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RE: Adjusting Artillery

 
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RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/13/2020 8:38:02 PM   
stockwellpete

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: MVP7

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.


Thanks for the reply.

I do not know a great deal about this subject but I have just started to look at how the UK organised its artillery in WW1. In the game they can have a maximum of 4 artillery pieces, which is the same as the Germans. If you look at the numbers of guns indicated from that short You Tube documentary based on Zabecki's book that I posted earlier today then that parity is somewhat surprising. From what I can make of it from various Wikipedia articles, the main British guns in WW1 were the 13 pounders, the 18 pounders and the 4.5 inch Howitzer. Then there were a smaller number of much bigger guns including the 60 pounder.

The 13pdrs were used by the Royal Horse Artillery and were not very effective against trenches and I presume these are not represented separately in the game, but are included in the firepower of the Cavalry units. Cavalry do not de-entrench when they attack as far as I can tell.

The 18pdrs were the main field gun used by the British in the war and they were allocated to infantry divisions rather than being deployed separately - 3 brigades of 18pdrs (54 guns) with 1 brigade of 4.5 howitzers (18 guns) and a single battery of 60 pdrs (4 guns).

However, there were not enough guns to fully equip "Kitchener's army" at first and the batteries had only 4 guns instead of 6. Then there seems to have been a major re-organisation at the start of 1917 and some of the guns were taken away from the infantry divisions and given to something called the Army Field Artillery Brigades, which seemed to have allowed separate and more flexible deployment.

So what is confusing me at the moment is how these 18pdrs and 4.5 howitzers are represented in the game. When an infantry Corps attacks an entrenched enemy it always seems to de-entrench the enemy one level each attack. So that would suggest to me that the field artillery (18pdrs definitely and maybe the 4.5 howitzers as well) are included in the infantry Corps units. But, if that is true, what are these 4 separate Artillery units the British can have meant to represent? The 60pdrs and the very large howitzers? I don't think there were enough of them to warrant 4 artillery units and they do not seem to have been deployed separately until early 1917. If, on the other hand, the 4 Artillery units are meant to represent the 18pdrs and the 4.5 howitzers as well as the heavier guns then why do infantry Corps de-entrench every time they make an attack?

The other thing that is confusing me is when I asked a question about how an Italian infantry Corps unit could sink a Dreadnought in a Port hex, I was told that the infantry Corps would have had field artillery with it. I have noot looked at Italian Artillery yet but they can have 2 Artillery units in the game. Maybe they didn't have enough heavy guns to warrant this separate representation either.

quote:

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.


OK, I can see your reasoning here, but I am not sure the British were capable of delivering this sort of attack for most of the war. I might be completely wrong though.

quote:

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.


Yes, either the ammo has to be reduced (a maximum of 6 seemed to work OK in the one play-test I did before the latest patch) or the number of artillery units has to be reduced. This will depend on (using the British example) whether the 18pdr is said to be part of an infantry Corps, or deployed separately. If deployed separately then infantry Corps should not de-entrench every time they attack.

quote:

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.


OK, I have only played the main campaign so far.


< Message edited by stockwellpete -- 12/13/2020 8:40:55 PM >

(in reply to MVP7)
Post #: 31
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/14/2020 8:56:58 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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Looking at French artillery in WW1, their mainstay field gun was the 75mm gun, which its Wikipedia article describes as . . .

"The French 75 was a devastating anti-personnel weapon against waves of infantry attacking in the open, as at the Marne and Verdun. However, its shells were comparatively light and lacked the power to obliterate trench works, concrete bunkers and deeply buried shelters. Thus, with time, the French 75 batteries became routinely used to cut corridors with high-explosive shells, across the belts of German barbed wire."

So very limited de-entrenchment capability. In terms of heavier artillery . . .

"The French Army had to wait until early 1917 to receive in numbers fast-firing heavy artillery equipped with hydraulic recoil brakes (e.g. the 155 mm Schneider howitzer and the long-range Canon de 155mm GPF). In the meantime it had to do with a total of about four thousand de Bange 90 mm, 120 mm and 155 mm field and converted fortress guns, all without recoil brakes, that were effective but inferior in rate of fire to the more modern German heavy artillery."

These de Bange guns were first commissioned in the late 1870s . . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Ragon_de_Bange#/media/File:Model_1877_155_mm_gun_Hameenlinna_1.JPG

So, the French artillery bears a great resemblance to the British and the same question arises about its depiction in the game. Are the 75mm represented separately in the Artillery units, or are they assumed to be part of the infantry Corps?

(in reply to stockwellpete)
Post #: 32
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/14/2020 5:23:27 PM   
MVP7

 

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I'm still pretty sure it's not as clear cut as Corps has 75mm and Artillery has 155mm but rather a more abstract top-down representation of the strategic capabilities. The total number of artillery units in-game is probably more closely tied to balance than exact historical artillery formations and total number of guns.

In general a WW1 Corps will have couple infantry divisions and often some corps troops. While the corps troops might include artillery, most of the guns would be under the infantry divisions. Here's UK 'X Corps' for an example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_Corps_(United_Kingdom). In 1918 the Corps included two Divisions (29th and 30th), Signal corps, Cyclist battalion and Heavy Trench Mortar Battery (these have about 2km range). The divisions themselves had variety of guns from Horse Artillery Brigades to 18-Pounder Brigades to Heavy Batteries with guns like 'BL 6-inch gun Mk XIX'. Mortars were present on Brigade and Division levels.

