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James Cornelius

Replacement of Officers during battle

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Hi all,

 

Just a thought here. Obviously, it is a good function of the game to represent the decreased effectiveness of a brigade when its commanding officer is killed or wounded. However, in battles that represent multi-day affairs, there is historical precedent to allow officers to be appointed to fill those positions. I am not proposing the player get "free" officers, but I am suggesting that in the event of a multi-day battle, or if a significant phase completes, an option should be presented to assign an available commander to a division, move a brigade commander up into division command, and/or replace a brigade commander with an available officer from the barracks.

 

There is historical precedent for this suggestion. While the decreased effectiveness might still be present for an untested officer, or one new to a level of command, there were ample cases when a brigade commander was temporarily promoted, or an unassigned officer took command of a formation mid-way through battle.

 

The Battle of Gettysburg is the best example since it was a three-day battle that saw many changes in command of divisions and brigades. For the best example of what I am proposing, consider Pender's Division of Hill's Corps. Since Pender was wounded on the second day, his division was given to Major General Isaac Trimble on the third day, who at that time was an unassigned officer attached to Ewell's Corps.

 

So, in a battle like Shiloh, Gettysburg, etc, after each day of fighting, a brigade commander could be reassigned (but not actually promoted) to replace a division commander, or if you have an unassigned brigadier or major general in your command, could be put into that place. It would encourage the player to have a small pool of unassigned field grade or general officers (maybe a couple colonels and a brigadier general) in case such an event was required. Again, for a single day battle no change in existing procedure in the game, and even if this were implemented, perhaps still a smaller malus to the unit to simulate a new commander unfamiliar with his command.

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You can actually already do this for the multi-day battles like 2nd Bull Run. You can replace brigade/division commanders through normal processes at the Army camp inbetween days. You don't even need to hire them before the battle, and can hire on demand.

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2 hours ago, Wandering1 said:

You can actually already do this for the multi-day battles like 2nd Bull Run. You can replace brigade/division commanders through normal processes at the Army camp inbetween days. You don't even need to hire them before the battle, and can hire on demand.

It's bugged right now, only do it for deceased officers. If you do it for wounded ones it doesn't flag them correctly and so the officer counts as wounded for command purposes (ie nonexistent) but doesn't get flagged appropriately at battle end so they never 'recover' from their wound.

2 hours ago, Wandering1 said:

Now, whether Shiloh is implemented as a multi-day battle is a different problem. Currently, it is a one-day battle.

It's...not? It's multi-day on Union at least. Maybe if a Confed player is really slow and couldn't finish the battle they might get to see the second day.

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54 minutes ago, Hitorishizuka said:

It's bugged right now, only do it for deceased officers. If you do it for wounded ones it doesn't flag them correctly and so the officer counts as wounded for command purposes (ie nonexistent) but doesn't get flagged appropriately at battle end so they never 'recover' from their wound.

It's...not? It's multi-day on Union at least. Maybe if a Confed player is really slow and couldn't finish the battle they might get to see the second day.

On my Union playthroughs, map ended before the day ended. In this case, from wiping out every confederate brigade. So mileage may vary.

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1 minute ago, Wandering1 said:

On my Union playthroughs, map ended before the day ended. In this case, from wiping out every confederate brigade. So mileage may vary.

Yeah, the majority of players don't manage that or choose not to take the casualties necessary for pushing that hard. :P

Edited by Hitorishizuka

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Just now, Hitorishizuka said:

Yeah, the majority of players don't manage that or choose not to take the casualties necessary for pushing that hard. :P

Wasn't even pushing that hard, it's just that on that map, there are so many forests, melee cavalry are practically invincible. Just use three of them like a wolfpack and eat all the loners, maybe go for two brigades since the second brigade can't damage your cavalry fast enough before it gets mauled.

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40 minutes ago, Wandering1 said:

Wasn't even pushing that hard, it's just that on that map, there are so many forests, melee cavalry are practically invincible. Just use three of them like a wolfpack and eat all the loners, maybe go for two brigades since the second brigade can't damage your cavalry fast enough before it gets mauled.

Pretty much never saw any loners the couple times I played, just a giant neverending mass of brigades all clumped together. Settled for slowly breaking them on my lines before pushing only near the end.

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6 minutes ago, Hitorishizuka said:

Pretty much never saw any loners the couple times I played, just a giant neverending mass of brigades all clumped together. Settled for slowly breaking them on my lines before pushing only near the end.

They don't even need to be loners, you can chain rout an entire army if you hit the brigades one at a time with a division of concentrated cavalry, provided you can avoid counterfire, which forest is marvelous at facilitating. 

One of the many reasons I've said repeatedly that forest cover is overpowered. Cavalry should also get a melee penalty in forest. 

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3 minutes ago, GeneralPITA said:

They don't even need to be loners, you can chain rout an entire army if you hit the brigades one at a time with a division of concentrated cavalry, provided you can avoid counterfire, which forest is marvelous at facilitating. 

One of the many reasons I've said repeatedly that forest cover is overpowered. Cavalry should also get a melee penalty in forest. 

Only if you don't care about your cavalry that much or they were already wavering. Cavalry being shot at by the 4 other brigades of infantry once they rotate is not a good thing.

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25 minutes ago, Hitorishizuka said:

Only if you don't care about your cavalry that much or they were already wavering. Cavalry being shot at by the 4 other brigades of infantry once they rotate is not a good thing.

Depends on the size of the 4 other brigades, but yes, in general, I try not to rush my cavalry into dense packs like that, because it's much easier to let the four other brigades block each other from firing, and just stall by letting the one brigade shoot my infantry.

As you spread out on a wide front on Shiloh, you'll find opportunities to isolate enemy units. If only because considering how the rout mechanics work, you can nudge your infantry to encourage the routing units to rout in a particular direction. In other words, into hungry cavalry waiting for their meal.

With regards to forest cover in general though, I don't think it's the forest cover that is the bigger problem, so much as cover does not have a minimum range. As long as you're considered behind a tree despite trying to slash a guy in melee, nobody can effectively shoot at you to save their fellow brigades from getting mauled.

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19 minutes ago, Wandering1 said:

Depends on the size of the 4 other brigades, but yes, in general, I try not to rush my cavalry into dense packs like that, because it's much easier to let the four other brigades block each other from firing, and just stall by letting the one brigade shoot my infantry.

As you spread out on a wide front on Shiloh, you'll find opportunities to isolate enemy units. If only because considering how the rout mechanics work, you can nudge your infantry to encourage the routing units to rout in a particular direction. In other words, into hungry cavalry waiting for their meal.

With regards to forest cover in general though, I don't think it's the forest cover that is the bigger problem, so much as cover does not have a minimum range. As long as you're considered behind a tree despite trying to slash a guy in melee, nobody can effectively shoot at you to save their fellow brigades from getting mauled.

The CSA does actually outnumber you by a fair bit, I never really saw them getting isolated all that much. Getting them to rout for cavalry to follow up is also kinda sketchy given the sheer depth of units they possess for most of the battle--they simply don't rout far enough in a direction beyond where they're still in support range from other units. (And of course the more you spread the more vulnerable you are to the hammer charges they like to do with their manpower advantage.)

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8 minutes ago, Hitorishizuka said:

The CSA does actually outnumber you by a fair bit, I never really saw them getting isolated all that much. Getting them to rout for cavalry to follow up is also kinda sketchy given the sheer depth of units they possess for most of the battle--they simply don't rout far enough in a direction beyond where they're still in support range from other units. (And of course the more you spread the more vulnerable you are to the hammer charges they like to do with their manpower advantage.)

The hammer charges they do actually makes it easier since they don't charge multiple units at once, typically, again since counter-charging with cavalry is such an effective tactic at the moment.

On Spain Hill/Larkin Field, I intentionally placed my infantry where the enemy would have to step into that little river gully in between the tree sections. So they would have to charge uphill (meaning, majority of the time, they failed to charge if they weren't at 80+ condition, and when they did, they got mauled by cavalry).

Because the enemy doesn't get their element of surprise, it's quite easy to control where the enemy is shooting from. Which inevitably means you can set up your support appropriately. Granted, there is a timing issue with regards to the enemy reinforcements where you only have a small window to gobble up artillery before the enemy reinforcements catch up with you, but they only have one or two waves of reinforcements, if I were to recall.

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I dunno.  While I felt my loadout for the battle was very very good, I also felt I had a really easy time on Shiloh too.  I didn't entirely wipe them out, but I definitely could have.  Stiff resistance up front shattered really their entire attack.  If they don't make any progress at all early I feel like they get shot to pieces by ranged cav/skirmisher tactics.  It keeps them pinned in arty killing fields.  The computer doubled down on their attack and made it a lot worse too.  Any sane commander would have stopped immediately after the first few waves got crushed mercilessly.  The AI just butchered nearly his entire force in silly useless attacks. I should note that having played the confederate campaign first I had some pretty good ideas of where to station my defense, but I can honestly say that I felt it may have been the easiest union battle, definitely consider it the easiest union major battle. 

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35 minutes ago, Wandering1 said:

The hammer charges they do actually makes it easier since they don't charge multiple units at once, typically, again since counter-charging with cavalry is such an effective tactic at the moment.

I did see them charge multiple units at once, actually. XD And you can't both countercharge with cavalry and also say you're supposed to guide their retreats into waiting cavalry...

36 minutes ago, Wandering1 said:

On Spain Hill/Larkin Field, I intentionally placed my infantry where the enemy would have to step into that little river gully in between the tree sections. So they would have to charge uphill (meaning, majority of the time, they failed to charge if they weren't at 80+ condition, and when they did, they got mauled by cavalry).

Just flat out didn't have enough men on the first two maps to hold once they started streaming in and they weren't really coming in at those angles either. I had to fall back and hold at the Hornet's Nest level due to the giant mass of infantry just constantly pushing forward.

Their artillery was almost completely ineffective due to my cavalry behind them, it was just the infantry being annoying and clumped up.

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3 hours ago, Hitorishizuka said:

I did see them charge multiple units at once, actually. XD And you can't both countercharge with cavalry and also say you're supposed to guide their retreats into waiting cavalry...

Just flat out didn't have enough men on the first two maps to hold once they started streaming in and they weren't really coming in at those angles either. I had to fall back and hold at the Hornet's Nest level due to the giant mass of infantry just constantly pushing forward.

Their artillery was almost completely ineffective due to my cavalry behind them, it was just the infantry being annoying and clumped up.

Reran the map on hard. Made a few mistakes and got a few squads killed from melee cavalry getting brave and hitting me when my cavalry was missing, but the attached screenshot should be pretty descriptive as to how to bait isolated units.

Basically, the computer thinks it's smart and tries to ninja Pittsburg Landing with a lone infantry unit. Fortunately, your ironclads have aim hacks, and shoot into fog of war without LoS on the unit. So if your line is still pretty far up, you know somebody is trying to ninja Pittsburg Landing if you hear the ironclads shooting.

20170104235320_1.jpg

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It would actually be nice If the captain or Major stepped up and took command of that unit.

And it could easely be fixed, that each Brigade you creat needs officers that you buy. Just add more officers from Lt to majors to buy.

And that you could see the command structure for each brigade, and if the Captain/Major/Lt do good he gets a promotion after the battle

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10 hours ago, Hitorishizuka said:

I did see them charge multiple units at once, actually. XD And you can't both countercharge with cavalry and also say you're supposed to guide their retreats into waiting cavalry...

Just flat out didn't have enough men on the first two maps to hold once they started streaming in and they weren't really coming in at those angles either. I had to fall back and hold at the Hornet's Nest level due to the giant mass of infantry just constantly pushing forward.

Their artillery was almost completely ineffective due to my cavalry behind them, it was just the infantry being annoying and clumped up.

I could see that. If I hadn't shattered them at Spain/Larkin it would have been a lot harder because they would have been able to spread out more before being blunted. They have a lot of men, but if they cannot push past that first line they take massive casualties being so clumped up in that gully.  Particularly if you've got snipers in good locations.  They literally are sitting sucks if they get ranged there.  I more or less only fell back to hornets nest to resupply/rest and take overall less casualties.

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17 hours ago, James Cornelius said:

Hi all,

 

Just a thought here. Obviously, it is a good function of the game to represent the decreased effectiveness of a brigade when its commanding officer is killed or wounded. However, in battles that represent multi-day affairs, there is historical precedent to allow officers to be appointed to fill those positions. I am not proposing the player get "free" officers, but I am suggesting that in the event of a multi-day battle, or if a significant phase completes, an option should be presented to assign an available commander to a division, move a brigade commander up into division command, and/or replace a brigade commander with an available officer from the barracks.

 

There is historical precedent for this suggestion. While the decreased effectiveness might still be present for an untested officer, or one new to a level of command, there were ample cases when a brigade commander was temporarily promoted, or an unassigned officer took command of a formation mid-way through battle.

 

The Battle of Gettysburg is the best example since it was a three-day battle that saw many changes in command of divisions and brigades. For the best example of what I am proposing, consider Pender's Division of Hill's Corps. Since Pender was wounded on the second day, his division was given to Major General Isaac Trimble on the third day, who at that time was an unassigned officer attached to Ewell's Corps.

 

So, in a battle like Shiloh, Gettysburg, etc, after each day of fighting, a brigade commander could be reassigned (but not actually promoted) to replace a division commander, or if you have an unassigned brigadier or major general in your command, could be put into that place. It would encourage the player to have a small pool of unassigned field grade or general officers (maybe a couple colonels and a brigadier general) in case such an event was required. Again, for a single day battle no change in existing procedure in the game, and even if this were implemented, perhaps still a smaller malus to the unit to simulate a new commander unfamiliar with his command.

Yes. Agreed!

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8 hours ago, Wandering1 said:

Reran the map on hard. Made a few mistakes and got a few squads killed from melee cavalry getting brave and hitting me when my cavalry was missing, but the attached screenshot should be pretty descriptive as to how to bait isolated units.

Oh, no wonder, your coverage isn't nearly as wide. I had a line going from Hornet's Nest into the diagonal line of trees west of them, northwest of that to the corner of the other clump of trees (where the 1st phase guys fell back to), then east of Hornet's Nest stretching out as well. There's simply no room for them to sneak past so they just blobbed, melee charged my salient constantly, and eventually broke.

1 hour ago, RoverGrover said:

I could see that. If I hadn't shattered them at Spain/Larkin it would have been a lot harder because they would have been able to spread out more before being blunted. They have a lot of men, but if they cannot push past that first line they take massive casualties being so clumped up in that gully.  Particularly if you've got snipers in good locations.  They literally are sitting sucks if they get ranged there.  I more or less only fell back to hornets nest to resupply/rest and take overall less casualties.

I gave them some decent damage at the Church (well forward of it really) before falling all the way back basically off the map in preparation but Spain/Larkin, just too many guys and they actually pushed me off.

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Yeah, they're quite determined. I actually found large numbers of detached skirmishers very useful in that phase, essentially to randomly keep turning their flank every time they tried an advance.   You should try it. Anything keeping them attacking piecemeal really helps.  If you can break up the first waves enough to where the reinforcements attack without as much support they really start bashing their heads against the wall.  However,  I also deployed almost entirely infantry to Larkin (along with my snipers) so that most likely helped me hold too.  

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31 minutes ago, Hitorishizuka said:

Oh, no wonder, your coverage isn't nearly as wide. I had a line going from Hornet's Nest into the diagonal line of trees west of them, northwest of that to the corner of the other clump of trees (where the 1st phase guys fell back to), then east of Hornet's Nest stretching out as well. There's simply no room for them to sneak past so they just blobbed, melee charged my salient constantly, and eventually broke.

I gave them some decent damage at the Church (well forward of it really) before falling all the way back basically off the map in preparation but Spain/Larkin, just too many guys and they actually pushed me off.

They did eventually push me off of Spain/Larkin Field on that run, because I was running my cavalry back to kill the lone squads.

Inexplicably though, after they pushed me off Spain/Larkin Field, they barely hit me at Hornet's Nest. They rotated to try and force me off the church, which has far fewer trees to keep the blob safe.

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12 minutes ago, RoverGrover said:

Yeah, they're quite determined. I actually found large numbers of detached skirmishers very useful in that phase, essentially to randomly keep turning their flank every time they tried an advance.   You should try it. Anything keeping them attacking piecemeal really helps.  If you can break up the first waves enough to where the reinforcements attack without as much support they really start bashing their heads against the wall.  However,  I also deployed almost entirely infantry to Larkin (along with my snipers) so that most likely helped me hold too.  

I always use detached skirmishers en-masse, they just had enough guys to ram it through unfortunately. Turn one brigade but the 3 next to him keep advancing anyway.

Eh, not a big deal, it's final results that matter anyway, and giving ground is a valid strategy. I think the terrain at Spain/Larkin sucks frankly, so I don't usually like to defend there anyway.

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1 minute ago, Hitorishizuka said:

I always use detached skirmishers en-masse, they just had enough guys to ram it through unfortunately. Turn one brigade but the 3 next to him keep advancing anyway.

Eh, not a big deal, it's final results that matter anyway, and giving ground is a valid strategy. I think the terrain at Spain/Larkin sucks frankly, so I don't usually like to defend there anyway.

If you were determined enough to micro a bunch of detached skirmishers, I'm pretty sure you could bait them into walking into the open at Larkin Field rather than the blob of trees in the center. You would bait them by getting them to charge your detached skirmishers, and they would take the 'shortest' path to get back to wherever they were going.

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