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Some Clarification Needed - 9/13/2017 2:53:49 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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As I previously wrote I'm really enjoying the game, especially playing as the CSA since that is a challenge. That said I do have a few questions.

There is the option for paying for draftees. I rarely use it and if I do it's when my morale is above 110 or so and I pay no additional money. But sometimes it appears that the number I get is less than expected or less than if I did nothing. So what are some general guidelines with this option. Should I even use it and when and with how much premium.

In relation to the above I can raise additional money with inflation costs and possible morale. I sell bonds and sometimes raise taxes but have not printed money or taken the other choice. To be honest unless I'm building a fleet or tons of factories I don't need much more money. So once again what are the general advice concerning money and what options are best.

And that leads me to building iron works and other stuff. I do build 3 iron works as soon as possible for 300K and these are the ones n Rome GA etc. I also build 3 arsenals as these seem to be a better investment than the armories. That said in 1862 I build 2 more iron works and 4 armories for 100K and 25WS. This seems to be more than enough for me as I can run a surplus soon after they are finished. Yes I could spend money and that excess WS on ironclads but I rather have troops. So what are the best advice on factories.

Finally, I started to play with easy supply off and what a huge change that made to the game. No longer can I send rangers on a deep mission for months at a time to wreck havoc to rail lines and plunder at will. 2-3 turns and they are out of supply. That said the AI north can't do the same. The AI used to love to send troops through West Virginia to mess with my rail line but now they don't or they last 1 turn. Same goes for many invasions. If I protect the cities these eventually die off or become easy to defeat with minimal forces. It seems not having easy supply really establishes fronts due to the need for supply lines. Is this observation correct?

Post #: 1
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/13/2017 3:56:47 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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quote:

There is the option for paying for draftees. I rarely use it and if I do it's when my morale is above 110 or so and I pay no additional money. But sometimes it appears that the number I get is less than expected or less than if I did nothing. So what are some general guidelines with this option. Should I even use it and when and with how much premium.

In relation to the above I can raise additional money with inflation costs and possible morale. I sell bonds and sometimes raise taxes but have not printed money or taken the other choice. To be honest unless I'm building a fleet or tons of factories I don't need much more money. So once again what are the general advice concerning money and what options are best.

And that leads me to building iron works and other stuff. I do build 3 iron works as soon as possible for 300K and these are the ones n Rome GA etc. I also build 3 arsenals as these seem to be a better investment than the armories. That said in 1862 I build 2 more iron works and 4 armories for 100K and 25WS. This seems to be more than enough for me as I can run a surplus soon after they are finished. Yes I could spend money and that excess WS on ironclads but I rather have troops. So what are the best advice on factories.

Finally, I started to play with easy supply off and what a huge change that made to the game. No longer can I send rangers on a deep mission for months at a time to wreck havoc to rail lines and plunder at will. 2-3 turns and they are out of supply. That said the AI north can't do the same. The AI used to love to send troops through West Virginia to mess with my rail line but now they don't or they last 1 turn. Same goes for many invasions. If I protect the cities these eventually die off or become easy to defeat with minimal forces. It seems not having easy supply really establishes fronts due to the need for supply lines. Is this observation correct?


You can quickly raise funds as you've mentioned and randomly recruit more draftees (Conscript Companies or CC) with those funds, but the South cannot suddenly raise a few hundred points of War Supply (WS). WS is the bottleneck. There is no point to having lots of cash and CC's if you can't make combat units with them. You can overcome this somewhat by constructing iron works, but this runs into a factor called Return On Investment (ROI). The factory costs money and WS to build. How long does the factory have to produce to make up for its cost in WS? Only after this period, does the factory begin to actually add to your WS total. To fully pay for the money cost as well, the factory must produce 500 WS held in surplus and then WS produced is sold in 50 unit increments for $50. It sounds complicated, but all ROI means is that the factory costs you something and doesn't pay the cost back for many game months. Keep this in mind when you plan to build factories.

You are most correct about supply effects.I would go so far as to say that supply dominates the game. Send a force away from a supply line to a depot for too long and you might as well march them into the sea. A game mechanic moves supply from a source, like a structure, through connected regions to a depot. The depot can then "push" General Supplies (GS) and Ammo out to a Supply Wagon from 3 to 5 regions away. A unit without GS loses cohesion and may even start to take hits. A unit without Ammo doesn't fight very well.

Even one uncontested enemy unit in the intervening regions will stop supply moving. A Supply Wagon 5 regions from a depot may receive supplies in good weather, but have to move closer to remain supplied in poor weather. Military Control also plays a part. If most of the people in a region (IIRC 80%) are not sympathetic to your side, then no supplies may be moving. Depots set up near each other form a network that moves supplies to the regions where they are needed automatically. However, enemy action may break this network leaving some depots isolated and thus useless. This makes cavalry raids to destroy depots very damaging. The game has a supply overlay you can use to locate your depots so you can figure out if the network is doing its job. Good luck!

< Message edited by Poopyhead -- 9/13/2017 3:59:06 PM >


_____________________________

Astrologers believe that your future is determined on the day that you are born.
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Post #: 2
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/13/2017 7:29:41 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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So as CSA should you not build things like Iron works? If I don't I seem to run short of WS so that's why I build at least the 3 in 1861. I don't build the coast one as they are subject to blockade if I understand the game correctly.

