G-Burg Bullet
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Supply Clarifications & Questions

Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:34 am

Hi All,

Can someone please confirm/answer or comment on the following supply questions? I have tried my best to get a grip on the supply mechanics of the game by reading posts up here and from the manual, but the whole supply issue is pretty murky in my mind. I'm still learning the AGEOD game engine (ACW2 is my first AGEOD game), so please bear with me if this stuff is common knowledge among you more advanced players.

1. Is it true that a unit needs to be in a region with a supply source, or adjacent to one, to draw general supply and ammo?

2. If "yes" to #1, then what's the 3-5 region limit I keep hearing about that is the maximum range that supplies can be forwarded, dependent on rain, mud, weather, etc.? Is that 3-5 regions between "sources" or links in the chain, not the final delivery to the actual units?

3. How far can supplies be "pulled/pushed" by rail or river between supply sources? Is it still 3-5 regions? I thought I saw something about 15 somewhere. If it's still 3-5 regions, then how is river or rail supply movement more efficient? Is the volume greater ( I assume so).

4. The supply sources are?:
cities - level 3 or better
depots
forts
stockades
supply wagons
transports

5. Some of these sources produce supply, but is it true that they all "pull" supply from a preceding source in the chain?

6. What about cities and towns under level 3? Is it that they produce supply, but don't "pull?" If they don't "pull" how can they be useful? Can units or supply wagons draw supply from them if in or adjacent?

7. Is it accurate that Supply wagons can only be used as "terminal" delivery sources, meaning they only deliver supplies to units at the very end of the chain? You can't set up a stationary chain of supply wagons?

That's it for now. I'm sure I'll have more as I go along, but any light you could shed on this would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

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GraniteStater
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Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:53 am

I will try here. Have a pretty good feel and actually know a couple of thing - I wrote a small essay in AACW about it (found in "I Just Don't Understand Supply" in the AACW forum), but be warned, some facts may be changed from then.

1. Is it true that a unit needs to be in a region with a supply source, or adjacent to one, to draw general supply and ammo?

Pretty much Yes. A Wagon is good here, but I have long noticed that smaller stacks, like one Inf Regm't in Golden, CO, sits there (I always move the Regulars there from Denver) without Problems. And, IIRC, that's two Regions from Denver. When in doubt - Wagon up, but , in general, yes, AFAIK.

2. If "yes" to #1, then what's the 3-5 region limit I keep hearing about that is the maximum range that supplies can be forwarded, dependent on rain, mud, weather, etc.? Is that 3-5 regions between "sources" or links in the chain, not the final delivery to the actual units?

Well, it does includes the units as a delivery destination. "3-5" comes from Supply being in Phases - this is why you really want RR&R to be Maxed Out+, 'cuz there is a "last mile", so to speak, like your cable connection. So, 3-5 to insure or help those Phase deliveries/dumps along.

3. How far can supplies be "pulled/pushed" by rail or river between supply sources? Is it still 3-5 regions? I thought I saw something about 15 somewhere. If it's still 3-5 regions, then how is river or rail supply movement more efficient? Is the volume greater ( I assume so).

I keep Numbers to a Minimum, generally, so I almost always have TPs with me, but you sound like your understanding here is probably correct. In general, I address most Supply issues by being a Paranoid Petrified Pete and dragging or sailing Wagons and TPs everywhere.

4. The supply sources are?:
cities - level 3 or better
depots
forts
stockades
supply wagons
transports

Think those exhaust it.

5. Some of these sources produce supply, but is it true that they all "pull" supply from a preceding source in the chain?

AFAIK, Size 1 or 2 Places do not request Supply - AACW. This was definitely true in AACW.

6. What about cities and towns under level 3? Is it that they produce supply, but don't "pull?" If they don't "pull" how can they be useful? Can units or supply wagons draw supply from them if in or adjacent?

See above & the latter, yes, I believe, but practically, not much.

7. Is it accurate that Supply wagons can only be used as "terminal" delivery sources, meaning they only deliver supplies to units at the very end of the chain? You can't set up a stationary chain of supply wagons?

Egg-zackly. Gotta trundle back for More or, like me, bring the Quartermaster Department with you.

NOTE: Bear in mind I know much more about the Union than CSA - I'm OK with CSA stuff, but there are others here who know it much better than me.

