Weapon profiles ?

Started by Mickey3D, September 17, 2018, 03:50:44 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


I know that the following idea might change your design but, basically, the shooting effect, the accuracy, the range, the close combat and the reload are all related to the type of weapon (e.g. rifled musket, smoothbore musket, revolver, repeating rifle, sharpshooter rifle, ...). So my idea would be to create weapon profiles defining all these values and then to assign a weapon to each unit of the army.

Quality of the unit might then have an impact on these values (an elite unit might fire quickly with better accuracy and fight better in close combat).

Dr D Ezra Sidran

You've basically described the system that we have, that is to say for every unit you can specify all these variables. However, I want to stay away from 'pre-designed weapons profiles' for a number of reasons:

  • While researching the range of the Brown Bess (for the video demo that I posted) I came up with all kinds of ranges. First 300 meters, somewhere else 250 meters. And then Andy O'Neill emailed me that he thought even those numbers were too high. So, I don't feel in a position to make a 'definitive' statement about these things.
  • We want to give the users complete freedom to change all these variables and use values that reflect their research.
  • We don't want to limit the user to a set number of pre-defined weapons.

I think that you will find you can create any weapons profile that you want for the Black Powder era with the General Staff Black Powder Army Editor. And, with the copy and paste function, will be able to rapidly duplicate these variables for whatever units in your OOB that you wish.

We very much appreciate your feedback.


Thanks for your answer.

Maybe I was not clear in my explanation :
- I know all these variables are available today in the editor but they have to be repeated for each unit despite the fact they seems to be closely related to the kind of weapon of the unit.
- My idea is not to have a predefined list of weapon profiles (may be just a few examples) but to let users of the editor define their own profiles (the same way you can today define accuracies).

So :
- Users keep full control and freedom on the units definition.
- If I want to change the range of the Brown Bess from 300 to 250 meters, I just need to do it in one place (i.e. the weapon profile) and all my units will automatically inherit the change.

Andy ONeill

If you wanted numerous units with the same stats then the copy and paste facility could do that.
Yes, you can't then later change them.
The shallow structure is designed partly to make it harder for people to cheat when playing by email.
( And or online, if the game sells enough to justify that work. )

If this was a database driven design, yes you might see weapon as an entity.
Lee metford does xyz, allocate that to a unit linked by foreign key.
And yes, this would be a significant change to design.
You'd then have to build a table of weapons.
That would arguably move the work to be done from each unit to a huge list of muskets and rifles.
The main problem I would have with that is it's not a very realistic way to model battlefield combat.

Personal weapons do not define battlefield effect.
People do.
Support weapons are admittedly different but there are so many that building a profile for each would be way less useful.

Where do I get this idea from?
Numerous operational reseach studies all come to the same conclusion.
It's the men shooting the weapon that decide effect rather than the weapons they shoot.
Admittedly most of these are after our period, but it seems a bit unlikely that people totally changed between 1815 and 1945.

It's perhaps counter intuitive but studies of combat in afghanistan green zone and Iraq, ww1 and ww2... and napoleonic warfare.
These all come to similar conclusions and the effective range of a rifle or musket is oddly similar under battlefield conditions *.
The vast majority of decisive firefights happen under 50 yards range.
Above that range, the casualty rate drops dramatically.
If you ignored support weapons, you could pretty much set the range to 200 for everything and use the musket curve for moderns.

Opinions differ on exactly why, but 99% of riflemen perform in battle at well under 5% of their effectiveness on the rifle range.
They can't hit a person until that person is well under 100 yards distant.
If indeed they even try to.
Doesn't matter if the gun's theoretical range is 2000 yards or 200 yards.
Which is why the soviets decided automatic fire and a gun that wasn't particularly effective over 200 yards was just fine for them.

So a brown bess or french.. german... equivalent... whatever...
No discernable difference.
Brown bess vs m4 is not just down to rate of fire, because you also have to factor in the empty battlefield.
Infantry now creep and crawl around - since roughly 1900.

A much bigger difference is how many of that 1% you have in the unit.
That differs.
Elite units have way more of those guys, but often the same weapons and often rather different characteristics.
The difference in effective range will of course increase hugely when you compare rifles rather than smooth bore.
There again, "better" units reloaded faster and more reliably.

Note that there are exceptions to this.
Combat on particularly open terrain like the veldt using "new" weapons and tactics such as the Boer war.
Or just really awkward open terrain like the mountains of afghanistan which more recently led to calls for a larger calibre rifle.

Modern militaries will of course engage at longer ranges.
They talk much more about suppression and area denial than killing anyone though.
The aim being to pin, suppress and maneuver or call in fire.
If anyone is actually hit by such fire then this is a bonus.

The military usually define effective range at the point 50% of shots hit.
I'm not being quite so exact here in my usage.