In my current game Kentucky came in on CSA side early so I captured Louisville and even Lexington. That said I had to build a depot in Bowling Green and Louisville to maintain supplies. In other games with easy supply this wasn't necessary. And yes I'm aware of the map overlay. Out in MO I defend Springfield by capturing and burning all stockades within 5 provinces of the city. I also do something like this near El Paso but try to control the one just to the north so I can mess with cities farther north. But if I see a big stack moving towards me I burn that one too.

But going back to building factories is it a good idea for CSA or not? I've read the large threads on CSA strategy at the other site but they really don't get into what to do in 1861. Since the game starts off the same there are a few decisions and moves that everyone should make. For example until a recent game I never took Norfolk with that single small militia unit next to it. But it works and gets some artillery faster. Or the embargo decision which I now take on my first turn. So someone probably crunched the ROI and determined if building factories is smart or not.


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RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/13/2017 10:27:26 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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The player has two choices. Win ASAP by blitzing D.C. and crushing Union National Morale or build infrastructure and fight a long war to win by Victory Points. Both are possible. As you point out, opening moves in 1861 dictate the hand you deal yourself. I prefer to put together my best army of Divisions under Jackson, Longstreet, Shelby and others led by Beauregard with the best troops I can muster. The AI doesn't defend D.C. well and most Union players don't either, at least the ones who have not read my posts don't. If they do defend their Capital, then their hands are tied at least through the end of 1862, giving the South hope. I believe that an aggressive strategy with a credible threat to D.C. offers more benefit than building infrastructure. ArmChairGeneral is good at the long strategy, so factories do pay off if you can avoid being crushed.

_____________________________

Astrologers believe that your future is determined on the day that you are born.
Warriors know that your future is determined on the day that your enemy dies.

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RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/14/2017 8:41:26 AM   
Captain_Orso

 

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A couple of points GM. If you've taken Louisville and Lexington, you really have to take Cincinnati as well as quickly as possible, otherwise there was no real point.

Pile on the troops. Louisville and Lexington (and Frankfurt) are important for Kentucky, and cost the Union not a little in NM, but Cincinnati is a major city in the US and will cost the Union dearly to lose it. Not only in NM, but also in income, and Columbus, practically right next door, which is the capital of Ohio, will be the next kick in the teeth. It can throw the Union into chaos. NM will be dropped substantially, and if you can keep the pressure up, the Union might never recover from it, especially if it's early in the war and the Union hasn't had time to build up in the Old-MidWest. I could go on and on about it, but you get the idea I think.

About depots and supply distribution. PH stated correctly that supply can move up to about 5 regions in distance, but you can not count on it, and that is really talking about supply from depot to depot.

The rule-of-thumb for depots are
- following a rail line: every 3-4 regions (don't forget to keep your rail pool up to full as much as possible, which is difficult as the South).
- following a good roads through regions with not less than 50 civilization levels: 3 regions should generally work, but you might have to increase the depot size to compensate for delays during bad weather.
- following rivers: this is actually the best way (and how it was done historically, which is why controlling the rivers was so important): about 5 river regions and you should have a huge amount of supply flowing.

If you are trying to keep a corps or army stack in supply in the field, you need a depot not further than 2 regions distance at the very most, or be able to constantly run supply trains back and forth along a rail line, in which case it would probably be better to build a depot in between. You have to guard the area behind your forces to the utmost anyway, so a depot is the better solution.

My most prominent recollection of pulling supplies from a depot with a corps was while getting all the corps of my army (like 7+ corps) in place to attack Richmond. I had a corps 2 regions east of Charlottesville, and was having trouble keeping the corps supplied, because the intervening regions were open, with no rail line between. Although the weather was mostly good, my net-supply level fluctuated enough that I had to add a supply train to increase pull and for an additional buffer, and I still had to sometimes move a supply train manually back to Charlottesville to fill it and then move it back to the corps again. I probably should have just built a depot right there, but I was thinking of keeping mobile, although I was going nowhere with that corps (it was the far right anchor of my army's line of corps), and we all have brain-farts sometimes

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RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/14/2017 2:46:42 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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Thanks for the tips.

BTW I did take Cincinnati but the AI union is sending a huge stack to take it back. The AI also sent 2 stacks of a single division along the rail line from Bowling Green to cut my supplies. I was starting to make a push on Indianapolis but didn't have the troops to protect KY rail lines and defend Cincinnati.

I am somewhat surprised that the AI sent 2 large stacks of 2 divisions (estimated) down the mountains in West Virginia and cut my main rail line in southern Tennessee. I only had small militia there to stop raiding cavalry so they got wiped out. But I'm wondering how long they can remain supplied. Yes they have a 4 cart supply train but that has to run out sometime. And their nearest depot is way more than 5 provinces from where they are. Can the capture of one or two of my depots on on the rail line keep them supplied?

What do you guys do with all the minor invasions the AI does? They seem to land a small division or a few brigades all over the place. I have one outside Houston, one in northern LA, one south of New Orleans, one in northern Arkansas and one that I crushed at Memphis. I have 3 stacks of river patrols (one with a brig) that I rotate to keep in good shape and supplied so 2 groups are out almost all the time. I also have decent defense forces (about 200-300 power) in the more important cities. But they just keep coming. Is there a way to stop supply down the river? Or do I just ignore these as distractions.

Poopyhead, I seem to never be able to get enough troops to do your strategy. Do you strip Tennessee and the Shenandoah armies for more brigades? What I run into is I get a stack or two totaling 4K but DC has a defending stack of 5+K. Do you move your troops out of Alexandria past the river to the province just west of DC and attack from there?