Realistically any Corps in the game would have plenty of light and medium guns/howitzers as well as some heavy guns. Under normal circumstances these would be used to defend and support any local actions, which is where the overall units stats and that de-entrenchment (a concept which also shouldn't be interpreted too literally) comes from. For large scale operations some extra artillery units could be detached and concentrated into a small area, large amount of ammunition could be prepared and the use of artillery fire could be planned and coordinated to much higher degree than normally. That's what the artillery "unit" in the game best represents. It's not a literal Army Corps sized collection of all the heavy artillery of the nation, any more than a HQ unit is a dude with a table and a map.

The way I imagine infantry attacking ships in harbor is also a bit more abstract: Partially it's just field artillery setting up and peppering the ship, but the ship (or rather a group of ships) has also obviously been caught with it's pants down. The ship has to leave in hurry and some supplies are not loaded in time, some crew is stuck in the fighting and never makes it back to the ship. Maybe the attackers commandeer coastal guns and turn those on the ship. Maybe some valiant officer leads a small group on a row boat to attach a bomb to the side of the ship in middle of the night. Overall it would be less realistic if ship could remain in harbor and not suffer from the enemy corps occupying the city.

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RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/14/2020 6:37:56 PM   
stockwellpete

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: MVP7

I'm still pretty sure it's not as clear cut as Corps has 75mm and Artillery has 155mm but rather a more abstract top-down representation of the strategic capabilities. The total number of artillery units in-game is probably more closely tied to balance than exact historical artillery formations and total number of guns.


Yes, I do understand that a certain level of abstraction is required, but from what I am reading so far Germany seemed to have a slightly greater artillery capability than France and the UK combined pretty much throughout the war. So Germany having 4 max artillery and France/UK having 7 max (3+4) in the standard game doesn't seem quite right to me. There may be other factors that I am missing at the moment as I have only just started looking at this in detail, but I have started a new game against the AI where I have assumed that the more mobile field artillery (that uses shrapnel rather more than high explosives) are assumed to be with the Infantry Corps. Then the abstracted part of the artillery that includes the heavy artillery component has reduced Artillery Build limits - Germany stays at 4, A-H down to 2, Ottomans down to 2, Bulgaria stays at 1; UK down to 2, France down to 2, Russia down to 2, Serbia stays at 1, Italy down to 1 USA down to 1 and Greece down to 0. And shells are at 5 max and Shell research has only 2 levels and 2 chits maximum. So we'll see - I have only just started.

quote:

In general a WW1 Corps will have couple infantry divisions and often some corps troops. While the corps troops might include artillery, most of the guns would be under the infantry divisions. Here's UK 'X Corps' for an example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_Corps_(United_Kingdom). In 1918 the Corps included two Divisions (29th and 30th), Signal corps, Cyclist battalion and Heavy Trench Mortar Battery (these have about 2km range). The divisions themselves had variety of guns from Horse Artillery Brigades to 18-Pounder Brigades to Heavy Batteries with guns like 'BL 6-inch gun Mk XIX'. Mortars were present on Brigade and Division levels.


Yes, this seems to be true of the French and German armies too.

quote:

Realistically any Corps in the game would have plenty of light and medium guns/howitzers as well as some heavy guns. Under normal circumstances these would be used to defend and support any local actions, which is where the overall units stats and that de-entrenchment (a concept which also shouldn't be interpreted too literally) comes from. For large scale operations some extra artillery units could be detached and concentrated into a small area, large amount of ammunition could be prepared and the use of artillery fire could be planned and coordinated to much higher degree than normally. That's what the artillery "unit" in the game best represents. It's not a literal Army Corps sized collection of all the heavy artillery of the nation, any more than a HQ unit is a dude with a table and a map.


Yes, I understand that. To me the Artillery pieces represent the capability of that army to concentrate artillery fire. So they are very much the "abstracted" part of each army in the game.

quote:

The way I imagine infantry attacking ships in harbor is also a bit more abstract: Partially it's just field artillery setting up and peppering the ship, but the ship (or rather a group of ships) has also obviously been caught with it's pants down. The ship has to leave in hurry and some supplies are not loaded in time, some crew is stuck in the fighting and never makes it back to the ship. Maybe the attackers commandeer coastal guns and turn those on the ship. Maybe some valiant officer leads a small group on a row boat to attach a bomb to the side of the ship in middle of the night. Overall it would be less realistic if ship could remain in harbor and not suffer from the enemy corps occupying the city.


The alternative way is for the ship to be forced one hex out of the port as soon as an enemy unit enters the city. It could still be attacked by any enemy unit in range (artillery and planes), but it would be less likely to be attacked by infantry units on the coast.

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RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/14/2020 9:56:46 PM   
MVP7

 

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Germany does seem get the short end of the stick when it comes to total number of artillery units. Another anomaly is that UK gets more artillery units than the French even though the French had far more guns by the end of the war.

Couple thought regarding your build limit testing:

France, Britain and Germany pay the same for artillery research which is a big MPP sink over the course of game. Reducing the number of guns available to France and UK that much means they end up paying almost twice as much as Germans to keep up in artillery tech (The rest of the majors will likely to be lagging behind anyway).

