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LAVA

Union Legendary Campaign - Take 2 - Completed

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Ah, thanks!

Guess prisoner taking will continue to be a high priority.

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Didn't the weapon capture rate get changed at some point so that mass capturing wasn't overly profitable? Given the recruit capture cap, if you can safely reactivate surrendered units to farm more xp and kills off them it's probably the optimal choice either way.

@quicksabre Once a unit is recaptured they are in the same state that they were captured in. But as long as you wipe them out afterwords the benefit should be the same or better(if someone can prove that there is a return exchange of troops).

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The most I have captured was 4,851 infantry (3 brigades) of which 3,951 were exchanged for 1,000. Weapon wise I captured 1,347 rifles. In total I killed 12,800 infantry.

So it would seem capturing more than 1,000 men is "unprofitable."

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I just watched your camp video before Stones River, and noticed that most of the time you add rookies before veterans when filling up your brigades. Has something changed/have you found something new since this post, or is it just for convenience?

 

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Convenience. I realize it costs less to add veterans first but with such a large army it's just faster.

Going into Chancellorsville now and my army numbers a tad under 88,000 men.

What I was trying to show there in my camp is how I set a minimum efficiency number for my 3 classes of infantry. If a brigade is getting close to moving up in its status, they will get all veterans to maintain their efficiency to qualify for a better weapon or be close so that after the next battle I can raise them up easily after a bit more experience to get a better weapon.

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Siege of Suffolk - a bit dicey at first but I wipe the Confederates out and take 1 brigade prisoner:

 

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On 4/26/2018 at 6:59 PM, LAVA said:

Ah, thanks!

Guess prisoner taking will continue to be a high priority.

For me personally neither an army wipe or prisoner capture is a high priority honestly. I myself try to achieve objectives with the least casualties possible, just sometimes indulging in wipe of enemy units. In short I try to be cost effective. Thanks to that I got a nice stockpile of guns ready to field and not a bad stock of cash now for forming new brigades. Though I gotta admit that all captured fayeteville's I' hadstockpiled till I got economy up to level 10 - and sold in a bulk of above 8k - which set my finances straight after Gettysburg. I also generally take money rewards only as with eco-10 you can buy more guns for cheaper than they give u in rewards most of the time. Hence why I'm not trying to end every mission with an army wipe. For sure it makes it all interesting with all 3 star units enemy is fielding lol. But I'm not wanting it to be easy, hence why I wasn't fiddling with scaling either. I want my battles to be as grand as possible ^^'

On 4/26/2018 at 10:07 PM, pandakraut said:

Didn't the weapon capture rate get changed at some point so that mass capturing wasn't overly profitable? Given the recruit capture cap, if you can safely reactivate surrendered units to farm more xp and kills off them it's probably the optimal choice either way.

@quicksabre Once a unit is recaptured they are in the same state that they were captured in. But as long as you wipe them out afterwords the benefit should be the same or better(if someone can prove that there is a return exchange of troops).

Maybe they did. But taking pow's is the only way to obtain some skirmisher weapons like whitworth's and alike (which is proving the point that pows do give a better percentage of weapons). As those do seem to never drop in battle loot (some do, if they're also available for cavalry to use - with notable exception for spencers [I'm talking about the conf mission where u were defending from union cav armed with those - all of them - but you got none, just some maynards and burnsides instead]).

And I got a screen to prove that:

 

EOIJdtw.jpg

Those 255 were taken at Chickamauga where my cavalry managed to rout and take prisoner around 300 skirmishers. And back to the point, at gettysburg I managed to capture few conf inf brigades that gave me over 3k fayeteville's too. The rest I have probably picked up from the field as I dealt a massive blow to confederacy - almost 60k casualties vs measly 11k on my side.

Edited by Hussar91

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I may be going in the wrong direction, but right now, I'm all about attrition and if I can wipe out a Reb army, I will.

At Chancellorsville I take 17,670 men killed and wounded and the Confederates suffer 48,396. My cavalry division of 5 brigades in 4th Corps make an appearance at the end of the battle and do pretty well. It's a lot easier to handle them when they are all in one division because you can just click on the division and then order them around. I guess the same applies to sharpshooters but at the moment I have only 3 brigades.

Anyway... Chancellorsville:

 

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@Hussar91 What difficulty were your capture results from? I've definitely gotten spencers from that mission, but I've also gotten worse weapons like you experienced. I've never seen anything close to an 85%  rate of return of weapons when capturing units. You can definitely get whitworths and such from skirmishers, they are just somewhat rare and the numbers are small enough you only get very few back.

To actually comment on Lava's playthrough instead of just debating mechanics, impressive work at Chancellorsville and at keeping the ai size down overall. I didn't realize it was possible to keep it that low with an army your size. It does look like you're starting to outpace your supply of recruits though. Look forward to seeing if you've snowballed things enough.

