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J & P Rebalance Mod by JonnyH13 and Pandakraut 8/31/18

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I'm kinda interested, but I have to ask: how do you deal with the negative scaling for artillery and reduced margin returns, if not also negative scaling for infantry/skirmishers? Because if I make a 2k brigade to face with a 5k brigade with not much improved firepower over the 3k brigade the AI currently have then I'm not seeing a lot of reasons to install the mod.

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39 minutes ago, Jamesk2 said:

I'm kinda interested, but I have to ask: how do you deal with the negative scaling for artillery and reduced margin returns, if not also negative scaling for infantry/skirmishers? Because if I make a 2k brigade to face with a 5k brigade with not much improved firepower over the 3k brigade the AI currently have then I'm not seeing a lot of reasons to install the mod.

The short answer is perks, increased unit size limits, and that firepower is not everything in this mod.

Since damage is so low for 0 star brigades, the damage is so low that the damage degradation is minuscule and eventually the damage drop stops after a certain size, meaning that with large enough numbers, you can outshoot smaller more elite brigades with sufficiently sized brigades.  This is impractical though as the firepower brought to bear in one brigade could have been used in multiple more efficient brigades and the fact that larger brigades are better at melee than firepower.  

The real kicker though is that it is the perks that dictate damage.  If you specialize your brigades in accuracy, you will  outperform most brigade not specialized in accuracy.  Yes it is possible for a 1k 3 star accuracy specialized brigade to be outshot by a 10k 0 star brigade but if you increase the 1k to 2k, you will not be outshot by rookies any longer.  Same thing with elite brigades specialized in areas other than accuracy.  What matters more here is not the damage degradation but more so on how you specialize your brigades. 

Unlike base game, firepower is not everything.  It is completely possible for a 3 star melee brigade to beat a 3 star accuracy brigade but be willing to take heavy casualties and the vulnerability to a counterattack due to exhaustion.   Large sized brigades, while not as efficient in firepower as a smaller brigade, has a major advantage in melee over that small unit.  

Also speed matters too, a brigade with some speed perks can get into a favorable position of heavy cover or a flanking position faster or charge the accuracy brigade before it has a chance to reload and fire again.  

The expert use of cavalry, both carbine and shock, can also bypass the accuracy brigade by quickly attacking its flanks or even charging it.  

Damage degradation still exists but it is less impactful and there are many ways to bypass it, all with their advantages and disadvantages.  

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My impressions with the mod:-

Love the extra information about guns.

Love the extra brigade size.

Love how career points are important - those bonuses are yum.

 

Downsides

CSA Shiloh Took the flag with 2 hours to spare:- told me I had failed and started day 2. Possibly a bug - a real shame since I wanted to kill them all.

Horse artillery speed perk may need to be touched on - Saw it outrunning charging infantry.

Selling weaponry gives zilch - Since I don't use Rifle Cav/Skirms I found that most of the captured weapons just sit there doing nothing. (Unless you've tied this down to economy since i Haven't leveled it yet)

Unsure of over sized artillery is worth it? Don't think it's increased the damage that much.

 

Overall:-

You've improved a good game:- pat yourselves on the back it mustn't of been easy with the lack of modding tools.

 

Suggestion:-

Saw another mod recently where if you capture more than 1000 troops you aren't penalized as much - they raised the cap to 10000 - (a tad much) but they introduced a mechanic were you get 5 dollars per excess head - and that might be worth implementing.

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To add to Jonny's comment, from what I have seen the effect of more men starts to out scale the limits of the efficiency limits somewhere around 3.5k to 4k men. The larger units are also able to absorb considerably more punishment and can beat smaller units through attrition. Overall the size increases are actually a somewhat minor part of the mod currently. If you don't play on MG or Legendary or build large units yourself you probably wouldn't even notice them. In my opinion the rework of the battle mechanics is the more significant change as it mostly requires a different set of tactics than the base game.

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On 5/6/2018 at 7:49 PM, Zenneh said:

My impressions with the mod:-

Love the extra information about guns.

Love the extra brigade size.

Love how career points are important - those bonuses are yum.

 

Downsides

CSA Shiloh Took the flag with 2 hours to spare:- told me I had failed and started day 2. Possibly a bug - a real shame since I wanted to kill them all.

