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LZRD WZRD

Been Playing the Campaign, Love It! - But Could Improve...

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Really quick preface: I love this game. The way battles are displayed and handled is pretty much exactly what I've been dreaming about in games like this. Whoever came up with the detach skirmisher option for infantry brigades - thank you! I've long disliked the portrayal and frankly overemphasis of skirmisher units in games like Empire or Napoleon Total War. Here they play rather realistically, delaying and probing and such. Dedicated skirmisher units can be customized and utilized in a way that feels realistic and satisfying (and also cannot be spammed to take over battles). Finally this game really polished up the look and especially the controls of UG: Gettysburg, that latter part which I found to be the biggest area that needed improvement in that game. Oh and also not having to mess with cannon settings is much appreciated! :)

That all being said, I've played a couple Confederate campaigns in the last couple weeks and have found a few things that I feel are worth bringing up here (hopefully to the developers!). Now I really appreciate a challenging campaign. I really, really do. Whether it be sports or war games, being able to plot and influence the grand strategy and tactical operations is my thing, and it's even better when I know there' s a legitimate chance to lose. That being said, I appreciate just as much a campaign that feels, how do I say this, fair? Now don't get me wrong, I fully understand what I am getting into playing on MG difficulty, I am not here to say there game is too hard because I don't want to swallow my pride. If my complaint was merely the opposing force size, I would play an appropriate difficulty level. My main issue is the lack of a truly dynamic and strategic campaign. I've read up everything here and on other forums about the scaling and what not and I get it, I get the reasoning and function. I also have noticed the little modifiers that appear from success in previous battles. That's very cool and appreciated. However, I think the enemy army size and composition is simply are out of control in some places, especially in minor battles. For one, you're limited in the number of brigades you can take, which fine, it's historical and simulates units holding another area or guarding supply lines or whatever. However I feel that the odds in these minor battles are often times so great that they're not even worth fighting. You may well have enough money and manpower to make up for losses or even build your army, even after a loss, but the needing to replace weapons and the hit to your reputation, even in minor draw battles is brutal. Now the limited supplies thing makes sense and is a good thing (especially as CSA), but the way scaling works as I understand it, means that the AI never feels pain of these battles. I've heard that if you have even one unit equipped with higher level weapons, then the enemy will have that too, in fact even in much greater (or universal?) quantities. I don't mind a challenge at all, but it seems to me that the whole bit about managing your army's logistics is rendered totally useless. It is impossible to get a leg up on the other army regardless of side (unless I've been misinformed). In fact, improving your army at all triggers the AI to do so twofold is what I've heard from other players, can't confirm myself. So really, minor battles all too often serve to only cripple your army (not all of course, which that variety in challenge and scale is also good and historical!). Even if you win, if there aren't enough weapons available to buy, your army will ultimately be downgraded because your losses are too high for you to replace with available weapons and the AI will feel next to nothing (and in fact gain an advantage over you). Now again, I understand the reasoning so that the player can't just steamroll the AI with good or even average management, but I feel like at the very least the AI's weapon scaling should be toned down or adjusted in some logical, fair way. Some sort of adjustment should be made imo so that army management means what it should - an actual component of strategy rather than a glorified upgrade script trigger.

Another possible fix would be to tweak the reputation system. In these minor battles especially, while it may prove damaging to take an objective and you may lose up to half your army (and the AI is certainly more than happy to throw it's whole army into the grinder for those objectives, which is a bit of a problem in itself at times, especially since those losses don't hurt it, but do hurt the player) in a minor engagement that you're outnumbered in, it may be even more dangerous to settle for a draw or make a tactical withdrawal. The loss of those reputation points is so severe in those cases, that you may be better inclined to lose half your army trying to take a bloody objective point in a minor battle, rather than lose the reputation (and possibly the game!) and the benefits that go with it. Now I certainly don't want to advocate doing away with this system, because I think it does rather brilliantly (conceptually) reflect a proper historical element. I just feel that somehow in these battles there should be a way to assess a situation before you're committed to an all or nothing type battle in scenarios that really are not supposed to be that. These battles being about 3 hours on average, perhaps there could be a skirmish/disengage window? Like if you elect to withdraw in the first hour, the reputation penalties go down or are nullified? This would really give a smart tactical withdrawal meaning (and would be historical I feel), since it would allow you to make a reconnaissance in force to some extent, without being forced into a major, possibly suicidal, battle all for an objective point. This could also be implemented with regards to number of men engaged or number of casualties (or percent). That is to say, if x percent of your army is engaged or x percent has suffered casualties, then this scenario becomes a proper engagement and the reputation penalties are in full play. I'm sure there are other fixes here and perhaps I have mis- or overstated features of the game in this brief analysis here (if which, I do apologize, I just want to help build a slightly better game that I can sink 1000 hours into!). The campaign is oozing with potential and is already really fun! I just feel the way the enemy's army is constructed and the nature of other systems in the campaign accumulate to give it less variety in strategy and less satisfaction (dare I say frustration?) in the way you and the AI's army interact. 

