Newman5
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Newman5 vs Durk - Learning Game AAR

Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:44 am

Hey gang

I'm just learning the game and I'm very grateful that Durk and Longshanks are willing to accommodate me with sharing my experience.

So, I'm playing Durk and Longshanks is the host. Longshanks is helping me with advice. Durk is cool with this. And, my goal is to learn to play the game. Altaris beat me so bad in the first round, I still have nightmares. :)

So, here is the first of several screencasts that highlight my experience, as a newbie to the game and this type of gaming.

http://screencast.com/t/MrEA2nRveEh

charlesonmission
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Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:32 am

Newman, glad to see you on here! Can you explain a little bit about the link becuse this is a new way of learning for us!

Charles

Newman5 wrote:Hey gang

I'm just learning the game and I'm very grateful that Durk and Longshanks are willing to accommodate me with sharing my experience.

So, I'm playing Durk and Longshanks is the host. Longshanks is helping me with advice. Durk is cool with this. And, my goal is to learn to play the game. Altaris beat me so bad in the first round, I still have nightmares. :)

So, here is the first of several screencasts that highlight my experience, as a newbie to the game and this type of gaming.

http://screencast.com/t/MrEA2nRveEh

Newman5
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Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:21 am

Yep. Be glad to Charles.

I love using the screencasting tool called Jing from TechSmith. When I worked as a tech support guy, I used it to respond to questions that would be very difficult to communicate with just text alone.

My plan is to create a short (less than 5 min) post that explains my turn. Perhaps a few points of learning or decision points about strategy. This would be good for me to express my learning - and thus strengthen it. And, it might be good for other new players to see - literally see - the game being played from a beginners perspective.

Also, I have found Zerotasker's 'Let's Play' videos for the game and I'm going to watch them as well - http://youtu.be/V33eKwj1F18

Good times! Hope is well and let me know what you think. cheers, Newman

Altaris
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Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:58 pm

Don't feel bad about losing your first PBEM game... that happens to everyone in this game. I lost my first one terribly too, and I thought I was prepared going into it. I also lost badly in my second and third attempt, though by the third I was doing much better. This is a fairly complex game, and certain aspects are tough to learn (or even understand) without seeing the bad side effects that happen when they aren't done right.

IMO, the very first thing to do is read this Wiki page AACW Wiki Overview
It is jam pack full of some very good info that is core to understanding and doing well in this game.

Secondly, read through old posts here on the boards, there's a lot of good stuff out there, especially considering this game is 5 years old now.

Lastly, ask questions on the boards, the folks over here are very helpful and can give good insight. Put as much info up in this AAR as you can, I'm sure you'll get some good feedback.

Keep in mind there are 2 really important dates. The first is October 61, when divisions come available. You need to be ready to start building them as soon as that date comes around. The second is March 62, when Corps become available... again, you want to get these going ASAP. Both greatly increase your forces' power, both on attack and defense. This area of the game is tough to fully grasp without going through it a few times, if you have time available, you should try playing the AI up through those dates to figure out the mechanics.

Watch your units health and cohesion closely. When possible, you want these high, preferrably 100%. Attacking with units that have low health and/or low cohesion is asking for disaster, even if you have good odds. When cohesion gets too low, you start risking routs, which are really, really bad and can drag the rest of the force down with it. At 100% cohesion, even losing a battle badly usually doesn't result in a complete loss of cohesion, but at lower levels of cohesion, you are playing with fire.

As a rule of thumb, aim for odds of 3:1 or better for attack. Otherwise, you aren't likely to win.

Also, I've come to believe that defenders should *ALWAYS* be on Hold At All Cost. Otherwise they tend to just run away if the attacker brings even a marginally substantial number of troops. Hold At All Costs means the defenders will hang around for at least a little while, and usually they still retreat before getting completely demolished. Any way going it's easier to inflict heavy casualties on your opponent when you are the defender as opposed to having to counter-attack.

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Longshanks
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Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:03 pm

The extent of my advice is more like a listing of options that players have to choose from, explanation of rules, etc., rather than suggestions on what to do!

