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Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog

3 years 1 month ago - 3 years 1 month ago #211 by RebBugler

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  • Didz wrote:

    RebBugler wrote:

    Didz wrote: I recently bought this game in the steam sale, and although it claims to come with this mod, whatever steam supplied does not work the way this mod currently works. So, i downloaded the version from this forum and everything seems to be working as intended, except that my French infantry are not standing in three deep line as stated in the list of features. They are still standing two ranks deep.

    Is there something I need to do to make this happen?


    With the Grog Toolbar French line formations are three deep, no exceptions. As they lose troops the line will shrink but the three lines deep will maintain it's integrity. I'm guessing you played a stock scenario through the Waterloo scenarios section. The stock scenarios don't work properly with mods, in fact they usually crash. I've included the stock scenarios with the Grog Toolbar mod so they can be played through the User Scenarios section with no issues. If this is your issue please try again. Thanks for the report and I would appreciate feedback on whether my guess is correct, otherwise I'll look into this matter.


    I've been talking to someone on the Steam forum about mods and he has just told me pretty much the same thing.

    Bit of a crock in my opinion. Why have the developers blocked mod improvements to the core game, may as well shoot yourself through the head and be done with it.

    But I'll have a look tonight and see if I can find these user scenario's you mention. Normally, I wouldn't bother playing anything other than the campaign game, but if user scenario's is the only way to play with all the improvements then I'll give it a go.


    Yeah, on the surface it appears to be a "Bit of a crock". However, once you understand how mods work in WL, it should be clear sailing. With the previous games not having mods affecting the stock scenarios was necessary so folks couldn't use modded files to help them achieve Major Victory scores. These scores in turn were recorded and could be eventually sent in to award players General's bars of success plus their name was listed on an elite 'Generals List'. With WL this procedural feature was axed primarily because of a pressing release deadline based on the 200th anniversary of the battle that was obviously beyond our control.

    Expanded Toolbar - Grog Waterloo
    Bugles & Flags Gettysburg - Toolbar, Flags, Scenarios and more...
    __________________________________
    In remembrance:
    Eric Schuttler "louie raider" (1970 - 2018)
    John Bonin "2nd Texas Infantry" (1977 - 2012)
    Last edit: 3 years 1 month ago by RebBugler.

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    2 years 10 months ago #212 by The Joker

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  • Hi, I have this problem with the last implementation of the toolbar.
    I just bought the game from Steam, also one of the DLC.
    If i run the game without the toolbar all go perfectly.
    If I activate the toolbar, some times the game run ok..some others..when the first time i move a unit and then I push the kkeep formation button (the green line formation to be precise) the game crash.
    This happen all the time in the same scenario that i push the button.
    In others scenario I can play for hours...
    It's a my mistake or some others have reported a problem like me?
    Thx.
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    2 years 10 months ago #213 by roy64

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  • Replied by roy64 on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog

    The Joker wrote: Hi, I have this problem with the last implementation of the toolbar.
    I just bought the game from Steam, also one of the DLC.
    If i run the game without the toolbar all go perfectly.
    If I activate the toolbar, some times the game run ok..some others..when the first time i move a unit and then I push the kkeep formation button (the green line formation to be precise) the game crash.
    This happen all the time in the same scenario that i push the button.
    In others scenario I can play for hours...
    It's a my mistake or some others have reported a problem like me?
    Thx.


    Attention: All SP scenarios played with this mod must be selected through the 'User Scenarios' screen, otherwise they will CTD.

    Leicestershire #freetommy
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    2 years 10 months ago #214 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog

    roy64 wrote: Attention: All SP scenarios played with this mod must be selected through the 'User Scenarios' screen, otherwise they will CTD.

    I thought that was understood.
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    2 years 9 months ago - 2 years 9 months ago #215 by DarkRob

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  • Replied by DarkRob on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    C'mon guys, you can do better than that. He's obviously a new player, he just bought the game, and the game now comes with the newest grog tool bar, so there's no reason he would have come here to download it, and therefore wouldnt know about playing through the user scenario tab. It's perfectly understandable that he wouldn't have known this.


    Hey Joker, the grog toolbar is designed to only work through the user scenarios tab. When you activate the grog toolbar in the modifications tab(make sure you click use selected mods as well) all of the stock Waterloo scenarios will now appear in the user scenarios tab. The DLCs automatically install in both the Waterloo battles tab as well as the user scenarios tab, so you don't need to do anything special for the DLCs.

    All you have to remember is when using the grog tool bar to always play through the user sceanrios tab. Trying to play through the Waterloo battles tab can both make the game crash, as well as making many functions of the grog toolbar not work at all.

    Hope this helps. Have fun
    Last edit: 2 years 9 months ago by DarkRob.
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    2 years 9 months ago #216 by RebBugler

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  • Thanks guys for steering Joker straight. :)

    I think it's time to eliminate this issue. Providing a mod that causes crashes is never a good idea regardless of numerous 'Don't touch this button' warnings. So, how about we just eliminate the 'Waterloo Scenarios' button when the Grog Toolbar is activated. Only downside is that the player won't have access to the nice maps and selection icons eye candy.

    Anyone seeing any other downsides to this change?

