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Ace
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Thu May 16, 2013 6:10 am

One other thing.

I would not forbid from divisions detaching from AoNV. The concept is completely unimplementable. Not to mention Lee did detach his troops, Longstreet was in south Virginia half the time.

CSA did not use its interior lines. But that is due to its poor logistical capacity. Their rail network was undeveloped with rails going into rather than around cities. There was no continous rail through towns, rather one rail leading into town, no rail in the town, and one rail leading out of town, not necessarily with the same gauge. So whenever troops got into town, they would have to disembark, and board another train. When Longstreet was detached to Chikamagua, it took him twice the amount of time, it took Union on more than double longer lines to bring reinforcements of their own from the East.

Although it would hamper my playing style a lot, I must say the most realistic thing would be to lower ws production of both Union and CSA, and rise the cost of rail transport. It would simulate how difficult it was for the unindustrialized CSA to effectively use its interior lines.

I agree with you that NM bonuses from battles should be higher in the East. And if applicable CSA bonuses for wining on Northern soil (Maryland and Pennsylvania) should be risen as well (US NM hits increased for losing on home Eastern turf).

Overparduffer
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Thu May 16, 2013 11:17 am

Ace wrote:I am not a fan of it, but if mayority of the people on the forum agree, Lee could be made Eastern theater leader, having command penalties when leaving East. The concept is already included in other Ageod titles. I wouldn't make those penalties high (-1/-1/-1 is enough). It would streamline to use him in the East, but not forbid to use him in the west.


I disagree. That would make the game too inflexible. If all people want is historical accuracy then you could force Lee to invade PA in summer 1863, force Johnston to retreat north of Atlanta, etc. You could eventually get to an unplayable replay of the actual events in the war.

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Ace
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Thu May 16, 2013 2:09 pm

Overparduffer, I agree with you, my post was just a subject for debate, if someone wishes that Lee should be forbidden to leave Virginia.

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Ace
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Mtsg

Thu May 16, 2013 2:16 pm

I always thought how it would be possible to simulate 1st Manassas battle situation in this game. For it to work, Johnson should be able to MTSG 3 regions appart from Winchester to Manassas. It has occurred to me, why limit MTSG to adjacent region. Even if 3 regions apart corps (given adequate transportation - should be able to participate in the battle).

The further fictive march, the less possibilty to intervene. If it were more than 7 days march, regardless of commander strategic rating, army status, etc. there should be no MTSG.

Some of the battles lasted more than one day, plenty of time for adjacent corps to intervene.

In current game situation, playing as Union, I find it all to easy, always attacking the flank of the 3-4 corps line where only 1 corps can MTSG. This would create a chance for massive whole armies battles.

Sheik Yerbuti
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Fri May 17, 2013 1:50 am

Ace wrote:Sheik Yerbuti, welcome to the forums, your first post, and it's a long one.

You have made your point rather well, but I do not agree with all of it. Lee was fixated on Virginia, So you would restrict him from moving outside of state. When you strive to get historic result, you could achieve total opposite. If you fix him in Virginia, Union player could just circumvent Virginia alltogether, and start his campaign in North Carolina. Where is the fun in that? Also, imagine, Union pushing CSA through Virginia to NC. Would you leave Lee without troops leading gueriila units IN NV while the main army is south of Petersburg.

Also, many people, me included are a fan of what ifs scenario. What if Lee went west to relieve Viscksburg, and the game is a perfect setting for the fun of trying it. It is not good to over regulate it.

I am not a fan of it, but if mayority of the people on the forum agree, Lee could be made Eastern theater leader, having command penalties when leaving East. The concept is already included in other Ageod titles. I wouldn't make those penalties high (-1/-1/-1 is enough). It would streamline to use him in the East, but not forbid to use him in the west.


After re-reading my post, I was afraid that someone would misunderstand. I didn't mean limit Lee to just the state of Virginia. I said "Virginia theater" and basically, that means the east.

When Lee invaded Maryland & PA he obviously prevented McClellan & Hooker from invading VA because the Union army had to protect D.C. So, he could operate in NC, VA, MD, PA -- whatever needed to defend VA.

In pure strategic terms this was a mistake because the Union could have simply marched part of its army south and seized Richmond while Lee was ravaging PA. The Union could have held Richmond because of easy water access for supply, but the South could NOT have held any northern city. Hence it would be an unequal trade.

