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screamingpalm
25th Apr 2005, 04:04
One of the most valuable formations which played a huge role in Napoleonic warfare is missing. I am a big miniature wargame fan, and as I have mentioned in another thread, my favorite game ever is called Carnage & Glory II. I mention this because it taught me a valuable lesson of just how important these sharpshooters were. Now in most wargames, miniatures or otherwise, morale is usually checked when a unit takes heavy casualties. In a game of C&G I remember having a British unit in line formation facing a unit of French light infantry in skirmish formation. Now each turn my opponent would fire on that unit with his skirmishers, and I didnt bother to worry much about it as he was doing only a few casualties each turn. I was more focused on the heavy fighting elsewhere in the battle. After a few turns the computer tells me that my unit routs! They were still fairly close to full strength, and units that were getting shelled by his artillery stayed in good morale. At first we laughed and I thought maybe it was just one of those unfortunate, unpredictable things. After I thought about it, it made me realize just how realistic it really was. Skirmishers in those days would play hell on their target's morale. These sharpshooters would aim first at officers, colonels, etc. So even though my unit was still close to full strength, my leaders were probably getting killed, and I was left with a battalion of privates etc. Thus, left unchecked, shirmishers play with the minds and morale of enemy troops. Not to mention that they were deployed in front of the rest of an army in order to draw fire and screen the main force. I dont expect that IG will portray this aspect out, but not even having skirmish formation is unfortunate.

psycduty
25th Apr 2005, 10:34
I think the skirmish formation is in it, however it may only be limited to forest occupations,
follow this link then on the gamespot site scroll down to a set of trees and theres some french riflemen occupying a set of trees in what appears to be a skirmish formation, but judge for yourself.
http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=50115

saddletank
25th Apr 2005, 12:30
Hi Screaming :)

You can occupy the woods in the demo battle 1 with some British infantry. Instead of crossing the river at the bridge, keep moving to your left until you reach a point on the river bank where there is an island in the river, ford across here and beyond is a mill to your right and woods to your front. You can send 1 unit of infantry to 'occupy' these woods (the game gives you the same icon on your cursor as occupy a house), and your infantry will spread out and skirmish in the trees for the full extent of the dark green vegetation texture.

However I could not tempt the Austrians to attack me here so I can't say what combat in woods is like yet. I haven't put infantry in the Taureg camps in Cyrenaica yet, these may be a similarly defined area to occupy.

But I have seen nothing to indicate skirmishing in the open, it's a fairly subtle and misunderstood formation / tractic so maybe teh game devs missed it out altogether?

Berdan
25th Apr 2005, 12:35
Something we may just have to fix :cool:

psycduty
25th Apr 2005, 14:43
hehe lol
Skirmishers were just soldiers (mainly the new troops and volunteers) who went ahead of the main body of troops, this maybe to hassle enemy troop movements and to halt advances, in any case skirmishers are pretty annoying, so theres every reason we must have it in the game :D

saddletank
25th Apr 2005, 16:30
mainly the new troops

I think you might be confusing them with Roman Velites who were young men. In Nap times skirmishers were often hand picked, from the smallest, most nimble and were the most quick witted and independent thinking troops. They were definitely considered a 'cut above' the normal line infantry and yes, you're right, many were volunteers too.

psycduty
25th Apr 2005, 18:52
Yeah i probably was knowing me :D lol. Also skirmishing detachments were also set up, such as rifle detachments. They would be about a company strong (atleast at the beginning of their formation which was around the peninsular wars) and would have rifles instead of the 'brown bess' muskets.
These would be crack shots and would often skirmish infront of the main body of troops for the same purposes as i explained previously.
(was the peninsular wasnt it? correct me if im wrong im a bit foggy on that era lol)

Lt.Phoenix
25th Apr 2005, 21:43
It won't let me put my guys in the tents in the desert battle.

saddletank
25th Apr 2005, 22:05
I haven't tried occupying the tents either yet but they may be an 'area' you can occupy with one unit like the woods in the Hannover map (works the same as 'occupying' a building, your mouse cursor shows the same symbol).

