Naval landing party...

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Ari Marsson
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Naval landing party...

Post by Ari Marsson » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:42 pm

With the recent release of Perry's Royal Navy Landing Party, how would you classify them under SP2?

Pistols, cutlasses and boarding pikes for main groups, and musket armed skirmishes.

Looking forward to these as support for my 'Jollies' (at ~1802 they are too early to have acquired the 'Royals' nickname...)

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Captain Reid
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Re: Naval landing party...

Post by Captain Reid » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:59 pm

As starting points, which might well need varied in specific instances:

For a group with pistols, cutlasses and boarding pikes:

Tribe. Mixed Melee Weapons. 6 points.
Formation - no. First Fire - no. Controlled Volley - no.
Crashing Volley - no. Step Out - 2. Drill - no.
Aggressive. Tomahawks.

I think Tribe is probably better than Conscripts & Volunteers as it gives them potentially better force morale, which seems fair enough, and more heft in fisticuffs, which also seems pretty fair. Tomahawks would represent the effect of the pistols discharged as they closed (as opposed to those used actually in the melee.

For a musket armed group:

Irregular Skirmishers. Muskets. 6 points.
Formation - no. First Fire - yes. Controlled Volley - no.
Crashing Volley - no. Step Out - 2. Drill - no.
Aggressive. Tomahawks.

I’d struggle to see them as being rated more highly as I think they’d not really be wanting to stand long against a decent enemy as the ranges close (their mates with the cutlasses and pikes being better equipped and more numerous for that). However giving them Aggressive gives them a little more teeth should they need to get involved up close. Tomahawks, as above, would simulate the odd pistol.
Faith! If they tried to outrun a Hielandmon, they stood but a bad chance, for Whash! went the broadsword.
- James Thompson, 78th Foot.

The Saindoux Campaign, 1757, my French and Indian War blog

Cerro Manteca, 1811, my Peninsular War blog.

Ari Marsson
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Re: Naval landing party...

Post by Ari Marsson » Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:08 pm

Interesting, I'm still thinking of them as closer to 'Regular' with the ability to form formations...

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sjwalker51
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Re: Naval landing party...

Post by sjwalker51 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:40 pm

I'd go with Capt Reid's ratings for Napoleonic period naval landing parties, with only Marines having the option of being fielded as Line Infantry (based on an extensive study of 'Hornblower' stories).

Consider giving them ''Big Choppers' and 'Aggressive' instead of Tomahawks ('Cutlass') which has a similar effect for the first round of Fisticuffs?

There's a case for rating Victorian Naval Brigades as Regular Line (probably Aggressive) when they were better trained and equipped for land-based operations (the Crimea, India, China, South Africa etc). Even then, there were companies armed solely with melee weapons and pistols for want of sufficient long arms who could be rated as CR suggests.

"The Long Arm of Empire" (Brooke) is a good introduction, covering most of the 19th century actions in which the Navy were involved.

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Re: Naval landing party...

Post by shandy » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:41 am

Nice, this is a topic of great interest to me!

sjwalker, I'm researching ACW landing parties at the moment and as far as I know they'd be all rated as skirmishers, irregular skirmishers for the sailors (prob. aggressive) and regular skirmishers for the marines, as they didn't deploy in formation (at least not on the level of action SP models, Marines were occasionally deployed in formation in battles).

I'll be trying to get the Brooke volume, this sounds like a book I'd want to read!

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Captain Reid
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Re: Naval landing party...

Post by Captain Reid » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:14 am

I agree with Simon that the later Naval Brigade would qualify as Regulars but I certainly can't see Napoleonic or earlier crews being that status (the Marines would be and the navy officers always seem to have considered the marines to be much better at 'proper' fighting than their sailors were). I could see an argument for Conscripts and Volunteers, perhaps, but I think Tribe status is the closest to giving a force with good morale and units with good close combat prowess, which would seem to fit the bill as far as my understanding of the conventional view of their performance.

Tribe status lets them support each other by forming close column but prevents any esoteric and slightly unlikely line manoeuvres.
Faith! If they tried to outrun a Hielandmon, they stood but a bad chance, for Whash! went the broadsword.
- James Thompson, 78th Foot.

The Saindoux Campaign, 1757, my French and Indian War blog

Cerro Manteca, 1811, my Peninsular War blog.

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sjwalker51
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Re: Naval landing party...

Post by sjwalker51 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:11 pm

I agree with you, 'Tribe' is the most appropriate rating for Napoleonic naval landing parties (British, and maybe Jonathans, of course). Spanish and other foreign types are, of course, Wallahs, Weedy and Surly.

Shandy; I can't help with ACW naval landing parties, but there are plenty of campaign-specific accounts of the Naval Brigades operations during the Indian Mutiny, the Zulu War, Egypt and the Sudan, in China (2 Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebelllion), taking on pirates and Dyaks with Brooke in Borneo, punitive expeditions in both East and West Africa, the 2nd Boer War - almost everywhere other than the North West Frontier (though I stand to be corrected on that!)

Brooke is the best general introduction, but there's also "The Victorian Naval Brigades" (Bleby) that covers much the same ground.

Ari Marsson
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Re: Naval landing party...

Post by Ari Marsson » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:21 pm

Many thanks for those comments gents, sometimes it takes an outside view...

Tribe & irreg skirmishers it is!

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Captain Reid
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Re: Naval landing party...

Post by Captain Reid » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:14 pm

I quite like the idea of calling the Tomahawks characteristic 'We'll Rant and We'll Roar!" for use by naval parties.

I notice that in the photos of the Viva Ras Begus game, the sailors seem to be in groups of twelve on irregular sabot bases, which would indicate that Rich may have rated them as Mass Troops for that scenario.

However I also see that in the Indian Mutiny list the sailors are rated as Conscripts and Volunteers.

I suspect the difference may be due to the former being men landed from their ships in the classic Aubrey/Hornblower manner, whereas the latter are probably men of the Naval Brigade specially trained for land warfare.
Faith! If they tried to outrun a Hielandmon, they stood but a bad chance, for Whash! went the broadsword.
- James Thompson, 78th Foot.

The Saindoux Campaign, 1757, my French and Indian War blog

Cerro Manteca, 1811, my Peninsular War blog.

Ari Marsson
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Re: Naval landing party...

Post by Ari Marsson » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:28 pm

From what I've read, Marines were trained the same as army units and then once they joined their ships received additional training in sniping from mast-tops, boarding etc...

A unit of 12, plus 6 skirmishers on their way to me...

Must get some more of the Marines painted!

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