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Thread: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

  1. #1

    Default A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare



    “When the war broke out in 1618 … in the whole of Germany there were only a few scattered garrisons and guards, divided among a dozen great princes. Some principalities, like Bavaria and Saxony, had well organized militias. The Catholic League and its opposite number, the Protestant Union, had theoretical organizations. But there were no actual troops. When the fighting started both sides scrambled to form armies from nothing…”
    Battles of the Thirty Years War: From White Mountain to Nordlingen, 1618-1635 By William P. Guthrie

    This is the situation at the start of the campaign. With some good planning, however, by mid campaign the human player may be able to train in his cities soldiers of the finest quality. Units of this period can be divided into pikemen, musketeers, artillery, cavalry and dragoons plus some special units - such as heavy swordsmen, useful for sieges. At the start of the campaign, most such units are available as mercenaries while lighter militia units are available for garrisons.

    Pikemen

    “As soon as you be within reach of the Canon you must go on directly upon the enemie (unlesse you be sheltered from his Artillerie) by this means your souldiers are encouraged, you avoid the danger of the enemies Canon, and you leave behind the place where your Armie stood ranged, which ground will serve to rally and order the Battaillons which shall happen to be routed. You must not give on so hastily, as that thereby the Battaillons be disordered; and on the other-side you are to use a marching pace untill you come within distance of a Pistoll-shot, but then to double your pace and charge furiously, the Pikes being close ferried , and the muskets continually playing on the Flanks, having certain Targetteers in front which may shelter the Battaillon and disorder the enemies Pikes.”
    John Cruso The Art of Warre, 1639

    John Cruso here is describing the method of attacking with infantry formations in the Dutch style, with pike blocks supported by musketeers on the flanks. The army would march forward once within cannon shot (600 paces or 300m according to John Cruso, although the ranges for medium and light field cannon were actually shorter). Once within pistol shot (about 50m or so), the pikemen would double their pace and fall upon the enemy infantry. In other words, pikemen would not fight cavalry on the battlefield but would attack the enemy infantry, their role was no longer what it had been in previous centuries. Pike blocks were the kings of the battlefield. Wherever they were, the field was theirs. They were not there to repel cavalry, it is just that cavalry could not harm them.

    The rally point for routed infantry was just beyond cannon shot, which presumably was about where the general(s) should be.

    Musketeers

    Musketeers were used in big battles together with pikemen in pike and shot formations. On occasion, in the absence of pikemen, they fought as modern soldiers, taking cover behind breastworks, fences, hedgerows, stone walls, etc. Sometimes even trenches were dug (Robert Monro His Expedition, 1631). According to the Royal Armouries, muskets in those days had a range up to 300m and were sometimes fired at such a distance. For example, bastions on forts in the Low Countries were constructed so that the apex of each was within 250 yards of its immediate neighbour - to put each within musket range of the other so that defenders on one bastion could shoot anyone assaulting an adjacent bastion.

    To breach the gates of fortifications, infantry used petards, small demolition charges placed at night or during the day only if there was sufficient cover (houses, etc) to approach the gate unseen, which could be facilitated by diversions that would draw guards away to other parts of the fortifications.

    Artillery

    Most artillery for most of the war fired round shot (mostly metal balls) at a very low firing rate. For heavy artillery the fastest rate possible was a shot every 5-6 minutes. Heavy artillery, such as demi- and full culverins, was only really effective in sieges. Lighter cannon such as the falconet and saker (German Feldschlange) and the Swedish leather cannons (German Lederkannone) could fire at a higher rate but at a shorter range. They were set up on their carriages in a fixed angle to fire at what was called the point blank range. That was the range when a shot fired from a gun horizontal with the ground would hit the ground. For the most common types of English cannon these were

    Falconet (German Falkonett, a common type of light field cannon, 1-pounder): 200-220m
    Falcon (German Falkaune, medium artillery, 2-3 pounder): 220-320m
    Demi-saker (6 pounder): 240-320m
    Saker or Saker Falcon (9 pounder) was the most common medium field cannon (German Schlange, Feldschlange): 240m-360m
    Demi-culverin (a 12-pounder ship cannon used also in land battles as a heavy field cannon, weighing about 1.8t): 380m
    Culverin (an 18-pounder ship cannon used also as heavy siege or fortress artillery, weighing about 2t): 420m
    Larger caliber cannons (Cannon, demi-cannon, German Kartaune) but with shorter barrels were mainly used on some heavy battleships and had point blank ranges around 300m

    These ranges (e.g. from R.Ward's "Animadversions of Warre", London 1639 and Stephen Bull's "The Furie of Ordnance", based on primary sources) agree with various contemporary manuals of the period (Walter Money, John Cruso) but Albert Manucy ("Artillery through the Ages") gives higher point blank ranges for 16th C artillery and other authors (Sir Francis Veres, also in the 16th C) give instead lower values. Taking the values on the list above as representative, it can be assumed that muskets and most cannon would have been fired in battles at approximately the same ranges.

