|After a year's rest, the Red Queen's troops march onto the table.|
40mm homecast 1840's conversions.
Since it appeared that I was about to replay the scenario I figured I could at least change the armies and period. Its been a year since my 1830's/40's Atlantican troops were last on the table so it seemed like a good time to get them out. The last thing I did with these was to reorg them into 18 man battalions based as 3's and 6's. Not ideal but it worked with each 3 counting as 1 ie the equivalent of 6 figure battalions. I looked at other options but they all resulted in "large" battalions which would have needed to be matched by larger artillery and cavalry units to maintain the balance.
One of the things that is not immediately apparent during the transition from musket to rifled musket to breech loader and eventually magazine rifles is that while ranges went up a little for serious combat and a lot for skirmishing, casualties did not except during the introductory period of each change. There appear to be 3 main factors.
One is that despite increases in ammunution allotments, the men acquired the ability to shoot everything they had in very short periods of time and therefore the officers had to control (prevent) shooting except when most needed. When engaging in a low intensity exchange of fire, higher rates of fire mean less since neither is firing at anything full speed or they would run out. The ability to take cover more easily and that increased range are the main advantages of the improvements for skirmishers.
Another, closely related, is that not everyman is a marksmen, even if properly trained rather than being a 1/2 trained conscript. This means long range shooting was best left to a small number of sharpshooters while the rest saved their ammo for the short range firefight.
Lastly, tactics changed. A line went from a close order line on the position to be held with a thin screen of skirmishers to a thick line of skirmishers taking cover on the position with the rest in support under cover to the rear, ready to counter attack, reinforce, defend the flank etc. Dispersal and cover countered increased rates of fire, ranges and accuracy.
During periods of transition the side with the newer weapons would reap the benefits but eventually things would even out. A low level detail analog game would need to show this, a more abstract just needs to know if someone has an advantage and what the result was.
The point? Ever since "meeting" Morschauser my rules have tended to rely on differential advantages not absolute effect. This means the game today used the same rules but with shorter ranges, something that had its own effect on tactics.
But its late. A report on the game tomorrow.