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 Post subject: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:51 am 
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Location: Combat Information Center, Sir!
This thread will be for discussions about the cannon aspect of the game's combat; what changes need to be made to get the most realistic result from the artillery.

We know we can't replicate exactly the actual ammunition of the period: HE can be used to represent Shell, AP for Solid Shot, but Cannister is going to be a fudge. But each of these will need to be tweaked to "dumb down" the WWII-era effects. Warhead sizes will need to be somewhat smaller, HE Kill numbers lower, etc.

Weapon ranges and usage are also going to need review; in particular are the ranges for the howitzer-class units, since they will be used to "bombard" units.

Additionally, the use of solid shot against armour plating will need to be addressed. Fortifications (if developed; still considering the use of fort terrain rather than fort "units", but I need Matt's help to develop the basic terrain tiles to do so) and ironclad ships make this a necessity. AP Penetration ratings need to be developed, in conjunction with a basic wrought-iron plating value; the game's hardwired armour formulas to be kept in mind when entering values.

There are probably more things to be looked at, but this should give us something to start with.

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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:17 am 
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I still think the shipping which I see as something that could even become a source of some
really cool battles are going to work best if we mount the weapons in turrets regardless of
how they are mounted in real life. This means that units won't have to turn to face the
target and really does provide a more realistic look and feel to the shooting part of the way
this game deals with ships. (*those of us crazy enough can add rules to make this play like
wooden ships and iron men) By using turrets we don't have ships turning to shoot at a
enemy and then facing will play a part allowing for the effects of armor and penetration to
be more of a factor of is you are looking at the flank or rear of a unit rather then its front
armor. Which due to op fire will become the norm. Turrets for ships eliminates that effect
somewhat allowing for units to fire to the flank and not turn to face the target.

We can customize the ships and the cannon counts on them along with the hull armor at
a latter date once we have time to collect some good data on the ships we know were
involved in lots of fighting.

As for the fortifications is it not possible to make them act like bunkers and hold men as
well as mount weapons and still look like a terrain feature? Making them a terrain feature
that can be added to a map and act as rough terrain and provides good cover would be nice
but having a bunker sort of unit also gives us a lot of options. It allows for the units to come
off of the fortification and charge into the beaten enemy in front of them and then return
back into the safety of the fortification. (and by default due to being inside a bunker from
view of the enemy los of any nearby units) This stuff is really nasty stuff to have to take
down from the stand point of an attacker. Units that can pop in and out of a bunker are
hard to get at and will be able to recover suppression while out of sight of the enemy.

If this is done as a house won't the units still be visible to nearby infantry? I think they
are. This makes the defense value of a terrain feature less beneficial then the bunker
As a terrain feature it is visible to both sides from the start. As a bunker unit you have
to find them to see them. By controlling the size of them and the ability to hold men
we can make some more visible then others and allows for multiple units to be put in
the same hex, Allowing for a mortar bunker and a weapons pit and so on to be stacked.

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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:16 am 
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Location: Combat Information Center, Sir!
I would like to do what was done in Enhanced with the use of the various "bomb shelter" type units...these were able to "carry" units inside, allowing them to withstand bombardments, and then emerge to fight without all that suppression. The actual "fortifications" made as terrain do a few things that the Fort unit class doesn't:
1. Allows the "capture" of the fort. Fort units are destroyed, fort terrain will be like houses or woods, capable of changing hands.
2. Allows units to withdraw with their organic weapons; fort units can only be "bailed out" of, leaving a weakly-armed Crew without its heavy weapons.
3. Fort terrain can't be "hit" repeatedly like Fort units, suppresing them and silencing their weapons; players will have to suppress the units INSIDE the Fort terrain, and that is harder to do than hitting an immobile Fort unit.

