The place for historical ramblings.

Discussion of Flames of War, Black Powder and other historical games.
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ashmie
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The place for historical ramblings.

Post by ashmie » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:58 am

Just because we might need a place to occasionally say "There is no way that soldier would have had that kind of cuff" I thought I would let this guy get the ball rolling instead of any of us. :)

Looks like historical advisers are just as unwelcome in Hollywood as they are in war gaming. :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJFFLvwN ... ure=relmfu

He makes a good point though. I recently watched a movie that had Japanese subtitles and they were all mashed up and cut mid sentence. They had done the translation properly but hadn't cut it to the film shots correctly.

This guy is a very entertaining rambler, almost as much as Don Kurt of youtube rpg reviews http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=DuA ... =endscreen
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job
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Re: The place for historical ramblings.

Post by job » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:51 pm

I agree with the sentiment, although I disagree with the idea of either rambling. I'll check it out when I get home.

But in this vein what do you guys think is a good balance between historical reality and gaming fun. Usually the historical reality was very unbalanced, or unromantic, far less dynamic or fast-paced, or far more complicated then a game could represent. I think both FOW and Black Powder both face this truth and create their own versions of history or fantastic imaginary historical fictions.
So what kind of balance do you guys want in a historical game? Or do you want a historical simulator?
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Re: The place for historical ramblings.

Post by Primarch » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:20 pm

So long as it looks at least as realistic as a hollywood movie that is fine with me. Anyone pointing out that the lapels on my officer are off by a fraction of a shade will be told in no uncertain terms to F*** off.

First and foremost, this is a game. Whilst discussing real events outside the game is fine and playing in the spirit of the period is welcomed, counting rivets on the side armour of a tank or checking to see if the buttons on a coat are painted in brass or gold is certainly not.
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Re: The place for historical ramblings.

Post by job » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:31 pm

Whoa... somebody blew a gasket. :shock: :D

This is probably not the time to tell you about the shade of brown you used on your 50th T&T's, right? :mrgreen:

I agree. People shouldn't be so darn particular about historic models. Actually the same goes with fantasy games and fluff. While it is always fun to be in character, get in the swing of things, be inspired by the fluff/history, and such, it shouldn't be exacting.

On the other hand, we all do like to rib each other on how some monkey got into an Empire artillery battery, or why one's berzerkers are painted in green, neh? :D
Last edited by job on Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The place for historical ramblings.

Post by Primarch » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:33 pm

job wrote:Whoa... somebody blew a gasket. :shock: :D
No, not yet. But it is a possibility in the future. :D
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Re: The place for historical ramblings.

Post by ashmie » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:44 am

I suppose the history and the game should compliment each other we should paint our models how we like and field armies how we like. It's fun to think of both but you wouldn't want the history to get too much in the way of game play.
The you tube guy above also obsesses over accuracy in Dungeons and Dragons 1st edition so that says a lot about his outlook on most things. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdo5ErnXH3E
I like his posts though as they are a little extreme and funny.
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Re: The place for historical ramblings.

Post by Primarch » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:06 am

ashmie wrote:I suppose the history and the game should compliment each other we should paint our models how we like and field armies how we like. It's fun to think of both but you wouldn't want the history to get too much in the way of game play.
Exactly.

The history should influence the game (maybe in the choice of units or scenarios) but it shouldn't dominate it. Likewise, the game should try to stick to the spirit of the history. Two big problems that have come up on the official BP forums on the Warlord site are caused by people trying to play the rules rather than the history.

Example 1 - The French infantry in Napoleonic times often advanced in Attack Column and the rules reflect the effectiveness of this formation by giving them a command bonus and a save bonus. Because the formation is very narrow, it is possible to assault a unit in line with two attack columns, thus pretty much guaranteeing a victory. In reality the French never did such a thing as tactical doctrine insisted that they must be able to quickly form a line if need be and two columns side by side would result in mass confusion and panic. They did launch assaults in column, but they would generally be a fair distance apart.

