CyborgManatee
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Division composition question

Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:38 pm

So after doing a fair bit of searching around, it seems like I've found conflicting information out there about the best way to organize divisions. Some people seem to claim that it's best for them all to be mixed (infantry, cavalry, artillery within the same division) whereas others claim it's best to have them more specialized (a mostly infantry division, mostly cavalry, mostly artillery etc.) within the same corps. (I'm aware it's hard to do the latter perfectly because some brigades come with cavalry elements already.)

What I'm wondering is what do most people consider optimal? Is it dependent on the scenario? Or is it personal preference?

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Durk
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Re: Division composition question

Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:38 am

You are correct there is conflicting information, but I suspect general agreement. My take on why this split, is focus of explanation, that is, I think all your authors primarily agree, but are explaining differing concepts. Most play, whether on offense or defense, favors balanced divisions. This is mainly due to the March to the Sound of Guns feature where each corps ought to be able to hold it own for at least one round of battle prior to the rest of the army arriving. If divisions are relatively equal, then shifting them from corps to corps is relatively simple. But this meaning of divisions is infantry divisions. Pure infantry divisions are not as strong as one with at least one cavalry and some artillery.

Specialized artillery divisions can often stand off from losses, they are very fragile. I do build one for the Army of the Potomac.

Of course cavalry division are a totally separate question. All infantry division need one cavalry to help them 'see' and engage; but all other cavalry are more useful in independent cavalry divisions, so this is where your embedded cavalry contribute to a balanced division. This frees the pure cavalry units for cavalry divisions. Which can function as independent divisions or join for a cavalry corps raid. For pursuit after winning a battle it doesn't matter where cavalry is located in the corps.

So I am saying, infantry divisions need a cavalry and some artillery to be solid; an artillery division is ok; and cavalry divisions are desirable, but not at the expense of any divisions without any cavalry.

CyborgManatee
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Re: Division composition question

Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:37 pm

So I'm clear, are you saying that sometimes you build an artillery division at the army stack level? But regardless you should always have some artillery in each division so they can hold their own to some degree?

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Durk
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Re: Division composition question

Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:08 am

I realize my reply was kind of disjointed, but yes, infantry divisions and cavalry divisions need some artillery units, not many, but some.
I do build a Union artillery division for the Army of the Potomac with an artillery capably leaders. You can do the same with the South if you can gather enough units for a specialist artillery division with an artillery leader.
Yes, ordinary infantry divisions must have artillery and a cavalry unit.

CyborgManatee
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Re: Division composition question

Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:53 pm

I just wanted to make sure I understood because I've been absorbing a lot of information about the game. It's easy to get confused! I appreciate the information though.

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Durk
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Re: Division composition question

Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:52 am

I offer my best advice. Once you have begun to dig more deeply into the game and enjoy its complexity, you will find your own 'best' division composition.
One thing I do is to stage new units to a city, two in the west and one in the east, where my 'available' leaders wait to form divisions. This allows me to form divisions in the rear and forward fully formed division to the front. Of course as in all things in game play, sometimes I just rush newly formed units to the front to plug holes.

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pgr
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Re: Division composition question

Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:33 pm

There has been a lot written on the topic, but I'll make a few points. Mixed divisions are best for small CP limited stacks, or if you need flexability in detaching forces from a main stack.

Cav is nessary in a stack for screening/pursuit After battles. I believe a 16 cp stack needs 4 cav to screen fully in retreat, so a cav element per division is a good rule of thumb.

Pure cav divisions are useful if you need the speed, and in that case, anything else in the stack but cav and horse arty misses the point.

Finally arty only divisions. These should never be alone in a stack, or else they will get mauled. A corps with an all arty division should have ( pure line element divisions and a single arty division). Pure arty divisons are targeted last by the other side as they are made up of only support elements. Second, because all the elements of a division/Unit attack elements of the division their division targeted, arty only divisions create a Grand Battery effect that can wreck whatever division they target.

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Re: Division composition question

Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:05 pm

My thoughts:

A division by itself:
1 elite brigade (never more than 1, or you waste an elite unit)
1 sharpshooter (never more than 1, or you actually make the division worse)
2 cavalry regiments
1 Marine/Sailor (if applicable, and never more than 1)
0 specialty units (engineers, pontoons, hospital- leave them by themselves)
1 or 2 artillery. The 6 pounders than come attached to brigades is fine (useful for shooting at riverine movement)
the rest should be infantry

A division in a totally filled out Corps/Army:
1 elite brigade
1 sharpshooter
2 or 3 cavalry
1 marine/sailor
0 specialty
0 artillery
the rest infantry

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Jarkko
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Re: Division composition question

Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:54 pm

All elements in a division fire on same target (division). If your division retreats, then none of the elements in the division fire anymore. Ie if you have artillery in a division which retreats from the line, then the artillery stops firing.

