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My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:48 pm
by nickaepi
I just made my 1st AEGOD purchase last week, getting ACW2. LOVE IT so far. I'm finishing up the basic tutorials and have just been studying the map, my units, watched a few "let's learn ACW2 videos, etc.

I'm now about ready to jump into my 1st real Scenario/Campaign game. I know this is not going to be an easy game but that's why I bought it. I went with my highest interest level and that's the Civil War. I was born a Yankee but now live in the South, so I became even more intrigued in this time period living close to Atlanta and historical CW sites.

My question is regarding game play settings. I am very intrigued in learning more about the history of the Civil War but I also want some direct input into outcomes since this is technically a game that I will be spending time learning and playing.

I want realistic game play rules in place but I also want to have a chance to "win", regardless of which side I play on, assuming I play the game correctly and use proper strategy. What puts me and the AI on "equal ground?

I'm a newbie so you're probably thinking "why on earth is this guy already asking this stuff before he has even moved a single unit?"

That's just my wonderful A.D.D. personality, where I feel happy that I am doing things "the right way, or in the right order". I HAVE to have my game play settings"perfect", before I start my campaigns. :bonk:

Is this game heavily-scripted, in that no matter what I do "X" is going to happen, or "Y" General is going to lose this battle? I actually love XCOM-type randomness in battles..meaning even though there is a 90% chance to hit, sometimes things don't hit and all hell breaks loose afterwards. I'm okay with things not going my way (which is what I chose the AEGOD "WEGO" type system. I like that I'm not sure how things are going to end up!

I'm not necessarily asking for the easiest settings, where I can just roll troops around aimlessly and crush them but maybe newcomer-friendly settings where I can say "I took the time to plan a good strategy, executed it properly and it worked". I don't 100% want the AI to say "sorry, CSA is not going to win here, no matter what you do", due to scripting but I also understand that I cant just roll up to DC and drop Nukes (aka Civilization). lol

TL;DR- What do you guys recommend for "newbs" that are okay with learning the nuances of the game but not become extremely overwhelming? AI Activation, aggressiveness, supply, etc. The settings are kind of confusing for a newb I don't get yet how it effects my campaigns.

Thanks in advance!

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:18 pm
by principes romanes
Welcome to the forum Nick and I'm glad you're excited for the game!

I am sure there are different opinions on what works well. I will give you my take on ideal "Game" and "AI" parameters.

Game Parameters
  • Use Fog of War - On - I think this one is fairly self-evident
  • Delayed Commitment - Small Delay - I have mostly left this on the default setting. I expect there might be more varied opinions on what setting people prefer for this one.
  • Foreign Entry - I use easy foreign entry, but I am in the minority. Even on easy, foreign entry is rare. The reason to put it on easy is to make foreign entry occur more frequently (and thus help the CSA a bit). The reason to leave it where it is, or even make it less likely is because it was (probably) very unlikely France and Britain were ever going to actually intervene militarily.
  • Historical Attrition - Historical for the Player Only - I think historical attrition adds realism without making the game much more complicated. I don't think that the AI deals very well with historical attrition though.
  • Automated replacements - Off - I think most players like the added control of determining how replacements are allocated
  • Battle Planner - On - This is purely optional, but it can make battles a bit more fun. I think it can also increase the randomness a bit (if one battle plan counters another).
  • Activation Rule - Veteran option - This is probably one of the most significant options to adjust. Even though the veteran option says it will hurt the AI, I much prefer what seems like more realistic activation rules for my forces. I believe this is also the setting that pretty much everybody uses when playing against another human opponent.
  • Randomized Generals - Low Randomization - this is very much a personal preference
  • Naval Box Handling - Standard Rule - I don't find that it is much extra work to occasionally check the supply level and cohesion in the naval boxes.
  • Extended Pool - Historical allowance - There is some personal preference here. The historical allowance is enough to let both players build a variety of troops but at some point both sides will start to be limited in the specific types of troops they can build.
  • Easy Supply - Off - Even with easy supply off, supply is usually not too onerous a problem.
  • Traffic Penalty - Low - This is another one that has a lot of personal preference. High traffic penalties can result in stacks taking longer than 'advertised' to reach a destination. Low traffic penalties mean this is mostly only a problem for really big army stacks. The traffic penalties are probably fairly realistic but I can easily see players finding them annoying.

