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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:59 pm 
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General--
Of your examples, 2.5 % and the casualties inflicted !0% seem the most realistic. I once suggested a "flexible" casualty rate where players could choose what worked for them, more or less like some of the other optional rules.
J Ferry
2LT USA


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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:19 pm 
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General Hebert,

I would be curious of the results if you re-conducted your tests after changing the PDT to 2.9 at 1 hex and 2.2 at 2 hexes?

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MG Robert Frost
Army of Cumberland


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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:49 pm 
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General Frost <salute>

Suh, my compliments!

I'd love to, however don't have the skills to be messing with my game engine without totally screwing it up :oops:

Highest regards,

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General Neal Hebert
Edward C. Walthall Division (2nd aka "Gator Alley")
II Corps, Army of the West
CSA Cabinet Secretary


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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:02 pm 
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Just some thoughts.

This is the kind of technical thread I like to see here.

I appreciate Gen. Hebert sharing the results of his experiments and contributions from others.

It is true that casualties in our games considerably exceed historical casualties for a number of reasons. I have come to view it as casualties plus stragglers. By stragglers, I mean folks who get shaken loose from their commands and disappear for the duration. Kind of the Red Badge of Courage effect (although our hero came back in time for the rest of the fight.)

It appears Gen. Hebert uses the turn rather than the phase style of play. The pros and cons have been discussed before. I prefer the phase style of play for the very reason that it better reflects the advantages accruing to the defender and the attacker. Admittedly, these tend to even out in turn as each side gets his turn to be attacker and defender, but I still think the attacker advantage in turn is ahistorical. I think the ideal would be an amalgamation of the two systems so that defenders who fired op fire would all fire at the end of fire phase at half strength, while those who did not would fire at full strength.

The figures quoted in this thread raise a some questions.

-How many volleys would be fired in twenty minutes.
-What is the range of said volleys.
-What is the terrain.

One of the things I like about the Overland Campaign is that in some PDTs max range is 3 or 4 hexes instead of 5.
After reading Paddy Griffith's "Battle Tactics of the Civil War", I think the shorter max ranges are more historically accurate. Probably something similar ought to be done with the artillery.

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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Emory Upton correctly decided decided that one of the reasons that assaults failed was because attackers stopped to fire instead of charging in and overwhelming the defenders. Hood triumphed at Gaines Mill with that tactic; Robinson's division stopped to fire at Laurel Hill and got clobbered. Any way this fits into the discussion?


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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:46 pm 
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I felt that four hexes or even three should be the engagement ranges for rifles. Rifle qual in the Marine Corps (in 1965) incuded being able to hit a washtub target ten times at 500 yards with an M-14. That is four hexes. Sniper territory, not line infantry.
Anyway what made me drop another note here is that I looked at artillery also, and I feel that those ranges are pretty good., but certain impacts are a bit too lethal.


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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:50 pm 
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In the conversations between Gens Frost and Hebert, there is discussion of pdt numbers. The numbers in pdt weapons data are not percentages, so 2.9 at 1 hex and 2.2 at 2 hexes, are not material to effects.


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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:55 am 
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Another abstract look at Rifle fire:
First, the maximum number of men that can fire on a 125 yard front is 250 men.
Second, although it is often said that a trained rifleman can get off three shots a minute, there is a lot of spilled powder and shots that go in the air, so let us suppose TWO aimed shots per minute. And 20-minute turns.
250 men x 2 shots/min = 500 shots x 20 min = 10,000 rounds
divided by my original accuracy estimate (1 hit per 120 shots)
the enemy would suffer 83.3 casualties in twenty minutes


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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:57 pm 
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J. Ferry wrote:
Another abstract look at Rifle fire:
First, the maximum number of men that can fire on a 125 yard front is 250 men.
Second, although it is often said that a trained rifleman can get off three shots a minute, there is a lot of spilled powder and shots that go in the air, so let us suppose TWO aimed shots per minute. And 20-minute turns.
250 men x 2 shots/min = 500 shots x 20 min = 10,000 rounds
divided by my original accuracy estimate (1 hit per 120 shots)
the enemy would suffer 83.3 casualties in twenty minutes


Hi, John,

That would be the whole ammo allotment every turn, which is certainly not modeled in the game and doesn't sound realistic. The one incident at Gettysburg where I know ammo became a critical factor was the 20th Maine at Little Round Top. In the Paddy Griffith book, he states that Confederate Ordnance estimated an expenditure of 25-26 rounds per man, while the Union army there was issued 5,400,000 rounds total. Much of that probably wasn't expended, particularly by the VI Corps. He added that Geary's brigade fired 75 rounds during the battle, and I Corps, which was very heavily engaged on the first day, fired 86 rounds/man.