However, of course, this is ahistorical because Lincoln, the Congress and the War Department would have gone bonkers at being left undefended -- even for as long as it took to seize Richmond (at least until Grant takes command in 1864, when they learned to trust him a bit and not demand he march back to defend the capitol), let alone the public and newspaper reaction.

I was given this idea by AJE where lots of allied leaders to Rome (like Ptolemy) suffer huge penalties if you try to embark them and bring them back to Italy to fight outside their theater. This is a great idea because it prevents "gamey" ideas that would never have happened historically.

Same thing here. The NM penalty for moving Lee out of the eastern theater after the Peninsular Campaign would have been an enormous blow to morale. Lee was their hero who had saved Richmond from McClellan's huge army. He was more than a "political general" he was viewed as their savior. The legislature even authorized the raising of negro troops late in the war much against their will because "we cannot deny to Gen. Lee anything he might ask."

Removing him from the east and replacing him with Beauregard would never have been understood by the public.

Hence the NM hit would have been even greater than sacking McClellan and appointing Grant to command the Army of the Potomac in 1862 -- 15 NM and 75 victory points is quite realistic at a minimum. If the Confederate player can afford the huge morale hit, they can re-deploy Lee. (Even that is probably unrealistic). Lee had so much political clout that he could have refused to be transferred. And he would have been extremely angry about it because his loyalty was really to VA rather than the Confederacy as a whole.

If he threatened to retire for instance, what could Davis have done? (Remember Lee did offer to resign after Gettysburg and was refused; they had no-one better). But, Davis would never have considered for one instant permitting Lee to command out west and trusting the defense of Richmond to someone like Beauregard, Johnston, AS Johnston. Had Jackson lived he MIGHT have done in Lee's stead because he had his own cult among the public. MAYBE. But probably not.

The penalty for removing Jackson from Lee's command would have been smaller, but still a couple of morale points. Lee didn't have a real command structure like the Union did with Corps HQs. As long as Jackson was alive he had "wings" of his army. And all during the war he didn't have a large professional staff of senior officers like Union army & corps HQs (or modern armies) but used young gentlemen junior officers as aides who were mostly couriers.

He also had a very loose command grip over his army wings -- which worked great when he had Jackson, but much less well later in the war when his corps commanders were men like Jubal Early.

These ideas are discussed at great length in Uncertain Glory: Lee's Generalship Re-Examined, by John D. McKenzie.

Sheik Yerbuti
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Fri May 17, 2013 2:25 am

Overparduffer wrote:I disagree. That would make the game too inflexible. If all people want is historical accuracy then you could force Lee to invade PA in summer 1863, force Johnston to retreat north of Atlanta, etc. You could eventually get to an unplayable replay of the actual events in the war.


Now hold on! NOBODY would be "forced" to keep Lee & Jackson in the east -- anymore than you are "forced" to appoint McClellan to command the Army of the Potomac or prevented from appointing Grant to command an army in 1862.

It just takes a NM hit and VP loss. I always give Grant the 2nd army HQ to open up and organize 3 or 4 corps under him (Sherman, Lyons, Thomas, Rosecrans) after "McClellan takes command" of the army of the Potomac. Appointing Grant causes a 4 NM hit plus I think 75 VP due to Fremont (or is it Banks?) having a hissy fit.

Promoting Lyons to command the largest army in the east in late 1862 also grieves Butler and causes more NM loss, but I do it anyway.

It makes the game more fun! You have to make strategic decisions based on realistic criteria. If you want Grant in command early, you have to pay the price.

Same thing would be true with moving Lee or Jackson. Having Lee out west with Jackson in 1862 and keeping Beauregard in charge makes a lot of sense. Beauregard & Joe Johnston can easily defend VA from the likes of McClellan, McDowell, Pope, Butler, Burnside, thus leaving Lee, Longstreet & Jackson free to cause havoc for the Union in KY & TN.

But, it should be as costly in NM as it would have been in real life.

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Captain_Orso
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Fri May 17, 2013 8:13 am

One thing is being forgotten here. Lee only got command of the Army of Northern Virgina because Johnston was wounded, which is only one of two such occurrences--an army commander becoming a casualty, the other being the other Johnston :bonk: --, so that Lee commands the main eastern army is historically correct, but far from a mandatory given.

