Causulty dice

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thomalley
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Causulty dice

Post by thomalley » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:12 pm

Is there some modifier to these dice. It seems that they have the same effect on a column in the open as to a skirmish unit in a fortified position. As the rules are written, La Haye Sainte would fall easy to a couple turns of intense fire. Every battery getting two dice means, on average, each battery will cause a hit every turn. So a French Corps artillery will cause 3 casualties per turn, on average, and in an hour of combat put 9 hits on the defending unit. And that's not counting the effects from the standard artillery table.


Some friends were playing PC and couldn't get close because of the intense artillery fire from the defending artillery brigade (four 6 gun batteries).

Are we missing something?

Archdukek
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Re: Causulty dice

Post by Archdukek » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:11 pm

No, there are no modifiers to Artillery Casualty Dice (see page 73) irrespective of the condition of the target. I also think it is way too easy to form artillery brigades and place them on Artillery Assault orders at the cost of only 2 ADCs per brigade. Therefore the situation you describe is very possible, though it does mean that if the artillery are concentrated in one part of the battlefield they cannot be available elsewhere.

The only counters that I can see within the rules are either to avoid the zone in front of such a "grand battery", which will often not be possible, or provide it with multiple targets and strictly enforce the artillery priority rules so that the fire is spread across more than one target unit.

My own preference is to strictly limit the use of artillery brigades/grand batteries to designated reserve artillery. In my view normal divisional artillery should be allocated to brigades as was common practice. Grand batteries should be an Army level asset and not usually feature at the scale of GDA.

I would also require a player to expend 2 ADCs per battery to give a battery Artillery Assault orders. That would significantly limit the effects you describe to something a little more reasonable I think.

John

thomalley
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Re: Causulty dice

Post by thomalley » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:17 pm

oops, duplicate
Last edited by thomalley on Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thomalley
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Re: Causulty dice

Post by thomalley » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:19 pm

I was hoping the intense fire was per battery was what I missed. That might be a good option.
Restricting artillery brigades might work, but a Russian Corps still has one of 4 batteries, as does a Confederate Division (for PC or course). Maybe a compromise it to make it one per battery.

nikjen66
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Re: Causulty dice

Post by nikjen66 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:39 pm

But surely 2 ADCs is more than enough plus the one to improve your chances of activation?
In the example suggested that's four batteries concentrating fire for several hours. This didn't happen in the real battle. Perhaps if it had the very small farm, with its very small garrison would been blown to smithereens!? Who knows.

And the risk to the batteries of sustaining the fire, at half effect and -1 on the dice roll puts them at risk of exhausting themselves?

thomalley
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Re: Causulty dice

Post by thomalley » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:41 pm

A BUA/Strong point only holds on unit. A brigade of 4 batteries at effective range with average rolls of 7 (-1 for cover) will get 4 (actually 4.36) hits, plus 4 more on average for CDs. Halved for strong point, 4 hits. Do that for just 2 turns, at best defender is at -2 and on the third turn you don't need the CD to finish it off. You don't need to assign the ADC for a re-roll, you already have a 67% chance to activate. So in an hour of combat you should get two rounds of fire.

Cover should reduce the number of CDs or reduce the "to hit" number. Don't know which would be simpler. Though making it harder to have multiple batteries have intense fire seems the best and simplest option.

Of course another issue may be that we would rarely play a game without large amount of artillery unless it was set in Spain.

Maturin
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Re: Causulty dice

Post by Maturin » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:06 am

Jim
The Grande Battery was surely an awesome weapon of the time. I see no problem with the firepower it can unleash. You are worried it can be too powerful but consider the downsides and ways that this can be countered...
It is a pretty fixed behemoth of a unit and you do not want to start throwing D1's!. It is difficult to deploy (unless at the start of the battle) and a real pig to move. You also need to protect it...Grande Batteries in the open.....careful of those cavalry brigades sneaking up on you....
Here you are using it for one purpose for 2/3 whole moves . Lots can happen in that time. Are you sure you can afford to concentrate in this way? Anyway with a bit of forethought, I can defend against 4 casualties (or more), especially if I know they are likely to be at a flashpoint like a strongpoint or BUA. Kicking ass with lots of guns is not taking the position. This needs blood and guts from the footsloggers.
Your LHS example, a strongpoint and guaranteed to attract attention. So support it! (Nassau's, KGL whatever is at hand). As the attrition builds up you could easily make a passage of lines and re-supply the position. This will leave you a little vulnerable for one charge phase as the unit will be unformed (-1CD) but strongpoints are difficult! Use a large battalion to reinforce (+1CD) and there is no loss of defensive clout. As for BUA, I see these as just a collection of cover items that need to be supported, particularly from the rear. Defend them with well positioned re-inforcements and you will more than likely take the position back and re-garrison with a complete unit.
Cheers
Tim

MarkKetteman
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Re: Causulty dice

Post by MarkKetteman » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:21 am

Artillery assault only lasts for a single turn. So you would be burning 2/3 ADC's per turn to keep this up. What is happening elsewhere !?

DCRBrown
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Re: Causulty dice

Post by DCRBrown » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:37 am

Good discussion gentlemen!

A couple of points:

As the rules are written, La Haye Sainte would fall easy to a couple turns of intense fire. Every battery getting two dice means, on average, each battery will cause a hit every turn.

That's a good point regarding assault fire against BUA's and strongpoints - so we could consider simply reducing the number of casualty dice to just 1 for assault fire against stone BUAs and strongpoint's?

Some friends were playing PC and couldn't get close because of the intense artillery fire from the defending artillery brigade (four 6 gun batteries).

Yep, it's designed to "discourage" head on attacks against artillery. These often failed with infantry unable to press on against effective/canister fire from these guns, e.g. the cornfield at Antietam, Malvern Hill and perhaps Kershaw's attack at Gettysburg (Day 2) to name a few. (And nor did it work that often in the Nap wars). And again as has been stated assault fire is expensive in terms of ADC's/Staff Officers, especially if you are hedging your bets and including a brigade attachment as well - that's three ADC's/SO's per turn - probably the bulk of your command effort. When faced with massed artillery a change in tactics might be needed, either engaging in some preparatory counter battery fire or employ heavy skirmish lines and sharpshooters if ACW?

In GdA also note that grand batteries/brigades cannot be formed by Austrian/Russian/Other armies until 1808, (p10).

DB

thomalley
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Re: Causulty dice

Post by thomalley » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:25 pm

First thanks or everyone's comments. Reducing the number of CD for bua/strongpoints would also help. We will tinker because that's what war gamers do. Though I am not talking about grand batteries. For PC I'm talking just the brigade, of usually 4 batteries, attached to a Confederate Division or for GDA the 5 batteries attached to a single Russian Corps or even the 3 batteries attached to a French being added to the division two batteries, so 40 to 48 guns.

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