In short, in an army corps you should have divisions with no artillery (divisions with mostly infantry, and if you can afford then throw in an elite brigade, sharpshooters, marines and a piece of cavalry to get most bonii available), and then all artillery in a separate artillery division with absolutely no infantry or cavalry. The "line" divisions (those without artillery) fight at front, and possibly retreat when they have taken enough damage. As the artillery division is consisting only of support units (this is why it is important to not place a single infantry or cavalry element in the division), it can not become a target for enemy line divisions until all your own line-divisions have retreated (by which time your corps also very likely has already retreated too), which means all your artillery will be shooting through the whole battle. Also, there is the benefit (but it can be a malus under some conditions!) is that one target division will receive all the mauling of the artillery during any given round (usually this is a good thing, but under some weird conditions it could of course be a bad thing).

In independent divisions or independent (smallish) corps you should embed the artillery in the line-divisions. As you won't most likely have divisions available to rotate in and out of the line, every division has to try to beat whoever they are faced off with. In small battles you can not afford to have massive artillery divisions, which then would mean your artillery would be in an under-strength division, which then would cause you efficiency issues.

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Re: Division composition question

Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:14 pm

Durk wrote:I realize my reply was kind of disjointed, but yes, infantry divisions and cavalry divisions need some artillery units, not many, but some.
I do build a Union artillery division for the Army of the Potomac with an artillery capably leaders. You can do the same with the South if you can gather enough units for a specialist artillery division with an artillery leader.
Yes, ordinary infantry divisions must have artillery and a cavalry unit.


IIRC the artillery leader bonus is given to the entire stack.
As well as boni from cavalry leader, bridges and marines.
Not 100% sure though with all of them. One of each in any unit in a stack is enough in that case.
Artillery leaders tend to have bad stats, thus I put them single in the Corps/Army stack and let the actual artillery division be led by a capable leader (off/def being the relevant here).

I always try to put one light infantry in every division.

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Blood and Thunder Brigade
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Re: Division composition question

Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:44 am

What is the maximum possible manpower within a division, and how is that achieved?

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Re: Division composition question

Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:22 pm

Blood and Thunder Brigade wrote:What is the maximum possible manpower within a division, and how is that achieved?

15 elements, and you can get that max with all artillery. For the best division
it's optimal not to have all of one thing, except an artillery division IN a corps.

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Re: Division composition question

Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:36 pm

Citizen X wrote:
Durk wrote:I
IIRC the artillery leader bonus is given to the entire stack.
As well as boni from cavalry leader, bridges and marines.

I always try to put one light infantry in every division.


The tooltip says the Marine bonus is only for that division, not the entire stack the marine is in.


Good point with the light infantry.

Another point with a stack, don't put a random militia or single volunteer in a division. If/when that regiment routs, the rout-ing will extend to the rest of the division. Related to all the starting union brigades that are Volunteer/Volunteer/LightInfantry.

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Re: Division composition question

Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:06 pm

I read all these suggestions and in a perfect world where you can buy individual elements it would be great. But let's face it units come as a group. For example I read the common suggestion that a division should have a max of one sharpshooter. But when buying a a good unit it consists of 2 line infantry and one sharpshooter.

In creating a division you often have one or maybe two element slots open. This means it is a sharpshooter, cavalry or artillery unit. Or you put in a militia unit which is probably the worst choice.

So to me most of this discussion is theory only. Reality is based on the actual units you can purchase. So which unit is better, a unit with two line infantry and a sharpshooter or a unit with one line and two conscript units?

Now the same above choice but for a division with 14 elements already including a sharpshooter? Do you go with the 2 line one sharpshooter or with the one line 2 conscripts?

I say this because in playing around my total division strength is shown to be higher with the two sharpshooters over the two conscripts. Now it is very possible the game is not reporting strength accurately but it shows the issue at hand.

I think the best advice is not to list out elements but actual unit purchases. What units that you can actually purchase in KY and TN would make the best divisions there. Same goes for units from VA, GA, NC, SC for fighting in Virginia.

Often times you have a choice of one line INF, one conscript INF and then either a cav or a 6 pounder. Do you even buy these units? So I think advice needs to talk about actual units and not generic elements as it will be next to impossible to get the exact desired elements for more than 1 or 2 divisions.

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Re: Division composition question

Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:31 pm

I assume you mean Confederate Divisions. As I see it, by October 1861 the following units are available to be produced:

13 Divisions with a brigade of 3 line infantry, 1 conscript and one 6 pounder, a brigade of 2 line infantry and 1 sharpshooter, and 3 brigades of 1 line, 1 conscript and 1 cavalry (17 elements).

4 Divisions with 1 Marine, 1 Sharpshooter, a brigade of 2 line, 2 conscript, one 6 pounder and 1 cavalry, and a brigade of 6 line, one 6 pounder, one 12 pounder and 1 cavalry (17 elements).

