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Conflict of Heroes: Guadalcanal – Pacific Ocean 1942» Forums » Rules

Subject: Illumination Rounds rss

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Dean halley

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The play testing for Guadalcanal is proceeding, and we want to get the firefights as accurate as possible when it comes to the hardware that each side used. Right now I am focusing on polishing up the night rules, and I need some help.

Specifically, does anyone know what the illumination radius was for 80mm and 60mm World War II illumination rounds, and how long those illumination rounds lasted?

Thanks to any one that can shed some light on this for me. laugh

take care,
Dean
 
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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Do you have the nomenclature for the rounds?

Check out this link:
http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mortar/81mm.html

Search the page (press CTL+F) on "illumina"
 
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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M2 60mm Mortar

http://www.ww2gyrene.org/weapons_m2mortar.htm

"The M83 illuminating round was a parachute flare that weighed about 3.5 pounds. It generated about 11,000 candlepower and had a burn time of 25 seconds."

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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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M1 81mm mortar used the M301 illumination round

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_mortar

"M301 Illuminating shell: range max 2200 yd (2012 m); attached to parachute; burned brightly (275,000 candelas) for about 60 seconds, illuminating an area of about 150 yards (137 m) diameter; used M84 time fuze, adjustable from 5 to 25 seconds before priming charge detonated, releasing the illum and chute."
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uwe eickert
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Dean,
This falls in the range of what you calculated for both mortars.
Thanks a lot Steven!
Uwe
 
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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Looking forward to this installment!!!
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Jesse LeBreton
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StevenE wrote:
M1 81mm mortar used the M301 illumination round...
illuminating an area of about 150 yards (137 m) diameter


So in game terms we get 3 hex diameter circles? Then the smaller one would have to only illuminate 1 hex I figure. Is that how it's going to translate to COH?
 
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Dean halley

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Steve,
What Uwe said.

And Jesse,
Thats what it will be.

With such a small illumination radius, the night rules will be brutal to the players who squanders their illumination rounds. Especially if the Japanese are coming at you in a banzai charge that ends up in hand-to-hand close combat. wow

Take care,
Dean
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uwe eickert
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Lebatron wrote:
StevenE wrote:
M1 81mm mortar used the M301 illumination round...
illuminating an area of about 150 yards (137 m) diameter


So in game terms we get 3 hex diameter circles? Then the smaller one would have to only illuminate 1 hex I figure. Is that how it's going to translate to COH?


81mm lights up the center hex and the 6 around it.
 
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steve paschal
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Brutal is right.
 
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Dean halley

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Thanks for the replies.

Is Wikepida that reliable? I always wonder about that.

Based on my own experiences in the Marine Corps from 36 years ago (yup, I am that old) with live fire excersizes at night, I think that lighting up seven hexes with a single illumination attack is overkill. Sorry Uwe. I much prefer Jesse's idea. And even though I hate to admit it, movies like Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, The Halls of Montezuma, and Assault on Firebase Gloria (a great B grade movie which you will really appriciae if you were in the Marine Corps in the late 170s to early 1980s) seem to get it right.

The light cast by illumination rounds in World War II flickered widely as the parachute that suspended it in the air was blown around by the wind currents or other interferance from the battlefield; creating a lot of shadows on the ground. I imagine it was often like shooting into a dark room lit up with a strobe light. Not only was it difficult to see the enemy clearly in those conditions until they were up close, it also obsured sight picture and range calculations. And then there is the considerations of how many illumination rounds were avialable at any given time on Guadalcanal. The Marines were short on everything until Novemeber, and I suspect that included Illumination rounds.

So for the sake of correct effect, I will go with 60mm illumination rounds lighting up a single hex, and 81mm illumination rounds lighting up a three adjcent hexes (clover leaf pattern). That also leaves room for the effect of the illumination rounds that were fired by destroyers from off shore later in the war. Now those babies were fired from rapid fire 5-3/8" guns, and the volumn of illumination shells that the ships were able to concentrate over an area lit it up like daylight! They should definately get the seven hex bonus!

Thanks for your imput all.
Take care
Dean
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Jesse LeBreton
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To help some picture it right I'd suggest they take a look at the Nebelwerfer weapon card to see the proper area effect of the 81mm.
 
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Dean halley

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Thanks Jesse
That is also my proposed strike pattern for Japanese artillery right now, as the Japanese on Guadalcanal suffered a chronic shortage of ammunition. But that might change with play testing by just limiting the number of artillery strikes they have (as doing both of these at the same time might prove to be overkill). Time will tell when we exapnd the number of play testers prior to printing.

