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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:18 am 
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I really like the idea of BCE but I think if HPS ever considers it we need to start a separate discussion of how it ought to work or it just may make things worse.

Fatigue was suppose to limit the activity of regiments but in practice it has little affect other than a player good at managing it has the edge over one that doesn't. The reason it doesn't slow the attacker down much is it tends to affect the defender worse than the attacker. When you lose a melee you suffer 3x the fatigue and defenders typically are being meleed. High level fatigue attackers are just as affective against high level fatigue defenders relatively so there is no reason to stop attacking with them.

The thing that fatigue does not reflect well is the real cause of most attack petering out. That is disorganization of the attacking forces. The troops become so intermigled by there sucess that command control is lost and the attack just degrades to a stand still. If the defender can find troops to counter attack with the attacker is easily forced to retreat. The Mule Shoe is a prime example of a superior force stopped by its own success.

Any BCE system has to reflect both the short term affect of fighting on the ability to continue advancing and the long term effect of heavy losses reducing a unit's will to fight.

Board games handled this through both a BCE system to force brigades to stop and reorganize. And, a organization level, usually army, morale that forced an army to lose before dieing to the last man. Wellington's Victory had the most unusual of these Morale based systems. It counted active units and losses againt an Army Morale. When it went negative all the morale levels of the army were lowered and continued to drop every hour until that side routed from the field. Probably not a good method for Civil War battles but an interesting concept.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1/1/III AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:23 am 
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I like the BCE concept also. In the GBACW series it usually became a critical factor later in a game. Squad Leader and ASL also had a morale adjustment if a sides losses increased past a certain point.

It'd be great if ZOC's were dependant on unit size, unit morale and unit fatigue level. I know we have the one hex soft ZOC which is a big improvement over the TS games but currently a 20 man "E" unit with 900 fatigue can still limit movement of an 800 man "A" unit that's fresh. For example, in the case above the 900 man unit might roll past with maybe a loss of an MP if that. If the stationary unit was a 400 man "C" unit with 200 FA the moving unit might stop like now or lose a certain number of MP's. With the 3 variables on each of the two units, ZOC effects really could not be predicted beforehand. No more placing one gun to temporarily cover a 3 hex front (that's 360 yards) in front of an onrushing enemy division.

I know this isn't going to fly but a simultaneous movement setup like that of the Johnny Reb series or the old World at War system would be a giant leap forward. But that's a reinvented engine.

I really hope the independant skirmishers are not even considered. I think that would ruin the system. If there's some kind of limit (like 2 hexes; that's 240 yards) relating to where their parent unit is then maybe ok but otherwise keep skirmishers as they are now. We already have way to much intelligence given the inherent omnipresent view.......not to mention already too many units to move in the large scenerios.

Gen. Doug Burke

Other hobby: Running 30-40 miles per week. Several races a year from 5K to marathon. Boston marathon 2007.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:31 am 
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Soon, I'll recompile the suggestions

Sorry to those that want independent skirmishers. I have included them with alternative OOBs, but I would not consider them as a rule change.

I like the idea of saying a unit must be larger than 25 to have a ZOC. Using FA will make it too complicated.

BCE stuff won't be an option this late in the game series development.

Lt. Col. Richard Walker
I Corps
Army of the Mississippi
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division
"Defenders of Tennessee"


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:15 am 
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Location: Panhandle of Texas
Would it be possible to get the current time and date to display in the bottom of the Scheduled units pop up box like it does in the Panzer Campaigns? This isn't a big issue but it would be nice to have a quick reference to what the current time is compared to the scheduled time right there in the pop up box.

General Mark Nelms
6/3/IX/AoO
"Blackhawk Brigade"
Union Military Academy Instructor
Union Cabinet Secretary


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 4:09 am 
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Rich,
I like # 2 and #4,
Brig Gen Jim Pfleck
II/AOtM


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:54 am 
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1./ Pinning fire - the possibility of defensive fire resulting in an attacking unit getting pinned down and unable to continue moving or melee that turn. However, the pinned unit would still be able to fire.

2./ A stacking limit of 50% in woods or other difficult terrain. Possibly also a stacking limit when using road movement.

