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J & P Rebalance Mod by JonnyH13 and Pandakraut 7/11/2019 1.25.1 Hotfix

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8 minutes ago, adishee said:

@pandakraut Is there a way to modify these values just for the AI player? Do you just add those into the AI config file?

That isn't something that is configurable currently. While the AI does use those values in battle, they don't actually control how the AI units gain experience throughout the campaign. AI units all have defaulted stats for each specific battle, these defaults also have random modifiers, difficulty modifiers, and the AI training % applied to them. So for any given campaign you'll encounter slightly different experience levels and the most you can do to mitigate the AI experience levels is to kill as many men as possible.

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PK, a general question - As you've been noodling around in perks, can you tell me if in Vanilla the Corps leaders' 2nd perk holds for ALL their troops, or just the ones specialized? There is a choice of Artillery, Infantry, and Cavalry specialties... and I've wondered since Day 1 whether they only apply to the named troops. If so, I can't imagine why anyone would ever choose other than Infantry, unless perhaps they were making a whole cavalry corps.

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13 minutes ago, TechnoSarge said:

PK, a general question - As you've been noodling around in perks, can you tell me if in Vanilla the Corps leaders' 2nd perk holds for ALL their troops, or just the ones specialized? There is a choice of Artillery, Infantry, and Cavalry specialties... and I've wondered since Day 1 whether they only apply to the named troops. If so, I can't imagine why anyone would ever choose other than Infantry, unless perhaps they were making a whole cavalry corps.

In the base game the specialized t2 general perks only apply to the specific unit type listed. I generally only use the infantry option except in very rare cases where I actually field an arty only corps.

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11 hours ago, pandakraut said:

That isn't something that is configurable currently. While the AI does use those values in battle, they don't actually control how the AI units gain experience throughout the campaign. AI units all have defaulted stats for each specific battle, these defaults also have random modifiers, difficulty modifiers, and the AI training % applied to them. So for any given campaign you'll encounter slightly different experience levels and the most you can do to mitigate the AI experience levels is to kill as many men as possible.

Ah, that's interesting. Thanks for the explanation. So if anything, if I wanted to handicap myself in a Union campaign further, I would actually increase the XP-gain difficulty -- because the AI would be less affected than me? 

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4 hours ago, adishee said:

Ah, that's interesting. Thanks for the explanation. So if anything, if I wanted to handicap myself in a Union campaign further, I would actually increase the XP-gain difficulty -- because the AI would be less affected than me? 

Yes, that would work.

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Haven't had a chance to get back on and finish my Shiloh attempt. 

I do have a general question regarding the mod. Is there a road map on where you and Johnny want to go? After reading most of this thread, it seems that you guys still aren't quite to where you want things to be, but almost there.

Any glimps of what is to come?

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Panda, enjoying the mods so far.  Thanks for all of the work. 

Quick question, were the 1855s nerfed with the latest ?  I'm playing Rendezvous as Union on Legendary.  I have 4 fully rested brigades of 1 star 1855's (avg firearms 60) of 1050 men each.  They have caught a  2 star Confederate brigade of 800 men in the open.  2 brigades are flanking the rebels, and 2 brigades are attacking the front. 

The problem is he is in the open, and the units taking damage are in the woods.  I'm losing about 15 men for each volley he fires.  He is only losing 1-3 men for each volley.  Even from the flanks.

Is this expected behavior?  This seems counter intuitive.  It's so bad the battle is unwinnable with the losses I am taking.

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On 8/29/2019 at 3:12 PM, Lach said:

I do have a general question regarding the mod. Is there a road map on where you and Johnny want to go? After reading most of this thread, it seems that you guys still aren't quite to where you want things to be, but almost there.

The two long term changes we'd like to make are making a balance pass on all the battles and trying out a damage system that is more morale focused and brings casualty numbers more into line with the historical rates. No eta on either of those though.

Jonny is also worked on a unique version of the campaign where everything is scaled up to ridiculous levels to make things as difficult as possible.

Other than that there are always lots of small balance issues to address. Skirmisher strength, artillery strength/availability of supply, etc. I also need to do a pass on the union campaign to fix all of the deployment and reinforcement number issues.

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12 hours ago, tech22 said:

Quick question, were the 1855s nerfed with the latest ?  I'm playing Rendezvous as Union on Legendary.  I have 4 fully rested brigades of 1 star 1855's (avg firearms 60) of 1050 men each.  They have caught a  2 star Confederate brigade of 800 men in the open.  2 brigades are flanking the rebels, and 2 brigades are attacking the front. 

