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Is ammo needed?

Ammo for units  

219 members have voted

  1. 1. Is ammo important for the Battle of Gettysburg?

    • Ammo is not needed because we consider that it is sufficient for one single battle
    • Ammo must be limited and can be depleted during each battle, no matter the cost for AI and gameplay

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I appreciate the fact that ammo reserves might be involved in strategic decisions, but I really hope this game will leave out as many micro-managing aspects as possible and stay accesible. That's why I'm skeptical of adding an ammo-system.

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I prefer unlimited ammo, since usually soldiers got huge amount (considering they all had to be reloaded invidually) ammunition, perhaps 50 or so, and when they also can pick up ammo from enemies/comrades, i don`t think it is big enough issue, it would only add annoying micro managing. If micro managing can be avoided, then sure why not! 

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I say no.


Those who say it should be added for 'realism' or historical accuracy should consider a few things.


Typical infantry issue of ammo was 40-60 per soldier. For battle resupply in some cases, prior to engagement after lines were formed, ammunition runners would drop pallets of minie along the lines for reloading/resupply. (This must have been particularly vexing, considering there were over 600 differnt types of ammunition used). Or units would engage, disengage, and rearm, or ammunition carriers would run back to the wagons to get ammo boxes and take them back to their units. So if you are going to include a limitation on ammo for the purpose of realism, then it follows that you should include the remedy. If, so...how?  Do you really want to play a game that forces you to withdraw back to the supply wagons to rearm or micromanage the ammo runners? If yes, then you have to consider the tactical implications of wagons. At the Battle of Chickamauga, there were over 850 wagons and 5000 mules and horses that carried enough ammunition for 2 major battles. How is that going to be modeled? Resupply units on the field that affect the battle should be able to be affected by the battle. I recall reading about an instance in the Battle of Gettysburg where 10  wagons were dispatched to carry ammo to  Federal troops through town and had to deal with Confederate cannon fire when they crossed Seminary Ridge. While the theory of doing these things in a video game sounds cool, I find it unlikely that coding it would be anything less than a remarkably difficult challenge that would end up either making the game about resupply or some well meaning but off target abstract that allows the AI to easily deal with resupply.  The concept of "well, your unit ran outta ammo so he has to melee" is neither historical nor realistic, and if it's not going to be an abstract concept using unlimited ammo, then the logistical remedy for low ammo should be included.


My vote is for unlimited ammo on release, and a "Professional Soldier" DLC. ( "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics." -Omar Bradley) that includes content for supply and counter supply.


As for the whole "camping" issue...that's not really much of a big deal in multiplayer. Disconnect and find anothe opponent. I seriously doubt a game of this genre will keep the trolls for long. The serious players will learn who the serious players are after a while.

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Limited ammo definitely needs to be in, If a unit is getting low, the firing slows up, and the enemy could then attack better. I guess what I'm saying the difference in ammo makes a lot of difference in the type of combat on the front line.. In real life if you got lots of ammo, you just spray and fire, if low on ammo, one shot at a time and being real careful. This makes all kind of differences in battles.. Just trying running into a spray of fire. 

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Thanks to the feedback you offered ammo implementation is under great consideration. If we approve ammo implementation it will be done with a method that will not make AI to get puzzled but will be a very important tactical parameter for both sides (Player, AI). I remind the gameplay philosophy... no cheats for the AI. He must play with equal way.

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I like the idea presented by xcorps... reusing amo / weapon / guns... I would incorporate resources like that into the strategic map where user can plan to capture resources. Little bit out of topic or just touch it... I am a fan of the idea to have a strategic map (to avoid to have too much information on the battleview) for both planning of the battle...(actually for big battles it would be a must... following the idea that general stuff used maps to visualise everything... resources, scouting, reinforcement... ) 

1, Positioning troops before the battle (not like in TW... that is really too easy)

2. Position supply points for you troops (with range which can cover troops ) / enemy should have the same  >> open the possibility to capture supplies

3, Request reinforcements arrival area (Sid´s solution was to open troops for use with time, but that allow user to know what they have... and again too easy).

4. See strategic points with high value

5. Visualise owned ground by user - and enemy troops

6. Visualise expected enemy troops out of sight (those should not be on the battleview)

7. Visualise scouted area or area in visual range / control (Sid´s solution was a view / button shows troops in view / range )

8. Communication between troops (if there is delay or cut of units) 

9. Could be used for big-big battles, thats or multiplayer to coordinate battleplan movement for a team 

I know that from start is no way to get in any of this... but in time it would add significant strategic play to your game and would definitely appreciated by me. 


So limited amo is a must! How to implement is more tricky.

