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Cromagnonman
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The Militia Problem, Combined Arms Brigades, and Progressive Force Pools

Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:29 pm

1. I love militia, and I hate them. Militia are by far the most cost-effective infantry, not only in resources but also time. As a Federal player I can and do build tons of them, brigade them, and train them to regulars with the several training generals. I use them almost exclusively to garrison all those disloyal cities, but the opportunity for exploitation is all too apparent.
Historically, I have a hard time figuring out just what they are supposed to represent. Almost the entirety of both armies were volunteer regiments raised to fight the war, with no other purpose. Units made up of pre-existing state militias probably had a small advantage at the outset of the war, until training the rest caught up. My guess is that they are meant to represent home guard units never sworn into federal service, especially in the model of the many units in the several iterations of Missouri militia (although these were often mounted).
I think the best fix for militia is to prevent them from upgrading, and perhaps to stop brigading them from affecting the force pool (as it is currently, brigading seems to effectively double a state's force pool). Elements recruited for maneuver combat should almost universally start as "conscripts." Alternatively, there could be an "interior" option to call up a state's (fixed) militia units for a 3-6-12 month period.

2. Combined-arms brigades are ahistorical, and probably contribute to artillery over abundance. A few combined arms "legions" were formed in '61, but these were typically regiment-sized and broken up into their components by mid '62. Brigading infantry with artillery lasted a little longer, but generally artillery was moved from the brigade to division (or higher) command level. Even infantry brigades were rarely recruited together (especially on the Federal side); rather, each state recruited individual regiments, and these were parceled out to areas of need, for later brigading with units often from a variety of places. My recommendation would be to allow the recruiting of single-arm units only, but allow formation of "brigades" (basically divisions with a cost of 3 CP and max of 5-7 units) from the start of the war.

3. The current force pool structure allows one to recruit exclusively from a single state or region, which again is highly ahistorical. For instance, it is often disadvantageous to recruit from places like Maine, Michigan, and Minnesota. Paerhaps a better solution would be to have each state's force pools expand slowly over time, forcing the player to accept volunteers from throughout the country (if they wish to use their full recruiting potential)
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grimjaw
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:17 am

1. I agree. I've already modded this in my own game: militia can no longer be combined, and most can not be upgraded to line.

2. Agreed. I am in the process of modifying many of the brigades to achieve what you propose, although maybe not in the same way. I also don't know how the AI is going to handle it, and that's the biggest hurdle.

3. This can get really complicated really quick. You have to draw a line somewhere on the level of representation. You could do something like creating several state-specific conscript pools. What about examples such as the troops that Price enlisted from Arkansas, yet were listed as Missouri units? There were Kentucky units that were formed in Tennessee by men coming across the border.

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Cromagnonman
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:44 am

3 is tough I agree. I think the best way would be to research the regiments of each state and their swearing-in dates, then make each state's force pool expand at about that rate. This would probably be plenty flexible, as I have found it nearly impossible to build an army of historically-accurate size; thus I imagine the force pools would expand faster than they could be depleted. Plus there are some duplicate units, mainly from 1st Manassas regiments showing up in later flavor brigades (eg 2nd Wisconsin and 69th New York).

My goal would not be to significantly change the amount of "conscript companies" produced so much as to limit the way they could be spent to fit historical patterns. After all, the central governments did not have much ability to control where and when regiments were formed, but rather had to rely on state and local efforts.
Long ago, SimAnt had a mechanism whereby the player could direct the proportion of the ants working various tasks and the kinds of ants being bred - central direction dependent upon uncontrollable peripheral efforts. Anyhow...
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grimjaw
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:57 am

I have been thinking of ways to deal with the force and conscript pools, and it incorporates some of what you've discussed.

Since conscription wasn't immediately imposed, I don't know why "conscripts" are immediately in the game. Instead, I have created a volunteer element, with similar stats to conscripts although slightly better. These are the first troops that appear in brigades. Later, as manpower issues are encountered and draft laws are created, I introduce conscript elements, as single regiments and in brigades. In doing so, I *remove* previous brigades from the force pool and replace them with the new units. This becomes more pronounced over time, as the manpower shortage becomes more acute.

Along a different route, I would like to alter the recruiting ability for leaders but I'm limited to what's possible. You can restrict the ability to a certain area, and in doing so you can force those leaders to only be able to recruit in a set of regions, instead of just any city.

Instead of that, though, I'd like to replace the recruiting ability with an event that is tied to the leader in a certain region. If X leader is sent to Y region during timespan Z, there is a probability that a list of forces starts building, and the force makeup isn't set. The event will only work a limited number of times; there might be a single event per year, per commander. I already had something like this in mind for Forrest, who was historically able to raise raw troops in Tennessee. The event would remove some resources from the pool. I have never liked the idea of completely free troops. At least the manpower should be subtracted from the conscript pool.

Anyway, that's part of what I've been considering. It doesn't go in quite the same direction you're talking about. I started modding the full '61 campaign because I didn't like that everything seemed set in stone to match the events of the original conflict. I am trying to add a little randomness into things, without going off the deep end.

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Cromagnonman
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:56 pm

I accept that "conscripts" is a term for raw line infantry, even though over 85% of the Union's soldiers were volunteers. I like your solution of renaming them "volunteers," which hews more closely to history; I would simply call the militia units "militia," as in AACW. Given this fix, I'm not sure I would call any elements "conscripts," as those men who were drafted tended to be used as replacements rather than put into fresh new regiments
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grimjaw
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Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:35 am

Given this fix, I'm not sure I would call any elements "conscripts," as those men who were drafted tended to be used as replacements rather than put into fresh new regiments

True, but there's no good way I know of to represent that in the game.

