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Ultimate General - Civil War


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#21 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 0254 AM

Well ive had occasions when the timer was running down, I was a good couple of miles away from an objective, and I got the cavalry go run and take it. So they do have uses. OTOH, In many occasions you can just get a 2500 man brigade to run. They will be absolutely knacked by the time they get there, but the point is, they have more chance of holding onto it. Also, by being small in numbers, cavalry get chewed up so damn quick, its hard for them build up a skillbase.

 

Next time round as the Union, Ill probably go with more cavalry. But for the most part that is because it would probably be easier to keep troop levels higher, so slots are of less consequence.


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#22 Skywalkre

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 1311 PM

They are not cheap, though.  My saved game is back at the first camp and here are the starting prices/men used for each brigade:

 

Inf - $5550/1000

Art - $3154/100 (4 guns)

Cav - $10,585/250 (carbine)

Skir - $4420/150 (using a carbine, it's over $10k if using the available rifle)

 

Ouch.


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#23 Harold Jones

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 1513 PM

Kind of realistic, mounts and tack were expensive, then you had the cost of training the men to use and care for everything.  Despite the world being horse powered at the time, a surprisingly large number of recruits didn't actually know how to ride or care for a horse.  Keeping the cavalry supplied with horses was a never ending battle, more horses died due to disease, inadequate feeding and poor care than in battles.  


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#24 Skywalkre

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 1716 PM

One thing in favor of skirmishers/cavalry (the latter appear to, game mechanically, operate the same as the former when dismounted... no idea if historical or not) is that while they, at least in the early part of the war as simulated in the game, can't really do a lot of damage they seem to have a remarkable ability to shape the battlefield.

 

I've been repeatedly playing around with the second battle in the Union campaign where your forces start out outnumbered.  You have a few skirmisher units and one carbine cav unit and I've had amazing success using them to slow down major Confederate approaches.  In that battle there's a two-pronged push from the north from the Confederates.  The western push is along a road and I've been placing skirmishers right along it with the cav further back in the forest.  When regular inf push against the skirmishers they naturally displace and then I have the cav, dismounted, push in on the flank.  A combined force of 400 men has been easily able to slow down a force 3-5x their size along that approach.  Buys me time to move in my reinforcements.

 

I don't know the historical applicability of this approach but game-wise maybe I need to stop looking through the WoT-lense where everything is measured in damage.  In some of the battles I've messed around with simply slowing down an enemy column before it gets to the battle can be huge.


Edited by Skywalkre, 02 March 2018 - 1717 PM.

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#25 Harold Jones

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 1813 PM

http://www.gettysbur...ysburg-day-one/


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#26 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 0316 AM

Hehe, I actually played Gettysburg as the Confederates and won on the first day. Dear God, wasnt that a fight to clear Seminary hill.

 

 

One thing in favor of skirmishers/cavalry (the latter appear to, game mechanically, operate the same as the former when dismounted... no idea if historical or not) is that while they, at least in the early part of the war as simulated in the game, can't really do a lot of damage they seem to have a remarkable ability to shape the battlefield.

 

I've been repeatedly playing around with the second battle in the Union campaign where your forces start out outnumbered.  You have a few skirmisher units and one carbine cav unit and I've had amazing success using them to slow down major Confederate approaches.  In that battle there's a two-pronged push from the north from the Confederates.  The western push is along a road and I've been placing skirmishers right along it with the cav further back in the forest.  When regular inf push against the skirmishers they naturally displace and then I have the cav, dismounted, push in on the flank.  A combined force of 400 men has been easily able to slow down a force 3-5x their size along that approach.  Buys me time to move in my reinforcements.

 

I don't know the historical applicability of this approach but game-wise maybe I need to stop looking through the WoT-lense where everything is measured in damage.  In some of the battles I've messed around with simply slowing down an enemy column before it gets to the battle can be huge.

 

You are right about Skirmishers and Cavalry. But bear in min,d you can achieve pretty much the same effect with detached skirmishers from your infantry brigades. Particularly if they are elite and have Enfields or better.

 

Ive read historically they didnt favour detachments much. But it did happen, and like in the Napoleonic war they proved useful. Not idea how much it was done in the Franco Prussian war, it would be interesting to find out.


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#27 Skywalkre

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 1135 AM

Restarted to min/max my guy after all.  Maxed out politics and after the first two battles I'm halfway up that line.  Will probably max it out and hit Organization (so I can actually field all those men, an issue I'm running into already) and finally Training (even keeping my vet 1st div at min strength replenished is bloody expensive).

 

After I run some errands will be hitting my first major battle with 1st Bull Run.  Should be interesting as I have zero knowledge of these battles or how they really played out.