    At the point blank range, the balls flying with high velocity could occasionally kill more than one man at once (a bit like a ballista). If the cannon balls quasi-accidentally ricocheted in front of a unit, they could have a devastating effect, sometimes killing several men with one shot. On the other hand, for cannons to fire at a longer range they had to be angled, and that was no simple matter as they had no elevating screws to change the angle, and they would have to be repositioned after recoil. Indeed the cannons had to be pushed forward into their carriages with wedges and spikes after being fired, a laborious process that further limited the usefulness of heavy artillery in field battles. If they were placed on an upward slope to fire beyond their point blank range, there was a danger that the cannon would fall completely off the carriage when recoiling, taking a lot of men and horses a long time to put it back on. Therefore, although culverin and demi-culverin had theoretical ranges up to 1500m, long shots were rarely fired. Even then, they were proverbial for their innaccuracy so much so that they were barely of any use other than in advertising your artillery. So in practice cannons were only fired at what was called the point blank range. The longest range cannons employed in field battles were the demi-culverins with a point blank range of 380m. The demi- and full culverins were rarely of much use on the battlefield, as they needed a large team of horses, as many as 20 horses per cannon, to be moved around. These heavier cannon, the demi-culverin, culverin and very rarely special siege cannons, were mainly useful in sieges at this period. Star forts had exceptionally thick walls and their sloped walls made them impenetrable to the field artillery of their day.

    Later in the war the lighter field cannon (up to the saker) began to fire grape shot, with a maximum range of 100-110m. Although grape shot was effective against infantry and covered the shorter ranges, it was not often fired as grape shot damaged the cannon bore.

    Mortars fired high-arched shots and were popular in sieges for hitting units behind the fortifications. Mortars later in the war fired explosive ammunition.

    Cavalry

    In this period cavalry was no match for the infantry. The musketeers had more firepower and range and the pikemen had more and longer pointing sticks. Even the heaviest cavalry rarely attacked any type of pike and shot formation. The battle of White Mountain is possibly the only example where cavalry was placed opposite infantry.

    In most situations, cavalry fought cavalry or was used as a deterrent to enemy cavalry or to chase routed units. The exception were the Polish Hussaria and a few other special cavalry units (Prussian demi-lancers and Ottoman Sipahi) that could attack line infantry. The Poles had some success with the Hussaria against Swedish formations that caused Gustav Adolf to initiate military reforms that included the invention of volley fire from musketeers as an anti-cavalry tactic. The only mounted missile unit that could potentially take on infantry were the cuirassiers, though they were rarely used in that role unless the enemy infantry was outnumbered, wavering or broken. In the English Civil War, Cuirassiers were used only against cavalry (practically never in that war cavalry successfully attacked infantry except against bands of armed peasantry on the march early in the war). One common cavalry tactic at this period was for the Cuirassiers to be armed with pistols and swords, firing the pistol at very close range and then charging (normally other cavalry) or firing their pistols after charging (again normally other cavalry). So their pistols were fired at short range, 20-25m at most from their targets (or even point blank as pistol shot could not penetrate good quality armour).

    Harquebusiers were sometimes firing from the saddle to cover the cuirassiers or may have fought dismounted as dragoons. In his Battles of the Thirty Years War: From White Mountain to Nordlingen, 1618-1635, William Guthrie explains how cuirassiers and harquebusiers co-operated:

    “Cuirassiers were supreme on the battlefield; their weight and invulnerability could crush any lesser cavalry [N.B. infantry is not even considered a potential target when Guthrie is discussing cuirassiers]. With their superior mobility, maneuverability, and longer-ranged weapon, arkebusiers were valuable in skirmishes and smaller fights, what were called “actions”. The problem lay in their relative proportions and their optimal coordination. Some favored mixed units, others regiments of a single type. In the former case, the arkebusiers could range ahead of the cuirassiers to fire, but form behind them in battle. In the latter, a similar result was achieved with expedients. So-called “demi-cuirassiers” with less armor and an arkebus could act in a skirmish role. Likewise some “heavy” arkebusiers were equipped with a breastplate and helmet to play a battlefield role. ”

    John Cruso in his “Military Instructions for the Cavallrie” (1644) has a short paragraph on how the Cavalry are to fight against infantry:

    “A commander having intelligence of some grosse of the enemies Infanterie and resolving to set upon them, he must principally aim to encounter them in a place of advantage for the Cavallrie, that is in an open champain [plain]. He must also use all possible dilligence to charge them before they can be ordered for battel [battle] . But if the said Infanterie be put in good order at his approach (if the ground be champain and the number equall), yet they may be charged by the Horse: First by some troops of Harquebusier (or rather Dragoons, because they do execution at a larger distance) which shall give on on their front, flanks and rear [i.e Cruso suggests not only that the infantry are equal or fewer in number but completely surrounded for a chance of success]. These were to be seconded by the Lances (in small divisions) when they were in use; but now by the Cuirassiers, who shall make their benefit of such overtures or disorders as shall be caused by the said Dragons and Harquebusiers. If the Infanterie exceed in number, and so be ferried in a grosse bodie, it will be hard for the Cavallrie to rout them, as hath been found by experience by the Swisses, which still had the better of the horse, by the reason of their grosse bodies of pikes. If the Infanterie be ordered in severall battaillons, the horse are to charge them where they perceive them most open and naked. But if the foot have possessed themselves of some place of advantage, as some wood, trench, or covert way, then the horse are not to charge them, though equall or somewhat superior to them in number, in respect of such advantage.”

