It was actually realised at the time. I bought a book that Rick recommended called 'The Bloody Crucible of Courage' and some officers on both sides reckoned that close to Muskets might have had an edge. I mean if you think about it, it makes sense. Rifles take slightly longer to reload, and the muzzle velocity of muskets was higher because they were smoothbores. In relatively inexperienced hands, there could be little difference in effect between Rifles and Muskets, except perhaps at the beginning of the engagement, maybe in ambush, when there was no smoke to obscure what was being shot at.
It would be a gory thing to research, and clearly it would depend on battlefield recovery of victims, but it would be an interesting thing to study and try and validate.
Yes, it piqued my interest too. It took me 3 days of attempts to win Antietam as the Confederates, so I went and bought the Osprey book. Turned out I was not doing appreciably worse than the Confederates did the first time. They got slaughtered too.
Ive not played the union yet, im leaving that till my Confederates have been played through a campaign. I will say, you begin to note by 1863 how damn hard it is to keep units up to strength.
The supply is approximated. The more you add to the supply stockpile for that corp you have (you can have up to 4 or 5 stockpiles, one for each Corp IIRC). The more you put in, the more the supply wagon is stocked. I guess it automatically calculates how many units are in its footprint, how big the stockpile is, and what the firing rate is. I agree, its not well described.
Cavalry is best used like Air Cavalry. Gallop them to a defensible area, dismount them and put them in a nice defensive position, and they can do well. There are negatives. You cant have more than 700, which is dwarfed by Infantry Brigades. Many of the weapons they have are, frankly, crap, though the Enfield and the later Sharps do quite well. Its best to try and use them to grab defensible terrain or cover a brook or something, then they can get the hell out of dodge fast when they start taking serious losses. You dont want to take too many losses with them, they are bloody expensive to replace, particularly veterans.
Rule of thumb for me, elite brigades, replace to about 2000 (dont do 2500 you will go bankrupt). Second rate, replace to about 1500 with veterans, perhaps make a balance with greens if you wish (they will still will gain experience slowly doing that). And the cannon fodder (Shawshank Penal Brigades?) just fill them out with greens. Its worth using veterans for Artillery as much as you can, they only have about 300 men in a 12 gun battery, so they dont cost much.
I think medicine might be worth doing early on, so you can start to bank up recruits to expand. But in truth, in many early battles, your casualties are so bad, you will be lucky to break even anyway sometimes.
Sharpshooters can be formidable. But you need something like a whitworth gun, and they are not cheap. They might be worth giving a punt if you capture some. Dont bother to raise them with Sharps, the damn things only have a good rate of fire, and your boys will be exposed inside enemy rifle range. The main issue with Sharpshooters, they are taking up a slot you could fill out with a 2500 man brigade, which an itself detach skirmishers anyway. Its up to you, I find sharpshooters fun, but not worth losing the slot to something I could but a brigade or a gun battery into.
Nice touches are, if you win a battle decisively, you sometimes get reward units. I did well at one big battle and I got a cavalry Brigade with a famous general. If you do REALLY well you are able to recruit famous commanders like Stuart or Lee from the academy, assuming you have the funds. Lee kicks ass as a corp commander.
There are some excellent guides in the Steam community thread, not least on how to win Antietam actually. But happy to help with any questions. It certainly is a fun game.
Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 01 March 2018 - 1241 PM.