Friday, November 24, 2017

Shooting Blanks at St. Quentin

The 1st Band of the French Companies has nearly cleared the island. Imperial forces are on the move.
I learned something very important today about the JTS Musket & Pike engine that I didn't know. It took several hours of playing the St. Quentin scenario. I've never run into it in other scenarios and never suspected it was there.

By 2:30 a final charge across the bridge by halberdiers clears the island and captures the guns of the Imperial 4th Tercio. Imperial cavalry is in contact with the French right and my guns are out of ammo!
Unlike other Tiller games, the Napoleonic games, in particular, there is a fixed amount of artillery ammunition available in Musket & Pike: Renaissance. Where artillery ammo depletion in the Napoleonic Campaigns games is tied to a percentage change of a battery going "low ammo" there appears to be a fixed limit on artillery ammunition in Renaissance, period. In the Napoleonic Campaign games, a battery low on ammo can be resupplied by a supply train, this doesn't happen in Renaissance if the total ammo supply is exhausted.

As much as this surprised and puzzled me when my guns suddenly couldn't fire, I like it. It reflects the logistics challenge of keeping the newfangled artillery trains supplied during this period. It means that you can't indiscriminately fire all of your guns every turn for both offensive and defensive fire. There's an interesting command decision there.

While I've played a fair amount of Renaissance before it really struck home today: despite looking the same, this is a very different game than Napoleonic Campaigns. I think this title is underappreciated, mostly because few players really understand the armies of the era.

Edit: Steve Trauth pointed out the Napoleonic games do in fact have an ammo limit, but it tends to be set very high. You are more likely to shoot your guns dry in Renaissance though, as it should be.