    By comparison, John Cruso has several pages of how horse should fight against horse, recommending for example that on charging, the Harquebusiers should go ahead and fire at the enemy cavalry. This should be followed by charges from troops of Cuirassiers, making sure the cavalry commander keeps some reserve to hold up the enemy cavalry, should they countercharge. What is clear from all this is that it was dangerous to attack infantry and only done with the best advantage and an equal or larger number of horses than the enemy infantry. Moreover, the Cuirassiers would only attack infantry once the dragoons or Harquebusiers had disordered them with their fire. Infantry superior in numbers was considered capable of defeating the best cavalry of their day (Cuirassiers supported by Harquebusiers and/or Dragoons). Another thing the two writers make clear is that mounted arquebusiers would not normally charge, they would only shoot at the enemy. Currently they have a charge modifier of 1 reflecting that they are not supposed to charge. They fired from the saddle from a range of 50-60m.

    Reiters and other light cavalry, such as the Italian pistoliers in the game, only made opportunistic attacks on routing units, raided baggage, plundered wagons, camps, collected prisoners, stole cattle and the like (Cruso says as much).

    Dragoons

    Aside from boots and wide-brimmed hats, dragoons were usually equipped similarly to musketeers. Sometimes they cut their muskets short or used special shorter muskets. In Germany they were often armed with full length arquebuses (according to William Guthrie). Unlike arquebuses, muskets cannot be fired from the saddle, the match could be blown out by the wind. So although dragoons were cavalry, they fought mostly dismounted. Whereas pistols were fired from the saddle from 25m at most and arquebuses from up to 50m or so, according to Guthrie accuracy when firing from the saddle was doubtful. By contrast, dismounted dragoons were as accurate as musketeers. Dismounted dragoons were a deterrent to enemy cavalry. Since cavalry practically only attacked cavalry, well placed dragoons could save a retreating cavalry unit by ambushing the pursuers. They were also used in the rearguard of retreating armies or for capturing and temporarily holding strategic points such as bridges.

    The general

    As already mentioned, the general was normally out of range of the enemy cannon at around 600 paces from the enemy front, often amid his reserves, there to rally any retreating units.

    Pike and shot formations

    “The square battaillons are weak of front, and those of broad front are weak in depth. The Spaniards often use double battaillons. And the Hollanders broad fronted ones, for they make their files no deeper than 10 men.”
    John Cruso The Art of Warre, 1639

    At this period there were several types of pike and shot formations for line infantry. The standard was the Spanish Tercio, used by most factions allied to the Kaiser, the Catholic fractions in general and most others on occasion.



    It consisted of a body of pikemen surrounded on all sides by musketeers or arquebusiers. There were more pikemen than shot and the total number of men per tercio usually exceeded one thousand. In smaller battles, commanders were advised to make smaller tercios with fewer men each so as to maintain the same overall tactical arrangement with a minimum of about 6-8 tercios per army (there are six tercios in the army shown above). During the war, the “bastioned” Tercio with 4 battalions of musketeers one at each corner became adopted for some of the bigger battles.



    This is presumably what Cruso implies when he says that the Spanish doubled their battalions, since there were two battalions of musketeers on each side of a block of pikes, one on each corner. The bastioned tercio was used by the Imperials at White Mountain and Lutzen. These large bastioned tercios had in excess of 2000 men each. By the end of the war, however, their use had been abandoned in favour of smaller and simpler Tercio formations.



    The Protestant factions prefered the so-called Dutch formation, invented by Maurice of Nassau, which allowed more flexibility, smaller formations and more room for musketeers. Each battalion had a block of pikes in the centre and musketeers on the sides, usually in ranks 8 men deep (Cruso notes no more than 10 ranks). In the Dutch style, the musketeers fired by countermarch, a drill that helped increase the rate of fire of the musketeers by the number of ranks divided by two. There were three main styles of firing by countermarch: In the Laconian style, every rank that had fired went to the back, therefore there would be a tendency to retreat back when using this style. In the Macedonian style, the rearmost rank would come to the front and fire, therefore this style was used when marching forward in formation. Every rank took about a minute or 2 to reload, so with this rate, an infantry battalion could cover as many meters a minute as there were ranks. Finally there was the Cretan or Persian style by which ranks rotated from back to front, in such a way that the formation would move neither forward or back. The use of fire by countermarch allowed a firing rate per minute equal to the number of ranks. This was a marked improvement as in the original Spanish tercio only the two front ranks could fire, although it is possible that by this historical period the Spanish had also adopted a similar drill and moreover likely that the battalions of musketeers on the flanks of the pike blocks could alternate, to let men resupply and reload in peace.



