Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by petedalby » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:26 am

I'm trying to recall why we had this in the rules and am currently failing ...
Sadly too often we see 4 guns firing over 6 LF with Bow to give 7 shooting dice counting as firearms. And I'm as guilty as anyone. :(

An easy one to stop with hopefully no unintended consequences.
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by kevinj » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:02 pm

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.
Unfortunately it's not just captured guns where this issue arises. A keil 2 bases wide and 7 deep can gain a significant movement bonus passing through its own artillery. Although if we replaced the artillery with dummy bases until the interpenetration was complete and just allowed normal move distances this anomaly/cheese would go away. If you didn't allow the keil to charge until the interpenetration was complete it would go away very quickly.

I'm also happy to lose shooting through LF, even though it's something I've taken advantage of!

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by quackstheking » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:40 pm

For my pennyworth my thoughts are:-

1. Captured artillery which is not re-crewed should be replaced by a Blank base until recaptured or crewed by the capturers.
2. Mounted and Elephants should be allowed to interpenetrate captured artillery front to back and vice versa only.
3. No overhead shooting through Light Foot on the level (extreme cheese!)
4. Keils or GBG's that when interpenetrating artillery, can't fully clear the standard base depth, must straddle the artillery and clear either next go or on a second march move (i.e. an exception to the standard rule when interpenetrating)
5.Artillery should be able to shoot overhead from the flat to a hill under the same restrictions as shooting from a hill.
6. Artillery should be initially be deployed parallel to the Base Edge (stops the targeting of wings - yes they can pivot but I suspect by then the cavalry will have gone and it's not so easy for Heavy artillery).

Looking at number 5 Guns often found it harder to depress muzzles rather than increase elevation. Looking at Flodden the English artillery on the flat found it easier to target the Scots artillery uphill than vice versa!

That should do for now!

Don

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by madaxeman » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:43 pm

Looking at all of these issues in no particular order:

- Capturing (and recapturing) gunnes with foot is quite a fun and interesting thing in the game, has historical precedent and so 100% warrants being kept even if (or arguably 'because') the shooting effect of captured arttillery isn't every likley to be decisive.
- Capturing them with mounted is currently where it gets messy, so "remove bases if captured by mounted" would be my suggestion. Its clean, simple, needs "no markers", creates a differentiation to "captured by foote" and might both encourage mounted to have a go at artillery more, and therefore to encourage people to defend them a bit more too. All good things IMO.
- Artillery always/often wanting to be shooting at horse may actually be an issue about the excessive fragility of average horse (in 4's) rather than effectiveness of artillery against mounted. Is it fixed with "Average Horse in 4's break on 3 losses not 2"? Discuss..!
- Having said that, the risk to mounted and the frequency with which artillery is deployed on the flanks continues to niggle me, but I'm not sure I have an answer unless we change the mounted shooting factor down to "-", which we've debated and rejected often enough already.
- Artillery shooting over LF may be somewhat anachronistic, but it seems to generate the game-level result that artillery in the early period (where there is more LF and more 3+ deep formations to shoot at) is more likley to spend its time shooting at infantry, as the LF serve to slow enemy foot, which in turn mean the artillery gets more shots at them. As this is not without risk to the LF (and their APs), and encourages "shooting at infantry" I have no real problem with it.
- However Pete's overhead shooting art+LF cheese is an angle I'd not really thought of. If LF who were shot over could not themselves shoot (at all? at the same target?) would that be a simple fix?
- Advancing a Kiell through artillery is again something I've not seen or seen done to me, so I'd not really seen it as an issue. I struggle to imagine having any Kiel of mine anywhere other than stuffed right down the enemy throat anyway, so perhaps I'm missing a trick:-)
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by petedalby » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:27 pm

Is it fixed with "Average Horse in 4's break on 3 losses not 2"? Discuss..!
I'd vote for that! (whilst accepting of course that this is not a democratic process!)
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by hazelbark » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:05 pm

nikgaukroger wrote: 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.
However you are wrong...from a game point of view.

Games do not have the time for artillery to be taken, recrewed and then turned in any meaningful direction.

At best and the only time i've ever seen it happen is the guns were pointing at what was being attacked so when the guns were taken they were effectively shooting a few degrees different angle from where the original owner had them. I don't think that is the historical example.

So your notion is not executed in the rules. Unless I am forgeting when you re-crew you can auto turn the guns in any facing.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by hazelbark » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:12 pm

quackstheking wrote: 6. Artillery should be initially be deployed parallel to the Base Edge (stops the targeting of wings - yes they can pivot but I suspect by then the cavalry will have gone and it's not so easy for Heavy artillery).
While I get you are trying to recreate history, the game effect is to give cavalry more advantage. The game does not need that.

Plus you can have odd terrain that is not particularly historical that sort of requires artillery to be angled.