    Expanded Toolbar - Grog Waterloo
    Bugles & Flags Gettysburg - Toolbar, Flags, Scenarios and more...
    __________________________________
    In remembrance:
    Eric Schuttler "louie raider" (1970 - 2018)
    John Bonin "2nd Texas Infantry" (1977 - 2012)
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    2 years 9 months ago #217 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog

    DarkRob wrote: C'mon guys, you can do better than that. He's obviously a new player, he just bought the game, and the game now comes with the newest grog tool bar, so there's no reason he would have come here to download it, and therefore wouldnt know about playing through the user scenario tab. It's perfectly understandable that he wouldn't have known this.

    That's a good point, and thank you for reminding me.

    In fact, does the steam version even include the User Scenario's?

    I bought my version of SOWW through steam, including the Grog Toolbar, and seem to remember that not only is the version supplied by steam out of date, but it doesn;t come with the full set of User Scenario's. So, in fact I couldn't use it and had tp disable it until I found this site and managed to download an up- to day copy.

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    2 years 9 months ago #218 by DarkRob

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  • Replied by DarkRob on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog

    Didz wrote:

    DarkRob wrote: C'mon guys, you can do better than that. He's obviously a new player, he just bought the game, and the game now comes with the newest grog tool bar, so there's no reason he would have come here to download it, and therefore wouldnt know about playing through the user scenario tab. It's perfectly understandable that he wouldn't have known this.

    That's a good point, and thank you for reminding me.

    In fact, does the steam version even include the User Scenario's?

    I bought my version of SOWW through steam, including the Grog Toolbar, and seem to remember that not only is the version supplied by steam out of date, but it doesn;t come with the full set of User Scenario's. So, in fact I couldn't use it and had tp disable it until I found this site and managed to download an up- to day copy.


    Now it does, but back when you bought the game it didn't. With the release of the collectors edition/1.02 the newest grog toolbar with the waterloo scenarios already in the user scenario tab comes loaded with the game when you buy it.

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    2 years 9 months ago - 2 years 9 months ago #219 by The Joker

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  • Thx DarkRob,
    You are right...I bought the game only two days before the post.
    Fortunally I come to Your You Tube channel so I start to follow Your video and I'm learning faster.
    Now I can use the Grog toolbar without crash...probably my fault that I didn't noticed that it must be used only with user scenario.
    Thx again. :)
    Last edit: 2 years 9 months ago by The Joker.

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    2 years 9 months ago #220 by The Joker

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  • I bought the Steam copy and it came with an early version of the toolbar...
    I noticed it only when I downloaded the latest copy, go to the mod enable panel and found that I have already another copy (named slight different) of the bar...

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    2 years 9 months ago #221 by RebBugler

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  • Update 5.5

    - Waterloo and User Scenarios are merged into one 'Scenarios' button

    As promised, after needless CTD's, a simple solution

    - Pause and Resume text buttons are replaced by standard pause/play icons
    The long French names kept overlapping the pause text making for messy displays at times. The replacement icons should help tidy things up.

    New Single Player Window...


    Expanded Toolbar - Grog Waterloo
    Bugles & Flags Gettysburg - Toolbar, Flags, Scenarios and more...
    __________________________________
    In remembrance:
    Eric Schuttler "louie raider" (1970 - 2018)
    John Bonin "2nd Texas Infantry" (1977 - 2012)
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    2 years 9 months ago #222 by Rico2016

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  • How do you patch to 1.01 the Steam Version of SOW WL? When I use the new 5.5 version of the tool bar I get an incomplete version (no formations bar etc) of this tool bar. 5.4 works fine.

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    2 years 9 months ago - 2 years 9 months ago #223 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    Duplicate post due to server lag.
    Last edit: 2 years 9 months ago by Didz.

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    2 years 9 months ago #224 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog

    Rico2016 wrote: How do you patch to 1.01 the Steam Version of SOW WL? When I use the new 5.5 version of the tool bar I get an incomplete version (no formations bar etc) of this tool bar. 5.4 works fine.

    I don't think you can.

    In theory Steam will automatically update mods and workshop content via the subscription mechanism. But as far as I know because the Grog Toolbar was supplied as part of the original game package so it falls outside the workshop system and doesn't benefit from its automatic update function.

    Likewise, Steam will automatically update your game to the latest steam released version, so SOWWL itself should be kept up to date, but because the Grog Toolbar isn't actually part of the game proper it also falls outside this process.

    I think if you want the latest version you will need to download and instal it yourself. At least this is what I did and here is a link to a guide explaining how I did it.
    steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=974752629
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    2 years 9 months ago #225 by RebBugler

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  • Didz wrote:

    Rico2016 wrote: How do you patch to 1.01 the Steam Version of SOW WL? When I use the new 5.5 version of the tool bar I get an incomplete version (no formations bar etc) of this tool bar. 5.4 works fine.

    I don't think you can.

    In theory Steam will automatically update mods and workshop content via the subscription mechanism. But as far as I know because the Grog Toolbar was supplied as part of the original game package so it falls outside the workshop system and doesn't benefit from its automatic update function.

    Likewise, Steam will automatically update your game to the latest steam released version, so SOWWL itself should be kept up to date, but because the Grog Toolbar isn't actually part of the game proper it also falls outside this process.

    I think if you want the latest version you will need to download and instal it yourself. At least this is what I did and here is a link to a guide explaining how I did it.
    steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=974752629


    Certainly appreciate this help in steering the Steam folks on the right path to using SOW mods. Finally got around to reading your link and was very impressed by the presentation. Just one thing to question though, you mention having to restart the game after enabling or dis-enabling mods. This was fixed with one of the last patches, an hour glass appears now when changing out mods, with no restart necessary. Has this been fixed with the latest Steam version?