One must also consider what would have happened if Johnston had not been wounded. Where would Lee have landed then? Would he remain just an advisor to Davis? Giving him command of anything below an army would seem very unfitting and a slight to his honor after being the direct advisor to the President. Would Lee, if Johnston remained in command of the AoNV, take command of an army in the West? Could he refuse to go out west? He certainly didn't seem to have a problem with preparing the defenses of Charleston. Why should he balk at Tennessee?

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Mickey3D
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Fri May 17, 2013 11:54 am

Basically I don't want to be forced to replay the historical Civil War and I want some freedom to simulate what if... The game should give to each players the same constraints each side has historically (political pressure to act, risk of foreign intervention, difficulty to have the right leader emerging, war economy, blockade effects, 1864 election, war weariness, ...).

May be we could have a game option, game scenarios or modding options to allow players who wish it to enforce events more conform to history ?

If something has to be prevented, it is historical impossibilities. By example, I think that using your indian raiders east of Mississippi should not be allowed and partisans should not evolve too far from their home state (strong penality).

I also agree with Ace's idea to restrict Southern railway transport capacity (one game againt Ace has convinced me ;) ).

Another point of note : the draft and call to volunteers should be reviewed as I have the feeling that without home rules agreed between players you get unrealistic result (huge armies too early in the game).

VigaBrand
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Sun May 19, 2013 7:51 am

Rework prisoner exchange. At the moment it is not that well.

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Captain_Orso
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Sun May 19, 2013 2:55 pm

Actually, it work quite well, if you use it correctly, and that's actually the biggest problem IMHO. I've updated the Wiki-Manual to be more clear on how the rule works: Manual:Managing your nation. This should help in PBEM games greatly, but not in games against Athena.

I think the biggest issues left are that if only one player has selected Prisoners Exchange, but the other hasn't, the player who selected it is locked from selecting it again for 12 turns and even if the other player then selects it it will not succeed, because both players must select it in the same turn. Overlapping selection does not work. Also, there are no messages confirming that one side has selected PE, but the other not.

This is not user friendly during PBEM, because an oversight--if both players have agreed to accept PE, but one has forgotten to click the button--blocks the the action for 12 turn, unless the game is turned back a turn, which is also not a good solution, although workable.

Also, the chances of it ever being successful while playing against Athena are practically nil, because you cannot negotiate with Athena and agree to use PE. The chances of Athena selecting PE in the same turn as the player are very, very low indeed.

I can see two different ways to improve the way PE works so that it would be more usable both in play against Athena and PBEM.

  1. If a player has selected PE but the other has not, report this to both players and have the selection for that player nullified, so that both have a chance to select it in the next turn.
  2. Allow for overlapping selection of PE. If one player has selected PE but the other not a message this is reported to both players. The the other player can react to this.


I think suggestion A is the better solution, because it resembles negotiations--play against Athena--even though in PBEM the players will probably negotiate directly per email.

Pocus has stated somewhere that Athena does select PE depending on her strategy to raise conscripts. Suggestion A would also require a tweak of the engine for Athena to recognize the 'negotiations'--human player has selected PE, ergo is suggesting it to Athena or visa-verse--and modify her behavior to this.

Suggestion B would also require a tweaking of the engine for Athena to recognize the selection. If the play receive a message every turn that the PE is locked in for Athena he/she could decide how to react to that. But both during PBEM and in play against Athena, suggestion B would require changes to the engine, for it to recognize the validity of an overlapping selection of PE and to remember that PE had already successful fired during this overlap; otherwise it would fire again during every turn of the overlap. Also it should not be allowed for the first player to re-select PE while the second is still in the overlap, which would otherwise create a second overlap which would require yet more code to recognize this second overlap. Therefore, the first player's selection would have to be locked until the second player's selection is also unlock. This would consequently lead to a reduction in the number of PE's that might be executed during a game caused by the waiting for the overlap to resolve itself. But if the first player were not locked into the overlap, he/she could force the second player to accept per default a second PE--second player is still locked in overlap--which he/she might not wish.

At any rate, for PBEM the rule works as designed albeit not quite as user friendly as it could be.

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DrPostman
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Sun May 19, 2013 6:54 pm

Captain_Orso wrote:Also, the chances of it ever being successful while playing against Athena are practically nil, because you cannot negotiate with Athena and agree to use PE. The chances of Athena selecting PE in the same turn as the player are very, very low indeed.


