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Can an artillery unit with an attack order unlimber in anticipation of an enemy melee assault or is it forced to stand by the guns?


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#1 Newman55f9

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 05:28 PM

Here is the scenario, the French have been attacking with artillery support, but things have gone wrong.  The French infantry is on the run.  The French artillery is exposed.  It had the earlier innitiative and fired at British infantry ahead of it in the first segment of the phase.  The British choose to advance toward the French guns.  It is the second segment of the action phase and it is quite obvious the British are going to launch a melee assault on the French guns.  Because they have a standing attack order do they need to stand and fight even under impossible odds and probably get wiped out because they can't retreat unlimbered or can they take the practical route and limber up the guns before the melee begins  so that if they lose they can run away and attack again later.

It seems to me that it is most likey they must stay limbered, but what does everyone else think?



#2 KlausFritsch

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 07:37 PM

The rules do not prohibit the change of formation, so they can hook up the guns and hope for the best.

Artillery is remarkably resilent in melee, though.



#3 Newman55f9

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 04:14 AM

Wouldn't limbering the guns in this situation be preparing to retreat as opposed to continuing to attack the enemy?  By limbering the guns they will not be able to fire the next turn and as the enemy is as close as they can be, there is no need to limber the guns to get closer to the enemy?

The most aggressive thing to do would be to try to fight off the enemy and if they succeed in holding them off, reload the guns and blast them at point blank range ... or die trying.  I am sure there must be multiple instances of this in history, but what comes to mind to me is the Battle of the Cowpens, where Tarleton's entire infantry gave up and only a handful of officers and 17th Light dragoons remained, the British 3 pounder crew fought to the death.

The most pragmatic thing to do would of course be limber the guns, but order delay and confusion seem to be integral parts of the game and the artillery had an attack order.

I should have noted that in this case the artillery were outnumbered 3 to 1 and almost doomed.  Limbering the guns or not limbering the guns meant the difference between losing one figure and retreating with the guns or losing 2 and being stuck in a situation where they would probably lose everything in the next turn.



#4 KlausFritsch

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 06:32 PM

All I can say is that the rules do not prohibit limbering in this situation. The decision is up to the tactical situation and your playing style.



#5 Olivier Rosseeuw

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 07:45 PM

In this case, my choice will be to let the gun limbered, avoiding un-necessary lost in case of retreat. Next turn, defense order to move away from the Brits, trying to move infantry close to the ennemy to lock them in a melee.



#6 LETE

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 06:35 PM

Hi!

 

When this happens I do not limber my artillery, I wheel it towards the enemy & keep firing.  Getting a good Initiative is key tho'.

 

 

 

HtH

L



#7 gioSistino

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:15 AM

You can change formation and... save the guns!

No rules prohibit a formation change
 

Sergio G






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