Great idea for an AAR, and should be most helpful to new players!

Newman5
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Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:17 pm

Thanks for this Altaris. The game is very complex. But with comments yours and community like we have here, us beginners can learn it. I feel that I'm now ready to read more and understand it. IMHO, it's better to have some experiences (And, losing isn't so bad if you thinking of it in a positive light) and THEN read. Reading doesn't make any sense without experience. Experiences establishes the context (container or boundaries) for all this new knowledge.

Thanks for your help and I hope folks come back to this thread for more insights for the new guys.

Altaris
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Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:51 pm

That's a good approach Newman. This game can be *VERY* frustrating when you're in the learning curve... a few times I almost quit I'd get so mad, and once very nearly threw my laptop through a window! But you're right, the losing experiences are the ones you learn from.

Good luck, we'll help all we can as you write your AAR!

Newman5
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late May 61

Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:35 pm

Hey Gang

Well, I got a late start and CSA is besieging Harper's Ferry and took Manassas.

In this turn, I moved some units to Harper's Ferry - but I'm not sure how to break a seige.
-Move some Generals West (following ZeroTaskers videos)
-moved some USMC to Baltimore and a recruiting General to NY (I suppose to grab European immigrants from boats - ala Gangs of New York)

Here's what I want to learn from this turn:
-how to stop a siege
-how to build shipping and supply


Here's the show:
http://screencast.com/t/vRPgUbceE


I won't be posting each turn - just to share and give you an insight into how a real noob learns the game.

cheers,
n

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Banks6060
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Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:56 pm

This is good stuff man!!
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Have you ever stopped to think and forgot to start??

Altaris
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Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:43 am

To stop a siege, you have to force the enemy besieging the structure to retreat. That can be tough to do, especially if they are entrenched in good defensive terrain like Harper's Ferry. If you only have 1 or 2 militia units besieged, it really might not be worth the risk to try and break the siege. It is possible to sortie out with the units in the structure by putting them in offensive stance and clicking on one of the buttons on the unit panel (if you hover over it, it says something about sortie). But beware, if the unit sorties and loses, it usually surrenders out right. Honestly, if it's only a unit or two and not a critical location (Harper's is not critical), I usually just let the force hold out as long as it can and then surrender.

For supply, if you click on the Economics tab, you'll see two icons in the bottom right, one that looks like a railroad, the other looks like a steamboat. If you click on these they will go up in increments of 10 or 5, these allow you to buy more for your rail and river points. These points are used to move units in rail or river modes, and are also used in pushing supply out through the map. In general, you don't really need to worry about building supply. Just stick close to rivers and rails that are connected to a city or depot. If you have units operating more than 1 region away from a rail or river, though, you'll need to figure out how to get supply to them. The best way is to build a depot, but it's expensive. They can be built if you have a full supply wagon in a region, or river transports in a harbor. Depots are nice because they basically let you extend your supply network, but they are very expensive for the CSA to build, and usually not needed by the USA.

The key thing on supply is staying close to (and protecting) your rail and major river connections, these are your supply lifelines. Out west in particular, you really have to hold onto the Mississippi and those key rail lines. If you noticed in our game, I was constantly pushing forward along the rails and rivers, as I knew cutting your links to these would make your forward armies gradually starve to death.

Supply is a bit tricky to learn, but absolute critical to understand. Destroying the enemy's supply lines is the quickest way to cause their collapse.

charlesonmission
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Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:11 am

With the recruiting general in New York. The general has to be in the city and the lead general in the city to get the conscript bonus. There are two ways to do this, one, put the general in the city commanding no forces, which is fine. Or, if you have forces in city, make sure the recruiting general is in charge. Now, if you hover over the NY region, look at the top. You'll see the specific conscript numbers in the second row for NY, it should have increased about 5 or so. Do a test, take the general out of the city and see if it drops 5 or so. Recruiting generals are great way to get conscripts for the Union, and for the CSA finally in 1864 when they get a recruiting general who I usually put in Richmond.

charlesonmission
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Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:14 am

Another interesting way to break a siege is to bring in a fleet with transport capacity assuming the besieged place has a harbour. Then you can transfer your men to the fleet and sail out of there. Of course, you are giving up the besieged town, but at least you saved your army. Generally, most players try to avoid sieges unless it's won you can win or really want to hold up the opposing player. I.e., putting forces inside a city can be risky and may be a good way to get them wiped out.

