lightbrave
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Confederate Coastal Forts

Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:19 pm

I recently played a game where my opponent took Ft Sumter, Pulaski, and two coastal forts near New Orleans pretty much blocking at about 85% percent. What bothers me is that my men (and this eludes to my previous post) surrendered without a fight on 2 occasions. On the other 2 occasions there was a small battle but my side took more casualties. Iv got 2 problems that bother me. 1. The invading army (all 4 times) was able to land at my fort without being fired upon. I know a fleet can evade combat but my guys are not literally blind. If you have men coming ashore from boats at my fort they would most definitely be fired upon. This makes no sense to me whatsoever. Someone please correct me if i am wrong. This seems like an exploit of the game. 2. I know a structure can have no defensive benefit in a game. This also makes no sense to have "zero" benefit unless it was literally bombarded to dust. They would at least be bottle necked at 1 or 2 or even 3 places sooooooo if there was a fight the offensive army would take more casualties. I just felt like venting and wanted to get yalls opinion on the matter. Am i being unrealistic? I think im spot on.

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Gray Fox
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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:53 pm

1. The defenders are in the fort, so an enemy can enter the region of the fort without requiring a auto-switch to offensive mode. This might simulate a night assault, which did happen in RL.

2. From the Wiki:

"A few specific terrain/weather combinations subtract -25% from the quotas for units in offensive posture only (so the attacker can employ fewer elements than the defender):

* Wilderness/Hills/Mtn/Swamp/Marsh in Mud or Blizzard weather.

* Fort and City in all weather."

So the fort does offer a bottleneck.

"====Morale Checks During Combat Round====
Elements that suffer losses in a combat round (due to either Fire or Melee combat) must immediately pass a Morale check. Morale checks made during a combat round use the element’s Cohesion value. The Morale check is modified:

*if the checking element is Militia fighting in their own [[Home Area]],
*if the checking element is defending in fortifications (or trenches),
*if the checking element is defending a symbolic objective (i.e. home capital),
*if the checking element has previously suffered losses.

If an element passes the Morale check, it may continue fighting normally. If an element fails a Morale check during a combat round, it is considered ‘Routed’. Routed elements (and units) are considered to have left the field in panic and may no longer participate in the battle. This morale check is based on the current cohesion compared to the maximum potential cohesion and modified by losses taken."

The heavy guns in CSA coastal forts start at half strength, so they probably routed rather quickly. This may cause the other two elements to rout as well.

The Union did pursue a goal of taking coastal forts. However, even 100% blockade only deprives the CSA of 50% of their cash income. This can easily be replaced by selling bonds, etc. Every fort the Union takes has to be manned by his own troops that aren't available to assault Richmond. You should thank the Union player for wasting his forces.
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lightbrave
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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:12 am

So correct me if I'm wrong but are you suggesting that I set my fort defenders outside the fort? Will I at least have a chance to kill some of my opponents forces then just surrendering?


Also, id be interested in reading up on this night attack because unless I'm mistaken these forts do not have much land around them so wouldn't the enemy be seen or heard by fort forces and at lease be fired upon during their troops moment of disembark?

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:15 am

lightbrave,
Here we should make a distinction between the way the game works,and the way you think it should work. Under the current engine, stacks in structures will only engage in combat if the enemy is in Assault posture (you can Sortie, but this only tells them to attack when a friendly force enters the region and engages the besiegers). If you want to oppose the landing, then you must have troops stationed in the region. The region is only a few pixels wide for coastal forts, but it is there.

As far as whether or not the rule should be different, I don't necessarily disagree with you, but that is how structures work in the game as it is. The inability to permanently defend coastal forts is a fact of life for the CSA. Fort busting to gain NM and promotions for the Union is a well known exploit. But as Fox says, you can turn it to your advantage through clever play; it takes a lot of resources to fort bust and those are resources not being used elsewhere.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:19 am

lightbrave wrote:So correct me if I'm wrong but are you suggesting that I set my fort defenders outside the fort? Will I at least have a chance to kill some of my opponents forces then just surrendering?

