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New player with some questions - 8/6/2008 10:33:43 PM   
11Bravo


Posts: 2082
Joined: 4/5/2001
Status: offline
Greetings,

Long-time Matrix customer arriving here by the long route. Toured my first civil war battlefield (Perryville, KY) and got bit by the bug. Saw that a Michigan unit did well there and did some research when I got home. This somehow led to the Ann Arbor based Western Civilization Software and Forge of Freedom. Saw the game was published by Matrix. Heard good things about FOF from those who also liked SP:WAW and WITP, and so here I am...

Bought the game, and its what I want to play, but...where to start? I come from a WW2 gaming background, and what I don't know about the civil war would fill a library shelf or two.

So, I have a few basic questions...I have quickly read the manual, and skimmed the forum, and even watched a few searches time out...

Playing as the Union side, and trying to keep the end in mind,

1. How many Brigades might I eventually need to field?
2. What percentage of infantry, cavalry, and artillery?
3. How many ships might I need to effectively blockade the South?
4. How close are these figures to actual Civil War numbers?
5. How is the strategy of playing defense in the East, offense down the Mississippi, while blockading, growing, training, and getting experience, before switching over to offense in the East?

Thanks in advance, your truly, etc. etc.

_____________________________

Squatting in the bush and marking it on a map.
Post #: 1
RE: New player with some questions - 8/6/2008 11:03:27 PM   
terje439


Posts: 6899
Joined: 3/28/2004
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: 11Bravo

Greetings,

Long-time Matrix customer arriving here by the long route. Toured my first civil war battlefield (Perryville, KY) and got bit by the bug. Saw that a Michigan unit did well there and did some research when I got home. This somehow led to the Ann Arbor based Western Civilization Software and Forge of Freedom. Saw the game was published by Matrix. Heard good things about FOF from those who also liked SP:WAW and WITP, and so here I am...

Bought the game, and its what I want to play, but...where to start? I come from a WW2 gaming background, and what I don't know about the civil war would fill a library shelf or two.

So, I have a few basic questions...I have quickly read the manual, and skimmed the forum, and even watched a few searches time out...

Playing as the Union side, and trying to keep the end in mind,

1. How many Brigades might I eventually need to field?

Depends upon your setings really, and if you play detailed battles or not. But in the early days I would guess atleast 1.5 the number of CSA brigades facing you.

quote:

2. What percentage of infantry, cavalry, and artillery?

I would muster in those areas that is supported (if playing with governors) for the first 4-5 turns, that should get you enough INF. Then I would buy nothing but CAVs. CAVs armed with breachloading and later on Spencer carabines are golden.

quote:

3. How many ships might I need to effectively blockade the South?

Not sure, look at Mad Russians AAR, I believe he has posted about this in that thread.

quote:

4. How close are these figures to actual Civil War numbers?

Sorry, no idea

quote:

5. How is the strategy of playing defense in the East, offense down the Mississippi, while blockading, growing, training, and getting experience, before switching over to offense in the East?

Thanks in advance, your truly, etc. etc.

I always play the South, and as such I am always delighted when the Union attacks in the East during the first 2 years, as my superior quality will give me the victory as long as numbers are no more than 2:1 in favor of the Union, but I have yet to see the AI capture alot of brigades, so might be possible for a human Union player do go on the offensive earlier on. Remember that if you have containers (DIV, Corps, Armies) in two adjacant provinces, you can call in reinforcements if one of them is attacked. This means that placing one army in one area and another in an adjacant area will allow you to use both armies in case you are attacked, while protecting two areas and not only one.

Sorry I can not be more help, but as stated earlier, I play the South...

