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The Soldier

The Artillerist's Guide to Ultimate General: Civil War

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So, in preparation for the 1.04 release that made a lot of the rifled cannon in UG:CW relevant, I created this: The Artillerist's Guide to Ultimate General: Civil War.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1105446690

It goes over a short history, gameplay comparison, and tactics used for every cannon in UG:CW, from the diminutive 6-Pounder Field Gun to the massive 20-Pounder Parrott Gun.  It's a pretty lengthy document, but you can jump to the stuff you want.  Like my opinion on the 20-Pounder Parrott - hint, it's good. ;)

Hopefully you learn some stuff here!  Good luck Generals.

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tl;dr 20pdr Parrotts are finally, finally worth using somehow. Wow. Never thought I'd see the day.

Still hold that James are worthless--given that the best role you can come up with them is counterbattery fire, as that's simply not a tactic the player should be using in most circumstances.

Well, I was going to sell the 100+ Parrotts I had been holding onto when it came time for the final mission but I guess I'll beef up all my brigades and hand them out in place of Howitzers as I condense, I guess.

Did you manage to do any testing wrt effectiveness of gun for inexperienced crews vs veterans? It's always been my speculation that low eff/low firearms crews shouldn't get low accuracy cannons because they can't do anything with them and thus slow down their leveling.

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@Hitorishizuka

The 20-Pounder Parrott Gun was the very first thing I tested, and least to say, I was impressed. :) Also; the 6-Pounder Wiard is secretly overpowered as hell right now.

I consider counter-battery fire to be a worthwhile cause to dedicate to one or two artillery brigade units in each of your Corps.  Good way to deal with pesky enemy artillery before your troops march into canister range, though the 20-Pounder Parrot Gun will outperform it slightly.  However, do note that the counter-battery fire abilities also extends to it's effectiveness at long range against all targets, not just cannons - meaning it's one of the best long-ranged cannon in the game, short of the 20-Pounder Parrott.

From the in-game manual on unit statistics, it says that a unit can gain up to 20% extra accuracy and 30% reload speed with Level 100 Firearms.  That is a considerable boost, but not enough to discourage you from equipping brigades with worse weapons.  Sure, give the best brigades the best weapons, but don't intentionally gib inexperienced brigades with worse weapons unless you can't afford more average ones.  If you've got good just laying around, no use in letting them sit in the Armory, hand them out!

(I should also mention most of my testing is either done comparatively between guns with equal, high-skilled crew or all at inexperienced crew, around 20 in most stats)

@drhay53

Canister, as you noticed, looks like a giant shotgun coming from the barrel.  Shell shot looks like little explosions going off around the target brigade, and bolt / round shot looks like puffs of smoke going straight up around the target brigade.

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7 minutes ago, The Soldier said:

I consider counter-battery fire to be a worthwhile cause to dedicate to one or two artillery brigade units in each of your Corps.  Good way to deal with pesky enemy artillery before your troops march into canister range, though the 20-Pounder Parrot Gun will outperform it slightly.  However, do note that the counter-battery fire abilities also extends to it's effectiveness at long range against all targets, not just cannons - meaning it's one of the best long-ranged cannon in the game, short of the 20-Pounder Parrott.

My position is that if you're actually capable of seeing enemy artillery, you have other units who are more capable of shooting them, usually being the skirmishers or cavalry nearby that are getting you the spot. The niche case is head on attacks against entrenched artillery where you can't flank and barely have vision on them through head on attackers, but in those cases you're both likely to lose the LOS soon from infantry retreating and, as applies to all circumstances, your artillery should probably be shooting closest target and clearing away the infantry defenders anyway, because that lets your own infantry just walk up and casually shoot the enemy artillery themselves.

7 minutes ago, The Soldier said:

From the in-game manual on unit statistics, it says that a unit can gain up to 20% extra accuracy and 30% reload speed with Level 100 Firearms.  That is a considerable boost, but not enough to discourage you from equipping brigades with worse weapons.  Sure, give the best brigades the best weapons, but don't intentionally gib inexperienced brigades with worse weapons unless you can't afford more average ones.  If you've got good just laying around, no use in letting them sit in the Armory, hand them out!

(I should also mention most of my testing is either done comparatively between guns with equal, high-skilled crew or all at inexperienced crew, around 20 in most stats)

Yeah, I would be curious to see if there are any exponential benefits from the difference in a better unit getting better guns vs average unit getting better guns. Is the awful paper accuracy of 20pdr Parrotts enough of a hit to unit effectiveness such that a fresh rookie brigade should be given more accurate weapons for better real overall effectiveness?

