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 Post subject: Re: The Melee Elephant
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:10 pm 
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Geoff, are you using optional fire optional results in your tests?

Also, I disagree that the dominate form of combat was shooting at the opponent in line formation. This was rare after Friedland except for the Brits. Leggiere in his books on the 1813 Prussian Army gets into this.

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 Post subject: Re: The Melee Elephant
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:05 pm 
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My head hurts!! :frenchroll:

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 Post subject: Re: The Melee Elephant
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:16 pm 
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Christian Hecht wrote:
Volume of fire is generate by the amount of men firing. If you want to apply modifier to it go ahead, but alone from a calculation point I don't see any reason to equal such fire only to apply modifiers that make it unequal again.
More men, more bullets = more casualties
Less men, less bullets = less casualties
600 men firing on 300 men don't kill the double of 300 firing on 600 but they surely don't have equal kill numbers.
Would love to see a statistic that proves this in actual warfare.

Volume of fire denotes men, muskets, balls, and time. More men firing more bullets cannot possibly cause more causalties to less men if both forces are equally as accurate. Lowering the denominator, 3 men firing muskets at 6 (twice the target size as 3) may kill 2. 6 men firing at 3 with equal accuracy per shot within the same time will kill 2. Which is the basis for formation firing. The results are then modified by exposure to point blank fire of the opposing forces. Fleshing out that step would require agreement on the basis of massed fire.
Jim Pfleck wrote:
Geoff, are you using optional fire optional results in your tests?
Also, I disagree that the dominate form of combat was shooting at the opponent in line formation. This was rare after Friedland except for the Brits. Leggiere in his books on the 1813 Prussian Army gets into this.

Don't put words in my messages here. I'm having a hard enough time to explain my concept as it is. Although, I'd disagree if your point is specifically that less men died by small arms than by bayonet, sword, and cannon fire combined at Leipzig. That's not my line of argument though. The results don't matter in the recent examples. All the integers are arbitrary and just a expression showing equal value of attack and defense between formations.
If you're questioning whether I use OFR in my games than yes all the time. While I like OMR off because melee should be a wild value. I just struck equal casualties in a cavalry action where I had 4x strength advantage. I don't think that's unrealistic given all the shite that can happen when groups of men close in on each other.
Ernie Sands wrote:
My head hurts!! :frenchroll:

Hehe, I designed this troll argument to cause severe migraines. :rubshands:


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 Post subject: Re: The Melee Elephant
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:03 am 
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Geoff,
I should note that I left out a key part of my reasoning---if we abstract melee to be close in fighting and not simply hand to hand combat, you start to get the proper ratios of musket fire losses to artillery. But this, of course, requires an abstraction.

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 Post subject: Re: The Melee Elephant
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:19 am 
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Not really an abstraction. We can imagine what we like but, formations closing on each other have plenty of time to fire and return fire as they realistically would. Even if the forces engage in hand to hand like cavalry there would be pistol and other small arms fire just as much as saber swinging. The problem is that within the game melee doesn't share the hinderances that missile fire does. On the musket side you must stop, extend, march forward, taking a ridiculous 30 minutes to prepare for highly effective fire. Close in engage, receiving defensive fire, finally firing in attack, but open to return fire. With awkward stacking and density functions that force singular unit per hex missile engagement.
You can just form columns march forward and overwhelm an enemy trying to defend in the game's theory of improper field musket lines. The columns are much more manueverable, they are easily retreated, they can spread themselves against defensive fire then collide in monster stacks immediately afterwards. Despite losing columns to ridiculously severe artillery fire in it's swarm the rest will be ready for the 5 hex dance next turn and there's nothing an equal number of musketmen lined up with all that death and fire can do about it.
Every aspect of the game is geared against linear tactics including skirmishers, cavalry, mass assault columns, artillery firepower, morale checks, and pointed leadership rallies. It is so lopsided that it influences all player responses to the illogical conclusion that linear fire wasn't conducted during Napoleonic campaigns. Hilarious!
At the very least I believe 'extension' should take 1/2 MPs instead of all of them. Preperation for linear combat shouldn't be so burdensome and it is no wonder my games boil down to zig zagging counters. A simple pdt edit suggestion would be that line restriction be standardised at 5%. It is good to use any coded in function but, veterans should never disorder ever. Some pdts use 20% which is down right ridiculous. These men are marching very slowly in order not to become a cluster feck. Basically, as far as balancing goes linear combat should be buffed rather than melee nerfed as the kids say. Maybe standard musket 6 FP range 1? Effectively that would put them on par with a single 6 livre canon (Leipzig 600FP) that couldn't possibly spit as much whizzing minis in the same volume as 100 linesmen at musket range (disregarding penetration).


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 Post subject: Re: The Melee Elephant
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:50 pm 
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I think that stacking limits mitigate a lot of what you are saying in that last post, which can be changed in the pdt file--Tom Moore and Anton K, among others, have made modified versions. But each game plays differently. In Eckmuhl, with its large battalions (and some Marengo scenarios too) battalions that are not disordered can defend themselves unless struck in the flank. In NRC, the battalions are smaller and I think the stacking limit is 2000 and it gets ridiculous.


