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A Complicated Game - 2/23/2017 4:02:26 PM   
Crackaces


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I have noted a lack of activity in this forum, which is kind of sad for me because GG War Between the States is an enjoyable game ... once you learn the nuances. (Which I have not done yet )
It is in my opinion very unlike chess. which is a very simple game in terms of rules but very complicated in the number of paths .. War Between the States has very complicated game rules and interactions with those rules but once applied the strategies become quite straight forward.
The opening moves by BossGnome are the expertise really needed to understand how the rules interact with the strategy.

In the old days I learned a system movement . zones of control. combat tables and applied the system to various games .. this game has a very unique system that requires a lot of work to learn and more work to learn to apply effectively to enjoy the game ..

What I have found from a union perspective (at least vs Robot Rebel) is:

1. A strategy of attrition does not work. That is thinking you can push the South from critical defensible positions by "overwhelming" force is a futile effort. I have found that Grant and Lyon (with associated leaders and cast of characters) could not move VanDorn (and forces coming from all over the Western sectors) from a fortified position. In one case Union lost 20,000 .. South 5,000 ..I think the futility of a strategy like this or using strategies that by history "worked" (according to history) IRL that prove futile in the game might be a part of the reason this game is not as popular as other games?
2. The best Northern Strategy (so far in my limited experience) is to push where the South are not .. Amphibious landings far away from Southern centers of power .. there is an excellent set of moves in this forum for seizing New Orleans once a larger force gains initiative. Even placing small forces in say Alabama spreads the South out ..
3. From my experience real Northern push cannot be made until point #2 spreads out forces .. and enough forces are trained and enough Navel support weakens the South that losing land battles actually has an attrition impact
4. Just as an already emphasized point made by previous players .. but the small but very complicated details are very important in this game .. what is attached to whom spells victory or defeat. One detail is for example attaching artillery as an example to a commander with a art = 1 .. now the whole stack is slowed and actions reactions are affected ... the shift F filling of leaders defeats this detail ..and thus every leader requires a review and filled optimally with the right mix while still getting units under leadership so they can do things ..a lot of detail ..


Once I really understand these points .. I will try to find a live opponent

I welcome any thoughts ..
Post #: 1
RE: A Complicated Game - 2/26/2017 12:34:11 PM   
rs99z28

 

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I have found that attrition will work, but not at first.

you are right you want to spread the rebs out as thinly as possible. and don't send that massive stack against only one territory, spread them between as many as you can, you will probably lose a couple battles but you will be chipping away.

improper scouting will lose you a battle every time.

I am good enough to whoop on the AI without too much trouble but I have been up against some beasts of players, most all of whom don't play anymore unfortunately

(in reply to Crackaces)
Post #: 2
RE: A Complicated Game - 3/7/2017 6:36:13 PM   
Crackaces


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rs99z28

I have found that attrition will work, but not at first.

you are right you want to spread the rebs out as thinly as possible. and don't send that massive stack against only one territory, spread them between as many as you can, you will probably lose a couple battles but you will be chipping away.

improper scouting will lose you a battle every time.

I am good enough to whoop on the AI without too much trouble but I have been up against some beasts of players, most all of whom don't play anymore unfortunately


Ok .. I think a failure on my part (Union vs AI) is causing too many Union casualties given my results vs. the South forcing a second draft and further an inability to reach 1000 PP. I have in my 3 games forced "Strategic" victories but not at a time with enough PP's.
The scouting is sooooo important .. one thing is a lack of cavalry at first .. and a second constraint is the timing of initiative . that is getting cav there but before I could effectively scout .. I have the one chance to engage ..
then again a 3rd problem is that the Rebels can pull forces for hinder in places impossible to scout ..In fact I think that is a key strategy for the Rebels a token enough force to stop an overrun but enough unscounted forces to bring up quickly ..

From a strategic standpoint I think there are 2 games in 1 ..

Game one is fully disclosed leaders .. I have not played the Rebel side yet so from a Union perspective in that game the player sorts out the best attackers and defenders .. picks a respective front .. sorts out depending attributes and focuses on that front ..
I believe the game gives the best change for the Union to focus on Tennessee to attack while defending the Washington ... and using small forces to Amphibiously land ..