    Expanded Toolbar - Grog Waterloo
    Bugles & Flags Gettysburg - Toolbar, Flags, Scenarios and more...
    __________________________________
    In remembrance:
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    John Bonin "2nd Texas Infantry" (1977 - 2012)
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    2 years 9 months ago #226 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog

    RebBugler wrote: Certainly appreciate this help in steering the Steam folks on the right path to using SOW mods. Finally got around to reading your link and was very impressed by the presentation. Just one thing to question though, you mention having to restart the game after enabling or dis-enabling mods. This was fixed with one of the last patches, an hour glass appears now when changing out mods, with no restart necessary. Has this been fixed with the latest Steam version?

    I've just checked this in-game and it does appear that it's now possible to enable and disable mods without needing to restart the entire game. Obviously you still need to restart your current scenario to make the changes.

    Thank you for pointing this out and I'll make the appropriate changes to my steam guide.
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    2 years 6 months ago #227 by mcaryf

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  • Replied by mcaryf on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    Hi Reb
    if you are still up for developing the Grog Toolbar there are two additions that would greatly help the way I play the game.

    First having watched a lot of Darkrob's Youtube videos, I now realise that I should make much more use of skirmishers and more skirmishers is any case a true reflection of the historic way of fighting. The problem is that when you play battle level scenarios, as I mostly do, it is often too time consuming to split off a significant number of skirmish units e.g. for 6 whole brigades prior to D'Erlons attack. Thus would it be possible to introduce a new brigade level command that orders each battalion in the brigade to split off one skirmisher unit each with whatever size (50, 100, 200) you specify with possibly a companion recall command that recalls all skirmisher units split from the Brigade that have not been set as detached?

    The second command that would help me is for a battery commander to be able to order the ammunition type to be used by all the guns in his battery. The reason I need this is because I still cannot get the game regularly to apply the longer ranges that I have enabled for canister. I have set the army commanders to issue use canister commands every 30 minutes in my battlescript but I still have to do a lot of individual commands for each gun when they have opportunities to do real damage - being able to do it once via the battery commander would save about a dozen clicks! It would hardly matter if some guns in a battery might not have targets within canister range at that time or even no canister ammo left as they are already so ineffective when firing other ammo types.

    Regards

    Mike

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    2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #228 by RebBugler

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  • mcaryf wrote: Hi Reb
    if you are still up for developing the Grog Toolbar there are two additions that would greatly help the way I play the game.

    First having watched a lot of Darkrob's Youtube videos, I now realise that I should make much more use of skirmishers and more skirmishers is any case a true reflection of the historic way of fighting. The problem is that when you play battle level scenarios, as I mostly do, it is often too time consuming to split off a significant number of skirmish units e.g. for 6 whole brigades prior to D'Erlons attack. Thus would it be possible to introduce a new brigade level command that orders each battalion in the brigade to split off one skirmisher unit each with whatever size (50, 100, 200) you specify with possibly a companion recall command that recalls all skirmisher units split from the Brigade that have not been set as detached?

    The second command that would help me is for a battery commander to be able to order the ammunition type to be used by all the guns in his battery. The reason I need this is because I still cannot get the game regularly to apply the longer ranges that I have enabled for canister. I have set the army commanders to issue use canister commands every 30 minutes in my battlescript but I still have to do a lot of individual commands for each gun when they have opportunities to do real damage - being able to do it once via the battery commander would save about a dozen clicks! It would hardly matter if some guns in a battery might not have targets within canister range at that time or even no canister ammo left as they are already so ineffective when firing other ammo types.

    Regards

    Mike


    Glad you're enjoying the game and making the most of it with your own modding techniques in developing your personal preferences. Your skirmisher request, brigade command, would be a nice addition. However, after giving this much thought I see no way of making it happen...Pretty sure it would take a patch. I did do some testing and found that the Probe command does send out skirmishers automatically. With my testing two battalions out of four split off skirmishers under the Probe command. I know they also split off with the Attack command and probably with the All Out Attack command. I didn't test that far, but you can, and possibly share your results with the forum. Sorry I can't help more here, just throwing out some ideas.

    I'm really no help with your "canister only" request either. With long range canister modded that really opens a can of worms that messes with the engine's hard coding big time...A dangerous hack if you will. And even if I knew how to make the hack work, it would not be the kind of command that would fit the Grog Toolbar profile, that is, enhancing the game while maintaining historical accuracy.

    Thanks for your input...

    Expanded Toolbar - Grog Waterloo
    Bugles & Flags Gettysburg - Toolbar, Flags, Scenarios and more...
    __________________________________
    In remembrance:
    Eric Schuttler "louie raider" (1970 - 2018)
    John Bonin "2nd Texas Infantry" (1977 - 2012)
    Last edit: 2 years 6 months ago by RebBugler.
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    2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #229 by DarkRob

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  • Replied by DarkRob on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog

    RebBugler wrote: Glad you're enjoying the game and making the most of it with your own modding techniques in developing your personal preferences. Your skirmisher request, brigade command, would be a nice addition. However, after giving this much thought I see no way of making it happen...Pretty sure it would take a patch. I did do some testing and found that the Probe command does send out skirmishers automatically. With my testing two battalions out of four split off skirmishers under the Probe command. I know they also split off with the Attack command and probably with the All Out Attack command. I didn't test that far, but you can, and possibly share your results with the forum. Sorry I can't help more here, just throwing out some ideas.


