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for what a mortar brig if we can capture a port with 2 santis or victories by capturing the Towers ^^

 

for the future.

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I am just not sure where it fits.  shallow port battles makes sense but the towers are so gimp now it's irrelevant and in heavily contested port battles its 1st 2nd 3rd first and if there is room for a MB then it better deliver some accurate damage regardless of Real world applications

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we will get real forts to shoot at in the future.

I am not sure about the timeline but we will have big fortifications which will most likely rek any 1st rate trying to come near..

Personally I hope for heated shots.

 

Until then I agree that the MortarBrig is a gimmic. But not very useful.

Time will come where we need such vessels. Badly. (fingers crossed)

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for what a mortar brig if we can capture a port with 2 santis or victories by capturing the Towers ^^

 

 

Bringing just two Santis to a port battle sounds like a sure way to gift your enemy two santis.

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1. Smoothbore artillery had horrible penetration against stone fortifications.

2. Rifled roundshot was also not that effective.

3. Shaped, conical, rifled artillery was not used until the American Civil War(1861-1865). It was this new artillery that ended the era of stone fortifications, and brought on the era of earthworks. Fort Sumter (Charleston, SC, constructed ~1829-1861 [never completed]) was hit by rifled artillery on one side, and smoothbore artillry on the other. The smoothbore side is still largely intact, while the rifled side was turned into so much rubble.

4. Airburst charges did exist. On land, timed airburst charges against unprotected infantry could be very effective as an anti personnel round. The Federals used airburst rounds and mortars against Ft Sumter for very little effect. The garrison suffered few casualties from mortar rounds. This is most likely due to the fact that this fort was the most advanced type ever built, and had plenty of protection for its garrison against airburst.

5. Mortars, especially early mortars, had a very slow round when compared to today's mortars. You cant expect a 19th century mortar to feel like a mortar from Battlefield.

6. Mortars were used for anti personnel more than anything. The guns of a naval fort are what denied you access to a harbor or passage through a canal. Silence the guns by destroying them or their crew, and you can pretty much ignore the fortification. If the guns are exposed to the sky, this works. However, any marines in the fort will be sheltering in its interior and therefore will be protected from mortar rounds.

7. Mortars had limited use destroying fortifications, especially ship based mortars. It was very hard to get a large enough mortar on a ship. The idea was, if the round falls with enough force and weight directly on top of or adjacent to the masonry, it could cause it to collapse. As seen by Fort Sumter, which was shelled by mortars for years, mortars have at best mediocre effect on masonry forts (although Sumter was a very strong, very well constructed fort). Therefore, let me suggest that regional capitals have quality fortifications that are highly resistant to mortars, deep waters less so, and shallow ports relatively low resistance to mortars. This would mean you would need bigger mortar ships for deep and regional port battles.


8. Mortar rounds vs ships would cause a disproportionate amount of damage when compared to fortifications. This is because a ship is armored on its sides, and the decks are neither thick nor usually designed to resist mortar fire. Think of a long board accross 2 cinderblocks. What happens when you drop a lot of weight on it? On smaller ships with 1 deck between its keel and the sky, even a smaller mortar round could hole the ship and cause it to sink. A lucky hit could break the keel and cause it to split in half. Against larger ships, mortar rounds could severely damage the masts by directly hitting them, or by striking through the deck to hit the base of the mast and its supports in the interior. Most of the damage, however, will be to the crew, and potentially the cannons, depending on shot placement. If the shot penetrates the center of the ship, it is more likely to kill marines. If the shot hits just inside the gunwhales, it is more likely to kill crew and permanently destroy cannons. A lucky shot could potentially find the magazine, however, unless it is heated shot, it has a very small chance of causing an explosion. This, of course, is a discussion on what would happen if a round DID hit. Its already been said that the likelihood of hitting a moving, or even a stationary ship, on purpose or accident, is pretty small.

