ACWGC
* ACWGC     * Dpt. of Records       * CSA HQ    * VMI    * Join CSA    
   * Union HQ    * UMA    * Join Union     ACWGC Memorial
CSA Armies:    ANV    AotW
Union Armies:    AotT     AotC      AotP      AotS     Union Army Forums
     Link Express
American Civil War Books, Magazines and Games for sale (See other items)
Club Forums:     NWC    CCC     Home Pages:     NWC    CCC    ACWGC
It is currently Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:40 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:20 pm
Posts: 1138
Location: USA
Do the JTS/HPS games effectively capture the reality of cavalry tactics and operations as they existed in the ACW?

Operationally the cavalry performs, I think, in a somewhat realistic manner when performing their recon and anti-recon roles. Their movement factor allows them to traverse the field with a good bit of speed and distance within the 20-minute portion of a normal, daylight game turn. So they can get to where they need to go in a relatively small amount of time. Moreover they can keep this speedy movement up for an entire daylight turn, which may strike some players as too strong a capability. Does "FORWARD, AT A GALLOP" need to be shaded by a fatigue factor?

Additionally un-disrupted cavalry are blessed with a mounted skirmish capability within forested terrain! (Woe be to the can't-wait-to-get-there player who loves to drag his cavalry down along those forested roads.) This innovation was, I think, among some of the best that JTF has implemented.

There's nothing like spotting a 50-man cavalry detachment upon the highest elevation around and being able to see virtually everything. Its part of the ever-present eyeball game played in any battle. There were a few balloons floating around in the 1860's, but there were no helicopters. Line of sight was strictly limited to the human eyeballs in relation to the elevation of the ground the human owner occupied. This is true for all the branches of service in ACW combat, although one might make a case for the unrealistic, instantaneous transmission of observation knowledge to the commanders who most needed it. The military battlefield telegraph, when available, was beginning to help ease the time lag in the transmission of information, but it was nowhere near instantaneous. In that respect a semaphore or flag signal station was the next best thing to a delayed courier: but even then it took precious time to both send and receive the coded message. So small cavalry detachments are favored as the best thing to use in the high-point observation role because they can usually get there before anything else and leave quickly if they have to. All in all these things might provide still more justification for reducing the 70-hex range of sight.

Cavalry vs cavalry combat, mounted or dismounted, each bear, I think, some additional consideration. Mounted open (as opposed to surrounded) combat yields few casualties, but always a disrupted state, which favors the better classified morale in the subsequent turn. I suppose that this reflects the reality of the era as long as the combat remains open and mounted. Mounted surrounded combat introduces a whole new element in cavalry combat, the inability by rule for the defeated unit to retreat into an attacker's zone of control. No matter the number of defenders, this rule holds complete sway in the design and tactical pursuance of combat. Players must learn the art of what I refer to as long-range chess! In other words, strive to not let your opponent get so close as to gallop around your flanks and isolate your potential retreat hexes. In this respect a 25-man enemy detachment sitting in your rear is just as powerful as a 500-man regiment! It doesn't matter if you suffer a rout or disruption!

If we're speaking of mounted cavalry vs dismounted cavalry we're immediately thrown on our heels by the can't-fire-for-20-minutes-after-dismounting rule! The picture imposed upon us here is that a mounted column wheels into line by squadrons, dismounts, and takes position in a line of kneeling troopers taking a full 20-minutes before firing a shot. The thinking here had to have been to strip a mounted defender from the possibility of blasting the oncoming mounted force with well-directed fire within a simulated 20-minute time span. Two assumptions seem to make this rule odd: first, that the oncoming mounted force will wait to advance until the next turn, and, second, that with the rule in play anyone would be so foolish as to bare their breasts so openly in the face of a mounted assault given the surround possibilities already mentioned. Yet, how many actual ACW actions were composed of dismounted vs. mounted cavalry? The answer is quite a few! Perhaps this rule needs to be rescinded.