In the ACW, I believe the CSA lost ever single time it was besieged. Can someone think of a time when this wasn't the case?

charlesonmission
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Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:16 am

Oh, I just thought of one where the CSA won; Jackson at Harper’s Ferry in the Antietam campaign of 1862.

Newman5
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June 61

Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:29 am

http://screencast.com/t/S7oEsvvb

Stuff I learned:
  • how to fix a railroad - (I never thought I would learn this today)
  • cycling thru units with the E and R key, navy units with the T and Y keys
  • positioning units (supply and naval engineers) to move to the Keys - FORT ZACH!
  • Putting Gen. Nate on the attack in MO
  • Getting more savvy with reinforcements - choosing regions
  • may have made a mistake in the how to bust a siege


beginning to feel better about the game. Thanks to all of your support!

newman

Newman5
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late June 61

Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:18 am

http://screencast.com/t/S0rHsQgdbLj

Things I learned:
-Happy about Harper's Ferry - CSA backed away
-moved some troops to Fort Monroe (? - Tidewater VA)
-Gen Nate is attacking Jefferson City
-Spreading out armies from Fairfax
-Sending Generals around KY

And, I had the game crash. Where do I post my log files?

cheers,
n

charlesonmission
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Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:19 am

The AACW tech support forum is here
http://www.ageod-forum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=98

I don't think you should send generals to KY unless it is no longer neutral (per game rules). Your host could confirm for you.

Newman5 wrote:http://screencast.com/t/S0rHsQgdbLj

Things I learned:
-Happy about Harper's Ferry - CSA backed away
-moved some troops to Fort Monroe (? - Tidewater VA)
-Gen Nate is attacking Jefferson City
-Spreading out armies from Fairfax
-Sending Generals around KY

And, I had the game crash. Where do I post my log files?

cheers,
n

Newman5
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Early July 61

Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:53 pm

http://screencast.com/t/hYjp13D9Zb
- Quick screencast to show how I download the PBEM file and start the game. Anyone got a fancy way to do this? Seems like too many clicks to get the game started up and underway.

And-

Hoping to learn how to:

-bombard with ships

-disembark troops (distance unload order)

-not get routed in MO

-do a naval invasion of the CSA somewhere

charlesonmission
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Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:25 am

-bombard with ships - Click the bombard button in the naval fleet. If you go by a place that you can bombard, it will bombard the units. Now, I've never actually done this as there a bit of a problem with the naval aspect of the game right now (it takes to long to repair ships). Maybe someone else can elaborate on the advantages of ships bombarding.

-disembark troops (distance unload order) - You'll need to do four actions. 1 put your units into a fleet by dragging them over. So if you have a division in New York and a fleet in New York you drag the tab of the division to the tab of the fleet, then they will join. 2. Move the fleet to a final destination. 3 click the disemark button. 4 Click on the region where you want to disemark (you'll see the region flashing after about 10 seconds)

-not get routed in MO - If you are the Union, shouldn't you be going on the offensive there?

-do a naval invasion of the CSA somewhere[/QUOTE] - see the disemark section.


Newman5 wrote:http://screencast.com/t/hYjp13D9Zb
- Quick screencast to show how I download the PBEM file and start the game. Anyone got a fancy way to do this? Seems like too many clicks to get the game started up and underway.

And-

Hoping to learn how to:

-bombard with ships

-disembark troops (distance unload order)

-not get routed in MO

-do a naval invasion of the CSA somewhere

Newman5
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E Sept 61

Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:02 am

Hey Gang

Got three hotspots going
1-Alexandria and DC - Got spanked but held on in Alexandria, which is besieged. Falling back across the potomac. One unit seems to not be recovering well - so I'm pulling him back even farther. Millroy (I think), I'm taking him out of Harper's ferry and moving to DC. Basically conceeding Alexandria and Harper's ferry to protect DC.

