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Sadly: Its not a Game Its An Historical Recreation


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Sadly having spent well over 100 hours playing the game recently I can only conclude that Nick seems to be bent on keeping historical accuracy rather than an even sided meeting style game. Which is his choice, but will it pay the bills? That's the problem.

 

No matter how you play the Union their chances of success are below average. Which is actually historically correct. So really no historical problem there. But what percentage of players are more concerned with a game that they can win at utilizing both sides? I certainly don't lose as Union and say: " That's awesome, I lost, what a great bit of historical accuracy ". I play to try to win.

 

Its about business and funding!: So in keeping with this game plan the game eliminates players, and a larger community which in turn would fund more of these style games. Again as the game is pretty one sided. All Rebs have to do is come to grips with Union and its over. So any map with good foilage around VP'S can be won by Rebs. But again this is actually pretty historically correct,

 

So its a dilemma that anyone would face given the development parameters of history first. How can it be remedied so that player that aren't so concerned about history won't look at the game as a joke, so that we as enthusiasts can enjoy more of these style games by Nick? Tough question and is really the crux of the game issue.

 

Any suggestions for Nick?

 

My number one suggestion would be to have Rebs that lose half strength become a spun out run off unit. Not zombie killers that rise from the grave time and time again. Its probably that simple.

 

Cheers!

 

Brian

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Honest answer to a honest feedback.

 

Why sadly? A lot of players were happy with our choices. 

 

It is indeed a historical recreation and from the design perspective it will always a struggle between making a realistic representation and fun unhistorical balance for any developer. What we found is this: if your original design vision to make very accurate depiction of the events it is going to be very hard to balance it. 

 

But. Having said that we believe that we did magic and were able to keep the balance while making the game as accurate as realistically possible. 

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I dont agree at all that the Confederate player can just charge away at the Union and expect good results. Most often, people who trye that, at least in my games, are repulsed with Pickett's Charge-like casualties to boot.

 

Perhaps this video might be of some inspiration: 

 

We can also play any scenario you'd like in which you think the Confederates can easily win. I'll be Union and I'll eat my words if you can just throw troops at me and win :)

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Sadly: because the bulk of customers will be those yearning for a competitive environment in which to hone their skills. Simple fact. No big deal, just a fact. But this is a choice and hey Nick's passion for history wins out, great! But revenues are the lifeblood. Maybe some meeting engagements that bulk up union a bit. Who knows. Just some feedback based on hours of gameplay.

 

Great game of course! I love it. But what I don't like are zombie Rebs that know no rest :-)

 

Cheers!

 

Brian

Honest answer to a honest feedback.

 

Why sadly? A lot of players were happy with our choices. 

 

It is indeed a historical recreation and from the design perspective it will always a struggle between making a realistic representation and fun unhistorical balance for any developer. What we found is this: if your original design vision to make very accurate depiction of the events it is going to be very hard to balance it. 

 

But. Having said that we believe that we did magic and were able to keep the balance while making the game as accurate as realistically possible. 

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I back up Koro's statement by eating his boots if he don't decimate your Zombie Reb charge.

 

Collectors Showcase.

 

My number one suggestion would be to have Rebs that lose half strength become a spun out run off unit. Not zombie killers that rise from the grave time and time again. Its probably that simple.

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Speaking as a long time games professional, it's great to find a game that takes these risks. Seeking a mass audience leads to tedious monotony in games. The point of independent games is to choose a smaller, enthusiast market.

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You just need to "git gud", as they say in gaming parlance. Sticking with the underpowered side will force you to hone your skills, whereas playing the "easy" side will make you become lazy and complacent. When the game first came out, Union sucked, and I mean sucked big time -- they were useless at everything but running away. You couldn't fire in melee, so as soon as the Rebs touched your brigades you could kiss them good bye. And although their arty was good, no limbering severely limited their usefulness. Playing Union was a big game of pressing the Fall Back button, but it was also a ruthless school of UG:G that instilled sound playing principles through tough love.

 

Then a couple patches later, Reb became underpowered. Melee was useless and only made you lose condition. An entire generation of players who had built their success on Column Charges (drawing a long line in the general direction of the enemy and pressing the Run button) massively switched to Union. Most openings in MP games were for Reb then, but it was still viable.

 

The latest patch is the best attempt at balance I've seen so far. Both sides have their strengths and are quite viable. Reb firepower is better, their arty isn't useless, and properly timed charges can be successful; Union morale is better, their firepower is still devastating, but they can hold out in melee long enough to drive back the Rebs if needed.

 

tl;dr: l2p

Edited by Jugashvili
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Really all pleased with latest patch ?

