32-Pound Siege Gun & 24-Pound Howitzer

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MarcusColenious
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32-Pound Siege Gun & 24-Pound Howitzer

Post by MarcusColenious »


Greeting all,

I am working on a scenario as part of the 1864 invasion of Missouri by Price where the Federals are in a fort with 4 32-pound siege guns and 3 24-pound howitzers that can fire at advancing infantry in front of them.

Since there is nothing in the rules for these two big gun types, I thought I would open it up to the community (or to our awesome author) to see if they have any advice. I can only imagine the devastation cannister fire would be for these big guns, and I pity the confederate player who will have to assault them.

I have some ideas, but am looking for advise from the TFL Pickets Charge community. I want to try to stay within the combat guidelines of the rules. As an example, for both gun types, make the range of both guns the same as Heavy Rifled Guns. Or, 2 32-pound siege guns fire as a 6 gun Napoleon battery with 1 additional extra CD at canister range (so 3 CDs instead of 2).

Thank you in advance for any guidance you can provide.

Marcus

markantony
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Re: 32-Pound Siege Gun & 24-Pound Howitzer

Post by markantony »

I have often wondered the same for gunboats that could be involved in a war game.

For example, the ironclad CSS Virginia had a mixture of 7in rifled guns, 9in Dahlgren smoothbores and 12in Howitzers. Am intimidating battery in every respect !

siggian
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Re: 32-Pound Siege Gun & 24-Pound Howitzer

Post by siggian »

I just wonder how often a siege gun would have a canister round at the ready.

MarcusColenious
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Re: 32-Pound Siege Gun & 24-Pound Howitzer

Post by MarcusColenious »

Interesting question @siggian,

I doubt it happened very often, at least from my readings. However, in this instance it did. The federals were waiting for them canister at the ready. I can only imagine how devastating and scary it was on the battlefield. The question is how do I configure the guns to the PC rules, to adequately represent this, but not totally re-write the rules. The other interesting tidbit is that the crews were inexperienced and 3 of them blew up while being fired during the battle.

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DCRBrown
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Re: 32-Pound Siege Gun & 24-Pound Howitzer

Post by DCRBrown »

M,

I think you suggestions are very sound!

The other considerations are:

1. Can the guns be depressed below a certain angle, i.e. once assaulting troops are within a certain distance they may be below the depression of such big guns and

2. Reload times. Should the 32pdrs be restricted to firing every other turn?

3. Ammunition. Should ammunition be limited to a certain number of firing turns, esp. with regard to canister?

and finally, perhaps if you roll a fatigue casualty then take an ET - if you fail you've suffered a barrel burst and the gun is removed from play.

DB

MarcusColenious
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Re: 32-Pound Siege Gun & 24-Pound Howitzer

Post by MarcusColenious »


Thanks Dan. Battle is Pilot Knob. I am playtesting some ideas, I will let you know what I go with.

I really like the ET test barrel burst, I was initially thinking any roll of doubles. I like this idea better.

Marcus

siggian
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Re: 32-Pound Siege Gun & 24-Pound Howitzer

Post by siggian »

I think the fact that three of the guns blew up means that they probably were making their own canister rounds and likely over egged them by overstuffing them.

Tony TRT
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Re: 32-Pound Siege Gun & 24-Pound Howitzer

Post by Tony TRT »

Hi Marcus,
So here is my two cents worth on 24lb field howitzers.

Contemporary sources credit these weapons with effective ranges of around 750 to 800 yards, and maximum range out to 1300 yards. So, my thinking is that this gives the 24lb howitzer the following:
Close Canister 0 – 20
Effective 20 – 40
Long Range 40 – 65

With the “Close Canister” additional casualty dice: 24pdr Smoothbore Firing Canister (If 6 guns) +2CD (+3CD)

I agree with the additional casualty dice. Canister came in 3 varieties. For guns the canister round had 27 iron balls. For field howitzers the canister round had 48 iron balls. For the mountain howitzer, the canister was filled with 148 .69 calibre lead musket balls. The size of the iron balls varied depending on the calibre of the gun.

The ammunition chest for a 12-pdr Napoleon included 12 shot, 12 case, 4 shells, and 4 canister for a total of 32 rounds. But the 24-pdr chest contained 12 shells, 8 case, and 3 canister – a total of nine less than the smaller gun.

So, there are a couple of things from this. One is that howitzers were not issued with shot as it damaged the howitzer barrel so No Bounce Through.

The second is the amount of ammunition. In a fortification the amount of ammunition may not be a problem but in the field maybe there is a greater chance of running low on ammunition.

Of course, the 24lb field howitzer was hardly ever used in the field although the Confederates had a battery of 4 guns at Gettysburg.

Regards
Tony

MarcusColenious
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Re: 32-Pound Siege Gun & 24-Pound Howitzer

Post by MarcusColenious »

Good information. Thanks Tony.

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