Thursday, 2 February 2012

In Reply to Emelio's comment

My reasoning with hose Pistols was thus there seemed to be quite a variety of ways cavalry used fire arms in the period but they seem to boil down two three broad bands.

1 Those who did not use them & relied on the sword
British cavalry being the classic example of this, with Marlborough order that his horse to be issued with only three rounds of ball to reinforce this. 

2 Those who used them on the charge or prior to a counter charge
French cavalry did this unleashing a volley at the trot before accelerating to a gallop & going in with the sword, though French tactics with horse where in flux & they at versus other times used both the other tactics. Bavarians where also supposed to have on occasion at least fired just before launching into a counter charge.

3 Those for who the Pistol was used as primary weapon
This is the classic Retier style of using them & it was still used by  the Austrians amongst others where horse would be involved in a fire fight as mounted shot possibly without charging or advancing to contact

I also concluded that pistols if loaded in a mellee they might have been used opportunistically but could find no evedence any one trained to do that so I am happy to presume its inclusion in the normal mechanics for fisticufs.

So I am left with perennial question how do I model that? 

I reasoned that if 1& 2 only existed then I would be best to model pistol use as either a mellee weapon or as the use of fire arms is modelled for foot as a penalty for being unloaded. The problem with this was that cavalry with sword only as its primary weapon was seen with the exception of the French as being the "best" of the three broad tactics but I could work round that. However with case 3 existing  with the horse standing off and exchanging volleys with the enemy I could not & I felt I needed to give pistols a range even if a rather short one. it also will allow me to model  Horse which fail to make contact due to being "put off by pike or bayonet" firing a ragged volley form the point the charge stalls.

However thank you for the feed back it helps & makes me think back trough my reasoning

Monday, 30 January 2012

Firelock & Matchlock

Types of musket & other Small arms
During the period we are considering we have several sorts of small arm in use.

Muskets which could be either Firelocks (flintlocks) or Matchlocks (lighter versions of the weapons used in the Thirty years war &  English Civil War ) at first flintlocks where the preserve of specialist troops mostly used to guard the artillery train where all those slow matches would be quite a hazard but as time went on they spread to the generality of infantry & dragoons & eventuality totally displaced firelocks.

Carbines which like muskets could be either Firelocks or Matchlocks but which where used by cavalry and where short enough to be fired mounted & most importantly loaded mounted. They had a lesser range than a Musket but longer than a horse pistol. They are notable as use of Cavalry in the shot role was quite common in this period. Much more so than it latter became.

Horse pistols Large heavy pistols carried in pairs & used by some nations cavalry on the charge as well as in the classic & increasingly obsolete cavalry rotational fire drills.

Because Pistols are at least viable ranged weapons at this period I have to give them enough range to be useful. However if we consider those listed in Sharp form muskets and carbines  you will see there is a problem they are too sort to include a pistol with any sort of range. After some though on this I found I was going to have to change the ground scale and casting about for something suitable & not too huge came to the conclusion that a 1:1 ground scale for 15mm would work rather as it does for TW&T & M&B other Lardie rules sets. Which I am familiar with & I may well visit on the Discersions Page. The Scale is 1" = 4yards

The  up shot of this is assuming that a Musket has an effective range of 80 yards that the table form Sharpe looks like  (note all shot are assumed to be line troops) all other ranges are based on that of the musket.

              0-5   6-10   11-20    21-30
Musket  5&6       6         6           7
Carbine   6          6         7            -
Pistol       6          7         -

Note a seven on a d6 sounds impossible but its got by rolling a 6 followed by a 4+

I am not planing on changing movement distances though I am aware that extending the range of fire arms will alter the dynamics of the game I just want to play test it to discover quite how.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Thoughs on unit sizes by prompted by Abikapi2

I am rather sorry I took so long to get back to this but the blame for that can rather go to the madness which was the Christmass festivities.

