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Artillery - 9/3/2009 6:06:32 AM   
Hetulik

 

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Is it just me, or does the Artillery seem very powerful in COG?

My Artillery does significant damage to the computer -- often 1,000+ killed per attack. That seems a little unbalanced (artillery as a super-unit) at least in detailed combat.

I'm a owner of FOF and Artillery seemed better balanced there.

Or is Artillery acting historically here in COG? Even if Artillery can do a 1,000+ killed per attack, it seems like it should be easier to defeat. In COG i've been putting my artillery right in my front lines and it shreds the enemy when i'm defending.

Just was curious what others thought, and perhaps get some more information on why this is the way it is.

Thanks,
Hetulik

ps - and i am aware how effective Artillery can be... ie the damage it did to the confederates in their attack up cemetery hill at gettysburg...



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RE: Artillery - 9/3/2009 2:19:35 PM   
Anthropoid


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I would agree with you: artillery IS very powerful in this game, particularly in Detailed Combat. I think that part of the problem (though not all of it) is that the AI either does not build/acquire enough arty, else he does not effectively use what he has.

As for the "is it unrealistic" question: I am no expert on the warfare of the period, but based on what little I've read I do think that artillery was a bit more of a force-multiplier at this period than later. Not sure if unrifled muskets had improved by the 1860s, or if it was other developments that might have diminished the significance of arty. Certainly as the ACW progressed, increasing numbers of rifled weapons, more use of defensive positions, and breach-loaders made big differences that may well have reduced the significance of artillery.

IIRC, Napoleon himself was trained as an arty officer, and I do believe he felt it was one of the most important components of the military. Would love to hear what some of the other guys who know a lot more about this period think.

_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to Hetulik)
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RE: Artillery - 9/3/2009 6:48:30 PM   
Randomizer

 

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The Napoleonic "Grand Battery" massed deployment doctrine was capable of inflicting horrendous losses in battle.  The majority of casualies at Borodino, one of the bloodiest single day battles before the Somme in 1916 were from the well handled guns on both sides.  You don't see the same effect in the American Civil War and quite rightly so but the reasons may be obscure to the casual gamer.  These include but are not limited to:

Centralization of command, control and deployment in the Napoleonic era:  In the Civil War batteries tended to be decentralized and spread out across a greater frontage (although the individual pieces were only 10-15 yards apart as in Napoleonic times).

The massed infantry formations in 1792-1815 were far larger and denser than those in 1861-65.  Civil war soldiers spread out more even in column and line and Picketts Charge is one of the few massed infantry assaults attempted in the face of coordinated artillery and it was cut to ribbons principally by Union guns enfilading the attackers.  A Napoleonic division could be (and frequently were) decimated in short order if exposed to concentrated artillery fire and that happened fairly often.  An single 8-pound roundshot plowing into an infantry column could easily inflict 15-20 serious casualties and a single round of cannister could fell dozens.

Napoleonic battles tended to be fought in more open terrain than Civil War battles which often provided better fields of fire, longer ranges and longer engagement times.

The mixed bag of rifled guns and smoothbores of the Civil War might be a factor as well.  Rifles held many advantages but for dealing with massed mobile infantry, an effective, reliable airburst projectile had not yet been developed and so in these conditions they actually lacked the killing power of the smoothbores.  When Sherman commenced his March to the Sea he left all of his rifled artillery in Atlanta because he considered the smoothbores to be better man-killers for the close in fighting he anticipated.  All Napoleonic artillery was smoothbore.

Field gunnery underwent huge technical changes between 1816 and 1861, Although on the surface much was similar, the vast differences in doctrine, training, terrain and situations make comparing the eras difficult.

Best Regards

(in reply to Anthropoid)
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RE: Artillery - 9/3/2009 7:11:31 PM   
Anthropoid


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Fascinating stuff Randomizer; really, quite horrific and fascinating . . . that image of "single 8-pound roundshot plowing into an infantry column could easily inflict 15-20 serious casualties" is just simply horrifying . . . and fascinating.

Raises a number of questions for me: If centralized artillery was so much more effective at killing the enemy, why had decentralization evolved into place in North American doctrine by the 1860s?

I didn't quite catch why the smoothbore cannons would be more effective in close-in fighting? Faster loading? More dispersion of shots? Flatter trajectory?

If you can recommend any books on this stuff, I think I'd actually enjoy reading them. I find the evolution of gunpowder weapons to be one of the single most fascinating stories in all of human evolutionary history, and this phase when cannons blazed is a particularly fascinating chapter in the tale.

