the Nanny state (Full Version)

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tremy -> the Nanny state (7/21/2008 11:17:18 PM)

Congratulations to the team on their usual interested ideas and game.
Two thoughts.
1) If the design decision is to have entrenching, why is this not done automatically,without cluttering with map with more symbols that make it look like WW1 trenches?
2)In a strategic game,I act as President/General Officer Commanding.I don't expect to tell the Doctors to give medical aid , Quartermasters to give out supply ,Cooks to prepare food or spies to spy.So why do I have to tell cavalry to shield my forces and spot the enemy? I am happy to order particular raids but have other things to think about rather than telling people to do their jobs.
Hence the title to the post.Perhaps I should be expected to make sure that nice cartographer has done up his shoes,eqipped himself with a pen and paper ,so that he can go and draw me a pretty map.




Erik Rutins -> RE: the Nanny state (7/21/2008 11:57:12 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: tremy
1) If the design decision is to have entrenching, why is this not done automatically,without cluttering with map with more symbols that make it look like WW1 trenches?


It is, actually. Per-unit entrenching is done automatically as a separate thing from fortifications.

quote:

2)In a strategic game,I act as President/General Officer Commanding.I don't expect to tell the Doctors to give medical aid , Quartermasters to give out supply ,Cooks to prepare food or spies to spy.So why do I have to tell cavalry to shield my forces and spot the enemy? I am happy to order particular raids but have other things to think about rather than telling people to do their jobs.
Hence the title to the post.Perhaps I should be expected to make sure that nice cartographer has done up his shoes,eqipped himself with a pen and paper ,so that he can go and draw me a pretty map.


Well, your cavalry can't scout all adjacent regions at once, so since you will ultimately be telling your armies where to attack, the game wants you to make the choice of where to focus their efforts (or how to disperse them). It's a logical gameplay decision and adds some interesting decisions for the player. Your cavalry will screen your forces automatically just by being in the same area. If this were really purely a "Presidential" simulator, I don't think anyone would want to play it - it'd be way too frustrating. [;)]

Regards,

- Erik




Joram -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 12:38:33 AM)

And then after you win it all you get shot!  j/k

I agree the scouting mechanism is tedious but I understand what Erik says.  You are really directing the focus of effort which falls in line with the overall game mechanics.  I do wish there was an option to make this bit automated though I realize that probably wouldn't be trivial to do it right.




PyleDriver -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 2:18:44 AM)

Good point Erik, also you may elect to raid or they be used to aid in an attack of that region this month. Theres just to many options that Cav do to hand it over to the computer...

[8D]
Jon




tremy -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 3:27:52 AM)

Thanks for the reply Eric,which makes sense to even me.
I guess its just me,but I find the map pretty cluttered and the look of the Maginot line in Kentucky feels strange considering the fluidity of most operations during the war and would prefer additional automatic entrechment for static units.
I'm fine about the use of cavalry when considering an offensive but still don't see how they pick up enemy advances and negate the surprise bonus. Yet while defending thats what my cavalry would be used for. Would I not expect them to cover avenues of approach and warn me of enemy aggressive movements ?
If they don't do that perhaps I will have to disband them and use my scientists to invent a flying machine




Widell -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 11:20:19 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: tremy
In a strategic game,I act as President/General Officer Commanding.I don't expect to tell the Doctors to give medical aid , Quartermasters to give out supply ,Cooks to prepare food or spies to spy.So why do I have to tell cavalry to shield my forces and spot the enemy? I am happy to order particular raids but have other things to think about rather than telling people to do their jobs.


Haven't bought this game yet, but will do after summer when I have more time to spend in front of the computer. However, if you want a game able to simulate less detail, and higher level decisions, you might want to try Forge of Freedom, where you can pretty much set the level of micromanagement for each game, and it can range from almost presidential level of handing out commands and promotions and moving armies between regions down to controlling each battle in detail.




tremy -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 1:52:31 PM)

Thanks for the thought Widell.I have forge of freedom and never got hooked.
I also have AGEODs Civil War,one of the best games ever,but very detailed.
It is not that I don't like intricate or tactical games,I was trying to point out the problem of scale in a strategic game that suddenly switches to micro managing a tactical aspect




ph4n -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 3:31:45 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: tremy

I'm fine about the use of cavalry when considering an offensive but still don't see how they pick up enemy advances and negate the surprise bonus. Yet while defending thats what my cavalry would be used for. Would I not expect them to cover avenues of approach and warn me of enemy aggressive movements ?

