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"Fire vs. Morale in Empire" Topic

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21eRegt17 Mar 2014 2:19 p.m. PST

We're still playing and enjoying Empire in the land of cheese (WI), but I'm beginning to question the different fire and morale ratings for some nations. Most of the major opposing powers; Austria, Prussia and Russia, fire a grade lower than their morale. Yet the French, British and their allies fire "normally." i.e. veteran line shooting and morale.

It is one more thing to track and I don't recall many other game systems that do something similar for the Napoleonic era. So my question to the forum is: do other game systems penalize countries generic line troops in terms of shooting? I mean, even the much maligned Spanish shoot at the same morale grade. I thought at first it might be some sort of issue with adopted French organization and drill, but that is not the case.

Worth keeping then? Of course the God-like British fire *two* grades higher than their morale, but at least there is the two deep vs. three deep line to rationalize it. Please keep it civil.

Arch Duke of Nothing17 Mar 2014 2:25 p.m. PST

Well, when I played I used the Austrian regiments that were elite like the 1st and 4th I believe, Kaiser Franz and the Deutschmeisters as a way to get around that issue….purely anti Austro-Hungarian bias!!! I am keeping it civil too!

That was the only way I could see it working, we created our own lists, nothing historical (Russians vs Austrians) so it worked for us.

14Bore17 Mar 2014 2:26 p.m. PST

Playing solo, but said that I don't use the change fire rates. Now I only have Prussians, Russians, British/allies, and Bavarians and since my battles are Prussian vs Russian it isn't much different so that comes out as a wash. My newer additions of British and there Hanoverian allies but I don't want to arm the with Lee Enfield's so they will not get a upgrade.

21eRegt17 Mar 2014 2:42 p.m. PST

Most of us have chosen to paint up historic OBs so you get the occasional elite regiment and the occasional conscript. That too washes in the end. I'm just looking to defend it from a simplifying standpoint.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2014 2:51 p.m. PST

As with all casualty based games, they are based upon a faulty value set. Ask yourself this: Why the British get two grades higher than their morale?

The designer need to show superiority in firepower as making a difference in the chances to create casuakties. The more casualties the worse the target unit behaves. In reality it is the unit's ability to remain functioning as a unit despite casualties that decides things. NOT "morale"- control over the functioning of the men as a unit.

Now you can't blame everyone for recognizing the problems in such rules, but most keep bashing their heads against a seemingly dead end. The casualty and numbers game as the major factors for unit behavior being propogated so much in every iteration to correct things when games go wrong. It's the wrong value set being used, IMHO.

Look at casualties produced verses the volume of ammunition expended. Also know that most of the casualties were from arty fire. One can only conclude that the numbers are NOT good indicators of warfare in the ages of firearms. What is the common thread of all warfare? the men. the grouping of individuals, working together towards a common goal. Afterall, is that not what a unit is?….a collection of individuals? How good they are as a unit is the sum total of training and experience of the men, leaders and how long have these men been under these leaders, fatigue, and maybe 1,000 other factors but numbers ranking well towards the bottom!

But I also believe that everyone should play the rules sets they enjoy most! I recognize that not all of us arrive at the same conclusions at the same time. Sometimes it takes years of determination in researching to discover why things do not work the way they "feel" right. For others, it's just a game and as long as it is fun, enjoy it!

But if you continue to feel that something is wrong, I only suggest you look at the premises that most games are based on- numbers! (and a misused concept of "morale").

Hope this helps in a discussion and hope this remains civil. Mine is just another view addressing what I see as the root cause of your questioning.


Bede1902517 Mar 2014 5:00 p.m. PST

In Age of Eagles French Infantry during 1805-@1810 produce 2x the volume of fire that the Austrians do. The explanation offered is that the French manuever better and are able to shake their battallions out into line better to fire.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2014 6:08 p.m. PST

Well the thing with Empire is that the Fire values are also the morale values and that French & British are like gods and the lowest level troops usually can't hit the broadside of a barn.

They have no basis in historical fact.

Fire values and Morale are two totally different items.

