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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:21 am 
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What do you prefer??

<b>1) Historically a 6 gun battery is comprised of 2 Napoleons, 2 James, 2 Howitzers.</b>

Would you rather play with a single 6 gun unit, most likely using the Napoleons, or keeping with accurate data and have 3 2 gun sections featuring all three gun types?

<b>2) Historically a 6 gun battery is comprised of 4 Napoleons, and 2 James'</b>.

Would you rather play with a single 6 gun unit, most likely using the Napoleons, or keeping with accurate data and have a 4 gun Napoleon unit and a 2 gun section of James'?

<b>3) Given the excessive routing with the current engine:</b>

Would you rather have slighlty higher qualities or maintain the best guess at accurate quality levels even if this mean more routing?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:50 am 
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Rich,

I preferr the two gun sections, but not for historical accuracy. I favor it because of the Crew Killed factor. I can see a well placed volley taking out one or two gun crews, but find it hard to imagine a volley taking out a six gun battery. The rout situaiton seems to be fine the way it is, to me. I play with the rout limiting rule ON. It would be nice to be able to give a command to the troops to RUN FOR IT (rout on command). It would get them out of a trap that is closing in on them (Limited movement due to ZONE of Control).

BG Joe Mishurda

Joe Mishurda, The Cast Iron Division
2nd Div. XXV Corp, AoJ


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 4:35 am 
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Rich,

I prefer grouping the artillery in 2's. It gives more flexibility in tactical use, creates longer road columns, and evens out ammo supply usage. I would recommend staying away from single gun sections, even if historical, until the game engine is overhauled in a few areas as it is very unfair to the side having many single gun sections.

On the quality issue, I think if both armies were accurately rated then routing would be an issue for both sides. If I recall correctly, I was told once the BG ACW series had the Union troops dummied down to give the Rebs a chance since most players wouldn't
repeat some of the stupid decisions made by Union Corps/Army leaders. If this is true, it needs to stop.

Given the large maps and the campaign feature of the HPS games (plus several other engine improvements) I think enough variables are now in play (that weren't in the BG series) that will allow players of both armies to do stupid things, and put their own army to flight without the designers making one army more brittle than the other.

I think the command radii for each army should be the same as well. Both armies utilized the same technology and training for command control. So those ranges should be the same. I do not have any qulams if in any given scenario one army has more leaders with better ratings than the other army, as on some days in the war this was the case.

One point I'd like to make for sure, is for the historical stand alone scenarios, a one-size fits all oob approach to designing is hogwash. Within any give game title, designers have historical replay scenarios, and these scenarios should be supported by their own unique oob file with that file tailored in structure and troop/leader quality ratings adapted for that particular snapshot of history.

So if the a designer made historical scenarios of day 2 and day 3 at Gettysburg the leader/troop quality ratings may be vastly/slightly different between the two, or unit/bde/div assignments may be different to reflect command structure differences. (hmmm... hope I made my point, sound a bit muddled.)

Now the campaigns could run from one generic master oob file, or altrenate oobs could be developed to reflect how an army's quality level changes from battle to battle due to a host of things happening in an early battle, or result from a campaign choice.

I think with the above the games would even out a bit more balanced and enjoyable. The raw material, the weapons, the tactics and training for both armies were virtually the same, so the basic units/leaders should reflect that, and let the player be the VARIABLE that makes the real difference on the battlefield.

MajGen Al 'Ambushed' Amos
3rd "Amos' Ambushers" Bde, Cavalry Division, XX Corps, AoC
The Union Forever! Huzzah!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 4:48 am 
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It's certainly best to have batteries split into gun sections - it's more historically accurate allowing representation of each gun type, and also permitting different sections to point in different directions. Besides it helps to clog up roads, especially along forest trails (perhaps supply wagons should be 100 strong not 300 to create even more traffic jams!)

The problem(s) with artillery isn't whether to have sections or not. It's the following:

1./ They "magically" disappear if successfully meleed. (ie. lack of a capture/recrew/recapture feature - guns should be like supply wagons, as they can't exactly "die", although maybe some guns could explode or get damaged by enemy artillery fire)

2./ No proper artillery supply system

3./ It's too easy to melee artillery and wipe them out and, since they're generally worth a lot of points, they're an easy target.
They should be harder to assault frontally and should have some chance of limbering up/retreating by prolong and getting away. But if they don't manage to get away, they should be captured (see 1./ above) rather than just automatically and completely eliminated. Take a look at how artillery was handled in the old (1996) game <i>Age of Rifles</i> - it had all these features and could also batter a village into rubble or set it on fire!


