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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:14 am 
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We're working on a few tweaks

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


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:40 am 
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Mihalik says: "I don't play the phase system because it is a better system, and my impression is most others who play the phase system don't either. We play the phase system because the defensive fire in single turn play is capricious and inadequate."

Yes, exactly. I agree, sir. Well put . . . and aside from all that, and these topics, I appreciate HPS's products enthusiastically!

Sincerely,
Brig Gen Dwight McBride
V Corps/AOP/USA


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:50 am 
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Like I said, we are working on some tweaks

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


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:01 am 
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<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 />Like I said, we are working on some tweaks

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">

Thanks, Rich!

Col. Mark Crawford
Commanding
"Lone Star State Volunteers" Division
"The Rough & Ready" Corp
Army of Georgia


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:53 pm 
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I don't know if this has been covered already, but I've noticed a lot of artillery battery crew kills by infantry lately in the HPS games. Specifically, I was playing W. Tisdale at Shiloh (1.05) and I must've killed ten crews. I've noticed it more frequently than in the past in some other games I'm playing too (Peninsula). Now, at Shiloh Willie would set up his guns close to my infantry, often within two hexes, so I could put some serious firepower on them. They just seem susceptible to infantry kills to me. Anyone else think so or am I out in left field?

Lt. General Dirk Gross
XIV Corps/AoC

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:33 pm 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Dirk Gross</i>
<br />I don't know if this has been covered already, but I've noticed a lot of artillery battery crew kills by infantry lately in the HPS games. Specifically, I was playing W. Tisdale at Shiloh (1.05) and I must've killed ten crews. I've noticed it more frequently than in the past in some other games I'm playing too (Peninsula). Now, at Shiloh Willie would set up his guns close to my infantry, often within two hexes, so I could put some serious firepower on them. They just seem susceptible to infantry kills to me. Anyone else think so or am I out in left field?

Lt. General Dirk Gross
XIV Corps/AoC
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

As for observation that it is really easy to kill gun crews, its correct, it is easy. For large batteries (6 gun) it is the cheapest way to take them out since the game makes no differentiation between a one gun and a six gun target. They both act like a 25 man target and if you get a 25+ man hit their crews disappear.

As to it being different from other HPS games, no. Just seems that way but it has more to do with the terrain and type defenses used. In relatively open terrain a battery at 4 or less hexes is going to get its crew killed.

The thing that sets the difficulty in killing crews by rifle fire is the stacking factor in the PDT which is usually 25.

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


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 4:44 am 
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Now having played Antietam (Historic) far enough to see some trends, the scenario does have a problem with artillery counter battery kills. It seems to be caught in a "Perfect Storm" situation.

First the designer gave the Union full strength batteries but the Rebel as sections. This results in Rebel defensive fire by guns being almost useless except for activating enemy units on the other side of the Antietam while Union batteries fire with enough strenght to get kills.

Second, this combined with the ability to stack much larger concentrations of batteries for easy kill shots (stacking for a section and a battery are the same) results in the Union guns dominating the field.

The combination of these with the Rebel's few full strength (2 gun sections) rifled guns which are scattered across the map, and you have a situation where one sides guns are completely overwhelmed by the others. Even though the Rebel's have far more guns on the West side of the Antietam than the Union.

This goes against the historical situation. The Union guns were for the most part kept on the East side of the Antietam making them virtually useless while the Rebel guns were used in close support of the infantry throughout the battle. The Battle of Antietam was generally considered on the Rebel's best battles for proper use of their artillery.

The imbalance between to two sides comes out of how HPS handles artillery fire values at long range, the poor defensive value given artillery, and the imbalance in this scenario created by giving one side sections and the other batteries.

As is I could achieve a marginal Union victory without firing a single infantry weapon unless the Rebel player completely removed his artillery from supporting positions. There are enough hill top positions that give LOS to the Rebel line that the Union artillery could force every gun to be removed from the line and areas behind the line without coming within rifle range of the Rebel line.

