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Charles
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improvements to the replacement system

Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:11 pm

I was going to respond to the NM thread, but since Rafiki would like a new thread, I will comply. :)

The issue is whether changes/improvements should be made to the replacement system.

Now, replacements in ROP come from various ways:

1. the game generates a fixed number of replacements each turn, based on regions controlled, national morale, etc.;

2. the player can increase the number of various replacements through the exercise of options;

3. the player can also build depot battalions in construction mode which will generate extra elite or line infantry replacements;

However, even with this system, a very destructive campaign can leave a player with many depleted units. Various suggestions have been made on how to deal with depleted units which were summarised by Bertram here:


Bertram wrote:In my opinion there are several options:
- giving the player the option to merge the elements of a unit into one element. Instead of one unit with 5 elements of 17 men, you would get a unit with one element of 85 men. It would free the spots for replacement regular (or militia) elements.
- have the elite units be able to add regular soldiers, with a experience penalty.
- give the ability to disband regiments without NM penalty (maybe only in the own country, or on depots). Men either added to the replacement pool (this would hurt Austria though, who has plenty of men, but no money) or as replacement chits.


option#3 appears to be the most popular, although I thought there should be an NM penalty, but smaller than the present one.

For some historical background, in the 18th century, recruiting in the Prussian and Austrian army was generally done at the regimental level. Regiments would send out recruiting officers (generally within own country and throughout germany) who would sign up potential recruits. This is how the recruiting of foreign born recruits, who generally made up to two-thirds of the peacetime army was done.

In addition, the Prussian army had a "cantonal" system, sort of a precursor of the modern draft, where each regiment was assigned an area from which it could draft native born recruits. In peacetime, these recruits would train with the regiment 1-2 months out of the year and the rest of the time would return to civilian life. During the war, the foreign born recruits bore the brunt of the casualties during the first campaigns with the native born recruits providing replacements the rest of the war. Native recruits represented 50,000 out of 133,000 troops in 1751 and 70,000 out of 160,000 in 1768. Even then, the Prussian Army was short of men in the later part of the war and had to use various shortcuts such as switching from a 3 rank deep to a 2 rank deep line of battle.

The Austrian Army did not have anything similar to the cantonal system, although Austria and Bohemia provided annual levies of conscripts of dubious quality (from 3,000 to 8,000 per year). Austria had to resort to expedients such as hiring commission agents in Prague, Metz and Strasborg who would round up and deliver lots of recruits, again usually of dubious quality. Even then, the Austrian infantry was roughly 9% short of establishment (about 12,000 men) at the beginning and end of the SYW, with many regiments being badly depleted during the war.

The cost of recruiting depended on the method. In Prussia foreign recruiting cost King Frederick 18,400,000 thalers during his reign and foreign ecruits were less reliable than native recruits. To provide conscripts, Austria/Bohemia received from 12 to 24 florins per conscript.

The reason I explained the historical background is that finding replacements was a problem for all combatants in the SYW and should be for the player as well. We should take that into account in any suggested changes we discuss.
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OneArmedMexican
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Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:58 pm

Impressive analysis.

Personally, I would still argue in favour of reintroducing the old replacement panel from ACW. Here are some of my reasons:

1) As it currently is, the replacement system in RoP is unnecessary complex and anything but user friendly. I welcome complexity when there are historic reasons. However, that isn't the case here. Why three systems when one could do the trick? And do it a lot better, I might add. I still miss the clear overview the old ACW panel gave while trying to make an estimate if my replacements will suffice in RoP.

2) Although, I fully agree that replacements should be in short supply (otherwise the system gets pointless), that can be achieved by keeping manpower/conscripts are scarce resource.

3) I really dislike the idea of disbanding depleted units. The replacement shortage mostly concerns elite troops. From a historic point of view: the most prestigious regiments. Those regiments were not simply disbanded, but would rather be the first to receive new men.