2 - Ft. Monroe - Macruder is coming that way and don't really know how to stop 'em. Don't want to get besieged. Send some units out to meet him.

3 - MO and Jeff City - Consolidating units and then decide to attack Jeff City or move south to ... springfield?. Moving a bunch of units there. I wonder if I'll need them when KY opens up.

screencast might help for context - it's late yall
http://screencast.com/t/csf32I7ENU

Altaris
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:11 pm

Don't go for Springfield without taking Jeff City first... that's just asking to get cut off from your supply lines. Springfield's tougher terrain too, Jeff City is the easier target. Only reason Springfield might be tempting is if you know for a fact it's very lightly defended... but I doubt it, most CSA players aren't going to underman it to the point it can taken by a sneak attack.

Personally, I wouldn't take away too much at the expense of TN/KY. When KY opens up, you have to strike Bowling Green pretty quickly if you want to take it before the CSA can (and it's much tougher if it gets garrisoned up).

Newman5
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L Sept 61

Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:18 pm

Quick update:

Leaving Alexandria, but my garrison force is locked? How to do? And, what is G/G evade?

Leaving Ft. Monroe, doesn't seem worth defending when I can use the troops to naval invade anyway on the coast.

I got torn a new one in MO - I had the superior numbers and power, but I suspect I had conflicting orders or something - Anyway, two generals (Price and ???) are about to consolidate. Durk. DURK!!! :)

Anyway, understanding why you all love this game so much. Thanks for the support and advice.

cheers,
n

charlesonmission
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:01 pm

Hi Newman,

Some forces remain locked unless attacked (like the Alexandria mililtary force, mitilia, arsensal and fort defenders, etc. This is too promote game history (i.e. militia don't fight all over, they stay in certain locations, fort artillery is usually stationary, etc.).

Ft Monro is a strategic city I believe. If you click on the 3rd icon above the small map in the bottom left, it will flash strategic cities (confirm this with the tooltop). Remember the game is scored on VP if no player wins a NM victory. VP are achieved through capturing destroying enemey elements, objective cities, and strategic cities (like Ft. Monroe). So, you really want to hold your strategic cities and then build on that as the Union. G/G is green green, it's the stance you put a force on to be passive and really try to avoid combat. The evade button adds to that so that they don't even get into a battle at all.

By the way, Ft Monroe, if you lose it will really punish your ships that pass through there.

Charles

Newman5 wrote:Quick update:

Leaving Alexandria, but my garrison force is locked? How to do? And, what is G/G evade?

Leaving Ft. Monroe, doesn't seem worth defending when I can use the troops to naval invade anyway on the coast.

I got torn a new one in MO - I had the superior numbers and power, but I suspect I had conflicting orders or something - Anyway, two generals (Price and ???) are about to consolidate. Durk. DURK!!! :)

Anyway, understanding why you all love this game so much. Thanks for the support and advice.

cheers,
n

Newman5
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early Oct 61

Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:03 pm

Here is the screencast from this turn - http://youtu.be/vv4ETWy9cfg

I switched to Youtube cause I ran out of space in the screencast.com. Going to play the L oct 61 turn. not looking good for me. Kinda bummed about MO - Did Durk really besiege St. Louis? dang- tune in next time to find out.

charlesonmission
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Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:39 am

Cool video!

Altaris
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Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:18 pm

Alexandria is *NOT* overly weak, Joe Johnston's force is (at 24 CP IIRC), but if notice under "Also Here:", Longstreet has a force of 425 or so CP in that region too. You have to account for all stacks, not just the one on top, to determine the strength of the enemy in a region.

Newman5
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E Nov 61

Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:52 am

Quick post: Here is my reply to the Game Host

Okay. I'm burning some midnight oil and tried to follow your instructions. It was hard to leave W. KY alone and blow the depot in Harper's Ferry. - but what do I know.


I'm trying to get troops to Baltimore. I'm putting a force by water near Manassas to try to sneak in to get the depot - sneaking out will be a problem.