Indeed we had a lot of worse balancing before. But I think we also had better balancing before.

 

I dont play the game very often anymore course iam veryveryvery unhappy with the current balancing.

Another example of today...

Pauls(1200) charged Davis(1700) from HerrsRidge....

 

I had to reorder whole Heth Division to Herr Ridge. Enemy decided to attack my line at Herr Ridge with Meredith(800) and Cutler(1200) and...

surprise, he really drove me back.

http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/446207189568770138/EEC232F001B583CEF40CBD35BB97154FF05AD900/

 

I had Archers, Brockens, Davis and Pettys...

Davis and Brocken even stood on higher terrain in the woods!!!

All well rested til point of attack.

 

Now you really expect me to attack their lines ???

Edited by Aggressive_Kunst
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Aggressive_Kunst, I have seen a lot posts by you talking about balance and I am not convinced you play this game well enough to really understand what is happening. Much like TCS and Juga put it rather well.

 

I dont have this problem you speak of of unbalance. Neither does any of the good players I play against. I get my ass handed to me once in a while but I cannot blame the game for that.

 

Just like I've challenged TCS I'll challenge you to show me which side you think is unbalanced. You can pick pretty much any map (though beware that a few have inherent unbalance in the map itself) and I will play the side you think is being unfavoured. It looks like you are playing Chance to Change History on the screenshot. That would be a good place to start. 

My name is Koro { W.A.R } - please add me on Steam. After we play, we can revisit this thread. Deal?

Time to put down the guantlet :)

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I partly agree with the argument of "the Collector's Showcase". As far as there are so many players who feel that the game is "may be historically accurate, but unbalanced beyond my criteria of fairness", this game cannot be a major-best-seller-blockbuster-killer-title.

 

But hey! If the developer satisfies on positioning as "a rather fancy but healthy indie history simulator", then why should it be so "mass-friendly"?

 

I want to refer to the Company of Heroes franchise—my most favorite RTS by now—as an example.

 

The Company of Heroes franchise depicts the European theater of the World War II with squad-level based RTS system. It promises some degree of historical accuracy and assymetrical faction designs, but not against the balance.

 

For example, Company of Heroes 2 provides us the Soviet Army, German Eastern Front, German Western Front, Americans, and British Armies (with full purchase of expansion packs), but their team making and battlefield selection in automatic matchmaking does not follow the history. Soviet+American team can fight a mixture of different German armies (which is historically unacceptable, given that the each "armies" under control of each players are all company-sized but strengthened with some armored vehicles), in any maps ranging from deep steppes in Russia to forests of Ardennes, in OFFICIAL auto-matchmaking game.

 

Thus, all balance tweeks are based on such mixed matchups, leading to rather extreme deviation from the reality. For example, the firing range of tank guns and mortars are ridiculously short, and Panzerfausts are unable to blow up any of vehicles with one shot (even the lightest scout vehicles) and unusable against fortifications.

 

I understand that this kind of mixing-up is crucial for keeping the multiplayer server active and healthy, but also gives a lot of frustration for the military-fan minds which eager the historical accuracy over the PvP-friendlyness.

 

Thats why I'm very glad to see any game to sacrifice its balance for historical accuracy. There certainly exist some needs for such games.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Disagree on both the balance of the game and historical record.

 

Gettysburg was actually a rather finely balanced affair. One of the reasons it's a very interesting battle to study is the number of opportunities for each side to make major advances, particularly the Confederate and a number of missed, untaken or poorly managed episodes. I think the game represents this rather well.

 

You can certainly argue that within the historical context of the war, the Union had a major and almost insurmountable field advantage but within the context of individual battles or this game, no.

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  • 5 months later...

Speaking as a long time games professional, it's great to find a game that takes these risks. Seeking a mass audience leads to tedious monotony in games. The point of independent games is to choose a smaller, enthusiast market.

 

I don't see a problem with taking risks. I hate companies that just kinda tag along with their audience. To them it's about money, and not making an awesome game. I remember something the developers of Doom, back in the 90s, had said: "We made something that we thought was cool."

 

I say do that. I've always been a simulation gamer, so to see UGG in its application of historical realism, where the weaknesses of each side in history are actually accounted for, is refreshing.

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Taggert - the lack of historical realism in this game is why UGG has alienated the core of historical game enthusiasts.  

 

Right now the game focuses on Union artillery vs. Confederate infantry which is to miss the mark completely on historical realism for the ACW.  

 

The UGG Team built a game they think is cool - which is great.  It's great they've attracted players who enjoy the game.

 

Personally I'd prefer to see a historically tuned version of UGG - even if it was only a single player game.  