9. Powder magazines in fortifications. Fort Moultrie, accross the chanel from Fort Sumter in Charleston, has several excellent magazines of different types and eras. There is a stone building protected by exterior stone walls and earth, from ~1809. This is the most vurnerable magazine, and if mortar shot were to successfully penetrate and cause an explosion, the damage could be catastrophic to the nearby exterior fortifications. The other magazines (including smaller "ready magazines" for individual batteries) are imbedded into the fortifications and were constructed around the same time. These magazines are along the lines of the ones in Ft Sumter, which again, was shelled for years, with the only magazine explosion being caused accidently by its own garrison. Fort Moultrie took fire from Fort Sumter during the initial bombardment (and vice versa), as well as from ironclads and wooden sailing ships, both using smoothbore artillery, for years without significant damage to either fort or the destruction of any of their magazines. On the seaward side of Moultrie is a concrete and rebar construction with a similar design of magazines and ready magazines, constructed in the 1870s in preparation for war with Spain. They never saw action.

Edited by Æthlstan

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1. Smoothbore artillery had horrible penetration against stone earthworks. 

 

Nobody wants to penetrate anyhow. They want to smash the embrasures to the point where guns cannot be mounted on them, and the gunners are exposed to grape and musketry.

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1. Smoothbore artillery had horrible penetration against stone earthworks.

2. Rifled roundshot was also not that effective.

3. Shaped, conical, rifled artillery was not used until the American Civil War(1861-1865). It was this new artillery that ended the era of stone fortifications, and brought on the era of earthworks. Fort Sumter (Charleston, SC, constructed ~1829-1861 [never completed]) was hit by rifled artillery on one side, and smoothbore artillry on the other. The smoothbore side is still largely intact, while the rifled side was turned into so much rubble.

4. Airburst charges did exist. On land, timed airburst charges against unprotected infantry could be very effective as an anti personnel round. The Federals used airburst rounds and mortars against Ft Sumter for very little effect. The garrison suffered few casualties from mortar rounds. This is most likely due to the fact that this fort was the most advanced type ever built, and had plenty of protection for its garrison against airburst.

5. Mortars, especially early mortars, had a very slow round when compared to today's mortars. You cant expect a 19th century mortar to feel like a mortar from Battlefield.

6. Mortars were used for anti personnel more than anything. The guns of a naval fort are what denied you access to a harbor or passage through a canal. Silence the guns by destroying them or their crew, and you can pretty much ignore the fortification. If the guns are exposed to the sky, this works. However, any marines in the fort will be sheltering in its interior and therefore will be protected from mortar rounds.

...

 

First of all there was no casualties at Sumpter. (unless you mean during the later federal attacks against the fort)

2nd it is totally irrelevant since that was in 1861... and there was a huge improvement of arms technology from 1815 to 1861.

 

Lets stick to studying the use of mortars during the relevant period.

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Let me also add that Fort Sumter was never captured while garrisoned. The small Federal garrison in April 1861 was starved out because they were in hostile territory, and they only had enough men to man 6 guns. The Confederate garrison was never defeated. No ememy ships successfully made it into the harbor. This fort even sank an ironclad! One of the few examples of early-to-mid 19th century artillery actually managing that feat. Consider that both the fort and the attackers were using 100pdr smoothbore artillery, with a few even heavier pieces.think about that and how little of an effect those 100 pnd cannons had against both forts. Remember Fort Moultrie's walls were built in 1809.

Remember, this fort achieved this under nearly constant bombardment for YEARS. They were only able to do this because the guns were inside the walls, and therefore the guncrews were protected.

It was constructed starting in 1829, with plans made before then, with the concept of defense from airbust a primary factor in its design.

Rudimentary airbust shells existed in the Revolutionary War. Refined versions existed in the War of 1812. It is because they were used in these two wars that Ft Sumpter and her sister forts were designed with airburst in mind.

Mortars should have airburst shells, and their damage should be affected by the quality of the overhead protection

Overhead protection is destroyed by roundshot from the mortars, first, then airburst takes out the crew. Airbust should have little if any effect if there is any overhead protection.

Since towers and fortifications look like thet wont be part of the victory conditions, ship based artillery fire should have very little effect, with larger bore artillery (32 and up) having the only noticible effect, if any. Remember, most forts were attacked on the ground as well, using heavier artillery than was possible to have on ships. The easiest way to take a fort was by storming the ramparts. The best way to deal with them from a naval perspective was to disable or kill the guncrews.

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This is very much a discussion of the weapons of the era. I discuss the later improvements as a way to illustrate my points about early mortars in this era.

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Also consider that a lot of the artillery used in the civil war battles I describe above, (especially the smoothbore ones) ARE NAPOLEON ERA ARTILLERY PIECES. THEY ARE WEAPONS OF THE ERA THIS GAME IS BASED IN. JUST BECAUSE THEY WERE USED IN A LATER WAR DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEIR EFFECTS MAGICALLY CHANGED.

