judging by SALUTE over the years . So I focus on 1914-18.

Like Athens our wooden walls were ( sadly " were") our glory our strength and our protection without which hardly a British soldier or General could set foot upon the continent( nor be evacuated from it :shock: ) unmolested.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by MDH » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:38 am

KitG wrote:I've read as many as THREE whole books about the entire period and think it is fair to say that anyone with a funny sounding name is probably 100% wrong with anything they say...

These rules have (and in some cases HAD) some very good features - the lack of extensive 'national character' rules is something
I like, the exception of the British to this general principle is not one of the very good features in these rules.

El Bodon is nice, but if those Frenchified ninnies had rolled a few more 5's and 6's then Picton would've been toast!

Old von Bock managed it at Diego Garcia or Diego Hernandez or Garcia Hernandez or Diego Whereever and he was a half blind, mostly deaf, sausage eating nutter - so a bunch of fit young war gaming lads like yourselves should've no worries cracking those squares.
What a delightful post! As you rightly say what else do we use dice for in wargaming ( apart from it is a game after all) ? Its not just about probabilities it for those rarer and counter expectation events that are outside our control as we sit in our hot air balloons a thousand feet above our metal miniatures pretending to be in charge . :shock: So the 2nd Carabiniers failed to charge at Leipzig . They must have failed a CMT! How many 3's are there on these dice anyway :lol:

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by KitG » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:05 am

Yep, MDH.

In Rugby the saying is: The ball always beats the man.

In War gaming the saying should be: The dice always beats the man.

Just don't give us a situation where: The rules(often poorly written and explained after lengthy argument by way of internet forum) always beats the man.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by deadtorius » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:12 am

Just don't give us a situation where: The rules(often poorly written and explained after lengthy argument by way of internet forum) always beats the man.
I agree with this, well said.

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Re: FOGN 2nd Edition

Post by MDH » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:18 am

deadtorius wrote:
Just don't give us a situation where: The rules(often poorly written and explained after lengthy argument by way of internet forum) always beats the man.
I agree with this, well said.
I have to say had I not become an author and therefore with a role of listening and responding on FOG(N) I should have found the constant rules discussion on FOG rules generally , some of it a tad nit-picky as I see it :roll: , a little off-putting. Lists are slightly different, perhaps :| ?

But the kind of fiddly- basey-movey-whiggly -gamey stuff you sometimes get :roll: has never been much interest to me even if some tournament cogniscenti seem to find it irresistible :lol: .The main thing I observe about such things is it is an attempt to deal with some of the inherent weakness of miniatures games such as the excessively deep bases we have to use to accommodate figures compared with their widths and a certain type of casual sloppiness that gamers might adopt without some kind of rules of play for ungridded table tops where precision would of course be mush easier to have in board games. As to not letting the rules beat the man I am not entirely sure I would recognise that if I saw it unless is the fiddly-basey etc thing. But maybe I just don't get the metaphor .

Setting out to square historical interpretation with gameplay 100% is probably a fools errand. :shock:

As a FOG(AM) user I rarely find rules discussions on those threads affect my views on or use of the rules which I happily modify to suit myself as I used to with WRG ( pre DBA/M). And to be brutally frank I hardly ever used FOG(N) myself before 2014. They were a neglected child for reasons that had nothing to do with them as such.


For me lists are more like guidelines ( cf the Pirate Code 8) to enliven and enrich and create and foster interest in the period and I find the idea of mine being
" official" slightly embarrassing at times. :lol: Certainly one did not always get them right even in our own terms but I had rather have aimed for 140 some of which were not right or had errors and omissions than lower my sights and aim for a mere 30 that were and did not.

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