Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

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nikgaukroger
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Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:48 am

OK, this may be the only really big rules issue about at the moment. I know it has been discussed many times but thought a single topic would be a good idea.

So what are the possible solutions? Post away folks and don't worry about repeating what has been said before.
Nik Gaukroger

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by marshalney2000 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:57 am

A timely topic as it happened in one of my games at Derby last weekend.
Frankly the whole thing is silly. If cavalry or infantry charge guns then they go into them and are intermingled with them. They are not standing on the far side going pokey, pokey with their swords or lances. It then follows that mounted, elephants etc who want to clear them away should be able to attack the capturing enemy as if the guns were not there.
If you think of the French cavalry charges at Waterloo then the cavalry charged through the guns many times and then retreated back through them to reform.
Perhaps troops who capture guns should be placed on the far side of the gun model. This should not however stop them being charged in the rear.
John

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by alasdair2204 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:38 pm

Once captured take them off

Keep it simple, it bypasses all the messing around with them that happens at the moment, especially when mounted can't intepenetrate

cheers

Alasdair

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by kevinj » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:41 pm

Yes, captured artillery regularly throws up queries and controversy and is probably the largest issue that can be addressed via an errata entry.

My personal preference is that if captured by a BG that can recrew them, they may be recrewed, if not they are removed. Similarly, if recaptured they are recrewed, if the capture was by a BG allowed to do so. They count lost (i.e. -2AP) if they currently belong to the player that did not own them or if they have been removed. I think this is the simplest option and retains the possibility of capture/recrew but eliminates the current issues with the captured artillery being a significant, often impenetrable, obstacle. Also, currently, there is an anomaly in that, if Artillery has been captured but not recrewed, it does not count as enemy to either side (p127) and so technically there is no way to recature it by moving into contact "in a way that would normally result in close combat" as charges can only be declared against enemy (p72). We normally fudge this by allowing captured artillery to be charged, but it's not really in line with the rules.

An alternative would be to replace the artillery bases with blank ones if they are currently uncrewed. These would not impede movement to anybody and they could be recovered by the original owner if only they had any bases touching or occupying the dummy bases during their manouvre phase (and recrewed if recaptured by an appropriate BG). This would be more complex as there would need to be rules to allow the recapturers to reform adjacent to the artillery if they were recrewed.

Update - my options are not as simple as Alasdair's, but he posted his solution while I was composing my more verbose one. "Take them off" works for me too.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:56 pm

alasdair2204 wrote:Once captured take them off

Keep it simple, it bypasses all the messing around with them that happens at the moment, especially when mounted can't intepenetrate

cheers

Alasdair
A possible problem with this is that use of captured guns, often to effect, is a common enough feature of warfare in the period to justify it being modelled - that was our view when writing the rules and for me at least that hasn't changed.
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by spotteddog » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:08 pm

i am in the take 'em off camp as well.
HH

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by marshalney2000 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:16 pm

Taking them off is simple but are their good historic examples of guns either being used by the capturer or recrewed by the original owner. If the answer is yes then we cannot simply take them off.
Why cannot we assume that the capturing unit is occupying the same space as the guns. We actually do this already with u it's that are supporting the guns.
Simples!!
John

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by Three » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:52 pm

If the prefered game scale was the regiment (BG) as the manouvre element then I can see the argument for capturing artillery (and re-using it). That isn't the game scale that's supposed to be being represented, so I'm in the "take them off" school of thought, unless we are going to come clean and admit that we all really think about the games as being at a regimental level anyway 8)

The inability of mounted to pass through captured/un-manned artillery does stike me as being illogical. I don't subscribe to the idea that there is more there than just the guns. There are no limbers, caissons. mobile forges and assorted wagons stacked up behind the gun line, that's some way in the future; there are a few civilian contractors or pressed labourers with their own horses who bug out as soon as it even looks like it's going to get hairy.