Game #2 is random leaders which forces the Union to figure out first the inf/art/ attributes found out trying to move tactically then the attack defense attributes after engagement .. it does produce in my opinion the situation where as the Union is forced to fight just to figure out who can before 1863 ..

I am focused on figuring out Game #1

One thing I have noticed .. let us assume there are about 43 turns from April 61 to the Beginning of Nov 64.
Let us assume say Grant has about a 33% probability to gain initiative .. (Theater Commander will increase this probability but let us assume for abstract purposes)
that means on average 13-14 times Grant per se can engage meaningfully other Generals much less .. The Union has to maximize these opportunities the majority of the time they do not have Initiative. I am not sure I am maximizing my opportunities yet.

One thing I have been using my initiative opportunities to take what the Rebels will give me but the areas in the end do not have the political points to support that 1000 PP threshold in 11/1864 given what I have spent to get there ..

Just one comment . I have found that Fort Monroe takes level 2 forts, some leaders good at defense, guns, and about 40,000 men to defend a full onslaught of the Army of Virginia ..depending on a react from DC might be disastrous as it was my last game ..however .. the South did have a lot of units attired by occupying Fort Monroe

So that is my thoughts to this point .. I want to play one more game vs. the AI before trying against a live opponent .. maybe kick up some interest in the forum again ..and support for the game ..

One thing I think would give the game a better feel is the thought of sieges .. that is allowing opposing forces to remain in the same area if the defense has forts ..increasing supply costs. attrition by disease .. defense cannot resupply from the grid ..thus New Orleans, Vicksburg, Petersburg become possible on many levels .. including the South having to deal with a possibility of siege .


< Message edited by Crackaces -- 3/7/2017 6:37:21 PM >

(in reply to rs99z28)
Post #: 3
RE: A Complicated Game - 3/9/2017 1:28:55 AM   
rs99z28

 

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one of the few things the game doesn't handle well, or at all in this case is sieges. you wont find many people that will be willing to play with random leaders either. its definitely different.

also the link below helps out immensely with activation

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1831195

(in reply to Crackaces)
Post #: 4
RE: A Complicated Game - 3/9/2017 4:35:08 PM   
Crackaces


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Well thanks for the link! Not placing my TC in a center with factories / population pool but just keeping 6 areas from two working armies is a problem I have been having ..


I just completed a game against the AI and won .. and I learned the following lessons ..

Humboldt is a very strong position that has to be dealt with directly ..
4 big guns and a fort with 20,000 rebels takes more force than Lyon can commit ..
the Tennessee cannot be crossed by being forded ..so "siege" is impossible ..
4 guns is not going to let a single amphibious boat unit by ..
and from my limited observations it takes about 3-4 gunboats to have a chance to stand up to one gun that means 12-16 gunboats in one stack to neutralize the position 2 8 point stacks is not going to do it ..

So with Lyon and 8 gunboats I moved the Rebels out ..

....

Speaking about big guns .. there are lot's of posts that say the North's big guns do not need to be produced ...
I might agree but I have found that big guns in spots where you think the South will attack .. I have found Fort Monroe to be such a place ..
they seem to not die because of disease and 5 guns with 40,000 Butler commanding has consistent resisted the Rebel Army of Virginia

Harper's Ferry might be a place to build big guns for .. releasing infantry for the Deep South Strategy ..
..........................

The games nuances with inf, art, and cav provides lots of possibilities for force mix .. particularly between inf/art

I have found:

1: Infantry is key to who remains when the shooting starts .
.Art is deadly .. but does not count for holding or taking ground One nice thing for the North Artillery it does not have to be trained and is the queen of battle but inf is the king of battle

2: Art for the north has the disadvantage of higher MP and fewer leaders have a bonus ..
so its a ball and chain narrowing the next area to clear terrain or really focusing on putting art units into art 3 leaders

3: The poor Union cav really magnifies the combat rules with "spotting" and the disadvantage of not spotting troops can yield huge variations in combat results .. with large armies like the Army of the Potomac vs Virginia especially with many unspotted units reacting ..


So that leads to just one strategy (from my uneducated view) for the North ..

