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maxpanzer

Can anyone definitively explain scaling?

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I know there has already been a lot of forum discussion about scaling, however I am yet to find a complete explanation.

Does scaling have a cap? Does it apply as a 1:1 ratio? Is there a threshold before scaling comes into effect? Does veterancy scale? How concerned should I be about the effects of scaling? 

Because of these questions I no longer understand what ones objectives as a war planner are. I had assumed that it was desirable to build a fighting force as large and as powerful as possible, but this assumption now seems to be wrong, and instead the main objective seems to be combating the games mechanic of 'scaling' --which no one entirely understands.

 

Edited by maxpanzer

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Don't worry about scaling anymore.  Look at the intelligence screen - the enemy's Manpower serves as the highest possible number of men the enemy can bring to any single battle.  Furthermore, that number also serves as a scaling factor itself, as the enemy will rarely bring that many men to smaller battles.  Yes, the enemy can scale slightly up or down within the bounds set in the intelligence screen (for all the values), but that's very minor and probably won't change anything worth noting.

Play the game of war as Grant did - kill as much of enemy as possible.  By doing so you'll also reduce the enemy army's Experience and Armory values.  Lots of good comes from slaughtering your enemy, who knew?

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19 hours ago, The Soldier said:

Don't worry about scaling anymore.  Look at the intelligence screen - the enemy's Manpower serves as the highest possible number of men the enemy can bring to any single battle.  Furthermore, that number also serves as a scaling factor itself, as the enemy will rarely bring that many men to smaller battles.  Yes, the enemy can scale slightly up or down within the bounds set in the intelligence screen (for all the values), but that's very minor and probably won't change anything worth noting.

Play the game of war as Grant did - kill as much of enemy as possible.  By doing so you'll also reduce the enemy army's Experience and Armory values.  Lots of good comes from slaughtering your enemy, who knew?

 

Scaling certainly matters, 

After posting yesterday I went into the battle of Antietam as CSA. When I saw that I was outnumbered more than 2:1 I went back to camp and spent all my resources on recruiting more men so as to lessen this disadvantage...only to discover that the enemy had simply scaled up, and I was still outnumbered more than 2:1. Then I thought about using my political capitol to bring up even more men, but upon further consideration this seemed to be pointless since the enemy might yet scale even higher. And so I decided to go into battle without any further adjustments.

The result was a complete massacre of my army, with a casualty rate of over two thirds. In fact, the only survivors from I corps were seven guns and James Longstreet.

So you go and tell the families of those boys that scaling doesn't matter!

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Yes, you're *always* going to be outnumbered at Antietam unless you managed to bring down the enemy's Manpower level to below your own army strength.  Nothing new, exciting, wrong, or out of place there.  Besides, you had a much better chance with more men in your army than without - you added more brigades while the enemy army did not, which is always valuable.

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Some extra evidence for always being outnumbered 2:1 at Antietam as CSA. I recently tried a near minimum size army(1.1k - 1.3k man infantry brigades) into CSA Legendary Antietam. Scaling was pushed as low as it could go and I was still outnumbered 35k infantry to 70k. 

I would disagree somewhat with bringing more men always being an improvement. Bringing more men will result in enemy brigades being over sized. In my experience even if my brigades are smaller, it is easier to deal with 1.8k - 2k sized brigades than over sized ones. I also am able to field more brigades while using fewer recruits and buy fewer rifles.

To actually describe how scaling works here is a summary from Aetius:

"...For minor battles, you need to retain a lot of cheap weapons to build ballast brigades to reduce your average brigade size. For major battles, you should bring as many troops as you can up to the minimum enemy size (regardless of what they are armed with), and additional troops as you feel justified. Ideally, you want to fight minimum-size enemy forces with the largest forces you can muster. This limits your casualties and sharply reduces the number of free zombie troops the AI gets to replace losses, which eases some of the strategic problems with the AI having unlimited reinforcements."

If you want more technical details:

There are at least two scaling factors involved. The base army size will scale and separately each unit type will also scale. For example, if your army only has infantry units your total army size will cause non-infantry units to scale up as well. But the infantry units will scale much more significantly. Large amounts of cavalry, skirmishers, or artillery will have a lesser effect on total army size scaling but you'll encounter noticeably larger sizes of the corresponding unit type. There is also a minimum threshold for unit sizes that can drive scaling back up. These factors utilize the total number of men, the number of brigades, and the ratios of player units/men and ai players/men. Which gives you multiple factors to influence. Scaling also factors in allied units so battles involving those are harder to manipulate.

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I am more with soldier. If you brought down the enemy manpower in the battles before, you need not bother about scaling that much. Of course you have to take the win points for victory but your main goal should always be the destruction of the enemy army. I just startet Antietnam with 1:1 odds as CSA and it becomes quite boring. My 2k brigades sit in the woods while the AI is attacking with its 800-1k brigades and I watch my napoleons shoot them into oblivion. I must confess this is BG difficult. I guess I have to restart the campaign in a higher difficulty.

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If BG is getting that easy you may want to move up to MG. Scaling starts to become much more noticeable on MG and Legendary. I don't think it's really worth the effort of messing with below that. It's been demonstrated that you can completely ignore scaling if you want to and still be successful at the game. Now that it is somewhat known what affects scaling, deciding to utilize it to gain an advantage is just another tool available to the player if they choose to make use of it.

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Just restarted my campaign in MG and it really is a totally different feeling. You finally have to think to win the battles and it is not that simple to destroy the enemy army. But I won't bother to much about scaling anyway. Just build the most effective army I can. But that's just my opinion...

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