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"Amusette Rifle Damage?" Topic

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943 hits since 1 Feb 2017
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axabrax Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2017 3:22 p.m. PST

I'm trying to model stats for the Hessian Jaeger's amusette (Perry Models) "rifle" for the AWI in Sharp Practice and presuming that this gun would be almost like a long range sniper rifle. I am considering giving it the range and cover reduction of a light field gun but limiting it to one kill but more "shock." Am I interpreting what this gun can do correctly, or am I way off base? What would its battlefield role be (other than portability) and what kind of damage did it inflict? Thanks for the info.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2017 7:01 p.m. PST

Amusettes are difficult things to write rules for.
This is particularly true since I use The Sword and the Flame at the game scale where they would be relevant weapons.
It was a weapon that serious men, like von Ewald, used in the field.
I'm inclined to use artillery ranges with 2 crew needed to fire, but can only get one hit. It's automatically a key card hit, meaning whatever the shooter wants to hit with the exception of leaders.
Unfortunately that makes it a sniper rifle rather than a small artillery piece.

42flanker01 Feb 2017 7:08 p.m. PST

I think Winston's instincts are right. The evidence, on balance (IMHO), points to this being a light artillery piece rather than the heavy rifle depicted in the Congreve illustrations on which the Perry figures are based.

Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2017 7:41 p.m. PST

Absolutely non-historical, but the Royal Rifle Corps for my 18th Century ImagiNation is supported by an amusette. I used the exquisite little amusette model by Westfalia Miniatures, which is a light artillery piece, perhaps a one pounder.

42flanker02 Feb 2017 2:25 a.m. PST

The lovely Westfalia model is based on Hessian designs dating back to circa 1765-1770, so perfectly historical in this context.

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axabrax Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2017 8:25 a.m. PST

Thanks for the input Gents. In Sharp Practice at least, my write up for this will be based on a light artillery piece's stats, so the mechanics adapt well to whatever your historical bias may be. ( Obviously I am trying to model the musket because I have the Perry figures and will be doing that regardless of whether or not it can be historically verified ;-) The only difference I imagine between a light field piece and a heavy musket in Sharp Practice would be that perhaps you'd use a few more d6 to model a larger gun if you do this as a field piece anyway. For posterity's sake, I think my current Sharp Practice 2 write up would be:

Light Gun, 2 crew, 4d6, 2 actions to reload, no penalty for single crew serving the weapon, and the same range attributes and properties as any other cannon. Doesn't need to be limbered/unlimbered and moves like infantry. If shooting into a formation, the weapon fires a straight 1" wide path from the gun and the number of kills is limited to models whose bases are wihin that 1". So if I was facing and firing straight into a 2-rank deep formation the number of killls would be limited to 2. (Use your discretion about who gets hit as obviously this could be gamed by a weasily player.) This means theoretically you could kill 4 men if firing from the right angle with this gun, but it would be a mathematical fluke and on average it will be much less lethal. If you think this weapon can be used as a scattergun, I'd limit the range to 12"

I would use the same point value as your army list for a light gun as the portability more than evens out the fewer dice. Obviously this all requires playtesting…

42flanker02 Feb 2017 9:08 a.m. PST

You raise a good point regardingthe use of a gun of this calibre to fire sub-calibre shot, and to what effect. The light field piece, probably; the 'wall-gun' piece, less so I suspect- (except as an improvised measure- would jagers bother?)

AICUSV02 Feb 2017 7:39 p.m. PST

Doesn't the use of this piece in a game run afoul of any figure ratio the maybe used? One kill equals 10, 20, or what ever number of men, would such a piece inflict that many "kills" in actual use?

SJDonovan Inactive Member03 Feb 2017 2:59 a.m. PST

I've got a couple of volumes of Patrick O'Kelley's 'Nothing But Blood and Slaughter' series and I'm sure in one of them he mentions a plan to use an amusette to drive away enemy artillery from a river crossing (though I don't know whether the plan was to do this by targeting the enemy gunners or the guns themselves). I don't have the books with me right now but I will try to find the reference when I get home.

42flanker03 Feb 2017 3:59 a.m. PST

Just for the record, the 1-pdr amusette field pieces designed for Danish service by General Huth in the 1770 did use a sub-calibre round, which used 54-59 balls (20 loth).

I don't know whether the plan was to do this by targeting the enemy gunners or the guns themselves

Either would have sufficed, no? I imagine a succession of closey grouped 1 pound or half pound shots smashing into your field piece might have dampened your ardour to stand to it.

SJDonovan Inactive Member03 Feb 2017 4:38 a.m. PST

Either would have sufficed, no? I imagine a succession of closey grouped 1 pound or half pound shots smashing into your field piece might have dampened your ardour to stand to it.

Agreed. I just wasn't sure whether the shots from an amusette would have enough power to disable a field piece? I'm not familiar with the Sharp Practice rules but I imagine that since it is a skirmish game you might need to know whether it is the crew or the gun itself which has been hit.

42flanker03 Feb 2017 12:07 p.m. PST

Shatter the spokes of a wheel and a field piece could be seriously inconvenienced…

axabrax Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2017 9:56 a.m. PST

Sharp Practice is largely a 1 figure equals 1 man game, so no this doesn't run afoul of anything :-) The number of kills represents the number of men taken out of the fight for whatever reason. If I ever scaled the game up to a higher number (the game could theoretically be scaled slightly higher--I'd say 1:5 max) I'd limit it to one kill.

SJDonovan Inactive Member05 Feb 2017 10:46 a.m. PST

I have had a look in Volume Two of 'Nothing but Blood and Slaughter' and the incident I was trying to remember was the skirmish at St Andrew's Creek, South Carolina on March 22 1780 where a British force under General Alexander Leslie was held up by patriot artillery fire at a river crossing.

The British forces did have four amusettes, however, I was mistaken in thinking these were used to drive the American artillery away. Instead Leslie attempted to outflank the patriot position by sending a force to cross the river further upstream. The flanking force had to go through a swamp, where men sank chest deep, and when they emerged they found the American forces had withdrawn.

So it turns out that the example I was trying so hard to recall tells us precisely nothing about the effectiveness of amusettes against enemy artillery!

axabrax Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2017 11:59 a.m. PST


Thanks for taking the time to follow up!

42flanker06 Feb 2017 12:28 p.m. PST

1780, January12
Simms Island, SC

"On the 12th at daybreak all the troops disembarked without the guns (except the four amusettes of the light infantry, which the men themselves had to move) or any of the baggage, not even a horse for the Commander in Chief.

"Now, since it could cost many men to drove away the enemy and capture the bridge, the general asked me whether I would not attempt to cross a little further up the creek, which would force the enemy to leave his post. If not, cannon must be brought up, since nothing could be accomplished here with four amusettes.

1780 March 12th
Hammonds [Savages]

"At daybreak on the 12th [March], Colonel [Robert] Abercromby, with the light infantry and two amusettes, marched to Hammond's plantation, At the same time Colonel Webster marched up the road along the left bank of the Stono River with the jager detachment and the 33d Regiment to cover the left flank of the light infantry.

"Colonel Webster took his position at Savage's [Hammond's] plantation, where we ran into an enemy party of fifty horse and about one hundred infantry, whom we attacked and skirmished with for over two hours, during which two jagers were wounded. Afterward, they left us and moved against the chain of Colonel Abercromby, whereupon the jagers rushed to the aid of the light infantry as soon as they heard several amusette shots.

Capt Johann von Ewald Journal

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