My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

DBAWI Change: Firing Factors

I was playing with some numbers the other day, looking at the relative effects I would like each unit type to have other the other, both in firing and in close combat. Here is what I came up with:

COLOOORifleIndianLO CavOO CavLt ArtMed ArtHvy Art
RLt Art-1-2-2-3-1+0-1+0-1-2
Med Art+0-1-1-2+0+1+0+1+0-1
Hvy Art+1+0+0-1+1+2+1+2+1+0
Relative Firing Strengths

This table shows the relative difference between two units in Fire Combat.
For example, in a firefight between CO infantry you would find the CO
row, move to the CO column and find a +0, indicating neither will
have an advantage (all other factors being equal). On the other hand, LO
infantry firing at CO infantry would be +1. (Note that the CO row
and the LO column indicates -1. This does not mean that the LO is
+1 to the roll and the CO is -1, resulting in a difference of 2. This table
represents the difference between the two unit types, so if the firer is +, the
target will always be - the same amount and vice versa.)

Studying this table should give you some insight into my thoughts on the
relative merits of one troop type versus another in firing. However, several
other factors are required to reveal the full picture:

  • The Firing Results tables - those tables that show what drawing, beating, and doubling do to a unit - produce less decisive results than the Close Combat Results tables.
  • Quality is not taken into account. Elites troops will change the factors by +1 while Militia/Reluctant troops will change it by -1.
  • Artillery factors represent shooting round shot, not canister. (I'll work on canister later.)
  • Cover is not taken into account. This plays a big role in why the Indian factors look so grim. They should be in cover, not in the open.

What picture does come out of the table is:

  • CO infantry is not considered a superior firing formation. Its density allows it to receive more casualties, which its density of fire just ensures a greater percentage of shots miss against dispersed targets.

So, if you take the following numbers as the base firing factors:

CO Inf+4
LO Inf+4
OO Inf+3
LO Cav+2
OO Cav+3
Lt Art+2
Med Art+3
Hvy Art+4
Base Firing Factors

In order to make the base factors work, while achieving the relative
differences between units listed in the Relative Firing Strengths table,
the following modifiers must be used:

+1Firing at CO infantryThis solves the factor differences for LO shooting at CO. It partially solves the problem for OO shooting.
-1Firing at OO infantry, unless the firer is also OO infantryThis solves the factor differences for LO and CO shooting at OO. Note that Rifles and Indians are also OO.
-2OO infantry in open, firing at cavalryThis solves the factor differences for OO firing at cavalry.
-1Rifle in open, firing at cavalry [1]Rifles have an additional minus for lack of close combat weapons, making them even more skittish.
Firing Modifiers

1. This modifier is cumulative with the modifier OO infantry in open,
firing at cavalry

The system needs more work, but I wanted to see what comments this drew. I
have to playtest it. If I get a chance, I'll try it out this week.

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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").