 

Such a game might have the support of the historical gaming community and the potential to attract more serious history enthusiasts.

 

Sadly the "weaknesses of each side in history" are not represented which IMHO is dismal for a ACW game - and why many ACW enthusiasts have been driven from this game.

 

UGG has little left to recommend the game regarding "historical realism."  It is just a game about guys masquerading in blue and gray in a galaxy far far away...

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Taggert - the lack of historical realism in this game is why UGG has alienated the core of historical game enthusiasts.  

 

Right now the game focuses on Union artillery vs. Confederate infantry which is to miss the mark completely on historical realism for the ACW.  

 

The UGG Team built a game they think is cool - which is great.  It's great they've attracted players who enjoy the game.

 

Personally I'd prefer to see a historically tuned version of UGG - even if it was only a single player game.  

 

Such a game might have the support of the historical gaming community and the potential to attract more serious history enthusiasts.

 

Sadly the "weaknesses of each side in history" are not represented which IMHO is dismal for a ACW game - and why many ACW enthusiasts have been driven from this game.

 

UGG has little left to recommend the game regarding "historical realism."  It is just a game about guys masquerading in blue and gray in a galaxy far far away...

 

I disagree. I'm a massive civil war buff and I see alot of things in this game that are historically accurate. The deadly nature of rifled muskets, as compared to the smoothbore muskets, makes it where you can't use traditional Napoleonic tactics as much. That's just a fact. Lining up in this fashion, with rifles good out to 500 yards, was stupid. It's actually a downright retarded way to conduct a battle with the technology. That's why it's that much worse when you walk out into open ground, or even just attacking at all. Artillery technologies saw a climb in effectiveness, as well, where the old methods of delivering canister and shell shot had evolved. The theme of Civil War combat is getting shot and bombarded to pieces. That's the reality of it.

 

Which is also where the complaint of some players comes from - getting shot to pieces. The reality of the matter is the above technological advancements, using tactics and strategies that are literally behind the technology, is the situation players face in this historical setting. That's no conjecture, that's fact. To stray away from that would be historical inaccuracy. 

Edited by Taggart
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Hmmm...we certainly agree that rifled muskets were a game changer during the ACW and that Napoleonic tactics became obsolete as a result.

 

But... 

 

Artillery did not see a "climb in effectiveness."  ACW artillery performance actually dropped off compared to the Napoleonic Wars.  During the Napoleonic Wars artillery could be prolonged forward because musket range and accuracy were abysmal.  Canister range at 400 yards was superior to musket range thus it was safe for artillery to move up and blast squares of infantry out of existence.  

 

Not so with the ACW because infantry could pick off gunners before they could deploy forward.  Thus artillery was moved from the front ranks to more protected positions during the ACW.

 

The net result was that artillery-inflicted casualties were a mere 6% of battlefield casualties during the ACW. 

 

At Gettysburg there were roughly 22,000 rounds of artillery ammunition fired by the CSA and another 32,781 fired by the Union.  Given that there were about 50,000 casualties then each round of artillery inflicted less than one casualty per round - assuming that every casualty was inflicted by artillery - which it was not.  

 

If we accept the primary data and the research done at the U.S. Artillery School at Fort Sill then roughly 3,000 of the Gettysburg casualties were from artillery.  

 

In other words the artillery inflicted a single casualty for about every 20 rounds of artillery ammunition fired.  Note that this includes casualties by canister - which was the only really effective round at inflicting multiple casualties per round.  

 

The problem with artillery is that it was going through and experimental phase with new types of ammunition transitioning from solid shot and canister to shells and canister.  Additionally, the army was transitioning from smoothbores to rifled guns which dramatically reduced the number of casualties a round could inflict.  The intent of shell was to inflict more casualties - however they relied on fuses that were woefully inadequate to match time over target with detonation.  Additionally, the projectiles transitioned from spherical to conical with the adoption of rifled artillery - thus rather than spheres bounding along the ground the pointed rounds buried themselves in the ground - which absorbed the impact if the shell ultimately detonated.

 

So the data from the ACW demonstrates that while the rifled muskets inflicted 93% of the casualties the artillery was not "bombarding" either army to pieces - hence the statement from Gibbon that the effects of artillery was "more moral than physical."  Robert E. Lee provides another reference point from the siege of Petersburg when he stated to CSA Senators who asked if the artillery was particularly active.  He stated indeed it was but it was the rifled musket that actually killed men.  Note that the CSA bombardment prior to Longstreet's Charge on July 3 was noted as one of the greatest humbugs of the war.  Bottom line artillery fire routed a single Pennsylvania militia regiment at Gettysburg.  These green troops were under fire from Oak Hill by 2  Whitworths.  Though these guns hadn't inflicted casualties the sound of the screaming projectiles unnerved the men (which were different from the thud of a 12 pounder smoothbore).  Veteran units laughed and mocked the Pennsylvania militia back into the line.

