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 Post subject: Visibility
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 12:46 am 
Gentlemen,

How much is the visibility (in yards) on a the field of battle during the civil war era?
For example during a "sunny" day a general on a hill how far can see an enemy unit (with or without telescope if they have) approaching his position?
And if the weather is not good?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all,

Isacco


Major General Isacco Ubaldi,
4th Cavalry Brigade,
3rd "Virginia" Cavalry Division,
II "Jackson's" Corps,
Army of Northern Virginia,
CSA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 12:52 am 
many miles for a column moving on a road, and further still to see the dust raised. But stationary in a woods? Thats a shortcoming of these games. I doubt the Union could really see much of the rebs assembling in the woods for Pickett's Charge at a much shorter distance.

BGen, 1/1/VIII/AoS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 4:16 am 
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2003 7:23 am
Posts: 111
Location: USA
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Isacco Ubaldi</i>
<br />Gentlemen,

How much is the visibility (in yards) on a the field of battle during the civil war era?
For example during a "sunny" day a general on a hill how far can see an enemy unit (with or without telescope if they have) approaching his position?
And if the weather is not good?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all,

Isacco


Major General Isacco Ubaldi,
4th Cavalry Brigade,
3rd "Virginia" Cavalry Division,
II "Jackson's" Corps,
Army of Northern Virginia,
CSA
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

There are many factors involved but excluding technology not much has changed between then and now. Terrain, weather, height advantage.
Lookout Mountain miles and miles, the Wilderness feet and feet[:D].
<b>Visibility without the use of advanced technology is limited to line of sight of the viewer and is a straight line.</b> The higher up the better observation. Weather conditions effect it as does the terrain.
At Gettysburg the Confederate Whitworth guns were able to fire from
long distance on Oak Hill and watch the confederate lines. On the first day of GB the Lutheran Seminary was used as an observation post because of its height advantage. During the Peninsula Campaign the Union used baloons. As the battle progressed smoke would begin to interfere with LOS but again Height Advantage, intervening terrain, weather, and actions of the units being viewed were main considerations as they are now.

Col. Phil Driscoll
1st Brigade/1st Division/VCorps/AoP


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 10:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1638
Location: USA
Unfortunately, the HPS and BG games have a rather simplistic model of LOS. The problem is not so much how far you can see but how good of information you can get from what you see. Second Manassas is a good example of seeing but not seeing.

Someone on the Blue Ridge mountains can easily see to Richmond on a clear day (they had those back then). But all he could actually "see" is movement of large (Corps) formations at that kind of distance. And judgement of size was based on experience of the observer and how much dust was kicked up by the troops moving.

On our map scales a person could probably make out troop movements from 1-5 miles but you probably couldn't determine the size of the formations since you couldn't see the flags to count regiments and the terrain would still break up your view sufficient that you would only see parts of formations. This is where I think HPS games fail. They allow you to judge the size of regiments to the nearest 100 men at distances up to 7000 yards.

Then there is what you can see at less than a mile. Here you should be able to count regiments but probably only have a vague idea of troops strength based on this. Until you get to less than 500 yards you can't make out men and formation density.

Then once the actual firing starts the visibility probably falls off rapidly due to smoke. Probably for most officers the battle takes place within 100 to 300 yards of them. Which is probably why most battles degenerate into a head on slugging match. No one has our arial view of the map and formations to find better places to attack.

This is all hard to simulate but HPS could do better. Question mark flags could be used on units at longer distances.


Col. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1st Div, I Corps, AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:02 am 
I agree with a lot of Ken's ideas about limiting recognition after a certain distance, but what unit determines that recognition? The closest unit? The army commander? A corps or division commander? Does a cavalry unit have better visual recognition than an infantry unit (to reflect faster transfer of knowledge via mounted couriers?)

It is all great ideas, but I imagine there are reasons it hasn't been done yet, and there are probably more than I have listed above...

Regards,
Captain Alan Lynn
3rd Battery "Jacksonville Greys"
4th Div, II Corps, AoA
God bless <><


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 4:36 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Australia
Ahh, good thread. And if they added smoke from the muskets and cannons like we see in board games, life would be grand. The biggest thing with no smoke with all HPS games ((TS-BG too) is after the battle gets going it doesn't get confusing as you can still see everywhere!

If smoke was introduced, man, would play value go way up! Fog of War would really play a better part.

I like the question marks on units more than so many hexes away. And at best when moving, either a horse, soldier, or cannon representing the fact that you could tell Cavalry from soldiers marching or limbered artillery. But non-moving units should stay as ?.

One day...

<font color="gold"><b>Lt. Col. </b></font id="gold">Paul Wakeman, <font color="limegreen">Sharpshooter</font id="limegreen">
<font color="beige">3rd</font id="beige"> '<font color="red">Jayhawk</font id="red">' <font color="beige">Brigade
1st Light Inf. Div.</font id="beige">
<b>XIX Corps, AoS,<font color="gold"> USA</font id="gold"></b>

Image

Cartographer
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 7:22 pm 
Just to muddy the view [:D]

Would it be that complicated to create a multiplayer option where the players designate commands (eg IX & VIII Corps is Playr 1, etc), and then see only what their command sees? Ideally the overall CO would see only what his counter sees, not the whole Army.

Th other side of thee coin is: personal hate how Cav can top a rise, trot a km across dead flat ground, and run into a full Corps deployed in the open that they didn't see because they began thier movement out of LOS. Cav should always have skirmisher capacity with no movement cost to rflect their ability to run away.

And yes to the other suggestions here!

Col Mike Kaulbars Image
3rd "Freiheit" Division
VIII/AoS
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 5:41 am
Posts: 873
Location: Somewhere between D.C. and the battlefield
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by greenFyre</i>
Would it be that complicated to create a multiplayer option where the players designate commands (eg IX & VIII Corps is Playr 1, etc), and then see only what their command sees? Ideally the overall CO would see only what his counter sees, not the whole Army.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

That shouldn't be too difficult. It already works that way in John Tiller's Naval Campaign Games. A great feature. I once commanded the Hochseeflotte at Jutland in a big MP game with about 10 players per side. All I had was my flagship, Friedrich der Große, and all I could actually see was the two battlewagons in front of me and behind me. I led the fleet through ICQ communication with my subordinate commanders. That was truly fascinating.

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College


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