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 Post subject: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:35 pm 
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It has never been the intention to go to a second edition of R2E so from that standpoint rule changes were only ever going to be made by errata.
I know that some players have issues they would like handled slightly differently and to that end we actually have an opportunity.

The Crimean supplement FOUR EMPIRES will update and modify some key mechanisms in line with military evolution between 1815 and 1854. This has already been written. In addition there is space to update existing mechanisms which can be detailed as errata and amendments in the context of the Napoleonic version of the rules.
To help your thinking there is already a standing debate amongst regulars at R2E weekenders about the FIBUA mechanisms and the disadvantages to Defenders and the relatively light casualties of successful attackers. I am empathetic to reasoned argument that will improve gameplay so here is your chance..

If you have a gripe, a suggestion, a question, a theory, new research which would evolve R2E in some way let's get them up here for some open debate before we go to print.
Never say that as a rule writer I don't listen to the suggestions of players! Very happy to take on board something logical and robust that improves the overall quality.

It was very gratifying to hear recently that the EASTERN WARS SUPPLEMENTARY RULES FOR BLB2 have been endorsed by gamers in Dumfries. Many thanks go out to the persistence of the US playtesters(Arizona Chapter) who made me do something with this... your work chaps.. well done! 8)

So, R2E players.... present! fire!.............

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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:21 pm 
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Fix bayonets!!
Rather than just whine in the background (breaking a habit) its good to be able to discuss rules with the writer.
As you know my "problem" with the fibua rules is that I don't think that it is onerous enough on the attacker to launch an attack on a built up area.
Heres an example.
24 man drilled elite unit contacted by 3 similar units charging in column.
defender 6 dice @ 4+ = 3 hits
Attacker 6 dice +5 charging in column, +4 supported by 2 friends.
so 15 dice =8 hits
result 4 casualties to attacker , 9 to the defender.

Example 2
same units but defending a village
6 combat groups, +3 defending village. +2 for an officer , 11 dice, 6 hits
Attacker 18 combat dice +6 for officers., 24 dice, 12 hits
result 4 casualties to attacker, 10 to the defender.

So using average rolls all round the defender would be better off outside the village rather than defending his fortified position.

The guys who have played a few games now actually shy away from defending villages, preferring the enemy to capture them knowing that they will suffer far more casualties in defence than in attack.
solution offered . Make attackers disordered from the start .Maintaining order in street fighting would be almost impossible anyway.
2
Disordered units do not offer support. I entirely follow the rationale here but don't fully agree with it.
Again an example rather than a whinge . 3 columns crossing a dried river bed.middle column gets hit by artillery and has to test
suffering not only a -1 for disorder (fair enough) but another -1 because its friends are disordered and do not offer support.

when they get across the river bed/ marsh/ steep hill/ forest their morale improves cause their pals have recovered order.
Solution.
remove the -1 for unsupported in this situation.

I've done bit of support reading to try and back up my "case" here and find that almost every 19th century army had no definitive tactics for assaulting a town/ village. It was entirely ad hoc.
The British Army don't seem to have any manual on this before WW1.

I am happy to be corrected though.
Good job also that you are a good sport Barry. You should really have a slot in the side of your head for the wind up you get.

Yours friendly :)


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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:22 pm 
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I'm with Jim on the Fibua changes.

Simple change. All attacking units suffer the casualties as specified. In Jims example above the 3 units attacking would each suffer 4 hits, so the attacker would actually suffer 12 hits total, 2 more than the defender. Seems reasonable to me. And even large units once they have taken a few hits become more vulnerable, as over 25% its -2 to resolve, effectively dropping those veteran units down to drilled status. So you may well take the village over a couple of turns, but it may cost you a brigade to do it. If I could guarrantee a last stand with a decent sized unit feeding in reinforcements to damage a brigade, assuming its morale holds, then I would think twice before abandoning a village to then try and retake it.

Once the perimeter is broken then go back to the normal casualty allocation. So the attacher has a few choices to make too. DO you go for a full brigade attack, knowing each unit will take quite a few casualties, or just commit what you believe will take it to preserve other units, but knowing those committed to the attack will be badly damaged by it.

I'm currently reading Gills Thunder on the Danube at the moment, just passed the battle of Aspern - Essling and Aspern especially was a meatgrinder for both sides, not just the defender.

