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Generals and promotion

 
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Generals and promotion - 11/18/2006 12:10:29 PM   
HMSWarspite

 

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As suggested in the AAR thread, let's talk the promotion system here. I can see several issues with the system as appears in the AAR (based on my obviously possibly wrong interpretation). These points have been made elsewhere by others (I am just attenpting to summarise)

It is always tricky with historical leaders, because everyone knows who is any good. Being able to demote bad leaders with impunity, and jump promote good ones means that the standard of leadership will be far better than history throughout the game, and the likes of Grant will be 4 star 1 turn after he appears as a one star. This is a possible game breaker to me, because one of the main balancing factors in the early war is the poor Union leadership. It is also severely unrealistic (which somewhat weakens the point of playing with historical settings).

It appears that the only effect of promotion is on the Governor of the general's state. This is fine for 'justified promotion', but doesn't represent the generals in the game as anything other than 'chits'. Hypothetically, I could run the most vicious results oriented system, jump promoting and demoting without any effect beyond the governors above (and that is the same as a 'normal' response). If Gen Improbable appears as a one star one week, then a 4 star the next, annoys me slightly, gets demoted, then moved, etc I think he would leave, or at least get depressed - look at Averell in my write ups).

There ought to be strict limits on command options. Brig Gens should command Brigades or Divisions, Maj. Gen's should command Divs or Corps etc. Having them in 'out of position' posts for mosr than a couple of weeks should upset them. Juniors should never be able to command senior formations in an area (a Brig Gen should not be allowed to command a Div if there is a Maj Gen in the province). Once a Divison or corps commander, even putting them in charge of a lower formation without demotion should have consequences (unless forced by disease or other 'justification')

Generals often got promoted beyond their competence - good div commanders don't always make Corps commanders. At present I am not sure whether ratings change with rank or command, or whether it is just other ratings that become significant. One of the issues of the ANV later in the war is that the subordinates to RE Lee were often not as good with corps sized formations as with smaller units. I think ratings should change with promotion (even if ony on non-historical settings). A good divison commander should not be hopeless as corp commander, but several were distinctly average, or certainly lacking in initiative.


Anyone any comments?
A lot of generals got over pro

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/18/2006 12:51:24 PM   
Paper Tiger

 

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As I said in the other thread, best option for me is a general needing to be involved in a battle before he can be promoted, and each promotion being only a single level. Equally demoting a general should cost a victory point or at least only be an option after he was involved in a battle.
I would personnaly play with randomised and hidden stats, but then I have no "attachment" to the historical generals.

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/18/2006 1:26:53 PM   
Jonathan Palfrey

 

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Generals: apart from the two options already in the game, I've suggested two other options in the past that I'll mention briefly again.

1. Historical ratings with a some random variation, so that over a series of games each general will on average give his historical performance, but will vary from it somewhat in each particular game. Of course this should be played with ratings hidden. This option was implemented in Frank Hunter's ACW game and seemed to be quite popular.

2. Historical ratings that are hidden from the player until the general has fought a couple of battles. Until then, the general's name is replaced with a random number so that the player really doesn't know who he is. When he's fought the required battles, his name and rating are revealed.

Promotions/demotions: I agree that demotions in particular seem too easy in the game as it stands. Promotions, maybe not. Rather abrupt promotions did happen sometimes, especially at the start of the war.

< Message edited by Jonathan Palfrey -- 11/18/2006 1:34:51 PM >

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/18/2006 1:54:47 PM   
HMSWarspite

 

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I have no problem with abrupt promotions being possible, but there should be a cost. How's about all the generals of equal and higher rank complain to their Governors, who might be upset? The prospect of upsetting a dozen states might make you really want the promotion before you do it!

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/18/2006 2:58:43 PM   
spruce

 

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hm, I'm confused - but one of the posts Gil made said it was ok to start new topics in the general forum.

I kinda support this thread. I've had some ideas about promoting and demoting. I also think they shouldn't be "free" and without hazard.

A promotion beyond division level (so to corps command) could result in a permanent trait "unfit for higher command". The trait means a severe penalty on his performance, but is only valid for corps and army level. So a general that gets this trait at corps command level, won't be cleansed by promoting him further up (logic). And a demotion to division level won't get rid of this trait - but the effects are not there at division level.

A demotion could result in a trait "disgruntled". This results in 50% chance for the coming turn - that this general is leaving the game. After this one turn, the trait is gone ... but chances are 50% your general is gone to.