Edited by LZRD WZRD

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Welcome to the forums, we're glad you enjoy the game. 

My quibble with your post is you want to START playing on Major General level, then complain the enemy is too strong. 

You seem like a rational sort of fellow. I've played this game as much as anyone. I've seen this game when it was truly unbeatable. Right now it is fair and balanced. The only difference between Colonel, Brigadier and Major General is the bonus to enemy forces deployed on the field. I mean zero disrespect when I suggest you suck up your pride, learn to beat the AI on an easier level, then revisit these battles you find unwinnable. I rather suspect your outcome will be different when you try it this way rather than your way. 

Good luck. 

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2 hours ago, Andre Bolkonsky said:

Welcome to the forums, we're glad you enjoy the game. 

My quibble with your post is you want to START playing on Major General level, then complain the enemy is too strong. 

You seem like a rational sort of fellow. I've played this game as much as anyone. I've seen this game when it was truly unbeatable. Right now it is fair and balanced. The only difference between Colonel, Brigadier and Major General is the bonus to enemy forces deployed on the field. I mean zero disrespect when I suggest you suck up your pride, learn to beat the AI on an easier level, then revisit these battles you find unwinnable. I rather suspect your outcome will be different when you try it this way rather than your way. 

Good luck. 

No no, you misunderstand. I've already played the campaign on lower difficulty levels. My complaint has nothing to do with the difficulty level, as I stated. I was simply giving context when I mentioned my recent campaigns for how I realized the lack of strategy involved seemingly in army building and engaging in battles, especially minor ones. I'm not bothered by enemies numbers, just with the linearity in dealing with them. Rather than fight and lose half your army (or worse them fighting and losing 75%+ of their army) there should be legitimate more conservative approaches to some of these battles imo. Also that the scaling with regards to weapons seems to completely undermine the logistical strategy of the game. 

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On lower difficulties it is very easy to cripple the Confederate army playing as the Union, and it isn't even that hard to outnumber the Confederates during the Overland and Final campaigns on Legendary as the Union.

 

As the CSA on the other hand outnumbering the Union consistently is much harder, especially on Legendary. So as the Confederates being outnumbered is just part of the job, which is historically pretty reasonable.

 

That being said, even on Legendary many of the minor battles are worth fighting, although there are a few that are questionable. As for whether or not the AI feels pain... They definitely do. Depleting the army size of the enemy makes a real difference and managing the Union army size is a very important part of a Legendary CSA campaign.

 

15 hours ago, LZRD WZRD said:

 Now the limited supplies thing makes sense and is a good thing (especially as CSA), but the way scaling works as I understand it, means that the AI never feels pain of these battles. I've heard that if you have even one unit equipped with higher level weapons, then the enemy will have that too, in fact even in much greater (or universal?) quantities. I don't mind a challenge at all, but it seems to me that the whole bit about managing your army's logistics is rendered totally useless. It is impossible to get a leg up on the other army regardless of side (unless I've been misinformed). In fact, improving your army at all triggers the AI to do so twofold is what I've heard from other players, can't confirm myself.

You are misinformed, in an earlier build the AI would scale its size and weapons purely to your army composition. In the current build, the way it works is the AI weapons and experience are based on its training and weapon levels, and the army size is either based on the minimum deployment size (based on battle and difficulty), or scaling based on your army size up to the max army size the army intelligence says.

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