    The Danish used their own formation, the Danish formation, which is probably the closest to what many players would intuitively use: musketeers in front of pikemen or, where the circumstances demanded, pikemen in front of the musketeers. Their battalions were arranged in a saw-toothed front, with a thin line of reserves sometimes in a second line. The Danes, however, never had any successes with this formation. This might have had more to do with the lack of training or poor command, rather than with any inherent deficiencies.



    The Swedes were very successful in their campaigns in Germany with a formation that is only available to them in this game. The essence of it was a triangle of pike blocks supporting large numbers of musketeers in front of them and to the sides. Musketeers were only six ranks deep and could fire volleys in unison at 3 ranks deep. The formation, therefore, increased the number of musketeers able to fire. There was a second line of infantry reserves in the rear. In addition, Gustavus Adolphus promoted the use of very light cannon with a high firing rate for close support of his infantry.

    Finally the Germans whether preferring the Dutch or Spanish formation, usually improvised by adding extra shot (musketeers or dragoons) at the flanks, to support the cavalry, a style sometimes referred to as the German formation. In the German style, any excess cavalry could be kept as a central reserve for the later stages in the battle.

    For more information on pike & shot formations, you could read the interesting, if sometimes brief, Osprey booklet “Pike and Shot Tactics 1590-1660” by Keith Roberts (http://www.deremilitari.org/REVIEWS/...hotTactics.htm).
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; April 18, 2013 at 01:00 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Some decisions taken on how to represent pike & shot warfare in the game

    Infantry

    In M2TW, melee units tend to be the ones the AI uses best. In this period, battles still depended on the performance of melee units, mostly pikemen, even though musketeers and cavalry need to be kept strong.

    The main difficulty was that the computer player cannot use musketeers in pike and shot formations. Long musket ranges help the computer player a little, who otherwise would be hiring musketeers for nothing. Because, unlike the human player who can lay out his musketeers in tactical formations, if the musketeers had short ranges, the BAI (any M2 BAI) would skirmish them all forward to the centre of the battlefield, until they came to within shooting range. In bigger battles these units would overlap so much with each other at that point that they would often be unable to even pick out a target. With longer ranges they stay more spaced out and have enough of a field of view to fire at the human player.

    This is not to say that with longer ranges (200m and up) the computer player’s musketeers become a match for the player’s musketeers. Just they will not be as useless as if they were placed nearer (i.e. if they had shorter missile range). There is no way around this, such as tweaking something else, like decreasing defense points or attack points or tweaking the BAI, unless a new BAI can be invented. Making the pikemen weaker to compensate for the weakness of musketeers is the wrong medicine for the computer player, actually hurting the AI even more simply because the pikemen are the type of unit the AI can use best. So if the range of the musketeers is short and the pikemen are nerfed so that the musketeers can score some kills before the pikemen arrive, this actually hurts the AI twice and biases battles even more in favour of the human player.

    Because it is impossible for the musketeers to follow the pikemen and shoot at the same time with the M2TW BAI, it was preferable for battle balance to leave them behind, close to the general, at the place where retreating units would be rallied. They have been given a bit of extra defence to model them as having taken cover behind breastworks. Imagine the breastworks are there. A range of 300m is ideal for musketeers in the game, especially for their best use by the AI (it is also historically correct). Even a 250m range causes a drop in their performance in battles, 200m is even worse but acceptable. There were indeed already complaints about the 200m range – but that was the range of a sling thrower in ancient times …

    Unfortunately the firing by countermarch animation although beautiful is broken and, instead of increasing, it decreases the rate of fire of units of musketeers. So it is not used much in this mod.

    Sieges

    Heavy artillery was used in sieges but if the walls were strong, the cannon had to be brought very near:

    "And they begunne before the night to plant their Batteries within fourtie pace of our walles, which I thought too neere …"
    Robert Monro, His Expedition, The second Dutie (Part II) … from Rougenvalde to Colberg

    Monro's men were on that occasion inside a medieval keep in a small partially fortified town and the Imperialists had brought their cannon into the town to breach the medieval walls, firing them from only about 60m away! Cannons were successful against medieval walls, for example at Magdeburg, Count Tilly's cannons damaged the medieval towers around one of the gates. Star fort walls were usually too strong. In sieges of star forts, the practice was to storm the walls with infantry and, if the enemy still resisted and was strong inside, then to undermine them. So cannons in this mod are effective against the medieval walls of the smaller towns, as they should be. But not against the star forts, not least since the star fort walls need more modding work - currently they cannot be damaged by artillery.

    It is difficult to model the petard or diversionary attacks, especially by the BAI. When you see a siege ram, imagine a careful operation is under way to place a demolition charge on one of the gates.

    The AI can use artillery quasi correctly in sieges, although it does not understand the difference between cannon and mortars. On the other hand it sometimes seems able to use mortars in the field better than cannon, as they are closer to medieval artillery in their high arch of fire.