I think one of the UK guns is generally needed in Africa which limits the number of Entente guns on the Western Front to 3 with your limits. Meanwhile the CP can concentrate all 4 German guns there and can even operate the A-H guns there. CP in general can operate its forces around much more easily than the Entente which is very convenient.

Italian, Serbian, Ottoman and to lesser extent A-H and Russian artillery techs tend to lag behind. With just 5 shells per gun you'll struggle to make any advances even in the late war without concentrating most of the artillery units in one place and Russian probably doesn't even have the units for that with the limit set to 2 (Meanwhile it could be facing up to 8 Ottoman, A-H and German guns).

Personally, on top of your changes, I'd make the shell limit 8; Set artillery limits to UK=3, France=3, A-H=3, Russia=3, Italy=2, USA=2. What CP loses in numbers it can somewhat mitigate with easily mobility between Eastern and Western Fronts. Raising German number of guns to 5 doesn't sound impossible but they would be capable of deploying those early and have them researched very fast which might be the reason they have such a low limit in the first place (together with the easy operating).

(in reply to stockwellpete)
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RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/15/2020 6:36:47 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: MVP7

Germany does seem get the short end of the stick when it comes to total number of artillery units. Another anomaly is that UK gets more artillery units than the French even though the French had far more guns by the end of the war.


Yes, that doesn't seem quite right either.

quote:

Couple thought regarding your build limit testing:

France, Britain and Germany pay the same for artillery research which is a big MPP sink over the course of game. Reducing the number of guns available to France and UK that much means they end up paying almost twice as much as Germans to keep up in artillery tech (The rest of the majors will likely to be lagging behind anyway).


Another thing that I am thinking about is that Artillery is fairly ineffective in the opening year of the war. Given that my adjustments are based on the idea that the lighter field artillery is not represented separately from the infantry and cavalry Corps (and that the Artillery pieces represent in an abstract way the ability of each country to concentrate artillery fire with their heavier guns) then this is a bit unsatisfactory. Heavier guns in 1914 would have been able to cause dreadful damage e.g. Liege fortresses. So the thought I have is that Artillery Warfare should start at Tech Level 1 and only increase to Tech Level 2 during the course of the game. To go from Tech Level 0 to Tech Level 2 currently costs 2 lots of 125MPP = 250MPP, so maybe the cost of Artillery research for that 1 extra level should be increased accordingly? Just a thought at this stage, but easily adjustable in the game by altering a few numbers in the Editor.

quote:

I think one of the UK guns is generally needed in Africa which limits the number of Entente guns on the Western Front to 3 with your limits. Meanwhile the CP can concentrate all 4 German guns there and can even operate the A-H guns there. CP in general can operate its forces around much more easily than the Entente which is very convenient.


I am not convinced about this at the moment. Did the British have heavy guns in Egypt? I know that they had horse artillery, but that front was fairly static in the early years of the war and the British only started to advance in 1917, I believe. I take your point about the internal lines of the Central Powers but I'll have to see. I feel that the Central Powers have to be decisive if they want to win. They do need to knock out Serbia by 1915 and they need to drive the Russians out of Poland at the same time to relieve pressure on the Austro-Hungarians. They do need some artillery to do this, so I think it unlikely that the Germans could put all their guns on the Western Front, let alone Operate A-h guns there. The Italians attack very hard in 1915 as well and Artillery is needed to stop them breaking out.

quote:

Italian, Serbian, Ottoman and to lesser extent A-H and Russian artillery techs tend to lag behind. With just 5 shells per gun you'll struggle to make any advances even in the late war without concentrating most of the artillery units in one place and Russian probably doesn't even have the units for that with the limit set to 2 (Meanwhile it could be facing up to 8 Ottoman, A-H and German guns).


Yes, that may be an issue. I'll bear it in mind when playtesting. The Ottomans take ages to get guns and the A-H need to spend on basic research early on in the war. I doubt that the Germans could strip the Western Front of heavy guns and get away with it, although it might be an interesting gambit.

quote:

Personally, on top of your changes, I'd make the shell limit 8; Set artillery limits to UK=3, France=3, A-H=3, Russia=3, Italy=2, USA=2. What CP loses in numbers it can somewhat mitigate with easily mobility between Eastern and Western Fronts. Raising German number of guns to 5 doesn't sound impossible but they would be capable of deploying those early and have them researched very fast which might be the reason they have such a low limit in the first place (together with the easy operating).


Yes OK. Message received. I am just having fun pottering about with this at the moment. It is all very provisional.


< Message edited by stockwellpete -- 12/15/2020 6:37:36 AM >

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RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/16/2020 8:35:12 PM   
Chernobyl

 

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I think one simple improvement would be to lower the maximum tech level of Gas/Shell production to 2 (from 3) and decrease the maximum invested in that tech from 3 to 1. Maybe also increase the tech cost to 125.

Historically the WWI nations were slow to recognize they would run out of shells, but in my games I make gas/shell production a priority and I often invest 3 chits into it.

