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 Post subject: Worst option
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:10 pm 
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I think arty capture is the worst option on the list, which option do you find has the least value?

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:38 pm 
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Why don't you like to capture artillery?

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:19 am 
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I haven't ever worked out exactly why it is that guys don't select artillery capture. If artillery capture is on then the situation basically forces the capturing side to hold the position to get the points.

Without it, it just seems too easy to mount hit and withdrawal attacks. I don't actually play any differently with my own artillery (I try to protect them -especially on an elevation with infantry to the fore) -makes it tough to get at the positions usually -but I have played guys (who I should point out, have chosen the options), and they add artillery to their infantry front lines -and I am more than happy to relieve them of their pieces -especially in campaign games.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:55 am 
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I don't like it because it just seems to clutter up the field and as far as the points go, I couldn't care less.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:25 am 
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i don't like it because if you capture guns that are situated on a road you can't move them and that clutters the roads. in real life you would just roll them off to the side.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:44 pm 
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For me, the isolation option is the worst, and I don't use it. I understand the concept, but looking at the time frame of a turn, most times the isolated units wouldn't even know they were isolated at the time they suffer the effects of isolation. Also, in too many cases in history isolated units performed prodigies of valor.

Another option I don't use is retire by prolongue, but the only reason I don't is the tendency when moving troops in column they often pick up an artillery unit and park it in the road. And I never have understood why an artillery unit disrupts when it retires by prolongue.

The problems I have with the artillery capture rule are several.

1) The capturing unit can fire it with no penalty to infantry fire, while the recapturing unit has to recrew it to fire.

2) I think the uncrewed unit should be owned by the last occupying side, like a victory hex.

3) I think the capturing unit should get points for eliminating the crew, if applicable.

4) I think you should be able to "destroy" the artillery for purposes of a scenario by spiking it two turns in succession,
and get points accordingly.

By the way, I think being able to move unlimbered artillery one hex a turn, whether spiked or not, has merit.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:23 pm 
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Mike, I hadn't realized that captured artillery could be fired by the capturing side without first deducting manpower to recrew the guns. Is that actually the case? And if so, would you feel better about the option if a deduction were made?

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:25 pm 
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The Capture Guns option has some nice features that enhance the game, and it has some bad features that cause all sorts of problems.

First the nice features: You can capture guns and turn them on the enemy. You pick up some ammo too. If you are the owner of the guns, it means one bad piece of luck on melee can be undone by a counter-attack and recapture of the guns. That is, they don't instantly disappear due to an enemy overrun. It allows the game to reproduce fights like occurred at First Manassas for the batteries on Henry House Hill.

Then the bad: To keep the VP for the guns you have garrison the hex. Otherwise some lone unit lost in your rear areas can recapture it just before game end and take back the VP's. If you capture a gun someplace you don't plan to hold you have to bring up your own guns and shoot it out of existence to lock in the VP. For the Rebel with their ammo shortages this tends to highly favor the Union who can afford to use this tactic. The guns block roads and act as spotters every time an enemy unit passes through them. And, it can badly unbalance a scenario that is designed around one side be the attacker, and therefore able to capture guns, and one side being a defender who must give ground, losing any guns captured.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:30 pm 
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Joe Meyer wrote:
Mike, I hadn't realized that captured artillery could be fired by the capturing side without first deducting manpower to recrew the guns. Is that actually the case? And if so, would you feel better about the option if a deduction were made?


Hi, Joe,

I have run tests in the past that indicate that this is indeed the case.

In the battle reports I have read artillery was often turned on its original owners, but its effectiveness under these circumstances is
unclear. I think a deduction from the strength of the occupying unit is the minimum adjustment that should be made. I would feel better if that change was made, but I still think there is plenty of other room for improvement.

You also have the unfair situation that when the original owner recaptures the guns, he has to go through the whole procedure of re-crewing the guns, which takes time and costs men. If the capturing infantry can fire the guns in the next offensive fire phase, the recapturing
infantry should be able to do the same thing.

Of course, historically a whole crew wasn't normally wiped out when the guns were captured and they simply returned and re-manned the guns if and when they were re-captured.

I play with this option because I think it better reflects Civil War combat as I understand it than simply having the guns disappear, but I think most of the criticisms in this thread are valid.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:45 am 
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Artillery
Regarding clutter:
Well artillery is on the battlefield no matter what side owns them so there is no real sense in letting them disappear just because the crew was driven off temporarily.
And I'm unsure if it would cause any problem on the road, if the artillery unit is unlimbered would it effect infantry or cavalry in column going through that hex?
AFAIk there can be only one unit in column to use the road movement benefit so I wonder if that is really an obstacle if it's unlimbered.


Regarding Prolonge:
It can be assumed that the process isn't easy at all and that this is what the disruption is simulating, moving them 125 yards back and reposition them together with all the other stuff like ammo wagon, horses, etc. that has to be moved too, this is already indicated by the fact that you can only move from a clear hex to clear hex any terrain more difficult prohibits this.


