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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:30 pm 
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Posts: 1343
Location: USA
Robert,

Not all defenders returned fire, however I included the number of only the defenders that fired. At 125 yards with no movement, for example:

400 fired offensively for 19 hits (4.75%), no return fire
350 fired offensively for 20 hits (5.71%), no return fire
450 fired offensively for 13 hits (2.89%), 437 returned fire for 8 hits (1.83%)
450 fired offensively for 9 hits (2.00%), 441 returned fire for 6 hits (1.36%)
375 fired offensively for 7 hits (1.87%), 368 returned fire for 10 hits (2.72%)
400 fired offensively for 18 hits (4.50%), 382 returned fire for 8 hits (2.09%)
325 fired offensively for 10 hits (3.08%), no return fire
375 fired offensively for 16 hits (4.27%), no return fire
375 fired offensively for 17 hits (4.53%), no return fire
400 fired offensively for 12 hits (3.00%), no return fire

Totals
3900 fired offensively for 141 hits (3.62%)
1628 (4 units) returned fire for 32 hits (1.97%)

I see part of my question is answered when you post that in turn-play defenders will always fire at half-strength. I don't see the logic in it, and guess there's no way to change it?

Also, the trigger to return fire would seem to be a little high as only 40% of the units returned what is essentially point-blank fire; you can get closer only by being in the same hex lol.

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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: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:05 pm 
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It gets worse when you fire offensively by stack. Then you get even less defensive fire. But that may have changed when they mandated ADF by stack. Now a whole stack of guns or troops firing ADF hits only one unit. If that unit happens to be a 1-man remnant, an awful lot of fire is wasted. I'm talking phase here. Don't know how it works in turn.

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MG Mike Mihalik
Forrest's Cavalry Corps
AoWest/CSA


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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 7:20 pm
Posts: 134
Location: USA
Neal,

You have clearly illustrated the whole problem with Turn-based play. Not only does the defender fire at only half value -- they have not moved --, they often do not fire at all. The "attacker" will always fire as many units as possible because this is under the control of the player, not the computer. The defender will take many losses and will quite possibly rout without even firing a shot. The defender should reply at 100% every time they are fired upon by at least one attacker. Since opportunity fire is so weak anyway because of the AI, I still endorse my previous statement.

This is part of the game engine and I can't think of anyway to alter it. Reducing the weapons values of small arms will make a big difference in routing and fatigue accumulation. Making terrain and other features artificially strong would protect the defender from the initial fire. If the defender survives the initial attack and wishes to maintain their position, they can return fire on the previous "attacker" at full value, yet the "attacker" will only respond at 1/2. Somewhat evens things out.

I had toyed with the idea of giving every hex a defensive value: Clear hexes would be -5%. A clear hex does not imply flat terrain. I think your tests are causing me to rethink some of my assumptions. Historical weapons effectiveness with terrain modifications kept as currently (not constructs such as breastworks, however) might be as about as good as it will get given the limitations of the game engine. If opportunity fire is only going to occur 50% of the time, what difference does it make if terrain modifiers might also benefit an attacker?

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MG Robert Frost
Army of Cumberland


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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:37 pm 
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There are provisions in the optional rules to make fires proportional in some situations, so that fire might not be wasted on a remnant stack or unit. Frankly, I don't see a lot of difference in results in those pdts which are half firepower (pdts 2 and 5) Also regarding pdts, pdt 4 might not be included in any scenarios, and Overland 3 is a non functional demo which will tell you what all the pdt numbers mean


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 Post subject: Re: Effectiveness of the Rifle
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:43 am 
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Posts: 1639
Location: USA
There is little you can do to fix "Turn" play. It is to broke. The idea of adding Opportunity Fire to a CW game especially when it replaces normal Defensive Fire is unworkable. It turns the CW upsided down. Instead of a war where defense had the advantage it gives it to the attacker. It would require a significant rewrite of the Defensive AI to make it work. I consider Turn play only useful for multiplayer games since it simplifies the PBEM.

The basic problem with "Turn" handling of defensive fire is that it assumes that the Defenders fire should be halved and used like "Opportunity Fire" in modern games. The flaw in this is that "Modern" games are about movement and CW games are relatively static. The "Turn" design halves the Defensive fire under the assumption that it will fire more than once therefore getting the equivalent of full strength fire over time. This assumption is wrong because the AI isn't smart enough to know when to fire and the attacker can "game" the AI to reduce the fire to at most once and sometimes none. The assumption that one to three OF's is going to cause as many casualties as Phased Defensive Fire is also wrong because Phased Defensive Fire occurs at full strength when the attacker is at his closed point (usually adjacent). OF tends to occur at longer distances where not only is it halved but attentuated by the distance on the fire table. The Attacker can also "game" the OF to cause the enemy to run out of ammo since the AI will happily pop away at maximum distances.

My opinion is the only way to fix "Turn" play is to continue the idea that lead to the "Embedded Melee" optional rule. Add an "Embedded Defensive Fire" where all the Defender's units fire full strength at the end of the Attackers movement. The fire during movement should not cause ammo use. This will make it a true "Opportunity Fire" that will discourage the attacker from excessive movements in front of enemy units. However, it creates a problem for multiplayer games because it like the Embedded Melee doesn't work well for PBEM.

The alternative is to make the game's AI a hell of lot smarter in choosing its targets and firing. The AI would have to trigger fire based on more than just expenditure of movement points within its LOS. It would need to handle fire based on not just stacks but individual units within a stack. It would need to take ammo levels and chance of kill into consideration when determining whether to fire. It would need to have different ammo depletion tests for half strength fire versus full strength. It would need the ability to upgrade its fire to full strength when units are adjacent. It would be very needy. :D

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General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
AoT II/1/3 (CSA)


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