Questions about Artillery effectiveness (Full Version)

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mdsmall -> Questions about Artillery effectiveness (6/28/2020 6:53:06 PM)

I just finished playing the Triple Alliance campaign as the Central Powers against the AI set at Veteran difficulty. Once the Entente reached level 2 in Artillery weapons, their artillery seemed much more effective than mine in destroying strength points through bombardment. Often their units could destroy one or two strength points of an entrenched German corps with the first couple of shells fired and without the benefit of spotting by Recon Bombers. At times a single Entente artillery unit by firing 9 - 10 shells could destroy an entire 10 strength corps starting with a ground cover level of 3. In contrast, for example, my artillery (also at Level 2 in Artillery weapons) could fire 20 shells at an unentrenched French corps and not reduce it by a single strength point (though its morale would be reduced to single digits). I can't figure out what would account for these differences in artillery effectiveness. I frequently used Recon Bombers to spot which increased my artillery's effectiveness at reducing morale but had no effect in inflicting loses in strength points (whereas the Entente side used their aviation for interception ground attack). The Experience levels of the artillery units on both sides were largely the same; command levels seem comparable or superior for the German artillery (especially compared to the British). Supply, morale and ground cover of the target corps seemed comparable. All of the Entente artillery had received elite reinforcements to 12 or 13 strength; but when I reinforced a couple of my German artillery to 11, it made no difference to their effectiveness. I can't figure out what would account for this difference except perhaps some feature of the Veteran difficulty setting that I can't put my finger on. Any suggestions?

Separately, what are the benefits of adding elite reinforcements to artillery? It does not seem to increase their maximum number of shells and I can't see any other benefits for their attacking capacity. The only benefit I can see it that is increases their defensive capacity if they find themselves on the front line and are attacked by the enemy. Is this correct?


Xsillione -> RE: Questions about Artillery effectiveness (6/28/2020 8:27:16 PM)

The art has small attack power, so it is very luck based if it do damage, but boosters really help, over-strength adds more attack power (not much, but helps), as xp, and the difficulty gives them a free star worse of xp on bonus. Since art protected (usually) it can get quite some xp, 2-3 stars, with the bonus from difficulty, and a few point of over-strength gives it higher chance for damage. Also, while morale and such is irrelevant for the morale and de-entrenchment, for damage, it is calculated, so a well supplied and cared gun will do more damage than a barely helped one. The other big factor is the defending units tech lvl, if your are not up to date, it will suffer much more damage.

Elite also preserves the xp of the art, since you only lose if you normally reinforce, so an 11-12 art taking 1-2 damage is preserved, while a 10 taking the same will lose lots of xp at reinforcing.

mdsmall -> RE: Questions about Artillery effectiveness (6/30/2020 2:05:05 PM)

I appreciate that elite reinforcements at 12 or 13 level could lead to some additional percentage of possible success in destroying strength points per shell fired. But in this game, every shell fired from these British or French units destroyed one strength point and often two or three . The net effect was even greater than the difference between artillery at tech level 0 versus tech level 1. I can't understand how that could be the case - especially since my artillery reinforced to 11 with the same tech levels showed no comparable effect when firing on the enemy.

BillRunacre -> RE: Questions about Artillery effectiveness (6/30/2020 3:21:25 PM)

Could the enemy artillery have been in better supply and commanded by better and more experienced HQs?

mdsmall -> RE: Questions about Artillery effectiveness (6/30/2020 5:30:58 PM)

It always hard to reconstruct after the fact specific combat results achieved by the AI opponent under the Fog of War. But I checked out agin the turns I saved this time with the Fog of War lifted. I do not see any difference in Commanders - the French generals were at 10, the British at 7 or 4 and Germans at 9 or 10. But there could have been a supply difference that was material. In some cases, the French artillery were sitting in hexes next to Verdun and had a supply of 11. While most of their targets were supplied at 8 or higher, in a few cases, German units were sitting on hexes on the front line with a supply of 7, due to distance from generals and terrain (woods). So there could have been a supply level difference of 3 or even 4 between some of the Entente artillery and their targets. In contrast, the German artillery were all supplied at levels 8 - 10 and were shooting at Entente units with a comparable supply levels. So perhaps that explained the difference in effectiveness that I observed. Otherwise, the only across the board difference was in experience, with all the Entente Units (due to the difficulty setting) getting an extra bar - which I see are recorded separately under each Entente unit from the bars they receive from combat experience.

This raises the larger and more general question about what factors determine if artillery will destroy strength points when they fire, in addition to reducing morale and ground cover. The latter results are highly predictable. But the former are not. I learned in this campaign that if I had an artillery unit with 10 shells, it was better not to fire them all before attacking with infantry, and instead to hold 1 or 2 shells back to fire after infantry combat, in case the enemy units survived with one point. In those circumstances, my artillery had a chance of shattering a severely weakened opponent by reducing its one last strength point. The same result would not happen at the beginning of an artillery barrage, even though the morale impact was greater. I am not sure what game mechanics produced this result - it would be good to know.


BillRunacre -> RE: Questions about Artillery effectiveness (7/1/2020 1:32:00 PM)

The experience bonus given to the AI will have made a lot of difference, and you can adjust that without changing the difficulty level via the options screen.

As to those depleted units, their morale and readiness would have been low by then rendering them more vulnerable. I also tend to keep a few shells back in case the enemy counterattacks.

mdsmall -> RE: Questions about Artillery effectiveness (7/1/2020 2:34:39 PM)

Bill - I will conclude from this thread that it was the experience factor that primarily made the difference in this particular case. But I am interested in the more general question about how the combat calculator determines when artillery fire reduces a strength point(or more) and when it does not. Sometimes artillery fire will reduce a strength point on the first shell fired, not just the last against a very weakened unit. What factors between the artillery unit and its target are most important in determining that outcome? Can you see in advance the percentage chance of this happening before you decide to fire artillery at a target (as you can when a ship fires at another ship in port)? As I noted above, the impact of artillery fire on morale and ground cover is easy to anticipate. But the success in reducing strength points is not. Any light you can shed on this would be much appreciated.


BillRunacre -> RE: Questions about Artillery effectiveness (7/3/2020 11:20:11 AM)

Essentially there is a chance every shot, dependent on the comparable attack values of the artillery versus the defender's defensive stats. Entrenchment and experience values on the unit being hit will reduce the chance of losses, so what you've probably seen is units which have lost all their entrenchment becoming more likely to suffer casualties by subsequent shellings.

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