Napoleonic Wargame Club

First Fire Bonus
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Author:  Jeff Mathes [ Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:26 pm ]
Post subject:  First Fire Bonus

I've noticed through the years what seems to be a bonus applied to artillery when first fired. This may just be a quirk, but I've repeatedly noticed more casualties produced during the first time a battery is fired, e.g. in a current game a Prussian light battery (6 pdr) fires at maximum range of ten hexes which results in 8 casualties on a single battalion at a 75% artillery effectiveness rate due to weather conditions. Has anyone else seen similar results? If this has been addressed in the forum previously, I've missed it.

Author:  Andy Moss [ Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: First Fire Bonus

Yes, I've noticed that almost from the beginning. First shot I can hit a gun; all subsequent shots I can't.

Author:  Christian Hecht [ Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: First Fire Bonus

Something I see in PC, first shot often kills a tank, following shots just at fatigue.
But officially I'm not aware that there is any bonus for firing the first time. Besides, can't we just fire our units once?

Author:  Gregor Morgan [ Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: First Fire Bonus

Some wargames rules give a bonus for the initial salvo, to represent that the muskets are all clean and unfouled by powder etc. May be the same premise here.

Author:  Jeff Mathes [ Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: First Fire Bonus

Some miniature rules I've read for 18th and 19th century have a first fire bonus for musketry, but I don't recall one for artillery - likely due to the fact that the cannon bore was swabbed after each round fired. Still, it may just be a nuance I've noticed when first firing artillery. It would likely be more difficult to notice such a bonus with infantry fire, particularly in column formation.

Author:  Gary McClellan [ Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: First Fire Bonus

I don't know of anything either, and it may just be some kind of "confirmation bias"

I have seen games with the concept, and it's a real enough thing. Armies would generally tend to husband that first fire as it's the most effective. Not only do you have unfouled muskets, but the longer troops fire, the more likely they are to lose volley cohesion, or have misfires that take guns out of the mix...

If it applies to arty, I imagine it's that the first fire is the most "careful". The gunners were able to take their time loading the gun, siting them and the like, and so that would be their best shot, if perhaps not as notably as with musket fire.

Author:  Bill Peters [ Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: First Fire Bonus

The Early American War (EAW) series has that. Its nice too. Hefty first shot point blank can send some units running.

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