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william1993

Infantry Guide to UG:CW

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I had planned to do this for a while, but I got caught up in rotations and my laptop just expired one day and it was a cluster.  So here it is: In parts.

 

COMPOSING YOUR INFANTRY

Infantry are the backbone of the game.  Most of my armies are composed of infantry and artillery.  Infantry takes areas and infantry holds areas.  To be effective, you need to know the best way to manage your infantry and so I will make this guide.

Infantry comes in sizes and experience levels.  A good size for an infantry brigade is 1700 (early-to-mid war) to 2300 (late war).  This can be adjustable (more on that later).  You want enough men to be able to capture or attack something but not so many that they become too unwieldy.

Adjusting sizes

- There are two reasons I don't go whole hog when filling up infantry brigades.  The first reason is losses.  You don' t want to get shot up in a battle then go to camp and have no troops left.  I'd rather fight with less men so I can refit my army than shoot the whole load and end up with nothing.

 The other reason is commander experience.  Each commander comes with capability to add to his men's abilities.  For example, I have a brigade with a colonel in command with command efficiency 52.  When I give that brigade one of my brigadier generals the command efficiency goes up to 70.  That extra 18 means a greater chance of following orders, of being able to charge that last few yards in the face of fire, or to rotate under fire.  If I have a brigade I want it to be big but I want it to be effective.  So,for example, if I have 2300 men who were commanded by a BG, that got shot up and lost that BG who was replaced by a colonel, I probably won't build it back up to 2300 again because the efficiency loss would be detrimental.

Adjusting experience

You can buy rookie troops for free and veteran troops for money.  Lots of money.  But you don't have to entirely compose troops of veterans nor never purchase any and send in untrained men.  You can do a half-and half.  Let us say, for example, you take a 2000 man brigade and lost 900.  Well, you think, damn, if I get 1100 rookie troops the experience level will be diluted.  Then don't get that many.  If you have the money, get 250-300 veterans and then 800-850 rookies.  What CS regiments used to do in the war is send replacements directly to veteran regiments instead of creating whole new ones like the US did.  You too can do that thing.

Infantry characteristics

Command- how much control your officer has over the men.  Higher command= higher chance of following orders in the heat of battle

Efficiency- how good you are at shooting (speed, accuracy, melee).  This is raised by killing lots of enemy

Morale- the willingness to do things.  How willing is the brigade to follow a pixelated white man into the heat of an artillery battery, or into the V of two smaller brigades pouring balls into them?  Will they have the willpower to advance those final 10 yards and drive those men out of the bushes?  Morale tells you that and morale is finite and shaky.  You can come along with a 2300 man brigade with 55 morale and they can charge across a field getting blasted all the way an end up with 30 morale and be ready to break.  Morale is the great equalizer: it's how smaller units can defeat bigger ones.  Canister to the face or a volley of Sharps rifles to the flank can change morale and course of the battle in a hurry.

Stamina- how in shape your men are.  Stamina and a run at the correct time can be the difference between you or the enemy reaching the objective or the defensive ground first.  This levels up the more you walk your men across the battlefield

Firearms- makes your accuracy rise as you kill more.

Melee- makes your melee skills rise as you stab more men.

 

Correlation between Efficiency, Firearms and Melee: all of these three things affect your troops war skills.  However, Firearms and Melee directly tell you how good your men are at killing.  Efficiency is the factor that will allow them to live up to that.  So, if I had a 1200 man brigade with 55 firearms and 70 melee, they might only be able to function at that level if they had a commander with the best efficiency for them, such as a colonel.  If I commanded them with a Major or an LtC, the firearms would still be 55 and melee would still be 70, but the reduced efficiency would mean that they won't function at that high level; maybe they would function as if their firearms were 35 and melee was 50.

 

ARMING YOUR INFANTRY

 

Ok, now that you have all those long, dark, and handsome infantry pixels lined up and ready to go, you got to give them guns.  Here go my thoughts on guns

 *prices adjustable based on career points

Farmer musket- it's only good for clubbing them out or bayonetting them.

