Thursday, 17 July 2014

some artillery "reinforcements"

With the somewhat 'dramatic' change, not necessarily in the conduct of artillery fire within the rules but the number of firings/rolls allowed, the number of models required has bumped up slightly.  For the French I already had the models, for the Allies I required but two more, one for the Netherlanders and one more British horse artillery which we shall see shortly.  The Prussians needed four more, one of which I had already painted, one foot which I need to buy, and two horse artillery gun which, again, will be shown below.
The newly created artillery ratios are a result of integrating the number of rolls each gun model may conduct per turn with the actual historical number of guns within each formation for which the gun represents the artillery component. This is a great idea which a play test with David in our last game he suggested as an off the cuff remark but which I seized upon.  Simply, the MP (our little black dice) of each gun now represents 8 historical guns - a usual battery strength historically for many nations - per pip.  So a corps with 64 guns has 8 pips worth of fire and can roll the die up to 8 times to try to damage the enemy.  Obviously range and number of targets will influence the ultimate number but now we don't have the everything-in-range-can-be-fired-upon havoc we had in our convention games.  It was a little too much of a good thing.
So, back to the example, the corps has 8 pips of rolls but, our little black dice are but six-sided so 2 gun models are needed.  It is up to the player how to distribute the pips but the usual is probably have 4 MP/pips on each.  As "attrition" and enemy damage reduce this number, obviously the efficiency of the artillery will be reduced as it can fire/roll less times.

The one interesting aspect of this new approach is we do not have a need for close range fire rules as there is nothing to suggest a player cannot concentrate all his fire (roll all the dice) against only one target; that target either charging him or at near enough as to have all other target, if available not worthy of the effort.  Read: 'grand battery'

Previously with our Order of Battle we fudged much of the deployments as we struggled to keep the overall gun to foot to horse ratios intact. Now we can accurately establish the exact number of MPs needed and thus the number of gun models for each formation and indeed the type - foot or horse - which is the reason of my slight increase in artillery models.

Indeed, if a collector is so inclined, he could now represent that one battery attached to the lone cavalry brigade as a 1 MP gun model.  However, should he sustain but one hit, the model must be removed from the table as so that might be a somewhat 'expensive' endeavour.  However, even if chosen, the number of rolls does not change regardless of the number of models on the table and is based on historical allocation alone.  Very good that and eliminates the guess work for scenario design.

I have been fortunate that these new numbers are not many and so the costs have not been large especially as I have kinda cheated a bit.  With a trade with Mike B., and his generosity in giving me some loose figures he had lying about, I cobbled together some of the more unique models.

For the British I needed one more RHA.  Mike in our trading, provided 3 previously painted figures but no gun of course.  However I do have a love for the delightfully silly Congreve rockets and Winyates' RHA battery of Waterloo fame provided me the excuse to use him as an example for my new model.
I firmly believe that the gigantic 'ladder' models of Old Glory and Foundry for example were for the very heavy 24 or 32 pound shells for use in siege warfare and not on the battlefield.  The reference books all have the well-know illustration showing, in scale, the various rocket sizes down to the 6 pounder shell no doubt fired by Winyates at Waterloo, firing them as he did, on the ground.  Thus I portrayed the same.  Yes, yes, probably should be a trough but I decided to forego it.

The rocket part of each was a cast from unknown origins to which I glued a piece of wire. It really was that small.   I repainted the Foundry RHA figures but did no modifications as their poses work and the mere three don't look out of place with the other more populous artillery stands and were free  <grin>

The Prussian army of 1815 was an amalgam of the numerous previous states which were under French control or influence many as late as several months before the start of the 100 Days Campaign.  The Duchy of Berg merged into the Prussian army with many of their old French style uniforms still worn (the white tunics of the infantry) and the blue and red of the artillery.  I had some French style artillery gun models about so I went about heavily modifying some other crew figures I got from Mike B.

The result is the Prussian Horse Battery Nr.20 (ex-Berg) of 1815.
From the poses you might have deduced these were from Old Glory.  Actually British 1809 crew from which I chopped off their heads and replaced with British hussar heads [for the large cockade which is similar to those of the Prussian] reducing the plume and removing part of the shako flounders/cords.  The horse artillery, thinking themselves cavalry, I needed to add some Perry dismounted dragoon scabbards.  A change of tunic and pant colour - I left one in his old blue trousers and painted the new Prussian grey ones for the rest.  They look both Prussian-ish and their previous Frenchie-ness, which is the whole point.

The second Prussian horse battery [Nr 18] is also unique as it is the ex-Russo-German Legion artillery which integrated into the Prussian army in February of 1815 but continued to wear it's Russian/Prussian uniform.
For this unit, I used Old Glory Russian horse artillery figures (surprising that, really...) but need to remove the heads as the RGL used Kivers and not the combed helmets of the Russians.  So I used Warlord heads for these.  The weird OG poses were bent to show the crew hauling up the gun manually.  It works well I think.

Again, the cheap bugger that I am*, the figures were inexpensive (read: free) and the gun, while somewhat inappropriate should some rivet counter come along, is of the Napoleonic era, painted in Prussian blue and so close enough!

*edit:  Oh I can afford wargaming. It is, cost to time engaged, an extremely inexpensive hobby but I am trying for low expenditures merely to control my obsessiveness! See, my dear, it is in print....

1 comment:

  1. Nice work as always, Doug. You're a man after my own wallet - not literally I hope. Best, Dean