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Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?
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Author:  mihalik [ Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

Robert Frost wrote:
1 supply point per 10 men. A division of 4,000 men with a 400 capacity supply wagon would exhaust this ammo over 24 turns of firing (offensive and defensive). This equates to 4 hours of fighting. The division would not be totally out of ammo. Some would be at full supply, some LOW AMMO, some NO AMMO. It would not be able to resupply itself, however. There is little additional supply available in most of the scenarios. This would also apply to Union divisions of 3,000 men. The reality is that CSA divisions tended to be much larger than 4,000 and thus would burn through ammo at a much faster pace. Likewise for Union divisions larger than 3,000. Looking at the way the OOBs are constructed, supply should always be adequate for a 1-day battle, but depending upon the scenario design, not so for multi-day encounters.

It would be interesting to hear from members who have actually COMPLETED 2 or 3-day scenarios. What was the ammunition situation?

I can speak to the historical Gettysburg scenario. As the Confederate, I have always run into serious infantry ammo problems before the end of the 2nd day.

I have read that historically Confederates expended only 26 rounds per man. Don't recall the source, but here is something I found on the web that tends to support that figure. ... re-at.html

The only infantry ammo shortage at Gettysburg I can recall was that suffered by the 20th Maine, which was a local temporary shortage.

Author:  KWhitehead [ Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

In Gettysburg 3 day scenarios even if using the ammo per gun optional rule you will always run out of artillery ammo by the third day and will probably use up all your wagon ammo. I never have checked to see how the ammo situation ends with the troops (how many low or out of ammo). Usually the running out of artillery ammo means the total defeat of the ANV before the morning is out of the third day.

If I am playing the three day scenario unless for some reason I think I can force a surrender by noon of the second day I practice the only control you have over ammo. I set infantry and artillery at minimum range in the AI settings. I might also withdraw all artillery except napoleons and rifled guns since they are wasting ammo at any range other than two hexes. I also don't fire anything offensively at more than three hexes unless the target is some significant shifts against it. If you do this you may have ammo at the end of the third day.

This only applies to the Confederate side. The Union side can bang away endlessly.

Author:  C. Hecht [ Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

@Robert Frost
Designer wise it doesn't look that grim, besides John Ferry there is also Ken Jones(worked on Overland only), Rich Walker and Doug Strickler.
Only one missing is Drew Wagenhoffer who did Corinth, Ozark & Vicksburg were he had help from Lee Hook who is also not on the club.

So there is a chance that the designers act but I guess at first it's up to us to act and make it as easy as possible for them to handle the any feedback that comes up to a game/scenario.

Author:  Robert Frost [ Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

Hoping I didn't miss this point in other postings on this thread, but Civil War armies did not fight hour after hour non-stop, which is pretty much a norm in these games. One could identify a number of reasons why this occurs, but it no doubt depletes ammunition much quicker than might be true historically.

Author:  Joe Meyer [ Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

Hoping I didn't miss this point in other postings on this thread, but Civil War armies did not fight hour after hour non-stop, which is pretty much a norm in these games. One could identify a number of reasons why this occurs, but it no doubt depletes ammunition much quicker than might be true historically.

What an interesting statement, Bob! In opening this discussion I hadn't taken the time to differentiate the supply issues within the range of historical and non-historical play. I may be wrong, but I've not yet seen a complete, definitive, historical study of the efficiency of the ordnance departments for either side of the conflict upon which to base a hard standard of supply applicable to these games. I'd like to hear some of the rationale used by the designers in how they came to select the supply parameters for their scenarios and campaigns.

I'm not being "sour grapes" with this. Far from it! If the designers felt that the ordnance logistics of a battle or campaign be an uncertain element to the commanders, then they certainly succeeded with the way infantry units are randomly exposed to ammo depletion and the less than sufficient methods of resupply. Once again, I will restate that the current game mechanics of ammo depletion could be so much more predictable were it based upon the actual activity of the unit, much the same way that fatigue is acquired! At least that way, a commander could actually see which of his units were running low, react accordingly and more properly deal with the logistics of the fight. Such a system would would more nearly reflect that to which Bob alluded: namely that Civil War armies didn't fight hour after hour non-stop. Furthermore, once such a system were incorporated, a "simple" option could be included for those of us who wish to bang away to their heart's content.

