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pandakraut

CSA Legendary Campaign - Minimal & Customizations Mod

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Watching LAVA's campaign gave me the urge to show my own approach, so I've started recording a campaign.

I will be using the UI and AI Customizations mod since playing without the usability improvements is just frustrating. While there are some minor balance changes it's still mostly a vanilla play through. The main balance impacts are from several bug fixes. Surrendering units will return the correct amount of weapons, 3* artillery will deal a bit more damage, cavalry with charge perks will deal more charge damage, and there is no longer a damage reduction for units over certain sizes though diminishing returns still apply.

While this is a minimal campaign my goal is to avoid having to use small units to reduce scaling. With small enough unit sizes, 1k for a large part of the campaign, there is no need to take advantage of scaling looking at average unit size in side battles. Or at least this is mostly true for the Union campaign, this is my first attempt applying that idea to the CSA so we'll see how it goes.

I will also be using the campaign to discuss a lot of the behind the scenes mechanics that I've come across while working on mods. If there is a particular topic anyone would like me to cover or look into just let me know.

Potomac Fort: What started as a normal battle turned into a scenario I've never encountered in dozens of attempts. All of the Union Infantry completely abandoned the fort. My response to this could have been better and it disrupted my planning for the second phase but things turned out OK in the end. The recording also tried its best to get corrupted, so there is a bit of stuttering and poorly done video editing to piece it back together.

Losses: 2770(800 of own units) Kills: 5826

 

Edited by pandakraut
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Newport News:  Camp video showing how to disband units without losing their stats, discussion around when to use lower ranking officers and initial perk choices.

Battle was pretty straightforward. I start with 2 infantry and a cavalry unit to take out the Union artillery as soon as possible.

Losses: 2024(385 of own units) Kills: 6058

 

Edited by pandakraut
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1st Bull Run: Again fairly straightforward with the AI being surprisingly passive. Hold the bridge, retreat to Henry Hill a bit early, hold the river line, and then make a mess of cleanup and run around for 10 minutes.

Losses: 6950(1214 of own units) Kills: 22248

 

Edited by pandakraut
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Very cool. Glad to see you doing this.

The personality traits that you chose make great sense. Potomac Fort was awesome. Your use and priority of cavalry coupled with budding up a charge unit with a skirmish unit produces amazing results. I was also struck by your buying of weapons before 1st Bull Run... shows a long term strategy that will bear fruit in later battles.

Looking forward to your series. Should be quite entertaining and educational.

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I forgot to mention it in the video, but I strongly considered taking the logistics/medicine trait but it just doesn't really fit in with the recon points. I end up with 3 logistics which is overkill or start with 1 recon and have to spend the first point on it. Just couldn't figure out a way to fit it in.

Getting sniper and artillery units online as soon as possible is critical for my play style. I skip straight to whitworths and can get a unit setup for Ambush Convoy and usually have that unit at 2 stars around Shiloh. Hunters are just not worth the unit slot I've found so I skip them. Going to see if I can replicate your success at Ambush Convoy, though I'm a little short on infantry so will see how it goes.

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Pandakraut, I watched your camp video, as I have never disbanded anything to play with the recruit quality.  I just want to say that your familiarity with what you are doing makes you whiz your mouse pointer around far to rapidly to follow easily. By the time I've tracked what you're pointing at, you've moved on. Your listener needs/wants to be able to read the information (for example, the rifles you have in Armory) which is not covered by your audio.  Just slow yourself down some, please!

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5 minutes ago, TechnoSarge said:

Pandakraut, I watched your camp video, as I have never disbanded anything to play with the recruit quality.  I just want to say that your familiarity with what you are doing makes you whiz your mouse pointer around far to rapidly to follow easily. By the time I've tracked what you're pointing at, you've moved on. Your listener needs/wants to be able to read the information (for example, the rifles you have in Armory) which is not covered by your audio.  Just slow yourself down some, please!

Thanks for the feedback, I'll try and slow down a bit. I usually do a prep run through the camp changes prior to recording so I'm not wasting time, but I guess this does result in going through a bit quicker. I'll also try and put in a view of the barracks and armory so that the overall state is easier to see.

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@TechnoSarge you may also want to consider making use of the youtube slowdown and speed up functions if you aren't already. If you click on the gear in the bottom right of the video you can reduce or increase the speed of the video. Very useful if you're trying to track down some small details or burn through a section where not much is happening.

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Not sure what your specific setup is, but I can access the speed settings when I watch from the embedded forum link. You can use multipliers of .25, .5, .75, 1, 1.25, 1.5, 2. Very useful for getting through longer videos if not much is happening or trying to figure out what the heck happened in a split second.

I'll be putting together another camp video for Ambush Convoy soon and will try to space things out a bit more.

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Ambush Convoy: Tips on shifting officers around to maximize their benefits, minor stat optimizations with recruits, and explanation of officer experience gain. Hopefully shown at a more reasonable speed.

