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About LAVA

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  1. Union difficulty issues.

    Okay, I guess I can see your point. At the MG and Legendary difficulty settings the game does become a-historical due to the limitations on manpower and weapons and therefore you want to see a tougher AI for BG. The way I look at these kinds of issues is that there is only so much a programmer can do to provide a tougher opponent. Personally, I've played 450 hours of the game and I still don't find it boring. I guess I play the game a bit differently. By the mid point of the campaign I'm shooting for a fairly well trained army across the board with fairly good infantry weapons and fairly high quality artillery pieces. And I think that is a pretty historical way of approaching the game. I might not win the campaign... but I will have fun trying it.
  2. Union difficulty issues.

    I believe that Major General is an intermediate difficulty setting to Legendary. It is at this level that you find out a lot of your preconceptions are incorrect. Note, I did not say that wiping out enemy forces was not important, merely that they are not as important as building a balanced army. And no, I don't build my army to withstand expected losses, I build my army to bring me victory with as few losses as possible. Just being curious... what do you consider to be exploits?
  3. Union difficulty issues.

    Welcome to the forums. Just as some background... I have won the Brigadier General Union campaign, failed the Legendary campaign, played about a third of the Major General campaign and am now back to playing the Legendary campaign. My last battle was at Logan's Crossroads and my next is Shiloh. In my experience playing the Union campaigns I was rather taken back by the difference in play between BG and Legendary. But as I look back, that shouldn't be so startling because in fact my experience was only playing a single campaign on BG difficulty. While lots of folks find that campaign to be quite difficult and indeed it is pretty difficult, in fact, in hindsight, I believe it is quite forgiving in many ways. Thus, once you grasp the basic concepts that are needed to win the campaign, it allows you to go off on many different directions and reinforces your own beliefs that you have mastered game play when in fact, you haven't. From my experiences I have drastically changed the way I play the Union. While I agree that army management is a crucial skill at the Legendary level, on the battlefield, force preservation is not, IMO, the dominant need, in fact, although I am still in the early stages of my second Legendary campaign, neither is force wipes. What is necessary is creating a balanced army which has the ability, endurance and skill to fight and win. When you first encounter the Confederates on Legendary (and even on MG but to a lesser extent), what you are going to see is a far more aggressive AI opponent with higher skills in contrast to the forces you bring to the battle. Your challenge, just as in BG, is to not only to defeat that enemy but to do so on a considerably favorable casualty ratio somewhere in the realm of close to 3 to 1 and you must do this with fewer rewards in gold, recruits and weapons. While in BG you could send cavalry behind the enemy lines and steal the Confederates supply wagons, on Legendary supply wagons should be viewed as bait to lure you to a position where your forces will take a lot of losses... for nothing. While in BG, you can take your best units, engage and destroy your opponent and allow your recruit units to steadily gain experience, on Legendary the AI will push to engage your entire force and annihilate raw recruits. While once you could rout the Confederates off the field on certain critical areas of the battlefield now you will find an opponent who will regain their cohesion and fight until almost the last man. In sum, on Legendary, as far as I can tell, your job (as I have said before) is to create a balanced army with a firm anchor of very good artillery units. You need patience on the battlefield and time your attacks. You have to be very deliberate in your movements making sure that your infantry is always supported by your artillery and that you have reserves if possible to plug the line when one of your units routs. You have to concentrate fire on crucial parts of the battlefield and whittle down your opponent. And then when he is weak... you strike... but with your entire force in a very deliberate manner. So there is a huge difference when you move from BG level up to any higher difficulty level and IMO, you have to become a better general. And as you become a better general, you will appreciate just how cool it is to be able to take on that challenge and win.
  4. Finished Grand Campaign (UNION)

