Caissons and howitzers - anyone use them?

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MikeRC97
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Caissons and howitzers - anyone use them?

Post by MikeRC97 »

I’ve started working on my SP2 artillery. My French and Russian Napoleonic forces are in 1/72 and the artillery sets come with limbers and caissons. I’m definitely going to paint up some limbers but not sure about the caissons.

Does anyone use caissons in their SP2 games? I realize they’re not required, I’m just thinking about painting them just for fun because I’m not sure if they would even make it on to the tabletop.
Last edited by MikeRC97 on Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sjwalker51
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Re: Caissons - anyone use them?

Post by sjwalker51 »

Years ago (in the days of SP1) we played a scenario which involved a surprise attack by British Rifles on a French field artillery battery, all 6 guns plus limbers, horse teams and, yes, caissons - there was even a battery forge and other stuff as part of the ‘set dressing’ - definitely worth the effort and finding a way of using them, if only as an objective.

Nick Worthington
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Re: Caissons - anyone use them?

Post by Nick Worthington »

You could use them in the Escort Mission scenario, as part of a supply train. If they are the kind that are pulled by a separate limber, I try to make the two separate - then you can also use them as extra deployment points, or general ammo carts. They are kind of big, but you could also use them as an "Extra Canister" marker...

BaronVonWreckedoften
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Re: Caissons - anyone use them?

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften »

I would agree completely with the "objective" idea, but in terms of providing supports for the actual force, I would have thought that the typical ground scale for an SP2 game would involve the sort of distances where guns were moved principally by prolong and the ammunition was brought up from limbers and caissons that were sufficiently far back from the gun line to be "off table" (which is where the French "ready use" trail box comes in handy).

That said, my 1809 Bavarians will have both a limber and a "wurst" caisson with full six-horse teams, but only because I'm modelling a "light" battery that appears to have used all grey (ie white) teams for the latter.
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

MikeRC97
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Re: Caissons - anyone use them?

Post by MikeRC97 »

Thank you for the replies.

I like the idea of being able to use the caissons for an escort mission. More than likely I would have painted them anyway, I’m going to paint up howitzers even though there are no rules for them just because I have the models so why not!

BaronVonWreckedoften
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Re: Caissons - anyone use them?

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften »

Typically, artillery fire in black powder SP2 will be canister at the distances we use in normal games - howitzers were often used a big shotguns, giving a much greater spread (which I'm told is why they were usually parked on the flanks of the gun line, to protect the battery from frontal assault).
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

MikeRC97
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Re: Caissons - anyone use them?

Post by MikeRC97 »

BaronVonWreckedoften wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:10 pm
Typically, artillery fire in black powder SP2 will be canister at the distances we use in normal games - howitzers were often used a big shotguns, giving a much greater spread (which I'm told is why they were usually parked on the flanks of the gun line, to protect the battery from frontal assault).
I had not thought of that - I was referring to the lack of rules for exploding shells (hollowed-out "common shells" filled with gunpowder lit with a fuse) which is what I think of when I think of black powder howitzers.

OK at the risk of derailing my own topic - would a French 6 inch howitzer be considered light, medium or heavy artillery? When measured in pounds I've seen French howitzers referred to as 7 pounders, 10 pounders or even 24 pounders. I may be over thinking this.

Edit: OK at the risk of exposing how pedantic I am, I have changed the subject to include howitzers as I'm now thinking about both.

Levi the Ox
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Re: Caissons and howitzers - anyone use them?

Post by Levi the Ox »

Agree with the thoughts above regarding caissons, they'd make lovely deployment points or objectives as well as good scenery for a battery or camp setting. Could possibly also be used as the ammunition cart support option.

For howitzers, I've thought to treat them as one class of artillery for firing, and the next lighter class for movement (with a value as per the higher class, of course). The proper cutting of fuses was important for shells, so perhaps as a trade-off they might suffer a -1 penalty if fired without taking the extra action to lay them.

BaronVonWreckedoften
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Re: Caissons - anyone use them?

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften »

MikeRC97 wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:15 pm
I had not thought of that - I was referring to the lack of rules for exploding shells (hollowed-out "common shells" filled with gunpowder lit with a fuse) which is what I think of when I think of black powder howitzers.
To be honest, you wouldn't use common shell, or even the new-fangled British spherical shell (shrapnel), on an SP2 table - and certainly not in 28mm - because the enemy would be far too close to you. As I said, unless you are trying to knock something down*, it's always going to be canister in SP2.

[ * I suppose there might be the extremely rare occasion where an opponent might conveniently position a line of troops sufficiently badly for you to fire ball right down the line, but otherwise.....canister!!! ]
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

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