BLB in 2016 some news

Any questions relating to Beneath the Lily Banners rule system.
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BLB in 2016 some news

Post by barr7430 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:43 am

More details on what we are up to here

http://leagueofaugsburg.blogspot.co.uk/ ... ation.html
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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by Adam Hayes » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:35 am

Hi Barry,

If you want any more play testers the Essex contingent are always happy to assist...
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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by barr7430 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:33 am

Hello Adam,

thanks for that - will send you an email

cheers

B
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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by Gunfreak » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:13 pm

One thing, in BLB2 Dutch and English/british can use platoon fire from 1700.
But all the books I've read talk about Dutch and English/Scotish battalions using it allready in 1680s

Will this be changed in BLB3?
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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by barr7430 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:01 am

when you say all books Truls, which books do you mean? You also mentioned somewhere, I think on TMP that British dragoons rode bigger horses and performed as cavalry. I would be interested in where you got that information too. As an example the dragoons from Enniskillen are thought to have ridden on Irish garrons which are pony sized horses. I am all for making the rules accurate and period specific but the starting point is evidence from more than a single source. Some modern public accepted facts are formulated from opinion pieces, single source or biased material which must be challenged.

Platoon firing, like the phasing out of pikes are two such points.
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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by Gunfreak » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:02 pm

About platoon fire:
Most of the detail comes from Destructive and Formidable: British Infantry Firepower 1642 - 1765 by Blackmore. It says Marlborough tough the English under him to fire in "the Dutch system" this was his first foray as allied with the Dutch in the 1680s. It claims platoon fire spread to the Scottish army almost at the same time. And claim the Dutch/English/Scots used it for the whole of the NYW including in Ireland.

Both Falkner (great and glorious days) and Spencer ( Blenheim) also mention training the English in the dutch system in the 1680s (so i assume all three use the same source on that one)

The first book deals only with the evolution of English/British fire tactics. I can't make any judgment on which primary sources these books used.

I've found sevral critiques on Blackmores book ( mostly on the lack of none British sources)

Falkner disagree with Blackmore, claiming French started to use a type of platoon fire by 1708.

I don't remember where i read about bigger English/British horses, i think it was in Falkners book, but I've also read it sevral times(that might simply have been on tmp)
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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by arthur1905 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:21 pm

Padraig Lenihan does state in his book the Battle of the Bone that after crossing the Bone the Dutch Blew Guard did give fire by platoon, however as the Gard To Voet were not in the normal battle line, it is questionable whether they were giving fire by company as they cleared the river
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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by arthur1905 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:39 pm

to possibly add to the conflicting information,
Chandler in his book "The art of war on the age of Marlborough" quotes from a letter in the British library from Marlborough to William Blathwayt (secretary at war) in 1689 which asks:
"I desire that you know the King's pleasure whether he will have the regiments of foot to learn the Dutch exercise (Platoon Firing) or else to continue the English, for if he will I must have it translated into English".

if Marlborough is asking this in 1689, then even if the answer was yes, I would suggest that there would be no time to introduce this into the army during the war in Ireland.

hope this helps

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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by barr7430 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:57 am

Thanks both for these contributions which simply highlight the challenge of creating a definitive argument.

My instinctive reaction throughout my interest in this period has been to resist the English speaking world's desire to constantly paint the 'British' as in all ways martial, superior to their enemies... braver, better tacticians, more successful, better leadership etc .. it is a hugely obvious and to my mind xenophobic trend which unfortunately uses Marlborough as its lance tip and amongst native English speakers has much traction.

The English/Scots/Irish/Welsh forces were relatively speaking new entrants into the European competition although many had served as mercenary/subsidy units for the Dutch, French and Imperialists for decades.

That suddenly, all military excellence and innovation was emanating from these shores is surely something to be proud of but is it really true? If the platoon firing English/Dutch method was so effective why did the army lose so badly at Neerwinden and Steenkirke? If the cavalry were so wonderful why were they beaten by Jacobite cavalry or French? If the generals were so fantastic why was Luxembourg so successful?

