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Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog

2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #241 by mcaryf

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  • Replied by mcaryf on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    Thank you again for interesting replies.

    I find this site quite interesting as it has a substantial section on skirmishers with many examples of their use:

    napoleonistyka.atspace.com/infantry_tactics_4.htm#_tirailleurs_en_grande_bande

    At one point it quotes from Marshall Davout's instructions issued in 1811 concerning the deployment of skirmishers. The instruction has the skirmishing troops advancing in 3 parties some 200 paces in front of the battalion and then the two wing parties advance a further 100 paces, thus they are operating 300 paces ahead.

    Didz I did not follow your mathematics for the quantity of canister. You describe it as follows

    12 pdr: Ready Ammo 9 x ball
    Reserve Ammunition in 3 x Caissons totaling: 48 x ball; 12 x large canister 8 x light canister Total: 213 rounds
    of which 20 were canister.

    Surely if you multiply the two sets of canister by 3 you get 36 x large and 24 x light giving 60 canister rounds in total out of 213?

    I did not mention Prussian use of Skirmishers in my previous post. Their standard practice by 1815 was to deploy battalions in 3 ranks and those in the third rank would all have been trained as skirmishers. Thus at least a third of their men could be deployed as skirmishers but in fact a further 20 - 30 in each of the other two ranks would also have been trained so the true skirmish capability would have been around 40% of the unit.

    According to both Adkin and Lipscombe's article to which I gave a link earlier the effective range of Shrapnel was very much overstated by writers at the beginning of the 19th century and 2,000m was unrealistic although theoretically possible. Of course it would not just be the absolute distance that would be the problem but also the degree of smoke on the battlefield. I find that even restricting my shrapnel range to 750 yards the initial deployment positions of some of D'Erlons corps are within Shrapnel range and until I changed the starting positions for my scenarios these units suffered significant losses. In practice the smoke generated by the Grand Battery would have made it hard for the British to see well enough but I do not think the game mechanics could or should attempt to model that so I just re-positioned the French troops beyond 750 yards.

    I do actually restrict the use of "my" Shrapnel munition to British howitzers of which there are obviously only a limited number on the field although there was one battery entirely equipped with howitzers which Wellington specifically deployed to defend Hougoumant. I compensate that restriction to some extent by giving the British guns comparable canister ranges to the equivalent French weapon although I am aware that the British did not historically have heavy canister. Anybody playing with "my" artillery mod as the French has to be constantly wary of a sudden build up of losses in a unit that has come into range of a British howitzer although I have given the Shrapnel munition a slower rate of fire and a higher percentage of misfires which would be historically correct. I did publish a version of my artillery mod about a year ago but I am still experimenting with tweaking various values - I think the published one has a slightly longer range for Shrapnel than I now use in my own games.

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edit: 2 years 6 months ago by mcaryf.

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    2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #242 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    I MADE A MISTAKE.
    My apologies for any confusion caused yesterday, but I realised this morning that I made a mistake in my previous post, which I have since corrected. However, I'll document it here for everyone's information.

    In an earlier post @mcaryf mentions Roger's Battery and I made the mistake (working from pure memory) of assuming that he was talking about the battery positioned on the ridge above La Haie Sainte. However quite by chance i happened to decide to recheck Barbero's account of the attack of Crabbe's Cuirassiers mainly to confirm that the Luneberg Battalion they destroyed was a light battalion, and I discovered that the battery I had described as Roger's Battery was in fact Ross' Battery. In fact, there is a rather nice little sketch on page 224 of Siborne's book of Waterloo Letters which shows very clearly the positions of Ross' six 9pdr guns above La Haie Sainte at the start of the battle.

    Roger's Battery was much farther to the Allied left attached to Picton's Division and was positioned on the forward slope of the ridge just behind the hedges of the Ohain Road most likely somewhere in advance of the junction between Kempt's and Packs brigades as he would have needed to be far enough to the left to clear the obstruction of the wooded knoll just above the sandpit. In fact, in his letter to Siborne he mentions in passing that Picton was shot and fell from his horse close to one of his batteries guns, so that gives a rough idea of where his battery was during D'Erlon's attack.

    Ross' battery was divided and positioned really badly, and it appears with little real thought, and Ross' clearly wasn't very happy about it and his letters tend to reflect this attitude. Both he and Roger's appear to be very defensive about the role and suffering of their respective batteries. Ross tells Siborne that right from the opening of the battle his four guns positioned on the forward slope of the ridge overlooking the farm of La Haie Sainte came under heavy enemy artillery fire. Which almost immediately 'disabled' three of them, and killed several men and horses. Fire which by orders of Wellington he was specifically refused permission to return.

    If one measures the distance of these four guns from the position of the French artillery on the ridge opposite its also obvious that they were unfortunately positioned almost exactly in the centre of what would have been the beaten zone for any French round shot fired in the direction of the Allied centre either at the ridge behind them or in an attempt to hit the farm. So, they were basically sitting in the middle of a coconut shy getting pelted by everything within range and unable to do anything but stand there and take it. One can understand why Ross was not happy and reticent about saying much about it.