Regarding VPs:
I say a simple houserule would be enough to solve that, for example the player that keeps the battlefield gets the full VP for artillery left behind. And if the forces stay in place it's simple to draw a frontline and say these are mine and these are yours and calculate the VPs based on that, that rules out some last turn "special forces" op to deny VPs or force a waste of ammo to fire them out of existance to gain VPs.
As for getting points for killing the crew, well not sure how it was in the Civil War but for the Napoleonic time it seems the artillery mens casualties were rather low and it could be assumed that they rather ran than fight, after all an artillery men is no infantry men.
And spiking is a form of "destroying", in the campaign game the unit will return with less pieces at least I think so, not too long ago I had read details somewhere of how artillery losses in a campaign are carried over but can't remember right now.


Regarding infantry when they occupy artillery:
Indeed that even when only temporarily holding enemy artillery pieces the infantry isn't a bit less effective in fire combat isn't that good, but again a housrule could help here, the infantry occupying should use skirmishers that would lower it's infantry fire by 100 men what seems OK when you need 25 men per gun for re-crew.
As for melee I'm not sure how that occupied artillery would be add to the melee if at all but the infantry would recall it's skirmishers and so be no less effective.
And when the guns return to the original owner he can either re-crew them or fire them exactly like the enemy did at 1/2 fire value, the original owner isn't forced to re-crew and take away men from his infantry units but of course if he wants the fire value to be at a 100% and the unit be usable like always he should re-crew it but both options are there.


Regarding scenario balance:
Well isn't it up to each player to move their artillery as long as they can? Any fixed artillery is surely taken into account by the designer as a casualty especially if the scenario is intended to run the that one side gains a lot ground while the other has to give it away.


Regarding captured artillery effectiveness:
According to the manual captured artillery fires only at 1/2 fire value so that is a lot reduction and I guess that is OK when you think about infantry had to fool around with artillery pieces while they may just had learned to use their own muskets.


@S_Trauth
A very good point why the artillery capture rule should be used, it rules out gamey hit and run assaults just to relief the enemy of it's artillery, if that would be possible it could really unbalance a scenario.


Isolation
I wonder if anyone is able to draw a such wide circle around the enemy that he doesn't know he is isolated.
It can be assume this usually happens close enough so that the troops should be well aware that all around them there is just the enemy and that they are separated from the main body, also in the game it doesn't impact the fire combat at least not instantly as it only gets a problem when the unit would run low on ammo, and for melee in that case the lower combat power can be justified that a lot men watch there backs although 1/4 seems drastic but then again that should keep the player from leaving behind some "wave breakers" as these simply could hold out long.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:01 pm 
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And I'm unsure if it would cause any problem on the road, if the artillery unit is unlimbered would it effect infantry or cavalry in column going through that hex?


actually i think you have to pay an extra movement cost and every unit of yours that passes thru the hex has to "recapture" the guns, ad infintinum. i just find it a pain myself

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:32 am 
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Dave Stotsenburg wrote:
Quote:
And I'm unsure if it would cause any problem on the road, if the artillery unit is unlimbered would it effect infantry or cavalry in column going through that hex?


actually i think you have to pay an extra movement cost and every unit of yours that passes thru the hex has to "recapture" the guns, ad infintinum. i just find it a pain myself


Actually worse than that. It makes roads/pikes/trails unusable in the hex. One of the best ways to block a road through the woods is to put a one gun section on it and let the enemy capture it. Not only that but every unit passing through the hex gets "seen" by the enemy. I've never tested it but it might completely block a ford to movement.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:32 am 
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KWhitehead wrote:
Actually worse than that. It makes roads/pikes/trails unusable in the hex. One of the best ways to block a road through the woods is to put a one gun section on it and let the enemy capture it. Not only that but every unit passing through the hex gets "seen" by the enemy. I've never tested it but it might completely block a ford to movement.

Now that point with the ford is indeed worrying. I remember in my Bull Run game I placed some artillery directly at some fords to cover them, makes one think if that should be prohibited by a house rule.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:38 am 
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Hi,

I did some checking and found that only friendly artillery will cause you a problem with movement. I used Chancellorsville to do the checking but I think all the games are the same by now.

I spiked a Union battery on a woods trail. Union had to pay woods cost to go through it. Confederate units moved through at trail rate.

I also spiked a Union artillery in a ford. Confederates used the ford as normal, but Union units were prohibited.

One thing I have noticed is if you capture a stack of enemy artillery and the total exceeds stacking limits, nobody in the hex can fire.

Some clever programming on John's part, but it's a shame you have to find out all these things out the hard way.

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 Post subject: Re: Worst option
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:05 pm 
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Thanks for that information, indeed impressive to find these things in the program but too bad it isn't in the manual.

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