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Ammunition expenditure


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#1 MatthewB

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 10:50 PM

I know that things like Torpedoes on destroyers tended to run out pretty quickly (or on some CLs for the USN, and on CLs and CAs for many RN, and all IJN ships... I know many of the IJN BBs had Torpedoes prior to the war, but I cannot recall if they removed all of the tubes prior to the war - they were fixed tubes).

But what about the Main or Secondary Battery Ammo?

Was there ever any danger of running out of ammo during a battle, or possibly a series of sequence of battles, where a ship managed to escape the first battle unscathed, but was not able to resupply before the next?

MB



#2 Cpt M

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 09:11 PM

Generally, ships did not expend their full ammunition load during a single action (the most common kind of game played).  However, for linked battles in a campaign, that could be a concern.  Historically, there were occasions  where the expenditure of a particular type of ammunition over a series of actions became an issue (the actions off Crete were one such occasion.  The RN ships ran low on AA ammunition towards the latter part of the Crete operation.  This had an impact on their ability to respond to the nearly continuous air attacks).  

 

The primary problem, though, is tracking the ammo use during a battle and beyond.  We rarely have data on such things as maximum loadouts or the mix of ammunition carried.  To make any across-the-board rule would not be realistic, unfortunately. 



#3 MatthewB

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 09:02 PM

I just found the Ammo thread in the Campaign section.

It, in turn, prompted a search of the web and my library for info on typical ammo expenditures during large battles (for which the Pacific tended to have more than any other Theatre, the Mediterranean coming in Second).

And it seems that in really heated battles, ships used roughly 1/2 of their ammo. At the battles of Cape Esperance, Naval Battles of Guadalcanal One and Two, Tassafaronga, and the rest of the Savo Island battles, most of the ships that participated in heated gun exchanges seemed to fire a little less than half their magazine capacity for each turret.

For the Japanese, in some of these battles, they only came with about 1/2 of their ammo supply of regular Ship-to-ship Ammo (Esperance, and Naval Guadalcanal One and Two specifically). 

So, this would be a consideration in Campaign Games, where the ship's mission would greatly influence it's capabilities in Ship-to-Ship and endurance in such combat.

In Air Attacks, (such as Midway, the Coral Sea, E. Solomons, Marianas, etc.) it seems that the AA complement exhausted nearly their entire supply of ammo, with each gun only carrying around 200 - 300 rounds of Ammo (for 5"/25s), and around 320 - 400 (for 5"/38s). These guns had a very high ROF, even in AA fire, as they could reload without having to depress their elevation. And, as I posted in the other thread in the Campaign section, such as a CLAA (like the Atlanta-class, or later Juneau-class CLAAs, or the Oakland sub-class of the Atlanta-class CLAA, with dual turret 5"/38 DP guns), which carried roughly 650 rounds/turret (320 - 360/gun), and a ROF of 15 - 22 rounds/minute, they could only sustain AA fire for around 15 - 20 minutes before running low on ammunition.

While this is a very "nuts-and-bolts" sort of estimate of their capabilities, it does give a basis of what sort of thing would be capable for the ships.

BTW, the web-site I linked to includes the capacities for the ships that carried these weapons.

And for other weapons it gives pretty accurate data as well. Most accurate for the USN, but the IJN, KMS, and especially RN all have relatively accurate information as well.

As I suggested in the Campaign Section, I would be willing to run down the relative numbers for as many ships as I possibly can. I have some other resources as well who tend to be engrossed with the minutia of WWII ships. So preparing a chart of Ammo Loadouts would be something I would like to have, and I suppose others might find it useful for Campaigns.

MB



#4 MatthewB

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 09:20 PM

BTW, I asked this original question due to having just finished reading three different accounts of the Solomon's Campaign in the Pacific, and in each three, after every battle, the Captains seemed to be especially concerned about ammunition.

For instance, in Neptune's Inferno, by James Hornfischer, after the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (the first one), the Helena had expended roughly 1/2 of its ammunition supply. And Ad. Lee reported using roughly 1/2 of his in the USS Washington after the 2nd Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (although the 16"/45 gun turrets only held around 390 rounds each).

Also of consideration is that the lifespan of the barrels on the big-guns of BBs.

Most could only last around 400 rounds being fired before the barrel needed to be replaced, which did not require a dry-dock, but did require pretty expansive port facilities.

That might be something to put into the Campaign Rules regarding the various ships.

I would be willing to create a table of Barrel-livespan, roughly estimating # of rounds fired per engagement (or if players wish to track ammo more precisely, they can do so), and the barrel replacement rate, and the effects upon gunfire if a ship haas not had its barrels replaced after exceeding their lifespan.

BTW, I am sure you know about the site, but others might not.

