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Artillery

4 years 9 months ago #1 by mcaryf

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  • Artillery was created by mcaryf
    I am not very fond of the way artillery capture works either for infantry or cavalry. Is this a feature buried inside the game code or might it be something that could be modded? I was watching one of Darkrob's scenarios where he effectively had to sacrifice an infantry unit to capture 16 guns at 30 men per gun just to put them out of action.

    I see in the UnitGlobal file that there is a captured unit type. I was wondering if a special Captured unit type could be created that was for example incapable of being limbered and only needed 10 men to operate it. Thus infantry units capturing artillery would not be denuded of as many as 30 men and the captured gun could not be moved any great distance but could be fired from where it was captured.

    In the case of cavalry I would like the artillery unit not to surrender and disappear but effectively to become a non-owned unit that could then be captured by ten men from either side's infantry but on the reduced basis outlined above. This is broadly what happened at Waterloo.

    If I was starting from scratch it might have been interesting to create the gun crew as a type of 30 man skirmisher unit that could peel off from the gun as the crews really did. The reduced mobility I have suggested would represent the "captured" gun's horses having been either killed or run off whilst the gun was unguarded by its crew.

    Regards

    Mike

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    4 years 9 months ago #2 by Saddletank

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  • Replied by Saddletank on topic Re: Artillery
    The KS Mod fixed this years ago. You will need to be able to edit code though in the ai.dll file to overcome this.

    I agree its one of the stupidest features in the game and exists only because it was in Gettysburg and it is in there only because of 1 scene in the Gettysburg movie where some enemy infantry capture a gun and turn it round on its former owners. Altogether a very daft idea that should never have been in the game.

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    4 years 9 months ago #3 by mcaryf

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  • Replied by mcaryf on topic Re: Artillery
    Hi Saddletank

    Does your KS mod just have artillery destroyed when captured by either infantry or cavalry or does it attempt to reproduce the actual Waterloo reality of Allied guns being abandoned when cavalry comes and the crews returning when they leave?

    Regards

    Mike

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    4 years 9 months ago #4 by Saddletank

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  • Replied by Saddletank on topic Re: Artillery
    It varies and depends on how near the enemy units are, what type they are (cav vs inf) and whether they are charging or just advancing.

    Much of the time guns will reposition to the rear and the battery commander then has to spend a while gathering them together and resting them before they become a viable unit again. If caught in a charge guns surrender, the white flag icon shows and the gun is removed from play. If almost caught by chargers or if non-chargers get very close guns will rout away. They are not destroyed but will leave the battlefield.

    We find this mechanism covers most historical accounts and is better than the default system.

    There is no way to make SoWWL reproduce the accounts of Waterloo when crews retired, abandoning their guns but the first example I gave covers this fairly closely. If you study the accounts you'll see that the guns abandoned temporarily at Waterloo were in effect out of action for the battle anyway as the crews were reluctant to return and the limber drivers had retired with all the ammunition so if a crew or two did return to their guns there is probably very little they could have done other than fire off a round that was already loaded. The idea of the Allied batteries being back fully in action after the French cavalry withdrew is a misconception so its actually something we considered but rejected.

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    4 years 9 months ago #5 by mcaryf

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  • Replied by mcaryf on topic Re: Artillery
    It sounds a more reasonable compromise to me.

    I guess I should try the KS mod although I do not think you have done anything about shrapnel which I have in my version of artillery.

    I will explain what I do. I only allow my "Shrapnel" to be fired from British howitzers but that is not the game's version of Shrapnel it is ultra long range Canister using the 18lbrs munition type effective out to 825 yards with 25 canister balls and a spread of 0.4. I increase the rate of miss-fires to 15% to allow for the fuse being set wrong and I slow the rate of fire as the gunner needs to plan for the fuse burning time, unfortunately I cannot create genuine indirect fire but any French units visible in front of the one British all howitzer battery is at severe risk. Even with the various restrictions this mod allows "Shrapnel" to be the battle winning weapon that it actually was at Waterloo particularly in defense of Hougoumont.

    Regards

    Mike

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    4 years 9 months ago - 4 years 9 months ago #6 by Saddletank

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  • Replied by Saddletank on topic Re: Artillery
    It would be easy to add your shrapnel version into the KS Mod. Shrapnel was fired by all British guns BTW, not just howitzers.

    I'd suggest trying the mod without it though at first since artillery is already much more lethal in the KS Mod and gives us near historical casualty rates - I not infrequently have batteries that rack up scores of 2,000+ points.

    HITS & Couriers - a different and realistic way to play SoW MP.
    Last edit: 4 years 9 months ago by Saddletank.

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    4 years 9 months ago - 4 years 9 months ago #7 by mcaryf

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  • Replied by mcaryf on topic Re: Artillery
    Hi Saddletank

    I am aware that other British guns could fire Shrapnel but they were less effective than howitzers due to their more limited elevation and smaller calibre. also I did not want the Allies to have too huge an increase in capability by allowing all artillery to fire it. The way SOW selects ammo types would also be more difficult to manage and since my Shrapnel is really canister as far as the game is concerned that would prevent the other guns firing their own canister which would be more effective at shorter ranges. As it is I give the British guns no allocation of game Shrapnel so they just fire shot or true canister whilst the howitzers have 25% shells and 75% canister/Shrapnel and no game Shrapnel. I also change the canister effect for howitzers into an air burst so that it rains down rather well on the French who did describe it as being like black rain.

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edit: 4 years 9 months ago by mcaryf.

