Tuesday, April 5, 2011

WI Artillery Issue: Napoleonic Horse Artillery

cover WI 281
Dr. Stephen Summerfield gives readers a one-stop look at Napoleonic horse artillery, and goes just beyond the highlights of weapons/limbers, tactics, and organization for the major players in the period's conflicts. I'm not at all familiar with the era except in a most superficial way, nor am I familiar with Summerfield's extensive work on the subject - but I can say the article packs a lot into a few pages.

The supporting graphic sidebars of cutaway cannons and TOEs really bring the piece around from a gaming perspective. Id' say the TOEs are worth a good look for those building scenarios for the era and trying to build batteries of the correct proportion (and flexibility) for the British, French, Austrians, Prussians, and Russians. Offhand, it should serve as a quick resource for those planning a game around the very tweak-able Black Powder. There's a few anecdotal bits in the piece that might lend themselves towards special rules for deployment, role, or even hitting power in certain battles/years as well. Again, I think Black Powder players might benefit if building army list/abilities from scratch or using the game's templates as jumping off points. Frankly, I imagine that anyone who even has a set of beloved Napoleonic rules will find the article worth reading as well. They should certainly be ready to ask themselves whether or not their games capture the flavor, potential, and drawbacks of the emerging arm of horse artillery in their tabletop games.

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