However, I do understand that disbanding units may be the easiest solution from a coders point of view. But perhaps AGEOD will make a more radical change in future games? :thumbsup:

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Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:41 pm

For my own, I would favor option 1. First because it has the advantage to keep micromanagement low for players. secondly, because AI will be unable to cope with options 2 and 3. Third, because, options 2 or 3 would create new problems, like disbanding surrounded units or balance issues with regular infantry enroled in elite units.That's maybe not the historical reality, but after all, it's a game, and the point to represent is scarcity of troops.
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Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:03 am

Part of the problem might be the speed at which infantry is turned into elite infantry. If I look at the brigades that serve under Daun, I have one brigade where only 2 (of the 16) line infantry elements are still line infantry, the other 14 are elite. For the other 6 brigades the % of line infantry turned elite is about 50. That means there are actually more elite units in the Austrian (!) army then there are common line infantry units..... And this is not counting the Grenadiers: those were elite to start with. (I got to admit this does not go for all stacks, but this is only after one year.... So after 2 or 3 year of fighting/drilling most of the army will be elite soldiers).
I think this is historically incorrect - those soldiers should become experienced, but their units should not become elite units (They even switch uniforms when becoming elite).
Another part of the problem - vs the historical use - is that historically regiments might get depleted, but if they did, they would get a shorted frontline to defend. The amount of menpower per frontage would not suffer. (or only generally, as the whole army suffered a lack of men). Due to the AGE engine,which matches unit against unit, a single depleted regiment of, say 170 men, will be matched against a full regiment of 1700 men - even if both sides have an equal number of men in total. Instead of a single 1700 vs 1700 battle we get 10 1700 vs 170 battles (one after the other). This is a large disadvantage for the depleted units....


PS: I suddenly realize that Daun and Sincere, my drill masters, should give one experience point to each unit in their stack. Do they (and their Prussian counterparts) by accident also promote one unit to elite each turn? It is a different trait, but one that existed in AACW - could there be an error? I have no idea what makes a unit "grow" one level of status (as opposed to experience).

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Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:13 am

you can check at the DB...units become elite through tech upgrade... which trainig officers can achieve... may be there should be some need of revision here :confused:
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Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:57 pm

On a different but related point, various minor-power allies have some replacement/recruitment quirks which I suspect are not WAD:

BAV & WUR cannot recruit infantry bns but they often have plenty of inf replacement chits, which suggests gamey tactics like hiding a couple of bns in Hungary just so the AUS player can be sure of using these states' replacement chits.

PAL never gets elite replacements and can't buy a gren depot bn, so PAL grenadier coys never reach full strength, with the now-familiar consequences for NM.

HES & BRU can recruit line inf depot bns but not grenadier/elite depot bns, so after a little attrition or combat the grenadier coys are reduced to cadres, again with implications for NM.

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Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:44 am

If TrainUpg is also indicated, then any element with enough XP has a chance to convert.
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Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's law."

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Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:10 am

In the models database Austrian coalition commanders number capable of tech upgrade is more then 2 times from the number of Prussian coalition commanders. Most units of infantry starting from militia can be upgraded with training or experience. In the database Daun is indicated as "Daun3". Does it indicate the speed of tech upgrade?or capable of tech upgrade up to 3 stages like regular-trained-elite? so regular elements upgrading to elite status fast because of the speed of tech upgrade of some commanders.?

Edit: 3 should be his rank :)

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Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:14 am

If I understand AGEOD's naming conventions correctly, "ldr_AUS_Daun3" is the three-star version of that leader as opposed to "ldr_AUS_Daun2" his two-star version. That naming convention has nothing to do with the upgrade speed. It just indicates that the two-star general can be upgraded (e.g. if he gains a certain amount of seniority in battle). The highest rank available to a commander can be found in the model file, too ("MaxRank"). In Daun's case that would indeed be three stars.

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training masters

Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:27 pm

Yes that should be correct.

There are 3 or 4 Aus commanders including Daun giving 1 experience point to the individual unit in the stack every turn. At some point 1 star experienced regulars become elite with probability. When they become Elite, Drill masters also give 1 more point of experience to the new Elite element if I observed right. The difference between the "Nouveau riche" :) Elite and the status before is not much.(?) With the speed of training from masters most units in the stacks will be elite in the long run. Many brigades consist of regulars became elit after 15 turns or so with training masters.