    Artillery

    One problem with cannon in game is that the AI uses them in field battles extremely ineffectively. If they have a longer range than missile infantry, and friendly infantry is in front of them, they may rarely fire during a battle. Having said that, even if they have a clean field of view, they may still not fire consistently although they tend to fire a bit more often. Mortars are fired more often in field battles because the AI can fire them above the heads of its units, but other cannons are a very poor option for the AI. Additionally, the AI will never understand that heavy cannon are for sieges and even if it incidentally brings some cannon to a siege, it does not attack until the 2nd turn of the siege. Moreover, because the AI has no way to control the deployment and movement of its units in relation to each other, friendly units may walk in front of its cannon and sometimes the AI kills more of its own soldiers than the enemy’s with its cannon. In field battles, the best option for the AI is to have the cannon in the flanks of its infantry formations, where it is less likely other AI units will get in their way. There are two other practical reasons why longer ranges, even if in principle historically possible, were not used in the mod: 1) the human player can choose to fire his cannons at 100m, 200m or 300m but the AI will often fire them at their longest range, e.g. 500m if that is their maximum range, with little chance of hitting anything, and 2) the human player can and will use them to kill the enemy general, if they have a longer range than generals. Long range AI artillery also tends to become stranded and can be taken out by the human player’s cavalry.

    Cannons are a bad investment for the AI, that carries them around the stratmap, not always knowing how to use them appropriately. In this mod, the CAI needs to build expensive buildings to get heavy artillery. It rarely builds them, it rarely gets them, and saves money that can be spent to buy units it can use much better than cannons.

    Cavalry

    The short range of cavalry firing their pistols was actually well modelled in version 1 of the mod, when the missile ranges of cavalry were short. Annoyingly for the human player, the superathletic M2 pikemen charged at and occasionally caught up with the missile cavalry at ranges shorter than 20-25m. Currently it has been set to about 40m.

    One thing that both Guthrie and Cruso make clear is that mounted arquebusiers would not normally charge, they would only shoot at the enemy. Currently they have a charge modifier of 1 reflecting that they are not supposed to charge. They fired from the saddle from a range of 50-60m but have been given a 100m range, so that they have a longer range than the Cuirassiers.

    Unfortunately the human player has a very clear advantage in the way he can use his cavalry, so if you prefer a challenging AI, it is important to keep the melee strength of cavalry low in the EDU and have low cavalry stats overall, to stop the human player from abusing the AI with his cavalry. Just think, with as many horsemen as the enemy has infantrymen, in favourable terrain for the cavalry, according to Cruso you stand a good chance of winning. You might also lose. Try fiddling around with the EDU stats. If you simply walk over the computer player, something is badly balanced. Indeed it is almost impossible to nerf the cavalry enough.

    After patch 4, cavalry stats seem about right, at least more realistic. Cavalry needs to charge a few times and will suffer casualties but is still capable, if used properly, to defeat infantry. See for example this videoclip in which 548 cavalry defeat 560 infantry following John Cruso's Instructions of surrounding the infantry with harquebusiers, and attacking with Cuirassiers once the infantry has been disordered:



    Dragoons fired whenever possible from behind cover, like modern soldiers. Imagine there are invisible horses they use to hop on and off. In principle, these units should not be charged by enemy cavalry, if on foot. They have some modifiers which give them a marginal chance to stand up against cavalry in the game but they are probably not sufficient to stop heavier cavalry from annihilating them. Dragoons also have the bad habit ingame to sometimes attempt to take to their invisible horses, if your cavalry is approaching, which becomes their undoing. Admittedly, dragoons were not meant to be modelled in M2TW. Giving them more modifiers would probably hurt more the AI as it does not understand what they are.

    Pike & shot formations

    The various historical pike & shot formations have been modelled into the game. Your selected faction will tend to fight in the style it would have probably favoured. Frustratingly, the AI cannot keep the formation they were set up for battle. The human player, on the other hand, should do reasonably well in a battle in most situations by keeping the formation he is offered during the deployment phase (maybe with minor tweaks).

    Since cavalry is not or should no longer be effective against infantry, you are faced with the challenge of achieving victory not with the usual flanking cavalry attack but by using your pike and shot formations as they were used historically to win battles. We hope you appreciate that approach. Otherwise you can always tweak up the cavalry (they are already a bit on the OP side) and defeat the AI the usual arcadish way.