2 Divisions with 1 line. 1 sharpshooter, a brigade of 2 line, 2 conscript, one 6 pounder and 1 cavalry, and a brigade of 6 line, one 6 pounder, one 12 pounder and 1 cavalry (17 elements).

At least one artillery Division of 15 batteries representing a Confederate artillery battalion.

That would be 20 Divisions. Cavalry units of 1-4 elements for recon and counter-recon would of course be needed. This would still leave over many of the starting brigades. These can be assembled into ad hoc Divisions for garrisons of defensive positions by adding the single sharpshooter elements available.
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Re: Division composition question

Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:16 pm

Gray Fox wrote:I assume you mean Confederate Divisions. As I see it, by October 1861 the following units are available to be produced:

13 Divisions with a brigade of 3 line infantry, 1 conscript and one 6 pounder, a brigade of 2 line infantry and 1 sharpshooter, and 3 brigades of 1 line, 1 conscript and 1 cavalry (17 elements).

4 Divisions with 1 Marine, 1 Sharpshooter, a brigade of 2 line, 2 conscript, one 6 pounder and 1 cavalry, and a brigade of 6 line, one 6 pounder, one 12 pounder and 1 cavalry (17 elements).

2 Divisions with 1 line. 1 sharpshooter, a brigade of 2 line, 2 conscript, one 6 pounder and 1 cavalry, and a brigade of 6 line, one 6 pounder, one 12 pounder and 1 cavalry (17 elements).



Those are good sound divisions. They do support my point that the suggestion of 10 INF, 1 Sharpshooter, 4 ART, 2 CAV is not easily achievable.

Your first template has 12 inf (8 line, 4 conscript), 1 SS, 1 ART, 3 CAV. Short on ART but over 1 cav.

The second template has 11 Inf (1 marine, 8 line, 2 conscript), 1 SS, 3 ART, 2 CAV. Very close just 1 art short.

The last template has 11 INF (9 line, 2 conscript), 1 SS, 3 ART, 2 CAV. This is also very close short just 1 art.

I do have a question. If you do have 2 sharpshooters are you saying that the second one doesn't contribute anything at all to the battle? Is it a totally wasted element or is it just a wasted "special" effect?

I created some divisions that consisted of a brigade of 6 line, one 6lb, one 12lb, 1 cav, a brigade of 2 line, 1 SS, two 12lb art, 1 CAV, and 2 HI Line units. Or I substitute a brigade of one line, one conscript, one cav for the two HI Inf and the single CAV unit. I think you can get 5 or 6 of these divisions as you start with one of the big brigades (I think) and you can purchase 5 more in VA.

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Re: Division composition question

Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:58 pm

Yes, more than one Sharpshooter in a Division is a waste of a special ability. A great many combinations are possible. Militia upgrade quicker if you stack them with a HQ unit, so this also adds some possibilities.
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Re: Division composition question

Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:10 pm

Gray Fox wrote:Yes, more than one Sharpshooter in a Division is a waste of a special ability. A great many combinations are possible. Militia upgrade quicker if you stack them with a HQ unit, so this also adds some possibilities.


Just to be crystal clear it only wastes the +1 special ability. It does not waste the actual combat power of the element. Is this accurate?

Considering as the CSA I can build lot's of brigades with two line & a SS and lot's of single stand alone SS units what is the downside? Wouldn't the 2 line + 1 SS be better than say the 1 line + 2 conscript brigades?

It it the higher cost? In looking at some base stats SS elements only have 150 men instead of 600. So this can save on conscripts can't it? And for combat firepower it appears they have the same as a normal line unit but I'm not sure if that is then multiplied by manpower to arrive at a final value or not.

What I'm saying is on the face these appear to be better than a conscript element in less manpower costs, same combat power but the downside being more money and war supplies.

One final question if I may. The description says "+1 initiative bonus in battle to the whole UNIT". Now I get confused on unit vs. division unit vs. stack vs other groupings. I understand the SS +1 while that SS is inside a division applies to just that division. The game helps and shows this. But what about combat units that are attached to a stack? I have an army commander, 2 divisions and some loose combat units not in the two divisions. Do the sharpshooter units inside the division give their +1 to the loose units at the army level? What if I have a loose sharpshooter unit at the army level? Does it only impact itself or can it help the other loose units?

The reason I ask is in the battle the two divisions and the loose units are all represented. Is my initiative bonus just +1 (even though I have two divisions with SS), +2 for the two divisions or even +3? Or is the initiative calculated at the individual element level? Since initiative determines who fires first there is a big difference in the +1 to +3 above.