Yes, although a couple of militia and a coastal gun will not do much against a division landing on your fort. They won't be able to retreat anywhere but the fort, which puts you right back where you started.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:40 am

Good to know, ill set my forces outside now if that's how "the game works". I'm glad you at least agree with me about how it "should be". And by the way, this would only apply to coastal forts because a inland fort you could approach fort from far off but when you have to land your troops right outside the door of the fort it just seems silly that they can evade. That's all I'm saying

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:20 am

Sorry lightbrave, reading back over it, I realize my post was snarkier sounding than I intended.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:34 am

While I do agree, that forts should be tuned up a little bit, they are generally working realistically. By the time the war started, most of the structures were already outdated. With range and "effectiveness" of guns exponentially growing and ships starting to get armored, the concept of "fort" changed rapidly since the 1850's. Siege guns both, maritime and land-based could have a higher range than any installation that had been made just a few years before. Thus "forts" became an assembly of fortified and dug-in batteries, trenches and casemates, meant to support the relief forces outside fighting the besiegers. Lack of such relief forces doomed the forts to a greater extinct than their predecessors, as could be seen at Paris and Metz just a few years later. Moreso was that the case with the prewar forts that guarded Dixie and the Carolinas.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:13 pm

Very short response... I know I know, not my strength :siffle:

Invaders never landed where forts could fire on them. That would be dumb, and during the Civil War I know of no instance where it happened. Invaders landed well out of sight and range of forts. There are many documented descriptions of such invasions. So the invader always controlled if and when they approached a fort, whether after an invasion or from the land side.

Some forts represented in the game, such as Fort Sumter and possibly Fort Delaware, cannot be properly represented in the game. There is no land around Fort Sumter to allow for an invasion, where the invading force would not be susceptible to fire from the fort. AFAIK all other forts in the game have enough land around them to allow for an invasion outside the range of the fort. It only takes a couple of miles.

The pre-war forts in the game were all, with one exception, system three forts constructed of masonry. This Wikipedia article describes why they were built this way, and why they were obsolete at the start of the war Seacoast defense in the United States.

Fort Fisher near Wilmington NC was not a masonry fort, and ought to actually be represented by a redoubt.

Coastal Artillery do not take part in land combat, although, they may add their defensive strength to sieges. I'm not sure on this though. Read this on how sieges work: Siege Combat from the AGEod Wiki

So, unless, as has been stated, you have a force in the field and not in the fort, invaders will be unhampered when they enter the region.

BTW a stack entering a region, where the entering stack's faction has < 5% MC causes that stack to go to OP (Offensive Posture). Whether an enemy has a stack in the field of that region plays no role.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:56 am

The Union did try to use a landing party to take Fort Sumter at the Second Battle but
Beauregard figured it would be tried and replaced many of the guns and crews with
320 infantry. They repelled the attempt with the loss of 8 killed, 19 wounded (105 captured)
of the 400 sailors and marines who made the attempt. That's compared no losses among
the Confederate infantry. The landing was tried on a small beach next to the fort but they
had no way to scale the walls, and most of the boats couldn't land troops. A Confederate
ram called Chicora was also firing on the party.

The fort was bombed into ruin though and was abandoned as soon as the city fell to Sherman.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:33 pm

Ahhhh yes, I believe I recall something about that. There were two or three attempts to take the fort and/or harbor. When one compares with Farragut's running of Fort Gains' batteries on Mobile Bay, I can only think that who ever was in charge of the naval side of the action was completely over tasked, because the number of massive errors and general unpreparedness in Charleston harbor were just too many to be simply coincidence, IMHO of course :innocent:

BTW Sherman never took Charleston. In fact nobody did. After leaving Savanna, he feigned in that direction to keep its garrison locked down, while he passed by at a healthy distance. He would have had to besiege Charleston to take it, and he had no interest in that. Besides, Grant was waiting for him at Petersburg.

IIRC after Appomattox, Charleston surrendered to the navy, who was perpetually blockading Charleston since around early '62. The garrison was paroled and sent home. I seem to vaguely remember that there was some quite a big ruckus about surrendering so quickly, because some wanted to remove the garrison first, to head for the hills to fight as gorillas. But who ever conducted the surrendered, was so quick, the entire garrison (20,000?, maybe more?) had to be surrendered along with the city (rules of war), und thus they had to pack up and go home :party:

The incident pretty much got lost to history, because, nobody really gave a hoot anymore.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:02 pm

I just assumed Sherman took the city :bonk:

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:50 pm

My guys are fixed inside the Fort so setting them outside is not an option.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:29 am

Everything works if you let it.

