Ghostware
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Never getting any generals to promote

Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:03 pm

I am trying to figure out what I am doing wrong as to why I can't get any generals to promote to 2 star so I can make corps. It is spring of 1863 (I am playing confederacy) and only one general has been promotable. I desperately need more 2 star generals to create corps. Could it be the way I organize my divisions and chain of command ? I have won many battles so someone has to have been getting experience. Is it normal to be hurting for 2 star generals to create corps or am I doing something wrong?

RebelYell
General of the Army
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:17 pm

Ghostware wrote:I am trying to figure out what I am doing wrong as to why I can't get any generals to promote to 2 star so I can make corps. It is spring of 1863 (I am playing confederacy) and only one general has been promotable. I desperately need more 2 star generals to create corps. Could it be the way I organize my divisions and chain of command ? I have won many battles so someone has to have been getting experience. Is it normal to be hurting for 2 star generals to create corps or am I doing something wrong?


This is a bug almost, many people complain about it.

Basically as the CSA you have attack wildly in the beginning to get promotions.
Union players game the system by attacking forts with leaders they want to get promoted.
There is nothing similar for the CSA to bumb up its best leaders, a passive Union oppoent can deprive the CSA out of Corps leaders long in to the game.

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Gray Fox
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:20 pm

This is a common complaint for CSA players. Experience toward a promotion is based on the losses inflicted by the General's unit and those taken. So if you have him fight a lot, but the difference between the two is zero, then no promotion. Take the General you want promoted and put him in charge of a Division of only artillery batteries. The guns will inflict losses and practically never take any. This is a fast track to promotion. Another way is to use these General's units to destroy auto generated garrison elements. This gets you a lot of kills quickly.
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

RebelYell
General of the Army
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:49 pm

The leaders should only lose seniority by bad battle performance and passing them up in promotions.

Hals
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Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:43 pm

I have the same problem but several of my generals have gained more than 4 points of seniority. I have played many games and never encountered this problem before.

grimjaw
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Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:05 am

There are multiple issues for generals that you run up against playing as the CSA. The Union has similar problems, but they have so many generals it's not as pronounced.

Many of the CSA generals appear in the game at the time that they were promoted to 2-star generals IRL. However, in the game they are only 1-star generals. On top of that, many of the CSA generals do not have 2-star general models, even though they reached that rank historically. Hindman comes immediately to mind. There are at least 25 CSA brigadiers represented in the game that reached 2-star rank historically yet have no model to represent that in the game. I think that's about a quarter of the total available to the CSA. No matter how many battles they win you still can't promote them. Instead they get mythical brigadier generals taking up space, such as Quantrill (barely a captain), John Baylor (colonel) and Barnard Bee (some accounts show him made general only posthumously). The only fix for that is to create new models/units and do all the necessary edits. You can fix this in your single player games but it's more problematic for PBEM.

The other issue is that the promotion/seniority system is flawed and leads to poor gameplay and broken command structures.

Example 1:
2-star Stonewall Jackson is a corps commander and leading a stack that contains 2-star Richard Ewell as a division commander. By chance, their seniority levels are only one point apart. After a battle, Ewell gains XP and seniority points and outranks Jackson in seniority. Now he commands his division and the stack, a de facto promotion that you did not want. This is an extreme example and seems to happen more often with Union commanders, but it's still a problem. *Corps and army commanders should always outrank others of the same rank in the same stack, no matter their seniority level*

Example 2:
US Grant appears on the board in September 1861. As a 2-star. Never mind that he didn't reach major general (of volunteers) historically until after Donelson in 1862. The Union player will immediately send him to destroy whatever little stack he can to ensure he has enough points to get him enough points to command an army. The same will apply to any commander with good numbers, and throws out any of the wrangling the Union had to suffer through because of poor command. The penalties for promoting him over the heads of others don't stack, so as long as he's only offending his immediate superior in rank and that superior doesn't have any political weight, there's no real cost. Since its in the Union player's interest to simply wait and do nothing until Grant and company show up, chances are the competition hasn't advanced much to hurt Grant's chances.

The first example is a bug, the second is poor design. The game is using a one-size-fits-all system for army/corps/division structure but as most people who read this forum know the historical ranking system for both sides doesn't fit into it. CSA: 2-star generals commanded divisions, 3-star commanded corps, full generals commanded armies, and there were some exceptions. Since, the game allows for 2-star generals to command corps (even though that can be disabled easily), a decision was made, probably back in AACW, to keep many of the CSA generals as 1-stars so they cannot command corps. Don't even get me started on the lieutenant and full general CSA ranks. Union only had brigadiers and major generals, but since 2-stars in the game can't command armies, we have faux-lieutenant generals who commanded "armies" during the war (which in many cases were armies in name only).

