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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:24 pm 
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The Artillery Values Review group and I have been looking over the new ratings I have been assigning the guns for the last week. I have finished with the major nations (Austria, France, Prussia, Russia but not Britain yet) and have also finished up with many of the minor nations as well. I should finish with this work by Monday. We are going to test the values in solo test games to see how they work.

Since these values will impact everyone I am going to post the materials you would need to try them out for yourselves. Feedback is always welcome.

Priority is on finishing up the PDT files for the new CEF game and then I will work backwards through the series starting with RBR and ending with EC and WC. I will not be updating Waterloo, NRC or BPW files though if I do a Mod later I will add in the artillery values based on our review.

Thanks to all that have been helping rate the values. Special thanks to Bill Cann (Russians/Saxons) and Paco Palomo (French) for their help.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:05 pm 
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Looking forward to this! :frenchvive1:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:15 pm 
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Most of the values are now in the tables and the team is reviewing them. At the end of the week I will have a test PDT file for us all to use for trying out the new values. Some good things came from this: I found out that some weapon values in CEF were not being used. I have to do some OB letter changes for the weapons eventually. Going slow on this project as it has so much impact on how the series plays out.

By next week I should have the PDT file for the Battle of Friedland done and the two full battle games can begin for "Phase 2" testing.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:48 am 
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There is a major disparity between artillery and infantry. Artillery fire values are ridiculously high at close range. I understand there is some tunnel-vision reasoning for giving artillery massive close range firepower but, it makes cannon way to effective as show stoppers on the field especially when grouped. To wit:
600 man battalion has a mean range 1 casualty result of 45. While a 6lb battery of 6 guns has a mean range 1 casualty result of 54. The battlion is firing 12,000 shots in 10 minutes while the battery only fires 90. Considering the cannon are firing cannister and grape that can penetrate better than musketry it is still at least half as much volume of firepower. The weight of a gun dictates it's comparative reload speed and would align all guns at about equal values at close range as well.
In gameplay this makes artillery batteries fortresses unto themselves. Immersion-wise cannon weren't produced in any number, not because of economy but, they weren't accurate and didn't have equitable volume of fire at close range compared to 50 men (as is hardcoded) much less an entire battalion:battery. I believe artillery should have more 'realistic/balanced' close in fire (~8 rng1) and their vulnerability to melee should be handled in other ways.
The cavalry charge bonus could be reduced (x4). Cavalry density multiplier could be increased (4). Artillery density multiplier could be reduced (100). A straight -17% melee weather effect would give 2:1 odds in better favor of defense. Artillery should have at least as good speed as infantry. Musket fire could be raised to 6 rng1, 3 rng2, 1 rng3. The major problem overall with combat resolution is the very low prorated threshold for morale checking which automatically causes disorder. Despite that fusiliers are being left in the dirt by the other arms and I advocate musket enhancements and/or melee-cav-arty reductions.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:41 pm 
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First the simple assumption that musket or artillery fire in one turn equals a constant firing of 10 minutes is wrong, there is a reason why the fire value if halved when an infantry unit moved. So any 12k vs 90 is a result that can't be considered this way as this is pure theoretical and has nothing to do with real battlefield situations, what about the decline in fire rate because of the dirt that each musket fire results for example?

Just some values for comparison from the Austerlitz game:
- A bat. of 750 men at range 1 with the standard musket fire value of 5 will result in average casualties of 42.(The shortened line takes effect, fire is at 75%)
- A bat. of 540 men at range 1 with the standard musket fire value of 5 will result in average casualties of 40.(The normal line takes effect, fire is at 100%)
- An 8 gun foot battery of 12pdr at range 1 with a fire value of 16 will result in average casualties of 96.
- An 8 gun foot battery of 8pdr at range 1 with a fire value of 13 will result in average casualties of 78.
- An 8 gun foot battery of 6pdr at range 1 with a fire value of 12 will result in average casualties of 72.

Now that artillery batteries are fortress can't be confirmed by me, and this comes from one of the few that plays the game in phases and by that sees fire with a much better effect. I have lost many batteries in my current Caldiero battle as even the combined fire of muskets & artillery wasn't able to trigger enough disorder to stop Austrian column assaults, they are rated at B(grenadiers) and C(line) and so can be seen as good quality infantry.

Cavalry is an own topic but I just what to say that the usual use of squadrons in most games can be exploited by the fact that no weapon fire effects all squadrons in a hex like the optional rule "Column Pass Through Fire" would do for infantry. That means a whole regiment charges but you could at best for on 4 squadrons assuming infantry combined with artillery fire from 2 hexes. That is enough for the French but not for the usually smaller Allied squadrons. I would like to see a lower cavalry stacking limit as the current 3 inf to 1 cav seems to beneficial for small cavalry squadrons as the mass of the cavalry can't be stopped even if the fire is able to considerably reduce some squadrons. A max stacking of 450 may be the way to go. I don't see a need to change charge multiplier.