3./ Proper artillery supply wagons.

.............................................

4./ Detachable Nappy style skirmishers. I realize you're rather opposed to this idea, so perhaps I should explain in more detail what I'd suggest.

The Nappy engine has greater flexibility regarding detachable skirmishers than the ACW engine. In the Nappy engine it's possible to have a range of infantry types:

S independent skirmisher companies
R restricted units unable to form skirmishers - effectively all ACW units are the same as this type of infantry.
M militia units unable to form skirmishers
I infantry able to detach a single skirmisher company
V light (and G guard) infantry able to completely break down into skirmisher companies.

There are also other letters used to distinguish 2 and 3 line infantry.

Meanwhile all Nappy cavalry can break down into squadrons.

Currently, the only way to create smaller units in the ACW engine is in the OOB. There's no way to breakdown/recombine cavalry squadrons mid game, which can have various drawbacks whichever way this is handled. Similarly, any smaller infantry units created in the OOB can't recombine with the parent body and remain effectively normal units rather than proper skirmishers - they still have flanks/rear just like larger units and unlike Nappy skirmishers.

Consequently, it would be better to switch over to the Nappy system for both cavalry and infantry.

Cavalry would be able to breakdown/recombine mid game, which would make things more convenient for players - who really wants large cavalry regiments that can't scout effectively, or small squadrons that can't combine and so have to all be moved individually, turn after turn after turn in a lengthy scenario, even if there are no enemy within miles.

Most ACW infantry could be either R (restricted) or M (militia) and so unable to detach skirmishers, thus effective they'd remain the same as they are now. However, it would be possible to allow some infantry to detach a single or possibly multiple skirmisher subunits. Also proper independent "S" skirmisher piquets could be created with no flanks/rear - surely there'd be some scenarios where a few of these would be very useful?

So nothing whatsoever would be lost from the existing ACW engine - it would still be perfectly possible to create OOB files with NO infantry able to detach ANY skirmishers - but much greater OOB flexibility would be gained.

Take for instance a small scenario like Allatoona. Here the number of units involved is small, and the defending US units are surrounded, can't hold all the ground effectively and the units can be easily outflanked because they can't face in several directions at the same time. However, if they could deploy Nap style skirmishers, they could cover more ground and the skirmisher companies wouldn't get outflanked, because Nap skirmishers don't have flanks/rear.

There are plenty of other small scenarios where it might be very useful for most of the units to capable of deploying skirmishers. But in medium to large scenarios, the number of units able to deploy skirmishers would normally be far less.

So there are no drawbacks and many potential advantages in introducing the range of Nappy infantry types into the ACW engine and allowing cavalry to detach/recombine squadrons.

It's a pity these features weren't already present in the old Battleground ACW engine, because these differences from the Nappy engine predate the HPS games.

Brig. Gen. Rich White
3rd Brig. III Corps
Phantom Cav. Div.
ANV


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:48 am 
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I would love to be able to break down my cav to smaller size during a battle. This is an excellent suggestion. There have been several battles I have been in where breaking down my cav to a smaller unit and using it as a probe, flank, warning, and intersection guards. There are so many uses for cav yet when I have 500 in a regt. I don't want to waste such strength on a flank that might not see action the whole battle.

LTC. Charles Babb
COLD STEEL!
6th Brigade,3rd Division
XXIII Corps
Army of the Ohio


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:59 pm 
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Dont know if its been suggested before, but how about a toggle option to have troops in the open be able to "lie down" to lessen their vulnerability to artillery fire. I've seen countless incidences of this in Civil War accounts. Of course they'd suffer badly if melee'd but it'd only cost 1 mp to move them in and out of this stance, like skirmishers. How about a rule where you can fix bayonets, adding a plus 1 to melee, but losing the ability to shoot offensively while they are fixed? Just my 2 cents!
Fld Lt N. DeStefano
4/2/II AoM


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:24 pm 
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Suggestion:

I would like to see an <font color="yellow">option</font id="yellow"> at the start of games that <font color="yellow">disrupted units cannot move adjacent or into the ZOC of a known enemy combat unit.
Disrupted units already adjacent would be able to remain, but would not be able to move into a new enemy unit's ZOC</font id="yellow">.

