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BAB is Different Tips - 8/21/2017 1:14:36 PM   
Yogi the Great


Posts: 1993
Joined: 4/10/2007
From: Wisconsin
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There is no doubt the differences found in Brother Against Brother can cause confusion and frustration for buyers who were use to playing civil war battle games such as the Tiller games and others.

While I wouldn't be good at trying to post an after action game nor am I any sort of expert on this or any other game I thought I would try to post a few things about those differences. I'm not sure any of it will be helpful to players but just maybe something will help a little. For those who read this that are considering buying the game it hopefully may succeed in helping you to say yes you will, but it may also have you decide not too I suppose.

Not sure how much I will actually end up posting but will try to touch on a few important differences in the game.

For all who have given up because of no good tutorial and/or out of frustration trying to learn the game I do understand. I would encourage you however to stick with it as it really is a rare gem that tries to introduce some of the real frustration of the civil war battlefield.

_____________________________

Hooked Since AH Gettysburg
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RE: BAB is Different Tips - 8/21/2017 1:16:58 PM   
Yogi the Great


Posts: 1993
Joined: 4/10/2007
From: Wisconsin
Status: offline
Will Start with Brigade Orders which might be the hardest and most important game difference.

Trying to master when and what orders to give the brigades is difficult and also important to know that it is not a sure thing. In short you can give the order but the brigade may not do it . They might do it right away, at the end of the turn or not at all. They might also switch but use all their movement points in the process. The confusion and frustration can mean victory or defeat. As best you can think ahead, predict enemy actions and get into the right formation at the right time. It won't be easy.

MARCH: To get somewhere in the shortest time as it gives twice the normal movement points. You can't approach closer than 4 hexes to visible enemy units (FOW may give you an unpleasant surprise though) Also lets use roads, bridges and fords. You lose all mp's when you switch to line. March is the WORST for combat!

ADVANCE: Use to close in on the enemy or maneuvering near enemy lines. You can't move into a hex adjacent to a visible enemy unit. There is no attack bonus. So you can sit there and fire but you can not physically assault the enemy hex.

ASSAULT: Primarily to be used when inflicting damage is more desirable than maneuvering. There is limited movement often no more than one hex. So when you need to cover some ground this is not the order to use. (use advance to get close then change to assault in order to take the position) You won't get any road, bridge etc movement with assault. You get a 25% attack bonus.

MASS CHARGE: Actually I have almost never used this. Call it an attacking advance to be used within 2 hexes of the enemy. Slight bonus to movement rate and can form lines and attack with normal effectiveness with a better chance of driving the enemy back. I suggest you save this only when you feel it is critically important to take a position because under this order YOU SUFFER 50% GREATER CASUALTIES!

RALLY: While I don't feel like I want to use this I learned the hard way that you probably won't win if you don't especially if you're playing as the union. Watch your morale of individual units and for that matter your entire army very carefully. You must use rally to build morale back up more quickly than normal. Units in rally are ineffective at combat so be careful about doing this near the front lines. You can't move within 4 hexes of the enemy but you can move three hexes to the rear while maintaining facing.

HOLD: Hold is a defensive order similar to the offensive assault order in that you will lose some movement but are less likely to be driven back. You will be most effective in line and skirmish formation. When you MUST hold a position or maintain your line this might be the order you want to use, but be careful that you watch the units morale level or you could end up with that line collapsing.

WITHDRAW: Call it fighting retreat. Units receive less damage but have a greater chance of being driven back. May move backwards while maintaining forward facing.


< Message edited by Yogi the Great -- 8/21/2017 3:29:45 PM >

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RE: BAB is Different Tips - 8/21/2017 1:33:54 PM   
Yogi the Great


Posts: 1993
Joined: 4/10/2007
From: Wisconsin
Status: offline
Column, Line & Skirmish

Most of you experienced civil war battle players will be familiar with column and line formations. Obviously column is meant for movement not combat and line is meant for combat but makes for slow movement. In BAB you can add skirmish (deploy skirmishers) to either of those formations.

