Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by madaxeman » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:20 am

vexillia wrote:
nikgaukroger wrote:If you want that modelled give us some examples to justify additional rules.
Not sure what you mean here. I don't want anything new modelled just consistent outcomes.
As noted below you can cause artillery bases to be removed by shooting them when they no longer cause any obstruction whilst they remain place and, an obstruction, if broken in close combat. So shooting (of any sort not just counter battery) is capable of destroying artillery guns and all. Most strange.
I think that may be too literal an analysis (and set of outcomes) for the level of abstraction within the ruleset.

The top level facts are that in this period artillery engaged by the enemy were sometimes captured, recrewed and used against their original owners, and sometimes spiked and destroyed instead.

The rules currently allow these two outcomes, but on the tabletop the way that the sometimes bit in the above statement plays out is arguably not that closely related to historical precedent. Instead sometimes is achieved through some fairly arbitrary game mechanics (being dependent on what types of troops capture it is a bit of a half-way-house in terms of patching some logic onto the "sometimes"). The mechanic also has some holes in it (being shot at), and doesn't allow a clear histoprical option of "player can choose to destroy it" at all. To add insult to injury, it also creates some messy problems in other areas of the rules as a by-product.

None of these are especially good, however I doubt that adding more granularity, and more "literal" outcomes to the process of capturing gunnes would really be going in the right direction either, as AFAICS there was no hard and fast "literal" historical precedent that you can consistently point to.

Or, put another way, capturingif troops contacting gunnes tossed a coin and on "heads" the guns were captured and usable, and on "tails" they were removed, it would be just as legitimate in terms of being a way to similate historical outcomes as the current (therefore probably overengineered) mechanics are.

If you accept the argument that the current mechanics are overengineered, and the outcomes of "capture vs spike" should be kinda random at a game level, you then go down a path that concludes that as long as we have an outcome in which sometimes guns are captured, and sometimes they are destroyed, but either way this in turn creates as few problems with other parts of the rules as possible, we probably have a solution....
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by vexillia » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:38 am

madaxeman wrote:The top level facts are that in this period artillery engaged by the enemy were sometimes captured, recrewed and used against their original owners, and sometimes spiked and destroyed instead.
Any evidence for the guns, but not the crews, sometimes disappearing altogether? :-)

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by Sarmaticus » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:31 pm

I don't see why you have lumped leaving bases for whatever cause with their remaining an obstruction.
Uncrewed bases have two attributes: as obstacles and as potentially recrewed. There is no necessary link between them.
For recrewing we have historical evidence of it. There's no evidence I know of guns abandoned from distant shooting being recrewed. One could argue either way: it didn't happen because guns abandoned to distant shooting couldn't be recrewed (I've suggested that gunners, like others, tended, when able to take the tools of their trade with them: ok that's thinnish ;-) ). Or there aren't many instances of any sort and it's a matter of chance or just that guns weren't often abandoned to distant shooting at all. Where the line is drawn between what could have happened but didn't and what didn't happen and shouldn't is up to the writers.
Re the obstruction: when we read of guns as an obstacle, specific measures had been taken; such as chaining them together. Otherwise, they seem to obstruct no one.
Last edited by Sarmaticus on Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by Sarmaticus » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:40 pm

Just a point re spiking versus capturing: at Lutzen, it seems the Swedes first spiked then unspiked and used the seven guns of the Imperialist ditch battery.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by vexillia » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:46 pm

Sarmaticus wrote:I don't see why you have lumped leaving bases for whatever cause with their remaining an obstruction.

... because the current rules require the bases to be present to represent the obstruction: no bases, no obstruction.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by Sarmaticus » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:50 pm

I suppose one issue with leaving artillery bases lost to distant shooting would be that e.g. counter-battery fire might uncrew guns only to see them recrewed straight away from supporting pike or shot units. It might encourage guns to stay with their infantry ....
Last edited by Sarmaticus on Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by Sarmaticus » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:51 pm

vexillia wrote:
Sarmaticus wrote:I don't see why you have lumped leaving bases for whatever cause with their remaining an obstruction.

... because the current rules require the bases to be present to represent the obstruction: no bases, no obstruction.
But they could be present and not be an obstruction.

vexillia

Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by vexillia » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:00 pm

Sarmaticus wrote:But they could be present and not be an obstruction.
Agreed but if they aren't present they can't ever be an obstruction.

vexillia

Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by vexillia » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:01 pm

