grimjaw
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:25 pm

Leader tweaks that don't contribute directly to enabling the force pool changes are a longer term project. But to address your questions ...

If a portrait for a leader is obviously wrong, I'll eventually update it. Shelby's is bad, but not wrong, IIRC. I'm more interested in incorporating custom portraits for the leaders using generic inages, eventually.

I looked at Wise's contributions, and other than being a contingency appearance I don't see him making it in. I believe one of the problems is the AI has too many leaders to employ its limited set of rules regarding order formation. It needs more guidance to prevent it from having stacks full of leaders with no jobs, and I can't focus on that aspect yet. An alternative to this is to restrict some leaders to the player only, but that's more along the lines of handicapping than getting to the root of the problem.

I considered having an event that was choose either Floyd or Wise to appear, but not both, fiddling with the decision Davis made in relieving Wise. But IMO Wise would be just as incompetent a battlefield leader, in game terms, as Floyd so it would be six of one, half dozen of the other.

Without engine changes to combat and combined units, what's needed is the ability to restrict division formation for leaders in the same way you can prevent them from forming corps or armies. That will probably never happen. Under the current system, the AI will use any leader on the board to form divisions that go against historical accuracy (see Stand Watie, et al). It might be possible to tweak this, see first paragraph.

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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:22 am

The in game portraits of Union General C.P. Stone and Confederate General J. Shelby are identical bar the uniform. The portrait of C.P. Stone is quite correct which obviously means that the portrait of Jo Shelby is wrong. As one can see from the attached photographs of the two men, they do look quite similar but certainly not identical ;)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_O. ... Shelby.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_P ... tone2b.jpg

grimjaw
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:17 am

I knew Shelby's wasn't close to his actual likeness in photographs but I'd never compared it in-game with Stone. Hilarious. I can put together simple B&W portraits pretty easily but I don't have the time to colorize them.

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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:04 am

grimjaw wrote:I knew Shelby's wasn't close to his actual likeness in photographs but I'd never compared it in-game with Stone. Hilarious. I can put together simple B&W portraits pretty easily but I don't have the time to colorize them.


I know a couple of blokes who might be able to do the colourisation if that's of any help?

grimjaw
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:25 pm

Some of this I'm sure you already know. Any leader in the last official release of the game that has a custom portrait can be changed simply by replacing the files for those images with new ones using the same names. No need to wait on me. :).

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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:56 am

Two parts to this post. First is geographic. Attached to this post should be two images.

One image is the area around Apalachicola, FL. In the game, the map is drawn such that the harbor for Apalachicola is 20+ miles away from the actual river it sits on. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but you can't see the coast from where Fort Gadsden was located, and it wasn't a masonry fort. Ideally what I would do is whip out ExMap and redraw the coastal water regions there. ExMap requires fluency in the language of ancient Babylon, and must be operated whilst taking methamphetamine. However, I have managed to create the underlying gameplay structures that model what should be there. The image is to help you visual it.

From the Fort Gadsden region, I removed the adjacency to the Apalachicola Sound (it was originally called "Alabama Sound"). Now fire from Gadsden can only reach the river immediately adajacent. The current adjacencies are represented by the pink linss. Apalachicola was moved from the *wrong location* (the white oval) to the correct location, along with the harbor exit. The adjacency between Apalachicola and Ochlockonee Estuary were removed. If I could change the map, redrawing the regions where I have dotted white lines would match this set of adjacencies.

For Savannah, I removed its adjacencies to Savannah Estuary and Wassage Sound (the red X's). To reach Savannah you have to do it via the Savannah River or one of the adjacent land regions. To fire on it via ship it would have to be done from the Savannah River region, meaning you'd have to pass both Fort Pulaski and the now represented Fort Jackson. It can't be done from Wassage Sound, nor can troops be landed directly in Savannah from either Wassage Sound or Savannah Estuary. Unlike the game as delivered, now Savannah can't be taken simply by bypassing Fort Pulaski. Savannah Estuary is still adjacent to Beaufort, meaning that the Port Royal expedition can't be modeled well at all. If I could redraw the regions, the dotted white lines would be how I'd set it up. Beaufort wouldn't be adjacent to Savannah Estuary, meaning Port Royal could be attacked without having to run the batteries at Fort Pulaski.

