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I have always had an intrest in 18th-19th Century Western warfare. I'm starting to do some research and pick up a few books on the history of it all. What I hope to accomplish is an Imp Guard list which is very similar in design to the armies of yore. I know there are alot of history buffs on this site, so if you will, post some of your knowledge about 18th-19th century Western warfare!
This is going to be my general lay out of my list so far, please feel free to comment, critique, or point out any historical inaccuracies (of which there will be many).
2x Infantry Platoons w/ 2-3 Infantry Squads in each
2x Conscript Platoons w/ 2-4 Squads in each
Rough Riders (small squads)
I'm not really sure what sort of heavy weapons I'm going to use, but i'm thinking mortars and missile launchers.
Also I was thinking about adding in a bassie or 2 to represent mortars used on train tracks during the Civil war. *Shrug*
Note: I will also be fighting with old tactics too, so any advice on how to properly play my list would be appreciated. Also this list is not for winning, its just for fun and just to experiment a bit, there will always be more guardsment to fill the ranks. Thanks!
For Heavy Support, get the heavy weapons platoons
...And they shall fear the lasgun
Ratlings weren't developed until the early twentieth century.
I'm probably going to take out the ratlings, however I know for a fact in the revolutionary war they had men called 'sharp shooters' who were essentially snipers, thats where the train of thought came from. Any other ideas?
Alright, 18th-19th century... it was a lot of 'stand and shoot and die' type idea. And there were cavalry. The suggestions I'm giving you will be mostly accurate (to my knowledge, obv), but will have a few modern technologies thrown in. So your army doesn't suck. Sorry if my explanations and tactics for use of stuff is long-winded, 'cause you probably know half the stuff I'm saying already.
Basically, as far as 18th-19th century tactics go, this is your battle line.
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
This is their battle line:
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
You stand there and shoot at eachother until someone retreats or is entirely dead. Not a very fun strategy, I know. But that's what they did, in addition to the flanking business.
-Restricted Troops: Rough Rider Squadrons
-Restricted Troops: Conscript Platoons
-Close Order Drill
Rough Riders: Cavalry was still in use at the time. However, they were armed with ranged weapons, and usually tended not to ride in close and kill people with lances. This is, basically, because a horse with someone riding on it is a *very* good target. So, I'd give them lasguns, close combat weapons, and 2x grenade launchers. They will have Fleet, which will make them, basically, more maneuverable infantry. Maneuver them around the sides of the enemy using fleet, then get in range and harry the sides, take a few casualties.
Since a 5-man squad (vet sgt w/ storm bolter, 2x lasguns, 2x gren. launchers, all with CCWs, will cost you around 90 points, as long as they can take out that much infantry (or deter and distract a unit worth that much: a unit engaging those guys is a unit not engaging your main force), they're worth it. Also, crossfire comes into play. Worry your opponent enough with three of these squads tap-tap-tapping at the side of his head, he'll mess up.
Conscript Platoons: These guys are your fodder, same way they were a bunch of years ago. Give them a missile launcher (for stationary firing), or a grenade launcher (for on-the-move conscripts) per unit, and get as many as you can afford. I would save selecting these guys for last, as you should get as many as you can fit in: cannon fodder is a wonderful thing. With close order drill, and a nearby platoon commander, you should either advance slowly under covering fire, or stand in front of the rest of your army and wait for, say, a horde of 'nids to come crashing into the line. There's not a heck of a lot to say about them: just make sure they die first.
Close Order Drill: This was the tactic of the day. Stand shoulder-to-shoulder and wait to die. 'Nuff said. Good for an infantry-based army.
Iron Discipline: You'll need this in an infantry-based army: lots of people are gonna be biting it, and you'll be able to keep them on the field when they would normally be hoofing it.
Sharpshooters: Makes your army better. People can say what they will, but this helps, in my opinion. Out of 10 models with lasguns, 50% will hit, and out of those 50% misses, a third of those will get a second chance at a 50-50 chance. This amounts to an extra 6% chance for apx. 1.5 models in your squad to hit. Not mathematically good, but in practice it seems to work better. Mainly because I have cruddy luck.
Not a lot for one squad, but when you have, say 7 squads, a second lease on life is a handy thing indeed. In my opinion.
