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Sandermatt

Difficulty scaling, what became out of it?

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I had played this game in early access. I heared since, that you can now deplete the enemy on lower difficulty settings and it does no longer straight up scale. I still have a number of questions:

1. Is your equipment still matched by the enemy? If I give skirmishers some good rifles, will I suddenly face a horde of skirmishers with the same rifles?

2. Should I try to kill every soldier after every battle, even if it is over, to deplete the enemy.

3. Is it realistic to deplete the enemy on high difficulty?

4. Is the experience of your soldiers matched by the enemy?

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1. Yes

2. Yes

3. Yes

4. Yes

 

It's not as bad as in the first versions, though one could argue it's almost the same with some window dressing.

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Actually not quite. It IS window dressing, but more randomized and realistic.

1. Yes, but different. You're not going to face a horde of skirmishers or troops with great rifles as soon as you equip your army with good rifles. you might face a larger army with meh rifles. Or a smaller army with good rifles. What it does is it equates equipment and number of both armies to a "battle rating" and then scales by modifying at random, one of those factors (equipment, men etc).

2. Mm hmm. But only if you lose far less men then they do. This is b/c now it works by a "pool" system. At random, the AI gets reinforced between battles (by either men, equipment or etc. you can tell by reading battle reports/intelligence reports). You don't know exactly what they're equipped with and don't know if they'll match you equipment for equipment but you do know an aaaapppoximate (within 5k margin of error) how much TOTAL troops they have at their disposal. The AI can choose to deploy some of this pool to the smaller battles, (within a certain limit of course) or like a real general, deploy em all at the grand battles. You can reduce this pool to decrease the overall number of AI reinforcements, but they will still get reinforced by some rando number to improve their battle rating to match your army.

3. Unsure. I only played Medium. I assume so, but it should be difficult.

4. The experience of the brigades is another thing modified or changed between battles as the AI gets a random # of reinforcements in men, equipment or veterans. 

 

Ultimately, what happens with scaling is that you are being scaled against an equivalent army, but you don't know exactly the composition of it. Thus, surprisingly, they've actually made the reconnaissance skill quite valuable because now you have SOME info, but it's enough to tell you you don't have the full picture and thus you probably want more to figure out what they've got.

Edited by vren55

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1. Not really. The Armory score exists now and puts a pretty reasonable hard cap on the kind of equipment you'll see on the enemy side. Feel free to have a bunch of top tier snipers in your army and no longer get murdered by the enemy's own masses of the same.

2. Yes but solely if you are playing large enough to take advantage of the enemy army cap and you aren't overextending yourself in the process.

3. Unsure, but anecdotally I've heard it's more about preserving your force above medium.

4. See 1, but Training caps their experience.

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1. No. Enemy equipment improves very slowly from battle to battle, and gets significant boosts from the events which specifically state said equipment is improved. I don't know what the formulas are, but at less than 25% you'll tend to see Springfield '42s and their rough equivalents, at 25-50% you'll begin to see Springfield '55s and their rough equivalents, etc. Wiping forces in battles seems to significantly reduce the odds that the enemy will get equipment increases; they'll tend to get more men instead.

2. At Colonel and Brigadier, you don't necessarily have to, but at Major and Legendary, it's almost a requirement. You're not only looking to maintain force parity, you're attempting to retard improvements in experience and equipment, and wipes cascade recruit events for the enemy. Higher difficulties result in more enemy veteran recruits in general, but wipes still help enormously.

3.Do it every chance you get from Brigadier up as Confederate or Major up as Union. (Exceptions: Union: Fredericksburg, Harrison's Landing. Confederate: Shiloh, Gettysburg, Mansfield, Saunder's Farm, possibly even Laurel Hill) Basically, if you're absurdly outnumbered or the terrain is exceptionally bad, don't risk the wipe unless you're confident in your ability to carry it out without prohibitive casualties. The higher the difficulty, the more important this is.

4. No. Confederate enemies will generally exceed your own experience from Brigadier up. Union armies from Major up. Again, wiping helps slow experience growth.

NB: None of that applies to battles where you don't have access to any of your own troops. (Supply raid (Union), Brandy Station (Confederate), and Salem Church (Both), I'm looking at you.) These are absolutely fixed affairs subject only to difficulty, and are best replayed over and over until you have an understanding of how to win them for your respective side at a given difficulty level.

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On 12/23/2017 at 5:08 AM, killjoy1941 said:

3.Do it every chance you get from Brigadier up as Confederate or Major up as Union. (Exceptions: Union: Fredericksburg, Harrison's Landing. Confederate: Shiloh, Gettysburg, Mansfield, Saunder's Farm, possibly even Laurel Hill) Basically, if you're absurdly outnumbered or the terrain is exceptionally bad, don't risk the wipe unless you're confident in your ability to carry it out without prohibitive casualties. The higher the difficulty, the more important this is.

