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dixiePig

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  1. Troop Movement ... remains an issue Getting Reinforcements from the edge of the board to the battle is a pain Units don't recognize - or use - Roads ... even if they are on a road Units tend to deploy into battle formation by default ... even if they are at a distance from the battle. Grabbing a group of units and moving them forward results in the automatic creation of an artificial 'battle line' which is overly broad, slow, and unwieldy Militaries across the globe have multiple Unit Marching Speeds Advance : in Battle formation (slowest) ... is the ugcw default Double-quick : in Battle formation (fast, but tiring) ... is the ugcw "Run" Charge : in Battle formation (top speed - only for short bursts) ... is the ugcw "Charge" Route-step : in Column formation (speed without exhaustion) ... can happen in ugcw, but you can't really control it ugcw should include Route-Step as a selectable movement option The addition of what I am calling 'route step' allows you to swiftly move troops across the field without excessive fatigue The unit automatically forms a Column They can make use of roads but they are not deployed in battle formation and may be more susceptible to artillery If one of the other modes (advance, double-quick, charge) is selected, the unit automatically deploys into battle formation For artillery "route-step/column" is the same as "limbered" (i.e. move swiftly/undeployed) Roads All units - if placed on a Road - will use the Road to reach their destination by default, if the destination is in the vicinity of the road and they are in route-step/column mode
  2. Optimal Brigade Size Thanks to @pandakrautfor good advice about unit size and its effect on AI: Infantry Brigade : 1000-1300 men creates the most 'winnable' scenarios. And those numbers are in keeping with historical unit sizes. (I remain gob-smacked at ugcw's insistence that 4500-6000-man brigades are even an option) Cavalry units of 350-500 men echo historical unit sizes - and their tactical/operational efficiencies Artillery units may be more open to variation, but brigades of 12-20 guns seem to work effectively on the field - at least through the early battles I find that keeping infantry unit size modest works ... on a number of levels As noted, dedicated Skimisher (actually Ranger/Sharpshooter) units were a historical anomaly - and imo should be included, but restricted Thanks again, @pandakraut , for framing the impact of unit size on AI. A natural tendency is to grow the size of units over time - especially given the implicit encouragement of the ugcw interface: Both the built-in ArmyOrg advancements and 'common sense' say "Bigger is Better". Not true. It is useful to appreciate that often "More is Better". And it would be useful for the ugcw interface to accommodate 'more smaller units' within the command structure.
  3. Any background on how 'balancing' is done by the AI? As CSA, I am having some difficulty on Cross Creek on MG: I keep losing +40% of my army, which results in a Draw. I've tried several approaches: smaller/modest sized units, exceptionally strong units, more infantry, more artillery/less artillery, more aggregate numbers of troops, but can't get better than a Draw now. How does the AI compute balancing? Number of troops? (large units) Strength of units (stars/xp)? is Armament (quality of weapons) a factor? Does it make a difference if I have a mix some strong units and some weak? How do artillery and cavalry fit into the computation? At BG level, Cross Keys was challenging, but I could win with 8 Infantry bdes of about 1500 apiece (varying xp), 3 fairly strong Artillery with ~18 guns apiece, and a xp-strong Forrest cavalry of 350 or so (capture supplies, destroy artillery, and finish off weakened Infantry units) Because the MG-level game limits your access to 'spoils of war' weapons, the AI's balance methodology becomes a real factor in deciding how to build your army..
