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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:06 am 
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Walt Dortch wrote:
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So, to recap my question, based on historical practice, is there any justification for setting up a scenario where one sides artillery in a game is in sections and the others is not?



None that I know of.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2022 6:15 pm 
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A few years ago Robert Frost created scenarios where max stacking in a hex was the equivalent of 400 men for the very reason that 400 infantry in line or 8 guns would have a frontage of approximately 125 yards. I guess that was before things got locked, because he was able to divide large regiments into battalions. Made for some slow-moving scenarios. I guess the point is that you can limit the artillery to eight guns a hex but you still have 800 or 1000 infantry that can fire from a hex. Equally ahistoric.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2022 6:24 pm 
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mihalik wrote:
A few years ago Robert Frost created scenarios where max stacking in a hex was the equivalent of 400 men for the very reason that 400 infantry in line or 8 guns would have a frontage of approximately 125 yards. I guess that was before things got locked, because he was able to divide large regiments into battalions. Made for some slow-moving scenarios. I guess the point is that you can limit the artillery to eight guns a hex but you still have 800 or 1000 infantry that can fire from a hex. Equally ahistoric.


So as noted I (and others) are using a house rule to limit the number of unlimbered of guns in a hex to 8. A similar rule could be agreed to for stacking of infantry.

My original point was whether it was "historical" to use sections of artillery for one side and batteries for the other within the same scenario and my take away is no. I make the point that players be aware that a one sided deployment of sections in a scenario conveys an advantage that deploying cavalry squadrons would. Avoid such scenarios if you are the one with the batteries when your opponent is playing with sections.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 9:29 pm 
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Walt Dortch wrote:
mihalik wrote:
A few years ago Robert Frost created scenarios where max stacking in a hex was the equivalent of 400 men for the very reason that 400 infantry in line or 8 guns would have a frontage of approximately 125 yards. I guess that was before things got locked, because he was able to divide large regiments into battalions. Made for some slow-moving scenarios. I guess the point is that you can limit the artillery to eight guns a hex but you still have 800 or 1000 infantry that can fire from a hex. Equally ahistoric.


So as noted I (and others) are using a house rule to limit the number of unlimbered of guns in a hex to 8. A similar rule could be agreed to for stacking of infantry.

My original point was whether it was "historical" to use sections of artillery for one side and batteries for the other within the same scenario and my take away is no. I make the point that players be aware that a one sided deployment of sections in a scenario conveys an advantage that deploying cavalry squadrons would. Avoid such scenarios if you are the one with the batteries when your opponent is playing with sections.


I've been thinking about this and having a look around the various titles. Avoiding such scenarios will rule out most of the larger battles and many of the others. It also rules out almost all of the best known historical battles.

I've also looked around a little to find instances where the Union deployed guns in sections. I'm sure it must have happened on occasion but I've yet to find any clear example so it would not seem a common occurrence for the Union to deploy in that manner.

Historically, I feel that the CSA would be more likely to deploy in sections due to the differing gun types and ranges, so suitable sites for one section of a CSA battery may be totally unsuited for another section. The Union, however, would normally have all the same gun types within a battery so if they found a suitable site they would unlimber the lot there (but still no more than eight in a 125 yard stretch [it would be rare for a battery to have more than eight guns in any case - I can find no example of such a thing although it may have happened in a couple of instances]).

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2022 6:06 pm 
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I found this discussion very good, and wish to thank all participants .

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2022 5:21 pm 
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I don't know that it rules out anything, it simply means that those require redoing the OOBs (to restructure differently). That's something that can be done at the end user level. I am pretty sure nothing is actually locked and hadn't been for awhile -am thinking since Overland -it is more likely that no one simply did the work; to be fair it is a lot of work.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2022 6:04 pm 
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My intent for starting this thread was to inquire whether there was any historical basis for depicting CSA guns in sections and UA guns in batteries. I have not seen anything which convinces me there is.

I think there are significant tactical advantages the accrue with having up to 3 times the number of maneuverable artillery units in a game when the opposing players artillery are deployed as batteries. I learned that first hand in a playing Hagerstown scenario recently.

This all boils down to being a heads up for players to consider when selecting a scenario to play.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 2:00 pm 
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I think splitting the Confederate batteries into sections and individual guns is necessary if the designer wishes to accurately portray all the different ordnance assigned to each battery. I think that historically the guns were normally deployed by battery on both sides in spite of differences in ordnance as a simple matter of command and control by the battery commander.

The advantages of full batteries appear to be all sections move together down the road without clogging it as much, and they are less likely to be affected by unit stacking restrictions.

The disadvantages appear to be that a crew kill is more catastrophic and there is less flexibility in deployment.

Since the professional officers of both sides had received the same artillery training, I think that overall artillery doctrine must have been similar.

