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tripax
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What is happening with Confederate Athena here?

Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:08 pm

I'm always curious if Athena knows something I don't and I feel like it might be useful to note a couple oddities of my latest game (just won as Union, Confederates sent large force to take Norfolk so I blitzed Richmond/Suffolk and held off Lee in Suffolk while besieging Richmond for 3 months until they gave up the city and the war). Anyway, checking Athena after the last turn, I have two notes. First, why might Athena be building a telegraph in Salem, IL. I have Kentucky and most of Tennessee with Grant next to Memphis.
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Second, if you notice, War Supply is Athena's bottleneck. This is because Athena has a huge Navy. But all of Athena's fleets are too small, so I almost never lose a naval battle in spite of having a smaller Navy. Also, Athena's fleets usually mix gunboats and frigate squadrons, so are neither river nor ocean fleets, but only coastal. Is this to guard for naval landings (I tried none)? Why doesn't Athena recruit more? I'm not sure, but I do notice that Athena doesn't have many units she can recruit. Looking at her options, its actually a bit thin. I've never come so close to running out of troops in the SE region (as shown). She has no FW units, and very few MA and SW units. She has more WT units, but that is because I have every region in Missouri. My combat power is 139 and hers is 71 according to objectives, so it seems like her total force can't be so large. My fatality was 327,410 and Athena's was 489,460, BTW. Any ideas?
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As always, these issues are presented with the intention of helping.
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Keeler
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Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:10 pm

tripax wrote:This is because Athena has a huge Navy. But all of Athena's fleets are too small, so I almost never lose a naval battle in spite of having a smaller Navy. Also, Athena's fleets usually mix gunboats and frigate squadrons, so are neither river nor ocean fleets, but only coastal. Is this to guard for naval landings (I tried none)? Why doesn't Athena recruit more? I'm not sure, but I do notice that Athena doesn't have many units she can recruit. Looking at her options, its actually a bit thin.


What difficulty settings are you playing on? Playing with all settings on the hardest possible, I've noticed this behavior and had similar suspicions about Athena running through her land pool. My observation has been a little different from yours in that my brown water blockades usually run into or get hit by a high powered stack by mid 1863. And I should add that there are large, powerful AI stacks confronting my own forces. But it seems they could be stronger.

It may be the AI is WAD, but something does seem a bit off.
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tripax
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Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:43 am

All AI settings are on hard. I even set it so that I had historical attrition but not AI (I think I did that). AI did much better than usual, I was creamed in the west and lost all of Kentucky at the beginning of 1863. Basically, all my major advances occurred when I interdicted her supply lines and forced her to retreat, or worse, try to cut her way back to safety. When I lost Kentucky, I ignored Athena, secured Paducah/Fort Henry and a supply line to Bowling Green, and Athena retreated (badly). Athena also lost a large body of troops in West Virginia when I recaptured Winchester/Harpers Ferry/New Market in 1862, and a third time at the end in Norfolk which I described.

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Gray Fox
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Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:48 pm

A telegraph can boost a civilized region with a 75 rating to Rich. This may increase its production. So Salem may just have been the best region to boost to Rich level. If you place the cursor on a city and Ctrl+left click, you get a list of icons at the bottom of the screen for the industry in that city. I know Salem has a depot.

In my own game against Col. Athena with the hardest difficulty settings, I noticed the same operational moves you've noted. I know that she had about 30k power in land units and was building a large fleet in my game. Maybe she has an algorythm to maintain X amount of resources for possible use as combat replacements and to continue to build only when the resource pool exceeds that amount.
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tripax
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Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:36 pm

Gray Fox wrote:A telegraph can boost a civilized region with a 75 rating to Rich. This may increase its production. So Salem may just have been the best region to boost to Rich level. If you place the cursor on a city and Ctrl+left click, you get a list of icons at the bottom of the screen for the industry in that city. I know Salem has a depot.


Salem does not have any industry (and thus does not have the industry icon). Development does not effect production. It effects forage chance and movement speed. Since Salem is a forward location for Athena's raiders, perhaps she is interested in this - although it seems a risky way to spend money. I guess since she has plenty of money, it might make sense.