There ought to be an additional coastal region between Savannah Estuary and Beaufort Bay, but I don't know how to make that happen. I can edit the region images to add those dotted lines and give the player an idea of how the adjacencies are set up, but I can't redraw the map to add or remove regions. I can completely block regions but that's a different subject.

Making these small changes doesn't change the fact that the coastline is a problem for the CSA, but it does mean that the larger cities can possibly hold out longer. I've included them in the force pool mod just to see how well they'd be received. The final force pool mod as a standalone probably won't include these changes.

//

What's in a name?

One of the goals of this mod is to eliminate or reduce the amount of redundancy in unit and model names. A long time ago a forum user called tripax worked up a mod to address this. I have that mod but I haven't looked at it lately. Just pointing out this isn't the first effort to try to address this.

Let me try to briefly explain, using analogy, how I believe this normally works in CW2.

Think of individual elements as eggs, and units as those styrfoam containers for the eggs. Containers usually have 6, 12, or 18 eggs. You could put white eggs or brown eggs in a container. But the container is still a shiny blue color, no matter what kind of eggs are in it. Each slot in the container only holds one egg. You could design a container that is a custom fit for 3 chicken eggs, 1 duck egg, and one snake egg (3 inf, one cav, 1 arty ...). Chicken eggs won't fit in the snake egg slot, but any color snake egg will fit in the snake egg slot, and so on.

Units are the containers, elements are the eggs.

This is all great when it comes to putting eggs on the shelf. Most of us want to be able to go into the store and find eggs as we expect them. Uniformity is the ideal; we usually disqualify eggs in a container if they are broken, opening a container to find white and brown eggs mixed at random would be unsettling if I wasn't expecting it. The only people who usually care about unique egg or egg container colors are people who raise their own chickens. But for some reason, we want uniquely colored eggs in uniquely colored egg cartons. We want something like 1000+ unique eggs, and hundreds of unique egg cartons.

Here's how the eggs (elements) are set up in the databases.

The eggs for all the containers are produced in a few different types (line inf, conscript inf, regular or alternate art, etc), depending on the nation. Each type comes in many colors (regiment names), but each type's list of colors is the same as the other types. If a nation has 3 different types of chicken egg, the list of colors for each of these 3 egg types is the same as the others. You can have a red-colored type 1, 2 or 3 egg.

Notice that the system for uniqueness is already busted.

Each state of a nation has 2-4 different egg container types (units), holding different numbers and types of eggs. Each type of container has a list of colors (Floyd's Brigade, Tuttle's Brigade, etc). Each type's list is the same as the other types. You can have a pink type 2 and a pink type 4 container from the same state.

Again, the design means uniqueness can't be achieved.

From observation of the design and the results in-game, this is how I think name selection was coded. Time to make some omelets!

Pick egg container type (CreateUnit)
Here's a container that will hold 2 platypus eggs.
Did egg container get a ~<*special name*>~? :) (SetName by script)
No.
OK, go to the list of container names (unit file/unit record, CustomNames). Pick the first name from that list and see if any other existing container >exactly like me< already has that name (name in list: Rooster's Egg Brigade).
Well there's another container from your state that's >kind of like you<, holds 3 platypus eggs, that's called Rooster's Egg Brigade ...
Don't care, just care about containers >exactly like me<.
Then, no.
Great! I'll take that name.
Now there are two different containers from the same state named Rooster's Egg Brigade.
The more the merrier!

I won't bore you with further detail, but the process works similarly for the eggs (elements). I think it is possible, although unlikely, that you can have the same regiment name appear twice in a brigade.

How can this issue be addressed? Among other things, unique lists for each type of element and unit. Many units mix and match styles of regular or conscript infantry. The only difference in these styles is the artwork they use. Reducing the number of different styles of the same type of element in a unit is more generic, but it simplifies the list of names that has to be compiled.

