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FOG N Version 2
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Nick



Joined: 18 Mar 2007
Posts: 133
Location: Bentleigh

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for the idea of testing to receive a charge, I think this is an effective idea that could work with some adjustments.

Board wargames can often be much more complex and better simulations than miniatures rules, so I've started looking at some of their ideas.

In La Bataille series (which has a 63 page rulebook) defending units must roll to stand.

Melee in most rules is not bayonet hand-to-hand fighting, but closing with the enemy for close-range shooting possibly followed by a bayonet charge. One side will hold and the other will quickly withdraw. This will happen over and over again.

If the assaulting unit can get through the defensive fire then testing the defending unit is a good way of replicating this, with appropriate adjustments in the melee calculations.
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Mick.G



Joined: 25 Jul 2013
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Location: Broadmeadows

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BPT wrote:
That there are very few infantry assaults in FoGN is due IMO to a variety of subtle factors:

a) the presence of large number of artillery attachments, making assaults a dangerous undertaking.

b) the rules around 'crossing the short range arc of another unit' which if you set up carefully, can add lots of dice to defensive fire and make assaults suicidal for an opponent.

c) the rarity of superior infantry - ignoring that first hit is the equivalent of deducting 2 dice from defensive fire.

d) Getting bogged down at 6MU. You cannot confidently assault until the opponent is disordered, so you need to win the 6MU game.
The importance of medium range combat leads players to optimise those troop types which excel at medium range - artillery, LI or perhaps tooled up line infantry (vets with a gun and/or rifle attachment). Bulk standard small line infantry have little role to play in the front lines as - especially if enemy cav are about - they cannot meaningfully contribute to the 6MU exchange.

Having invested so many points on doing well at 6MU, players then fight on at 6MU rather than assault. It is safer (and perhaps easier) for your LI to continue shooting the enemy to wavering than it is to assault them while disordered. So we wait until opponents are wavering before assaulting.

Behind many of the version 2 tweaks are attempts to address the above 4 factors.

Good news! I am very interested in hearing this as I play Austrians. Inevitably a couple of Austrian infantry units end up without either artillery or skirmisher attachments. I then wonder what to do with these units as they cannot play the 6MU game. What happened to Austrian infantry without attachments in real battles? Did they just watch the battle like they do in FOGN?
I know Marty cautioned against closing to short range in FOGN but was this common practice in history? (I know ... I should read more Napoleonic history!)
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Steve Green



Joined: 22 May 2012
Posts: 200
Location: Woodend

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In this discussion of the 'medium range game' vs 'short range game' Brett mentioned the difficulty of closing that gap due to the regular use of artillery attachments - a very valid point. Walking into 6 shots (or 8 from a large unit!) hitting on 4's is rightly enough to give anyone pause. The suggestions put forward to address this are to increase the cost of artillery attachments, and restrict their use.
One point I would like to bring up is how this might affect unreformed armies - I know, I know, I'm on this again!! Rolling Eyes
I use as many arty attachments as I can with my unreformed infantry, not only for the short range scariness (which by the way happens pretty rarely), but also to give me some response at medium range. And also because my 1809 Saxons are only allowed 2 small artillery units. At medium range those two shots are not affected by disorder (lose 1 per3), only wavering (lose 1 per2) - at which point things have gone pretty pear shaped anyway.
I just wanted to bring this up, the law of unintended consequences and all that.
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Suvorov



Joined: 01 Nov 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure we want too many changes to the balance of 6" vs 2". I am persuaded by the case made by both parties in regard to the way the forces interacted. I like the argument that in the early part of the period the French would charge with vigour. Given what others have posted it sounds like their skirmish fire may have disordered the enemy and their extra vigour seen successful charges. Perhaps this became less successful with the other armies making wider use of skirmishers, the proliferation of artillery and the decline in French elan and the improvement in that of the troops of the coalition.