My experience has been that once you wipe out their pool, every time they reinforce they get replenished up to the minimum number of troops for the next battle. When that happens, they lose experience. This is modulo any experienced reinforcements they receive in your Intelligence briefing, so experience can still increase after a minor wipe (but less than it would have otherwise). The key thing is keeping them at minimum force levels, since this makes every battle easier and keeps you from getting steamrolled.

Edit: In short, depletion is not only possible on higher difficulty levels, but required in order to have manageable enemy strength levels.

Edited by Aetius

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Well that's it for my Major General difficulty Union campaign, made it to Gettysburg. Despite winning the first rounds i came short of units, it was very hard to keep up with the losses on this level. Cannot believe how people played and won Legendary mode...

It was crazy to fight against overwhelming enemies with almost 3000 men sized brigades... Glad i came this far, i became a governor so plenty of cash lol :D

 

any advice on MG difficulty level campaign for Union or CSA?

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On 12/28/2017 at 11:14 AM, Aetius said:

My experience has been that once you wipe out their pool, every time they reinforce they get replenished up to the minimum number of troops for the next battle. When that happens, they lose experience. This is modulo any experienced reinforcements they receive in your Intelligence briefing, so experience can still increase after a minor wipe (but less than it would have otherwise). The key thing is keeping them at minimum force levels, since this makes every battle easier and keeps you from getting steamrolled.

Edit: In short, depletion is not only possible on higher difficulty levels, but required in order to have manageable enemy strength levels.

 

Precisely, though experienced players will probably have fun focusing strictly on force preservation over wipes on BG as Union. You can get some pretty massive major battles that way.

 

On 12/28/2017 at 2:38 PM, Mukremin said:

Well that's it for my Major General difficulty Union campaign, made it to Gettysburg. Despite winning the first rounds i came short of units, it was very hard to keep up with the losses on this level. Cannot believe how people played and won Legendary mode...

It was crazy to fight against overwhelming enemies with almost 3000 men sized brigades... Glad i came this far, i became a governor so plenty of cash lol :D

 

any advice on MG difficulty level campaign for Union or CSA?

 

You have to play defensively even when attacking. My basic rules, in no particular order:


1. Never take a charge if you can help it - just fall back and blast the charging brigade when they stop. Conversely, never charge a position if you can flank it. Melee is very costly even if you crush the enemy because it's murder on condition. If you have to do it, stack up three to four brigades to one if you can at all do so.

2. Always try to get multiple brigades firing at single brigades and always avoid becoming a victim of the same.

3. Cover is king. If you can force the enemy to fight in the open while you sit in woods, buildings, and sometimes fields, you'll eventually win and win hard. Use streams and fords to your advantage if you can. They offer no cover at all and slow down the enemy.

4. Never underestimate the value of maneuver. Being able to hit a flank hard can often start rolling routs which you can maintain throughout a battle. Secondarily, the AI won't deliberately react to units it can't see. It'll "plan" for contingencies, but not redeploy against invisible brigades. It's often worth planning low casualty distractions to pin brigades in place while you flank with a heavy force out of sight.

5. As Union, try not to buy or sell too many weapons until you have full Econ. It's better to save money by using captured equipment where you can. It's absolutely possible to get full Econ, Politics, Medicine, and 8 Army Org by the first or second battle in the Chancellorsville campaign if you plan carefully. That's when you dump useless weapons and buy better ones. This is more situational on Legendary, but it still applies. Never, ever request weapons with political points unless you feel you have to. Unless it's a rare or impossible to get weapon, you'll nearly always get a better return by taking money and simply buying weapons with it. The more Econ points you have, the more true this is. Try not to buy too many veterans before mid-'63. I personally tend to keep the vet cost under $5k per brigade until I have both full Medicine and Training.

6. As CSA, watch Col Kelly's CSA playthrough on Legendary. He's not doing anything particularly crazy with the tactics or general battle strategy, but you should pay close attention to his micro and terrain usage.

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Thank you mate, really appreciated. Without the tactics and tips here i would perhaps win but with a very high cost. Thanks to great YouTube video's by forum members i have learned valuable lessons. Completed both Union and CSA campaign on BG difficulty, playing now CSA on MG level ( not ready for Legend yet). Currently at Laurel Hill... will be a tough job, Col Kelly's CSA play through has been extremely helpful.

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I think one of the most fundamental choices you got to make in advance if how large you want your brigades to be.

Some play with all 2.500 brigades, but then the enemy scales very high. With the Union it's still doable, but when you play with large brigades in the late SCA campaign you can't recover from your 10k+ losses at Chancellorsville / Gettysburg / Chickamauga (at least, I can't). You can go for a draw in -say- Chickamauga but that's cheezy IMO. Plus, it messes up the nice "Victory" column in your overview :)

Plus, contrary to what the first replier said, the enemies weapons do not level up with yours. So, it's pay soff to get to 1861's and Richmonds ASAP for half your infantry, which is a lot easier to do if you only have brigades of 2,000.

Also... don't forget that a lot of the legendary campaign on YouTube are old, things have changed a lot in the game since then.

 

 

 

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