Author Topic: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher  (Read 2756 times)

chuckhamack

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2016, 03:49:28 AM »
Chuck,

Hate to be picky but if you mean "24" as in 24 guns in an artillery unit, it should be 18 at the most. Batteries as standard had 6 guns in the Union and only 4 for the Confederates. In some cases this could be reversed but there were never more than 6 per battery.

So that's 3x6 = 18 not 3x8 = 24  :)
Yes, 18 is fine.  6 per battery is the normal when things are well for these armies.  Union usually 6 guns and the Confederates usually 4 guns.  I don't care, personally for artillery attachments but that is a tool to account for the odd battery.

Currently we are using a different scale for the small engagements as follows:
 Scales
   Under Strength          Normal Strength       Over Strength
Infantry Men   100                      200   750                            1000
Artillery guns     2                        4          6                              8
Cavalry Men   100                       200   750                            1000
Stand = Regiment;   Two Player turns =  30 minutes
 3" = 120 Yards   Map (1 Square is 12”)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 03:54:04 AM by chuckhamack »

NY Volunteer

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2016, 04:07:16 AM »
Chuck,

Actually I was being too clever there.

Of course these numbers were norms and if anyone is doing an OOB, the Confederates in particular are a nightmare, as Ross's example shows. To my mind that's another good reason for just treating everything as "heavy" thereby cutting out all those mixed batteries the Confederates were stuck with.

Not to mention the fact that numbers of the differing types vary, by the odd gun here or there, depending who's book you are reading at the time!

As Blucher obviously assumes norms in its ideas around an artillery unit, would you guys then generally go with 12 - 18 for pick up games?

chuckhamack

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2016, 03:56:01 PM »
As long as you stand/base is a brigade Yes!  I struggled with the scales to make things work out.  If I remember correctly we used 18 gun batteries at Antietam when we playtested the rules.  I am fine with either.  When looking at all the OOB's for the ACW the scales are tough to put into play and not lose some important elements of the battles.  We need to use scales that give the battles their flavor.  To few batteries or to many batteries can ruin the scenario. 

As a side note we had all of the artillery as "mobile" at one point in the playtest and it was like having tanks in the ACW era.

happ45

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2016, 03:08:40 AM »
Chuck / NY Volunteer,

In the two examples I gave above for Ewell's II Corps Artillery Reserve & the Union 4th Volunteer (Artillery) Brigade in the Gettysburg Scenario both of these formations are 1x game artillery unit (ie 1x artillery card / base). These make for quite large batteries of around 27 to 30 guns. The option would be to split these each into 2x units; however this would then double the number of artillery units available on the table from about 4-5 per side to 8-10. I think that this would make for way too much firepower.

For Antietam (working from the top of my head here) I think the artillery units were a little smaller - around 18 or so? (especially on the Confederate side).

When writing up my scenarios (both Napoleonic & ACW) my preference is always to attach the divisional artillery to the brigades that make up that Division. I only really create artillery units at the Corps / Army level.

For the "attached" artillery trait on infantry cards i don't really care on the make up of the individual battery - ie a battery of 6 guns or 8 guns or 3" Rifles or 10pdr Parrots are all treated the same.

Where possible for the Napoleonic scenarios I tend to attach 6pdr artillery to infantry and leave the artillery cards to cover the 12pdr batteries or Horse artillery batteries (because you can't attach artillery to cavalry units).

Obviously once you start scaling things down you it may make more sense to create an artillery unit consisting of 18/12/8/6 rather than attach it to an infantry stand. Provided both sides keep parity in artillery unit sizing it should be fine.

What I occasionally do is where one side has slightly smaller artillery units (ie 18  vs 24) - I will knock off an ammo number to compensate.


In summary I find artillery unit sizing dependent on the actual scenarios.

Best regards,

Ross

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2016, 06:08:20 AM »
Quote
When writing up my scenarios (both Napoleonic & ACW) my preference is always to attach the divisional artillery to the brigades that make up that Division. I only really create artillery units at the Corps / Army level.

