Von Jeager
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General Observations... pun intended.

Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:33 pm

Howdy.

I hope I am not stepping on any toes around here as I am not sure where to post this sort of thread. I just want to throw in my observations about the generals in AACW (1.4)

First off, there is not enough of them. IMO, every fort, war producing facility and unit on the map should have a 'general' in charge. As President, I should have a dearth of Generals to choose from. No president/King/dictator in history has EVER complained about not having enough generals...GOOD generals, they are always clammering for!

Secondly is their stats.

Is there a biography page around here somewhere where I can plead my cases?

3-1-1 seems to be a recurring theme for both sides.

Is this due to a lack of time to research or is this WAD?

For me, in order to determine how good a commander is, you have to use role reversal to determine a baseline for your statistical methodology.

In other words, lets take Gens LEE and GRANT... they both start out IIRC as 6-5-5's. But ponder the results if we switched General Lee and General Grant... if the APOT with Lee were facing Grant at the wilderness... how long do you think Grant would have lasted till Appomatox day?

How about Sherman against Bragg commanding 60,000 well armed men and the mission of capturing Atlanta? (I would bet that Sherman would still have front row seats at Braves Stadium).

I know this is all more theoretical than statistical, but I think it gives you a better perspective when trying to build a game system.

I dont think it is fair to rate a general based on what he accomplished, as much as how much he accomplished... with how little and in how long.

My point being, is that you cannot base leadership skill statistics based on what actually happened, because your results skew in favor of the winning side based on historical results and not on actual leadership skills and abilities.
Thus further skewing your computer model towards the historical victor.

Now that we have a vague parameter, lets determine the upper and lower extremities of leadership.

IMHO the best general on the map ever in the war was NB Forrest. So lets start his stats at 7-7-7. From there, we know, every single other general in the game will have stats lower than these (initially, anyways).

Conversely, since the system does not allow negative numbers, we can say that General Ledlie USA, would be a 0-0-0. This is the lowest limit... all other Gens will have a higher rating than this. Now you have a top and bottom scale, and the personality traits offered by AACW cover all the lateral movement of personality quirks.

We now have created a scale upon which all the other generals of the war can be positioned.

I think most of the CSA commanders are under rated because the south displayed a remarkable depth of leadership till the last days of the war, especially when considering the long odds and the logistics problems they faced.

IMHO, it was southern battlefield leadership that prevented the war from ending at least a year (or 2?) sooner than it actually did. In fact, this plethora of leadership was the only well that the south had to draw upon.

From a statistical perspective, of RRs and Factories and Population and Navies and Banks,... leadership was not only the souths best asset... it was their only asset.

Great leadership was the only 'category' of the entire war where the south had a clear and glaringly distinct advantage.

That said, let me indulge myself and wax eloquent about the one HUGE miscarriage of justice that I see is which concerns Richard Taylor CSA. His little rag tag group of coonassed miscreants tormented the hell out of the US Army and Navy till the last days of the war in the far west. I think his skill should rate 6-5-6.
Look how much he accomplished with what he had.

I hope I didnt bore anyone to death!


VJ

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Korrigan
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Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:10 pm

Obviously you have not taken the time to read the discussions in the Officers room.

I move your post there and I suggest you give it a look.

Best regards,

Korrigan
"Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference." Mark Twain

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Von Jeager
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Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:31 pm

Aahhhh! Thank you very much for directing me to the proper locale... it was a wee bit difficult to find in this elaborate website. Gracias, Amigo. :cwboy:

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Jabberwock
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Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:14 am

bump
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McNaughton
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Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:48 pm

I think that many generals are significantly over-rated.

Primarily, the 'generic' general at 3-1-1. Reading up in the Butler discussion, Pocus said that a 3-0-0 general will be very viable, as they provide command point bonus', yet no attack or defence bonus/penalty. This makes them a placeholder, as in being used to form a division, or to provide extra CP to a stack based on personal need. I think this would be a good idea.

An average 'known' general would be rated at 3-1-1 (Franklin, Holmes, etc.) Not good, not bad, just capable in their job (better than a generic general).

However, there are some 'top' generals that are significantly over-rated (in my opinion.

I don't think Forrest should be rated as 7-7-7, and believe his current stats are good as is (his abilities make him suited to his role, you have to keep these into account, as he probably would not be a very good infantry division or corps commander). You don't want Forrest commanding your infantry corps.