A further window for opportunity is that a low ranking general, that get's promoted too fast - has higher chances of getting "unfit for higher command" trait. But don't know if this is possible.

< Message edited by spruce -- 11/18/2006 5:27:24 PM >

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/18/2006 4:57:08 PM   
Hard Sarge


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one thing on Generals if I follow part of this post right

for Generals effects to work, they need to be in the right Container, so, if you have a 4 Star in charge of a Div, he only effects that Div

you put a 3 Star in charge of a Div and a 1 Star in charge of a Corps, only the Div gets any effects of the Generals leadership

plus, Generals have a chance to train skills to units under his control, so at times, you may want to have a lesser General in overall command that can train the troops, instead of the best overall combat commander

overall, the system is not prefect, but it works, and it is fun, and it gives you tons of stuff to think about and plan

my last test, I built up a lot more Adcamies, as I needed my Generals to be promoted




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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/18/2006 8:26:21 PM   
chris0827

 

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It is hard to judge without having the game. We're going on what we see in one AAR. I've noticed that some divisions and corps in the AAR have no commnaders. I'm not sure if there is any penalty for that or not. I would suggest that a division or corps cannot be formed without a leader. This would force players to use some of the lesser quality leaders in order to form large armies. I'd rather not just see units commanded by only Lee, Grant and Sherman. I want to see Pope, McClellan and Bragg too. I'd also suggest that the number of brigades allowed in Corps and Divisions be lowered. In the AAR we see corps with 45-55 thousand men. It was rare in the civil war to see a corps with over 30 thousand men and that was mostly in the ANV when it was only two corps under Longstreet and Jackson.

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/19/2006 4:28:44 AM   
regularbird

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: spruce

hm, I'm confused - but one of the posts Gil made said it was ok to start new topics in the general forum.

I kinda support this thread. I've had some ideas about promoting and demoting. I also think they shouldn't be "free" and without hazard.

A promotion beyond division level (so to corps command) could result in a permanent trait "unfit for higher command". The trait means a severe penalty on his performance, but is only valid for corps and army level. So a general that gets this trait at corps command level, won't be cleansed by promoting him further up (logic). And a demotion to division level won't get rid of this trait - but the effects are not there at division level.

A demotion could result in a trait "disgruntled". This results in 50% chance for the coming turn - that this general is leaving the game. After this one turn, the trait is gone ... but chances are 50% your general is gone to.

A further window for opportunity is that a low ranking general, that get's promoted too fast - has higher chances of getting "unfit for higher command" trait. But don't know if this is possible.


Wow, these are some excellent ideas I would support either one. The only probs I have from the AAR's are casualties, disease and generals are the biggies. Frank Hunters old ACW game had a nice little system: each leader had a public support rating that changed depending on his success or lack there of. Promoting a general with no support was detrimental to the war effort. Also generals promoted always had a chance to lose some of thier abilities and improve some with successes.

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/19/2006 4:38:25 AM   
marecone


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Yap, Frank Hunter system for promoteing generals was the best way. Would be good if you could implement it in FoF. If it takes to much time then don't do it. I want to play it ASAP

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/19/2006 5:31:04 AM   
Gil R.


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There's no chance of this delaying release, due to the enormous amount of programming and testing it would require. Once the game is out, any and all suggestions regarding generals will be considered.

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/19/2006 5:34:58 AM   
AU Tiger


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gil R.

any and all suggestions regarding generals will be considered.



Translation:
"If you don't like it, write your own d###ed game!"

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/19/2006 8:25:07 AM   
Jonathan Palfrey

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gil R.

There's no chance of this delaying release, due to the enormous amount of programming and testing it would require. Once the game is out, any and all suggestions regarding generals will be considered.



That's very accommodating of you. It must be hard for games companies to decide how much work to put into a game after release, given that there's not usually any direct monetary reward for doing so. It probably gives the game a better press and may therefore increase sales, but the effect must be difficult to measure.

Some companies release a new improved version with extra features after a while, and charge for it. (I'm thinking of Firaxis, but there must be others.)

