smarmet
Conscript
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:59 pm

Athena throwing away her armies on deep raids

Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:43 pm

In anticipation of the upcoming sequel, (actually I just felt like it, didn't know AACW2 was coming until I came back to these forums...) I have bought myself a new copy of this wonderful game and created a new forum account. Somehow after all these years I lost my cd-key/login etc. Time for a fresh start.

My problem is this: Every time I start up a GC1861 game against Athena she blows it before December throwing her army waaaay behind my lines. In my first game as the Union, as soon as divisions enabled the Army of the Shenandoah made an immediate beeline for Trenton, NJ of all places, and when Milroy took my best troops in a well commanded stack to trounce him, Johnston "retreated" to upstate NY! The next game went much the same way, but with Harrisburg as the target instead of Trenton. In my latest game as the CSA, the Army of NEVA went straight to Winchester the turn it unlocked, but was too exhausted to assault the single militia garrisoning the city. Suspecting the army would stay put to take the city, I had Johnston circle north to take Harpers while a substantial part of the ANV went to rendezvous with him, and in the process eliminate the last region of union MC supplying McDowell. The plan worked after a fashion; McDowell's supply was completely cut, and he had no way home except through my troops. Particularly since he had taken the turn to drive SW to the county north of Charlottesville.

I don't remember this happening in earlier patches, but it has just ended three straight games for me. Does anyone else have this problem? Is there AI behavior I can tweak to solve this? Ending the game before corps unlocks felt impressive the first time I did it, now it just feels like a bug.

Second, while I'm dealing with this, what is the best method for finally pinning these troops down and ending them? Now that armies can retreat into 0% MC it seems like it's impossible to destroy an enemy army, even when it has no friendly territory for 7 regions and is completely out of supply. The army just retreats to some region with a harbor, draws up to full supply by magic and gains back a little cohesion and reinforcements to be crushed again. I suppose I could enable historical attrition for the AI, but given the poor performance I'm seeing from it I don't know that that will help.

Final, unrelated problem: What do you do about promoting leaders who are not in command of a stack? Do they have to remain outside the stack for the whole turn? If you don't want a subordinate leader promoted when you promote his stack leader, does he have to go too? Hopefully this system is improved for AACW2.

Boomer
Lieutenant Colonel
Posts: 279
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:43 am

Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:17 pm

Yeah, Athena is pretty whacky in the early months. There must be some sort of early war AI code that tells the CSA AI to shoot everything it has at the upper east coast. My strategy for that is to garrison as much as a I can along the Harper Ferry line, then when Johnston or Jackson breaks loose for a run north, I usually have a decent division sized unit under say Wallace or Banks go after them. The AI usually runs out of supply and steam and gets cornered up north and then it's just a matter of time. Although, I did have a giant Union detachment once chasing Johnston all over New England and all he ended up having was his general unit and a couple of supply wagons.

If Athena does capture any big northern cities, it's not really a big deal. They never exploit their early success, and you can retake those cities after a few turns. I've rarely every encountered a CSA AI that was able to coordinate a massive invasion of the north and take advantage of it.

As far as promoting generals, yeah you have to detach them, click the promote button, then wait a turn. Hovering over the promote button will also show you if there will be any NM cost due to overlooking other generals... like say Gen. Butler, who no one ever wants to promote (nor should they).

smarmet
Conscript
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:59 pm

Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:31 am

So in order to promote your divisional leaders, that division can't be part of a corps? Do you just remake that division with a different (probably 1-star) general when the opportunity comes? What is the accepted practice for dealing with this? Along with the ability to delay movement improving this has just leapt to the top of my AACW2 wishlist.

Incidentally, just ran another game where I took Richmond while Athena was up playing by Allegheny. I may need to scrape together the time to upgrade to human opponents...

planefinder
Lieutenant
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:34 pm

Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:12 am

smarmet wrote:So in order to promote your divisional leaders, that division can't be part of a corps? Do you just remake that division with a different (probably 1-star) general when the opportunity comes? What is the accepted practice for dealing with this? Along with the ability to delay movement improving this has just leapt to the top of my AACW2 wishlist.

Incidentally, just ran another game where I took Richmond while Athena was up playing by Allegheny. I may need to scrape together the time to upgrade to human opponents...


The easiest way to promote a divisional commander is to simply drag his division out of the corps. Whether to rebuild depends entirely on your preferences - you can maintain divisions with two-star and three-star generals if you really so desire. In fact, historically, Union divisions and Confederate divisions tended to be commanded by two-star generals with brigadiers (one-star) commanding individual brigades within the division. Typically the choice to retain the two-star as a divisional commander comes down to three factors - 1) the availability of two-star and three- star generals for Corps/independent commands; 2) the quality of the existing general's ratings vs. other available Corps commanders and 3)the need to "season" one-star generals by exposing the maximum amount to combat so as to generate two-star generals. These factors for both sides are directly related to time, although oddly enough, they don't necessarily manifest in the same way for both sides. For the Union, you want to expose the maximum number of one-stars possible to combat and earn them promotions to lead corps, or later, independent commands. You also need to do this to "blood" them and improve their ratings since by and large, they are all 3-1-1s or 4-1-1s. For the Confederacy, the ratings quality is much higher, and the overall unit production ability will increase and first and then decline over time, so you'll likely parrot the Union in the early months of the war but then at around mid-'62 or so, you'll probably level off and then just match commanders to missions.

With regard to Athena doing crazy things, yes, I see that a lot, too. Almost invariably, every game, Johnston steals a march in the gap between Harper's Ferry and the auto-created West Virginia command, and then heads up to Pittsburgh or through western PA to NY before running out of supplies in the winter. The key thing that I see driving that behavior is the Union either failing to move on Manassas early on, or the Union winning a victory/stalemate there. It's almost like Athena is trying to do something, anything, to scratch out some good news for Morale. Terrible waste of already-limited MP though.

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