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Ace
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Hold at all costs

Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:15 am

Hi all.
It's been a while since I played this fine game.

I would like to comment how it is too hard to hold a region. I had a battle in mountain region where I was outnumbered 140.000 to 70.000 troops. Since it was mountain battle, the resulting battle was a skirmish where I lost only about 2.000 troops. Nevertheless, my army retreated after the battle despite only loosing only 2% casualties.
I presume it is because of 1:2 troop numbers ratio, but the game engine should consider more hold at all costs order given good defensive terrain.

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Gray Fox
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Re: Hold at all costs

Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:55 pm

I believe that HAAC just means you are willing to accept higher casualties before withdrawing. Also, some Generals have abilities, IIRC Deceiver is one, where they will fight for two rounds and then retreat every time.

Terrain that doesn't confer NM won't do you much good if your army is destroyed holding it. If you really must hold a region, build and occupy a stockade or fort there (with a Supply Unit).

Only about one Division can actually fill the frontage in a mountain. A good Division well led may possibly return the favor to the large Union force. Good luck!
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Ace
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Re: Hold at all costs

Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:02 pm

I think it has failed loggic in HAAC calculations. Formula doesn't factor in % of casualties. It only has power ratios, posture coefficients, trench value and random dice.
I had 2% casualties and they retreated because on a big number of combat turns, eventually low dice roll for retreat will appear.

I modded HAAC retreat values (halved retreat will for HAAC). What bothers me now is how game calculates who won the battle. I lost 700 men to Union 1400 men. No one retreated over 6 rounds - IMO it was a draw. But the game decided it was Union victory and tipped MC largely into US control.
I would show you a screenshot if I knew how in this new forum.

I don't know can this be modded or is this locked in exe file.

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Citizen X
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Re: Hold at all costs

Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:42 pm

Ace wrote:I think it has failed loggic in HAAC calculations. Formula doesn't factor in % of casualties. It only has power ratios, posture coefficients, trench value and random dice.
I had 2% casualties and they retreated because on a big number of combat turns, eventually low dice roll for retreat will appear.

I modded HAAC retreat values (halved retreat will for HAAC). What bothers me now is how game calculates who won the battle. I lost 700 men to Union 1400 men. No one retreated over 6 rounds - IMO it was a draw. But the game decided it was Union victory and tipped MC largely into US control.
I would show you a screenshot if I knew how in this new forum.


This has been my observation, too. A good general factors in the probability of holding a specific station at acceptable losses, even against odds. The engine seems to lack such proficiency.

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Gray Fox
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Re: Hold at all costs

Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:56 pm

The random dice roll is compared to your element's current cohesion number. If the random number exceeds the cohesion number, then the element withdraws and another takes its place. If too many withdraw, then the whole unit follows. I understood, perhaps wrongly, that HAAC just increased the number of acceptable element losses before withdrawing the whole unit. You might want to move this to the CW2 Mods.
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Ace
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Re: Hold at all costs

Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:04 pm

Unfortunatelly, you are not right. The game compares power ratios, not cohesion numbers (although low cohesion leads to low power numbers so it is easily to make false conclusions). So, when you have two large armies that have been barely dented by combat (appears only in low frontage regions), the results of the retreat calculations are not good.

And the bigger problem is how the game calculates who won the battles. It works well when 1 army leaves the field. But when both armies are in the same region (when noone retreats), the game assignes victory status to larger army which is plain wrong (there is no draw - I haven't seen it from some patches ago).

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Re: Hold at all costs

Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:52 pm

You seem to be blurring several things together.

An element in combat takes hits and loses cohesion. It withdraws when it fails a cohesion check or is destroyed.

Retreat of a unit or stack happens when too many engaged elements withdraw from battle. In terrain where the total number of elements engaged on the frontage is about one Division, then 2k losses might be 20% or more of that Division. Once the Division engaged withdrew, the whole stack decided to disengage. The rest of the stack was not involved in the battle and the retreat game mechanic rolled to not get involved.

HAAC doesn't affect retreat of the stack. It affects the level of losses accepted before withdrawal of a unit engaged from combat. The Wiki has been hacked, but there used to be a table and on that table HAAC had a higher number, IIRC 0.38, for determining withdrawal.

HAAC will not turn your unit into 300 Spartans. If you want them to stand or die, then put them in a structure to hold the region.
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Ace
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Re: Hold at all costs

Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:09 pm

I assure you that my combat losses where spread over multiple divisions (over 6 rounds of combat and 4 different ranges per round, units where in and out of combat and no regiment lost more than 10%). Union suffered twice as many losses, but I retreated and they did not.
And the battle report says more Union units failed morale checks than CSA units. None was routed on either side.

I know a lot about age combat engine and I can see where it fails to perform...


