Saturday, 24 November 2007

Some observations on rules ..

We've used the Weight of Fire rules for a few scenarios now and have found they work well with a few little warts, some of which are just minor adjustments. A few things from the last couple of games which we found odd.

1. Jagers armed with rifles; if they fire, then they have to use the next move to reload ?? Were rifles of the period slower to reload ??

2. Shooting Modifiers (effect based on an average dice roll of 3 or 4)
-2 for Move and fire. ; this reduces the effect of a volley by about 1/3rd
-2 for soft cover ; this reduces the effect of a volley by about 1/3rd
-4 for Hard cover; this reduces the effect of a volley by about 2/3rds

Anyone know enough about the period to say whether the above are right ? Comments welcome.


  1. Hi,

    As for the jagers, yes, rifles were slower to reload. The big difference being that in order for the rifling to "grip", there had to be a very tight fit with the swatched ball . . . and particularly as the black powder residue began to foul the barrel, it would become increasingly much harder to force the ball down the barrel.

    Furthermore, another aspect involved would be that, unlike line troops, fire is slower because not only is it "aimed", but because the jagers were more loosely dispersed (and often in cover), their fire was delivered more slowly . . . a significant number often were more concerned with their own safety than with firing at the enemy.

    In my own rules, while the mechanism is different, I also "penalize" jagers . . . although what I do is to have them degrade much faster.

    -- Jeff

  2. Yes the rifles were about 1/3 slower than smooth bore muskets. For the reasons that Jeff illuminates.

    I do not know if your rules permit 'elite' or 'guard' class appelations to skirmishers (not really done until the French Revolutionary period) but were such troops to exist I think that ONLY such elite troops would have equal re-load times as the smooth bores. This is due to the higher trained and quality troops habits of casting down balls and grinding out powder for themselves. This comes from the huntsman approach to each soldier, where skill was of greater value than discipline.

    Regarding the move and fire, many systems do not permit troops to fire at all if they move, this comes from the general confusion caused in the lines for re-loading and weapon preparation. I think the reduction in firepower is actually rather liberal.

    Your other values are not clear, if they are the 'target' condition then definately soft cover and hard cover would have deleterious effects on attackers firepower.

    Even modern 5.56mm M16's can be 'deflected' by as little as a treebranch (a thin one at that!).