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"Siege / fortress artillery" Topic

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601 hits since 3 Dec 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

4th Cuirassier03 Dec 2017 6:16 a.m. PST

Way back when I had 25mm Hinchliffe Napoleonics I acquired one of these:


back then Hinchliffe just called it a siege gun, Hinds now calls it an 18-pounder. It is HUGE compared to a 9-pounder or 12-pounder. In my old copy of Quarrie I have pencilled in under the other guns' stats a line for a "32-pounder".

Does anyone have any suggestions as to the tabletop capabilities of a piece like this, i.e. what they should be? If one were gaming a sortie by defenders against a battery position, would a thing like this even be usable against troops? Would there have been canister rounds for it or would it simply have fired ball at the walls till they fell down? How would it be modelled in a game?

Artilleryman03 Dec 2017 10:41 a.m. PST

Heavy guns like this had been used in the 18th Century as field artillery so they did have canister rounds. In the field role they would have had a greater range but I am unsure of the impact. I think the canister would have been devastating while the ball would not be much worse than a 12 pdr on impact but it would strike more in depth. I would increase the canister effect by 30 – 40% while the ball could plow on to cause more casualties at maybe 20%. The real problem would be manoeuvring such a big piece in a battle. You might have a rule to make it immobile.
I would be interested to hear what others think.

Nine pound round03 Dec 2017 12:40 p.m. PST

"Revolution & Empire", the rules I know best, classify siege guns as starting at 24lb, and permit them a 50% bonus over heavy guns (I.e., 2 guns fire as 3). They don't permit movement within the space of a scenario, probably because siege guns were emplaced on wooden platforms for firing.

If it's an 18 pounder, it sits on the line between field and siege artillery. Carl Franklin's book on British field artillery correctly notes that Wellington's field artillery included a brigade of 18 pounders, but adds that their establishment included 6 "platform wagons," which suggests that they were meant to be fired from platforms, like siege guns.

Nine pound round03 Dec 2017 12:42 p.m. PST

Forgot to add that Franklin describes the iron 18lb guns used in the Peninsula as having bracket trails, which is consistent with your miniature.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 12:46 p.m. PST

The 18's were not in and of themselves too heavy to
move about – it was all the ancillary battery equipment
which tended to make the 18's (and heavier) immobile
once emplaced, with of course the munitions which the
18's consumed.

Of course the 18's were not going to move about like
8's or 6's either.

14Bore03 Dec 2017 3:56 p.m. PST

In my old booklet of the Prussian Landwehr by he who should not be named there is a oob of the Prussian army I used to build my army. In it it mentions a few ( 3 or 4 maybe) batterys that have 6pdr seige guns.So to throw a monkey wrench in the works have slightly larger models and make them move as heavy guns. Never gave them any extra but they should if new have more striking power, but I consider them old so didn't bother.

RudyNelson04 Dec 2017 10:07 a.m. PST

As with any smoothbore cannon, cannister is an ammunition choice.
They would be used by fortress guns to damage sails and riggings. The use of anything such as glass, nails, and rocks would have been an option to fend off assaults. Bar and chain shot could be effective against mass formations of attacking troops. \

Siege guns could be used to batter down walls or assist in an assault on the walls. Aiming at doors or other weak spots would be standard.

We had an 18pdr+ class back in 1984 with Guard du Corps. Siege guns would be less likely for an attacking army than a defending one. We treated them no different than other guns in function. Movemnen speed and set up time was long.

Plenty of skirmish scenarios can be centered around the siege positions. During the siege od Pensacola and Mobile by the Spanish, their were several actual actions by the British against the Spanish. Savannah was another city with plenty of sortie situations. Another would be the neutral ground around New York city.

So the same actions can be done for the napoleonic wars as well.

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