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 Post subject: Turn based outrage...(Yawn)...read on...
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:48 am
Posts: 345
Location: United Kingdom
Yes, I know. It's been covered enough in the past, but really, it just is too much to bear:

Turn #73/100 of a perversely tricky custom scenario on HPS Gettysburg called "Longstreets foot Cavalry".

Fair enough, my opponent HAS played a very clever game and I, it must be said, have turned in a shockingly poor performance. But quite apart from getting to grips with the finer points of the operational situation and my opponents crafty manuevering...I've had the feeling all along that nothing I do is going to make the slightest bit of difference anyway BECAUSE once again, some conspiracy at the design stage has left us with two wholly unequal sides with which to contest the issue.

My enemy is hitting my centre. I've calculated that about 8,000 - 9,000 Reb Infanry with strong artillery support are hitting a line of a similar number of Union Infantry, also supported by artillery. My growing sense of frustration reached a peak on the last turn when watching the Reb replay I noted these fire results along the frontage of line in question:

Reb; 11,24,3,6,1,37,18,3,24,36,23,21,15,8,11,15,8,4,9,4,5,3 = total 279 casualties inflicted plus 1 wounded officer.

Union; 0,0,0,0,1,1,0,F,2,0,0,F,0,F,0,F,0,F,F,F,F,F,F,F,1,0,0 = total 5 casualties inflicted plus fatigue results against Artillery moving and unlimbering.

Now, I tell you that any game that produces lop sided results of this nature is going to be basically unwinnable for the side getting the thin end of it. I don't want to hear about how the Union wins games through extra supply and more artillery? I don't think I've ever seen a game where that was the case...goodness knows I've played enough to know a reasonable amount about how the game usually plays out.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the field more headaches reveal themselves. A lone Reb Cavalry detachment of about 60 men, after overunning one Gun section has been surrounded by a Union force of 4 Infantry Regiments, 2 Cavalry detachments and 1 Gun section totalling more than 800 men. But of course, the Reb unit has managed to un-disrupt itself, without the aid of a leader, and melee my weakest unit out of the way. So, yet another turn wasted while I finally move to surround it again and finish it off. How many Reb players have had this happen to them at the hands of Union Cavalry?

It goes on and on. No wonder most of my Reb opponents insist on turn based play. I don't blame them.

Well, upon seeing the latest replay...I was ready to throw the mouse through the monitor screen. I studied the results page and considered a termination bid. I'll no doubt cool off and return to the file and play out my reponse. After all...I owe it to my opponent out of respect for him. But sometimes, I wonder why anyone in the Blue bothers to be honest...

Brigadier-General Jim Wilkes.
2nd Brigade, Cavalry Division, XX Corps.
AoC. U.S.A.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:09 pm
Posts: 50
Location: USA
I have experienced many of the same issues, I'm with you on this...

Lt. Tom Bridges
3/2/XIX/AoS
Kansas Dragoons

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:51 pm
Posts: 37
Location: USA
My first question would be what optional rules are you using.

Regardless, every unit has a 1/6th chance every turn of becoming undisrupted. Also, the leader benefit would appear to apply whether or not the unit is isolated, so if its in the command radius of its leader chain this is can be even higher. For confederates, considering their leader ratings, these units could have a 5/6 or 6/6 chance.

Not saying that this is right, but thats why it happens. The only way to control this is to have the Isolated Unit Optional rule on so they can only melee at 1/4 strength. Then he probably can't get out, especially as you can melee isolated mounted cavalry.

As to the fire combat, can't say much without knowing what the actual setup was... and what optional rules are in affect. Some people say the optional rules make it "more realistic", but after a lot of study I consider them more game balancing options or chrome plate. Some are there to give a tactical flavor to a game that really operates on the grand tactical level.