Left click on the garrison stack, then drag it over the blue water region next to the fort and drop it. The stack is then outside the fort. I tested this with every coastal fort and the stacks remained outside for the next turn. I'm not advocating that you do this. This is like taking your money to the bank and telling the manager not to put it in the vault. Also, the stacks won't fire on ships until they entrench further. The coastal forts are like the CSA's Maginot line. You can reinforce the crap out of them, just remember what happened to the French.You're much better off ignoring the forts and concentrating your focus on what really matters. Just because the Union might invade the everglades, that doesn't mean you should send Lee and his army to FL.
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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:04 am

Was thinking about your recent post Fox and I just have a quick follow up question. When you drag and drop them out of the fort do they stay there or do you have to do it each turn? The reason I ask is because holding them inside the fort seems to do nothing but hold the fort 1or 2 turns more ..........maybe 3. Then they surrender or lose a battle taking more casualties. If I cared about the lives of my men which I try to play like I do and I would in real life, then I would keep them in fort or abandon fort for the most part. But since game mechanics matter, setting them outside fort and letting them dig in would at least guaranteed a fight. I concur that IF my opponent wants to take forts he WILL take them and I should concentrate my worries elsewhere. I just want to take advantage of what I have everywhere I can and get the most of it. Thanks for your input Fox. I really do appreciate feedback.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:51 am

As far as I could tell, the garrisons were having a beach party for the rest of the war and did not return to the forts.
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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:09 am

If you are roleplaying that you care about your men and know that they can't hold the position either way, shouldn't you prefer they surrender rather than throw their lives away needlessly?

If, OTOH you are maximizing, then the benefit of the MAYBE one hit the enemy division will take while crushing your militia is not worth the player-time it takes to mess around with dropping them in the right spot, IMO.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:29 pm

If you put a stack "outside" or "inside" a structure, it will remain where you put it, until some thing forces it to move, or you put it somewhere else.

Structures are towns/cities, indian villages, forts, depots, or harbors, which gives a stack a location to be inside of.

The thing Gray Fox was talking about is simply a method to put a stack outside a coastal fort, where it is difficult to drop it into the tiny field part of the region. Since a land stack cannot plot a move into a water region, unless it has the Use Riverine Transports So (Special Orders), it will snap back into the field part of the fort's region, and remain there. You will then see the stack standing on the map.

A stack, which is "outside" of a location--you see it on the map--is in-the-field. If you see a stack-tag above the left side of a location sprite (it's graphic) it means there is 1 or more stacks inside the location. The number on the stack-tag shows how many stacks, and the bar below the location-name-bar shows an approximation of the size of all stacks inside the location.

The point with putting a garrison in the field of a coastal fort region, is firstly so that when an enemy stack lands in the region (invades), a battle will take place, and the invading stack will be subject to the invasion penalty, which is something like--only 6lb artillery my fire in the first one or two rounds of battle, there is a hefty penalty to the invading forces offensive power during the same time, IIRC.

I've heard people say many times that an invading force which loses the battle caused by the invasion cannot retreat back onto the fleet, from which it debarked. I believe this is wrong. At least I believe to recall having seen it happen.

Once the invading force has survived the initial battle, what you do will depend on what you can do and/or want to do. If your defending force is comparable to the invading force, you might want to stay and defend the region. If you are trying to buy time, you will want to have at least a token force inside the fort. Otherwise, if your field force losses a battle, you will immediately lose the fort as well. If your defending force is weaker, and you expect to lose it, you might want let it retreat out of the region if it loses the first battle.

One last point. If you want your stack to fight it out from inside the fort after losing a battle, set your field stack to use the "Enter Structure" SO--it's behind the left SO-group button, the one with the crossed rifles, and depicts an arrow pointing to inside a city. Then, If your stack then loses a battle, there is still a chance it will retreat to inside the fort instead of starting to retreat out of the region.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:29 pm

Dear Captain, if I split the two artillery elements in the garrison in each fort into two separate batteries, say the big guns remain in the fort and the infantry and second battery move out on the beach and entrench, might each fire at passing ships? I ask because I read in the Wiki that shore batteries only do a finite amount of damage to ships, which this might double. It would be one positive reason to have a beach party.
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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:52 am

Captain_Orso wrote:If you put a stack "outside" or "inside" a structure, it will remain where you put it, until some thing forces it to move, or you put it somewhere else.