    Wait until you try that campaign on Major General or Legendary difficulty setting... it's an eye opener! I finished my first campaign on Brigadier General as the Union and then did the Confederate campaign on the same difficulty setting. Having done that I thought the Confederate campaign was relatively easy. But it is almost certainly because I had built a solid basic understanding of how to play the game. Tried the Union campaign on Legendary and failed. Then tried it on Major General after watching many videos and scouring the forums for advanced tips. That went lots better and gave me enough confidence to return to my Legendary campaign. Last night I won the Battle of River Crossing and I think I might be able to complete the campaign this time. Who knows? But one thing is for certain, when you go from Brigadier General to Legendary... you need to know this game inside and out. Congrats on winning your campaign! Looking forward to hearing you have won the Confederate one as well!
  5. Veteran Recruits Cost

    Actually I have been using the Battle of Mulvern Hill on MG, and how I use artillery to hold my position and win the battle convincingly to create my first YouTube video. Unfortunately, I screw up so much, that I have yet to make a video of that battle which I am satisfied with. For example, one time I played the battle and everything went really well, but at the end, I forgot to show how well my artillery did in the after action report you get. *sigh* Perhaps when I get back from vacation I can try it again....
  6. UGCW Feedback v1.0+

    I myself would like a sandbox mode where I could take my army at any stage of the Campaign, pick a map and have the game generate random objectives and of course, an opposition army. A sandbox mode would increase replay ability x 10, IMO, and I get to play random battles with my beloved army without consequence on my campaign. I have never played a war game with such wonderful RPG features. This sets UGCW completely apart from other war games and the more the devs can capitalize on this the more devoted a fan base they will develop.
  7. Veteran Recruits Cost

    I've watched tons of videos from many different folks, but there aren't a lot of folks who have completed campaigns posted. That is why I linked to the History Guy and Benjamin Magnus because they had completed the Union campaigns. The missing element here is someone posting the Union Campaign on Legendary. I gave Legendary a shot and I was going okay until I hit the twin major battles of Gaines Mil and Malvern Hill. It became obvious that I just wasn't ready for that so I have been playing on Major General difficulty and have completed the battle of Fredericksburg. I am even more convinced that Gaines Mill and Malvern Hill are the real test as to whether or not you have positioned yourself army wise to have a good chance at finishing the campaign. At this point I have also been working on recording my games for YouTube and once I am happy with my ability to produce videos for the public without completely embarrassing myself, I will return and start another Legendary Campaign. From my perspective, there was a great deal of difference between playing on BG and MG. All the factors start combining and you have to be able to use everything at your disposal. As the Union you not only want a large army with good weapons but a reasonably experienced one as well. From army management to battle management, you need to really understand how this game works. It's a great experience playing this game and it is also really fun watching how other folks meet that challenge.
  8. Veteran Recruits Cost