    And just to rub salt in his wounds when Crabbe's Cuirassiers overran the Luneberg Battalion his battery had no way of escaping as the sunken lane (he calls it The Hollow Way) behind him prevented the easy withdrawal of his guns and was already jammed with all manner of carts, limbers, horses and wounded men trying to shelter from the artillery bombardment, and so his guns were overrun by the French cavalry, many of his gunners were hunted down and killed by French cavalry and the rest scattered without really contributing much to the battle at all. Something which he clearly was careful not to admit in his letters.

    The two guns from Ross' battery which were deployed on the Charleroi Road itself were in an even worse position in many respects. They were there presumably to guard the abbatis which had been constructed across the road at the mouth of the defile that led to the central crossroads. In theory, that made sense as two guns loaded with canister would have made a mess of anything trying to advance straight up the road and over the barricade.

    However, the problem was that because the guns were actually deployed on the road they themselves were in the defile, and so could only really engage an enemy that was stupid enough to advance directly up the road. And contrary to most British historical accounts the French were not that stupid. What actually happened was a bit of a farce as far as these two guns were concerned.

    The French initially sent a small column (possibly from the 13e Legere, or one of Quiots Battalions) up the road, but even before it reached the Farm it was fired upon by the riflemen of the 95th from the sandpit, who were also charged with defending the abbatis. This caused the column to immediately veer off the road and attack the sandpit, effectively masking it from the fire of the two guns in the defile.

    To make matters worse, faced with several hundred determined Frenchmen heading their way the riflemen in the sandpit (it was actually a quarry) abandoned their positions and retreated back up the slope. Firstly to the hedgerow lining the slope above the sandpit, then to the wooded mound behind that, and finally all the way back to their main body beyond the Ohain Road.

    The French followed, occupying the sandpit and the wooded mound with their own skirmishers and proceeding to engage the close order troops which had now moved forward to defend the road line. in doing so they were now overlooking the defile where the two guns from Ross' battery were deployed and were able to fire down at the gunners on the roadway beneath them. Not surprisingly to use Ross' words these guns were quickly 'disabled', which I think in this instance meant that the gunners ran for it.

    [Note: The term 'disabled' is interesting and is used by both Roger's and Ross to indicate a situation which prevented the gun being fired, rather than my initial assumption that it meant the gun had been damaged. In fact, it could mean both, or either, and one finds that in the correspondence 'disabled' guns miraculously return to service, and I suspect the term 'disabled' is a cryptic and accepted neutral term employed by artillery officers to cover a multitude of events that might prevent a gun being fired.]

    It is interesting to note that if the guns were abandoned then they clearly were not spiked, nor were they carried off by the French, and Ross claims later to have taken his three remaining guns over to the right in order to participate in the defeat of the Imperial Guard and the pursuit.

    Likewise Rogers account is also somewhat defencive. In fact, it sounds as though initially he did not respond to Sibornes questionnaire at all, and only did so later when he discovered that one of junior officers (Captain Maule) had already done so, and the impression given is that he was worried what Maule might have said, and was trying to put the record straight give his own more acceptable account of events.

    In fact, I've read Maule's account and he doesn't actually say anything that I consider controversial, but Roger's (who presumably didn't see Maules letter, and must have heard about it second hand) seems to think that Maule may have suggested that he (Roger's) had lost some of his guns. He is in fact very careful in his letter to correct any suggestion that, any of his guns were lost, or even abandoned during the battle. He admits that one panicking gun captain on seeing Picton shot and his brigade withdrawing in disarray before the French assault did foolishly spike his gun before making his escape, and two other guns had to be temporarily abandoned due to a lack of limber horses. But he makes the point that the spiked gun was eventually recovered and returned to the artillery park in the rear, and that the battery was eventually moved to a position to the right of the Charleroi Road overlooking La Haie Sainte where it still had five guns and later took part in the defeat of the Imperial Guard and the final pursuit with all five of its guns remaining, even though two of them had trouble keeping pace due to the shortage of horses.

    So, he is clearly determined to make the point crystal clear for the record that none of his guns were lost or abandoned. Whereas the reticent Ross admits that three of his were, albeit with good cause.

    Incidently: On a related by different topic its worth noting that Crabbe was not a cavalry officer, but is described as a Belgian ADC, (I think he was attached to Ney's staff), and he was on a special mission along with a detachment of 200 French Cuirassiers to scout and occupy 'The Spur'. Which is a key feature of the battlefield which is recognised by everyone that was actually there, but almost universally ignored by historians. Crabbe and his escort of cuirassiers were ordered to set up an observation on the top of the spur, from which one could see virtually the entire length of the allied lines, and no doubt his job was to report back on what was hidden from the French positions opposite. However, it appears that whilst performing this role he witnessed the advance of the Luneberg Battalion and ordered his detachment to attack it effectively setting in motion a whole cascade of events culminating in the attack of the Scots Greys, and overrunning Ross' battery in the process.

    Another argument perhaps for the need to allow detachments in SOW. But not just of skirmishers.

    mcaryf wrote: Thank you again for interesting replies.

