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Artillery Fire and Skirmish screen

Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:54 pm
by bvera
Another situation in the game this morning

A French Brigade moves and faces a Russian battery ahead
The Skirmish line is effectively screening the close order units (= distance between SK and Close Order bons > 5cm); however the SKs are within 40cm of the gun battery (therefore at Effective fire range).

The gun battery is ordered to fire at effective range to the skirmish line but when resolving the fire two questions emerge
Page 71: " Arty shots always pass through a (skirmish) screen without effect and strike any Close Order units behind..."
Question 1: should we be using the Long range instead of the effective range table as the close order units are located at >40cm and the arty has no effect on the SKs?

Question 2:
But then looking at the Infantry and Artillery Modifirers table, we found a "-2" modifier when firing "Deployed artillery or Skirmishers"
This is confusing and to some extent contraditory with the text of page 71. When is the -2 modifier applied considering that skirmish lines are unaffected by arty fire?

Please clarify:
Should I use in the case described the Long Range table (as the close order units ar further than 40cm) with the -2 modifier (as there's a Sk screen masking them)?

Once again, thanks for your comments and clarifications

Re: Artillery Fire and Skirmish screen

Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:38 pm
by Archdukek
Hi Benito,
It isn't that artillery cannot fire on Skirmishers, they can with both ball and canister when they would suffer the -2 penalty. However, the rule on page 71 means that the battery can engage the close order unit behind the skirmish screen as its target and is not forced to fire on the Skirmishers. So in your example the fire would be worked out as being at long range since it's aimed at the column not the screen.

Skirmish screens work by forcing enemy infantry fire to be directed against them rather than the Close Order infantry units behind, but they can't do that against artillery fire.


Re: Artillery Fire and Skirmish screen

Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:35 pm
by bvera
Thanks again John
So to clarify I would have had the 2 options?
Option 1: fire effective the Sk screen with -2
Option 2: fire long range the close order unit behind


Re: Artillery Fire and Skirmish screen

Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:54 pm
by Archdukek
Hi Benito,
Yes, though you are always better firing at the close order unit. That -2 penalty trebles the chance of you inflicting a Fatigue Casualty on your own battery. Shooting at Skirmishers with artillery rarely pays off.