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Re: Division composition question

Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:50 pm

That's correct. You don't get more than +1 initiative with extra SS elements. Line elements have a higher base Initiative than conscripts or militia, so a Division of all line infantry already has better initiative for firing first in combat. However, first shot is based on a random number in the range of the initiative value. The militia element may sometimes fire first against the elite element. Crap happens. The SS bonus is not insignificant and a Division with one has a numerical advantage over a division without one. So you can make a brigade of SS elements or even a Sharpshooter Division. It's just that they have better things to do.

A SS element in a Division works for the whole unit. Everyone agrees on that. But just that unit. A SS element in a Brigade should do the same for the Brigade for the same reasoning. A loose SS in a stack of Divisions does not assist the individual Divisions. Each Division is a unit that the SS element does not belong to. I also believe from my experience with the combat reports that loose units in a stack are also not aided by a loose SS, because they are all, loose. So a stack of Divisions each with a SS, does not add the effects together. Each Division as a unit only gets the +1 bonus from its SS and the loose units get none.
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Re: Division composition question

Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:01 am

Also note that SS units are quite small, 5hp if i remember, so alone they risk being killed. Now SS units can use the ambush special order, so a division of just SS would be able to ambush, but I woulden't do it unless you were just wanting a laugh.

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Re: Division composition question

Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:23 pm

pgr wrote:Also note that SS units are quite small, 5hp if i remember, so alone they risk being killed. Now SS units can use the ambush special order, so a division of just SS would be able to ambush, but I woulden't do it unless you were just wanting a laugh.


I was referring more to the brigades that are two line inf plus a SS element.

Often times I get a division to 14 elements and look at the brigades of 3 elements. Choices are usually 1 line, 1 conscript, 1 conscript cav or 2 line, 1 6 LB. In those situations I felt that the best unit to add was the one with the SS despite the fact that I already has one of those brigades in the division.

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Re: Division composition question

Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:53 am

Goodmongo wrote:I was referring more to the brigades that are two line inf plus a SS element.

Often times I get a division to 14 elements and look at the brigades of 3 elements. Choices are usually 1 line, 1 conscript, 1 conscript cav or 2 line, 1 6 LB. In those situations I felt that the best unit to add was the one with the SS despite the fact that I already has one of those brigades in the division.
[/quote]
The main issues are size and hitting power. Sharp shooters only have 5hp, and if memory serves, only inflicts 1 hp damage per hit. Conscript infantry have 20 hp and inflict 2hp damage per hit. ( Heck even milita have 15 hp and do 2 damage)

Assuming the div already has an SS, I would go with an extra cav rather than an extra SS. 20 hp and it helps with retreat/pursuit.

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Re: Division composition question

Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:37 pm

pgr wrote:
Goodmongo wrote:I was referring more to the brigades that are two line inf plus a SS element.

Often times I get a division to 14 elements and look at the brigades of 3 elements. Choices are usually 1 line, 1 conscript, 1 conscript cav or 2 line, 1 6 LB. In those situations I felt that the best unit to add was the one with the SS despite the fact that I already has one of those brigades in the division.

The main issues are size and hitting power. Sharp shooters only have 5hp, and if memory serves, only inflicts 1 hp damage per hit. Conscript infantry have 20 hp and inflict 2hp damage per hit. ( Heck even milita have 15 hp and do 2 damage)

Assuming the div already has an SS, I would go with an extra cav rather than an extra SS. 20 hp and it helps with retreat/pursuit.[/quote]

Thank you very much. This is exactly what I was referring to and wondering about. A single militia or cav element is better than a second SS element.

Now the other question is which would be better: A brigade of 2 line, 1 SS or a brigade of 1 line, 1 conscript, 1 conscript cav.

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Re: Division composition question

Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:58 pm

Goodmongo wrote:
pgr wrote:
Goodmongo wrote:
Now the other question is which would be better: A brigade of 2 line, 1 SS or a brigade of 1 line, 1 conscript, 1 conscript cav.


If you need them to fight right-damn-now, the brigade with the sharpshooter.

If you're recruiting for garrison duty, or for the eventual incorporation into a division, the brigade with the conscripts. If they sit around for a bit (especially with a HQ), they'll get upgraded to 2 line infantry and a cav

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Re: Division composition question

Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:20 am

Each division is comprised as 17 units. You have a Corps and currently have 39 units. Is it better to have 3 divisions with 13 units each or ……….. 2 divisions with 17 units and 1 division with 5 units?

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Re: Division composition question

Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:53 pm

A Division of 17 elements has more chances to do everything than a smaller Division, so I would go with 2 full Divisions and 1 smaller Division.
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Re: Division composition question

Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:13 am

I mostly agree with Grey Fox, but do keep in mind that while the combat system typically picks on a corps to take the bulk of the casualties in a battle, in smaller battles, like a single corps, it may pick on divisions. In this instance, balanced divisions will proved better staying power; that is, your small division will not cause the whole corps to retreat.

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