At Gettysburg, they have flank markers for a lot of the union regiments. I could not find measurements though, so I measured the distances for several of them and came to the conclusion that on average these regiments had about 400 men/hex. That gibes with Gottlieb's Maps of Gettysburg, which indicated Pender's Division deployed in a line of about 5000 men over about 1500 yds.

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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:20 pm 
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That works about right, since the officers and file closers (Sergeants and above) most often were not on the firing line. Standing in ranks, the men, front and rear ranks, take up a yard per two men. I've been there, done that, shoulder to shoulder, and anything closer really cramps individual movements of loading and firing.
In my example, the expenditure comes out to forty rounds per man, just exactly the contents of a cartridge box. It just goes to show that the intensity of actual combat was nowhere near that which we bring to these games. We are far more intense, and allowance for that should be made in the casualty rate.


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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:42 pm 
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More I think about it, my example is totally realistic. Two examples:
One of the most famous stand-up fights was the Iron Brigade versus Jackson at Brawner's Farm. Both sides stood shoulder to shoulder, 100 yards apart, and blazed away. Casualties were over 30% 83.3 men is pretty close to 33% of 250 men.
Other example: My regiment, 111th Pennsylvania, at Cedar Mountain. They advanced across an open field, fired off all their cartridges, and lost 95 men out of 300--or 30 % approximately. It was not a "charge" just a steady advance which turned into a withdrawl when other troops were forced back. I do not have references in front of me, so this is all from memory, and at my age memory is getting bad.
What IS unrealistic is that our battles are nonstop Brawner's Farms, and so generate at least twice the lossses that they should.


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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:44 pm 
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My analysis, and how I arrived at my PDT values, is based upon both the historical and HPS regiments fully exhausting their ammunition. If the historical regiment has 60 rounds per man -- 40 might be normal, but the comparison with HPS would be even more lopsided -- and the HPS has 24 (I consider LOW AMMO units to be statistically insignificant), then multiplying the expected historical hits for one volley by 2.5 (60/24) will produce the expected value for the HPS regiment. The time frame over which these firings take place is immaterial whether over 20 minutes or 2 hours. Total casualties, excluding melees, will be determined by available ammunition regardless the length of an engagement. The fact that HPS randomizes ammunition change (1/24 possibility) also does not affect my calculations. Statistically, it will exhaust its ammunition after 24 firings. Considering an entire battle, some units may never undergo an ammunition change.

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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:41 pm 
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I've got to admit, what you just posted is above my pay grade. I'd be interested to know where in the pdt would you place your values, maybe post an example? I have been trying to figure this stuff out for about four years..


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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:46 pm 
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The entry in the PDT file for rifles would appear as follows:

R 1 2.9 2 2.2 3 1.2 -

The PDT file can be opened in Notepad since it is just a text file. "1 2.9" indicates a value of 2.9 at 1 hex. I limit all small arms fire to maximum 3 hexes.

The factors for other small arms are driven off that of the rifle.

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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:50 pm 
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General Frost <salute>

I just looked at the pdt file (confederate standard) from the scenario my experiment was conducted and find: R 1 4 2 3 3 2 4 .75 5 .25 -1

I have another pdt which (confederate standard295) which I believe is for your scenario 295 "Down the Pike They Come" and find: R 1 4 2 3 3 2 -1

If I changed the "confederate295" to reflect what you suggested to:
R 1 2.9 2 2.2 3 1.2 -1

I assume I'd be able to do another round from that scenario with new settings; is this correct?

Highest regards,

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General Neal Hebert
Edward C. Walthall Division (2nd aka "Gator Alley")
II Corps, Army of the West
CSA Cabinet Secretary


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