And just so everyone knows, all of the firefights for Guadalcanal have been play tested and the game is well along in its development. What I am doing now is fine tuning them.


Take care,
Dean
 
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uwe eickert
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Hi guys, please remember that a turn in CoH is 4-5 minutes. When firing, be it at a enemy infantry, mortar, or illumination, the effect is for an accumulation of shots during this time period. So firing an illumination order does not translate into firing ONE shell, but often a salvo of shells. This is the same as artillery and so on.

Please keep this in mind. We want relative illumination effects for various fire commands.
 
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Dean halley

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Agreed. But in my play testing, allowng one 81mm mortar to illuminate 14 hexes in a round (cost: 7 APs + 1 CAP) can turn portions of the map into daylight, and that defeats the effect darkness had on combat and enhancing Japanese tactics. By limiting an 81mm to a clover leaf illumination pattern, the players will be forced to make hard decisions on where to place illumination and how often. Limiting the 81mm to a clover leaf pattern is gaming more for effect that techical accuracy. Kind of like giving all turreted AVFs the ability to fire outside their arc of fire by paying a +1 AP penalty. Not techically correct, as the speed of turret traveres varied a bit from tank model to tank model, but it gives the right effect.

And if we allow an 81mm mortar to illuminate 7 hexes with each shot then using the same logic, the 60mm should be able to illiminate at least a clover leaf pattern of hexes with each shot. Here comes daylight at midnight!

Just my thoughts. I am play testing both approaches tonight with a friend, and I will post the results here is a day or two if anyone is interseted.

take care all,
Dean


 
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Jesse LeBreton
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uweeickert wrote:
Hi guys, please remember that a turn in CoH is 4-5 minutes. When firing, be it at a enemy infantry, mortar, or illumination, the effect is for an accumulation of shots during this time period. So firing an illumination order does not translate into firing ONE shell, but often a salvo of shells. This is the same as artillery and so on.

Please keep this in mind. We want relative illumination effects for various fire commands.


Right, I'm sure that is assumed when you figure that the hexes in question would be illuminated the entire turn and not just 30-60 seconds of it. Each individual flare would not last the entire 4-5 minute period and therefore it is a given that more than one must be used one after the other. So supply would reflect amounts in quantities to light up for an entire turn and not just individual flares.
 
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Dean halley

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So it is time for an update on Guadalcanal, and throw in another play test AAR. I will put it here because illumnation has been the most difficult part of the play testing to get right.

I had what I thought was a great set of night rules that seemed to work great in solo play testing. Then Sam and I (my FTF partner) gave the rules a run through in a FTF game about three weeks ago, and Sam tactfully told me that the rules stink. his exat words were "this doesn't feel like fighting at night". Well kudos to Sam, because in hindsight, they really did stink.

So it was back to the drawing board to design a set of night rules that "felt" right, had an historically acurate result, and would pass muster with Uwe. Not such an easy thing.It took me three weeks but I finally have a set of rules that even Sam and Uwe should like. I played a solo firefight last night with the revised night rules (Sam had other committments, and couldn't make it), and it was one of the most intesne firefights I have ever played.

The darkness cloaked the Japanese attacks until the Japanese squads were a hex or two away from the Marines, allowing the Japanese to keep coming at the Marine lines like a battering ran until they broke through. And yes,that included a few banzai charges. Illumination helped the Marines, but there was never enough of it to be everywhere at once (illumination counters come and go now at the beginning of friendly turns, and each side has a limited number of them avaiable that can be depleted during the firefight). This resulted in a lot of short range firefights followed by CC! Only the strong survived!

The Japanese lost 25 squads and a few support weapons during the night, but they still managed to gain 11 VPs to the American's 8. VPs are hard to come by for the American's in this firefightas as way to balnace things out. When it was all said and done, I am very plaese with the night rules. There is definately a "Pacific" feel to the game that will be totally different from what you have experienced in AtB, SoS, and PoH.Now if Sam will only agree...

But the story doesn't end here. This is the first firefight in a two firefight "contest", and the winner of the contest won't be determined until the end of the second frefight... which I hope to play tonite (the VPs from both firefights ar summed to determine the winner).

The second firefight, which uses surviving units from the first, takes place after the sun comes up,and involves the Marines counter-attacking the Japanese. M3A1 Stuart tanks and F4F Wildcats fighter airplanes will be there to lend a hand to the Marine infantry. These are not great tanks or planes by anyone standards in 1942, but its better than nothing. But the tanks can fire cannister! Which makes up for their otherwise dismal capabilities. And of course the Japanese will literally fight almost to the last man, as their historical counter parts did.