We are told that the ACW was one of the most innovative eras of warfare for a number of critical reasons, not the least of which was the introduction of the rifled musket. If you want to begin to understand ACW tactics, you must always start with that! So what are we to make of a game in which an otherwise under-armed and near equal strength, mounted cavalry force can eliminate an enemy infantry force almost always armed with that superior, rifled musket for no other reason that it happens to be caught undeployed in a column formation? Here again we are subjected to the interpretation of the 20-minute game turn. At what point would a column of infantry realize that it was the target of a mounted assault? If it was minute #19, there's a good chance that not many rifles could be brought to bear on those fat horse/man targets bearing down upon them. But if it was minute #1, then I surmise that quite a few hammers would be cocked and fired at least twice or three times as the cavalry closed. There are so many other factors to muddy the waters in this interpretation that I would be reluctant to suggest a modification until everyone else arrived at a consensus. But is it fair and realistic to adopt the system currently in play for each such encounter? Has the cavalry be given a capacity that it rarely had unless in overwhelming numbers? Is the surround rule, as it currently stands, an equalizer or a poor application of the time-honored, hex-based Zone-of-Control?

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


Image


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1639
Location: USA
Because HPS games are based on the activity that can take place over 20 minutes it will have some problems handling units like cavalry which had faster movement and actions than the time interval can simulate. So HPS rules are always a compromise.

It also depends on which rule set you are using, Turn on Phased. For example, cavalry can dismount, form line, advance and fire in Turn play.

We also give units of all types in the Civil War to much credit for being able to do things quickly. Yes they can march huge distances in 20 minutes using double time. They could fire a volley every 20 seconds if they really pushed it. Cavalry could fire its weapons from horseback, it use to be a standard tactic before Napoleonic times. Cavalry was difficult to bring down if it chose to avoid contact.

But in reality during the CW most of these advantages were lost in poor training, slow command chains, fog of war, poor leadership, etc.

Almost no CW infantry achieved the 20 second fire rate for more than a couple of volleys. Other things quickly stopped them. Fear of running out of ammo since 20 second volleys uses up all your ammo in less than 15 minutes. To simulate this in HPS would mean every unit would fire once and be ammo depleted immediately. Guns became fouled. Targets lay down to render the fire ineffective.

CW Cavalry, unlike Napoleonic, only trained for two types of combat. They were either light cavalry good for raiding and scouting which is what most of Confederate early cavalry was. Or they were dragoons designed to ride onto the battlefield and dismount and fight as infantry. Which is what most Union cavalry was after they gave up trying to be light cavalry.

Since most HPS games take place after the recon activities and before the pursuit activities, there isn't really a function for light cavalry. The ridiculous line of sight, 70 hexes, limits the need for recon. Also, cavalry in recon mode would be deployed in small groups of 25 to 100 men which the game seldom includes. Most scenarios have the cavalry set up for dragoon mode with large regiments. If the scenario has small cavalry units they are usually used for their blocking capacity if the other side doesn't have cavalry to run them off with.

The HPS/JT games have a serious LOS problem both because of the long distance used, 70 hexes, and that they are all seeing. A unit two hexes away is seen with the same detail as a unit 70 hexes away, over four and half miles. Cavalry strategically placed and put almost the entire map under observation. And since they are all armed with radios there is virtually no fog of war. This is something I will give a tip of the hat to Brother against Brother. They put fog of war back into the game.

Don't give the rifled musket to much credit for changing warfare. Command and control difficulties reduced it to a minor influence. Average Fire fight ranges were only extended a few yards by their introduction. The old style musket was actually more effective for infantry vs infantry fighting. What it did do is force artillery to keep its distance and infantry could no longer stand out 300 yards while they formed up to attack.

There was no heavy cavalry. No cavalry unit was deliberately armed and trained to charge infantry. Even during Napoleonic warfare this kind of tactic only worked once the enemy infantry was reduced or demoralized. During the CW they just weren't trained and armed to be effective against infantry so rarely achieved anything.

But cavalry as raiders could play hell with infantry caught in route column if they hit them from the rear or front. Side shouldn't work since route infantry can quickly form a line to the sides. This though is a rather difficult thing to simulate on HPS's scale.