(in reply to 11Bravo)
Post #: 2
RE: New player with some questions - 8/6/2008 11:33:41 PM   
11Bravo


Posts: 2082
Joined: 4/5/2001
Status: offline
I'll give it crack first...

quote:

1. How many Brigades might I eventually need to field?
2. What percentage of infantry, cavalry, and artillery?


Doing some research on the Civil War. Found the following from here:

quote:

Authorized strength of an infantry regiment was a maximum of 1,025 and a minimum of 845. Since it was the Civil War practice to organize recruits into new regiments rather than to send them to replace losses in veteran units, regimental strengths steadily declined. According to Fiebeger the average company strength at Gettysburg was 32 officers and men per company. Livermore gives these average regimental strengths in the Union army at various periods: Shiloh, 560; Fair Oaks, 650; Chancellorsville, 530; Gettysburg, 375; Chickamauga and the Wilderness, 440; and in Sherman's battles of May '64, 305. According to Bigelow the average strength of Federal regiments at Chancellorsville was 433 and of Confederate regiments 409.
The North raised the equivalent of 2,047 regiments during the war of which 1,696 were infantry, 272 were cavalry, and 78 were artillery. Allowing for the fact that nine infantry regiments of the Regular Army had 24 instead of the normal 10 companies, the total number of regiments would come to about 2,050,


Starting with question 2, The proportions seem pretty clear...83% infantry, 13.3% cavalry, and 3.8% artillery. So roughly 80-15-5 for starters.

Now for question 1. The union raised about 2050 regiments of about 1000 men per regiment and the game has about 3000 per brigade, so we get a figure of about 680 game brigades raised during the war.

In the game this would represent new units and replacement strength, but how to separate? If the union has all these regiments running around half strength, maybe divide by 2 to get the number of full strength units? This suggests maybe 340 brigades or about 9 - 10 armies.

Did the union use 9 - 10 armies? Should I?

_____________________________

Squatting in the bush and marking it on a map.

(in reply to 11Bravo)
Post #: 3
RE: New player with some questions - 8/6/2008 11:44:38 PM   
11Bravo


Posts: 2082
Joined: 4/5/2001
Status: offline
Thanks for the quick reply, terje439.

That 1.5 force ratio seems like the absolute minimum acceptable for offense by the union early war. From some reading sounds like the south has better leadership, better fighting, larger units, and defensive bonus. I don't want to attack in the east until I can do something about the leadership, quality, and also size. I figure to do some smaller scale fighting where the stakes aren't so high to gain experience and better hide my failures.

The two province front advance sounds like a keeper. Thanks.

How many (full size equivalent) armies do you field as the south?

_____________________________

Squatting in the bush and marking it on a map.

(in reply to 11Bravo)
Post #: 4
RE: New player with some questions - 8/7/2008 8:20:26 AM   
moose1999

 

Posts: 788
Joined: 10/26/2006
Status: offline
Hi 11Bravo,

I play the union a lot, and your tactic of waiting and gaining experience from smaller battles before attacking in the east is a sound one.
But I also find, that it is much more rewarding to go on the offensive in the west - battles are smaller and your units will gain experience fast.
These units can then be moved east later for the big push.

Remember to organize your units into divs, corps and armies - this will mean a lot for the effectiveness of your forces.

In the east, put good training generals (generals with training capability that hightens morale and/or lots of nice attributes they can pass on to their subordinate units) in charge of the containers in the first year. Even though you might have generals with better combat ratings available, the training generals will get your AotP into shape and this will pay off later on.
I even go as far, sometimes, as to put McClellan in charge for a while, to benefit from his training skills.
Also feels nice to play the game somewhat historically by having the south beat up McClellan a bit in the beginning...

One thing to remember about divs supporting each other:
You will only benefit from the manpower the reinforcing divs bring to the battle - not the morale (ie. 'will-to-fight' points).
Let me illustrate: Two divs face off, southern div has a will-to-fight of 20 points and northern only 10 (this is normal in the first year as the south has the upper hand in morale and quality).
North then brings in another div as reinforcements, giving them a 2:1 numerical advantage.
However, the south still has a 2:1 advantage in morale and only needs to inflict relatively few casualties before the whole northern army routs.
Thus, an aggressive southern player can easily win the day in such a scenario, especially as reinforcements usually 'dripple in' brigade by brigade, instead of arriving as one whole, ready-to-fight division.
Those single brigades hurrying across the map to join the battle can be very vulnerable to surprise cavalry attacks...


_____________________________

regards,

Briny

(in reply to 11Bravo)
Post #: 5
RE: New player with some questions - 8/7/2008 11:35:01 AM   
terje439


Posts: 6899
Joined: 3/28/2004
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: 11Bravo

Thanks for the quick reply, terje439.