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/19/2006 5:49:02 PM   
Hard Sarge


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quote:

ORIGINAL: chris0827

It is hard to judge without having the game. We're going on what we see in one AAR. I've noticed that some divisions and corps in the AAR have no commnaders. I'm not sure if there is any penalty for that or not. I would suggest that a division or corps cannot be formed without a leader. This would force players to use some of the lesser quality leaders in order to form large armies. I'd rather not just see units commanded by only Lee, Grant and Sherman. I want to see Pope, McClellan and Bragg too. I'd also suggest that the number of brigades allowed in Corps and Divisions be lowered. In the AAR we see corps with 45-55 thousand men. It was rare in the civil war to see a corps with over 30 thousand men and that was mostly in the ANV when it was only two corps under Longstreet and Jackson.


I don't follow

some Generals come in at there promoted rank, some come in as one star

for a General to effect a Div or Corps or Army he has to be assigned to that Container

a one star can control a Bde, a 2 Star is needed to command a Div, 3 Stars is needed to command a Corps and so on

so over all, if you only have 4 2 star Generals, you are going to use them as your Div Commanders, you can have the greatest General to ever live, but if you do not have the slot to promote him, he is only good as a Bde Commander, until you either break some one down (I don't like to do) or get another slot to open up


Starting Generals and New Generals – “Forge of Freedom” has a database of over 1,000 generals with which a player may begin a game. The most famous of these have a 100% chance to appear at some point each game one plays, while some of the slightly less famous generals have a high chance of appearing but are not guaranteed to do so, and the rest have a small chance of appearing. Hence, players will always receive a different set of generals each time they play.

Name, Home State, and Rank – Each general’s name is given, along with his home state. Each general is ranked between 1 and 5 stars:


Rank Command Level
1 Star Brigade Commander
2 Star Division Commander
3 Star Corps Commander
4 Star Army Commander
5 Star Overall Commander

A general may be attached to any group, but he may only provide their bonuses and abilities to groups and units at or below his Command level. For example, a 2-star general may be attached to a Corps, but he will not be able to command the corps. 1-star generals are unique, in that they only provide their bonuses and abilities to individual brigades.

Five-star generals are unique, in that not only may they be assigned to and command any group, but in detailed combat they also provide benefits to groups and units to which they are not assigned: their bonuses extend to any friendly unit on the same battlefield.

Generals enter the game at a certain rank, and may be promoted or demoted to other ranks, as explained below. The Rank, or Command level, of a general provides the following benefits:

Training – Only the highest-ranking general in each military unit can provide training for units in that group. A general must also hold an appropriate command level for the group whose units he is training. For example, in a Corps with both a 4-star and a 3-star general attached, the 4-star general provides the training. However, in a corps with both a 2-star and a 1-star general attached, neither general provides any training.

Initiative Check – In determining the Initiative Check before detailed battle, the Initiative rating of each general on both sides is multiplied by the rank of the general, and the results are then compared. The general with the highest result determines the base Initiative score for each side.

Rallying – A general can rally “broken” units in detailed combat within the group that he commands. (See the Detailed Combat chapter for more information.) For instance, a 3-star general attached to a Corps has a chance to rally any broken unit in his Corps at the end of every turn in detailed combat.

Bonuses – Brigades in detailed combat use the bonuses from any generals directly attached to them, as well as the bonuses from the highest ranking general in their group. (See the Detailed Combat chapter for more information.)

Command Counter Rating – Generals contribute to the Command Counter rating in detailed combat. The Command Counter rating is the measure of how many out-of-command units can be returned to command each turn. A general contributes to this rating in proportion to his Command attribute multiplied by his rank.

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/19/2006 7:38:19 PM   
chris0827

 

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My concern is over what I'm seeing in the AAR. There are divisions and corps moving around with no leaders. Is this due to the inexperience of the players or is a unit without a general better than a unit with a bad general? If a unit without a leader is better than I think it's a serious flaw as it means there is no reason to use anything but the best leaders.

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/19/2006 8:31:18 PM   
chris0827

 

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I see another problem with a leader in the AAR. The union has just received Henry Halleck in late november of 1862. Here are Halleck's wartime commands.

Promoted to major general - aug 19th, 1861
Commander Dept of Missouri - Nov, 1861 (Grant's commanding officer)
Field Command of the Combined Union armies at Corinth - May 1862 (app 120,000 men)
Commander in chief of all Union forces - july 1862 (replaced by Grant in March 1864)
Named to the new post of chief of staff and served there until the end of the war.

He showed good administrative ability but was probably the worst field commander of the war. McClellan was an aggressive commander compared to Halleck.