AI (Athena)
I think it is generally accepted that Athena (the AI) behaves most like a human opponent on Lieutenant difficulty (AI Ranking), a medium Activation Bonus (+1 or +2), a low AI Detect bonus, and normal Aggressiveness. Use all behaviors and Give AI more time should both be on - the designers have commented that turning off the first one in particular makes the AI very weak.
A few other notes on the AI. If you are starting with some of the battle scenarios, the ideal AI settings may be different - these setting suggestions are really for a full campaign. May of the AI bonuses (from the AI ranking) apply to building and recruiting units, so you likely wouldn't notice the full effect of different difficulty settings in the battle scenarios. Raising the detection bonus can create some unrealistic and frustrating behaviors in the campaigns. In particular, the high detection bonus can sometimes let the AI see weakly defended objectives behind your lines, resulting in the AI ignoring your army to march off to take some weakly defended but not very important city, often leaving more important objectives of its weakly defended.

I am sure that other people will have different opinions on the settings, but that is part of the why the designers allow us to customize them :)

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:00 pm
by nickaepi
I couldn't have asked for a better reply. Thanks for taking that much time to break everything down for me. I appreciate it! Very helpful explanations.

Battle Planner - On - This is purely optional, but it can make battles a bit more fun. I think it can also increase the randomness a bit (if one battle plan counters another).

That does interest me. This is one of the few strategy games I own that doesn't have a hex-based battle system. I have plenty of those already so this is refreshing for me. Kind of reminds of me EUIV.

I was torn between this game and Forge of Freedom solely because of the combat system. I obviously went with this one and hopefully I will enjoy it. This is the most complex (as far as details, stats and options) game I have purchased.

We shall see how it goes.

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:10 pm
by Gray Fox
Welcome Nickaepi!

Great advice from PR.

As to scripts, CW2 is historical in that many things happen in game as they did in RL. Both Capitals get fortified. New Generals and special units show up on a schedule. Always read each turn's messages from the game to you. Units that you purchased may have finally finished training or an event may require that you meet a goal by a certain date or suffer loss of National Morale. Some events, like the status of Kentucky, are variable in that the state can join either side. Others, like the availability dates to form Divisions or Corps, always happen. The outcomes of the battles are never scripted. Figuring out what wins a battle takes some scrutiny, but is time well spent. Good luck!

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:48 pm
by nickaepi
Ohhh..That sounds perfect! Exactly what I'm looking for. I'll fully admit I left a lot of my CW history memory somewhere in a 10th grade classroom a lonnng time ago;).. so I'm looking forward to a historical journey, while playing a Turn-Based Strategy game.

2 quick questions and I will leave you guys alone for a while :

1) I purchased the CW Expansion Bloody Road South during the sale. Do you recommend me installing that right away? Does it change the game play at all or add new features? (I.E. Paradox & Civilization Expansions sometimes add core game play changes in DLC )

2) I already realized that this is a thinking man's game (harder to play when I'm sleepy, or feel rushed on time). This is something I play with a cup of coffee when I have a few hours to sit down and focus.

Can you guys recommend any similar AGEOD (or if allowed here) other dev's titles that are good war-type games that maybe don't require as much "deep thinking about your next turn" but also offer some good, realistic game play?

The one's I have peeked at a few times because they look "cool" are (no idea if they are just as complex as CW2 or even more so) are Birth of America (1 or 2), Advanced Tactics Gold, Decisive Campaigns Barbarossa, Forge of Freedom, Pike and Shot.. Something maybe a step up or 2 from PanzerCorps or Unity of Command (those are too "puzzle-ee" for me.)

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:41 pm
by Cardinal Ape
Nah, the DLC does not add any new game play features, only scenarios.

Yup, it is a drinkings mans game, the two worst attacks I've launched in PBEM games either came before my morning coffee, or after my after work beer. Oh, wait, you said thinking, that works too. :siffle:

When asked, I always recommend Birth of America 2. Its a good way to learn the ageod system of rules without getting bogged down with a million units over a massive map.

