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 Post subject: Full Melee Defensive Fire Flaw?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:26 pm 
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I've recently sent off a request to HPS support regarding an apparent flaw in a game I am waging with my erstwhile opponent, Justin Kowal. We are playing Scenario 062-Kennesaw June 20 Chase V.1, Battles for the Kennesaw line June 20, 1864 from the HPS Campaign Atlanta package. We are both properly updated to the most recent version. We have all of the optional rules, including the Full Melee Defensive Fire option checked "ON," with the exception of the Manual Defensive Fire, thus playing in the Turn-based mode.

The flaw appears to be that no defensive fire is activated once a melee has been attempted! This has happened twice in the present game, although Justin and I had surmised that the missing defensive fire prior to the first melee was due to a dismounting cavalry unit (actually an unlimbering horse artillery unit) present within the target hex. But that is not the case in the second event, and we've sent Rich Hamilton the game file for examination.

Has anyone else experienced this type of problem?

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: Full Melee Defensive Fire Flaw?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:48 pm 
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Hi, Joe,

The way I read it from the help file, the unit is not guaranteed to defensive fire before melee, but if it does, it will be at full strength rather than half strength.

Select Full Melee Defensive Fire to have defensive fire conducted by the program against attacking units in melee at full strength instead of halfstrength.

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MG Mike Mihalik
Forrest's Cavalry Corps
AoWest/CSA


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 Post subject: Re: Full Melee Defensive Fire Flaw?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:43 pm 
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Interesting, Mike. I had thought that the Full Melee Defensive Fire (FMDF) option was generated as a hard answer against blitzkrieg tactics in the Turn-based mode. In all of the games that I've played in this particular format I cannot ever remember a melee wherein defensive fire from a unit(s) being meleed was absent...and that's quite a few melees. I've seen instances where even defending melee unit(s) out of ammo were able to deliver at least a bare minimum of defensive fire. But I suppose that my experiences might be an exception to the rule in that regard.

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: Full Melee Defensive Fire Flaw?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:56 pm 
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Hi, Joe,

I haven't played turn in ages so I can't say it ain't so. That second line of my original response is what it says in the main help document for Campaign Chickamauga,
which seems to indicate that the defending unit fires at full strength when meleed only if it fires at all. How that works with stacks I don't know. Do some fire? do
all fire? Beats me. That's one of the reasons I now play phased almost exclusively.

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MG Mike Mihalik
Forrest's Cavalry Corps
AoWest/CSA


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 Post subject: Re: Full Melee Defensive Fire Flaw?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:22 am 
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I believe there is some type of moral check so defensive fire is a 100% chance of happening. I think they made the same assumption as in Opportunity Fire that because there will be multiple attempts to fire the unit shouldn't be able to fire at every one of them. For example, if you are attempting to melee a unit from every hex around the unit there will be six attempts to add to melee. Each one can trigger a defensive fire. To average out the defensive fire I believe it makes a morale check first.

However, I haven't tested this. Also, there are some indications that once a unit does fire the odds of make a second fire go down. Someone would have to set up some tests to see unless HPS comes back and tells us the underlying logic.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Full Melee Defensive Fire Flaw?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:35 am 
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Joe,

I did a study of opportunity fire a couple of years ago. A PDF document is stored at the ACW Engineering site.

100% pre-melee fire is not guaranteed and is limited -- maybe excluded -- for disrupted units. Higher morale units appear more likely to fire than their lesser brethren.

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MG Robert Frost
Army of Cumberland


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 Post subject: Re: Full Melee Defensive Fire Flaw?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:47 pm 
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Can we equate normal, defensive opportunity fire generated by the program to be similar to the Full Defensive Melee Fire option? Was not the FDMF option specifically designed to counter the blitzkrieg assault tactics within Turn-based play, or is it designed as just another round of opportunity fire for those units being meleed? If, in addition to the current organizational status, morale and strength values of the defending unit(s), there are frequency qualifiers to the word "FULL" involved, then would not the option seem to be misrepresented?

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: Full Melee Defensive Fire Flaw?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:35 pm 
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Just to further elaborate on the issue that General Joe Meyer and I are encountering is with units that are essentially at full strength, full of ammo, not disrupted, not detached, haven't just changed into a line formation, etc. In previous games that I have played in HPS Atlanta, a melee with Full Melee Defensive Fire would generate a response in every case that I can remember.