Naming multi-element units in a way that is unique doesn't have to be difficult. With the example of Virginia, which uses three infantry brigade types under the mod, a total of brigades is tallied, and the names are distributed through the three lists. A name only appears on one list, and while it exists on the board it won't be duplicated. Trying to do that by using the historical brigade names is a project for someone with more time on their hands than I have. Maybe it could be done, but it would be ... <expletive deleted> difficult. Instead I have chosen sequentially increasing numerical designations, starting with 1st [state] Brigade and incrementing from there. Unique brigades like Barksdale's are created by event and named upon creation. This isn't as flavorful, of course, but neither were the duplicated and fictional names applied to multiple units or the wrong units. Personally, it's not enough for me to have Tuttle's brigade in the game unless Tuttle's brigade also has the historical regiments involved. Because of the way the game is designed, it is not possible to do that through building the brigade through the recruit panel. The only way to guarantee a set of regiment names in a brigade is to create the brigade through an event.

Single-elements and single-element units are also difficult. You can see this in practice in the vanilla game. Find a state like New York or Virginia that has many militia you can recruit. Recruit two militia. Stop. Combine them. Stop. Recruit a another militia. Stop. Note the name on the last militia you built, which should be a duplicate of the second one you built. Code steps involved checking for unit on board with that name, didn't find a >unit< (not >element<), used the first name off the list (in sequential order of the list) that isn't used on the board. Repeat those steps and you'll end up with umpteen 2nd NY militia units. If I ever see another 121st Tennessee ...

This problem can exist for any single element unit that can be combined with another. It was rampant for militia units in the vanilla game. It should be less so in the mod because the mod rarely allows elective combinations on base unit definitions (e.g. militia exploit removed). You will still see the issue if you combine a single element unit with a multi-element unit that is missing an element, but I hope to reduce the occurence of this by having a tailored list of names. Single element units will mostly appear at the beginning of the scenario and be named by event. Their list of names in the file won't include the names created by event, and the forcepool number available to recruit will be low. You'll probably have to lose 75% of the single elements units through combat or combination before the number on the board gets below the forcepool amount.

When militia upgraded to line, that changed the way they were viewed when it came to recruitment. For those who aren't familiar with it, say force pool contains 5 militia. Recruit one through build option, now 4 militia. Militia upgrades to line, force pool is 5 militia again. IIRC this is due to the fact that the family type changes. New militia units don't upgrade and can't be combined, an't be recruited so that exploit is removed.

I'm open to ideas if anyone has any. I feel like I've already significantly reduced this duplication issue by separating the arms types. I won't have made it worse with the design I have for names, but I won't have eliminated it altogether. That may be all I can hope for.
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grimjaw
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:29 pm

"You are green, it is true, but they are green also; you are all green alike."

This mod now features green infantry. Greenhorns, so to speak.

I'm getting old and I don't see as well as I used to. I didn't like the letters imposed over the NATO symbols in the game because I can't see them as well. It's even harder with the Union units, with their black on dark blue color scheme. I am replacing the "conscript" with "recruit" in many places, and I wanted to replace the line infantry NATO symbol with the big 'C' on it. I didn't like the idea of switching it to the one with the 'V', for a number of reasons, but I didn't want to leave it the same as regular infantry.

The new NATO symbol for recruits has a green background, and that's the only difference. It is easily discernible at a glance on either nation's units. It's cleaner because it doesn't use the letters superimposed over the NATO symbol. It eventually switches over to the regular, transparent background NATO symbol whenever the unit trains up. Unlike the vanilla cavalry, there's a green-colored version to help you find your cavalry recruits. Example is in the screenshot below, which is a little dated. Where it says "Regulars [1]" in the screenshot now shows "Infantry [1]".

The color green makes the most sense for me. I don't know if players in Europe or elsewhere have a different concept as I do of "green recruits". Switching to a different shade of green or another color altogether is simple. The final version will probably be a little more muted; this is the first draft.
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:54 am

I love that.