Example 2 - Horse artillery moves very, very fast in game, allowing you to dash it around the back field and redeploy it where it can do the most good. Some players have been using it as a suicide unit, running it up the flank of an enemy line and enfilading them only to be destroyed in the enemy players next turn. However, Horse Artillery was a very valuable unit and generals wouldnt squander them. Not to mention, troops dont usually like being ordered to advance up to the enemy lines unsupported.

So you have two potentially game changing tactics, effectively allowed by the rules (as the rules aren't restrictive), but which never happened in practice. Reading the rules for BP, it is clear that the writers expected players not to behave like they were at a 40K tournament and this is the attitude I hope we can take as these types of game grow in our little community. No rivet counting from the historical experts and no competitive meta-gaming from the gaming fanatics. Or as Ash said, the history and the game should compliment each other. :D
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Re: The place for historical ramblings.

Post by job » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:51 am

Example 1 - The French infantry in Napoleonic times often advanced in Attack Column and the rules reflect the effectiveness of this formation by giving them a command bonus and a save bonus. Because the formation is very narrow, it is possible to assault a unit in line with two attack columns, thus pretty much guaranteeing a victory. In reality the French never did such a thing as tactical doctrine insisted that they must be able to quickly form a line if need be and two columns side by side would result in mass confusion and panic. They did launch assaults in column, but they would generally be a fair distance apart.
Yes, that is part of the problem. Historians tend to be split between what actually was the reality as it happened. Accounts differ and also the apocryphal history tends to shade our images of history.

Another example are the national rules for FOW. These rules give a lot of flavor and tactical style to each force but they represent often grand generalizations of the war. The idea of the remorseless use of infantry by the Soviets gets used. Germans are almost always superior in quality and equipment to less then accurate portrayals. (the panzershrek was an immitation of the bazooka but given much higher stat lines; the 17lb. Gun might have been the best weapon of the war, but it can barely penetrate a Panther in the game)


Still I think war gamers tend to prefer those generalizations in the game to better characterize their forces. So shouldn't the French attack in column like a B. Cornwall novel? :D
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Re: The place for historical ramblings.

Post by Primarch » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:16 am

job wrote:
Example 1 - The French infantry in Napoleonic times often advanced in Attack Column and the rules reflect the effectiveness of this formation by giving them a command bonus and a save bonus. Because the formation is very narrow, it is possible to assault a unit in line with two attack columns, thus pretty much guaranteeing a victory. In reality the French never did such a thing as tactical doctrine insisted that they must be able to quickly form a line if need be and two columns side by side would result in mass confusion and panic. They did launch assaults in column, but they would generally be a fair distance apart.
Still I think war gamers tend to prefer those generalizations in the game to better characterize their forces. So shouldn't the French attack in column like a B. Cornwall novel? :D
Attacking in column isnt the problem. Its when 2 columns are attacking side by side in base to base contact (or near enough) that issues arise. When one attack column charges, it is difficult to stop with muskets and combat, but it is possible. If 2 attack together, the unit they charge is going to be wiped out. The game makes no allowances for the proximity of units in formation like that.

Historically French Generals/Marshals tried not to manouver like that as they had to leave room for forming a line if they needed to. E.g. Marshal Ney wrote an instruction manual for his corps that said that the column was for manouver and the line for shooting and assault. In the earlier Napoleonic campaigns, the French didnt deploy into line for assaults because the Austrians and Prussians broke and ran at the sight of the oncoming column. It was easier just to pursue rather than change formation. In the peninsular, Wellington used what was called the "reverse slope tactic" hiding his units out of the French generals sight just over the ridge of a hill. The French columns advanced up the hill and just as they were nearing the top the British stepped up and routed them with musket fire before they could reform.

I guess what I am saying is that, Yes, the French can form attack columns and assault and indeed, they get a bonus to manouver for doing so. The game has no rules against having two columns side by side, but this is one of the areas where knowing a little of the history (and having heard from other players that it is an easy way to win the game), would make me hesitate to use it. Similarly, the British didnt use an attack column formation, preferring to meet the enemy in line or square every time, so I intend to go that road with my own forces, using only March Colum, Line and Square. :D

This website has some more info if you feel like reading it.
http://www.napoleon-series.org/military ... aida1.html
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