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    4 years 6 months ago #8 by mcaryf

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  • Replied by mcaryf on topic Re: Artillery
    Hi Saddletank

    I have noticed an effect of my own artillery mod which I guess might happen with KS. The original designers of SOW Waterloo took a decision about capturing buildings that this could only happen by driving out the occupants with gunfire rather than the historical assault method. I have found that my mod makes it rather easy to evict units by firing canister at them from artillery units that are out of range for return musket or rifle fire. Have you found this is an issue in KS and if so did you do anything to better protect units in buildings from this type of attack which historically would probably have been ineffective?

    Regards

    Mike

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    4 years 6 months ago #9 by Saddletank

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  • Replied by Saddletank on topic Re: Artillery
    I see you are discovering that changing one thing in the game alters something else. :D

    The KS mod prevents foot artillery from unlimbering close to an enemy so with the mod the issue you describe cannot happen. Horse artillery can unlimber closer to an enemy than foot artillery with KS but still not as close as the stock game, so to answer, no, we don't see canister being used to shatter fort defenders with the KS mod.

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    4 years 6 months ago #10 by mcaryf

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  • Replied by mcaryf on topic Re: Artillery
    Hi Saddletank

    Thank you for your reply.

    I am interested to know how close your limit for preventing unlimbering might be - I have looked at the logistic files and I have not seen the "artillery panic" setting as being set especially high. You have a French 12lb gun with a canister range of 500 yards so if your limit is much lower than 500 yards then that gun could fire canister at units in a building. Have you tried using canister on buildings - it has a big effect for me. As my variant of Shrapnel is just a special canister munition with a range of 750 yards (which it effectively was) it makes it impossible for the French to hold La Haye Sainte with troops inside for any length of time if Wellington still has British howitzers in range (the munition is so powerful I only give it to howitzers). In consequence I have converted the objective so it gives its main benefit in points when first taken as a Way Point objective. After that there is a different "hold" objective activated there but with a wider radius so the French units can shelter behind rather than in the building and cannot usually be targeted.

    Regards

    Mike

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    4 years 6 months ago #11 by Saddletank

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  • Replied by Saddletank on topic Re: Artillery
    To be honest I have never tried using canister vs buildings and I don't think anyone in our group has. First its pretty much impossible to get a battery to unlimber that close and second its so gamey that I don't think anyone in our group would have the nerves to try something that's that unrealistic.

    I suggest also that your shrapnel changes are too powerful. The only accounts I have read of it being noticed by the French was in Spain but there the ground was dry and rocky which emphasized the bursts of the balls (ricochets).

    I know it seems like a non-answer but I would recommend you just don't unlimber your guns in canister range of fortified buildings! They should always hold back and pound them with roundshot or shell.

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    4 years 6 months ago #12 by mcaryf

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  • As far as I can tell the game uses the same artillery and munitions setting for Waterloo, Ligny and Quatre Bras, however, we know that Waterloo took place after very heavy rain and therefore the ricochet effect so important to artillery effectiveness was nullified. Therefore if you wanted to represent the difference between Waterloo and the other two battles how would that be best done? For example for canister should the number of bullets rated to be present be made larger for Ligny and QB and since the ricochet effect adds to the range should that be longer at QB and Ligny? I am not sure how best to change the effectiveness of round shot - perhaps the number of persons a round can kill should be modified.

    An interesting point might be whether the Ligny and QB effectiveness should be improved or whether that for Waterloo should be deteriorated. I am inclined to think that Ligny at least should be improved because the impact of French artillery fire on Prussian reserves was an often reported feature of the battle but does not seem to have that much impact in the standard game.

    Do KS players use different settings for Waterloo or other battles known to have been fought on damp ground?

    Regards

    Mike

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    4 years 6 months ago #13 by DarkRob

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  • Replied by DarkRob on topic Re: Artillery
    In my opinion increasing or decreasing the effectiveness of the artillery munitions themselves isn't really the problem. The problem is that no matter what you do it wont change the fact that the AI hasn't got a clue how to use its artillery. It does slightly better on the defense, but on the attack its hopeless. The AI could be armed with Cruise missle's and I would still win.
    Artillery is the META in Scourge of War. The player knows it, the AI doesn't. That's all there really is to it.
    The only way to even things up for the AI is to play HITS. That way at least the AI can mishandle your artillery as well as its own.

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    4 years 6 months ago - 4 years 6 months ago #14 by mcaryf

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  • Replied by mcaryf on topic Re: Artillery
    Hi Rob

    If you tried your fortress tactic playing as the French against the Allied AI using one of my mods that gives a more realistic effectiveness to Shrapnel you might have rather more problems. The reason why Wellington was able to effectively use your fortress approach with his squares was because most of them were over the ridge from the bulk of Napoleon's artillery. He did less well at Quatre Bras because he had not been able to select the ground where the battle was fought.

    I play against AI's that I have created and it usually gives me a fair challenge. One thing I try to do when designing the AI is to have at least 3 variants that occur independently of each other and each of those has at least three more variants within them. This gives a minimum of 27 x variations so even though I wrote the AI I still do not know what is likely to happen next.

    By the way I can tell you that if you play the full battle Ligny scenario as Napoleon there is a 1 in 6 chance that Bulow's IVth Prussian Corps will appear against you. I have not looked to see where he actually appears so it might be a far distant map edge but it should happen occasionally. If you are playing as the Prussians then Bulow will not appear although at one stage he does seem to send a message but it appears that the message was never written as it does not exist in the message list. I am not sure what the game does if it tries to read a non-existent message because there is also a non-existent message announcing Bulow's arrival to Napoleon in the playing as the French army scenario so that might cause it to fail.

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edit: 4 years 6 months ago by mcaryf.

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