Colonial Portuguese – who made this list???

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hazelbark
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Post by hazelbark » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:01 pm

JeffTrout posts a well reasoned piece. A few observations.

1) It appears most colonial forces from europe are average. Dutch list for example.

Clearly there were some default decisions in list construction. For variety and interest I would have allowed one superior, but that is not hisotry based.

2) Could the european lists beat colonial natives. There are a LOT of factors other than an even points match up.

My thoughts on the proposed list is we need to balance it more with the rule philosophy and little less literalism. The mixed arquebues and bow for instance. Also a lot of troop carried melee weapons and don't always get a sword of HW option.

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Post by Scrumpy » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:47 pm

I still think that the arquebus option is just too powerful at close range. If the rules cannot accommodate arquebus*, then you just have to arm the front rank with weapons, both muskets & arquebus for 4 dice at close range, and assume the impact foot rating takes into account that final blast before charging that the Portuguese apparently possessed.

It works with the Iroqouis & other Native American nations after all.

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Post by pippohispano » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:57 pm

Jeff's contribution pointed to the right direction: instead of comparing the Colonial Portuguese vis a vis unhistorical opponents, we should compare them instead with their historical enemies and see if they a have an edge against these or if they are in disadvantage.

So, we have two distinct issues under discution:
1- Does the official list have the sort of troops that in fact existed in the Portuguese overseas Empire?
2- How should the troop types be classified?

The most difficult task, and the one which is really being debated here, is the Portuguese troops' classification. I believe we'll find a good way to express the Portuguese characteristics and in that respect, Jeff seems to be doing a terrific job.

As for the first issue, IMO, it should and can be solved right now.
The sources, ranging from simple personal journals to official reports and diverse documents, tells us that there were Tercios and cavalry in Brazil, that the Portuguese often used small breech-loading artillery pieces who moved alonside their troops, that they used abatis and naval support, etc. It is not a question of "whether they should be elite" or "fight in this or that manner": the documents clearly tells us WHAT they where and often, how many where they. This is just as clear as to say that the Gustavian Swedes had Finnish cavalry or "coloured" Brigades armed in such a fashion, or that the New Model Army had the Ironsides who were equipped as heavy cavalry.

I guess this issue is consensual and therefore, if only to answer this question , the list needs a refit.

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Post by Scrumpy » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:53 pm

Sorry Pippo, but I still see impact foot as having one blast to try & disorder troops then rushing into combnat, something a front rank of musket* does best.

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Post by ravenflight » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:49 am

hazelbark wrote:
nikgaukroger wrote:Feel free to blame me. I have to confess that the list was based on fairly limited sources (I can't even recall what they were I'm afraid :cry: ) in rather a short time due to deadline pressure.
So Nik all that time you spent in Lisbon, you weren't doing research? What were you doing hanging out in a bar?
Oh, I can imagine the letter now...

"Dear Mr and Mrs Osprey,

I accept your offer to write the Portuguese list. I will, of course, require a trip to Lisbon to do the necessary research. Naturally, I'll need an expense account as well.

Yours Faithfully,

Nik Gaukroger

P.S. - Never ask a man if he's from..."

Well, of course, this does explain why the rules are so ridiculously over priced! :)

(actually, in reality, I think the rules and lists are quite reasonably priced... I just had to increase the impact of my post)

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Post by ravenflight » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:54 am

Delbruck wrote:Giving soldiers impact, melee, AND shooting ability seems to go against the grain of the FoG philosophy. The idea being that troops could not be skilled at everything. The best you get in FoGAM is bow*, lance (or impact foot), sword.

Personally, I think Europeans had a huge pyschological adavantage over natives because of the technological superiority. I doubt this is really address by such a broad set of rules (especially a set of rules often used for out of period tournament play). It will be interesting to see how Cortez's army stacks up against the Aztecs.
Hmm,

The trouble with this is that a big part of the reason the Aztecs went down so badly against Cortez was because of exactly what you say - the psychological impact. We have no way of knowing what the psychological impact of the Aztecs would have been had they invaded Japan so we can't rate that.