Although at some level of abstraction, isn't that exactly what they do? It is just that the way to affectuate this in the game is through the scouting mechanic; i.e. you as C-in-C decide which level of attention each enemy stack shall get by your cavalry (your eyes), and scouted enemy units lose their combat bonus (the effect of surprise).




tremy -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 4:04:39 PM)

On the cavalry query and after constantly re-reading the rules on scouting I'm nearly getting the point.
Sorry to be a nuisance folks,but can anyone tell me what cavalry force I need if my army in on the defence, to give me a 50% chance and100% chance of negating enemy spotting without moving my cavalry into enemy regions?
Because off the top of my head ,I can't think of an example in a major battle where an army covered by cavalry was surprised.The example of Chancellorville and Jackson was surprise but if I remember correctly,Stonemans cavalry were absent on a separate mission.
ps. It must be a good game,if a committed non poster like myself,bothers to ask questions!




Erik Rutins -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 5:09:26 PM)

Tremy,

Normally, an army with cavalry will not be surprised as long as it's scouting in the right direction. The answer to how much cavalry you need is reall "more than the enemy has". If your enemy has a large cavalry force in a region, he may be able to screen his forces in that region quite effectively, thus giving your army little warning as to when they are moving out or which path they are taking. In effect they could "steal a march" on you and end up putting your force in a disadvantageous position, if you want to think about what might be going on at a lower level.

Keep cavalry with your army to screen it. Also scout with it every turn. Scout the regions that have enemy forces or through which you think enemy forces may attack.

It's up to you to decide which adjacent enemy region(s) to devote your scouting effort to. I often find use for two cavalry commanders per army early on so that I can scout two adjacent regions if necessary. Later on, a well led Cavalry Corps (seven or eight cavalry) is a good solution. A key change in effectiveness is the eventual switch over from Mounted Infantry to proper Cavalry, which can take a while for the Union. Until that time, the CSA cavalry forces will be more effective than yours. They also have a larger selection of better cavalry leaders, but casualties may equalize that in time.

Regards,

- Erik




dakjck -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 6:29:40 PM)

I understand the point being made about scouting, it's just that it is very tedious.  Furthermore, while Erik's argument may make sense for offensive movements, it doesn't really seem that appliable to static situations.  Becasue ii is likely there will be at lease two adjacent occupied areas, you need to penny packet your cavalry so it can scout these 2 (or 3) areas.  Even with scouting, not all is revealled which might require additional scouting missions.  Ultimately, I will usually have at least 8 to 10 areas with cavalry.  Each turn I need to go to each area and conduct 1 to 3 scouting missions just to try to prevent myself from being surprised, even when I am not moving anywhere. 

I wish there could at least be an option where your area's cavalry value could be compared with the cavalry value of the adjacent occupied areas and the scouting results occur automatically.  This could happen after you have ordered any raids or specific scouting missions so that you would not spend so much of the time ordering your cavalry to look over that hill, and that hill, and that hill . . .




Capt Cliff -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 7:34:19 PM)

Raiding should net some spotting information. Raiders need to scout or they might blunder into the entire I Corp encampment!! Ah ... horse meat tonight guys!! But seriously raiders should glean some info.




Erik Rutins -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 8:10:17 PM)

Joel replied to that suggestion earlier. Raiders are too busy raiding and avoiding large bodies of troops rather than gathering info on their positions and movements, by the time they return with any info they did happen to glean on actual troop locations and strengths, it will likely be too old to be of any use. They do scout for themselves as part of the raid, but that's different than deliberately trying to scout the enemy forces for your own infantry. You have to choose how to focus your cavalry, you can't have your cake and eat it too! [8D]




tremy -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 8:13:13 PM)

Erik
I much appreciate your takiing time to help by writng a clear explaination.
Unfortunately, I suspect I haven't managed to detail my problem effectively.
May I use an historical example of my concern.
Lets say I am a Confederate general in an area perhaps 30 miles long and wide.
I know the enemy are massing against me,so I order my cavalry commander ( my eyes and ears) to get the the information I need.
That comander rides off into another region many miles away and I am without good intelligence for over a week.
I blunder into unknown enemy forces and am drawn into a three day battle fighting blind,which turns into a major defeat.
Would I have gently chided General Stuart as did Lee? I think not.
I want my cavalry to hand giving me updated information on enemy forces coming into my area,not doing a Stuart galloping off into the sunset ,however romantic it might appear to future generations.
My concern is firstly the tedium of moving troops that might be handled by the game engine ,and secondly that I am being asked to do something which would appear to be against the historical accepted usage for troop screening and thirdly that the developers might decide to re-look at the concept of scouting.




