Goodmongo
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AI Supply What Am I Missing

Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:17 pm

I really like this game and have spent lot's of time on it. Right now I', playing as the Union at Colonel level difficulty, +2 AI activation, normal aggressiveness, no simple supply, +1 AI spotting and unit losses for moving (both me and AI). So here's a couple of the problems.

First I had captured Fayetteville and Springfield MO. There were no CSA depots anywhere near Springfield. I had it defended with an OK division of around 480 strength and a 3-1-1 general. There were in the city for at least 2 turns so had some entrenchment. So a CSA force of 1100 strength attacks it. I somehow lose the battle and the division, but not the standalone militia brigade gets kicked out of the city. I reenter it my turn and the CSA attacks it again the next turn and again the turn after that when they totally destroy the force.

My question is how did this CSA force stay supplied? It did have 2 4 unit wagon trains but each turn it would gain back so much cohesion that I was doomed.

Or the other example. I own Harper's ferry which is the east end of a rail line to Morgantown and Clarksburg. On the West end I also control the rail line. I have unit sin both cities with one division of just over 500 strength. The CSA moves to very large formations from Virginia. I assume one came through the mountains of West Virginia and attacked north while the other came from the Shenandoah valley and went west. Now they got there and it seemed like all that movement had no negative impact on cohesion for the AI units.

The attacked and destroyed all defending forces in 2-3 turns and then kept rampaging farther north up to Pittsburg where I did stop them.

Where were they getting these supplies from? How long can a 4 wagon train keep 2-3 divisions supplied? There is no way they had depots near there and it couldn't have been river transport because I captured all of Kentucky, took Nashville and had 6 groups of 4+ elements on OP stance all along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

How is the AI supporting these troops and why aren't they losing cohesion and hits for all their movement?

Heck I even found a brigade that somehow got all the way up to Boston. Maybe it landed there but it was running around for like 5 turns before I sent forces to kill it.

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Captain_Orso
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Re: AI Supply What Am I Missing

Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:03 am

You cannot inspect the exact status of enemy stacks, but you can inspect your own, and realize the enemy operates exactly the same as your forces.

If you select a stack, in the lower righthand corner the inspection panel for the stack opens. Here you find, directly underneath the -activation envelope- the GS (General Supply) icon, which looks like a tent with a crate inside. The tool-tip of this icon tells you what percentage of its supply capacity your stack is carrying, how many GS supply points that is, and how many GS that stack uses each turn.

Looking at a corps stack with 2 full divisions and 2 supply train units I see they are at 100% supply capacity, they are carrying 294 supply points, and use 74 GS per turn. So this stack could operate away from every supply source for 4 turns, before it starts taking hits and losing cohesion through a lack of supplies.

From your description of the Battle of Springfield, the Confederate stack is about 2 divisions, with (2 supply trains? "It did have 2 4 unit wagon trains". Do you mean 2x 4 element supply trains? I'm guessing so.), so they should have about 4 turns before it starts to hurt.

Are you certain Athena didn't build a depot in Fayetteville? Fayetteville is 2 regions distant from Springfield, so a stack marching from Fayetteville should be able to be reached Springfield easily in one turn in fair weather.

There were a number of battles in Springfield. I know you can capture WS (War Supplies) through destroying elements in battle. I believe you can also capture GS, but I'm not 100% certain.

I don't think the South can take any supplies from the depot in Springfield (should be there per default, I believe) as long as at least the garrison is in the city, but if there is a depot in Fayetteville, the CS stack could be pulling some supplies from Fayetteville, albeit not huge amounts, but possibly enough to prolong their field operations.

You are playing on AI Level: Colonel. Above Lieutenant, Athena does not get 'better', but she is given many advantages, such as all her leaders have all their standard values increased by +1. I believe cohesion loss through movement is also reduced. This is why I never play on levels above Lieutenant. I don't want to get used to playing an opponent I could not confront in PBEM, which, as great as Athena is, will still always give a more exciting and interesting game. Human opponents can be very unpredictable.