    I find this site quite interesting as it has a substantial section on skirmishers with many examples of their use:

    napoleonistyka.atspace.com/infantry_tactics_4.htm#_tirailleurs_en_grande_bande

    Yes! It's a really good site.

    mcaryf wrote: At one point it quotes from Marshall Davout's instructions issued in 1811 concerning the deployment of skirmishers. The instruction has the skirmishing troops advancing in 3 parties some 200 paces in front of the battalion and then the two wing parties advance a further 100 paces, thus they are operating 300 paces ahead.

    Yes! Nafziger quotes from the same notes and includes a diagram on page 114 showing how a skirmisher company would have deployed.

    mcaryf wrote: Didz I did not follow your mathematics for the quantity of canister. You describe it as follows

    12 pdr: Ready Ammo 9 x ball
    Reserve Ammunition in 3 x Caissons totaling: 48 x ball; 12 x large canister 8 x light canister Total: 213 rounds
    of which 20 were canister.

    Surely if you multiply the two sets of canister by 3 you get 36 x large and 24 x light giving 60 canister rounds in total out of 213?

    Quite Correct, maths is not my strong point. It should have been 20 per caisson.

    mcaryf wrote: I did not mention Prussian use of Skirmishers in my previous post. Their standard practice by 1815 was to deploy battalions in 3 ranks and those in the third rank would all have been trained as skirmishers. Thus at least a third of their men could be deployed as skirmishers but in fact a further 20 - 30 in each of the other two ranks would also have been trained so the true skirmish capability would have been around 40% of the unit.

    That was quite common right across the board. The Austrian's used a similar ratio. However, one should not make the mistake of assuming that all of these men would actually be employed in the active role of skirmishing. The three line system was also universal, so at most only about 1/3 of the men detached as skirmishers would actively be engaged in skirmishing the rest acted as supports/replacements and reserves.

    Hence my comment earlier that 50-60 men per battalion sounded about right.

    e.g. 600 men in a battalion = 200 men detached as skirmishers of which about a third or 66 odd men might actually be engaged in skirmishing .

    mcaryf wrote: According to both Adkin and Lipscombe's article to which I gave a link earlier the effective range of Shrapnel was very much overstated by writers at the beginning of the 19th century and 2,000m was unrealistic although theoretically possible. Of course it would not just be the absolute distance that would be the problem but also the degree of smoke on the battlefield. I find that even restricting my shrapnel range to 750 yards the initial deployment positions of some of D'Erlons corps are within Shrapnel range and until I changed the starting positions for my scenarios these units suffered significant losses. In practice the smoke generated by the Grand Battery would have made it hard for the British to see well enough but I do not think the game mechanics could or should attempt to model that so I just re-positioned the French troops beyond 750 yards.

    Exactly! my point being that when writing wargame rules or coding computer wargames the theoretical performance of weapons is less important that their practical and historical employment. Thus if you allow canister to be fired at its theoretically effective range, without actually taking into account its historical use players will simply abuse the hell out of it. As in fact they do in SOW.
    Last edit: 2 years 6 months ago by Didz.

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    2 years 6 months ago #243 by mcaryf

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

    Thank you for some further interesting material.

    I think one slight area of confusion in my posts is that I tend to think of the term skirmisher unit to reflect a small unit detached from his parent battalion to perform a fighting role typically in an advanced position. However, I think some of this debate has been partly about the skirmish formation where men in the unit are fighting whilst relatively widespread. Thus I have been referring to Baring's unit in the garden at LHS as skirmishing whilst they might actually have been as close to each other as if they were in a line. Of course you cannot sensibly talk about a formation when a unit is actually inside a building firing via windows and loopholes. I would say that is closer to skirmishing where the theory at least is that a man will seek convenient cover near his area of deployment. I believe some training drills for skirmishers would have them specific distances apart such as 6 meters but I guess these distanceswould have been approximations depending on the terrain and the key points were to give the skirmisher a greater degree of personal choice about his actions whilst covering a much wider area of ground and presenting less of a target to the enemy.

    Regards

    Mike

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    2 years 6 months ago #244 by Didz

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

    If you are using the term 'skirmisher' to refer to detached units operating independently beyond the chain of command of their parent unit, then Baring's company in the orchard is a bad example. The orchard itself was adjacent to the southern wall of the farm and easily accessible via the barn door, so the company was hardly detached or operating independently and in fact Baring was with it along with his second in command. It was in fact nothing more than a standard precaution used by any battalion to screen their main body.

    I'm trying to think of an example of an independent detachment, but for the moment nothing springs to mind. As I said Crabbe had a force of some 200 x cuirassiers attached to him as an escort for his special mission. Who were operating away from their parent regiments, but not really independently as such because of course Crabbe was in command of them.

    Likewise the 2 x companies of the 1st Light Battalion KGL and the Schutzen from the 5th Line Battalion that were sent to reinforce Barings battalion were not really acting independently, but were actually assigned to Baring's force.

    I can't actually think of an instance where a battalion detached a company or section of men and sent them off to act alone and unsupervised. The French whilst often in the habit of forming special teams and task groups usually did so under the explicit command of a senior officer or ADC, and usually with the authority of the army commander or a very senior officer.

