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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1640
Location: USA
I play all single player games with MDF on (phased play). I do play multiplayer games using MDF off (Turn Play) since it allows each side's players to complete their turn in a single session.

Right now I consider the MDF Off play (all functions executed in a single phase) very badly flawed. It is a system that is more appropriate to modern warfare where units could make such coordinated attacks than to Civil War. It allows exploitation attacks similiar to Panzer Blitz tactics. The system heavily favors the attacker over the defender. It leads to extreme results. I have destroyed entire armies using the system which should be impossible for a Civil War simulation. The current AI for defensive fire just isn't up to handling opportunity fire.

Things mentioned that might at least improve it but I don't know whether they can fix it without a plot and move system:

1. Once melee starts allow no further fire and movement in game.

2. Take the cap off number of opportunity fires so enemy can't dance in front of them to use up their fire.

3. Don't count opportunity fire for ammo depletions checks.

4. Give defender auto defensive fire to all unit at full strength when the phase switches to melee only or at end if no melees. This one would count for ammo checks. This would insure that defensive fire wasn't wasted by the AI and compensate the defender for not being able to react to attacker exploits.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
III Corps, AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1640
Location: USA
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Rich Walker</i>
<br />The next release will most likely include an update that will not allow further fire and movement after melee. So all movement and fire will take place before melee. This will eliminate exploitations as a result of successful melees. <i>At least until the next turn.</i> You will not be able to change your mind about a melee due to the result of a bad previous melee. Only pre-plotted melees will be allowed and there will be no changes.

The three things that bug me the most about MDF are:
1) takes too much time
2) A unit can't change formation once movement is started
3) Units can dance around the enemy without being fired on. (this is number one for me, how can this be more historical??)

Lt. Col. Richard Walker
I Corps
Army of the Mississippi
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division
"Defenders of Tennessee"
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Regarding 1, using MDF has no affect on email game exchange if used with Auto Defensive Fire. Since the AI handles the Defensive Fire the phasing player can complete his turn without an intermediate mailing.

Regarding 2, true but probably more realistic than a regiment being able to march in column up to an enemy and then change into line. In theory opportunity fire is suppose to stop this but it isn't difficult to find covering terrain to make the change in and to ignore what opportunity fire there is because its so pitiful. This also leads to one of the exploits: Using roads to shove troops into the rear of an enemy line then pop them into line formation so the defender can't counter them.

Regarding 3, also true but another exchange of exploits. In one system you can parade past lines of enemy without getting fired on. In the other you can trigger their fire at long range so its wasted along with their ammo. Opportunity fire was orignially introduced in board games on modern warfare to prevent Panzer Bush tactics. But even in these games that had units with very large movement factors it was a free shot to penalize such movement not a substitute of normal defensive fire. In my opinion MDF On is the better simulation of Civil War fire tactics than MDF Off. Generally, the troops wanted to withhold fire until the enemy was within "good" rifle range not waste their ammo at 500 yards.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
III Corps, AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:59 am 
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 3:54 pm
Posts: 497
Location: United Kingdom
I never play with MDF. I would strongly welcome the change to prohibit fire and movement after melee. This would improve the single phase play a lot in my opinion. I currently use the 'embedded melee phase' rule to prevent blitzkrieg tactics but would prefer something coded into the game.

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[url="http://homepage.ntlworld.com/a.r.barlow/acw/acw.htm"]General Antony Barlow[/url]
[url="http://homepage.ntlworld.com/a.r.barlow/aoc/XXAoC.htm"]XO, Army of the Cumberland[/url]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:48 am 
Hi Rich,

I appreciate you asking this question though I think you'll find more against MDF off than on. I have games going with both types of play and prefer the phased play. As others have mentioned opportunity fire is a serious joke and nothing I can add would state that any better than has already been done. In addition whether phased play or not the HPS games have THE worst artillery resolutions possible. I just
finished reading The Antietam Campaign by John Cannan and am currently reading Not War But Murder (Cold Harbor 1864) by Ernest Furgurson. Both of these books offer perfect examples of the ridiculously paltry artillery settings for the HPS games. Many other accounts clearly illustrate this point as well. The only game that came close to getting it right, in my opinion, was Franklin and that got toned down so much as to be like the other titles.

Alan, Kennon, and others have described the ways in which ADF picks the worst possible target IF it even fores at all. As if that weren't bad enough then it fires at what 1/2 strength? I can see it now.....

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">General Lee sir, those people have broken through our lines! Well drive them back man! Uhm, we're trying sir but our guns will only fire half bullets.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

I don't mean to sound harsh here Rich but really there's got to be a better way to code this game engine. John's BG series wasn't perfect but at least when you hit somebody's line, they could tell it.

