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SOW Rifle Casualties Vs Distance

9 years 7 months ago #1 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • From another thread:

    Troops firing at 200 yards kill almost as many as at 20 yards.

    This has been remarked upon by several people from time to time. I decided to test this hypothesis. Since rifles.csv differentiates 5 different distances it seems odd that this would be the case. But perhaps in one of the patches something was inadvertently changed. I created two identical regiments and commanders and marched them up to 5 different distances corresponding to the five ranges in rifles.csv on the Kansas map. I let them shoot until a regiment dropped from rested to fresh. This corresponded to 4-5 minutes of combat. I did each range twice, not great statistics, but the numbers were very similar in each case. All the measurements were done with the stock game.
    Here are the results:
    Distance yd.Casualties/sec
    Max. 1590.25
    Long 1210.43
    Normal 1060.55
    Best 580.64
    Min. 290.87
    As can be seen, distance does matter. It pays to bring your men in closer. Note that even though I used identical regiments and weapons, the number of casualties generated by each side at a given distance differed by as much as 50%. That's just what we would want to see. The conclusion is that Norb did a good job here. Nothing is broken. :)

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    9 years 7 months ago - 9 years 7 months ago #2 by Garnier

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  • Fair enough, my remark was based on what it seemed like, I'd never done a thorough test.

    Yours is only useful if there was no elevation difference between the firing unit and the target. I don't know how you can know whether or not there was.

    Troops very rarely do any shooting at under 60 yards in the game because usually the tips of the lines will touch somewhere and a melee will happen. Plus, when units are close to each other, they have to turn a lot more so less time is spent shooting. So "short" range is anything under 100 yards, and long range is 150-200 (we use 200 yd rifles), and the difference in effectiveness there is not much.

    It would be nice to know if the range penalty is a multiplied factor, or it's added to the fire modifier. Multiplied factors are always better. Of course it would be nicer if it was mod-able, but as there are evidently no more changes coming to this game, it's only worth asking for information.

    Finally, I'd expect the kill rate between 160 yards and 50 yards would vary by something closer to 10 times, rather than 2.5 times. If you imagine firing a rifle through a cloud of smoke and possibly trees at those ranges, every time you double the distance your likelihood of hitting goes way down.

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    Last edit: 9 years 7 months ago by Garnier.
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    9 years 7 months ago - 9 years 7 months ago #3 by Hancock the Superb

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  • In agreement with Garnier about the factor between the expected kill rates between 160 and 50 yards to be something closer to 10 times, not 2.5.

    Interesting work MTG. Definitely a heavier "curve" than I expected from my experience, but that shows what perceptions seem to be in the midst of an intense battle! It would still be nice to see those factors increased on the long end or opened up to modding.

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    Last edit: 9 years 7 months ago by Hancock the Superb.

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    9 years 7 months ago #4 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • Hancock The Superb wrote:

    In agreement with Garnier about the factor between the expected kill rates between 160 and 50 yards to be something closer to 10 times, not 2.5.

    What do you base your conclusion upon?

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    9 years 7 months ago #5 by Hancock the Superb

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  • Marching Thru Georgia wrote: Hancock The Superb wrote:

    In agreement with Garnier about the factor between the expected kill rates between 160 and 50 yards to be something closer to 10 times, not 2.5.

    What do you base your conclusion upon?


    From the study I wrote up. Take a look at those those expected hit percentages. Less than 10% at 160 yards, over 30% at 50. And that doesn't even account for other battlefield conditions, which would only exaggerate the difference.

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    9 years 7 months ago #6 by Blaugrana

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  • Hancock the Superb wrote: And that doesn't even account for other battlefield conditions, which would only exaggerate the difference.

    Or reduce the difference. It seems plausible to me that the noise, smoke, confusion and fear might increase dramatically with proximity and the aiming might get worse.

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    9 years 7 months ago #7 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • Hancock The Superb wrote:

    From the study I wrote up. Take a look at those those expected hit percentages. Less than 10% at 160 yards, over 30% at 50. And that doesn't even account for other battlefield conditions, which would only exaggerate the difference.

    First your calculations are wrong and therefore are of no value in this discussion. Second, and most importantly, your conclusions do not agree with casualties/round that can be found in the Official Record.

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    9 years 7 months ago #8 by 30th PVI

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  • Blaugrana wrote:

    Hancock the Superb wrote: And that doesn't even account for other battlefield conditions, which would only exaggerate the difference.

    Or reduce the difference. It seems plausible to me that the noise, smoke, confusion and fear might increase dramatically with proximity and the aiming might get worse.


    Here is something I found on another site..... I believe Blaugrana is probably more correct.

    Alexander Stillwell "The Story Of A Common Soldier of Army Life In The Civil War 1861-1865" p40-42
    I distinctly remember my first shot at Shiloh...I think that when the boys saw the enemy advancing they began firing of their own motion. Without waiting for orders. At least I dont remember any. I was in the front rank, but didn't fire.I preferred to wait for a good opportunity, when I could take deliberate aim at some individual foe. But when the regiment fired, the Conferderates halted and began firing also, and thefronts of both lines were at once shrouded in smoke. I had my gun at the ready, and was trying to peer under the smoke in order to get a sight of our enemies. Suddenly I heard someone in a highly excited tone calling to me from just in my rear,-"Stillwell! shoot! shoot! Why dont you shoot?" I looked around and saw that this command was being given by our second lieutenant, who was in his place, just a few steps to the rear. He was a young man, about twenty-five years old, and was fairly wild with excitement, jumping up and down "like a hen on a hot griddle." "Why lieutenant," said I, "I cant see anything to shoot at." "Shoot, Shoot, anyhow!" "All right," I responded, "if you say shoot, shoot it is;" and bringing my gun to my shoulder, I aimed low in the direction of the smoke and blazed away through the smoke. I have always doubted if this, my first shot, did any execution-but there's no telling. However, the lieutenant was clearly right. Our adversaries were in our front, in easy range, and it was our duty to aim low,fire in their general direction, and let fate do the rest. But at the time the idea to me was ridiculous that one should blindly shoot away into a cloud of smoke without having a bead on the object to be shot at...the extent of the wild shooting done in battle, especially by raw troops, is astonishing, and rather hard to understand...(At Shiloh) I heard an incessant humming sound way up above our heads,like the flight of a swarm of bees. In my ignorance, I at first hardly knew what meant, but it presently dawned on me that the noise was caused by bullets singing through the air from twenty to a hundred feet over our heads. And after the battle I noticed that the big trees in our camp, just in the rear ofour second line, were thickly pock-marked by musket balls at a distance of fully a hundred feet from the ground. And yet we were seperated from the Confederates only by a little, narrow field, and the intervening ground was perfectly level. But the fact is, those boys were fully green as we were, and doubtless as much excited...I reckon they were as nervous and badly scared as we were.

    Just a thought....
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    9 years 7 months ago #9 by Hancock the Superb

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  • Blaugrana wrote:

    Hancock the Superb wrote: And that doesn't even account for other battlefield conditions, which would only exaggerate the difference.

    Or reduce the difference. It seems plausible to me that the noise, smoke, confusion and fear might increase dramatically with proximity and the aiming might get worse.


    Although emotions and noise may be larger factors at close ranges, smoke is undoubtedly a large detractor at longer ranges (can you see a person 160 yards away without glasses easily?) In addition, the horizontal area of the target, as well as defects in the rifle, will be magnified at longer distances than shorter ones.

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    9 years 2 months ago #10 by Isaac_Brock

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