Erik Rutins -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 9:06:01 PM)

Tremy,

Perhaps I'm still misunderstanding you. I don't see how what you are requesting is not already in the game, but this game deals with larger areas than 30 miles, so you are focusing your cavalry scouting on the area you think the enemy is in or coming from. Meanwhile, your cavalry is automatically trying to screen your own forces from enemy scouting regardless of whether you are sending them out to scout the enemy or not.

Regards,

- Erik




m10bob -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 9:34:48 PM)

Perfect example of a raiding force failing to provide intel was when J.E.B. Stuart failed to provide the info Lee needed prior to Gettysburg.
The few wagons of supplies and munitions gained by the raiders, ( a good amount of booty any other time),was a very poor replacement for what Lee really needed.
The "Black Hats" of the Iron Brigade coming up,(1st Bde, 1st Division, 1st Corps of the Army of the Potomac) was a complete surprise, and one the Army of Northern Virginia did not need.




tremy -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 10:16:43 PM)

Erik.
I agree that regions are larger,perhaps 50-60 miles,which is exactly my concern.
Is it realistic to send groups of cavalry in many different directions for that mileage,leaving my army vulnerable.
If my cavalry were left in the same region ,ie. within a days ride.
1 They screen my forces from enemy observation
Would it not be more realistic if they could also spot advancing troops,thus negating their surprise bonus.
A simplistic example.
1 brigade cavalry spots and negates 10% of enemy troops.
2 brigades-------------------------------20% ETC.
Obviously complicated by modifiers of leadership, army size etc,handled by the computer.
This would solve the tedium aspect commented on by several writers,be a more accurate representation but still allow surprise attacks to be included and surely would feel right.




IronWarrior -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 10:20:57 PM)

Heh strange but... this is one of the things I really like about this game. The FOW and scouting/raiding are well done IMO. Either I don't understand the issue, or one man's treasure is another man's... however that goes.

I don't find it tedious at all, it adds another layer of strategy. I haven't played AGEOD's ACW, but in the Napoleonic demo there just wasn't enough to do... it felt too automated.




Erik Rutins -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 10:27:11 PM)

Hi tremy,

quote:

ORIGINAL: tremy
If my cavalry were left in the same region ,ie. within a days ride.
1 They screen my forces from enemy observation
Would it not be more realistic if they could also spot advancing troops,thus negating their surprise bonus.


Well, right now cavalry that you use to Scout the enemy will still Screen your own forces as well. It's assumed to be doing both over the course of the month, as long as it's in the asme location with your forces. I feel like I must still be misunderstanding you if that doesn't answer the question.

Regards,

- Erik




Lucky1 -> RE: the Nanny state (7/22/2008 11:09:50 PM)

I have watched this post with a some interest because it illustrates the inherent differences in tastes among gamers. For some, the ability control a certain level detail (requiring a spreadsheet, it would seem) is nirvanha. Others find it tedious. I think that anyone wishing to purchase the game would be well advised to really go through several AARs to get a feel for what the game involves. While I absolutely loved Gary Grigsby's A World at War and thought that the mechanics were simply being transferred to the civil war, this (in my mind) is NOT the case. This game is far more detailed in terms of its minute decisions and requires a large degree of shuffling troops to commanders with attributes X,Y, Z. Again, this will appeal to some members of the gaming community  (see the large number of apparent interest in this forum) and might not appeal to others. Another difference between AWD and the WBS involves the duration of PBEM. First, the game involves many more turns that GGAWD. Too, it appears (and correct me if I am wrong) that each turn actually involves allowing the opposing player to respond to attacks before they are resolved. So, again, this means that PBEMs will take longer than GGAWD. Again, this is only relevant if you are considering purchasing the game using GGAWD as a benchmark.

I would again reiterate my advice to follow a few AARs to get a feel for the game before making a purchase decision.

Happy gaming!




JanSorensen -> RE: the Nanny state (7/23/2008 12:08:10 AM)

Lucky,

WBTS takes only marginally longer to play then AWD in terms of PBEM. Each turn is about the same to play as a turn of AWD (assuming 2 players) and the number of turns isnt that much higher (25-28 for AWD and 48 for WBTS). The reaction movement you mention does _not_ mean an extra file to send due to the clever way its worked into the sequence of play.