Don't remember the correct story of Gettysburg..I think Lee wanted to swing far north to get a preliminary distance from the main union body. But there was something about a deppo of military equipment the south wanted to capture there (maybe just shoes) and a minor clash developed to a full battle. So resources have big importance as well. 

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  • 1 month later...

Don't remember the correct story of Gettysburg..I think Lee wanted to swing far north to get a preliminary distance from the main union body. But there was something about a deppo of military equipment the south wanted to capture there (maybe just shoes) and a minor clash developed to a full battle. So resources have big importance as well. 


Agree very much on your points. As for the story of the battle start, since it's tangentially relevant, that was an old yarn made up after the war by Henry Heth about needing shoes that nonetheless was picked up by the Lost Cause advocates like Early and Fitz Lee. It's a very romantic notion that the Southerners wouldn't have fought there except that they were so gee-shucks down on their luck and almost whipped the Yanks anyway, shoot! In reality, it was a recon-in-force precipitated by the dearth of Southern cavalry that got out of hand when John Reynolds showed up with the Northern First and Eleventh Corps.


Better example of shortage of supplies is during the third days' actions, when Longstreet ordered Pickett, et al., forward before he had confidence that the Union position was sufficiently weakened because he was told if he didn't there wouldn't be enough ammo for the artillery to cover the attack.

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Interesting topic and ideas though we have to limit our suggestions to a pragmatic level.

My idea is that you have to take ammo into consideration not in a realistic way but in a challenging way for the game. Do not try to look into features in the microscopic view of reality but in the view of a game. Chess is satisfying not because of realism but because it challenges the mind to study and use tactics, strategies and to guess your opponents decisions for defeating them.

So ammo is a big part of a war and the focus should be in how it could make a difference in the decisions you make, like retreating, advancing your troops and attacking the enemy and not in how it works in reality. Everything that makes you think for taking those decisions is good.

My idea is this:

You could use presets with ammo states. By using presets the AI will not be stressed that much as with dynamic calculations but the player will still make decisions that matter.

Four presets from Full Ammo 4/4 till Zero Ammo 0/4. Zero Ammo should be an extreme case. Some attacks will cause an 1 state depletion while others will cause 2 and more. You can then use automatic replenishment forcing you to hold back your armies. That should be faster the closer you are in your territory and on extreme cases impossible. Winning can make your army gain an ammo state or more if the opponents were in a bigger state than you. Retreating can make you lose states too, in extreme cases. Other activities should alter the states too, eg. by spending money or having special units or areas. The Ammo States could give you a bigger chance of winning by brute force , like in open fields, and allow the army to participate in more battles. I am thinking of it like an experienced unit could have a bonus over an inexperienced one.

The states should not give a big bonus to make the game be all about ammo, but a good deal that will make it count in your actions. Extreme cases should be extreme though.

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There is a certain idea we are now considering to add or not to, at least for our first release. The thing is that we approach to the time that we will release the game and we want it to be fully challenging and tested to fit your strategic gameplay needs. By default the battle is already divided in time sections that simulates pause for re-armament and re-forming. Fatigue plays major, crucial role to the battle and it is very important  to keep reserves (which simulates the actual combat effectiveness of brigades that needed not to be used all at once). Ammo will add another realism factor and complexity for the AI that has to deal already with many factors + realistic LOS. So to sum up, we want to add, I personaly strive for it, but not sure if we manage to do for the first release of the game. To be frank as it is now the gameplay, ammo will be a very minimal strategic factor comparing to all the other included.

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  • 1 month later...

Maybe expended ammo should regerate, representing the units sending out runners to requesition more. Units closer to supply wagons would regenerate faster, while units farther away, either on the flanks or off attacking the enemy, would require longer to resupply. I think this would add the realism of limited supplies and the tactical depth of logistics without encumbering gameplay.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ammo Tradeoffs

In historical simulations it is important to consider, "what impact did ammunition supply have on the actual battle?"

Small Arms Ammunition

Ammo was a key issue for Buford's U.S. Cavalry at the start of the battle to delay Archer's Brigade. The rate of fire was slowed to preserve ammunition until Reynolds/Doubleday I Corps arrived. Once Corps level organizations arrived on the field the ammunition crisis was alleviated. Front line troops could draw ammo from regimental supply, reverse troops and their regimental supplies, and finally Corps supply trains. Every evening supplies were moved from the Army reserve to restock the Corps, division, regimental, and front line ammunition reserves.

Note that the defense of Little Round Top was another case of isolated troops that were stationed to hold a position that had been detached from their Corps. They ran out of ammunition after 3 attacks.