Although you didn't mention it, I imagine in your game you have given Athena a higher detection bonus. This allows Athena to target areas further that you would expect her to be able to 'see', which leads to her mounting far reaching excursions into your hinterland. If you don't want Athena to be ranging out to those weakly protected major cities, don't raise her detection bonus above 'low bonus', one step to the right.

So, in general, if you don't want Athena to act like an Übermensch, don't equip here with superhuman characteristics.

Goodmongo
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:31 pm

Re: AI Supply What Am I Missing

Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:14 pm

Thanks for the reply. As for Fayetteville I actually captured that city and own it. So the CSA could not have gotten supplies there. I think the rest of your answer probably explains it. Athena recovers cohesion very fast due to the bonuses which means longer attacking power. The 2 X 4 element trains provide supply for 4 turns which was how long the Springfield fight took. The other was for 5 turns and the unit was beaten back on the 5th turn outside of Pittsburgh.

And I need to reduce the vision range to stop those crazy troop movements. I have 3 divisions just railroading all over the place to try and engage that lone brigade or cavalry unit.

It's now October 1862 and while the CSA has as many troops as I do I'm actually moving towards Richmond as Athena has decided to push Lee towards Gettysburg. The north will freeze but Richmond will stay green so I should have the advantage. Plus I have to more naval invasions set to go. I already captured New Orleans and will now go for South Carolina. Hopefully, this will put a crimp in Athena's money supply.

Finally, I can't believe all the ships Athena can build on these higher difficulty levels. If I didn't capture some of the harbors the CSA would easily outnumber me in ironclads (river and sea).

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ArmChairGeneral
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Re: AI Supply What Am I Missing

Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:41 am

Even if they had a depot in Fayetteville the CSA would need good weather for supplies to flow from it to Springfield: an imaginary wagon needs to be able to make the trip within 15 days or supplies do not flow. Don't forget that stockades can also send (and more importantly relay) supplies to forces in the field; it doesn't amount to a lot, but the stockades NW of Fayetteville are often a shorter marching distance to Springfield than Fayetteville is and can make the difference between a win and a loss for either side.

My general rule of thumb is that a wagon can supply two divisions for one turn if there is no other source to draw from.

Riverine supply transport is not blocked just because you occupy a bank. You must have artillery, they must be entrenched, and then you must select the Bombard special order before they interdict supply. Pretty much any combat naval force will be able to block river supply just by being in the river; I think you need 4 elements, which is two gunboat units. Any fort (including stockades) that has artillery inside it automatically interdicts riverine supply.

Supplies can travel intermodally, but not within the same phase. So, for example, you as the CSA hold Fort Pillow with an arty: Union supplies cannot flow past it on the Mississippi. However, if they hold a harbor south of Ft. Pillow that can get supplied over land, that harbor can then relay supplies down the river below Ft. Pillow. Usually this would be on the following turn, but if they have two river phases available, then the harbor could get supplies over land in the first phase and then use the river during the second phase.

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Captain_Orso
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Re: AI Supply What Am I Missing

Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:45 pm

A couple of points.

Unless the weather is bad, you should see supplies moving between Fayetteville and Springfield. It's only two regions distant, the intervening region being forest with track.

True, about interdicting supplies moving through a river region only being interdicted IF the interdicting artillery is has the Bombarding Shipping SO.

Both this case and artillery inside a fortification are restricted to NOT being lead by an inactive leader. Never put your bombarding artillery under the command of a leader.

What I am not certain about is intermodal distribution of supplies. AFAIK, exactly this is allowed. In other words, they can use the RivTP (Riverine Transport Pool) and RailTP in the same phase, as well as normal land movement, since you could do the same thing yourself with any Supply Train Unit.

What I have never tested, is if supply moving from one harbor to another does so as if it were on a real transport unit, which means that it enters the target harbor at a cost of one movement point (1 day), or as if it were being moved by the player using the RivTP, which insinuates that it 'lands' the same as any other land unit using the RivTP and landing in a land region, which costs 5 movement points (5 days).

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