So thats it for now. Take care all.
Dean



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Ryan DeLano
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Thanks for the update! I've never been a big fan of the Pacific theatre in the past, but I'm very excited for this expansion.
 
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Jan Colpaert
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Feels/sounds like "the Pacific"!
 
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Dean halley

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I am back. I just finished the second firefight in the contest, and it was neck and neck all of the way.

The Japanese did very well in the End-of-Firefight sequence, and recovered a lot of their units that had been eliminated in the first firefight. The End-of-firefight sequence is used in multi-firefight contests to allow players to realign and consolidate their forces between firefights. One of the things players do in the sequence is to try and recover units that were eliminated. Its fairly simple, but I don't want to give anything away yet.

That put the Marines at a distinct disadvantage going into the second firefight. Not only did they face a fairly equal sized force, but the Japanese had better front DRs. But as I said in my last post, the tanks and Wildcats balanced things out.

Having tanks that were able to fire canister gave the Marines the edge though until one of them was eliminated in CC by something you think would only happen in the movies. A lone Japanese squad waited until the tank was spent, and then ran through two hexes to engage it in CC with a Type 99 Anti-tank mine. That seemed normal enough, except that there were two fresh USMC rifle squads with the tank that kept blasting away at the Japanese squad. The Japanese squad laughed in their faces though as it reminded untouched by their fire, and was able to destroy the tank in CC before it was eliminated too.

That turned the tide for the Japanese in VPs, and the remnant retreated into a patch of heavy jungle on the east end of the map where they waited for the Marines to come and get them. And the Marines had no choice but to do just that (the Japanese player gains 1 VP at the end of each round that he/she still has units on the map). the larger and better armed Japanese squads took a toll on the Marines in that dense jungle, and though the Marines finally prevailed, it was a close thing. (Japanese squads official had 12 man armed with 11 bolt-action rifles and one Nambu LMG, while a Marine squad in 1942 has nine men armed with eight bolt-action riffles and one BAR).

when it was all said and done, both sides were shattered, and the Japanese won the contest 29 VPs to 24. The American player could consolidate himself/herself with a morale victory though, since all of the Japanese had been eliminated. But in the Japanese way of thinking at the time, that was good enough. And besides they had the VPs.


Dean

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Dean halley

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And on a side note, recovering eliminated units between firefights is a perfectly valid. In the designer's notes in the CoH rule book (the stuff in blue), Uwe explains that an eliminated unit does not represent everyone in it dying to the last man. On the contrary, it represents the unit's loss of combat effectiveness for the remainder of the firefight more than the number of casualties it took... or a combination of both.

Ichiki's Second Echelon at Alligator Creek number about 1000 men when the battle started, and there were still over 700 of them left when the Marines counter attacked that morning. And this was after the Japanese had tried to overrun the Marines with three banzai charges during the night using all five infantry companies Ichiki had. Obviously, many of the men in the banzai charges survived to fight again later that day.

So that is the reasoning behind recovering eliminated units between firefights. These are the survivors of an earlier battle that have regrouped enough to become useful once more. I though I would throw this out there before some one complained about how gamey it is. ,

Take care,
Dean
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Fredericus Rex
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仇討たで 野辺には朽ちじ
吾は又 七度生れて 矛を執らむぞ

Ada utade nobe ni wa kuchiji
ware wa mata shichido umarete hoko o toramuzo

Translations of Poems are always hard, but I try my best

The enemy unbeaten, We won't perish in the fields;
We'll be born again, to take up the spear for seven times again.

栗林 忠道 Kuribayashi Tadamichi
Commaneding General on Iwo Jima 1945

And as far as I know he wrote this in March '45 shortly after the battle began.

Can't wait for this game!!!
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uwe eickert
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Norbert, I really like this and think it may fit well on the back of the firefight book. It gives great flavor and insight.
Uwe
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Dean halley

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Norbert,
Nice job. I think Uwe's idea of including it on the back of teh firefight book is a good one.

Ryan,
I am looking forward to Guadalcanal too. I think you will enjoy it very much.

Jan,
I agree. My goal in designing Guadalcanal for CoH was to give it a distinctly Pacific feel without a lot of new rules to learn. From my perspective I think that goal has been achieved. The only new rules you will have to learn for Guadalcanal are terrain differences, banzai charges, night combat, amphibious assaults, and two new Hit markers for the Japanese that model their very real "death before dishonor" mentality. None of these rules are difficult to learn, and are designed more for effect than technicalities (but the effects are based on the technicalities). That keeps them short and fun.

All-in-all its going to be a great package.

take care,
Dean

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Jan Colpaert
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Will there be a scenario editor included, Dean?
 
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