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dixiePig last won the day on February 17

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  1. Time to revisit The Usual Suspects in UGCW : Wandering, cowardly commanding generals Corps commanders often run away from the battle area, without even being threatened. Not a gamechanger. Just stupid and annoying. The Black Hole at the edge of the map If you drive an enemy to the mapEdge, it will actually be harder to defeat them. Stupid and annoying. Moving or Firing? Your guess is as good as mine I've had to restart battles often because my artillery units are marching bravely - if foolishly - directly into the enemy lines. This is because the graphics for MOVE and FIRE are almost identical. There is no obvious on-screen visual cue to differentiate between these two different commands. Stupid, annoying, and unnecessary. Radical Concept: UNDO during Army-building phase Doesn't really need to be explained - does it? Stupid,and annoying, because it's so necessary.
  2. Answers my questions re AI sizing on Rebalance Mod thread. Unfortunate, imo. Historically, Union Bdes were consistently smaller than Confederate Bdes. Can't figure a way to emulate this in the Mod.
  3. The mod improves and becomes more fun over time, imo, as I become more adept at fiddling the config files. Great stuff, PK. A framing question: Historically, the USA INF bdes were smaller than the CSA INF bdes (about 1200 vs. 1600), resulting in fewer, but larger divisions and corps in the Confederate armies. I understand that the 'scaling' issues are complex, but if I adjust the INF maxSizes accordingly (US : 1200 / CS : 1600) in the config files, will the AI adjust gracefully? I hope that - playing CSA - I might encounter a Union army that is the right total size, but is comprised of more-but-smaller Union units. I currently have InfantryMaxSize for both armies set to 2000 and it makes for playable games, tho not quite as competitive as I might like. I haven't messed with historical...SizeMultiplier, historical...AddStat, or any of the AIscaling...Multipliers. I have set aiMaxStat currently to 50. Suggestions?
  4. PERKS: What is the difference between "Stealth" and "Cover"? esp for ARTY
  5. Useful Tool in the ARMY CAMP: Keeping experienced officers with their 'home' units is a constant exercise: They may be used temporarily to help 'kickstart' a newly-built unit or they may be sidelined for several battles when wounded. This exercise gets more complex and difficult as we get more units and have more battles. I have just finished Stones River (very early 1863) and already have almost 80 units in my Army. The 'title' on a unit often does not correctly identify its current commander. This MAY identify a previous commander who's been wounded, but often doesn't help. I usually end up assigning a new commander and then replacing him with the current commander in order to get the naming right. You can select a unit's Battle History and then mouseOver the individual battles in order to find out who previous commanders were. Helpful, but can be laborious. Perhaps the interface could also indicate if a previous commander is dead? Suggestion: MouseOver an officer pops up a list of his previous command units (This is more complex with CSA naming conventions, but can be done). Now I can 'match' by-unit and by-officer. Another alternative: When a wounded officer returns to the Reserve pool, a button allows him to automatically [Rejoin original unit]
  6. 'startingPerks.txt' allows you to set perks for US and CS units at the beginning of the game: //---------------------------------------- //This can be used to select the starting perk for each of the players starting perks. //For infantry units only 0 and 1 are valid options. //0: Marching Drills //1: Musketry Drills //For artillery 0, 1, and 2 are valid options //0: Horse Artillery //1: Double Canister //1: Improved Shells //---------------------------------------- Loomis, 1 Scales, 1 Walton, 1 Woods, 0 Cabell, 0 Kemper, 1 Sigfried, 1 As you can see, I've set the starting perk for Cabell (CS ARTY) to //0: Horse Artillery, because that's my preference for all my ARTY. Beyond that - I dunno. Your suggestion for perk management sounds interesting, tho. Here's a technique that works for me in the early stages of the war: Default advancement for INF: Musketry Default advancement for ARTY: Horse When I start building new INF units, I load the good weapons into the Musketry units - no brainer - and arm the new (weaker) INF units with Springfield 1842's. I use the strong-shooters for defensive firepower and use the weaker units for assault and counter-punch - the 1842's are good for that. When the 1842 INF units earn a star, I advance them to Marching Drills, so that - even tho their weapon may be so-so, they are even more effective in Assault. This gives me a balanced force. When the strong-shooters earn a second star, I give them the Bayonet Proficiency perk. When the 1842's (often armed with better weapons now) earn a second star, I give them the Musketry Proficiency perk. Now my troops are fairly balanced across the board in terms of firepower and assault. I can concentrate on battlefield tactics rather than cherry-picking defensive and assault units. ARTY: I prefer to have mobile Artillery which can move, manuever, and respond quickly. Fire specialization comes later. CAV units are fragile-but-effective. They often take substantial casualties and earn perks slowly as a result, after the first star. No matter: They have their own advantages, so I choose Discipline Training by default: speed and attack.