NOTE: Capture enemy Depots or Handy Places in which you build Depots (QM Dept - extra Wagons or TPs, bring the wife & kids on every trip).
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]
-Daniel Webster

[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]
-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898

RULES
(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.
(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.


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Jim-NC
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Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:30 pm

In regards to your question 3:
There are 3 supply "phases", wherein supply is moved around the map. The 3 phases happen in series, and is effected by your rail/riverine pool. If you have 1/3 of the rail pool needed, then supplies only move via rails for the 1st supply phase. If you have 3/3 of the rail pool needed, then your rails can move supply all 3 areas. The trickey part is what happens when you are past/outside the railroad. The game abstracts "supply wagons" feeding your troops. These virtual "wagons" move like other wheeled vehicles, and thus they can move up 1-5 regions from a depot to a wagon (depending on terrain and weather). So if you have an army with wagons that is 5 regions from the closest depot, with no railroads helping, you can expect to only receive supply only if the ground is plain or grassland, in clear weather. If there is a blizzard, and mountains, you can forget about that army getting any supplies.
Remember - The beatings will continue until morale improves.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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GraniteStater
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Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:59 pm

Thank you.

All of which is why I look at it as bring them Wagons! To a large degree, it's not that the Wagons are some kind of Absolute Solution, but more in the vein that you can ameliorate 3,768 Hits on your stack when you go a-wanderin' too far. When you see yourself getting into Trouble and get those dreaded messages, then you can skedaddle back to a Better Place and recover and not suffer too much, aka Losing Elements 'cuz You Didn't Pay Attention.

I am very familiar with this, because I am a Master of Not Paying Attention.

I regard it as a system of conduits and Supply Radii and if I need to extend operations (Union - duh - of course you do), I build Depots. I play with Historical Attrit ON almost exclusively, so there is a Replacement issue also and will build Depots as forward Bases.

I fight expensive wars.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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planefinder
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Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:21 pm

I agree with everything that's been said so far, but I would add a few additional suggestions:

1) I can't emphasize this enough, play a few turns using the supply map-mode available in game. This will a) help you understand the supply flow - you can actually see the distribution phase and b) will help you understand where you effectively have supply and where you don't, including depots and cities that contain supply and ones that have very little.

2) Build depots as GraniteStater has said, but don't build them willy-nilly. Keep your depots aligned with your supply transport conduits - i.e. railroads, rivers and where necessary, roads. The general rule from AACW was one depot every 3-4 regions. I would continue this under CW II. Also, keep your supply network focused. Depots pull supplies - only pull them where you want them to go and don't build depots that will divert.

3) Depots and cities have tangible limits on supply and can only pass so many supplies so far in a given turn. Therefore, on occasion, stack depots in a line. For the Union player, this is vitally important - the Union has some massive cities - NY, Philly, St. Louis, Chicago. These cities can only pass so much supply so far. By creating a daisy chain of densely packed depots from the cities to the fronts, you're actually increasing the amount of supplies you can draw from the city because you're creating separate supply storage. This ensures that you're not wasting supply in a city that can't be transferred.

G-Burg Bullet
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Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:50 pm

Thanks, guys. This is helpful. Let me see then... In other words:

- Without a wagon or transport, units need to be in or adjacent to a region with a supply source to be safe

- With a wagon or transport, you can venture 3-5 regions away, always being mindful of weather, terrain, etc.

- depending on whether or not you have sufficient rail and river capacity, supplies can move up to three "pushes" per turn by rail or river toward your units that "need" supplies. One thing I forgot to ask... do you need intermediate depots/sources as "landing places" every 5 regions on the rail line or river line to keep the pull/push chain going? Or will the supplies keep movin' down the line toward a distant depot or supply point regardless of whether there are intermediate stops? In other words, if unblocked by the enemy along the way somewhere, could supplies move from say Cincy all the way down to New Orleans without another depot or supply source along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers?

- Which brings up another question... how do you know if a river or rail line is blocked by the enemy? Do you have to manually go to each end point in the supply overlay and see if the region is "receiving" supplies? If not, then I guess you deduce that there is a block somewhere. Correct?