There is only like a 1/3 differance in the shooting of Elites and Scum troops.

The thing is the scum troops are far more likely to break.

So if the Fire Value for Elites is 21 than the Fire Value for scum troops should be 14.

Malefric17 Mar 2014 6:51 p.m. PST

Im not sure what version of Empire you are playing as I'm only familiar with 3 and 5 and both use the morale value as the fire value except for elite companies or integral skirmishers.

That said I agree with the general premise. Im not sure that I agree that a volley from a guardsmen (30/figure) is actually 300% more effective than the volley from a veteran (10/figure). Or for that matter 375% more effective than a conscript at 8/figure or 500% better than a landwehr at 6/ figure.

Even taking a less extreme comparison elites (not uncommon for French/Brits) are x2 as effective as conscripts.

I agree there should be differences for training and fire discipline, I'm just not sure they were quite that disparate. Empire attempts to model a very specific interpretation of the Napoleonic period.

21eRegt17 Mar 2014 8:25 p.m. PST

@Mithmee – the fire value (against a column) for elites is 16 and veterans are 10. Conscripts are 8 and landwehr is 7.

@Malefric – We are playing Empire (V) and the appendices clearly show the afore-mentioned nationalities having different values for fire and morale/melee. I don't recall which edition introduced the different fire/morale values.

I rationalize the different fire values as being the more experienced you are the better and faster rate of fire you will maintain. Annecdotal evidence, but this is clearly shown in reenactor circles where the "veterans" keep their musket firing longer.

For the British and all other two deep lines you are getting more shooters. While the French drill does have a bit on three rank firing, I have found no regular use of it during the Empire. In fact, it appears from the memoirs I've read lately that all fire discipline broke down very fast and you get ragged firing by files rather than vollies.

Thanks for the input, keep it coming. I like how fatigue and casualties reduce your ability to melee effectively in Empire. But then it doesn't degrade the firing except for the number of castings times the fire value.

Malefric18 Mar 2014 2:19 a.m. PST


Have Empire V open and in front of me and w/ respect you are overgeneralizing at least re: Prussia

Prussia 1812-1815:
Only units that do not fire their morale class are Landwehr 1814 which fire landwehr and are 75% conscript/25% veteran; as mentioned above freiwilliger jagers fire one morale class above their parent unit.

Austria pretty much just gets hosed in Empire (the joke in my group is they're rated like Spanish… which is true). Russia the argument is always poor powder and equipment, whether accurate or not.

The more interesting question from your examples is do you think the brand new reenactor thats never fired a musket before (e.g. a landwehr man) is x2, x3, x5, x6 less efficient than the "elite" 20 year+ active reenactor?

What about the difference between a reenactor thats been drilled a few times and the "elite" guy (a conscript)? Or the guy that's been one to one of massive reenactments for the anniversary and a few other smaller ones (e.g. a veteran?)

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2014 5:59 a.m. PST

Unless there is some historical evidence to indicate the differences in fire effects for Austrians vs French, or conscripts vs elites etc., it sounds like whatever feels good is the only criteria.

And of course, we have no idea what motivated the designers to generate those fire relationships.

Nadir Shah18 Mar 2014 7:14 a.m. PST

In Grand Battles Napoleon, a set of Napoleonic rules very soon to be released,I give a number of examples of how historically fire (both small arms and cannon) had an enormous impact upon a sector or even the whole battle itself. The examples are carried across, French, Austrian and British, each pouring out devastating fire upon the enemy.