Playing on the hardest difficulty setting gives the Union lots of troops.

Question - In the difficulty settings I can set how large a bonus I want to give the AI for activation. What do you guys set this at? I have it at +1 and it already plays like 80-90% of union stacks are active. A +2 would mean almost all union generals are active almost all the time. Sort of takes away the one advantage I have playing as CSA.

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RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/14/2017 4:07:52 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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The longer you wait to attack D.C. the harder it will get. What year are you up to? D.C. has a large number of locked troops that are permently loose, i.e. not in Divisions. These look like a high power force but are not. Get a good recon of the region with some cavalry. Who is in charge of the Capital? Your best troops, with a Division of 20 pounders well led with supplies and high cohesion can crush a bunch of crappy units in a stack of Union trash. And yes, do not cross the river directly into D.C. Cross up stream and march in because river crossing battles are a meat grinder for the attacker. Good luck!

http://www.ageod-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=331&t=34770


< Message edited by Poopyhead -- 9/14/2017 4:25:03 PM >


_____________________________

Astrologers believe that your future is determined on the day that you are born.
Warriors know that your future is determined on the day that your enemy dies.

(in reply to Goodmongo)
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RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/14/2017 5:37:14 PM   
Captain_Orso

 

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It sounds like you walked into a power vacuum in eastern Kentucky. You never mentioned what your force size was, so I was thinking of when it happened to me.

IIRC it was very early '62. I had just mustered enough troops for almost 2 divisions for Grant in Cairo and was getting ready to step off across the Ohio. I had no inkling of any forces the South had anywhere north of the Memphis-Chattanooga axis. Until then he was really giving me such a hard time in Missouri, I though he must have had most of his western power there, and since I had only just managed to hold him off from taking Springfield, and because I cut his supplies from Fayetteville he took some heavy losses that allowed me to push him back to Fort Smith before a hard winter set in. It looked to me like he had reinforced Fort Smith during the winter, so with spring approaching, I thought I'd just keep Fayetteville and Springfield safe and put all my resources for the west into building an army for Grant. In the east I thought we were about in parity, so I though he couldn't have much at all in Kentucky-Tennessee.

Just as Grant was about to push off into Paducah with 1 1/2 divisions, because I wanted to take the initiative, Johnston came barreling out of Nashville, straight through Bowling Green and into Louisville and Lexington, all only weakly held, with only militia in Bowling Green and the free-be forces given to me garrisoning Louisville and Lexington. Behind that, there was nothing!

In eastern Kentucky I was quickly pushed aside taking heavy losses, so I pulled back across the Ohio to reinforce Nelson and try to block an Ohio crossing. But now I was trying to balance between pulling a delaying force together in Cincinnati, which I thought I would lose to a man, while still trying to get Grant up to at least 2 1/2 divisions. Nelson got his arse kicked trying to keep Johnston from crossing into Ohio and into Cincinnati, which was a futile gesture from the outset. Nelson got bloodied again and Cincinnati fell just as quickly, and NM were melting away like the snows of the last winter.

I stripped Missouri down as much as I dared, and maybe got the 2 1/2 divisions together for Grant, but Johnston had about 4 divisions plus IIRC Forest leading a small but powerful battlegroup and threatening to overtake Johnston at any moment and break free to range out as far as he could speed his force.

With Grant now positioned around Indianapolis I thought the South would take the easy road, and head for Wheeling to straighten his front line, reduce it's length, and open a line of communications between his eastern and western armies north of the Appalachians. But Johnston was out for blood now, and thrust northward straight for Grant, a move I had not anticipated.

With NM already below 80 the iron fist that hit Grant pushed it even lower. I tried to make the South pay for the damages they were doing to my NM, but Grant was simply overwhelmed. And after the second or third hard battle, Lincoln threw in the towel and it was all over except for the funerals.

I can only guess that the South put everything into building up troop strengths as quickly as possible; to hell with inflation, while I was trying to go easy on my economy and build up my forces gradually and evenly. The whole thing went so quickly, like in about 6 turns. It's a lesson I'll never forget, and probably the shortest game I played to completion.

You are experiencing now in eastern Kentucky what I always wanted to avoid the few times I played the South. I always went for Cairo and Saint Louis first and then consolidated everything in Missouri south of the Missouri River while blocking the rail line to Leavenworth. I only held Nashville and the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers with enough to prevent a breakthrough, but not mount an offensive. It's a bit chancy if the North can get past Jefferson and head toward Fayetteville to cut the supply line before I've taken Saint Louis, but I always managed to prevent that.

Once I had gotten that far, I straightened my front line between Vincennes and Saint Louis and then pushed towards Chicago to split the North in two. The North cans still muster a very strong force west of the Saint Louis-Chicago line but Athena tends to divide building up between west and east of that line, which give me the opportunity of deciding in which direction to hit first. Without a concerted effort on one side or the other, it's really just like mopping up smaller forces and marching long distances between all those smaller industrial cities. There really is a lot of ground to cover.

What you do really depends on who has how much who has between the Mississippi and Cincinnati. If your forces in Kentucky are strong enough to hold east and west of Bowling Green, and your riverine navy on the Mississippi is strong enough to contest control of the Ohio at least enough to block supplies from reaching Bowling Green, you might still be able to push the North back out.