- Also, how can you easily tell if your units are "in supply?" I've rolled the tooltip over units that are cut off completely and it still says that they are "supplied." I guess this is because they have the intrinsic supply that they carry with them, or perhaps they are trapped in a city that is a supply source. But it's pretty cumbersome to inspect every unit.

planefinder
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Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:53 pm

The answer to your last two questions is what I advised in my previous post - use the supply map-mode. Green indicates that a particular region is in supply, while red indicates that it is not.

G-Burg Bullet
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Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:21 am

planefinder wrote:The answer to your last two questions is what I advised in my previous post - use the supply map-mode. Green indicates that a particular region is in supply, while red indicates that it is not.


duh! Sorry... thanks for your help. I see you did address that.

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GraniteStater
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Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:45 am

One thing I forgot to ask... do you need intermediate depots/sources as "landing places" every 5 regions on the rail line or river line to keep the pull/push chain going?


I would recommend this, planefinder is on the ball here. The Northern papers hate my guts and I get NM taken away, because I can be positively glacial, but, as Daffy Duck once said, "Ah, but I'm a live louse!" And well fed, too.

In other words, if unblocked by the enemy along the way somewhere, could supplies move from say Cincy all the way down to New Orleans without another depot or supply source along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers?


This image...scares me. I know I wouldn't even think of it. Let me illustrate - often enough, I can take Memphis, but #10 or Pillow are sitting there, shooting at your abstracted Stuff on abstracted vessels. Mouseover. See what the deal is. Often, the Big Places have enough Supply for Quite a While, even with two full Corps in town. I definitely want to establish an uninterrupted route. So my 'Paduchaland' campaign (P-land's southern border is Memphis-Corinth, as I deem it) is not over.

OTOH, I seize New Orleans and Ft Pike and ignore the forts at the mouth. Pike does open up a Supply Line from the Sea, but, sometimes, if Athena is insisting on keeping Pike, I just work around it & go do Other Things - if she's being That Way about Pike, other targets could well be open. NO has an immese amount of Supply.

Which brings up another question... how do you know if a river or rail line is blocked by the enemy? Do you have to manually go to each end point in the supply overlay and see if the region is "receiving" supplies? If not, then I guess you deduce that there is a block somewhere. Correct?


I would say, Yup, pretty much. See my comment about Memphis above.

Also, how can you easily tell if your units are "in supply?" I've rolled the tooltip over units that are cut off completely and it still says that they are "supplied."


I don't know what the UI is doing nowadays, but in AACW there was a green/red strip at the bottom of stacks on the map. I'm sure there is a similar one in CW2 - if not, I'm wrong again, but think there must be one. Haven't even looked; the way I play, it's rare for my guys to have Hey! moments with Supply. The Supply filter is excellent, of course.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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ArmChairGeneral
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Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:49 am

So, the good news is that much like the Battle Engine, supply production and distribution works behind the scenes and you don't have to worry about it too much. Once you get the hang of it, the Civil War games are the easiest of all the games to stay supplied.

The exception to this, of course, is when you are on campaign.

I am not a technical expert on supply distribution, so some of the details here might be a little off, but keeping these general ideas in mind should help. Sorry in advance if this just repeats a bunch of stuff you already know.

Rule-of-Thumb time:

1 wagon per division, more if you have a long way to go or will be in harsh terrain/weather without cover, since you will trade wagon supplies for attrition hits.

Make sure the supply overlay is green between you and a source of supply. People say 3-5 regions, but mud is common, so you aren't even safe during the summer. I don't like to have more than two regions between my wagon and a source. If you have a wagon on a rail line however, you can always draw supply from 5 regions away (it may need to be a depot and have available rail pool not sure, but this extends your range a LOT).

Your wagons can draw supplies from any structure in virtual-wagon range, but the structure may be too small or have too small throughput to give you enough. Larger cities have more production and throughput, but Depots put them all to shame. Unlike cities, they actually gather up excess supplies in nearby cities and send them on along the depot chain towards unit concentrations.

When hovering over a region the number of supplies it has on-hand are shown in tiny numbers just above the mini-map. Compare this number to how much supply the Iron Pot says your force uses in a turn. As long as it is bigger, you are Good To Go. A structure you are drawing from can only produce so many supplies, but nearby depots can see that you are using them up and will send (by virtual wagon if necessary) that city some to replenish, but the pipeline available or the amount it decides to send won't necessarily be as large as you need.

