Tactical Exercise: Where would you put your guns?

Let’s talk tactics today.

Say you are a battery commander. You have six guns. For simplicity, six 12-pdr Napoleons.

Your assignment is to support a brigade of infantry. The brigade has four regiments. The brigade commander arranges these regiments with three on line and one in reserve.

The ground is the standard billiard table flat terrain as seen in all military tactics manuals.

Now things being what they are in the army, you don’t get to pick your position. But rather as the battery commander, you can “suggest” to the infantry commander where to place the guns. So what is your preference?

The Map

The “bad guys” are up at the top of the map. The blue rectangles are the positions of the infantry regiments. The red octagons are possible positions for the guns.

Do you….

  • Split the guns into sections to the front at positions 1 and 3?
  • Mass the battery at position 2?
  • Split sections and align with the infantry at positions 5 and 6?
  • Post sections to the flanks at positions 4 and 7?
  • Mass all the guns at position 8?
  • Hold a section in reserve at position 9?
  • Or is there another plan?

Feel free to drop a comment… or here’s a poll:

What factors do you consider when selecting a position? Is your decision based on the doctrine of the time? Or is it based on “experience” handed down from those who worked the guns 150 years ago?

Does your selection change if you are the brigade commander?

Call it a Monday morning open thread. But I’ve got an agenda here, segueing nicely into some discussions about tactics.