Defensive fire. I think for units in line, regardless of whether they are Brits or not, should have a bonus for shooting multiple charging enemy. I think the current rules work well for single battalions on single battalions, but break down when its a multiple v one. Musket fire was essentially area fire, so some sort of beaten path, the width of the unit, where each charging unit within that area suffers, not just the odd hit here and there. From my reading on it, for instance, not extensive by any means as I'm just starting, I'm struggling to think of any instance where a French column charged home against a British line. A lot of times when British units suffered badly was when the French turned it into a firefight rather trying to charge home in column. Now happy to be corrected on this, and I fully understand not wanting to make the Brits supermen as at the end of the day its still a game where you need to have that chance. Examing the game we had last weekend, a large part of me was thinking it would have been better had we deployed in attack column rather than line. Defensive fire would have been the same as you get half per unit, but have twice as many units on the front line (and a pair of veteran units get 2d3 added rather than 1d3 and can choose 2 separate targets) its easier to offer support as the frontages are smaller so can get units within 9" of each other more easily. More maneuverable.
Right now there isnt enough of an incentive for a British player to use historical tactics other than doing it feels right. This feeling is probably sufficient for some, I'd rather be effective :) - probably my physics background and work in IT coming to the fore there (plus my win at all costs mentality naturally ;) )

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:10 pm 
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barr7430 wrote:
If you have a gripe, a suggestion, a question, a theory, new research which would evolve R2E in some way let's get them up here for some open debate before we go to print.
Never say that as a rule writer I don't listen to the suggestions of players! Very happy to take on board something logical and robust that improves the overall quality.


I hear a can of worms being opened up :shock:
Cheers
Dave


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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:56 am 
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I provided the can opener :roll:

as those of you who know me well will acknowledge, I love a debate :lol:
These are legitimate points of view and from my perspective hold water to varying degrees.
The line/column thing I am less open to as I think you need to take a few steps further back from French v Brits (a relatively minor part of the wars 1789-1815) to get the perspective on that debate and why varius formations were utilized. As a slight digression we rarely see the use of Column of Companies, Rest orders in our R2E games mostly because players want to get as many troops in action as quickly as possible!

FIBUA, I was never 100% comfotable with although I believe it is many steps ahead of how BUAs are treated elsewhere. In fact I think some of the mechanics were cribbed into another set of Naps rules which have a following.
A good debater will always pick the fruitiest examples to make a point.. good tactic but interestingly the hot issue of 'evacuation versus hold your ground' has only really occured over the last couple of big games.
There has been no mention of the following (in the game incidents)
> Brigade attack declared, some units flater on the way in or do not charge - OBJECTIVE NOT BREACHED
> Brigade attack declared, dice throws on defender side good. on attack side less good: OBJECTIVE NOT BREACHED

Here are some of the variables and issues considered during the construction of FIBUA

> Troops cannot deploy formed into a BUA therefore the defenders are assumed to be in small pockets and well placed. They gain security (RESOLVE bonuses),shooting bonuses (prepared positions) combat bonuses(50% extra dice for secure perimeter) and there is NO Fight or Flight check.
> The attackers receive NO charge bonus, they are disordered if they do not breach (so the first combat round is a gamble) AND they need to commit large numbers of troops to take the objective.
>Fighting often went on for prolonged periods and counterattavks and see saw battles were frequent. It was not the case that epic defences light La Haye Sainte or Hougoumont were the norm, they may well have been the exception.

We have to be relatively cold blooded about the mechanics and not think too much about winning or losing more about what is actually going on.
Interestingly Jim, when discussing one of your own passions.. The Alamo you told me it was all over in 20 minutes because:
1. Santa Ana had the right number of troops
2. The defenders were not numerous enough to hold the perimeter

What the casualties were I don't know but the big picture has to be looked at.

My inclination having been stimulated back to reconsidering this mechanic is to look elsewhere...

Increase defender bonuses such as ;
>double the number of dice not add 50%
>Perhaps increase in some measure, garrison size
>Provide higher morale bonuses in defence
>Offer improved shooting capability

Most FIBUA attacks I had seen up until we did a Fight for Paris 1814 were failures. Dave O Brien threw a Russian Division at a Paris suburb in a well coordinated attack and walked through it in 3 turns.. that set the benchmark for success. Up till that point no one was using odds of more than 1.5 or 2 to 1 to try and take BUAs and this resulted in heavy attacker casualties.

Would be interested in Dave's view and your views of my alternative suggestions

Very Friendly yours

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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Barry, when we started working out the mechanisms for FBUA we looked at historical examples as our guide line and in most cases the BUA changed hands many times with the final result going to the side that could keep a reserve to throw into the final attack. If you read about historical battles that involved lots of FBUA, Dresden, Lutzen and Ligny are great examples and it took the eventual winners hours of combat and masses of reinforcements to finally achieve their objectives. Personally I think the rules as they stand work perfectly to achieve that result but I am prepared to be swayed by other evidence.