Got a force to try for NOLA - only half of my intention - using the other half for Baltimore... don't know how that happened - fortunate, I guess. Or you intervened?


MO - I really want to crush those guys but they keep turning me back to Rolla. Hoping to stop the two CSA units from meeting up in St. Louis. Throwing everything at St. Louis.


This is definitely what I had in mind - exceeding my expectations for the game and the tournament - so glad I didn't give up. Sort of looking forward to playing the AI and then participating in other tournaments (of course, I'm sure they aren't so friendly as my game with Altrasis and Durk - but maybe not. Good folks here for sure.)


Thanks!


I'll post the video tomorrow - I think it helps to see it on the screen.

charlesonmission
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Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:03 pm

Going after NO, that will get his attention. Huge population centre down there. Big NM hit for the CSA, of course, only if you can take it......

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rattler01
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Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:43 pm

Are we aloud to post general advise or just try and answer your questions? Don't want to break any gentleman rules.
"To fallen comrades. And Winged Warriors; past, present, and future. One team, one fight. Winged Warriors."

Newman5
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Late Jan '62

Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:58 am

Please give comments, suggestions, whatever - I'm a beginner. this is my second game ever.

L Jan 62 USA
Union Attacks at Washington Fail to Destroy Weakened Rebels Who Escape! 0 NM
Burnside Attempts to Retake Annapolis, but Is Repulsed! +1 CSA NM
Rumors Abound that Stonewall Jackson is Dead!
Rumors of Great Hardship and Starvation of Rebel Troops in Missouri!
European Chances for Intervention Rise to Great Heights!

Video of the notes : http://youtu.be/sLG4q27Zh54
Okay - Here we go


MO - don't know why Lyon stalled out and couldn't pursue Price. He just stalled and cohesion / power went to the crapper. Falling back in G/G to St. Louis. Keeping sharpshooters out. Everyone else in town. The guys in Rolla don't seem to be recovering either.


KY - For some reason, my Gen (??) isn't moving to Cairo. Stuck there 8 days away.


NOLA - I need to get them more troops - Massing a force and transport in Philly, but it's gonna take ... three turns to get them there. And, I worry about the Guns of St. Phillip and ... the other fort on the Miss Mouth. There are forts everywhere around there. But, I suppose I landed there the first time, so


DC - Ugh - I can't get anyone out - tried to move '62 generals out and they got out.
Attack from Baltimore with Burnside and was replused. Lost a few ships to the naval guns - sucks. I'm besiging Harpers Ferry and (hopefully a good idea) split the force and attacking down the rail line into the CSA.


Somehow I moved my three star general behind enemy lines to Stafford VA. I have a transport down there and I hope to retrieve him.


Navy and Blockade - I have no idea how this works. I've got a bunch of ships taking wear and tear inthe St. Lawrence - no idea why - I'm trying to move them to ports to resupply, but I don't really know if this is how it's done.

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rattler01
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Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:28 am

MO- My guess to Lyon not moving is the loss of organization. INF really doesn't move once mud or snow falls. Low org units move extremely slow. It would be faster to let them sit a turn and recover and then move them then it would be just to order a move. I wouldn't leave those SS out there unless they have a wagon. They will take damage quickly from exposure. Price propably ran to Madison AR for the winter. In Rolla do you mean org, strength, or supply when saying "recovering".

KY- Shield's is most likely the same thing. When you get move orders a number appears that states the "expected" number of days. What does it say?

All boats need to be in harbors before winter(you need to guess). With the current repair bug, its just to risky. During Winter any force not in a city needs a supply wagon.

NOLA- You should be fine landing the way you describe. I would land and storm fort Pike to open a supply line for NO. Also send some escorts for your transports with those Ironclads there.

To use block set the ships there and go into defensive stance so you don't lose org. Rotate Transport ships into stack unit its detail reads 0 supply then send to a port to resupply and send back to stack. A transport is like a wagon giving units suppy and ammo, however it must go back to port rather than get automatic supply pushed to it.
"To fallen comrades. And Winged Warriors; past, present, and future. One team, one fight. Winged Warriors."

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