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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:56 am

Grimjaw, your work is tremendously appreciated. Thank you very much.

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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:24 am

Hi grimjaw,

Now I want an omlette :D

But seriously you're doing amazing work here and I hope you know that it's appreciated.

Incidentally a question: I've been playing myself (sigh) in a lockdown game of CW2 and finally snapped with regards to the nonsensical leader spawn dates, ranks and auto-promotions. I've started compiling a list of historical promotion dates, ranks and cross-checking that against what the game is doing. I know you mentioned previously that leaders was also something you were looking at - where are you at with that? Do you want some input or even assistance on that point, or will too many cooks create more confusion?

-deguerra

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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:08 pm

Everybody seems to have a favorite general. I've seen ideas for making every general in the game able to reach army command rank, and for making any rank able to command an army.

Let me pontificate a bit so you'll understand where I'm coming from WRT changes to the game, generally. I don't mean to be harshly critical or insulting here, but the amount of work I'm putting into this means I need to be honest about what can be achieved.

The developers started as boardgame designers, and they made a multiplayer electronic boardgame. I could not have done any better, probably would have done much worse. The amount of research that went into putting together just the stuff for CW1 was huge, even more so for CW2, not to mention the other games. But it's still electronic Risk Plus. You can look at the changes from CW1 to CW2 and see that it backs up this assumption. The major work went into the map (the board). It did not go towards improving the the pieces played on the board or the code that runs those pieces in lieu of a human opponent.

Risk is about territory (regions), and so is CW2 and the other AGE games. I want you to try to imagine a Risk tabletop boardgame version of the U.S. Civil War. (Does one exist? I've never looked into it.) Would you want to play that game? If not, what would make you want to play that game? Whatever changes you suggest, they're still going to have to be played using the territories on the tabletop. The level of representation possible is very basic. The battle planner was an attempt to add some tactical flavor to the game, but I quickly stopped using it.

There are leaders in the game that would have only operated at a very low, tactical level. There is no tactical level in CW2, and I believe the game will never satisfy if you try to go lower than regions and divisions. I've stated previously that this engine is not the best choice for simulating the U.S. Civil War because it is the battlefield level of that conflict that interests most people, myself included. This engine can't deliver that, doesn't even come close. This game is electronic multiplayer Risk Plus, in Civil War flavor. No amount of modding I do will change that.

OK.

Leaders have not been the primary focus lately, but I have done some work there.

I have shuffled spawn dates, removed some generals and added some.

The AI will always play at the strategic level (the AI is always playing Risk Plus). Since I am always going to consider the AI when I mod, I really need a compelling reason to represent low-level leaders. The AI will always misuse them, historically speaking. If a leader didn't for a significant time run a division, or two or more brigades with of infantry combined with artillery and/or cavalry, or a department that could have fielded as many men as a division, the leader probably won't be in the mod. Calvin Pratt, Hamilton Bee, Henry Hunt, James Cantey, Gilman Martson, E.P. Alexander, James Barnes, George Doles, Jacob Lauman, Abel Streight, Stand Watie, John Wilder, John Clark, Rufus King, Henry McCulloch, August Willich, just to name a few who aren't in. To put a leader on the board means the AI will run a division with it, so long as divisions are available. That's WAD, unfortunately. There's no way around that except locking the leader, making the representation pointless. I suppose you could disable divisions entirely ...

Many of these lesser lights in the game were notable as able brigade or regiment commanders and they were given higher stats. I don't know how the AI decides which leader to pick to run its divisions, but I suspect it chooses leaders with better numbers. Thus, the Quantrills are the ones that run divisions. It *might* be possible to convince a leader to run a smaller stack, by use of affinities and agents. That's a longer term project, and anyway smaller stacks don't win Risk Plus.

There are two fields in the model database that control whether a leader has the ability to run corps or armies. There's no field for toggling division command on and off. Even if there were I don't think there's code in there for making generals do anything useful at the regiment or brigade level (garrison duty?). Look at how many stacks the AI generates that are full of leaders and maybe one division.