Springfield and Palmetto .69 muskets.- these guns are great for melee. They have high stabbing ratings (esp. the palmetto).  They are horribly inaccurate though.  They are best for putting out a massive amount of balls in the direction of the enemy.  They have decent damage.  Medium range guns (around 250)

M1841 MS rifle- This one has a long range and is VERY accurate.  It reloads slow and trades accuracy for low damage. They reload about the same speed as the muskets. Melee almost the same level as the muskets.   300 yard range.

MJG rifle- It's about the same as the MS rifle except 2 bucks more with a bit better accuracy and 20 yards more range.

Lorenz- long range but lower damage.  However, it's very accurate and stabs good

1853 Enfield-  It is a good priced rifle with low damage, but it has great accuracy and long range.  So you will hit stuff with it.  Melee is medium too, but not as great as the MS rifle or the muskets

Tyler (Texas) and CS Richmond- unless something has changed,  this gun is useless because you will never get enough of them to matter. The Richmond fires fast and stabs great but has low damage

1855 Harpers Ferry and Springfield-  very good rifles. Long range.  Low damage but great fire rate and accuracy.  Melee is medium.

1861/1863 Springfield- the best range, the highest reload speed, the best accuracy, medium melee but it's expensive and late.

Whitworth rifles- best sniper rifle.  Make one unit of them to take out batteries and stuff.  Works well in open areas like Fredericksburg or 2nd Manassas

Colt revolving/Henry/Spencer rifles- super damn expensive.  Not worth it unless you want to make a general's guard of like 200.

 

I prefer to arm my infantry with a mixture.  I like muskets for some, MS rifles, and Springfields and Enfields.  That's about all I use.  I handle them in different ways.

 

Now, the stats of the weapons are not equal throughout all brigades.  What these stats are are relative to every other rifle and musket.  So if you have two brigades with rifles of 50 fire rate, but one is veterans with 60 firearms skill and the other is average men with 35 firearms skill then the 60 men will fire faster than the 35 ones, regardless of the fact that they both can be reloaded at the same speed, because one set of troops is clearly better.

 

I use my infantry based on what I am trying to do and what I have.  Let us operate under the assumption that I have my desired army composition. If I am in the bushes getting ready to defend an open area, I prefer to have men with rifles in front.  They can aim and hit the charging enemy from a far distance and weaken them before they reach my front lines.  Behind them (if I can) I have musket infantry.  As the enemy closes, I fallback the riflemen so the musketmen can fire at them with the higher damage rate.  The higher damage rate of the muskets will weaken the enemy more in preparation for melee.

If the situation is the other way around and I am defending a charge in open area, I prefer to be lined up with muskets so my front can be blanketed with fire while riflemen shoot from the flanks.  Depending on the time of the war and the weapons at that time, it may be long range rifle on rifle.

I prefer lines of defense, espeically in woods and hills.  Instead of having a long unbroken line of men shooting, I want interior lines and gaps and V formations.  Breastworks I don't like because they spread your men out over the entire length of the breastwork instead of just allowing them to fill in at one portion.  Hills, fences, stone walls and woods and houses are great for defense.

I don't like melee, either.  I only melee when I have a local superiority.  Melee tires out and disorganizes your men.  When under attack, I tend to fall back in order to force the enemy to step in after me and soak up more damage.  This works great in wooded areas like 2nd Manassas and Antietam's West Woods.   When being attacked, not only has the enemy troops undergone casualties and tiredness already, now by being forced to come in after me to continue the fight, they soak up more disruption and it becomes easier to isolate and do them in.

 

Attacking is a totally different thing.  Where am I attacking? Am I going uphill, downhill, in a constricted area like across a river or road?  Furthermore, what type of weapons do the enemy have?  You can test this by sending out a unit and seeing the range from when they are fired upon, compare it to the range of your unit, and figure out if they have rifles or muskets.  Once you do that, you can make a plan.

I might write a whole different post on attacking and defensing and how I do it

 

Infantry is what you need  to win your war.  Arm them, train them, conserve them, and victory will be yours.

