|Nostalgia: an early play test of my rule set The Corsican Ogre.|
James Davies had the French and Paul 'Jacko' Jackson the Austrians.
From memory, the French columns managed to clear the ridge,
but it was a very near thing.
|Nostalgia: The Battle of Grosshuntersdorf - a disguised|
scenario based on a 7YW battle; Grossjagersdorf.
I did check a couple of other rule sets I knew to find how they effected the compromise between time and movement. The easiest available was a friend's copy of Age of Eagles, which uses a ground scale of 1 inch to 120 yards (1:4320), and a time scale of 1 turn to 30 minutes. Now, there is no formal relationship between this 30 minutes and any other (real) time. Are the actual movement rates based on one minute's real action? Two? Thirty seconds?
|Austrians guarding a river crossing - #10 'Breakout' from|
C.S. Grant's Scenarios for Wargames, a.k.a. the Green Book.
Austrian figures are Warrior and I think Hinton Hunt.
If the time scale were 1:60, the 'standard' move rate would be 4 inch (rounded);
If the time scale were 1:30, the 'standard' move would be 5.5 inch (rounded);
If the time scale were 1:15, the 'standard' move rate would be 8 inch (rounded).
|Overall picture of the 'Breakout' action. This was played between|
myself as the Austrians, and Paul 'Jacko' Jackson about 7 years ago.
'French' figures are either Front Rank or Old Glory. The table
is 6ft by 4ft.
|'Breakout', from behind the French allies (Westphalians)|
attempting to force the crossing. The Austrian commander
in the distance is looking a bit concerned...
|This one is from C.S. Grant's Programmed Wargames Scenarios|
(the Black Book): #7 'Two Sides of a River',
also from 6 or 7 years back.
|#7: 'Two Sides of a River' The French have massed on the north|
bank, and are about the strike with their whole weight upon
the Austrian line.
1. Alter the time scale to about 1:75. The thing with the time scale is that no one, so far as I know, has seriously looked into this aspect of scaling for table top games, though Charles Grant comes close. In my view it has its points, the main one being to subsume the extended 'hurry-up-and-wait' downtime and 'friction' during a battle. At any rate, this would bring my 4mph sprint down to a more sedate 3.2mph. Everything else would remain as is, just the pace represented would be a little slower (25% slower).
2. Alter the ground scale to 1:3000 (which was my original idea, until the arithmetical convenience of the 1:3600 impressed itself upon me). The effect of this would bring the brisk 4mph stride down to 3.33mph, etc. Again, everything else would remain as is.
3. Keep the ground and time scales, and alter the moves to 'fit.' I admit to being very reluctant to do this. But then I recalled myself to the purpose of this whole exercise, as expressed in the title of this series of postings. So that is the solution I shall adopt. What follows supersedes the earlier lists.
|Looking north long the Austrian line. The entire 'French' force|
(actually, mostly allies), just entering the picture, have massed
beyond the distant river. Minifigs Austrians.
Infantry in march column: 20cm (8 inch) + 5cm (2 inch) on a roadway. The assumption here is that nearing the battlefield, the troops are probably moving 'at the double'. All other movement is geared around this benchmark.
Infantry in skirmish order: 20cm (8 inch)
Infantry in battlefield (or assault) column: 15cm (6 inch).
Infantry in line: 10cm (4 inch).
Infantry in square: 2.5cm (1 inch).
Light Cavalry in march column: 40cm (16 inch) + 5cm (2 inch) on a roadway.
Light Cavalry in battlefield column: 30cm (12 inch).
Light Cavalry in line: 20cm (8 inch)
Heavy Cavalry (includes 'heavy' Dragoons) in March Column: 30cm (12 inch)
Heavy Cavalry in battlefield column: 25cm (10 inch)"
Heavy Cavalry in line: 20cm (8 inch)
Horse Artillery (3-4pr, 'light' 6pr) limbered: 20cm (8 inch)
Horse Artillery manhandled: 5cm (2 inch)
Foot Artillery ('heavy' 6pr, 8-9 pr, 5.5"-7" howitzers) limbered: 15cm (6 inch)
Foot Artillery manhandled: 5cm (2 inch)
Heavy Foot Artillery (12pr; 8" howitzer): 15cm (6 inch).
Heavy Foot Artillery may not be manhandled except to change front.
At the scale we are looking at, this might well be too much detail. In that case, the default rules for all artillery will be those for the 'Foot Artillery'.
Foot Routing: 25cm (10 inch) These guys aren't hanging around!
Light Horse Routing: 40cm (24 inch)
Heavy Horse Routing: 30cm (20 inch)
|#7: 'Both Sides of a River' general action, seen|
from the south bank of the river.
The infantry in a route column, on a roadway will still be travelling at 4 mph, too fast, very likely, but it seems to me that (a) the loss of order is probably less to be apprehended in this formation - less need to halt to dress lines, for example; and (b) can stand for some sort of fast paced move, possibly at a jog or run, to get somewhere in a hurry. It will be used rarely in any event, and even then, not for long.
The infantry in a route column now travels at 3.3 mph (~90 ypm) ; in 'assault column' at 2.5 mph (about 75 ypm) and in line at 1.6 mph (about 45 ypm). I feel that not only these rates the more realistic given my chosen ground and time scales, but will 'fit' better my limited playing space.
|#7: 'Both Sides of a River', the view looking towards|
the southwest. Austrian reinforcements are
hurrying across the bridge to the aid of their
comrades embattled on the northern bank.
Before I go, note the dichotomy here. The added speeds I have added to the movement rates are nominal. For instance, suppose our route column was marching along a straight road the 4 mile (6ft) length of my table. It travels at 4mph. according to my conclusions from earlier calculations, and so should traverse the entire distance in 1 hour. One hour represent one turn as proposed. But in fact it will take 7 turns, and a bit more besides, for the column to reach that distance. Well over half a day! It works out that the column's (average) speed will actually be just 5/8 of one mile per hour. In this way the accidents of stoppages, delays, rest periods and the general friction of battle is subsumed into the rule set.