My suggestion is that troops operating within the zone of their Corps are supplied. Troops operating independently had finite supply.


Armies were limited on how much ammunition could be carried on campaign. The level of artillery ammunition was a key logistic decision for every Civil War Campaign. Lee limited his artillery ammunition supply to fight one three-day battle during the Gettysburg Campaign because of his limited supply capacity; both wagons and draft animals were in short supply. Sherman also, for example, reduced his artillery park prior to the March to the Sea because he could not carry enough artillery ammunition for all of the artillery he had accumulated during the Atlanta Campaign. When he abandoned the railway supply line he also had to abandon about half of the artillery he had used in the siege of Atlanta.

Artillery batteries and Corps organizations carried limited artillery ammunition; usually enough ammunition to fight for 1 day. They were then resupplied from the Army reserve supply train; which carried enough ammunition for the Army to fight for 3 days. July 2 was the major artillery duel at Gettysburg. The Confederates planned an artillery barrage that was to last more than two hours prior to Pickett's Charge. However, they had failed to bring forward enough ammunition from the Army reserve supply to support a rapid-fire barrage of two hours. Confederate rate of artillery fire was ordered to slacken to ensure ammunition would last up to the time ordered for Pickett's Charge. During the charge ammunition was brought up from the Army reverse to prevent a Union counter-attack.

Note that during the preliminary barrage from the Confederates the Union batteries stopped firing after an hour of counter-battery fire to preserve ammunition. Once Pickett's Charge provided ample targets the Union batteries opened on the target rich infantry in the valley between Seminary and Cemetery Ridge.

Lee's artillery ammunition situation was a key factor in forcing the Confederates to abandon the Gettysburg Campaign after the battle. His reverse supply of artillery ammunition was exhausted.

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Has anyone here played the Close Combat series of games?

They're amazing especially when your men run out of ammo and your men are crawling about looking for weapons, it added an extra dimension of play.

Your game could include the possibility of units withdrawing/rallying at various points for resupply, for long battles anyway...

Or scavenging/pilfering supplies from the dead...

The Close Combat series also gave each soldier an individual set of stats for their personality, which made each game unique.

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  • 1 month later...

a long time ago I fought Gettysburg (among others) as board games using 'Kriegspiel' rules. It was also one of the first computer games I ever played - released by Avalon on Atari 1020.


In both cases ammunition supply/resupply was handled by a calculation depending on distance from the next-up HQ and Line of Supply, rather than any physical objects on the field.


I think something similar should be considered here, this involves less micromanagement, or 'gaming' by deliberately going after units ammunition supply, which would strain the AI to cope with (IMO)





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I think something similar should be considered here, this involves less micromanagement, or 'gaming' by deliberately going after units ammunition supply, which would strain the AI to cope with (IMO)


To tell you the truth this is something that we considered to do, and maybe we implement it if not in release, then in a patch, according to public request.

The issue is that we have many tasks to finish before release right now and something like this would delay us, not so much as a gameplay mechanic but as a gameplay factor to balance for both the AI and player.

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- I rather picked the limited ammo thing, to have the game a more rather difficult game to play. Yet, at the same time interesting. This can be used as an advantage and both disadvantage if you ask me. Resupplying your troops with ammos via cart, wagon or something. While having the chance to strike the enemy's supply (Ammo).


====Opinions / Suggestions====


Game Difficulties - Limited/Unlimited Ammo

> Most of the flash and indi games has these kind of options. Making both people, who prefer limited or unlimited ammo, in liking the game. What kind of harm will that be to the game?

>This is a very helpful way to at least help both experience/non-experience rts gamers in liking the game itself. Giving it more appealing or enjoyment to other people. Especially when I heard that this game will make it's way through tablet.


With Limited Ammo

> When you're going to stick with the limited ammo setting. I would suggest that ammo, or supplies could be transfered via wagon or something, to your squad or garrison places.

> Since the setting will change to have a limited ammo. Tactics will also change of course. Gaining some new ways to strike the enemy from their supplies. Stealing or cutting of their supplies will be a great way to add.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Supplies add nice dynamics into the mix, it makes that you need to do more carefull planning and, as a result, in more rewarding successes (if you succeed).

I would definately want to see limited ammunution implemented. But if you want the game to also sell as (just) 'another title' than it probably needs an unlimited option as well.


Research on the game industry seems to indicate that easy games have a short lifespan, with a broad player base, while difficult (non-twitch based) games have a long lifespan, with a smaller player base.


So, kenichinsfs suggestion is spot on if you ask me.



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Interesting comments regarding ammo.


