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Though one: point values

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Though one: point values

Post  stoffelbier on Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:27 pm

Kriegsspiel 1924 (von Reisswitz) from "Too Fat Lardies" on page 9:
"... cavalry in ranks = 2 points equals 3 riders" (-> same on page 31 in the Points Values Table)
But on page 9 at the end we read the following: "Cavalry lose a Squadron after 60 points". This should mean a value of 2 points equals 5 riders? (2x30=60 points -> 5x30=150 riders per squadron).

Which one is right? 2p = 3 riders or 2p = 5 riders?

Another one: page 66 of 75 from "British Army Kriegsspiel" Points Values Table:
3 rank inf 1 point = 3 men
2 rank inf 2 points = 10 men
cavalry 2 points = 3 men
artillery 12,5 points = 1 gun

Maybe some of these values are changed by copying or translating or due to some other reasons ...
Which values should be used to have a correct balance?

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Re: Though one: point values

Post  Ike on Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:16 pm

I believe the rules you refer to are meant to be used to determine casualties from musket and artillery fire. Notice that the distinctions appear to all relate to the number of ranks or files subjected to fire: "...cavalry in ranks = 2 points equals 3 riders...", "...3 rank inf 1 point = 3 men...", "...2 rank inf 2 points = 10 men..." (emphasis supplied). So it is my understanding that the answer to your question is this: varying with how many ranks or files of men and horse are exposed to the musket or artillery fire, the unit loses a variable number of men. The points to men is simply a numerical way of reflecting that battlefield factor on casualties. And therefore, the numbers were correctly translated and transcribed and are not in need of change to reflect balance. In my ignorant opinion, of course.
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Re: Though one: point values

Post  stoffelbier on Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:03 pm

Ike wrote:Notice that the distinctions appear to all relate to the number of ranks or files subjected to fire: "...cavalry in ranks = 2 points equals 3 riders...", "...3 rank inf 1 point = 3 men...", "...2 rank inf 2 points = 10 men..." (emphasis supplied). Varying with how many ranks or files of men and horse are exposed to the musket or artillery fire, the unit loses a variable number of men.

I know the relation between number of ranks and losses (point values). But the differences i've found are between the point values of the same ranks!

Another one: page 66 of 75 from "British Army Kriegsspiel" Points Values Table:
3 rank inf 1 point = 3 men -> Reisswitz says 1 point = 5 men
cavalry 2 points = 3 men -> R. says 2 points = 5 men
artillery 12,5 points = 1 gun

And even worse: In the official Supplement to Kriegsspiel (you can read this at the end of the manual from Von Reisswitz - Too Fat Lardies) it states:
90 points = 1 battalion in close order!!! -> this means 1 point = 10 men

Who can help me?


Last edited by stoffelbier on Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Though one: point values

Post  Ike on Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:54 pm

The point per man or men per point in the 1824 edition by Von Reisswitz - indeed, the entire rules set! - is explicitly based upon the unit organization, strengths and field deployment doctrines of the Prussian Army of roughly Napoleonic War vintage. For example, the infantry battalion is numbered as being 900 or 800 or whatever, I'm working on something else at the moment, forgive me if the numbers are not exact. Three ranks of a Prussian infantry battalion has a given number of men in each rank and each file. The numbers are different for a British infantry battalion, even if the total field strength of the battalion is identical. Why? Different organization, different formations, yielding different density of soldiers under fire. Let me see if I can recall the establishment strengths well enough to provide some numbers.

Prussian Army infantry company strength - on paper, mind you! - was 135 men, six per battalion, giving a battalion strength of 801 men all ranks; cavalry squadron 110 men, regiment 601, in 1806. This was the army which was compelled to contribute units to the Imperial French Grande Armee that was invading Russia in 1812. In the War of Liberation after the failure of the French invasion of Russia, there was a considerable hodge-podge of freicorps etc, but the paper establishment remained unchanged. This, I believe, is the number of men von R. uses in Kriegsspiel.

