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Jun 22 10 8:28 AM

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During a Black Powder game last week, "etchelli" commented that BP was not a set of rules more a set of mechanisms. Reflecting on this and thinking about the very open non dogmatic way they set themselves out it does strike me that they present very much a "toolkit" approach to wargaming.

While this is refreshing, it does actually throw a lot of responsibility on the gamer in terms of defining troop statistics to get things right for any particular conflict. The scenarios in the book give some guidance over and beyond the basic template types offered in Appendix 3, however much depends also on the "Special Rules" distinctions one can add to specific units.

To some extent this undermines a lot of claims I've seen made for the rules suggesting they are an easy set to get into. Yes, you might be able to pick up game play easily but to get it right needs both a relatively high degree of understanding of the nuances of the periods played and the way the rules can be anticipated to work in an known scenario situation

Take this from Big Martin
QUOTE
I'm trying to give the Confederate players a bit of hope of not folding immediately despite being outnumbered 2 to 1 in infantry. They do have some breastworks covering most of their front and a 2 to 1 superiority in artillery but it's balancing other factors to try to give them a fighting chance.
Burnside was at the top of his game in this particular campaign whilst Branch was still learning the ropes, however, I think I'm going to have to adjust the Confederate command figure up by one as in my try out they consistently failed any attempts to rally units.
The Rebs were largely musket armed as opposed to the rifle armed Union infantry. However, I'm going to give one more Reb unit rifles as in my try out 1 Union brigade could just sit outside musket range from the breastworks and whittle the Rebs down.
I think I'm going to have to make the 1 exposed Confederate unit a higher Morale factor to make it perform like the orginal in holding out.


And this from Ian "etchelli" Etchells
QUOTE
In most instances you need to tinker.
In the second [FPW] game we invented rules for prone infantry.

Using the stats we had for both French and Prussian units they do not get first fire, meaning a blast of breech loaders at close range is less effective than say an AWI British unit.


In this thread, might I invite colleagues to post any unit stats they have devised together with any comments as to the rationale they adopted.

Yes I could have put this equally in the Rudyard Kipling Suite or the Napoleon Dining Hall but as there is no guidance in the scenarios earlier than the AWI it seems as this is where there is the biggest gap.

I'll set the ball rolling with some stats I used for a 7YW game in the next post.
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Jeremy Sutcliffe

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#1 [url]

Jun 22 10 8:35 AM

Seven Years War stats
In drawing these up, my first experience of wallowing in the open potential of the rules, I made use of the Principles of War Army Lists to give me a sense of comparative worth of troop types.


Prussia
Grenadier Inf: Musket: H2H 7: Sht 3: Mor 3+: St 4: Elite, Reliable, First Fire
Line Inf: Musket: H2H 6: Sht 3: Mor 4+: St 4: Reliable, First Fire
Cuirassier Cav: Sword: H2H 9: Sht -: Mor 3+: St 3: Elite, Reliable, Heavy Cavalry +D3
Dragoon Cav: Sword: H2H 8: Sht -: Mor 3+: St 3: Reliable, Heavy Cavalry +1
Hussar Cav: Sword: H2H 6: Sht -: Mor 4+: St 3: Marauder
Artillery H2H 1: Sht 3,2,1: Mor 4+: St 2:

France
Grenadier/Garde Inf: Musket: H2H 6: Sht 3: Mor 3+: St 3: Elite, Reliable
Old Corps Inf: Musket: H2H 6: Sht 3: Mor 4+: St 4: Reliable
Foreign Regiments Inf: Musket: H2H 6: Sht 3: Mor 4+: St 4: Reliable
Line Inf: Musket: H2H 5: Sht 3: Mor 5+: St 3
Gendarme Cav: Swd: H2H 8: Sht -: Mor 4+: St 3: Elite, Reliable, Heavy Cavalry +D3
Horse Cav: Swd: H2H 8: Sht -: Mor 4+: St 3: Reliable, Heavy Cavalry +1
Dragoons Cav: Swd: H2H 8: Sht -: Mor 4+: St 3
Artillery H2H 1: Sht 3,2,1: Mor 4+: St 2:

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Jeremy Sutcliffe

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Jun 22 10 9:29 AM

Franco Prussian War Stats

These are ones I used last week, derived from a listing in the files section of the Black Powder Yahoo Group

Prussia
Line Inf: Dreyse Needle Gun 12”*: H2H 8: Sht 4: Mor 4+: St 4: Large unit, Stubborn, Elite 5+
Skirmishers: Dreyse Needle Gun 12”*: H2H 4: Sht 2: Mor 4+: St 2: Small Unit
Jaegers: Dreyse Needle Gun 12”*: H2H 4: Sht 2: Mor 4+: St 2: Small Unit Sharpshooters
Artillery: Krupp Rifled Breech Loader 30”*: H2H 1: Sht 3,2,1: Mor 4+: St 2: Reliable, Marauders, Elite 4+, Sharpshooters

France
Line Inf: Chassepot 24”*: H2H 6: Sht 4: Mor 4+: St 3
Skirmishers: Chassepot 24”*: H2H 3: Sht 2: Mor 4+: St 2: Skirmishers, Small Unit
Chasseurs au Pied: Chassepot 24”*: H2H 6: Sht 4: Mor 4+: St 3: Reliable Sharpshooters
Zouaves/Turcos: Chassepot 24”*: H2H 6: Sht 4: Mor 4+: St 3: Reliable, Elite 4+, Stubborn
Cuirassier Cav: Swd: H2H 8: Sht -: Mor 3+: St 3: Reliable, Heavy Cavalry D3
Dragoons Cav: Swd: H2H 8: Sht -: Mor 4+: St 3: Reliable, Heavy Cavalry +1
Artillery: Rifled Heavy 36”*: H2H 1: Sht 3,2,1: Mor 4+: St 2:
Mitrailleuse: Early MG 18”*: H2H 1#: Sht 3,2,1: Mor 4+: St 2

*These ranges we adopted from the BP YGp lists although they would seem to be less than the BP rule book suggests.

Comments
We added in the facility for infantry to go prone, counting it as a move change. We did not consider whether firing prone would be allowed and, if so, whether at any cost.

Ian had particular concern about the Prussian artillery's Sharpshooter status

QUOTE
The sharpshooter artillery is very effective, as re-rolling one miss at long range effectivly doubles your chance of a hit, but it also means you have a 33% chance of disordering a unit with one battery. As disorder is a big penalty under these rules, that is a very strong advantage.

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#3 [url]

Jun 22 10 12:12 PM

I have not seen the rules but two points I raise:

a. I am not sure what the doctrine of firing from the prone position was, however I have adopted the prone position to fire many times, it provides a very stable firing position.

b. The point about the Prussian Gunners being sharpshooters. Again the usual concept of the FPW is that the Chasspot outranged the Needlegun, whilst the Prussian Gunners outgunned the French Gunners in all aspects of gunnery, I think providing you mirror their superior trg, fuses and possibly resupply you should be ok.

I think I will happily stck to TDfG in 28mm at the moment!

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#5 [url]

Jun 22 10 3:12 PM

We have been playing black powder for great northern war. The first game the Swedes lost through putting in uncoordinated attacks.
The second game they came in better but still lost as they had fewer units than the Russians and hit the broken command rating to quickly.

For the third game we gave the raw Russians a stamina of 2 and firing die of 2. The Swedes completely outmaneuvered the Russians but still came up as losers.

The basic problems that the Swedes probably take 1 hit to get in a position to charge, 1 during the charge and one in the melee. Even if they win the melee (they get 8 melee die and hit on a 3 assuming they are not disordered against the Russian hitting on a 4 with 6 die) it is unlikely they will destroy the Russian in the break test and leave a front line of Swedes on or about shaken level with the danger to the command.

To avoid this we are looking to make the Swedes have a stamina of 4 and make them stubborn rather than crack to allow them to re-roll more hits. Doing a brief calculation we do not think this is enough and want to make troops test to receive a charge ( in effect giving the terrifying charge option) to make this effective we are putting in a separate table for the result of the test.
4. Brake and disperse as normal
5. Become shaken do not fire
6 do not fire
7+ stand and fire.