This would reflect the disorganization and deterioration of command control of beat up or demoralized units that have not routed/disintegrated.
We could expect disrupted units sometimes to be "pinned" and unable to move.

It would result in a major decrease in casualties and aggressive play because flanks of attacking, intact units could no longer be easily protected by disrupted units

There would be a major decrease in melee attacks.

Offensives would require much more planning with fresh, intact reserves ready to move forward of shattered units to keep the offensive rolling.

Concerning considered engine enhancements:
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">1) Limit stacking in woods. 500 men per hex, only one arty unit. Since many units start at above the limit, those units would be penalized if FP to 50%
<font color="orange">No objection.</font id="orange">
2) Give points to attackers spiking enemy guns. No further points awards, including occupation of spiked guns.
<font color="orange">Much prefer #3</font id="orange">
3) Alternative to #2, give points to attackers spiking enemy guns, guns then are eliminated from map. If friendly guns are spiked, no points and guns are removed from map.
<font color="orange">Let's do it this way.</font id="orange">
4) Use arty FA to determine FP effectiveness. This would discontinue the "Crew Killed" possibility and partially simulate arty crews as a separate entity. Example: For every 50 point FA arty increase, arty FP (fire power) would be reduced 10%. Perhaps these numbers could be manipulated using the pdt file.
<font color="orange">I don't like this one. I prefer to keep "Crew Killed" but partial crew casualties could be simulated. Keep the FA fatigue index as an indicator as is, and award a "Crew Killed" if FA reaches 900. There may only be 9 or 10 per gun crew, but there were other battery support personnel who could fill in for casualties. Normally the extra personnel would be traveling back and forth with the limber to the supply train to resupply arty ammo during a prolonged barrage. It was worked out that even a two man crew could still serve a gun and keep it in action.</font id="orange"> <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Other suggestions:
1. I stil1 want to see supply wagons subject to rout.

2. Artillery should have limited ammo supply per unit, enough to fire continuously for 1 hour, (3 ammo factors) and then should have to be resupplied by being within range of a supply wagon or be unable to fire.

BG Ross McDaniel
2nd Bde, 3rd Div, III Corps, AoG, CSA

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale & undermine the military are saboteurs & should be arrested, exiled, or hanged." - A. Lincoln


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:51 am 
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Ross,

I like your first suggestion. Simple, and potentially game changing in a positive way. We'll see.

I don't agree about routing supply wagons. When I try to visualize it, it doesn't make sense.

I've never seen arty FA at 900. 200-300 is usually the high.

Arty reupply will most likely stay "as is" Too complicated to change at this point. At least from my POV. I want to focus on other things.

Lt. Col. Richard Walker
I Corps
Army of the Mississippi
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division
"Defenders of Tennessee"


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:00 am 
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Some suggestions to address problems with artillery. First the problems: There is no distinction between killing a crew on a one gun battery versus a six gun battery. Both crews and guns are to easily taken out in the current system (Antietam seems to be demonstrating this very well due to the situations in the game). When guns are captured there are no VP value gained unless you can hold the hex until end of game. This leads to very aggressive artillery tactics by the player who due to scenarios situation will end up contolling the field.

Suggestions:

Ideal would be separate crews with real strengths. A six gun battery would have say an inherent 150 man crew. A one gun battery would have 25 men. To fully crew the battery the crew would have to have the 25:1gun ratio. If less fewer guns would be able to fire. Crew and guns for small arms fire and counterbattery would have different defense factors. If the battery was overrun the crew could retreat as a separate unit but taking losses. Losses to the crew would count for VP at higher rate than normal infantry. Guns would have their own separate VP award for there losses.

Alternative, but probably easier to program. Elliminate the idea of a separate crew. If a battery takes a crew loss then reduce it by the equivalent number of guns using the ratio 25 men = 1 gun.