I have to be honest not settled on a fixed number of troops for a group of infantry & had not the time to finish my initial ramblings on the subject, I have now & would value your opinion, I picked 10 as I wanted fire fights to be a bit less decisive than with Napoleonic sharp as all my reading suggests they where & 10 is more resilient when it comes to shock than 8, I also considered 12 as this would allow a group to deploy 3 wide & 4 deep for  Rotational fire &  4 wide three deep for Group fire. The 10 strong group on the Battalion level gives you an 80 figure strong Battalion with four Big men if you remove the grenadiers & assume they have been Brigaded together else where.

At the Battalion level two groups are intended to represent a company & would include 1-2 pike men per group & at company level pike would be separated into their own groups.

However all this may change on play testing & the Elector of Marrienburgs first company of foot nears completion so we will see then.

Thank you Stefano

This is coincidently the post I thought the internet had eaten hence the test post a bit expanded 

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Test Post

posted because I posted something yesterday which seems to have vanished

Edit- Rather embarrassingly I had posted it as a page for some unknown & unfathomable reason & have now fixed the problem.

Monday, 12 December 2011

How many troops

In preparation for the first rules test game I have been thinking of the size of units for my Sharp practice variant. Now I a quite aware that this was in no way standardized but after reading all the orders of battle I could lay my hands on 500 rank and file seems to be about right for a battalion and a 100 for a company. I also decided on one "Big man per two groups" and as both a company at a figure to man ratio of 1:1 and a battalion at 1:5 would work out at 100 figures

This would mean
For a Company of Foot
10 groups of 10 two of which would be pike men giving you 80 musket  & 20 pike men five bigmen Company Captain Lvl 2-3 First Lieutenant Lvl 2-3 ensign Lvl 1-2 & two Sergeants level 1-2. I am aiming at a total of 10 levels of Bigman in a company. Supernumeraries would include musicians & if present a company standard

For a Troop of horse or dragoons
Still thinking about this but about 60 rank and file seems right though I would have to reduce the numbers for horse holders when the Dragoons dismounted & on the rarer occasions when the Horse would.

For a Battalion  of foot
10 groups of 10 two of which would be Grenadiers if present & 2 figures in each musketeer group would be Pikemen.if present. Big Men would be Major or Colonel  Lvl 2-3 Senior captain  Lvl 2-3 Senior Captain Lvl 1-2 & two Captains  level 1-2. I am aiming at a total of 10 levels of Bigman in a battalion. Supernumeraries would include musicians  at least two Drummers Kings & regimental colours or there equivalent & may be a number of troops to form a a colour party.

For a squadren of horse 
I am still thinking about this but about 45 rank & file seems right

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Rules considerations. some more thoughts

I am still working on a force a play test game so most of the questions about how it all works rather depends on what happens when I have tried out the rules I have proposed and seen if they produce results that match the original accounts though finding battle accounts at this sort of level of detail - Granularity as it has been referred to is a bit of a challenge.

I am not sure about tests as such as Sharp Practice Lacks them using shock accumulation as its Morale mechanism but I have thought about the mechanisms described in TSS for determining if cavalry charge home as a basis. I however want to run some play tests first.

Thank you for your feed back it helps me to shape my ramblings into something coherent or as close to it as I get.

I am inclined to agree with the comment below that infantry against infantry fights tended to become prolonged musketry duels. Duels which where often  rather indecisive of all armies of this period only the Swedes in the great northern war bucked this tendency and settled things in hand to hand combat.

Monday, 24 October 2011

First Pictures - first company St Marie’s Parish Militia

These are imminent as I have nearly completed the figures for the League of Ausburg painting competition.
so watch this space.

Not the best photograh but my old faithful camera needs a bit of care and attention & I need to remember how to use Photo shop to tidy up the image

 This is a cropped image form the same set the figures are quite matt but the flash makes them seem very glossy. this is the front view of the competition entry