No, I know the tag works, but if you look at the example at the codex, it says, as I say in my first post
If you had your blog configured to show just one post on the front page, but you also wanted to show links and excerpts to the previous five with the category ID 1, you could use code like this:
$posts = get_posts('numberposts=10&offset=1&category=1');
number of posts=10, but you want to "show previous five".
I'm confused. I just played with the code for someone wanting to have 3 posts, and then a list of 10 older. Which I did fine. I did a get_query post per page=3, and then the get_posts numberofposts13, offset=3. Which worked.
Guess what I'm getting at is the text and the code don't match and I don't know who to notify, otherwise, I'm totally reading it wrong, and would like an explanation.