Friday, 18 October 2013

Field Of Glory Renaissance - Artillery

In January I wrote an article wondering why wargames rules are so complex. In it I used a table from the Field of Glory Renaissance (FOG R) rules as an example. Well this month I've stumbled across another inconsistency in FOG R that has me stumped.

It all started with a thread on the Slitherine forum about the impassibility of captured artillery to mounted troops. Feel free to read the thread but here's the situation in a nutshell. In FOG R:
  • Unlimbered, and unsupported, battlegroups of artillery are immediately lost on contact with the enemy.
  • The lost battlegroup is not removed because it can be re-crewed and turned against its previous owner.
  • Lost artillery can only be captured by pike and shot units either immediately, if they have assaulted the guns, or later in the game.
  • Mounted troops assaulting artillery face an insurmountable [sic] obstacle because they cannot interpenetrate artillery, captured or otherwise.

So far so good. The outcome being modelled is:
  • On close combat the artillery crews are immediately killed, or run away, leaving the guns behind.
  • The guns of active, captured or broken artillery always represent a significant barrier to mounted troops.
  • Captured artillery can only re-crewed by specific troop types.
This is all fine and dandy until you consider the situation when artillery is the target of counter battery or missile fire:
  • Losses caused by shooting eventually result in the artillery battlegroup being removed from the table.
  • The removed artillery battlegroup is no longer an obstacle and can never be re-crewed by anyone.
Not so good. In contrast to close combat the shooting outcome being modelled appears to be:
  • On shooting the artillery crews are killed or run away apparently taking their (unlimbered) guns with them.
  • If the guns haven't been taken away, somehow they no longer represent an obstacle to mounted troops.
  • The lost artillery cannot be re-crewed by anyone, friend or foe as they've either vanished or have been put beyond use.
On this basis pistol armed mounted should shoot artillery, preferably from the side, and then, if successful, they can ride on. Frontal combat would leave them stranded for a few turns no matter how successful.
The inconsistency is glaring. In my view the solution is straight forward: do the same whatever the cause of the demise of the artillery. I don't care which people prefer:
  • Always remove broken battlegroups of unlimbered artillery
  • Always replace broken battlegroups of unlimbered artillery with markers.
The key word is "always". Let's see what happens.

Updated: Sat Oct 19 11:40:40 BST 2013 - See related discussion on TMP.

Updated: Thu Dec 5 22:00:29 GMT 2013 - Issue now "resolved" in the FOG R V1.10 Errata which now says:
P.67. INTERPENETRATIONS. Add additional bullet after the 4th:
"Any troops can pass through uncontrolled artillery perpendicularly from back to front or front to back only"
Of course this still leaves the glaring inconsistency that artillery "vanishes" if shot at but if fought over it remains in place.

4 comments :

  1. Well, you were the one who moved to FoG because it was so much simpler, clearer and better written than DBMM. Schadenfreude is so much fun.

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    Replies
    1. Too true and it's quite depressing really.

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    2. On reflection I would like to point out that it was FOG AM v1 that was better written than DBMM not FOG R and that the above issue is about underlying consistency not clarity or simplicity.

      In general both FOG R and FOG AM v2 are rewrites developed from, or based on, FOG AM v1. As a consequence the clarity and, more importantly, the consistency has suffered somewhat.

      Delete
  2. This is the "make it complicated to sound like a more intelligent rules set syndrome" which unfortunately resides in a number of rule books. Should have gone for Impetus or start gaming using 10mm and play Warmaster Ancients ;-)

    Jason.

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