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#28 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 1207 PM

1st Bull run is hilarious fun as the Confederates. If you time it just right, you can use the reinforcing Division to roll up the Union left (your right) and cause him thousands of casualties. Get that right, it makes the next few battles considerably easier, as well as adding to your equipment stockpile.
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#29 Skywalkre

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 1905 PM

1st Bull Run was a blast.  Purposefully not reading up on how these play out.  Took a long time to take the first two objectives in part because I took my crack division of vets and marched them along the edge of the map so the objective at the start on top of the hill was hit from three sides.  That crack division was also along the avenue of retreat for the Confederates so slaughtered a lot of them as they fled (speaking of inflated casualty figures per further up I killed 10k Confederates in this battle whereas in the real one according to wiki it was like 1/5 that).  Unfortunately that maneuver ate a lot of time so as the clock was winding down to take Henry Hill I basically charged with every infantry unit that was close thinking that was the end of the battle.  Nope!  A new timer pops up and now I'm facing Confederate reinforcements and half my army is out of position.  :lol:

 

I ended up winning but lost a lot of men because of that charge.  Honestly only won as well because the AI was obsessed with my scout cavalry running around the north of the map at the start.  That led it to move a lot of men away from first objective on the hill.  If it were a human player or on the hardest difficulty I would have likely easily lost that fight.

 

Still, this is a solid game so far.  Right now it's easily in the 90/100 range with no glaring bugs or annoyances that I've noticed.


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#30 Skywalkre

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 1921 PM

First minor annoyance with the game.  Playing my second major battle, Shiloh, and it split up the flanks into seperate maps and battles for the first two phases.  For the third phase it combined the two... resulting in the western flank of my second phase sandwiched between CS forces which would have never had happened if they just played both phases out on one big map (there's no way the CS forces could have got where they were if both phases played out at the same time)..

 

Oh well, so far it's still a solid game that's fairly brutal.  In the last minor battle before Shiloh I was fighting with just my Army and lost 20% of my men.  Ouch...


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#31 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 0336 AM

Yeah, that sometimes catches you out. For the most part I think that idea of fighting one wing, the other wing, then all together broadly works. But there are exceptions clearly.

Im not playing it at the moment. My mistake was playing as the confederates, and by 1864 you are kinda on a hiding to nothing really. The early years are damn good fun though.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 16 March 2018 - 0336 AM.

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#32 Skywalkre

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 1402 PM

I've drastically cut down my gaming hours (I'm reading a lot more instead) but on my first day off of the week I let myself play like I used to.  The plan was to get through the two minor battles and Shiloh but didn't quite finish it.  This is by far the best gaming experience I've had since Skyrim.  It's so tempting every day to log in and keep playing.


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#33 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 0736 AM

Im glad you like it. I really must play the Union side. There is something to be said about being on the winning side...


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#34 Skywalkre

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 0747 AM

Ran into minor annoyance #2 yesterday.  I cheated and logged in a day early to finish Shiloh.  Went back to a save just before my last issue above and made a minor adjustment to that one flank so that when the two maps combined that unit wouldn't have been annihilated from a situation that never would have occurred if everything was played on one big map.  So I play out the combined fight and the game is telling me I need to fall back to Pittsburgh Landing... except I'm able to hold out where I am.  I hold the original defensive position and simply obliterate the CS forces as they approach.  Multiple artillery of mine have 1k+ kill counts.  (I'm guessing the 2 minor battles you play that alter enemy characteristics have quite the impact.  I was able to drive off 1-2 star enemy infantry formations with just 0-1 star friendly ones of my own supported by artillery.)

 

So the annoyance was the battle comes to an end, I figure I've won (haven't looked up what actually happens in the real battle yet) and then it transitions to... day 2?  All my forces are now shoved way back into the Landing.  Huh?  I then go look up what really happened.  So I'm supposed to win but not this easily apparently.  I figured if you pulled off the unhistorical like I did in day 1 it simply would have ended the battle early.  Guess not.

 

No biggie.  Going to use the reinforcements I got to finish the fight since my own units are hurting (20% casualties so far).  I still haven't maxed out Politics but at this stage (not sure how much of the campaign is left) I'm torn between working up towards veteran or weapon discounts.  I was able to finally equip one of my vet units with good rifles for this fight but frankly it didn't seem that amazing.  My veteran units don't seem all that powerful as well.  Have had numerous times where they've been pushed out of a position I thought they should have been able to hold while a fresh unit does the opposite.  Proper positioning seems far more important than what weapon a unit has or what their experience is.


Edited by Skywalkre, 21 March 2018 - 0750 AM.