Hold the South by the nose in Virginia .. an army in being so they have to concentrate there .. while using gunboats in the rivers of Tennessee and Grant to isolate and slaughter the Armies north of the Cumberland .. the AI likes to do this ..
And then Invade Jacksonville place AC .. and begin to cut up the deep south .. again using just enough force in Washington area to hold while units feed into the deep south through this hole ..

Eventually Virginia will have to be delt with but only after the Blockade is 100%

Last thought for this post ..

I do not think enough cruisers can have enough luck to force Mobile .. the AI places 4 guns pretty quickly there and there are easier places to force like Pensacola or Jacksonville

(in reply to rs99z28)
Post #: 5
RE: A Complicated Game - 3/9/2017 11:50:39 PM   
rs99z28

 

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I will usually build 1 factory in Cairo to get the most from my activation bonus.

Humboldt and Paducah can become reb fortresses if you let them get too strong.

I tend to agree that building heavy art isn't needed playing as the yanks. what I start with I put to good use however. keep at least one in fort Monroe to keep Norfolk from sea trade. one at the mouth of the Mississippi will shut down a ton of trade. one in bladwin will shut down mobile. the rest I usually have patrolling the banks of the Mississippi to keep the reb gunboats down.

I tend to stay away from 2 forts until mid game at least. they are very tough nuts to crack

the inferior yankee cavalry is a major hindrance that you will be dealing with most of the game

(in reply to Crackaces)
Post #: 6
RE: A Complicated Game - 3/14/2017 9:47:42 PM   
Crackaces


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Great suggestions! I had not thought of cutting off Moblie from the opposite swamps .. it would have to be dropped off by amphib as I don't think it can be moved from Pensacola ?

War in the pacific admirals edition has Michealm to maintain the code so lots of game issues have been taken care of .. I assume this game is dead and no more updates are planned? That would be a shame

I have found the 5% probability of damage when out of supply needs tweaking I cut off 40,000 Rebels in Kentucky / Tennessee and they held out till the end of the war.. the leader time algorithm might make a siege situation more playable.

There is a lot of luck in this game. Kentucky going rebel is a real PIA that is difficult to overcome.those 2 mountain areas are next to impossible to take generating militia makes getting lucky with cav less likely it takes a pretty big force that is not very likely to get initiative to occupy all of Kentucky

I think one problem is one really unlucky turn can be very very frustrating. In poker (hold'em) a .042 chance getting beat Ak vs kk ..ace on the board is a hard bad beat but a new hand happens in minutes .. one can invest hundreds of hours in this game and no initiative at key places for a couple of turns and the.loss of political points ever turn can put the north in a real bind .. I get the pressure to make the North attack (minus 10 PP game turn 1 if no manassas ) -27 offset by leaders + confederate raids usually 1-3 PP but some thought to this from a playability standpoint might be needed .. maybe not and I just don't understand the game enough

I am going to try another campaign game then maybe post for an opponent

(in reply to rs99z28)
Post #: 7
RE: A Complicated Game - 3/14/2017 11:04:32 PM   
rs99z28

 

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the forest in Baldwin can be moved into from land or sea.

the 5% damage is a little on the low side but what makes up for it is the combat modifiers. if they are out of supply they get some pretty hefty penalties against them.

the game has been dead for years unfortunately.

and yes KY going reb is a pain!

let me know if you want a game there's only a few of us.

(in reply to Crackaces)
Post #: 8
RE: A Complicated Game - 3/26/2017 7:02:39 PM   
Crackaces


Posts: 3377
Joined: 7/9/2011
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I need to play against the AI more to get a better feel of the game ..

One thing is ... historical moves cannot be replicated .. so one has to devise a strategy that suits the game ..
One example, Battle of Middle Creek Jan 10,1862 James A Garfield moves into mountain terrain and defeats Humphry Marshal. In the game that requires 7 movement points (5 + enemy area + winter) Jim at an Inf of '3' and Initiative is only 6 .. so no can do right?
Also, With the new rules each Strategic Loss is 20PP's If you think Bull Run I + II, Peninsula Campaign, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg... , (I am ignoring the opposite victories at Gettysburg) That is -80 PP (at least 5PP for the effort to move toward Richmond)
My point being a strategy of exchange that Lee eventually would be proven as pyrrhic victories .. are a complete disaster in this game as far as I can see .. So following a historical path leads to defeat ..as far as I understand so far





(in reply to rs99z28)
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