When you use the skirmish formations you are taking a somewhat more defensive posture. When you use skirmish you will take less damage but you will also inflict less damage.

So use column without skirmish to move long distances faster. However if you use column with skirmish if you do come in contact with enemy it may save you some losses. It will also mean that when you switch to line your skirmishers will already be deployed.

My tactics and advice may be useless, but I will usually use column without skirmishers to move long distances and when not near the enemy. I will often activate the skirmishers in those columns if I feel enemy could be lurking near by and/or I am getting close to the lines and plan to switch over to line for attacking or defending.

As far as skirmishers while in line I like to use it to hold down my own losses even though it also means inflicting fewer losses. If holding a strong position with equal a greater strength or on the offensive with a superior force to the enemy line without skirmishers is a fun and lethal way to inflict damage. Just be careful though as the lethal damage may be happening to you instead of the enemy!

< Message edited by Yogi the Great -- 8/21/2017 3:30:14 PM >

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RE: BAB is Different Tips - 8/21/2017 1:50:23 PM   
Yogi the Great


Posts: 1993
Joined: 4/10/2007
From: Wisconsin
Status: offline
CHARGE

This is one that is real easy to forget to change or change back. It is very important though to have this set for each of your units no mater if you are on attack or defense. If it is set wrong it could end the success of your assault or your ability to hold your line.

Individual units engaged in combat may be ordered to "charge" or not.

The DEFAULT order is NEVER. This will mean your attacking units won't charge forward after firing but it may help you keep your attacking lines together or stop your defending units from advancing forward out of good positions.

You can switch to a charge order of MAY. I tend to use this most often especially when on offense. This will allow the unit to charge if they feel the situation to do so is favorable but they won't charge if the situation appears to not be favorable.

If you are the extreme aggressive type or out of desperation must take a position go ahead and switch your units to a charge order of MUST. That means the unit will charge if possible. I rarely use MUST as things can go very badly very quickly. Unless you have far greater numbers and/or far superior troops charging the enemy will rarely turn out well. It may make for a very short day on the field.

< Message edited by Yogi the Great -- 8/21/2017 3:31:41 PM >

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RE: BAB is Different Tips - 8/21/2017 2:16:41 PM   
Yogi the Great


Posts: 1993
Joined: 4/10/2007
From: Wisconsin
Status: offline
MISINTERPRETING AND/OR FAILURE TO FOLLOW COMMANDS

If like me you are a big fan of the Tiller Games (I have more than 7 of his civil war battle games) you are use to individual or a group units routing, but for the most part if you order a unit to go somewhere they do. You had some restrictions not allowing you to move frozen units but beyond that you could move anyone you wanted and they would go where you told them. Wow instant response and obey from anywhere on the battlefield from any of your active units. (This is what happens in most games from any developer)

Gee I don't recall radio, telephone, GPS, or instant telepathic communications during the civil war. I also remember hearing about slow moving reluctant obeying of orders or maybe even outright refusal. Sometimes orders were misunderstood because of how worded or just the confusion of the battlefield. There are many real examples of that in history.

WELCOME TO BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER which actually tries to put that into a game. This is a big difference that will add some realism and a lot of frustration into the game for anyone who plays it. If the damn commander or unit had just done what the hell I told them to do I could have won the battle is something you may find your self saying to your computer screen which will pay no more attention to you than your commander on the field did. The more inexperienced your troops are the bigger the problem which of course means the problem at First Bull Run may be severe.

Your troops go to a bit different place then you told them to.

Your troops might not move at all as a full division may fail to move. Even the "Great Stonewall Jackson" might fail to move his troops forward on several times as you try to get him to the battlefield.

Order them to switch from March to Advance or Assault and they decide to stay as they are.

This could go on with many examples but I think the point is clear. This is not the like many of the games you are use too. You may have a great strategy but just maybe you can't get the word out or the perfect troops to implement it. The frustration and challenge will be great. Welcome to the civil war battlefield general, learn to deal with it!

