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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
      122
    • Ammo must be limited and can be depleted during each battle, no matter the cost for AI and gameplay
      97


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I think this "Condition" stat is really sweet, right.  If you want, make it so that brigades recover condition more quickly if they are close to a VP, arguing a supply line was established 

 

I dont know about that specific suggestion, I'm just saying that you can tweak Condition % and its recovery / depletion rate to reflect just about anything.  I think it's a brilliant metric.

 

I also like Cover.  I support the idea of temporary breastworks, but really, could Cover just increase gradually over time if a unit remained stationary?  Or if it had the 'hold' command in use?

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DET,

 

Good suggestion on cover increasing over time for stationary units to represent troops improvising breastworks.

 

Once created would the advantage stay with the unit or with the terrain?

 

If one unit digs in then rotates out of position can another unit take its place and get the benefit of the previous unit's efforts?

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I am by far no expert on the minutia of this or any other battle, but going by previous comments, the probability of a units running out of ammo was minimal, because units were resupplied on the line when absolutely necessary; but everybody also knows the account of the 20th Maine --Chamberlain-- running out on the 2nd, which spurred their infamous bayonet charge.

 

Ergo:

1. Units running out of supply during a single scenario should not generally be an issue.

 

2. Units did run out of supply --20th Maine-- and dealt with the situation in a manner which in no way can be represented by the unit being very low on condition; they performed a bayonet charge, which would not work in the game if they were very low on condition --ammo-- under the current rules.

 

The problem within a scenario is as one put it, the "bean counting". Already having to be everywhere at once to keep an eye on condition, morale and the general situation is taxing. Does anybody pause the game every 10-15 seconds to check everything? So without having thought of every possible situation that might occur I am basically against having ammo being counted into "condition", but also have no good workable solution if ammo were simply an addition status of a units which the player would have to check to discover.

 

Where ammo should play a large role would be when scenarios are linked sequentially, which as I understand is being considered.

 

Having played the 1st Day Afternoon scenario a number of times as the Union I know that I can defend Oak Mountain by defending with enough troops --to the detriment of the rest of the battlefield-- and still hold it at the end of the scenario. But if the next scenario starts with the units of the previous scenario in the same area, this will leave a goodly portion of the I or XI Corps cut off on Oak Mountain, where they should be very low on ammo at the start of the subsequent scenario, having had no way to resupply between scenarios, which is as it should be.

 

The player should have to think strategically to avoid a situation which would leave a portion of his troops secluded from command and supply or pay the consequences, which I feel should not be only accounted for in their "condition".

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DET,

 

Good suggestion on cover increasing over time for stationary units to represent troops improvising breastworks.

 

Once created would the advantage stay with the unit or with the terrain?

 

If one unit digs in then rotates out of position can another unit take its place and get the benefit of the previous unit's efforts?

 

Thanks!  Good question on what happens when you move.  I would say the fortifications disappear... 

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While veteran troops would on their own initiative and for their own safety pro-actively dig themselves in to a position they expected to hold for a while at the end of the war, at this point I believe this was rare and digging in was done by command. Digging is disorganizing and would seriously impact condition for hours, so presents risks in the face of the enemy. The rewards depend on the lay of the land and how easily natural features can be fortified and and the materials to hand. Setting up defenses in a rocky forest is going to be easier than in a farmer's field - it would need an fairly detailed algorithm to calculate. 

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I have to disagree. Only early in the war --'61 and somewhat in '62-- did leaders still think they should command their forces in Napoleonic fashion, only standing in formation on the field. Lee was chided for his ordering his men to entrench --Granny Lee they called him--, but once these troops actually fought from their protective entrenchments they immediately saw the advantage.

 

Fredericksburg specifically was won though the defenses put up by Jackson and Longstreet and by that time it would have been considered insane not to improve a defensive position as extensively as possible. By the time of Gettysburg the troops did not have to be instructed to improve their position, they did it automatically if only to protect their own lives.

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I strongly believe this is something you need to add, but it should be for the artillery. Having unlimited ammo negates the Union advantage. However, I think most focus of everyone has been the type of cannons the Union had. Let's take that out of the equation for a minute. It's important but I want to shelve it for the moment because the rebs had plenty of cannons, albeit them being mostly smoothbores. 

 

I need you to think about supply. This is what always killed the South. They had problems supplying things to its army. Food was probably its biggest supply problem but for this topic I want to mention shells. 

 

This is why them capturing some newer Union cannons was a catch-22.  In many cases, they didn't have the shells to go in them. They could use what was in the box but then it would be a dead cannon until they found some more. There were two major arms factories in the South: Richmond and Atlanta. Each cannon needs different types of shells and the South had trouble making them all of them. 

 

Okay, having said that its amazing how much the South did make due with what it had. The Tredegar Iron Works keep the Confederacy in business by scrapping whatever they could find to turn out shells, balls, etc. 

 

But then you have to transport them to the army and this is where the Union always wins. They had a better network. Take a given battle where the Union and Confederates have the same amount of cannons and the Union batteries will be better supplied. They will not only have better weapons but more shells to keep the firing going for a long time. The CSA batteries could never withstand a long firefight...and this was in Virginia. 

 

Now this is Gettysburg we're talking about. This problem becomes significantly worse because you have little chance of resupplying yourself. Once you run out of shells, you are out until you capture more or go back home. 