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:35 pm
by mariandavid
My advice on other games:
1: If you like Civil War 2 you like that engine and know the system so perhaps pick up some of the other games of the engine when they go on sale [or anyway!] - especially on Steam. Of them the deepest (but many think best) are Revolution under Siege and To End all Wars - the easiest (more so than Civil War) is Wars in America.
2: Panzer Corps is fun but certainly not deep - of games of that style I much prefer Order of Battle: Install it from Steam - it lets you play the first scenario from each of half a dozen basic and DLC games and you can see if you like it. And of course a system that risks by starting with Japanese campaigns in the Pacific and China and only then goes to Poland and Finland has courage!
3: The Decisive Campaign series are tough - if you want a deep but easy strategic game on WW2 have a look at Strategic Command: War in Europe instead.
4: I like Pike and Shot - but have heard that the newer game with the same mechanics on Japan and China is more fun.

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:47 pm
by csiemers
My advice, don't over think the game. Just dive in and start playing. There were many games I started and learned a lot by just experimenting to see what would happen. Attack when I probably wouldn't normally, put ships where I might never have thought of, etc. just to see the results. I'd do invasions not having a clue how they really worked just to see what would happen. So many possibilities.
Sometimes I'd be playing and do a really bad move and would just start a new game.
Reading these forums gleaned a lot of tips for me as well. The manual is exceedingly poor and doesn't provide a heck of a lot of help with the nuances of the game.
Just remember it's a game and you don't have to finish or win everytime you play. That's the beauty of it.
Enjoy!

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:53 am
by nickaepi
:) Man this forum is awesome. I'm accustomed to being verbally abused in Steam forums so this is a welcome change. Everyone has given great advice and the exact input i was looking for. Looking forward to diving in now. Thank you to everyone!

I'm sure I'll be back to ask @Principes Romanes why the F#!/ did you recommend these crazy settings! Lol. :mdr:

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:22 am
by Durk
"Can you guys recommend any similar AGEOD (or if allowed here) other dev's titles that are good war-type games that maybe don't require as much "deep thinking about your next turn" but also offer some good, realistic game play?

The one's I have peeked at a few times because they look "cool" are (no idea if they are just as complex as CW2 or even more so) are Birth of America (1 or 2), Advanced Tactics Gold, Decisive Campaigns Barbarossa, Forge of Freedom, Pike and Shot.. Something maybe a step up or 2 from PanzerCorps or Unity of Command (those are too "puzzle-ee" for me.)"

I totally agree with Cardinal Ape, BOA2 or as I know it WIA. Great game for learning the nifty but complex AGEOD game system. This was also my first non-hex based game and I was very skeptical if it would play well, but I love the thought which has gone into region to region movement. Much more realistic than the hex based games.. So BOA2 #1 recommendation. It has some great grand campaign games, but numerous small scenarios which allow you to explore the game without too much complication.

If you like the American Civil War, CWII is the definitive game. Forge of Freedom is nice, but it is not very historical in play. I took about two hours each turn when I was learning CWII, but now turns are about a half an hour. It does get easier as you learn a very complex game. I would suggest starting with a small campaign. The title game Bloody Road South is excellent for learning the game as all of the 'weird' stuff is done and you can just march and fight.

Pike and Shot is a nice game if you prefer tactical play. If you like strategic play, as I do, AGEOD's Thirty Years War is very impressive. It is also of a smaller scale, like BOA2, so easy to handle, but very complex as are all AGEOD games. Really hard to master, but easy to play. I am currently, perhaps, the number one fan of TYW. It is so challenging to play well, but very easy to play.

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:44 pm
by principes romanes
nickaepi wrote: I'm sure I'll be back to ask @Principes Romanes why the F#!/ did you recommend these crazy settings! Lol. :mdr:

:innocent:

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:04 pm
by nickaepi
Durk wrote:" So BOA2 #1 recommendation. It has some great grand campaign games, but numerous small scenarios which allow you to explore the game without too much complication. Pike and Shot is a nice game if you prefer tactical play. I


I think I will just stick with CWII as my "complex strategy game" right now @Durk. As soon as I started my 1st scenario, I just stared at the screen and cycled thru units for about 10 minutes saying "WTF should I do first? LOL. I learned how to ride a train, ride a boat and use up all my rail transport points in 2 turns..lmfao :laugh. I did at least remember that from the tutorials.

I do love me some tactical play. Every time I say "no more", I get another one. I also said that about Grand Strategy games....SMH. :non:

If I have the courage and time, I will consider BOA2, Pike & Shot Campaigns and Strategic Command WWII looks in my wheelhouse, also. So many games, so little time. Thx again guys!

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:23 pm
by CajunNavy
nickaepi wrote:
I'm sure I'll be back to ask @Principes Romanes why the F#!/ did you recommend these crazy settings! Lol. :mdr:


:confused: ! :confused: !