If that is what you want to do, the first thing you have to do is build a depot in Huntsville TN just north of Knoxville. This should open a supply line up to Lexington that should be able to keep a small army in supply even in winter. I've done this going in the other direction to take Knoxville and don't recall having had an issue with keep 2-3 division in supply there. If you have an issue with supplies, you can also build another depot between Huntsville and Lexington or increase the size of the depot in Huntsville. Either should fix that issue.

But what you ultimately do will depend on troop strengths on each side now, and how much each side is willing to invest in taking or holding eastern Kentucky.

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RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/14/2017 7:38:04 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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It's the first tun in October 1862 and it's decision time. Far out in the west I've isolated El Paso but can strike north with a cavalry division northwards. Maybe even take Albuquerque if lightly defended. In MO I have Springfield and the northern armies stopped besieging it, probably due to supply. I plan to send a recon force towards St. Louis to see what's on that path. I have an army with 2+ divisions in Paducah that can take Cario as that is lightly defended. KY is a mess. I have control and built depots to help supply but am waiting for the north's counter attacks at Cincinnati and maybe south towards Louisville. I'm thinking of going over the Ohio to preempt this. I have raiders and partisans messing with northern depots and rail lines to distract Athena.

Then there is Virginia. Looking at raw power numbers I have about 10K in 2 armies that consist of 3 corps total which makes 5 stacks of 3+ divisions each (17 full divisions and one with a single brigade). Question - is it smarter to have no troops in an army and keep Lee all alone or do you place divisions in the army stack? The union has a total power of over 19K in the area. Under Lee I have Longstreet in a corps with divisions led by Shelby and two other good generals. Each division has a power rating of 800+. I also am trying an artillery only division for this corps. It is by far the strongest stack I have. The union has 5-6K quasi trapped units in Harper's Ferry where I can use Longstreet along with 3 other stacks leaving just Lee in Alexandria at around 2K power. With winter coming I need to decide if I try to destroy the forces at Harper's Ferry or move Longstreet to attack DC.

And as I said there are a whole bunch of Union "invasions" along the Gulf, Mississippi and from West Virginia. I'm kind of glad on these as they could have been in a more critical area.

Due to all the heavy fighting all my money, etc. went for reinforcements the last two turns. I would really like to build more of those special forces like HQ's, signal pontoons.

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RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/14/2017 10:59:57 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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Win the battle first, then fight it. Know everything you need to about D.C. Who is in command? What kind of units are there. Compare the entrenchment icons to your own and estimate the level. It's probably high by Oct. '62. Also, D.C. has a redoubt. Normally an army is entrenched in the region and another force occupies the redoubt. What is the weather like? Can your force get there quickly?

Since you have Army stacks and Corps stacks, all can be placed in one region and then march on D.C. using Synchronized Movement. The move is made at the speed of the slowest unit, so make sure you do not have really slow siege guns included. A few large maxed out stacks are better than a lot of stacks with 3 Divisions. "Don't poke it with your finger, smash it with your fist." (Guderian) Pontooneers in each stack would speed movement over the Potomac. Longstreet has a high Defensive Stat (6). Lee has the higher Offensive number (6). Lee should be overall commander of the assault. Yes, his Army stack should be a full stack of Divisions. Your Divisions should be composed well. Each should have a sharpshooter, 2-3 cavalry and the rest as many line infantry as possible. Certainly no militia and few conscript regiments. Try to have one brigade with high cohesion in as many Divisions as possible. The South has lots of brigades with 6 pounder artillery batteries that are subpar. Try to minimize the number of these. You can only use a fixed amount of artillery in a battle. The guns that fire in a battle round are chosen randomly. If you have lots of pop guns, then they may be chosen and your best guns will be idle. A Division of 15 batteries of big guns should be led by a good commander with a high offensive stat. Lee can almost use two of these Arty Divisions in D.C., which is open terrain. Anything that can be organized can be done. The war will not be won in Ohio or the far west. Focus on what is going to get the job done. Good luck!

< Message edited by Poopyhead -- 9/14/2017 11:44:07 PM >


_____________________________

Astrologers believe that your future is determined on the day that you are born.
Warriors know that your future is determined on the day that your enemy dies.

(in reply to Goodmongo)
Post #: 10
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/15/2017 7:44:02 AM   
Captain_Orso

 

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First, with regards to giving your army commander fighting troops or keeping him alone IMHO depends mostly on which and how many good corps commanders you have.

The issue on the one side is that with regards to MTSG (March to The Sound of Guns, corps coming to each other's aid) Lee as army commander has an advantage in MTSG'ing. He will do it more often than a corps.

TIP: Whatever you do, if you have a line of corps 3 wide, you will want to have Lee in the middle, so that he can MTSG in both directions. If you corps line is being attack on both ends (nobody is really dumb enough to attack in the middle, because both end corps could MTSG to the middle corps, but on the end, only the middle corps can MTSG to the end corps) Lee will MTSG first to one side, and then to the other.

Assuming Lee is in the middle of a 3 corps battle line and both ends of the line are being attack the same turn, if Lee's stack doubling as a corps stack, after the first battle, if his divisions have lost substantial cohesion, it will lessen the chances of Lee actually MTSG'ing to assist in the second battle. If Lee is alone, he will most likely succeed, as Lee himself cannot lose cohesion, so his chances are always the same, very good.

On the other hand, not having Lee in the middle corps stack will comparatively lessen that corps' chances of MTSG'ing to both battles, although, unless the terrain is very poor and/or the weather is bad (mud etc.) it is more likely than not that the middle corps will MTSG, at the very least once.