_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to Randomizer)
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RE: Artillery - 9/3/2009 7:45:11 PM   
Randomizer

 

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@Anthropiod
So as not to drift off topic I'll drop you a PM if you like.  I'll need to do some digging since the above reply was basically off the cuff using information acquired from instructing artillery subjects for years but I will stand by what is written.

@All
When the topic of field artillery comes up the majority of people concentrate their attention on the Guns themselves but I would submit that the key components in the equation are in fact the employment doctrine, ammunition and the nature of the targets.  These changed significantly between 1792 and 1865 and I believe that this is reflected reasonably well in the CoG-EE/FoF game systems.

Best Regards

(in reply to Anthropoid)
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RE: Artillery - 9/3/2009 8:14:19 PM   
Mus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

I didn't quite catch why the smoothbore cannons would be more effective in close-in fighting? Faster loading? More dispersion of shots? Flatter trajectory?


Rifled weapons can't use cannister I believe.

Regarding the OP, my recollection of Artillery in FOF was that it had even longer range and the only reason there is a reduction in damage is that FOF is at the Brigade level instead of Division.

I used my artillery in the same manner in both games and don't notice a significant difference. In fact with the increased range in FOF I think they might have been even better.

I tried to exclusively use Napoleons and Ordnance Rifles.

< Message edited by Mus -- 9/3/2009 8:17:30 PM >


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RE: Artillery - 9/3/2009 9:01:14 PM   
Randomizer

 

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in FoF, Napoleon's (brass 12-pounder smoothbore gun/howitzers) and the 3" Ordnance Rifle are a good mix.

I suspect that the scales are different and a 3000 man CoG-EE artillery unit could easily represent 200 guns.  That's 10-men per gun plus teamsters, tradesmen, grooms and all the other klag likely to be part of the formation.  My guess is that FoF artillery brigade represents perhaps 40-guns but I do not recall seeing anything definitive and will welcome better data.

Rifled guns could and did fire cannister but the charges tended to be smaller and so the velocity of the cannister shot was less which could lead to degraded terminal effects.  One problem with the early rifles, whether using hexagonal tubes or multiple rifling grooves was that if the cannister was designed to disintigrate in the tube, like in a typical smoothbore, erosion of the interior of the barrel became a huge problem and tube life was much reduced.  A rifled gun shot smooth did not become a smoothbore, it became scrap - very expensive scrap.  So cannister for rifles tended to carry less payload for a given calibre but their effects could be expected to carry further since the cannister projectile usually came apart after shot ejection rather than before.

Of course all of this was developed empirically over time; exceptions were many and need not distract us from the overall trend away from smoothbores towards the rifled field piece.

Rifles typically used an elongated solid shot called a 'bolt' rather than a roundshot.  Bolts were not very aerodynamic (such things being little understood at the time) but them wizzing through a close formation could be devastating.  Where rifles were vastly superior to smoothbore was in their ability to deliver accurate explosive shells at ranges that exceeded those of effective smoothbore fire.

For close-in fighting in nothing stacked 'em up better than a 12-pounder Napoleon, except maybe a Gatling gun.

Best Regards

(in reply to Mus)
Post #: 7
RE: Artillery - 9/3/2009 9:39:25 PM   
Russian Guard


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In the game rules or appendix somewhere, they mention that a typical Art unit in CoG:EE is about 100 guns. It's abstracted of course, just as 10,000 troops doesn't actually translate to 10,000 infantry (or Cavalry).

I've had concerns about the devastating power of Art as well. If you acquire all Art Upgrades, at Division level battles you can kill 4,000 men in a single shot.

Although I've played CoG1 since 2005 and actively play and play-test CoG:EE, I only recently started playing my detailed battles at Brigade level. While it can still be fairly devastating at Brigade level, the modifiers for off-axis attacks coupled with Art being more vulnerable at Brigade level and the ratio of units (Art only split into 1 Brigade, while Cav = 2 and Inf = 3) changing, I think it works perfectly at Brigade level.

In summary, Art might be a bit over-powered at Divisional level, especially after you acquire numerous Art Upgrades (especially Art ranging, which should be, IMO, reduced to 1 hex range change at Division level). But it should remain the major factor on the battlefield, as my reading of the period confirms. Rarely was it not a decisive element of battle.

I've been missing out - Brigade level battles are awesome, feel much more "Napoleonic" and grand in scope, allow for more tactical choices, and require more hard work and thinking. I doubt I'll ever play at Division level again.





< Message edited by Russian Guard -- 9/3/2009 9:41:42 PM >

(in reply to Randomizer)
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