As a result, you get this *horrendously awful* representation of rank. Sorry. I love this game, but this is one of the most galling things about it.

The seniority system should be divorced from experience points altogether and tied to date of rank. Seniority at rank does not change, but is reset once a new rank is reached. Seniority is used to determine the penalty, if any, of promotion out of sequence, and the penalty should stack past more than one general.

The ability to promote a general should be achieved through one of at least two different ways. One is similar to the way it currently works, only experience levels at a certain rank are stored independently of seniority. Once four (or some other amount, open to debate) experience levels/points/whatever have been achieved the general can be promoted. Once he is promoted, he is given a seniority number one less than the previous bottom-scraper in the barrel of generals, and that seniority remains the same until he hits the next rank, where the process is repeated.

In addition, I should be able to promote a general whenever I damn well please because I'm the bloody president and CiC, and if I'm playing as Lincoln I'm practically a dictator, ffs. For promotions that don't coincide with experience level advancement, there are a limited number of promotions available and the costs (if any) of VP/NM will be increased. Whether ranks can be skipped with no time in service (1-star -> 3-star without any time at 2-star) would be a subject for debate.

Jefferson Davis promoted multiple generals merely as a way to soften the blow of disappointing them in other ways. Polk was promoted to 3-star after Davis wouldn't side with him against Bragg. Theophilus was promoted when he was pushed off to Arkansas. There is plenty of historical precedent for it to exist in the game.

I have modified my own game to include some of these changes, but so far as I know I can't change the promotion system. The best I have been able to come up with is radically altering the seniority numbers. I've complained about this before and the overwhelming opinion was that I should just man up. Even if my proposed solutions don't interest the majority, something should be done to address the imbalances and problems that the current system impose. It isn't fair (to the CSA), fun or immersive.

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CFF
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Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:15 pm

it is not a bug, one general with more seniority would be above the other in chain of command and would never obey the one with less seniority, like, one captain would never give orders to one general.

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Orphan_kentuckian
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Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:53 pm

In my current PBEM vs. Charles on YouTube, this has been my downfall. I just did not have the two stars available to meet the threats he was posing. So i went for a 50NM DC grab which didn't pan out. Good game.

Hals
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Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:37 pm

It might be the problem but the generals Zollicoffer and Shelby are two of the generals that have gained enough seniority. I have only played as CSA once before but I think I promoted Shelby to two stars that time. Is there an easy way to see witch generals that you can't promote or is it in the game files. It would be good to know who to not put in command if avoidable.

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Gray Fox
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Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:18 pm

Historically, the CSA had artillery battalions. These are not represented in the game, however you can assemble a Division with up to 15 batteries. The artillery causes hits in battle but seldom takes hits because the game correctly targets Divisions with lots of infantry. So the artillery Division commander gets a lot of experience.

The CSA has several 20-lbers. Put them all in one artillery Division under a General you want to promote. Have this Division in a strong stack (with Huger) and attack weak targets of opportunity. Two or three battles should be enough to get the General promoted.
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

grimjaw
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Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:15 am

Hals, it's only in the game files.

it is not a bug, one general with more seniority would be above the other in chain of command and would never obey the one with less seniority, like, one captain would never give orders to one general.

It happened historically, although rarely, that chain-of-command at tactical level would not match up to the seniority of the commanders in question.

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McNaughton
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Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:56 am

The problem with ranks and the American Civil War, is that rank did not necessarily equate to the size or scale of command.

You could have Brigadier Generals commanding an army (McDowell in 1861), and Major Generals commanding divisions (most CSA Major Generals were division commanders, while also other Major Generals commanded Corps).

For the USA, they tended to have Brigadier Generals command divisions, and Major Generals dealing with Corps and Armies. This deals with a very strange system in the US Army, where they felt, for over a century, that nobody should hold a rank higher than Washington, which restricted rank for US Generals (only promoting Washington in the 19th Century, decades after his death, helped deal with this temporarily, but problems existed until the 20th Century).

The CSA was less concerned with that, and their generals had much higher ranking system. However, even there Brigadier Generals primarily commanded brigades, Major Generals could command a Division or some of the few Corps, with Generals tending to do armies. Even here, there is no strict rule as to rank and command.

