Author Topic: Skirmish fire in woods/BUA  (Read 852 times)

Lowroller

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Skirmish fire in woods/BUA
« on: April 17, 2017, 12:28:19 AM »
I've only just seen the old topic about Skirmish fire in woods. I agree with the point that those units with skirmish trait should be the obvious candidates for occupying woods. So rather than allowing skirmish fire at 1BW in woods, why not go a small step further... 
allow ONLY those units with the skirmish trait to fire in woods, using Skirmish fire penalties, but without the skirmish bonus, and limited to 1BW range.  That seems simple enough and definitely encourages the historical use of Advance Guard units to occupy woods. 

You could even apply the same rule to firing from BUA.  Thus, for a large BUA occupied by a mix of light troops and line, the light troops could skirmish fire against anyone coming within 1BW, proving a slight nuisance to approaching or even passing enemy, whilst both are useful in defending against actual close assault. (Blucher is too large a scale to represent the mix of troops in Hougoumont, but at a lower scale, the principle would seem reasonable).

chuckhamack

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Re: Skirmish fire in woods/BUA
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2017, 06:35:38 AM »
I think we cold apply the first idea fairly easy.

The second idea in blocks would you only fire out the front of the unit like prepared units or out any or all sides?

mikepfanenstiel

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Re: Skirmish fire in woods/BUA
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2017, 03:24:27 PM »
IMO, this sounds like using tactical reasoning for a grand tactical game. Using your suggestion in game terms, French light infantry regiment in the woods and a Russian unit approaches it. The elan 6 units rolls 3 dice all 6 s, the Russian unit loses half it,s elan. Does not seem to reasonable to me. Look at the options for the Russian unit. He cannot shoot back must move to 1 BW to be able to charge. In Grand tactical terms a few hundred skirmishers shooting each other  is pretty minor in terms of the larger battle. Sending in a brigade to drive an enemy brigade out of the wood sounds like combat in a grand tactical Scale. A few skirmishers could shoot most of battle at each other with little effect on the battle.
Mike p
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 05:21:56 PM by mikepfanenstiel »

Lowroller

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Re: Skirmish fire in woods/BUA
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 05:26:16 AM »
I admit this may appear to be the old wargamer's paradox of wanting to consider action at all levels. But it's not really. We are talking about a specialist brigade, which would deploy larger numbers of skirmishers, and a way to encourage using those troops rather than any others for fighting in woods, rather than merely trying to reflect skirmish fire in woods.

As for your example - throwing 3 6's in  3 dice (half fire penalty for skirmishing) is not particularly 'reasonable' anyway! That kind of result should be taken as an abstraction of an exceptional circumstance in the way of an 'ambush' at short range or something.  And don't forget charges are full normal distance regardless of terrain, so the Russians could charge in from outside 1BW and chase off (or attempt to chase off) the light infantry without taking any fire first.

anyway, it's just a suggestion. Food for thought, not an argument with the rules as written.

Lowroller

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Re: Skirmish fire in woods/BUA
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 05:31:45 AM »

The second idea in blocks would you only fire out the front of the unit like prepared units or out any or all sides?

Hmmm... that's a good point, and maybe we accept that the defenders would be distributed around a perimeter in any single-space BUA, so effect would be minimal on a brigade scale.  In a larger one, they may be occupying deeper spaces, so too few would be near the edges to fire out with any great effect. It is admittedly easier to simply disallow the firing. I'm sure Sam and the playtesters considered all sorts of options.

chrisf

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Re: Skirmish fire in woods/BUA
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2017, 02:18:30 AM »
I haver had a number of similar thoughts about the potential disproportionate effect of skirmishers.  My thoughts are:
1   skirmish fire to be allowed only by infantry with the skirmish trait.
2   they can only fire at infantry without skirmishers or artillery.
3   Only the first hit applies.
4   Units with skirmishers do not loose the dice fighting in rough going.
5   any such skirmish fire is mobile.

Kontos

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Re: Skirmish fire in woods/BUA
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2017, 04:32:38 AM »
Blucher is a subtle game where minor advantages have a cumulative effect over time. I too buy into the intuitive argument that light troop types i.e. skirmish ability troops have no advantages in difficult terrain and see the desire for an adjustment to the rules. This adjustment, however; must also be minor. Personally I would suggest, when fighting in difficult terrain, the Attacker wins ties in Close Combat if they have the Skirmish trait and the Defender does not. It is a subtle advantage and limited in scope and that is about as far as I would go with it. Just my 2 cents.
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fulhamfc

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Re: Skirmish fire in woods/BUA
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2017, 08:42:01 AM »
Can I just add my naive two pennyworth as well, I had to keep reminding myself and my wargaming buddy that the dice results are always hits and killing or wounding your enemy's troops, but the dice that count are only effecting the enemy brigades elan, so they could run away quickly or fight to the last man lol.

So to my point, any changes to the rules would have to reflect the Blucher game at that level, i.e. Elan and breaking the Brigades will to carry on. I am no expert on Brigade actions and their effect as a whole in skirmishing, and the amount of time any skirmishing Brigades would take to cause an effect on their opposition, and as we are now talking about woods and maybe bua's then come into the discussion and as Sam Mustafa wrote only troops with the expertise get the additional 5 to hit and effect elan, even tho all Brigades had skirmishes who might have been crap at their job, i.e. Even the Brits were not as good as the French at skirmishing but Sams rules allow them the skirmish trait, how low would you go to allow a particular Army's skirmishers to have an effect against their enemy's skirmishes. Please do not comment on who was good or bad at skirmishing  but how you would apply any particulars Brigade actions to reflect the Elan in the Blucher rules, i.e. In difficult positions and opposing skirmihers, now do we bring in the French light brigades that had so much success over the years for Napoleon, but do not get a mention by Sam unless they are classed as veteran or elite

As I said just my naive two pennies worth, ffc
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 09:12:02 AM by fulhamfc »

curlerman

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Re: Skirmish fire in woods/BUA
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2017, 10:04:09 AM »
You really are thinking unit tactics here guys. INFANTRY units in woods cannot fire period. not volley or skirmish (see page 50 infantry fire first paragraph) . Blucher is not that level of game.  In our own groups games we stuck to this rigidly however we did concede that  troops trained to mass skirmish are better suited to fighting in woods and therefore we gave a +1 in combat versus non skirmish troops to reflect the higher level of competence when operating in open order.