Regardless, change the defense factor of artillery. The current value of 25 is way to low. Much more appropriate casualties occur if it is raised to 40-50. However, this change has to be coupled with another change since this leads to very aggressive use of artillery when using the optional artillery rules. A base VP needs to be awarded to a player for killing a crew or overruning a battery in melee. Something like half the normal award with the other half being awarded for holding the hex at end of game.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1/1/III AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:01 pm 
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I like Ross's suggestion regarding disrupted units too. Sometimes this has been incorporated into games as a house rule. Another house rule occasionally used is that of half movement for units/commands beyond the command radius of their leaders.

Gen. Doug Burke

Other hobby: Running 30-40 miles per week. Several races a year from 5K to marathon. Boston marathon 2007.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:39 am 
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Ross' idea:

<i>Option at the start of games that disrupted units cannot move adjacent or into the ZOC of a known enemy combat unit.
Disrupted units already adjacent would be able to remain, but would not be able to move into a new enemy unit's ZOC.</i>

Comments?

Lt. Col. Richard Walker
I Corps
Army of the Mississippi
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division
"Defenders of Tennessee"


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:29 am 
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I like Ross' idea and feel it would improve gameplay.

I'm also keen on your own suggestions:

1./ Limit stacking in woods - but why not also in rough and other difficult terrain?

4./ Arty FA and effectiveness - anything that improves on the current "crew killed" system would be welcome. But wouldn't this increase again when fatigue is recovered? Perhaps if the fatigue level reached say 75% then this results in the crew being killed?

I'm not really sure about 2./ and 3./. I'd prefer it if spiking guns wasn't so easy to do, and for there to be some chance of unspiking guns, especially in a lengthy scenario.

So I'd recommend that any spiked guns should become unspiked again on the first dawn turn, perhaps at 25% probability per turn.


Brig. Gen. Rich White
3rd Brig. III Corps
Phantom Cav. Div.
ANV


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:18 am 
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This post will be mainly about adding to fog of war (FOW).

We have written complaints for years about <font color="yellow">too much information leads to too much combat</font id="yellow"> which <font color="orange">causes too many casualties and results in running out of ammo in many scenarios</font id="orange">, which are all ahistorical. Usually a complete lack of ammo, rifle or artillery, happened because of deployments that there was too much distance between the supply trains and combat units.

I am disappointed that artillery supply procedure will not be revamped anytime soon, but I understand that it probably means a major rewrite with a lot of work and "good enough" beats "perfect," especially when one has no personal interest.

I intend to make suggestions to address the problems, when possible in such a way as to avoid burdensome programmer rewrites.
However, I foresee that eventually there will be superior game results when artillery, infantry, and cav combat units all have individual ammo status. Artillery units running out of ammo because of supply range would limit their deployment considerably, use much less ammo, and cause fewer casualties.

About limiting unit density in woods to 500 men per hex, I see Bill Peters' point.
I would suggest that an easy fix with the least amount of reprogramming would be to limit firepower and melee power to a max of 500 men while allowing the usual stacking limit. It would cut down on casualties and probably lead to extended engagements, because casualties from one 20 minute round could be replaced from the excess manpower until all units total less than 500.

Suggestion: <font color="yellow">Concerning too much enemy unit information</font id="yellow"> while sighting units at distance:
There is no reason to re-invent the wheel.
1.Show an enemy flag on an observed unit symbol (INF, CAV, ARTY...even those may be left off until closer than 70 hexes) with no specific content until it is within a certain distance,...
2. then fill in the unit symbol with blue or butternut to a percentage to indicate troop density. One might keep it in 25% increments to maintain FOW, somewhere around a 250 man differential. I favor displaying it toward the low end up to 75%. The enemy should not know that one has maxed out troop density.
3. At about a half mile, individual combat units should become discernable with information as we now are playing.
4. Units in woods should be lower information status until the enemy is adjacent.
5. Cavalry of a certain density should be able to mask other units until getting within combat range.(?) Just stack 200+(?) on top of other units. Cav should be able to mask even other cav units beyond the 200(+) requirement.

A lot of these suggestions are judgment calls and debatable. I welcome suggestions that result in superior fixes and refinements.

BG Ross McDaniel
2nd Bde, 3rd Div, III Corps, AoG, CSA

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale & undermine the military are saboteurs & should be arrested, exiled, or hanged." - A. Lincoln


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