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Light infantry in Skirmish Order

10 years 1 day ago #1 by Leatherneck24

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  • So I was using my two bavarian light infantry battalions to act as a skirmishing screen to my whole division. They worked perfectly and found the Austrians as I wanted them too. I stopped both and made sure they were facing correctly the Austrians as I still needed time to move my two brigades from road column into a line formation. The Austrians advanced and my skirmishers did not open fire until 100 yards which was the same time the Austrians were able to open fire. Since my men were spread out I did not lose a lot of men, but I am lost on what the point of the skirmishers are. My men in the end were charged and forced to rout from the area. I was under the impression that they would be able to fire at the Austrians from a distance farther than line infantry troops limits. Maybe pushing it out to 150 yards would make using skirmishers more effective. Right now 100 yards is not enough for them to get off any decent fire to even slow down the advancing units.

    So maybe some changes

    Increase range to 150-175 yards
    or Increase speed of withdrawl so they still can fire but move faster than the advancing troops.

    Thanks
    LN

    Pas de charge! In the name of God, En Avant!-En avant, vive L'Empereur!

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    10 years 1 day ago #2 by gunship24

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  • Thanks, skirmisher weapons are in the files but not implemented yet because they needed balancing properly i think I ended them in "_sk", so when in line they were not overpowerful. Skimishers are at a very early stage of modding. The French for example have what look like voltiguer battlions but are rather meant to be representation of detached companies, however micromanaging them around would be a pain hence why I put them altogether in a 300 or 200 man unit. The Austrians on the other hand dont have any similar detachments.

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    10 years 1 day ago #3 by Jack ONeill

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  • LN,

    Remember, most skirmishers were armed with the same smoothbore muskets as their formed comrades. They would open fire at roughly the same range as the enemy, like what happened to you.

    Unless they are armed with rifled weapons, they their firing power is the same as Line troops.

    Skirmishers in real life were very valuable. They were the tripwire, as it were, to warn your side of the enemies advance. They were sent out to find the enemy, particularly valuable if you were advancing up a hill or through the woods where you cannot see very far. The French were masters of this in the attack - Their Infantry in the early days being somewhat untrained, as it were. They would push "clouds of skirmishers" out front to engage the formed troops of the Enemy and force him to open fire, wasting their first volleys on gnats trying to sting them. This would shield the advancing columns until they were close enough to charge. Skirmishers were also good in forcing advancing columns of troops to halt and form line to fire back, thus gaining time for your own formed troops to get ready to receive the attack or move to an attack of their own.

    I have no information on whether the Bavarian light Infantry was armed with rifled weapons or not.

    Jack B)

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    10 years 1 day ago - 10 years 1 day ago #4 by Leatherneck24

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  • Gracias senor,

    The Bavarians actually armed about 1/3 of the third rankers with rifles. The rest were using the regular musket. However, skirmishers were better trained than your fusiliers or center company. These men were picked for their smaler size, speed, and ability to think on their own. The reason the French did not adopt the rifle as some were issued with them during the revolution was due to the speed of reload. However, officers with the volts were armed with the rifle. I have even seen paintings of volt officers in the light infantry having a double barreled rifle made from specially for them. The french were well know for their accuarcy with the musket because skirmishers were acutally issued the French pattern dragoon musket. This was a smaller version of the regular musket due to the weight and size of the smaller men in the volts. If I can recall these men were trained to take well aimed shots at 200 yards or more. You have to remember center companies were not taught to aim other than Great Britain. It was about mass fire and speed of reload. The sniping was for the volts.

    Jack I believe skirmishers at least in the case of the French were actually a little more specialized as their role was to pick off artillery personnel and officers and NCOs of infantry. They were used in advance and to screen the infantry, but also skirmishers at least in the case at Teugen-Hasuen were grouped together in a 2000 man force from Friants regiments to flank through the woods to help stop a counter attack by the Austrians and as they did pick off high ranking officers. They wounded 2 GM during the battle.

    Gunship by the way I think your MOD is great and please keep up with it as it has so much potential. Hopefully my suggestions won't seem rude but just improvements. I believe skirmishers really set apart this time period even more than the Civil War.