Horse artillery speed perk may need to be touched on - Saw it outrunning charging infantry.

Selling weaponry gives zilch - Since I don't use Rifle Cav/Skirms I found that most of the captured weapons just sit there doing nothing. (Unless you've tied this down to economy since i Haven't leveled it yet)

Unsure of over sized artillery is worth it? Don't think it's increased the damage that much.

 

Overall:-

You've improved a good game:- pat yourselves on the back it mustn't of been easy with the lack of modding tools.

 

Suggestion:-

Saw another mod recently where if you capture more than 1000 troops you aren't penalized as much - they raised the cap to 10000 - (a tad much) but they introduced a mechanic were you get 5 dollars per excess head - and that might be worth implementing.

We have not touched how the campaign works besides increasing the timer.  I have not encountered that before.

Horse artillery can definitely outrun charging infantry when they build up enough speed.  

0 Economy is essentially selling for nil and at 10 Economy you will sell for 33% of the base price while also buying at -66% base price.  

Oversized arty are definitely worth it if you can give them the right perks and surpass 50 guns.  

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The objective bugs are unfortunately somewhat common if you replay missions enough. They are also obfuscated enough in the code that I haven't figured out how to fix any of them yet.

Unless infantry has multiple speed bonuses I find them terrible at chasing down anything in melee. Even if they do catch something I would rather have them save their stamina. Cavalry are very effective in cleaning up artillery if you want to try adding a unit.

The downside of decreasing the buy price is the sell price has to go down so you can't generate infinite money. This has the side effect of making selling weapons not particularly useful. 

I basically don't use any oversized units currently, so far it has either impacted scaling too much or been more efficient to have multiple smaller units. For the player I think it will be more of a late campaign feature. When the AI uses them the main thing I've noticed is that while they don't necessarily do all that much more damage per shot, the units are very hard to damage sufficiently to avoid getting hit several times. 

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I've encountered a bug after a victory at the battle of Shiloh playing the Union MG where my 3 star cavalry brigade and its officer got deleted - Its no longer in my army once I go back to the camp.

Also, Is there a point to having small/medium melee focused brigades? I have a feeling that melee fights are decided purely by overwhelming numbers - for example my 3 star melee brigade of 1.5k gets routed with heavy loses.after charging a 1 star 3k brigade. Seems odd. I have found the melee perk very lackluster compared to accuracy especially when the ai scales so heavily to outnumber you early on in the campaign.

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@aileycc Any chance you have a save partway through the battle? I've never seen a unit get removed other than when it gets shattered or captured. You didn't happen to have a high AO value that allowed more than 6 brigades in a division?

Smaller veteran melee brigades can be used but you will either need support or to have stacked the various combat factors in your favor first. I would generally rather have two 1.5k brigades than one 3k brigade but I usually only try to engage in melee when I'm sure the enemy unit will break almost immediately. Either allowing the enemy to charge and exhaust themselves first, dropping their morale with sustained artillery/rifle fire, or hitting them with multiple units at once, preferably in the flanks. Because of the routing and fatigue melee penalties whichever unit breaks first is going to take severe losses unless they receive immediate support. The other thing to consider, is that if the AI happened to have a general with the right perks that 1 star unit can effectively be a 2 star in terms of melee. If you want to charge a fresh, high morale unit that is larger then the infantry charge damage perk, and both general charge perks are probably necessary. 

In terms of perks early on, I'm currently using a split of speed and accuracy. At lvl 2 I will then select either accuracy or melee to balance out whatever I chose at lvl 1. About of a third of my rifle units get double accuracy. Double accuracy units are normally under the command of a speed perk general. Some advantages of taking the melee perk early is that it can help deter the AI from charging(charge bonus is considered in the melee strength calculation) and it gives a lvl 1 accuracy unit a speed boost. Additionally, because you are outnumbered so heavily(assuming you're talking about legendary) the charge bonus will help even out the numbers a bit. If you can exhaust a larger unit as its charge runs out and then counter charge you can take on much larger units.

Jonny is more the melee player so he will probably have some better advice on a melee focused run.