Sarmaticus wrote:I suppose one issue with leaving artillery bases lost to distant shooting would be that e.g. counter-battery fire might uncrew guns only to see them recrewed straight away from supporting pike or shot units. It might encourage guns to stay with their infantry ....
Yes. Like that idea.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by madaxeman » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:49 pm

vexillia wrote:
madaxeman wrote:The top level facts are that in this period artillery engaged by the enemy were sometimes captured, recrewed and used against their original owners, and sometimes spiked and destroyed instead.
Any evidence for the guns, but not the crews, sometimes disappearing altogether? :-)
Erm, probably ... as in, any time that crew-less guns did not function as any sort of obstacle ...
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by vexillia » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:00 pm

madaxeman wrote:Erm, probably ... as in, any time that crew-less guns did not function as any sort of obstacle ...
Visions of oscillating artillery now fill my head:
  • Ooh look! There's some foot approaching; let's not function as an obstacle.
  • Oh no! There's also some mounted; let's become an obstacle.
This is silly. It's almost as silly as some of the captions on your game reports Tim.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by Three » Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:45 pm

vexillia wrote:
madaxeman wrote:Erm, probably ... as in, any time that crew-less guns did not function as any sort of obstacle ...
Visions of oscillating artillery now fill my head:
  • Ooh look! There's some foot approaching; let's not function as an obstacle.
  • Oh no! There's also some mounted; let's become an obstacle.
This is silly. It's almost as silly as some of the captions on your game reports Tim.
Quite agree, and the whole issue is compounded by things like hedges and stream beds being less of an obstacle than a line of abandoned field guns. Mounted can cross an undefended obstacle under all circumstances except when you put a BG of Artillery behind it. In fact the mounted can "cross" the obstacle and/or field fortifications and capture the guns, but can't then pass through them.

If the level of abstraction is such that crossing an obstacle doesn't need to be modelled then I struggle to rationalise why adding a BG of guns, with base depths hugely out of scale, needs to be.

In fact limbered artillery, which could be construed as offering more of an obstacle to movement, are destroyed and taken off the table if contacted. If a base is lost due to shooting casualties of any sort, it is taken off the table, In neither case do the abandoned guns cause any obstruction to mounted, but if you kill or drive off the gunners by impacting them then they become an obstruction, but only to mounted.

As this discussion has progressed the existing situation has become harder to rationalise in my opinion. In the interests of simplicity and consistency there needs to be change. I can understand why re-crewing of captured guns was included, so my prefered option is Tim's above - to have the guns captured if contacted by a troop type capable of re-crewing them and destroyed and removed from the table if contacted by anything else.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by youngr » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:33 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:
madaxeman wrote:Maybe any move including a 3rd march move can't start closer than 12mu ?

Otherwise mounted would be more "committed to battle" by proximity of the enemy than foote...

IIRC from the rules development the 3rd move was based (mostly) on some significant mounted redeployments around the enemy after defeating their opposite mounted wing so this may well be a suitable suggestion.

Out of interest what do people think the impact of not allowing non-light mounted to turn and move would be?

Would any changes to mounted moves have an effect on the issue of artillery being pointed at mounted wings?
Just a thought but how about -1 POA to artillery firing at mounted at long range in a flank sector?

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by madaxeman » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:18 pm

vexillia wrote:
madaxeman wrote:Erm, probably ... as in, any time that crew-less guns did not function as any sort of obstacle ...
Visions of oscillating artillery now fill my head:
  • Ooh look! There's some foot approaching; let's not function as an obstacle.
  • Oh no! There's also some mounted; let's become an obstacle.
This is silly. It's almost as silly as some of the captions on your game reports Tim.
I actually think we are arguing the same point here - maybe I didn't express it well enough. I'll try again... :?

Historically what we are trying to simulate is that Guns could be ;

- captured and re-crewed, (happened often enough to be worth doing in FoGR, and is fun too)
- captured leaving the uncrewed guns as some sort of obstacle, (not sure it happened often enough to be worth doing?)
- captured however the uncrewed guns didn't get recrewed and didn't act as an obstacle at all either. (seems to have been pretty common?)

In FoGR what determines which of these three outcomes happens is this a function of who captures them (or if they are shot dead).

This is - I fully agree - a bit silly. There is on the surface some logic here (guys who don't have gunpowder weapons themselves can't re-crew a gun kinda makes sense at some level), but look closely and it's full of holes - like, would anyone else in the army know how to use a gun maybe? And you can't chose to destroy them at all? And maybe biggest of all, shooting them dead removes them entirely, when a unit in contact can't elect to destroy them at all ?

To my mind that makes any revised, updated, more "logical" solution built around who contacts/shoots at guns just a more over-engineered set of nonsense than the current status quo, which would intellectually still probably be worse than just rolling a dice to determine what outcome happens by chance alone.

My train of thought from that point onwards is as follows:

If any solution based on "who captures the guns" is little better than arbitrary anyway, which not pick a solution which is just dead simple, and also makes the other big problem (of horse not being able to interpenentrate captured guns) just go away too at the same time?

Having foot capture guns, horse just remove them, and shooting just remove them too would still mean sometimes guns are captured, and sometimes they are destroyed leaving no obstacle behind - which covers the main outcomes seen in history, is easy to remember, and doesn't f--k up any other rules either.

