I just got Decisive Campaigns, and I am finding it pretty much impossible to start playing, due to the lack of any pre-combat summary information.
Each unit has several (I think 7?) statistics (morale, supply, etc.) which vary from 1-100 (or higher in some cases). The manual has a list of 18 modifiers that can affect combat. A couple of these (concentric and divisional integrity) have some numbers listed before you execute the combat, but even those numbers have no context (i.e. what do they mean, and how will they affect the outcome). The manual says that if you have equal attack value to the defender's defense value, you have 50% chance to hit, and that double attack value means you have 75% chance to hit, but the attack and defense values are never given in the game. Well, there is one number on each unit which might be the attack or defense value -- the manual never says -- but these numbers actually change depending on the map zoom level. In any case, even if those numbers are the attack or defense values, in combats with multiple units it isn't clear how they would be combined.
My question is, why isn't there a pre-combat screen that tells you: what your final attack value (and "hit points", which according to the manual is also important in combat, but again, is never listed in-game), the final defense value, the expected losses on each side, and chance of forcing a retreat? Even if those values were just ballpark figures, it would help enormously to determining if a battle is a good idea. As it stands, I guess I'm supposed to read the 7 stats for each unit in the battle, try to figure out the 18 modifiers in my head (even though, again, the manual never states exactly how strong the modifiers are), and then click the button and hope I haven't made any terrible mistakes? And if I do get slaughtered, how do I know if I fought a hopeless battle or just got unlucky?
Let me apologize in advance if this information is available and I'm just missing it. If so, please tell me where it is!
So my other question is, given all that, how do people play this game? Do you really just look at the pile of stats for each unit, memorize them, and then make your moves and attacks based on that information? Or do you just push counters around and hope for the best?
(On a separate rant: why are morale and the other stats on a 1-100 scale? Is there really ever going to be a situation where I make a different decision on what to do with a unit if it has 56 morale vs. 57 morale? It seems like I am being given a lot of information I can't possibly use, and not being given the important information that would actually help me make decisions).
Obviously a lot of people are fans of this game. I bought it because I got recommendations for it from two different sources. But I honestly can't see how it is supposed to be played. Please help me out! Thanks!