Hadn't thought about this before but having an ammo wagon/division or corps might make the game more interesting.  I'd suggest tying the ammo wagons to the road network for both historical accuracy as well as making the road network relevant to the game.  The capture of a supply train would impede the supplies of the losing side.  


Additionally the capture of supplies could be another metric for victory.

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One might say that not including ammo would require some kind of rock-throwing or rifle-bashing metric.


Perhaps the scenario scale should also be considered. Smaller/shorter engagements needn't be concerned with logistics in the same fashion as modelling a multi-day battle or perhaps campaign (here's hoping). However, we can likely all name some strategy games that were hurt by how they modelled resupply in clunky ways so as Akis said above, if the coding problems are great, the gameplay needs to be balanced in favor of .. well .. enjoyment, over math.

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Hold on everyone....Hold on....


Look Ammo is needed......this is war.


I was in the military as well...I'm a disabled veteran....O.K.?


Here's my idea:  Limited Ammo...Keep it real


Ammo should be used up to a certain point, Which "point" is that?

3 Buttons:

A. If YOU the General halt the usage, the unit halts no matter if it's inf/cav./arty.

B. If you use "deplete all ammo/fix bayonets" option, this will make the unit use all the ammo & then fix bayonets: inf & artillery

C. Cavalry, of course, have pistols & sword, same thing: "deplete all ammo/use sword."


There we go for ammo....easy.  Why go crazy with 10 different options? Use the 4 below to summarize:

Use ammo only, Use ammo/Deploy bayonets, Use pistols/Deploy bayonets, Halt unit....4 buttons

If you'd like one unit to hide & only use bayonets, Then make it 5 buttons: Deploy bayonets!


Let me tell you Desert Storm (When I was in the U.S. Army) situations: You have an M16 & sand, Sand chokes the M16 and renders it eventually useless unless you clean the M16.  This was you're option if you were a grunt: Shoot, Clean the weapon, Load magazine, Shoot, repeat process.


Now, in the states during this time (Civil war) bullets were used and rain/snow effected the weapon!  Water warps wood & affects shooting.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I know I am arriving somewhat late to this discussion, but I will say that I feel ammo is critical in any Civil War battle, though it does not have to be micro-managed. 


If we start with the assumption that all key decisions in this game are being made at the brigade level -- as seems to be the case -- you can bet that by 1863, no brigade commander would have "forgotten" to have adequate supplies of ammunition near to his troops, and neither would the respective armies' quartermaster corps.  


Having said that, here are some bullet points worth considering:


*  The typical private carried 40 rounds in his cartridge box, and 20 in his haversack or pockets.  

*  A well-trained soldier could load and fire three times a minute.

*  Very rarely did anybody fire this quickly, because if you did, your box would be empty in 15 minutes.  One or two rounds a minute was more likely (most of the time) in sustained combat, though at Culp's Hill, some men fired far more rounds during the course of that key battle.

*  Just as important to ammo consumption was the effect of fire upon the musket itself. After a dozen rounds or less, a the bore of a black powder musket can begin to foul, making loading increasingly difficult.  At Culp's Hill, when units were pulled out of the line to resupply their cartridge boxes, they would boil water for coffee, and use the leftover hot water to clean their barrels.

*  The lack of ammunition, was at times, pivotal during the war -- the successful charge of Hood's Texans at Gaines Mill came at a moment when the Federal troops facing Hood's men were just in the process of being pulled out of the line to replenish their ammunition. And, of course, the bombardment that preceded Pickett's Charge ended sooner than it might have, as artillery ammunition was running out.


What I think, from my (admittedly amateur) studies of the war, is that a Civil War regiment was good, on the average, for an hour or less of sustained combat, before it had to be pulled out of the line to replenish its ammo, its water (if possible), and to regroup its companies, who sometimes might have fallen into disorder or lost key officers or noncoms. 

If, rather than keeping track of rounds fired, there was some sort of an overall meter that would indicate when a brigade was used up -- in terms of combat efficiency, and which included ammunition, morale, exhaustion, etc., all as part of one scale, this might be a fairly simple concept.

I get really tired of games -- such as many of the TW ones, of course -- that let every unit fight to the last man, with no allowance for any of these factors.


And finally, for those still reading, although I believe the bayonet played a far larger role in Civil War battles than is commonly acknowledged, there were few cases of a unit fixing bayonets and charging, a la Camerone or for that matter Little Round Top, once they were out of ammunition.  Had the 20th  Maine faced effective musketry, instead of a disorganized group of exhausted foes, or for that matter, had Confederate artillery been able to play upon it effectively, Chamberlain's charge would have been nothing but a glorious failure.


B.C> Milligan

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