Losses: 1138(991 of own units) Kills: 7195

 

Went very aggressive to try and take advantage of the passive AI. Only a partial success, killed all of the northern reinforcements but was unable to wrap up the eastern reinforcements and most of them escaped. Brief discussion of AI routing logic though I need to cover this in more detail at a later point.

 

Stay Alert: Short camp discussion of bonus reinforcement feature and some more officer swapping.

Battle is a bit of a mess, but still goes fairly well. Start with a skirmisher screen to block out the enemy cavalry and trap it in the corner, which promptly falls apart when the ghost cavalry bug strikes multiple times.

Losses: 2490 Kills: 9252

 

Edited by pandakraut
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I had to test what you said about, in Camp, that if you load a depleted unit with Veterans first, and then top off with "rookies" (I prefer "recruits"), you get better final stats than adding the same numbers but in the opposite order. I found that true - and I'm shocked! I have often added recruits first, consciously penalizing units that had poor performance in the previous battle with more recruits than better-performing brigades. I figured the order didn't matter ... but it does.

So now the Vets will go into a unit first!

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That Ambush convoy mission was perfectly executed man. Congrats! You have shown with Potomac for and Ambush Convoy missions that a very aggressive approach does indeed work when executed well. Keep em coming

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5 hours ago, Mukremin said:

That Ambush convoy mission was perfectly executed man. Congrats! You have shown with Potomac for and Ambush Convoy missions that a very aggressive approach does indeed work when executed well. Keep em coming

I still think it might be possible to corral the entire eastern reinforcements into a corner as well. I think more infantry would be needed though, the timing is just to tight to get up to the top edge and then back down to the middle. Definitely way more fun than just waiting out the timer though.

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On 11/14/2018 at 3:30 AM, Mukremin said:

That Ambush convoy mission was perfectly executed man. Congrats! You have shown with Potomac for and Ambush Convoy missions that a very aggressive approach does indeed work when executed well. Keep em coming

I'd argue that these days it's pretty much the only thing that works on Legendary Potomac Fort, though the fort unit coming out was fortuitous (and something I've never seen before either).

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12 minutes ago, Aetius said:

I'd argue that these days it's pretty much the only thing that works on Legendary Potomac Fort, though the fort unit coming out was fortuitous (and something I've never seen before either).

I think holding the fort can still work sometimes, but it feels far less consistent and I usually make it to camp in worse shape even if it does work. Going back to the base version of this battle after getting used to the larger unit sizes available in the Rebalance mod was really rough. Being outnumbered 2:1 is much easier to deal with when your units don't start with 600 men.

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Has anyone put up a thread listing the battles in order, and the Corps/Brigades you can bring? Knowing when you need to increase your units is important, as otherwise your money can go toward better weapons.

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Shiloh will be up tomorrow. As the last several battles have been, it's a bit of a mess with the highlight of not paying attention and going to day 2. But the results turned out pretty good so can't complain.

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Heck, I just played Shiloh in my MG CSA campaign. After rolling over everyone at BG level, I discover the AI ups its game in MG. I managed a draw... and my corps came out with only 2 of its 12 brigades, with a total of 179 men and 3 guns. Ouch!  Gonna need a rematch on that one!

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Shiloh: Camp video showing how to fill out a corps with 1 star units by swapping officers.

 

The original battle plan was to avoid triggering both VPs to get as much time as possible to wipe out and surround all of the enemy units in the initial phases. Then avoid triggering the landing VP with its very large radius until the last minute. Instead I lost track of time and ended up having to win on day2. Improvising on day 2 worked out pretty well and ended with a pretty good result.

Losses: 23706(6189 of own units) Kills: 53466

 

 

Edited by pandakraut

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1st Winchester: Since the timer doesn't matter in this battle and the AI is fairly aggressive I setup a defensive line near the deployment point and lure the enemy into attacking me there. Arguably I'm trying to hard to make my play style work in this battle as infantry casualties are a bit high. Just going with an infantry heavy approach, pressing the enemy and never letting up might work better.

See Lava's video for an example of that approach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GguUtpHG2CA

Losses: 2511(100 returned from medicine) Kills: 10158

 

Edited by pandakraut

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Cross Keys: I show off a fun trick to get your units behind the enemy lines before the battle starts but otherwise an average result. The AI ended up focusing further south than it sometimes does which my deployment wasn't really setup to deal with. Ended up having to move my artillery around and wasn't able to full clear the map.

Like 1st Winchester, this is a case where I really should be upping my unit size by several hundred men to output more damage from my infantry as I'm well below the minimum scaling point. But I'm being stubborn and telling myself that when I go to Gaines Mill my units will be the right size for that battle.

Losses: 2062(124 returned from medicine) Kills: 13968

 

Edited by pandakraut
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