The problem is he is in the open, and the units taking damage are in the woods.  I'm losing about 15 men for each volley he fires.  He is only losing 1-3 men for each volley.  Even from the flanks.

Is this expected behavior?  This seems counter intuitive.  It's so bad the battle is unwinnable with the losses I am taking.

1855s are not particularly good in the mod as they are the union equivalent to the rebored musket. They have a range advantage over muskets, but otherwise their damage is fairly bad, especially at max range. 

Do your units have accuracy perks? Those have a very large effect on units damage output. On legendary the AI unit probably has a much better efficiency stat than your units, and if it happens to have multiple accuracy perks(general could be adding accuracy as well) or it has better weapons it could start outperforming you even through cover. Given the kill rates you are describing it's unlikely that even flanking fire will do enough morale damage to overcome the morale it is getting back with every volley.

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Installed the mod and find that I am now unable to detach skirmishers from infantry brigades.  Did I miss something?  HistorianMe says that this skirmishers were always created from existing infantry units.  Is this a feature?  If so - then why?

note:  You might have small dedicated 'ranger' or 'sharpshooter' units - often equipped with special rifles (such as Berdan's Sharpshooters https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_United_States_Sharpshooters).  These conform to the dedicated "skirmish' units of ugcw.  But in combat situations commanders would regularly "deploy skirmisher formations" (temporarily) from their own units.  Legacy ugcw confuses the issue by calling both dedicated units  and temporary formations "skirmishers".

I like the fluidity - and the historical accuracy - of the 'unit skirmisher formation' mode.  Why is it gone?

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20 hours ago, pandakraut said:

Jonny is also worked on a unique version of the campaign where everything is scaled up to ridiculous levels to make things as difficult as possible

Lol. Nice. There is a lot to learn in this game + your fantastic mod I am slowly discovering. I'll be playing it for years (fingers crossed for expansion pack, if they still make those).

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11 hours ago, dixiePig said:

Installed the mod and find that I am now unable to detach skirmishers from infantry brigades.  Did I miss something?  HistorianMe says that this skirmishers were always created from existing infantry units.  Is this a feature?  If so - then why?

note:  You might have small dedicated 'ranger' or 'sharpshooter' units - often equipped with special rifles (such as Berdan's Sharpshooters https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_United_States_Sharpshooters).  These conform to the dedicated "skirmish' units of ugcw.  But in combat situations commanders would regularly "deploy skirmisher formations" (temporarily) from their own units.  Legacy ugcw confuses the issue by calling both dedicated units  and temporary formations "skirmishers".

I like the fluidity - and the historical accuracy - of the 'unit skirmisher formation' mode.  Why is it gone?

This is one of the changes where game balance concerns overrode trying to emulate history. Detach skirmishers are disabled by default because that feature allows a ton of exploits. Charge cancelling, unit teleporting, charge baiting, machine gunning, double stacking, etc. Even outside of these, being able to double your line length is extremely strong though that part is more effective in the base game than in the mod.

To compensate for this extra unit slots were added to each battle so that you can bring approximately one dedicated skirmisher unit per division. These dedicated skirmishers can now also equip infantry weapons so they can fulfill many of the same roles as detached skirmishers did.

It is possible to turn the skirmishers back on though. In Ultimate General Civil War\Ultimate General Civil War_Data\Mod\Rebalance\ConfigFile.csv you can change disableSkirmishers to false and they'll be available again.

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Thanks for the timely clarification about skirmishers, PandaKraut. I suggest that you post the info about the alteration as part of your overview of the mod, as it is a major change (and loss of capability) for those of us who use the feature.  In part - because that's how detached-unit skirmishers are actually used:

  • reconnaisance
  • screening
  • baiting
  • flanking
  • and they're detachable/re-attachable

That's why I hope you'll return detached-skirmisher mode as a default state in the mod and allow it to be turned off.  I use detached-unit skirmishers quite effectively for all of the above functions.  It's historically accurate and allows for far greater playability, imo.

Rangers/sharpshooters have similar-but--different functions.  They're useful, but less flexible - and that's why they were something of a historical anomaly. The naming issue remains a piece of legacy confusion from ugcw.  True dedicated ranger/sharpshooter units (s.a. Berdan's Sharpshooters) were referred to as such - not as 'skirmishers'.  A helpful mod improvement would be to correct ugcw's confusing mislabeling of these two different features (i.e. change Army/Skirmishers to Army/Sharpshooters) and leave "Skirmisher" detached-unit mode as it is.

Greater flexibility in infantry unit size is a nice plus+ of the mod, tho it is not reflected accurately in the Career/Army Organization section.  (The new numbers also don't show up in the Campaign Map.) 