I'm already planning on replacing Hunt et al with a support unit that buffs stack or unit arty (probably stack), kind of like the regular engineer units. Some leaders, especially cavalry leaders (Forrest, Morgan), will be replaced with a flagged cavalry unit that will have a higher level relative to other units, maybe faster progression rate, a special ability or two. But it won't be a leader, and losing that unit means the leader might never spawn later. Such are the perils of commanding in the field.

There is a flavor commander field in the unit database that includes leader names. Many units had this filled out by event, but I can't find where it is used, even when I spun up CW1 and checked there. It would have been useful for that to show up somewhere on the in-game unit description.

I'd say the naval leaders could have been modeled better, but I look at what the underlying structure is and see there wasn't any point. It's an electronic boardgame about control of territory, and it contains territory that can't be controlled (any water region). You might be displeased to know that I intend to remove any navy officers that didn't hold flag rank and/or command fleet actions, or the equivalent. As far as the game is concerned, any naval leader is an admiral. Since I can't tweak that to force individual leaders to only command individual ships, the abstraction for the navies gets even more abstract. I tried fiddling with a naval leader so that he didn't lead a stack but could still be combined with a ship or ships. I couldn't make it work. Semmes is out, so is Worden, but their ships will be in with some abilities that only affect the individual unit. I've nerfed the Union navy early on by pushing back some leader appearances (Farragut, Palmer, etc). You will initially get Union flag officers in the form of Silas Stringham, followed later by Samuel Du Pont and Louis Goldsborough. I haven't done as much research on the naval side. Besides those three, I know Samuel Lee and Farragut had fleet commands, and Dahlgren, Porter and Foote. Besides those I have trouble remembering others. The CSA side will be quite sparse. Maybe two or three. Maybe.

Here's a list of new leaders I've created so far. Some of these are new ranks for existing leaders.

USA army
Robert Patterson, rank 2 (probably knock him down to rank 1)
Charles Hamilton, rank 1
Robert Milroy, rank 1
William Franklin, rank 1
William Rosecrans, rank 1 & 2
Don Carlos Buell, rank 1 & 2
John Hatch, rank 1
John Fremont, rank 2
John Pope, rank 1
Ben Butler, rank 2
Nathaniel Banks, rank 2
Henry Halleck, rank 2
Ulysses Grant, rank 1
Charles Smith, rank 1 & 2
John Wool, rank 1 & 2
Grenville Dodge, rank 1

USA navy
Silas Stringham, rank 1
Louis Goldsborough, rank 1
Samuel P. Lee, rank 2

CSA army
Samuel Jones, rank 1
Robert Garnett, rank 1 & 2
George Crittenden, rank 1 & 2
Mansfield Lovell, rank 2
John Forney, rank 1
Gideon Pillow, rank 1
Charles Clark, rank 1
John Bowen, rank 1 & 2
Daniel Donelson, rank 1 & 2
Ambrose Wright, rank 1 (probably a contingency appearance, like emergency militias)

Some leaders represented in the game only achieved a certain rank posthumously. Some died during their first engagement. A bunch who are represented have only one model for a single rank. I might change that. Take Israel Richardson, for example. I think if he'd lived he'd probably have made major general. He might have even commanded corps. For a general like that, I'd like to create a rank 2 model. Maybe he'd have corps command, maybe not. If not, it will still give him a bump in CP and ensure he'd have higher rank if you wanted to send him off with a couple of brigadiers leading divsions, while at the same time keeping him subordinate to corps commanders if he was leading a division in a stack or acting as an aide (providing abilities to stack).

I have designed a different layout for leader ranks and seniority but I don't intend to implement it until I'm done with the force pool changes. I've posted about it before, but it works like this.

The ranking system the game was built on can't be changed. Rank 1 leaders cannot run corps or armies. But a leader can *appear* to be a brigadier and run an army. Change his NATO symbol from 3-star to 1-star, a few other cosmetic changes, and you have a brigadier running an army. He'll still provide 12CP and all that, still outrank any other unmodified 2-star, but he'll show up on screen as a brigadier. I'm not proposing that brigadiers run armies, however.