Gray Fox wrote:In my own game against Col. Athena with the hardest difficulty settings, I noticed the same operational moves you've noted. I know that she had about 30k power in land units and was building a large fleet in my game. Maybe she has an algorythm to maintain X amount of resources for possible use as combat replacements and to continue to build only when the resource pool exceeds that amount.


I'm not sure what you mean.

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Gray Fox
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Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:40 pm

Well the telegraph also grants +5 VP's, so that must be it. Salem was randomly chosen for this reason.

Perhaps Athena may be programmed so that when she has X amount of units, then she keeps Y amount of resources available for possible use as replacement chips, if needed. After that pool is met, any excess resources are then applied to something else. This would keep her from spending everything and having 2X number of units but with no replacements possible.
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tripax
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Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:05 pm

Gray Fox wrote:Well the telegraph also grants +5 VP's, so that must be it. Salem was randomly chosen for this reason.


Ahh, maybe. I don't really pay attention to VPs, micromanaging doesn't matter, I think. I've never lost on VPs, though, so...

Gray Fox wrote:Perhaps Athena may be programmed so that when she has X amount of units, then she keeps Y amount of resources available for possible use as replacement chips, if needed. After that pool is met, any excess resources are then applied to something else. This would keep her from spending everything and having 2X number of units but with no replacements possible.


I'm still not sure what you mean. Sure, she can keep resources in the bank. That doesn't really bother me. For her resources, my problems are (1) that she seems to be over-building her Navy (as Confederate, no less) which is why WS is her bottleneck even late game. (2) She doesn't have very many units she can recruit. It is as if lost units aren't being returned to her pool. This could be causing the overbuilding of navy late in the game.

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Jim-NC
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Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:50 pm

Do you know if she invested in heavy industry? Also, how's her replacements? If she has few or no replacements, that could cause her units to be weakened considerably, which would give the low power number.

The telegraph is on an area she has captured, and she could play it (she doesn't always strategize on the best places to play cards) therefore she did. If you notice, she will play unionist cards in Indiana for example, which is completely behind the union lines, and thus not rational to us humans.
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Gray Fox
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Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:51 pm

In my '63 game she was also building a navy and attacking the blockade. When I took Richmond, I got four ironcllad hulls. In Feb. 63, she had 1100 WS.
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planefinder
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Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:58 pm

This anecdote is really indicative of what I think Confederate (I can't speak to Union) Athena's greatest weakness is - she plays for the VP win vs. the NM win. All her raiding, her ill-advised attacks, her fragmented stacks, etc., seem to clearly indicate a myopic focus on VP, which in turn means a myopic focus on territory. It's not unlike the problem that Lincoln continually had with his eastern generals until Grant - always focused on gaining ground, taking Richmond, not on bringing Lee to battle. As far as I can tell, on every level up to LT (I haven't tried Colonel yet), she focuses on the land and cities, not my armies. Which is great and Athena is terribly efficient at always having a VP advantage over me.....until I knock her out with an NM victory in 1862-3. This also explains the stack fragmentation and that fact that she does a poor job concentrating her forces, allowing me to me to sweep up a division here, a division there, each for a few NM, while limiting major set-piece battles outside of sieges/city attacks to just a few per game. What's more, if you look, you'll probably see that she hardly ever attacks your army directly unless it's defending a strategically important point. The only other thing she really seems to understand is the impact of the blockade, given her focus also on Union forts.

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tripax
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Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:18 pm

Jim-NC wrote:Do you know if she invested in heavy industry? Also, how's her replacements? If she has few or no replacements, that could cause her units to be weakened considerably, which would give the low power number.

She did invest well in industry and has lots of replacements (as usual with her). I think her industry investment might be hard coded, as she doesn't mind investing even when I am near taking a city she is investing in.

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tripax
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Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:22 pm

planefinder wrote:This anecdote is really indicative of what I think Confederate (I can't speak to Union) Athena's greatest weakness is - she plays for the VP win vs. the NM win. All her raiding, her ill-advised attacks, her fragmented stacks, etc., seem to clearly indicate a myopic focus on VP, which in turn means a myopic focus on territory.


I'm not sure about this. She doesn't garrison VP cities more than others (she doesn't garrison much at all). Nor does she focus attacks on high VP cities in particular, I think.

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