Adjusting Artillery (Full Version)

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dwesolick -> Adjusting Artillery (10/12/2020 7:48:50 PM)

Been tinkering around with the editor and wanted to tone down the artillery a bit, possibly by reducing shells from a max of 10 to, say, 5.
I can't seem to find where to do this in the editor. I see attack values, etc. in campaign menu, but can't find where to adjust shells. Can anyone help?

thanks!




BillRunacre -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (10/13/2020 9:22:01 AM)

With the campaign open in the Editor you'll need to go to:

Campaign -> Edit Country Data -> Edit Combat Target Data

Then select the relevant artillery unit type, and one of the boxes in the top right is for its maximum shells.

You'll want to use the Apply Data function in the bottom right to apply this to all other countries too.




dwesolick -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (10/13/2020 1:23:56 PM)

Got it done. Thank you Bill!




Chernobyl -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (10/16/2020 1:48:55 AM)

I agree in general with toning down upgraded regular artillery corps. They are insane. I understand artillery was king in WWI but it's too powerful right now :)




dwesolick -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (10/16/2020 6:12:33 PM)

Yep. I toned it down to max 5 shells and it seems to be much more realistic. I'm playing against the Central Powers AI and the German artillery still packs a decent punch, but not a knockout blow all by itself. Feels about right compared to the previous game I played (against Allied AI).

I also made the turns simultaneous to extend gameplay (while toning down MPPs so they aren't doubled) and that is working great so far. Game feels a lot more cerebral and less rushed than before.




mdsmall -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (10/16/2020 7:13:51 PM)

Hi - can you describe a bit more how the simultaneous turns work? Is unit movement simultaneous for both sides? How does this change combats? This would be worth describing in a separate thread.




dwesolick -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (10/16/2020 9:21:24 PM)

Haven't noticed any dramatic difference in game play so far. It's still I go/You go except that we now each get to go for each turn. It makes the game play out in a more sedate fashion rather than the hell for leather, "Oh my God, it's 1916 already!?" fashion. In a nutshell, all I've really done is add a lot more turns to the game.

The AI is giving me a very good game so far (I'm currently in Feb 1915) and since I scaled back MPP production to fit the greater number of turns, technical progress feels about right for both sides so far. All in all I'm very happy with the game so far and I think I'll do the same thing with the SC WWII Europe game when I get around to playing it.




Willard -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (10/17/2020 8:03:44 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: dwesolick

Haven't noticed any dramatic difference in game play so far. It's still I go/You go except that we now each get to go for each turn. It makes the game play out in a more sedate fashion rather than the hell for leather, "Oh my God, it's 1916 already!?" fashion. In a nutshell, all I've really done is add a lot more turns to the game.

The AI is giving me a very good game so far (I'm currently in Feb 1915) and since I scaled back MPP production to fit the greater number of turns, technical progress feels about right for both sides so far. All in all I'm very happy with the game so far and I think I'll do the same thing with the SC WWII Europe game when I get around to playing it.


Is changing the turns & halving the MPPs require a mod or is this a setting? Sorry, new to this game so unsure on this aspect.




dwesolick -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (10/18/2020 1:45:39 PM)

No mod required. I did it myself in the editor and it is pretty easy to do.




stockwellpete -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/21/2020 9:48:27 AM)

Yes, I agree about artillery being a bit too powerful, particularly from 1916 onwards. I only play against the AI, in my latest game as the Central Powers at Veteran level and I am just getting blasted to death on the Western Front. The AI seems to be very good at getting 2 artillery pieces to fire at a unit and sometimes will completely destroy it without having to send infantry in. Of course, artillery should be very destructive, but would it be able to completely wipe out corps like this? Restricting the number of shells seems like one good way of adjusting things, whether there are any others I am not sure - a ceiling on the number of strength points any individual unit can lose in the same turn due to artillery fire perhaps? Maybe the loss of 5 points should be the maximum?

I do realise part of the problem is with my own weakness at the game at the moment. I do need to think about defending in depth on the Western Front and having a second line of trenches to mitigate the loss of the first line and prevent breakthroughs turning into a rout. So I probably need to buy a few more corps and be more selective about my research. Maybe I have not got the balance quite right yet. Really fascinating game though. Lockdown? What lockdown?[:)]




stockwellpete -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/21/2020 9:51:47 AM)

Cutting down from 10 to 5 sounds like quite a lot. I am interested in trying a change, but maybe I will reduce it to 8 at first and see how that works.