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Edit: "For each Odd level of experience (i.e. 1, 3, 5, etc.), units gain a +1 increase in their Initiative, Discipline, Patrol, and Evasion values. "

Discipline bonus is ok but the others are same with regular inf stats.
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Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:25 am

Here is what happened during my last Prussian campaign (started in 56, played without attrition): My goal was to keep a nummeric advantage by destroying as many enemy armies as possible (and I did fare extremly well at that :D ). However, that destructive work came at a high cost: By the end of 1757 55000 Prussians had perished. Add to that approximately 600 hit points lost to bad weather. My armies started to be severely depleted. Worst off were my cavalry units (half off the Prussian cavalry brigades were below 30% off their manpower) followed closely by the elite infantry. However, reinforsements should have been flowing: my moral was sky-high and I held on to most off my territory (worst losses Wesel, Memel and Dortmund on the plus side, I had Prague in my possession). During 57 all my resources went into depot units, still my armies kept growing weeker. :(

This mess gave me some ideas:

1) Add a don't reinforce button. A lot of my reinforcements went to garnision units. These units start out understrength and draw a lot of replacement elements. It would be a real improvement if I could tell the AI not to reinforce those units.

2) Add two additional unit types: light and heavy cavalry depot units. Why should it be possible to built infantry replacements but not cavalry?

3) In 56 and 57 there are two mobilization events that add replacements. Other replacement events can be found in the random event file. Perhaps one might think about increasing the amount of replacements granted by those events.

On a related note: I was very happy when I saw the screenshots of the replacement system in RUS. :thumbsup: It is amazing to see how much the developpers communicate with their customers on this forum and try to create the games their fans want.

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:37 am

OneArmedMexican wrote:2) Add two additional unit types: light and heavy cavalry depot units. Why should it be possible to built infantry replacements but not cavalry?



Horses, it was very hard to get access to good quality cavalry horses. Something I'd like to see is the addition of horses as a resource, along with money, conscripts and war supply. But I agree that cavalry units suffer even more heavy from the lack of reinforcements than infantry. So replacements and the option to choose where they go would be nice.

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:15 pm

OneArmedMexican wrote:
This mess gave me some ideas:

1) Add a don't reinforce button. A lot of my reinforcements went to garnision units. These units start out understrength and draw a lot of replacement elements. It would be a real improvement if I could tell the AI not to reinforce those units.

2) Add two additional unit types: light and heavy cavalry depot units. Why should it be possible to built infantry replacements but not cavalry?

3) In 56 and 57 there are two mobilization events that add replacements. Other replacement events can be found in the random event file. Perhaps one might think about increasing the amount of replacements granted by those events.

On a related note: I was very happy when I saw the screenshots of the replacement system in RUS. :thumbsup: It is amazing to see how much the developpers communicate with their customers on this forum and try to create the games their fans want.


Agreeing with 1 and 2, but at a higher cost for cavalry.

3) Not sure. In any case, in spite of victories, Pussiians achieved war with depleted army. You're certainly doing more aggressive maneuvers than during the period, where ranged battles were rare, just because armies were slow to rebuild. Not sure the solution is upping the number of conscripts. Maybe much important is to let enmies getting attritioned rather than destroyed in costly battles fro Prussians...
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Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:58 pm

Clovis wrote:3) Not sure. In any case, in spite of victories, Pussiians achieved war with depleted army. You're certainly doing more aggressive maneuvers than during the period, where ranged battles were rare, just because armies were slow to rebuild. Not sure the solution is upping the number of conscripts. Maybe much important is to let enmies getting attritioned rather than destroyed in costly battles fro Prussians...


True, I don't like events as fix, either. Feels too much like cheating.

And yes, I thought, I was playing rather agressive. But then again, King Friedrich was not exactly a typical general of his time (far to fond of doing battle). So I looked it up: It turns out that my campaign was almost historic reenactment as far as casualties are concerned. 1756-57, in the nine major engagements alone, the Prussian lost ~ 50.000 men (Kolin 14.000, Prag 12.000, Breslau and Leuthen 6.000 each, ...).

But I do agree, attrition is the better strategy.

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:18 pm

OneArmedMexican wrote:But I do agree, attrition is the better strategy.


But you can't rly play attrition as Prussians in this game. You need to make some bold moves in 56-57 or the Austrians will just swarm you with troops in 58 I know I did in my recent PBEM game as AUS.

As far as the proposals go I agree with 1) (and add to that the change of fixed artillery from field to heavy type) but not rly with 2 and 3.