(in reply to stockwellpete)
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RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/16/2020 8:45:41 PM   
Chernobyl

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: MVP7
France, Britain and Germany pay the same for artillery research which is a big MPP sink over the course of game. Reducing the number of guns available to France and UK that much means they end up paying almost twice as much as Germans to keep up in artillery tech


This isn't a big deal in the long run. The total number of guns is far more important. Entente has an advantage here, regardless of what someone said about shuffling. Germany has the benefit that because artillery can conquer any single hex, Verdun and Warsaw are targets to fall early. But in the long run it's a bloodbath of artillery on each side destroying units. The entente simply have more artillery and can do more damage each turn.

If you're concerned about how much the tech costs you're also overlooking the extremely generous free artillery units the Entente gets, especially Britain. Hell they even get a free artillery in Iraq later I believe.

The nations the aforementioned tech costs are a "big deal" for are Ottomans and Italy. They start late and have tiny economies which strain hard to both buy the tech and the guns (300 MPP each plus upgrade costs). Italy could potentially buy two artillery and the Ottomans three. But it's not particularly realistic that these units show up with upgrades and increased shell production in time to be anywhere near as valuable as say 'a German artillery piece upgraded and in position to fire 10 shells at Verdun in June 1915'. Ottoman upgraded artillery probably won't realistically appear until late 1916, assuming the Entente player pressures them at all (they should).

So basically the Ottomans get zero artillery when it matters most (1915-16).

The greater number of artillery corps available is one of the greatest Entente advantages in the game and shouldn't be underestimated*

*I should note that Bulgaria does importantly add one artillery for Central Powers. Romania and Spain (cringe) can get one each. And I think the USA gets 4? Greece can buy one artillery too which makes it imperative to conquer Greece quickly if they join the Entente.

< Message edited by Chernobyl -- 12/17/2020 12:29:40 AM >

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Post #: 38
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/17/2020 1:38:52 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

quote:

ORIGINAL: MVP7
France, Britain and Germany pay the same for artillery research which is a big MPP sink over the course of game. Reducing the number of guns available to France and UK that much means they end up paying almost twice as much as Germans to keep up in artillery tech


This isn't a big deal in the long run. The total number of guns is far more important. Entente has an advantage here, regardless of what someone said about shuffling. Germany has the benefit that because artillery can conquer any single hex, Verdun and Warsaw are targets to fall early. But in the long run it's a bloodbath of artillery on each side destroying units. The entente simply have more artillery and can do more damage each turn.

If you're concerned about how much the tech costs you're also overlooking the extremely generous free artillery units the Entente gets, especially Britain. Hell they even get a free artillery in Iraq later I believe.

The nations the aforementioned tech costs are a "big deal" for are Ottomans and Italy. They start late and have tiny economies which strain hard to both buy the tech and the guns (300 MPP each plus upgrade costs). Italy could potentially buy two artillery and the Ottomans three. But it's not particularly realistic that these units show up with upgrades and increased shell production in time to be anywhere near as valuable as say 'a German artillery piece upgraded and in position to fire 10 shells at Verdun in June 1915'. Ottoman upgraded artillery probably won't realistically appear until late 1916, assuming the Entente player pressures them at all (they should).

So basically the Ottomans get zero artillery when it matters most (1915-16).

The greater number of artillery corps available is one of the greatest Entente advantages in the game and shouldn't be underestimated*

*I should note that Bulgaria does importantly add one artillery for Central Powers. Romania and Spain (cringe) can get one each. And I think the USA gets 4? Greece can buy one artillery too which makes it imperative to conquer Greece quickly if they join the Entente.


Oh, I wholeheartedly agree with this, especially the fact that the Entente can field much more arty later in the game.

(in reply to Chernobyl)
Post #: 39
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/17/2020 1:49:37 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

I think one simple improvement would be to lower the maximum tech level of Gas/Shell production to 2 (from 3) and decrease the maximum invested in that tech from 3 to 1. Maybe also increase the tech cost to 125.

Historically the WWI nations were slow to recognize they would run out of shells, but in my games I make gas/shell production a priority and I often invest 3 chits into it.


Agree big time..remove a chit at least from shells if not all what you just submitted, Chernobyl.

Atm, I have a pbem match with Tanaka which we planned 4 months ago awaiting the latest patch that hopefully would moderate the arty..I can see a modest improvement with the arty fix and my long term research strategy has changed somewhat, but the shells need to be slowed down..I do want to keep the 10 shell max, but think its coming in too early also. Of course, we are only about a third of the way into the war in our current match so have incomplete experiences and data, but at least Inf 1 is coming on board before Arty 2, which is helpful.

< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 12/17/2020 3:54:38 AM >

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Post #: 40
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/17/2020 2:05:58 AM   
Tanaka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: OldCrowBalthazor


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

quote:

ORIGINAL: MVP7
France, Britain and Germany pay the same for artillery research which is a big MPP sink over the course of game. Reducing the number of guns available to France and UK that much means they end up paying almost twice as much as Germans to keep up in artillery tech


This isn't a big deal in the long run. The total number of guns is far more important. Entente has an advantage here, regardless of what someone said about shuffling. Germany has the benefit that because artillery can conquer any single hex, Verdun and Warsaw are targets to fall early. But in the long run it's a bloodbath of artillery on each side destroying units. The entente simply have more artillery and can do more damage each turn.

If you're concerned about how much the tech costs you're also overlooking the extremely generous free artillery units the Entente gets, especially Britain. Hell they even get a free artillery in Iraq later I believe.