I learned "until some thing forces it to move" the painful way. New unit builds will always move inside a structure on the turn they are created.

Thus, if you placed a new unit inside an outside entrenchment, the whole lot will pick and up move inside the area's city/fort at the end of the turn. The previous outside entrenchment will vanish without a place holder unit, and any forces you move back into the field are hanging out there bare ass naked.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:28 pm

Gray Fox wrote:Dear Captain, if I split the two artillery elements


.. units ..

Gray Fox wrote:in the garrison in each fort into two separate batteries


They are two separate batteries, one Coastal Artillery, and generally one Fort Artillery Battery.

Gray Fox wrote:, say the big guns remain in the fort


Good idea, because they do nothing against infantry anyway. They think infantry has surrendered, because they have stricken their sails... I'll move on quietly now :siffle:

Gray Fox wrote:and the infantry and second battery move out on the beach and entrench, might each fire at passing ships?


Yes, they will, but you must give the stack in the field the Bombard Passing Ships SO, and if there is a leader in the stack, he must be active. IIRC each battery will trigger their own bombardment-battle. Which goes first, I don't recall ever having looked into, but it might be the battery with the longest range, so the ... ummm ... :confused: ... Coastal??? :rolleyes:

Because each battery has its own battle, if the enemy sends a big fat fleet of ironclads by, it might just look a bit *ehem* bleak for the Fort Artillery, although IIRC they do have the best protection of all batteries in the game.

Gray Fox wrote:I ask because I read in the Wiki that shore batteries only do a finite amount of damage to ships, which this might double. It would be one positive reason to have a beach party.


Yeah, I believe that is still valid. IIRC it's 50 hits altogether per bombardment.

BTW, IIRC the two stacks each with its own battery don't have to be in different locations. you can have multiple stacks inside a fort and have the same affect. Just sayin'.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:22 am

So, if every CSA coastal garrison (of units) were split as described, then an advantage might be gained. Straight Arrow, this might be something that can be added to the CSA list of things to do. Lightbrave, your idea has born fruit. Good work.
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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:58 pm

Gray Fox wrote:Straight Arrow, this might be something that can be added to the CSA list of things to do. Lightbrave, your idea has born fruit. Good work.


An excellent notion Gray Fox; it has been done.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:08 am

Another quick thought on this: If you do decide to defend in the fort (or are forced to retreat into the fort after a battle), the really annoying part is when your force surrenders and risks costing you NM. Fortunately, you can actually order your forces to surrender (under the Hammer list of special options). Ordering your force to surrender instead of waiting for them to surrender of their own choosing costs far less NM and VPs.
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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:47 am

Really? Wow! That is a nice technique as well.

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:59 am

Gray Fox wrote:Dear Captain, if I split the two artillery elements in the garrison in each fort into two separate batteries, say the big guns remain in the fort and the infantry and second battery move out on the beach and entrench, might each fire at passing ships? I ask because I read in the Wiki that shore batteries only do a finite amount of damage to ships, which this might double. It would be one positive reason to have a beach party.


I think it is in the defines file, but there is a 40 hit cap defined for the bombard ships action. So ya, breaking up your artillery into multiple stacks, gives you multiple engagements. I remember old posts crying about it as an exploit and house rules against it because a fort with a series of mini stacks could savage a fleet.

There is a downside though, the ships firing back arent capped, and a costal battery shooting at a fleet of ironclads can easly wipe out a single costal battery.

I've experenced that 6 pounders that are part of brigades are better (or at least more survivable) in forts for bombarding ships than costal artillery because the return fire eats up the infantry and not the guns. Costal arty can be really glass jawed.

lightbrave
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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:39 pm

Gray Fox wrote:So, if every CSA coastal garrison (of units) were split as described, then an advantage might be gained. Straight Arrow, this might be something that can be added to the CSA list of things to do. Lightbrave, your idea has born fruit. Good work.



Do I get field promotion?

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Re: Confederate Coastal Forts

Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:51 pm

Something like:

"I need a squad leader. You're it until you're dead or I find someone better."

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