Therefore I think the artillery should be organized by section for both sides in order to minimize the artificial differences in size that are inherent in the limitations of the game engine.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 3:20 pm 
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I can't contribute to the main question because I don't know historically how they were utilized. But to the purpose behind the historical question, I am just the opposite as I consider artillery broken into sections as a disadvantage. For one, sections do not normally produce as good defensive fire as larger batteries. But the main reason is because when I can eliminate a gun from a 2 piece section, I have practically rendered that section useless because it only has one arty piece left in it. If I lose a gun from a 4 gun section, it is still effective with 3 arty pieces. Style of play probably affects that decision. I usually play with my arty having a line of sight from behind my lines so that they cannot be meleed but if I played with my arty in my front line, I would probably prefer sections so that I could spread them further.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 3:36 pm 
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mihalik wrote:
[1] I think splitting the Confederate batteries into sections and individual guns is necessary if the designer wishes to accurately portray all the different ordnance assigned to each battery. I think that historically the guns were normally deployed by battery on both sides in spite of differences in ordnance as a simple matter of command and control by the battery commander.

The advantages of full batteries appear to be all sections move together down the road without clogging it as much, and they are less likely to be affected by unit stacking restrictions.

The disadvantages appear to be that a crew kill is more catastrophic and there is less flexibility in deployment.

[2] Since the professional officers of both sides had received the same artillery training, I think that overall artillery doctrine must have been similar.

[3] Therefore I think the artillery should be organized by section for both sides in order to minimize the artificial differences in size that are inherent in the limitations of the game engine.


1. Yes, it would be necessary to split a battery into sections in order to portray the different ordinance within it. Often, where they have knowledge of such different ordinance the designers do split them, for both sides. Historical Chickamauga (039) was the example I used earlier to demonstrate that this does occur.
The guns would generally be deployed by battery on both sides BUT this was not always desirable, especially where there were different guns with different capabilites and ranges so they would be deployed in sections. Historical examples were provided earlier on this fact in respect to Confederate artillery. It must have been a more common occurrence for that side due to the diversity in gun types (which was not so prevalent for the other side).
I'm sure that the Union must have split batteries into sections on some occasions when they had different guns in the one battery BUT that didn't often happen because a Union battery usually had the same gun in its different sections.
[Earlier in this discussion, I couldn't find an example of the Union splitting a battery into sections but then thought I might find such a thing at Chickamauga due to different ordinance within some Union batteries there. I have now found an example here (https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA396951.pdf).] At the bottom of page 42 of that thesis it says:
"The battery split into three sections, one on the right, one in the center, and one on the left of the brigade ...".
A reference is provided to the Official Records so I consider it an example that can be relied upon. However, that's it; it's the only reference in a thesis devoted to Union artillery at Chickamauga where there was a more than usual diversity in gun types within batteries.
An example where the Union split a battery where they had the same gun type in all sections still eludes me. If it ever did happen I'm sure it was an almost unique occurance.

2. Yes, agreed. However, the Confederates frequently had diverse gun types within batteries, so they adapted the doctrine to suit their situation. The Confederate situation was different, so it is easier to find evidence that they did deploy in sections (although only when they were different gun types within the one battery). The games, as they are, seem to reflect that real-life situation well.
Evidence of them using artillery in sections rather than in batteries because of different ordinance can be found without too much difficulty and some examples were provided earlier. Evidence of them splitting a battery into sections when they all had the same guns doesn't seem to exist [at least I can't find it].
So, the 'rule' seems to be: if there were different gun types within a battery then it is more likely that the battery will be deployed in sections (and much more frequently on the Confederate side who quickly became accustomed to such situations).

3. I disagree here. The Union simply did not depart from the standard practice of deploying guns in battery. Evidence is scant on it ever occurring even when there were different gun types within the battery [I've only found that one example that I mentioned above].

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 4:37 pm 
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I agree with Mike that in terms of game balance, and in the absence of any general historical difference between the artillery organizations that, deploying guns by sections to only one side conveys a tactical advantage on the digital battlefield.

Blake took up this very point in his game balance narrative in Episode 1 of his Battle of the Rappahannock AAR video. Stated simply more maneuver pieces conveys an advantage. I suspect we would all agree quickly that being able to break down cavalry units into squadrons would convey an advantage to the side that could do so.

I don't get General Simms' comment that losing a gun in 2 gun section is more harmful than losing 1 gun in a 6 gun battery as long as artillery is fired as as a stack not by individual units within a stack.

In any case, I think this is a matter of personal choice in what scenario's to play or not and I won't be playing any more scenarios where this artillery imbalance exists.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 5:36 pm 
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Walt Dortch wrote:
I agree with Mike that in terms of game balance, and in the absence of any general historical difference between the artillery organizations that, deploying guns by sections to only one side conveys a tactical advantage on the digital battlefield.

Blake took up this very point in his game balance narrative in Episode 1 of his Battle of the Rappahannock AAR video. Stated simply more maneuver pieces conveys an advantage. I suspect we would all agree quickly that being able to break down cavalry units into squadrons would convey an advantage to the side that could do so.

I don't get General Simms' comment that losing a gun in 2 gun section is more harmful than losing 1 gun in a 6 gun battery as long as artillery is fired as as a stack not by individual units within a stack.

