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Subject: American patched ball: "A most severe execution........." rss

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Rob Johnson
United States
St. Cloud
Minnesota
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Many of the Continental Line still used an old trick employed in civilian life when hunting game with a Bess-type musket:

patched ball

This technique is just what it sounds like- wrapping the .75 caliber round ball in a swatch of pillow ticking or any handy thin cloth, which makes the ball a nice, slick, tight fit. I use it myself on my Pennsylvania Commitee-of-Safety-Contract American Bess- deadly. 6 balls consistently in a 10" circle at 100 yards. A dead Lobsterback every time the trigger is/was pulled.

Almost no documentation exists on this technique, but the practice was so very widespread throughout all the Colonies, particularly Virginia and Pennsylvania, and NOT just "on the Frontier"; at least some Line Officers permitted this hunting practice for the first volley at least.

I plan to incorporate this into a mod whereby some Virginia and Pennsylvania Line and Militia regiments double their inflicted casualties for their first activation Fire.

Watch your ass, Howey.
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武士に二言無し
Italy
Caravaggio near Bergamo near Milano
Europe + Earth + Via Lactea
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Hi Rob,

Well said!!

This practice last long in the Napoleon era, usually by the british skirmishers (KGL, 95°) and actually is the technique that I use to fire my napoleon's rifles replicas.
The piece of cloth must be soaked with a little gun-oil then all the things go better (minus risk of gun-barrel explosion!!).

Bye

F.
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Paul Borchers
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Keller
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Donkey? I'll be riding a horse ...

I'd use that with care, Rob. One criticism that some players have made about the BAR AWI games is that the "casualties" are too high. Of course, losses in these games represent a loss of effectiveness, not corpses on the ground.

I can't remember if any of the BAR games mention this, but an optional rule for La Bataille is to keep track of when units fire the first time or get involved in Close Combat. The first time a unit fires it receives a one-multiple boost in its fire multiple (x4 becomes x5, for example), the reason being that the first volley fired will probably be the one most carefully loaded, the barrels aren't fouled, and the flints are in good shape. From a player perspective it makes you conserve your first fire for (hopefully) that critical, devastating volley rather than blaze away in Opportunity Fire or two-hex-range fire.
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Rob Johnson
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St. Cloud
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Good point, Paul- I'll do it very judiciously.

To be honest: I'm having the time of my life just goofing around with the game, setting up some small-scale engagements. Then I go out back and blast away at some Redcoat targets I made up- accoutered in my 7th Penn regiment gear.

I don't believe it gets any better, by Gosh.





"Give 'em the American war whoop, Boys!"
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