  4. #meToo However - as noted - multiple smaller units can be bought only by an 'unbalanced' investment in AO. And the AO itself is unbalanced in that it grows # of divisions and # of corps out of proportion to its ability to grow # of Brigades. Common sense says that an army with fewer senior officers and guns would naturally have more smaller units within a division - rather than form more divisions or more corps. 'zackly. I get the message: ugcw has hard-coded limitations on its ability to handle this situation. Too bad. Playability suffers. Which makes sense. Sort of. When designing my own paper-based napoleonic-era wargames (based on substantial historical research) back in the 60'e & 70's - It was clear that most battles at the time were fought with command at the regimental level. Communications - or rather a lack thereof - means that most fighting decisions were made there. Primary Drawback: Detail Overload (too many pieces to manage in the game). Avalon Hill's Gettysburg (1958) was the first of the popular dice & board games of that era - and it was based - clumsily - on Divisional units. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gettysburg_(game) A large-engagement army of Brigade-sized units just makes for more manageable gameplay.
  5. Balance issues and technical limitations. Can you elaborate? Balance (if I understand it) should be a function of 'the number of men that an officer can command" rather than merely "the number of units". i.e. A divisional commander should be able to handle at least 5000 men - and possibly as many as 15000. I can understand volume of units as an overall technical limitation. But the current rules limits the number of units in the early stages. imo This is an unnecessary constraint during a period when it's most important. Allowing an early commander to have a division with 6 Bdes is not a technical limitation. It's a choice. Also: We get the warning message in red text. What actually happens?
  6. Kinda my point: I'd like to be able to build an army of more smaller units armed with lower-ranked officers, esp since in hard (MG) mode ... that's pretty much what I've got, since the spoils of war are so reduced. Rather than fighting with what I have, I'm obliged to buy a lot of weapons. In the early stages I often have a substantial total number of weapons, but they're of different types. InTheRealWorld : If I have only a few of different types of weapons, then I'm going to build multiple units of the appropriate size. Wouldn't you? The current AO structure makes that difficult, since it proliferates divisions before extends the number of units in the division. It says, "You can only have 4 brigades in a division. Got enough guns & men to arm 7 weaker brigades? Tough luck." Heck, ugcw even allows me to build tiny 500-man infantry brigades. It seems silly for a commander to say, "Well, we've got the men and guns to form a couple of more weak brigades to help fight this next important battle, but ... y'know ... policy." I can understand implementing some constraints so that things don't get unmanageable, but the current system penalizes through awkward rules. Ugcw has it sorta right when it acknowledges that officers can't really command more men than a certain threshold. Therefore, it follows that - If a divisional commander can handle 4500 infantry and 20 artillery - then it doesn't really matter that much how those units are configured: 1 bde of 4500 infantry and 1 bde of 20 artillery ... or 5 bdes of 900 infantry and 2 batteries of 10 artillery. In certain battle situations, a wise commander might reasonably choose to have more smaller units (That is one of the tactical advantages of detached skirmishers) I realize that some of these issues may be baked into the legacy ugcw game, but I believe they would add a lot of playablility.
  7. Always interesting to log in and observe comments. Here're mine: Am pretty much done with Medium Level (BG) now and am working on Hard Level (MG). By the way: Does anyone actually use Easy Level for any length of time? It would be nice to have a game structure which allows for even more variety in in the challenges. Newest mod improves the tooManyColonels/noBrigadiers problem. Many Thanks. Shuffling commanders to gain an additional star is now a de facto exercise (and it works) but it's still gaming-the-rule rather than playing-the-game. Hope you can also accommodate 'the value of consistency' in retaining a beloved&trusted commander ... Speaking of which: The fascination with armies consisting primarily of hi-octane Rangers/Sharpshooters and highly powered artillery like Whitworths is proving to be a real counter-historical un-balance. Guess it works for many players, tho I personally prefer a little more historically-valid play, and hope to see ugcw accommodate that, as well. Actual 'detached' Skirmishers fulfill some of that