From: Bedfordshire UK
Could you tell me what precise use I have from gaining Handicap level? In the instruction – 3.3 – there's not a word about it.
Does the electronic antagonist have extra strenght points?
I'm asking because for example I saw Hiller guided by a computer (2-7-3 meaning a really meager opponent) defeat an aggresive Lefebrre corps (8-4-8). Previously, when I was in charge as an Austrian commander, he could barely manage, often overhelmed by stress. Louis or Kolowrat were defeated when their corps were defending over the river (9.4).
3.2.2 Enemy – it is often that I can see the opponent's soldiers from many fields away. On the other hand I don't know their strenght points even if their next to my units – I can not judge whether to attack or not.
The Manual does not mention 'handicap level' and I have only ever used 'Neutral', but I suspect that there will be a 'Combat Results Table' (CRT) and combat results are determined by a virtual die-roll and, if a side has been set to 'Favour', the calculations will be shifted in the CRT to give more chance for a favourable result. The die roll doesn't change, but is applied to a more favourable line in the CRT. That's my guess.
The Manual is clear that the AI does not get any extra benefits
'The computer opponent is programmed to play either side against a human player. It operates under the same conditions as the human player; there are no weighted dice, augmented strengths, lack of fog in favor of the computer, or any other types of “cheating“'.
Combat is not just resolved on the attributes of the commander, but terrain, weather, supply, presence (or lack of) artillery, cavalry, strength can be lost in stragglers. Even the most aggressive and effective commander can brought down by low morale, high stress, fatigue and you cannot know what is going on in the command tents of the opposing army and how the commander feels. You can only assess what the state of your opponent might be from what has happened previously, how far have they marched, have they been victorious in previous battles or running from a defeat. Command is not an exact science, but is more a feeling for events, which this game presents very well and is where the challenge lies.
Additionally, it depends what orders have been issued, even the most aggressive commander will retreat if he has been ordered to 'Withdraw' and you will not know what orders the opposing Army commander has issued, but you can guess by the way enemy units are reacting.
You do not see the strength of the enemy on his counters, as part of the fog of war, how would you know the strength of a Napoleonic army before aerial reconnaissance. You only get to see an army when it lines up for battle and even then you will not see everything and by that time you will have had to make your battle decisions.
You are not seeing the enemy from many fields away, it is information you are getting from your scouts, from commanders in the leading units, all of whom may exaggerate, or underestimate, nobody on a Napoleonic battlefield sees everything, the commander needs to assess from incomplete information, even false information, what might be happening. No radio, by the time a messenger has ridden, maybe many hours over bad roads to bring you information, it may all have changed.
War is chaos and the successful general is the one who can make some sense out of this chaos (having more troops helps a lot ).
< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 9/12/2016 11:11:02 PM >
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