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/19/2006 8:50:13 PM   
Mr. Z


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This is a good discussion--Gil is right, though, that any changes to this would need extensive testing, and so would certainly not happen until a patch.  However, I think most of these concerns are not necessary.

As far as I know, it is never better to leave a group without a general...some generals might be so bad that they are relatively ineffective, I suppose, but they always provide some bonus in combat--again, so far as I know.

Hard Sarge is correct--a general needs the rank in order to command a group.  If the general doesn't have the rank and is assigned to the group, he simply has no effect on the group.

It's true that you can assign a three-star to a division, for example, but that's just one the options that is left up to the player.  I confess that I don't know how often the AI would do this, if ever.  It might look a little weird in an AAR screenshot, but the game rules keep this from actually operating as weird as it looks like it might.

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/22/2006 5:31:07 AM   
regularbird

 

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Another suggestion would be that every time a leader is promoted there would be a 50% chance that his attributes would decrease by 25%.  Only allow a general to be promoted one level at a time and have at least 3 months before another promotion.

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/22/2006 8:04:06 AM   
Gil R.


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Regarding Halleck's arrival date, I should state that our database of generals records when an individual first became a general during the Civil War (obviously, some began the war as generals, though many didn't), and the program has them enter the war at a random time either then or thereafter. So if Halleck didn't enter the PBEM game until November 1862 it's a function of that randomization, not necessarily a mistake in our data.

When you think about it, it's better to have randomization, than for generals always to appear at the same time.

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/22/2006 8:40:30 AM   
chris0827

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gil R.

Regarding Halleck's arrival date, I should state that our database of generals records when an individual first became a general during the Civil War (obviously, some began the war as generals, though many didn't), and the program has them enter the war at a random time either then or thereafter. So if Halleck didn't enter the PBEM game until November 1862 it's a function of that randomization, not necessarily a mistake in our data.

When you think about it, it's better to have randomization, than for generals always to appear at the same time.



So someone who was a major general at the time the game starts may not show up until a year later? I can understand some randomization but that seems exteme. What is the limit? One year? Two? I would think that the generals commanding troops in Nov 1861 would be available to the player at the start, not show up at some random future time. Does this mean that generals like McClellan, McDowell, Johnston, and Beauregard who commanded troops in Nov 1861 may not show up until a year later?

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/22/2006 10:47:24 AM   
Paper Tiger

 

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By this randomisation a general will always appear later than he historically did, but never before, and only individuals who reached the rank of general will ever turn up. Not sure about this, if you are going to randomise appearance it should be on both sides of the actual appearance not just later.

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/22/2006 11:14:24 AM   
Paper Tiger

 

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Then of course I could go into the file and adjust the arrival dates by say 3 months myself couldn't I.

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/22/2006 5:20:51 PM   
Hard Sarge


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quote:

ORIGINAL: chris0827


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gil R.

Regarding Halleck's arrival date, I should state that our database of generals records when an individual first became a general during the Civil War (obviously, some began the war as generals, though many didn't), and the program has them enter the war at a random time either then or thereafter. So if Halleck didn't enter the PBEM game until November 1862 it's a function of that randomization, not necessarily a mistake in our data.

When you think about it, it's better to have randomization, than for generals always to appear at the same time.



So someone who was a major general at the time the game starts may not show up until a year later? I can understand some randomization but that seems exteme. What is the limit? One year? Two? I would think that the generals commanding troops in Nov 1861 would be available to the player at the start, not show up at some random future time. Does this mean that generals like McClellan, McDowell, Johnston, and Beauregard who commanded troops in Nov 1861 may not show up until a year later?


Chris
as has been stated, there are over 1000 Generals in the data base, all the Generals who started the war cannot be there at the start or come in right on time, and there are the so called 100% and the 25% and the 9% (I think that is how they were calling them) there is a good chance, some of them are not going to make it into a game (and may the next)(and you can set the game to be fewer Generals, normal or more Generals)

plus, for the containers, I would have to say, that they have there own staffs, and so should be seen to have a General in command, the "Generals" we get as the leaders, are the good ones, the known ones

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RE: Generals and promotion - 11/22/2006 7:25:52 PM   
Gil R.


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Adding to what Hard Sarge said, I'm 99% certain that some generals are hard-coded always to be there at the beginning. I've never played a game as the CSA that didn't have me start with Lee and Jackson, for example.

Plus, as one of you correctly surmised, this can be modded somewhat. (You can't change the code, but you can easily change the earliest point that generals can appear.)

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