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"Artillery Basing Question" Topic

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Joe Martin21 Nov 2018 9:36 p.m. PST

Most rule sets use the convention that each crew figure on an artillery base equals one gun. For aesthetic reasons I prefer to have four crewmen on all my 15mm artillery bases.

I have tried to think of other ways of representing the number of guns but haven't been able to think of anything that was authentic and unobtrusive (such as stacks of cannon balls, pipe cleaners, logs).

Surely, someone more imaginative than me has thought of an alternative.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2018 2:19 a.m. PST

I have not come across this convention before. Most of the rule sets I use have the gun represented by models on a base with the base being key. How many models you put on is up to you. As I use the 1:20 ratio in 28 mm this usually means one gun with 4 – 5 crew and support paraphernalia. In turn this represents 2 guns when totalling up how many models make a battery. This is simple mathematics and looks good.

Martin Rapier22 Nov 2018 2:28 a.m. PST

I've also not come across the one gun per gunner thing. I just use a set number of figures per base (heavy guns may get a bigger crew).

If you need to track number of guns per battery then use a roster, or some sort of strength point marker.

Steamingdave222 Nov 2018 2:35 a.m. PST

The only rule set I have come across where there are suggestions for numbers of crew figures is Naps Battles. There, two figures means lighter horse artillery and three figures for field artillery. For other rules I use a standard frontage for a single gun model, representing three or four actual pieces, and put two or three bases together depending on battery size.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2018 4:34 a.m. PST

I'd like to hear about "most" rules myself, since I don't think I've run into that convention.

I would say the stand frontage is a pretty good way of representing batteries of different sizes, but:

--Do you need to be able to indicate a diminishing number of guns as the battle progresses?

--Do you need to represent differences in gun caliber?

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2018 4:44 a.m. PST

I use 1 figure to represent two guns on a base. I also make the frontage appropriately wide. An eight gun battery is 1/3 wider than a 6 gun battery.
A 12 gun battery is twice as wide as a 6.

If you don't make your bases wider, you allow greater concentration of fire for the larger battery. This assumes your rules give larger batteries more fire power.


Major Bloodnok22 Nov 2018 4:48 a.m. PST

Other rules i've seen use one artillery stand to represent a section of two guns, or the whole battery. CLS on the other gives you a certain number of gun stands for X no. of points.

14Bore22 Nov 2018 5:32 a.m. PST

Empire rules started me out with 1 crew figure = 1 gun, I have mostly gotten to at least 1 x 2 figure stand in every battery with any make up with 4 figure stands and a another 2 figure stand if needed.

Joe Martin22 Nov 2018 7:09 a.m. PST

"Most rules" equals imprecise language. I should probably have said many rules. For instance, in Johnny Reb and Johnny Reb 2, one gun model equaled one section, i.e., two actual guns. The change was made in JR3 for one model to equal a battery or part thereof, with the number of guns represented by the number of crewmen.

The explanation was that representing a battery with multiple models gave a battery an unrealistically wide frontage in the game scale of one inch equals 50 yards, especially since JR3 reduced infantry regiments from 5 to 4 stands. I have noticed this convention repeated in other rules.

Thank you for your responses. It is interesting to see the different approaches.

Robert, I don't need to represent the differences in caliber. A strength point marker is a good idea. What I am looking for is a marker that can blend in with the models; something that might look like part of the terrain. I just don't like a lot of artificial markers on the table. Maybe I am asking the impossible.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2018 8:32 a.m. PST

Not impossible by any means, but you missed my other question. There is a range of solutions for representing a fixed number of guns, and a different range of solutions if the number of guns may vary during the game.

First hack: the gun and four crewmen represent a set number of guns, and accessories like ammunition chests or stacks of cannonballs are used to indicate fewer or more guns than standard.

Second hack: the gun and four crewmen represent a minimum number of guns, and an additional crewman--or perhaps an additional gun--is added to one side to increase the frontage for larger (and wider) batteries.

I use a variant of the Second Hack myself in 15mm. Guns go on a stand with 1" frontage and 1 1/2" depth and two crew, and I keep single gunners on stands of 1/2" frontage and 1 1/2" depth to represent batteries half again as large. (Twice as many guns gets two gun stands, of course.) This also covers me against rules which just want the guns spaced out more. For instance several ACW sets have gun stands the same width as infantry stands, while OTR wants them half again as wide.

Hope some of this helps.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2018 9:08 a.m. PST

For my own ACW artillery (20mm), I use one gun and 5 crew for each battery (same layout for 4 or 6 gun battery), I do have one oversized stand with extra crew to represent the Washington artillery battalion (8 guns).

TMPWargamerabbit22 Nov 2018 10:48 a.m. PST

Our rules use a battery base width based upon the number of cannon. Every cannon equals 1/4" so a battery of six cannon is 1.5" wide by standard 3" depth. For 12 cannon the battery base is 3" wide by 3" depth. Generally the number of crew isn't a factor…. a few loose artillerymen to populate the base. But horse artillery we try to place a horse or limber on the base to reflect the horse batteries.

We game using 25/28mm, use a 50 yd per inch scale and 1:100 miniature ratio. But the idea can be used for other rules with adjustments.

Timmo uk22 Nov 2018 11:06 a.m. PST

For my 18mm Napoleonics I use 10mm of frontage per gun and also one crew figure per real gun. So a typical horse battery is made up of two model guns each with three crew figures giving a combined frontage of 60mm.

A French eight gun battery is two models each on a 40mm frontage and each with four crew figures.

The frontages are a workable compromise in relation to the infantry and cavalry unit frontage the rules use. Essentially they were written at 1:45 or 1:50 but I've reworked them for 1:30 or 1:33. I like using two models as somehow in my mind they look more like a battery than a single gun model does.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2018 11:45 a.m. PST

I tend to the number of figures to help represent the size of the gun and aid in quick recognition across the table.

evilgong22 Nov 2018 1:39 p.m. PST

I try to show artillery weight by number of crew on the base, in 15mm 3 x crew = light guns, 4 = medium, 5 = heavy.

For the OP maybe you want something like each model tube = 3 or 4 (?) real guns and have a gunner casualty marker or empty ammo chest to show lost or missing guns?


David F Brown

LORDGHEE05 Dec 2018 5:01 p.m. PST

The Group I played with used home grown rules with a ground scale of 1" = 100 meters or yards.

So a stand was a battery of guns and each figure denoted a gun.

loss of guns resulted in a cap.

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