The nations the aforementioned tech costs are a "big deal" for are Ottomans and Italy. They start late and have tiny economies which strain hard to both buy the tech and the guns (300 MPP each plus upgrade costs). Italy could potentially buy two artillery and the Ottomans three. But it's not particularly realistic that these units show up with upgrades and increased shell production in time to be anywhere near as valuable as say 'a German artillery piece upgraded and in position to fire 10 shells at Verdun in June 1915'. Ottoman upgraded artillery probably won't realistically appear until late 1916, assuming the Entente player pressures them at all (they should).

So basically the Ottomans get zero artillery when it matters most (1915-16).

The greater number of artillery corps available is one of the greatest Entente advantages in the game and shouldn't be underestimated*

*I should note that Bulgaria does importantly add one artillery for Central Powers. Romania and Spain (cringe) can get one each. And I think the USA gets 4? Greece can buy one artillery too which makes it imperative to conquer Greece quickly if they join the Entente.


Oh, I wholeheartedly agree with this, especially the fact that the Entente can field much more arty later in the game.


Very good points! Lol Spain. I hear it is popular for Entente to capture Spain!

< Message edited by Tanaka -- 12/17/2020 2:06:40 AM >


_____________________________


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Post #: 41
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/17/2020 6:58:11 AM   
MVP7

 

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I was mainly pointing out the double tech cost as a factor in Pete's test. With the actual in game artillery availability the Entente definitely has advantage in any case.

Reducing the max chit investment in gas/shell production would be a good change but increasing the cost of the research by 25 would mainly hurt the poor majors I think.

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Post #: 42
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/17/2020 7:07:40 AM   
Chernobyl

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: MVP7
increasing the cost of the research by 25 would mainly hurt the poor majors I think.


Yeah maybe you're right. I was thinking that might actually be historical, but it varies when you consider a lot of the powers bought many of their shells. I don't believe the Ottomans had much domestic arms production at all, let alone artillery. I'm not sure how to imagine level 3 gas/shell production for Ottomans as anything other than historical fiction or game balance.

But I do generally like slightly increasing some of the "overpowered" tech costs to cause more interesting choices (especially given the hard limit in MPPs each country has for research)

< Message edited by Chernobyl -- 12/17/2020 7:09:04 AM >

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RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/17/2020 8:41:17 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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I am a bit confused by the USA having a maximum of 4 artillery units. Apart from completely tipping the balance against the Germans on the Western Front if they join the war early, did the USA bring over any heavier artillery themselves, or did they rely mainly on purchasing British and French guns?

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RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/18/2020 9:22:58 AM   
1775Cerberus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: stockwellpete

I am a bit confused by the USA having a maximum of 4 artillery units. Apart from completely tipping the balance against the Germans on the Western Front if they join the war early, did the USA bring over any heavier artillery themselves, or did they rely mainly on purchasing British and French guns?


The Americans made extensive use of French materiel, that being used to pay down a portion of the war debt of France toward America. American divisions were the same size as Corps for the other nations. In the memoirs and after action reports I have read, the French "loaned out" batteries in the early American operations to help them meet TO&E for guns. By the time of Mont Blanc I am not seeing those same references on the divisional level.

The American divisions that trained with the British used "loaned" equipment to ease supply issues. Once they were returned to Pershing they drew French equipment.

As for having four guns for the Americans. With each Division being Corps sized, a Corps is bringing twice the gun firepower of their European counterparts. I have viewed the four guns to be developers way of showing this size disparity in game.

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Post #: 45
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/18/2020 12:27:36 PM   
MVP7

 

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The reason behind the large number of artillery for Americans is probably to make them tip the balance severely in Entente's favor (not that they don't already have the advantage in artillery even before American entry).

Considering the length and investment needed for catching up in Artillery at the late war it's probably most practical to support any American infantry early on with British and French Artillery units (or rather support the French and British with American infantry) until their stuff is ready to go and shipped over. I'd be surprised if all 4 Artillery units made it to Europe before the end of war though.

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Post #: 46
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/22/2020 9:45:10 AM   
BillRunacre

 

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I've been thinking about the maximum number of shells that artillery units can stockpile, and I do like the fact that it can rise to a decent number over multiple turns.

However, I do understand the reasoning for wanting that maximum to be less, so that artillery cannot so easily build up their shells and destroy targeted units.

What I'm therefore proposing to implement would be a mechanism whereby the maximum number of shells that can be stockpiled with a unit is reduced, say to 4-5, but to allow this number to be increased via Logistics research.


The Logistics tech seems a natural choice as a) it does relate to supply to the army and b) it would give another reason to invest in this (perhaps neglected?) tech.

This change will make it require more effort and investment to build up large stockpiles of shells, and also make it all the rarer given the extra expense that would be incurred.

Will it even be the best use of MPPs to research Logistics to a high level for this? Maybe, but it does add in an extra investment choice to the game which is probably a good thing.


So in brief it would work like this:

- Gas/Shell Production increases the per turn supply of shells to artillery (no change here).
- Artillery's starting maximum shells reduced to 4 or 5.
- Logistics increases the maximum shells an artillery unit can stockpile, increasing by 1 per level.

Note that some Majors do start with level 1 or 2 in Logistics (only Russia, Austria-Hungary and the Ottomans start at zero) but they would still have to get investing MPPs in Logistics if they wish to increase their shell stockpile limit.