What discourages me from closing to 2" is: artillery, a cohesive enemy line and artillery attachments. I like artillery attachments and I've noted in related discussions at our club that they are perhaps a better representation of the way artillery was deployed in our "regimental" level game. I also feel our troops are always lined up a bit too neatly. Were units really that close together?

I might be a bit more prepared to throw a few units into close range after dealing to enemy artillery if I knew the casualties they might cause the enemy would accumulate rather than disappear. My reserves could then exploit this with an attack on a weakened line.

I think our medium and long range fire provide a good representation of reality as some have described and this is captured over a few turns. The engagements at short range as Brett described are compressed into a shorter period in our games within a single combat/assault phase.

I like the idea of Superior at +2 and Veteran at +3. I would probably still take Veterans at +4 but not Superiors at +3. I tried a lot of Superiors in a game at the weekend but they weren't too flash, or perhaps that was the general. I'll test again this weekend.
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Cawdorthane



Joined: 18 Jan 2007
Posts: 955

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few contemporaneous sources:

Jacques Antoine Hypolite, Comte de Guibert, Maréchal de Camp in Écrits Militaire 1781 wrote:

"one approaches the enemy...the ranks are soon mingled...the column forms no more than a tumultuous mass...If the head and flanks of that column are struck by a lively fire, the soldier dazed begins to fire in the air, the mass whirls, disperses, and can only rally at a very great distance".

Guibert was one of the preferred military theorists used by the French Revolutionary Generals. So if anything, Infantry trying to charge steady enemy infantry should test... [as FoGN presently reflects]!

Under the 1791 Infantry regulations, battalion guns were reintroduced to stiffen the French Revolutionary armies. By 1794 the Armee du Nord had between 1 and 3 battalion guns per infantry battalion [over half its total artillery contingent so deployed]. Paul Charles Thiébault describes a fight at Le Blaton on 6 November 1792 as follows:

"We were rapidly formed in battalion attack columns and put into motion 'au pas de charge', under the protection of all our pieces [i.e. battalion guns]. The enemy columns cannonaded and then quickly attacked with the bayonet were thrown back in disorder."

Adam Phillipe, Baron de Custine, a commander of the Armee du Nord extolled the combined use of regimental/battalion guns and the bayonet as follows:

"...our cannon and our bayonets, these are our only arms"

Maréchal Thomas Bugeaud, Duc d'Isly (who served as a battalion level officer through-out the Peninsula War) wrote of his own experiences:

"When we got about a thousand yards from the English line the men would begin to get anxious...the quick-step became a run, the ranks tended to melt into each other, the agitation became tumultuous. Many soldiers began to fire as they ran...The enemy's return, delivered with simultaneous precision absolutely blasted us. Decimated by it, we reeled together, trying to recover our equilibrium...[then] they were upon us, pressing us into a disorderly retreat."

General Jomini wrote:

"I have seen melees of infantry in defiles and in villages, where the heads of columns came in actual collision and thrust each other with the bayonet; but I never saw such a thing on a regular field of battle."

The French Infantry regulations from 1805 stated that:

[the bayonet attack is to be used] "as a coup de grace against enemy that is disorganized by fire….”

Dominique Jean Larrey’s detailed study of battlefield wounds in 1807 recorded only 2% from the bayonet.

I will quote only one secondary source, if only because of the quality of its author. Nafziger in Imperial Bayonets at p41 wrote:

“During the Revolutionary period [bayonet charges] were usually executed in line and against an enemy who had already been broken by fire… [and during the later Napoleonic period it was used after] the French had generally softened up their enemies with concentrated artillery fire, not musketry.”

Whilst I agree that much of Oman's general thesis on column v line is now rightly challenged, the universal failure of French infantry charges on steady British infantry without proper preparation cannot be doubted. But I absolutely disagree with any suggestion that the application of British firepower was not a principal, if not the principal, cause of the French defeats. The British invariably withheld fire until the French were 50 paces or less, they then let loose a single volley (often with double loaded muskets) followed by an immediate charge into the disordered French who in turn almost always broke.