In any case, I think this is a matter of personal choice in what scenario's to play or not and I won't be playing any more scenarios where this artillery imbalance exists.


The evidence is there that the Confederate artillery deployed in a different manner from the Union. That has been shown through the historical examples (more can be provided if necessary) provided earlier that show Confederate artillery would be deployed in sections in a more frequent manner than the Union (only one Union example could be identified after an exhaustive search despite numerous accounts of artillery deployment in battles).
Deployment in sections occurred on the Confederate side simply because there were many more instances where a battery would contain different gun types. Such instances were far less common for the Union and even when it occurred in that army there seemed a far greater reluctance to deploy in sections rather than as a battery, as shown by the almost complete absence of any examples to show such a thing.
The scenarios seem to accurately reflect the historical reality of the diverse gun types in the CSA batteries and the opposite situation in the USA batteries. Ensuring that different gun types are represented means that CSA batteries will more frequently be divided into sections and permit deployment in that manner should their commander so desire. That reflects historical reality.

As regards to the comment 'that losing a gun in 2 gun section is more harmful than losing 1 gun in a 6 gun battery as long as artillery is fired as as a stack not by individual units within a stack' I would surmise that it is a matter of probability. It is covered to some degree in the Advanced Training section at the ACWGC campus, here (https://blakeacwgc.wixsite.com/trainingacademygrads/mil-202). Simply put, there is a statistical benefit to firing as a large stack as opposed to firing separately and a one-gun battery/section is very ineffective. [I seem to recall that Ned, canny wargamer that he is, has used this principle against me, reducing my artillery sections to one or two guns and then leaving them alone to focus upon larger sections/batteries. It then provides him with an even greater artillery advantage, although it's rarely a good idea for the CSA to enage in gun duels with the Union.]

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 5:44 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 5:54 pm 
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Quaama wrote:
Walt Dortch wrote:
I agree with Mike that in terms of game balance, and in the absence of any general historical difference between the artillery organizations that, deploying guns by sections to only one side conveys a tactical advantage on the digital battlefield.

Blake took up this very point in his game balance narrative in Episode 1 of his Battle of the Rappahannock AAR video. Stated simply more maneuver pieces conveys an advantage. I suspect we would all agree quickly that being able to break down cavalry units into squadrons would convey an advantage to the side that could do so.

I don't get General Simms' comment that losing a gun in 2 gun section is more harmful than losing 1 gun in a 6 gun battery as long as artillery is fired as as a stack not by individual units within a stack.

In any case, I think this is a matter of personal choice in what scenario's to play or not and I won't be playing any more scenarios where this artillery imbalance exists.


The evidence is there that the Confederate artillery deployed in a different manner from the Union. That has been shown through the historical examples (more can be provided if necessary) provided earlier that show Confederate artillery would be deployed in sections in a more frequent manner than the Union (only one Union example could be identified after an exhaustive search despite numerous accounts of artillery deployment in battles).
Deployment in sections occurred on the Confederate side simply because there were many more instances where a battery would contain different gun types. Such instances were far less common for the Union and even when it occurred in that army there seemed a far greater reluctance to deploy in sections rather than as a battery, as shown by the almost complete absence of any examples to show such a thing.
The scenarios seem to accurately reflect the historical reality of the diverse gun types in the CSA batteries and the opposite situation in the USA batteries. Ensuring that different gun types are represented means that CSA batteries will more frequently be divided into sections and permit deployment in that manner should their commander so desire. That reflects historical reality. Paul, my point relates to whether CSA artillery was organized by batteries, not sections and my take is the former. I get your point that because of different gun types CSA deployments of guns in a battery was by type. So along a front of say 150 yards the guns of similar types were grouped I get that. The deeper historical question is how often did the CSA break up batteries into gun type sections and send them all over the battlefield miles apart which can be done in the game by a side which has its guns appearing as sections?

As regards to the comment 'that losing a gun in 2 gun section is more harmful than losing 1 gun in a 6 gun battery as long as artillery is fired as as a stack not by individual units within a stack' I would surmise that it is a matter of probability. It is covered to some degree in the Advanced Training section at the ACWGC campus, here (https://blakeacwgc.wixsite.com/trainingacademygrads/mil-202). Simply put, there is a statistical benefit to firing as a large stack as opposed to firing separately and a one-gun battery/section is very ineffective. [I seem to recall that Ned, canny wargamer that he is, has used this principle against me, reducing my artillery sections to one or two guns and then leaving them alone to focus upon larger sections/batteries. It then provides him with an even greater artillery advantage, although it's rarely a good idea for the CSA to enage in gun duels with the Union.] I agree--my point was and is that a hex with 6 guns in it fires the same (if all fired at once) whether the fire is from one 6 gun unit or 3, 2-gun units. Whether the guns are in sections or batteries is irrelevant.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 6:56 pm 
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"Whether the guns are in sections or batteries is irrelevant."

Our difference could be the options that we play with. Maybe you don't play with automated defensive fire. I do and I'll charge or cross the field of fire of 6 one gun batteries/sections any time but I am less likely to do so in front of a 6 gun battery.

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