Taxman66 -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/21/2020 1:12:19 PM)

I think the best fix is to reduce the # of Tech investment chits for Arty to 1. This will slow down the arrival of the killer artillery and allow for Inf Weapons tech (which does provide some defense to Art) to keep pace.




stockwellpete -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/21/2020 6:12:00 PM)

Yes, that sounds like a good idea too. Is it simple to adjust in the Editor, do you know?




Taxman66 -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/21/2020 7:02:04 PM)

I would let the US keep the ability to invest multiple chits so as to catch up.




Chernobyl -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/21/2020 7:34:54 PM)

I would be happy for there to be some official change. Either reduce ammo or reduce the chance of de-entrenching from 100% to like 50%. It's supposed to be tough to break thru trenches even in 1918. Right now we have artillery obliterating any level of entrenchment easily starting in mid 1915. I just took Verdun against a human opponent with almost no casualties in July 1915 and there was honestly nothing he could have done to stop it.




Ktonos -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/21/2020 7:53:58 PM)

Maybe have the 50% chance to de-entrench apply only against fort cities? Always assumed that heavy barrages that deentrench and obliterate regular positions represent gas attacks, and with this assumption it seems logical. But fort cities yes, should be tougher




ThisEndUp -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/22/2020 1:42:37 AM)

An alternative would be to set a minimum entrenchment level, such that artillery can never fully de-entrench a unit. This minimum would be dependent on tech and terrain of course. It always struck me as odd that you can completely de-entrench a unit in the mountains or in a city - it's not as if you can level the entire area.




FOARP -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/22/2020 2:17:21 PM)

For my mod I've reduced artillery to 6 shells, and also introduced a 3-shell heavy artillery unit with one more hex of range (heavy artillery is right there in the base code).




Chernobyl -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/23/2020 12:58:39 PM)

Other thoughts on artillery:

The main thing it does is de-entrench with 100% chance one level per ammo, once you upgrade at least once.

But more than that, it doesn't even need to be at high readiness. For example, an upgraded artillery which is understrength and not under command of a friendly HQ will still de-entrench 100% of the time. No spare MPP to reinforce your understrength artillery? No problem cause they don't even need to be at full strength!

I believe it is less likely to deal strength damage if it has low readiness, but this often doesn't matter. You can easily rail your artillery around the map and not need a HQ for it to completely de-entrench an enemy unit, leaving it as good as dead. This makes it extremely easy to concentrate artillery against one enemy nation like France of Russia, in order to trigger an early snowball effect (high losses for one nation lead to low national morale and friendly HQ experience gain which leads to even higher losses which are too difficult to replace with the budget of one nation alone).

It seems clear to me that artillery's performance ought to depend largely on its readiness, just like all other units in the game.

I think it's tough to get artillery right, and I don't want to nerf it too hard. German artillery smashed Russian units in Poland in 1915, but even greater concentrations of artillery failed to annihilate German units in 1916. It should be powerful but still have difficulty completely breaking through extensive trench lines. Artillery should actually be LESS devastating against heavily-entrenched enemy units. Ideally it should also lose steam the more it fires during a single turn, to simulate loss of accuracy due to barrels wearing out.

A humble proposal:

Arty De-entrenchment chance by upgrade level:
Level 0: 0%
Level 1: (0.5 - (0.05 * # of times fired this turn)) * readiness %
level 2: (0.65 - (0.05 * # of times fired this turn)) * readiness %

In other words, assuming 100% readiness, level 1 artillery would have a maximum of 50% chance to de-entrench every time it fires, lowering down to a minimum of 5% after firing 9 times. This would yield an expected 2.0 de-entrenchments if it fires 5 times, but only 2.8 if it fires all 10 shells at once.

This would also have interesting strategy effects regarding artillery placement and concentration and shell conservation which I won't go into here. But I will mention that it would also lead to more sporadic artillery fire (checking to see if you get the de-entrenchment you want, calling of an attack if you get unlucky). In a way that might be more "realistic" with units coming under moderate artillery bombardment often rather than artillery only showing its face during massive assaults.

I'm not sure it's the ideal solution. Concentrating multiple batteries together might still be too strong. But I wanted to put my idea out there.




stockwellpete -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/23/2020 4:26:24 PM)

Just to mention another indicator that artillery is probably too powerful at the moment is the use of "tunnel warfare" and mining in WW1. Obviously this is not represented in the game right now (and it is hard to see how it could be), but it does illustrate there were definite limits to the impact of artillery bombardments in certain situations (including mountainous regions).




