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The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/16/2009 9:55:22 PM   
jscott991


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I have almost finished my first full playthrough as the USA and I'm pretty sure I'm going to lose. That is slightly beside the point, but I'm curious as to whether I'm missing something about the sieging system.

The entire war has been dominated by sieges, punctuated by the AI CSA doing an occasional raid/siege behind my lines or attacking McClellan in Fredericksburg and driving him back across the Potomac.

But it's all about destroying fortresses. I have an Army of the West under Grant going one territory at a time, taking Ft. Pillow, Henry, Donelson, Island 10, Memphis, Vicksburg, etc. I have an army of Ohio under Meade trying to take Kentucky. And, of course, McClellan playing around in Fredericksburg. This just doesn't feel right.

Honestly, it feels like the Seven Years War, which I adore by the way. That war was dominated by sieges that were either successful or punctuated by decisive battles to lift them or open the way for more sieges. That's how FoF feels, except that the casualties are out of whack.

McClellan routinely enters Fredericksburg with about 100k men. He also has the two Union siege artillery units, each with maxed weapons. By mid-1862 I had the second siege boost tech. Each of the forts there usually kills 10k+ men while having a 4-5k garrison. Not every siege was Vicksburg or Petersburg.

Is this really how the game is supposed to be played or am I missing something? Battles with the AI are few and far between (important ones anyway), especially in the West.

< Message edited by jscott991 -- 5/16/2009 10:02:29 PM >
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RE: The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/17/2009 3:09:49 AM   
Gil R.


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You can't think of all forts in the game as individual structures a few hundred yards around in which a few regiments might be posted -- instead, they indicate a general level of fortification in an area. The area called "Fredericksburg," therefore, has forts that represent those in the area of Fairfax, Manassas, etc., as well as Fredericksburg (arguably). If the CSA builds new forts there those could represent lines defending the Rapidan, or somewhere else north of Richmond (e.g., Mine Run, one of the best defensive positions of the war). If you think of it that way, it makes more sense.

In the case of "real" forts, especially Fort Donelson, I'd note that the original fort was dwarfed by the miles and miles of rifle pits and abatis that were constructed well in front of the fort, expanding the size of the defended area greatly, and thus allowing multiple divisions to garrison the place.

Forts in the game are, of course, somewhat abstracted, as this shows, but if you think of a Fort III as a Fort Donelson-like place or Johnston's winter headquarters in the winter of 1861-62, and a Fort I as a smaller fortified area at a vital crossroads or some such place it should feel more like the Civil War and less like the Seven Years War.

< Message edited by Gil R. -- 5/17/2009 3:10:19 AM >

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RE: The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/17/2009 3:23:26 AM   
Gil R.


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Further thoughts: In retrospect, it might have been good if we had named one or two of the fort types "Fortified Line" rather than "Fort So-and-so," since some of the best defensive lines of the war didn't have a fort proper. Cold Harbor, for example, is a place that was heavily fortified, but it was just lines of trenches, breastworks, etc.

Also, what I wrote about "forts" representing fortified lines is reflected in detailed combat, where forts and fortified lines are often combined.

I should also point out that specific forts can easily be modded out by removing them from the ACWStart.txt file.

< Message edited by Gil R. -- 5/17/2009 3:25:28 AM >

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RE: The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/17/2009 4:27:39 AM   
Randomizer


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I really have not experianced this since will now usually take the "Assault" option rather than settling down to a siege. Faster resolution but not a for-sure option and sometimes rather messy to boot. Will generally only conduct sieges on rivers where my gunboat flotillas (3 or 4 do the trick) can reduce the objective in a single turn.

Best Regards

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RE: The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/17/2009 5:31:50 AM   
jscott991


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The sieging really feels like a Seven Years War game, especially if you play this game while reading about the wars of Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Frederick II.  The flow of the war in FoF is almost exactly how I'd picture the flow of a game based on that period to go.  It's not off-putting exactly, but it doesn't feel like the Civil War.  The AI CSA is clever to avoid pitched engagements in the context of the game (especially in the west, where they can't come close to matching Union numbers), but it's odd to have Grant go 3+ years and never fight one single engagement with a foe possessing more than 20k troops.