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@pandakrautI only play Legendary since the first try. And perhaps there was a little more skirmishers taken but even if rate of return would be only 40% it would still be rewarding enough. And true, however playing for confederates I had never ever got any Sharps'es (I talk about rifles not carbines) nor spencers at all, despite capturing skirmishers too. Just never. Idk why.

 

Also u're right. I held back with my comment about Chancellorsville yesterday xD

@LAVASo, very impressive battle however I'm kinda surprised by that you're still using smoothbores in there. Well, true at Chancellorsville I had 1 brigade equipped with captured M&JG's but other than that the staple of my army were Harper's Ferry & 1855's all over, with lorenzes on my rookie troops and few Enfields for more experienced troops that didn't caught the 1855's shipment. I too had 4 corps at my disposal, however my total men count was 75k men as number of infantry brigades was lesser than yours (1st elite corp had only 2 inf brigades per division) - however 75% of them was 2 star or 3 star ones.

Interestingly enough I have caused 62k losses to confederates there... But their starting pool was almost 99k troops to yours 62k (especially visible on the counterattack, where I was still dealing with organized resistance of infantry units defending in forests - while you didn't had to). So I'd would say that your tactic of total annihilation wherever possible have a merit since you had faced less troops overall than I had to. And I find this conclusion very interesting.

 

Edited by Hussar91

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Regarding your questions with prisoners earlier Lava.

As a player you'll always make better use of theses troops than the AI, therefore a 1/1 trade is actually advantageous for you imo. But then as far as I remember the recruit pool isnt such an issue for the Union so you don't have to try hard for manpower as much as you would with CSA. Tough question overall.

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Thanks Colonel for your input. I think in most cases it is not a question as to whether I should destroy or capture. I would say the majority of the captures come at the end of the battle with the enemy heavily demoralized and it just makes sense to end the fight by charging in and hopefully capturing the remaining troops.

Pandakraut is correct, however, that I am now outpacing my recruit resupply. At Chancellosville I had 65 brigades and a little under 88,000 men. My reserve of men is almost completely depleted. Before going into Gettysburg I'm going to have to make a couple tough decisions IOT maintain a minimum of 2,000 men brigades. I will be looking at whether I should disband 3 complete recruit brigades (approx. 6,000 men) or using my reputation to buy 8,000 men. I'm also not sure whether I should up my Army Organization so I can bring 6 brigades per division or stick my reputation in Politics. I'm leaning towards increasing my Army Organization and disbanding my 3 recruit brigades. But at this point I need to give it some thought.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

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I'm not sure how one might need any recruits as union. I always had few k in reserves, and for a good while I had over 60k in reserves - just too many men to spent that there would not be enough guns to give them even if I was going to buy out all of them, including farmers and other smoothbores. 

Personally I think it's better to get your divisions back to 3x 2k men at the most, and disband the weakest brigades. I would even consider disbanding all brigades that are still stuck on smoothbores and can't be provided with rifles, though honestly at this point you should have been capturing over 5k harpers ferry rifles per major battle at least. Meaning you should have a lot of rifles in the pool.

Anyhow always get politics and economy mastered as soon as. Other traits can be ignored pretty much at all, except for army organization - but here I was just always first looking into the major battle to see how many corps I'll be allowed to bring into the battle, with how many units - and on this I was basing my decisions should I divert a point or two into A.O. or keep at pumping up economy and politics. And i was more leaning towards politics (one point advantage per chapter?) first. 

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If you can, try and take advantage of the timers as much as possible. Many battles, especially early on give you way more time than you need. Instead of constantly pushing encirclements you can hold positions in good cover, rest up for a few minutes and allow your artillery to catch up, and then continue the push at full strength. I usually keep my casualties down by avoiding melee as much as possible and making heavy use of artillery and snipers, but that also requires a lot of pausing so it's not really helpful with your play style.

I usually completely ignore politics until medicine, economy, and training are maxed out. I'll get 3-5 in economy and training before starting medicine. I don't take enough casualties to need the recruits and economy/training/medicine make up the money difference. AO goes fairly high early on since I play with scaling manipulation, so it might not work as well with larger unit sizes.

 

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At this point I have 10 in economy, 10 in medicine, 9 in Training, 8 in Army Organization, 7 in Politics and 2 in logistics with one point to spend.

My army has 3 full Corps of 20 brigades each and a 4th Corps of 5 brigades. I'm leaning on increasing Army Organization as I believe I need to front load my forces for Gettysburg. An extra point in Army Organization will increase my Corps size by 1 brigade per division, allowing me to take my entire army into the battle with a very strong 1st and 2nd Corps, although I'm not sure whether my Cavalry will be of much use. I am so tempted to buy the extra 8,000 recruits with my reputation... but my reputation would be down to 20 total and would take a couple battles to recover, but the prospect of bringing 95,000 men to Gettysburg is very tempting...