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:25 am
by ArmChairGeneral
Personally I would play with the Activation Rule (different from Activation Bonus) one to the left of Veteran, the one where you can see your Activation status but can be fixed in place if inactive. It is hard enough to learn this game without wondering why troops didn't execute your orders. Once you get the hang of the game it is fun to play with.

I disagree about Lieutenant being most like a human, I don't find a major behavioral difference coming from that setting, just bonuses for the AI. (It may be more "realistic" in that the resources are more balanced at lower settings; this one gives the AI extra $$, WS and CS in addition to making them move faster.) Still, the advice to use Lieutenant at first is sound, that is probably where you want to start.

You probably do want to give the AI at least a +1 to Activation Bonus in a Grand Campaign, maybe not in some of the smaller scenarios. Union Athena (the AI) is not able to deal with inactivity well and is really passive with all the poor Union Generals.

I turn my naval box handling to 75% automated even as a veteran player, I find it tedious to micromanage what is at best a minor part of the game.

100% agree on manual relpacements, NEVER play with automated for a host of reasons. It isn't just that you don't have control of them, it is that the automation will do it wrong. Plus the number it buys is invisible to you until after the fact causing major problems when you unexpectedly overspend.

My number one tip for beginners is to play the 1862 West Scenario right away, it is the best scenario in the game and will get you moving right from the start, whereas the Grand Campaigns take a while to unfold and you may be five or six hours into the game before your mistakes begin to cost you, whereas you can see what you are doing wrong right away in 1862 West (i.e. the feedback loop is much shorter). Corps formation is allowed from turn 1 and the battle of Shiloh will occur pretty much within the first few turns allowing you to get your feet wet with Corps sized engagements, Army/Corps structure, MTSG, large stack organization, etc. much sooner than when trying to play the Grand Campaigns. 1862W uses all the major subsystems except for naval (which is a blessing since naval can be a distraction at first) is VERY well balanced and as an added bonus is the only scenario in which the Far West can actually affect the outcome of the game. And you get to make build decisions that matter, unlike some of the scenarios. (The only downside to it is that if you play as the CSA you will not get to use Lee, he wasn't historically in the West :-( )

Don't bother playing the Bull Run "Tutorial" scenario again, it isn't very good and does not utilize some of the most important mechanics in the game. Personally I would rate Bull Run as an advanced scenario not a beginner one, you have a narrow path to victory and must do everything just right, which is fun as a challenge when you are already good at the game but doesn't really help you learn the game as a beginner.

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:45 am
by ArmChairGeneral
Also my favorite other AGEOD titles are BOA2 and AJE. BOA2 is stunningly beautiful, by far the best artwork in the series, and is really good for learning how to play AGEOD games. I didn't get good at AACW/CW2 until I played BOA2; the supply and command systems are slightly different (actually easier than CW2) and you really get a feel for how movement, cohesion and attrition affect outcomes. It also has a lot of really good scenarios and covers three different major wars.

AJE has a large variety of very very good scenarios and is the fastest to play, turns take 5 or ten minutes compared to half hour to an hour in CW2 since the maps and number of units are much smaller. (The AJE map itself is huge, but most scenarios restrict it to only the relevant parts.) Plus, you get to be Julius Caesar and Sulla, and who doesn't want that?

If you get the hang of any AGEOD title you will be good at all of them since much of the underlying mechanics (particularly combat, command, movement and cohesion) are the same with cosmetic/historical differences between them.

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:33 am
by Durk
May I just say ArmChairGeneral these comments are so rich and so spot on.
The 1862 West Scenario is brilliant. I used to favor the June 1861 start, but you are so correct.

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:31 pm
by nickaepi
Thank you @armchairgeneneral! Great tips and i will combine your advice with the others I've received. I've been using the cycle units function quite a bit because it gives me a better idea of who's available to move for each turn.
I come from a world of simpler, hex tbs/tactical games where all you worry about is AP, terrain and "end turn button". This game seems to give you endless options for what you want to do in a given turn, which i understand that's the core of the game and grand strategy in general.
This is first game i will probably hit save, mid turn just because it's that detailed.
I'll look for sales on BOA2 since everyone seems to agree that's a great game and a recommended AEGOD starting point.

I already invested in this during the holiday sale so im not giving up but i may try boa and come back if it becomes too overwhelming.