Chernobyl -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/24/2020 5:31:32 PM)

It's also extremely strong that you can rail them anywhere and they don't lose any shells. When you force march them they lose all their shells but rail transfer costs no shells.




Tanaka -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/24/2020 7:09:29 PM)

Any input from the Devs how artillery will be balanced in the next patch?




stockwellpete -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/25/2020 7:57:49 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

It's also extremely strong that you can rail them anywhere and they don't lose any shells. When you force march them they lose all their shells but rail transfer costs no shells.


Yes, I hadn't thought of that. I am trying a SP game where I have adjusted the maximum shells to 8, but the artillery is still a bit too powerful for my liking. Especially when 2 artillery units attack one enemy unit in, say, a fortified position. So next time I will adjust it to 6 shells.

I quite like the idea that someone else suggested as well of only allowing consecutive investment chits for artillery tech, rather than concurrent ones. Whether you would do that for shells is another question. I think at the moment you can invest 3 chits concurrently for shells. If it was made a maximum of 2 it might help.

Tactically, I am still very green, but one way of coping a bit better with Entente artillery is for the Germans to quickly buy the maximum number of artillery pieces themselves so they can de-entrench enemy units. This seems to stop the AI massing units for a big push as they have to use up a lot of MPP's replacing or reinforcing damaged units.

I am not sure what the maximum number of artillery units each country can produce. Germany seems to be 4. Maybe France is 3 or 4 and UK/Italy are 1 or 2 each. So conceivably the Germans can be outnumbered on the Western Front by at least 6 to 4, maybe more. And that is before we count any US artillery (?) in 1917/18. The Austro-Hungarians really need to use their artillery against the Serbs, then, the Russians and Italians, so I don't see them getting to the Western Front very often.




stockwellpete -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/28/2020 8:49:02 AM)

The limits of artillery are evident in this excellent docu-drama about the first day at the Somme . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BlbdNq1UCE&list=PLd_xjH63jjQAi23u2klOctM0ErO2QtdGd&index=4

I also have a documentary series on WW1 (the one based on the book by Hew Strachan) and it says 30% of the shells fired by the British at the Somme were duds and failed to explode.




stockwellpete -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/28/2020 2:59:02 PM)

Just playing at the moment as Central Powers versus AI at Veteran level and I have reduced the artillery shells to a maximum of 6. I attacked the fortress Novo-Georgievsk outside Warsaw, which has an entrenchment maximum of 7. So I only have 6 shots and it will still have an entrenchment level of 1 when I send in my infantry attack. However, my very first shot reduced the strength of the defending unit by 1, which surprised me very much, and then my fourth shot caused a further loss of 1 point, so than when my infantry attacked the defenders were already reduced to 8. I took the fortress with my third "prepared" attack on that same turn.

Maybe this is something to be looked at so that defending units do not lose strength points (they can still lose morale and readiness) until their entrenchment is below a certain level? Maybe only when it falls below 3?




Chernobyl -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (11/29/2020 1:59:51 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: stockwellpete
I am not sure what the maximum number of artillery units each country can produce. Germany seems to be 4. Maybe France is 3 or 4 and UK/Italy are 1 or 2 each.


UK gets 4 total, France gets 3, Russia 3. Germany gets 4, AH 3, Ottomans 3 although realistically against a human opponent they will be about a year behind because of low MPP and priorities. Italy is usually slow to get artillery also. Minors help a lot since Bulgaria can get one. Romania army gets 1 too.

I like the idea of slowing down the tech. 1 max chit for arty tech and only 1 max for gas/shell production and reduce gas/shell maximum tech from 3 to 2.




stockwellpete -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (12/13/2020 9:19:18 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

Other thoughts on artillery:

The main thing it does is de-entrench with 100% chance one level per ammo, once you upgrade at least once.

But more than that, it doesn't even need to be at high readiness. For example, an upgraded artillery which is understrength and not under command of a friendly HQ will still de-entrench 100% of the time. No spare MPP to reinforce your understrength artillery? No problem cause they don't even need to be at full strength!

I believe it is less likely to deal strength damage if it has low readiness, but this often doesn't matter. You can easily rail your artillery around the map and not need a HQ for it to completely de-entrench an enemy unit, leaving it as good as dead. This makes it extremely easy to concentrate artillery against one enemy nation like France of Russia, in order to trigger an early snowball effect (high losses for one nation lead to low national morale and friendly HQ experience gain which leads to even higher losses which are too difficult to replace with the budget of one nation alone).