    LN

    Pas de charge! In the name of God, En Avant!-En avant, vive L'Empereur!
    Last edit: 10 years 1 day ago by Leatherneck24.

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    10 years 1 day ago #5 by Jack ONeill

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  • LN,

    No problem. Your information is quite correct. The limitations of this marvelous game engine preclude a lot of the smaller but correct aspects of the Infantry.
    Yes, the French Voltigeurs did carry the Dragoon pattern musket, when they were available. However, have you ever tried to hit a target at 200 yards with a smoothbore musket? I own one, a Brown Bess, 1790 pattern. Hitting a man at 200 yards is impossible. with a smoothbore. Indeed, Friants Voltiguers did yeoman's work in the woods against the Austrians. Hot work there. Notice they didn't leave the woods. Had they done so they most likely have been ridden down by the Austrian Horse. The French Voltiguer did become more specialzed as they gained experience and became more professional further into the wars.

    Good work!

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    10 years 1 day ago #6 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • Actually, skirmishers reached their zenith in the Civil War. The Union, especially the western armies used them to great effect. It was not unusual to have an entire regiment so deployed from a brigade. Sherman's use of them in the Atlanta campaign was unequaled. And Lee made heavy use of skirmishers in the last year and a half of the war.

    The problem is that in SOW, they have to be micro-managed. Otherwise they behave just like battle line troops.

    I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.

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    10 years 1 day ago #7 by Jack ONeill

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  • MTG,

    Quite true. They sort of need to be micro-managed in NapWar too.

    Jack B)

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    10 years 23 hours ago #8 by Jack ONeill

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  • Gun,

    Almost forgot. Combining the Voltigeur companies was a great idea AND historically correct, as our colleage LN has pointed out. It gets them in the game with minimal fuss.

    Also, the Austrian do have Skirmisher units - the Jager Battalions. Unfortunately, the High Command grouped them in the "Advanced Guard" Divisions instead of giving one to each division or so. Oh well.

    Jack B)

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    10 years 23 hours ago #9 by Leatherneck24

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  • I would imagine 200 yards a pretty darn hard mark in general for that time period. Although rifles probably not as hard but still time consuming to load.

    So just had another combat sent a Light Battalion after some routed Austrian infantry to keep them busy. They reformed and I moved in skirmish order. My men opened fire on the closed ranks of the Austrians at 126 yards. We exchanged fire for awhile and I received more casualites than I dished out. Maybe if the range is not possible is there a change for amount of killed and wounded when the man are spread out. I was under the impression that when in skirmish mode you were less likely to get hit and give more punishment than received.

    By the way Jack your new OOB just caused me a great cavalry battle right outside of Gettysburg. Probably about 10 counter charges in all. Even caught a whole brigade of my men marching through town in marching column. Those dragoons are sneaky! :angry:

    Pas de charge! In the name of God, En Avant!-En avant, vive L'Empereur!

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    10 years 23 hours ago #10 by Jack ONeill

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  • Brother,

    We've all noticed the annoying amount of casualties skirmishers take. I have actually no idea what to do about it. No, they should take about one for every 5 or so they dish out.

    A rifled weapon - such as the Baker Rifle - could actually hit something at about 300 yards. Takes FOREVER to reload though. It is a little easier firing at a long line of troops than one man.

    LOL! Yes, I ran the OOB last night before I posted it. Cavalry is Fabulous in this Mod. I played as the Austrians. The Bavarians moved to the attack, rolling up their Batteries supported only by Infantry. I had formed the Dragoons on my left, in a big, open field southwest of Gettysburg. Formed in a double line and slowly advanced, hit double quick for about 100 yards then the charge! Rolled right thru the batteries, capturing 7 guns. Flailed around fighting Infantry for a bit, then withdrew. Lost some lads, but sweet as hell!

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    9 years 11 months ago #11 by Lord Ashram

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  • If I may...

    Way back when we worked on Napoleonic Total War 1 (based on the MTW engine) we did have to tackle skirmishers.

    The problem, as people have mentioned, was that if you used the range of the weapons as the determining factor for the skirmishers, then they behaved just like regular troops, instead of in the way they were actually used... to probe, and to harass and annoy infantry in line while out of effective range of a volley of musketfire.