Author:  D. Hampel [ Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

Officers <salute>,

I think a very simple fix here is to add the ammo to each unit into the OOB file. This would make the ammo levels specific to each unit as they conduct battle. Good example of the flaws of the current design is that I captured a Rebel artillery which was out of ammo but I immediately re-supplied it because I still had ammo left. My units were truly way to far away to resupply the unit. I turned thier empty guns on them with devastating results.

Each unit should consume and deplete it's ammo during combat based on the number of men in the unit or its artillery guns. Currently it is a random percent that a unit will go low on ammo; which doesn't seem to be a realistic monitoring for ammo. Some units can fight far beyond thier supply capacity with no signs of Low Ammo. Or other units go to Low Ammo at thier first engagement with the enemy.

This also brings up a good point for supply wagons to replenish artillery units as well.

Author:  John Ferry [ Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

Once again, we go from discussing what we as players and designers can do to control supply situations to proposing engine changes, such as explicit artillery supply, which is way beyond our pay grades.
As a designer, if I don't think the supply wagons carry enough, I simply add more wagons. One of the reasons for the "monster" scenarios is to give players a chance to exercise control over their supply trains, getting them where they are supposed to go, keeping up with combat elements that always (properly) move faster, avoiding enemy raiders, etc etc. Many times units run out of ammo because the trains are too far away.
I'm not a believer in setting artillery ammo supply at such low levels that they end up pretty much ending the battle, case in point for me, the first time, was playtesting Chattanooga and seeing the union army run out of shells.
As for tempo, mentioned by Robert Frost, these computerized battles are fought at an operation tempo (OPTEMPO) in army jargon, that is busier than real life by a factor of three or four. One way to calculate this, very roughly, is by fighting a historic battery basically as it was fought historically, and compare game losses with historic.

John Ferry
Overland co-designer

Author:  Robert Frost [ Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

As John has stated above, changes to the game engine are highly unlikely. Through the PDT, however, one can exert great influence on these games. For example, I could make melee the "modus operandi" of attack (if not already the case) by setting stacking at 1500 let's say. Conversely, I can turn any scenario into WWI by reducing stacking to 500. Now, before you point out that there are many units larger than 500, I am simply making a general statement. Via the PDT, one can change a scenario without actually creating a new one.

Sticking to the theme of this thread, supply, how can the PDT be utilized? If supply is considered to be insufficient (using Gettysburg as an example), then change the necessity of drawing supply. The change ratio is 1/24. Where did this come from? Got me. It could just as well have been 1/12 with twice the supply wagons. But, if one determines that supply needs to "increase" for a give scenario by 40%, then multiply 24 by 1.4. = 33.6. The game engine will truncate so I would change the 24 to 34 in the PDT and, voila, you have increased infantry ammo by 40%. Open the SCN of the battle you intend to fight and view the PDT it references. Go to the main library for the game you are using and make a copy of that PDT. Make the change directly to the "original", ie. the name is unchanged. When you launch this scenario it will be using the new value.

Artillery ammo is a different story. Both small arms and artillery are rated for their utility on a firing range, not their actual effectiveness in battle. In the former case, the maximum effective range for small arms should be 3 hexes. In the case of artillery -- at least for field artillery -- the effective range should be that at which trained crews actually fired. They conserved their ammo for close range, since Civil War artillery was primarily a defensive weapon. Both situations can be controlled by reducing the ranges in the Weapons Effectiveness table of the PDT. Speaking only of field artillery here, I would say that the maximum effective range should be that at which a specific type has a factor of 2. By making such changes, the AI (or ADF) cannot fire beyond the established range. In this case the AI (ADF) can only fire at a hex for which it has a factor of at least 2.

My preference is to manipulate the game engine to achieve desired results, and not be concerned whether it is totally consistent with the possible. If you can't take a long range pot shot at some enemy column, so what? You would be practicing the same bad artillery tactics that you excoriate the AI for using.

Author:  S_Trauth [ Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

Don't the stacking limits also amount to how many can literally fit into that space? I mean technically sure you can set it to whatever, but I don't know that you can really have 1500 men acting effectively in a 100 meter or yard length of space, and that is exactly what you are asking of that engine if you code the stacking limits to that high of a figure.

