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Cracker Mouth
3rd May 2005, 00:39
I spent about 10 minutes rounding the British(playing as Austrian) on Hanover over to the left side of the map so they would have to ford the river, thus giving my Howitzers easy, slow moving targets. But to my dismay, you cannot fire artillery on the river! Is this a bug or is it meant to be this way? I really hope they fix this.

Khornish
3rd May 2005, 09:01
Artillery in the period covered was not all that great when used to fire into the river to get at targets. So, I sure hope they don't "fix" this.

Here's the scoop for those with inquiring minds.


Artillery ammo types were generally these:

1) Round Shot - Was shot so that it would "bounce" in front of the unit, dealing death after the bounce. It was sometimes directly aimed, but less likely to cause casualties unless the unit was many ranks deep.

Shooting it into the river means the ball would pretty much be buried in the muck at the bottom of the river. You'd be lucky to kill one or two soldiers, but most likely wouldn't hurt anyone.

2) Canister or "case" - Shotgun approach, except it generally wasn't fired to so as the pattern would directly hit, as the tendency is to fly over the heads of most of the soldiers in the target unit. Instead, it was aimed so that the shot would hit right in front of the units, and then bounce up into their faces and bodies. In addition to kicking up rocks and dirt, to cause further wounds and to further "stagger" the target the musket balls from the canister round would cause a lot more casualties as they would be more likely to score a hit. As the target would close with the artillery piece firing, the canister could be more directly fired without a very high probability of an "over".

Shooting at a target in the river with canister would be a lot more effective than shooting round shot, but still, you're relying on luck. A better target would be the formed troops on the banks of the river as they prepare to wade across. Of course, if the enemy were particularly stupid and massed their troops nicely as they waded across, then you'd achieve a lot higher casualty rate.

3) Shell - This was fired from howitzers and not a "gun". It had a bit of an arc, just like the modern mortar tubes. The shell was a hollow sphere that was packed with powder. The crew would have to cut a fuse, light it , fire the howitzer, and hope the fuse was cut to the proper length or that it burned properly. The shell would hopefully land near enough to the target unit and then explode. The casing of the shell would shatter and those bits and pieces would wound or kill someone, hopefully. Sometimes, with a bit of luck, the shell would explode in mid-air and be low enough to the ground that some casualties would still be caused somewhere near the target. If it exploded too high up, you might kill someone somewhere, but it would be someone's bad luck do die as a result instead of death by design.

In the river scenario the shell would land in the river, and most likely the round would fail to explode, or if it did, the physics of the water would drastically reduce the AOE radius. You'd most likely kill someone when the shell landed on them, but not by it blowing up under water.

4) The British Army used something called Spherical Case, developed by Mr. Shrapnel (Bet you can't guess where the modern term comes from!). It was a common shell filled with powder and musket balls. The idea was to cut the fuse and pray, then if you time it right, the round would explode in front of and slightly above the target unit. The musket balls would cause a bit of carnage to anyone in the path. This was slightly more effective than common shell as there was a lot more bits in it that could score a hit.


Honestly, during the period of history that IG is purported to represent, it just wasn't useful to shoot at troops in the river. Also, the river would have to be fairly shallow and slow moving at best, else the enemy would be using a bridge, ferry, or well identified ford.

Additionally, the condition of the ground had a huge impant (no pun intended) on how well the artillery ammo performed. Wet or soft ground would dampen the effect and hard ground would increase it slightly.

Historically, it was best to shoot the troops on the opposite bank, as I mentioned before. Or, you could let some units cross and then slaughter them as they tried to reform after coming out of the water.

Cracker Mouth
3rd May 2005, 12:09
The water does seem very shallow in the demo, only knee or thigh deep, that is if you are going by the animation of the units. I had figured that the Howitzers were just large cannonballs that didn't explode, it seemed that way to me anyway. And although firing the Howitzers into the river would dampen the damage, it shouldn't be totally disabled.

BANANAMAN
3rd May 2005, 12:45
Went to Hanover battle and put a square formation of BlackWatch in the shallow water near the riverbank, fired howitzers and normal artilery as much as possible away from the riverbank in the shallow water.