    One obvious reason why such detachments could not be made without careful preparation is simply that reducing the size of a battalion, and detaching elements from its organisation could and would have had direct implications on its ability to carry out its battlefield role effectively.

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    2 years 6 months ago #245 by mcaryf

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

    A skirmisher unit would quite probably be company sized. the average strength of a French battalion at Waterloo was 520 and during this era the French had 6 Companies per battalion with a Captain and a Lieutenant. Thus a French skirmisher unit could typically be commanded by a Captain. The Allied army was more varied in terms of numbers of companies with some battalions having 10 companies. The average size of Allied battalions was larger but probably there would still be the equivalent of a captain to command a skirmish unit so they would not be leaderless. The Germans/Prussians were beginning to build up their reputation for the effectiveness of their NCO's for command in smaller units which would be demonstrated in both World Wars.

    Regards

    Mike

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    2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #246 by Didz

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

    mcaryf wrote: A skirmisher unit would quite probably be company sized. the average strength of a French battalion at Waterloo was 520 and during this era the French had 6 Companies per battalion with a Captain and a Lieutenant. Thus a French skirmisher unit could typically be commanded by a Captain. The Allied army was more varied in terms of numbers of companies with some battalions having 10 companies. The average size of Allied battalions was larger but probably there would still be the equivalent of a captain to command a skirmish unit so they would not be leaderless. The Germans/Prussians were beginning to build up their reputation for the effectiveness of their NCO's for command in smaller units which would be demonstrated in both World Wars.

    From my own reading Captains were rarely trusted to act on their own initiative, contrary to the impression given by Bernard Cornwell with his Sharpe novels. As I said in my last post independent detachments from the main units were rare and only really occurred under the authority and control of a senior officer. Even detached companies of riflemen and schutzen were usually attached to another battalion rather than allowed to function independently at the whim of their junior officers.

    The main reason for this as stated earlier was that special arrangements would need to be made at Brigade or Divisional level to ensure that the rump units left short of men by the detachments were still able to function without them, or were protected from the effects of their absence.

    What I think is lacking in SOW is the ability for the player to make such adjustments to the OOB prior to the commencement of an action. For instance, it should be possible for the player to choose to combine all the grenadier companies from a French Division to form a Grenadier battalion, even though to do so would weaken the combat effectiveness of both the parent battalions and the grenadiers.

    Likewise splitting up a rifle battalion and attaching its six companies to six different line battalions should be possible, prior to the start of a battle to spread the effectiveness of the baker rifle across the formation, but with suitable reductions in their effectiveness and morale.
    Last edit: 2 years 6 months ago by Didz.

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    2 years 6 months ago #247 by mcaryf

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

    Actually it is not too difficult to change the relative size of units in SOW Waterloo scenarios. The numbers used are held in a spreadsheet called scenario.csv in each of the dedicated scenario folders. It is essential to adjust strength values if you try to follow on from one battle to the next like, say QB leading to Waterloo. I do it all the time because when I fight QB or Ligny I might end up with several battalions with very few men so I typically average the losses out in a division. Also if a gun crew has been wiped out or captured then I usually reduce all the other crews so that each gun has at least 15 men.

    The standard scenarios for QB and Waterloo are a bit strange as for example most of the French units that fought at both QB and Waterloo are given the same starting strength as they historically had at Waterloo i.e the strengths used in QB are too low as their real QB losses are already added in. On the other hand many of the Allied units such as some of the British Guards are again given the same starting strength in both battles but this time it is the actual starting value for QB thus the Waterloo number for the Guards is much too high with one unit being over 1,000 when it should be around 700. Obviously the testers have play balanced the scenarios so it is not worth asking them to change it now, but, for my attempts to reproduce the campaign, I have modified the OOBs to what I think they were. Of course different historians will give you different numbers but I usually use Mark Adkin just to be consistent with a single source.

    Regards

    Mike

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    2 years 6 months ago #248 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    Sounds odd. Either they didn't research the starting strengths rigorously enough or as you say it was deliberate inaccuracy for the benefit of play balance.

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    2 years 6 months ago #249 by RebBugler

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  • Didz wrote: Sounds odd. Either they didn't research the starting strengths rigorously enough or as you say it was deliberate inaccuracy for the benefit of play balance.


    Neither, simply oversight. The campaign OOB was designed first and was not adjusted for the pre-Waterloo engagement losses. I didn't query about this until it was too late as I was organizing the Quatre Bras OOB to design its scenarios.

    Switching topics...Got the officer 'Select Munitions' buttons window done and tested, patch coming soon.

    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)
    The following user(s) said Thank You: mcaryf

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    2 years 6 months ago #250 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    If it was a simple oversight it could easily have been corrected with a patch. It's not like the pre-battle strengths and unit adjustments are unknown

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    2 years 6 months ago #251 by RebBugler

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  • Didz wrote: If it was a simple oversight it could easily have been corrected with a patch. It's not like the pre-battle strengths and unit adjustments are unknown


    I obviously misled with my answer, meant to infer a simple answer, not a simple oversight...If that makes sense. And not a simple fix with a patch since all twenty scenarios were designed, tested and scored according to those numbers.