It must be said that everyone has a bias about how they interpret an era of warfare and the troops that fought in the era. Extending that hypothesis rules designers will bend those interpretations even further to create a game. This is easily witnessed in the plethora of unit types and quality of units in the Napoleonic wars outlined by the various games designers. Empire is no different. Where I see the problem lying is in the merging of "game" with supposed "simulation" The French won so the French must be better and the British beat the French so the British must be the best, seems to be a bit of a theme of the rules! Many Empire gamers and games groups I have come across have recognised this clear Frankophile syndrome and dealt with it without changing the rules. There is only Class 1 and Class 2 artillery, in most armies the majority of the troops are veteran firing as veteran, in the case of the British veteran firing as crack, just to keep the fluff and nostalgia of British firepower, most battalions are at campaign strength for both sides 8-10 figs per battalion, with Russians etc with 3 fig companies and French etc with 2 fig comopanies and most cavalry on all sides if HC is Battle 20-24 and most light cavalry and medium cavalry Non Battle 16-18. French cavalry are not super men, in fact the allies normally have better quality cavalry by 1 step etc. Games rely in the command element and formations. So while a couple of divisions aside game does not quite reflect the differences, a 2 corp + reserve game will show the superiority of massed cavalry and artillery formations over penny packing, and command and control issues by the allies. These are some of the ways players have got around the whole issue as Empire devotees. I have found the most enjoyable Empire games are with a group of guys that strip back the superiority of the French troops and rely instead in their better command and control abilities, inherent in the game design. As Empire players I guess its up to you how you want to address the issues of bias in the troops size and quality in the lists!

Good Luck and good gaming! :)

Art18 Mar 2014 7:35 a.m. PST

G'Day Michael et al,

I have to agree with Bill in regards to not knowing what motivated the game designer in his reasoning…

But as for…"the God-like British fire *two* grades higher than their morale, but at least there is the two deep vs. three deep line to rationalize it."

This is not a valid point…because all the principle countries executed fire using two ranks…the game designer is confusing how many ranks actually fired and how a country formed their small body of troops.

When the British are doubled in four ranks (due to the presence of cavalry) they still get the bonus of firing in two ranks…

If anything…calculation should be the width of a unit firing..then divide by half. This represents how units only fired 50 percent of their frontage…unless they lost control of the execution of fire…

And the argument that it doesn't make any difference due to the fact that in the 15 to 20 minute duration of fire…the entire front rank would eventually fire…is improperly thought out…because it still remains that only 50 percent of the frontage fired at any given moment…

Of course there is still the continuing myth that only the British practiced with live ammunition…ergo their reasoning such effective fire… ;-)

The British execution of late fire followed up with a charge when the French staggered…is more appropriate since even the French trained with live ammunition.

As for the French executing fire from all three ranks due to it being in the Reglement de 1791…thus they must have executed this mode of fire….

But the Reglement de 1791 never became the French Army's ordre de tactique…

By 1805 the Reglement de 1791 became such a contraction to the French system that had war not of broken out…a new reglement would have replaced it…and the new committee would have been led by Meunier…

Best Regards

vtsaogames18 Mar 2014 9:51 a.m. PST

Of course the God-like British fire *two* grades higher than their morale, but at least there is the two deep vs. three deep line to rationalize it.

It is worth noting that Wellington discarded the 2-rank line after one day of fighting at Quatre Bras. At Waterloo all British units fought in 4-rank lines. In the Peninsula the terrain was generally rougher and cavalry was scarcer.

One day of seeing the damage done by Pire's two light cavalry brigades and Guiton's cuirassier brigade changed his mind. I never saw anyone penalize British infantry firepower at Waterloo for being 4-deep instead of 2-deep.

Ah, I see artpdn has touched on this.

xxxxxxx18 Mar 2014 9:51 a.m. PST

"with Russians etc with 3 fig companies and French etc with 2 fig comopanies"

Russian infantry companies had, at full war-time strength, 165 rankers. Of these, it was required to detach commissaries, vice-under-officers, flag guards and messengers. This would leave at most 150 rankers, or 50 ranks each of three men. There were 4 companies per Russian battalion (after 1801), so a full-strength battalion would delpoy 600 rankers, This was so unusual that the drill manuals actually depicted a maximum of 48 ranks per company, not 50, for a total of 144 rankers per company and 576 rankers per battalion. To get to these numbers required a substantial "war-surge" in rankers above the peacetime establishment.

Part of the logistics system of the Russians included pushing many functions down to the regiments and even the companies. This meant that there was a substantial non-combatant group at these levels of command. It is possible that authors, not understadning how to interpret a Russian "штат" (establishment) or strength return, might over-state the number of actual fighting soldiers.