Wargaming has its core in the UK and so self aggrandising propaganda has become part of the tale. Like many countries we don't look further than the end of our borders for answers. The truth is surely far less well defined than: We are the best at everything and foreigners are a poor second.

I suspect that will be interpreted by many as lack of patriotism, not at all. I just see it as objective and logical.

There is also a strong desire in many wargamers to win. It is a game after all like cards or Monopoly or Connect 4. Anything that can give your team the edge is welcome. platoon fire, combat bonuses, Guards rating etc. I have witnessed that starkly with BLB2 and the now infamous(to me at least) All or Nothing charge. I wrote this mechanic as an exception only to be deployed in extremis. It has become the standard operating methodology for cavalry use in the rules much to my frustration. Why? It gives an edge in combat! Again, about winning!

Please keep up the debate I find it very healthy!
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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by Lovstrom » Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:07 am

Will it then be changes to rules like the all or nothing charge in the new edition?
Will there be more info and even a scenario that covers the war of Spanish succession? The book itself now covers mostly the wars before 1700.

In the future I would like something that also cover the middle of the 18th century. Would that be possible?

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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by obriendavid » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:02 am

barr7430 wrote: My instinctive reaction throughout my interest in this period has been to resist the English speaking world's desire to constantly paint the 'British' as in all ways martial, superior to their enemies... braver, better tacticians, more successful, better leadership etc .. it is a hugely obvious and to my mind xenophobic trend which unfortunately uses Marlborough as its lance tip and amongst native English speakers has much traction.!
There he goes blaming poor old Marlborough for everything! :D

But joking aside I have to agree with Barry, if platoon firing was so effective I find it surprising that the French the most experienced army of the time didn't adopt those self same tactics. The domination of the Allied cavalry over the French in the WSS could also be due to other extenuating circumstances rather than superior tactics.

Just my tuppence worth from a Marlborough fan.
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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by Gunfreak » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:12 am

obriendavid wrote:
barr7430 wrote: My instinctive reaction throughout my interest in this period has been to resist the English speaking world's desire to constantly paint the 'British' as in all ways martial, superior to their enemies... braver, better tacticians, more successful, better leadership etc .. it is a hugely obvious and to my mind xenophobic trend which unfortunately uses Marlborough as its lance tip and amongst native English speakers has much traction.!
There he goes blaming poor old Marlborough for everything! :D

But joking aside I have to agree with Barry, if platoon firing was so effective I find it surprising that the French the most experienced army of the time didn't adopt those self same tactics. The domination of the Allied cavalry over the French in the WSS could also be due to other extenuating circumstances rather than superior tactics.

Just my tuppence worth from a Marlborough fan.
Dave
I've read claims as the reason French cav switch to "bullet" was the rapid massive expansion of the army. Which would natural decrease quality of both horse flesh and trooper.

And before Blenheim French cav suffered badly from "german decease"

But even so. Only reason allied cav won at Blenheim was the allied cav had lots of infantry support the French didn't.
Except for French gendarmes being thrown back by the British cav. The franco bravarian cav did a good job. The Danish and imperial cavalry where outclassed by the French and bravarian. Only on the field of Höchstädt did the allied cav see real success. And even so at first they where thrown back behind the infantry support.

At ramillies they where simply out manoeuvred (you know by the Marlborough guy)

At Malplaquet they had stood under artillery bombardment for hours a d where severally weakened. Even so it was French cav that holdted allied advance at the end of the day. Stopping any further explotation from the allies.

And as I mentioned Falkner claims Fench did use some sort of platoon fire from 1708)

I don't want to have super human British, I personally don't think neither larger horses or unique fire techniques have much to say when all is said and done.