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Post #: 47
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/22/2020 11:46:56 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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Yes, I like this idea, Bill.

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Post #: 48
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/22/2020 12:12:22 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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This is a very good idea.

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Post #: 49
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/22/2020 7:34:46 PM   
Chernobyl

 

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Logistics sounds cool. I still think the rate of shell replacement is more important than total stored shells. Gas/shell tech investment rate should be slowed down. And maybe artillery should start with 0 de-entrenchment and only reach 1 at level 2? Not sure, that could make trenches TOO effective in 1915, but currently around mid 1915 it becomes a slog fest of death OR both sides back off with a true "no mans land" hex row that neither side ventures into. The reason that artillery is so powerful is NOT because of their total shell supply but because it de-entrenches 1 level per shot with no limit. If you spend 10+ shells on one unit, yeah it takes damage and has low readiness, and it will die, but you used a ton of shells which you won't immediately get back. The enemy gets a breather. Far more efficient (except when dealing with forts cities) is spending 2-3 shells to de-entrench the enemy and then having those shells ready again next turn. You can easily kill a unit with no (or just low) entrenchment and take minimal losses in the attack. Yes total shell capacity does have an effect particularly when the enemy retreats (artillery might reach their cap and "waste" some shell production). It's a cool addition but I don't think it would solve the problem.

(in reply to OldCrowBalthazor)
Post #: 50
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/22/2020 9:16:46 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

Logistics sounds cool. I still think the rate of shell replacement is more important than total stored shells. Gas/shell tech investment rate should be slowed down. And maybe artillery should start with 0 de-entrenchment and only reach 1 at level 2? Not sure, that could make trenches TOO effective in 1915, but currently around mid 1915 it becomes a slog fest of death OR both sides back off with a true "no mans land" hex row that neither side ventures into. The reason that artillery is so powerful is NOT because of their total shell supply but because it de-entrenches 1 level per shot with no limit. If you spend 10+ shells on one unit, yeah it takes damage and has low readiness, and it will die, but you used a ton of shells which you won't immediately get back. The enemy gets a breather. Far more efficient (except when dealing with forts cities) is spending 2-3 shells to de-entrench the enemy and then having those shells ready again next turn. You can easily kill a unit with no (or just low) entrenchment and take minimal losses in the attack. Yes total shell capacity does have an effect particularly when the enemy retreats (artillery might reach their cap and "waste" some shell production). It's a cool addition but I don't think it would solve the problem.


So maybe a chit reduction in addition of the logistics mechanism Bill described?

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RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/22/2020 11:52:36 PM   
ThisEndUp

 

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Yes agreed with Chernobyl. Currently you can obtain 4 shells a turn in late 1915, which is a bit too strong in my opinion. A reduction in the max tech level to 2 or in the number of chits invested to 1 or 2 would be better.

An alternative would be to explore the suggestion someone made earlier about changing their de-entrenchment ability to RNG. If RNG is not desirable, would it instead be possible to reduce the de-entrenchment to what Chernobyl described, but make it so that de-entrenchment can be cumulative; an artillery piece with 0.5 de-entrenchment can reduce entrenchment with 2 shots?

(in reply to OldCrowBalthazor)
Post #: 52
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/23/2020 2:21:51 AM   
mdsmall

 

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I think the automatic 1:1 ratio of shells fired to de-entrenchment achieved (at artillery tech 1 and above) is the nub of the problem. One approach would be to reduce the effectiveness at de-entrenching per shell fired at a uniform ratio, as suggested by Chernobyl and This End Up. For example, at 0 artillery weapons, you could have 0.25 de entrenchment per shell fired; 0.5 at 1 artillery weapons and 0.75 at 2 artillery weapons. This would have the advantage of giving even artillery at 0 tech some capacity to de-entrench, if they fire most or all of their shells.

Another approach would be to have diminishing de-entrenchment effects with the number of shells first (as discussed higher up in this thread). For example, say at artillery weapons 1, the first two shells fired would de-entrench at 0.5 per shot; the third and fourth shells would de-entrench at 0.4 per shot; fifth and sixth at 03. per shot and so on. Thus, an artillery piece with 10 shells could de-entrench by 3, if it fired all its shells. This would still make artillery useful, especially in conjunction with infantry or air attacks, but a single piece could not completely de-entrench a corps in 5 or 6 level fortress. It also strikes me as a bit more realistic.

However you do it, If you diminish the combat effectiveness of artillery, I think you could achieve most or all of what has been suggested in this thread.

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RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/23/2020 8:07:30 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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The more I think about this subject, the more I feel we are dealing with a great big artillery fraud. A bit like an insurance scam where everything is counted twice or three times! Infantry Corps attacking fortified positions automatically de-entrench (and they can also sink dreadnoughts in ports), so they must have field artillery capability represented in their combat values; then we have the actual artillery units which I am led to believe represents, in an abstracted way, the ability of each nation to concentrate artillery fire for prolonged bombardments with heavy artillery and field artillery pieces; and then we have the USA turning up late in the war with a massive artillery capability of 4 artillery units, when actually they hardly had any artillery pieces of their own. So the way I am looking at it, some of these British and French guns are being counted 3 times, while everybody else's are being counted 2 times.

