Artillery range/radius?

Discussion relating to Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets

Moderators: Run5 Staff, SSG Staff

Artillery range/radius?

Postby Abwehr » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:14 pm

This thread isn't only about artillery in Kharkov, but I'll just post it here because I have the feeling more people will read it in this part of the forum, so there'll be more of a discussion.

In the DB series, most artillery seems to have a much greater range than their historical counterparts. In Fall Gelb and Kharkov 1943, for example, the Germans get 12 range artillery pieces at a map scale of about 3 kilometres/hex.

Artillery range in Kharkov:DotD and its custom scenarios is much reduced, sensibly. It will be interesting to compare artillery ranges of ATD with ATD 2.

The question I'm struggling with is: should I edit all artillery pieces in the scenarios I've edited to match their historical range? We've been playing with the in some cases rather absurd ranges (36 kilometres...) for years now, so some of us might've just accepted them as one of the peculiarities of DB scenario design.

Thoughts?
Abwehr
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 1041
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:23 am
Location: Arnhem, Gelderland province, the Netherlands

Postby pete AU » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:54 pm

I know from your input to Konrad you are quite pro-accurate arillery ranges. I think the compromise we achieved with Konrad works well.
Actual range plus 1 hex if motorized (give or take) seems to give a good feel - its quite playable and reasonably accurate.

Mixed units however present a problem (you could have guns with 3 or 7 hex ranges in the same battery) and its not always practical to give each gun type its own counter considering the 12 unit 'division' limit. We only just did it in Konrad - though some of the SS divisions have lost an artillery unit or 'Tiger' company to the higher HQ due to the unit limit.

I'm sure the original designers have a reason for the ranges they chose - maybe their input could help you decide.
History is an argument without end
Projects - Iskra (available to download), Stalingrad Pocket (ver101 finished and available to download), Guadalcanal (map done), Guadalajara (playtesting - volounteers?), Napoleonic Borodino (volounteers?)
ImageImageImageImage Image Image
User avatar
pete AU
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 1273
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 2:07 pm
Location: Australia - Perth

Postby hank » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:10 am

IMHO, making the arty ranges match reality is the way to go like Abwehr says.
But the problem of units with different range tubes is something to be addressed. I don't have a good solution except to try and separate them into units with like tube ranges. They can still be of the same historical unit but broke down to individual counters. Or just make the range of the most numerous tubes in a unit dictate the hex range.

One thing about arty I'd like to see, is a minimum of two strikes per hex per turn. In some of the BF scenario's you only had one strike per turn and if that unit required a double 5 or double 6 to destroy a step, you would never take that hex if the good defender didn't want you to. ... that was my observation but I know there's a lot of better players here than I.

more daydreaming
User avatar
hank
Major
Major
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:09 pm

Postby Abwehr » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:20 am

Sadly both Brubaker, who designed Fall Gelb, and Leo, who designed Kharkov 1943 are currently not active on the forum.

The weird thing is that there are scenarios with more realistic ranges, like 6 or 7 hexes for mixed 150mm howitzer/gun units, but also scenarios where heavy artillery gets a range of 12. It isn't as much of a problem with Fall Gelb, with a something between 2.5 kilometres and 3 kilometres scale, but in Kharkov 1943 I'll reduce the range to 10.

For my next edit of Kharkov 1943, I think I'll lower the artillery ranges. I'll also improve OP's for some German units and the Soviets, hopefully the last major change that needs to be made.

If I had the literature, the time and the skills to make my own scenarios, I would probably spend/waste most of my time on creating Kharkov:DotD versions of DB scenarios, specifically scenarios with accurate OOB's (one of my long term annoyances has been the substandard Bersaglieri in Husky, I'm hoping they'll be regulars and regimental sized in the remake by SSG. Having HG start in the right spot would be nice too).

Presumably, the ranges at a scale of roughly 3-4 kilometres/hex will be:

No changes to current range:

non-SS rocket units: 3
SS rocket units: 4.
Soviet "mortar" units: 3.

Changes to range:

Soviet regular 1 shift artillery regiments and their German counterparts: 5.
Soviet 3 shift heavy horse artillery: 6.
Soviet 3 shift heavy motorized artillery: 7.
German 2 shift horsedrawn heavy artillery: 6.
German 2 shift motorized heavy artillery: 9
SS Hummel units: 5.
The SS Wespe unit: 4.

