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RE SCALING. ADVICE PLEASE

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Morning all, or evening etc

I have seen a lot of discussion re the scaling.

It seems no matter what the size of my CS Army. The Union is always far larger.

I know that so far I am seeing how I can get on in a campaign without using all the tips available on here. So maybe it’s my lack skill at building my Army.

But when I come to a major battle I find the Union outnumbering me by a huge amount. Is this correct please ? Or just my lack of skill.

I believe this has been an issue in the past. Wondered if it still is or not ?

I’m playing on the normal level. If that helps answer my question.

Thank you.

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Yes, the AI will almost always outnumber you, particularly when you play as the Confederates. It's part of the way the game balances difficulty, so it's not likely to change much and doesn't have much to do with your skill - and don't feel bad, because it used to be a lot worse, especially on Legendary. :)We know some things about how the scaling works, and you can use that knowledge to help mitigate the extremes.

First, there is a minimum strength the AI will have for every battle. No matter what happens to the AI's army size, this minimum strength will always be present - this keeps the battles from being stupidly easy. If you completely wipe out the enemy army at Antietam, for example, the game will simply create more soldiers to fill up the AI army for the next battle. These soldiers are relatively green, so the AI's training and weapons ratings will go down in the intelligence reports, but their supply is unlimited. You, on the other hand, have a fixed number of available soldiers - the maximum you can get is the reinforcements for victories, plus 1,000 reinforcements per battle for captures and whatever troops you can buy with reputation.

Second, there are two ways the AI scales. In minor battles, the AI looks primarily at the average strength across all your troops, and scales based on that. For example, if you have one unit that's 2,500 men, and one unit that's 500 men, the AI will usually scale its brigades to around 1500 men. Note that has nothing to do with the forces you actually bring to the fight, it's across your entire army. Each type of unit - infantry, artillery, skirmishers, cavalry - scales more-or-less independently (with some exceptions, like the AI will sometimes scale artillery to balance your infantry).

Second, for grand battles the AI will scale versus your total army size, again regardless of whether or not you actually bring those troops to the battle. There are some nuances here, but essentially anything past the minimum army size will result in more than one enemy soldier being added for every soldier you add past what the games sees as the minimum threshold. However, there are two limits to this scaling: how many enemy troops are actually available (based loosely on the intelligence reports), and whether or not there are enough brigades available to fill up with troops to the AI maximum brigade size (2,950 men for infantry, etc). This is why in battles like Antietam the Union army can be so incredibly large - there's a huge number of Union brigades, and thus a lot of room to scale. (And historically, it used to be a lot worse - there was no limit to the enemy troops available for scaling.)

The end result of this is that it's not typically in your best interest to have as many active troops as possible. This results in large battles, which means more casualties. The AI can absorb these casualties because it has an unlimited supply of troops to fill out the minimum army strength, but you can't on your fixed budget, particularly as the Confederates. Thus, the optimal path is to fight battles at the minimum size, which keeps the number of zombie troops the AI can summon out of thin air to a minimum and gives you the best chance of getting through with enough experienced troops to win the final battles. You also strive to kill as many of the enemy as possible, which reduces their available troops for grand battles and reduces the AI training levels and equipment. The unreachable perfect campaign is to fight the smallest battles possible and get a total army kill in every battle.

You can see the AI army size and observe the scaling with, I think, two points in Reconnaissance. Note, however, that this number is not always accurate - it only reflects the initial enemy troops, not any reinforcements that arrive later or in later phases. It's also possible to manipulate the scaling in minor battles by adding "ballast" units, which are units of the smallest size that don't enter the battle and are only in your army to reduce the average size of your brigades and thus reduce the enemy scaling.

Edited by Aetius
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Just wanted to add that the intelligence report values do not actually limit the AI's final size. The displayed numbers are more of a starting size for the AI and if your army is large enough the numbers you actually face in the battle can be significantly larger. This usually only starts being noticeable on Legendary with max sized units though.

6 hours ago, contact said:

It seems no matter what the size of my CS Army. The Union is always far larger.

