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"Blasting away at villages" Topic

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867 hits since 15 Oct 2018
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Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2018 11:04 a.m. PST

Any one found reference somewhere of bataillons in line, or brigades even! Blasting away distant volleys at villages in the hope of oblitarating its defenders?
As it is a repeated method valid in many rules and in even more gamers ' minds.😋

Spooner615 Oct 2018 11:22 a.m. PST

Our group has struggled with that same issue, just roll up some arty and blast them out. But in reality that didn't happen much, usually you have to end in the infantry to root them out. I really like how General d'Armee handles BUA's. Fire into and out of is ineffective, so you have to send in an infantry Battalion. Luckily the attacker is more willing to close with BUA than an enemy Battalion in line firing a defensive volley.

I run into this issue in other periods as well. In WW2, most games you can just roll up your tanks to 600 yards and blast them out of buildings. But in reality you would have to send in the foot slogger to dig them out.


Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2018 11:28 a.m. PST

In the bible, err, Kriegspiel 1828 they tell you of firing not too far with artillery at villages.
In real life they would have to see much to be of use, and it will depend on strength, disposition of buildings etc. easily put into some defensive factor.

For ww2 mostly missing:
" you can't see them"
That tank does not have a lot of rounds esp hE…

My point in my rules designer pages, is if you just start shooting, they will go to ground, hide and wait till you run out of ammo, unless you have big bangs coming. And big bangs. Pre 1870, not so much.

MajorB15 Oct 2018 11:37 a.m. PST

Any chance of Napoleonic infantry hitting anything when firing at a village are close to if not actually zero.

Artillery firing round shot will just knock holes in the walls and maybe not even that if the walls are reasonably thick.

Howitzers might kill a few people if they can drop rounds in the village square but they'd have to be o na nearby hilltop to get the trajectory to do so if there are intervening buildings.

In short, don't bother.

Think about why La Haye Sainte, Hugoumont and Papelotte lasted all day without being taken.

Okiegamer15 Oct 2018 11:37 a.m. PST

In my rules, there is no firing into or out of towns. They have to be attacked by infantry or dismounted cavalry in melee combat.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2018 11:44 a.m. PST

I think many of those famous Waterloo places were hidden from view. (orchards edges)
In maps I remember 1-2 batteries positioned to help attack one of them.

It looks a bit of the same at Leipzig. Also my take is that most villages if not one street, have a "screen" in the first houses at least. If those hit so what, the rest is ok.
On the other hand we have Essling and Aspern plus others ruined.

Yes in my rules, so far only close artillery, but it ends up too often like Grille battery blasting houses. Not often realistic.
Might have to just have the fire effect of howitzers after a while, if it spreads gets the thing to be evacuated. But even this not often found. In 1870 yes. And close support guns helping factor in assault.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2018 11:46 a.m. PST

It should not be allowed. Firing long range volleys in to a town isn't going to do anything but waste ammunition. Some poor slob may be accidentally wounded or killed, but it is not going to produce any meaningful or significant casualties at all.

Aethelflaeda was framed15 Oct 2018 11:47 a.m. PST

Howitzers setting a town afire was not a rare tactic and it's effects should be possible. Borodino comes to mind immediately

Volley musketry against a town is absurd. Skirmisher affair at best.

marshalGreg15 Oct 2018 12:20 p.m. PST

at Jena by the Prussians but I think it was closer range then what would be considered "distant".
Poor decision by these Prussian commander!
and Poor decision by the player.
The owning player covering the BUA should be happy to tie up those enemy forces :-) I do

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2018 12:53 p.m. PST

I've seen it in SYW sets, too. Firing into villages is penalized, but not sufficiently, while often destroys attacking units who should only be disorganized. So the "book" answer under the rules is for the attacker to engage in a firefight, where in real life he ought to have charged in.

It sometimes helps to get playtesters willing to use unhistorical tactics. People who know how things should be done don't always do things as the rules alone would suggest, and then you're published and stuck.

14Bore15 Oct 2018 4:40 p.m. PST

Taking a shot at setting the housing block ablaze is the only thing I have tried. And that is when troops are known to be occupying them.

Stoppage15 Oct 2018 5:47 p.m. PST

Surely the wooden village buildings were dismantled to make artillery positions (revetments, etc)? and also to reduce fire risk.

I used to live in a town where every building along one side of a road was razed to deny cover to attackers (English Civil War).

C M DODSON15 Oct 2018 11:19 p.m. PST

In my opinion mass musketry at buildings is an impractical proposition.

For my Ligny re fight each building was given a defence value by calculating length times breadth ( in centimetres) multiplied by 2 for stone or brick plus half again for each storey.

Artillery round shot hits could be employed to batter down the structures or if hit by a howitzer shell a six meant the place was on fire.

Five and six if occupied to put it out, six on a second move then it's caught.

Anything downwind in a two centimetre range then catches fire each move if not put out.

This worked very well indeed.

Mudfords paintings showed the devastation which was mirrored by these rules.

Best wishes,


Green Tiger16 Oct 2018 3:37 a.m. PST

Early period (1793-5) artillery regularly bombarded villages often setting them on fire…

GreenLeader16 Oct 2018 5:54 a.m. PST

Its a pet hate of mine in all periods of wargaming: the only way to clear troops out of fortifications / trenches / buildings should be by storming them (or, I suppose, setting the building on fire).
Pouring rifle fire into the place should not do anything at all.

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