I don't think it would be right to write a set of rules that dramatically impact an army purely because of things like Cortez's invasion. I'm sure, under different circumstances, the Aztecs would have put up a good show.

A recreation of Cortez's conquest would be best done in a scenario where negatives can be put in place to show 'belief in the enemy being Gods' etc.

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Post by lonehorseman » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:52 am

Scrumpy wrote:Sorry Pippo, but I still see impact foot as having one blast to try & disorder troops then rushing into combnat, something a front rank of musket* does best.
Problem is the Portuguese are not being classed Musket because they are impact foot who volley but rather because, and history collaborates this (as far as I have made out getting a friend to help me translate Portuguese sources, I have another who helped me with Arabic) the Portuguese were good shots. They liked to charge sure but if needs be they were able to totally destroy enemy formatins merely off their firepower. Now regarding the swords argument I can agree they actually need this to give that tenacity in close combat they displayed in life however if we do give them swords we would have to seriously consider whether or not to include the Superior troops just for game balance reasons. Perhaps even a couple mandatory poor groups might help balance the list (even though that would be slightly innacurate, but just for those who do want to use the list in competitions)
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Post by Scrumpy » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:32 am

They need to be elite to counterbalance Jeff's dice ! :)

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Post by jefritrout » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:17 am

I said that I would respond on Monday and now it is Tuesday. Maybe I get out too much, and that is my problem. ;-) Granted it is with the misses so I'm fine in that department.

I just went back and reread the whole thread - just to see what I've missed, and to refresh various things that I wanted to say.

I feel that the proposed list is not better in the rules as the list published in C&C. I've done quite well with that list winning 4 times to every loss. Pippo's list has not brought me near that success, not having a victory yet. But I think that Pippo's list has more a feel to it for the Sugar Wars in Brasil. I haven't tried out the Bandierantes version (early) yet. I can't speak to any of the fighting in Africa, not having done any research into that arena. I think his list is actually a tad weaker than the published list for the Asia.

Once again I think that Paul is a bit inacurate in some of the things he says.

For rating the Fidalgos - I was thinking only 0-18, but that is because I am only thinking about the Sugar Wars. I can see the 0-24 for other theaters. So the amount at 24 is probably correct.
I think that should be
Musket*/Arquebus(Crossbow), Impact Foot, Swordsmen

The Soldados are the difficult one for me. I wish that Arquebus* was an option, but it is not and I am trying to figure out how to fit them into the rules as written. They were a bit poorer armed than the fidalgos so I might suggest that up to 1/2 might have Musket*, the rest being Arquebus. Paul doesn't think that Arquebus + Impact foot should be allowed for them. Might I just point out that this is precisely how Nic rated them in the Published list. Now Paul who has been arguing for the Published list is saying the Published list doesn't meet his approval either.

So Soldados should be
up to 1/2 Musket* rest Arquebus (Crossbow for the appropriate time frame), Impact Foot, Swordsmen.

I think the Escravos(Freed Slaves) should be 6-8 not 4-8. 4 is too small a battle group for a body of foot.
I am also wandering about the civic milita armed with shortened pike - I would classify as Spear not pike.
They were present at a few battles in Algoas and near Maceio but they never fought. So I am not sure whether to include them or not as ,MF, Unarmored, Poor, Spear, Spear, 6-8 0-12. The reason to rate them as MF not warriors, is that they shouldn't move 4" nor should they be able to get overlap bonuses.

The Published list basically says the Portuguese lost their impact ability from 1626 on. Felipe, what is a good time frame when you think the Portuguese became less fierce in their charges. In 1640 Portugual started their rebellion from Spain. How did this drain the man power that they might have sent overseas? Maybe 1659 when Spain really upped the ante in trying to reconquer Portugual. Based on the fighting in Brasil, I think sometime around 1650 or so the Soldados lose Impact foot ability.