  7. Despite criticisms (helpful, I hope) I am enjoying the newest version. Steady improvements. Having worked professionally as a usability practitioner for complex applications, I 'get' the challenge rolling out a series of changes for software that is in constant use ... Good stuff.
  8. BUG: Recovery of Veterans when building your ARMY Sometimes I need to disband a newly-built unit during the CAMP phase. If I used some troops from my Veterans pool to build the unit, I notice that they are NOT returned to the Veterans pool when I disband the unit. This is: Poor design Illogical Another excellent argument for implementing an UNDO function in the CAMP phase of UGCW UNDO is a norm in the world of software applications. It's expected. (i.e. If the functionality is not there, then it's a bug.) The ability to undo an operation on a computer was independently invented multiple times, in response to how people used computers. The File Retrieval and Editing System, developed starting in 1968 at Brown University, is reported to be the first computer-based system to have had an "undo" feature. -- wikipedia I realize that we can't easily effect the lack of basic functionality of legacy UGCW, but is there anything we can do? I reflexively [save] often in UGCW. But it still doesn't really work. And it really does make the game much less fun.
  9. A couple of under-the-hood questions: If I park a weakened unit in entrenchment or fortification, will it heal quicker? If a I re-merge a detached skirmisher with its parent unit, does the parent unit inherit the condition of the skirmisher unit (i.e. get stronger / get weaker)? Does having 'more units' have any effect on firepower? i.e. If I detach a skirmisher and it flanks the enemy unit, then I probably have more firepower. If I detach a skirmisher and it merely joins in firing at the enemy unit (without flanking) - does it have any additional effect simply because it is "an additional unit firing from a slightly different direction"? I know that detached skirmishers are more susceptible to being destroyed in close combat, so I try to re-attach them when the enemy attacks, but - Do they have combat value beyond flanking fire and distraction? Other than removing the enemy Army Commander's "aura" from his troops, is there any particular value in attacking the enemy Army Commander? At some point in the battle I often notice that my Army Commander is wandering on the other side of the map. He has not been attacked; he just seems to have lost all interest in being a commander. Is there anything I can do about this - or shall I just accept the fact that some of my Army Commanders are cowards? also: Is there any hope of fixing the 'map border problem'? When I attack an enemy unit, it often flees to the edge of the map. Once there - It can be really, really hard to defeat. This is counter-intuitive - and it is bad behavior. Can this artifact be fixed? i.e. There is 'no penalty' for fighting a unit on the edge of the map. Can it be replaced with an alternate behavior? s.a. The enemy unit is forced off the map. It loses more casualties. It may (or may not / dice roll) return to the map after a delay, but is weaker.
  10. hmmm. Have just started Crampton's Gap several times as US. UGCW sez that I have 12 Bdes for the battle, but only allows me to deploy 4 units at the beginning of the battle (although it indicates that I should have 6) and then allows only 6 reinforcements. I'm missing 2 Bdes. Artifact / Feature? / Bug?
  11. fwiw: The historical reality was that "Union brigades averaged 1,000 to 1,500 men, while on the Confederate side they averaged 1,500 to 1,800. Union brigades were designated by a number within their division, and each Confederate brigade was designated by the name of its current or former commander." -- wikipedia. For my own playStyle, I've capped INF for both armies at 2000 in the configFiles. The biggest ARMY ORG differences were in the size & organization of CAV and particularly ARTY, which changed dramatically throughout 1862 and stabilized by 1863. CAV evolved into raiding and reconnaissance units. I use them in UGCW for harrassing behind enemy lines, stealing supplies, picking off isolated enemy ARTY, and as a counter-strike to enemy INF attacks. ARTY was a hodgepodge of small, inconsistent units early on; There were only about 50 cannons total scattered randomly between the 2 armies at 1st Bull Run. There were 250 cannons in the Union army alone at Malvern Hill (the middle of 1862); well organized, consistently supplied, and under a central command. Legacy UGCW does a poor job of reflecting the critical evolution of ARTY during this early period, but you can emulate it a little by fiddling with the configFiles. 'Detached Skirmishers' (smaller sub-units of INF formations) were a standard artifact of INF tactics - serving as a support role to the BDE and useful for reconnaissance, harrassing, flanking, and delaying. Which is pretty much how they were used IRL. What UGCW calls SKRM (skirmisher) units were often labeled as "RANGERS", historically. They were rare elite troops : There were very, very few of them. Ever. Nonetheless the UGCW SKRM (Ranger) units are a handy way to build small, powerful fighting units when you have few weapons (as is often the case early in the game), but they are an 'unrealistic' a-historical anomaly.