As a related question, have you managed to train Efficiency stat on your brigades very high? Mine seem to plateau and grow only very slowly past a certain point. I'm wondering if that's just the way they work or that's down to something I'm doing personally (smaller brigade sizes, giving them low level commanders to train up, etc). I know lower level commanders put caps on real Efficiency effectiveness vs actual depending on total Command stat but not whether that actually affects training and stat gains.

Edited by Hitorishizuka

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34 minutes ago, Hitorishizuka said:

My position is that if you're actually capable of seeing enemy artillery, you have other units who are more capable of shooting them, usually being the skirmishers or cavalry nearby that are getting you the spot. The niche case is head on attacks against entrenched artillery where you can't flank and barely have vision on them through head on attackers, but in those cases you're both likely to lose the LOS soon from infantry retreating and, as applies to all circumstances, your artillery should probably be shooting closest target and clearing away the infantry defenders anyway, because that lets your own infantry just walk up and casually shoot the enemy artillery themselves.

If you know how to use Vision Points, you don't nessesarily need to have Skirmishers or Cavalry find their artillery in the first place.  More often than not, these vision points will allow you to spot enemy artillery, like at Gaines' Mill and Malvern Hill, as well as virtually every other battle.

34 minutes ago, Hitorishizuka said:

Yeah, I would be curious to see if there are any exponential benefits from the difference in a better unit getting better guns vs average unit getting better guns. Is the awful paper accuracy of 20pdr Parrotts enough of a hit to unit effectiveness such that a fresh rookie brigade should be given more accurate weapons for better real overall effectiveness?

I doubt the difference would be exponential.  By the way, the aweful paper accuracy of most guns is a bit irrelevant for cannon now, as each as it's own dedicated accuracy curve (which is a bit harder to represent).  Still, higher accuracy is generally better.  Give cannons based on what you need, don't try to make up for their weaknesses.  However, the Tredegar is still really good at medium range with an unskilled crew, so yeah.

34 minutes ago, Hitorishizuka said:

As a related question, have you managed to train Efficiency stat on your brigades very high? Mine seem to plateau and grow only very slowly past a certain point. I'm wondering if that's just the way they work or that's down to something I'm doing personally (smaller brigade sizes, giving them low level commanders to train up, etc). I know lower level commanders put caps on real Efficiency effectiveness vs actual depending on total Command stat but not whether that actually affects training and stat gains.

In-game manual says Efficiency is gained by getting kills.  I would recommend giving a brigade commander with a high enough rank to cover it's peak Efficiency, otherwise you are literally gibbing the brigade and keeping them at the same overall Effectiveness rating - which is probably why your Efficiency stat appears to slow down, they're just gaining it slower.

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10 minutes ago, The Soldier said:

If you know how to use Vision Points, you don't nessesarily need to have Skirmishers or Cavalry find their artillery in the first place.  More often than not, these vision points will allow you to spot enemy artillery, like at Gaines' Mill and Malvern Hill, as well as virtually every other battle.

Ain't no vision points in some of these battles for the artillery I would have wanted to shoot, sadly. (Or, as mentioned, on defense the artillery isn't going to kill me, and on offense no point gives LOS and I just want to get the primary defenders out of the way faster anyway.)

12 minutes ago, The Soldier said:

In-game manual says Efficiency is gained by getting kills.  I would recommend giving a brigade commander with a high enough rank to cover it's peak Efficiency, otherwise you are literally gibbing the brigade and keeping them at the same overall Effectiveness rating - which is probably why your Efficiency stat appears to slow down, they're just gaining it slower.

Higher veterancy brigades don't require higher Command, do they? I thought that was down strictly to size. If it's by gaining kills like I thought it was, so long as they keep killing I wouldn't have thought gains would slow down. Maybe I'm just not getting the kinds of situations I used to where one brigade gets 2k kills per grand battle trivially given my infantry is so much better and does all the work now.

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8 minutes ago, Hitorishizuka said:

Higher veterancy brigades don't require higher Command, do they? I thought that was down strictly to size. If it's by gaining kills like I thought it was, so long as they keep killing I wouldn't have thought gains would slow down. Maybe I'm just not getting the kinds of situations I used to where one brigade gets 2k kills per grand battle trivially given my infantry is so much better and does all the work now.