The Paris situation that Barry mentioned as an example wasn't exactly correct. The initial attack was only of two brigades and I didn't have enough MP's to get all those to go in and a couple of units faltered so the end result was that I suffered many more casualties than the defenders and was now disordered outside the BUA. I had a choice to pull back from the current position, reform and attack again or continue the attack by throwing more reinforcements into the fight. I chose the later mainly because pulling back was going to waste too much time but my option was also a gamble as the whole division could have been halted outside but numbers prevaled and I took the BUA. The main point to consider is was my attack really a sucess? I used up a whole division to take a large village and lost a couple of brigadiers in the process. If space had allowed I would have chosen to mask the village and bypass it but having learnt my lesson the hard way. The next village I assaulted I made sure I had plenty of MP's so that the whole division could assault together plus artillery had softened up the target before hand so the results was straight forward but again the enemy had no reinforcements to counter attack.

If I was going to change anything in the rules my personal view is that columns should not be allowed to charge home against lines that remain in good order after the Fight or Flight test or the attacking columns should have to take a final charge home result on a -2 just like the lines had to do. Barry and I discussed this previously but never came to any final decision before the rules went to print. What do others think?
Cheers
Dave


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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:47 pm 
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Barry,

My problem with the fibua rules centres around the fact that the attackers are not in a state of disorder when they are outside the perimeter.I feel that now matter how disciplined the troops involved are, they cannot remain in good order whilst trying to enter any bua.

Another suggestion would be a different casualty chart for these events, because as Jim Wallace & Bill Paterson have both stated using the melee table the most casualties that can be inflicted on the losing side is 4, which if the attack is made using more than 1 battalion means that casualties will not stack up on attacking units quick enough to have an effect on them.

Just my thoughts

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:05 am 
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Also interesting stuff Bob. I am pondering the disorder thing. I also had thought about a differetn casualty chart but opted agaistthat idea simply because R2E has occasionally been cited as chart heavy and I didn't want any more!

Still, the debate even so far has stimulated several ideas and threads of development

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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:31 pm 
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BP wrote:
Simple change. All attacking units suffer the casualties as specified. In Jims example above the 3 units attacking would each suffer 4 hits, so the attacker would actually suffer 12 hits total, 2 more than the defender. Seems reasonable to me.


Bill, is what you mentioned as being reasonable really what would have happened? I can see the opposite arguement that the more units the attacker can get going in the more firepower he can put down to suppress the defenders therefore suffering less casualties.

Perhaps we are all looking at this discussion from a wrong angle.
We are talking about brigades defending BUA and divisions attacking but I'm sure you will find that the majority of gamers using R2E are fighting with much smaller forces to defend or attack and if we start to tinker too much with the rules there is a danger of making it too difficult for people to attack BUA. The rules had been playtested by many gamers around the world for a period of about 18 months and there seemed to have been no serious issues and only seems to now have come about since gamers started copying my mass attack system. As I said in my previous posting this works to take out a BUA but is it cost effective?

My whole division is out of the battle for at least 3/4 moves taking the objective provided I win every round of combat. There is a danger of losing good commanders and unit morale being downgraded then you have to reform your division after the combat before you can continue the action so from a defenders point of view I would be happy tying up that many troops for such a long period.
Something to think about.
Cheers
Dave


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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Dave, we are talking much smaller. A brigade attack on a battalion.
Attacker usually having 25+ dice as he throws in his unit officers and brigadier. Last weeks attacks were both on a size 2b.
After 2 moves the defender is normally ejected and has suffered 20plus casualties. Defending unit is effectively destroyed whilst the attackers have suffered 2 or 3 casualties each and have spent quite a productive time ensuring that they destroy a unit.
i've now seen the same result on several occasions.
The more experienced players now shy away from garrisoning towns as they know that it is more advantageous to let the enemy take it and destroy the defenders piecemeal.
On both occasions when BUA,s were assaulted last week the successfull attackers were advised to get out of the village as soon as possible so as not to be caught inside!
I can however see that this could easily lead to a see saw type battle for control of the village,

As an aside. The final assault by Santa Anna on the Alamo was the third assault, 2 having failed miserably.The alamo had been besieged and bombarded for 13 days with little effect.
Santa Anna stormed the defences with about 2200 men, odds of 15 to 1.
despite this the texians still caused 4-600 casualties.
good stuff though
(The alamo is actually on TV this afternoon)

fiendly yors


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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:17 pm 
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Battalion Guns

One dice only up to 36". Will cause a casualty and morale check if successful on a four, five or six without modifiers. No need to stop for battery refit. This would represent the fact that these were more a nuisance than anything else. They were there for the morale benefit it gave their own battalion and are an integral part of the battalion expected to fire in support of that battalion only.

The above would save paperwork and calculations and avoid the fact that, currently, four battalion guns are more formidable than a four-gun battery.