One engine change that would help would be to have defensive fire cause disruption at much higher rates and to have an attacker pass a morale test before meleeing--but again, these are engine changes we are unlikely to see...

But I still stand by my analysis that in the later period line formation was not that common--columns were used extensively.

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 Post subject: Re: The Melee Elephant
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:05 pm 
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Yeah, people say that alot. Columns, Columns, Columns. Based upon what? Contemporary stuffed shirts that witnessed the action through a telescope? Where are the """historian""" translations of the soldiers and line officers? We never get that but, we get their instructions. Humans are conscience automatons. They have primal instincts. In battle they and their comrades' lives are of less import than the urge to kill their enemies who are threatening them. I say throw out that pulp fiction 'literature' from the marshals and noblemen who could write better than they could imagine combat. If I were a contemporary soldier than I'd want to stand in battle line and fire at a distance until my enemy looks like they're wasted. Then run forward in line and bayonet them while they begged for surrender. It's 60 long seconds to march 90 meters forward at the 'wheeling quicktime'. I'd want the men on the other side of that 90 meters put to bed before we got there.

https://www.napoleon-series.org/militar ... aida1.html

Here is a contrary opinion amongst our many scholars. Doesn't take more than realization of the battlefield conditions to arrive at his conclusions though. The main problem of contemporary memoirs and anecdotes is they will be exceptional of the rules and norms. Always to a fault of contemporary reality. Why write about a boring 30 minute line battle followed by your side's retreat rather than describe flattening French (or more recently Korean) human waves? Where was the system of military analysis peer review in 1800? In 200 years """historians""" might convince the many to many that we favored the vee formation instead of the wedge in our platoon manuevers because some generals write about the importance of keeping NCOs alive.


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 Post subject: Re: The Melee Elephant
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:48 pm 
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Peninsular war was always something different compared to the other theaters because the British were there abnd none of the other major powers like Prussian, Russia or Austria.

Anyhow we had that point already, the Revolutionary & Napoleonic Wars aren't the Seven Years War. If you expect to walk up to the enemy and just start a firefight with units exclusively in line you're simply in the wrong era. Just look at 1806 and Jena, what did Hohenlohe do after the French had secured the better positions by constantly driving his forces back with their attack columns? He was oh so smart to simply march up to the French positions and start a firefight only to witness that it didn't bring him something. And instead of reacting to it he just led it flow till his line started to retreat because a pure firefight without preparations and the will to force the decisive moment did't work anymore. The Prussian just thought they do it like old Fritz but they had been taught a better lesson already in the 1790's, but of course if one is resistant against such lesson he repeats his mistakes. Doing it in the 7YW style just didn't work anymore.


And from a game perspective we can talk our asses off, it just doesn't change some simple facts.
Fire can lead to disorder what is the way of stopping assaults but that doesn't work in turn gameplay because:
A. Fire is trigged randomly, that means sometimes there is no fire at all what obviously can't stop any assault.
B. Even if fire is triggered it's done with 50%.
C. Casualties matter a lot because the disorder probability is modified by casualties compared to unit size, random fire with 50% doesn't bring many casualties.
D. Every time casualties are inflicted there is a tests if a moral check is triggered. That means instead of an overall amount of casualties suffered and by this making a check with a high probability for triggering a moral check, there are as many low probability tests as the unit is fired upon. That again leads to less disorder.

The result of the 4 points is that you don't even nearly can as many disorders in turn gameplay as compared to phased gameplay(the original way of playing the former series), what means that most attackers succeed in doing a charge and this with massive stacks, that results usually in victory over every defender in line.





More discussion is futile if the facts of the tactical combat and the way the engine works are not accepted.

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 Post subject: Re: The Melee Elephant
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:04 pm 
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Christian Hecht wrote:
Just look at 1806 and Jena, what did Hohenlohe do after the French had secured the better positions by constantly driving his forces back with their attack columns? ... More discussion is futile if the facts of the tactical combat and the way the engine works are not accepted.


What exactly are you talking about? The colonne d'attaque is for manuever to advance a formation into line against the enemy. Particularly, where in the annals of the battle of Jena would I find this French column assault? I'm reading through "Napoleonic Wars: Rise of the Empire" at the battle of Jena and I see alot of lines and flanks being mentioned without any attack columns, hmm. Apparently, Ney ordered a square after getting pocketed. Vierzehnheiligen was attacked in column by the Prussians but, of course it's a village. Maybe it's the terribly imbalanced game which has influenced you to believe whatever is required to make it seem realistic and respond defensively?

Linear combat was not a feature exclusive to the Seven Years War. Columnar assault doctrine mythos cooked up on this forum certainly wasn't a feature of any war. It simply is not so that the French even changed tactics later in their campaigns to column assaults (if anything they used columns in close order more during the revolution). At Wagram 1809 and Bautzen 1813 the French forward battle lines were 20km long for Christ's sake! I cannot imagine how ridiculous even a 1km wide line of assault columns might look.

Futility is trying to march forward within a mob without tripping on corpses while the enemy is cutting down everyone ahead of you.


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