Here are combat pictures and save game:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qosym2g35842 ... fROVa?dl=0

Note that on the 5th day of battle I was in offensive posture since my MC plummeted after multiple "defeats".

These combats are after I lowered chance to retreat while in HAAC mode. Before that, I would retreat on the first or second day of the battle.

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Re: Hold at all costs

Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:58 pm

Joe Johnston has the Deceiver, "Cut and run" ability trait. I never assault D.C. with him and this might explain your battle result.
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Ace
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Re: Hold at all costs

Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:12 pm

I did multiple tests trying to figure out battle results. The same results appear with Beauregaurd in charge.

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Re: Hold at all costs

Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:30 pm

If you've fought the battle several times under different commanders and you retreated every time, then that would indicate the result was valid. If you figure that your force should be able to fight the Union to a standstill, which apparently hasn't happened once yet, then maybe that is too much to ask. Try putting one Division in a stockade with 6 batteries of artillery and see what happens.
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Ace
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Re: Hold at all costs

Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:14 pm

It seemed a waste. I can put a fort in any terrain. I wanted to use mountains to establish a proper line. Do besieged stockades interfere with enemy supply?

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Re: Hold at all costs

Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:30 pm

IFAIK, friendly units in a region that are not Passive/Passive (Green/Green) should prevent the passage of enemy supplies, even ones in a fort under siege.
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ArmChairGeneral
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Re: Hold at all costs

Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:58 am

Gray Fox said:

HAAC doesn't affect retreat of the stack. It affects the level of losses accepted before withdrawal of a unit engaged from combat. The Wiki has been hacked, but there used to be a table and on that table HAAC had a higher number, IIRC 0.38, for determining withdrawal.


I'm not sure this is exactly correct.

There are multiple retreat types: a chance to avoid a combat altogether before it even starts, the decision to withdraw voluntarily and in good order preceding any round of combat, (including the first round) and a forced retreat because of negative combat results (rout).

I thought orders (in this case HAAC) modified the willingness of a commander to voluntarily withdraw at the beginning of each round by changing the threshold for the random roll he makes to decide whether he can successfully withdraw when overmatched. (Hence the .38 number in the old Wiki.) This is a decaying number as rounds go by, with the net effect that he will be willing to fight a couple of rounds rather than immediately retreat when in an obvious overmatch, but still will eventually decide to GTFO by "winning" his progressively easier withdrawal roll as the threshold rises over time. Like Ace says, the calculation of whether he considers himself overmatched or not is based on PWR ratings, (see, PWR ratings do matter!) as evidenced by the calculation at the beginning of every round of the battle log.

HAAC reduces the chance that the general will choose to retreat voluntarily, but doesn't affect the" forced to retreat" situation directly. Forced to retreat is due to elements breaking in the field, i.e. the level of losses. If elements are breaking, the PWR rating is dropping, so even if he does not rout, he will be more likely at the beginning of the next round to voluntarily withdraw because the PWR ratings have changed.

So the game-play effect is that HAAC will make a general stick around for a bit and inflict some casualties, but will tend not to force him to stay on the field and fight to the last man when he would (theoretically) be better off retreating. STRAT rating affects his ability to withdraw in good order, so perversely (for the player) good generals are more likely to be able to withdraw from the type of battle ACE describes than poor ones. It is likely that in Ace's situation that if he had regular orders rather than HAAC, then his general would have retreated either before or after the first round.

No matter what is going on under the hood however, FOX is 100% correct in saying that if you really want to dig in and fight tooth and nail to hold a wilderness position you need a stockade or fort. They will minimize the amount of MC you lose, slow the enemy down, and give at least some chance of retreating into the structure rather than out of the region (although that is not necessarily a good thing :( )

In practice I can only imagine a few places on the map where the situation Ace describes would occur: there just aren't that many places where the mountains matter. My guess is Ace is talking about somewhere on the rail line leading west from Harper's Ferry, somewhere in the Ozarks near Springfield, somewhere in the Smokies near Knoxville or in the "backdoor" of far western Virginia. I would be more than willing to spend a stockade on any of these positions if I thought it would secure them.

I agree with Ace that the engine definitely does not take into account terrain advantages that might make a position impregnable: when faced with an enemy twice the size, you will have to do everything you can just to prevent your general from withdrawing before combat even starts, since all he looks at is the relative PWR.

HAAC (Red orders) are super effective for defensive Corps at the point of attack that need to stay in the field so that there is still a battle on the second round that supporting Corps can MTSG to.

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Re: Hold at all costs

Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:58 am

Ace said:

These combats are after I lowered chance to retreat while in HAAC mode. Before that, I would retreat on the first or second day of the battle.


I guess I should read things more carefully, I speculated this was the case but Ace had already confirmed it.