    Also just to add to what Reb said, having the ability to do this at a brigade level is rife for abuse. There are already to many commands at the brigade level that work EVEN if all subordinate units are TC'd which was never intended. Skirmishers are already way WAY to abusable in this game. The ability to split off limitless numbers of skirmishers with no limit to the distance they can move away from their parent unit is just crazy. They can turn approaching artillery around just by moving into engage distance, they can force entire divisions to stop and go online way far back from their destination, and all at the cost of a couple of hundred men. Skirmishers need to be toned down in the next game. Not necessarily in their effectiveness against line infantry, because there has to be a reason to use them in the first place. But there needs to be a limit on how many skirmishers a battalion can split off and also how far away they can move from the parent battalion once split off.
    The way they are now its just to easy to abuse the hell out of them, especially against an AI that prefers the musket ball to the bayonet.
    Last edit: 2 years 6 months ago by DarkRob.
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    2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #230 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    I agree with Darkrob. Nor would it be particularly accurate historically.

    I'm also dubious about the extended range of canister. Whilst its historically accurate that canister (particularly heavy canister) could carry farther than normally programmed into computer games there is little evidence that historically it was fired at anything like its potential range in battle.

    The reasons for this are many and varied, but from a purely human angle batteries tended to view canister as a projectile of last resort. It was used at close range to protect the battery from being overrun or to deliver the coup de gras to extremely tempting targets such as infantry squares.

    Other reasons based on various testimonials:
    1) Limited visibility.
    2) Excessive spread reducing effect.
    3) Intervening friends or obstacles. e.g.the risk of friendly fire given points #1 & #2
    4) Damage to the barrel of the gun.
    5) Limited availability.
    6) Conservation for a crisis.

    The French artillery mention a concept they called 'The Mad Minute'(in French of course). This was triggered by the announcement of a crisis (perhaps the battery was coming under direct assault) and resulted in a frantic short term increase in the firepower of a battery in which canister would be employed and the guns fired without going through the full loading process of running the guns forward to their marks. It was reckoned that this would double the normal rate of fire for a battery and expend its entire local stock of canister and grape etc. But would leave the battery exhausted and ineffective for some time afterwards.

    The British do not mention an equivalent by name, but anyone who has read Mercers journal will be familiar with the sketch showing the final positions of the guns from his battery by the end of the battle and recognise that at some point his gunners must have gone through a similar 'mad minute' event, possibly on several occasions during the multiple assaults on their position which resulted in the guns ending up in a confuse huddle on the reverse slope of the ridge.
    Last edit: 2 years 6 months ago by Didz.
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    2 years 6 months ago #231 by mcaryf

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  • Replied by mcaryf on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    Hi Reb, Rob and Didz
    Thank you for your various replies. I am pleased at least to have generated a little bit of discussion even if none of you really agree with me.

    To respond to the points about skirmishers - I understand Reb to say that he does not know how he would get a Brigade level command for getting each Btn. to create a skirmish unit. That is a good argument so I will experiment using his suggestion of switching a Brigade into various stances and see if that has my desired effect of rapidly creating several skirmisher units without creating too many undesired effects! Looking at Rob's doubts about the historical validity of having skirmisher units operating some way off from the parent unit. I suggest you consider the garrison of La Haye Sainte. These were actually skirmish companies spun off from the 2nd KGL Light Battalion and were operating far in front of their parent unit with the intention of breaking up any French attack. Probably for purely game mechanics reasons these 3 units are treated as if they are tiny battalions rather than skirmishers. similarly the 95th rifles unit in the sandpit was in reality a couple of Companies from the 1st Btn. Again I assume for game implementation reasons the rest of the battalion which historically was over the ridge behind Rogers' Battery has been omitted from the battle. For D'Erlons' attack some historians have estimated that 20% or more of his strength came forward as skirmishers in front of the advancing columns. Thus from a historic perspective there is nothing wrong in skirmishers operating several hundred yards away from their parent nor in there being large numbers of skirmishers deployed. I do agree that that the AI in some standard scenarios can be rendered ineffective by turning back artillery which you know is coming but that could be rectified relatively easily by the designers building in more variants to the approaches used by attacking forces and setting up escort units to guard artillery and repeat orders for the artillery to move in case it has been diverted.

    Coming to the question of canister and my request for an order on the tool bar for the battery commander to be able to select munition type. There is the standard command Asetammo:canister which will do this so I would have thought it would not be a problem to add it to the toolbar. i would also have thought that it would be well within the normal command duty for a battery commander to tell his troops what ammunition to use as well as what target to select.

    The topic of the effective range of canister is a popular one on many internet forums but there cannot be any real doubt that the game's standard limit of 200 yards is well below what it really was. The fact that the French and others developed two types of canister (heavy and light) with heavy typically being used at ranges about 200 yards longer than light clearly demonstrates that a total limit of 200 yards is inappropriate. I do not expect or ask the designers to change it because it does have an impact on other design decisions e.g. the strange choice to have to shoot people out of buildings rather than the historic forcing of doors and windows. I personally would like the facility for a battery commander to select munitions because I have a mod that extends the standard range of canister, but, even disregarding whether increased range is desirable, I think it is a command that historically should be available at battery level in the standard game.

