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 Post subject: Fire fights in HPS and TS games.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:58 am 
My friend Tony Hill and I, are playing a nice Gettysburg game and discussing about different tactics.
One of these brought us to admit we've not idea of the games' engines work this matter.

The question is:
- is it better to join different regiments and/or batteries in a single fire fight, or is it better to divide them and fire separatly each shot?

Each of us have different opinions on this matter and bring interesting justifications, but we both agree that none of us has never read an official piece of information on this subject wrote by John Tiller or anyone involved in the creation of the games.

Does anyone of you know the answer to this question?
Any help will be appreciated!

Gen. Simone Tombesi


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:04 am 
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If you're playing turn mode then each time you fire your opponent's units roll to see if they return fire so it's better to fire stacked units together reducing the opportunities for him to return fire.

If playing phase mode I don't think it matters since I believe when you shoot units together the losses are determined for each unit's combat seperately.

Gen. Ken Miller

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Army of the Shenandoah


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:50 pm 
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It really depends on what you are trying to do.

If you are firing the entire stack at a single target, I believe there is no difference at all. If I understand the system correctly, it resolves each attack individually, and then adds together the total results. (Even if it aggregates the fire value, it still would make no difference)

There are times that people may want to spread the fire across different targets (to get multiple units in the flank or the like), but that's a separate decision. Of course, Gen Miller is right, about setting off Defense fire.

Major General Gary McClellan
1st Division, XXIII Corps
AoO,USA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:54 pm 
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In the TS games it can make a difference. No unit will incur more than 1 Fatigue hit in any fire segment. Given multiple targets I will fire at one until I obtain a fatigue or loss, and then direct my fire elsewhere. I am firing one unit at a time. Multiple fatigue hits on the same unit account for nothing which is different from HPS where it will be cumulative. The approach I have described here is, of course, gamey, not historical. Units should fire at the hex they are facing. There is way too much latitude in these games as it is. I find nothing wrong with firing at different units in the same hex, but changing fire pattern to a flank hex because of a previous fire result is nonsense.

BG Robert Frost
Army of Cumberland


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:36 pm 
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With TS games it make a significant difference. Since it uses a table look up to determine fire results with row shifts for modifiers, firing two 200 man units separate will usually cause more casualties than firing them as a single 400 man stack. It is very dependent on the shifts that apply to the table but generally a smaller unit gained more from shifts than a larger unit.

The HPS games use a mathmatical formula to determine casualties so two 200 man units firing separate have a combined probability of causing the same casualties as firing combined or a 400 man unit firing. Also, since HPS bases fatigue off of losses the technique that Frost refers too, firing until you get a fatigue causing hit doesn't work for HPS games.

These changes between TS and HPS systems I consider the most significant ones made and the primary reason I prefer HPS system. The table look up for fire and melee results, fatigue handling and morale checks resulting from were the most backward systems in TS. They were a carry over from the board games that needed a way to simplify the amount of math you had to do to turn a dice roll into a combat result.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
III Corps, AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:47 pm 
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I think there are a couple of considerations both from the perspective of the firing units and the targets.

In addtion to causing casualties on the target you want to increase the odds that the unit will rout/disrupt from a subsequent morale check. If can get a unit to rout then other units may have to check as well. I'm not sure what the precise mathematical tactic is, but if you can get a flank shot on the unit (-2 during the morale check) and concentrate fire to increase the odds for the morale check to actually occur, then I think that is the best choice. If none of your fires are flanking, then mathematically I think you are better off spreading around the targets (except as pointed out in another reply, in general you want to fire all units in a hex at once so as to reduce the number of automatic defensive fires).

Even better if you can get a flank shot on a unit from one firer and then concentrate fire from others and then get some flank shots on adjacent units, if the one unit routs the others will check at -2 and you can cause some multiple routs. I've always felt the impact of artillery was weak in these games, but if placed in the right spot they can be used for those flank shots at long range that result in the -2 redution during morale checks.





Lt Gen Bob Breen
Commanding XIX Corps, AoS
"Defenders of the Right"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:50 am 
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Sir,

Not to give away too many of my tactical scrects, but I fire all my units at one target in a stack. I always make sure the unit is large enough first to take all the hits, other wise your shots are wasted. My reason is, I only want one Reb unit to rout leaving the rest in a disrupted state; the more hits a unit takes the more likely it will rout. This accomplishes two things, 1) the other units in the hex become disrupted and can not escape as easily due to reduced movement and 2) the remaining units return fire less effectively when disrupted. I usually play HPS in Multi-Phase mode.



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Lt General Joseph C. Mishurda,
"Killer Angels"
XXV Corps, AoJ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 7:07 am 
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For you Yanks in this discussion, the War College School of Tactical Doctrine has a fine set of articles on this very topic. General Perrenod discusses the HPS system, and you'll be glad you read the article after the first 3 sentences...

Check it out!

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General Jeff Laub
Union Chief of the Army
ACWGC Cabinet Member
http://www.geocities.com/laubster22/UnionHQ/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:49 pm 
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Gen. Simone Tombesi,

As you can plainly see, it's no wonder you and General Hill can't come up with the solution -- even the best and brightest in the club disagree on this one [:D] !


Your humble servant,
Gen 'Dee Dubya' Mallory

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David W. Mallory
ACW - President & Cabinet Member
CCC - Ensign, Georgia Volunteers, Southern Regional Department, Colonial American Army


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