My general opinion on Infantry in column is it should be extremely vulnerable to any enemy attack of any type. That is because the player shouldn't have infantry in column any where near enemy troops because it was stupid during the Civil War and it should be stupid in the game. Unfortunately HPS/JT's Turn play rewards using the formation making it superior to line formation for attack. I personally think the combat penalty for being caught in line in Turn play ought to be increased about ten times so no one would use the formation for running around on the battlefield. Route column is not column of companies.

There are a large number of subtopics in the post. Each one could be separated into a separate discussion thread to do them justice.

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


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:17 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:26 pm
Posts: 528
Lots of interesting points here. 70 hexes is exactly five miles in the game scale, and I agree it is an unrealistic distance for getting consistent sightings of the enemy, but there are instances of units being sighted at such distance. The outpost on Clark's Mtn, at the beginning of Overland, not only spotted troops, but were able to report they were moving columns as they marched in front of bonfires. Rather like how astronomers identify far away planets as they pass in front of their star. Also, Custer's scouts spotted the Sioux camps at a distance of 12 miles as I recall, from the Crow's Nest. 70 hexes with a probability percentage would be a good compromise.
70 hexes is the default distance. The distance can be shortened in the pdt to anything we want, and I am up for doing that in future projects, or updates to Overland. I invite anyone to please send suggestions on what you think the max should be, or if there are scenario specific distances, such as a rainy day at the Mule Shoe.
John Ferry
Overland co-designer


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:13 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:58 pm
Posts: 10
KWhitehead wrote:
Because HPS games are based on the activity that can take place over 20 minutes it will have some problems handling units like cavalry which had faster movement and actions than the time interval can simulate. So HPS rules are always a compromise.

It also depends on which rule set you are using, Turn on Phased. For example, cavalry can dismount, form line, advance and fire in Turn play.

We also give units of all types in the Civil War to much credit for being able to do things quickly. Yes they can march huge distances in 20 minutes using double time. They could fire a volley every 20 seconds if they really pushed it. Cavalry could fire its weapons from horseback, it use to be a standard tactic before Napoleonic times. Cavalry was difficult to bring down if it chose to avoid contact.

But in reality during the CW most of these advantages were lost in poor training, slow command chains, fog of war, poor leadership, etc.

Almost no CW infantry achieved the 20 second fire rate for more than a couple of volleys. Other things quickly stopped them. Fear of running out of ammo since 20 second volleys uses up all your ammo in less than 15 minutes. To simulate this in HPS would mean every unit would fire once and be ammo depleted immediately. Guns became fouled. Targets lay down to render the fire ineffective.

CW Cavalry, unlike Napoleonic, only trained for two types of combat. They were either light cavalry good for raiding and scouting which is what most of Confederate early cavalry was. Or they were dragoons designed to ride onto the battlefield and dismount and fight as infantry. Which is what most Union cavalry was after they gave up trying to be light cavalry.

Since most HPS games take place after the recon activities and before the pursuit activities, there isn't really a function for light cavalry. The ridiculous line of sight, 70 hexes, limits the need for recon. Also, cavalry in recon mode would be deployed in small groups of 25 to 100 men which the game seldom includes. Most scenarios have the cavalry set up for dragoon mode with large regiments. If the scenario has small cavalry units they are usually used for their blocking capacity if the other side doesn't have cavalry to run them off with.

The HPS/JT games have a serious LOS problem both because of the long distance used, 70 hexes, and that they are all seeing. A unit two hexes away is seen with the same detail as a unit 70 hexes away, over four and half miles. Cavalry strategically placed and put almost the entire map under observation. And since they are all armed with radios there is virtually no fog of war. This is something I will give a tip of the hat to Brother against Brother. They put fog of war back into the game.

Don't give the rifled musket to much credit for changing warfare. Command and control difficulties reduced it to a minor influence. Average Fire fight ranges were only extended a few yards by their introduction. The old style musket was actually more effective for infantry vs infantry fighting. What it did do is force artillery to keep its distance and infantry could no longer stand out 300 yards while they formed up to attack.

There was no heavy cavalry. No cavalry unit was deliberately armed and trained to charge infantry. Even during Napoleonic warfare this kind of tactic only worked once the enemy infantry was reduced or demoralized. During the CW they just weren't trained and armed to be effective against infantry so rarely achieved anything.