Granted I am much more familiar with the workings of the Musket and Pike engine (and there is no reason that it can't be used for pretty much any grand tactical situation with a little bit of adjustment), so there are going to be features in there that are not present in other engines (say the CWB for one).

With supply, I think that you can code the frequency as a percentage as to if units will run out of ammo; coding every unit with a finite amount? Personally I think that sounds like a research nightmare (or realistically you are never going to have that sort of information, so doing it creates an artificial construct and implies that you can).

Fighting too hard and too long; - easy to address, and needs testing - and I have done it (although technically at this point it needs more broad testing and a nice big set of play notes to explain if you try to fight like a Napoleonic or Civil War, or WWII battle, things will probably not work out too well if your opponent adopts a more period centric tactic) - but in the other engine. I can make a fairly large and robust army fall apart in about 2 or 3 turns if it is handled too rashly. A lot of this is morale and fatigue related, along with not having leaders all over the place to create artificial bonuses for combat effects (or by giving more effective armies more -as a form of combat bonuses that can be degraded as they begin to be lost). It is a bit of a double edged sword). Mind you I did this because it is exactly what I found in my sources as what happened.

You can take all missile combat out of the equation by changing around the weapons' types, and you can adjust melee bonuses per unit (granted in MP it is not based upon whole number percentage figures (no decimal points), so it is a bit more broad of an application. I guess the really interesting thing is that you can code negative amounts for 'bonuses' -which has a lot of potential too I think.

Of course I forgot to address the supply wagon issue and my take on it - I will try to remember to edit that in when I have more time, but it amounts to quantity of wagons, and the availability to have that amount of mobile supply, but granted too, in MP you can set up to iirc 999 points per wagon.

Author:  John Ferry [ Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

Never had much use for muskets and pikes. Didn't say I don't know how to use them. You lost me, Steve. Please elaborate.
John Ferry
2nd Div, 20th Army Corps
Army of the Cumberland

Author:  S_Trauth [ Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

Part of my point was that technically, you could, if you want create American Civil War scenarios with the Musket and Pike engine. In that sense it is just a brand name of the engine. In this sense 'you' is meant to be any end user. Ok, yes, maps - but given a map - nothing would prevent it from being modeled.

There are similarities though, although really what I was talking about how things are modeled, broadly as well.

Also I was applying some design considerations that I have had to make; stacking is one of those things, and take a single guy and give him a bit of personal space on either side of him, and you got what, about a meter or a yard at the very least. 100 meters/yards from one hexside to another- and how many guys are able to be in that one place standing abreast at any given moment?

Say you have a square formation of 100 men wide and 100 men deep - that's only a 1000 guys, where do the other 500 of the 1500 men example fit? In my own work I concluded that they couldn't possibly be in the same space at the same time, ever. The equation is similar with mounted units, but naturally there would have to be less horses in the same space.

All right, if someone wants to split hairs, the 'shape' of units in other periods are not going to be either a line or a column, so the comparison is not exact - in my mind though it isn't an apples and oranges situation so much as it might be a Granny Smith vs a McIntosh situation, because taking up space is one of those known knowns.

MP, as an engine, is more flexible than both CWB and NB (in a lot of regards). It is sort of tempting to see about getting a map for a smaller battle as a test, something like maybe Wilsons Creek -but I don't know, I don't think I will have the time to play around with something specific like that to prove it definitively.

I might, though, at some point work on some modified OOB , PDT, and Weapons.pdt re-rated, using one of the pre-existing REN maps to something more American Civil War. No schedule, though.

Author:  Robert Frost [ Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

Steve, my post was meant to illustrate that changes to the PDT can effect play without the necessity of actually creating new scenarios. My use of 1500/500 was presented as an example of this fact in the extremes, not as actual parameters. It addresses the question of both small arms and artillery supply exhaustion as described in other posts in this thread. I have no familiarity with Musket and Pike, so I don't understand your comparison.

Author:  C. Hecht [ Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

Well one thing to consider regarding the idea to detail the units ammo load is that there is also no detail on the actual fire combat.
Basically what we have is a 20 minute turn in which fire combat is conducted, how long & intense that is is not depicted and so you can argue that it's realistic to have units go on low ammo because the fire fight may turned to be long & intense, and for that there doesn't even need to be much casualties. A regimental CO losing his nerves may well order fie to soon and too long to have a good effect while still wasting ammo.
Now I'm not sure about the system of fire used in the Civil War but in the Napoleonic era there were different types of volleys, French fired by pelotons, by divisions, by demi-rang(half-rank) and by battalion. Not sure if anything like that was used in the Civil War but if so it just proves that fire combat has a lot more detail than just ammo, you can really depict ammo in detail while ignoring anything else.
I guess that is why we don't have this detail because it would have need a much more detailed depiction of the fire combat.

