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The Blitzkrieg Legend: The Battle for France, 1940» Forums » General

Subject: Artillery and Scale rss

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Austin Richards
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I just got The Blitzkrieg Legend, and haven't played it yet. One thing (of several) which caught my eye was the artillery range. The scale of TBL is 3 miles per hex, versus 5 miles per hex. On Baltic Gap (my only other OCS game), most artillery has a range of 3 hexes. TBL's artillery has a range of 3 hexes, so that's 9 miles versus 15 miles.

That got we wondering about WW2 artillery ranges, since I didn't think the Axis and Allies were upgrading their artillery like their tank armor or fighter top speed. The average light (~105mm) artillery range is ~7 miles. The average medium (~155mm) artillery range is about 10 miles, where the US 155mm Long Tom and French 155mm GPF have the longest range. For rarer heavy artillery, only the German 17cm cannon could go the full 3 hexes at the 5 mile scale, with a range of 18.4 miles. Others, like the US/UK 4.5" gun or US 8" gun, were in the 9-12 mile range.

So, this means to me that the artilley ranges in TBL are just right, but in the Baltic Gap (and presumably other OCS's), artillery is assumed to be in a one hex radius of where the counter is.

Has this ever come up before?

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John Kisner
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Austin,

I have been the ’honcho' for OCS for a few years now. This means that I am the go-to guy for rules questions (although it is still Dean's system). I have also developed both Baltic Gap and The Blitzkrieg Legend, which has put me in a position to talk with Dean quite a bit about how to make design decisions in OCS.

Anyway, here is what I think -- and because of what I just said, it's somewhat more than just hot air (but still isn't the gospel truth). Artillery units represent a center-of-gravity of the guns being represented. As such, the ranges on these units are not meant to have the same precision as the range on an air unit.

If you have Sicily, a game with 2.5 mile hexes, you might notice that arty ranges aren't twice that as for units in the regular 5-mile scale games. The ranges stayed pretty much the same so that play itself didin't become more complex -- since it would take that much more 'looking' if arty could shoot six hexes rather than 3.

Dean talks a lot about these designs being a combination of art and science. So you might give a heavy arty unit a longer range if you want to show something literal, but you might not if you want to make a statement about the flexability of a side's arty assets.

I doubt if I have really answered your question, but that's the way I see it.
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Austin Richards
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John,
Thanks for the reply. I know OCS's rules have abstractions to get the feel of things versus making a complex game overly complicated, and it sounds like artillery placement is one of them.

With the supply costs, you can't afford to fire each arty counter every turn anyway, and the -3 shift for firing into unobserved hexes means players probably aren't going to fire ahistorically into enemy rear areas.

Another way to look at the abstraction is that the artillery (representing corps or army-level arty) is probably not 5 miles behind the front line, but closer. If arty had a range of 2, they might be stacked in the front line, cluttering the map. Also, if an enemy attack causes a retreat of the unit in front of the arty, the range abstraction assumes the corps-level artillery gets into the hex behind first.
 
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Kev.
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AA41 wrote:
John,
Thanks for the reply. I know OCS's rules have abstractions to get the feel of things versus making a complex game overly complicated, and it sounds like artillery placement is one of them.

With the supply costs, you can't afford to fire each arty counter every turn anyway, and the -3 shift for firing into unobserved hexes means players probably aren't going to fire ahistorically into enemy rear areas.

Another way to look at the abstraction is that the artillery (representing corps or army-level arty) is probably not 5 miles behind the front line, but closer. If arty had a range of 2, they might be stacked in the front line, cluttering the map. Also, if an enemy attack causes a retreat of the unit in front of the arty, the range abstraction assumes the corps-level artillery gets into the hex behind first.

You may find additional uses and more firing of Arty than you expect in TBL.
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