 

 

Edited by william1993

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No love for the Lorenz? IMO one of the most cost efficient guns in the game.

Also, you can buy thousands and thousands of CS Richmonds as CSA. Possibly the best all-round rifle in the game, although purely in shooting is outclassed by the 61/63 and of course the Fayetteville. Very good cost efficiency though, for a few bucks more than a Harper's Ferry you get better firing and much better meele. 

 

I'm not sure about other difficulties, but on Legendary Union I looted tens of thousands of Tyler Texas rifles and later on tens of thousands of Fayettevilles. Both are pretty decent for selling, though of course you can use the Fayettevilles if desired...

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I am missing a clear distinction between skirmishers and regular infinatry. And yes, you should put the Lorenz in. In my opinion the best rifle to arm federal assault infantry. As it is accurate and has ok damage while being also good at meele and cheap, it is perfect for an elite (3 star) assault brigade.

By the way, rifles make detached skirmishers really, really good. Not to the point they can replace regular skirmishers with sniper rifles, but it boosts their efficiency quite a bit.

Oh, and a few elite brigades with Henry rifles are awesome for flanking and pouring rapid fire into the enemys rear.

For my typical way of arming units, I mostly arm my units with rifles as early as possible. At least a few. Also they are armed in a pretty uniform way if possible, except for two or three 3-star brigades which act as dedicated assault infantry with Lorenz rifles.

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3 hours ago, JochenHeiden said:

Lorenz is probably best bang for buck.  Excellent gun. 

M1855 and Enfield are the best bang for your buck as Union. This does not stop me from buying as many high end accurate rifles as I can get my hands on. 

Lorenz is only preferable when you are building an assault brigade. 

Personally, I focus on the 'wall of fire' to shred and soften the enemy until they begin to break, and will only use the bayonet when a sure victory is at hand. The caveat is when you have a fortified position you know you have to assault and then a two star Lorenz brigade is just peachy. But before they fix bayonets and charge, a line of 2-star line infantry with quality rifled muskets have softened them up 9 times out of 10. 

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1 hour ago, Andre Bolkonsky said:

M1855 and Enfield are the best bang for your buck as Union. This does not stop me from buying as many high end accurate rifles as I can get my hands on. 

Lorenz is only preferable when you are building an assault brigade. 

Personally, I focus on the 'wall of fire' to shred and soften the enemy until they begin to break, and will only use the bayonet when a sure victory is at hand. The caveat is when you have a fortified position you know you have to assault and then a two star Lorenz brigade is just peachy. But before they fix bayonets and charge, a line of 2-star line infantry with quality rifled muskets have softened them up 9 times out of 10. 

I can't tell for sure, but I think the effective performance of the Lorenz is barely under that of the Enfield or the 55. In terms of reload/accuracy it is about on par with the two (they actually all sum total 125 reload + accuracy), its real malus is doing less damage: 11.5 vs 12.5. This isn't even a 10% difference, however, and the price of the gun is significantly cheaper. Additionally, although its reload and accuracy sums are similar the Lorenz has higher accuracy while sacrificing reload. Accuracy > Reload however, so this is a slight edge that the Lorenz can help combat its lower damage with.

 

IMO the Sprinfield 1855 is actually quite a bad weapon for its cost, performing worse than the slightly cheaper 1853 in meele and the same or worse in ranged combat. For its price, the Lorenz I think is easily better than either and has a great meele stat to boot. Yes if I didn't have to pay anything for my weapons I would probably choose the 53 over the Lorenz, but this isn't really the case so I tend to try to get all the Lorenz rifles I can (which isn't a massive amount, as either side. But dammit I'll still buy them).

 

On the other hand, the Harpers Ferry 1855 is a decent step up from the regular one for only a small increase in price. This rifle is easily superior to the Lorenz in ranged combat, albiet a decent penny more.