In Kennesaw Chase, we were maneuvering for like 60+ turns so we only encountered this issue 2/3rds of the way into the scenario. Could a work around be that the attacker should save the turn before the melee phase and only proceed until defensive fire is returned? I haven't initiated an infantry melee yet in this game, so the issue could affect my attacks as well - right not, it's only on General Joe's end.

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Col. Justin Kowal
Co. I (Panna Maria Grays), 6th Texas Infantry
5th Brigade, Hindman’s Division (3rd Division)
Stewart's Corps (2nd Corps)
Army of the West (AotW)
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 Post subject: Re: Full Melee Defensive Fire Flaw?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:48 pm 
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Joe Meyer wrote:
Can we equate normal, defensive opportunity fire generated by the program to be similar to the Full Defensive Melee Fire option? Was not the FDMF option specifically designed to counter the blitzkrieg assault tactics within Turn-based play, or is it designed as just another round of opportunity fire for those units being meleed? If, in addition to the current organizational status, morale and strength values of the defending unit(s), there are frequency qualifiers to the word "FULL" involved, then would not the option seem to be misrepresented?


Hi, Joe,

My understanding was that the fix to the blitz was the alternate melee resolution option. That made melee a separate phase that occurred after all movement and fire had been completed. The blitz occurred when rear units would move up and melee a blocking enemy unit out of the way and then exploit the hole with their front units to penetrate behind the lines. I think the full melee defensive fire option was adopted to help alleviate the anemic defensive fire inherent in the turn-based system, which is another reason I play phase.

As to whether it was misrepresented, I copied the description of the Full Defensive Melee Fire option in my initial response. Sounds like it is working as advertised.

Having said that, your opponent suggested replaying the melee until you get melee defensive fire as a workaround. As far as the club is concerned, I think whatever
you both agree on is acceptable.

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MG Mike Mihalik
Forrest's Cavalry Corps
AoWest/CSA


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 Post subject: Re: Full Melee Defensive Fire Flaw?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:00 pm 
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Joe,

I copied the following from the document I previously mentioned:

The problem with judging pre-Melee fire is that it is difficult to determine which unit(s) fired. Only once did I observe all units fire -- the program listed 3 results -- from the hex to be meleed. In all other cases it appeared to be a subset (1 or 2) of the stacked units. In some cases NO units fired from the targeted hex. This latter situation was encountered in 3 of 18 melees initiated against artillery only, 5 of 29 initiated against infantry only, and 7 of 28 initiated in a separate test against artillery and infantry combined. In some cases pre-Melee fire initiated from other than the hex to be meleed. In some pre-Melee situations units which were unfired prior remained so after completion. Most melees were conducted from a single attacking hex, although some were from multiples.

...By marking a hex for Melee in Turn-based play and adding attackers, one causes “movement” which appears to be handled in much the same manner as regular opportunity fire.


All of the tests I conducted were of full strength, 0 fatigue CSA infantry vs. Union targets in the same condition. A sizable percentage of attempted melees exhibited no defender response. In addition to being less than 100%, pre-melee fire seldom includes all defenders in the hex -- at least as indicated by the results I observed.

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MG Robert Frost
Army of Cumberland


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 Post subject: Re: Full Melee Defensive Fire Flaw?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:34 am 
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MG Robert Frost,

Much appreciate the analysis! So, perhaps the rule is working as outlined? General Joe Meyer is probably one lucky son of a b****!!!! :-)

Cheers,

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Col. Justin Kowal
Co. I (Panna Maria Grays), 6th Texas Infantry
5th Brigade, Hindman’s Division (3rd Division)
Stewart's Corps (2nd Corps)
Army of the West (AotW)
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 Post subject: Re: Full Melee Defensive Fire Flaw?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:39 pm 
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Gentlemen, I wish to thank all of you for a very interesting and clarifying discussion to my questions. Once again, I am amazed at the knowledge displayed in this club and the very straightforward and kindly presentation of it! As a result I believe that Justin and I will elect to resume our contest with all of this information in mind and see what develops. If so, I'll also signal Rich Hamilton that unless he's on to something else regarding my support submission, that he shelve the request.

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: Full Melee Defensive Fire Flaw?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:03 pm 
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Glad to be of assistance. If you have never visited the ACW Engineering site maintained by Ken Miller, you should. It has a lot of very useful information in terms of understanding the underlying system -- that which can be controlled -- of these games. PDT files are central features.

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MG Robert Frost
Army of Cumberland


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