And of course....
If you disagree with any or all of this then no problem, you can set whatever stats you prefer.


I fully agree with your view : it is first men's quality who defines effectiveness in combat (hence my comment on quality in my first post).

My proposal was to make army creation and modification easier (at least I suppose it would). Copy & paste is fine but we all make errors or change our mind and having to go through a lot of units is not the most exciting activity.

But I understand you don't want to change your design given that users of the editor will be a small number of the total users of the game.

QuoteThe shallow structure is designed partly to make it harder for people to cheat when playing by email. ( And or online, if the game sells enough to justify that work. )
My two cents but I think you should not rely on structure to avoid cheat : if you don't want players to tamper the files, use encryption.

zu Pferd

@ Mickey3D

I refer a question to you or Ezra regarding this topic of range effectiveness because you happen
to be 100 floors above me when it comes to knowledge in this field, and the question is
effectiveness or early fire and therefore lower impact on the target
Say I give 100 range and accuracy is musket to a militia infantryman or green
and 60 range to regular and trained 100 range and exceptional marksman for light
60 range and exceptional marksman for Grenadiers and Guards
how would that fly ?

How do I balance leadership quality and morale , or more precisely considering level of training
mediocre infantry would not wait and fire first at ranges beyond effective range their leadership would still
be average and their morale low... its at our discretion however what would be an educated guess
in the early Napoleonic period /2nd Coalition 1799 is there a table for comparison ?

second is the rate of fire
the British Infantry were quicker to reload under fire say 30 sec x shot
so everyone else 45 sec ?
Light infantry ? slower but more accurate
Guards and Grenadiers ?

so many questions

Best Regards

Andy ONeill

First I should explain the process I use to develop.
This is industry standard in commercial development ( my profession ).
You start with an imprecise definition and repeatedly "iterate".
Meaning you try something you think is better and see how that works.
It is for this reason we don't have a precise specification of how the game will work.
We have a rough idea and I know how I WANT it to work.
When I implement this we might decide it's not that interesting with realistic results and we might have to up effective ranges.
I then iterate again.

Thus I don't have an answer for you put n in this field and x in this other one and that gives you the results you want.

Range is not weapon range.
It's intended to be "safe" battlefield range for that unit.
Meaning that you might give 2 units exactly the same weapons and they have different ranges.
Battlefield effective range is usually way lower than theoretical weapon range.

Still true nowadays by the way.
Those guys grouping at 1 inch on paper targets 100 yards away with their super duper rifles and scopes are likely to spend hundreds of rounds of ammo to hit just one Taliban insurgent at 100 yards.
There again the insurgents are likely badly trained ill disciplined and even worse at hitting anyone.

Having said that.
Range will not vary as much as other factors from one unit to another for muskets.
They're just not very accurate.

Loading speed would vary more.
If you consider british napoleonic infantry, they fired many shots in training and could supposedly fire 3 or 4 rounds per minute.
Early french might not have even fired their weapons at all in training and could expect to load far slower.
Maybe once a minute.

Light infantry and say voltigeurs are likely a bit better trained than most.
I'd expect them to load faster.

They should have higher range because their smoke is more dispersed.

Amongst other things, quality will control when your unit chooses to shoot.
High quality steady units will hold fire on an assaulting unit until their volley is truly effective.
Lower quality or unsteady units are likely to shoot early.

But in the final analysis....
Kind of the idea of this system being a toolkit is that it's up to you what you set all those numbers to.
We may eventually release some version of the sandbox so you can experiment easier.
I say may.... because it's intended for our use really so it's never going to be what you might call robust.

zu Pferd

Thank You

I will try definitely as you pointed out to see how it will work.
You sorted out my questions very well on range , quality, and I dare say morale.

Having an underdeveloped past in miniature wargaming on the table and
PC simulations in pre-Napoleonic/Napoleonic/Civil War period these definitions
are set up already, then with tabletop rules re-writes or referee as in kriegspiel
players find a workaround.

Can't wait for the scenario editor !!!
I made a map (another area I was struggling in) following a better path which was indicated to me.

Thank You

Andy ONeill

Great stuff.

My hobby background is tabletop gaming - as in miniatures.
I probably have an over developed past in designing rules and tinkering with commercial rule sets.

Kriegsspiel comes in several different versions.
I think it's american kriegsspiel which is pretty detailed and there's a mechanical calculation method built in.
I think if they had any sort of computer at the time then that game would have used it and been even more complicated.
Our kriegsspiel will seem simple to the user but share some pretty complicated mechanics with the simulation.
Or at least that's the idea.



Quote from: zu Pferd on November 21, 2018, 03:31:19 AM
@ Mickey3D

Sorry, I was away for some times so I could not answer you but I can see you've got plenty of info from Andy.