British Army infantry battalions had a more varied establishment, varying from 600 to 1100 men per battalion. More importantly, it was organized in eight "centre" companies, each of which contributed a variable number to the two "flank" companies. At full strength - say 800 men to make it easy to divide and add - each center company would have a nominal 100 men, (actually 72 as 16 were sent to each of the two flank companies) so 72 men and the grenadier company and light company would each be 128 men. Unlike the Continental practice, grenadier companies were only rarely combined into ad hoc grenadier battalions - and yes I know that it was actually done more often; I'm illustrating the differences in which would produce a different troop density under fire - usually firing in two ranks, etc. Moreover, the battalion was the regiment in nearly all the British Army until about 1803, when second battalions were authorized in a number of regiments (yes, the 60th Royal Americans had 7 battalions). The differences is organization and strength produce a widely variable troop strength, at the "sharp end". Cavalry was four squadrons with a regimental establishment of 905 all ranks, giving 120 - 160 per squadron in field strength.

These differences from the Prussian make for different troop density on the battlefield, thereby giving different men per points and points per men. After the first edition came out, there were revisions made, as you know, several times. One or maybe two of those are included in the Too Fat Lardies edition of Kriegsspiel and some of those revisions were based upon the personal recollections of the senior (and sometimes junior) officers making the changes. This is the more detailed version of what I was trying to say in my first response. That's my explanation - to myself, as I noticed and wondered as well - of this apparent discrepancy.

Besides, it's a game! Think of these variations as if they were some of Scotty Bowden's more irritating "national characteristics" contained in his otherwise - IMHO - wonderful set of Napoleonic miniatures "Empire" rules! Smile And remember that no game rules are Holy Writ. Change them if you believe they're wrong or that it's a typo. It is not possible to read the minds of men long-dead about this issue and say, with authority, "The reason is blah, blah."
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Re: Though one: point values

Post  stoffelbier on Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:46 pm

Thanks for your explanation. Most of it makes sense to me, i've done some reading in the past. Mostly about 18th century.

But to play the game i wanted to have some realistic point values to start with. I was looking for an average. How many casualties in 2 minute rounds should be usable as a guideline? (i know, in some battles there were devastating musket salvos, and in other battles a few musket balls would hit a few soldiers)

Point values like 1 point = 3 men against 1 point = 10 men -> that's a big difference, even if you take different troop density in account. I think the Supplements on the rules used a battalion (90 points) to allocate hit points, the original Von Reisswitz used point values to calculate per half battalion (90 points)! This could explain the difference between
1 point = 5 men (Van Reisswitz)
1 point = 10 men (Supplemental rules)


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Re: Though one: point values

Post  Ike on Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:33 pm

Yes, that "half-battalion" vs. "battalion" as the firing unit would explain much of the difference. I do not know how to answer your question as the issue has no come up for me yet. The number of casualties seems to have little or no significance in the firing rules for musketry and morale failure isn't handled separately from melee and fire resolution in these rules.
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Re: Though one: point values

Post  stoffelbier on Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:34 am

Ike wrote:Yes, that "half-battalion" vs. "battalion" as the firing unit would explain much of the difference. I do not know how to answer your question as the issue has no come up for me yet. The number of casualties seems to have little or no significance in the firing rules for musketry and morale failure isn't handled separately from melee and fire resolution in these rules.

"half-battalion" vs. "battalion" -> Not only as the firing unit but also as the target!

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A little late

Post  PeterPerla on Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:02 pm

I am just joining this forum. Didn't know of its existence because of sheer laziness, I suspect. But I am in the process of trying to adapt the vRK rules into a micro-tactical boardgame system I have been working on. I came across this thread and though I would weigh in in case no one else pointed out the main point (and I apologize if I missed it). It appears from my available translations, both Bill Leeson's original and th TFL version, that although a game piece represents X troops, you don't have to kill all X to remove it. For example, the 90-point half-battalion is removed if it takes 50 percent losses, or 45 points. Cavalry goes away with a higher percentage of loss, but still not the total. Again, I apologize if this is obvious to all and I just didn't catch it in the discussion earlier. Too much here to wade through on a first visit! Wow. Great stuff.

Take care

Peter

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Re: Though one: point values

Post  hammurabi70 on Sun May 01, 2011 10:17 am

PeterPerla wrote:I am just joining this forum. Didn't know of its existence because of sheer laziness, I suspect. But I am in the process of trying to adapt the vRK rules into a micro-tactical boardgame system I have been working on.
Peter

Welcome! cheers

I assume that you are using your real name: that of the well known wargame designer! I think you are in general right on the casualty issue although as the original system was for training officers I suspect they would also want to cope with casualties and the actions of battered units. My preference is to have them continue as a residual unit which has no effect but looks impressive although it runs away when attacked, normally towards the baggage. The baggage is another element which tends to get neglected.