Well hell! No wonder I've never seen it work. Thanks for updating the Wiki.
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VigaBrand
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Sun May 19, 2013 8:05 pm

I mean the 1/3 from each think. How it work is clear, but if I have 30.000 and the other side has only 9000 we exchange 10k vs 3k, which is not very fair.
Better will be both sides exchange 3k, so that the result is equal.

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DrPostman
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Sun May 19, 2013 10:43 pm

VigaBrand wrote:I mean the 1/3 from each think. How it work is clear, but if I have 30.000 and the other side has only 9000 we exchange 10k vs 3k, which is not very fair.
Better will be both sides exchange 3k, so that the result is equal.

Weren't the actual exchanges rather unequal? I've never read up on it.
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colonel hurst
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Sun May 19, 2013 11:58 pm

I may have seen this before, but I would like to see a an option for when mobilization can take place. Playing against Athena you have to use mobilization immediately to keep up with her. The CSA began using a draft in April of '62. The Union draft evolved a bit starting with a militia draft in states that couldn't fill their quotas through volunteers in 1862 and then a national draft in 1863.

So I would say allowing for A CSA draft in April of '62 would be historically right. Along with a Union draft that yields lower conscripts in July of '62 and then a full draft in late March of '63.

The options to offer bounties to volunteers and the full vs partial mobilization options I hope would still be available.

John Schilling
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Little Things

Mon May 20, 2013 2:19 am

Some of my bigger wishes for AACW2 have been discussed at length elsewhere; here's a few of the small ones. Mostly little annoyances that could be fixed without too much trouble given that the game is being wholly revised.


1. Union river transports, gunboats, and ironclads appearing on the Great Lakes. Yes, there are canals that the game engine allows you to use if you know about them, but they aren't marked and they weren't really suitable for the purpose. Also, except in the freakishly rare case of FI coupled with a British naval invasion across the Great Lakes, there is no reason any sane Union procurement official would order warships on the lakes. If the Union player asks for an ironclad in Illinois, he means Cairo, not Chicago. Or possibly we need to be building riverboats by river, rather than state, just as we build ocean-going vessels by coastal region and not by state.


2. While we are at it, Saint Louis was in fact a center of US war production from the start of the war. The pro-Confederate sentiment of some of the residents did not stop four City-class ironclads from being constructed in 1861. Maybe the shipyard workers were all loyalists, maybe they cared more about their paycheck than they did their politics, or maybe it was all the people with blue uniforms and guns, but when the Union player tries to build ironclads or artillery in St. Louis and they show up elsewhere because of "insufficient loyalty", that didn't happen in reality and shouldn't happen in the game.


3. Another thing that didn't and couldn't happen in 19th-century reality was marines and naval infantry accompanying the Army inland and somehow assisting in river crossings. These are shipboard troops, and in the case of marines elite ones. If they need a special ability beyond the Marine's elite status, it should be immunity to cohesion loss during naval transport and debarkation (which should be substantial for everyone else). The enhanced river-crossing ability should go to Engineer units, shared with their stack - those are the guys who could and did actually build pontoon bridges on short notice.


4. Sharpshooters are too cheap, in terms of money and war supply. The rule "one sharpshooter regiment per division" is pretty much automatic in-game, given the trivial cost for such a substantial capability. But taken literally, "Sharpshooter" means someone who shoots a Sharps rifles. Which were far more expensive than Springfields, requiring far more scarce machining capability during manufacture, and the brass-case ammunition was much more expensive than powder, ball, and cap. And while e.g. the Confederates favored imported Whitworths over Sharps, along with other variations, none of them were cheap. Plus, extensive training time, whether you are trying to train regular soldiers to a much higher standard of marksmanship or to turn skilled but undisciplined civilian hunters, marksmen, and the like into useful military forces. These should cost serious money and WS.


5. Blockade runners seem to be nearly unsinkable; their encounters with blockade forces mostly result in modest damage to the blockade runner, light damage to the warships, and sinking only in the rare case of a damaged blockade runner being hit a second time on its way in to port. In actual practice, blockade runners were highly optimized for speed and stealth, very lightly built, and (for several very good reasons), generally unarmed. When their luck ran out and they found themselves within range of a warship armed with shell guns, they were almost invariably captured or sunk, with the attacking warship suffering no damage whatsoever.