Here are some generals that I believe are over-rated (to extreme or minimal extents)

Bragg
Grant
Hancock
Reynolds
Sherman
Meade
Sheridan

Their stats are more than above average. Above average, in my opinion, is comparable to J. Hooker. He was a very notable Division and Corps commander, his stats are reasonable, at 4-4-2 (almost always activated, a great attack rating, and an above average defence rating). When you get above 4 in stats, that is reaching into 'genious' territory. I think that when you look at some leaders, as was said earlier, you see one battle and list it as 'genious'.

Hancock was a good commander, but, was he a better general than Hooker was as Corps commander in all roles (5-4-5 vs 4-4-2)? Does he really deserve a 5 defense when he was defending in the most optimal of situations at Gettysburg (a clear range for his gunners to target the advancing CSA infantry, on a ridge, etc.)? Take Fitz John Porter, stated to be an excellent defender during the Peninsula campaign in many battles, his defensive rating is 3 (2 less than Hancock).

Reynolds, another 'good' commander is given solid 4-4-4 ratings. Yet again, he was a good general, but his ratings put him at spectacular (excellent in any role, no weaknesses).

Grant and Sherman are another conundrum. Their abilities were not in skill, but aggression. They were repeatedly out-fought by their opponents, yet unlike other Union Generals, were aggressive. They should have high strategy ratings, meaning they and their subordinates are always activated, but, when it comes to combat ability, do they really deserve to be on par with the greatest of the Confederacy? Grant is given 6-6-4 as an army commander. A 6 attack rating basically makes him the greatest attacker of the game. Was he really? A 4 for defence, greater than other historically noted 'great defenders' (Porter for example). What ability in defence did Grant show? At Shiloh not much, and cannot find too many other examples of defensive campaigns.

Combat skill, in my opinion, is over-rated by some 'popular generals' yet under rated for others (those who showed repeated excellence in a field as in Porter vs Hancock).

Strategic ratings, as what I can see, can go higher than attack and defence ratings (given that you need a 3 strategic rating to be activated on a reliable number of turns). However, the attack and defence ratings are ALL bonus' (i.e., a 0 isn't bad, it just provides no bonus).

Maybe rating what the levels mean might help better apply them to the game?

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McNaughton
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Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:49 pm

Here's a rip from Pocus' initial post on the subject of Stats.

Meaning of the command ratings, beware the meaning is slightly different between Strategic and Offensive/Defensive.

Strategic:
How the Commander is good at the operationnal and strategical level. How fast he is to react to unsuspected events, how fast he can take the right decision, jump to help his comrades by marching to the sound of guns, how able he is in general to command his men, for force marching, setting elaborated earthworks etc.

0 His men would be better without him
1 Poor, apathic commander
2 Below Average Commander
3 Average Strategist
4 Good Strategist
5 Superb Strategist
6+ Military Genius

Offensive/Defensive:
How the General is able to direct men in a battle, either by preparing them correctly, planning the right move at the tactical level, setting the right formations at the right place, giving the right combat order at the right moment, how he is also charismatic and give a fighting spirit, or prevent demoralization, etc.

0 Don't have enough skill to improve the performance of his men
1 Average Commander
2 Able Commander
3 Good Commander
4 Very Good Commander
5 Superb Commander
6+ Tactical Genius


The difference: Having a Strat Rating under 3 can leads to penalties in various parts of the game (failing to move at the right speed, giving penalties to subordinates). Whereas Off/def is always a bonus to the effectiveness in battle.

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McNaughton
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Sun Nov 04, 2007 4:18 pm

I would change the designations a bit...

Strategic:

0 His men would be better without him
1 Poor, apathic commander
2 Below Average Commander
3 Average Strategist
4 Good Strategist
5 Profieient Strategist
6 Superb Strategist
7+ Military Genious

Offensive/Defensive:

0 Average (nothing special, nothing bad)
1 Good (enough to get noticed, possibly promoted)
2 Solid/Reliable (more often than not, they succeed in this role)
3 Proficient (enough to be mentioned highly)
4 Superb (noticed as an attacker, or defender in history books, i.e., Hooker/J.Johnston)
5 Near Genious (rarely ever defeated, Lee)
6+ Genious (never defeated, unblemished record)

As you can see, I reduced the determination of skill for offensive/defensive. Take level 4, originally it was rated as Very Good Commander, I placed it as Superb (whereas in Stragegy a superb commander has level 6).