Now, if you only have 2 good corps commanders, the answer is simple, give Lee a corps, because it eliminates the need for the third corps commander.

You said you have two armies in Virginia. Why? They cannot fight and support each other, ever; no MTSG'ing between corps/army stacks of different armies. Lee has a very large command radius (select Lee's stack and hold the <shift> key to observe it). Unless where you need to have corps is outside Lee's command radius, you should only have Lee commanding an army in Virginia. Besides, he's your very best commander and will pass on the best stats to his corps commanders. Think about this.

If you do need to have two armies, remember, you can transfer corps from one army to another. To do this, the corps being transferred must be closer to the new army command than to the old. Once this is the status, dropping corps status from said corps, and then reinstating it using the new army. It will take one turn for the new army commander's status to be passed on to his new corps.

---

With regards to the Old Midwest. PH is correct that taking DC will likely win the game in one fell swoop. However, that you cannot win in the Old Midwest is wrong. It's just not as quick. You will have to fight a victory on more than one battlefield, but you will also not be fighting just one huge battle.

Which is wiser depends on forces and their distribution. You need to be able to dictate where you fight, picking only fights where you have the advantage, and where you can do the most damage, not just to troops, but strategically as well. Taking Vincennes is for example not the same as taking Cairo. Vincennes is important, without a doubt, but Cairo controls the Mississippi-Ohio Confluent, which is very important. It splits the Union Brown Water Navies and allows you to decide where to fight on the rivers.

However, if you are weak in eastern Kentucky and Cincinnati compared to what the Union has on the field in that area, he had the advantage, and it will be much more difficult to take the initiative.

quote:

Winter is coming - Jon Snow aka ... okay okay no spoilers


I would be thinking of consolidating at this point. Do you have Bowling Green? can you take it quickly. If you do have it, or can take it, you might want to build a redoubt there to help secure and hold it.

quote:

YOU-SHALL-NOT-PASS!! - Gandalf the Grey

You really want to also be looking at controlling the Ohio River as well. Is that possible? Do you have enough ironclads and gunboats (cottonclads have the best bang-for-bucks for fighting, but are limited in numbers).

To prevent the Union from crossing a major river at any specific river region, you need a fleet of 4 combat elements (generally 2 gunboat units) unopposed in said river region. They should be in DP (Defensive Posture) to reduce cohesion loss especially in winter when weather will wreak havoc on them, as it is inconsequential to blocking a river crossing. Also give each a transport if possible, so that they do not have to leave station every couple of turns to pick up supplies. The transports are optional. You can also just invest in gunboats and cycle them in and out of friendly harbors to pick up supplies and recover cohesion. Either way, a lot of micro-management is required.

If you can line the Ohio with a multitude of such mini-fleets, one in each river region where you expect the Union to attempt to cross, they will be blocked from crossing the river. And not only land stacks are blocked, but there is also a 90% chance in every supply distribution phase (three per turn, at the start of every turn, before any troop movement takes place) of blocking all supply from crossing the river at that point.

However, they can of course attack your blockade of mini-fleets, which is where your ironclads come into play. They are the anchors at the ends of your blockade line.

The issues you have with this are tricky. The fleets must be in OP (Offensive Posture) to attack an enemy fleet entering their river region, otherwise the enemy, if also in DP will simply sail right through. This is their greatest advantage. If your ironclad fleet at the end of your blockade line is in OP it will lose cohesion after a few turns, while the Union can decide when to set sail, and leave his fleet in DP (reduces cohesion loss while sailing) and simply depend you your fleet being in OP to start a fight. Under these circumstances, he can sail his ironclad fleet right past yours. Once at the the point of the river where he wants to cross you blocking will be negated. The next turn he will be able to cross the river where his ironclads are resting. He cannot plan a crossing before this, at least human players cannot, because the game engine does not allow plotting a move across a blocked river region. I'm not sure if it does allow the AI to plot such a move; IIRC it does .

The other option is to station your ironclad fleet in an harbor where it can sortee out quickly to attack his fleet once he has passed. If he sent his IC fleet in in OP he will only attack your end fleet(s). I don't recall, if after the first battle, he will continue, but I believe it depends on his fleets status after the first battle. It might continue on until being worn down.

And there is another issue you have to consider. Jon Snow, eh... winter Starting a few regions west of Cincinnati, you can expect the river to freeze. From Cincinnati and further up river, you can practically be certain of it. When a river region freezes in winter, any fleets in that region will be automatically sent into the closest friendly harbor, where they will be locked in place until the river thaws again.

This means the river can be crossed where frozen, unhindered by blocking gunboats. It also means IT'S WINTER! Moving across the land will be costly; much higher cohesion loss, much higher supply usage (some cohesion loss will be traded for supplies (the troops are getting warm gear, being fed warm food more often, etc.), and they can and will take hits. This is why we never conduct operations in winter weather if at all avoidable. If such a force spends more than a couple of turns marching through such bad winter weather, wherever they arrive, they will be in poor condition, which makes any attacks they might conduct likely to fail, which means much more cohesion loss, many hits, and likely leave them in huddled masses, practically unable to move, starving, and freezing, and ripe to be counter attacked and being wiped out. Athena is not likely to attack in winter, unless it is very close by, and victory is certain.

What you do will depend on assessing the situation and your abilities to leverage every advantage you can muster.