How about this?  Allow all attributes of ArmyOrg to be scaled individually, so that Career points can be invested in :

  • Increase Infantry unit size to [2000] [2500] [3000] [3500] ...
  • Increase # Divisions in a Corps to [4] [5] [6] ...
  • Increase # of Corps to [2] [3] [4] ... 

Now, as "Ultimate General", I can build an army that suits my strategic combat style in terms of breadth and depth.

Edited by dixiePig
consistency/logic

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Legacy ugcw has a clumsy Load Game / Save Game interface.  It'd be nice if you could fix it a little.

Delete Game is particularly hellacious - as each must be removed individually by hand.  Can you at least tell us where the saved games are stored, so that I can remove them in bulk?

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6 hours ago, dixiePig said:

Legacy ugcw has a clumsy Load Game / Save Game interface.  It'd be nice if you could fix it a little.

Delete Game is particularly hellacious - as each must be removed individually by hand.  Can you at least tell us where the saved games are stored, so that I can remove them in bulk?

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\LocalLow\Game Labs\Ultimate General Civil War

There is nothing I can do about the save/load interface, definitely outside the capability of modding.

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7 hours ago, dixiePig said:

Greater flexibility in infantry unit size is a nice plus+ of the mod, tho it is not reflected accurately in the Career/Army Organization section.  (The new numbers also don't show up in the Campaign Map.) 

Can you clarify what you mean by this? Both the AO increase tooltip, career points summary, and create/update unit sliders all correctly indicate the allowed infantry sizes in the mod?

7 hours ago, dixiePig said:

How about this?  Allow all attributes of ArmyOrg to be scaled individually, so that Career points can be invested in :

This is not really possible through modding. There is little to no ability to change the UI so among other issues there would be no way for the player to assign points in this way.

7 hours ago, dixiePig said:

That's why I hope you'll return detached-skirmisher mode as a default state in the mod and allow it to be turned off.  I use detached-unit skirmishers quite effectively for all of the above functions.  It's historically accurate and allows for far greater playability, imo.

The issue is not that they are useful, it's that they are so incredibly useful that they remove almost any challenge in the game. It is possible they may be enabled by default again in the future with greatly reduced sizes and other limitations so that they are actually restricted to a limited support role and dedicated units need to be used for any sustained fighting.

Edited by pandakraut

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Thanks for explanation re detached-unit skirmishers.  Smaller sizes may compensate for their 'out-sized' performance and give more credence to the value of larger Sharpshooter/Ranger units. Also - detached-unit skirmishers might be engineered to rout & retreat more often, since - as you say - they were not really intended for sustained fighting. Down-sizing will probably do the trick.

Pity about the Army/Org limitations.  I find the current format to be unnecessarily limiting and very subject to 'gaming' in its own right.

I must research the infantry unit size issue further.  An artifact is:  Altho you can increase unit size radically, command levels do not scale with it.  In my current level of game, a Colonel still tops out at about 2250 Inf before triggering a "too low" warning.  

 

 

 

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The legacy ugcw game management interface (load/save/delete/etc.) is disappointingly weak across all vectors.  You indicate otherwise, but Is there any hope on that front?

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2 hours ago, dixiePig said:

The legacy ugcw game management interface (load/save/delete/etc.) is disappointingly weak across all vectors.  You indicate otherwise, but Is there any hope on that front?

I can't add UI elements or new hotkeys which is the main issue with improving the load game interface. That rules out any kind of search or mass delete options. Is there any other functionality you can think of that would help?

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I think I really like this mod. I really only became aware of it a few days ago, and (after figuring out where to install the files on a Mac) and the first several times I started there was a lot of stuff that turned me off (like the generally slower movement, and the huge potential to pick the wrong things in camp and create an unplayable army) so I've really just started playing it seriously. I made a copy of the vanilla game's "Resources" folder (not the one for the game, but the one for the macOS app bundle, which is where all the game files live) and the modded game's folder, and I've been swapping them to keep playing my vanilla campaign.

In my vanilla campaigns I chose to start my army off with at least one brigade each of skirmishers (or sharpshooters on the CSA side, since they don't get much access to carbines until late enough that they should be giving them to cavalry anyway) and cavalry in every battle, leaving behind artillery or infantry if needed to fit the deployments, and focussing on asymmetric combat as much as possible. So I've been trying to play that way a bit as I check out the rebalance.

I've only played up to Shiloh so far and restarted campaigns about 6 times as I made some really bad choices setting up my army (or found myself buying nothing but pistols so I could play Pac Man). There's a lot that I just haven't figured out yet.