Also, from what I am reading (David Stevenson's superb "1914-18") Germany, at the very least, had artillery parity, with Britain and France on the Western Front for the entire war. So another issue is the imbalance between the Entente and Central Powers in the Artillery department. I cannot see any reason at all for the USA having 4 artillery units. I am using the current values in my very basic artillery mod . . .

Germany 4, Austria-Hungary 2, Turkey 1
UK 2, France 2, Russia 2, Serbia 0, Italy 1, USA 1

What I am trying to do here is to separate out the heavy guns from the smaller field and horse artillery, so they are not counted multiple times, which I think is at the root of the problem. A more minor issue is that the Artillery is fairly ineffective at the start of the game and needs a Tech advance before it can de-entrench. I appreciate that certain features are tweaked in ways to enhance gameplay, but heavy guns at the start of the war 1914 were very powerful (e.g. Liege forts) so in the mod the artillery can de-entrench straight away and there is only 1 level of Tech to research (which is a bit more expensive). Artillery units also cost a bit more to buy because they are representing just the heavier artillery pieces. I have also reduced the number of shells maximum to 5, but could relax that number if the de-entrenchment value could be adjusted to, say, 0.66 or 0.75 chance per turn, or was made cumulative. The final thing is that I have increased the range to 3 hexes so that counter-battery fire (and longer range aircraft spotting) becomes more of a feature in the game. Counter-battery fire barely exists in the game at the moment. So there is also an extra choice to be made about where you locate your Artillery units. More safely 2 hexes behind the front, or just 1 hex behind where you can attack more of the enemy line (and defend your own), but where you may be subject to counter-battery fire.

< Message edited by stockwellpete -- 12/23/2020 8:08:19 AM >

(in reply to mdsmall)
Post #: 54
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/23/2020 8:10:59 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mdsmall

I think the automatic 1:1 ratio of shells fired to de-entrenchment achieved (at artillery tech 1 and above) is the nub of the problem. One approach would be to reduce the effectiveness at de-entrenching per shell fired at a uniform ratio, as suggested by Chernobyl and This End Up. For example, at 0 artillery weapons, you could have 0.25 de entrenchment per shell fired; 0.5 at 1 artillery weapons and 0.75 at 2 artillery weapons. This would have the advantage of giving even artillery at 0 tech some capacity to de-entrench, if they fire most or all of their shells.

Another approach would be to have diminishing de-entrenchment effects with the number of shells first (as discussed higher up in this thread). For example, say at artillery weapons 1, the first two shells fired would de-entrench at 0.5 per shot; the third and fourth shells would de-entrench at 0.4 per shot; fifth and sixth at 03. per shot and so on. Thus, an artillery piece with 10 shells could de-entrench by 3, if it fired all its shells. This would still make artillery useful, especially in conjunction with infantry or air attacks, but a single piece could not completely de-entrench a corps in 5 or 6 level fortress. It also strikes me as a bit more realistic.

However you do it, If you diminish the combat effectiveness of artillery, I think you could achieve most or all of what has been suggested in this thread.


Yes, I very much agree with these sentiments.

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Post #: 55
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/23/2020 7:44:53 PM   
Chernobyl

 

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I'm not too terribly bothered by the ahistorical nature of "artillery corps" even though I acknowledge that an entire fully-supplied corps dedicated to strategic artillery was probably rare even later in the war (perhaps increase their cost to 450?)

I think that it's good the game has a separate unit called artillery because I think if you only had infantry, with their innate artillery, well that would make the game pretty darn bland. And it already borders on being too bland already since the main unit is quite similar for all nations (yes there are mountain and colonial corps)

I'm more concerned about the gameplay balance. I don't want to make artillery too strong but I also don't want to make it too weak.

I am not sure giving any de-entrenchment at level 0 is a good idea. If that happens that gives the Russians even more power to bust the Austrian defense line early.

Also I want to point out that any significant weakening for artillery will probably cause the fronts in the later game 1916 and onwards) to be quite static and difficult to break through, with far fewer losses on both sides. Importantly, this would lead to an economic situation where everyone is making plenty of MPP and can easily replace their losses while supporting maximum research and buying to their build limits.

I think that economic problem could be fixed by tempering the effects of Industrial Tech which is a bit too strong (especially for Germany and Russia) in my opinion. To refresh, it gives a +15% MPP modifier which multiplies all your income, but Russia starts out at 25% industry and Germany at 85%, so three levels of Industry tech more than doubles Russia's income!

The reason I bring this up is because a weak artillery game inevitably leads to a defensive low-casualty game which means fast technology and more excess MPP which means diplomacy gets maxed out quickly (diplo is already too cheap, but with overflowing MPP there's no strategic decision at all of whether to spend on diplo), units will be struggling to reach the front and make an impact due to every hex being occupied.

I think the shell rate needs to be lowered, and the % chance to de-entrench should not be 100%, but I also caution that in doing so you might create new problems. Breakthroughs should still be a threat, troops should be dying.

Artillery should be powerful but not a finger of death, nor creator of giant "DMZ" hex strips where neither side dares leave a unit.

