The Waving Flag: Field Of Glory Renaissance - Artillery

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 (no longer online) 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, battle groups of artillery are immediately lost on contact with the enemy.
  • The lost battle group 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 battle group being removed from the table.
  • The removed artillery battle group 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  • If the guns haven't been taken away, somehow they no longer represent an obstacle to mounted troops.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 battle groups of unlimbered artillery
  • Always replace broken battle groups of unlimbered artillery with markers.
The key word is "always". Let's see what happens.



Doug said...

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.

Vexillia said...

Too true and it's quite depressing really.

Vexillia said...

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.

Anonymous said...

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 ;-)


Vexillia said...

Removed two broken links. One to the Slitherine forum & one to the errata for FOG R V1.10.

Vexillia said...

This appears to have been resolved by the Feb 2018 update to the rules -

Vexillia said...


Artillery in Contact with Enemy

Artillery bases never take part in close combat.

Limbered artillery are automatically destroyed and immediately removed from play if the artillery or their limber markers are contacted by any part of any non-broken enemy battle group.

When any base of an unlimbered artillery battle group is contacted by an enemy base in a way that would normally result in close combat, the whole artillery battle group is automatically captured unless all contacted bases have rear support.

When an artillery base with rear support is in contact with enemy in the impact or melee phase, close combat takes place between the supporting troops and the enemy in contact with the artillery base.

If the artillery loses its rear support (e.g. if the supporting troops rout or break off) while the enemy are still in such contact, it is captured.

Captured artillery [that is without rear support] that is in contact with the front edge of enemy troops in the JAP is removed.

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