As PH loves to quote, "Nicht Kleckern sondern Klotzen!" (Don't slap their face, kick them in the balls!! ) - Heinz "Steel-Toes" Guderian

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Post #: 11
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/15/2017 2:24:48 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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Mein Hauptmann, I mean Captain Orso, is giving you sound advice, as always. However, you would have to win 10 incredible victories that gave you at least 5 NM each to equal one victory at D.C., which gives you 50 NM at once. Actually you would need even more victories than that because Athena's NM may gain 1 each turn adjusting up to 100. I do not think that you can wait until springtime 1863 to take D.C. as Athena is not only getting stronger, but she is getting better Generals and weapons too. You might at least give the D.C. blitz a try so that you can see what you would need to do better next time.

"L'Audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!" Always be bold. (Patton)

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Post #: 12
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/15/2017 2:57:34 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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Thanks for all the great tips. It seems I made some mistakes in Virginia by having 2 armies there. One opposite DC and the other in the valley SW of Harper's Ferry.

The Union had Grant in DC and there was a massive fight in Virginia where the Union massed 172K troops. I had just 100K. I lost due to cohesion but did kill more troops, however not quite twice as many so it hurt me much more than the Union. It seems Athena is deciding on Virginia because I took Columbus and was about to go for Indianapolis when the AI pushed a 3K stack there. Thing is I think it took most troops from St. Louis area.

I did well in KY area as I have Cincinnati, Lexington, Louisville, Bowling Green and now Columbus. So I'm going to hunker down for the winter there and go defensive. Farther west I took Cairo and beat up on Sherman. I'm waiting to get some cohesion back and then move on St. Louis from Cairo and from Springfield. His large army that was attacking Springfield/Fayetteville left and I bet is going to defend St. Louis. BTW out in the far west I actually took Santa Fe and with the one stack you get for free in NM plus a couple cavalry units I had bought.

So it looks like my strategy is to push it in areas far away from DC and then to defend the Potomac. That is unless the Union starts to move troops away from DC and also move Grant. Looks like I will have to hope for a 1864 win.

As for building troops I do try to stay away from the ones that have a 6 pounder. But that means my other choices have conscripts in them. What are the best units to by first?

Thanks for clearing up that I need 4 elements for blocking things. Explains why a single or duo river Ironclad did nothing. I'll also invest in more very cheap riverboats next game just to do the blockade task and lump ironclads into the battle fleets.

My morale is 140 but I was surprised to see the union morale at 93. This is the first game where the Union had such a decent morale while the CSA had a high one. Other games the union moral would be down in the 70's. I also have just under 1000 more VP's than the union does (4780 vs. 3809).

My oldest son is also learning the game so we'll be playing games between us in the not too distant future. Many years ago I played Frank Hunter's Civil War game and really liked it despite it's flaws. I had a hankering for a Civil War game like that one (I play lot's of WW2 games or games from Paradox) and found this one. And the learning never stops. Only last weekend I realized that I could relocate leaders and special units in a single turn. I used to use rail movement all the time for them.

I'm still trying to get a handle on what special units I really need, who should get them and when. With the limited resources of the south it comes down to making some hard choices.

(in reply to Captain_Orso)
Post #: 13
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/15/2017 3:58:19 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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Under no circumstances should you attack D.C. if Grant is there. Once, Athena sent a "wall of blue stacks" to take Richmond from MD. I let them pass my blitz force by and then took D.C.

A Corps/Army stack should really have an HQ, a pontooneer and an engineer. The pontooneer and engineer work together to help the stack entrench faster. However, the HQ and a hospital or signal unit do not add up their effects together. Prior to the advent of Corps, you can put 4 Generals together in one stack with a signal unit and have 10 Command Points available for a "mini-Corps", if needed. I've been experimenting with an independent Cavalry Division that has a hospital unit to keep cohesion recovery high for the fast moving horsemen.

Military operations have a sort of ROI, all the more so with historical attrition on. If you want to take a goldmine in the desert, how long would it have to produce to pay for the forces you lost marching through that desert to get it? Every time you move a stack, especially through difficult terrain or in poor weather, you take hits. Just leave a stack out in a region with no structure under those conditions and you take hits. Move lots of stacks all over the map and suddenly whatever production was left over after combat is now gone to replacements. I use a "sword and shield" strategy. On certain fronts, I set my stacks in strong defensive positions (a shield) and that's where they stay. This gives me the resources for my sword stacks to conduct successful attacks.

If you highlight a brigade in the production menu, then to the lower right of the screen is a further menu with the NATO symbols for the regiments (called elements). Click on one of the symbols and you get a 4 page screen menu of the capabilities of that element. For infantry, militia are the weakest, then conscripts, line and finally elite are the strongest. In addition, special infantry, like sharpshooters or marines/sailors are also available. Once you produce a unit, it gains experience each turn or more quickly in battle. So not all line infantry are alike as time goes by. Also, militia and conscripts may upgrade to line after about a year. If you stick to the long war strategy, it may work to train a lot of those types in 1861 and have an experienced army of line infantry in '62. A HQ is able to add one experience point (XP) to all elements stacked with it per turn that these don't move. The element menu gives a graphic for how many XP's are needed to gain another experience level.

Good gaming to you and your son!

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Post #: 14
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/15/2017 7:57:06 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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I am unclear on one issue when it comes to supply. The union has captured some small towns which contain a level 1 or 2 harbor. They have a stack of troops and it seems they are getting supplied all the time. Only some of these union stacks have a supply train. It seems that they are all in supply as the power level never seems to change.