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@pandakrautThat makes a lot of sense, thanks. I hadn't fully considered the perks for generals yet as I'm only at Malvern Hill. I still feel that's a lot of work to make effective use of the melee perks for infantry. As you mentioned, there's alot of factors to consider before commiting your brigades in battle. This is the reason why I think a balance of speed and accuracy, just like in your playthrough is a better route for me. It's weird because at Shiloh I believed that a mix of melee focused brigades would help deter some of the ai from immediately charging down my line. In hindsight, the accuracy buff would've benefited my brigades a lot more since firepower and positioning are really key to holding off an overwhelming force. Defending with melee units at Gaines mill was also pretty fustrating because those brigades would break and route after getting charged which forced me to counterattack with a reserve brigade. Using those brigades agressively would've been suicide in that spot. Overall, the brigades with accuracy perks consistently outperformed all the other ones by quite a bit(based on the kills and loses stats).

With that said, I found melee cavalry more ideal for charges (in the early game). The manoeuvrability of a large cavalry brigade coupled with the shock perks makes it very punishing for the ai if it were to poorly position its artillery or isolate one of their brigades.

In regards to the bug, well It's the first time that has ever happened. The only way to replicate, will involve me replaying the battle again.

Edited by aileycc

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In terms of melee I agree. I keep brigades balanced so that I can manage it if forced, but given the AIs overwhelming numbers in the early Legendary battles I can't see willingly committing to melee offensively most of the time. Jonny somehow manages it so apparently it's possible.

I've found melee cavalry are incredibly effective early on because of how powerful it is at cleaning up routing brigades and picking off artillery. As the battlefields fill up with high experience well equipped troops its getting very hard to use them without heavy losses however so it appears to balance out.

Hopefully the bug doesn't become a reoccurring issue. We didn't change anything around saving units to camp, but it's possible one of the perk or weapon changes can rarely bug out I suppose.

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Feedback:

Just prior to Fredericksburg, Union. BG difficulty.

You've managed to strike a very nice balance and it feels very well measured, especially in terms of campaign rewards and career points. Politics is still king for obvious reasons, but everything else is valuable, even Recon. It's definitely worth knowing what you face if you're capable of the micro to manage it.

Army construction:

1. Veterans are 100% worth it from the beginning. Give them good weapons and they dominate their area of the battlefield.

2. Better weapons are always worth the expense. See #1.

3. The general buildup is much slower and more calculated.

Battlefield performance:

1. I probably need to move to MG instead of BG, but I'm having fun, so I don't care. Again, good balance.

2. Cavalry is just about perfect. It's pretty useless, but if you just use it for flanking and chasing down routed units, it rapidly becomes powerful enough to challenge non-routed regulars under the right circumstances. Congrats for making cav useful past BG without having to spend a fortune. Love it.

3. Whitworth guns are absurdly strong. I'd seriously consider tuning them down a bit. I get that they're breach-loading guns and represent the new generation of artillery, but they're getting 2k+ kills in every minor battle with rookie crews. I'll definitely play out my current campaign even if you update because the Whitworths are just too much fun.

4. Skirmishers need a bit of a buff. They're near-useless in rookie form, but do come into their own later on. Just a bit of a boost early on would make them well worth the money.

Overall, it's a massive improvement over vanilla. I'd long been hoping someone would develop a mod that could fill the gap between BG and MG for those of us who'd made the legendary run and just wanted to keep playing for fun with enough challenge that the game would be worth playing "just because", and this also provides that. I'm seriously impressed.

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I'm surprised politics is still getting rated as highly. I prefer Econ, Medicine, and training even in the base game and the mod improved all of them.

With the whitworth guns, were you using the lvl 1 shot/shell perk? Did you have a general with accuracy bonuses? I only just got access to whitworths in my current campaign and they did seem rather strong at 2nd Bull Run though I think the lvl 1 perk might be the balance issue.

Skirmishers are definitely much weaker than the base game in terms of damage. I'm not sure how to make skirmishers really work currently before either 2 stars or scoped rifles at the moment. 3 star max cover max reload speed skirmishers are certainly good but I'm not sure how you would really get them experience. You can always disband an experienced unit to make some but that is a pretty clunky solution. We're considering a variety of options to make them a bit more effective and give the player more reasons to use them. In the previous version of the weapons mod carbines out ranged rifles and skirmishers could be extremely dangerous in the right scenario. 