I will leave it to others to debate whether the above contemporaneous sources (and one pretty good secondary source) support any change to infantry interaction in FoGN.
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Nick



Joined: 18 Mar 2007
Posts: 133
Location: Bentleigh

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In most cases imperial French armies did not intend to charge in column, but advanced in column, and used skirmishers to cover a Deployment in line. From there they would fire at close range and charge home with the bayonet if the enemy wavered.

The British were able to confound this by deploying on the reverse of a slope so the French did not know where they were exactly, used their own skirmishers, and charged the French as they were deploying into line. This happened at Waterloo too. In addition, of course, the quality of French troops fell in Spain, so we need to be careful using these combats.

Still, the key thing to me is understanding what the melee/assault in the game is trying to represent. Normally it's not just the bayonet charge and the HtH, but also the final exchange of close fire.
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Suvorov



Joined: 01 Nov 2016
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Brett's explanation about the various elements that "combat" represents in the FoGN simulation. Perhaps that's the right way to tackle this at a regimental level.

FoGN is then presenting the table top challenge as out manoeuvring the enemy at a regimental rather than battalion level. The rules need to provide for a fair but fast mechanism for the opposing forces to close to medium range.

The player who through superior deployment or manoeuver can concentrate fire at medium range (which may involve the use of cavalry threats and charges) will then be able to execute the coup de gras by closing to 2". Where both players manoeuver effectively the winner will be the player who is better placed to commit some kind of reserve to exploit a weakness in the enemy line. I have found in playtesting that the changes to the rules being considered accelerate the movement of forces to medium range.

I don't think that there is much need for a change to way in which close range engagement is represented. If we want more of that I would place some limits on shoulder to shoulder deployment and add a mechanism to provide for attrition of infantry. That would make the risk of moving to 2" more worthwhile and we would see more as a consequence.
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Richard



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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Location: Elsternwick

PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The origins of this thread concerned the lack of HTH and the difficulties unreformed face .

How does any of this address that issue ?

An unreformed unit with no attachments should just stay at the back then ?
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Suvorov



Joined: 01 Nov 2016
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm fine with the amount of decisive engagement at 2" the game generates and how it is simulated.

I also think unreformed troops are represented fairly. History suggests they were outmatched by armies that adopted aggressive skirmishing. The rules should reflect the relative effectiveness of reformed versus unreformed, and do. I also consider that the points are reasonably fair.

In WWII the Tiger is superior to the Sherman. However, in wargames a Tiger cost a lot more points than a Sherman and is consequently always outnumbered.

In FoGN unreformed are 20 per cent cheaper than reformed. Unreformed make their mark on the battlefield in our games with a larger footprint bringing more resilience, more units opening up the possibility of flank attacks or more supporting arms.
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David Inglis



Joined: 11 Nov 2009
Posts: 166
Location: The Bunker

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anyone up for game of this new revised FOGN rules. I dunno. so I keen for game this sunday any takers?
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Richard Gordon



Joined: 15 Oct 2011
Posts: 574

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Dave I'm travelling at the moment. But maybe between Xmas and NY when I'm on holiday we can give the v2 rules some good stress testing.
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David Inglis



Joined: 11 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard Gordon wrote:
Sorry Dave I'm travelling at the moment. But maybe between Xmas and NY when I'm on holiday we can give the v2 rules some good stress testing.


generally vey good for me , very keen,. a conspiracy of circumstances prevented me from getting the table recently, back, weddings, AGM, family crisis, this that and the bloody other thing.
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Steve Green



Joined: 22 May 2012
Posts: 200
Location: Woodend

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I can jump in here, I should have a couple of days available for a game between Christmas and new year. Love to give the new amendments a whirl.