    The general

    The hallmark of the M2 AI generals is their suicidal rides into the middle of the battlefield. Whereas some medieval knights might have survived for a while riding headlong into battle, generals in this period attempting to get anywhere near enemy units would have become the targets of every single man with a firearm. The tactic here should be for the AI to keep his general behind his musketeers where he can rally any units falling back from the front line and prop up the morale of his army. To achieve that, the AI general must have a longer range than his musketeers, by about 30-50 m, so he can stay behind them both safe and out of reach of enemy fire and able to boost the morale of his men for as long as possible. If the musket range is 200m, he should have a range of at least 230m. If the musketeers have a 250 or 300m range (this should help the AI and is more historical), then he should have a range longer by 40-50m. The further back the better, because the human player may target some musketeers with his artillery hoping that a lucky shot may hit the general, if he is just a little further back. So the general must be well back. This is the only way to keep him safe during a battle and to stop him from attacking in melee until his ammunition is expended. This is another reason why no ranged unit, including artillery, should have a range longer than the general. The human player will kill the enemy general with his artillery and other ranged fire, whereas the AI normally cannot even use its artillery in field battles. Sadly, this trick of giving him a very long range firearm to keep him safe only works for field battles not for sieges. In sieges he may still come within range and may suicidally charge through gates. If the battle has gone for so long that the AI general expends his ammunition and he is still alive (this can happen if you tweak the edu to increase infantry melee defense), chances are that by then there will be many units wavering on both sides, so it does not hurt if he goes on the attack then. He may still die but only after he has done the best for his army by keeping their morale high until the end of the battle.

    Costs

    Whereas the Gulden was regionally variable in value and moreover lost its value during the war as a result of inflation and from diminishing silver content in the coins, the British pound stayed more constant, so it is a good and easy way of costing units. So where you see pounds Sterling I mean Gulden and where you see Gulden it means pounds Sterling.

    Some units had their EDU stats changed from version 1 and costs are currently not always well matched (for example, some special or late melee units ought to cost less than they currently do and some cavalry probably more). This will no doubt be eventually rectified. If you would like to invent your own system of recosting the units until the costing is reviewed, infantry companies of 100 men cost the equivalent of about 300 pounds Sterling to recruit, equip and pay for their training, with 125 pounds maintenance per month. If they needed shot and powder (i.e most missile units), you could add a bit extra. You need a base cost because even a few men can take an empty fort or be a garrison in an otherwise empty settlement, so to have a decent unit of any size should mean an upfront cost. On top of that there should be costs added modelling some of their most critical attributes – currently 50 Gulden recruitment costs for every 4 points of AP, melee or defense strength for example (above a threshold), half that for maintenance. Historically, cavalry units were much more expensive than infantry, with a company of about 50-60 horsemen costing minimally around 600 pounds Sterling to recruit and equip (less for dragoons) and had high maintenance costs, since one horse alone was more expensive to keep than the salary of several footsoldiers. In battle, cavalry gives an unfair advantage to the human player, this being another reason why cavalry costs have been set high. The number of horsemen in a unit was also factored in, since that number is absolutely crucial in their ability to charge efficiently, operate effectively behind enemy lines and also in collecting prisoners from enemy routing units. Therefore, larger cavalry units should cost more, even if not stronger otherwise.

    Artillery pieces historically cost from a few tens to a few hundred pounds Sterling to build but needed teams of horses or ships to carry them around and consumed a lot of lead and powder. They were crucial for breaking down the walls of cities (and can break down medieval walls in this mod) and the AI uses them badly. Therefore their costs, too, have been set suitably high.

    Ships of the types used in the mod costed from under 100 pounds to several hundreds of pounds up to thousands in English money. They have been priced at their average historical costs, adjusted for their reputed seaworthiness and battleworthiness.

    Battle balance

    Ideally one would like an AI that fights well which you could beat every time, but these two things are mutually exclusive. If in M2TW you are beating the computer player easily in battles, that is because he is not a match for you - or for anyone really. As already said, the M2 BAI is especially bad in using cannons and quite bad in using cavalry. It is also incompetent in using musketeers and arquebusiers, if their missile ranges are short. If we order types of 1648 mod units in the following way - pikemen, swordsmen, musketeers, archers, cavalry, alchemists/ grenadiers, artillery, the computer player is least disadvantaged with units from the beginning of the list and the human player most advantaged with units at the end of this list, which is one reason why the latter tend to be expensive. Of course they were also expensive in reality.

    If you want to tweak the EDU a little, e.g. if you are seeking more challenging battles, take care not to change too much the stats of militia and mercenaries, or you may have some unpredictable results.

    The garrisons

    If any of you played version 1 of the mod you may remember the armies of religious fanatics backed up by supply wagons attacking your lands. The CAI should be with the present balancing about as good as the human player in selecting appropriate units for garrison duty and proper units to invade your lands with.

    “Skumme” was the name a British writer used at the time to refer to raw recruits serving in garrisons in Germany in the early part of the war. They are:

    The guys with the Cross: They are unbreakable. They are the AI’s secret weapon. There are big crowds of them because God loves them.

    The Incited Rabble: The perfect scum. Most village folk pressed into service by recruiting officers in the name of their prince would desert and go back to their farms on their first chance. So after two months of recruiting you are left with a company of men of low IQ hoping to get a life, vowing death to the heretics. They are cheap in the long run, which can be a good thing.