 

You might want to double check your facts regarding artillery because you don't have 'em correct or even in the ballpark for the ACW.

 

Enough about artillery...

 

How about cavalry?

 

The cavalry during the ACW was also of limited utility on the battlefield.  In UGG I'd trade every unit in either army to have them deployed as cavalry skirmishers.  

 

The fact is Buford lost about 100 men - and Heth's orders prevented him from steamrolling Buford and bringing on a battle.  

 

In UGG the opening phase is one of the most egregious historical inaccuracies of the game and the cavalry generally outperforms the historical reality of the ACW.

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Hmmm...we certainly agree that rifled muskets were a game changer during the ACW and that Napoleonic tactics became obsolete as a result.

 

But... 

 

Artillery did not see a "climb in effectiveness."  ACW artillery performance actually dropped off compared to the Napoleonic Wars.  During the Napoleonic Wars artillery could be prolonged forward because musket range and accuracy were abysmal.  Canister range at 400 yards was superior to musket range thus it was safe for artillery to move up and blast squares of infantry out of existence.  

 

Not so with the ACW because infantry could pick off gunners before they could deploy forward.  Thus artillery was moved from the front ranks to more protected positions during the ACW.

 

The net result was that artillery-inflicted casualties were a mere 6% of battlefield casualties during the ACW. 

 

At Gettysburg there were roughly 22,000 rounds of artillery ammunition fired by the CSA and another 32,781 fired by the Union.  Given that there were about 50,000 casualties then each round of artillery inflicted less than one casualty per round - assuming that every casualty was inflicted by artillery - which it was not.  

 

If we accept the primary data and the research done at the U.S. Artillery School at Fort Sill then roughly 3,000 of the Gettysburg casualties were from artillery.  

 

In other words the artillery inflicted a single casualty for about every 20 rounds of artillery ammunition fired.  Not that this includes casualties by canister - which was the only really effective round at inflicting multiple casualties per round.  

 

The problem with artillery is that it was going through and experimental phase with new types of ammunition transitioning from solid shot and canister to shells and canister.  Additionally, the army was transitioning from smoothbores to rifled guns which dramatically reduced the number of casualties a round could inflict.  The intent of shell was to inflict more casualties - however they relied on fuses that were woefully inadequate to match time over target with detonation.  Additionally, the projectiles transitioned from spherical to conical with the adoption of rifled artillery - thus rather than spheres bounding along the ground the pointed rounds buried themselves in the ground - which absorbed the impact if the shell ultimately detonated.

 

So the data from the ACW demonstrates that while the rifled muskets inflicted 93% of the casualties the artillery was not "bombarding" either army to pieces - hence the statement from Gibbon that the effects of artillery was "more moral than physical."  Robert E. Lee provides another reference point from the siege of Petersburg when he stated to CSA Senators who asked if the artillery was particularly active.  He stated indeed it was but it was the rifled musket that actually killed men.  Note that the CSA bombardment prior to Longstreet's Charge on July 3 was notes as one of the greatest humbugs of the war.  Bottom line artillery fire routed a single Pennsylvania militia regiment at Gettysburg.  These green troops were under fire from Oak Hill by 2  Whitworths.  Though these guns hadn't inflicted casualties the sound of the screaming projectiles unnerved the men (which were different from the thud of a 12 pounder smoothbore).  Veteran units laughed and mocked the Pennsylvania militia back into the line.

 

You might want to double check your facts regarding artillery because you don't have 'em correct or even in the ballpark for the ACW.

 

Enough about artillery...

 

How about cavalry?

 

The cavalry during the ACW was also of limited utility on the battlefield.  In UGG I'd trade every unit in either army to have them deployed as cavalry skirmishers.  

 

The fact is Buford lost about 100 men - and Heth's orders prevented him from steamrolling Buford and bringing on a battle.  

 

In UGG the opening phase is one of the most egregious historical inaccuracies of the game and the cavalry generally outperforms the historical reality of the ACW.

 

And I agree. I'll also concede to your point about artillery, because I was unaware of those statistics, in terms of actual inflicted casulaties. But what I'm saying is that I've yet to see the supposed effectiveness of artillery for the Union that you're talking about in an above post. I've stacked guns all over the place and have always had to duke it out with infantry. Every time. Artillery, in my experience, is not making the dent you're talking about. I haven't experienced that, even when I'm manually choosing which units my artillery fire upon. It's been the same for my experiences as the Confederates.