On a side note, I am revamping the artillery portion of the OOBs significantly; I have new research materials and information, and a better insight into Civil War-era artillery development. Here are a few of the changes made so far:

A. Have added a few new pieces to the mix, mainly for the Rebels (6pdr and 12 pdr Whitworths, 3.5in Blakely).
B. Split off weapons into separate types, each with own range and damage ratings. Units now have Shot, Cased Shot, Shell, and Cannister. Some, like the Napoleon, have all 4, most have 3.
C. Ammo loads have been reduced to historical amounts for the one limber chest. This means most artillery pieces have fewer than 40 rounds total, of all types. Players will have to decide which type of ammo (weapon) to fire each time (OpFire will still fire all that can be used at range, unable to change this) by turning OFF any weapon that they wish to conserve ammo for. However...
D. Caissons have been added directly to all artillery sections, one per gun. Historically, a gun section comprised 2 guns with limbers (1 ammo chest) and a caisson with spare limber (2 ammo chests). Instead of a separate section per battery, this means each gun has its own organic resupply under command of the gun captain; less likelihood of not being able to get a caisson to move to a gun. Removed the Caisson Section from the gun formations, but left it as an "add-on" buy formation in case extras are needed.
E. Changed the Ammo Bearer system; after seeing the discussion in the Enhanced FR forum about them, I checked and realized I had made these Ammo Carrier class. Reclassed to "Pack Animal" (to preserve the icon and Foot Movement), gave Carry Capacity of "5". Added a new Ammunition unit with Weight of "5", placed a Bearer and Ammunition in each Regiment formation directly; before, resupply units were in separate formation. This may have made it difficult to march a resupply to each regiment (as was the intent, with one per Rgt in the various formations) if regiments were "spread" and on different missions; since the resupply formation could only have 1 "objective", but each of 4 or 5 regiments could be in different places, some Rgts might have "lost" their supply. Now, wherever the Rgt goes to, the resupply will follow.

(more changes to follow...time to head off to my other job, the one that pays! :chuckle: )

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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:53 am 
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Two things...

The Field Fortifications if done as houses can they be made less likely to collapse when hit by heavy fire?
Even stone houses fall a bit to easy to resemble true earthwork forts.

The Cannons with the the multiple guns. I love this but it adds a lot of micromanagement to them if players
are going to be asked to turn them on and off. As for op fire if the guns are off they won't op fire.

The logic of putting the ammo and bearers with the regiments is good but they can still be subverted by
assigning them to new HQ's

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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:36 pm 
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Location: Combat Information Center, Sir!
I can't change the structure of the buildings and their "collapse" threshold, but IIRC most stone buildings require a lot of bombardment by seriously heavy artillery (150mm+) before they collapse...most of the current artillery won't be big enough to do this. Next revision will deal with siege and garrison artillery, which will be large enough. I don't recall seeing building collapses from small calibre Direct Fire artillery.

It all has to do with the Warhead Size of the Weapon...up around 8 or 9 and you get collapsing. I don't intend to give the CW cannons that kind of size to begin with; Warhead also has a lot to do with how much Suppression a shell inflicts on units in the detonation hex. And since we want to reduce that, I am reducing the Warhead sizes.

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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:12 pm 
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Kevin -

While playing a test battle, I came up with some suggestions.

I had a small earthwork garrisoned with two Rebel companies and mounting two Napoleons, one mountain howitzer, and one 24-pounder. I assaulted the fort with a full volunteer regiment. The artillery did significant damage do the advancing formation, and rifle fire also took its toll. Once I reached the parapet, however, the rebels were driven off and many surrendered during melees. However, that single 24-pounder off on the southwestern angle of the fort did, in my opinion, a little too much damage.

By firing all three of its different types of ordnance during each volley, it caused almost every unit it fired at to disperse. I lost maybe 8 units to this one gun. By the time the smoke cleared, one unit reached the victory flag before it was driven off, and the next turn it was back in rebel hands. EVERY ONE of my rifle units were surrendered, dispersed, or destroyed. All I had left were my AO, ammo bearers, and regimental commander. Casualties were 336 Union, 175 Confederate.

Does each cannon represent a battery or a single gun firing different ordnance? If a single gun, then maybe three shots with each ordnance per turn is a little much..