Jim

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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:46 pm 
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I think we had started using something like that Jim but it might have been in games that you hadn't taken part in. Barry and myself had both agreed that battalion guns had become too effective which wasn't the result we were after, it was more nuisance value that we wanted so personally I would suggest that you don't take a test if hit by battalion guns, my cossack gun routed a unit of Old Guard in one battle by causing a test at an unfortunate moment when they were disordered, unsupported and had suffered some previous casualties. Wasn't helped by rolling a one. Still can wipe the smile off my face :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:30 pm 
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Barry wrote: As a slight digression we rarely see the use of Column of Companies, Rest orders in our R2E games mostly because players want to get as many troops in action as quickly as possible!

Hmmm... I use Column of Companies in most of the games I play instead of Columns of March. The CoC only moves 2" less than than the CoM, but is easier to deploy into a fighting formation, requiring only 1MP to change formation for Drilled troops (as opposed to 3MP for CoM). Finally, CoC is shorter than CoM and allows you to get units passed linear obstacles faster.

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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:46 am 
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Hello Gents,

Having had a week to think on the discussions we had at Lundin Links ( Yes, Jim W. I'm a slow thinker!!! :lol: ) I'd have to say that I agree with Toggy's comment about the disordering the attacking units going into a combat in the BUA. My thinking is that the defender is broken down into smaller groups but that they've had time to set up defensive positions, loopholes etc, whilst the attacker is having to break down their formations going into the built up area.

Playing on the Allied side in the last Lundin Links game, we all agreed that we wouldn't defend the village as it would be too costly to do that whereas we could attack any garrison that was placed in it and pretty much overrun it.
That decision was based on our experience of the previous Mockern game when Bill P and I were on the French/ Italian side defending the main built up area, and where we found it nigh on impossible to prevent the Russians from breaking into the village and ejecting our garrison. Admittedly we then immediately counter-attacked and repaid the compliment to the Russian garrison( when in Rome and all that!!!)

One thing I would note though was that in the Avila game Colin N's brigade lost two battalion commanders, if I recall correctly, and subsequently those two veteran units were downgraded to drilled effectively making the brigade a bog -standard brigade as opposed to the Veteran one it was, which possibly supports Dave O'Briens comments about the risk of ruining the assaulting units through loss of quality rather than casualties suffered. In the Mockern game I don't think any commanders became casualties on any of the units taking part in the combats.

As for Jim Wallace's question of units in disordering terrain being unsupported even if they have units either side which can't provide support to the unit because they're also in disordering terrain, I'd probably go along the lines of that they'd be neither supported nor unsupported rather than being unsupported on the basis that : Yes; the unit knows it has units either side, but that those units formations are so broken up that it can't provide effective support as opposed to no support at all .

Anyway , hope that makes some sort of sense and thanks to all, especially Barry for the insight into why some of the rules were written the way they were, for the good natured and well argued debate that we had in the Lundin Links bar

Cheers

Gerry

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 Post subject: Re: R2E UPDATING & AMENDMENTS YOU HELP NEEDED
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:12 pm 
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Gentlemen. I am (slightly) concerned at the apparent trend towards the dismissal of battalion guns as nothing more than “nuisance value”.

Now for the most part – I don’t have too much of a problem with this. The battalion guns were indeed so thinly spread as to have little effect at any reasonable distance, and as an offensive weapon they were next to useless. (The journal of Louis Bricard, a French battalion gunner from Sept 1792 onwards, makes it clear that for the most part his guns served along side their battalion in the defensive line, and that going forward with the battalion during assaults was rare. They were usually left behind on these occasions to help cover any retreat).

However – when on the defensive, at short ranges (and probably loaded with canister), battalion guns could still represent a formidable proposition in a localised fire fight or when charged by cavalry (assuming the gunners kept their nerve). In these close quarter defensive battles battalion guns didn’t just bolster their accompanying infantry’s morale or provide a rallying point, they could also help deliver critical fire support at the point of decision. It is interesting to note, for example, that in the absence of any quality cavalry to protect them; French infantry commanders of the early Revolutionary armies often cite battalion guns as an important factor in helping to keep enemy cavalry at a distance.

I suppose what I’m saying here is by all means keep battalion guns at the level of just “nuisance value” as far as ranged attacks are concerned or keeping up with their associated infantry when assaulting – but PLEASE don’t neuter them entirely in defensive situations. If the range is short, and the gunners of reasonable quality and good morale, they should still provide their infantry battalion with a significant boost in defensive firepower.

(I realise that Jim and David probably weren’t suggesting a complete “neutering” - but I wanted to stick my oar in before the general impression descends that battalion guns were entirely useless).

DPT

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