Depending on various factors you will often be outnumbered at least 2:1 as the CSA. In many battles it takes time for the AI to actually bring all of those units onto the field though, so your smaller numbers can defeat each wave before the next arrives.

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4 hours ago, Aetius said:

Yes, the AI will almost always outnumber you, particularly when you play as the Confederates. It's part of the way the game balances difficulty, so it's not likely to change much and doesn't have much to do with your skill - and don't feel bad, because it used to be a lot worse, especially on Legendary. :)We know some things about how the scaling works, and you can use that knowledge to help mitigate the extremes.

First, there is a minimum strength the AI will have for every battle. No matter what happens to the AI's army size, this minimum strength will always be present - this keeps the battles from being stupidly easy. If you completely wipe out the enemy army at Antietam, for example, the game will simply create more soldiers to fill up the AI army for the next battle. These soldiers are relatively green, so the AI's training and weapons ratings will go down in the intelligence reports, but their supply is unlimited. You, on the other hand, have a fixed number of available soldiers - the maximum you can get is the reinforcements for victories, plus 1,000 reinforcements per battle for captures and whatever troops you can buy with reputation.

Second, there are two ways the AI scales. In minor battles, the AI looks primarily at the average strength across all your troops, and scales based on that. For example, if you have one unit that's 2,500 men, and one unit that's 500 men, the AI will usually scale its brigades to around 1500 men. Note that has nothing to do with the forces you actually bring to the fight, it's across your entire army. Each type of unit - infantry, artillery, skirmishers, cavalry - scales more-or-less independently (with some exceptions, like the AI will sometimes scale artillery to balance your infantry).

Second, for grand battles the AI will scale versus your total army size, again regardless of whether or not you actually bring those troops to the battle. There are some nuances here, but essentially anything past the minimum army size will result in more than one enemy soldier being added for every soldier you add past what the games sees as the minimum threshold. However, there are two limits to this scaling: how many enemy troops are actually available (based loosely on the intelligence reports), and whether or not there are enough brigades available to fill up with troops to the AI maximum brigade size (2,950 men for infantry, etc). This is why in battles like Antietam the Union army can be so incredibly large - there's a huge number of Union brigades, and thus a lot of room to scale. (And historically, it used to be a lot worse - there was no limit to the enemy troops available for scaling.)

The end result of this is that it's not typically in your best interest to have as many active troops as possible. This results in large battles, which means more casualties. The AI can absorb these casualties because it has an unlimited supply of troops to fill out the minimum army strength, but you can't on your fixed budget, particularly as the Confederates. Thus, the optimal path is to fight battles at the minimum size, which keeps the number of zombie troops the AI can summon out of thin air to a minimum and gives you the best chance of getting through with enough experienced troops to win the final battles. You also strive to kill as many of the enemy as possible, which reduces their available troops for grand battles and reduces the AI training levels and equipment. The unreachable perfect campaign is to fight the smallest battles possible and get a total army kill in every battle.

You can see the AI army size and observe the scaling with, I think, two points in Reconnaissance. Note, however, that this number is not always accurate - it only reflects the initial enemy troops, not any reinforcements that arrive later or in later phases. It's also possible to manipulate the scaling in minor battles by adding "ballast" units, which are units of the smallest size that don't enter the battle and are only in your army to reduce the average size of your brigades and thus reduce the enemy scaling.

Hi

Thank you so much for all this information. Will need to read through it a few times. But really helpful.

Really good of you.

Glad it’s not necessarily my lack of skill then !

Best wishes.

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1 hour ago, pandakraut said:

Just wanted to add that the intelligence report values do not actually limit the AI's final size. The displayed numbers are more of a starting size for the AI and if your army is large enough the numbers you actually face in the battle can be significantly larger. This usually only starts being noticeable on Legendary with max sized units though.

Depending on various factors you will often be outnumbered at least 2:1 as the CSA. In many battles it takes time for the AI to actually bring all of those units onto the field though, so your smaller numbers can defeat each wave before the next arrives.