Maj.Gen. Mike Smith
3rd Bde, 1st Div
II Corps
Army of Georgia
[url="http://convolutedmuse.com"]ConvolutedMuse[/url]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:50 am 
I play both, but I really do dislike (MDF off) for a lot of the reasons mentioned before. It at present does give the advantage to the attacker to such an extent that I am considering stopping playing completly games with the MDF off.

<center>Colonel Edward Stewart
[url="http://www1.webng.com/Bonemash/OBD/ANV/III_Corps/III_Div/EdStewart.html"]Image[/url]

2nd Brig, 3rd Div,
III Corps, ANV
</center>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2001 6:24 pm
Posts: 140
Location: USA
I play both. Single-phase works better for the MPs I'm involved in. MDF seems to better respect the defensive nature of the war. If there were tweaks (noted in other posts) to eliminate the opportunity to create holes and then exploit them with secondary attacks, I think MDF would become a thing of the past.

Gen. Matt Perrenod
<i>The Blue Ghost</i>
Commandant, United State Military Academy at West Point
5th Brigade, 2nd Division, VIII Corps, Army of the Shenandoah


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 2:58 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Poland
I never use MDF as i can't imagine fights like Gettysburg Full battle using it[:D] off course there could be some Tweek's to the ADF one phase turn to prevent Blitzkrieg tactics[:)]

Any way any chance on seeing Campaign Chancellorvile in near future[?][:)]

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Lt.Col. Przemek Niedzielski
4th Brigade
3rd Division
2nd Corps
Army of the Missisipi
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:35 pm
Posts: 53
Location: USA
I prefer single phase play. Improvements I'd like to see include:
(1) defenders fire at full strength but starting at 3 hexes instead of 5.
(2) each defender would only be allowed to fire once.
(3) the probability of firing would be something like 50% at 3 hexes, 75% at 2 hexes, and 100% at 1 hex.


Lt. Bill Cirillo
3rd Brigade, 1st Div.
XX Corps, AoC, USA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 7:49 pm
Posts: 422
Location: USA
I never use MDF, ever. [:D]

LGen. Hamilton
II Corps
ANV, CSA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:30 pm 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Also there is the matter of artillery ammo - if single turn units fire at 50% on defense, but can fire multiple times, I am in essence losing even MORE ammo than necessary, and since so many Reb "batteries" are broken into 1 or 2 gun sections, I would be in essence wasting tons of ammo by firing 1/2 of a gun at full ammo cost, multiple times and with no effect, thus rendering the majority of my artillery useless. At least in phased play I know my small guns will only fire once if I have them deployed and that they will fire at full effect. I'd rather spend one ammo point at full effect than waste 7 ammo points from a single gun for the equivalent fire of .5 guns each time.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

To clarify something, no matter how many times an artillery unit fires opportunity fire, it only uses one round. When I first read this, I got the impression that a round is expended each time a unit fires in opportunity fire.

I like Lt Cirillo's idea about range having an an effect on the probability of opportunity fire. But by the same token, each time a unit fires opportunity fire, there ought to be a negative modifier to the probability of further opportunity fire. Just a thought.


MG Mike Mihalik
1/III/AoMiss/CSA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2001 5:01 am
Posts: 564
Location: USA
My suggestion to 'fix' the problems....

Use Paul's Punic War engine. [:D]

MajGen Al 'Ambushed' Amos
3rd "Amos' Ambushers" Bde, Cavalry Division, XX Corps, AoC
The Union Forever! Huzzah!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 3:15 am
Posts: 180
Location: Canada
Oh My God! I hope you are joking Al. I had the "Punic Wars" disk for about one month and sold it on ebay to put it out of my misery.



Bg. General Gilbert Collins
Army of Alabama
III/I/2nd Brigade


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2001 5:01 am
Posts: 564
Location: USA
Gilbert,

Too bad I can't sell <font size="6"><b>YOU</b></font id="size6"> on E-bay.... hehehe....[:D]

MajGen Al 'Ambushed' Amos
3rd "Amos' Ambushers" Bde, Cavalry Division, XX Corps, AoC
The Union Forever! Huzzah!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 1200
Location: USA
Play both...

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General Jeff Laub
Union Chief of the Army
ACWGC Cabinet Member
http://www.geocities.com/laubster22/UnionHQ/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 12:29 pm
Posts: 37
Location: USA
Even though it isn't perfect, I now play all my games in single phase and really don't want to go back to MDF. For me its one of the big advantages of playing HPS rather than the old Battleground games. I'm very supportive, however, of any efforts to improve it, such as making the d-fire more effective and perhaps having a greater penalty for moving troops in column next to or within firing range of a unit in battleline.

Brig Gen Ed Lytwak
2/2/XV/AoT/USA


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