    Expanded Toolbar - Grog Waterloo
    Bugles & Flags Gettysburg - Toolbar, Flags, Scenarios and more...
    __________________________________
    In remembrance:
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    2 years 6 months ago #252 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    So it was a design error. Someone forgot to check the historical strengths of the units at the start of each action and adjust the scenario OOB's accordingly.

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    2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #253 by mcaryf

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

    I did not intend you to understand that I thought the developers had deliberately changed the strength values for design reasons. I think it was a simple mistake that resulted in the same strengths being used and once they had developed and tested the scenarios using those strengths it could upset the play balance if they changed them significantly. It can be quite confusing to create an "accurate" OOB as some historical accounts and web pages quote the strengths at the start of the campaign whilst others do it for Waterloo and others do it for the starting forces at both Ligny and QB because there were other casualties on the day before those battles. Not only are there different battles to consider but there are different numbers quoted for the same battles from different sources e.g. some sources quote numbers just for men excluding officers and others are using different historic records. Thus it is not surprising that mistakes and inconsistencies can creep in. I can send you the OOB files I have created for my campaign versions of Ligny and QB if you would like. There is an added complication for those in that Napoleon reallocated some units between Corps after Ligny, some guns were lost by both the Prussians and the Allies in the two early battles and some officers were killed or wounded so you cannot easily create SOW OOB's that track through from the first two battle to the second two.

    One of the "difficulty" factors that you can adjust for the game adds or subtracts 10% or 20% from your or your opponent's side. The difference from the historical values that I identified would only assist the Allies by about 6% at Waterloo. The impact on the French at QB is a bit greater with their strength reduced by about 14% so if you give the French side at QB +10% it would not be too far out but you might then be earning too many points by winning objectives.

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edit: 2 years 6 months ago by mcaryf.

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    2 years 6 months ago #254 by RebBugler

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  • Update, version 5.6...

    -'Munitions Select' commands added to artillery officers' toolbars

    Click on the resupply button to find and use this function. A window will appear at the selection point with the four munitions options on each side of the resupply command, as pictured below...


    Expanded Toolbar - Grog Waterloo
    Bugles & Flags Gettysburg - Toolbar, Flags, Scenarios and more...
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    John Bonin "2nd Texas Infantry" (1977 - 2012)
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    2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #255 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    Perhaps I have a rather simplistic attitude towards historical wargames, but as far as I'm concerned the objective should be to recreate the conditions of the historical battle/campaign as accurately as possible. It's what I sought to do in my tabletop games and I expect developers of historical computer wargames to do the same.

    So, whilst I can understand the need to adjust troops strengths from one battle to the next in the context of a campaign to allow for variations in the outcomes of previous actions I would expect the one off scenarios to have 100% accurate OOB's based on the known historical troops available.

    Likewise I would have liked to see a lot more research into the actual terrain which at present seems to have been lifted from a school boys atlas rather than any of the more accurate maps available, and as such makes nonsense of many of the important tactical aspects of the battles.
    Last edit: 2 years 6 months ago by Didz.

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    2 years 6 months ago #256 by mcaryf

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

    Many thanks for the munition selection enhancement to the Grog Toolbar it works perfectly and helps make artillery a real killing machine truly the master of the battlefield.

    One other query for you - why is it that an officer can put all his cavalry squadrons into skirmish formation but when you control an individual squadron there is no skirmish command at the unit level?

    Regards

    Mike

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    2 years 5 months ago #257 by RebBugler

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  • mcaryf wrote: Hi Reb

    Many thanks for the munition selection enhancement to the Grog Toolbar it works perfectly and helps make artillery a real killing machine truly the master of the battlefield.

    One other query for you - why is it that an officer can put all his cavalry squadrons into skirmish formation but when you control an individual squadron there is no skirmish command at the unit level?

    Regards

    Mike


    Not sure why the squadron level skirmish formation wasn't included, there is a convenient available space for it next to the other formations. Should I consider this a request?

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    2 years 5 months ago #258 by mcaryf

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  • Replied by mcaryf on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    Hi Reb
    I have not really tried out the usefulness of cavalry in skirmish mode yet so I would not classify it as a request. I had wondered whether it had not been implemented because cavalry might be rather ineffective in this mode. I will try it out over the next few days. In the meanwhile I am interested to know if others use cavalry in this formation. The manual says it is a useful formation to delay enemy infantry and I imagine that it might make cavalry less vulnerable to canister.

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    2 years 5 months ago - 2 years 5 months ago #259 by Didz

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  • Replied by Didz on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    My understanding is that cavalry skirmishers were mainly used to screen the movement of troops and to fend off enemy scouts during a march. You very rarely read of them being deployed during a major engagement as they weren't very effective against massed formations. They certainly would not have hampered the movement of enemy infantry as suggested by the game developers as they posed no threat of shock action, in fact, about the only thing they would do ironically is warn the infantry of the existence of their parent unit.

