Army/corps artillery reserve  

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mj.martino481@gmail.com
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25/02/2020 7:18 pm  

Should a corps or army artillery reserve exist as a separate formation on the battlefield? The Raising an Army chapter seems to indicate it does, yet in the scenario books I have (First Battle Lost and Didn't Dare Do Anything) I see only one reference to Reserve Artillery as a formation, with two batteries, in Oudinot's corps at 1st Polotsk. Every other OB usually lists corps/army level artillery as "available for attachment."

Just wondering what intent and practical application is envisioned? In the single example above the reserve artillery commander (Lavoy) isn't even a Grand Battery leader (nor are any others in the army), so how would his guns be employed? The example of Oudinot's mid-war corps in Raising an Army also has Reserve Artillery listed, but without a commander at all.

 


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David
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25/02/2020 11:30 pm  
Posted by: @mj-martino481gmail-com

 

Just wondering what intent and practical application is envisioned? In the single example above the reserve artillery commander (Lavoy) isn't even a Grand Battery leader (nor are any others in the army), so how would his guns be employed?

Corps level reserves of artillery were used in a variety of ways, by far the most common was that they could be drawn from to allocate additional artillery for divisions, i.e. "available for attachment". Additionally, their batteries were sometimes moved and committed as a mass, i.e. functioning as their own Formation. Grand battery commanders were not terribly common, there is a big difference between "just a bunch of  guns" and a grand battery. A grand battery is generally formed with a specific mission, under the direction of someone granted significant authority, and allocated logistical support necessary to keep all those batteries in-service firing. Which of these is applied in any of our historical scenarios ends up being based on what happened historically in the event and we guide towards it by providing the same organizational structure.

Posted by: @mj-martino481gmail-com

The example of Oudinot's mid-war corps in Raising an Army also has Reserve Artillery listed, but without a commander at all.

It isn't terribly uncommon to find that no commander is listed for reserve bodies of artillery, obviously someone was in command, but similar to the less common cases where the historical records do not indicate who commanded a large body of infantry or cavalry, the game result is that while someone is in charge, that person is assumed to not be as effective as those documented in history… so the absence of a commander effectively means the Formation Commander has both a Leadership and Tactical Rating of 0.

-David


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mj.martino481@gmail.com
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26/02/2020 2:23 pm  

Thanks David. That's pretty much what i was leaning towards, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't allowing my own understanding of how a GB came about to cause me to allow something not intended by the rules. 

The folowup question then, is when a corps or army artillery reserve is shown as a separate formation in a scenario OB, but no GB leader is available, how would that artillery be employed? I can see a player possibly wanting to do a number of things: attach individual batteries before the battle begins, attach individual batteries "on the fly" (there's no specific leader order for this, but a reverse "create detachment" would do if allowed), or something I don't yet envision (players' capacity for coming up with strange ideas in a game is only exceeded by the real life number of "one off" occurrences.) Or does the artillery formation simply operate like any other, with the exception that it has no skirmish ability and it had better not get into a close combat?


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David
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26/02/2020 2:31 pm  
Posted by: @mj-martino481gmail-com

Thanks David. That's pretty much what i was leaning towards, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't allowing my own understanding of how a GB came about to cause me to allow something not intended by the rules. 

Good! And fair concern, games are a physics engine, and you never know if the way they model gravity is representative to the planet you're from…

Posted by: @mj-martino481gmail-com

The folowup question then, is when a corps or army artillery reserve is shown as a separate formation in a scenario OB, but no GB leader is available, how would that artillery be employed?

Posted by: @mj-martino481gmail-com

Or does the artillery formation simply operate like any other, with the exception that it has no skirmish ability and it had better not get into a close combat?

I quoted these together because they really go together. Whether or not a Commander has the Lead Grand Battery characteristic makes no difference in how the Formation they lead generally works, it is just a Formation like any other. What is neat about grand batteries is that they can 1) inflict multiple assessments per Assessment step pending the rating of the Commander, 2) pick their targets. Otherwise, they function like any other Formation. So an artillery Formation with or without a Grand Battery Commander, has a lot of Artillery & Skirmishing prowess and isn't amazing at contact.

Posted by: @mj-martino481gmail-com

I can see a player possibly wanting to do a number of things: attach individual batteries before the battle begins, attach individual batteries "on the fly" (there's no specific leader order for this, but a reverse "create detachment" would do if allowed), or something I don't yet envision (players' capacity for coming up with strange ideas in a game is only exceeded by the real life number of "one off" occurrences.)

There is an optional rule to allow a variety of things players may wish to do – like transferring a Unit between two Formations, i.e. attach and individual battery to some infantry division – that says basically if it is something you want to do that the game host allows, roll for a Leader Action test to perform it. So, I'd point you in that direction.

-David


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mj.martino481@gmail.com
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26/02/2020 2:56 pm  

Thanks again David, especially for the rapid reply. I'm putting on my first ESR scenario next Sunday, so I want to be sure I have as much straight in my head as I can. 


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David
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26/02/2020 3:00 pm  
Posted by: @mj-martino481gmail-com

Thanks again David, especially for the rapid reply. I'm putting on my first ESR scenario next Sunday, so I want to be sure I have as much straight in my head as I can. 

Not a problem! And if there is more we can help with or answer, please don't hesitate to post!

-David


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