And, of course, if the Rebel does remove the guns from LOS the Union should be able to easily overwhelm the resulting infantry line.

Anyone want to play the Rebs and let me demonstrate how effective the Uion guns can be?[^]

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


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 11:18 am 
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Kennon,

As has already been said, the South can win the historical scenario. I have already met that challenge and crushed my opponent, the originator of this thread.

Secondly, the rebel batteries ARE NOT in sections, but they are broken down as they were historically. It just so happens that the south used a greater variety of cannon for each battery. A clever southern player can overcome this seeming disadvantage.


<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by KWhitehead</i>
<br />Now having played Antietam (Historic) far enough to see some trends, the scenario does have a problem with artillery counter battery kills. It seems to be caught in a "Perfect Storm" situation.

First the designer gave the Union full strength batteries but the Rebel as sections. This results in Rebel defensive fire by guns being almost useless except for activating enemy units on the other side of the Antietam while Union batteries fire with enough strenght to get kills.

Second, this combined with the ability to stack much larger concentrations of batteries for easy kill shots (stacking for a section and a battery are the same) results in the Union guns dominating the field.

The combination of these with the Rebel's few full strength (2 gun sections) rifled guns which are scattered across the map, and you have a situation where one sides guns are completely overwhelmed by the others. Even though the Rebel's have far more guns on the West side of the Antietam than the Union.

This goes against the historical situation. The Union guns were for the most part kept on the East side of the Antietam making them virtually useless while the Rebel guns were used in close support of the infantry throughout the battle. The Battle of Antietam was generally considered on the Rebel's best battles for proper use of their artillery.

The imbalance between to two sides comes out of how HPS handles artillery fire values at long range, the poor defensive value given artillery, and the imbalance in this scenario created by giving one side sections and the other batteries.

As is I could achieve a marginal Union victory without firing a single infantry weapon unless the Rebel player completely removed his artillery from supporting positions. There are enough hill top positions that give LOS to the Rebel line that the Union artillery could force every gun to be removed from the line and areas behind the line without coming within rifle range of the Rebel line.

And, of course, if the Rebel does remove the guns from LOS the Union should be able to easily overwhelm the resulting infantry line.

Anyone want to play the Rebs and let me demonstrate how effective the Uion guns can be?[^]

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1/1/III AoM (CSA)
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

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


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 2:10 pm 
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<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 />Kennon,

As has already been said, the South can win the historical scenario. I have already met that challenge and crushed my opponent, the originator of this thread.

Secondly, the rebel batteries ARE NOT in sections, but they are broken down as they were historically. It just so happens that the south used a greater variety of cannon for each battery. A clever southern player can overcome this seeming disadvantage.

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">

I realize that the South's guns were a bad mix of every calibre. What skews the balance is the Union is not similarly broken down into small gun sections.

Of course the Reb can win the battle. I probably will win mine. The South can win Gettysburg Historical too but not against an equal opponent. And, I suspect Antietam can't be won against a good Union player. If the Union player holds off attacking until he gets I, II and XII Corps up and deployed for a coordinated attack and uses his artillery to destroy or force the Rebel player to withdraw it, he will overrun the Rebel positions when he does attack.

But I will have to wait until someone wants to play me as the Union to verify all this.

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


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:36 pm 
<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>

Secondly, the rebel batteries ARE NOT in sections, but they are broken down as they were historically. It just so happens that the south used a greater variety of cannon for each battery. A clever southern player can overcome this seeming disadvantage.
...
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">Actually, Kennon was correct to initially observe <blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">First the designer gave the Union full strength batteries but the Rebel is sections.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">When a battery of 4 rebel guns or 6 Yankee guns is broken down into two or more parts, the historically-based result in the former is 2 Rebel <i>sections</i> vs the latter 3 Yankee <i>sections</i> of Ordnance.

