Napoleonic Wargame Club
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New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo
http://wargame.ch/board/nwc/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16102
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Author:  Hans Boersma [ Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:26 am ]
Post subject:  New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

Gentlemen,

I thought you would like to know that I have created an expansion pack and mod for JTS Campaign Waterloo. It can be found at

http://home.deds.nl/~1815/

The website basically forms the package leaflet, explaining what has been done and why, as well as providing some background information and historical material.

Hope you find it interesting.

Author:  Christian Hecht [ Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

Nice, good to see that someone shares his work for the benefit of the community. :thumbsup:

Author:  Jim Pfleck [ Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

Thanks Hans.

I followed the discussion over at the Blitz and I have a few questions-
1. Are you going to give the Battle of Waterloo the same treatment?
2. You broke some of the larger Dutch and Belgian battalions in half to increase frontage. Did you decrease the stacking limits? I am asking because a 400 man battalion is goign to get smashed by French columns if the stacking limit is 2000 infantry. So you get more frontage but it is also more vulnerable. What do you think?

thanks,
Jim

Author:  Hans Boersma [ Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

Thanks for the feedback, Jim.

1. Never say never, but not the entire battle, for now. I do plan to do at least one cut-out, comparable to The Ridge: there should at least be one scenario where Bijlandt's brigade is in its proper position. There are also errors with the Netherlands artillery in that scenario, so that can be corrected in one go.

2. The stacking limit is still 2000. I haven't given this much thought, so yes, it is something to consider. My first reaction is that a line formation should get smashed by 2000 men in column. So the question is then whether the stacking limit is unrealistically high (like 900 men in line in one hex), or at least very unusual. I'll have to look into that. Maybe Nafziger's Imperial Bayonets can be of help. Of course any solid data on that would be appreciated in the meantime.

Best,

Hans

Author:  Gary McClellan [ Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

Hans Boersma wrote:
Thanks for the feedback, Jim.


2. The stacking limit is still 2000. I haven't given this much thought, so yes, it is something to consider. My first reaction is that a line formation should get smashed by 2000 men in column. So the question is then whether the stacking limit is unrealistically high (like 900 men in line in one hex), or at least very unusual. I'll have to look into that. Maybe Nafziger's Imperial Bayonets can be of help. Of course any solid data on that would be appreciated in the meantime.

Best,

Hans


I've never really looked into it in detail, but I think that the place to start on stacking limits is what would be considered the outlier in the war, McDonald's monstrosity at Wagram. It certainly wasn't a single massed column, but it puts an upper bound on how many troops they would be willing to use in that manner.

How many troops? What frontage?

Author:  Hans Boersma [ Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

I haven't got any data on Wagram at hand, I think... Prins Frederik der Nederlanden etc. by De Bas may contain information about it though, as I seem to recall Slender Billy's dad fought there, and this series of books gives a whole new meaning to the concept of "off topic".

But before I get up... it seems the question can be answered quickly with the help of Mark Adkin's Waterloo book here. Page 195 shows a diagram of Marcognet's divisional column, 4181 men strong, measuring ± 120 x 75 meter (±80 meter in the text), which we may accept as being one hex. So compared to that the 2000-men stacking limit is already quite... limited.

As this was an unusual formation we can also look at page 194 which shows a French battalion in "column of attack at half distance" conveniently measuring 45 x 45 meter. Strength 553 men. So we could fit four of those in one hex: 553 x 4 = 2212 men. Again the stacking limit does not look too permissive. With columns at quarter distance, or closed columns, even more men could be fitted in.

How about some British columns? Page 172. 640 men in a "column of companies at quarter distance", ± 20 x 48 meters. We could fit five by two columns in one hex. That's 10 x 640 = 6400 men. Probably less because we would want some distance between columns. But again 2000 men should be no problem.

Thanks Gary,

Author:  Gary McClellan [ Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

Glad I put you on the right thought train. I figured that there might be some smaller more "local" examples, but I wasn't as familiar with them offhand.

The other approach if it comes to it would be to figure out how much space each man needs in both directions, assign him however many square meters, and then compare that to the 10,000 m^2 of a hex :)


(In SYW I lowered things quite a bit, largely to reflect the doctrine and practices of the era.)

Author:  Christian Hecht [ Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

I'm not able to judge 1e Luitenant Boersma's work but if it's good I wouldn't mind seeing him fixing the other historical scenarios, the Waterloo along with the 1812 game are those that need serious attention to bring them to the level of Bill's games.

Author:  Hans Boersma [ Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

Gary McClellan wrote:
The other approach if it comes to it would be to figure out how much space each man needs in both directions, assign him however many square meters, and then compare that to the 10,000 m^2 of a hex :) (In SYW I lowered things quite a bit, largely to reflect the doctrine and practices of the era.)


Heh heh... I think that won't be necessary. Here the devil is not in the detail, but in placing the game's broad strokes right — as it were.

We might now think that the stacking limit is too low, but I think the designers got it right here. Otherwise we would get "panzer columns" that would make Guderian jealous...

Another issue, which I have seen discussed here, is infantry fire power (ranged). A can of worms, basically. I tend to think that the 2 hex range fp is too high even at 1 point, and should perhaps be 0.5 or 0.3 point. 1 hex range fp on the other hand should be higher, something like 8 or perhaps even 10. But this would have a big effect on how people would play. Fatigue accumulation and ammo consumption should be much higher then. There would be less action (firing and meleeing) but it would be more decisive. Firing at 2 hexes would become more or less useless, and players would not do it, contrary to historical practice. So it would boil down to disabling the 2 hex fp range.

