Firing

[1871 FAQs]   [General Play]   [Charges]   [Combat Results]   [Command and Control]   [Disorganization]   [Firing]   [Melees]   [Morale]   [Moving]   [Visibility]

Q: When a Jäger battalion ‘screens’ a friendly regiment what area is physically protected by the base? Is it double the frontage?

A:  Yes.

Q: …or do you simply say that if a Jäger unit is in front of ‘line units’ then it is assumed to be in extended order covering the whole front?  Do the support units then become immune to fire from the front as the Jäger unit in extended order takes all the casualties from fire?

A:  Against infantry directly in front of them, Yes.  In actuality, of course, units behind skirmishers frequently took casualties from long rounds -- sometime enough casualties to trigger morale checks.  But in a game designed to minimize extraneous die rolls and checks, that situation is ignored.

When a Jäger (or infantry) stand is put into extended order in front of friendly troops, it is assumed to occupy twice its normal stand width/frontage and -- being the closest unit to the enemy -- would be the focus of their fire and take casualties.  But its "protection" is limited to just that double stand width; any enemy infantry firing from beyond the double wide skirmisher stand could engage the forces behind it directly.

And, any artillery batteries not under fire by the skirmishers could shoot right through them against the line formations behind them; the skirmishers would provide no "protection" at all in this case.

Q: How are ranges measured ranges when firing i.e. from what point of the firing unit to what point of the target?  For instance is it the closest point on the front edge of the closest battalion to the target, the centre of the front edge of the closest battalion to the target, or the centre of the firing line to the closest point of the target?

A:  If your firing line is diagonal to the target (and all the shooting stands are in range), just use the median distance as the “official range.”

Q: Let’s say a stand is 45 degrees on to a target.  The furthest part of the stand is just out of range, although the other 2/3 are barely within maximum range.  Should you allow only the 2 points that are “in range” to be counted?

A:  My philosophy:  Let the whole stand shoot, for goodness sake… that flank company no doubt would’ve been moved up by the battalion commander or even the company commander… or would've been firing even though it was just a bit beyond the recommended engagement range of its rifles.

Q: When determining if a target is in a unit’s firing arc is this calculated on a battalion by battalion basis or on a regimental basis.  Below is the kind of situation I’m thinking about here.  Regiment ‘123’ is outside of Battalion ‘A’ firing arc but within that of Battalions ‘B’ and ‘C’.  When calculating firing points are ‘A’ included or excluded?

firing1

A:  All things being static, A would not shoot… But, here's where that “local commander initiative” stuff comes in.  Movement is simultaneous, as it is in reality.  Local commanders (on whom you're relying to do the logical thing, while you're worrying about “grand tactical” matters) are most likely aware of the approach of enemy forces, and would adjust their commands to fit the tactical situation.  If Regiment ABC was approached by Regt 123, ABC's commander would be justified in adjusting Battalion A's position slightly to enable it to fire in the fire phase - if their was nothing else compelling him to stay put (like the regiment occupying trenches or already engaging some other unit to its front).

This adjustment would be considered a “change of face or formation”, which doesn’t need a chit (Regt ABC would simply realign itself to face the approaching threat by wheeling around its center of mass).  If ABC was in the position shown at the beginning of the turn, and enemy Regiment 123 approached from over three inches away, by the time it got to the position shown the ABC boys could be turned and facing it.  If Regt 123 started less than 3 inches away, ABC wouldn’t have had enough time to change its facing.

Q: When is a unit’s line of sight blocked and therefore ineligible to fire?  Here is another situation to illustrate this point.  In this situation can Battalion ‘C’ see and shoot at Regiment ‘123’?

firing2

A:  Easy one. If C couldn’t adjust its position to engage with all points, I’d let it shoot with a single point.

Q: Is partial fire used just by the charging unit or does it apply to the defending unit as well?

A:  Just the charging unit and those firing in support of the charge.  Supposedly the target/defender is firing all the while, but the attacker/support firers are constrained by time and proximity of friendlies (the charging unit) from firing the whole period.

Q: Can artillery on higher ground over 3” from friend‘ shoot over friendly troops that are charging?  For instance if friends are Charging from 3” range can artillery on higher ground prep fire the target?  I think the answer is yes as the Infantry are not in 2” of the enemy and as long as the ¼” clearance is maintained?

A:  That’s correct; they could fire in support, at partial effect.  The rule reads:  “Artillery cannot engage a target next to which friendly troops remained within two inched throughout the turn…”  But, artillery can prep the target of a charge because it’s firing at partial effect – i.e., it’s checking its fire as the assaulting infantry approach that 2 inch danger zone in front of the target.

Q:  In some rules you talk about the “forward 45° arc” as being the firing arc of infantry and artillery units, and in others it’s the “forward 90° arc”.  Which is it?

A:  Sorry for the confusion!  It’s actually the same thing.  The angle of fire from each corner of the unit is 45°, which is why I initially began referring to the forward arc in those terms – but some people took that to mean that only the front 45° arc was covered.  The correct arc is shown by Regt ABC in the first example, above.

 

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