No matter what we might think to call the unidentified rebel 2 gun and 1 gun units, it really doesn't matter. But, what does matter is as Kennon rightly observes - breaking down the reb batteries and not doing likewise to the yanks improperly skewers game play balance. Our only guess might be that there are Yanks working on the inside who feel a need to 'skewer' game play balance if only because they 1) lack the "clever" capacity of the typical rebel commander? or 2) are tired of getting whipp'd time and again, hence, skewering artillery FIRE calculations in favor of desperate to the point of cheating yanks is seen as the only 'honorable' way out? [B)]

In any case, Exhibit A<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">The artillery on both sides was initially organized into batteries of six guns each, although the Army of Northern Virginia was forced to reduce its batteries to four guns .... Two guns made up a <b>section</b> under a lieutenant, and a single gun (called a piece) was commanded by a sergeant. --<i>The Civil War Source Book</i>, Philip Katcher ©1982.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">Since we are thinking within the context of the game to reflect on how this pertains to <i>the game</i>, please, return to the current Campaign Antietam if only to review how Ordnance - from both sides - arrives on the battlefield.

It is immediately clear to all who play that rebel batteries arrive in a broken down formation [unidentified clones of the same battery - to try to see it Rich's way only to fail] we historically recognize as <i>sections</i> and <i>pieces</i>.

Example(s): D'Aquin's battery comprised of a 2 gun section + 1 gun piece; Chew's 2 gun section + 2 gun section; Poague's 1 gun piece + 2 gun section; and last but not least Latimer's 2 gun section + 2 gun section. And, finally, "Caskie's" single undersized battery of 3 guns appears the only rebel exception in Cedar Mountain to the otherwise 2 gun / 1 piece breakdown rule-by-design.

In any case, we also note the obvious: that Bank's complement of Ordnance at Cedar Moutain begins at full 6-gun battery strength - it is never anything but.

Exhibit B,<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Calef's battery [Buford's horse artillery] had six three-inch Ordnance rifles . . . the battery's six guns, as in all other <b>Union and Confederate</b> batteries, were organized further into three <b>sections</b> of two guns each. -- <i>Gettysburg - The First Day</i>, Harry W. Pfanz, ©2001<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">Returning to <i>the game</i>, it's anything but "historical" let alone "fair and balanced" to oblige the wholesale breakdown of reb batteries into 2 gun sections and 1 gun pieces <i>without similarly balancing the other end of the civil equation</i> by requiring all yank batteries to likewise breakdown into their historically accurate sections.

Back to the game,

Campaign Corinth got it right.

Both sides had Ordnance equally broken down into sections - an excellent example - for purposes herein - to demonstrate heretofore fair and balanced game play design craft.

But, no more. Alas, Campaign Antietam is now worse than it ever was - going all the way back to CSA 4 gun vs USA 6 gun combat table calcultions that forever favored the Yanks - just not as much as the program does with Antietam. Why was this done, we might ask? Only the all and powerful OZ, perhaps, knows for sure?

Still, balance could, yet, have been achieved <i>if only</i> Mr. Tiller permitted gun sections - stacked in a hex - to group their fire into a single large FIRE-Calculation attack - just like now more skewered than ever Yankee batteries. But, noooooooooo.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Game play examples from a recent Cedar Mountain encounter for artillery and counter-battery fire combat are to follow (please, see below). Enjoy [;)]

(Note: Always be sure and clear to UNCHECK the "On Map Results" option under the "Settings" Menu at the top of your battle screen - if you want to review Mr. Tiller's summary of Range / Modifire / Fire result computations.)

