Tweaking the rules: limbers

For your Wargames Wittering
ochoin
PurpleBot
Posts: 653
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:52 am
Location: Brisvegas

Tweaking the rules: limbers

Post by ochoin » Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:27 am

I have a bad habit of fiddling with the rules....however, a possible rule tweak?

I've been made aware that SYW limber riders were civilians &, hence, not noted for their suicidal bravery. Indeed, "buggering off" was definitely in their repertoire.

So, could I/should I add a rule tweak that might acknowledge this eg "When targeting artillery, throw an additional D6 & on a '6', the limber is removed, never to return." ?

Not that my SYW artillery careers all over the field of battle normally, but this has the potential for guns to be only able to be traversed & not re-deployed. Fairly static artillery was a feature of the battles of the time.

What do you think?

donald

NB a single gun model = a battery. Each gun model has a limber.

User avatar
Essex Boy
Grizzly Madam
Posts: 4368
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:22 pm
Location: South Essex
Contact:

Re: Tweaking the rules: limbers

Post by Essex Boy » Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:36 am

Black Powder deals with this very simply. Guns move at infantry pace until they shoot, thereafter they can only be manhandled. It represents the limbers having done their job then buggering off.

E

User avatar
grizzlymc
Grizzly Madam
Posts: 8652
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:33 am
Location: Sunny Sydney
Contact:

Re: Tweaking the rules: limbers

Post by grizzlymc » Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:06 am

My knowledge of the 18th century is somewhat limited, but I thought that the civvies would indeed place the guns and then nick off to the baggage until the battle was decided. As guns got lighter and more manouverable, this proved a touch limiting so they got real limbers and drivers. I assume that horse artillery was formed with a full military team, which may have given impetus to the formation of foot artillery drivers.

Etranger
Gaynor
Posts: 1966
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:10 am
Location: The Athens of the South

Re: Tweaking the rules: limbers

Post by Etranger » Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:39 am

Sounds like a good idea. Don't forget to except battalion guns, as these were routinely manhandled forwards.

User avatar
Essex Boy
Grizzly Madam
Posts: 4368
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:22 pm
Location: South Essex
Contact:

Re: Tweaking the rules: limbers

Post by Essex Boy » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:49 am

Etranger wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:39 am
Sounds like a good idea. Don't forget to except battalion guns, as these were routinely manhandled forwards.
A good point, well made. What ET says.

ochoin
PurpleBot
Posts: 653
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:52 am
Location: Brisvegas

Re: Tweaking the rules: limbers

Post by ochoin » Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:28 pm

The rules state battalion guns move at normal marching speed but are lost if the unit retreats or worse.

I do like the sound of the BP rule but guns were, sometimes, limbered up & moved during a battle so I'd like to keep the possibility of the option.

donald

User avatar
BaronVonWreckedoften
Grizzly Madam
Posts: 5743
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:32 pm
Location: The wilds of Surrey

Re: Tweaking the rules: limbers

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften » Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:57 pm

This is one of the least realistic aspects of our collective recreations of black powder warfare. My thoughts are:-

1) Limbers are pretty much irrelevant to the level of warfare we are enacting on the tabletop, to put it bluntly. Larger guns were set in position at the start of the battle and rarely moved (Phillips at Minden was an exception, and even then he came from a reserve position, IIRC). Quite simply, your SYW battles should not involve horse-drawn movement of guns at all, really.

2) Ammunition and limbers were usually kept separate - ready-use rounds were in a small box kept on the limber or in the trail box, but after that, surplus rounds were acquired/brought forward from caissons. Thus the limber itself was withdrawn a long way behind the gun-line and only brought back up to either advance the guns after a defeated enemy, or remove them from the battlefield before they were captured by a victorious enemy.

3) Battalion guns in Europe were quite small - usually 3- or 4-pdrs - but elsewhere could be 6-pdrs too. They would be manhandled forward (and backward) and men would be assigned from the nearest infantry unit to facilitate that, but occasionally if a longer distance was to be covered, one horse was hitched up to the gun and (usually under the supervision of an actual artilleryman) used to pull the gun forwards. I would be careful about being too dogmatic about their loss if the infantry falls back, as much effort would usually be expended to ensure they were got away.

If I have any more thoughts, I'll add them below.

User avatar
Essex Boy
Grizzly Madam
Posts: 4368
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:22 pm
Location: South Essex
Contact:

Re: Tweaking the rules: limbers

Post by Essex Boy » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:48 pm

This is how I intend to simplify the Rank and File rules.

I'm going to copy the Black Powder rules re field guns. I completely agree with Brendan (I don't believe that a deployed battery has a vast depth of stuff behind the gun line), but wargamers like to move their guns, so I'm going to let them. It also fits better if an army need to deploy as part of a scenario.

Battalion guns will be able to zip around but will be lost if they get left behind by the parent unit. That's not because they are actually lost, although they may be, but because it's deemed that their weapon no longer adds to the bigger picture, i.e. its shooting just produces yet another lead or iron ball bouncing around the battlefield.

E

Peeler
Jezebel
Posts: 2563
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:09 pm

Re: Tweaking the rules: limbers

Post by Peeler » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:58 pm

BaronVonWreckedoften wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:57 pm
Phillips at Minden was an exception
T'was ever thus.

User avatar
BaronVonWreckedoften
Grizzly Madam
Posts: 5743
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:32 pm
Location: The wilds of Surrey

Re: Tweaking the rules: limbers

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften » Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:33 pm

Or Pharter Phillips, as he was known in the Mess.....

Post Reply