In AWD you had to ponder very carefully the placement of each units and where to send supplies and how to use them. In WBTS have to carefully consider where to send each leader to maximize initiative. In AWD you had less units but each unit took more consideration. In WBTS you have more units which apart from leaders take less consideration each.

As you say though they do differ. I found AWD to be more like chess where WBTS is more like backgammon (it may even be Joel that said this). Personally, I liked AWD more but thats my personal taste as both are very excellent games.




Lucky1 -> RE: the Nanny state (7/23/2008 1:05:52 AM)

Thanks for the clarification Jan. My intent was not to say one game was 'better' than the other. Rather, I was just emphasizing that they have different strengths and might appeal to different needs for complexity, for example. That said, tweaking IS often possible and my experience with AWD is that Matrix et cie have done their utmost to respond to reasonable (to implement) suggestions to improve gameplay.

Might it be possible for an explanation of how the reaction phase occurs in PBEM? (I am supposed to be doing homework for the next few weeks and have unistalled ALL my games, incl. WBS.) I think this would be of interest to prospective purchasers....

Thanks.

Sean




IronWarrior -> RE: the Nanny state (7/23/2008 1:08:15 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lucky1

I have watched this post with a some interest because it illustrates the inherent differences in tastes among gamers. For some, the ability control a certain level detail (requiring a spreadsheet, it would seem) is nirvanha. Others find it tedious.



Yeah it's always interesting how great of a spectrum of different tastes there are. There are some that want to know the exact odds and algorithms used to determine their strategies and are probably the same ones that have fits when something random occurs such as routing units in Tiller's Battleground series or other games because they lose a degree of control. (Or when leaders don't gain initiative in WBTS)

For me, I like the realism and chaos and not having total control, but I also like to feel like my decisions have an impact and I leave my thumbprint on the battle. I feel like this game does a good job of balancing giving the player a good amount of control, while maintaining a realistic and historical gameplay.

If everything became automated and there were no decisions to be made by the player it would become quite boring for me. I don't want to watch the computer play, I want to make meaningful decisions.

Sorry for my OT ramblings... [:D]




Berkut -> RE: the Nanny state (7/23/2008 6:18:49 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: m10bob

Perfect example of a raiding force failing to provide intel was when J.E.B. Stuart failed to provide the info Lee needed prior to Gettysburg.
The few wagons of supplies and munitions gained by the raiders, ( a good amount of booty any other time),was a very poor replacement for what Lee really needed.
The "Black Hats" of the Iron Brigade coming up,(1st Bde, 1st Division, 1st Corps of the Army of the Potomac) was a complete surprise, and one the Army of Northern Virginia did not need.


Meh, the Union did not know any better what was in store than the South, and their cav was not off raiding - in fact, it was their cav that first refused the ridge to the South.

If Stuart had been around, Gettysburg does not really change. The errors made there were not driven by a lack of information, since the Union force was well screened anyway. Perhaps Lee would have done much of the same things in a more decisive manner, but I don't see the result changing really.




JanSorensen -> RE: the Nanny state (7/23/2008 8:16:42 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lucky1


Might it be possible for an explanation of how the reaction phase occurs in PBEM? (I am supposed to be doing homework for the next few weeks and have unistalled ALL my games, incl. WBS.) I think this would be of interest to prospective purchasers....

Thanks.

Sean


Sean,

US turn:
- US reaction movement (if any CSA attacks)
- Combat (CSA attacks)
- US normal movement
- US production

CS turn:
- CS reaction movement (if any USA attacks)
- Combat (USA attacks)
- CS normal movement
- CS production.




m10bob -> RE: the Nanny state (7/23/2008 8:55:28 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Berkut


quote:

ORIGINAL: m10bob

Perfect example of a raiding force failing to provide intel was when J.E.B. Stuart failed to provide the info Lee needed prior to Gettysburg.
The few wagons of supplies and munitions gained by the raiders, ( a good amount of booty any other time),was a very poor replacement for what Lee really needed.
The "Black Hats" of the Iron Brigade coming up,(1st Bde, 1st Division, 1st Corps of the Army of the Potomac) was a complete surprise, and one the Army of Northern Virginia did not need.


Meh, the Union did not know any better what was in store than the South, and their cav was not off raiding - in fact, it was their cav that first refused the ridge to the South.

If Stuart had been around, Gettysburg does not really change. The errors made there were not driven by a lack of information, since the Union force was well screened anyway. Perhaps Lee would have done much of the same things in a more decisive manner, but I don't see the result changing really.