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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:08 pm 
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I think we need to do them as single guns. I think we can also make fixed guns for use in forts.
Which could be made to represent more guns that can not be removed from the forts.

I have not done much testing against the guns but in the few I did do I noted the same thing. The
op fires alone were just too much with at least two types of ammo being fired at longer ranges and
up close all three.

We can use the turn off weapons when not in use but that adds a whole bunch of micromanagement to
the game. For most players that will be more then they can live with.

Perhaps the way to deal with this is to make each gun fire only one type of ammo either the shell or
shot. With canister being a small unit that can be bought with the gun itself and deployed as a
separate unit along with the gun. The gun would be the HQ and movement of the canister unit made
zero. They would have to be brought up by ammo bearers or carriage separately. This means that
your going to have to buy the right guns for what you want to do with them.

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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:58 pm 
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Hmm..

I know that we're trying to make things work the way we need them to, but I wonder if this mod may be getting a little too complicated? I understand that it will be, out of necessity.

I'd say this -

Leave the artillery in batteries the way they are. But include guns separately with their ordnance, but leave them with canister. Example - in the purchase screen, you would see '12 Lb. Napoleon - Case', '12 Lb. Napoleon - Solid Shot', etc. but they all have their own grapeshot.

I get more and more excited as I fire the mod up and dream of all the possibilities.. I can't wait to see it finished.


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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:40 am 
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Ok, keep in mind that what you may be seeing is the higher HE Kill #s causing more casualties...I can reduce those numbers, which are higher than similar weapons in SPWAW; I 'ramped up' the HE Kills so we would see significant differences, and then tune them downward.

What we can do in regards to the various "weapons", is to pick one basic round plus the cannister. For most, it will be case shot (which was better anti-pesonnel than solid shot), some shell. Solid shot isn't going to be really effective until we introduce armour and ships.

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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:01 am 
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Ok that is good other then forts and ships how often are we going to see the guns used against ships.
The guns in the forts should not be the same ones we have in the field.

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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:05 am 
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Don't know if I'm reading this right, Mike. Do you mean field armies should not have big guns? Look at Forts Donelson and Henry.. both mounting 32-pounders, although Henry was taken out by the navy but mostly by flooding. Vicksburg? Port Hudson?


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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:09 am 
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Location: Combat Information Center, Sir!
These forts are also to be used to build field fortifications, not just Forts. So the use of field artillery in them isn't a major concern for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 3:35 pm 
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I have an interesting case study of short-range artillery vs infantry, 11th Ohio Battery at Iuka, if you're interested. The author compares historical figures with the HPS game Campaign Corinth...



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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 3:48 pm 
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Matt8683 wrote:
Don't know if I'm reading this right, Mike. Do you mean field armies should not have big guns? Look at Forts Donelson and Henry.. both mounting 32-pounders, although Henry was taken out by the navy but mostly by flooding. Vicksburg? Port Hudson?



What I am attempting to say with my comment was that the forts often had those massive guns
mounted in them. We don't want players buying them for a field army and hauling them around
and then pulling up to the shore or river bank and using them on ships.

The bigger guns that were found only in forts can not be portable or at the minimum require a
much larger expense in hauling them then it is worth.

We have not had the ships yet to try the river battles properly. We will see the ships taking
fire from everything on the field in some cases to get them to button and rout. This is one of
the things that has me saying that the mech numbers may need to be altered for the ships.
Flash's early tests with the ships were mostly ship to ship. So far it looks great. But once
we see the ships take musket, rifle, Cannon shot, Canister, Arrows and the odd Saber Slash
that someone will no doubt try in an effort to sink one of those Ironclad monsters we may
find that they need to be adjusted.

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 Post subject: Re: Cannon Combat Results Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 7:16 pm 
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I see what you're saying now.. was a little confused, that's all.

Rifle and musket volleys against ships were quite common during the war. A sharpshooter sitting on a cypress limb on a Mississippi River bank, picking off a gunner or two, and the crew getting a replacement for the wounded man is fairly accurately replicated by a few points of suppression, in my opinion.


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