If a mounted BG can cross field defences or lateral obstacles with no movement or disorder penalty as long as it isn't defended then it should be able to move through a thin gun line.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:50 pm

For the time being I suggest people assume that just taking the Art off is not an option and look at how thing can be improved with the Art there. No need to state the the current situation is silly - we know that, hence we're asking about it :D
Nik Gaukroger

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by marshalney2000 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:31 pm

OK my suggestion is that if guns are captured then they are replaced with a base which is treated as a marker as to their position which is placed under the capturing unit. This marker does not affect movement or charges of the unit capturing the guns or any opponent which wishes to charge that unit. The marker is replaced by the gun piece if it is recrewed by either side.
John

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:52 pm

Thanks John :)

BTW just thinking about the use of captured guns and a couple of cases popped into my head straight away. Firstly Lutzen where a battery on the Imperialist left was captured by the Swedish infantry, initially spiked as they carried on their assault and then unspiked and used on the Imperialists to great effect, being a main contributor to clearing away enemy troops on that wing. Second was Rocroi where French guns were overrun by Spanish cavalry only to be later re-manned by the French. The same happened to a Royalist battery at Edgehill IIRC. I'm sure there are more and I'll try and find time to dig a few out to illustrate why we thought the mechanism was needed.
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by petedalby » Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:10 am

Allow all troops to pass through 'captured' artillery perpendicularly from back to front or front to back only.

That retains the current 'captured guns' opportunity but stops them being an impassable obstacle to mounted and elephants.
Pete

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:27 am

petedalby wrote:Allow all troops to pass through 'captured' artillery perpendicularly from back to front or front to back only.

That retains the current 'captured guns' opportunity but stops them being an impassable obstacle to mounted and elephants.
Might it just be more elegant to say all troops can pass through all artillery?
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by kevinj » Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:55 am

Might it just be more elegant to say all troops can pass through all artillery?
It would certainly be simpler but, like just removing the bases, is unlikely to produce a result that satisfies the need for simplicity and the desire to retain a rules mechanism that models events that certainly happened and were significant in some of the battles where they did. As far as I can see there is no problem with the current rules regarding controlled artillery, with the possible exception that some clarity regarding how large formations (i.e. Kiels and ETs) can pass through it might be useful. I don't have a problem with allowing friendly mounted to pass through, although there might be an issue in 25mm scale if 1" MUs are being used.

The issue really surrounds uncontrolled artillery, which is where the suggestion that John and I made regarding replacing it with blanks that do not impede anybody's movement came from. We also need to confirm the mechanism by which uncontrolled artillery becomes controlled again.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by petedalby » Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:56 am

Might it just be more elegant to say all troops can pass through all artillery?
That was my first thought but I was concerned about giving even more flexibility to mounted.
Pete

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by gibby » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:26 am

I definately think the passing through artillery by deep formations needs looking at.
At the weekend just gone I almost had a unit of Gendarmes pinned by a 8 base deep Kiel which gained about 8cm ish when it came through the guns.
Almost as stupid as a unit of LF being in the way and blocking their move out.
So I don't think the take em off leave them on should be looked at in isolation from other Artillery quirks.

I think it should be root and branch review of artillery.
For instance current target of preferred choice is probably a 4 pack average mounted unit followed by any 4 pack mounted.
Yet in many of the battle reports I have read, the gun line is in front of the infantry protected by the infantry firing at infantry.

Yet, you look at most games and guns are left un protected and often aiming out to flanks for the juicier Horse targets.
Maybe we should make all targets of artillery a 5 or 6 to hit and a 4/5/6 only if directly in front within 8 inches or something like that.
cheers
Jim

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by petedalby » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:46 am

I think it should be root and branch review of artillery.
I agree with many of the points Jim makes.

And Artillery firing over LF is another problem IMO. Personally I'd prefer to see no overhead firing at all unless from a hill. It didn't really come in until the Napoleonic period or beyond.
Pete

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by marshalney2000 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:53 am

If you have a flat piece of card as a marker for each captured gun base it removes all the Keil problems re extra movement, stops any interpenetration problems as well. The guns are not an obstacle and just not there unless recrewed by either side.
I agree with Pete's point re light foot being fired over as well. Real cheese in this period and can create devastating firepower. I can find no evidence of this happening historically.
John

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:04 am

gibby wrote: I think it should be root and branch review of artillery.
For instance current target of preferred choice is probably a 4 pack average mounted unit followed by any 4 pack mounted.
Yet in many of the battle reports I have read, the gun line is in front of the infantry protected by the infantry firing at infantry.
Well I'm happy to look at this as well. We changed the way Swedish brigades work to incentivise historical behaviour so there is no reason why we shouldn't here. Happy to hear any suggestions in addition to the one Jim made, as long as the moving through artillery issue is not lost along the way :)
Nik Gaukroger

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:06 am

petedalby wrote: And Artillery firing over LF is another problem IMO. Personally I'd prefer to see no overhead firing at all unless from a hill. It didn't really come in until the Napoleonic period or beyond.
I'm trying to recall why we had this in the rules and am currently failing ...
Nik Gaukroger

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