If I'm going to be stuck with Risk Plus in Civil War flavor, I want more Civil War flavor in my Risk Plus. I worked up a way to represent the different ranking systems of the USA and CSA. This is mainly presentation. The functional changes are to seniority, tech upgrades, corps/army command ability and progression rate. This has not been implemented yet.

Seniority in the game is just a number. The top end is 1, but you can scale it down to 900. I'm using more of that range.

With the exception of one or two commanders, the USA presents only two ranks, brigadier and major general. Brigadiers have two sets of seniority numbers, 100-series and 500-series. 100-series brigadiers can be promoted, 500-series can't. 500-series brigadiers have seniority values that start at 500, and so on. If you win enough battles to approach seniority 100 after starting at 500, well, good on you. The end result is you stop getting penalized for pissing off generals who can't be promoted because they have no upgrade path defined. It's pointless. Major generals get most of the work on the US side. Seniority for these guys is 100, 500, and 900-series. Any army commander will still present on screen as a 2-star, with some flag that will let the player know what he really isss (3-star). Some major generals won't be able to command corps. 900-series is rank 2 that can't command corps, 500-series is rank 2 + corps command but can't be promoted, 100-series is corps command & can be promoted. 3-star has two sets of seniority, 10 and 500-series. 10 is reserved for the highest rank (Grant), 500-series is for any other army commander.

CSA rank structure has brigadier/major/lieutenant/full generals. All brigadiers are like the USA versions above. Major generals are all rank 2, and are 500 or 900-series. 900-series can't command corps, 500-series can. Lieutenant generals come in two flavors. One is a rank 2 100-series which has corps command. The second is a 500-series rank 3 with army command. Full generals are rank 3s with 100 seniority or better.

This system does not model seniority much better than the unmodified one, but that's not my fault. Only changed the code would achieve that, because the seniority system in these games isn't a seniority system.

The modified tables look something like this (draft):

CONFEDERATE
MIL BG BG-P MG MG(C) LG LG(A) FG
leader rank 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3
seniority 900 500 100ish 900 500 100 500 50

UNION
MIL BG BG-P MG MG(C) MG(C)-P MG(A) LG
leader rank 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3
seniority 900 500 100ish 900 500 100ish 500 10

CSA gets a buff in that it would have a higher percentage of leaders with more CP, since there would be more rank 2s. Also, the brigades on the USA side require more CP, because with all those fancy uniforms, new shoes, shiny guns and abundant hardtack comes all the responsibility of administration.

With so few lieutenant generals in the CSA (I think there were only 17 total), most of the major generals won't be able to upgrade through earning points. Instead it would be through event, which would keep track of how many rank 2 LGs were on the board, and if it fell below a certain level, the next one in line would be "promoted." A leader at his maximum rank has a slower progression rate (Peter principle).

Case in point: Richard Ewell, who as a major general was considered quite the thing, but as a corps commander not quite the thing. Now he can be a swell brigadier or major general, and as soon as he hits lieutenant general that's when his nerf kicks in. As long as Jackson and the other LGs don't die, Ewell might remain a MG for quite some time. The same goes for AP Hill, or Hood. I considered an elective system that would let you promote generals to the higher ranks through a set of game options like you get for industry or railroads. I can script that, but the number of possibilities can get hard to manage.

I haven't thought it through yet, but it's likely I will modify the number of armies and corps available to each side, probably less of both.

There are events that remove leaders. McClellan has the '64 election, Patterson mustered out with the rest of the initial 90-day volunteers. I'm adding more of that. Bonham, resigned to enter the national legislature and then governor of South Carolina. Schenck, resigned in '63 for a congressional seat. Charles Clark (see above), resigned to become governor of Mississippi. Wool (also above) was pushed into retirement upon promotion, as was Ben Huger. I don't want to add back in the flukes like Van Dorn's assassination or Porter's court-martial. The office appointments I'll probably include, though; at least a chance of them. This makes the way for other generals and doesn't force the AI to keep stuffing more and more generals in the same useless stacks, forces the player to adapt. Originally many of these removals gave no warning, but office appointment removals will be preceded by a 1-2 turn warning.