Happy to hear you are enjoying the mod :)

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12 hours ago, pandakraut said:

I'm surprised politics is still getting rated as highly. I prefer Econ, Medicine, and training even in the base game and the mod improved all of them.

With the whitworth guns, were you using the lvl 1 shot/shell perk? Did you have a general with accuracy bonuses? I only just got access to whitworths in my current campaign and they did seem rather strong at 2nd Bull Run though I think the lvl 1 perk might be the balance issue.

Politics was an easy way to brute-force Shiloh. Once I figured out the double line/counter-charge tactic, I just pampered my Springfield-armed brigades from Philippi and used every cheap gun I could get my hands on to build as many overstuffed rookie brigades as I could. I ended up with three 4k musket-equipped rookie brigades, and they handily crippled the big AI brigades with counter-charges. After Shiloh it doesn't matter quite as much since veterans and good rifles are the key to lopsided damage. I'd imagine politics would still be important for the Confederate campaign since you can never have too many recruits.

The Whitworth-equipped battery was deployed at Antietam and every battle from then on. I'm not kidding when I say it was a rookie crew as it had never fought before. 12 guns, 2k+ kills in every battle. The 1-star range perk increases its damage, but it's the reload that does the killing. It reloads like an infantry brigade.

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Thanks for the info on the whitworth. We'll take a look at it. 

My main reason to avoid politics until after other options is that I always have way more recruits than I need even at 0 politics. Even later on I only take it for the money bonus. But I also usually play with smaller brigades so that's probably the difference. Multiple builds working is definitely a good thing though.

How are the timer changes holding up on BG? Those were partially implemented to make Legendary playable and could probably be removed on lower difficulties if necessary. 

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I've not played for quite a while prior to this, so I honestly don't remember what the timers were, excepting Philippi, and I didn't need the extra time for that.

Politics was purely for the money to buy guns for Shiloh, then I had a "why the hell not?" moment and just maxed it. It's a blunt tool that economics, medicine, and training do better, but it worked. My first corps is almost entirely three-star brigades equipped with Springfield '61s and expensive artillery, so you can definitely do it with politics if you want, but economics/medicine/training would absolutely be more efficient.

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Oh, and one last thing I keep forgetting to mention. Because of the way fire and melee work, hills are some of the most important positions on any map. It's a very welcome change from vanilla, where only the highest hills were ever terribly useful.

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I agree the whitworth is very devastating, more so than 3 star napoleons with balanced perks. Although whitworths are very important for the player in MG and legendary. Also, I have to admit that taking out enemy canons with whitworths is pretty satisfying. They're probably ridiculous in BG, but I'm not sure if I find them overpowered in MG yet.

I think one of the ways to make skirmishers more viable and interesting may require increasing their speed and stamina (and regen). Maybe give them an added speed bonus in forests. I feel skirms lack in all areas so I haven't really used them, apart from snipers but I don't usually recruit them until fredericksburg.

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As someone who used skirmishers extensively in vanilla, what I would like to see most from skirmishers is to focus on their strengths: To harass the enemy. To this end, I feel like their condition should be top notch, able to run and fire for far longer then even specialized infantry battalions. They also need to be fast, which is entirely why they would use carbines over standard weapons. In deep forest there should not be anyone who can catch them sans other dedicated skirmishers. Other features would be cover boosts, since skirmishers would be able to take much greater advantage of small amounts of cover then standard lines.

I am unsure how to approach their equipment. Using carbines has always made me feel like skirmishers were poor man's cavalry which had superior speed and could dismount when necessary for a more extended fighting anyway. Inevitably I would only use the carbine until they ranked up and then transitioned them to long range weaponry. Given the larger troop amounts standard infantry now have, trying to engage with the short ranges of carbines is just too risky, one volley can wreck them. With such fragility I would just stick to cavalry. I guess for a start I would make any carbine aside from the earliest model have a range of 350 so as to at least give them an opportunity to fire.

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2 hours ago, chemical_art said:

As someone who used skirmishers extensively in vanilla, what I would like to see most from skirmishers is to focus on their strengths: To harass the enemy. To this end, I feel like their condition should be top notch, able to run and fire for far longer then even specialized infantry battalions. They also need to be fast, which is entirely why they would use carbines over standard weapons. In deep forest there should not be anyone who can catch them sans other dedicated skirmishers. Other features would be cover boosts, since skirmishers would be able to take much greater advantage of small amounts of cover then standard lines.