Example 1

Intro: 3 Yankee batteries target 3 Rebel gun units with a negative 3 elevation shift (modifier -40) from a Range of 5 hexes (for first 2) and 6 hexes respectively (for last one) - with the following results:

USA 1st NY batty L (6 guns) FIRE resolution = 885 = "Fatigue"
USA 1st NY batty M (6 guns) FIRE resolution = 997 = "1 gun" Loss
USA 1st NY batty K (6 guns) FIRE resolution = 1425 = "Fatigue"

CSA counter battery fire, firing separately, at L and M yankee guns (see above), stacked in a woods hex (-40 Modifier) from a range of 5 hexes - with the following results:

CSA D'Aquin's 2 gun section FIRE resolution = 315 = "Fatigue"
CSA D'Aquin's 1 gun piece FIRE resolution = 202 = "No Effect"
Caskie's 1 gun piece FIRE resolution = 135 = "No Effect"

Now, one might think that all rebs 'need' to do - to balance their side of the "Fire" resolution table equation, is to simply stack sections and/or pieces of Ordnance and so combine them all into a single 6 gun 'battery' attack - just like any typically now skewered more than ever Yankee battery attack - if only to achieve FIRE calculation parity. Yes? But, No.

It doesn't work that way.

Neither does Mr. Tiller's current "Two-Steps Backwards" Rebel Ordnance breakdown routine that neglects to include Yankee Ordnance in any similar equalization program equation. [:(]

If, on the other hand, Mr. Tiller's program permitted reb sections and pieces to group their fire into <b>one</b> combined FIRE-Integer attack, then all would be fair in the war between the states. (well, more or less) [:)]

Nor can we accept the notion that Rebel commanders must prove themselves the more "clever" between the two adversaries. (Of course, all I would ask of any Yankee commander is to prove himself competent and honorable, while, of course, stop acting like there must be 200,000 or more rebs on our side of this shallow divide.

But, more to the point than <i>clever</i> should ever need to be, the bottom line is that <i>if</i> Rebel batteries are to be broken down into their historically-based 2 gun sections and lone 1 gun pieces, then it is incumbant on the game designer to see to similarly breakdown all Yankee batteries into their likewise historical sections - just as Calef did so admirably on the morning of July 1, 1863 in our example above.

period. exclamation point.

Concluding points,

1) Restore Campaign Corinth's laudably more fair and balanced Ordnance modeling for all sides.

2) Either that or might Mr. Tiller think to reprogram (best guess answer: "No") his simulator to permit the grouping of fire combat within a single stack into but ONE single large-integer attack (as opposed to multiple, separate unit attacks) - just like his otherwise now more a lyin' and a cheatin' than ever Yankee gunners, who clearly don't have a handle on <i>clever</i>, let alone how to play without skewering yankee Ordnance in their a lyin' and a cheatin' favor. (this must mean war!) [}:)]==Denny

Fd. Lt. D. Shoeless, CSA
Secretary of the Cabinet (Retired)
1st Tenn Provisional Army




<center><i>From a certain point onward there is no turning back. That is the point that must be reached.</i> --F. Kafka</center>


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:17 am 
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Regardless, the game is winnable for both sides.

After a quick look, the following scenarios have all the Union artillery broken down into sections.

8,9,11,12,13,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,58, plus their weather variants and more.

Now, when the next patch is released I will introduce consolidated rebel batteries as I have already done for my next title. I will also offer at least one variant of the historical Antietam with sections.

Now, for those wanting it sooner, the OOB DOES offer the Union artillery in sections, so editing the exiting scenarios that don't offer Union sections, can be easily altered to suit your desire. So why the lenghty comments on something that each buyer can fix to his/her own desire. That's the beauty of these John Tiller games. If you don't like something, YOU are empowered to fix it!!

Take charge!


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


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:10 am 
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Hey Rich, with that said. What is the name of your next GAME? [:D], and will it be out. Inquiring minds would like to know [:)]

Respectfully,
Lt. Gen. Gery Bastiani
III Corp
AotM CSA



"If there is a shell or bullet over there destined for us, it will find us" - General James Longstreet


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:04 am 
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With luck, before the end of the year.