    The pilgrims from M2: There were pilgrimages and holy places with saintly relics all throughout Europe and on occasion pilgrims were easily moved to fight for their right to worship as they pleased. Be it they were not all wearing pilgrims’ habits but at least you get the idea. The reason why they are more expensive than the Rabble is simply so that the AI does not flood its cities with pilgrims. They are instead mostly created by scripts whenever religious dissent demands it. You do not need to hire them unless you run out of Rabble slots.

    The Jagers: Landgrave Wilhelm V of Hesse-Kassel is believed to have organised for the first time hunters and game keepers into military units. Trust the Germans that they will raise military units even out of men armed with bows and arrows. The Germans were not alone in practicing archery in this age. The Artillery Club in London, that had among its members the Major General of the Parliamentarian Army in 1642, was a club in which archery was being practiced as a sport. Some horsemen of the Steppe also still knew how to use a bow.

    Halberd militia: Finally some proper guards for city gates, city halls, barracks, palaces and the like. More than adequate for garrison duty.

    Occasionally there are some special units available in garrisons, best among them some dismounted cavalry such as the Gotlanders, Lettgallen, Trier Guards, Rabenbrueder, etc. These are trully formidable but impossible to retrain away from home.
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; November 19, 2014 at 11:52 AM. Reason: Added a few lines on sieges (and cannons)

  3. #3
    Stívarđr Reynitré's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    Fantastic!!

    Greatly appreciated!!

  4. #4
    Teutonic's Avatar Ordinarius
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    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    Thanks for this!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    Post 2 is such a sad read.

    I'm curious about one thing about musketeer animations; what are your views on volley firing for gunners in-game (removing the "gunpowder_unit" attribute)?

    EDIT: Corrected typo about attribute.
    Last edited by Maltacus; April 14, 2013 at 11:08 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    I have not seen a real difference, except in the animations. But if you have noticed some other effect, post away.

  7. #7
    Stívarđr Reynitré's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    666 posts there Geoffrey...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey of Villehardouin View Post
    I have not seen a real difference, except in the animations. But if you have noticed some other effect, post away.
    Sorry, I mistyped. I meant removing the gunpowder_unit attribute, making all ranks fire at once.

    Well, I don't know which animation/firing drill you have been using so I have assumed it is the usual one with the men in the front rank firing and then those in the second, with the rest of the company standing behind. So if you have gunners where everyone can fire at the same time - as if they were crossbowmen - they will obviously be more effective and not have to spread out as much. It is semi-historical in the way that volleys were used to shock enemies before attacking as you mentioned, but there is always the risk of seeing deep columns of gunners where everyone fire ove the others head.

    There is a little discussion about it in the CoW forum,

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...-aid)-Tutorial
    Last edited by Maltacus; April 14, 2013 at 11:11 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    Quote Originally Posted by Maltacus View Post
    Sorry, I mistyped. I meant removing the gunpowder_unit attribute, making all ranks fire at once.

    Well, I don't know which animation/firing drill you have been using so I have assumed it is the usual one with the men in the front rank firing and then those in the second, with the rest of the company standing behind. So if you have gunners where everyone can fire at the same time - as if they were crossbowmen - they will obviously be more effective and not have to spread out as much. It is semi-historical in the way that volleys were used to shock enemies before attacking as you mentioned, but there is always the risk of seeing deep columns of gunners where everyone fire ove the others head.

    There is a little discussion about it in the CoW forum,

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...-aid)-Tutorial
    I'll do some tests. There is some potential.

    One danger with this is that the human player will barricade his musketeers behind his pikemen as if they were medieval archers, if the back rows can shoot high.

    The problems with short ranged skirmishing musketeers is not just that they cannot shoot over other units but they suffer the same way as archers in the usual mods, being easily routed by faster units such as cavalry. Also, since AI skirmishers tend to gravitate towards the human player's centre, it is effortless to outflank them, which is much harder while they are firing from 200-300m away.

    If battles could be modelled as realistically as possible, battles should be difficult, because they were difficult in reality. And in reality, the Dutch, Danish and Swedish formations of that period were quite spread out (check Keith Roberts). Certainly musketeers did not all gather in a small space in the centre of the battlefield.

    The disadvantages of the current musketeers are not too serious. In fact if you try a test battle with only 3-4 infantry units (same units for both sides), you will find that the AI does quite well. But it is possible that something could be gained from taking the gunpowder_unit attribute off, if musketeers can still be constrained to fire mostly from the front ranks.

    EDIT: Actually, if you were thinking of the spread out companies from named regiments at the flanks, I think you may have a point. They should probably not be there, at least not spread out like dragoons, since most or all of these regiments were actually infantry regiments. That's something to consider.
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; April 17, 2013 at 09:29 PM.

  10. #10
    Teutonic's Avatar Ordinarius
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    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    In 1648 I like the musket units. The tinkering of the team was time well spent. In OiM 2 I increased the range of the musket/arquebusiers + improved morale (+other stuff, don't remember) back in Dec 2012 and together with stuff already present in that mod it made them pretty good too, as they should be.