For the French, from 1803-1807, there were 9 companies per battalion, 8 fusilier/chasseur/voltiguer companies each with 104 rankers, and 1 grenadier/carabinier company with 64 grenadiers. There were thus 896 rankers in a full-strength battalion. At this point you might model the French companies with 2/3 as many figures as the Russian companies, but with 5 more companies in each French battalion. French battalions then had 300+ more rankers than Russian battalions.

From 1808, the French had 6 companies per battalion, each of 121 rankers, for a total of 726 rankers in a full-strength battalion. It is hard to see modelling the French with fewer figures per company than the Russians at this point. French battalions still had 150+ more rankers than Russian battalions.

By the way, the tactical unit for both the French and the Russians was the "peloton" and "взвод/vzvod", which might be both best translated a "platoon". Basing by "compagnie" and "рота/rota" (company in English) might be considered an odd mixture of administration level of command with tactical deployment.

Similarlly, for both, the "bataillon" or "батальон"/"batal'on" (battalion in English) was a tactical unit, while the "régiment" or "полк"/"polk" (regiment in English) was an administrative unit.

I don't play Empire. But any general superiority for one nation or another based on "national characteristics" would be deeply suspect.
But in the specific case of Russians and French ….

Russian jäger and grenadiers did shoot with just the same skill as French veteran line units, the senior jäger units (numbers up to 20) likely even somewhat better than the French. Russian non-grenadiers maybe a bit lower than French line of equal experience.

For morale, here may be some sort of high "élan" French or "cult of the bayonet" Russians plus factor attacking in close combat. And I would think the Russians could be rated measurably more steady in the face of losses than the French.

Just my opinions, of course.

- Sasha

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2014 12:08 p.m. PST

The superiority of British fire to French or other nations isn't really borne out by the evidence. The British discipline was often very good, but that's not the same thing.

In the majority of cases during the Peninsula, the British volleyed one to three times at close range and charged the enemy. There is nothing to suggest the actual fire was generally superior to any other nation firing at the same range.

In stand-up firefights like Albuera or Ferey's Division's stand at Salamanca, there doesn't appear to be any significant difference in fire power.

The idea that training would affect the effectiveness of volley fire is a reasonable conclusion, but the actual differences are really open to debate.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2014 12:15 p.m. PST

Here is my opinion: Look at the ratio of officers to men. Look at the length of service with those officers.

Imagine if there were just two less officers in battle after the firing starts. How will take up the slack? Who is now keeping control over those leadersless men? It's not how many casualties a unit sustains, it's the effect of the fire on the unit's ability to function.

If more was better, then why do we see so many Austrian units break early in the war? (Back to look at the leader to men ratio). Early on, the Russians had large units, too.

Why could the French outmaneuver their enemies early on? Look at the ratio of men to officers. Also, look at how long these guys were together as a unit verses later periods.

To rely on numbers as a standard to measure by just does not seem to tell the true story. How many ranks did they deploy in? More makes it easier to control more men by fewer officers. As for shooting: As long as you stand your ground and can produce a volume of fire (very little has to actually hit someone to make a difference), the unit remains a threat to be dealt with. Dead men do not require the attention of their leaders during battle. The remaining live ones do.

There were a lot of time of NOT taking fire during a battle. How long did a firefight continuously last? Those smoothbore barrels got hot after a few round fired in close succession! Also, ammo carried could not sustain long periods of fire. fatigure would set in and shoulders hurt (even further reducing fire accuracy. So invariably, lulls would occur in the fighting in a certain area. Officers and NCO would use that time to close ranks, calm the men, make them drink water, check their remaining ammo, etc. …all things to get their men refocused upon the military related job at hand each was supposed to do, this kept them in the fight longer. If the enemy could maintain longer periods of pressure, the ability of the unit's leadership to perform their duties was taken away…sort of like spinning dishes on a stick….having to run from one end of their area of responsibility to the other; steadying the men, shouting over the din of battle, etc. The cohesion of the unit breaking quicker. It does not matter if the units is green, or veteran, the training and experience of the men and leaders determined how long a unit could remain "on line" and focused upon what they should be doing.