But cavalry as raiders could play hell with infantry caught in route column if they hit them from the rear or front. Side shouldn't work since route infantry can quickly form a line to the sides. This though is a rather difficult thing to simulate on HPS's scale.

My general opinion on Infantry in column is it should be extremely vulnerable to any enemy attack of any type. That is because the player shouldn't have infantry in column any where near enemy troops because it was stupid during the Civil War and it should be stupid in the game. Unfortunately HPS/JT's Turn play rewards using the formation making it superior to line formation for attack. I personally think the combat penalty for being caught in line in Turn play ought to be increased about ten times so no one would use the formation for running around on the battlefield. Route column is not column of companies.

There are a large number of subtopics in the post. Each one could be separated into a separate discussion thread to do them justice.


Kennon this is well written and spot on in so many ways. Was a great read and I agree with nearly everything you say. Kudos to you, good sir.

_________________
Lt Michael EF Barycki
4th Bde, 2nd Div, 20th Corps, Army of the Cumberland


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1639
Location: USA
John Ferry wrote:
Lots of interesting points here. 70 hexes is exactly five miles in the game scale, and I agree it is an unrealistic distance for getting consistent sightings of the enemy, but there are instances of units being sighted at such distance. The outpost on Clark's Mtn, at the beginning of Overland, not only spotted troops, but were able to report they were moving columns as they marched in front of bonfires. Rather like how astronomers identify far away planets as they pass in front of their star. Also, Custer's scouts spotted the Sioux camps at a distance of 12 miles as I recall, from the Crow's Nest. 70 hexes with a probability percentage would be a good compromise.
70 hexes is the default distance. The distance can be shortened in the pdt to anything we want, and I am up for doing that in future projects, or updates to Overland. I invite anyone to please send suggestions on what you think the max should be, or if there are scenario specific distances, such as a rainy day at the Mule Shoe.
John Ferry
Overland co-designer

What is described from Clark mountain is possible but not typical. They were looking at an army of over 100,000 men marching on roads in neat almost continuous columns. Not one to five regiments strung out in route column. They didn't need to pick out individuals or flags. All they were interested in is what roads they were on and whether they were looking at divisions or Corps. If there had been a little haze in the air that morning they would have probably seen nothing at all. I looked into this extensively when I was trying to determine what is a reasonable distance for recognizing troops when it was designing my game. It turns out the number is quite low. It is even lower if you are talking about reports from some private in the cavalry who may not even know how to estimate the size of a force.

When you look at the actual apparent size of a distance object a six foot man is reduced to a dot very quickly. I don't have my notes in front of me so I can't quote sizes but pretty much counting soldiers is impossible at 600 yards. They are just a blue line across the landscape. You can probably tell infantry from cavalry at that distance and a regiment from a company but that is about it. But even this level of sighting is questionable because even flat terrain wasn't really flat. Heavy grass growth than make everything disappear at very short distances. Two and three foot grass within a hundred feet of you will totally block sight to a line of men 300 feet from you unless you have an observation point higher than the grass. Most officers were on horseback so didn't have this problem but when you extend the distance out to miles there is a problem.

Then there is the problem even if you have LOS like standing on Little Roundtop at Gettysburg. Once you get a mile out even large bodies of troops become obscured by rolls in the land, crops, fences, etc. You may see pieces of them but not whole formations. Estimating forces sizes become very difficult for even the trained. And, if there are woods then you see nothing.

And, lastly the real problem in the game handling is that the information is 100% accurate and instantaneous. I usually place "observers" at key locations around the Gettysburg battlefield when I am playing so that every roads is under observation and most of the clear terrain. At any moment in the battle I know exactly where all the enemy troops are and their numbers. My information is accurate to location, movement, and force size to the nearest 100 men. Even on the modern battlefield with satellites, drones, and air power they can't match the amount or accuracy of what I know of the enemy on a HPS CW battlefield. When I am really serious about playing a scenario I have the OOB next to me and every unit and formation on the map identified (I use small cut up sticky notes on a printout of the game map). Every general in history would have given their right arm for such detail information.