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On 9/21/2017 at 8:11 PM, william1993 said:

Attacking is a totally different thing.  Where am I attacking? Am I going uphill, downhill, in a constricted area like across a river or road?  Furthermore, what type of weapons do the enemy have?  You can test this by sending out a unit and seeing the range from when they are fired upon, compare it to the range of your unit, and figure out if they have rifles or muskets.  Once you do that, you can make a plan.

I might write a whole different post on attacking and defensing and how I do it

 

Infantry is what you need  to win your war.  Arm them, train them, conserve them, and victory will be yours.

 

 

I agree with AB above William..a nice thread.  This is the part that I found very intuitive and useful. I hadn't thought about this before. Nice one!

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On 9/21/2017 at 9:11 PM, william1993 said:

Colt revolving/Henry/Spencer rifles- super damn expensive.  Not worth it unless you want to make a general's guard of like 200.

Great thread, thanks for all of the info! One question - Are spencers really not worth it?  I made a brigade of ~2k spencer-armed infantry (elite-3 stars, with all fire-related perks) after Chicamauga as Union, and they were absolutely brutal.

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3 hours ago, quicksabre said:

Great thread, thanks for all of the info! One question - Are spencers really not worth it?  I made a brigade of ~2k spencer-armed infantry (elite-3 stars, with all fire-related perks) after Chicamauga as Union, and they were absolutely brutal.

The large brigade size will cause the rate of fire to drop drastically compared to similar guns on cavalry or skirmishers, which volley very quickly. Since reloading cannot start until firing is finished, this causes a 2k Spencer brigade to fire much slower than it would as a very small or skirmisher unit. I tried it once and immediately switched back to 1863s as the Spencers were not really more effective.

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8 hours ago, quicksabre said:

Great thread, thanks for all of the info! One question - Are spencers really not worth it?  I made a brigade of ~2k spencer-armed infantry (elite-3 stars, with all fire-related perks) after Chicamauga as Union, and they were absolutely brutal.

Spencer's are worth their weight in gold. Buy 'em all. 

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My thoughts exactly. The only thing that drops with bigger units is the efficiency rating, at least in my experience. Yes, it takes longer for a 2500 men brigade to finish firing and start reloading, but the reload is still way faster then with any other gun.

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5 hours ago, Hjalfnar_Feuerwolf said:

My thoughts exactly. The only thing that drops with bigger units is the efficiency rating, at least in my experience. Yes, it takes longer for a 2500 men brigade to finish firing and start reloading, but the reload is still way faster then with any other gun.

The damage is also inferior though, and when firing at max range does not really do more damage per second than a unit using a high tier rifle. Yes at closer ranges they will outdamage the musket-rifles but this situation is somewhat precarious especially for a large brigade that cannot react as quickly.

 

I'd much rather use the Spencer in a small infantry brigade, or not at all. I prefer not to field any small brigades so I simply ended up not using them, as I felt like the significant cost increase over the 1861 and 1863 was not worth it. It was too hard to use a 2k Spencer brigade when most of the combat I was seeing was at max infantry range (300) and the Fayetteville armed Confederates would beat the Spencers out at this range. Perhaps I had an unrealistic fear about committing them to closer range combat but at their high cost and the massive firepower loss of putting them in a large brigade, I would still recommend not to use them in large brigades.

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Interesting discussion everyone, thanks! I sent my Spencer brigade in as flankers rather than as line infantry, or at least kept it close to another brigade to soak up hits. But that meant I used them extremely situationally and they often didn't rack up as many kills as my other elite brigades.

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Wanted to ask about what perks you guys have been giving your infantry brigades. in particular I am curious about whether to go with firearms courses or marksmanship training. I also have yet to see a reason to run with discipline courses instead of getting endurance but maybe you have a different perspective on things.

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I am going with endurance and completely on close combat. Why? With the Union, this is where the rebels are far, far superior to you and in the late campaign, you will have to assault fortifications, so you need CC power. Discipline, because my brigades have to reach their destination quickly. My generated Alter Ego has the speed trait, so my infantry is now almost as fast as cavalry and is able to keep that pace for quite a while. Excellent at Malvern Hill, where the reinforcements ran up from the far south and crushed headlong into the rebels, capturing 4000 enemies. Love the speed and maneuverability my 1st COrps now has. Moral and firearms skill increase through battle, so no need to waste skills on that.