Training, moral and good leadership is much more important then weather you have a 149cm horse or 160cm horse.
I personally feel light/heavy classification of horse is over emphasised in games(especially during Napoleonic wars when hussars, dragoons and chessurs where all true battle cavalry)
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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by obriendavid » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:43 am

All the valid points you listed are the extenuating circumstances I was talking about. Even troops standing about in full equipment for hours can exhaust men and animals never mind under fire. There's a terrific book 'The Reality of War' by Leonce Patry and although it's about the Franco-Prussian War where he talks about his own experiences of marching, counter marching and standing about for hours and how exhausting and demoralising it was for all his men these points are still relevant to the period were are discussing. And don't get me started on the Napoleonic Wars where the superman French army somehow got beaten by much inferior armies. :twisted: :twisted:
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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by barr7430 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:17 pm

Questioning Marlborough's beatification does not automatically make me a Francophile in any period :shock:

I favour none :wink:
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Re: BLB in 2016 some news

Post by Gunfreak » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:24 pm

Here are some sources.

First In James Falkners Great and Glorious days dealing with Qudenarde on page146:

The french were coming on in dense battalion columns, - due to the close country it was difficult to find a place to form. The Prussians , although out-numbered, where already in line and had a distinct advantage in the initial exchanges of fire. A vicious close-range musketry battle blew upwith astonishing speed. Both sides were usung versions of the highly effective platoon fiering method to deliver continuous fire, but the prussians were rather more proficient at this technique.

Sadly he does not give any sources for this... I do think he makes other mentions of it, but finding it will take time.


When it comes to early adoption in the English/scotish armies from David Blackmore:

Relating to the war in Ireland in 1689

The Weather for two or three days proved pretty fair, and the soldiers were exercised with firing at Marks; but it was observable, that a great many of the new men who had match-locks, had little so little skill in placing of their maches true, that scare one of them in four could fire their Pieces off; and those that did, thought they had done a feat if the gun fired, never minding what they shot at.

Source: Douglass, Schola Martis f. 219r.

From the same source.

Then, on 29th September, Liutenant-General Douglass exerciced the regiments of the first line, teaching them how to fire by platoons.

The author add, "Whilst this provides clear evidence of the introduction of platoon fireing, there are, unfortunaliy, no details given on how it was conducted.

Also from the diary of General-Major Hugh Mackey in scotland at the same time.

In his Diary he described how, before the battle of Killiekrankie in 1689, he had "commanded the officer, commanding battalinos, to begin their firing at the distance of 100 paces by platoons, to discurage the approching highlanders meeting with continual fire"

Source: Obeservations relating to military exercise as now practisedin the English army, Lloyd's evening post and british chronical,(london 1759) 28-30 march 1759 p. 310 the piece was writen in 1757

The author feels this proves Platoon fire as in the Scotish army in 1689(he does point out that platoon fire was not effective in this instance.)



In 1693 a drill book was published in Edinburgh with a title page that stated it included "the rules of war in the day of battle, when encountering with the enemy"

Source. Anon. The complete milita-man (London 1760)


This was in part a reprint of the drill book of 1690, the first issued under William and Mary, but which was limited to the infanty drill and did not include the "rules of war" Source: Anon, A system of camp disiplin.... to which is added General Kane's Campaigns of King William (London 1757) p 59

Acording to the introduction to thr 1693 Edinburgh editino Sir Thomas Livingstone, who had succeeded MacKay to the command in Scotland, had revised and corrected the earlier edition, as well as adding the exercise of dragoons and also adding "Liutenant General MacKay's Rules of war for the infantry, to be observed when they are to encounter with the enemie in the day of battel.

Source: Same as above


[From the author]Given the offcial nature of this publication, and it's recomendation to the Scots and English armies, there would seem to be no reason to not accept MacKay's rules as representing the currenty practice in the dutch army that was adoptedby the English and Scots armies and that it was an aproved description of battlefield doctrine for all three allied armies from 1689 onwards.

[From the author] Included in Mackay's rules were detialed instruction on how platoon firing was to be Organised and conducted.


The book then shows the doctrine layed out by MacKay.
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