A good Brigade leader should be watching where the pressure is most on his command and be prepared to pull out worn units from his local reserves (if he has any left).

So if we use casualties and numbers of figures firing as the standard to measure unit performance, a veteran will always hit on a certain number; if less, then an always decresing chance for hits….never allowing for differing volumes of fire nor lucky accuracy nor what the unit's leaders are doing to counteract the effects of that fire….etc. with rules other than casualty results. Time and distance can be your friend and your enemy! Just being shot at is just one (a very important one!) factor that distracts the men (and leaders) from focusing upon the tasks at hand. Again, a BIG stretch to claim that casualty based games account for that in the results when no factors of the like are even mentioned.

I often ask what a gamer is doing when he performs a morelae check. Invariably I get an answer akin to "I am checking to see if the men want to run or not." Ok. But where are the efforts of their leaders to counteract them from running-keeping cohesion in the unit? Ah-ha! There are none! So to claim these are factored in to the results seems just another way to say "well, i had not thought of that!". Designer's notes are very important if a gamer wishes to get the most out of a game designer's efforts, in enhanced enjoyment.

OK, Just some food for thought. If the gamer does not really understand the period, then I guess it doesn't really matter how combat is done. But for a few of us, it's the wrong value sets that lead to quirky results sometimes. (And yes, there are quirky results in real life too!) I'd rather loose to a better skillful player than to the rules, that's all.

Best to all!


Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2014 12:43 p.m. PST

BTW, I remember Scotty (and later, Todd Fischer) doing a lot of explaining in their versions of Empire. Often, in the body of the text. ( Forgot which edition that came in a box looking like french Flag….. Last time I played Empire was in the mid 80's.

Malefric18 Mar 2014 1:16 p.m. PST

Very few games measure the mental and physical fatigue of being under fire or mortally threatened for extended periods. Carnage & Glory does but it offloads the tracking to a computer. Empire does in a small way in that each engaged ME takes a fatigue point every hour. Its an important factor that is hard to model without a lot of number crunching and tracking.

Todd Fischer did a good job explaining his departures from Bowdens Empire V, it's a shame the rules were poorly drafted/organized (step backwards to Empire 3). Bowden was somewhat more forthcoming in E5 but not much reasoning passed to the gamer.

Concern ratings, my complete armchair opinion is that the differences in effectiveness for inf and cav in excess of 250-300 should be examined with a skeptical eye. The ratings of non-Anglo-French can also be idiosyncratic…newly raised prussian hussars hitting like heavy cav and pre-1806 dragoons hitting like poor quality light cav comes to mind….

There are too many divergent views of history and gaming in this period for a one size fits all ruleset. I believe Siegeworks comments above gets it right in that Empire cannot be viewed as the divine and final word on historical gaming in this period. Its a product of the state of scholarship in the 70s and 80s and its focus on the Anglo-French struggle. It still provides a basis for gaming the period "in the grand manner", but is definitely not without fault or shortcomings.

21eRegt18 Mar 2014 6:21 p.m. PST

We've strayed rather off track, though I appreciate all the observations and comments and especially the civility and respect for the varied opinions. I'll try to respond to a couple.

@Malefric – My evidence is circumstantial but as a ranker and officer I know that an experienced soldier or reenactor takes better care of his musket, doesn't over-prime to foul the pan and touch-hole and has the reloading drill down pat. My personal best is 42 shots in a row with a flintlock, half of them in a driving rain. I've also stood next to men who mis-fired on their second or third shot. So you answer your question, yes I think so. And we don't even have the added stress of knowing someone on the other side of the field wants to kill us. ;-)

@artpdn – In Empire, if deployed in a double line the second rank would not shoot, just like in a column. For the most part I don't think we can consider whether you fired in half battalions, by file or as a battalion unless the turn is 20 seconds or so. Impossible to accurately depict in a game. I'm confused by the comment regarding everyone firing in two ranks. True but if you *form* in three ranks, 1/3rd of your men are not active shooters. If a British or American or 1815 ally is firing all 600 men and my French battalion if firing 400…?