 

With my combination I have speed +15%, stamina +20. Great to get into flanking position.

Edited by Hjalfnar_Feuerwolf

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On 9/25/2017 at 2:07 PM, Hjalfnar_Feuerwolf said:

My thoughts exactly. The only thing that drops with bigger units is the efficiency rating, at least in my experience. Yes, it takes longer for a 2500 men brigade to finish firing and start reloading, but the reload is still way faster then with any other gun.

The other problem with larger units is that they take more time to wheel and face their enemy. While moving, they aren't loading.

Personally, I go with 1,500 man brigades. It's quite easy to maneuver them when necessary to get 3 v 1, they turn and face quite rapidly, and given how the maps are made and of course depending on the battle, the cover seems to favor smaller units.

Just my feeling.

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If you ask me, you've got no reason whatsoever to not have 2,500 man brigades if you can do it.  They have the same efficiency (granted you have a properly ranked officer of Colonel or above with a Colonel as a Division commander), deal more damage than smaller brigades, reload at the same rate - all brigades reload while moving if that's what you're thinking -  and can take a bigger pounding in terms of moral hits and sheer losses.  Furthermore, if you properly keep reserves and cover the line, you won't need to rotate the brigade to hit units flanking yours - either your reserves will deal with the threat or you'll have your flank anchored somewhere proper.  The *only* reason you wouldn't have 2,500 man brigades is a shortage of small arms, manpower, or properly ranked officers (all three of which are rare for a Union playthrough).  Even as the Confederates, if you properly plan out purchasing weapons while you can (all the M1841 Mississippi Rifles) and rotating out officers to rank them up, you can avoid the first and last problems neatly, even on higher difficulties.

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1 hour ago, The Soldier said:

If you ask me, you've got no reason whatsoever to not have 2,500 man brigades if you can do it.  They have the same efficiency (granted you have a properly ranked officer of Colonel or above with a Colonel as a Division commander), deal more damage than smaller brigades, reload at the same rate - all brigades reload while moving if that's what you're thinking -  and can take a bigger pounding in terms of moral hits and sheer losses.  Furthermore, if you properly keep reserves and cover the line, you won't need to rotate the brigade to hit units flanking yours - either your reserves will deal with the threat or you'll have your flank anchored somewhere proper.  The *only* reason you wouldn't have 2,500 man brigades is a shortage of small arms, manpower, or properly ranked officers (all three of which are rare for a Union playthrough).  Even as the Confederates, if you properly plan out purchasing weapons while you can (all the M1841 Mississippi Rifles) and rotating out officers to rank them up, you can avoid the first and last problems neatly, even on higher difficulties.

I'm fairly sure infantry brigades also suffer from the same kind of inefficiencies that artillery suffer when having too large of a brigade. eg. a 2500 man brigade firing straight on will do less damage than 2 1250 man brigades. Also despite reloading at the same speed, larger brigades take longer to volley and thus will fire less frequently. Of course I still think brigades should be on the larger side and certainly not as small as 1500 for workhorse brigades, but there are some advantages to having smaller brigades.

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The thing with two 1250 brigades versus one 2500 brigade is something across all units on every level of UGCW (and furthermore, it appears that Infantry is the only type of brigade that doesn't suffer from some the weird same problem that artillery has, meaning the larger the brigade after a certain point, it becomes worse, so you don't have that argument either).  But that being said, why bother with two 1250 brigades when you can have two 2500 brigades?  More firepower, more survivability (taking longer to fire off a volley is peanuts when compared to the lengthy reload time - volley time only becomes vaguely important with repeating rifles).  You're just gibbing yourself when it comes to battles because you're limited by the number of brigades, not the number of men.  No reason not to unless you have one or more of the three problems I mentioned before, and even then, two of those can be avoided with wise management.

No advantage whatsoever to having small infantry brigades.

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