Geographically Buford's Union cavalry made their stand west north west of what developed into the entire battle, (the stand taking place at and just west of a line extending across Seminary Ridge, (not south of Gettysburg.)

Most historians agree that things would have been different had Lee been kept aware of the position of the Army of the Potomac, and a "shoe-hunting expedition" might not have evolved into the battle.

Buford served Meade better, than did Stuart for Lee, on this occasion.

[image]local://upfiles/7909/4FFA565D885D4E33B1F8EAE9B007A652.jpg[/image]




heroldje -> RE: the Nanny state (7/23/2008 12:53:40 PM)

I couldn't disagree more berkut.  Lee stated on several occassions, on record, that he had no desire to do battle there.  Meade had no desire to do battle there.  He has a line picked out he wanted to form on, but the events precipitated so quickly he abandoned that idea.

Are you saying that if the battle had been fought at a different time and place the result would have been the same?




Berkut -> RE: the Nanny state (7/23/2008 6:01:05 PM)

I am saying neither commander wanted to do battle there, but neither of them had much choice, per se. Lee did not want to fight there, but his decision to do so anyway was based on his reluctance to leave the battlefield to the Union - he felt he could win, so he took the fight when it was offered. Stuart being around doesn't change those things, so the fight still happens. So the question we have to ask is, would Stuart being there had changed the tactical fight in a way that meant that Lee could have dislodged the Union? I don't see how.

Meade didn't want to fight there, but only because he had what he thought was a better spot picked out, which he was preparing. He was convinced, by Reynolds among others, that the ground at the developing battlefield near GB was good for the Union, and hence decided that he would make his stand there, instead - not becuase he was forced to, but because he decided that the GB ground was good enough for his purposes. Turns out he was correct.

Again, Stuart has nothing to do with this.

If Stuart was doing his job, then maybe Buford bumps into Stuart cavalry instead of Hills division - this isn't certain of course, but seems plausible. Does this matter? Does Lee immediately turn his army around and abandon that fight? I don't think so - Lee was looking for a fight, and had already rejected Longstreets suggestion to find good defensive terrain of his own to fight on (which was rather suspect in any case) - the Union army was there, and he would fight it there. *That* was the fundamental error of the Gettysburg campaign, not lack of intel.




Berkut -> RE: the Nanny state (7/23/2008 6:05:50 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: m10bob

quote:

ORIGINAL: Berkut

Meh, the Union did not know any better what was in store than the South, and their cav was not off raiding - in fact, it was their cav that first refused the ridge to the South.

If Stuart had been around, Gettysburg does not really change. The errors made there were not driven by a lack of information, since the Union force was well screened anyway. Perhaps Lee would have done much of the same things in a more decisive manner, but I don't see the result changing really.


Geographically Buford's Union cavalry made their stand west north west of what developed into the entire battle, (the stand taking place at and just west of a line extending across Seminary Ridge, (not south of Gettysburg.)

Most historians agree that things would have been different had Lee been kept aware of the position of the Army of the Potomac, and a "shoe-hunting expedition" might not have evolved into the battle.

Buford served Meade better, than did Stuart for Lee, on this occasion.


No question that Stuart failed Lee, but I think the desire to hinge the outcome of the abttle on that failure is a bit of Lee apologism.

"Most historians" agree on a lot of things, and almost never on the things that people presume they agree on. I've read a rather lot about this battle, and would not agree that "most historians" pin its outcome on the lack of Stuart - he was one factor, but not the decisive one.

IMO, the decisive tactical factor was simply the terrain and interior Union lines. The decisive operational factor was Lee's insistence on fighting the Union army wherever it was found and his faith that if he could bring it to battle, under almost any circumstances, his boys could win. That resulted in him accepting a fight he should not have, and Stuart being there would not have changed that one bit - if anything, it would have made Lee even more over-confident in a poor tactical situation.




tremy -> RE: the Nanny state (7/23/2008 7:49:24 PM)

I agree with Berkut,that Stuarts absence was not the cause of defeat.
If you believe that splitting your cavalry into perhaps three groups and sending those groups 50-60 miles in different directions to reconnoitre, the game is spot on.
I brought the subject up,because I believe than in most circumstances and discounting raiding as a seperate option,commanders would want the Cavalry within 5-20 miles(the same region) so that they could report enemy movement and numbers within an hour or two,so that I might react.In which case the game is forcing the player to act in a way that does not make military sense




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