Yes I tend to go that way too. Its a difficult one though, the rules as they stand have too many artillery units. You can rationalise it a bit and assume they stand in for a collection of batteries that were placed in one are area of the battlefield, rather than the classic Napoleonic Grand/Massed Battery or a component there of, but they are a bit of a game device really.

The real problem is there are no provisions in the rules for creating a Massed Battery during the course of a battle so you have to start with your artillery units in place. From that point of view the Civil War is kinder to players, in that the Artillery Reserve of both the AoP and the ANV (sorry folks I don't play Western Battles) have units ready made. That said you would still need three or four of them to represent either of the two gun lines on the third day of Gettysburg and I'm pretty sure all of those weren't straight from reserve formations although I'd have to check.

I'd stick with the brigade attachment for Divisional guns as its rarer to see four or more batteries placed together from the start of a Civil War battle and place Artillery Units where you know the scenario requires it. As Chuck mentions artillery was dotted all over the shop at Antietam but you only have to look at the terrain compared to somewhere like Gettysburg to see why.

The only problem that leaves you with is the reverse of the Massed Battery, where Artillery Reserves were raided for individual batteries during a battle to shore up a line etc. but I fear that's a level of detail too far for the way the original rules work.

« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 06:10:29 AM by NY Volunteer »

happ45

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2016, 07:08:18 AM »
NY Volunteer,

Yeah, splitting up and amalgamating batteries during the course of a game would be good but I suspect its something that would cause way too much of a headache to rule on as to be worthwhile (there would be so many if's, but's and maybe's to ever account for as to probably become unworkable).

Ross


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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2017, 01:22:53 AM »
Guys -
I am looking to build a scenario for Second Bull Run/Manassas.  The most difficult part of this seems to be allocating the 'Rifled Musket' trait to infantry. Any tips on either good sources for this detail or a 'rule of thumb' criterion for allocating it?

I was interested to find, after a little work, that taking a mathematical average of brigade sizes for this battle turned out very close to 1700 on both sides.  So I am thinking one base = a brigade of infantry, with 'normal' strength range of 1500-1900 men, and using the +/- strength modifier for anything significantly outside that range.

Lowroller

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2017, 11:46:28 AM »
NY Volunteer,

Yeah, splitting up and amalgamating batteries during the course of a game would be good but I suspect its something that would cause way too much of a headache to rule on as to be worthwhile (there would be so many if's, but's and maybe's to ever account for as to probably become unworkable).

Ross

It should be easy enough to leave an 'artillery park' of artillery unit cards, and call on them to attach single batteries to infantry brigades as needed, marking the card to show 1/3rds removed, and taking the card off the table when it has been fully allocated. Of course, actually using the remaining part of such a 'pool card' as artillery would not be possible - it could ONLY be used to attach to further brigades (without undesirable extra rules). But it needn't be all allocated at once. You might need a rule to cover how long it would take, or it could be as simple as  not counting in any action during that same turn - maybe just 'allocate during the status phase'.

Maybe you would want some other restriction like placing the reserves in a specific sector(s) of the field, and only allowing them to be called on for brigades in the same sector - or particularly the same command - but I'll leave that to the more well-read students of artillery use to comment on.

Incidentally, I do wonder why attached artillery only count in firing - I would have thought they could add one die to close combat when defending, to represent the  extra support of canister fire at very short range. But maybe it's been tried and found to be disproportionately effective.

happ45

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #38 on: March 06, 2017, 05:30:04 AM »
Lowroller,

It's precisely the comments you made above that made me say it'd be too much of a headache to rule on!!!

Can those artillery parks still fire? If so with how much ammo points (reduced presumably if one or more artillery units are attached out?).

What happens when the artillery park is attacked?

Who commands the artillery park for activation - the Divisional commanders, the Corps commanders, the C-in-C?

Who can the units attach to - units in their historical commands, units of other divisions / or corps?