It seems clear to me that artillery's performance ought to depend largely on its readiness, just like all other units in the game.

I think it's tough to get artillery right, and I don't want to nerf it too hard. German artillery smashed Russian units in Poland in 1915, but even greater concentrations of artillery failed to annihilate German units in 1916. It should be powerful but still have difficulty completely breaking through extensive trench lines. Artillery should actually be LESS devastating against heavily-entrenched enemy units. Ideally it should also lose steam the more it fires during a single turn, to simulate loss of accuracy due to barrels wearing out.

A humble proposal:

Arty De-entrenchment chance by upgrade level:
Level 0: 0%
Level 1: (0.5 - (0.05 * # of times fired this turn)) * readiness %
level 2: (0.65 - (0.05 * # of times fired this turn)) * readiness %

In other words, assuming 100% readiness, level 1 artillery would have a maximum of 50% chance to de-entrench every time it fires, lowering down to a minimum of 5% after firing 9 times. This would yield an expected 2.0 de-entrenchments if it fires 5 times, but only 2.8 if it fires all 10 shells at once.

This would also have interesting strategy effects regarding artillery placement and concentration and shell conservation which I won't go into here. But I will mention that it would also lead to more sporadic artillery fire (checking to see if you get the de-entrenchment you want, calling of an attack if you get unlucky). In a way that might be more "realistic" with units coming under moderate artillery bombardment often rather than artillery only showing its face during massive assaults.

I'm not sure it's the ideal solution. Concentrating multiple batteries together might still be too strong. But I wanted to put my idea out there.


Yes, I think you are on the right lines here. I am just finishing up my first game against the AI at the default Veteran level with the new patch and the basic narrative still is - "artillery has won the war". I am playing as the Central Powers and I am getting blasted out of my positions on the Western Front by a line of British and French guns. The game is well into the summer of 1918 and the USA has not joined the war yet. I have defeated Russia, Serbia, Albania and driven the British out of Iraq.

So my first impression is that although the changes to artillery in the new patch are welcome, they do not alter the basic dynamic of the game too much. In another thread I have suggested one possible way of tweaking artillery fire in relation to the heavier fortifications in the game. Of course, there are different ways of going at this.

I am a bit confused about what the Artillery units in the game actually represent, other than that they are "concentrations" of artillery. Given that Infantry units can sink dreadnoughts that are in a port, presumably because they have smaller field guns with them (and presumably Cavalry Corps units have horse artillery detachments included with them as well), then these Artillery units can only represent the heavier type guns. But where is the dividing line? I need to do some research to identify the main types of larger gun, but would the UK have 4 larger guns (however defined) when France only has 3? Would the UK have deployed them all in France, or 3 in France and 1 in Egypt?

I see in the Editor that there are 3 types of Artillery - Artillery, Heavy Artillery and Super Heavy Artillery - but only Artillery is activated, which suggests to me that the Artillery units in the game probably include middle range guns and howitzers and Infantry units just have the smaller field guns. But how effective were these middle-sized guns against fortified positions? At the moment, particularly in the later game from 1916 onwards, it feels like Super Heavy Artillery fire is being used everywhere and is the dominant type of artillery fire.

On the evidence of this first play through with the new patch I think I will go back to my very basic mod that has a 6 artillery shells maximum instead of 10.




stockwellpete -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (12/13/2020 11:22:26 AM)

This is very clear on artillery in WW1. It is about 20 minutes long . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r77_ZYEjV20

It gives these numbers for artillery in 1914 . . .

France
3840 75mm guns
308 larger guns

UK
1600 lighter guns (presumably 13pdrs)
1248 larger guns (presumably 18pdrs and 4.5 howitzers, most of them not in France)

Germany
5086 77mm guns
2280 larger guns

And then for 1918 . . .

France
4968 75mm guns
5128 larger guns

UK
3242 lighter guns (presumably 13pdrs)
3195 larger guns (presumably 18pdrs and 4.5 howitzers)

Germany
6764 77mm guns
12286 larger guns

So, according to these figures, Germany still has a 3:2 advantage in heavy guns in 1918 (assuming all British heavy guns are in Europe) over the UK/France combined total.

The programme references Zabecki's book "Steel Wind" (1994).




MVP7 -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (12/13/2020 6:13:50 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: stockwellpete
Yes, I think you are on the right lines here. I am just finishing up my first game against the AI at the default Veteran level with the new patch and the basic narrative still is - "artillery has won the war". I am playing as the Central Powers and I am getting blasted out of my positions on the Western Front by a line of British and French guns. The game is well into the summer of 1918 and the USA has not joined the war yet. I have defeated Russia, Serbia, Albania and driven the British out of Iraq.

So my first impression is that although the changes to artillery in the new patch are welcome, they do not alter the basic dynamic of the game too much. In another thread I have suggested one possible way of tweaking artillery fire in relation to the heavier fortifications in the game. Of course, there are different ways of going at this.

I am a bit confused about what the Artillery units in the game actually represent, other than that they are "concentrations" of artillery. Given that Infantry units can sink dreadnoughts that are in a port, presumably because they have smaller field guns with them (and presumably Cavalry Corps units have horse artillery detachments included with them as well), then these Artillery units can only represent the heavier type guns. But where is the dividing line? I need to do some research to identify the main types of larger gun, but would the UK have 4 larger guns (however defined) when France only has 3? Would the UK have deployed them all in France, or 3 in France and 1 in Egypt?

I see in the Editor that there are 3 types of Artillery - Artillery, Heavy Artillery and Super Heavy Artillery - but only Artillery is activated, which suggests to me that the Artillery units in the game probably include middle range guns and howitzers and Infantry units just have the smaller field guns. But how effective were these middle-sized guns against fortified positions? At the moment, particularly in the later game from 1916 onwards, it feels like Super Heavy Artillery fire is being used everywhere and is the dominant type of artillery fire.

On the evidence of this first play through with the new patch I think I will go back to my very basic mod that has a 6 artillery shells maximum instead of 10.

Considering the scale of the game I think the most accurate description would be the concentration of artillery including stockpiling of ammunition and high level of planning/coordination.

The typical Corps sized infantry force that occupies a single square in SC:WW1 would have both light and heavy artillery with it. No "hex" would be manned just by infantry and light artillery without any heavy artillery, air elements or cavalry. Units like Detachments and Garrisons are relatively weak on offense and I assume that is because they have relatively small amount of artillery compared to Corps sized units.

---

As a historical example, at battle of St. Quentin Canal in September 1918 the Entente forces started an assault on German line with "56 hour" artillery bombardment. The British has amassed over 1600 artillery pieces (1,044 field guns and 593 heavy guns and howitzers) for a 10.000 yard long front, which fired almost a million shells during the last 24 hours of the bombardment. That heavy gun concentration is still not even close to the total amount of guns the British had, but the number of involved guns, the prepared stockpile of ammunition, and the degree on preliminary planning was obviously well beyond the normal level.

The advancement in artillery technology and doctrine at St. Question was also obvious. At the start of the war in 1914 the artillery was largely light direct fire support with the larger "siege" guns rare and underdeveloped. The artillery shell consumption had been severely underestimated resulting to stuff like the 1915 Shell Crisis.

At battle of Somme in 1916 the massive Entente artillery bombardment of over 1,6 million shells failed to destroy the German fortification (apparently they used shrapnel shells among other mistakes). The tech and doctrine had improved significantly but were far from perfect.

However at St. Quentin the well planned bombardment included special fuses for destroying the barbed wire, gas shells for hitting the enemy artillery, supply and HQ units, as well as creeping barrages to support the infantry assault. All that allowed the Entente to break through the Hindenburg line with relative ease. I think it's safe to say that in the end it was the artillery that won the battle and the war (on the battlefields at least).

This kind of well prepared large artillery operation is what I assume the in-game artillery "unit" represents, rather than just a literal collection on guns. With slowed down development of artillery in the latest patch of SC:WW1 the pace of artillery development seems to better match the historical course, although the research of ammo production could be still be slower for it to be maxed closer to the end of war.