Hi,

Great. Appreciate your reply.

I think I happy with the way UG works then. Sort of !

At least I know it’s not just my lack of skill !

Best regards

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I think this depends on the difficulty you are playing on. I usually play on BG and kind of maximize my army size while doesn't giving a shit on scaling. You should destroy the enemy army as much as you can in those smaller battles and as CSA try to distribute those Missisipi Rifles as early and numerous as possible. They are much better than those Springfield 1842s and your big advantage as CSA player in the beginning. Another advantage is that your raw recruits bring more experience than the union recruits. So assigning a Colonel to a new formed brigade as commander gives you the first star for free. Later when this unit has gained some experience on the field of battle you may assign a lesser commander depending the unit size while using the Colonel to form an additional brigade.

By destroying the enemy you can hold down the enemy manpower from the beginning which will make a big difference. In my lattest playthrough as CSA I will fight Antietam on 1:1 with 70k man on each side which feels like a walk in the park...

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4 minutes ago, Shigemori said:

I think this depends on the difficulty you are playing on. I usually play on BG and kind of maximize my army size while doesn't giving a shit on scaling. You should destroy the enemy army as much as you can in those smaller battles and as CSA try to distribute those Missisipi Rifles as early and numerous as possible. They are much better than those Springfield 1842s and your big advantage as CSA player in the beginning. Another advantage is that your raw recruits bring more experience than the union recruits. So assigning a Colonel to a new formed brigade as commander gives you the first star for free. Later when this unit has gained some experience on the field of battle you may assign a lesser commander depending the unit size while using the Colonel to form an additional brigade.

By destroying the enemy you can hold down the enemy manpower from the beginning which will make a big difference. In my lattest playthrough as CSA I will fight Antietam on 1:1 with 70k man on each side which feels like a walk in the park...

Hi

Many thanks. Sounds good.

Will have to see if I can use that.

Cheers for the advice.

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48 minutes ago, Shigemori said:

I think this depends on the difficulty you are playing on. I usually play on BG and kind of maximize my army size while doesn't giving a shit on scaling.

The same concepts apply on lower difficulties, but because of the difficulty factors scaling is much less impactful. I would agree you can completely ignore scaling on BG.

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1 hour ago, pandakraut said:

The same concepts apply on lower difficulties, but because of the difficulty factors scaling is much less impactful. I would agree you can completely ignore scaling on BG.

Hi

Thanks for that.

Best wishes

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On 6/14/2018 at 8:04 PM, pandakraut said:

The same concepts apply on lower difficulties, but because of the difficulty factors scaling is much less impactful. I would agree you can completely ignore scaling on BG.

Hi,

Re the AI. Just how much info does it have on my CSA please ?

Is it just the number of troops. Or will it know which/how many veterans I have. Also, does it know what type of cannons I have and what my troops are armed with ?

Many thanks

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1 hour ago, contact said:

Is it just the number of troops. Or will it know which/how many veterans I have. Also, does it know what type of cannons I have and what my troops are armed with ?

As far as I can tell the AI doesn't scale based on your veterans or weapons. This is an area I've researched less however so I could be missing something. I think you're safe to just build the best army you can though.

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1 hour ago, pandakraut said:

As far as I can tell the AI doesn't scale based on your veterans or weapons. This is an area I've researched less however so I could be missing something. I think you're safe to just build the best army you can though.

Hi,

Thanks for that.

I think I’m becoming paranoid with the AI !

Regards

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AI changes its army composition based on what you bring as well as scripted composition for the map. If you bring skirmisher cav the AI will be more likely to bring skirmisher cav. If you bring snipers the AI will be more likely to bring snipers. If you bring large artillery brigades the AI will be guarenteed to bring more larger artillery brigades. In this way you can control what the AI brings by avoiding using specific brigade types.