    After a long time of sticking with the technical data, eventually I changed the range of skirmishers to be EVER so slightly more than line infantry. Not much; just enough to enable skirmishers to engage line infantry at a range where they wouldn't cause many casualties, but the line infantry couldn't fire back (in my mind, they could in theory fire back, but it would be so ineffective no commander would do it.) While this seems, at first, wrong, it ends up having a bigger, and more proper, impact; namely, if you are commanding a bunch of line infantry standing around and skirmishers are at your front harassing you, you are left with the three options real commanders had; either advance your lines to engage them effectively, thus forcing them to run away, deploying your own skirmishers to protect your lines, or simply sit there and take casualties that may not be like "big full on firefight" casualties, but enough that it picks away at the effectiveness of your unit over time.

    While people who are stuck on the idea of "numbers must represent the technical aspects of the weapon" may not like this solution, if you are able to look beyond the strict and literal translations of the ranges and such you will find that you can actually and in a subtle way engineer the tactics of the age into the game using what you have available.

    Oh, and if you DO do this, you may want to make the skirmish-capable units smaller... maybe a sixth or a tenth of a full unit, to represent that it is a company of skirmishers from a battalion. That is one effective way to make sure people don't use skirmish-capable units (with that slightly greater range) as their main battle line... they just cannot stand up to the fight, but rather must be managed carefully, and eventually pulled back when the fight starts in earnest.

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    9 years 11 months ago #12 by Jack ONeill

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  • Ash,

    Bang on! Unfortunately, the game engine does not allow for really small units to be effectively removed from a larger Battalion. That is one of the reasons Gunship put the French Light Companies together in Converged Voltiguer Battalions. Yes, your right with us on the "slightly longer range" aspect. As discussed, I found that some of the skirmisher units had the longer range muskets. Good deal. As soon as Gunship gives us the nod, I'll adjust the Bavarians in all the OOBs to have the longer range weapons.

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    9 years 11 months ago #13 by gunship24

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  • You can go ahead and edit whatever, I will most likely update the download at some point with the new ideas. I didnt know that much about Bavarian infantry tactics so I left them with the regular musket. The idea would be that all light battalions should be able to skirmish and line battalions cant. This is a weigh up between historical accuracy and gameplay. Since the smallest unit is the battalion it is sensible to make the whole battlion skirmish rather than the company system which doesnt exist. I am brewing up some ideas of sprite ratio 3:1 company level scenario's.

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    9 years 11 months ago #14 by Jack ONeill

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  • Gun,

    Thanks. That's where we came out, too.

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    9 years 11 months ago - 9 years 11 months ago #15 by Leatherneck24

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  • I just like watching the men march and set up for battle and sending order to the Bavarian army. I actually just got interested in the Bavarian military in the last 5 years. I picked up some good books on them and tried my best to read everything on them. Also I found theminiaturepage the napoleonic dicussion forum very helping on learning about the infantry itself. I put a link to their light infantry on another forum. Many of the men who write the books like James Arnold, John Gill, and others actually post of the forum. If you have any questions they will be very helpful. Also George Nafziger has a great book on their army and tactics it is a small book but pretty good.

    I recently got really into the battalion level tactics. Just wanted to mention and I doubt you can add this into the game but the Bavarians were very well know for being surprised on outpost duty. A lot of their casualties in the 1806 campaign game from outpost clashes where they were completely surprised at times. They were so bad at outpost duty French infantry at times had to be posted near them to do the job and or double the outpost strength. Also they were well known for being slower marchers than the usual infantry.

    Also James Arnolds Triumph 1807 just came out which is the second book from Crisis on the snows. Very exciting and amazing book.

    Pas de charge! In the name of God, En Avant!-En avant, vive L'Empereur!
    Last edit: 9 years 11 months ago by Leatherneck24.

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    9 years 11 months ago #16 by Jack ONeill

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  • LN,

    I know, the pagantry is just amazing to watch. Yes, I know those names - I have Nafziger's book on the 1812 Russian Campaign. Met him at a party in D.C. years ago, some Military function. Great guy. Insanely knowledgeable.