    Nope... it is not easy. Here are some tips: 1. Play at half speed. Every now and then pause and take in the entire battlefield so that you have the "big picture" of what is going on. I went through the entire Union and Confederate campaigns on Brigadier General level playing at half speed. 2. Watch videos of other folks playing the game, specifically the next battle you are going to fight. There are lots of video on YouTube; take advantage of that. For the Union there are a number of folks who have played the entire Union campaign: https://www.youtube.com/user/BenjaminMagnusGames/videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsJCJD1tAzTZ1eUUiskH-9w/videos The History Guy I also recommend watching Aetius, although he is playing on Legendary, as he devotes entire videos to army making and more importantly, gives his rational for why he does things. His army building videos are real gems. https://www.youtube.com/user/aetius9/videos 3. Remember, as the Union you are at a terrible disadvantage fighting the Rebs in cover. Look for areas where you can fight them in the open and bring lots of artillery. Avoid melee if you can and when they charge you, fall back the unit and draw the unit into a crossfire. I only use melee playing as the Union when I have no other option and I must either protect my artillery or take an objective. 4. Practice, practice and practice to make sure your troops do what you want them to. With infantry always move your troops by position. Do not click on an enemy unit to engage. The reason you do not want to click on a unit to engage is because if that unit routs... your unit will follow after him and the next thing you know you have one or two brigades in the middle of the battlefield, out of position and being slaughtered. If you do feel you need to give a unit an order to fire on a particular enemy, once it begins to do so order it to "Hold." I do a lot of micro with artillery and when you click on a unit to fire at, sometimes, if you don't do it properly, the unit will move to that position. So make sure whenever you order firing... the unit that is being firing on turns red and you see a red firing line indicator. In fact click on the troops you wish to fire on and not it's icon. Skirmishers are a bit different, as you many times want them to continually harass a moving unit, but be aware that the mechanics of the game could draw them into a trap. Keeping control of your troops is probably the most important aspect of fighting battles. 5. If you are not satisfied with a battle result play it again. I normally save at the very end of the battle when you return to camp and before you make adjustments to your army and again after I am prepared to play the next battle. After I play that battle I review it and think whether I am satisfied with the result. Could I have done it better? If so, I just go right back to my pre-battle save and play it again. Should I have brought different troops? If so I go back to the first save and try to adjust my army and then re-fight the battle with my new force and see what happens. Now, I am playing the Union on Major General (hard) level and there is a real make or break point in the campaign when you hit the duel major battles of Gaines Mill followed by Mulvern Hill. IMO, if you want to continue on a successful campaign you must win both of these battles without taking major losses. The first time I fought Gaines Mill I won. But I thought I could do better so I re-fought the battle and did better. Cheating? I suppose, but my execution was poor and when I re-fought the battle I used the same tactics but with better execution. I then moved on to Mulvern Hill. Mulvern Hill is a really tough battle. I'm probably behind because I was only able to bring 26 of the allotted 30 brigades to the battle, but I felt my forces were ready to win this battle and I still do. I lost the first time I played the battle and then I won the second time I played the battle. So I said to myself, this is a really good battle to practice with and try different tactics. I have fought the battle now at least a dozen times and have only won twice. And if necessary, I will fight it another dozen times until I feel I have reached the point where I am skillful enough to win that battle handily. So... do not be discouraged by your efforts. Think hard about your results and work to do better. Possibly you need to go to a easier level of play. In this game, there is no shame of playing at the Colonel level. Possibly you need to reconsider how you play. If so, watch the videos of others and see how they play. And possibly, like me, you need to learn every little insight on how to play the game to get the best possible outcome. Whatever, there are always room to improve but in the end, it is just a game. Having fun is the only real result you should shoot for.
  9. Veteran Recruits Cost

    Here I'll show you what I mean. This is my army playing on MG after Shiloh: Notice the 1600 man units in 1st Corps. They have my best weapons. After the 3 minor engagements leading up to Gaines Mill I was able to add new brigades, get them experience and add veterans to the 1600 men brigades. Here is my army getting ready to fight at Gaines Mill: I was able to increase the size of my army from 26,790 men and 69 guns to 34,690 men and 80 guns. Notice I went from 14 infantry brigades to 17 and only Walton lacks at least 1 star and he is right on the edge of earning that. I added 3 new infantry brigades and they are all over 1 star quality. Of my 5 brigades with upgraded weapons and 1600 troops I was able to raise them all up to 2000 men using only veterans. A sixth brigade with good weapons was added but I was only able to get him up to 1900 men, making my 1st and 2nd Divisions of the first Corps the heart of my army. I also added a new artillery battery and got them up to 1 star and just before Gaines Mill, I bought with my reputation points the 20pdr Parrots. The Parrot battery doesn't have any experience, but I will keep him well behind the lines for Gaines Mill. I was also able to increase my supply from 33,615 total to 35158. In Gaines Mill you can bring 20 brigades to start and 10 brigades of reinforcements. Was short 4 brigades... but I'm hopeful my army is ready.
  10. Veteran Recruits Cost