And if you want them to be an obstacle once overrun by horse to simulate one or two specific battles, make up a rule for that refight that the guns turn into TF once overrun by horse.
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by vexillia » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:39 pm

madaxeman wrote:Having foot capture guns, horse just remove them, and shooting just remove them too would still mean sometimes guns are captured, and sometimes they are destroyed leaving no obstacle behind - which covers the main outcomes seen in history, is easy to remember, and doesn't f--k up any other rules either.
Sounding good to me with the possible need to further define which foot can capture guns. Do we really want MF Bow capturing guns, being unable to re-crew but leaving an obstacle behind when they move on?

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by Sarmaticus » Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:05 pm

In the Lutzen example, the ditch battery was captured and spiked by the Swedish Brigade; recaptured but not unspiked by Imperialist cuirasiers; then retaken by Swedish commanded out musketeers. So removing them upon capture by the cuirasiers would make that train of events impossible. I can see the attraction but it seems odd to retain capture in such a form as to make it's most famous occurence impossible.
As to who would have been able to recrew weapons - or indeed spike or unspike them: the Swedish Brigade had it's own gunners: I'm not sure musketeers who eventualy used them at Lutzen had gunners attached - I think not - but in any case, the decision to unspike them and the order to bring up appropriate ammunition from the Swedish train was made by their general, not the unit itself and he could have directed the small number of specialists required from anywhere.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by Sarmaticus » Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:15 pm

Ps to simulate the Lutzen events would need markers for the battery and maybe an amendment that required the presence of a general and/or a CMT to recrew.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by shadowdragon » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:04 pm

Sarmaticus wrote:In the Lutzen example, the ditch battery was captured and spiked by the Swedish Brigade; recaptured but not unspiked by Imperialist cuirasiers; then retaken by Swedish commanded out musketeers. So removing them upon capture by the cuirasiers would make that train of events impossible. I can see the attraction but it seems odd to retain capture in such a form as to make it's most famous occurence impossible.
As to who would have been able to recrew weapons - or indeed spike or unspike them: the Swedish Brigade had it's own gunners: I'm not sure musketeers who eventualy used them at Lutzen had gunners attached - I think not - but in any case, the decision to unspike them and the order to bring up appropriate ammunition from the Swedish train was made by their general, not the unit itself and he could have directed the small number of specialists required from anywhere.
For the Rocroi example,

After defeating the French cavalry opposite him, Isembourg, commanding the Spanish right wing cavalry, captures the French artillery. The Spanish then turn these guns on the French infantry centre, which combined with the Spanish artillery, causes some problems for the French infantry. L'Hopital commanding the French infantry centre, re-captures some guns only to lose them again to some Italian infantry in the Spanish army. The guns are recaptured again when the Duc d'Enghien (Conde) rides around the Spanish army to attack them in the rear. With the guns back in their possession the Duc d'Enghien uses them to bombard the old Spanish tercios.

Capturing and "turning the guns" is in my view a highly desirable feature of the rules. Re-crewing artillery lost by shooting is a non-starter since all one needs to do is to park a foot unit behind the guns and you have a nearly invulnerable to shooting unit of artillery. One should keep in mind that to use a battery you need not just the guns, some crew and their tools but also ammunition and gun powder and that therefore the "state of the battery" if captured might not necessarily be the same as one "destroyed" by shooting.

It seems to come down to mounted not being able to interpenetrate artillery. The main reason, if I'm correct, is that if mounted could do that we'd see more cases of artillery deployed in front of the cavalry on the wings than in front of the infantry in the centre. Perhaps it's worth considering why, in a period of experimentation, armies deployed their artillery in the centre opposite the enemy foot and not on the wings versus the enemy cavalry. I would prefer a "fix" that encourages proper historical deployment versus a "fix" that forces the issue.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by Sarmaticus » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:19 pm

The guns don't seem to impede Gotz or Piccolomini at Lutzen. There were probably other reasons for keeping guns near infantry:
Gunners felt safer near them?
Infantry were a better target (slower moving)?
Cavalry were scarier (faster moving)?
The reserves of ammunition were behind the infantry centre?
Fixes that might reflect some of those:
Allow guns to be recrewed by supporting infantry on a CMT.
Make cavalry a worse target.
Make some link to the camp.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:07 am

shadowdragon wrote: For the Rocroi example,

After defeating the French cavalry opposite him, Isembourg, commanding the Spanish right wing cavalry, captures the French artillery. The Spanish then turn these guns on the French infantry centre, which combined with the Spanish artillery, causes some problems for the French infantry. L'Hopital commanding the French infantry centre, re-captures some guns only to lose them again to some Italian infantry in the Spanish army. The guns are recaptured again when the Duc d'Enghien (Conde) rides around the Spanish army to attack them in the rear. With the guns back in their possession the Duc d'Enghien uses them to bombard the old Spanish tercios.
More detail in there than I recall offhand for the battle (a while since I looked closely at it) - which source does it come from?
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