I always appreciate help. I've already done alot of the research when it comes to leaders, see the spreadsheet I uploaded in this thread. Unit muster times and locations take me alot of time to track down since I don't have that information centralized and I don't have easy online access on my PC. I admit to being discouraged somewhat lately but I suppose I've been trying to eat the elephant in more than one bite at a time. So many of the CSA units had multiple names, or consolidated, or dismounted, or infantry temporarily manned artillery, or several artillery companies retreated and acted as infantry, and so on. I went off on a tangent in scrapping the Bull Run buildup and forcing those units back to their muster locations, started to write those events, changed my mind, wasted a bunch of time. I'm snowed in right now, got heat, food and caffeine so maybe I'll make some headway over the next couple of days.

I've included a screenshot that I hope illustrates why I've spent so much time on the naming of elements. This is what it looked like for some units before I started to muck about with it. I wonder if there any engineers in that battalion ...
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:21 am

If I can be of any assistance with research, etc, just let me know. I'd be glad to help.

grimjaw
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:29 am

Attached to this post should be beta version 0.30.

Some notes on this version. It is still not a finished campaign. I made headway on the underlying structures, and I think I can finish script-placed forces within a week or two at most. After that it shouldn't take as long as get the force pool numbers / year configured.

The green color for recruit NATO symbols is implemented and the color is more muted than the screenshot I posted awhile back.

I've designed four different groups of enlistment expiration infantry: 90-day, 1, 2, and 3 year. Cavalry and artillery rarely, if ever, muster out. No unit that can be captured (normally only supply, artillery or some ships) will muster out. No unit that has an event to muster out will have a capture chance (there might be the rare artillery unit that has goes home early). Although the structure for staggered enlistment expirations in in place, I have not yet written the events to remove anything past the 90-day volunteers. At this time, no unit that spawns past July 1861 has an expiration.

Regular (non-militia) units that have enlistment expirations use a different family than regular infantry. it's called "Line Inf.[EE]". It shows up on the replacement builder as a regular infantry NATO symbol with a little hourglass to the left of it. (Underneath it's $famElite) A multi-element unit that has a missing element can still be combined with another single element that qualifies, but that is restricted to other elements that have enlistment expirations. This was done to help you keep from potentially throwing replacements down a hole never to be seen again. Possibility exists that as you approach enlistment expiration, those units are in a big fight and lost many hits. They have time to replace those hits before they expire. If they pulled them from your regular pool, you lose all those resources when the unit musters out. Now that they are in their own family they don't mix with regular infantry replacements.

Units with enlistment expiration only appear by event; they can't be through the recruit panel.

I have removed most events that spawn troops after the end of June. I have removed many USA militia and garrison units (artillery remains).

Blockade events now require that the opposing player have at least one heavy artillery unit in the blockade origin. Before, all that was required to start a blockade of the james River using Fort Sumter was owning Fort Sumter. They Union could have a medical unit, or no units, in Fort Sumter and it would be blockaded.

The CSA coastline has had changes that remove adjacencies between some regions, because these regions were poorly designed to model the conflict in question. If all that was required for the Union to take Wilmington was to land further up the coast and waltz through the swamp and plant a flag, why did the Union take Wilmington last? Really weak. I haven't fixed Wilmington yet, but I will. it now should be impossible to enter Pamlico Sound from the Atlantic except through the regions adjacent to the forts. The too terribly large regions that hold Swan Quarter and Edenton have been blocked from entering or exiting from as many regions as previously. Otherwise, it's possible to park a ship off the Swan Quarter region, in the Roanoke Island region, and cover 55 miles of swamp with a boat landing in Swan Quarter, in five days. If I could redraw the map and create new regions, I would do that, but I can't. This is my ugly but functional alternate solution.