One may also easily forget, as I sometimes do, that firing at very short range is, in game terms, melee. As I understand from mr. Nosworthy's book, actual crossing of bayonets in open terrain between formed infantry was extremely rare; one side would flee before it came to that. So in game terms that would mean that the losing side of a melee between infantry should, as a rule, rout. Also a quite drastic change.

Presently I'm considering lowering 1 hex fp from 5 to 4. The difference is not very noticeable, but in the end it does produce more realistic casualty rates. But then the balance with artillery fp may be off, and I don't feel confident to lower that as well.

Author:  Gary McClellan [ Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

I don't think it should always be a rout. Sometimes the unit would recoil but keep enough integrity to hold a position on the line, other times it would run outright. So, I think the D with a chance of R thing is all right. (Though, I could see an argument for a rout check right after a failed melee on the attacker... Never thought about it, but that would be an interesting twist.)

Author:  Christian Hecht [ Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

Regarding casualties, that topic comes up again and again but in my view it's simply wrong to adjust values so that a historical course of a battle results casualty numbers close to history because the loss of men in the game is simply the decline in combat power and that can have all sorts of reasons:
- dead
- wounded
- captured
- running behind the lines to get ammo
- carrying away a wounded comrade/officer
- weapon malfunction
etc.
So if you only got the dead & wounded numbers and want to match them with the numbers in the game you end up with too low casualty numbers.

What first has to be considered is the effect of a certain fire value within the game engine.
A classic situation:
A 540 men 3-rank bat. in line fires with the standard musket fire value of 5 on a bat. in column of equal size that is 1 hex away.
That only results in a 48,29% chance to trigger a moral check. That triggered moral check, taking the usual infantry value of C, would only fail 1 out of 3 times.
So these are points you have to see and compare to what you want to have in the game, and then adjust them if you want to see something different.

Author:  Bill Peters [ Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

With each man taking up 28-30 inches - and with a gap of about 4 feet between companies (left to right) - you end up a frontage of 4 companies of 120 men taking up over 130 meters. Its why I have the cutoff for a third rank extended line at 540 men.

Thus max stacking in a hex (at most) should probably be about 1000-1200 men. 1/3rd to 3/7th that amount for cavalry.

I agree with many that the stacking level is too high. It makes for a melee mash of a game and very little to do with real Napoleonics.

Cutting the stacking down to 1600 helped but probably 1400 is closer but still off from realistic numbering.

The spacing is necessary so that the units can perform formation changes and so on.

Two battalions would not march together, one behind the other, in a closed up formation unless they wanted to invite disaster like what happened to D'Erlon's battalions at Waterloo.

Mass is a myth. If the front ranks survived the defensive fire it really didn't matter whether it was three ranks of troops advancing or another battalion was to their rear. The fact is is that the smoke would have obscured the units to the rear. The main thing was that the defenders were still advancing with lower bayonets. If the attacker "staggered" then those battalions (the mass) would not have been able to get into the melee. The battalions didn't intermix nor did one battalion feed men into their ranks to replace the fallen.

I grew to understand that "mass" in the first set of miniature rules I played was a myth and that it was used mainly by those that were thinking that math had much to do with a Napoleonic attack. It had more to do with whether the attacker could keep a cohesive front.

I once used a "block of battalions" (Polish troops) - 4 battalions wide by 3 battalions deep. What a disaster it was. They got hit by charging cavalry and the front battalions crashed into the center battalions and on to the rear causing 10 battalions to rout!

So two battalions in a hex maximum for the most part unless they were undersized. Three at the most.

Author:  Hans Boersma [ Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

Thanks, Christian.

Regarding casualties: I understand military losses as comprising dead, wounded and captured, and I view game casualties in the same way. For the game they are indeed nothing more than a decrease in combat power, but all the game does is number crunching. The game calls these numbers "men" and as the oob tries to use historical unit strengths I prefer to play along and call them men too.

Regarding fp: Yes, the effect on morale is another reason why I hesitate to lower musket fp. One could say that it strengthens morale and that would not be my intention.

Regarding doing other historical scenarios, I want to limit myself to things I can actually finish... and of the 1812 Campaign I know very little.

Author:  Hans Boersma [ Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

Bill Peters wrote:
[...]


Thanks for that Bill. I realise in the above I merely looked at the "squeezing limit". I will consider your suggestions.

Author:  Geoff McCarty [ Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Expansion and Mod for Campaign Waterloo

Concerning hex depth and linear width of units. If the measurements are nautrally 100 meters from center point to center points of hexes in the grid than the forward apothem space in every hex is dead space. The units would be arrayed on the centered line along the short diagonal of every hex and to the rear of that line. Therefore there is only 4330m² in every hex area. I would set max saturation at 5m² per man (866 in this formula) but, it's more important to use the density multiplier so 1500 would be the least I'd suggest.
Linear width of a 3 rank line would be 400 men given each man 75cm center mass to center mass and denying peloton spacing in order to fit the most men in each area where they could operate without hinderance. Could probably squeeze these historically less girthy men in an area 65cm apart for 462 men. 540 in 3 ranks would arrive at a little over 55cm per man and I could not see how they might manipulate their weapons in such a tight order.

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