Caps used for emphasis.

Yes, embrasures were attempted to be blocked or destroyed. Fort moultrie (napoleon era fort well within the 1826 cut off), which exchanged fire with Ft Sumter during the initial bombardment, then with wooden and ironclad ships for years, never had its walls or embrasures significantly damaged to the point where they could not mount artillery


Oh, and if you wanna go back further, lets talk about the original Fort Moultrie (Ft Sullivan at the time of the battle) in 1775 that was as yet uncompleted when the British Fleet, the most powerful fleet of the era, attacked the fort to little effect and was forced to withdraw.

What was this fort made of ? WOODEN LOGS.

Specifically, 2 walls of wood filled with sand, exterior higher than interior, with wooden deck over the sand, on which guns were placed.

Edited by Æthlstan

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Mortars on ships were no different from the land ordnance and were actually manned by land personnel.

 

This brought two issues. One, the army crew was not used that much to the ever moving ground ( same issue with french navy using army artillery crews in their ships at a time ) another was the ship commanders feeling uncomfortable with hollow explosives in their wooden homes.

 

More often than not flat barges were provided by the navy, such as in the estuary of the Seine during the last decade of 1700.

 

Spectacularly the main difference from then to the ACW was the fuses. The hollow explosive and shrapnel effect kept valid for a century and a half.

 

BTW it is mortar main purpose to rain a explosive shell. There's no point in shooting a solid ball. Having this established the Fuse time at this era was certainly tricky. IIRC I posted a most excellent work in the History section about all smoothbore artillery and it includes a full section about the fuse strings.

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so what do we do with mortar brig?

more accuracy and damage and damage against crew?

 

ps basically buff it every hot fix until people say its OP ;)

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Damage to structures should be the main purpose.

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Mortars on ships were no different from the land ordnance and were actually manned by land personnel.

I could have swore that the 13 inch mortar was only used on larger vessels, but after some quick research, apparently it was normal for a brig sized bomb ship to carry 1 10 inch and 1 13 inch mortar

I also remember larger, 3 masted bomb ships carrying heavier mortars, but maybe they are a figment of my imagination, as I cant find any reference to their existance. Perhaps im thinking of the early ottoman mortars.

Edited by Æthlstan

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Damage to structures should not be the main purpose, aside from anti personnel uses. Naval artillery historically has always had at best a supporting role in the destruction of fortifications. It was generally bad strategy to put expensive wooden ships up against a stone fort.

Successful attacks on forts were almost always done by marine landings with support from naval artillery. Bomb ships were used first to try to disable enemy artillery to reduce the casualties of the attacking troops and allow free movement of ships through the waters the fort protected.

This suggests that mortar brigs should have an anti personnel role. It should be possible to eventually kill all guncrews in the tower/fort, aside from maybe the marines. This would create interesting gameplay as the defenders would have to choose whether or not to go after the mortar ships and save their fortifications, or ignore their potential capture and focus on sinking enemy ships and controlling the capture points.

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I wanted to see if heated shot was used in mortars as well, and yes, it was, but primarily land based mortars.

There was a few ships which used heated shot,namely American gunboats which destroyed a powder magazine in 1816, ending the fort's resistance and doing serious damage. (270-300 killed, "well constructed" fort destroyed, only 30 survivors,

There was heated shot originally designed for use with a ship based 12 in mortar, but was deemed dangerously unsafe and later discontinued.

http://www.hotshotfurnace.com/hotshothistory.html

It would be great if, after forts are no longer victory conditions, if they used heated shot, or could be upgraded to use heated shot. This would mean that mortar brigs would almost be required in order to disable fortifications due to the high cost of sending ships into that kind of fire.

Edited by Æthlstan

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so what do we do with mortar brig?

more accuracy and damage and damage against crew?

ps basically buff it every hot fix until people say its OP ;)

It is pointless to make changes until port battles change. Any port battle system that allows an entire fleet to sail right up to fortifications and destroy them with gunfire or board directly is going to make the mortar relatively worthless until it is buffed to point of being 100x OP in any other situation (especially since mortar gunnery itself is already devoid of any skill factor).