I did this primarily because 'good' starts in Strategy at level 4, while 'good' starts in attack/defence at level 1. A good general, rated as generally capable is 4-1-1 (good in all stats). They are active most of the time, and give bonus' to attack and defence. To me, that means that they are good.

Someone like Hooker, who had shown a proficiency for Attacking, and aggression as a division/corps commander needs skill and strategy. Strategy high enough to have him activated (4 is sufficient, 5 may represent his aggression better), yet enough battlefield skill to turn the tide. Level 4 attack skill represents a superb attacker, as in he provides a significant bonus to his troops (when 0 is average, 4 is significant).

I think that peole are afraid when they see a 0 in an attack/defence stat, to the point where some generals (like Hooker) have inflated stats that have nothing to do with their particular ability. Should Hooker have a 2 for defence in any of his roles? A 2, when compared to a 0, is significant in regards to the improvement it does on a unit (even a 1 is significant). A 0 doesn't mean that the general is bad, but, that they have shown no 'above and beyond' even in the most minimal of form. Hooker defending at 2nd Bull Run was credible, but not really worth mentioning.

In my opinion, a charactor like J. Hooker (in division/corps representation, army is another issue, with reduced strategy) should be rated as...

5-4-0

This would be rated as a superb general, even with his stat of 0 for defence.

Grant, for example, may have the following.

7-3-0

He was always active, and made his subordinates active as well. He was a Proficient enough of an attacker (not great, but well above average), but, he is not noted for his defensive skill at all. When you compare Grant (7-3-0) to Hooker (5-4-0) there isn't quite a disparity between the two. Compared to the orignal Grant (6-6-4) and Hooker (4-2-2) there is no question on who would be the commander of your force.

Also, abilities will come into play in order to boost some generals over others. I think that a greater number of negative abilities would be required, to represent the poor generals in their specific roles (Forrest and Van Dorn would be good examples to gain the ability of 'Poor Infantryman' where they get a '-25% combat bonus for all infantry units in the stack'). This way you could get a general who goes below 0 for an attack/defence stat.

A basic general is 3-0-0
A poor general is 3(or less)-0-0 (plus a poor ability)
A superb general in all stats is 5-4-4
The God's of the game are greater than this (half a dozen in the entire game, imo)

I am working on these ideas for my mod already, but felt that maybe they could be of some help in the 'basic' AACW game.

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Jabberwock
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Sun Nov 04, 2007 8:20 pm

I was going to quote Pocus, but you've already gone and done it. I'll repeat it for emphasis.

How fast he is to react to unsuspected events, how fast he can take the right decision, jump to help his comrades by marching to the sound of guns, how able he is in general to command his men, for force marching, setting elaborated earthworks etc.


To me, these add up to initiative, operational knowledge, and communications skills. High-level strategy is defined by the player. So when we talk about the strategic rating - I at least am discussing it in terms of the operational strategy skillset given above, not actual strategic planning. Joe Johnston was a superb strategic planner. If I were rating him as a strategist, I'd give him a 6 or 7. A.S. Johnston, so-so. Beauregard, hah! He was wackier than I am. (But Beauregard was very good at all the skills I am discussing when I talk about strategic rating).
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McNaughton
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Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:07 pm

How fast he is to react to unsuspected events, how fast he can take the right decision, jump to help his comrades by marching to the sound of guns, how able he is in general to command his men, for force marching, setting elaborated earthworks etc.


Jabberwock wrote:To me, these add up to initiative, operational knowledge, and communications skills. High-level strategy is defined by the player. So when we talk about the strategic rating - I at least am discussing it in terms of the operational strategy skillset given above, not actual strategic planning. Joe Johnston was a superb strategic planner. If I were rating him as a strategist, I'd give him a 6 or 7. A.S. Johnston, so-so. Beauregard, hah! He was wackier than I am. (But Beauregard was very good at all the skills I am discussing when I talk about strategic rating).


Each rank uses the Strategic Rating for different means. A corps commander uses strategic ratings for what you mention above. They have good Strategic Ratings to follow through on your orders.