2 because war horses you have to train from birth so it should not be possible to just buy em up in large ammounts.

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:27 pm

Clovis wrote:Agreeing with 1 and 2, but at a higher cost for cavalry.

3) Not sure. In any case, in spite of victories, Pussiians achieved war with depleted army. You're certainly doing more aggressive maneuvers than during the period, where ranged battles were rare, just because armies were slow to rebuild. Not sure the solution is upping the number of conscripts. Maybe much important is to let enmies getting attritioned rather than destroyed in costly battles fro Prussians...


I would agree with that. I find the level of replacements pts/conscript companies generated by the game presently is fine and IMHO maybe even on the generous side.

This is due, in part, to the fact that "attrition" even "realistic attrition" is a minor factor in game, as long as a player follows common sense rules. In RL, armies would melt as soon as they started marching.

As a Prussian player, I have no problem keeping all my units at close to full strength, as long as I am not overly aggressive and maximise construction of depot units.
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Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:24 pm

Anazagar wrote:But you can't rly play attrition as Prussians in this game. You need to make some bold moves in 56-57 or the Austrians will just swarm you with troops in 58 I know I did in my recent PBEM game as AUS.


Against a human opponent attrition is bound to fail. Athena, on the other hand, can easily be defeated by attrition.

Anazagar wrote:2 because war horses you have to train from birth so it should not be possible to just buy em up in large ammounts.


I don't advocate huge amounts of depot cavalry, however having the possibility of buying some each year would be nice. Horse breeding and training didn't stop during war, however quantity and quality declined. So, yes depot cavalry units should be costly and rare.

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:51 pm

Charles wrote:As a Prussian player, I have no problem keeping all my units at close to full strength, as long as I am not overly aggressive and maximise construction of depot units.


Are you playing with standard or historical attrition? Not that historical attrition really is, but it does seem to increase attrition losses marginally.

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:56 pm

Clovis wrote:Maybe much important is to let enmies getting attritioned rather than destroyed in costly battles fro Prussians...



Not sure, but I suspect that Clovis is recommending maneuver against the enemy's line of supply rather than WWI style battles of attrition. The Prussians can't hope to win through attrition, but maneuver against the allies' LOS is a very valid approach.

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:06 pm

squarian wrote:Not sure, but I suspect that Clovis is recommending maneuver against the enemy's line of supply rather than WWI style battles of attrition. The Prussians can't hope to win through attrition, but maneuver against the allies' LOS is a very valid approach.


yes

BTW, a very interesting thread...I shall remember that :)
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Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:06 pm

Regarding cav depots - it's entirely realistic for cavalry remounts to be scarce and I wouldn't want to see that changed. However, it is possible to set the $ cost and time to produce to realistic levels (astronomical and forever, respectively - lets say 18 turns to produce @ $150 per 3x replacement elements).

So both sides might begin a few cav depots in 56-57 knowing they won't see the remounts until mid-game, but without the arbitrariness of the event/EP system.

From what I've read, domestic stud farms and purchasing horseflesh from abroad was an enormous preoccupation for 18th c. statesmen and rulers, regarded as a state secret no less important than fortress plans or deployments. The gradual decay of the cavalry on active service is realistic for the period and we don't want to skew that, but perhaps cavalry replacement depots as I describe would be realistic, given how enormous state resources were devoted to their management?

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:06 pm

squarian wrote: maneuver against the allies' LOS is a very valid approach.


:thumbsup:

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:10 pm

And last but not least of a spate of posts in this thread (I begin to feel a bit like Cato the Elder finishing every speech with "Carthago delenda est") -

1. fortress artillery still needs a second look, as mentioned above.
2. discrepancies in minor power replacements either need a rationale or a fix.

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:13 pm

Bertram wrote: :thumbsup:


Not that I'm likely to actually try the manoeuvre sur la derriere myself, you understand. Perish the thought. :D

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:53 pm

squarian wrote:And last but not least of a spate of posts in this thread (I begin to feel a bit like Cato the Elder finishing every speech with "Carthago delenda est") -

1. fortress artillery still needs a second look, as mentioned above.
2. discrepancies in minor power replacements either need a rationale or a fix.