So how would I go about stopping these units from getting supply? BTW these towns are on the Mississippi in various locations. Do forts like Island 10 hinder supply? Can they be getting supply from say DC through the Atlantic, past Florida into the Gulf and then up the Mississippi?

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Post #: 15
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/15/2017 10:32:39 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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The game mechanic for supply distribution is known, however we still don't get the benefit of actually seeing supply being distributed. Ocean transports in the sea lanes box do move supplies to coastal ports as part of the mechanic. If the Union holds New Orleans, then supplies would collect there and move up the Mississippi to harbors normally. Otherwise, I believe that artillery in the coastal forts and entrenched in NO would interdict this route. Fortunately, with a single player game you might load Athena's side and actually see what is going on as a learning tool.

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Astrologers believe that your future is determined on the day that you are born.
Warriors know that your future is determined on the day that your enemy dies.

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Post #: 16
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/17/2017 8:36:52 AM   
Captain_Orso

 

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Naval and Riverine Supply

Naval Supply (Union only)
Transports in the Shipping Lanes box not only provide income through trade, but also are used to provide Naval Supply. If you hold your mouse pointer over either the train engine or steamboat at the top left of the main map, you will get a tool-tip reporting either Rail Points or River Points.

quote:

River Points
-------------------------
Transport Assets + Capacity:
Railroad (current/maximal): 150/150
River (current/maximal): 300/300
Naval: 250
.
.


The Naval line tells you how much Naval Supply transport capacity you have, but only for the Union. The South does not get Naval Supply. Generally the South will never have any transports in the Shipping Lanes, and IIRC even if you put them there, they will not give you any Naval Supply.

For the Union, after the three Supply Distribution Phases at the start of each turn, Coastal Harbors will move supplies from one Coastal Harbor to another. From where to where and how much of which (GS (General Supply) and/or Ammo) is determined by an algorithm measuring Pull (how much supply was pulled from that Coastal Harbor to other locations inland) and how much supply a source Coastal Harbor can provide. The transfer is immediate and can be very long distance, for example from Boston to San Francisco.

However, as I stated, the South does not have this capacity. She does however still have her Riverine Transport Pool (River Points) used during the regular three Supply Distribution Phases. Depending on how many RivTrans Points the South has after subtracting the use of RivTrans movement of troops (immediately assessed during your movement planning; see the Steamboat icon at the top left of the main map), she can use the RivTrans Pool to move supplies through river and coastal water regions.

For every full 1/3 of the 'maximal' capacity, riverine movement can be used in one Supply Distribution Phase. So with full capacity (3/3) you can use rivers and coastal waters to move supplies in all three phases.

The supply source and target do not have to be harbor locations, but it helps a lot. This is why rivers are so important. Check how far you can move a River Transport from one harbor to another. It is nearly always quite far, and at times further than trains could move, because river regions generally cover much more linear distance than land regions.

To prevent supply from moving through a region (land or water), you must have at least 1 unopposed combat unit in the region, or you must prevent the enemy from having 25% or more MC in a region. To assess where you have the ability to move supplies, use the main map's Supply Overlay by pressing <2>. Land regions where you may move supply are highlighted green, where you cannot move supply are highlighted red. There is however no overlay to assess where the enemy can move supply, but if your are trying to isolate a specific area, you can simply check the enemy's MC in the regions surrounding that area. If you find a region where they have 25%+ MC, put a force in it in OP for a couple of turns to change the MC to your side. Once you have > 75% MC the enemy will not be able to move supplies through that region until they have 25%+ MC again.

On rivers, in addition to an unopposed combat element, artillery which can bombard into a water region will block supply from passing through that region. Generally forts do this best, because simply having an artillery in a fort allows it to bombard, as long as it is not lead by a leader which is inactive and the artillery has ammo, so never put your fort's artillery into a leader's stack. In forts, you do not have to use the Land Bombardment SO, but outside of forts, it is required. Outside forts, the artillery must also be at entrenchment level 3+, but if it is not, you cannot click the Land Bombardment SO button anyway.

But just having artillery at one point on a river does not mean the river will not be used. Supply is a son-of-a-bitch. It will take any route available, including using the river up to the point where blocked by artillery, then go overland to return to the river and move on. I know it doesn't make much logical sense (where is the supply finding riverine transports on the other side of a fort?), but that's the way it is. Don't want supply to bypass your fort? Control the land regions on both sides of the river and as far reaching as possible.

(in reply to Poopyhead)
Post #: 17
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/17/2017 8:59:08 AM   
Captain_Orso

 

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BTW if you really, Really, REALLY want to see where supply is moving during each supply phase, you can have it listed, but it will not tell you supply paths, and it's a PITA to assess.

You need to have debugging turned on (from the Main Menu -> Options -> System -> Error Logging [On]) and add a parameter in '.\CivilWarII\CW2\Settings\'. You could add the parameter to General.opt, but I would suggest using your own opt file, as all opt files, regardless of their name in the Settings folder are read each time the game program is started, and General.opt will often get overwritten through patches.

I have my own opt file named 'SupplyVerbosityOption.opt' in Settings:
quote:

// Supply Verbosity
// Run the turn and open the !HostLog.txt file,
// you should get plenty of information.
Verbosity_Supp = 1


As long as 'Verbosity_Supp' is set to '1' you will get a plethora of supply information added to the '!HostLog.txt' found in '.\My Documents\My Games\CivilWarII\CW2\Logs\'.