    There are journals from Waterloo that mention the detachment of small units of cavalry (literally one or two men) who would ride up and fire into the Allied squares at close range in an attempt to provoke them to return the fire whilst the rest of their squadron held back waiting to charge. But I wouldn't class these men as skirmishers, just insanely brave. The German squares quickly countered them by ordering their Schutzen detachments to shoot them down, without wasting a full volley.
    Last edit: 2 years 5 months ago by Didz.

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    2 years 5 months ago #260 by mcaryf

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

    Some historians think that the French would have done better to try to hold the Prussians back whilst they were still in Bois de Paris - I am not sure how that would have worked with cavalry. In fact the SOW game engine does seem to allow cavalry to be effective and melee in woodland although I am not sure if either side gets a terrain bonus. Looking at the SOW formation files cavalry does get a reduction in melee effectiveness if it is in skirmish formation. It seems to make sense to me if I give myself a house rule that I can only use my own cavalry to melee in skirmish formation in woodland. I will experiment with that.

    Regards

    Mike

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    2 years 5 months ago - 2 years 5 months ago #261 by Didz

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

    mcaryf wrote: Some historians think that the French would have done better to try to hold the Prussians back whilst they were still in Bois de Paris - I am not sure how that would have worked with cavalry.

    Some historians are idiots.

    I have actually wargamed that scenario, and it was hopeless. It's true that the cavalry can delay the advanced guard of the Prussian Army for a while (as indeed they did), though obviously not in the woods themselves as it completely undermines all the tactical advantages that cavalry have over infantry.

    I found I was able to prevent the Prussian infantry debouching from the Bois de Paris merely by demonstrating aggressively in the open ground to the west. No Prussian infantry was willing to try and move across the open ground with French cavalry hovering menacingly around them.

    However, this was only a short-term advantage. Eventually. the Prussians managed to bring up some artillery, which began to make things uncomfortable, and finally their Corps cavalry appeared to neutralise the threat and unable to match their numbers I was forced to give ground.

    A more sensible line of defence would have been to defend the Lasne Brook further to the east. The Prussians had trouble getting across this defile even without any opposition from the French. Had the banks been defended it would have been a nightmare for the Prussians to cross.
    Last edit: 2 years 5 months ago by Didz.

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    2 years 5 months ago #262 by Jack ONeill

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  • RB,

    Am totally digging the 5.6 Bar, but have a question - Where does one put their own "User Scenarios"? I have tried renaming the stock ones and putting them in the single Scenario folder we now have but to no avail. Thoughts?

    Jack B)

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    2 years 5 months ago #263 by DarkRob

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

    Jack ONeill wrote: RB,

    Am totally digging the 5.6 Bar, but have a question - Where does one put their own "User Scenarios"? I have tried renaming the stock ones and putting them in the single Scenario folder we now have but to no avail. Thoughts?

    Jack B)

    You shouldn't have to. The newest Grog toolbar comes with the stock scenarios already in the User Scenarios tab.
    (The scenarios tab is simply the user scenarios tab renamed and the waterloo battles tab eliminated. This was done to stop players from trying to play through the waterloo battles tab while using the grog toolbar, which caused the game to crash and made many aspects of the grog toolbar not work at all)
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    2 years 5 months ago - 2 years 5 months ago #264 by Jack ONeill

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  • Okay, guess I have to take the time to explain this -

    Since there is now no "User Scenarios" tab/section/whatever at the start of the game, (while using RB's excellent 5.6 toolbar :cheer: ), "WHERE" does the aspiring modder place His/Her/it's personally written Scenarios so one can play them? In the not too distant past, many of us renamed the in-game scenarios so we didn't have to play them in order, but just liked to play certain ones. (One of my fav's from SOWGB was Barksdale's Attack at the Peach Orchard - 2nd Day.) Another situation where renaming is in order is the "Whole Army" scenario, where a simple renaming allowed the player to pick a unit within the army, rather than using the whole army itself. The fabulous "Blenheim" Mod allowed this, as I didn't want to be Marlborough or Tallard, but was happy to be Eugene, Cutts, or Max Emmanuel.

    So, with the greatest respect to my good friend RB, how do we do it? I've tried a couple of versions, but no joy.

    Jack B)

    ...and yes, I still wear sunglasses all the time...

    Note - I am posting all this here only because it directly relates to RB's toolbar. Otherwise, I'd have run my face somewhere else more appropriate in regards to Mods and Scenarios.

    ...and no, I still can't type...

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    Last edit: 2 years 5 months ago by Jack ONeill.
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    2 years 5 months ago - 2 years 5 months ago #265 by RebBugler

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  • Hey Jack

    The Scenarios button is now User Scenarios. All scenarios are accessed through the Scenarios button. All stock scenarios are now included with the Grog Toolbar because they crashed when played through the Waterloo Scenarios window using the Grog Toolbar. So, if you design a scenario, copy it to the Grog Toolbar Scenarios folder and you'll find it in the familiar User Scenarios window, renamed Scenarios.

    Hope this cleared things up. Dark Rob answered your question clearly for me, thanks Rob, so since I said basically the same stuff, I'm unsure. I think you're in denial that the Waterloo Scenarios window is unavailable now when the Grog Toolbar is activated.