    I think outpost stuff is possible but would literally require a seperate Mod in and of itself. One-to-One scale, which IS possible.

    And for those of us who can't get enough cool screenshots... :laugh:

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    Attachments:

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    9 years 11 months ago #17 by Jack ONeill

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  • Pics are -

    Top - Von Emde's Brigade moving forward against the Franco/Bavarian left flank.

    Bottom - Seriously close range firefight. 30 yards, "whites of their eyes" action. These two units slugged it out for about 5-6 minutes, neither side giving an inch. Never a thought to charging with the Bayonet. Hot Work! (Musket ranges reduced to 100 yards yards here.)

    En Avant!

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    9 years 8 months ago #18 by Saddletank

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  • Apologies for digging up such an old topic, but I wanted to ask if anything was decided on this. I fully agree with Lord Ashern that his solution to replicate skirmish tactics is the way to do it; I firmly beleive in designing wargame rules that have the correct effect and result rather than giving every unit the exactly correct technical statistics/numbers and hoping you get the right result. Frequently, I have found, you don't.

    Thing is, in TW your unit will halt when it comes into maximum musket range and start shooting, so the system of having skirmishers with a 25 yard range advantage works for that game. In SoW there is no way to order a unit to just enter its maximum range, stop and commence a firefight. I know there is the range to nearest enemy data that shows top left but in the name of realism I turn it off as it seems a huge cheat to me.

    My skirmishers should be skilled enough to judge ranges when I on my computer screen can't, so I'm asking, it it possible to have an order button that says "advance into maximum musket range"? That would be very useful for skirmish units.

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    9 years 8 months ago - 9 years 8 months ago #19 by KG_Soldier

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  • If a regiment isn't tc'd, it will stop when it gets into rifle range. It's a tactic I often use: give a regiment in line a very short movement order and they will halt when they come into range.
    Last edit: 9 years 8 months ago by KG_Soldier.

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    9 years 8 months ago #20 by Jack ONeill

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  • Yes, I work it that way, too, both with Line Troops and Skirmish units - the short move order.

    Tank - most infantry will halt and open fire as soon as they are in range of the enemy. Periodically, they will continue to advance closer than minimum range, then halt. What I have found is typically, they get closer because they can't SEE the enemy beforehand. WE can see them, but maybe not the lads on the Battleline. Just a thought.

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    9 years 8 months ago #21 by Jack ONeill

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  • Tank,

    This just jumped back at me. Somebody, (RB maybe), did a toolbar mod with a "100 yard advance" button on it. So, it IS possible, I think, to add what you are asking for. I cannot do it because I have limited knowledge of that kind of modding, but someone can, I'm sure of it.

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    9 years 8 months ago - 9 years 8 months ago #22 by Saddletank

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  • Thanks to you both, I have Garnier's version of that toolbar. That was my next question - by a "short" movement order do you guys mean using the "advance 100 yds" button or just clicking a very short way in front of the unit on the terrain - or both?

    I also assume you don't TC your unit when giving this order, so that it's commander stops when he knows he's in range and can see the enemy?

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    Last edit: 9 years 8 months ago by Saddletank.

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    9 years 8 months ago - 9 years 8 months ago #23 by KG_Soldier

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  • Just a short movement order, Digby. They won't stop if they're TC'd.

    It's a very effective tactic, especially in woods, as there seems to be some strange lines of sight in most woods.
    If my boys are in a firefight in the woods, I watch to see which regiments aren't firing and give them short movement orders. When they find line of sight, they'll stop and start shooting.
    Last edit: 9 years 8 months ago by KG_Soldier. Reason: added the last bit

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    9 years 8 months ago #24 by Saddletank

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  • Cheers, KG.

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    9 years 8 months ago #25 by Jack ONeill

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  • Tank,

    To follow on from KG's point, by short movement order I do one of two things - either just click the ground say 20-30 yards in front of the unit I wish to move OR I use a short waypoint move by setting a wwaypoint with the "control" key. The downside to that is units generally do not halt until they reach their destination. The problem with the first way is sometimes a unit will take the uber-long way around to get where you want them to go. I will TC them to avoid this. Mostly it works.

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