The post 1650 Soldados could be Warriors, Musket, Swordsmen. I also think up to half of them could be rated as poor. The fidalgos keep Impact foot and remain unchanged.

As to the Civilized Indians - Dan you should've read my post in the Northern Virginian group about what I think should've been done. The way they were in Felipe's oringinal list is not in correct spirit with the rules.

Thanks for your patience with me
Jeffinho

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Post by Scrumpy » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:34 pm

Where did I say I disagreed with merely arq & if ? I queried the idea that they get sw too, seems that both you & Pippo want the best of all worlds with these troops at times, making them into something they clearly were not.

I for one think the originally posted list is fine, and suspect like the vast majority of gamers is more than happy to use or face any of the offically printed lists whether we agree 100% with that list or not.

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Post by pippohispano » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:29 pm

Hi!

I’ve been consulting other lists trying to sort out some ideas and I reached to the same conclusion as Jeff did: the best way to classify the Portuguese would have to be Musket* Impact Foot Swordsmen, and for an earlier period, Arquebus (or Crossbow, depending on the date) Impact Foot Swordsmen.

Ok, so Musket* Impact Foot Swordsmen makes them better than French Line infantry, but… that's the exact classification the Buccaneers (Cities of Gold) were given, and I think their fighting style looks just like the Portuguese.

As for the Arquebus Impact Foot Swordsmen, there are other examples of troops having all their competences in full (such as the Cossacks, for instance) so I guess that shouldn’t be a problem. Anyway, Aq only shoots at short (charge) distance so the absence of the * would have a minimal impact.

Of course this classification (Musket*) wouldn't make the Portuguese justice as they knew quite well how to destroy their enemies just by shooting at them, but I see no other way to solve the equation.

So,

Portuguese core troops should be Crossbow/Arquebus/Musket* Impact Foot Swordsmen, the differences depending on the dates.
As Jeff suggested, Soldados could be up to 1/2 Musket*, the rest being Arquebus (Crossbow) Impact Foot, Swordsmen, since not all of them were that well armed.

I would also agree that in Brazil there would be less Fidalgos and veterans than in Asia so, if in Asia they should be 0-24, in Brazil they could be only 0-16.

I also agree that the Escravos could be in a 6-8 bases’ BG rather than 4-6.

As for the half-pike militia (there were also such troops in mainland Portugal, the picas secas), I had already discussed that in another Restauration Portuguese list for some house rules of ours and I think they were also classified as Spears, but I'll check it.
Should I include them, yes, they should be MF (they were not rash), Unarmored, Poor (yep!), Spear. Number of bases? Perhaps 0-12.

Regarding the supposed loss of the impact ability… sorry but that didn’t happen. The description of the battles that took place in Ceylon, for instance, clearly tells us the opposite. What happened, and I think it happened mostly in Brazil, was that mainland Portugal started to send trained units to this colony, and not just loose soldiers as it still happened in Asia. Therefore, in Brazil, as in Portugal, a regularly trained army appeared, but only at a later stage of the Sugar Wars. These troops were prone to use conventional tactics so they would be classified as ordinary musketeers.

As for the Poor-rated soldados, although that could be optional, I wouldn’t make it compulsory, the reason being that, while new arrivals could be inexperienced fighters, they soon would become seasoned due to constant warfare in Africa, Asia and Brazil. Thus, Average is clearly the option.

Finally, I think Jeff treated the Indians in a good manner, much better than in my original proposal, so I think that issue is solved.

Therefore, in a couple of days I’ll post here my final proposal.

Thanks to all of you who contributed to this discussion, especially Jeff and Duane who gave a much appreciated “external advisory”, and all the other participants who at least “forced” me to review the sorces over and over again and thus consolidate my knowledge on this interesting piece of the European colonial experience: the Portuguese Colonial Empire.

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Post by Scrumpy » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:01 pm

As a mere aside, what are the odds of your version being treated as an official version by those in power at fog(r) ?

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Post by jefritrout » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:06 am

Let me roll for it - 1 or 2 Pippos list
3 + the published list.