Army Commanders, however, are designed to influence their corps commanders. It isn't their rating, them taking direct control of the situation, necessarily, but their ability to influence the implementation of your High Level Strategy. A good Army Commander improves the Corps commanders so they can react and fight well, given the attributes discussed in order to implement your plan.

Corps commanders under a poor Army commander will not have the Strategic Ability to implement your planning. So, you could have excellent corps commanders, but a poor general leading them means that your High Level plan cannot be achieved.

While you as the player have the High Level Strategy in mind, you should only be able to accomplish these goals (easily) using the generals who themselves valued these attributes. To me, this is why Grant and Lee deserve top strategic levels, since their influence on their subordinate corps through their ability to see grand strategy (for the most part) was good.

I agree with your statement, but primarily when it comes to commanders of stacks (1 or 2 star generals). Yet, when it comes to army command, the reflection of their belief and ability of High Level Strategy starts to come into play (allowing the player to implement their strategy).

Jagger
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Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:57 pm

McNaughton wrote:Each rank uses the Strategic Rating for different means. A corps commander uses strategic ratings for what you mention above. They have good Strategic Ratings to follow through on your orders.

Army Commanders, however, are designed to influence their corps commanders. It isn't their rating, them taking direct control of the situation, necessarily, but their ability to influence the implementation of your High Level Strategy. A good Army Commander improves the Corps commanders so they can react and fight well, given the attributes discussed in order to implement your plan.

Corps commanders under a poor Army commander will not have the Strategic Ability to implement your planning. So, you could have excellent corps commanders, but a poor general leading them means that your High Level plan cannot be achieved.

While you as the player have the High Level Strategy in mind, you should only be able to accomplish these goals (easily) using the generals who themselves valued these attributes. To me, this is why Grant and Lee deserve top strategic levels, since their influence on their subordinate corps through their ability to see grand strategy (for the most part) was good.

I agree with your statement, but primarily when it comes to commanders of stacks (1 or 2 star generals). Yet, when it comes to army command, the reflection of their belief and ability of High Level Strategy starts to come into play (allowing the player to implement their strategy).


I agree with a lot of your ideas and ratings. When will the leadership mod be done? I would like to integrate into my mod... :siffle:

Jagger
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Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:59 pm

McNaughton wrote:Each rank uses the Strategic Rating for different means. A corps commander uses strategic ratings for what you mention above. They have good Strategic Ratings to follow through on your orders.

Army Commanders, however, are designed to influence their corps commanders. It isn't their rating, them taking direct control of the situation, necessarily, but their ability to influence the implementation of your High Level Strategy. A good Army Commander improves the Corps commanders so they can react and fight well, given the attributes discussed in order to implement your plan.

Corps commanders under a poor Army commander will not have the Strategic Ability to implement your planning. So, you could have excellent corps commanders, but a poor general leading them means that your High Level plan cannot be achieved.

While you as the player have the High Level Strategy in mind, you should only be able to accomplish these goals (easily) using the generals who themselves valued these attributes. To me, this is why Grant and Lee deserve top strategic levels, since their influence on their subordinate corps through their ability to see grand strategy (for the most part) was good.

I agree with your statement, but primarily when it comes to commanders of stacks (1 or 2 star generals). Yet, when it comes to army command, the reflection of their belief and ability of High Level Strategy starts to come into play (allowing the player to implement their strategy).


I agree with a lot of your ideas and ratings. When will the leadership mod be done? I would like to integrate into my mod... :siffle:

Although I usually play with slight randomization of leadership skills. I wonder if slight randomization would work on modified generals? I suspect it would.

Actually I would like to see latent and random abilities as well. Success or non-success could create or bring out leader abilities.

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Jabberwock
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Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:16 pm

McNaughton wrote:Each rank uses the Strategic Rating for different means. A corps commander uses strategic ratings for what you mention above. They have good Strategic Ratings to follow through on your orders.

Army Commanders, however, are designed to influence their corps commanders. It isn't their rating, them taking direct control of the situation, necessarily, but their ability to influence the implementation of your High Level Strategy. A good Army Commander improves the Corps commanders so they can react and fight well, given the attributes discussed in order to implement your plan.

Corps commanders under a poor Army commander will not have the Strategic Ability to implement your planning. So, you could have excellent corps commanders, but a poor general leading them means that your High Level plan cannot be achieved.


Army commanders have an influence on the abilities of corps commanders, and pass orders down the chain of command that reflect the player's high-level strategy. So far, we are in agreement.