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


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:22 pm 
<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 />Regardless, the game is winnable for both sides.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">Sounds like an early morning mea culpa. (i.e., <i>Regardless</i>? [:)]) Fair enough. Thanks. Apology accepted. [^]<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">
After a quick look, the following scenarios have all the Union artillery broken down into sections.

8,9,11,12,13,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,58, plus their weather variants and more.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">Excellent. hmmmmmm, so let's see, now. That leaves only 384 scenarios to go (398 minus 14 = 384). [V]

I can tell you, <i>that</i> surely wasn't what I or we was thinkin' to do when we first payed, then pried open the jewell box to launch into a brand spankin' <i>new</i> Antietam Campaign (w/weather) for the very first time, mind you. No. It surely wasn't. (We at the bivouac value maintaining as much Fog-of-War for as long as possible, so getting under Mr. Tiller's hood to tinker with some unholy whole integers even before beginning play for the first time was really never quite on anyone's mind here, I can assure you.) Silly us. What were we thinkin'?! [?]<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Now, for those wanting it sooner, the OOB DOES offer the Union artillery in sections, so editing the exiting scenarios that don't offer Union sections, can be easily altered to suit your desire. So why the lenghty comments on something that each buyer can fix to his/her own desire. That's the beauty of these John Tiller games. If you don't like something, YOU are empowered to fix it!!

Take charge!<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Of course, I probably would have left out the part to Kennon, then, about how a <i>clever</i> rebel can always find some - i.e., unexplained? secretive? - means or especially "gamey" (?) way to gain a one-upmanship over our skewered Yankee 6 gun default Campaign scenario batteries. Hard to know for sure, because you didn't say. (Gawd, one can only imagine and shudder what a 'clever' Yankee might come up with to compensate for his seriously skewered 6 gun batteries! [8D])

I'm not entirely sure, in any case, Rich, that tinkering with Mr. Tiller's integer database really constitutes something "clever?"

In any case, perhaps, if one had only proved oneself a little less ... cryptic ... then, perhaps, he could have conceivably been spared a lengthier, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, member repost? Don't know for sure. Sometimes, it's hard to plan (or think) ahead, let alone know exactly when one might strike a nerve, let alone crack a smile? [:X]

Hey, while on the topic of you and your devoted consumer base taking charge of things, why haven't you permitted modders more lattitude to similarly tinker with unit Leadership "Quality" and "In Command" ratings? Also, how about that same laudable "take charge" spirit for tweaking unit "Morale" ratings, map moddding, etc., etc.? Finally, why not post a mod-tutorial for all Club members and lurkers alike to review, cordially inviting novice and intermediate gamers, too, to partake in the simple joys of modding those Yankee Ordnance integers or whatever?

At that point, one might really be making the most of an otherwise thrilling member "Take Charge" call-to-arms, I'm thinking. ==Denny

Fd. Lt. Shoeless, CSA
Secretary of the Cabinet (Ret)
1st Tenn Provisional Army


<center><i>From a certain point onward there is no turning back. That is the point that must be reached.</i> --F. Kafka</center>


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:41 pm 
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Shoeless,

For many years I've been coming to this MB to hear and understand player concerns. I try to use the comments to better the games to the extent I have been empowered to do so. And I will continue to do so.

To be sure, I make mistakes and try to correct them as they are pointed out to me.

As for <i>Campaign Antietam</i>, I will do as I have already said. I will alter the OOB to include consolidated rebel batteries and will also create more scns that use union artilery sections.

Also, understand that the game has been playtested and found to be balanced "as is."

As for the tinkering of OOBs and Map files, perhaps one day, but I don't know when.

As for educating others on how to edit and create new and existing files, I have (before this post) already accepted the invitation from John Newton to do just that.

Finally, I want to express my sincere disappointment with the tone of your recent and past posts. Frankly, I find them insulting. It's only out of my willingness to improve the games and show my appreciation to the buyers and fellow hobbists that I respond. I try not to engage in negative comments, but your constant negative and patronizing comments are offensive.

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


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