harassment/flanking/mobility role, as does wise use of Cavalry. Speaking to Anthropoid's question about optimal number of battery guns: Does cannon fire (and/or rifle fire) from multiple directions/sources have an increased demoralization effect? (i.e. "Fire from three 6-gun batteries demoralizes more than fire from one 24-gun battery.") Seems to me that the effect would be more than just the number of guns. In a sort-of-related vein: I currently must invest most of my Government perks in growing my army Organization at the beginning of the game, so that I can have enough units to fight the early battles (when my army is still tiny). Specifically: As the CSA, I want to be at ArmyOrg:3 for 1st Bull Run (5 brigades) and prefer to be at ArmyOrg:6 (24 - or at the very least 18 Brigades) for Shiloh. I appreciate that developing an army is a critical challenge in the early days, but the ArmyOrg parameters seem a little arbitrary and skewed: i.e. Technically, I can build a 4500-man Brigade which is as large as many historical Divisions, but that unit size is also far beyond what most early commanders can handle. What are the practical (battle) implications for brigade officer whose unit is "too large" for his abilities? If I can place a brigade officer in command of a unit that is 'too large', then why not allow a divisional officer to command 'too many' brigades? For example: a division at ArmyOrg: Level3 might be allowed to have 8 very small brigades. Such a division could have no more troops than a "legal" division that has only 5 brigades, but it would be affordable. The value: In early days (with fewer resources), I can build an army of small units with minor officers and 'grow' them in size and rank over the course of several battles. I often don't have enough weapons or ranked officers to build substantial brigades without bankrupting my treasury . The current AmyOrg structure arbitrarily limits me to a small number of units - even tho it allows me to make those individual units unrealistically large. Net/Net: The ArmyOrg aspect of ugcw is kind of a pain. Wikipedia: " Union brigades averaged 1,000 to 1,500 men, while on the Confederate side they averaged 1,500 to 1,800... Divisions were formed of two or more brigades. Union divisions contained 2,500 to 4,000 men, while the Confederate division was somewhat larger, containing 5,000 to 6,000 men... The strength of a Union corps averaged 9,000 to 12,000 officers and men, those of Confederate armies might average 20,000." By all evidence, artillery batteries tended to be quite small (4-6 guns), as compared to the scale allowed in ugcw. It is worth noting that - historically - the Union Army tended to organize itself into a larger number of weaker units, whereas the CSA tended to have fewer-but-stronger units. I don't propose that ugcw become unrealistically constrained - but a more historically accurate game might also be engineered-to-be-fun. Funds, ammo and weapons are adequately addressed in ugcw, but not the essential issue of transport - specifically horses. I don't want to get into the tall weeds here, but I think you get my drift: Horses are an essential war commodity, as well as funds, weapons, and ammo. " Late in the war, and lacking horses and mules, generals on both sides were known to say that it was easier to replace a soldier than a horse. providing and caring for the equines... At the start of the Civil War, the Northern states held approximately 3.4 million horses, while there were 1.7 million in the Confederate states. The border states of Missouri and Kentucky had an additional 800,000 horses. In addition, there were 100,000 mules in the North, 800,000 in the seceding states and 200,000 in Kentucky and Missouri." Horses are necessary for Cavalry, Supply, and - specifically - the ability to create Horse Artillery. In that sense, creating Horse Artillery (and even Cavalry units) should be a function of available equine resources. I realize that this might be kind of a redesign bitch, but it's relevant - and I believe it would be valuable to accommodate it. Net/net: "horse artillery" is not a perk in and of itself, it's a function of resource (can't build horse artillery if you don't have horses). Value-added: You might gain horse resource as a result of a successful battle, occupying territory, or as a Government perk. Thanks again for the updates & improvements.
  8. nice. I believe that deals with my whine about spoils of war anything re 'toughness" or "aggressiveness"? and ... when is next version?
  9. pandakraut: I enjoy some of the more challenging play dynamic in MG-level play, but really don't like the penalties in terms of Spoils of War. I'd like to keep the 20% recovery rate and still make the AI a tougher opponent. Is there any way to make the AI more challenging thru the config/unitModifier files? It seems that adjusting the attributes affect both sides equally.