Khornish
26th Apr 2005, 00:46
Skirmishers really won't work well, within their historical role and effectiveness, unless there's a good morale/cohesion/fatigue system in place.

Instead, they could be half-assed about it and treat skirmishers as open order line infantry and force all other infantry to close order only formations (unless set to occupy a building or woods).

I doubt we will see either.

Of course, the devs can prove me wrong (please!) and post some new info about the game in these forums (snowball+Hell).

screamingpalm
27th Apr 2005, 01:43
Well, without skirmish formation, really we will have tactics of "powder, pomp, and pipe clay", Frederickian, Seven Years War Prussian tactics, set in the Napoleon time period. :rolleyes:

(type name here)
27th Apr 2005, 22:01
so how exactly does a skirmish formation look like?

screamingpalm
27th Apr 2005, 22:53
so how exactly does a skirmish formation look like?

A skirmish formation is an open order formation that would normally be 1.5 to 2 times the frontage of line formation.

Khornish
28th Apr 2005, 07:10
A skirmish formation is an open order formation that would normally be 1.5 to 2 times the frontage of line formation.

Well, not exactly. :D

At the bare minimum, the game should represent what would be the deployment of the voltigeur company. This would mean just a few models at the scale to figure ratio being used, but it should still be in the game.

Skirmishers were deployed by various means in various numbers and just about every combatant nation used different methods.

However, it was expected that a company in skirmish order would spread out enough to cover the front of a column or line.

Open order and skirmish order aren't really the same thing, but all too often are identified as though they are.

Skirmishers used what cover was available, operated (usually) in pairs and typically stayed within about 100 yards of the parent formation, with some notable exceptions including the British army.

It's really a shame IG lacks skirmishing as a feature. However, since there isn't a morale system, nor apparently a linked cohesion system, they cheated the tactics of the period and left it (skirmishing) out of the game. Without morale/cohesion skirmishing just wouldn't work properly.

screamingpalm
28th Apr 2005, 07:43
Well, not exactly. :D

At the bare minimum, the game should represent what would be the deployment of the voltigeur company. This would mean just a few models at the scale to figure ratio being used, but it should still be in the game.

Skirmishers were deployed by various means in various numbers and just about every combatant nation used different methods.

However, it was expected that a company in skirmish order would spread out enough to cover the front of a column or line.

Open order and skirmish order aren't really the same thing, but all too often are identified as though they are.

Skirmishers used what cover was available, operated (usually) in pairs and typically stayed within about 100 yards of the parent formation, with some notable exceptions including the British army.

It's really a shame IG lacks skirmishing as a feature. However, since there isn't a morale system, nor apparently a linked cohesion system, they cheated the tactics of the period and left it (skirmishing) out of the game. Without morale/cohesion skirmishing just wouldn't work properly.


Ah, this is also true, there are the skirmisher companies within the battalion that would go out in front of its' unit that wouldn't have a large frontage. I was thinking more along the lines of a whole battallion of light infatry forming skirmish formation for such a large frontage. As done when there wasnt an immediate threat from cavalry, to draw fire and try to screen the rest of the army.

I agree with your point about skirmishers not working properly without a decent morale system. They could still have easily implemented them in as skirmisher screens, though. Would just need a defense bonus, even though that's not all they were used for, it's still better than nothing...maybe? :D

In any case, I dont see the point of even having light infantry in the game without skirmish formation. One reason why the British Army raised permanent light infantry regiments was because of the defeat in Flanders where the French had caused heavy casualties by using waves of skirmishers against Seven Years War tactics.

psycduty
28th Apr 2005, 10:25
I totally agree with not using the skirmish formation because of the lack of a decent moral system, however my troops ran away alot last night when i was trying out the austria mod!
To be honest the game is too fast to employ those types of tactics within skirmishers unless the map is very large, in which case skirmishers could be used to slow down enemy formations in order for the main parent unit(s) to get into position, in terms of moral i think it depends upon losses gained by the unit, or stress from combat or being attacked by a cavalry unit when out of square formation all these make your men run away.
I think Berdan, (if ure reading this) we should do something with skirmishers being infront of the parent unit when the unit is moving (one or two maybe) just to cause unrest with the enemy troops.
I think its an idea that we could mod for the game!