(That means better than 50-50 we take Pippo's list)

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Post by ravenflight » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:51 am

jefritrout wrote:Let me roll for it - 1 or 2 Pippos list
3 + the published list.

(That means better than 50-50 we take Pippo's list)
Lol - well, don't get me to roll - 100% chance it would be pippo's

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Post by jefritrout » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:47 am

Paul said,
I for one think the originally posted list is fine, and suspect like the vast majority of gamers is more than happy to use or face any of the offically printed lists whether we agree 100% with that list or not.
I wonder a bit about the ability of wargamers to accept the "published" version. This comment is not about FOG -R but other things in general and specifically the rules that my dad and I published this Spring. For those that don't know, we wrote a set of Soccer/Footbal/Futebol rules called Corner Kick. We rated the players just as we felt based on the games we watch. In reality that would be on average about 8 games per team per season. Maybe Dirk Kuyt had great games when we watched, but wasn't so hot when we didn't see him play. We played lots of games with our lists to try out the game. We were expecting footy fans to question our ratings. We even said that they were subjective. Every person playing Corner Kick took our ratings as Gospel. We were ready and even wanted debates about how good (or bad) some players were, but instead nobody questioned our assessments. (Graned we didn't rate Pompey because we hadn't yet come up with a negative scale.) This suprised us because we were wondering if we did an acurate job. In fact the only disagreements were between my dad and myself in making the lists in the first place.

Back to the original point - you might be happy with a list because you either feel that it has the right feel or are possibly ignorant about the history of that army. If you were to ask me to comment on the Kalmar Union I would plead ignorance, and I only have a very general knowledge of the French Wars of Religion. Nothing to base ideas on a list about, and actually am thankful that someone else has taken the time to look at it. However, when you spend quite a bit of time studying the history of something and see that the army list done by the "experts" doesn't match at all what you studied, you begin to ask questions. Well before Pippo brought this topic up, I was already questioning the list to Walt, Dan, Kevin etc. It didn't feel right. Then when Nic admitted that he had not been able to do much research do to deadlines, that is what clinched it for me. I am glad that Pippo took the lead on this, I tried to help as I could.

This all has been very informative.
All I can say is thanks to everyone involved including Scrumpy.

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Post by Skullzgrinda » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:55 am

No offense to those who are passionate about this army, but who the hell would have thought this particular list would perpetuate this long of a thread?

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Post by hazelbark » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:58 pm

Skullzgrinda wrote:No offense to those who are passionate about this army, but who the hell would have thought this particular list would perpetuate this long of a thread?
You should see the complaints about the Inuit list, but those are all on the Inuit langauge sub forum.
:twisted:

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Post by shadowdragon » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:16 pm

jefritrout wrote:I wonder a bit about the ability of wargamers to accept the "published" version. This comment is not about FOG -R but other things in general and....
:lol: You need to spend sometime on the FoGAM version 2 beta forum where nothing anyone says - and particularly not anything proposed by the authors - is accepted by anyone else. Over there we call it "beta testing" even if no games are actually played. "Thought games", in fact, are the preferred approach.

But as a time to time dispassionate observer of this thread my suggestion to Slitherine is that they should at some point dip the thread in some kind of electronic "bronze" to preserve it for posterity. :) :)

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Post by Skullzgrinda » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:32 pm

hazelbark wrote:
Skullzgrinda wrote:No offense to those who are passionate about this army, but who the hell would have thought this particular list would perpetuate this long of a thread?
You should see the complaints about the Inuit list, but those are all on the Inuit langauge sub forum.
:twisted:
LOL!

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Post by pippohispano » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:54 pm

Skullzgrinda wrote:No offense to those who are passionate about this army, but who the hell would have thought this particular list would perpetuate this long of a thread?
I wouldn't have tought it, believe me!
But it’s good to know that a lot of people took interest in this particular discution.

Right now I don't have my laptop working (I'm writing from my work - it's happy hour!), but as soon as I get it fixed I'll post the list here.

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