Col. Rich White
3 Brig. Phantom Cav Div
III Corps ANV


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:31 am 
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The way I've done it with Shiloh is:

Take a battery with 6 guns, 4 Napoleons and 2 James'. This would be one 4 gun unit of Napoleons and one 2 gun unit of James'.

But I also broke the 4 gun unit into 2 sections. It's one or the other, but never both at the same time. :-) But the OOB has the option available for any that want to create all sections or use larger units.

How does that sound??

Rich

P.S. This is interesting, so far all respondants prefer 2 gun sections. Keep it coming!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:44 am 
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Rich Walker,

To clarify your last post. Am I correct with the following interpretation?

Battery A historically had 6 guns, so in the oob you will have a line showing one unit with 6 guns, and 3 units with 2 guns so that alternate scenarios can be built using either group.

I would not recommend the 4 Napoleons, 2 James' counter mix. It raises an ammo usage issue the engine isn't capable of handling fairly. (yet?) [:)]

MajGen Al 'Ambushed' Amos
3rd "Amos' Ambushers" Bde, Cavalry Division, XX Corps, AoC
The Union Forever! Huzzah!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:59 am 
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Why not give us the option to combine and seperate batteries at will ?



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Major General John Corbin
Commanding officer
XXV Corps "The Glory Seekers"
Army of The James


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:21 am 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by John Corbin</i>
<br />Why not give us the option to combine and seperate batteries at will ?



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Major General John Corbin
Commanding officer
XXV Corps "The Glory Seekers"
Army of The James

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Al- yes, your correct about how the OOB is designed.

John- Yes I asked J. Tiller to do that and he said the campaign feature would not be able to keep with the loses. I think that's what he said, or something along those lines.

Rich


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:57 am 
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Right now, I don't even deploy rebel 1 and 2 gun batteries in BGG for firing because each costs a shot factor, same as a 6 gun battery. Rebels desperately need to conserve and 1 or 2 guns are wasteful. That is not accurately historical and detracts from playability. It would seem that it would be easiest to come up with an estimate of total supply of cannon ammo and a cost of 1 factor per cannon fired. A 6 banger would cost 6 shot factors, and one could combine stacked batteries for combat for a gross firepower factor used, such as 19 shots. That would make it worthwhile to deploy all guns. It ought to be easy to program it in.

BG Ross McDaniel
2nd Div, III Corps, AoG


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:35 am 
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I'd be wary of a poll here that reflects the overall positions correctly. Only a relatively few people respond here.

I know several people who dislike the 1-2 gun units in Gettysburg and Peninsula. To the point were the decision to play the game is put into question. I dislike both games because of it. Although Peninsula has the fewer 1-2 units to move around and therefore is more playable. I will generally put aside Gettysburg.

I think playability is most important and will be a primary reason for the success of a series. You have all types of players, ones that like to micromanage every detail, regiment breakdowns, squadrons, shorter turns, firing each gun, and that is fine, however if you want a game to be played by a lot of people for many years it has to be playable. Historical accuracy at the expense of playability is not my choice. The original BGG series has lasted a long time, even with its defects because it was playable and enjoyable. 1-2 gun units is not enjoyable.

I think it also has to do how you approach and play the game. My thrill is the maneuver and out thinking my opponent not spending time caring about what type of artillery I have or spending a lot of time moving all those artilery units.

I remember a WWII game that used trucks as transports for the infantry. Realistic yes, but I spent so much time moving truck around before and after unloading the infantry that it felt like a hurry up and get the trucks out of the way game. I stopped playing it.

To those who like it that's OK. But there are other types of players out there as well and both are very important.

I don't have a problem with rout in general as long as the rout limiting is used. If you keep your leaders in range and keep the units realtively in good shape then the routing reflect the general loss of control of a few units.

Best Regards,

General Pierre D.
1st Bde,3rd Div,I Corps,
Army of Georgia
CSA

President, ACWGC
Cabinet Member


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:43 am 
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Well Pierre, if you are going for playability then you should use the 1-2 guns sections for the south, because artillery WAS the army's weakness compared to the North's. Then you will have the better quality infantry, better quality cavalry, better quality leader qualites, and greater command radii to offset the weak artillery arm. A nice simple way of portraying historical accuracy without losing playability.

Or, are you one of those Southern players that have to have all the advantages before you feel it is historical? [:p] Amazing how that ELITE army couldn't win the war isn't it. [:D]

MajGen Al 'Ambushed' Amos
3rd "Amos' Ambushers" Bde, Cavalry Division, XX Corps, AoC
The Union Forever! Huzzah!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:06 am 
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My feeling is the problem isn't with the battery composition but with the game engine. If how ammo is used, crew casualties inflicted, and gun command control aren't changed, then the section size needs to be standardized to two guns to compensate.