 

Which is a slight problem that became major on the 3rd day. The CSA ran out of artillery ammunition. They couldn't support the army. When their fire slackened, the Union soldiers who were covering for dear life, stood up and went to the wall. Who knows how the battle would have been if the fire could have been maintained. 

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The artillery commanders must be assumed to know their business and conserve ammo, which is why the rate of fire of carefully laid shots was so low.

 

Players don't want their guns to burn ammo and then suddenly run out.  

 

Ammo is already reflected in condition. There is already a built in advantage in firepower for the Union. Artillery might recover high condition more slowly if ammo is an issue, such as being cut off or heavily engaged. So Union guns with supply train right behind them would be unimpaired.

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MikeK, you are sort of right but I would argue that it is not enough. The Union has a very distinct advantage in this battle. That fact really pronounced on the 3rd day. High ground + their artillery advantage allows them to blow up half the enemy before they even come near the center. In this game, its far too easy for me to win the 3rd day as the CSA.  I've never lost when playing as the rebels.  Reason: the artillery advantage is neutralized.

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  • 5 months later...

Ammo will make the game much more complicated. Would be nice as option.

Generally I dont want ammoexhaust., we are the commanders, not the supply officers.

The example of little round top where an union regiment run out of bullets is well known and pretty rare.

Actually I found no other case of problems with low running ammo.

 

Would rather have the reload bug fixed instead of implementing more ammo probs.

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  • 1 year later...

need ammo rules.  being an avid player of terrible swift sword, and other ACW board games, almost ALL of them have supply rules.  in TSS, there are counters which represent supply trains.  you could do something like that.  also, if you do implement ammo rules, would it not be easy to have an option to turn off/on supply?

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It's very unrealistic to have unlimited ammo, expecially for smaller ships, but I'd say it's too early to create ammo/supply/new materials/rules as long as the economy is not more developed.

Let's see when the naval bases and land in battles arrive. :)

Err, I think you replied in the wrong forum ;)(hint: it's not Naval Action)

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  • 1 month later...

I think it is needed , but to avoid complex rules (involving supply carts and scavenging of other units) , and IA strange behaviors, it could be random triggered (i.e. no need to having a precise account per unit), limit  the effect to a 50% effectivenes at most and be a temporal modifier that can be solved by being static near a general (making the assumption that supply carts are near the generals....  

 

This kind of ammo management works quite fine in miniatures games (i.e. Regimental Fire&Fury)

 

A side with low ammo could be represented by a greater chance of  having it spent  after each volley (the random trigger)

 

P.D. do not be fooled by the avatar I play ultimate general too  ^_^

Edited by Eishen
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WesleyBarras,

Above you stated:

"...Which is a slight problem that became major on the 3rd day. The CSA ran out of artillery ammunition. They couldn't support the army. When their fire slackened, the Union soldiers who were covering for dear life, stood up and went to the wall. Who knows how the battle would have been if the fire could have been maintained."

 

This is simply not a correct statement.  According to E.P. Alexander the CSA brought about 42,000 rounds of artillery ammunition with them on the Gettysburg Campaign.  During the three day Battle of Gettysburg the CSA fired 22,000 rounds.  

 

This left them about 20,000 rounds which would allow another two or more days of very serious fighting, or more days if they slowed their rate of fire.  The CSA had almost no opportunities to fire canister July 1-3 as they had been on the offensive for most of the fighting.  This left Lee with a bountiful supply of ammunition for defensive work; which is why Lee waited, and hoped, that Meade would order an attack on the CSA positions on July 4.

 

While the ammunition in the gun limbers and ammunition chests were exhausted by the barrage on July 3, it would take about 2 hours to refill these ammunition chests from the supply train and get the batteries back in action along the line with replenished supplies.

 

Thus if you wanted to implement ammunition supply then the way to do it would be any guns that fire for about 2 hours without a break would exhaust their ammunition and need to return to the supply train to rearm.  The game is already broken into phases so it would likely result in more annoyance than it is worth in a phase to need to run off to the supply train to replenish ammunition then return to the firing line.

 

Keep in mind Alexander, Pendleton, Hunt, Tidball, and others were enforcing "deliberate fire" orders for their guns - which is no more than one round per gun every 5 minutes.  This rate of fire would allow a battery to stay on the line for the duration of the day.  The guns would then resupply during the evening to be ready for another day's action.  The maniacal rate of fire sustained by the CSA on July 3rd for 90 minutes was the exception - not the rule for the ACW.  Firing all the ammunition in the four chests carried by each gun over a 90 minute interval would mean the gun is essential "firing blind" as the smoke from the previous discharge could not dissipate before the next round was fired.  

 

While the barrage before Longstreet's Charge on July 3 was noisy, it was ineffective - not a single Union regiment was routed, and the batteries that were damaged in the barrage were rotated out of the line and replaced with fresh batteries from the artillery reserve (which was the standard practice by both sides during the war).  

 

Meade himself scolded the captain of an Ohio battery for attempting to pull out of the line to replenish his ammunition.  He ordered the captain to send his caissons for more ammunition, slow his rate of fire, and stay in the line.

 

Finally,

 

ACW artillery inflicted only 6% of the battlefield casualties; but played an essential role in eroding the morale on the battlefield.  I'd be more interested in seeing the artillery fixed to align more with the historical reality of black powder munitions during the conflict.  The ammunition supply would be less problematic and less of a factor IF the artillery was playing its proper role in the combat of the ACW.

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