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The Soldier

The Artillerist's Guide to Ultimate General: Civil War

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14 minutes ago, Gray Ghost said:

Soldier- I have to chime in and say thanks as well.  Brigadier General mode as the union, just made great use of the artillery at Shiloh, especially at Pittsburg landing.

Thanks! :)

14 minutes ago, Gray Ghost said:

Watching your campaign videos have helped immensely.  I now pause much more often and find that a little more micro-management goes a long way toward success.

Uh, that isn't me.  Might be @Col_Kelly or @PegLegFatty. ;)

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On 9/5/2017 at 2:05 PM, The Soldier said:

Artillery Corps aren't the most useful thing, mainly because of how you deploy your troops - you deploy them by brigade in order of divisions, from first to last, meaning your artillery is either going to arrive too late for most battles or they're going to be more or less alone.  The most guns I can recommend in a division is two brigades of artillery per division, any more than that and it starts getting a bit unwieldy to place to many artillery brigades at once - you start running out of room behind the lines, heh.

Ironically, after disparaging the concept of an Artillery Corps having used one to awful effect in my first Union Campaign (BG), I am now fielding another one in my new Union Campaign (Legendary). Its... surprisingly effective. But it also brings along 8-10 brigades of 2* infantry and fields exclusively 12-gun batteries of 20lb Parrot guns and 24lb Howitzers. I figured with that much expensive artillery it would be criminal to deprive them of the Corps commander buffs...

 

Of course I'm also benefited by knowing when I can deploy this silly corps and when it should be sidelined for an infantry corps. I also shuffle my men around very frequently, even during battles: I went as far to bring all 7 batteries of 20lber Parrots to literally every single part of the Gettysburg battle by moving them from corps to corps where needed.

Edited by maniacalpenny

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On 9/6/2017 at 10:37 AM, The Soldier said:

Thanks! :)

Uh, that isn't me.  Might be @Col_Kelly or @PegLegFatty. ;)

You're right Soldier- edited my post.  Loving my arty still though, probably too much, but I just want to load up on those guns.  Regarding pausing, it was spectrum who posted a video of the battle of Washington, CSA just shredding the union.  Learned a lot from that one.

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On 9/8/2017 at 6:43 AM, Gray Ghost said:

You're right Soldier- edited my post.  Loving my arty still though, probably too much, but I just want to load up on those guns.  Regarding pausing, it was spectrum who posted a video of the battle of Washington, CSA just shredding the union.  Learned a lot from that one.

I try not to pause -too- much as it makes videos/play sessions go a bit long (and I have more dead air to fill) but it's useful to occasionally take a step back and survey the battlefield, especially in the largest grand battles where you're probably fighting in multiple areas at once.

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On 9/9/2017 at 10:37 AM, Hitorishizuka said:

I try not to pause -too- much as it makes videos/play sessions go a bit long (and I have more dead air to fill) but it's useful to occasionally take a step back and survey the battlefield, especially in the largest grand battles where you're probably fighting in multiple areas at once.

0.5 Speed is also very useful if you want to fight multiple areas, but still want to keep track of the flow of the battle and make minute adjustments. 

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There were actually two separate projectiles with bursting charges during the war. Case is exactly as you describe while the shell was a projectile with bit thicker walls, larger charge but without the musket balls.

Exactly which of these rounds were available varied by gun. The old smoothbore guns lacked a shell whilst the field howitzers lacked roundshot (strange that they seem to have one in game). Napoleons and the light field rifles were issued all four types.

The weird icon on the James should be easy to fix as the Type 1 James was virtually identical to 6-pdr field gun.

Excellent guide.

Edit - The M1841 6-pdr had shoulder height wheels on the regulation carriage (57 inches) which was the same one as on the 12-pdr howitzer and the light field rifles. That photo with the Confederates by the miniature gun-carriage is bit weird. Despite the light weight of shot it was a heavier weapon than the howitzer or 3-in Ordnance Rifle.