    Finally to address some of Didz's point about visibility - if that was limited by smoke etc and I was a battery commander thinking the enemy might be approaching I would be more inclined to fire some canister into the smoke than a round shot. Mark Adkin in the Waterloo Companion estimated that the French Grand Battery had about 3,000 rounds of canister ammunition available to it so I do not think it would have needed to have been conserved if they had been given a decent chance to use it.

    This is a link to an interesting article by historian Nick Lipscombe about the development of Shrapnel which also discusses the effectiveness of Case shot,
    www.nick-lipscombe.net/Shrapnel%20Shell%20Paper.pdf

    Regards

    Mike
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    2 years 6 months ago #232 by DarkRob

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  • Replied by DarkRob on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    Sometimes it isn't about what happened historically. Sometimes it's just about what works best for the game. There is no doubt that in the games current state skirmishers are overpowered. I've proved it time and time again. And the overpowered aspect is largely based on the sheer numbers of skirmishers you can kick out, and then being able to send them anywhere. I'm no history expert, and maybe skirmishers were used like that sometimes. It still doesn't change the fact that it's broken in game because the AI wasn't designed to have any real anwser to that level of skirmisher abuse. So creating a brigade level command to kick out skirmishers to abusive levels even faster doesn't seem to me to be the way to go as far as game balance goes.

    Sometimes what happened historically doesn't always translate well to a video game. A 750 yard canister range in this game seems extreme to me, especially given the level of havock I'm able to raise with artillery at the standard 200 yard canister range in the game. Three times that distance? My Lord, my artillery would rule the world.
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    2 years 6 months ago #233 by RebBugler

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  • mcaryf wrote:
    Coming to the question of canister and my request for an order on the tool bar for the battery commander to be able to select munition type. There is the standard command Asetammo:canister which will do this so I would have thought it would not be a problem to add it to the toolbar. i would also have thought that it would be well within the normal command duty for a battery commander to tell his troops what ammunition to use as well as what target to select.

    Regards

    Mike


    Sorry, misread your post, thought you were requesting an EVERYTHING CANISTER button, thus my initial reply.

    Sure, officer level 'Change Munitions' commands can be added to the toolbar. Frankly, they were scheduled to be added long ago but at that time spaces available on the toolbar were gone and I just plain forgot to address this later. When I get around to this, I'm busy with another project presently, I plan on including the 'Change Munitions' buttons on a popup window initiated from the resupply button. If anyone has any other preferences for said button post your suggestions here.

    Expanded Toolbar - Grog Waterloo
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    2 years 6 months ago #234 by DarkRob

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    2 years 6 months ago #235 by mcaryf

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  • Replied by mcaryf on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    Hi Reb

    That is great - I will look forward to it as it will save me a lot of clicks!

    I had a try putting all of D'Erlons call onto all out attack at the beginning of the standard entire army Waterloo scenario. The result was that two brigades out of 8 threw out two sets of skirmishers each from one battalion with strengths of 50 and 56 men in each case. The brigades were the ones nearest to enemy forces at LHS and Frischermont.

    It was not obvious to me why that particular size of skirmisher unit was selected and I doubt that I will pursue this option further as the the attack command caused the brigades to start moving in different directions. I guess I will just have to slow the game speed when I want to set up a large skirmish screen to advance in front of an attack.

    Regards

    Mike

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    2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #236 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog

    mcaryf wrote: Looking at Rob's doubts about the historical validity of having skirmisher units operating some way off from the parent unit. I suggest you consider the garrison of La Haye Sainte. These were actually skirmish companies spun off from the 2nd KGL Light Battalion and were operating far in front of their parent unit with the intention of breaking up any French attack. Probably for purely game mechanics reasons these 3 units are treated as if they are tiny battalions rather than skirmishers. similarly the 95th rifles unit in the sandpit was in reality a couple of Companies from the 1st Btn. Again I assume for game implementation reasons the rest of the battalion which historically was over the ridge behind Rogers' Battery has been omitted from the battle.

    I think this outlines perfectly why I have so little faith in historians, and in particular British historians and their accounts of the battle. I realised over forty years ago that the majority of British accounts of the battle could not be trusted and were essentially based on early propaganda and plaquerised from one book to the next without actually being researched or verified.

    That's really why in my determination to understand what really happened at Waterloo i stopped accepting anything in a published account at face value and began going back to sources and researching or at least verifying what the historians claim happened.

    As far as the defence of La Haie Sainte is concerned there are several accounts that detail the composition of the garrison and the support it received over the course of the day, and they differ in detail as some of the witnesses were only present part of the time, and others were only aware of part of the activity around the building.

    However, the most reliable account is probably that of Major Georg Baring himself, the commander of the 2nd Light Battalion KGL and of the garrison of La Haie Sainte. He was fortunate to have survived the entire battle up to the point when the farm fell and so gives a lucid account of the sequence of events that occurred in its defence including the troops that fell under his command. The only slight gap in his account was around mid-day when the surprise attack of Crabbe's Cuirassiers caught him and part of his garrison in the open wheat field west of the farm and he was forced to abandon his command and ride up into the main Allied position to avoid capture. But it is unlikely that the composition of the garrison changed at all in his absence.

    So, he tells us that the entire of his battalion (2nd Light Battalion KGL) were assigned to the garrison of La Haie Sainte with him in command both of the battalion and the farms defence. At this time the KGL battalion strength had been reduced to six companies due to a shortage of recruits.