Now overall I would like to see more power on distance too, not only for artillery but for muskets also.
For artillery longer ranges would be the way to go as the necessary adjustment of the fire value curve would then result in effective fire on the historical distances. For example French 12pdr has only a fire value of 1 at 15 hexes what results in average casualties of 6 men, first this is too short as the max range was at 2200 yards(20 hexes) and effective still up to 1900 yards(17 hexes), second having 12 casualties per turn(counting offensive & defensive fire phase) for a whole 8 gun 12pdr battery is all but effective. If you now put the max range at 20 with a fire value of 1 you could consider a fire value of 2-3 at 17 what results in 24-36 casualties in 10 minutes and 144-216 in one hour what could be consider as "effective" as the fatigue would rise to about 288-432 can shift fatigue into the medium range and by that effect infantry & cavalry units performance.

For muskets it has been said that the French musket fire was good on 200 meter but beyond rather insecure, so a fire value of 2-3 at range 2 and 1 at range 3 sounds good for me. I'm not aware that other countries muskets have a lower range even if some special points have to be considered for certain games like the bad Prussian muskets in 1806 or the overall decline in musketry in later years(beyond 1809).

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:45 pm 
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Lets keep the thread on topic, guys, and not go off into why I chose to give the cavalry x5 modifier. Start a new thread on cavalry charges if you would like to discuss that.

Good analysis, Christian. Its not 8 guns in a battery firing for 10 minutes. Its typically one blast and then the attacker is on you with the bayonet. And that if the gunners stayed with the guns. That is why artillery sometimes will not fire "point blank" in melees.

The simple fact is is that troops would not be sent into the teeth of 32 guns. In our game, however, you can do it and take those guns....

I think we had this artillery discussion many times over the years. Canister actually spread out better from 100 to 200 yards than it did point blank but I am staying with the traditional "closest is best" for each type of round. Thus at mid range the shell/case has a higher rating than the canister at 5 hexes (for instance).

All miniature rules I have ever played have a devastating point blank fire value. You don't walk into a Russian 12lb battery at Borodino in a miniatures game and fail to disorder ....

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:09 pm 
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I guess the turn scale of time would infer that 2/3rds full attack fire is conducted on the player's turn. Doesn't matter against my rationale though in 1 minute a battlion of 600 fires 1200 charges and the 6-gun battery can be assumed to fire ~9 (40s RoF). Even if the cannons shot is considered 50 times the effect of the musketeers' that's still underwhelming in comparison. The game can either be designed for single or multiple phased play. There is no happy medium that I see. My suggestions at balancing above although I aimed small would upset every aspect of design thus far. It's a very finicky engine with too much hardcoded constraints. Still in single phased play guns get overrun by cav and inf that zig zag out of the batteries' field of fire. The potential of casualties of an 8 or 12 gun battery are way out of proportion too thousands of musket balls in comparison though. Maybe if anything artillery density should be increased to 150. A direct method of decreasing artillery vulnerability to assault is to increase it's melee value. The artillery melee value directly corresponds with it's density. They should be more vulnerable though really. Artillery is meant for long distance fire while light guns are pretty disposable losses.
The arithmetic mean multiple of the fire resolution range is 0.015. Attacking melee is 0.06 and defending melee is 0.1. So, charging cavalry at (5 * 0.06) is like artillery and very much on topic of the cause for high artillery close in fire, way out of line. Any change will have greater repercussions elsewhere and in balancing one aspect we should be aware of all the hardcoded intangibles like the morale check. One way around morale check if musket fire is increased would be to make all units fanatical so that they just become disorderly more and rout at a slower rate. The disorder movement rate has pretty much been bypassed in all newer variants of Battleview and you might as well include that here. Routed units don't suffer movement rate reduction. Cavalry that have charged over a stream will be reduced by the time they arrive on target and in the counter attack.
Another way to enhance musketry would be to give all infantry battalions the 'two rank' benefit of increased fire effect then setting musket rng1 to 4. Still you'd have very high rates of casualties but, it isn't about being realistic. It's about making the game balanced among it's various aspects. If you try to make something this finicky realistic than you're attempting to get the round peg in the square hole. Just as Jena-Auerstaedt's values were better for gameplay than earlier games there is another even better method that could be introduced lurking in the scripting.


Last edited by Geoff McCarty on Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:48 pm 
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Wait wait, we just had agreed to 25 men equivalent per gun in melee as to not make it so hard to overrun a battery:
viewtopic.php?p=92459#p92459
Now you want the opposite?