That said, I'm really having trouble employing skirmishers and dismounted cavalry in the rebalance. The weapons are basically just poorer versions of infantry weapons (or they are infantry weapons, so it's hard to find uses for them other than as a replacement for. The very high rate of fire for carbines (2-3x what infantry weapons typically have) in vanilla give those weapons a very disruptive effect. The cavalry and skirmisher AI usually seems to withdraw when it takes fire, making the ability to shot faster and always have a weapon loaded a decisive advantage for scouts stumbling into enemy scouts. The rapid fire also means that carbines are very good for keeping routed or wavered units from recovering, and hitting multiple rapid volleys against a flank. If a carbine unit gets routed, it will turn and shoot the moment it recovers which also helps to preserve them when the enemy is trying to chase them down. I'm not sure if every volley does a certain amount of morale damage or if its based on casualties, but I'm certain that if a unit gets anywhere close to wavering two brigades with carbines will push them over the edge. 

I've found other ways to make use of skirmishers (sharpshooters or light infantry mostly), but I keep feeling disappointed that I can't use them to control enemy mobility and vision nearly as well, and carbines are rare enough that it feels like it might not be worth even trying to learn them. In the videos I've seen online people build a lot of skirmishers, but basically just use them like they would have used detached infantry or use a few sharpshooter regiments. I also don't usually see people making dismounted cavalry a critical part of their plan.

The infantry stuff  (which is really the reason screening troops exist anyway) is great though, and a new experience on its own. 

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6 hours ago, inktomi19d said:

That said, I'm really having trouble employing skirmishers and dismounted cavalry in the rebalance. The weapons are basically just poorer versions of infantry weapons (or they are infantry weapons, so it's hard to find uses for them other than as a replacement for. The very high rate of fire for carbines (2-3x what infantry weapons typically have) in vanilla give those weapons a very disruptive effect. The cavalry and skirmisher AI usually seems to withdraw when it takes fire, making the ability to shot faster and always have a weapon loaded a decisive advantage for scouts stumbling into enemy scouts. The rapid fire also means that carbines are very good for keeping routed or wavered units from recovering, and hitting multiple rapid volleys against a flank. If a carbine unit gets routed, it will turn and shoot the moment it recovers which also helps to preserve them when the enemy is trying to chase them down. I'm not sure if every volley does a certain amount of morale damage or if its based on casualties, but I'm certain that if a unit gets anywhere close to wavering two brigades with carbines will push them over the edge. 

Carbines are in a bit of an odd spot at the moment and are on the list for an overall balance adjustment. In both the base game and the mod, their shorter range than infantry weapons makes them fairly hard to use well. We're considering upping the range a bit in the future. One concern on upping the range is that if cavalry carbines have equal range to infantry weapons a scenario opens up where you can pop in and fire without taking counter fire fairly easily.

The mod also applies a considerably larger penalty to reloading while moving which hurts skirmishers more because of their default fallback while reloading logic. It also makes it harder to chase units while continually firing at them than it is in the base game. Hold position can help with this, but slightly higher fire rates across the board for carbines is also probably a good change.

Thanks for the feedback and I hope you continue to enjoy the mod.

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6 hours ago, pandakraut said:

Carbines are in a bit of an odd spot at the moment and are on the list for an overall balance adjustment. In both the base game and the mod, their shorter range than infantry weapons makes them fairly hard to use well. We're considering upping the range a bit in the future. One concern on upping the range is that if cavalry carbines have equal range to infantry weapons a scenario opens up where you can pop in and fire without taking counter fire fairly easily.

The mod also applies a considerably larger penalty to reloading while moving which hurts skirmishers more because of their default fallback while reloading logic. It also makes it harder to chase units while continually firing at them than it is in the base game. Hold position can help with this, but slightly higher fire rates across the board for carbines is also probably a good change.

Thanks for the feedback and I hope you continue to enjoy the mod.

I’m glad you took my feedback constructively. Mostly I’ve been noticing that carbine units can’t effectively make other units waiver anymore in situations that should be ideal for it (like 2 carbine brigades firing on an infantry brigade that is advancing up a wooded hill at them in the southeast corner of the “Distress Call” scenario; that was one of those places where I was surprised that the very first enemy brigade was not only able to move through the fire but to do so with enough condition to charge).

I really don’t feel that range needs to be increased on carbines; their range is workable if they are managed well. You just need to put your carbines a little behind the position where you intend to fight and move them forward. If you were to increase the range then it might be good to make them extremely ineffective at longer range. Civil War carbines were mostly used at musket range so that should be fine (I’m not sure how much you want to get into ballistics, but it has to do with the amount of bullet drop rather than the precision of the weapon). If you want to play with longer range, you might test the 1855 Springfield as a cavalry weapon since some units did use them and we can already see how that weapon works with skirmishers. 