A similar thing has been done near Galveston. The harbor at New Orleans only has one entry/exit region, the river. Before it assumed there was a canal through the eastern portion of town into Lake Ponchartrain. Lake Pontchartrain can be entered from Koney island now.

Forts were added at Southport, Savannah, Norfolk and Pensacola, all based on historical evidence.

Many more details are in the mod release notes.
Attachments
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grimjaw
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Thu Feb 25, 2021 4:18 am

Totaling up the forcepool. Going by historical numbers. I'm vanilla game illinois, Ohio and Indiana make about 120 recruitable regiments between them. Right now I'm up to 117 for Ohio alone. 106 for IL, 90 for IN.

Don't know what recalc on CSA looks like yet but I may have to do some major tweaking. You can see now why I yanked most union militia.

zyszczak
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:08 pm

Great mod, however I have problems with Athena. She is very passive and do not recruit any new units. Is this mod pbem only or is it a bug?

grimjaw
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:56 pm

The numbers work out, but only because of the militia exploit in vanilla. Using militia, combining them into brigades and converting them to line will not only match the totals I've got, but will arrive also capable of exceeding them.

RE: help, yeah there is something someone or multiple someones can do if they want. They can write descriptive blurbs for any generals currently missing them or on new generals. It has to match a format but that's simple. You can copy directly from the game as ana example. If you want to do this let me know and I can provide a list. If all I have to do is copy and paste it in that'll save me time.

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Blood and Thunder Brigade
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Sat Feb 27, 2021 4:22 am

Give me a list and I'll try to get a few done for you, mate.

grimjaw
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Sat Feb 27, 2021 7:46 am

New ones so far. If you go by the format to match all the other leaders, you stop reciting history of them before the war started.

George B. Crittenden
Mansfield Lovell
Gideon J. Pillow
Charles Clark
John S. Bowen
Daniel S. Donelson
Ambrose R. Wright
Thomas Green
John P. Hatch
Charles F. Smith
John E. Wool
Silas H. Stringham
Louis M. Goldsborough
Samuel P. Lee

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Blood and Thunder Brigade
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:00 pm

No worries!
Is there a particular time frame you need it completed by?

grimjaw
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:41 pm

Oh heck no. It's just icing on the cake.

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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Sun Feb 28, 2021 3:10 am

Too easy. I'll try to have that done for you by the end of the week :)

grimjaw
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:30 am

At this point the mod is only posted to get feedback on changes as they develop. It is not really seriously playable for now, but you can play with it, so to speak.

The changes needed for the AI to take advantage of the new units haven't been fully implemented yet. Even with that, I'm not sure the AI will purchase what's needed. The scripting is there for it but I don't know what the engine code is doing behind the scenes. CW1 supposedly used family quotas to influence AI unit building decisions and I may have to try that if xxxunitpoolinfos doesn't work as advertised. I'm getting close to finished with Union force pool, minus Missouri (ugh, what a mess) and Kentucky. Even the names are coming along.

What I'd like to know is if there are changes I've made that people really don't like, so I can potentially address that before I set a design decision that can't be as easily changed later.

zyszczak wrote:Great mod, however I have problems with Athena. She is very passive and do not recruit any new units. Is this mod pbem only or is it a bug?

grimjaw
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Re: Forcepool mod, WIP screenshots

Mon Mar 01, 2021 3:45 am

I took some time out to play through what I have now with the AI running. I'm reviewing the AI log to see when it build new units and what types.

I've only just started to look, but it is purchasing units, and it is selecting from some of the new units that I've created. I already knew it would employ the new units if they were already on the board, and it seems to use them to build divisions of a similar composition to the previous set of units. Mostly infantry, some cav and arty.

Problems I see right now are that it seems to be ignoring the pool ratios I've set. I set a force pool total of 8 blockade flotilla but told the AI to buy exactly zero of them (or any ships for that matter). But it still built a flotilla as one of the first options. I don't know if it's completely ignoring the ratios or if there is another factor set somewhere that's telling it that it needs more ships. Still checking logs ...

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