I think the lesson of several years of playing is cavalry dominance on the wing has the most decisive impact on the outcome of the battle.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by madaxeman » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:41 pm

hazelbark wrote:
quackstheking wrote: 6. Artillery should be initially be deployed parallel to the Base Edge (stops the targeting of wings - yes they can pivot but I suspect by then the cavalry will have gone and it's not so easy for Heavy artillery).
While I get you are trying to recreate history, the game effect is to give cavalry more advantage. The game does not need that. ....I think the lesson of several years of playing is cavalry dominance on the wing has the most decisive impact on the outcome of the battle.
I'd probably agree with the "dominance of cavalry" argument - however accepting this argument also underlines / reinforces the value of using artillery against enemy mounted, on the basis that it's really, really important to win cavalry battle decisively and quickly, so if you can influence it with artillery why would you not do so ... ?

Not such an issue in the earlier period as you hit most deep foot on 4's anyway, and also the benefit of chipping a Kiel or Tercio down to less than 4 ranks deep can be pretty material once you get into a prolonged combat - so its worth using artillery to influence the (upcoming) infantry combat.

Whilst I'm maybe on a roll here, having Average mounted in 4's breaking on 3 losses would also maybe serve to prolong mounted-on-mounted battles a little ...
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by hazelbark » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:52 pm

madaxeman wrote:
Whilst I'm maybe on a roll here, having Average mounted in 4's breaking on 3 losses would also maybe serve to prolong mounted-on-mounted battles a little ...
I think it is an interesting idea to try to make mounted battles last longer. Lots to contemplate related to that.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:44 pm

nikgaukroger wrote: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.
Tilly turned the Protestant guns against their infantry at Wimpfen.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by petedalby » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:42 am

Linked with artillery are the factors vs mounted. As Jim noted earlier, it might be better to have artillery on a 5 vs mounted. I've discussed this with Richard previously who is / was reluctant to change the factors as mounted are dominant in the game already.

Which leads me to another thought.

What if Mounted march moves cannot begin within 12 MU of an enemy BG?

The thought behind this is that too often we see players keep their mounted just over 6 MU away from enemy and then scoot 3 march moves away to redeploy somewhere else on the table and get themselves out of trouble. Which I don't believe is very historical.

So adopting the above, would still enable them to move quickly from deployment - or indeed to redeploy - but not to do so in the thick of the fighting.

I'm sure there will be many flaws in my proposal but wanted to share it with you anyway. I chatted it through with some of the guys at Farnborough yesterday who seemed to be broadly in favour.

Discuss.
Pete

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by madaxeman » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:12 am

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...
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:38 am

petedalby wrote:Linked with artillery are the factors vs mounted. As Jim noted earlier, it might be better to have artillery on a 5 vs mounted. I've discussed this with Richard previously who is / was reluctant to change the factors as mounted are dominant in the game already.
As somebody who is well out of the loop having not played for ages and has never been a regular on the scene can I ask if this true, or whether it is just the "Alasdair factor" where we have one rather good player who tends to win a lot?

Asking as I think the rules need to be (mostly) based on the "average Joe" performance rather than the exceptionally good (or indeed bad).
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:43 am

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?
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by madaxeman » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:56 am

Speaking of course personally, I suspect that I "could" go mounted-heavy in army choice to duplicate the "Alasdair" approach, and I also suspect I would do fairly well at it, however I still prefer to take a more balanced army because I just love seeing so many of my long-lost pike and shotte units inching across the battlefield too much to sacrifice that in order to pick an "optimized" army. Given the predominance of Mikes Models figures at events, I also imagine quite a few others are in the same boat too!

Much of the critique of the guns-shooting-at-horse stuff here is coming from the same angle - I'd really prefer to use my guns at enemy foote if I could, as that feels a lot more "historical", however given they are compulsary in almost every army, they are sooooo much more effective against mounted than regular 2-deep foote, and my opponent will almosty certainly be pinging shots off at my mounted anyway so if I don't respond in kind I'm effectively just conceding the mounted battle on the wings it's all just too hard to resist ...

Thats why these two things are related...
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:30 pm

Disagree with nothing you say there Tim, but I don't see how it answers "Would any changes to mounted moves have an effect on the issue of artillery being pointed at mounted wings?" :?:
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by kevinj » Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:12 pm

We seem to have wandered significantly from the original point here, but I'll leave it to Nik do decide whether it's easier to keep all of this in one place or set up separate threads.

On stuff that's been discussed:

Capturing Artillery - I'm happy to keep it as a feature of the game but the mechanisms still need improving/clarifying particularly when guns have been captured by troops that cannot re-crew them.