Can the attached units then detach from the unit they are assigned to and re-amalgamate with the parent artillery park or attach to another infantry unit? How much ammo do they return with (i.e. were they involved in heavy fighting or did they fire at all?)

How do artillery batteries move? Do they automatically attach to a unit? What if that unit is on the other side of the battlefield or blocked by enemy units - is there a limit to the range they can attach? If they are represented on the battlefield what happens if they are attacked?


These are just "off the top of the head" questions - I'm sure that folks could find loads more! Hence the reason I'll not be adding anything like that to the rules - its just way too much effort for little gain.

Ross

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2017, 02:08:38 PM »
]Hi, Ross

all fair points, and I quite understand. I'm not arguing.
I would just say that if anyone wanted to do something along those lines, they don't have to go that far.

Orbats for historical battles will designate artillery reserves to particular formations. Don't allow attachment outside those assignments.

Artillery parks are not deployed for combat, so if they are attacked, they are in dead trouble. You could make up a simple rule for enemy overrunning an artillery park if it actually comes up.

Assume artillery just attaches - there are already rules for 'reserve movement' which is very long, so assume this is something of the kind. After all, the game turn represents quite a long time.

Allow this at the cost of an individual unit activation for the artillery unit in the park, so it's not too attractive an option compared to deciding your artillery allocation in advance. I wouldn't want to encourage gamesmanship.

Once deployed, has anyone ever retired artillery to an artillery park? I just wouldn't allow it, and don't think that would ever be a problem.

Just some simple suggestions. for a historical or scenario game, if anyone wants them. No need to go over the top, as it would still be doing more than most rules even attempt. And I'm not suggesting you incorporate any of them into the main rules, just throwing them out there for players to mull over.


chuckhamack

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2017, 10:52:53 AM »
Quote
Incidentally, I do wonder why attached artillery only count in firing - I would have thought they could add one die to close combat when defending, to represent the  extra support of canister fire at very short range. But maybe it's been tried and found to be disproportionately effective.

We have looked at this aspect many times and in most of our discussions for Brigades as the basic unit it seemed like to much granularity.  In our regimental version we have made several adjustment to reflect the differences for fire and melee.

The discussion gets into if I am making a attack on the rear of a unit should it get a Bonus die in melee for the artillery?  This proceeds to how many new rules do we need to cover the additional complications.   

Further examples of increasing granularity:
Rifled gun & Smooth bore guns (rifled guns are more accurate at long range and smooth bores are better at canister fire). 
Breach loaders & Flintlocks (Breach loaders should get more fire power than rifled muskets and Flintlocks are not as good at fire as Smooth bore muskets).
Another one that comes up in our groups is command.  My Corp did not move due to a poor command rolls.  But my division commander is excellent.  So the division should be able move something!

The bottom line, seems to me, to be at what scale are we gaming and do we really need to have additional rules for the specific activity.  How often did the activity occur and if it occurred with regularity than it needs to be in the rules if not than it is a scenario specific rule.

« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 10:56:24 AM by chuckhamack »

Lowroller

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2017, 12:30:13 PM »
Guys - am I missing something? I downloaded all the files for the Antietam scenario, but can't find any trace of cards for Pleasanton's Union Cavalry.

happ45

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2017, 03:29:09 AM »
Lowroller,

Oops - missed them off the file. I'll update that later today - thanks for the heads up!

Ross

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2017, 03:43:37 PM »
Thanks, Ross. That's kind of a relief - at least it wasn't me failing to read something (for once).  :)

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Re: "Chamberlain" - An ACW Modification for use with Blücher
« Reply #44 on: March 21, 2017, 05:50:14 AM »
Ross - another slight hiccup in the files, I think...
Union Roster shows VI Corps arrival 13:00
Reinforcement tracker shows IV Corps (?) arrival at 10:00 - game turn 13.
I think there must be some crossover. I think VI Corps arrival 10:00 (game turn 13) is probably the intent.