Possibly we need a separate "blockade runner" type of unit to reflect this, with zero firepower and maybe 1-2 hits. Or it may be reasonable to stick with the generic "brig" class, as the Confederates did on occasion use the same hulls as both commerce raiders and blockade runners. But if so, a special rule please: Any CSN brig which is forced to engage in combat on a turn that starts in one of the blockade boxes, is automatically destroyed.

This would tend to make blockade-running a less fruitful tactic, yes. Up to a point that would probably be a good thing; I think the game as is overstates the effectiveness of blockade-running. But if fragile blockade runners wind up shifting the balance too far in the other direction, that can be addressed by reducing the probability of detection.


6. Leader casualties seem far too rare compared to historic experience. Should be easy enough to fix.


7. The immediate morale hit for losing Richmond or Washington seems excessive; I've seen it result in a Union victory in 1862 when the bulk of the Confederacy was intact. Shouldn't be more than 10 NM for either of them, at least on the turn of capture. An ongoing penalty so long as they remain in enemy hands, now that might make sense. Maybe 2 NM per turn the national capital is in enemy hands, 1 NM per turn that it is besieged, either one ending when a new national capital is established but with the NM penalty for chosing a new capital being doubled if it is done once the old capital is lost or besieged.


8. It is too easy to game the leader-activation system by keeping a bunch of spare leaders around and swapping in whichever ones make their command rolls each turn. In reality, an "inactive leader" isn't one who has decided to stay in his tent for a fortnight, it is one who has (often quite sensibly) decided to interpret your orders to "March on Richmond Right This Very Instant!" as really meaning "As soon as humanly possible, and no human could possibly sort out this mess in less than two weeks".

Giving someone a new command, vastly increases the probability of this happening. I would like to see a mechanism, and I can think of several ways this could be accomplished, whereby assigning an active leader to command new forces would usually result in his becoming inactive for a turn.

That this would force you to spend a turn idle after assigning a new and improved leader to command your armies, is a feature, not a bug.


That's my list. Thoughts? Additions?

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Wraith
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Tue May 21, 2013 3:43 pm

How about no limits on division creation for either side? I've had several times when I--as the CSA--have gone overboard and formed lots of divisions (big and small), generally necessitating the modification of an obscure line of code to allow me more than 30 divisions.

Speaking of code... perhaps an easier one to modify? Text-based, ala Paradox, such that the players can modify values for whatever to their hearts content? Granted, this would probably only be possible for ACW3, at this point... but still.

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DrPostman
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Wed May 22, 2013 12:49 am

I've never understood the limits on divisions. Corps per army I can understand, but not divisions.
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DrPostman
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Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:11 pm

Having a "council of war" just before a battle and giving some basic inputs on
specific goals for them would be nice. Of course the first casualty of war are
the battle plans, but some of them have worked as planned.
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02Pilot
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Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:42 pm

Forgive me, as I've not been keeping up with the ongoing developments very well, so perhaps this point has already been raised. But in case it hasn't, here's something I'd love to see implemented in some form.

Cotton being a crucial economic factor, not only for the South but for the global economy, it would be nice if it were treated as a separate dynamic economic component. Given the importance of the cotton market to such diverse primary aspects in the course of the war as Southern diplomacy (the attempt to coerce the British toward military intervention through embargo), Northern grand strategy (the brown water blockade, the early capture of New Orleans), and British grand strategy (the search for alternative sources leading to greater, and largely successful, efforts in Egypt and India), it would seem relevant. Secondary factors such as currency valuation and the impact of the Emancipation Proclamation on the Southern slave workforce's productivity play a part in the overall picture as well.

Since a market mechanism already exists in PoN, I wonder if a simplified version dealing specifically with cotton might be included in AACW2. It would need to respond to supply and demand, obviously, with scripted events handling such developments as expanding alternative overseas sources or other external factors affecting the price. Southern blockade running would thus become a rather less abstracted exercise, with cotton carried through the blockade not simply returning money or war supply but also affecting the global market. Northern capture of cotton-producing territory would allow the Northern player to manipulate the market to effect the Southern economy. The naval component of the game would take on a rather greater complexity, acting as the vital economic factor that it was rather than simply as a adjunct to the land war component.

While it does perhaps diverge a bit from the strategic/operational character of the game, it seems that a relatively simple mechanism as described above could add significantly to the grand strategic aspect of war planning and execution in a manner in keeping with its historical importance.

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