1. Wheeled Field artilery is not practical to build as they will compete with garrisoned fort batteries about replacement. They are not also cheaper from heavy artilery, "siege artilery".
3. Trainers training fast , in the long run they give more harm then benefit as there is less Elite replacements( Only Prussian origin soldiers were elite in the war I have read?)
4. cavalry are relatively vulnerable to infantry now, they may need help in replacing. I agree replenishing should be expensive and few with cavalry depot units.
5. Depleted elements in units can cause more random results in battles. Players will want to move them from stacks as they can be choosen for combat.


Edit: Trainers shouldn't give Elite status to elements after drilling (1 star experience). They must get that status by fighting. Maybe experience points needed to become elite can be increased.

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:59 pm

Charles wrote:I find the level of replacements pts/conscript companies generated by the game presently is fine and IMHO maybe even on the generous side.


Charles wrote:As a Prussian player, I have no problem keeping all my units at close to full strength, as long as I am not overly aggressive and maximise construction of depot units.


I guess, I am impressed.

However, I wouldn't call it a "generous" supply of replacements if you can't afford to recruit anything but depot units and have to play cautious in order to avoid casualties.

To me RoP feels like playing the South in the 63 or 64 campaigns in ACW (at least where replacement and recruitment are concerned). And I am not saying I don't enjoy it. ;) However, the scarcity of replacements is too much of a concern in my opionion. It dictates the strategy, it makes the recruitment system virtually superflous (except for depot units) and after a year or two it may render whole brigades virtually useless.

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:33 pm

There is another source of replacements that hasn't been mentioned yet and is very useful when playing as Prussia. ;)
If you keep your conscript pool above about 200 ish every so often some of these conscripts are turned into regular replacements, you will see a batch of 5 appear in the ledger and the amount in the conscript pool will go down. :thumbsup:
When playing as Prussia I only build elite replacements. I keep my conscript pool above 200 and when it gets high enough only then build a new unit and still keep above the 200 limit.
The infantry that upgrades to elite status will have these elite elements replaced with regular when a whole element is lost and then the process of upgrading starts for that element afresh.
It would be good if severely depleted elements could be merged so that say you have 4 very weak elite ones they are combined to make 1 not too bad one, you then have 3 slots in that unit that can then be replaced by new regular elements. You don't then have to disband units but you would see a gradual decrease in their size and quality over the course of the war.

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:11 pm

Thats the tip of the day Ebbingford ! :) well I didnt know that after months of playing :w00t: I didn't see any notification in message log.

Merging is the realistic option to me also, they accept regulars when whole element lost but they dont accept when only depleted. I guess like field artilery type change, "merging of elements" requires change in the AGE engine.

But building only elite replacements shouldn't be necessary or realistic. There should be some diversity about using options or building units. Elite status should need more experience points in my opinion.

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Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:54 am

squarian wrote:On a different but related point, various minor-power allies have some replacement/recruitment quirks which I suspect are not WAD:

BAV & WUR cannot recruit infantry bns but they often have plenty of inf replacement chits, which suggests gamey tactics like hiding a couple of bns in Hungary just so the AUS player can be sure of using these states' replacement chits.

PAL never gets elite replacements and can't buy a gren depot bn, so PAL grenadier coys never reach full strength, with the now-familiar consequences for NM.

HES & BRU can recruit line inf depot bns but not grenadier/elite depot bns, so after a little attrition or combat the grenadier coys are reduced to cadres, again with implications for NM.


+1, in case not be forgotten.

HRE can buy Elite Depot bns time to time.

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Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:27 am

squarian wrote:On a different but related point, various minor-power allies have some replacement/recruitment quirks which I suspect are not WAD:

BAV & WUR cannot recruit infantry bns but they often have plenty of inf replacement chits, which suggests gamey tactics like hiding a couple of bns in Hungary just so the AUS player can be sure of using these states' replacement chits.

PAL never gets elite replacements and can't buy a gren depot bn, so PAL grenadier coys never reach full strength, with the now-familiar consequences for NM.

HES & BRU can recruit line inf depot bns but not grenadier/elite depot bns, so after a little attrition or combat the grenadier coys are reduced to cadres, again with implications for NM.



Hessian and Brunswick elite depot bns are buildable from about Feb 1759.
I've been checking every couple of turns and I can build them in early Feb, maybe even a couple of turns earlier as I hadn't checked every turn?

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