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#35 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 0751 AM

You really dont see any major improvements in units till you get something like Springfield Rifles, or Harpers Ferry. Enfields are a major kick in the butt though.

 

I agree about proper positioning though, that doesnt make so much difference in what damage a unit gives, other than it makes a difference how long they are remaining in position to hand it out. In a good position its not unusual for a brigade to hand out 2 or 3 to 1 casualties on that which they take, particularly at high skill levels. But try doing it on featureless terrain....


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#36 Skywalkre

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 0842 AM

That one unit that I was able to give rifles to had the Springfield M1855s.  It's hard to tell if it was the rifles that were lackluster or their positioning was unfortunate.  They were on the far edge of one of my flanks and had contact early on but for most of the fight didn't do anything (I don't know if the AI adjusts where it wants to push or has a preset spot it focuses on... and I had no idea where they may go).  Their kill count was decent by the end of day 1 but they also ended up farming a lot of kills off a lone CS inf unit that was out there before time ran out.  Meanwhile, a fresh unit with the basic muskets that was at the center of the main late CS push performed just as well.  They had the ultimate positioning going for them, though (top of a hill in full forest coverage).

 

One area where equipment has been very noticeable is artillery.  The basic 6pdr Field sucks.  All the smoothbores seem worthless (one of the supporting Union artillery had the 12pdr Napoleon and despite good positioning didn't do much either).  The rifled ones, specifically the 10pdr Ordnance, are amazing*.  About half my artillery has that and across the board got twice the kills or more compared to my 6pdr equipped units.  I'd have swapped all my units over to the 10pdr but there simply aren't enough in the pipeline to support that**.  That may also be why CS artillery doesn't seem that bad.  I've only ever captured smoothbores off them (IF you were to put enough points into Recon you can tell during a fight what the enemy is equipped with but it seems a waste of points to get that high).

 

 

*Looking closer at kills listed on my units at the start of day 2 the disparity in my artillery from my original division drives home the point.  One is a 9-gun 6pdr-equipped brigade that finished day 1 with just 700 kills.  The other is a 6-gun 10pdr-equipped brigade that finished with over twice the kills.  Both were effectively in the same spot all day and saw a lot of contact early on in the fight.

 

**A cool addition to the Reputation mechanic would be having the option to spend those points to increase the rate at which certain equipment, like the 10pdr in my case, are produced.  It'd be a way to model the troops up front saying "screw those other guns, THIS IS THE ONE WE WANT!" and the subsequent response by the industrial base to support that.


Edited by Skywalkre, 21 March 2018 - 0859 AM.

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#37 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 0930 AM

I think the M1855's are crap. The next one up is better, M1859 I think? That and the Harpers are murderous.

 

12 pounder Napolean is pretty good, mainly at short to middle range. Their HE Frag is devastating in the right hands. The trick is to limit the guns to 12 to a battery. Anymore and if anything they are less effective. I could write a lot more about that, but there is a really first rate community guide on artillery that I cant better.

http://steamcommunit.../?id=1105446690


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#38 Skywalkre

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 1645 PM

Thanks for the link.  I'm mostly trying to figure this out as I go but perused that article.  Turns out what I'm sensing is accurate.

 

What I've been most curious about is how the strategic campaign works.  I just finished Shiloh and ended up with this:

 

xYLIqD0.jpg

 

Since I know very little about the Civil War the text in the follow-up camp made it sound like maybe the war could be over soon?  I was kicking myself because I was planning my points spent around a long-term strategy.  So I did some googling on how the campaign works and from what little I've found it sounds like the campaign is simply all historical battles in order with the smaller skirmishes thrown in in-between.  (Reinforces how... weak the campaign is since it doesn't account for massive, overwhelming victories like the one above.)  Guess my strat will still work fine.


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#39 Harold Jones

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 2102 PM

According to a list of battles in the union campaign I found on steam Shiloh is battle 6 of 38. In real life the war ends three years after Shiloh.
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#40 Skywalkre

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 2247 PM

My strat may have backfired on me.  Up to Gaine's Mill and while my potential Army strength is 3 Corps (I haven't built the third yet) it's only letting me use 2 and I'm under the brigade allotment for one of them.  I've maxed out Politics and had just started putting points in Training.  Fully equipping out every man in the 2 Corps I have with veterans and even buying as many rifles as I can I'm still sitting on $400k I can't spend for the battle.  Per the briefing before the battle I'll clearly have the tech/gear advantage while the CS forces will clearly have better quality troops.

 

Will be interesting to see how this goes (will start playing it tomorrow).


Edited by Skywalkre, 27 March 2018 - 2253 PM.

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