In terms of weapons scaling the AI has weapons scaling as well, but up to a point. The point is based off of the AI's armory value as well as scripted settings. It won't scale down to what you bring, but if you bring, say, Napoleons, in the Battle of Bull Run, then the AI will switch to Napoleons even if the AI armory value is at 20%. If you stuck with Ordnances, the AI would bring 12 Pdr Howitzers or Ordnances (you can detect this by the captured cannons list post battle). However if you bring some 20 Pdrs the AI won't have those yet. So the best advice here is to bring weapons you want to capture that's not too old. Eg I brought some expensive Lorenz rifles on my skirmisher inf the entire AI infantry switched to using those (when in the previous battle in the same campaign with the same armory values they were using Springfields and Harpers Ferries), and I was able to capture 8000 rifles. The AI scales to the best weapon you have per unit type, so it's better to not equip one unit with it if you can't equip others, UNLESS you are intending to farm for weapons via capturing. In which case that's the best way of acquiring weapons the armory is out of stock on.

Edited by limith
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1 hour ago, limith said:

AI changes its army composition based on what you bring as well as scripted composition for the map. If you bring skirmisher cav the AI will be more likely to bring skirmisher cav. If you bring snipers the AI will be more likely to bring snipers. If you bring large artillery brigades the AI will be guarenteed to bring more larger artillery brigades. In this way you can control what the AI brings by avoiding using specific brigade types.

In terms of weapons scaling the AI has weapons scaling as well, but up to a point. The point is based off of the AI's armory value as well as scripted settings. It won't scale down to what you bring, but if you bring, say, Napoleons, in the Battle of Bull Run, then the AI will switch to Napoleons even if the AI armory value is at 20%. If you stuck with Ordnances, the AI would bring 12 Pdr Howitzers or Ordnances (you can detect this by the captured cannons list post battle). However if you bring some 20 Pdrs the AI won't have those yet. So the best advice here is to bring weapons you want to capture that's not too old. Eg I brought some expensive Lorenz rifles on my skirmisher inf the entire AI infantry switched to using those (when in the previous battle in the same campaign with the same armory values they were using Springfields and Harpers Ferries), and I was able to capture 8000 rifles. The AI scales to the best weapon you have per unit type, so it's better to not equip one unit with it if you can't equip others, UNLESS you are intending to farm for weapons via capturing. In which case that's the best way of acquiring weapons the armory is out of stock on.

I've seen this idea in various places but I think most of what you are seeing related to weapon scaling is coincidence. If you setup a 10 recon campaign you can see that the AI weapons do not change when you change your own. I took a Union pre Antietam save where most of my army was equipped with Harpers Ferrys and most of my artillery was 24pdrs and 20pdrs. CSA was equipped with Harpers Ferrys and an assortment of 3in, 12pdrs, and napoleons. Switching out all of my units to 1842s, and as cheap of cannon as were available I saw no change in the AI's equipment. I repeated this test on a save prior to 2nd bull run. Replaced all my weapons and retreated from the battle immediately. I again saw no change in the AI's equipment at Antietam. In both cases I also sold all of my weapons in case the armory was checked.

As best I am aware, each AI unit has a defined weapon which will influence the starting point of the AI's weapon selection. Then based on the AI's tech level, a cost coefficient(making the AI more likely to select certain weapons), and a slight random factor the unit's weapon can change. I think this calculation only occurs at the end of the previous battle.

 

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The idea is around because that's the way it used to work before the patch that reworked the scaling and added the intelligence report. It was intensely frustrating, because every time you upgraded one unit the AI would upgrade virtually everything. The current system is better, although it results in some bizarre AI weapon choices - in my last Union playthrough, I captured thousands of Harpers Ferrys, and then started capturing Tyler Texas rifles in huge numbers as the AI weapon quality supposedly went up.

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That would make sense. Thanks for clearing it up. 

With getting all the Texas rifles, there are limiters in place that prevents you from going above the battle defaulted weapon selections. I would guess this in place to prevent you from getting later period weapons early. So if the tech level is below the battle default there is some variance, otherwise you get the battle defaults. I would have to do a bunch of specific testing to comment in any more detail.

Edited by pandakraut
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Hi guys,

Appriciate your time and effort on this.

Very good of you and a great help to me.

Many thanks

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