(in reply to stockwellpete)
Post #: 56
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/23/2020 8:12:28 PM   
Chernobyl

 

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Summary of artillery ideas:

1) Lower upgraded artillery's chance to de-entrench per shot
2) Gas/Shell production tech (lower max research rate to 2, lower max tech to 2, increase cost to 125)
3) Reduce total number of artillery corps available for select nations, perhaps eliminate a couple events where nations get free artillery (stockwellpete)
4) Make artillery's effectiveness more directly related to its readiness (right now it doesn't really matter if it's attached to a HQ or not or even at full strength; it still de-entrenches fully and even does damage)
5) Perhaps reduce artillery level 2 rate of damage readiness/morale damage? (Some people seem to think it's too high; I personally haven't tested much with level 2 artillery in the latest patch)
6) Lower max stored shells but increase possible from Logistics tech (Bill)
7) Increase build time and/or cost for artillery corps
8) Weaken some techs (industry tech) to lower income if artillery is also weakened

New ideas:
9) Perhaps eliminate artillery's ability to de-entrench entirely but INCREASE the chance to do one point of damage per shot for upgraded artillery? (not sure if this would be better or worse but could lead to some interesting attacks against softened up units which still have high entrenchment levels)
10) Introduce an artillery detachment unit to replace some of the full artillery corps, this unit would be cheaper, weaker (perhaps only one max shell, increased by 0.25 per logistics tech so you get to 2 shots at level 4 logistics)


< Message edited by Chernobyl -- 12/23/2020 8:19:10 PM >

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Post #: 57
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/24/2020 2:27:21 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

Summary of artillery ideas:

4) Make artillery's effectiveness more directly related to its readiness (right now it doesn't really matter if it's attached to a HQ or not or even at full strength; it still de-entrenches fully and even does damage)



I for one always have felt this was particularly odd and should be looked at closer.

As an example, in a pm match I had last March 2020...I was playing as Entente and had did a landing with a detachment to block the rail line on the southern Anatolian coast. My opponent had operated a lone Bulgarian Arty2 unit near by from Europe (probably on the way to Palestine), and it was blocked. So next turn, I had a French Marine unit already on an AV off Cypress, land next to this thing, and attack it with no hits. I figured, no problem, it will retreat and not be in my hair down Suez way, or I will box it in and kill it.

No! Next turn, my opponent unloaded all 10 shells on the Marine unit..and destroyed it! It was alone, with no HQ attachment (later I learned from my gracious opponent the Artillery doesn't need it to enhance its OP'ness), and moved along the next turn to pump 4 more shells into the entrenched detachment blocking the RR, and then it being dispatched by a Turkish detachment that came up from the east. I was astonished by this to say the least.

Anyway, #4 of your list stands out as a possible component to any other 'fixes' that have been suggested by everybody here. The (still) over powered artillery has been a major destabilizer of many great pbem matches, and even with fairly evenly skilled opponents, a large majority of the games (and the war) I at least have participated in, have ended by the end of 1916 to early 1917...all due to doom artillery.

(in reply to Chernobyl)
Post #: 58
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/24/2020 9:36:59 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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I am now reading in Stevenson that a lot of artillery shells fired in WW1 were duds and that the quality of shells deteriorated as production increased rapidly through 1916-17. I think this could be reflected by removing automatic de-entrenchment for artillery fire and replacing it with variable levels of de-entrenchment from each shot ranging from 0 to 1. The effect should be cumulative and I do like the idea suggested by others that artillery fire should do less de-entrenchment damage the more that it is aimed at the same target. The impact on defender's morale and readiness would not be so impaired.

So you could imagine a sequence of artillery fire (Tech Level 1) at a fortification inflicting the following damage . . .

0.6, 0.8, 0 (dud), 0.8, 1.00, 0.5 = 6 shots from 1 artillery unit giving a total de-entrenchment value of 3.7 (which on its own would de-entrench 3 levels)

But a second artillery unit also fires at the same target on the same turn . . .

0.8, 0.6 = 2 shots from 1 artillery unit giving a total de-entrenchment value of 1.4, which is added to 3.7 from the other artillery unit making a total of 5.1 and a total de-entrenchment of 5 levels before the infantry attacks go in.

In this sequence of 8 shots, at a certain point a de-entrenchment penalty would kick in representing diminished returns from saturation bombardment. Maybe after a fortification has lost 3 or 4 levels of entrenchment in the same turn, something like that anyway.

All this could be balanced by the maximum number of shells made available to each artillery unit. With variable de-entrenchment this number could be as high as 8, I would think.

I think we have to remember that the Western Front basically did not move from late 1914 to spring 1917 (when the Germans withdrew to the Hindenburg line), so for all those shells fired there was actually little to show for it apart from hundreds of thousands of casualties. The main movements occurred elsewhere as the weaker participants started to collapse under the strain of the war. Also, the Germans still thought they could win the war in the spring of 1918 even though the USA had been in the war for the best part of a year, so the current artillery imbalance in the game on the Western Front, particularly in the second half of the game, really does need adjusting.

(in reply to OldCrowBalthazor)
Post #: 59
RE: Adjusting Artillery - 12/24/2020 9:39:02 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

3) Reduce total number of artillery corps available for select nations, perhaps eliminate a couple events where nations get free artillery (stockwellpete)



Yes, I am just wondering whether "less is more" with regards to artillery. Probably not everyone's cup of tea.

(in reply to Chernobyl)
Post #: 60
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