Author:  D. Hampel [ Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?


Is the intent here just to customize our own scenarios with the .pdt file and the scenario for personal play or is the intent to fix something that isn't working correctly? As we all have the ability to modify the .pdt file and tweak the scenarios ourselves, with the scenario editor, there is no real issue here. It's just a debate about which supply level and % risk of having low ammo is adequate (or simulate fouled rifle effects).

There seems to be a know reality that these games are dying and there is little to near "0" percent chance of having a program change in a published update release. It appears we are a dying breed like the old 8 track system and are unable to evolve to the cassette or DVD player.

I believe Ken Whitehead's approach to an Open Sourced version was probable our best chance to evolve and survive but even that has little traction. If you feel the ammo % is off, it can be adjusted in the .pdt file. If you feel there isn't enough ammo you can increase the ammo supply in the wagons or add more wagons. Even if you do these things is it only a single personal update or is there intent to provide an update distribution of the change?

I love the idea of using the forum for review, debate and ideas but if it really leads to nothing isn't is just a bunch of HOT text (air)?

One of the best sources for information I been able to identify with the club is Ken Miller's Engineering Department site. This has been by far the most beneficial site I've found for the HPS/JTS games.
Gen. Ken Miller - Three cheers to you my good man! *Hurrah!* *Hurrah!* *Hurrah!*

Well, I'll let you continue your discussion of .pdt and scenario wagon tweaks and will keep any eye out to when a slim chance of an update would be released for program enhancements.

Author:  S_Trauth [ Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do Those Supply Wagons Carry Enough?

I guess I ought to clarify, that while I am interested in seeing just how adaptable the MP engine is, I am not that interested in modding, unless it involves validating some combat models.

I don't know about dying so much as I am sure there is a use for some artists that create their own material; or in other words bottlenecks are not always the ones that you think that they might be. It is true though that you are not going to see many big changes on series that are about played out, and it has been said that there are not many more titles to go in either CWB or NB - the CWB part was said on these boards here about when either Chancellorsville or Overland came out ( I think that it was C-ville, because I sort of seem to remember Overland may have been in testing) - point being you'd have to go back a few years - I think Mr Walker made the post, but I could be wrong.

About the distribution, the question is, when there are engine updates in any series, are published titles' scenarios redone to work in the engines' new capabilities? I think the answer in the past to that question is the same answer to anything suggesting a mass update to scenarios. If you want it done, got for it; if you want hosting for that, ask - it can be arranged (maybe not directly at JTS - that is something that isn't mine to say), just ask me -there has to be something to host though, and I am not interested in hosting art mods, there are enough guys out there that have their own solution in place anyway. So what I am saying is - sometimes it is up to the users to make things lead to something else. I can provide some place to build things, but am not going to do the building. However the only changes that can be made are those that are allowed by JTS (that's the condition that I have to host material, as I have a working relationship with them, that is not going to be impacted; I run the website, it isn't theirs.).

I guess the only reason that I even mentioned the M&P engine was that I was thinking about working with some combat models (I think I mentioned something like maybe Rome at about the early Imperial period, or something else that was largely melee based with shorter ranged missile combat), just to see how it would work (which was an idea I got while nutting out solutions to my actual project). Adding in the Civil War stuff would basically be the same sort of work -but it isn't really a focus -and if I had to guess is not something that I will ever get to -because, frankly there is a lot of work to do that has more at stake than just playing around with something that is not going to generate something in return.

Robert: I understand what you were doing, and that is valid; I was just pointing out that there is more to stacking limits than arbitrary numbers and that scale is a factor.

The comparison come from that it is another JTS grand tactical engine (granted with only a single title published), and unlike the other grand tactical series (CWB and NB), is not near maturation, and there is the possibility for probably being more flexible with engine changes; the name 'Musket and Pike' was always probably too broad of a name when they went with it. I don't think anyone is getting that, so I will probably just go away.

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