@Dye4minis – One of the things I like about Empire is the firefight resolution. You don't (typically) get the endless firing sequences. More often than not someone goes back so you get the break you mention.

I've never claimed Empire is the "end-all" for Napoleonic gaming. It has its warts and blemishes to be sure and some rules in it that Scotty has admitted were put in to stop the rule rapist and his ilk. But it is the game of choice here and best models what we are looking for in a game. It just seems to me that it needs some tweaking (which is a HUGE concession over the Michael of 10 years ago) and I'm looking for some evidence to support it.

Thanks all.

John Miller18 Mar 2014 7:17 p.m. PST

21eRegt: I agree with you. I also agree it could use some tweaking. I don't believe there is a rule set that has been around for twenty years that would not. I have always thought if players don't agree with the writers' opinions about morale, fire efficiency, leader ratings, army capabilities, which art. is class 1 or 2, etc., its' easy to substitue your own thoughts on those matters. I concur also agree Malefric that no rule set will please everyone in a group with such divergent opinions as wargamers.
John Miller

Art18 Mar 2014 8:09 p.m. PST

G'Day John,

I fear that I must disagree with you in one sense…though it is true that no rule set will ever please everyone…Empire is outdated and has many mistakes that needs to be corrected…

-which has nothing to do with other players opinions…but wrong in accordance to the Napoleonic system and their general principles.

If Empire is to compete with contemporary game designers of today…the game designer has over 20 years of Napoleonic military science that has been revised…and he would need to catch up on all of it…

Otherwise he would fall victim…just like other game designers who really do not know the Napoleonic military system and their general principles…nor the actual military science…

But with that said…if I were the author of Empire…I would not make any updates either if I were in his shoes…for 20 years is a long laps of time to catch up on.

I played Empire from 1975 to 1998…and I fully understand that it can be a groups game of choice…I am all for it…I merely suggest that each group make their own house rules that suit their needs…just be careful between:

It has the feeling of being Napoleonic…verses…it was actually within the general principles and system.

Best Regards

Personal logo Condotta Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2014 9:52 p.m. PST

Good discussion, and a question our group has pondered regarding fire and morale classes. Thus far, we've elected to retain the charts as published and explore tactics to minimize weaknesses and magnify strengths. Sometimes, a weakness can develop into a strength. For example, Austrians with lower morale are converged into masses, becoming much less brittle. The converged battalions are flanked by artillery to lend support fire when possible. Other batteries engage infantry or cavalry formations and avoid counter battery fire if possible. We try to use the tactics of the day as we understand them, and the result is games that any of our nations can win, if terrain, timing, reserves and the dice gods are favourable. Worth keeping IMHO.

Art19 Mar 2014 2:10 a.m. PST

G'Day Michael

"In Empire, if deployed in a double line the second rank would not shoot, just like in a column. For the most part I don't think we can consider whether you fired in half battalions, by file or as a battalion unless the turn is 20 seconds or so. Impossible to accurately depict in a game. I'm confused by the comment regarding everyone firing in two ranks. True but if you *form* in three ranks, 1/3rd of your men are not active shooters. If a British or American or 1815 ally is firing all 600 men and my French battalion if firing 400…?"

You want to know about different fire and morale ratings…therefore let's first examine a British Battalion formed in "Four Ranks" …and whether the general principles are correctly modeled in Empire.

A British body of troops formed in "Four Ranks" is actually a doubling of files…thus two ranks go to four ranks. Whereas doubling your ranks…you go from six ranks to three ranks…-yes that is correct ;-)

For the French they actually doubled by sections. Nevertheless the results are the same.

Doubling was used as a counter to cavalry while in line…

Remember doubling of a line is not a column. Therefore the game design is wrong and it now effects the British firepower by giving it an unrealistic negative modifier when firing.