Edited by Bounty Jumper

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Corrected the bit about case shot and shell shot. :)

The James Rifle's icon is definitely not a 6pdr Field Gun.  The ringknob gives it away - 6pdr Field guns were never issued with a naval-type knob.  The profile also matches most M1829 32pdr Siege Guns better than any 6pdr Field gun out there.

I generally tried to find contemporary photos of these cannons with soldiers posing in them.  The only one I really couldn't find was the 24pdr Howitzer (and the 10pdr Tredegar Rifle, for the reason that it never existed, though I think I can get a pass on that one).  I was aware that the carriage in the photo was rather small, but I couldn't find another contemporary photo with soldiers in it.

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6 hours ago, The Soldier said:

Corrected the bit about case shot and shell shot. :)

The James Rifle's icon is definitely not a 6pdr Field Gun.  The ringknob gives it away - 6pdr Field guns were never issued with a naval-type knob.  The profile also matches most M1829 32pdr Siege Guns better than any 6pdr Field gun out there.

I generally tried to find contemporary photos of these cannons with soldiers posing in them.  The only one I really couldn't find was the 24pdr Howitzer (and the 10pdr Tredegar Rifle, for the reason that it never existed, though I think I can get a pass on that one).  I was aware that the carriage in the photo was rather small, but I couldn't find another contemporary photo with soldiers in it.

To clarify:

Shell (just shell, not shell shot): Thicker walls, larger powder charge, no musket balls. Broadly similar to modern artillery shell in conception. Traditionally time fuzed, but often impact fuzed on rifles.

Case shot (shrapnel): Thin walls, small powder charge, filled with musket balls. Essentially a way to reach out and touch more distant target with a petite canister. Time fuzed, intended for air burst.

With James I mean that there is already correct icon for it in the game files, that of the 6-pdr gun.

And the 6-pdr picture is fine even if non-standard. I'm just being overtly pedantic. -_-

Edited by Bounty Jumper

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As far as I'm aware, impact fuzes during the Civil War were in their infantry.  They required hitting a hard surface to detonate, and even then were unreliable, let alone hitting dirt or wet ground.  This relegated them to an anti-fortification role, and made them rare on the open battlefield.  This made time fuzes to be the most common fuze for case and shell, whether it be a conical piece of wood with whiskey-soaked and dried gunpowder inside that you cut to a marked out length for time or the more advanced Bormann time fuze where you just punched a hole in a dial to the desired time. 

I'm actually being more pedantic than you about the 14-Pounder James Rifle. :) The inventor, Charles T. James originally designed and preferred a 14-pounder projectile developed to fit into the bore of a rifled 6-pounder field gun.  The in-game HUD icon uses an M1829 32-Pounder Siege as the base model, as proven by the history image (taking into consideration the ringknob, small rounded muzzle swell, decorative rings, perceived size based on other cannon, and others).  The size and weight of that cannon's unrifled projectiles is already more than double that of the 14-pounder James, which is then even heavier than the original 6-pounder shell.  A 32-pounder Siege Gun would be using a 64-pound James projectile, which would make it a 64-Pounder James Rifle, hardly the 14-Pounder James Rifle as stated in the game (whose stats and intent definitely make it the 14pdr James rifle, based on the same damage and short range that it and the 6-pounder field gun share).

Ah, I would kill to have even a 4.5-Inch Siege Rifle, let alone a 64-Pounder James Rifle. :) Ah but alas, the HUD image lies.

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I am currently at Gaines Mill battle as Union and the majority of my artillery batteries are equipped with the 10pdr ordnance rifle. I made the decision to this cannon for consistency and uniformity rather than having an educated opinion on what's best. Is the 10pdr Ordnance a good choice for me at this point in the war?  I've been more focused with getting the 1842 Springfields out of my infantry brigades than anything else but I will spend money on cannons if my ordnance guns are a poor choice!