Cpt Jack Waldron
2nd Bde/1st Div/XIX Corps/AoS/USA

"My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom." William T Sherman


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:02 am
Posts: 273
Location: H.Q. Army of Georgia ACWGC
Well Sir, a merciful Providence will do strange things; and boxcars will turn up just when they are wanted the least. I don't know that it really comes from serving a morally bankrupt state, it may have more to do with probability. But seriously, you do raise a very interesting question. Any idea how the random number generators in the game engine work, and in what sequence the modifiers are compounded? The CRTs seem good, overall, and just IMOHO, although there may be some notable issues from title to title. Have recently played about 5 actions from Chancellorsville, in turn based play, as both USA and CSA, and found the results balanced and seemingly within expected probability distributions. Also played both sides of Cedar Mountain a couple of times with close results. Been the Reb moving on the business end of medium range artillery fire at Gettysburg that seemed very heavy indeed. However, I'd be frustrated playing the Yank in some of the Vicksburg scenarios, as a mountain of artillery rains down Jack most of the time, while the Rebs often get meaty results with far less fire. Nonetheless, we at 4/I AoG do understand that being a Yank must be a hard thing in most situations.[:D]

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<font size="4">Lt. Colonel J. Ellis
Officer Commanding
4/I AoG CSA
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The War Horse Division
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 1:01 pm
Posts: 280
Location: USA
Wow...

Didn't know anyone was playing that one.

Were you one of the original playtesters? I've forgotten...

My interest is because I gave Rusty a little help putting that one together... was a fun exercise.

Other than your frustration, how has the battle shaped up?



Major General Thompson
Chief of Staff
AoS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:17 am 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 7:49 pm
Posts: 425
Location: USA
I play turn based always and almost never see results like this. I too would ask what optional rules are you using and are you using any modified files. You're always welcome to submit issues along with supporting files to Support at hpssims.com as well.

LGen. Hamilton
II Corps
ANV, CSA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:09 am 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 5:41 am
Posts: 873
Location: Somewhere between D.C. and the battlefield
I have seen fairly lopsided results, also many in a row, yes. Mostly with turn-based play because the defensive fire is so much weaker (even though it can occur, and usually does, more frequently). Often, however, there are third factors involved, such as unit quality, terrain, the pertinent fact that Union regiments are often smaller, so that their defensive fire is weaker. It can get more complex, say if your units have lower quality to start with, they will disrupt and rout more often, i.e. you have to rotate your units more to plug gaps, so that the side that has lower quality also as a rule has more units that are disrupted and/or have moved before firing, so that their defensive fire is halved or even quartered, on top of the quality difference. That can account for an aweful disparity in fire effectiveness.

Gen. Walter, USA
<i>The Blue Blitz</i>
3/2/VIII AoS
West Point Class of '01
[url="http://www.home.datacomm.ch/dierk.walter/2VIIIAoS/persrecord.htm"]Image[/url] Image Image
"... and keep moving on."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1671
Location: USA
It is hard to say what happen with your fire but the way the game mechanics works all things being equal a regiment of a particular size will on average cause the same number of casualties. It is hard to compare since the very act of moving within range of another unit triggers things that may make the exchange unequal.

I have run a few experiments where I played both sides in phased play so I could move two equal lines adjacent to each other, waited a turn to elliminate the move penality and blazed away. This sounds silly but my aim was to see what ratio of force was needed to overcome the penalty of moving and being fired on first. Since moving causes your offensive fire to be halved on the first round and being the attacker subjects you to be fired on first, I wanted to see how the affect of being disrupted, routed or having reduced fire for the first round would affect th outcome.

The game produces about what you would expect. If an attacking line moves adjacent to an enemy line of equal strength, the two sides will take about equal casualties over a full turn (both have a round of defensive and offensive fire). If you let the defender fire first and the attacker suffers the first round move penalty the attacker will suffer worse the first round but after that they become more equal but not quite since the attacker got reduced first by kills and disrupts. It worked, in a spreadsheet that is, you need about 10% numeric advantage to attack another line and have equal results over the fire fight.

It's a handy rule of thumb like the need for 2:1 odds to have an even chance of winning a melee. All things being equal like terrain, morale, etc. an attack must have more than 10% force advantage in an attack to have a even chance of winning the exchange.

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


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