The easiest cure in the games we have is change that 70 to something much smaller. I personally thing it should be 10. If you want to find out what if further away you have to send cavalry out to look. I would also cut down on the amount of wasted artillery ammo.

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


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2001 6:59 am
Posts: 266
Location: USA
I know it is a different scale, but in France 14 and EP 14 the visibility during the day tends to be 1 to 4 hexes, with occasional air recon that provides limited information. It makes the game so, so different--you can lose track of whole corps if you are not doing recon and sometimes "bumping" into your opponents more static fronts. So I could see 10-20 visibility range working in these games.


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:58 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:20 pm
Posts: 1138
Location: USA
Glad to see some basic game talking on this forum again! And I know that I rattled off a number of themes to open this discussion, but I think that we can stick with the Line-of-Sight range for the moment.

I, for one, totally agree that something needs to be done about the 70-hex range, both for its near perfect information resolution and for the immediacy of that information. Kennon has given us a suggestion of a 10-hex range, which upon initial read I thought was much too short! :shock: But if the fix is to be something simple and representative of all of the different ACW era interpretations and situations, then maybe such a shortening would be, in the end, very effective. But I also believe that the LOS/Range program might be modified to incorporate the Fog-of-War element by the use of "?" and partial information markers for sightings further out from the shortened, hard information range. In fact, I don't think that it would be that hard to program at least two, additional, matrix sub-routines, say from 11 to 30-hex range and 31 to 70-hex range that would correspondingly reduce both the chance and accuracy of sightings.

(But, of course, here I go again in offering suggestions that many of us believe JTS will dismiss out of hand simply because the economic rewards to improve the games would not justify the time spent. :( But you know what? I'm going to keep on making those suggestions to at least generate some erstwhile discussion by us, the organized players of these games, who really have the collective experience to fashion the elements of improvement for serious consideration. :wink: At some point, given enough of our first-hand, studied input, I think that a seriously updated and improved game engine would propel the Civil War Campaign series into a badly-needed second lifespan! 8) )

So let's talk about it! Would a 10-hex LOS range, as Kennon has postulated, provide a good fix? Or would something even less or greater be in order? Would a simple range fix suffice, or would something more be needed to reflect the elements mentioned? And, if so, why would you think that? Don't be shy. This is an important part of what these forums are all about. Everyone has a voice, no matter how long you've been a club member. :D

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


Image


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 8:05 pm
Posts: 846
Location: Panhandle of Texas
Joe has the idea here. At 10 hexes you should be able distinguish enough to tell what you're looking at but further out, like has been stated, things become a blob and than just a guess. However were most of the roads we deal with dirt or were they macadamized? If dirt I'm sure you could see the dust cloud for a goodly distance but all that would tell you was that something was moving along that road, maybe hedge a guess based on the size of the dust cloud. You wouldn't know if it was a veteran division or corps, supply column, or refugees though. I like the idea of the "?" counters at longer ranges.

_________________
General Mark Nelms
Image
6/2/XIV/AoC "Blackhawk Brigade"
Image
Union Cabinet Secretary
Union Military Academy Instructor


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:24 pm
Posts: 415
Location: Terra
I think we have to differ here between the max range of view and the information that can be gathered at certain distances.

The plausible and typical max view range should likely be lowered from the 70 but down to 10 seems a bit drastic as max range, I rather imaging 40-50 under perfect conditions but weather and battlefield conditions should have a good impact on that.

What is needed is an adjustment to the functions in the game that show ?-units at a certain range. I haven't tested it but it seems to me that these ?-units won't show up unless almost had max range, anything closer gives you the usual perfect info. I roughly go with the idea of General Meyer,
Simple put:
- Up to 15-20% max view range you should have a clue of what the unit is and roughly how many men it has.
- After that up to 50% you get just ?-units so you know there is something but that's about it
- After that up to 100% you don't get ?-units guarantied but only if they pass a test, by this you may spot them in the distance but just sporadic and not guaranteed.