The maximum amount of ammo per artillery unit could be slightly lower because two artillery units can still neuter any fortification in the game from full strength in a single turn without any input from the defender before the attacker can take over with minimal losses. At St. Quentin Canal it doesn't seem like the Entente had any massive advantage in the numbers of infantry but they still won (which is pretty remarkable considering the losses the attacker would typically suffered just couple years earlier). Even though they won, they still suffered about 24,000 casualties to the Germany's 36,000. That is far more relative casualties than you will typically suffer taking a hex after a (fully upgraded) artillery preparation in-game.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/allied-forces-break-through-the-hindenburg-line
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_St_Quentin_Canal#Preliminary_operation_of_27_September
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_St_Quentin_Canal#Main_assault_of_29_September
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_St_Quentin_Canal#Attack_across_the_canal_cutting

---

If I have understood correctly, the different types of artillery units in SC:WW1 exist for use in smaller scale scenarios where differentiating between artillery types actually makes sense (i.e. "Move this heavy artillery brigade from this village to that field"). On strategic scale you are not really going to say "Lets send all the 155mm guns to Somme and leave nothing but 75mm to the rest of the front". At strategic level the artillery will move and operate as a part of larger formations and at most you will have a relatively high concentration of well prepared and organized heavy artillery at specific part of the the front, rather than permanently independent massive artillery formations with exclusively big guns moving around freely.




mdsmall -> RE: Adjusting Artillery (12/13/2020 6:39:02 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

Other thoughts on artillery:

Artillery should actually be LESS devastating against heavily-entrenched enemy units. Ideally it should also lose steam the more it fires during a single turn, to simulate loss of accuracy due to barrels wearing out.

A humble proposal:

Arty De-entrenchment chance by upgrade level:
Level 0: 0%
Level 1: (0.5 - (0.05 * # of times fired this turn)) * readiness %
level 2: (0.65 - (0.05 * # of times fired this turn)) * readiness %

In other words, assuming 100% readiness, level 1 artillery would have a maximum of 50% chance to de-entrench every time it fires, lowering down to a minimum of 5% after firing 9 times. This would yield an expected 2.0 de-entrenchments if it fires 5 times, but only 2.8 if it fires all 10 shells at once.

This would also have interesting strategy effects regarding artillery placement and concentration and shell conservation which I won't go into here. But I will mention that it would also lead to more sporadic artillery fire (checking to see if you get the de-entrenchment you want, calling of an attack if you get unlucky). In a way that might be more "realistic" with units coming under moderate artillery bombardment often rather than artillery only showing its face during massive assaults.

I'm not sure it's the ideal solution. Concentrating multiple batteries together might still be too strong. But I wanted to put my idea out there.



Chernobyl - this is an interesting idea and worth playing with a bit more. Artillery actually have three kinds of combat effects: they reduce morale; they reduce unit strength; and they de-entrench. It is the latter which makes them so devastating, as no other regular units in the WW1 game have this effect.

Your post makes me think that each of these effects should be calibrated relative to the number of shells fired at a unit. For realism, I would calculate the effect in terms of the number of shells a defending unit receives, rather than the number of shells an attacking artillery piece fires, on the theory that there are diminishing impacts on a defender's effectiveness to prolonged artillery bombardments. Reductions in a defender's morale already diminish with each attack in the game. Your suggestion is a good one that the probability of de-entrenching by any defender should be less than one per artillery attack and should also decrease with the number of shell hits a defender receives.

In the case of the probability of unit losses, they currently go up with de-entrenchment, as units are less likely to absorb a loss at lower entrenchment levels. It might be interesting to change the effect of artillery fire, so that is not affected by entrenchment levels and also has a diminishing probability with each shell hit. Thus the first artillery shell fired might have say an 80% chance of incurring a strength point loss, with the number dropping by 10% per shell hit and dropping to zero after eight shell hits were received. This way, it would be impossible for artillery to completely destroy units on their own (a common complaint in this Forum). Instead they would be the primary means of "softening up" a defender for a ground attack. It would also give you an incentive to fire a few shells each turn at different enemy targets in range of your artillery just to incur attrition losses, even when you did not plan a ground against a heavily entrenched enemy. This is the way artillery was used much of the time in WW1.

It would also be interesting to re-think the relationship between artillery tech and trench warfare tech, more along the lines of advanced subs vs ASW tech. For example, there could be combat differential between artillery tech of the attacker and trench warfare tech of the defender and the differential would be applied to change the probabilities per shell hit for each of the combat effects of artillery. If one explored this idea, you would need to increase the number of levels of artillery tech to match the levels of trench warfare tech. Artillery warfare tech should also be somewhat cheaper to achieve, so there could be an "arms race" between increasingly effective trenches and increasingly effective artillery. You would also need to adjust the multiplier effect of artillery warfare tech on shell availability.

I have no idea whether any of this is achievable within the existing game editor and game mechanics, but it is fun to think about on a Sunday morning!






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