 

Consequently, that means the artillery in the game is still in line with historical accuracy. The only time ​I've ever seen artillery do some serious damage in this game so far, with the current patch being the only relevant circumstance, in which the result is a routing enemy unit, is when canister is being fired. Some firsthand accounts of canister were described as wiping out entire companies at a time, so that makes sense. I can't agree with your summation of artillery in this game, because I haven't observed it to be true.

 

As far as having skirmishers, I agree, as well as agreeing on your stance about their effectiveness. Skirmishers don't rely on the cohesiveness of the line to be effective. On that, it only makes sense that their effectiveness in the game is historically accurate, because rifles in a skirmish style of combat, to a degree similar to modern warfare, are vicious. Mounted cavalry, too, in this game is also accurate. I actually despise having them on the field because they can't do hardly anything other than recon, which is what they were primarily used for. The eyes of the army. In the capacity that the game depicts the mounted cavalry, it's accurate.

 

I can't agree with you on this, bud. Through my observations, it just doesn't make sense what you're saying about the game.

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It is bold to confess that you don't know the basic facts yet argue the correctness of your logic.  Good on ya mate!

 

First hand accounts of enemy casualties are always highly suspect and the ACW is no exception.  See for example every war in history.  

 

Briefly...

 

The ancient Egyptians carved their victories in stone but when you compare their reports to the reports of their 'defeated' enemies the political results of the battles don't align with the propaganda chiseled into the wall of Karnak.  Often both sides reported a stunning victory yet the political outcome is a fairly balanced treaty so it is more likely than not that both sides misrepresented the magnitude of their victories.

 

The Napoleonic Wars is a classic example where reading first hand accounts of battles leads to intentionally misrepresented accounts.

 

Perhaps it is just the nature of men and war.

 

A more current example: during the Battle of Britain RAF pilots reported more than twice as many kills as the entire Luftwaffe had airplanes.  

Note that many of the Luftwaffe aircraft were deployed in other theaters of operation (i.e., Africa).

The problem of estimating enemy strength became so acute that cameras became standard equipment to confirm first hand intelligence.

 

With this in mind...

 

You might consider doing some basic math before you draw your conclusions from first hand accounts.

 

While canister was the most effective anti-personnel round a 12 pounder Napoleon canister round held 28 projectiles.  

Double canister would double this to 56 but the effective range of canister drops precipitously as these projectiles compete to exit the tube.

 

Authorized strength for a company was between 83 and 101 men.  

 

Thus it would be mathematically possible that a battery of 6 guns firing 168 projectiles could "wipe out" an entire company.  

It is twice as likely if you consider double canister with 336 projectiles.

But if you understand basic statistics the mathematical likelihood of such of event is absurd.  

 

At one point I ran the calculation and the possibility of a battery wiping out an entire company.  

If I remember correctly the odds were less than 1 in over 100,000 given the frontage of a company and the dispersion pattern of canister and less likely with double canister beyond 100 yards.

Now if we consider the ordnance reports for artillery ammunition this means that such an event, if it  ever occurred once during the war, would have required all of the artillery ammunition fired by both sides during the 6 largest ACW battles for such an event to statistically happen once.

 

There certainly were cases where canister was effective.  Dilger's use of his Napoleons at Chancellorsville earned his the Medal of Honor and stalled the Confederate advance long enough for the Union to assemble enough guns to prevent the ANV from further destruction of the AoP.

 

So...

 

Basically I'm saying you are drawing false conclusions from fictional data.  

 

If you match the AAR reports in the OR against the casualty returns for regiments it is not unusual for a battery to report 450 enemy casualties (Gettysburg Day 2 Longstreet's Offensive) yet the regimental return for the unit (in this specific case CSA) list only 45 casualties for the entire three-day battle.  Both sides made ridiculous first hand claims in their AARs.  

 

It is great that you enjoy the game and are satisfied with its historical accuracy.  

 

We have had different experiences with the game and each have our own conclusions.  

 

Bottom line the game is for entertainment.  Agreement and/or disagreement on our perspectives of the game is irrelevant.

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Avtomatik,

 

Your actually suggesting that it is possible that the Union might have won the battle of Gettysburg?  

 

Yet another funny example of the oxymoronic content on this forum.

 

Gettysburg, and the ACW generally was an extraordinarily balance affair as the Union had to defend large swaths of Southern territory which ensured relative battlefield parity.  

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I certainly don't lose as Union and say: " That's awesome, I lost, what a great bit of historical accuracy ". I play to try to win.


I agree so very, very much. The current state of the game, (yes. Game.), is simply not fun. It needs to be fixed.
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