    Well, I think the thread clearly shows that adding veterans first is far more cost effective. The problem you must solve is how many veterans to add first. Personally, I don't do this on a unit basis. I do this from an army perspective. Sure I want to maintain some elite units, but I am more concerned with the overall experience of my army. So for me, the folks who get the veterans first are those who, if I have to take all recruits, would suffer the most. By doing this I try to give the entire army at least a minimum efficiency rating. For example, a Union recruit brigade will have an efficiency of around 10 or 11. In a major battle these folks will run at the sight of the enemy. So once the unit has experienced combat, I want initially for him to be around 20 at the minimum. Normally I create new units after a major battle. I then train them in the next series of minor battles. If I don't have enough resources to bring all my units up to strength, I will just add a few to my more elite units as I won't be using them in the minor battles. After each minor battle, they will get a few more veterans and hopefully, just before the next major battle, I will be able to fill them to full strength. This way, when it is time to fight a major battle, I will have raised the quality of my entire army while at the same time preserving my best units.
  11. That would be Distress Call. I let the Rebs have the Northern Supply Depot and then camped in the woods to the West of the Southern Supply Depot. My reinforcements brought in 2 batteries of artillery and I made sure that I kept control of the Southern Depot so that I could prolong the battle to the bitter end. The AI was pretty aggressive but I had no problem luring them into canister range. After I had put a hurt on all the Reb brigades I advanced to the middle of the field to face the Confederates who were now solidly on defense of the Northern Supply Depot. Flanked them from the West as they had defending batteries to the East. Neutralizing those batteries was a bit dicey but between my cavalry and some skirmishers they fell back as well. Fought the battle until the entire Rebel army was destroyed. This is one of the few battles in which I deliberately merged 2 brigades... the 2 smallish brigades you get who are garrisoning the supply depots. On BG level I was able to hold off their reinforcements at the bridge (which prevents the artillery from entering the field) and setup in the center of the battlefield and fought a similar battle of attrition. The difference is that on MG the Confederates are higher in quality and have more troops per brigade. The AI is also more aggressive and will push through any attempt to stop them from crossing. Learned that from playing on Legendary so didn't even try it. Have to say that things are going a lot better for me on MG than on Legendary. I've learned a lot about the mechanics, the way the AI reacts after the last patch (which is significant) and at least so far (I just finished Shiloh) I typically use up all my reputation points to get my hands on the best weapons available.
  12. I'm no expert at this, but I think you overestimate the capacity of a division staff during the war. Most of the folks were actually "staff" corps members who performed staff duties such as an engineer, medical officer, paymaster, etc. Doubt if they would be on the battle line. By today's standards, staffs were very small, so there weren't many general officers about to command brigades or regiments. And certainly the Division Commander was not in a command post but riding about with his troops; which is why so many got killed. Note that there is a distinction between general and staff officers. A general officer is one who is qualified to lead troops in battle; while a staff officer is not. So, historically speaking, I think you will find there were actually very few "extra" general officers running about who could assume the role of a brigade commander. Personally, I think if you are "planning" to combine under strength (perhaps high quality) right from the start of the battle, you are probably gaming the system. I don't use this "feature" very often and doubt if it was common place on the battlefield. So be happy it is even in the game. Cheers!
  13. Interesting... I did hold the bridge on the Southern part of the city with a brigade and skirmishers and yes indeed, the Rebs kept trying to attack me there. I placed my artillery so that they could support and was able to hold them off there with some pretty big casualties. Overall, I lost 1000 men to their 3,000 so as I said before, when the game ended early, I wasn't complaining.
  14. Make sense to me. I didn't notice that you had to hold the town for ten minutes. I deliberately didn't take the town so the Rebs would keep attacking me. But, its MG level, so I'll take it.
  15. Okay... so, I found that Legendary was too tough for me after the introduction of the last patch and felt that instead of going from BG difficulty straight to Legendary that I should first play the campaign on MG difficulty. Therefore, I started a new campaign on MG difficulty and, of course, the first battle is for Philippi, the train station. When I fought this battle, I crossed the river on the far side by the forest and camped there. I pretty much annihilated the Confederates that were defending and then with about 5 minutes to go, I moved forward and took the objective. When the timer went to 0, instead of shifting to the next phase when the Rebs get reinforcements and are backed up by an armored train, the battle just finished and gave me a victory. I was somewhat surprised. I don't think it is a bug, or possibly it is, but I was wondering if someone could explain why this happened. Thanks!