There is one caveat though. There is a bug in the supply debugging, and for it to work properly, you MUST end the game program after each turn execution, otherwise much of the supply debugging information will not be included after the first turn. Also, the !HostLog.txt file will be overwritten every time you start the program, so you MUST copy it away before starting the program again.

After each turn, copy the '!HostLog.txt' file to a safe location (I would suggest renaming it as well, so you know exactly where it comes from) and have a look through. You will find a massive amount of data on where what resources were produced (not just GS and Ammo, but also WS), how much GS and Ammo is in each location before the start of a distribution phase and after, and also stacks which draw supplies from depots etc.

Have fun!

(in reply to Captain_Orso)
Post #: 18
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/18/2017 3:47:22 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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I guess over time I'll slowly understand how to interdict enemy river supply. I know how my units are supplied and I understand MC and it's impact. What was really throwing me is the enemy had just a single province along a river that had a small city and level 2 harbor. I know harbors generate some supply each turn but this unit never ran low. There was no land path to his side and along the river I had two stacks on two adjoining river sections in OP mode. Each stack had two units (4 elements) of gunboats and one river transport. The only thing I did not do was to have this river interdiction on both sides of the land province along the Mississippi. Only on the northern route.

Anyway the game was great and a shock ending happened. It was summer 1863 and I was rampaging in Illinois and Indiana with units from St. Louis, Cairo, Louisville and Cincinnati. I even managed to cut all union rail lines from Ohio going west into Indiana. I was outside of Springfield IL, took Indianapolis and close to Columbus OH. Then two union stacks of 4K appear out of nowhere and my corps from Cairo was decimated. It should a power of just 58 and was far from a friendly town or depot. Luckily Athena guess wrong on my direction and I slowly managed to pull it back to Cairo only encountering single brigades on it's path. On the third turn after resting in Cairo and getting back to over 2500 I stopped one of those 4K stacks in an attack at Cairo. I had to pull back for winter but the union had pulled troops from all over, except DC to counter me.

In Virginia I moved all my troops to DC area. Lee had his stack of 4.5K and two corps of over 4K each. I also had a 3.1K army stack under a general with 7 for defense in Alexandria. But in DC they had over 19K power. So my plan was not to attack DC but to go for Annapolis and Baltimore. But just for fun I saved the game and did attack DC to see how many troops 19K was. The battle had 160K CSA troops vs. 420K union troops!!!! Of course CSA lost and that was why I didn't do it.

I took the province outside of Annapolis with Lee and Longstreet leaving the other corp to defend the open terrain west of DC to prevent relief or escape. Then the next turn which was late September 1863 I captured Baltimore and Annapolis after tough fighting. My morale shot up to 188 and the union plunged down to 47. Winter was coming so I decided to just hold these areas and reinforce my troops for 1864. The union did try a few attacks to break out and through but they failed. Morale was also readjusting rapidly so that in late December I was down to 162 and the union got back up to 53.

Then the shock. In January 1864 the union surrendered. I knew morale criteria changed but didn't know it was in January. I though it would be around the election (October or November). I won because the union morale was under 60. In some ways it was anti-climatic after the huge fights. But it was a real fun game non the less.

For my next one I'm playing union with historical attrition on for me and of course lot's of help to the AI. I want to see how attrition works.

< Message edited by Goodmongo -- 9/18/2017 5:47:57 PM >

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Post #: 19
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/18/2017 4:28:41 PM   
Captain_Orso

 

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Wow 420K!! that would make me ummm... kind of nervous

Then again, with 19k power I think even Grant might have not had enough CP's to handle that, unless every corps was maxed out and Grant's stack as well, and I don't think I've ever seen Athena so so well with that.

I wouldn't have attacked DC like that either, but I would have blockaded her harbor and tried to block supplies coming in in depth, so that taking a single region would not open a supply line. With 420k men and horses, they would have to be going through some serious supplies.

A couple of turns without getting any supplies in, and you'll see that power start to melt fairly quickly. Then you can expect Grant to come out swinging. But if his army has already started taking hits and losing cohesion from lack of supply, his punches are not going to be what they would have been, especially if Lee's army is well entrenched. It could turn into an ultra, mega, massive Cold Harbor

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Post #: 20
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/18/2017 4:30:26 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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Well done! Good luck as the Yankees.

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Post #: 21
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/18/2017 5:53:26 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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That's why I'm trying to understand how to stop enemy supply. I had DC cut off from all rail lines and the port was blockaded with two stacks of ironclads, one near the river and one at Fort Monroe. The city had the sign that said it was blocked. But the power levels didn't drop much going from 19K down to about 18.2K over three turns. Maybe there were a dozen supply wagons in there that needed to run out first.

Which opens a new question. How many divisions or stacks does a four element supply wagon keep supplied? General supply that is. Ammo I know depends on fighting.

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Post #: 22
RE: Some Clarification Needed - 9/18/2017 6:44:37 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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ArmChairGeneral determined that your Capital basically never runs out of supply. I've not checked this myself, but he always knows what he's posting.

When you click on a stack of units, to the bottom right is a menu of the unit's name and the supply percentage present. If you cursor over this icon, you get a numeric readout of supply points currently available and usage per turn.

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Astrologers believe that your future is determined on the day that you are born.
Warriors know that your future is determined on the day that your enemy dies.

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Post #: 23
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