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3-Inch Ordnance Rifles are a fine choice for equipping your artillery with.  Just remember that they're most effective at medium range, 40+ kills per volley.

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Thanks Soldier. I just read your guide about the artillery.  Basically with the ordnance cannons I should avoid ranges that fire the solid shot and get them into shell range whenever possible.  Also, should I avoid engaging enemy artillery with these?  I was using them against an enemy artillery battery at long range today and found I was only killing 2-4 in the other battery with each salvo.  Perhaps these cannons should be used solely against infantry formations?

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Also  have been progressingly increasing my battery sizes to 20 guns. What in your opinion is the ideal battery size?  If it's less than 20, I'll let attrition slowly bring the numbers down to where you think it should be.  Is there any effect on ammo consumption with smaller battery sizes?  Right my my ordnance batteries are eating through ammo so fast at 20 guns I am having trouble keeping them supplied. 

Edited by JochenHeiden

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5 hours ago, JochenHeiden said:

I am currently at Gaines Mill battle as Union and the majority of my artillery batteries are equipped with the 10pdr ordnance rifle. I made the decision to this cannon for consistency and uniformity rather than having an educated opinion on what's best. Is the 10pdr Ordnance a good choice for me at this point in the war?  I've been more focused with getting the 1842 Springfields out of my infantry brigades than anything else but I will spend money on cannons if my ordnance guns are a poor choice!

As stated above, 10pdr Ordnance are basically the bread and butter for your army, as they have solid performance at acceptable cost and are plentiful enough to outfit many brigades. You can do better certainly, but only at both greater cost and more limited supply.

Edited by Hitorishizuka

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For Gaines Mill they are ok, at Malvern Hill (the battle directly afterwards) I would recommend at least one battery of 12-16 24-pounder Howitzers, these things are worth their weight in gold in defensive battles were the rebs try to break through your lines. At this point I also have one battery of 16 20pdr Parrots which are not as good as the howitzers on short range, but make up for that with their incredible high case shot range.

I just fought the Gaines Mill in my Let's Play with my 2nd Corps only armed with 10pdr Ordnance (3-inch rifles) and 4 brigades of infantry with rifles, the rest armed with 1842s or Palmettos. If you have good cover you don't necessarily need rifles.

 

 

Edited by Hjalfnar_Feuerwolf

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Alright, I put in some considerable updates to the 12pdr Whitworth and the 10pdr Parrott Rifle sections and a minor update to the 12pdr Howitzer sections (the last two not buffed this patch, but based on some experiences I had testing the Whitworth alongside other guns).

In short - 12pdr Whitworth can shoot stuff rather well across the map.  10pdr Parrott Rifle is very, very good at long range fire (think of it as a mini 14pdr James Rifle).

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1 hour ago, kjchan said:

Soldier, any reason for me to deviate from my 24 how/20 par builds and add 1 or 2 whits? Worth it?

The extra 400 range on the Whitworths doesn't quite make up for the drop in damage.  A few niche situations, like at Malvern Hill for example, a battery or two of Whitworths to attack the Confederate guns might not be bad, but 20pdr Parrotts outclass it in almost every other circumstance.

Also, do remember the 14pdr James is just as effective, if not more so, than the 20pdr Parrott against targets in it's reduced range.  Always good to have a few of those around.

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6 minutes ago, JochenHeiden said:

I currently have 20 gun units. What is the largest battery size I can have before I start losing efficiency?  Is it 12 or 16 guns?

12 guns is the optimal setup before the battery starts doing less damage.  Your 20 gun batteries are going to be doing next to no damage right now, no matter how experienced they are.  Time for some suicide cannons. :)

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3 hours ago, The Soldier said:

12 guns is the optimal setup before the battery starts doing less damage.  Your 20 gun batteries are going to be doing next to no damage right now, no matter how experienced they are.  Time for some suicide cannons. :)

Is that still the case?  I thought that was fixed, although I'm not sure how I got that impression. Anyway, amazing guide, thanks so much for making it!

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