In the game context, the problem I have with the sieges is the extraordinary casualties.  I had 30k man corps lose 6k men twice in a single turn on a Level 2 fort in Kentucky with a total garrison of around 4k.  12,000 casualties would be a major Civil War engagement and are on the level of casualties suffered at Petersburg and Vicksburg, where the garrisons were many times 4,000 men in size.  I can almost buy the sieges as being abstract events that represent how hard it would be to subdue certain areas (avoiding a blitzkrieg), but I can't buy these kind of one-sided Union losses outside of combat (both sides suffered high non-battle casualties from disease and desertion, but only I suffer these abstracted siege losses since the AI really isn't besieging any major forts).

In the beginning of the game, the prospect of siege casualties keeps me from doing anything in the West, because I don't have the camps to replace the men.

I sort of feel that the forts and sieges are kind of a "clock" device, that keeps the war progressing at a semihistorical pace.  If the Union blitzed through Kentucky, Miss., and Tenn., the game wouldnt' feel quite right.  And if the AI won't fight in the west, that's exactly what would happen (arguably, though, this is exactly what did happen when Buell and Rosecrans were removed).  Still, when one pictures ACW operations, you don't usually imagine massive siege trains and huge fortified cities located where Memphis, Little Rock, Knoxville, etc. are in the "real" US.

I love the game.  I love the generals.  I like the economy (though something really happens to Union money production around the start of 1863 that I can't put my finger on).  I find the quick battles more logical than CoG's results.  I just think it doesn't feel very historical for the war to be built around sieges.


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RE: The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/17/2009 7:33:45 AM   
Randomizer


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Odd, I'm well into my second game after the patch; it's 2-May 1862 and to date I have fought 8 engagements with <20,000 on a side and four pitched battles with >20,000 per side, better than one a month and there were no battles fought in December or January.  The largest to date was 74,000 Confederates attacking 68,000 Union in Fredericksburg province.  Just finished that one today and it was a pretty close affair with dug in Union artillery inflicting huge losses on the Rebels a la Malvern Hill.

Kentucky went South in January and have just finished a 1-turn siege at Frankfort and captured Lexington by assault while fighting off counter-offensives in Paducah and Fredericksburg.  May has been a busy month and my field forces have taken a pounding but have inflicted more casualties than taken.

As I wrote before, am not seeing what you are seeing and typically get to fight many detailed combats and my games seem to flow remarkably well particularly compared with what seems to be happening to you.  Strange...

Best Regards

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RE: The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/17/2009 1:40:06 PM   
Hard Sarge


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From: garfield hts ohio usa
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well come on, if the losses are too high, change the type of seige you are doing, or build up your troops to be able to seige better (add Eng and Hosp Wagons to your troops, add in Seige guns to your Seigeing forces, Seiges do not help on the attack, no reason to have them with you in a battle)

everything you are stateing, is based on how you are handleing the game, not how the game handles it

you can't get Grant into a Major battle ? well, shame on you

you don't have to keep Grant with the Seige train

send Grant out on a hunting trip

back to seiges, there are a number of seige types you can set up, if you don't have the numbers or firepower to overwelm the fort, don't try to overwelm it

if I have a Main Battle Army, I just storm the walls, but I wouldn't offer this as a main type of plan, unless you are good at attacking forts (a good fort battle is one of the best HW types in the game)




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RE: The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/17/2009 2:49:54 PM   
jscott991


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I actually tried to do other siege types than normal, but encircle takes FOREVER.  I might not be playing quite correct or quite optimally, but the fact is that in FoF, every province with a city and/or fort must be besieged.

I wasn't specifically complaining that Grant wasn't in a battle, as much as saying there hasn't been a major battle in the West during the entire war.  Jackson's western army started small and has only gotten smaller.  The remaining western AI forces are just scattered divisions that sometimes get behind the lines to cause trouble, but usually just retreat before a battle starts. 

And I must just be missing something, because if my main armies aren't conducting sieges, it takes a really long time for them to be conducted (and, as I said before, they are insanely bloody). 

Maybe I just had an unlucky game, but there is a LOT of sieging in FoF when I play it.  It's all I really do with my armies outside of northern VA, where the AI is kind of aggressive (though operations are still built around taking out those three mega-forts in Fredericksburg). Still, in three years of war, there has only been three pitched engagements that effect NW and all of them have been around the Potomac (2 in Fredericksburg, one in the Potomac province).