    He goes on to state that one company of the battalion consisting of about 100 men were posted in the orchard to the south of the farm, and these were the men that interfered with the deployment of the French artillery on the rise 50 paces further south and prevented the farm coming under direct artillery fire. they remained in this position until the skirmishers of the 13e Legere suddenly appeared on the ridge crest and forced them to retire into the farmyard. His second in command was killed at this early stage.

    The 13e Legere then invested the farm, surrounding it and occupying both the wheatfield to the west and the kitchen garden to the north, effectively cutting off the garrison from supply and support. At this point he mentions that a temporary reprieve was granted by two companies from the 1st Light Battalion KGL (about 200 men) who were dispatched by the brigade to clear the kitchen garden and reopen communications.

    However, the reprieve was temporary and eventually at around 12:30 Alten ordered the entire Luneberg battalion forward to clear both the Kitchen garden and the wheat field of French infantry. This attack was entirely successful and the French were forced to abandon their positions and withdraw on their supports. During the course of which retreat the garrison led by himself sallied out through the gate into the wheatfield in order to hasten their retreat and intercept as many as possible.

    It was during this pursuit of the French infantry that Baring states he was suddenly set upon by a French cuirassier and forced to flee across the sunken road and back to the safety of the Allied positions on the ridge. Most of the Luneberg Battalion and a significant portion of the garrison that had sallied out of the farm were caught in the open in a state of disarray and either cut down, scattered or driven back up the ridge. Very few of them managed to escape and the Cuirassiers chased them right up to the sunken lane and then began to circumvent the farm overrunning the two guns of Ross' battery (not Roger's at originally stated) posted to overlook the road and its temporary barricade.

    [This then triggered the counter-attack by the Household Brigade, which drove off Crabbes Cuirassiers and then escalated to include the rest of the French cavalry and the entire Union Brigade including the Scots Grey's.]

    Baring doesn't say how long it took him to get back to his command, but at that point his depleted garrison was reinforced by 2 companies from the 1st Light Battalion (probably the same two that cleared the kitchen garden earlier), and shortly afterwards by 200 x Schutzen detached from the 5th Line Battalion KGL. (Schutzen were effectively volunteer riflemen attached to manay German regiments at the time, and usually young trainee NCO's or officers. A bit like Royal Naval midshipmen, of officer cadets. They operated outside the normal regimental system and were often attached or detached to other units.)

    So, in the final stages of the defence the garrison would have been a hybrid mix of the survivors from the 2nd Light plus detachments from the 1st Light and 5th Line Battalion. The garrison was once more cut off as soon as the cavalry battle had subsided and once again Alten tried to re-open communications with it, by sending forward the 5th Line Battalion, with predicable and well documented results. The inability of the Allied cavalry to prevent the farm being isolated coupled with the repeated failure of troops from the main position to keep the communications with it open eventually led to the garrison running out of ammunition despite repeated heroic messengers running the gauntlet to urge Ompteda to send more cartridges.

    So, I'm not sure this proves anything about detaching skirmishers except that detachments were made to defend vital points and supply lines etc. A more convoluted example can be found in the fluctuating composition of the garrison of Hougoumont which was constantly been supplemented and reduced as circumstances varied during the day.

    However, as a general rule skirmishers were not detached from their parent battalions and generally conformed to the movements of their parent unit. The way it works in SOW is a-historic and already easy to exploit as DarkRob has demonstrated

    mcaryf wrote: For D'Erlons' attack some historians have estimated that 20% or more of his strength came forward as skirmishers in front of the advancing columns. Thus from a historic perspective there is nothing wrong in skirmishers operating several hundred yards away from their parent nor in there being large numbers of skirmishers deployed.

    I don't really understand how one would make that assumption, but it seems plausible that the forward most skirmisher might find himself 100 paces ahead of his parent unit, as long as his supports and his reserves managed to maintain contact with it. There are diagrams in books like 'Imperial Bayonets' that explain how skirmish lines operated and most deployed in three lines each slightly denser than the first, culminating in the company reserve that would act as a rally point if the line was driven in. So, if each line was say 50 paces apart the foremost line could be up to 200 paces in advance of the main battalion.

    mcaryf wrote: The topic of the effective range of canister is a popular one on many internet forums but there cannot be any real doubt that the game's standard limit of 200 yards is well below what it really was. The fact that the French and others developed two types of canister (heavy and light) with heavy typically being used at ranges about 200 yards longer than light clearly demonstrates that a total limit of 200 yards is inappropriate. I do not expect or ask the designers to change it because it does have an impact on other design decisions e.g. the strange choice to have to shoot people out of buildings rather than the historic forcing of doors and windows. I personally would like the facility for a battery commander to select munitions because I have a mod that extends the standard range of canister, but, even disregarding whether increased range is desirable, I think it is a command that historically should be available at battery level in the standard game.

    Most wargame rules use this arbitrary limit simply to prevent the player abusing history, which is what they always do given a chance.

    If one was to allow canister to be fired at its full range potential one would need to balance this by having the quantity available limited to 2-3 minutes of fire per battle. That way the player can fire it off willy-nilly if they wish but then suffer the consequences if they need it later to defend the battery. Which would be a more historical representation of the real situation faced.

    DarkRob wrote: Sometimes it isn't about what happened historically. Sometimes it's just about what works best for the game. There is no doubt that in the games current state skirmishers are overpowered. I've proved it time and time again. And the overpowered aspect is largely based on the sheer numbers of skirmishers you can kick out, and then being able to send them anywhere.