If your guns die too fast handle them differently, I at least know that I was too bold in the way I handled & positioned my artillery at Caldiero and I had the price to pay.
Maybe it would all be different with an artillery capture rule, batteries wouldn't simply disappear and unless the attacker would keep them the setback of having the rated as F after recapture wouldn't pay out. Anyhow that has to wait till someone takes this engine up for further work on it, I still dream of WDS doing this as there other projects show how good the Tiller games benefit from it.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:01 pm 
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25 men would simulate an artillery batteries actual manpower during close combat. It would not simulate cannon fire during the initial defense as I said. It also would not directly benefit the disparity of melee values if artillery is meant to be played as a golden goose with 25x VPs of it's counterpart worthless infantry which it kills at least twice the rate before even being threatened with overrun. Either it's artillery are too vulnerable to attack and thus must have some overwhelming firepower (which it is) or artillery are too overwhelming in their attack and they should be more vulnerable to assault. I'm not chiseling demands in stone just bullshitting about changes.
Brufell knows the ins and outs of Battleview and could do updates. There are others through the years that have worked on it. The two other guys from Campaign Series development for instance. From our PoV at only being able to edit the open source values though there are means to be more creative and troubleshoot current problems. I say infantry aren't handled correctly and are pidgeon holed into assault column chaos because they're ineffective at actual line infantry duties. Artillery firepower is one aspect that could be reduced to enhance the plight of our infantrymen. Holisticaly you can't just change artillery values though because balancing one area allows for more leveraging. If left undone than you're worse off than when you started redesigning it.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:21 pm 
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I just did a fire test in Eckmuhl. Point blank range with guns and infantry. I lined up 10 units on each side with 1 unit per hex. The French had four batteries and six battalions. The Austrians had 10 battalions. All battalions under 900 men per bn. Guns were a range from 6 to 8 guns (French). The Guns ranged from 6lb to 12lb.

Results: Similar losses somewhere in the high 20s to mid 90s range for the guns. High 30s to low 60s for the muskets.

Here is the scenario file if you want to try it out for yourself. Uses the default files (PDT, MAP, OB) from EC.
Musket fire at point blank range was dangerous BUT I believe that after the first few shots that muskets would foul and so on. I wish that the Nap Battles series had the "First Fire" ability for the infantry like the EAW series has. Once you do your first shot your firepower is diminished in value. It makes sense too.

Add in all of the Op Fire - and really the units put out a lot of losses.

So for example:

1/7 Legere Regt. fires at point blank for 52 losses. In the Austrian turn they fire back for 49 losses which triggers return fire of 28 losses. Another unit moves adjacent to the French unit which triggers more fire - 22 losses.

The French - in 10 mins. just hit for over 100 loses .....

I think that that was what Christian was hinting at earlier. You have to add in the Op Fire to the losses inflicted for the entire turn.

But try out the file for yourselves. See if you can hit for more than 70 men with the infantry battalions.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:39 pm 
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Frankly, I don't know what the historic kill rates should be for musket fire. I know this game's rates are way to low. A 'percent hit' equation based on historic "accuracy" test results would be way way too high given the modest historical casualties. I don't think muskets were unreliable mechanically. Actual fouling where the soldier would have to goto the rear to clear his weapon wasn't common. I do believe that the musket ball was a terrible projectile though and subject to so many physical problems before and during it's flight into the enemy.
I don't have Eckmuhl but your results seem natural based on the older 'musket * 4' multiplier. Which is equivalent to defender casualties in melee. The great imbalance through melee is that the attacker can pile in overwhelming numbers especially through the cavalry charging routine. The imbalance of firing is not with the musket casualty results but, cannon fire. Where cannon are causing a ridiculous amount of casualties in comparison to the much greater volume of musket volley. There are two instances of lanes of charging and artillery fire fields which instill a game of tag which ruins immersion and balance I think. Maybe if facing costs were nil'd than the benefits to artillery and cavalry would be enough too reduce their melee and fire superiority against the infantry?
I expect a Napoleonic battlefield to be based upon the infantry battle line with skirmishers, cavalry, and artillery playing secondary roles in reducing the 'Queen of Battles' progress towards victory. As far as fire balancing the fusil is the lowest common denominator but, it's numbers per battalion should dwarf the volume of fire from a gun battery at 100 meters. Just to reiterate another point of mine a cannon's projectile weight dictates it's reload speed so pound for livre the same volume of material is being fired at close range. Which should give lighter guns their pride of place at the front while heavies do the long ranged fire.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:13 pm 
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How far is the process for the new artillery values?
Would be interested you see them either as PDF or PDT to test.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:24 pm 
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Hi Christian - you would be welcome to do the test once I have gotten the testing done for CEF but before we put out the updates. I will get back to everyone once I am ready.

I now have FIVE game projects I can work on. Three of them are active at the moment. One is in research, the other is closing in on halfway done and CEF is just about finished. So I am pretty busy at the moment.

I want to kick out another "OB Compendium" this month this time for Campaign 1814 since I did Marengo's a month or so ago ....

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