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I know there has already been a lot of forum discussion about scaling, however I am yet to find a complete explanation. Does scaling have a cap? Does it apply as a 1:1 ratio? Is there a threshold before scaling comes into effect? Does veterancy scale? How concerned should I be about the effects of scaling? Because of these questions I no longer understand what ones objectives as a war planner are. I had assumed that it was desirable to build a fighting force as large and as powerful as possible, but this assumption now seems to be wrong, and instead the main objective seems to be combating the games mechanic of 'scaling' --which no one entirely understands.
With all due respect to Darth for the amazing game, I must say that the AI's weapon scaling is implemented badly and ruins immersion. With a high enough recon stat, you can see that : All of the AI's infantry will share the same the same gun, all of the AI's artillery will share the same gun, all of the AI's skirmishers will share the same gun , and all of the AI's cavalry share the same gun. This is very unhistorical and unrealistic : units were issued different weapons throughout the war, on both sides--especially the Confederate side. Confederate units in the Army of Northern Virginia used everything from smoothbore muskets to stolen Springfields to imported Enfields. So, when playing as Union, facing an army of Confederate brigades equipped with M1855s and ONLY M1855s is extremely instantly breaks immersion. Likewise, when playing as Confederates, it is unsettling to face a Union army with 108,000 M1861s and not a single other type of rifle. Historically, Union brigades were outfitted with everything from Sharps rifles, to M1861s, to Enfields and Spencers) This is also very evident with artillery batteries : an AI army will only have ONE TYPE of cannon. So, when I played as Confederates at Chancellorsville, I had to face 311 10pd ordnance rifles from the Union. That's ridiculous from a historical standpoint : a Union army would have multiple rifles issued to its brigades and multiple types of cannons issued to its artillery. Proposed solution : I am not a game designer, so I do not know how difficult it would be to implement weapon variation, but here's my idea : Ideally, the weapons scaling system averages the "quality" of your army's rifles and then formulaically (taking into account unit "eliteness", historical availability and prevalence) generates/assigns guns to your opponents' army's brigades, keeping a lower/similar/higher average weapon "quality" depending on difficulty.