I am unsure how to approach their equipment. Using carbines has always made me feel like skirmishers were poor man's cavalry which had superior speed and could dismount when necessary for a more extended fighting anyway. Inevitably I would only use the carbine until they ranked up and then transitioned them to long range weaponry. Given the larger troop amounts standard infantry now have, trying to engage with the short ranges of carbines is just too risky, one volley can wreck them. With such fragility I would just stick to cavalry. I guess for a start I would make any carbine aside from the earliest model have a range of 350 so as to at least give them an opportunity to fire.

With the right perks, you can increase your carbine range to 435 with both of the extended range perks for the skirmishers.  You need 2 or 3 star skirmishers for that.  0-1 star skirmishers are rather ineffective which is intended.

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11 minutes ago, JonnyH13 said:

With the right perks, you can increase your carbine range to 435 with both of the extended range perks for the skirmishers.  You need 2 or 3 star skirmishers for that.  0-1 star skirmishers are rather ineffective which is intended.

Gotcha, what would you recommend to give them experience? They are very fragile and yet they need combat to gain experience. Use them in minor battles?

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I installed the mod and just finished playing through the first bull run..... it is awesome, but somethings i missed. For example at the Phillipi  the union is missing the cavalary unit, I think it was replaced by a line infantry? can that be? also, on the perks, I saw an earlier posting from JonnyH13 in which there were a lot of different icons for perks. So far, the perks I have seen are the same as the base game although they seem more robust in some of the bonuses. I am correct? Also, I noticed that excess capture weapons have a $0.00 value, meaning I cannot sell them. Is that right?

Edited by i64man

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First, a great thanks to the creators of the mod for the amazing work! I have started another Legendary campaign as CSA and I can already see the differences in the earlier battles.

Two questions though:

- How does accuracy work at the unit level and interact with the weapons stats? Some weapons have an average accuracy over 50, so if it increases by 100% with one perk, does it get above 100 (which I would find a bit odd conceptually, but why not) or is the accuracy capped at 100?

- Does the mod alter the weapons choice of the IA? I don't think I ever came across Whitworth or James guns throughout my first entire CSA campaign in Legendary, even in the late game, so I wonder if there is a chance to encounter a few of them in battles now?

 

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@i64man Starting units at Phillipi were modified including replacing the cavalry unit with infantry. The bonuses given by perks are all the same bonuses as in the base game, we can't add new types of bonuses. But the values of the bonuses have all been changed and which perks have which bonuses has been modified. None of the perk icons have been changed yet though.

With the changes to economy you can buy weapons for less(66% max discount) but that also means weapons have to sell for less(33% of total value) as otherwise you could generate infinite money. With very few or no points in economy some rifles will sell for $1. I didn't notice any of them selling for 0 but it isn't terribly surprising. Once you have more points in econ you should be able to get some money back, but it's currently more worthwhile to actually field the weapons than to sell them. Nearly every weapon should have a use currently.

@Louis Davout Unit attributes are capped at 100, but accuracy is handled differently and there is no maximum value. The basic damage calculation not including firearms, efficiency, altitude, damage falloff, etc:

 Weapon Damage * Random Value between((weaponAccuracyLow/100 * perkAccuracy bonus) and (weaponAccuracyHigh/100 * perkAccuracy bonus)

The weapons at Phillipi and Potomac Fort were changed slightly but otherwise no other campaign values have been changed. The weapon pricing changes will alter what you see the AI using a little though. The weapon restrictions for each side were not changed.  Some cannon types will be very rare or nonexistent unless the player is on the side that can buy them. The way the AI weapon scaling works they tend to skip over a lot of types. That may be something that gets changed in the future. As the CSA I think there are two reputation rewards for whitworths and James guns.

@Zenneh We didn't change any units on Salem Church so any scaling would only be influenced by the AI unit size having a higher max. 16k to 36k sounds beatable without context. What difficulty, side, and average infantry unit size are you using? What is the average AI brigade size and unit level that you are seeing in the battle? Brandy Station and Supply Raid were the only battles that looked potentially impossible on Legendary due to the way scaling works, but I can't remember if I had a save to check Salem Church.

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