For now I would already be happy if we could get John Tiller to adjust the appearance of ?-Units so that they are shown over much of the max view range, maybe over the upper 75% so that only at 25% or closer you get the usual perfect info. Maybe just one value has to be changed to achieve that.
If that is combined with a lower max view range we gain a lot ground in the direction that we want to.

_________________
Brigadier General Christian Hecht
Corps Commander V Corps, Army of the Potomac
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:13 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:20 pm
Posts: 1138
Location: USA
Another inducement to the unreliability of enemy unit identification or an unknown ("?") out beyond a certain LOS distance would be to give that sighting a 50-50 chance of being displayed. Given any scenario in which the player is aware of some of the historical OOB, he would be provided with enough information to make an educated guess about what those visible "?" units were all about unless some uncertainty was introduced.

Then there's this, which gets back to the accuracy of an ACW battlefield recon report. Suppose that the program also incorporated a variable spotting of the contact by randomly positioning it within a 5-hex range of it's actual location. :twisted:

And while I'm throwing up all of these wild ideas :roll: , why not consider the opposite side of the coin by introducing signal units? From the beginning of the war each side fielded signal units equipped with flags and telescopes to provide a better and more timely recon capability. I'll agree that such units were not in great quantity. But without such McDowell might have succeeded in completely turning the Rebel flank at First Bull Run, or Longstreet might have launched his Day-2 assault at Gettysburg much earlier. Point is, we can certainly strike for a universal, much needed modification of the God's Eye 70-hex LOS, but we can also postulate for the use of specialty signal units that, if used judiciously, would give a commander some chance of seeing a bit or lot more than otherwise allowed. Of course, the use of such scarce units would be attended with an equal desire upon the part of the opponent to seek them out for destruction at the earliest possible time.

And have you ever wondered why it currently is always possible for the spotting units to be immediately observed themselves by the spotted units? :?: Case might be made for a small, dismounted, 25-man cavalry detachment located in the trees spotting an infantry brigade column some 30 to 40 hexes out. In that situation should the infantry brigade always be able to see the much smaller and hidden spotter?

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


Image


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:11 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1639
Location: USA
Right now the "?" only shows up if the spotting unit is a wagon.

BaB introduced LOS rules that put spotting down to less than 10 hexes and their hexes are smaller than HPS. Their LOS is also highly variable depending on Unit abilities as well as atmospheric conditions. They also included smoke which can cut visibility down to just a hex or two. Leaders and cavalry can "see" further than combat units. But there game is a plot and go system so if you plot your move right through an enemy that you can't see, when the move is executed your unit has sufficient AI to know to stop before it reaches the enemy unless it is under assault orders.

Remember that a 10 hex LOS doesn't really mean that is all you can see in an HPS game. It is sufficient to allow you to fire long range artillery at a distance it was actually effective. "Seeing" the rest of the map requires recon units being deployed. The change would require cavalry to be broken up into smaller units. A army advancing could extend its LOS by 30 hexes by just deploying a single cavalry skirmish line out in front of it. A recon cavalry unit can "see" 10 hexes forward and 10 back so all you do is move them 20 hexes in front of your infantry, instant 30 hex range. Tactically the smarter move since you rarely have to worry about a gap between the recon and line is to move them 20 hexes ahead giving you a full 40 hexes LOS. A good player would also send recon units out to critical areas where you expect the enemy to be giving you full map reach if the enemy does nothing to contain you.

What I see happening is there being a mini battle between opposing cavalry lines trying to contain or push back each sides cavalry screen.

This approach has the advantage of not requiring any changes to the game engine. Everything can be done through the parameter file.

Now if we start getting wishes granted a lot of things could be done to make LOS rules reflect fog of war. Right now problems like Ewell had on the first day can't happen. No one accidently thinks there are enemy troops advancing on their flank and detaches a brigade to go see. Jackson's attack at Chancellorsville is impossible. Actually most of what happened on battlefields in the Civil War can't be repeated by the game except by scenarios that so restrict the situation that they force it.