    I agree! Historically no unit deployed more than 30% of its strength as skirmishers and depending on the tactical drills of the nation involved only about 1/3rd of the men assigned to skirmishing were actually engaged in skirmishing at any point in time. So, a 600 man battalion might at a pinch deploy a 60 strong skirmish line, with a support line of 60 and a local reserve of another 60. But the game doesn't actually model that arrangement at all.

    mcaryf wrote: I had a try putting all of D'Erlons call onto all out attack at the beginning of the standard entire army Waterloo scenario. The result was that two brigades out of 8 threw out two sets of skirmishers each from one battalion with strengths of 50 and 56 men in each case. The brigades were the ones nearest to enemy forces at LHS and Frischermont.

    Funnily enough that sounds about right. 50 men per skirmish unit would be about half a company/peleton per battalion which sounds reasonably accurate given the tactical drills for their use.
    Last edit: 2 years 6 months ago by Didz.
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    2 years 6 months ago #237 by DarkRob

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  • Replied by DarkRob on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    Great post Didz! I'm frequently amazed at how much some of you guys know about the fine details of Waterloo. Ironically, your historical accounts of how skirmishers were used are exactly the type of limitations I feel need to be placed on skirmishers in Scourge of War.
    I have no problem with the way skirmishers work on an individual basis. They get the better of it when shooting it out with enemy line infantry at the right distances. That's fine, as I said there needs to be a reason to use them in the first place so they need to be able to do something better than a regular line unit can. It only becomes a problem and only becomes abusable when you start stacking up ridiculous numbers of skirmisher units and using them in all sorts of crazy ways.

    2 simple solutions I think would go a long way in curbing their power are just as you describe above. Limit the percentage of a units strength that can be split off as skirmishers, and limit the distance they can move away from their parent unit. Those two things would make a world of difference at limiting their abuse, while still making them effective for the purpose they were used for historically. I would love to see something like this implemented in the next Scourge of War game.

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    2 years 6 months ago #238 by mcaryf

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  • Replied by mcaryf on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    Hi Didz
    Thank you for your interesting account of the defense of LHS. Clearly from your account Baring's units were effective acting as skirmishers. The unit he sent into the garden clearly performed one of Rob's favoured tactics deterring artillery from getting to close. The troops that came to reinforce him were also effectively skirmish detachments operating several hundred yards in front of their parent brigades and battalions. I think the significant point though was that these skirmishers were effectively attached to an officer. It would probably be quite a good rule for a war game to establish some penalty such as high rate of morale loss if skirmishers are too far from an officer from their own brigade or chain of command.

    Turning to canister, the French used two types heavy and light - SOW does not implement that but if it had there would be a natural conservation of the light canister as it could not be used at longer ranges so that would provide your desired reserve for last ditch defense.

    The British of course had Shrapnel as well as light canister so they too had a natural way of conserving for an emergency. I find that my own implementation of Shrapnel, which is effective at 750 yards, causes the French player to have to be much more cautious about where his troops are deployed which seems to have some support from accounts in the Peninsular War. I have not yet derived a sensible way in SOW to use it for indirect fire on the Hougoumont orchard as the British actually did but perhaps that is just as well for game balance.

    Regards

    Mike

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    2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #239 by DarkRob

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  • Replied by DarkRob on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog

    mcaryf wrote: It would probably be quite a good rule for a war game to establish some penalty such as high rate of morale loss if skirmishers are too far from an officer from their own brigade or chain of command.


    While I would like this idea for a board wargame, in a real time strategy game I don't think it's a good idea to put the burden on the player to keep all his skirmishers in a command range, especially in a game where sometimes the unit's are under control of an AI that might not care so much about keeping said units within range of their officer.
    Making it so skirmisher units simply can't move more than a specified distance away from their parent unit takes that burden off the player and simply makes it "how the game is".

    I also don't think that imposing a few common sense restrictions on skirmishers would necessarily invalidate all the tactics I've come up with for skirmishers. It might make them less abusable, but that's kind of the point. Right now skirmishers have no real restrictions or limitations at all. Everything about them is pretty much limitless.
    Last edit: 2 years 6 months ago by DarkRob.

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    2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #240 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog

    mcaryf wrote: Hi Didz
    Thank you for your interesting account of the defense of LHS. Clearly from your account Baring's units were effective acting as skirmishers.

    Hmm! I'm not sure one can claim that the garrison of La haie Sainte were acting as skirmishers per see. They were a garrison, and whilst one company was detached to occupy the Orchard it's not really clear whether they were deployed in skirmish, or close order. It's most likely that they were actually deployed to line the southern boundary wall/hedge as an outpost to protect the southern wall of the farm, especially as in the early part of the battle the barn had no doors and could easily have been rushed by a determined foe. The fact that they prevented the French deploying artillery on the rise above the orchard was I suspect a lucky accident. Baring actually makes no mention of it and so I don't think it was his intention to do so when he ordered the orchard occupied. In fact, as far as I know he was never aware that Desales had tried to deploy artillery on the rise and been driven off by his men's rifle fire. However, it was certainly a lucky break for the garrison as had the French been able to deploy even one cannon on the ridge overlooking the farm their plight would have been increased immensely. I've often wondered whether Wellington realised that the rise was too close to the orchard to allow the French to deploy artillery on it when he chose La Haie Sainte as a bastion for his centre, or whether that was again just a lucky break.

    mcaryf wrote: The unit he sent into the garden clearly performed one of Rob's favoured tactics deterring artillery from getting to close.