As far as army organization goes, you should get Mortar Support Squads from your HQ, as well as Anti-Tank and/or Fire Support squads. If you're pressed on cash, get a mortar squad (model from Empire cannons) or two, and then an autocannon squad or two. Repeating weapons, although they weren't invented at the time, will help your army: autocannons are well-rounded weapons and can take down hard or soft targets. HQ doesn't really matter: get a JO, a heavy weapons team, and a standard. Commissars are your choice, but in a stand-and-shoot army, I would reccommend them: they may be expensive, but they might help. I would leave out elites, unless you want to get, say, a Hardened Veteran Squad with a heavy weapon team and grenade launchers to infiltrate and take up an advanced position. Therefore, you should have a lot of infantry, and therefore a lot of heavy weapons.
Don't waste the points on buying a Heavy weapon for conscripts, BS 2 is terrible, and you'll probably be wanting to move them most turns anyway. I'd model/convert up some Heavy wep platoons, make them look like old school cannons, using bitz from the Fantasy Empire range. What models are you planning on using?
I'm going to be using my cadian shock troopers. I will probably not go as far as to convert all 200 and repaint all 200 to look more 18-19th centuryish. I think I will start by using the tactics and army lists of that time period and if i fall in love with it then I'll start converting.
I've got to dispute a couple of Strong's points.
Cavalry very much did tend to ride up and kill people with lances in the 18th-19th century. They were armed, depending on weight, with lances, swords, pistols, and/or short rifles. If infantry is packed tightly, they are very resistant to a cavalry charge, but if infantry is broken, scattered, or dispersed, cavalry owns them. This is why modern police forces still maintain mounted officers. Nothing's better at working a disorganized crowd.
So in the time period you're looking at, cavalry would be used for flank attacks and to clean up dispersed infantry. When combined with artillery, which discourages close infantry formation, an opponent is put into a damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don't situation.
Also, cavalry weren't easy targets because muskets just weren't that accurate. You can't really have muzzle-loaded rifles, so it wasn't until the advent of the breech loader that you had accurate weapons that could be loaded quickly. Which coincides with the Civil War, which is also one of the first wars in which cavalry played very little part.
So I'd think that sharpshooters would be an uncharacteristic choice because it doesn't reflect the army of the time. More, less accurate troops is a better representation (and tactically more sound).
Rough Riders + Mortars + Basilisks + lots of Infantry and Conscripts would be a good tactical match. The double line of infantry, used by guard players anyway, would mimic the tactic of having one line fire while a second line reloads. Though for game purposes, you'd fire every chance you got.
If mounted charges were so effective, what happened to Knights in plate mail in about the 15th-century? They may have engaged in close combat, but not in the enemy's faces - riding into direct fire is just an easy way to die, and in the game, they would never get there. Flanking and dispersed infantry, yes, and that's what I said to do with them. Close combat is always a second option with guard, btw. I would avoid giving them hunting lances, but that's just me.
In a medieval army I'm doing (carapace armor and sharpshooters = elite infantry), I have:
-10 man rough rider squadron w/ Lances and Shotguns. Veteran Sergeant has an honorifica, a crimson and a power weapon replacing the shotgun. 4 str/ini 5 power attacks on the first charge is very tech.
-5 man filler rough rider squadron w/ 1x Grenade launcher, 3 lasguns, and 1x storm bolter. They'll harass the heck out of the enemy. With a veteran sergeant and a vox caster they cost a little under than 90 points. Points-effective, not in the sense that they pack a punch, but that they can distract an enemy and whittle down their forces.
I suppose that Sharpshooters could be dropped, but something else should be taken, rather than heavy weapons platoons: you can get 4 or 6 out of the HQ alone. Maybe Light infantry? That would allow you to do that whole 'sharp shooters' type idea with sniper rifles. It would also give you some tactical flexibility in missions that allowed infiltration.
i had a similar idea, but purely as a painting basis for my IG, for example:
i had a platoon of mordian iron guard and wanted to base them on the british troops from Zulu (although not exactly)
My thought behind the theme was a British 19th century red-coat army, and with that in mind i painted my ratlings in the style of the 95th rifles (now called the Royal Greenjackets) which some of you may know from the TV series and Bernard Cornwell Sharpe series of books
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