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


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:20 pm
Posts: 1138
Location: USA
Kennon, you are completely correct in how you interpret the role of cavalry and the reduction of the God's Eye. And you were absolutely correct in identifying the key factor to make it all work: "the change would require cavalry to be broken up into smaller units." Such a change would certainly reflect the reality of cavalry operations. But I have to ask you if that means that the OOB's simply need to be modified, or whether cavalry regiments would be provided with the on-field capability of detaching and reforming? And what would be the minimum detachment size?

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


Image


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1639
Location: USA
Joe Meyer wrote:
Kennon, you are completely correct in how you interpret the role of cavalry and the reduction of the God's Eye. And you were absolutely correct in identifying the key factor to make it all work: "the change would require cavalry to be broken up into smaller units." Such a change would certainly reflect the reality of cavalry operations. But I have to ask you if that means that the OOB's simply need to be modified, or whether cavalry regiments would be provided with the on-field capability of detaching and reforming? And what would be the minimum detachment size?


That depends on how one wants to implement it.

The method that requires nothing from HPS/JT is to modify the parameter table to alter the LOS using the weather section. I would also lower the maximum movement of cavalry. The reason for this is as you lower LOS you open units up to sneak surround attacks that take advantage of high movement and low visibility. While cavalry can easy move the distances they are given in battlefield environment they would be much slower. And, it would have to be one of the games that have unlocked the OOB so you could break up the cavalry regiments into platoons and/or squads. I don't recall which games have open OOB's though.

The second method would be fore JT to add functionality to their games to support the concept. That would include, or at least we could wish it included, the ability like their Napoleonic games to detach squads from the parent units, add specialized units to the OOB who only function was recon, alter LOS rules, add uncertainty to what is spotted, more "?" spots, random false "?" spots, etc. We could probably come up with a lot of rules like this.

On of the things I tinkered with when designing my game was to assign every hex a 0 to 100% quality of observation factor. It was based on the distance from the various units that could "see" the hex and their ability to "spot". Officers had a much higher quality of observation than others depending on their rank. Cavalry was better than infantry at doing it. All this was modified by distance and weather. The more units with eyes on the particular hex the better the observation. Also, if a unit fired on someone it increased this observation number significantly. Then at the end of a turn which was 6 minutes the game assigned every unit it's visibility probability to the enemy based on how well the unit and the hex it was in was under observation. This was then converted into a parameter that determined what the enemy actually saw. Depending on that parameter plus a random effect the enemy would see something between nothing, wrong type unit, and varying degrees of accuracy in the size of the unit. It also had an aging effect. Once a unit was spotted it continued to be spotted in about the same degree of accuracy. That is if you thought the enemy unit was cavalry and it really was infantry it continued to be cavalry until the quality of observation improved considerably.

This kind of handling is quite complex and would require major changes to the HPS games.

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


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: This Business About Cavalry . . .
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:52 am
Posts: 951
Location:
Just a couple of thoughts as I have been gone awhile and just recently found this thread.

1) I think the cavalry skirmish option has transformed Confederate cavalry from almost a liability into a valuable combat arm. They are now truly the eyes and ears of the army. When I proposed this option at Tillercon II I envisioned the same limitations as infantry, including the one hex movement penalty, but I am now quite happy with how it turned out. You can burn a lot of movement points changing facing so you don't dash around a curve and run smack into a solid line of infantry.

2) If you still think cavalry moves too fast, you can fix it on the parameter data table. Just keep in mind that cavalry movement is often more affected by terrain than infantry movement.

3) I play phase with no isolation and weak zones of control. Also large scenarios. If one of my units gets surrounded and destroyed it is because I either intended it as a sacrificial lamb or I have really screwed up.

4) I have no problem with my cavalry dismounting and not being able to fire in the following offensive fire phase. I would have more of a problem with enemy cavalry dismounting and immediately firing on my mounted cavalry before it can react. Dismounted cavalry will get a full volley at any charging mounted cavalry in their defensive fire phase, augmented by the mounted cavalry modifier.

5) I'm thinking you can limit max visibility in parameter data, but keep in mind that whatever max visibility you decide on will also decide the max range of any artillery. Also, question marks currently do not differentiate between single man counters and thousand man regiments.

_________________
MG Mike Mihalik
Forrest's Cavalry Corps
AoWest/CSA


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: