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RoverGrover

Scaling, or my issue with it

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Good evening all,

Been pretty busy so I've not commented on anything for awhile (nor actually had a chance to play the latest patches, unfortunately) but I did want to bring up an issue I had the last time I played the game for any significant period of time. 

I haven't done a ton of research into scaling, and only have my play experience as a backing so feel free to correct me if I misunderstand how the system works (or if it has changed recently, or if this has been brought up before).

As I understand it, the game scales the enemy size depending on the size of your own army.  I'm more or less in favor of this as the game would obviously be too easy otherwise for the majority of players.  (A slider would be nice to let me chose scaling percentage independent of other difficulty factors though).  However, I also understand it that the system scales their army to meet yours proportionally.  I first noticed it at Stones River when I had come into a significant amount of cavalry equipment so I fielded a large amount of cav... and the Union fielded hordes that would have made Genghis proud. 

I don't like this.  One of the things I personally enjoy in strategy games is in my build.  If the enemy is simply going to match my build every time then it takes a lot of the fun out of it on multiple fronts.  For one, it's boring as neither side will ever have an advantage in any way (aside from the AI always outnumbering me) and for another it almost certainly ensures that I'll not try any kind of deviation from a "standard" army build as the AI can micro things like cavalry and skirmishers better than me in large numbers.  Plus, why would I take a lot of skirms when the AI will just double up on them which is way more dangerous than taking a lot more standard infantry and just being outnumbered in base troops.

Now, I don't say all that just to complain.  I'd like to suggest that we give the AI values for unit types and have it randomly fill out an army composition based on that value rather than directly copying your build.  Obviously it would need parameters because you don't want the AI accidentally fielding 20 units of arty and 2 of infantry, but I think it could be done. 

 

 

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Here is my issue with scaling ... I've played both Union and CSA to Chickamauga ... in most strategy games you strive to build big, strong armies.  However, from my favorable experience ... this game, as I've done, it is better to build a small Experienced army (Corp).  My other corps, when I need them, are for the most part, cannon fodder.  I usually disband my other Corp(s) between major battles with the exception of artillery units.  I do this since I've heard scaling takes into consideration your total army size versus what you are employing in that battle.  I usually go into the major battles with what I perceive to be the smallest army possible (experience versus size).  This seems highly counter-intuitive.  Nobody, in their right mind, would disband a significant part of their army in the middle of the war ... you'd want them to continue to be trained and gain experience.

I agree with RoverGrover above, I understand the need for balance,  but instead of matching/spamming your unit composition, the game instead should use a seasoned core composition and then a bunch of raw infantry recruits to create the required balance.  It would be fun for example to create an entire division of cavalry as the CSA ... but if you are going to be matched it sort of takes the fun out of it (I have not tried this by the way).

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I think you have it a little bit confused OP. You having cavalry doesn't give the AI more cavalry. Stones River is set with a lot of Union cavalry already. The armies of the AI are predetermined based on the historical battle and scale up and down in numbers and weapons according to your army.

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The skrimishers sure don't seem to scale historically. I feel like I see few to none if I don't build them.  Cickugama being an exception.

Edited by Bigjku

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19 hours ago, Koro said:

I think you have it a little bit confused OP. You having cavalry doesn't give the AI more cavalry. Stones River is set with a lot of Union cavalry already. The armies of the AI are predetermined based on the historical battle and scale up and down in numbers and weapons according to your army.

Are you sure about that?  I can try to go back and test it, but it sure felt like they were matching my comp.  It wasn't like "oh these guys brought some cavalry" it was "so these guys have almost as much cavalry as infantry" and it just happened to be on the same exact battle that I brought tons of cav too.  I mean, I'll definitely take your word for it since I honestly don't know and observational bias and whatnot.  If you're right I'd definitely be happy for sure as that is very much preferable to me.  

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1 hour ago, RoverGrover said:

Are you sure about that?  I can try to go back and test it, but it sure felt like they were matching my comp.  It wasn't like "oh these guys brought some cavalry" it was "so these guys have almost as much cavalry as infantry" and it just happened to be on the same exact battle that I brought tons of cav too.  I mean, I'll definitely take your word for it since I honestly don't know and observational bias and whatnot.  If you're right I'd definitely be happy for sure as that is very much preferable to me.  

I'm quite sure :). I rarely bring any cavalry at all and the union still has lots of cavalry at stones river. It's just coincidence here that you happened to enlarge your cav force going in to a battle with lots of union cav. 

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20 minutes ago, Koro said:

I'm quite sure :). I rarely bring any cavalry at all and the union still has lots of cavalry at stones river. It's just coincidence here that you happened to enlarge your cav force going in to a battle with lots of union cav. 

This is my experience as well. I typically bring maximum 1-2 cavalry brigades to capture enemy supply wagons but you'll always encounter a pretty big division of Union cav about half-way up the Union right-flank at Stones River.

I can't say whether scaling actually impacts their size or number of brigades but they're definitely always present in some way. Just like Stuart's cavalry corp at Fredericksburg.

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@Everyone Here

The enemy army as a whole scales to your army as a whole using a single multiplier usually, from experience.  This means, in general, the more men you bring, the more men the enemy will bring.  As an example, if you've got a 20k army and are bringing the entire thing to a minor battle, the enemy army will use whatever multiplyer / additive / any other modifiers that apply to it based on the brigade strengths.  The enemy's cavalry strength will be based on that modifier, whether you bring 15k cavalry or not.

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To add a little more on top of what @The Soldier has listed out:

1. As far as scaling goes, there is a multiplier that is calculated from total size of the army, and there's a multiplier that is calculated from the specific unit type. Both multipliers are used in the scaling equation to determine final troop counts of each brigade.

2. As I believe I've mentioned in other threads, and as Koro states, the number of brigades does not change. Only the number of troops in those brigades, which means that there is a minimum size for each brigade, as well as a maximum size for each brigade by virtue of the scaling hitting a maximum unit cap.

I've already posted a few examples of the output that you can see from the log files with regards to the actual scaling formulas. This has largely not changed; patches have recently only changed the scenario-specific multipliers for army sizes.

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Another thing worth mentioning. 

The game is specifically designed to introduce new elements. Dartis hands you an entire cavalry corps for free at the exact moment in the game where Cavalry becomes mandatory, and the weapons they leave behind will fuel your cavalry for engagements to come. 

Same thing with the Lightning Brigade at Chickamauga. You have an elite corps designed to take heavy abuse, but you are required to learn how to use Spencers and Spencer Carbines; and come to understand how incredibly lethal they truly are, if you want to get a Victory for the battle. But what they leave behind is worth picking up and taking with you. 

Hell of a teaching tool you have to work with. 

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On Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 9:02 PM, Andre Bolkonsky said:

Another thing worth mentioning. 

The game is specifically designed to introduce new elements. Dartis hands you an entire cavalry corps for free at the exact moment in the game where Cavalry becomes mandatory, and the weapons they leave behind will fuel your cavalry for engagements to come. 

Same thing with the Lightning Brigade at Chickamauga. You have an elite corps designed to take heavy abuse, but you are required to learn how to use Spencers and Spencer Carbines; and come to understand how incredibly lethal they truly are, if you want to get a Victory for the battle. But what they leave behind is worth picking up and taking with you. 

Hell of a teaching tool you have to work with. 

 

I have a few questions about these weapon drops which I suppose might apply to weapon drops from free units given in other missions like Bull Run and convoy ambush.

1) If one of these free units are destroyed entirely do we still get the weapons?

2) if these free units don't lose a single person do we still get the weapons?

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