    As explained above, I think that might be reading too much into the history. At the time Baring had most of his garrison assigned to working parties desperately trying to prepare the farm for defence including a frantic search for anything that could be used to block the barn doors that the Irish had used for firewood during the night. It is far more likely that the detachment of one company into the orchard was just a sensible precaution against the garrison being surprised whilst it had its shirt sleeves rolled up and was humping furniture back and forth and digging loopholes in the walls. It was certainly NOT a deliberate attack on a French artillery unit, in fact Baring makes no mention of even seeing any artillery on the rise above the orchard. The first Frenchmen he mentions were the leading skirmishers from the 13e Legere, who suddenly appeared over the rise and caught his men in the orchard completely by surprise at a range of 50 paces causing them to withdraw rapidly back into the farm.

    mcaryf wrote: The troops that came to reinforce him were also effectively skirmish detachments operating several hundred yards in front of their parent brigades and battalions. I think the significant point though was that these skirmishers were effectively attached to an officer. It would probably be quite a good rule for a war game to establish some penalty such as high rate of morale loss if skirmishers are too far from an officer from their own brigade or chain of command.

    Well again we don't know that for sure. They were certainly a detachment from the 1st Light Battalion KGL, but whether they were operating as skirmishers, or deployed in skirmish order is not clear from Baring's account. One would need to find an eyewitness to their attack to verify that. My guess is that they probably launched a assault in close order, most likely in column formation. That would have been the most effective formation for driving off the French skirmishers in the Kitchen Garden, as it would have overwhelmed them with numbers. Remember the objective was to clear a path the kitchen door of the farmhouse, not engage in a protracted fire fight.

    mcaryf wrote: Turning to canister, the French used two types heavy and light - SOW does not implement that but if it had there would be a natural conservation of the light canister as it could not be used at longer ranges so that would provide your desired reserve for last ditch defense.

    Both were quite limited in quantity though, so my original point still remains valid.

    Rothenburg quotes the regulation content of French artillery limbers to be:
    12 pdr: Ready Ammo 9 x ball
    Reserve Ammunition in 3 x Caisions totaling: 48 x ball; 12 x large canister 8 x light canister Total: 213 rounds
    of which 20 were canister. Sufficient for under 10 minutes of fire, and less if it was a mad minute.

    Smaller guns were issued with a higher proportion of canister, probably due to their more expose tactical role.
    8pdr's had 30 rounds (10 x heavy 20 x Light)
    4pdr's had 50 rounds (26 x heavy 24 x light)
    6pdr Howitzers only had an 3 x rounds of heavy canister.

    So, stocks were quite limited and whilst there would have been a more general ammunition reserve, its unlikely that the proportion of ammunition transferred to a caisson would have varied. One cannot imagine a scenario where a battery was firing off all its canister and then detaching caissons for replenishment with the shot racks still full. It much more likely that ammunition expenditure was managed by the battery commander to conserve ammunition according to tactical need.

    mcaryf wrote: The British of course had Shrapnel as well as light canister so they too had a natural way of conserving for an emergency. I find that my own implementation of Shrapnel, which is effective at 750 yards, causes the French player to have to be much more cautious about where his troops are deployed which seems to have some support from accounts in the Peninsular War. I have not yet derived a sensible way in SOW to use it for indirect fire on the Hougoumont orchard as the British actually did but perhaps that is just as well for game balance.

    Shrapnell is an oddity in that it extends the canister cone to a point well beyond the muzzle of the gun, and was only available to British artillery. Ammunition allocation varied both over time (as it became more popular) and according to calibre and type of gun.

    The table in Nafzigers book quotes:
    6pdr Gun (RHA)20 x shrapnel rounds
    6pdr Gun (RA) 26 x shrapnel rounds
    9pdr Gun 12 x Shrapnel rounds
    12pdr(howitzer) 68 x Shrapnel rounds
    24pdr(howitzer) 42 x shrapnel rounds

    It's employment was tactical and dependent upon the battery commanders assessment of its likely effect compared to traditional ricochet fire, and probably his own preferences. Some batteries seem to have fired a lot of shrapnel and others hardly any. For example Whinyates Troop RHA is said to have fired 236 rounds of shrapnel at Waterloo compared to 309 roundshot. But it seems likely that Whinyate's troop were more experimental than most batteries having also been used as the experimental rocket troop in the peninsula so perhaps their officers saw more potential for the use of shrapnell than other batteries that fired next to none.

    BTW: The nominal effective range of a shrapnel shell was 2,000 yards, not 750 yards. So, once again we have a scenario where the theoretical range of a projectile was not reflected in its tactical employment. There is no way a battery would engage anything at 2,000 yards. The simple fact is that the mark 1 human eyeball could not even see a target at that range, even ignoring intervening terrain.

    I suspect the reason one cannot recreate the use of Shrapnel fired over Hougoumont into the great wood beyond is simply that the fire was limited in real life to howitzers, and SOW make no provision for howitzer fire. A long gun would not have been able to lob a shell over the buildings and drop it accurately into the wood, and SOW assumes all guns are long guns.

    Incidentally Wellington was not a great fan of shrapnel in the peninsula as he claimed it looked impressive but did very little damage. However, by 1815 the carbine balls which had been used to fill the cases had been replaced with full size musket balls, which reduced the number of projectiles but increased the lethality. So, by 1815 shrapnel in the right situation was very effective.
    Last edit: 2 years 6 months ago by Didz.

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