First, the grouping of all guns into a battery representing say 2 N, 2 R and 2 H isn't a problem. The affect of each section could be factored into the fire table. Basically, at long range the unit would be firing with its 2 R, at medium range with both the N and R, and at short range all 6 guns. Using sections would give the player more flexibility in using his guns at the price of lots of units. The problem with the combined battery is affect of crew kills. If infantry fire affected a unlimbered battery similar to how it affects a limbered (may cause a gun loss), this would work.

The second problem comes in when the guns are broken down into sections that are unequal. When you have a mix of one's, two's, three's and four's along with limited ammo, then you send the one's and maybe the two's to the rear. You just as well not have included them in the game.

BG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
III Corps, AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:07 am 
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1 (& 2)) I do like the sections, or at least I like the representation of the different gun types. Is it possible to utilize one unit for the battery but have the different gun types within it?? The old Avalon Hill Gettysburg '77 gave you a battery counter, but on the back told you how many guns of what type. I'd favour this.

1a) I agree the point about artillery being too easy to kill in melee. They too often got away, even when the enemy closed to within 25 yards (see Chancellorsville if nowhere else, though I worry about single instances to back up points!) before they started to limber. Can they just be allowed to retreat as per any other unit? They could still be ZOC-killed, but not so easily as now.

Also, implement gun crews as numbers of men. They lose single men at a time, but need X number to fire each gun. As they lose men, they can fire fewer guns.

1b) One oddity with gun sections is that my 3 sections of different types takes up 3x the road space as my single 6-gun battery. Not as easy to deploy either. Any chance of having road columns introduced that go by a strength allowance per hex rather than a single unit?

3) Go for the best guess, but let's get a restrictive command & control system in place. A bad brigade commander should impact his brigade's performance and ability to maneuver/close, not just rally/rout. Or take the "simple" road of rating each leader with values and radii rather than using generic figures.

Gee, we don't ask for much here, do we?? [;)]

Maj Gen Sean Turner
3rd Cavalry Division, "Yankee Thrasher"
I Corps
Army of Alabama


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:48 pm 
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In the Nappy games, you can split batteries into a left and right battery, and combine them later.

Why can't you have the best of both worlds and provide this type options. In that way, a combined battery would fire at the lowest range, firepower and damage of the the 3 types of cannon.

I don't really care if we have sections or full batteries. I think it is relatively a minor matter and if that is what would keep someone from playing an excellent game, then, so what. There are people that do not play these games because they don't like the graphics, again, so what.

Either you play the games as they are or you don't.

Now, if the reason for the sections is the fire power of the various types of cannon AND these different guns options reflect that different firepower, rates of fire, range, etc, then that is a good thing.

Infanrty have different weapons and different ranges for muskets and rifles.

The games are not perfect, but they sure are fun to pay.

<b><font color="gold">Ernie Sands
LtGen, CO XXIII Corps, AoO
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ACWGC Cabinet member
</b></font id="gold">


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:51 pm 
To all three questions I go with accuracy over playability but can also go with the flow.
If a battery has more than one type, then sections are fine. But I can't see having 3 2-gun sections just to have sections unless the flexibility is needed due to a limited number of guns in a scenario. I thought I saw a post that stated the arty ammo level was done with the 1 and 2 gun sections in mind and was still reasonably accurate? True, players will probably send their two gun sections to the rear and use their 4 & 6 gun units instead, but I figure thats their choice. With huge battles I can't see giving them that many more units to handle for no special reason other than not wanting any arty unit larger than 2 guns.
On the rout/quality issue, again, I'd go with the designer's best guess on quality and not make it higher or lower as a game balance issue.
Many other ideas were put forth in this thread that I think are great but don't know how tough they'd be to put into the current game engine.
I think most of us would wish that guns could be captured, recrewed, not loose the whole crew at once, ability to rout on command I like too. If batteries had x-number of men assigned and took casualties, then they'd still have all their guns but not be able to fire them all. And if they took horse casualties that could limit or stop their movement.
Another neat feature would be an overall morale level. So that if an army's overall morale fell below a certain level it might be more likely for units to route. This might stop the tendency to fight to the death in some games. Cavalry armed with pistols and shotguns generally used them mounted. Too bad they couldn't in the game. Maybe an easy fix to that would be to allow inf in column and mounted cav both to fire but at a greatly reduced strength, such as a quarter or whatever is thought appropriate.

MajGen, 2/XIX/AoS
"Beer! It's not just for breakfast anymore!"


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