  12. LennyFroggins: Which configurable value is that, Lenny? UGCW's terminology surrounding various forms of withdrawal is a little mushy: What's the difference between retreat, rout, withdraw, and fall back? And how do you implement them sensibly? USMC General Oliver P. Smith is most noted for commanding the 1st Marine Division during the first year of the Korean War, and notably during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, where he said "Retreat Hell! We're just attacking in another direction." -- Wikipedia The much-needed solution is to offer appropriate alternatives: Withdraw [to this location]. It's like 'move', but you retain your facing to the enemy, while withdrawing to a wiser location, which you - as commander - can specify. Least hit to morale. [F] Fallback the shortcut key is incremental, generic, and usually needs to be repeated. You remain facing the enemy, while stepping back. But distance is indiscriminate. The unit stops ... 'wherever'. Far better if the unit falls back to join the nearest unrouted allied units, by default. Another alternative is Retreat, in which the unit retains its facing towards the enemy, but withdraws to safety behind friendly lines. The point is to get the unit out of harm's way, but in an orderly fashion. [G] Rout is a poorly-placed shortcut key for those desperate situations where you need to - as the Pythons say - "Run away! Run away!" You lose all formation, but move faster. As commander, you must then try to recover the unit. Greatest hit to morale. This offers a reasonable range of options, with understandable effect on morale. #makesSenseToMe
  13. Thanks for the quick response, Lenny. I don't have a lot of illusions about trying to change the fundamental functionality of UGCW thru add-on modding, tho I'm impressed with what has been accompished by PK, Jonny, Adishee, and you thus far. But the dream of a fairly realistic (and historically accurate-esque} Commander-centric game remains. In the meantime, god's eye view and micro-management of individual units is the norm. Sounds like 'Scourge of War' had its drawbacks: https://letstalkaboutwargames.wordpress.com/2022/08/25/scourge-of-war-games-will-be-removed-from-online-stores/ Thanks for the insight on ARTY re-targeting. It's a kluge, but hopefully works. Any thoughts on getting INF to re-target their fire sensibly, as well? PK : minor typo in configFile : mostVisibileMinimumRange > mostVisibleMinimumRange
  14. LennyFroggin's work and observations are pretty nice. I hope to see them in player-accessible form at some point. "Division command control" and "cohesion" : YES! Divisional influence is one of the missing pieces "Road column" : YES! Serious current oversight (movement); has implications if unit is fired upon while in column formation "3-D mapping" : YES! Serious current oversight (combat, vision, command control) The 3-D mapping has implications for a critical aspect of UGCW. Currently, 'the battlefield' is your standard global God's-Eye-View from overhead, which is convenient & powerful, but highly unrealistic. 3-D mapping allows for a more limited 'commander's view', depending on where you've positioned your ArmyGeneral on the battlefield. His scope of vision is limited to that perspective, obscured by terrain, dust, and smoke. The Army General also has access to maps of the area (often determined by RECONNAISSANCE), which provide a God's-Eye-View of terrain, as reference. The ArmyGeneral can move to a new position in order to change his POV and range of vision. Status and Information from sub-commanders (Corps and Divisional) about the situation in the field comes from COURIERS (and perhaps a Signal Corps) is delayed. Which means that the battle is determined less by micro-management of individual units and more by the ability to anticipate enemy moves and to provide more strategic guidance with commands which must be interpreted and executed by sub-commanders. With a time delay. Overall effectiveness is determined by initiative, discipline, and communications among units in the field (which is where the 'fitness reports' on the behaviors of individual DIV and CORPS sub-commanders becomes critical. There's a lot more 'fog of war'. Delay between discovery of a situation and its solution is an ongoing factor. There must/should be standard pre-packaged commands, to be interpreted by sub-commanders, including FALLBACK to [here], DEFEND the hill, ATTACK [this position], MOVE [to that position], SUPPORT [the 3rd Division], etc. The game's AI already does a pretty good job of "doing the right thing', esp. on defense, though there could be improvements. For example: ARTY generally responds wisely to concentrate fire on enemy attacks. But - if there is a 'chained attack' - it does a poor job of re-directing fire against the most immediate threat. I am annoyed to discover that ARTY and INF are often firing at enemies who are in retreat, while ignoring fresh attacks directly on top of them. Ditto 'fallback', which needs to be repeated again and again in order to give a threatened/wearied unit some respite. AI could be improved on both of those. PS: I played and greatly enjoyed Sid Meiers' groundbreaking Civil War games back in the 90's. He's like a god, isn't he? FWIW - I visited Gettysburg for the centennial back in the summer of '63, and researched & designed my own 'napoleonic' wargames in the mid/late 60's, using the military library at USMC base Quantico. Of course, this is all a heavy lift in terms of coding. But that's my Christmas List, Santa. Thanks & danke again for the great work, PK, Jonnie, and Lenny.
  15. What is the value of attacking enemy generals (usually with CAV)? They just run away and are hard to kill,
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