We have not used this in a game yet

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#6 [url]

Jun 22 10 5:09 PM

Those FPW rating seem at first glance to be rather strange - not sure about the double distance of range between Chassepot and Dreyse Needle Gun, overall or effective ranges in fact.

And point about artillery ranges seems valid too.

Anything to make the French player deploy their miltrailleuse with the artillery rather than with the infantry front line??

Drusus: you are a clever man!!

Cheers

Romain

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#7 [url]

Jun 23 10 1:15 PM

The french are discouraged from firing the Mg at long range as it breaks on a throw of one and only hits on a 5 or 6 ( six if target impared skirmisher or deployed gun crew)
Only realy worthwile firing at clos range

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#8 [url]

Jun 24 10 8:25 AM

QUOTE (etchelli @ June 23, 2010 01:15 pm)
The french are discouraged from firing the Mg at long range as it breaks on a throw of one and only hits on a 5 or 6 ( six if target impared skirmisher or deployed gun crew)
Only realy worthwile firing at clos range

Hmmm - the opposite of doctrine then to use miltrailleuse as artilelry/long ranged weapon rather than close in for support of the infnatry firing line!!

Drusus: you are a clever man!!

Cheers

Romain

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#10 [url]

Jul 7 10 12:14 PM

Jeremy

We have briefly 'talked' on the TMP and your recent post encouraged me to join this forum.

As I said on that forum I have posted some test rules for 1866 on the BP Yahoo group and if you see my most recent post on TMP you will see a note of clarification to kevanG in relation to my earlier comment on Austrian Columns being too effective. I felt it was necessary as I had the impression he thought I was in some way supporting his previous moans abouy columns in BP, which was far from the case. After the Marlburian test, I will be revising the 1866 rules to try to reduce the effectiveness of the Austrian columns without swinging the game excessively in favour of the Prussians.

If you would like a copy of the Marlburian 'rules' I would be happy to send them to you for comment and criticism. They are in the process of a game test and some things may need adjustment. After this test we will be re-basing figures to give a smaller game and this change could also affect the rules.

Regards

Chad

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#13 [url]

Jul 10 10 3:09 PM

Hi All,
        I currently play SYW with Prussian, Austrian and Russian Armies so can only really comment/compare on your Prussian stats.

The only major differences are that I split my Prussian army in to Early war, Late War and The Army of Prince Henry. The units lose quality as the war proceeds and Prince Henry didn't exactly get a good deal when the units were shared out, Frederick keeping the best quality for himself.

For early war i give Prussian infantry 4 shooting dice. This reflects their renowned superior musket drill. In effect it's like giving them First Fire for every volley. This is reserved for Grenadiers in the late war and Prince Henry's list.

I've also given early war Prussian Infantry (not Fusileers) the Superbly Drilled special rule to reflect their superior drill. Again they lose this in the other lists as overall troop quality diminished as the war went on.

I also give early war Grenadiers elite 3+ with musketeers getting elite 4+ again to reflect their high discipline. Both also get steady.

So as you can see, my Early Prussian war army is a very elite force of super high quality troops. The downside is they cost the earth. The net result is for early war battles you have a small but high quality Prussian army against a larger but poorer quality army. If I want the two opposing forces to be more equal in number I simply have a late war or use Prince Henry's army as they are nowhere near as strong as the early war and more "normal" stats are used..

I've highlighted certain units for special treatment too. For example Prussia's Guard du Corp Cuirassiers get H2H 10 dice compared to the more regular Cuirassiers of 9.
Bayreuth Dragoons get the heavy cavalry d3 bonus where the other Dragoons only get the +1 bonus. That sort of thing.

My Austrians use far more regular stats. The Russians also get fairly regular stats but I give their regular infantry the Stubborn special rule to reflect their stoic nature.

For SYW as a whole  artillery movement can only be performed when limbered ( even for minor adjustments).  I like Chads rule for WSS where artillery can only be ordered by the Army Commander so i'll try that next game. 
Infantry can form square as an order ( though no unit ever has yet!).
I've also experimented with movement by regulating unit as explained on the yahoo group.
I've also recently been trying out reversing the Shooting and movement segments with good results.

Hope all this gives food for thought.
Cheers,
Andy                    

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