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pgr
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Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:22 am

Well I'm sure even the programmers will admit every engine has its limitations. I' would suggest not to get too hung up on some things (like the system for general rank.)

I am with you on points 2 and 3. It's something that is doable by modifying the unit lists....provided you have the time :) I imagine there is a "total realism" mod out there, just waiting to be written!

Just to add my 2cents, if I were playing with force pools, I would change the unit pools in the far west, and dive them the ability to raise "micro" units. Most far western posts were manned by groups companies, which would be better represented by say 10 hit elements that consume less supply. You woulden't want to bring them East, but useful in the far west.

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Cromagnonman
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Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:01 pm

grimjaw wrote:True, but there's no good way I know of to represent that in the game.


No need to. Just don't worry about switching over from "volunteers" to "conscripts."
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grimjaw
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Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:33 pm

Well, that was my attempt at a bad way to represent it. :)

hanny1
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Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:34 pm

ive just fished putting all unts in excell, i can now see how many each State has mobolised in numbers of men, oddly the roughly 600k CSA max mobolised has a few odd things, SC in game has a third of its historical number, MO and KY twice what they contribute in real life, NC half what it mobolisedn and so on. The 600ki have no problem with asa base totalmobolsed value,but how its divided up is really odd.

Using the Federallist of State militias,we can defintly say the Militia element is grossly overrepresented in game.

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Cromagnonman
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Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:09 am

Of what "federal list" do you speak?
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Captain_Orso
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Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:48 pm

hanny1 wrote:ive just fished putting all unts in excell, i can now see how many each State has mobolised in numbers of men, oddly the roughly 600k CSA max mobolised has a few odd things, SC in game has a third of its historical number, MO and KY twice what they contribute in real life, NC half what it mobolisedn and so on. The 600ki have no problem with asa base totalmobolsed value,but how its divided up is really odd.

Using the Federallist of State militias,we can defintly say the Militia element is grossly overrepresented in game.


Hanny, you might save your self some time and effort by simply downloading the database files and working with those: CW2 Excel Database.

Of course, you then need to use the CSV-Splitter to extract the modded database files into units, models, events, etc, but that's not really a problem.

To change the number of men recruited from each state to historical levels you need to change the build pools of the scenario in question, not the units or models. You also have to be aware that there are several events which change the build pools, and theses are probably the most important.
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hanny1
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:12 pm

Cromagnonman wrote:Of what "federal list" do you speak?


The ones the USWar Dept collected and are in the OR.

hanny1
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:13 pm

Captain_Orso wrote:Hanny, you might save your self some time and effort by simply downloading the database files and working with those: CW2 Excel Database.

Of course, you then need to use the CSV-Splitter to extract the modded database files into units, models, events, etc, but that's not really a problem.

To change the number of men recruited from each state to historical levels you need to change the build pools of the scenario in question, not the units or models. You also have to be aware that there are several events which change the build pools, and theses are probably the most important.


I agree they would be of great benifit,but as the thread you linked me too explains, there are no links that work, and have not worked for many months.

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Captain_Orso
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:18 pm

:( unfortunately I don't have the 1.06 database files. You'll have to PM Pocus about it.
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Teatime
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Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:57 pm

I have lately been modding the game to address the points you have defined above (among others) .. I pretty much exclusively play Union and have no idea how these changes may affect the AI but I think forcepools will not impact it .. I have found that playing with Brigade composition can have an effect on the AI , large Infantry only corps popping up resulted in a quick backout of one change I made

Point 3 is pretty straight forward .. remember to back up any files before you change them

In the Events folder you will find a file for each Scenario .. e.g April 61 Scenario is called "1861 April Campaign"

open in notepad or whatever text editor and search for forcepool

This event defines how many of each of the units are added to the forcepool on the date specified by the fixeddate

e.g the event StartEvent = evt_nam_USA_InitialForcePoolMay61|1|0|NULL|NULL|NULL|NULL triggers during early may 1861
Conditions
FixedDate = 1861/05/01


the ChangeUnitPool lines then define how many of that unit are added to the forcepool

eg ChangeUnitPool = $uni_USA_Bde1NY;6 will add 6 of those big NY brigades to your recruitment pool (can't remember exactly what they were since I ignored my own advice above backing up files on that one :( )

So you can play with the numbers there and I believe (I haven't tried this yet but will soon) add extra events for other dates so your forcepool builds up over time rather than having your entire pool available by early July 1861

Note .. automatically created units (e.g reaction forces, Texas fight against seccession etc) will also pull units from your forcepool so reducing it .. so you need to allow for those

Your points 1 & 2 were a real issue for me as well but is a lot more work ...

Some of the changes I have also made to date are

- Converted all recruitable brigades to conscript Inf only (I am thinking of taking it further and allow only the recruitment of conscript regiments which can be combined into brigades)
- Removed the Volunteers and made them the mechanism to recruit conscript regiments
- Added the Militias into the recruitment pool
- Changed McClellan, Sigel & Halleck into DrillMasters (1 xp point per turn ala Rufus King and Headquarters) rather than TrainingMasters (upgrade unit) (This is actually seems to work pretty well as i see units begin to convert from conscript to regular around late 1861 for troops in their stacks .. though I have seen the odd 4 start conscript regiment hanging around) .. Not sure how Sigel was given this skill though as I can't find anything to suggest he was historically involved in training troops, recruitment would have been a better ability for him based on my research)

Once I am happy with my changes i may put those mods out for others to use (I am interested to see how far grimjaw gets with his 7 day turn changes!!)

Hope the info on forcepool helps though
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