You might want to put up a sticky or thread about the site: NavWeapons.com to allow players to look at the nuts-and-bolts of each particular gun and mount.

The information is more significant for Campaigns than for the tactical game (although it is something players could add if they wanted to keep track of Armor belt thickness per-ship, and gun penetration, deflection, etc. I have played a few games like that, and after tracking the results from those games, and the results from earlier versions of GQ, we found that the results of the hyper-detailed games were not that different from a more abstracted system). But the information here would allow for he Logistic nuts like myself to keep track of the different supplies that would be needed to run the ships' weapons.

MB



#5 mp44dude

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 06:33 PM

I agree that tracking ammo expenditures would be a unnecessary process but I would like to see some restrictions on unlimited firing.

 

My group is in the process of playing the Sudden Storm Campaign and found that during a daytime all BB engagement that the Japanese are best to stay at their maximum ranges and beyond the US maximums of 36000yds and can do so with moderate maneuvering.  The only issue is the amount of firing to achieve any results.

 

Q:  Has any group come up with a ruling on this kind of excessive or unlimited firing?  Have I missed a rule?

 

Thanks in advance!

 



#6 Brooks Witten

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 03:14 AM

Please remember that the longest range hits by battleship armaments against a moving target were approximately 26,000 yards.

If, for some reason, a battleship engagement stayed at such extreme ranges beyond that, ammunition supply would not be an issue.
It would take about one and one half minutes for each shell to reach its target, so rate of fire is not a factor.  Thus it would take around twenty-two and a half game turns for most ships to exhaust their main battery shell magazines.  Well over two hours.

Likely this has led you to the reasons that ships would 'close the range' to ensure a greater likelihood of hitting their target.

So a short answer is, "No."  There is no need for such a rule in a non-campaign scenario.


 



#7 Dave Franklin

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 07:51 AM

I have played a few mini-campaigns where I retrofit the GQ1/2 ammo rule: 18 shots per battery, rapid fire uses 2.


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#8 mp44dude

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 06:29 AM

Please remember that the longest range hits by battleship armaments against a moving target were approximately 26,000 yards.

If, for some reason, a battleship engagement stayed at such extreme ranges beyond that, ammunition supply would not be an issue.
It would take about one and one half minutes for each shell to reach its target, so rate of fire is not a factor.  Thus it would take around twenty-two and a half game turns for most ships to exhaust their main battery shell magazines.  Well over two hours.

Likely this has led you to the reasons that ships would 'close the range' to ensure a greater likelihood of hitting their target.

So a short answer is, "No."  There is no need for such a rule in a non-campaign scenario.


 

Brooks,

 

Thanks for the explanation BUT....  Your statement  "Thus it would take around twenty-two and a half game turns for most ships to exhaust their main battery shell magazines.  Well over two hours" shows that there is a limit to ammo.  Unless you are saying a GQ3 game could never go for more than 23 game turns.

 

This statement also condones the tactic of Japanese BBs never closing with the US BBs during a daylight engagement.

 

Q:  Are the chances to hit at extreme range too high then?  A 1 on half die rolls still usually yields one or two hits a turn from the Japanese BB line - 24 die rolls total



#9 Dave Franklin

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 07:58 AM

Personally I think the chances to hit at extreme range are too high if you just use D12s.  I always use Optional rule 1.5.16 Extended Range and use D20s when the hit number is red.

 

Dave


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#10 Brooks Witten

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 02:21 AM

Brooks,

 

Thanks for the explanation BUT....  Your statement  "Thus it would take around twenty-two and a half game turns for most ships to exhaust their main battery shell magazines.  Well over two hours" shows that there is a limit to ammo.  Unless you are saying a GQ3 game could never go for more than 23 game turns.

 

This statement also condones the tactic of Japanese BBs never closing with the US BBs during a daylight engagement.

 

Q:  Are the chances to hit at extreme range too high then?  A 1 on half die rolls still usually yields one or two hits a turn from the Japanese BB line - 24 die rolls total

Although it has probably happened, I've never played in a twenty game turn fleet action.

But we've never had that extreme range issue as one side or the other (usually both) closes to a more effective range.  Even a US battleline of "Standards" has been able to close a Japanese battleline in spite of their slight speed advantage.  Reducing it to a stern chase at 40,000 yards?  That'd be a boring scenario
Another problem we've dealt with has been the survivability of the air spots in daylight.  The likelihood of them being shot down, especially by US anti-aircraft fire, was greater than that long range hit chance.  Not even mentioning those planes going after one another!  (You can't spot when in air combat)

And finally, as Dave Franklin mentioned above, Optional Rule [1.5.8] cuts the number of D12 rolled by half -- and I like his use of D20 instead.  Those rules being applied should bring those rather unrealistic 'way over the horizon' duels to a crashing halt.

Give 'em a try and let us know how it works out for you.






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