And guess what.. now and then you could even hear watersplashes and the BlackWatch guys got little by little blown to pieces by howitzers and normal artilery.

You cant fire in the middle of the river but you can aim at the riverbanks and the cannonballs still manage to 'fall' into the water. And the artilery has still its lethal effect.

Villaret-Joyeuse
3rd May 2005, 15:55
Did not need to repeat whole list of shots - already posted here - http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=50117&page=1&pp=25

I think it would depend more upon the angles:
Cannons - no (because of riverbank blocking)

Howitzers - yes

saddletank
3rd May 2005, 16:47
Honestly, during the period of history that IG is purported to represent, it just wasn't useful to shoot at troops in the river. Also, the river would have to be fairly shallow and slow moving at best, else the enemy would be using a bridge, ferry, or well identified ford.

If you needed to halt an assault crossing then canister was the perfect weapon for making a mess of an enemy who was either fording across a shallow river or using boats to cross a deeper one. For the British spherical case would be equally if not more effective than canister.

Roundshot and shell in rivers - forget it.

Khornish
3rd May 2005, 18:44
Did not need to repeat whole list of shots - already posted here -

Howitzers - yes

With the utter lack of reading comprehension buy most forum readers, I felt explaining it here was justified.

Howitzers firing common shell would have to have the fuses perfectly cut, which rarely happened on the best of days.

Khornish
3rd May 2005, 18:55
If you needed to halt an assault crossing then canister was the perfect weapon for making a mess of an enemy who was either fording across a shallow river or using boats to cross a deeper one. For the British spherical case would be equally if not more effective than canister.

Roundshot and shell in rivers - forget it.

Spherical Case, like common shell, would have to have the fuse perfectly cut. Also, it doesn't appear to be as effective as the common myth leads us to believe.

Boats would be a much better target for artillery, but my previous posts dealt with how it would work using the IG demo as the basis for a historical event.

Most rivers shallow enough to cross simply by walking through it aren't going to be all that wide. I think the IG demo's "river" is more of a large stream than a river. This being the case in a historical engagement, the enemy would very likely not cross under fire, but would rather stand and fire from the opposite bank. Only crossing once the fording area was clear of direct fire from their foe.

Cracker Mouth
3rd May 2005, 22:44
Just try doing what I did, as the Austrians. It just doesn't let you fire into the water or close to the shore (on the land) with Howitzers.

Khornish
3rd May 2005, 22:48
Just try doing what I did, as the Austrians. It just doesn't let you fire into the water or close to the shore (on the land) with Howitzers.

If you are targeting a unit before it enters the water, and your artillery is firing, does the firing suddenly cease when the enemy first enters the water?

Cracker Mouth
4th May 2005, 00:02
Hmm, I dont know I didn't try it that way. It is going to be near impossible for me to make the Brits cross the river again, though. And I never target teh actual unit I target the ground, I feel I get better results that way.

Joe 98
4th May 2005, 00:26
I can't even get a gun to fire in the demo.

Unlimber the gun

Hit "V" to see where he can shoot

And then "fire" and nothing happens


How do I fire a gun? The enemy infantry march up to the guns and the gund never fire a shot

(type name here)
4th May 2005, 00:28
you have to hear them say "unlimber the guns!" then RIGHT click to fire

Joe 98
4th May 2005, 00:31
In the control panel there is a command to fire for the artillery

What is the purpose of that command?

(type name here)
4th May 2005, 00:57
I don't know, just right click where you want it to fire.

Joe 98
4th May 2005, 01:48
Should I right click to have infantry fire as well?

(type name here)
4th May 2005, 02:33
Ok, with artillery, you have to point in the exact position you want it too fire, if you point in an empty space it will fire at an empty space. So you have to constantly change where you want to fire artillery. With infantry/cavalry you right click on the enemy unit (a group of soldiers that are the enemy) to fire. Your soldiers that you chose will march into range until it can fire. Another tip is to set your infantry to auto-fire, click on the little picture of a soldier. The blue picture to the right, below the thing that says "Tactics" But don't usually do this with cavalry. To make a person fight hand to hand hold the shift button on the keyboard and right click the enemy unit. With cavalry, with the exception of household cavalry, you don't have to hold shift to fight hand to hand. Any more questions?