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Re: Hold at all costs

Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:00 am

Ace said:

And the bigger problem is how the game calculates who won the battles. It works well when 1 army leaves the field. But when both armies are in the same region (when noone retreats), the game assignes victory status to larger army which is plain wrong (there is no draw - I haven't seen it from some patches ago).


This has always been a failing of the engine. The "winner" of indecisive battles feels totally arbitrary.

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Re: Hold at all costs

Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:43 am

Ace, if I understand correctly, your defending force retreated from the battle. If your force has retreated from battle, and it is now in PP (Passive Posture) then it has no further influence on the battle outcome. Thus, even if your force has not yet left the region, because of the day the battle occurred and the number of days to reach the region targeted by the retreat after the battle, it is the same as if your retreating force had already left the region, and thus the enemy is prised with winning the battle.

About blocking supply, the rule is, that the presence of an unopposed enemy unit in a region blocks supply from entering that region. AFAIK this is in reference to units in the field, not inside the city of a region. The exception is if a besieged force is inside a city with an unblockaded harbor, and here you have to be very careful, because Supply Distribution is a son-of-a-bitch.

On the one hand "the presence of an unopposed enemy unit in a region blocks supply from entering that region" also means that a single unopposed enemy combat element in the exit point of an harbor blocks supply from entering the harbors exit-point water region, which is far less than the number of combat elements necessary to blockade an harbor exit-point. However supply moves exactly like a supply train unit, and when a supply train unit moves from one side of a river to the other side, it does not enter the river region between those to land region; it uses the jump-link to jump over the river, at a nominal cost for crossing the river. Thus, in such a case, supply could jump over a blocking gunboat in the river region. If 4 or more gunboats, up to but less than the number which would blockade the harbor exit-point, are in the river region, there is a 90% chance of supply being blocked, the same as blocking movement. So in each of the 3 supply distribution phases, there is a 10% of supply still getting through, until all harbor exit points are blocked, unless also you block all paths the supply might take overland to jump over the river to reach the unblockaded harbor, in which case the harbor exit-point might be a mut case if the supply cannot get that far. It all depends on the exact situation.

BTW AFAIK nothing in the Wiki has actually changed. It is simply not being displayed, for whatever reason. You can still access it by opening the Wiki page in question and then clicking on the "source" tab at the top. It's not a pretty to read, but the information is still all there.

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Ace
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Re: Hold at all costs

Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:25 pm

The region in question is Floyd, Georgia. It¨s the beggining of 1864 Campaign and I tried to stop Sherman with my AoT in the mountains south of Chattanooga.
My force didn't retreat after the first battle. But the engine rewards the winner of big battle with instant MC gain. SInce Union was declared victor, it gained MC, at least I think so. I need to test it a bit more.
And, yes if I had a redoubt, they would be more likely to hold ground in the field since they would protect a valuable target (at least I think so).
Although, depot, arsenal, powder mill, ironworks, and lvl 2 city are also worth protecting.

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Ace
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Re: Hold at all costs

Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:31 pm

ArmChairGeneral wrote:Ace said:

And the bigger problem is how the game calculates who won the battles. It works well when 1 army leaves the field. But when both armies are in the same region (when noone retreats), the game assignes victory status to larger army which is plain wrong (there is no draw - I haven't seen it from some patches ago).


This has always been a failing of the engine. The "winner" of indecisive battles feels totally arbitrary.


I think it worked some time ago. If nobody left the field, it would declare draw. But it had an ugly sideeffect. When lone militia would be completely destroyed, it had a habbit of declaring draw because noone left the field. :cool:

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Re: Hold at all costs

Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:46 pm

I just tried it a couple of times - only defending Floyd - all units on HAAC. There were three battles in the 15 days, confederates won the first two, lost the third. The next turn the confederates were all across the river but so were the Federals.

Now I seem to recall that Jomini, among others, didn't think defending with a river to your back was a good idea. So I played again, directing all units to cross the river (except the garrison which was locked in Rome) and put on HAAC. again three battles, Union won two, One unit (Hardy?) was still north of the river. Second turn all confederate movable units were south of the river but none of the Federals. I actually regard this as a reasonable outcome - they were kept north of the river.

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Re: Hold at all costs

Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:53 am

Gray Fox wrote:If you've fought the battle several times under different commanders and you retreated every time, then that would indicate the result was valid. If you figure that your force should be able to fight the Union to a standstill, which apparently hasn't happened once yet, then maybe that is too much to ask. Try putting one Division in a stockade with 6 batteries of artillery and see what happens.


i agree with fox, these battles should end as draw, especialy that no side was routed, and because causalty ratio was in very good favor of defenders.

and his modifiing of haac rule is very reasonable, and mayby should be added officialy to game.

best to send it to devs so they can look and tell thier options.

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