And Panda, you are once again correct in that I can be a relentless attacker and there are times when it is just better to chill for a little bit and make sure my artillery is in place before making the push.

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Now if only I could follow my own advice. I always feel like I am running out of time and rush things especially when units are on the run.

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Hence why I'm getting politics up before medicine. More cash, more recruits - you ain't tempted to buy any with rep. It's better to get the money instead.

As for Gettysburg - well. I only gonna say that any smoothbores gonna be a huge liability for you Lava. You need the range, and at this battle unit of skirmishers might do a better job than 2k men with smoothbores. Honestly if you can't give rifles to infantry, just disband that unit and use that manpower elsewhere instead of buying men with rep points.

Also get your best troops into one corps which you'll place as the last one to arrive. That corps is going to be your fire brigade, it's units thrown around as reinforcements during the battle. Also get your snipers to the corp that's gonna be defending on the south from the ridges. There's fantastic terrain for them to be used defensively.

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Another army wipe out, this time at 2nd Winchester:

 

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10 hours ago, Hussar91 said:

Hence why I'm getting politics up before medicine.

That doesn't work on Legendary, mate. I tried that the first time around and failed. Medicine is far more valuable as it not only returns veterans to your army it also saves their weapons.

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2 hours ago, LAVA said:

That doesn't work on Legendary, mate. I tried that the first time around and failed. Medicine is far more valuable as it not only returns veterans to your army it also saves their weapons.

I only play on legendary, and it works for me. So I wouldn't be so categorical Lava. Having no less than 20k recruits in the pool at any given time and lots of stockpiled rifles (not to mention my whole army using rifles with no smoothbores whatsoever) to afford raising 6k new infantry at any given moment since gettysburg tells a different story.

I do recognize however that I owe this partially to higher use of skirmishers and thus bigger micromanagement. But seeing my net positives, I could afford play without micro and take 10k to 15k more casualties every major battle and still have a leeway and come with a net positive. I only wouldn't be buying Springfields M1861's and M1863's most likely.

And why I'm saying this? Medicine plays only into one thing. Politics play into few things at the same time. Alone it gives two benefits, but coupled with economy and training it gives four. Medicine will always give only one benefit. A very direct one, true - but still only one. In short, the sooner you get politics maxed, the bigger your benefits will be.

PS. I'm literally drowning in recruits since Shiloh. Peaking at almost 60k after Fredricksburg. So I would say that I did pretty well without maxed out medicine for a long time till I got politics and economy up.

Edited by Hussar91

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It wasn't me to jump the gun and say flat out that "it doesn't work on legendary". Because it does, but so does your approach so far.

I hope you understand as much.

 

And I'm looking forward to Gettysburg of yours - it was a really hard one for me.

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I've been able to float a lot of recruits and rifles on Legendary going the medicine first route as well. I think it may have more to do with playstyle than anything else. Heavy micromanagement of snipers, artillery, cavalry and falling back to avoid melee can result in very high kill ratios for far less casualties than in Lava's campaign. With that approach probably either politics or medicine can be successful. With the higher casualties that Lava's style generates my guess would be that medicine outpaces politics. In retrospect maxing or at least putting several points in politics before maxing econ might have been the better choice though.

Someone could probably do the math to get actual numbers on politics/medicine/econ/training in terms of total money saved, but that's a ton of work for not much benefit.

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Here is an update on my battle results since Stones River:

Battle                                        US Losses           CS Losses          K/D Ratio

Nansemond River                     4,998/01            19,093/49             3.82
Siege of Suffolk                      10,279/08            24,365/82             2.37
Supply Raid                                3,166/02              6,139/28             1.94
Chancellorsville*                     17,670/00           48,396/120           2.73
Salem Church                            1,475/02              4,014/25             2.72
2nd Winchester                         6,661/02            22,167/70            3.32
Gettysburg*                              19,475/08            69,123/145         3.55

Totals                                      194,854/89          590,597/1,172      3.03

* = Grand Battles

As for my playing style,  I am trying to recreate history. To destroy the south through a war of attrition... the first modern war, if you will. Yes, my 4th Divisions may be carrying Springfields, but in Grand battles, they rarely see heavy combat. Normally the first 3 Divisions are the ones who are going to bear the brunt of the battle... and those brigades are well equipped. Got my first 3 star battery at Gettysburg (20pdr Parrot) and 7 other batteries have less than 10 points of experience before they get their third star. In total I have 6 12 gun batteries of 20pdr Parrots and they are being groomed to take on the Rebs when they start heavily using entrenchments.

Also remember, though I halt the game at the beginning of a battle to give initial deployments, I never pause after that. I am always playing on real time, and therefore, things happen which I just have to accept because it happened to quickly for me. So... yea, I don't like a lot of micromanagement because I don't pause the game when I am playing.

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