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Artillery - 10/6/2017 1:35:22 PM   
Ormand


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Joined: 2/17/2009
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I'm still moving around a lot this fall with travel, etc., but I've gotten most of the "bugs" worked out of Four Seasons.

But, I wanted to start a conversation on how to deal with artillery to get some ideas on how to make a division-scale game work better, while being realistic.

Overall, I think the structure of the SFTypes in ATG will work fairly well for an operational-scale game that with say 5 mi/hex and 5 day turns, or like DC-2. But, I think there are potential problems with a more strategic-scale, such as 15-20 mi/hex.

Realistically, even the heaviest land-based artillery (other than rail) had ranges of the order 15 miles. Thus, most artillery SFTypes should, in this case, have an artillery range of only 1 hex. In addition, historically, each division has a regiment of artillery attached to it.

A problem that arises with a range of only 1 hex is that it makes more sense to integrate the artillery into the core unit. But, this makes it more like an infantry gun, just beefed up. And, one cannot use the artillery as a means to "soften up" a defender (the impact being to reduce readiness). While it still has an artillery range, it is only useful in a static defense since using it would sap all the AP in the host unit.

On the other hand, one could leave the range at two hexes and then "merge" the divisional artillery into a "corps" for game purposes. This makes it difficult to replicate historical battles, and does make artillery "unrealistic". And having a separate artillery regiment for each division just clogs up the battle field with units that then can hinder breakthroughs and disrupt the flow of the game.

From the standpoint of game-design, the way artillery is being used in FourSeasons is a bit unsatisfactory as it is, as I said, like a super infantry gun. What is the point of having both? What distinguishes them in terms of use? Why one over the other? The same, can, to some degree, be said of mortars and infantry guns as well. They each serve the same function as a combat support element with shorter range (BTW virtually no infantry guns have a range greater than 5 miles).

I am curious what the thoughts on this are, and would like to find a way to model the 15-20 mile/hex situation better.
Post #: 1
RE: Artillery - 10/6/2017 2:27:51 PM   
LJBurstyn

 

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Wish I could help here but I don't know enough about artillery to help. I do remember reading that the Soviets had CORP size artillery formations later in the war.

(in reply to Ormand)
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RE: Artillery - 10/6/2017 3:47:59 PM   
ironduke1955


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I would love to add artillery SFT's to a Division trouble is the Division can do two things barrage with the artillery or attack it can't do both its why for practical purposes we tend to have the soviet style of artillery Brigades/Divisions/Corps even in armies that historically had a doctrine of Divisional artillery.

Within combat infantry Guns/Artillery are designated as ranged so the first SFT's in the first tier to take casualties are riflemen SMG Machine guns cavalry Second line or ranged like Infantry Guns/Artillery only take casualties if the unit is deemed to be broken into. Its why invariably the last surviving units in a beat up infantry division are invariably the Infantry Guns.

(in reply to LJBurstyn)
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RE: Artillery - 1/18/2018 11:50:44 AM   
TC2712

 

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In a mod where a counter represents a division maybe the change is just aesthetic - make 'mortar' elements the divisional artillery. Get rid of the separate artillery units with maybe an exception for siege guns?

(in reply to ironduke1955)
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RE: Artillery - 1/29/2018 12:59:43 AM   
Ormand


Posts: 608
Joined: 2/17/2009
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Sorry, I have been somewhat AWOL myself with some unexpected travel'

That is more or less the question. Or, rather, one of how to integrate various features of SFTypes that are both realistic and make sense in terms of a a game. Your point about the function of artillery versus mortars and infantry guns is a good one, and one that I was effectively wrestling with. It was one reason that I combined machineguns with mortars to make a heavy weapons unit. The same goes for infantry guns and artillery. If artillery has no range, why bother with infantry guns. They function the same, just a difference in stats and costs, and, frankly, the player would be better off doing a cost analysis to see where they got the biggest bang for their buck.

Also, it does seem as if some infantry regiments did bypass the infantry guns for actual artillery in their artillery battalions, namely 105 mm or 155 mm howitzers. From the standpoint of building a scenario this all fine and dandy, but with a game where you "build" your units, game design would give of these SFTypes a purpose, i.e., a unique function that makes them worth using.

I believe there are two design options.

The first is to combine the machineguns and mortars into a heavy weapons unit and also combine infantry guns and artillery into an artillery support unit, with perhaps a range of one hex. They would be embedded in the divisions, and artillery barrages wouldn't be part of the game. This would be the most realistic, but perhaps the least fun? And, would eliminate an aspect where artillery is used to affect the readiness of an intended attack target. This would seem to have to be the proper option for a corps level game with 40-70 miles/hex and one month turns.

The second, which I am somewhat inclined to for a division level 15 mi/hex, two week turn, is to keep a ranged artillery unit, with an unrealistic range of two hexes. One reason is to some specialization of units as part of the game. The second is that the ATG engine is set up to utilize artillery. The AI makes use of it, and it is an aspect, like I said, where you can use the artillery as part of the overall attack strategy, both on attack and defense. The two hex range also allows for better stacking and the need to "find" the artillery. Otherwise, one would have dueling artillery all the time.

Artillery as designed with the ATG engine is probably more realistic for a regimental scale (i.e., DC 1 & DC2) of say 5 mi/hex a few days/turn. Although, I would say that one this scale naval engagements are rather odd.

(in reply to TC2712)
Post #: 5
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