  10. Been a while, but it's 2020 now, so I'll chime back in with my favorite rants: The 'colonels-take-forever-to-advance-to-BG" issue continues to be a topic. Here's hoping that gets solved in the new year. Pandakraut's advice as to 'how to improve the odds of advancement' is sound (I use some of the same techniques - esp. of 'musical chairs' commanders - to power-up borderline units). But it still involves gaming the system rather than playing the game. While I enjoy the ability to manage my army, the dynamics are sometimes obsessive and artificial. Aside: Mightn't there be also some positive value to a unit in having the continuity of a trusted commander in place for a while? Speaking of 'unique qualities' of command officers: Wouldn't it be nice if officers actually had 'leadership qualities'? i.e. "Attack +1" or "Defense +2" ? Currently, purchasable and recruit-able officers have an abstract value (based on price), but that's about it. For example: When I am prepping for a tough defensive battle, I would like to put appropriate commanders in place. Historically, of course, we know that certain commanders had particular strengths - and weaknesses. Wouldn't it be nice to echo that? Currently, the only way you can influence an officer's capabilities is at the level of Corps Commander, through the investment of the occasional advancement perk. Ranger/Snipers continue to be an annoyance: They're historically/realistically just not that significant, yet they now dominate the mod gameplay - on both sides: Ranger/Snipers have clearly become a predominant tactical 'method' for a player and the AI almost always has a disproportionate number of those units, as well, which affects gameplay. Not in a good way. It just wasn't so. Perhaps some folks will argue that it makes for a better game (I don't). But the name of that game is not "Civil War". Don't want to be a naggy historical stickler, but I hope you can come up with a mod version that returns UGCW to a game that more accurately reflects the strategy and tactics of that time. Spoils of War (recovered and captured weapons) continues to be problematic. The 30-20-10% recovery rate is awkwardly disproportionate : 20% is 1/3 less than 30%, but 10% is 1/2 less than 20% (btw: Does anyone ever play the easiest level of UGCW?) A 50% hit in recovered resources is pretty heavy. It means a totally different strategy for dealing with Career advancements - You now need to buy lots more weapons, even after destroying an entire army. Battle to the Death : The enemy army remains in the field until the bitter end - even when it has been totally decimated. I know that you're working on routing and shattering behaviors and hope you come up with solutions soon. Campaign play: Early battles provide major disproportionate Spoils of War (SOW) perks: Bull Run and Shiloh both give you SOW for allied armies that are more than twice the size of your army. Ditto for River Fort, Newport News, and even Ambush. I agree that the battles in the Final Campaign tend to be less challenging and interesting, but that's an issue with the base game. I enjoy the mod for the many improvements you've engineered into it. Good luck in the new year.
  11. I'm going to post this comment again because - with all due respect - the answer provided is not really justified. I have seen very rapid advancement for junior officers ... up to the rank of Colonel. However ... There appears to be some sort of threshold that is unique to the rank of BG. The rate of advancement flattens noticeably once an officer reaches the rank of Colonel. They just can't get to the next level. Even after many, many, many battles. Several of us have commented on/complained about this. We aren't mistaken. We aren't stupid. We are providing you with good information which is based on field-tested experience. Clearly, the xp gain dynamics you describe just aren't working the way they're supposed to. Even if they did, there's little value in such contrived methods: They're historically inaccurate. They're awkward. They're counter-intuitive. Most of all: They really just don't work. (To imply that we just aren't playing the game utilizing correct "methods" is not a wise response. "Gaming the system" is not a solution.) I can only observe that I do not remember there being such a barrier-to-advancement-to-the-rank-of-BG in the legacy/base game. Something happened. Possible stopgap solution: If I remember correctly, the legacy/base game offers up purchasable officers under "Government" who are often already at the default rank of Brigadier General. Make them BG rank again and we may have a temporary solution to this problem. And it is a problem. You have our support as you attempt to fix something which is now a problem. We appreciate what you and Jonny have already accomplished without - I assume - much help from the originators.
