PDA

View Full Version : Humberside ACW - the guns


John Meunier
05-17-2006, 02:29 PM
I've been fiddling around with the Humberside Extensions for the ACW.

I'm figuring the scale would mean an average brigade at mid-war would be 2 or 3 elements at most and a typical division would have 6 - 10 infantry elements.

I'm trying to figure out the right scale for cannon/guns. An element per battery seems much too dense, but since the batteries were often attached out to individual brigades massing them into a battalion-sized artillery stand does not represent the tactics.

Anyone else already cracked this nut?

Chris Brantley
05-17-2006, 03:49 PM
John, your question has has me flummoxed for a couple of years now...how to deal with artillery in an ACW DBx adaptation. With very few exceptions (such as 2d Mannassas), artillery fought in detached batteries and sections, rather than as full battalions. But you don't want to have 3-4+ artillery elements on the board for every infantry element. So what do you do?

The only thought I've had so far is to field guns as battalion elements. As the CnC, you could put them in line, when they would have a direct field of fire. Or you could hold them in the rear, and allow them to provide a + firing modifier to every regiment/brigade within a certain radius. In this sense, the artillery battalion becomes a logisitical element providing fire support as it detaches batteries/sections to the regiments in line. You don't field those batteries and sections, but assume that the artillery is integral with the infantry if within a set distance of the artillery battalion element. Or if there is any quesition, you could have some type of small marker placed on the infantry unit.

The problem with this conception...if you integrate infantry and artillery fire, then how do you deal with counterbattery fire, which was characterisic of ACW artillery tactics...i.e. first silence the guns, then shell the infantry.

By the way, in my conception of ACW-DBx, each element would be a single brigade...so that you could field an entire army with 40-60 infantry elements, plus a # of elements of artillery battalions reflecting the actual TOE.

My goal is to be able to fight Gettysburg on a kitchen table top in under 2 hours.

But there is not much meat on the bones yet.

nick hux
05-17-2006, 04:29 PM
Chris,

Have you tried HFG - it is at 1 element = 1 brigade level. I don't think it is as complicated as it looks. A lot of the wording is to cover its full date range, i.e. if you do ACW then all of the stuff covering before and after can be ignored. You can also ignore naval, aeonauts etc. as you wish!

Nick

Redwilde
05-17-2006, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by Chris Brantley:

The problem with this conception...if you integrate infantry and artillery fire, then how do you deal with counterbattery fire, which was characterisic of ACW artillery tactics...i.e. first silence the guns, then shell the infantry.
Hmm, how about: an artillery unit directly behind a line of infantry provides support for 3, or say 5, units in the line (like psiloi support). Artillery in such a position provides offensive and defensive support for the line, and can also fire at range if the line is not engaged in close combat.

Enemy artillery can choose to ignore the line and shoot directly at artillery in such a support position. Your artillery is behind the line simply as a mechanical convention, it is not actually masked by the line. If enemy artillery does not target the supporting guns, then the units in your line get to use their artillery bonus defensively when shot at. So there's encouragement to use typical tactics and take out the guns first.

Alternatively, like bow fire in DBA, you could simply require artillery in range to shoot at each other if you don't mind forcing the tactic. The compulsion works well enough as a game mechanic in DBA, even if its not 100% historically accurate.

John Meunier
05-17-2006, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by Chris Brantley:

My goal is to be able to fight Gettysburg on a kitchen table top in under 2 hours.

It was Gettysburg that got me thinking, too. I could see 1 element brigades at 1,200 men. I was thinking 2 elements per brigade just because the depth of the Civil War line would be only 2 men, increasing the frontage.

Redwilde said:

Hmm, how about: an artillery unit directly behind a line of infantry provides support for 3, or say 5, units in the line (like psiloi support). Artillery in such a position provides offensive and defensive support for the line, and can also fire at range if the line is not engaged in close combat.
Interesting thoughts and I like the way it builds on existing DBA mechanisms. This way the guns could either be deployed to support infantry, or massed as battalions, yes?

John Meunier
05-17-2006, 09:51 PM
Originally posted by nick hux:
Chris,

Have you tried HFG - it is at 1 element = 1 brigade level. I don't think it is as complicated as it looks. A lot of the wording is to cover its full date range, i.e. if you do ACW then all of the stuff covering before and after can be ignored. You can also ignore naval, aeonauts etc. as you wish!

Nick It's been a long time. I was not really keen on the whole bayonets vs. rifles distinctions that Phil was trying to make. It never seemed to work really well to me.

That said, it has been a long time since I've looked over the rules. Maybe they have changed.

Redwilde
05-18-2006, 02:24 AM
Originally posted by John Meunier:
Interesting thoughts and I like the way it builds on existing DBA mechanisms. This way the guns could either be deployed to support infantry, or massed as battalions, yes? [/QB]Yes. Chris had already mentioned both of those options, I was only elaborating on the tricky half of it. But the massed battalion battery fire would still be a viable option.