First, I'm heading to Nashville. There's a union flag there that needs to come down. ;)

Easy supply/traffic penalty

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:18 pm
by nickaepi
I'm playing the 1862 W scenario. Do you recommend Easy Supply and TP off
to start?

Edit: I'm starting to figure this game out, little by little. Each turn is a strategy game within itself. I might screw this whole scenario up but I'm learning the game as i go along. Very cool!

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:37 am
by Durk
It is probably ok to use Easy Supply and no Traffic Penalty. While you will eventually want to turn Easy Supply off, there are enough other things to worry about as your are learning.
Traffic Penalty still has no settled consensus as to if to use and if so what settings. I would suggest setting it not to off but to the next notch.
As long as your only opponent is AI, you can change these setting from turn to turn as you experiment.

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:57 am
by loki100
ArmChairGeneral wrote:Personally I would play with the Activation Rule (different from Activation Bonus) one to the left of Veteran, the one where you can see your Activation status but can be fixed in place if inactive. It is hard enough to learn this game without wondering why troops didn't execute your orders. Once you get the hang of the game it is fun to play with.

....


I'd agree fully at the start. You don't want this when working through the basics. For that, don't ignore the Far West scenarios as they are quick to play and wil teach you a lot about supply, how special unit types/commander traits work etc.

But, if once you are past this stage, vs the AI (in any AGE game) the harsh activation rule (ie fail and most likely become inactive) is the way to go. I've managed the full 7 years of the Seven Years War (Rise of Prussia) and the Russian Civil war running to 1922. Its great in particular if you pick the powerful side that was historically hindered by poor leadership.

So in ACW, if you want to relive Lincoln's frustration at getting his generals to actually move that is the best setting. With the Confederacy it adds a huge element of risk, yes there commanders (at start) are better, but you run the risk of a complex campaign falling apart or a key army suddenly sitting still where it is a prime target.

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:59 am
by ArmChairGeneral
Same here on traffic penalty, take a small one, but not zero. It is not well understood exactly what effects it has on the AI and how it shakes out.

I would probably not use Easy Supply, even at start, just because supply is so integral to the game you need to learn how to use it from the start. Also, I think it makes it harder in that you have one less tool to use AGAINST the AI since cutting enemy supply lines is a vital tactic. (Hint: try raising a partisan somewhere in NW Kentucky and use their RGD to blow the depot at Fort Henry. That thing is supplying all of Grant's initial thrust toward Memphis, and taking it out will create major problems for the Union in that area. All of their supply moves into the region along that railroad, so interdicting it or desroying the rails will also help.)

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:04 am
by ArmChairGeneral
I concur about the Far West Scenario, it is basically a supply, attrition and movement tutorial. The victory coditions are broken however; just ignore them, if you can take Santa Fe and Albequerque as the CSA and hold them to the end consider it a win. If you can take and hold El Paso asthe Union then also count it as a win. Anything else is a draw.

Re: My first AEGOD Game and game play settings.

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:27 am
by Gray Fox
I share my forum mates' confidence in your game. However, even a short campaign can be daunting. Divide the play up into some small lessons.

Experiment with making Divisions. See how an all Cavalry or Artillery Division may function in a stack. Perhaps you'll prefer a mix of infantry, cav and big guns in your Divisions. When you have some Divisions you want to try out, make a stack under an Army commander or form a Corps. Anything that can be organized, can be done.

Another valuable experiment would be to use small cavalry units to do a recon. Even a single cav element set to Green/Green and Evade Combat can act as the "eyes and ears" of an Army. The Fog of War obscures most of the map and the enemy units that occupy it from view. See if you can slip your cavalry past the front lines. Cavalry can cut railroad lines, too. The chance is equal to the power number of the cavalry force. You can form a medium cavalry force of four elements under a General in a small Division. This force still is good at stealth and can cut a RR with no problem. These units are also good at hunting down enemy cavalry behind your lines.

A valuable feature is "Marching to the Sound of the Guns" (MTG). Form an Army stack with a subordinate Corps stack. Explore what it takes to get one to MTG to support the other in a defensive battle. Also, try the "Synchronized movement" option to get both stacks to move together. These are both useful in massing your forces.

Finally, supply is a game in itself. At least try normal supply for a few turns to see what happens. You'll find this level of realism to be interesting or frustrating...like the rest of us do. ;)

Good luck!