Targetting horse with artillery - I don't see it as the major problem that others do. II'll happily shoot your mounted troops if you park them in front of my guns but I normally find them much more effective shooting at infantry who can't get out of the way very easily. You might not hit the foot quite so often but this can be compensated for by not losing shots due to having to move the guns. To answer Nik's specific question, I think that any change to the manouvrability of mounted might make people more inclined to try to target them with their artillery. I like the 3rd Move for mounted but I wouldn't be unhappy if reductions in move distance following a turn (as in Fog AM) were introduced. I also would like the ability for single rank cavalry to drop back as a complex move to be added.

Dominance of mounted - I agree with Nik that this view could be coloured by the preferred style of a very strong player. Some of you will recall the debate regarding the Dominate Roman Swarm armies that had some success in Fog AM. The tactic was widely copied and experience showed that it took a good player to make it work and that there was actually no inherent advantage in it, although many people tried it and failed.

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by gibby » Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:56 pm

Yes, agreed capturing artillery needs to stay.

In game terms, I don't see the deliberate targetting of horse as a problem under current conditions.
However in terms of what happened historically, I think what I'm hearing is that does not feel right.

If we have a consensus agreement that Horse is the target of choice then the next decision is
Do we remedy that and How.
So if we say the consensus (albeit you don't agree)is that the way artillery is used is currently ahistorical.
Then we move to ideas of the remedy.
Make Horse the same to hit as foot.
Restrict the deployment zone of Heavy/Med guns to the central 2 foot.
Must start not angled.
Target priority list with foot before horse.

However that's only one element of the Artillery debate.
How does the capturing bit work and how should it work?
Why can't Horse go through Artillery.
How do we stop the fudge on passing through artillery with deep formations.
Why can't we charge through Artillery


Yes of course some of this then spills to other subjects because they are related or impact play.
The dominance of mounted in competitions is probably in some part down to how good Alasdair is with them.
As Nik says we must divorce that from our thinking.
For me it's about the perceived historical reality and there are a few inter connected bits that possibly are making some of the games veer drastically from this.
Army lists is one and as well as min/max I would like to see proportions eg Core/optional/artillery 70/20/10
LF/LH/Dragoons not stopping marches would be another. This may speed up the centre battle and therefore decrease the dominance of the mounted argument.

I'll stop before this gets to lengthy but despite all of the above, I think they are one of the best rulesets we have had.
cheers
Jim

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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:01 pm

kevinj wrote:We seem to have wandered significantly from the original point here, but I'll leave it to Nik do decide whether it's easier to keep all of this in one place or set up separate threads.
I'm OK with some mixture of points being here at present - but see below.

On stuff that's been discussed:

Capturing Artillery - I'm happy to keep it as a feature of the game but the mechanisms still need improving/clarifying particularly when guns have been captured by troops that cannot re-crew them.
I'm of a mind that the blank base approach may be the best solution. What do others think?

Targetting horse with artillery - I don't see it as the major problem that others do. II'll happily shoot your mounted troops if you park them in front of my guns but I normally find them much more effective shooting at infantry who can't get out of the way very easily. You might not hit the foot quite so often but this can be compensated for by not losing shots due to having to move the guns. To answer Nik's specific question, I think that any change to the manouvrability of mounted might make people more inclined to try to target them with their artillery.
True, if they cannot get away there is more incentive to shoot at them I guess :?

I like the 3rd Move for mounted but I wouldn't be unhappy if reductions in move distance following a turn (as in Fog AM) were introduced.
I also would like the ability for single rank cavalry to drop back as a complex move to be added.[/quote]

Perhaps these 2 are best discussed separately. Care to start one?

Dominance of mounted - I agree with Nik that this view could be coloured by the preferred style of a very strong player. Some of you will recall the debate regarding the Dominate Roman Swarm armies that had some success in Fog AM. The tactic was widely copied and experience showed that it took a good player to make it work and that there was actually no inherent advantage in it, although many people tried it and failed.
:D
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Re: Impassibility of captured artillery to mounted

Post by grahambriggs » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:03 pm

In practical terms the mounted would be able to go through a gun line but would have to go through the gaps. Sounds a bit like terrain to me so perhaps treat captured guns as rough going?

Sounds like there are a number of examples of captured guns being re-used with some effect. Is that actually happening in games though? Perhaps captured artillery should shoot better or get a free turn?

In terms of historical usage there seem to be a few problems, particularly the targetting of flank sectors where the mounted is. I gather a more usual deployment was facing the infantry in the enemy centre. If you wanted to fix that here are some thoughts/options for consideration:

- Batteries would surley take longer than foot or horse to deploy. You have to get the draft animal to move them to the right place etc. so either have an artillery deployment phase before any other troops or require artillery to be first on the order of march.

- outside effective range make foot targets the priority over horse.

- allow artillery to deploy further forward in the central sector if facing straight forwards.

Given that you'll end up not changing points values, if any changes do get made they should probably not make artillery markedly better or worse.

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