It is for that very reason we find that after 1808 any French battalion that attempted to form a colonne with only six ranks was considered nothing more than a doublement de sections en ligne…

Back to the British…but the game design states that when the British are in "Four Ranks"…it is a column and must use the negative modifiers of a column or "Closed column"

-actual the correct military term is close column…no such creature as a "closed column".

Thus my question is this…do the British fire using 2 ranks with the modifier for its formation in "column"…or does it fire like the French..using the fire table as three ranks?

Why is there a negative modifier when a body of troops fire in a close column?

(I am still trying to understand the difference of an "Attack Column" and "Closed Column" -or properly said a close column in R&E…since they are both one and the same)

Anyway…there is absolutely no impediments when executing fire while in a close column…so why the negative modifier while in a close column?

Once you answer these questions…then I shall explain how fire by half-battalion or battalion would make Empire and your own issues better…

Best Regards

Trajanus19 Mar 2014 3:59 a.m. PST

For me the two biggest failings in Empire as written by Scott (I've never played the Todd version) were the joining of morale and fire class and the level of French superiority in order activation.

They both were both out of proportion to historical fact and crossed the line where a game mechanic showing some level of superiority, turned into a more permanent domination that allowed players without the skill of their opponent to take advantage.

21eRegt19 Mar 2014 7:01 a.m. PST

@artpdn – Mmmm, no. I am not privy to the reasons behind the negative firing modifier for a closed column, nor do I care to speculate. If it is important to you to know please contact the authors. I know Scott is on Facebook.

My question was, and remains, do other rule systems penalize the Austrians, Russians and 1806 Prussians plus some others for firing? Part two would be; is it justified?

If you have something to contribute to the discussion please do.

Nadir Shah19 Mar 2014 9:37 a.m. PST

Siege Works new Napoleonic rules available soon does not penalise anyone when shooting, , but one must understand there are three models for war games, high level complexity, mid level and low complexity, GBN and NB and BP are basically mid level, Napoleon is low level and Empire is high level. The more you want to micro manage the more factors like shooting become and emphasis. Also natural philosophy on formations, rates of fire etc can also affect as designers bias regards this. In the end most men had up to six weeks training , enough understand that they point at the block in front of them and shoot, reload and shoot. So in GBN there is no negatives, a few get benefits like British, French 1805-7, armies trained in British linear tactics etc. Honestly some will argue in depth about justified reasons for one group shooting better than another and while there seems to be throughout the general historical texts ore examples with some nations more than others the circumstance's, the bias in the historian's writers and many other factors IMHO end up muddying the waters. There is just as much evidence that allied troops shot better than the French, caused more casualties and stood for longer battalion vs battalion as there is about French superiority I artillery and small arms fire vs the allies. The fact that they won more engagements is not on the whole reason to justify most clichés, however we are all driven by clichés and I confess to having a fe2 of y own in the game :)

Art19 Mar 2014 1:47 p.m. PST

G'Day Michael

Since you know that Scott is on Facebook…ask him…go directly to the source…

Since you do not care to speculate…good on you…

But I do like your phrase…"If you have something to contribute to the discussion please do."…-I shall have to use it…

As for your two questions:

Do other rule systems penalize the Austrians, Russians, French, and 1806 Prussians plus some others for firing?

Answer is Yes

Second question…is it justified…

Answer is Yes to those who do not wish to speculate…but historically No.

Best Regards

John Miller19 Mar 2014 2:36 p.m. PST

Art: Thanks for your responce. Guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
John Miller

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2014 8:25 p.m. PST

My question was, and remains, do other rule systems penalize the Austrians, Russians and 1806 Prussians plus some others for firing? Part two would be; is it justified?

Yes, some rules do, such as AOE and LFS, Grognard [Piquet] to mention, but exactly how do you determine it's justified?

1. You don't know the specific reasoning the designers had for including the rule.

2. You don't know what history the designers referenced in making those decisions, or whether it was a purely game concession [simplicity, balance, etc.] having nothing to with simulating anything.

3. And then, even if by some miracle you did know those two points for any of the designs, what criteria would you use to determine they were 'justified?'

You simply don't have enough information to come to any reasonable answers to your question.

And what's your favorite color?

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