    So I left the 17th century mods alone. Instead I removed the "gunpowder_unit" attribute in CoW mod (Warhammer). The gunpowder units there are as useless as usual. Not anymore! Removing the attribute there really made a difference. As for the human player abusing this- they can simply remove the attribute if they want to cheat, anyway. Anything that can help the CAI is a good thing.

  11. #11

    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    I have researched a little the gunpowder_unit attribute, following Maltacus' suggestion. Removing the attribute allows everyone to fire, rather than only the front rank. This affects both the human and the computer player equally, so as far as that goes it makes no overall difference in battles. It might get around some of the deployment problems of the computer player. With some work on the projectile folder, this could be potentially useful, i.e. as long as the human player would not be able to exploit this by placing his musketeers behind his pikemen. Of course it does not look right.

    Coincidentally I also discovered that mounted missile units fire about 8 times as much as infantry. This was not obvious before when pistol accuracy was 0. A missile cavalry unit with 8 missile attack puts out about 8 times as much fire as would a musketeer unit of equal size with 8 missile attack. It is equivalent to having a missile attack of about 64. A unit of Cuirassiers, therefore, has a missile attack equivalent of about 128 when compared to most companies of musketeers having 7-9. That explains why infantry routs instantly at the approach of one of these units.

    To somewhat balance the cavalry I would suggest their missile attack is divided by eight for horse musketeers (firing arquebus bullet) or divided by 4 for those horsemen with pistols firing pistol bullet - and their charge reduced to 4 for the Cuirassiers, less for others, maximum 5-6 for the elite demi-lancers.

    Edit: The over-strong cavalry has been as of the 12th June 2013 rectified with patch 4.
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; June 17, 2013 at 11:48 PM.

  12. #12
    Foederatus
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    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    Hello guys, this is a great mod!

    I have a question,:
    Currently the pikemen may be a little too weak. If you find battle difficulty not that difficult, increase the defense skill of pikemen by a point or two.
    could someone explain to me what i should do exactly to increase values like the defence skill of units? And maybe also how to increase morale?

    Playing my first campaign with the Dutch( i am Dutch so it makes it real fun!) and going very smooth for the moment..

    Thanks in advance!!

  13. #13
    Foederatus
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    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    Hello guys, this is a great mod!

    I have a question,:
    Currently the pikemen may be a little too weak. If you find battle difficulty not that difficult, increase the defense skill of pikemen by a point or two.
    could someone explain to me what i should do exactly to increase values like the defence skill of units? And maybe also how to increase morale?

    Playing my first campaign with the Dutch( i am Dutch so it makes it real fun!) and going very smooth for the moment..

    Thanks in advance!!

  14. #14

    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    That statement was from the days before patch 4. I have removed it now. Pikemen should be currently strong enough.

  15. #15

    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    really wonerful.......

  16. #16
    Dracula's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    I have tried this mod after playing a lot ETW. Must say that some things in this mod are on a higher level than there. Plus the original artillery of M2TW are a bit better done than in ETW (cannon wheels lifting off ground). With this mod one can feel something epic and style unavailable anywhere else.

    My contribution to it - even longer battles http://uploading.com/bm6a9274/export...2-0_patch4-txt

  17. #17

    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    Thanks for your contribution +rep

    There is a certain balance to the battles so that both musketeers and pikemen are equally important to start with, with the musketeers becoming better slightly faster as the campaign progresses. Also the cavalry has low morale (stat_mental) to help it disengage and charge again or else leave the battlefield until the AI can find a better general to lead it into battle. Also generals at this period were not using themselves as heavy cavalry and one need look no further than to the result of Gustavus Adolphus deciding to join the fray at the Battle of Luetzen. The main benefit of generals is their morale boost and their value as faction members in keeping their faction alive. These factors have been difficult to keep in the right balance. Also the morale of good units on vh is effectively as high as it can get. These units will fight almost to the last under many conditions, as long as the AI general stays alive. So this change will increase proportionally more the strength of the weaker pike units and other units with low stats, such as the fanatics. All units will be less vulnerable to missile fire, since that stays the same. The battles will be slower and a little bit different.
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; December 10, 2013 at 06:11 AM.

  18. #18
    Dracula's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    If played enough and compared, for ex. after 30 minutes, since all units have received proportionate increase, still the weaker will rout first, and exactly that proportion quick as before, It merely happens after more time passing.

    All units will be less vulnerable to missile fire yes, but for a clip of time. With the ammo available /not increased, even remains in every battle unused/ however a musqueteer unit time passing will be able to shoot off exactly the same ammmount of soldiers as before. Slower paced so to say.

    Can't say about cavalry, seems to be your favourite

  19. #19

    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    @Dracula: why did you upload a .exe? Can you reupload the .txt data plz? Btw Merry Christmas :-)

  20. #20
    Dracula's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: A basic tactical manual for 1648 v.2 pike and shot warfare

    It's not an exe. but that site has some advertisements. Here the longer battles mod (rename to export_descr_unit and paste in modname/data):
    Attached Files Attached Files

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