I agree with Aethlstan that ultimately mortars should be used to suppress and disable the guns and gun crews of fortifications so that attacking ships can maneuver against them to land marines and / or infantry, or to punish ships that try to fight stationary, especially en masse away from friendlies. Forts should probably not be boarded directly, but instead via landing points that can be under fire from either the fort itself (if not suppressed) or supporting fortifications (if not taken / suppressed). Possibly there might also be a role in a battle or raid for bombarding the town itself.

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I rephrase my previous post in support of Aethlstan that the mortar use being to supress guns in the fortresses if it is possible to model through longer reloads due to supression and crew loss and even disable guns

 

 

The forts could use heated shot though.... ( slides away with a grin )

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I rephrase my previous post in support of Aethlstan that the mortar use being to supress guns in the fortresses if it is possible to model through longer reloads due to supression and crew loss and even disable guns

 

 

The forts could use heated shot though.... ( slides away with a grin )

To model surpressing fire towers could simply go into reload shock when hit by a mortar.

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I guess the first step of this whole discussion should've been what is really the role of a mortar brig. Do we want it to be a fort killer? A defensive backline ship? Does ir feel right to make it a medium/heavy ship killer?

For me the mortar brig is a fort killer and as such it should have a large amount of damage vs forts and anuthing thick armored and slow enough to be able to be hit from their shots. That would make a purpose to a less armored stationary ship and at the same time give a reason to have fast light armored ships to the other fleet other than chasing.

I hope this helps into giving the ship a purpose.

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As I and others have stated, mortars were not anti ship weapons, nor anti fortification weapons except in the sense that they were used for anti personnel purposes.

If you make the forts more deadly(heated shot), as they should be, and make the mortar brig fully an anti personnel weapon, you will find that people will be forced to include at least a few mortar brigs as part of their fleet, unless they plan on avoiding towers altogether (new port battle system)

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so what do we do with mortar brig?

more accuracy and damage and damage against crew?

I would suggest just letting it be useless curiosity until port fortifications are introduced into the game, it's not hurting anyone the way it is at the moment.

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As I and others have stated, mortars were not anti ship weapons, nor anti fortification weapons except in the sense that they were used for anti personnel purposes.

If you make the forts more deadly(heated shot), as they should be, and make the mortar brig fully an anti personnel weapon, you will find that people will be forced to include at least a few mortar brigs as part of their fleet, unless they plan on avoiding towers altogether (new port battle system)

 

Aethlstan makes some good points including those above. I think it is a given that the Mtr brig should be left as is until the new system with land and forts is added in. Just a couple of comments:

 

I get the feeling that you live in SC or are just an ACW buff with all the great info about Ft Sumpter and Ft Moltrie :)  One question for you: What was the range at which Ft Moltrie was bombarding Ft Sumpter without effect?

 

I appreciate that for the most part we are still talking about smoothbore artillery, but you can find plenty of examples of naval bombardment of fortifications in the Napoleonic era. The most obvious one for the US is Ft McHenry. Not that it is an example of a devastating naval barrage! Why? Because unlike in NA the British kept their ships out of range of the forts guns using mostly mortars and rockets. Having said that the garrison was vulnerable to bursting shells in the gun emplacements.

 

Also you have the two bombardments of Copenhagen which also used bomb ships behind the British line of battle. Also there are Lord Cochrane's exploits on the coasts of France and Spanish taking out minor towers and gun emplacements using bombardment from his frigate and by landing marines.

 

Remember that there should be varying level of fortifications from Havana (very hard to take out) to gun emplacements on a spit of land next to a harbor (can be taken out by bombardment by a 12 lb frigate. IMO even if direct fire from the solid shot did little to knock holes in the stone I think you'd still have a morale effort on the troops and gun crews in the fort. For a small fort they are being bombarded by guns heavier than most land based cannon in the case of a SOL, so that is going to have some effect.

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I've used the Mortar Brig in a deep water port battle since the introduction of the Mortar Handbooks. A combination of Fine Mortar Handbook and Exceptional Pellews Sights gave me a surprising level of accuracy, but even better was the crew damage. With Ingermanlands and Connies running towards towers at full speed, I was able to reduce one to 29 crew in 2 or 3 hits, before they had even reached it.

 

In total I only managed 5 hits that counted as hull hits, but I achieved a ridiculous 336 crew kills with those 5 hits.

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