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Admiral Sudsy

Some ideas for modders on reputation, supply, etc.

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One problem I have with this great game is the scaling of battle, and the fact that you basically have to win every battle in order to proceed. Lose even one major battle after 1862 and its almost impossible to play, let alone avoid defeat. The combination of having a slim margin for error, and the very limited funds, men, and resources available to you in creating your army means you have to often game the system, adopt unhistorical approaches to battle, and basically have to ensure everything goes stellar in order to proceed. Here are a few ideas I had for changing how the campaign system works that would increase historical accuraccy, immersion, and provide interesting gameplay and decision making for the player.

-going below zero reputation.

So, as we all probably know, lots of commanders in this war got sacked. Which makes sense, given how they handled things and bungled battles that got thousands killed for no real gain. You cant simulate that in the game as is- either you win every single battle, or you lose one big one and the game is done. While that would be the case for a commander's job, the war continues on,, and the next guy would have to pick up the pieces. 

My idea would be for reputation to work as is, with existing buffs and modifiers. However, going below it gets you current general sacked, and you have to make a new one (or maybe pick one from your officers). This new guy might not have very good stats, but maybe if his predecessor made a good enough, well trained army, he can do ok, and fix the earlier mistakes (coughs in McClellan). Allows you to take more risks, and not game the game as much, and make the mistakes as these commanders might have.

-More interactive campaign events, different victory conditions. (dont know if moddable, but maybe devs could consider it?)

So, usually, if youre playing right, by 1863 you have completely clobbered your enemy all across the eastern seaboard for 2 consecutive years. If playing as the union, the rebels you have been slaughtering in droves will still mount the gettysburg campaign, despite the fact they should have long thrown in the towel. While folloiwing the script of the war is fun, it doesnt make sense if your war is going differently. Winning a battle your side didnt historically, or vice versa, is a thing that should be accounted for, and could be incorporated into the scoring or winning of the game. Maybe the goal is to get a certain "score", based off of factors like: how many men did you lose? How much money did you spend? How many commanders did you go through? and, how early did you win the war? 

Have events like the 1864 elections, the emancipation proclamation, and (if devs wanted an idea for DLC), maybe what if events, like say...the british intervening? A slave uprising? New random battles to simulate conflicts outside of where they happened in real life? Basically, make the stakes go beyond just getting to the end, but see how well you can do it. Perhaps you can be aggressive and try to win early, and say you crush the union at manassas and have a choice- follow history, or charge ahead and try to take washington then and there? you could try to attack the city, but if you fail, you're back to square one, and have to make up for your losses. Say the Confederates have been losing a lot of ground from the get go- maybe they stop attempting to attack, and the historical battles of their offensives, like gettysburg, are ignored, and instead more random battles occur, with a much more dug in, conservative confederacy (think the ai selection table from the first game). And hell, maybe as the rebs you are getting your ass handed to you on legendary, but you give it your all and win gettysburg, barely. Then, hey! The british endorse your country, get some reputation, some equipment, maybe even some redcoats, and then you can go from there. At the end of the war, if neither you or the AI has won enough battles to prompt a final siege battle, then perhaps the game ends by score- if you handled your armies well and inflicted disproportionate casualties or something, you can still win a stalemate. 

Basically, allow the game to go different directions, and reflect your good and bad choices. This means you can finish a game earlier, if youre good, but can still play historical if you want. It makes the game more forgiving for mistakes, encourages innovative playstle,s and in general keeps things interesting. 

 

-larger manpower/money pool at start of game

the war began with a myriad of southern militias flocking to the banner, and 75,000 volunteers answering the union call. This should be reflected by a huge amount of men and money early on in the game, allowing you to make a sizeable army, though equipment would still be in limited supply (though scaled up to accommodate the scale. Obviously still limited rifle muskets and the like early on). While organization would still hamper how many men you can put on the field at one time, it lets you make the army big early on, allowing you to rotate men around, absorb losses better, and flesh out your roster before the big battles. You could also have a thing where certain corp are locked to a "theater", per major battle lets say, and can only be committed there. And, depending on the timeframe and distances involved for minor battles, perhaps units would have a hard time fighting more than one per turn. Means you might commit some quality troops to ensure a fight is won, but they might not be back for the big battle. Additionally, there shouldnt really be too many men available to build new brigades mid-fight- after winning at south mountain Sept 14, the confederates shouldnt be able to suddenly recruit, train, and deploy two 2500 man brigades out of the money and men the general was...paid with, for winning the battle? 

-Ai decision making, multiple armies and major battles going on. 

I once played a pretty ok, low budget game called....Attack on Pearl Harbor, I think. Airplane game about ww2. one cool thing they did was that for each chapter, there were multiple big battles going on at the same time- but you could only influence and play one. You decided which one you wanted to play, but the others still happened regardless, and could go poorly for you. For UGCW, you could have reports of the other battles and armies going on- maybe have the opportunity to support them with some of your men, who would become unavailable for some time, but could come back with xp...or not come back at all. The ai could have the chance to "initiate" battles as well- say you really wanted to save your men by avoiding minor battles before gettysburg, but the Ai might decide to attack anyway. Failing to defend could grant them considerable score bonuses, and maybe buff their army in the upcoming big battle. Basically, return to that amazing dynamic ai we had in game one, and allow it to really test the player. 

 

Well, thats a brain dump for y'all. What do you think? Any other ideas for how to introduce more interesting gameplay and historical accuracy?

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