Hard to determine a successful way in promotion, as on paper, successful battles tend to suggest promotion. In ACW I believe there were hard-coded promotions at times, not sure with ACW2.

One big problem in games providing too much freedom of control by the player is that nobody uses McClellan, and everyone uses Grant. With too many generals in play, and the ability to promote whomever you want, will forego all of the problems that (the North primarily, but the South also experienced in the West) the nations experienced. One of the great things is to try and fight a war handicapped by your incompetent generals, with a VERY serious seniority system (if the President wanted to remain president they had to placate many people, they weren't a dictator).

Rod Smart
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Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:37 pm

Put the generals who are promotable in charge of really good divisions. Put the generals who aren't promotable in charge of garrison duty or volunteer divisions.


The really good divisions (and artillery divisions, as already stated), beat up the other side in battle. Even in losing battles. Thus, promotions.



Using this strategy, I never run into these problems. In fact, I'll usually have extra 2 stars sitting around waiting for a corps as the south.

jstu9
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Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:21 am

fwiw, I'm in late January 1863 and have too many guys. I have Lee, Longstreet, Jackson, PGTB, ASJohnston and Joe Johnston at 3*. Then Edmund Smith, Magruder, Gustavus Smith, Polk, Edward Johnson and Forney at 2*. And I still have 3* Longstreet as a division commander.

Rod Smart
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Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:39 pm

jstu9 wrote:fwiw, I'm in late January 1863 and have too many guys. I have Lee, Longstreet, Jackson, PGTB, ASJohnston and Joe Johnston at 3*. Then Edmund Smith, Magruder, Gustavus Smith, Polk, Edward Johnson and Forney at 2*. And I still have 3* Longstreet as a division commander.


Forrest should be a three star by now.

jstu9
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Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:33 am

Rod Smart wrote:Forrest should be a three star by now.


He's underachieving for me. Still just a 1* mainly because I'm not exactly sure how best to use a Cavalry guy.

I tend to give em some cavalry, have them scout out troops, maybe destroy some rails, if i get lucky I can take a small garrison but usually after a couple turns run out of supply and barely get back into my lines before the division dies off.

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ArmChairGeneral
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Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:05 pm

Here are a couple of threads and posts about scouting/raiding and general usage of cavalry that might be helpful.

http://ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?37458-Raiding&p=328821&viewfull=1#post328821

http://ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?34716-How-do-you-use-Cavalry-(partic-for-scouting)&p=307122&viewfull=1#post307122

A lot has also been said about cavalry with respect to division and Corps composition, such as when to use a division with 100% cav and when they are better off combined with infantry. Search for the keywords Division and Cavalry and you will get hours of reading on these topics. It took long enough to dig up the old scouting stuff that I didn't have time to track down the good links on these subjects for this post.

Forrest is the multi-tool of generals, he is good at everything. I often end up putting him in charge of an artillery division inside a Corps that I expect to see a lot of fighting. This way his Cav bonus applies to as many elements as possible and his high OFF and DEF stats get applied to artillery hit chances, where they have the most impact in battle. He also has good scouting qualities since he is active nearly 100% of the time, and gets bonuses to speed and avoiding combat. You can't really go wrong with him unless you try to use him to raid deep into enemy territory, but that is because deep raids are usually a bad idea no matter who is in charge. Shelby is similarly good, as are J.E.B. Stewart and Morgan. Stewart is nice because he can lead a Corps, although some of his special abilities aren't that applicable to Corps stacks (a bonus to Hide isn't that relevant for a stack that size, for example).

The other Cav leaders are pretty good, too, but their best use is often granting the 25% combat bonus to large stacks. Just like Artillerists, I like to have a Cavalryman in every large formation that I expect to send into major battles. There are a few 3-1-1 generals with the Cav bonus, and I use them exclusively for buffing large stacks, since a 3 strat rating means they will be inactive a lot, which is the last thing you want to have happen to a scouting stack.

thebull0425
Corporal
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Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:05 pm

So quick question, how do I actually promote a general? I had the message come up, but I didn't know how to do it.

Rod Smart
Colonel
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Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:53 pm

Click the green plus "+" button. Its next to the create division "XX" button.

Complications sometimes arise. Make sure he's the most senior general in the stack (take him out of the stack if needed). He has to be active. If you give him orders, sometimes that de-presses the "+" button.

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