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    Last edit: 2 years 5 months ago by RebBugler.

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    2 years 5 months ago - 2 years 5 months ago #266 by mcaryf

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

    i have been trying the cavalry in Skirmish formation and I am not too sure yet that I would want you to do more work to make it available at the unit formation level. I had hoped that it would reduce the casualties from enemy guns when I might be using cavalry as a guard unit near my own artillery but I am not sure yet that it does that effectively. However I will keep trying.

    I do, however, have another suggestion for you with respect to an enhancement. I have been impressed both whilst watching Rob's videos of all the scenarios and from my own experience that one of the greatest area of weakness with the AI is the lack of protection it gives to its artillery. I have looked at the divisional square formation that you have implemented in the Grog Tool Bar and it occurs to me that it would be better if the formation resulted in the Divisional artillery being positioned between two of the front battalion squares so that the artillery would be protected to some extent from cavalry charges. At the moment the artillery just forms up behind the squares where it is actually not very useful as it does not have a clear field of fire. Obviously a human player can then move the artillery to suit the circumstances but that would be much more complicated for someone trying to use your formation via AI programming. I guess this would be a variation of your artillery in front formation so I presume not complicated to implement

    I do not know if a senior artillery commander e.g. the officer in charge of the Imperial Guard reserve artillery has the same capability as an infantry Divisional commander to issue commands to both artillery and infantry. If he does then it might be possible to assign some small infantry battalions to be part of his command so that the AI has a ready made set of guard units for the guns under his command. I have tried giving Guard commands in my AI coding but I have the impression that the Guard command expires after a while as I do not always find the artillery being guarded later in the game. Also the guarding units usually take up a position behind the guns rather than to the front but to the side which would be better.

    I hope that this will not be too much work and that you think it worthwhile to implement. If you do do it please include in the notes about the mod how to call the command from the AI formtype command.

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edit: 2 years 5 months ago by mcaryf.
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    2 years 5 months ago - 2 years 5 months ago #267 by Jack ONeill

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  • WORLD OF FREAKIN' STUPID HERE!!!!!!!!!! :pinch: :pinch: :pinch:

    Gentlemen,

    Thank you. After a careful reading of RB's latest post, it has dawned on me, (yes, amazingly slowly), I was putting my Scenarios in the wrong spot.

    Have now put them WHERE THEY BELONG! (Dooh!)

    Now, I just have to tweak them a bit to play inside the scenario, and not as the commander(s) listed.

    Tally-ho! (or possibly En Avant mon Enfants! or even Vorwarts mein Kinder!)

    Jack (overrun with brain damage, again) O'Neill B)

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    Last edit: 2 years 5 months ago by Jack ONeill.
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    2 years 5 months ago - 2 years 5 months ago #268 by RebBugler

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  • mcaryf wrote: Hi Reb

    i have been trying the cavalry in Skirmish formation and I am not too sure yet that I would want you to do more work to make it available at the unit formation level. I had hoped that it would reduce the casualties from enemy guns when I might be using cavalry as a guard unit near my own artillery but I am not sure yet that it does that effectively. However I will keep trying.

    The game does take into account the density of formations, column formations thus taking the most casualties from direct canister hits. So, maybe there's an advantage here with the spread out skirmish formation. Still, 'skirmish' is realistically a misnomer for troops that can't fire, and since cavalry's only offense is charging, the spread out formation may nullify or diminish this effectiveness.

    I do, however, have another suggestion for you with respect to an enhancement. I have been impressed both whilst watching Rob's videos of all the scenarios and from my own experience that one of the greatest area of weakness with the AI is the lack of protection it gives to its artillery. I have looked at the divisional square formation that you have implemented in the Grog Tool Bar and it occurs to me that it would be better if the formation resulted in the Divisional artillery being positioned between two of the front battalion squares so that the artillery would be protected to some extent from cavalry charges. At the moment the artillery just forms up behind the squares where it is actually not very useful as it does not have a clear field of fire. Obviously a human player can then move the artillery to suit the circumstances but that would be much more complicated for someone trying to use your formation via AI programming. I guess this would be a variation of your artillery in front formation so I presume not complicated to implement

    Yeah, something is amiss now with artillery responses to approaching enemy. Unaccompanied guns, no friendly infantry close by, should automatically retreat when enemy units come within 150 yards, or thereabouts. I've seen this response fail far too often and Dark Rob's videos support this issue.
    As far as a request for a battery within a brigade of battalion squares...The game doesn't allow this because arms can't be mixed on the battalion or brigade level. Now, I think I can contrive a division formation with a battery between infantry brigades of battalion squares...Is this worth the effort and practical in your opinion?

    I do not know if a senior artillery commander e.g. the officer in charge of the Imperial Guard reserve artillery has the same capability as an infantry Divisional commander to issue commands to both artillery and infantry. If he does then it might be possible to assign some small infantry battalions to be part of his command so that the AI has a ready made set of guard units for the guns under his command. I have tried giving Guard commands in my AI coding but I have the impression that the Guard command expires after a while as I do not always find the artillery being guarded later in the game. Also the guarding units usually take up a position behind the guns rather than to the front but to the side which would be better.