< Message edited by jscott991 -- 5/17/2009 3:02:42 PM >

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RE: The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/17/2009 3:08:41 PM   
Hard Sarge


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From: garfield hts ohio usa
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well it sounds like something is off

the south starts with a good number of units in the western area (for the South the trick is to mass and pick off the Union before they can mass, for the North, it is draw them into battle)

do you have FOW on or off ?

maybe you defeated most of them in detail, before they were able to mass ?

or, you need to force them into battle, make a drive toward someplace they have to defend

still got to think something is wrong with how you are working the seiges, most times they are 2nd thought actions, putting a little thought into it before they happen, and not a major issue once they do

yes, some can take a while, if you can afford to trade losses, then do so, but still your seige Armies need to be set up to do seiges

on rivers, you want gunboats, you want Eng support, and if you can (and as the Union you can) seige guns

if you are good at HW (and I am) take the siege to battle, but they are nasty battles

also, you do not need to hang around while a siege is going on, set up a seige train, and bring that to the seige, and move your battle army on

the forts in the East are different

I have taken Fredericksburg and Richmond as the Union and I have taken Washington as the CSA, so they are very doable




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RE: The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/17/2009 3:25:41 PM   
jscott991


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When I'm back home, I'll take pictures of my battle list.  It's really short, so the screenshots won't be big.

What the South did was create three armies: Jackson, Lee, and Longstreet (from west to east). Lee has spent the entire war floating between Kentucky and Virginia, but rarely does anything. Longstreet is formidable in the east and has beaten McClellan two out of three times (the only major battles), but after a battle, typically withdraws to Richmond. Jackson has never been stronger than 25k and lately has been so small that just my covering troops (a corps that was protecting Missouri and Little Rock) has been enough to make him retreat.

Grant has faced no opposition and has just moved from one siege to another, in a slow ponderous way until my camps got my replacements above 10k. Meade in Kentucky has been pathetic. Every siege guts him (he has no artillery though) so it took forever to take Louisville and Frankfort. I finally sent Halleck's 90k backup eastern army into Tennessee to speed things up, but all he has done is siege Knoxville and Chattanooga (he gets attacked by 1-2 divisions a lot and seems to just not carry out his orders after this happens, something I'm still trying to figure out).

Anyway, its been a bizarre (boring?) Civil War. The losses I'm taking in sieges even with 3 gunboats in support have been outrageous and McClellan's problems with Longstreet are that he loses 10k+ men during each siege in Fredericksburg and then is driven back across the Potomac. And he has both startup siege guns!

< Message edited by jscott991 -- 5/17/2009 3:30:41 PM >

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RE: The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/17/2009 4:06:49 PM   
Hard Sarge


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From: garfield hts ohio usa
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give me details on your set up setting, and I will start up a game with those settings

you may be focusing too much on some details (getting horses and camps set up)

it is very rare for the AI to pull all of it's troops towards the East, so am not sure what or why

Frederickburg is going to be a tuff nut to crack, as long as you got a active ANV floating around


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RE: The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/17/2009 4:36:38 PM   
Hard Sarge


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From: garfield hts ohio usa
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just thinking off hand, do you have faster seiges turn on ?

that doubles the losses both sides take during a seige ??




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RE: The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/17/2009 8:28:21 PM   
jscott991


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I'm using the following settings:

First Sergeant, Upkeep, Advanced Buildings, Research, Governors, Richer Economy, Impressment, Staff, Special Abilities, Upgrade Weapons, Unit Disposition, Unit Attributes, Upgrade Weapons, Generals. 

I never play detailed battles.

Mostly what I'm seeing is a focus on siege combat. :)

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RE: The Civil War or the Seven Years War . . . - 5/17/2009 10:51:40 PM   
GShock


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siege works nicely but u need the appropriate method and appropriate troops. Arty, siege arty and gunboats help and they help a LOT in normal sieges. Engineering of course helps too and that is compared to what you are sieging, meaning fort level troops and weapons and, eventually, fort upgrades. Now unless you are really in overwhelming numbers, and you are good with the 2 factors (arty/eng) go for entrench/encircle/subterfuge.

Remember that at the first contact, siege losses on both sides are like u selected normal... then the siege will revert to the plan you chose initially. You can always change it later on if fresh troops with those attributes merge in. With assault and normal expect very heavy or heavy casualties. You will conquer the structure faster... IF you conquer it and it's only advisable if you need it immediately in your hands because, for example, there's a big container of enemy troops nearby and if they enter the region you will be switched to offensive posture.... with fort present, which is a very bad situation.


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