McNaughton wrote:While you as the player have the High Level Strategy in mind, you should only be able to accomplish these goals (easily) using the generals who themselves valued these attributes. To me, this is why Grant and Lee deserve top strategic levels, since their influence on their subordinate corps through their ability to see grand strategy (for the most part) was good.

I agree with your statement, but primarily when it comes to commanders of stacks (1 or 2 star generals). Yet, when it comes to army command, the reflection of their belief and ability of High Level Strategy starts to come into play (allowing the player to implement their strategy).


Here is where we differ. You should only be able to accomplish your goals easily with army commanders who communicate well with subordinates and superiors, and react quickly and correctly to changing circumstances.

Beauregard had an ablity to see grand strategy that was truly visionary, megalomaniacal, and at times seemed like it came from the business end of an opium pipe, yet he was an effective army commander because he had the other skills. Johnston had the ability to see grand strategy very accurately, but he did not value the same attributes as Davis. This did not make him an ineffective army commander, because he had the other skills, except for some lack of initiative. Bragg had the ability to see grand strategy, his vision concurred with Davis' vision, yet he was a horrible army commander, because he totally lacked the ability to communicate with and get cooperation from subordinates. (You are absolutely right about his ratings, I'm not sure whether it is for the same reason I would apply).

Switching to the other side, McClellan had a good grasp of grand strategic planning. He lacked the ability to communicate with superiors and initiative. His failure to react correctly to circumstances was on the operational level. His ratings reflect these shortcomings. Halleck had strategy, he lacked initiative, his ratings reflect it.

IMO, the way the game is designed (and rightly so), a commander's grasp of high-level strategic principles should have very little to do with their strategic rating in the game, with the disclaimer that too much independent thought can lower initiative. It is all about their operational strategic ability, which comes down to some very specific skills, regardless of rank.
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McNaughton
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Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:02 am

I think I am starting to see it more from your point of view. Pretty much, a good army commander can be flexible, have the initiative, communication, organizational system, etc., to get his army to fight and move effectively and aggressively. Regardless of the big picture, if they have this ability to command effectively, the Grand Strategy doesn't really matter (as they should be able to perform given any strategy thrown at them).

I am also starting to see that the other aspect of army command, the Command Point aspect, relates to how well an army is put together. Someone like McClellan, who fought poorly with his army, was able to put together a large and effective force (thereby CP benefits via abilities). His low strategic rating will mean that his corps will not be active as much as they would be under a commander with better field control.

Here's something I would like clarified. Do attack and defense stats transfer down similar as to how Strategic levels transfer down from Army to Corps command?

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Jabberwock
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Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:49 am

They do. Mac should have a decent defensive rating in addition to his bonus CPs and training skills.
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McNaughton
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Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:05 am

Jabberwock wrote:They do. Mac should have a decent defensive rating in addition to his bonus CPs and training skills.


Regarding the attack and defense stats, I know that strategic works like this...

0 strategic = -2 transfered to corps
1 strategic = -1 transfered to corps
2 strategic = 0 transfered to corps
3 strategic = 1 transfered to corps
etc...

does Attack and Defense work like this, or is it a 1:1 transfer (i.e., an army commander with 1 attack transfers 1 attack to the corps, or can there be a negative like with strategic?).

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Jabberwock
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Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:07 am

McNaughton wrote:Regarding the attack and defense stats, I know that strategic works like this...

0 strategic = -2 transfered to corps
1 strategic = -1 transfered to corps
2 strategic = 0 transfered to corps
3 strategic = 1 transfered to corps
etc...

does Attack and Defense work like this, or is it a 1:1 transfer (i.e., an army commander with 1 attack transfers 1 attack to the corps, or can there be a negative like with strategic?).


It can be negative. I am pretty sure it is applied at a -2, like strategic, but not positive.
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McNaughton
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Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:03 pm

Jabberwock wrote:It can be negative. I am pretty sure it is applied at a -2, like strategic, but not positive.


If so, and a corps commander is at zero, is it at all possible to get a negative attack or defense?

McClellan 1-1-2
Noname 3-0-0

would Noname change to...

2-(-1)-0

?

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Jabberwock
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Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:41 pm

No. From what I've seen, 0 is the lower limit.
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Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:40 am

the adjustments to corps commanders are a bit random though.
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