    Where they position themselves while under the guard command is beyond control, that I know of. I didn't know the guard command wasn't sustaining, but now that you mention it, it makes sense. Because, the AI doesn't recognize detached. This is a player control function. So, when the brigade commander of the guarding unit becomes engaged, they eventually call up all their battalions for battle, regardless of their detached/guarding state.

    I hope that this will not be too much work and that you think it worthwhile to implement. If you do do it please include in the notes about the mod how to call the command from the AI formtype command.


    Not sure of what you're asking with that last sentence.

    I commend you for seeking improvements. Your ideas are well thought out, tested, and totally with merit. just wish we were in a state of flux where patches would help with these issues you speak of, there's only so much I can do to improve the game through the Grog Toolbar. Still, I'll keep plugging away.

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    Last edit: 2 years 5 months ago by RebBugler.

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    2 years 5 months ago #269 by mcaryf

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

    You said:
    The game does take into account the density of formations, column formations thus taking the most casualties from direct canister hits. So, maybe there's an advantage here with the spread out skirmish formation. Still, 'skirmish' is realistically a misnomer for troops that can't fire, and since cavalry's only offense is charging, the spread out formation may nullify or diminish this effectiveness.

    Part of the purpose in having cavalry as a Guard for artillery is that it can cause approaching infantry to form square and hence not get close enough to capture the Guarded artillery. The downside is that if the artillery is dueling with enemy artillery I do not want my cavalry guard unit to present a larger alternate target. Thus having the Guarding cavalry in skirmish formation might still deter infantry whilst reducing losses. However I am not yet sure whether skirmish formation results in the cavalry getting smaller hits but possibly more of them as it is a bigger target e.g. does it count as if it is occupying more hexes or is somehow a larger target?

    Now, I think I can contrive a division formation with a battery between infantry brigades of battalion squares...Is this worth the effort and practical in your opinion?

    Yes this is what I wanted. At present the Division's artillery forms up to the rear of the squares. I would prefer it to form up in the front line level with the squares. This might require the squares to be a little further apart but would set the AI in a powerful defensive formation with one command e.g. over a high value objective as well as being potentially useful for human players.

    You did not answer whether a senior artillery commander with several batteries is equivalent to a Division commander and could also be given a battalion commander with infantry units under his command. I guess I can just create an OOB with a battalion or two under such an officer and see if it works.

    My last question was just to confirm the syntax for the reference in a formtype command. As I understand it you have created within the Grog Toolbar files the specifications for a number of new formations which can be called from the formtype command. I just wanted to be sure where in your files I would pick up the reference that would link to the new variant of the Divisional Square as I want to be able to call it from my AI code as well as from the Grog Toolbar graphics interface.

    Thank you for your final paragraph. I probably get more enjoyment from modding the game to reflect and then test historic "what ifs" than I do from playing the standard version - military history is another hobby of mine so I am aware of various alternatives that Napoleon and Wellington might have considered. I also like to make the AI a tougher opponent by making it cleverer rather than just stronger.

    Regards

    Mike
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    2 years 5 months ago - 2 years 5 months ago #270 by DarkRob

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  • Replied by DarkRob on topic Re: Expanded Toolbar - Grog
    Why not just add my fortress formation as a divisional formation lol. All jokes aside, I think some thought should be given to how easy the game becomes just because of the tools the Grog toolbar already gives us. Tools that didn't exist when the stock scenarios were written, written and intended to be used with the stock toolbar.

    Also by his own admission mcaryf plays a heavily modified, homemade version of the game. Im sorry man but you cant balance a game around someones homemade mod that nobody else uses but you. We've already just added an update to the grog toolbar that is really only made for your mod and serves no purpose at all in the stock game. Its no big deal because it simply has no use in the stock game and so would never be used, but if we start adding things to suit your mod(that no one else uses)it could start to unbalance the game further.

    As an example:
    How much easier are the two army size Wavre scenario's simply because the grog toolbar allows us to lockdown all our forces at the beginning with TC all subordinates? The scenario was clearly written without that ability in mind and is the only army scenario to start off without officers on TC. Its done that way for a reason because your forces start off directly engaged with the enemy and half the challenge is supposed to be gaining control of the situation. We don't have to do deal with that with the Grog toolbar because we can lockdown all our forces in one button press so we immediately have total control. Makes both scenarios a ton easier.

    Lets think about this divisional formation that puts artillery in a primo spot within a formation of squares. What does that do for a divisional scenario like "Mont St. Jean: Sabers vs Bayonets"? It makes it real damn easy to win with one button press.

    Now don't get me wrong, Im a fan of the TC options the Grog toolbar gives us and I wouldn't want it any other way. But Ive also shown repeatedly how abusable those abilities are. The game is easy enough as it is once you understand the high level mechanics of it. I don't think we should start adding things to make it even more easy mode, or if we do, we should think long and hard about how they will affect the overall game, and not just a homemade mod.
    Last edit: 2 years 5 months ago by DarkRob.

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