Also, the guys on the Slitherine forum would appreciate a bit of news on the amendments front. The feeling over there is quite funereal, they have had nothing for such a long time.
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Richard Gordon



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve, sorry for the slow response. I'd love to have a game to get you across the changes and hear your thoughts on them. I am free on Monday 2 Jan for a game, otherwise the following weekend.

I've been doing quite a bit of play-testing as have the NZ players and we are feeling really positive about the changes. There is not any huge shift in the balance of the game but it is certainly now playing faster and hopefully will be easier to read the re-written rules.

To publicise things on the Slitherine forum requires Terry Shaw's support and he's been very tardy which we are trying to escalate a bit. Anyone who wants to contact me directly to discuss changes is welcome to, and anyone is free to jump onto the League forum to join in the discussion.
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Suvorov



Joined: 01 Nov 2016
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Summary
I like the changes proposed. The game moves to contact a lot faster. It does this whilst retaining the flavour of the period.

There is a small loss in terms of the simulation of the uncertainties of command and control. Now all the initial manoeuvring towards contact goes smoothly as second moves are automatically passed if command points are available. However, the compulsory use of reserves etc in some missions and the associated dice rolls, albeit with more certainty, retain elements of that.

My major gripe is the idea that a unit can escape close range fire to their flank by charging another unit. This just doesn’t feel right and isn’t something I’ve observed slowing down the game. Game speed has been fixed by the deployment options and automatic passing of second moves outside medium range.

Guard Artillery points need to be adjusted by at least the same reduction as Guard Infantry i.e. -2 or indeed even more. They also need to pay less for being Superior. Its only giving them some rerolls. The real benefit of Superior is ignoring the first hit when charging, something artillery can’t do, and in combat where they’ll inevitably lose except in peculiar or fortunate circumstances.

The only missing element is some form of attrition for infantry under fire and the rules discouraging the use of depth. I know infantry attrition would require a bit more book keeping but some effort should be made to come up with a few rule options to capture this.

Depth and infantry attrition

Unreformed Infantry
We have played the proposed changes in varying forms for a while. They seem fair to me. The adjustments to later Austrians seem like fun but I haven’t seen these in action too much. I think they’ll be ok for an extra point.

The British are even more brutal as a shooting force now and I wonder if they might be a bit good. Infantry shoot at medium range more than at close range. Veteran British at 12 points are pretty good. Whilst they can’t close as fast as the enemy they automatically pass second move tests and reroll ones. Defensively they are great. Make sure this is tested more.

I assume large units could form line historically. Unless they can do this with a couple of bases in reserve they’ll never employ it in the game as they’ll be too exposed at six bases wide. Let them do so 4 bases wide and 2 to the rear.

Light Infantry
The adjustments to light infantry are good and also well tested on the North Shore. They are still a bit cheap for the points and could do with going up from 48 to reflect their greater manoeuvrability and firepower. However, I’m not sure a full extra 8 points is justified. They are still only as resilient as line.

Guard
Don’t overdo the Guard adjustments. Guard Infantry at -2 points are good but not too flash. Guard cavalry are a bit expensive at +6 points. I’m not sure this is fair for the top line troops as they become prohibitively expensive. Perhaps you want to scale this. I’m not sure Superior Veteran Guard Shock Heavy Cavalry at 108 points ((10+3+4+6+3)*4) for a small unit is worth a 2 unit Average Drilled Light Cavalry Division with gun attachment. Is it worth 2 units of Average Drilled Line Infantry with a Gun Attachment, a Skirmish Attachment and a Cavalry Attachment. An extra six points for some Average Drilled Guard Light Cavalry is balanced at 56 points but not so for the Horse Guards. Perhaps +5 points would be better.

In terms of flavour and variety I am also not keen on Guards losing the reroll of ones. This adds variety and colour to the game.

Dragoons
Nice changes proposed here with the movement and fighting fitting neatly between Light and Shock Heavy Cavalry.
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