The rank and experience of a brigade commander determines two things - what size of brigade it can command and the Command stat of the brigade, which serves as a cap for Efficiency.  Might just require more kills higher levels of these stats though.

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Just giving some feedback that I just grinded my way through Hardin Pike. This is actually kind of the perfect storm for testing out the Parrotts and they did very well. This is a battle where it's hard to dislodge the enemy infantry with frontal blasts and the terrain is difficult to advance on. Additionally, the enemy artillery is firmly ensconced in fortifications with no ability to flank. With these factors, the Parrotts did a very good job of counterbattery fire as it was my only option to eliminate the artillery in a timely fashion, which then contributed to finally opening holes through which I could advance. At the end of the battle the Howitzers still came ahead in kills but also took a bit more damage due to moving closer; it could be argued that the Parrott snipe kills on artillery and generals were individually more useful than the Howitzers blasting infantry.

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Soldier, 

I am reading your guide and got through Wiards. 

Seriously, very impressive the amount of work and research you put into this. 

Well done, sir!

 

Edit: 3" Rifles. Fist bump. 

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Well, going for 20pdr Parrots early seems to be the right thing then. xD My elite division had a 12 guns strong battery of those at Malvern Hill and it already had 200 kills as the rebs charged for the first time. Nice!

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Alright, thanks. :) Just remember to update the artillery section to properly reflect the effectiveness of some of the guns - like always buying up every single 24-Pounder Howitzer you can get your grubby hands on, or that Wiards are actually overpowered right now.

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3 minutes ago, The Soldier said:

Alright, thanks. :) Just remember to update the artillery section to properly reflect the effectiveness of some of the guns - like always buying up every single 24-Pounder Howitzer you can get your grubby hands on, or that Wiards are actually overpowered right now.

Luckily not a lot has changed. 3-inch ordinance is STILL the gold standard and yeah... Wiards are somehow overpowered now. How good are they at mid-range btw? B/c I'm making recommendations for those who hate micro :P

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41 minutes ago, vren55 said:

Luckily not a lot has changed. 3-inch ordinance is STILL the gold standard and yeah... Wiards are somehow overpowered now. How good are they at mid-range btw? B/c I'm making recommendations for those who hate micro :P

Wiards are good everywhere except canister range.  Too good.  Except a nerf with an upcoming cannon balance update. ;) As well as making Whitworths a bit better.

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7 hours ago, The Soldier said:

Wiards are good everywhere except canister range.  Too good.  Except a nerf with an upcoming cannon balance update. ;) As well as making Whitworths a bit better.

Goddamnit :P

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So Soldier, If you could have one cannon between these two going into Fredericksburg (CSA) on... is it 3 inch Ordnance or 10 pdr Parrott? Thanks in advance!

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21 minutes ago, civsully1 said:

So Soldier, If you could have one cannon between these two going into Fredericksburg (CSA) on... is it 3 inch Ordnance or 10 pdr Parrott? Thanks in advance!

Definitely the Ordnance Rifle.  The 10pdr Parrott Gun is still inferior across almost all ranges (despite being more expensive).

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1 hour ago, The Soldier said:

Definitely the Ordnance Rifle.  The 10pdr Parrott Gun is still inferior across almost all ranges (despite being more expensive).

Thanks and your overall assessment of Civil War Artillery stands out as an outstanding work in all of War Simulation literature!

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Just saw the balancing patch from the devs. I had loaded up on 24 howitzers and 20 lbs parrotts...are they nerfed really badly?

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24pdr Howitzers are fine, it would take a lot of nerfing to make that thing less useful. :) 20pdr Parrott Rifles actually got a buff, so yeah.

Updated the guide as well concerning all the rifled guns that were buffed and nerfed in the patch.  Also added in a corps artillery composition part, enjoy!

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9 minutes ago, Tragopan said:

This is awesome thanks! I'm particularly tickled by the prospect of an artillery corps.

Artillery Corps aren't the most useful thing, mainly because of how you deploy your troops - you deploy them by brigade in order of divisions, from first to last, meaning your artillery is either going to arrive too late for most battles or they're going to be more or less alone.  The most guns I can recommend in a division is two brigades of artillery per division, any more than that and it starts getting a bit unwieldy to place to many artillery brigades at once - you start running out of room behind the lines, heh.

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Soldier- I have to chime in and say thanks as well.  Brigadier General mode as the union, just made great use of the artillery at Shiloh, especially at Pittsburg landing.  

Edited by Gray Ghost

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