You also might consider going back to smaller unit caps for cavalry (and possibly skirmishers) since brigades of those units were usually widely spread and divided into separate maneuver elements. It would help control the way damage scales so other unit types would always be able to mass more guns.

Melee cavalry seems a bit too effective in large number too, so it wouldn’t hurt to apply an opportunity cost to fielding massive numbers by forcing them into 2 or 3 slots in an army. 

The main thing is that skirmishers and dismounts need to have an asymmetric effect on morale and condition. I think the base game accomplished that by giving carbines double the rate of fire of rifles. It might also be accomplished by tweaking certain aspects of the AI: for example, I just played Distress Call on MG and had three brigades on the wooded hill, and for some reason the AI led it's assault with one brigade of limbered artillery which closed to 100 yards under fire before unlimbering, loading canister, and blasting one of my units until it wavered and left position (I had them holding). Only then did the AI infantry charge past the guns. The artillery was in heavy cover so it wasn't taking much damage, but it was taking direct fire from three units and that should have made it chose a withdrawal even if it's morale and condition were good.

EDIT — would it be possible to add a shock effect to certain weapons like with artillery canister? Historically units that had breech loaders and repeaters had more of a morale effect than an effect in casualties.

Edited by inktomi19d
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9 hours ago, inktomi19d said:

I’m glad you took my feedback constructively. Mostly I’ve been noticing that carbine units can’t effectively make other units waiver anymore in situations that should be ideal for it (like 2 carbine brigades firing on an infantry brigade that is advancing up a wooded hill at them in the southeast corner of the “Distress Call” scenario; that was one of those places where I was surprised that the very first enemy brigade was not only able to move through the fire but to do so with enough condition to charge).

Infantry and carbine damage has in general gone down in the mod. The damage is also much more stat and perk dependent than in the base game. If you were firing at a 2-3* unit with 1* units it is very possible that their morale wouldn't drop enough to prevent a charge.

9 hours ago, inktomi19d said:

If you want to play with longer range, you might test the 1855 Springfield as a cavalry weapon since some units did use them and we can already see how that weapon works with skirmishers. 

Standardizing the range curves across weapon types is the current plan. This would result in carbines being considerably worse at rifle range than rifles. Remains to be seen if that will end up being the final result, lots of testing yet to be done.

9 hours ago, inktomi19d said:

You also might consider going back to smaller unit caps for cavalry (and possibly skirmishers) since brigades of those units were usually widely spread and divided into separate maneuver elements. It would help control the way damage scales so other unit types would always be able to mass more guns.

Player skirmisher sizes are likely to drop a bit. There is also the potential that detached skirmishers may return in a limited fashion. The upper end of those sizes is more intended to allow the AI to not hit scaling caps and let players to build ahistorically large if they want to. I haven't seen anyone go all out with 2k dismounted cav units to any real effect, but perhaps that is something that is open for abuse. If someone figures out a way it will probably get adjusted.

9 hours ago, inktomi19d said:

Melee cavalry seems a bit too effective in large number too, so it wouldn’t hurt to apply an opportunity cost to fielding massive numbers by forcing them into 2 or 3 slots in an army. 

Melee cav drops off really hard in bad terrain and is quite expensive to field and maintain. Numbers and stats have a very large impact on melee damage, so AI cav can be very dangerous early on. If you're using very large units are you having trouble with the more experienced AI cav units?

9 hours ago, inktomi19d said:

I just played Distress Call on MG and had three brigades on the wooded hill, and for some reason the AI led it's assault with one brigade of limbered artillery which closed to 100 yards under fire before unlimbering, loading canister, and blasting one of my units until it wavered and left position (I had them holding). Only then did the AI infantry charge past the guns.

This is a side effect of reducing the artillery ranges, providing the horse artillery perk, and some AI changes designed to force the AI to bring smoothbore artillery into effective range. Sometimes the AI will end up sending it's artillery ahead of it's infantry making it an easy target. While this screws over the AI sometimes, overall it seems to result in a net improvement.

9 hours ago, inktomi19d said:

would it be possible to add a shock effect to certain weapons like with artillery canister? Historically units that had breech loaders and repeaters had more of a morale effect than an effect in casualties.

It is possible to change how much morale damage is done. Long term we would like to try a more morale damage focused system that lowers the overall casualty rates more towards historical levels. Lots of issues to work out with this though, so it has been slow going.

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