On the supply overlay regional tooltip you can see how many supplies came in and out of the region that turn in order to make sure that the source you are drawing on is getting restocked by a depot, and thus able to replenish supply beyond the local production. You won't need to do this very often.

Rivers are easy to interdict. If an artillery unit uses the bombard order, supply is blocked. Forts with artillery automatically block supply (the bombard order is always active).

25% military control allows you to transit supply as well as utilize the rail network. MC is the most common reason for unexplained supply problems.

The rail/river pool tooltips report nil, very limited, average and whatever the max one is (I play CSA so have never seen it). These correspond to no Pool transport, 1 phase of transport, 2 phases and 3 phases. I think that depots still move some supplies without rail or river transport, but by virtual wagon, and only once, and are limited in their throughput by the receiving structure. Usually the next depot is too far away to reach by wagon, so without transport, supplies are only moved around locally if at all. Depots that can reach each other (usually because you have rail pool left) can send huge amounts, and in multiple phases.

The max number of regions supply can transit in one phase is 5. If you had a full rail/river pool you would get three phases for a total of 15, but you need rail or river connected depots every 5 regions along the way to keep them moving. (That's where the number 15 comes from.)

You should only have trouble staying supplied when operating far from your own structures. Often supply problems are happening in the last leg, the space between your wagon and the supply source it wants to draw on. The weather could be bad, you might not have enough MC, undetected partisans may be interdicting it, etc. If the source you are relying on is too small to consistently get you enough supply, you just have too large a force in the area. A depot there might help, but wagons are expensive, so choose wisely.

If you find that you are running low on supplies or ammo near the front line (less ammo on the map than General Supply, so it is often what you are short of near the front) avoid moving troops by rail for a few turns so your depots can push some through to the front.

When you build a new depot make sure it is within 5 rail or river from the next depot in order be able to bring in supplies from the rest of your network.

The only thing that can "pull" supplies is a wagon. The rest of the system relies on depots, which "push." Structures can "ask" for supply, but unless there is a depot in the neighborhood to fill their request, nothing happens. (I think level 4+ cities can "push" too, but they are not as effective as depots for whatever reasons.)

Sometimes a stack will end their turn in a city that has plenty of supply, but the map-sprite shows low supplies for the stack. Don't worry, they will fill up at Day Zero and be fully supplied. It is just a coincidence, and you don't even have to wait a turn for them to resupply, it happens before they can do anything, so you are safe to give them orders.

Building depots in harbors is cheap, because you can use transports, which are much cheaper than wagons. Flatboats can build depots as well, although I'm not sure if they are supposed to be able to.

G-Burg Bullet
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Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:56 pm

Thanks so much, ArmChairGen... this is exactly what I was looking for. Very thorough and informative.

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ArmChairGeneral
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Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:02 am

Happy to help!

Don't take any of the number as gospel though, Pocus's little elves are so good at keeping my troops fed that I have not put as much effort into learning the ins and outs of supply as it warrants.

Frosty_MooseHead
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Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:11 pm

This is why we have the supply overlay, I am just starting to use this more myself. if your troops are 'in the green' they should be getting some supply at least.

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soundoff
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Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:55 pm

Frosty_MooseHead wrote:This is why we have the supply overlay, I am just starting to use this more myself. if your troops are 'in the green' they should be getting some supply at least.


+1 IMHO the supply overlay together with the terrain and weather overlays are vital to conducting a successful campaign. The value of supply and weather overlays are obvious as soon as you hit the relevant key (2 and 8) The terrain overlay (7 key) contains extremely useful information. Just hover the tooltip over a region and you will see what I mean.

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pgr
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Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:36 pm

could we sticky this thread?

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ArmChairGeneral
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Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:13 am

More detailed wagon usage:

One wagon per division is overkill if in range of a large supply source. A wagon can draw enough supplies for about two divisions, so carry one wagon per 2 divisions in well supplied areas.

One or more wagons per division when you are on walkabout.

Keep at least one in every important stack, the wagon combat bonus only applies to the stack it is in.

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Gray Fox
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Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:08 pm

As a rather humorous side note, I had a supply wagon get a battle commendation icon. Apparently, its fire had routed an attacker.

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tripax
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Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:37 pm

How are depots upgraded? I've built a depot in Western AZ and now it is level 2; is that just a side effect of entrenched troops in the vicinity?

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