The vRK adaptation will be eagerly awaited. geek
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Thanks

Post  PeterPerla on Mon May 02, 2011 1:18 pm

Well-known wargme designer, huh? Thanks for the compliment and the comment. I have been waflling about the whole issue of whether or not to remove "broken" troops as the original rules (at least, my "poor" Leeson and TFL trranlstations) suggest. For small fights (say division sized, such as Maida) it would probably be more evocative. For larger fights (corps sized) it may become more of a pain than it's worth). With a scale of 60 paces/50 yards per 13mm hex and two-company divisions for infantry, I think I can get a good corps sized fight on one or two mapsheets. I do continue to have some concerns about unit frontages; Leeson's first edition contains a drawing attributed to one of the later rules variants from the 1880s (I think; cnant remember exactly who it was at the moment) which shows a 120-man cavalry squadron in two lines on a front of 60 paces, which is exactly what I would like it to be, but teh vRK frontge for a squadron seems to be more like 75 paces iirc for a 150-man squadron on three lines. Similar problems arise with frontages of batteries, but I am using 2-gun sections as my principal pieces and so can allow for a lot more flexibility in how many guns can fit into a hex.

Any of you folks have suggestions for possible small Napoleonic scenarios that will fit on a 22"x34" mapsheet at roughly half-an inch to 60 paces? At the moment I an planning on Maida, Barossa/Barrosa, and a couple of chunks of Salamanca: Pakenham's attack, Leith's attack, and Pack's attack, with the possibility of stringing them all together for the bulk of the fight--which would make a monster game at this scale.

Thanks all. INteresting stuff. Do you ever do historical battles? It would seem like the half-battalion = half-inch counter scale is a natural fit for classic boardgame styles.

Take care

Peter

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Re: Though one: point values

Post  Martin on Thu May 05, 2011 11:01 pm

Hi Peter

I think you're right concerning exchange pieces. For a larger action, using them would increase the admin burden. Our group stopped doing so several years ago, which we rationalised on the basis that, in the heat of battle, the commanders would probably not have known that a certain proportion of troops from this or that battalion had been lost. As umpires we give impressionistic reports of losses rather than numerical ones.

As far as small battles go, you might look at some of the engagements in the Russo-Swedish War of 1808-9 - sometimes called the Finnish War. The armies involved were relatively small.

There's also Davout's operations on the lower Elbe in 1813-14: the battles of Gohrde, Bornhoft & Schestedt each involved only a handful of battalions & squadrons on each side.

Hope that helps

Martin

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Thanks for the suggestions

Post  PeterPerla on Fri May 06, 2011 12:06 am

Thanks, Martin. I never even heard of those fights. My knowledge of the 1813 campaign is sorely deficient. Just been reading the recent Leipzig 1813 by Digby Smith. Not nearly enough maps to follow the action. But I hear that Kevin Zucker is going to do a new version of Napoleon at Leipzig. I will have to track down info on the battles you mention. My big worry is how to deal with the inevitably reduced strength of the units involved. Always torn between showing pieces as organizational subunits and showinig them in terms of troop strength. Do you kriegsspielers worry about such things?

Take care

Peter

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Re: Though one: point values

Post  Martin on Fri May 06, 2011 9:08 am

For the 1813 campaign, see if you can find 'Napoleon at Leipzig' by Nafziger, which actually covers all the German fronts. I sometimes find him heavy reading, but he is very strong on maps, OOBs & unit strengths.

Mostly our group runs hypothetical scenarios, as we don't want to give well-read players knowledge the real generals wouldn't have had. Our scenarios are sometimes based on real battles, but in that event we usually disguise them, until the de-brief. Perhaps partly due to this, we normally represent units in terms of troop strength rather looking for precision re organizational subunits.

No reason why you could not go the other route though, and represent seriously reduced strength units by using just one half-battalion block per battalion for that side. In fact for some 1813 battles that would work pretty well as 900-man Reisswitz battalions were thin on the ground in most armies. You would obviously need to modify the combat rules to take account of it.

Regards

Martin

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How do you guys work losses?

Post  PeterPerla on Wed May 18, 2011 12:56 pm

As I continue to waffle about how to implement a good model of fire combat based on the vRK into my boardgame, I realized that I'm not sure I understand what the standard practice is regarding this whole issue of losses and removing pieces. My original reading of the rules was that you took a half-battalion off the board if it suffered casualties equal to half its strength, that is, 45 of 90 points. Based on the above discussion, however, it seems like that may not be how you experienced kriegsspielers play.

In addition, the ability of the infantry to deploy skirmish platoons makes me wonder how you handle that as well. If my half-battalion deploys its two skirmishers, do you reduce its firepower relative to the tabled results, or do you, as I think I understand the rules, leave its firepower unreduced, on the basis of the fact that really only the first two ranks fired effectively? It strikes me that the detaching and reattaching of skirmishers, and figuring out how to manage the losses that both pieces might take, could easily get pretty complicated. These sorts of complications can often be finessed in umpired games, but the classic boardgame has to have all eventualities covered for the benefit of rules lawyers.

Finally, I continue to be puzzled by the handling of artillery batteries. Although the rules themselves talk about the composition of batteries as being both guns and howitzers, it appears that the tables may reflect only the fire of guns because no mention is made of the howitzers in the tables except for the tables for a 7pdr battery and the 10pdr section. I'm curious about whether you guys treat a mixed battery of six 12pders and two 10 pdr howitzers as the 12pdr battery of the table, or some mix of fire from the 12pder table and 10 pdr table.

Thanks again for any insight you may have.

Take care

Peter

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Re: Though one: point values

Post  Ike on Wed May 18, 2011 5:29 pm

I admit to being a novice in the Kriegsspiel rules, but my reading of the AAR's and playing a number of games solo with a view toward understanding how the rules work - game mechanics, not 'is it historical' - lead me to believe that removing the half-battalions is only necessary in order to simulate the loss of frontage of the sub-unit. The reason I say that simply because the map scale is such that the depth of any unit formation cannot reasonably be shown as changing based on losses. The pieces are - as I understand the historical practices of how many ranks, etc - already too 'deep'. So, removing a piece before it routs from the field is usually a waste of time. Note also that there are no separate morale checks as is common is miniatures rules, separate that is to say from the melee and firing results.

Regarding the use of skirmishers and the potential problems with recording losses separately when skirmishers are sent out and then rejoin the parent battalion, once again I guess that the consensus would that it is 'too much fiddling'; that is to say, the added 'realism' is not worth the added paperwork and time lost to 'administrative' tasks in a game. I am certain that that is my opinion on the question, in any event, and my K-S play is solo and so I have all the time one might want in a game! (Certainly, no one to complain about 'wasting time' eh?) The changes in firepower, I suspect, are not modeled because as you say only the first two ranks effectively fired. And, once again for my own part, extra administrative time not reflected in improved enjoyment.

As to the artillery question, I am unable to even guess as my play so far has been with batteries which are not organized properly but are 'pure' gun batteries and 'pure' howitzer batteries. When I advance more in playing with the K-S rules solo, perhaps I'll have an answer (or at least an opinion, eh Wink )
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Thanks Ike

Post  PeterPerla on Thu May 19, 2011 2:24 pm

Thank you for your response. I appreciate it.
Take care
Peter

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Re: Though one: point values

Post  hammurabi70 on Sat May 28, 2011 8:30 am

PeterPerla wrote: My original reading of the rules was that you took a half-battalion off the board if it suffered casualties equal to half its strength, that is, 45 of 90 points.

In addition, the ability of the infantry to deploy skirmish platoons makes me wonder how you handle that as well. If my half-battalion deploys its two skirmishers, do you reduce its firepower relative to the tabled results, or do you, as I think I understand the rules, leave its firepower unreduced, on the basis of the fact that really only the first two ranks fired effectively? Peter

As I understood it one of the reasons that the British were famed in the Napoleonic Wars for their two ranks rather than three ranks was they so often fought when campaign casualties had reduced troop numbers that could not be replaced but they still deployed on the usual frontage.
On that basis I:
(1) Prefer to mark casualties to a unit but do not reduce the area it occupies
(2) Maintain the fire-effect irrespective of early casualties (in the mode of detaching skirmishers)
(3) Make under-strength units brittle so they collapse suddenly in respect of casualties (not very original but I'll go with received wisdom!)
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