< Message edited by Yogi the Great -- 8/21/2017 3:31:01 PM >

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RE: BAB is Different Tips - 8/21/2017 2:30:45 PM   
Yogi the Great


Posts: 1993
Joined: 4/10/2007
From: Wisconsin
Status: offline
COMBAT FIRE

Another big game difference is that you don't have little ability to control who you fire at especially in the heat of combat. In many games you choose who each unit fires at and a common tactic in those games is to concentrate fire from multiple units on the same defender until they break and then do the same with another and another.

In the real civil war most units fired at who was more or less in front of them, the biggest threat or so it seemed anyway. There was no way to tell every unit who to shoot at.

Once again WECOME TO BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER which will fire for you and mimic the actual civil war battlefield. So sure place your defense well and plan your attack units, routes, orders and formations as best you can. Then sit back to watch the triumph or disaster as the troops fight it out. Sorry, you can't use those unrealistic civil war combat orders that so many games let you get away with.

< Message edited by Yogi the Great -- 8/21/2017 3:32:10 PM >

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RE: BAB is Different Tips - 8/21/2017 2:48:20 PM   
Yogi the Great


Posts: 1993
Joined: 4/10/2007
From: Wisconsin
Status: offline
MORALE AND VICTORY

I won't go into great detail here but this will be a very crucial aspect of your game and is likely to determine victory or defeat.

Like many other civil war games individual or groups may rout and/or panic but some games leave you able to stay in full command and move the units that aren't routing where and how you want. In the real war there was no way to instantly move the other units to fill the hole or save the day.

If you don't watch the morale level of not only a unit but the average morale of your army in Brother Against Brother you won't be watching a few units rout you will see the your entire army do so. Gee, does anyone recall accounts of the historic battle?

Again learn how to control morale and brigade orders. Learn that the urge function to a unit can help a bit as well. Don't push troops to do what they can't. Rest tired and damaged units and try to keep defensive and/or offensive lines fresh and with as much morale as possible. Stop advancing no matter how tempting it is when your morale is dangerously low. The lower the morale the less damage they can do and the more damage they will receive. Morale is something both sides must pay attention to but there is no doubt that it is a bigger problem for the union.

I sadly remember playing one of my first full PBEM games as the union. My tactics were brilliant! I was taking positions and victory hexes. I was inflicting many more casualties than I was receiving. I was having so much fun I just kept going with the forward boys mentality. What I wasn't doing was watching my morale. After all in many games there was no need to rest tired troops if the counter was there so was the unit. Yup, I was winning and I was winning Big! Then came realty a few units began routing but there was no way to stop them. Next thing was the shock of my entire army collapsing as the average morale dropped below the fateful level. Yes I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

< Message edited by Yogi the Great -- 8/21/2017 3:44:15 PM >

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RE: BAB is Different Tips - 8/21/2017 2:57:56 PM   
Yogi the Great


Posts: 1993
Joined: 4/10/2007
From: Wisconsin
Status: offline
OK, I don't know if it is worth looking for more to write or boring anyone with more, but wanted to try and at least give some life to a game that deserves more credit for it's innovation and realism factors. Could it be better, of course. You can actually say that about almost any game. If they ever do complete the series and make some improvements and game engine advancements as they go if will be one of if not the best computer civil war battle series there has been.

Any comments are welcome. I should give a disclaimer though, if you plan to follow any of my advice about how to play or implement your strategy there is no representation that would be a successful venture. Victory is not assured and if you follow my tactics you will quickly learn that.

_____________________________

Hooked Since AH Gettysburg

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RE: BAB is Different Tips - 8/21/2017 10:03:01 PM   
DonCossack


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Very helpful, Yogi. Thanks. Encouraging too. I'm especially interested in morale rules and misinterpreting commands etc. That sounds excellent. Now it's just a matter of saving up my shekels.

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RE: BAB is Different Tips - 8/22/2017 12:00:16 AM   
Talon_XBMCX


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Joined: 8/1/2008
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Good stuff here Yogi, thank you! I've re-installed and giving this one another go around.

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