One thing about arty I'd like to see, is a minimum of two strikes per hex per turn. In some of the BF scenario's you only had one strike per turn and if that unit required a double 5 or double 6 to destroy a step, you would never take that hex if the good defender didn't want you to. ... that was my observation but I know there's a lot of better players here than I.


One of the problems with the Kharkov engine is that light to medium artillery can quickly become useless against entrenched defenders, as most of it needs to roll at least 5-5. As soon as your attack bonus is removed as the Soviets, your light to medium artillery around Kharkov isn't going to hit anything on a regular basis.
Abwehr
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 1041
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:23 am
Location: Arnhem, Gelderland province, the Netherlands

Postby Malak » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:50 am

I am certainly not the best to answer. My experience is limited to Kharkov and I do not have any game of the DB series.

However, I quite agree to make artillery ranges matching reality. This is best for realism.

Now, there is one drawback I see. If range is shorter, it means you will have to place your artillery nearest to your front line. For a human player, this is not a problem you will say.

So, perhaps I am the worst AI programmer ever :mrgreen:, but, programming AI, you have to add recommended locations to place HQ and support units like artillery. And, using Kharkov still, I have seen that attacking AI units are progressing without protecting the artillery behind them. As such, it is easy for the opposite side to launch a limited scale counter strike that will destroy your precious units. :evil:
Malak
Sergeant
Sergeant
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:35 am

Postby Abwehr » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:27 am

The DB series AI is always going to build non-combat stacks and fail pretty miserably against a human opponent, there isn't much SSG or I can do to fix that. In general, it's often a better idea to play vs. a human. I played vs. the AI for years, but it's a very different experience.

It would be nice if in future games, the AI is hardcoded to always stack at least 1 combat unit with non-combat units and 1 regular or elite unit with a substandard unit.
Abwehr
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 1041
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:23 am
Location: Arnhem, Gelderland province, the Netherlands

Postby pete AU » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:37 am

I found the Kharkov AI suprising the 1st time I played it. Unfamiliar with the movement ability I was quickly surrounded at Kharkov - and genuinely suprised.

after that - the AI stood no chance. However, this is what the AI should be for - a sort of final tutorial. Then off to play real folks.(IMHO)
History is an argument without end
Projects - Iskra (available to download), Stalingrad Pocket (ver101 finished and available to download), Guadalcanal (map done), Guadalajara (playtesting - volounteers?), Napoleonic Borodino (volounteers?)
ImageImageImageImage Image Image
User avatar
pete AU
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 1273
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 2:07 pm
Location: Australia - Perth

Postby Doggie3 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:41 pm

Abwehr wrote:One of the problems with the Kharkov engine is that light to medium artillery can quickly become useless against entrenched defenders.


...but isn't that correct? Certainly light artillery shouldn't be all that useful against entrenched defenders, and even the medium artillery (the Soviet 122mm howitzers and 120mm mortars or the German 81mm mortars and 105mm howitzers for example) should only be useful on occasion.

Of course, it also depends on the level of entrenchment - are we talking about a foxhole, an improved position or a bunker?

I agree on the arty range issue, it should be as realistic as possible, given the hex based system.

Cheers
ImageImageImage
User avatar
Doggie3
Major
Major
 
Posts: 324
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:38 pm

Postby Abwehr » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:05 pm

...but isn't that correct? Certainly light artillery shouldn't be all that useful against entrenched defenders, and even the medium artillery (the Soviet 122mm howitzers and 120mm mortars or the German 81mm mortars and 105mm howitzers for example) should only be useful on occasion.


The problem is that currently there's a large chance it will simply have no effect, whilst a day of shelling will have at least some effect most of the time.

In my opinion that's what is so good about the shift system for artillery in the DB series: the die roll could improve, but you could also still roll a 1 regardless of how much artillery you used.

Both Noakesy and me have, to our frustration (although in some cases it was quite comical), experienced numerous instances where we concentrated enormous amounts of artillery against a single target only to roll a 1. I still prefer that to the rather random system of Kharkov: DotD, which in my opinion does require a few too many rolls.
Abwehr
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 1041
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:23 am
Location: Arnhem, Gelderland province, the Netherlands

Postby hank » Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:24 pm

good stuff here

I don't want to make arty unhistorically powerful against entrenched units. I think the K:DotD system is quite good in that entrenched units require double die rolls with a few specific artillery tubes getting a special exception (allowing a single die roll).