  12. Have enjoyed many of your modifications, questioned some others (s.a.sharpshooters-labeled-as-'skirmishers'). Access to the config files is helpful. But am also experiencing some limitations, which may be 'hard-coded' into the base game, but I'd like to customize them, if possible. Is there any way to adjust the "spoils of war" (percentages of recovered weapons after a battle)? I'd like to fight a more challenging enemy, but don't believe that "spoils of war" should change radically. Also - there are special cases: If I capture an enemy unit outright, then imo ALL of their weapons should be "spoils of war". What are the dynamics underlying how ugcw handles the Easy/Moderate/Hard/Legendary game levels? Can any of those values be adjusted by fiddling with the config tables? If so - then which attributes? Is it possible to selectively adjust compensation levels? For example: After certain battles, you are sometimes awarded a "free'" senior officer, sometimes with troops (like Forrest/CSA). Is it possible for me to customize that in any way - or is it all baked into the game engine? yep. Any solutions on that front yet? I especially like your solution for the automatic replacement of officers lost in combat
  13. Glad to see that this set of issues is being recognized. Let's re-visit some essential issues: The dedicated Army units which ugcw labels as "Skirmishers" are largely a historical fiction. There were no (as in zero) independent units in the IRL Civil War which were labeled as Skirmishers. Google "civil war skirmishers" ... It's obvious Historically, skirmishers were what the legacy ugcw features as "detached skirmishers". Again : Google "civil war skirmishers". They were meant to screen, reconnoiter, harass and delay. https://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-art-of-skirmishing.136888/ Historically, there were also a very, very few small, exotic "Sharpshooter" and Ranger-type units who were great shots with great rifles. But these units were rare and never had any real impact on any battle. Clearly the dedicated ugcw Battle units labeled as "Skirmishers" have gotten out of hand in the Rebalance and need to be scaled back. A lot. They are so unrealistically out-of-balance that players are now using them as souped-up Assault Teams. Here are a few suggestions: Re- label the dedicated, elite ugcw "Skirmishers" Battle units something more historically realistic, like "Sharpshooters" Re-activate IRL detached Skirmishers as a feature of any infantry unit. Refer to them as such. There will be no further naming confusion as a result. Detached skirmishers can perform auxiliary screening and harassment roles, but cannot be successfully misused as Sharpshooter units currently are in the rebalance. Sharpshooter units are expensive, rare, and perform a limited role - which is far less effective than the over-powered current rebalance version. In practical terms, they might be reduced to vanity "prize" units which are awarded at the end of a big battle (like Forrest's Cavalry) or purchased under the Government button. They shouldn't be the focus of artificial army-building.
  14. My experience is that 'below-Colonel' officers promote overly quickly. Put a Lt. Col or a Major in command of a unit (even a fairly veteran unit) and they will probably be promoted at the end of a single battle. Colonels - tho. Nope, that's just a wall. Doesn't matter whether the unit they command is rookie or veteran; they just won't advance. Period. Don't know what it was you guys did in order to cause this glitch, but I sincerely hope you will fix it. It's not absolutely horrible, but it's certainly annoying. Don't know if the issue lies with the original ugcw engine, but this imbalance wasn't a problem in the legacy game. Footnote: Slower advancement when commanding a more veteran unit is counter-intuitive and a-historical. A more veteran unit simply performs better than a less-veteran unit, as does a more veteran commander. Even in the Civil War, performance could - as it should - beget advancement.
  15. Thanks for providing context for these critical values, pandakraut It may seem like busywork, but I have added these definitions to my version of the table. The critical framing info = "unit stat gain values" Some other values are seemingly self-evident, but context (i.e. how they effect the game engine) is really helpful I'm sure that you have plenty on your plate, but a 'glossary' for the terms in the table (not just definition but also context) would be tremendously helpful. Value -added: Aficionados fine-tuning the values in their own versions of the game gives you a testing base which might actually provide some insights and solutions for thornier issues.
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