That 1.5 force ratio seems like the absolute minimum acceptable for offense by the union early war. From some reading sounds like the south has better leadership, better fighting, larger units, and defensive bonus. I don't want to attack in the east until I can do something about the leadership, quality, and also size. I figure to do some smaller scale fighting where the stakes aren't so high to gain experience and better hide my failures.

The two province front advance sounds like a keeper. Thanks.

How many (full size equivalent) armies do you field as the south?


Full size armies as the CSA vs AI = 3, the ones I start with. One Army of Virginia under Lee (AoV), One Central Army (CA) under A.S. Johnston and an Army of the West(AotW) under J.E.Johnston. AoV will stay in Fredricksburg full size (2 corps and one independent div), CA will stay south of Kentucky preferably until Kentucky enters the war, and AotW will stay near Memphis. In addition I will field one full corps under Jackson that will retake occupied Virginia, and I will build a new army under Beauregard. The thing is that against the AI the number of armies does not matter, as long as you know were the AI will attack, you just stay put there, wait for his attack and CAPTURE all his brigades.

But as the North I guess I would try to field 6 armies or so, each full (=35 brigades for the Union/42 for the CSA) with atleast 2 cav brigades for scouting checks. Actually your army in the west starts out the best of your armies as the North, Grant is as goods a commander as anyone, and remember you can always use your #1 asset as the Union, cash. Buy better weapons that the south, springfields against muskets makes sure the CSA will have to leave their entrenched ground and come at you.

The south does start put with better units (in term of morale), better generals (Lee, Stuart, Jackson, Longstreet to mention 4 ), and yes their armies are bigger (6 brigades per div vs Union 5 per div). Also worth nothing is that the quality of draftees and mustered men are determined by national will to fight. The defensive bonus comes into play for whichever side is the defender.

Another hint is to use your GARRISON troops located on the Canadian boarder and bring them into your armies, they start out as green, but after a battle or two they will kick some major behind, and as a bonus they start out at full strength. If you do not want to use these units, you can bring them into a container, and then disband them to allow the men in those brigades to be distributed amongst the other brigades in that container (a div with 4 units + a GARR, disband the GARR and each of the other brigades will recieve 3000/4=750 men).

Another thing to have in mind is that purchasing two brigade cavalry attributes for a brigade transforms that INF into a CAV with the loss of 1.0 morale pts (same goes for brigade artillery).

Oh, and take into account that every battle you retreat from will see some of your units throw away their guns!!! I am kinda certain that seing Berdan's sharpshooters throw away their Sharps' in 61 will be a heartbreaker for any Union player...



Ratio INF:CAV:ART... I will field the first 3 armies with whatever I get, the fourth I build will recieve aprox 1:5:0. CAV is king, easy as that. They have enormous speed compared to INF and ART, and with the right weapons they do insane amounts of damage. With Spencer Carbs and Dragoon Tactics (allow to move and attack after attacking) a CAV can ruin the day for up to 4 INF brigades in a single turn.


(in reply to 11Bravo)
Post #: 6
RE: New player with some questions - 8/7/2008 11:43:26 AM   
terje439


Posts: 6899
Joined: 3/28/2004
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: briny_norman

One thing to remember about divs supporting each other:
You will only benefit from the manpower the reinforcing divs bring to the battle - not the morale (ie. 'will-to-fight' points).
Let me illustrate: Two divs face off, southern div has a will-to-fight of 20 points and northern only 10 (this is normal in the first year as the south has the upper hand in morale and quality).
North then brings in another div as reinforcements, giving them a 2:1 numerical advantage.
However, the south still has a 2:1 advantage in morale and only needs to inflict relatively few casualties before the whole northern army routs.
Thus, an aggressive southern player can easily win the day in such a scenario, especially as reinforcements usually 'dripple in' brigade by brigade, instead of arriving as one whole, ready-to-fight division.
Those single brigades hurrying across the map to join the battle can be very vulnerable to surprise cavalry attacks...



Well the thing is that you will be in defence, so just build your defence as far back as possible, and the reinforcements will not have to travel far to join the battle. And sure you might lose due to morale, but playing as the North you should be able to take the casualties inflicted on you far better than the South.

(in reply to moose1999)
Post #: 7
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