I would just like to see a minimum of 2 strikes per turn since a turn is one day long. Limiting fire missions to only one in a day does not seem right. It was very frustrating in the MG sce in BF to only be able to hit a hex once a turn with arty (even though those were half day turns). ... but then that's just MHO. (I could almost argue the point that as a supreme commander I should have the option to waste all the arty strikes I want against a hex ... but then ... a debate for another day)
User avatar
hank
Major
Major
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:09 pm

Postby Abwehr » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:43 pm

The entrenched state represents everything from foxholes to elaborate trench systems. Hiding in a foxhole will save you from some shelling, but not for hours on end.

In the DB series, you could theoretically tie 4 artillery units to each attack (and thus theoretically to each combat unit, as you only need 1 to attack). If you have 5 combat units and 20 artillery units, you could theoretically attack a hex with 20 artillery units each turn. That gives you the kind of firepower the Soviets employed, with barrages completely wrecking a narrow front. You could also theoretically attach an air strike and a barrage (I don't really like the barrage, in all honesty, it's a bit ahistorical) to some of those attacks, provided you have them. There's no barrage option in Kharkov:DotD and the air strike limit is mostly 1 strike/hex unless you can hit it with a radius attack from a different hex.

In Kharkov: DotD, the limit is based on artillery per hex, not on artillery per combat. The usage of artillery depends a lot more on luck than in the DB series, which is not something I like, but can live with. In fact, if an enemy is in a fortification or worse: a hedgehogged state, you'll be relying almost entirely on luck to remove him from the hex or take him out. Hedgehogs kind of ruined the stock Kharkov:DotD scenario for me.
Abwehr
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 1041
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:23 am
Location: Arnhem, Gelderland province, the Netherlands

Postby Carl Myers » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:18 am

(I could almost argue the point that as a supreme commander I should have the option to waste all the arty strikes I want against a hex ... but then ... a debate for another day)


On the other hand, slower but more accurately directed call for fire will inflict more casaulties than copious amounts of H & I fire or rolling barrages.
Carl Myers
Lieutenant-Colonel
Lieutenant-Colonel
 
Posts: 540
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2003 10:46 am

Postby Gregor Whiley » Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:31 am

The number of artillery strikes against a hex is naturally a matter of choice for the scenario designer, within the system limits of from one to four strikes. It allows designers to allow for the fact that even with equivalent guns, not all artillery systems are equally effective. Moreover, even a single system can vary in its effectiveness under different circumstances.

In the Kharkov context, Russian artillery was, compared to the Germans, inflexible and slow to react. This didn't matter at the start of the Russian offensive, when guns could be concentrated and detailed fire plans worked out. It does matter when the battle has moved on from its start conditions, and conditions are fluid and unpredictable. Under these circumstances, the Russian artillery is simply less effective than the Germans, and the system is able to reflect this fact.

If you have a competent and well entrenched enemy then you are unlikely to be able to shell them out of their positions with lighter, divisional level guns, especially if the terrain is unfavourable. Instead you will have to mount a ground assault to persuade them to move. Once they are going backwards, and are denied the benefit of prepared positions, then the divisional level guns come into their own.

Gregor
Gregor Whiley
Vice President, SSG
www.ssg.com.au
User avatar
Gregor Whiley
SSG
 
Posts: 712
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 10:55 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby critter » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:13 am

Abwehr wrote:The DB series AI is always going to build non-combat stacks and fail pretty miserably against a human opponent, there isn't much SSG or I can do to fix that. In general, it's often a better idea to play vs. a human. I played vs. the AI for years, but it's a very different experience.

It would be nice if in future games, the AI is hardcoded to always stack at least 1 combat unit with non-combat units and 1 regular or elite unit with a substandard unit.


I think the best way in "vs AI" games is to factor the div and maybe the corp guns into their units and assume the computer is playing them well. Then all the computer would have to move are the army/corp? guns.
Sure you will lose some of the counter battery fire but it's a trade off I'd make for a better AI opponent. Divide the vp's of the guns into the div units. Kill off a div unit you get some of gun vp's too.
Substandard units could be figured up that way too. OR if you want the counters on the board, assign them to a div/corp and take away enough timed replacements from the div to bring it up to standard. Repesents the div comander assigning help to a sub standards placement in his line.
Image
critter
Major
Major
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 6:17 pm
Location: Marine IL.


Return to Kharkov Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron