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 Post subject: Comparison of the Armies at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:36 pm 
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<b>Comparison of the Armies at Gettysburg</b>

Because I have listened to so many complaints from our Yankee friends about how much better the ANV is than the AoP in spite of its size I decided to verify this one way or another. In the game each unit is given a quality rating of A to F which corresponds to an internal number of 6 to 1 where A/6 are the best and F/1 are the worse. I have used the numeric rating in my comparison since I loaded the June 30th OOB into a spreadsheet to get the numbers. I calculated the weighted (number of men in each regiment times its rating) average rating for each Corps in both armies. This analysis is for the infantry only and is listed below:

AoNV
1st Corps 20500 4.8
2nd Corps 21275 4.4
3rd Corps 22650 4.1
Total 64425 4.4

AoP
I Corps 11925 4.4
II Corps 11975 4.0
III Corps 11825 4.0
V Corps 11950 3.4
VI Corps 13475 4.0
XI Corps 9575 3.0
XII Corps 7775 4.1
Total 78500 3.9

Note the two armies have a quality difference of only 0.5 and both armies average the equivalent of a "C" grade unit. The Rebs, being smarter, get a C+.

To understand what this really means in terms of combat you have to remember what the effects of quality are. There are six numeric levels but in the game they are divided into three levels for determining modifiers. A unit with 5 or 6 rating gets a 10% bonus for fire and melee if you are using the optional rules. A unit with 1 or 2 rating gets a negative 10% bonus for fire and melee again assuming you are using optional rules. Otherwise the only affect is how likely the unit is to pass a morale check.

The morale effect is harder to compare. It says the Union will have more difficulty keeping their units in non routed or disrupted states. But if you compare the number of men each side has with 4 or better rating you find the two sides more equal. The Union has 56955 men with an average rating of 4.1 to fight the whole Rebel army of 64425 men with a rating of 4.4. And hanging around in the back the Union has another 21525 men who aren't quite as good but there are a lot of them. There is also a compensating factor for the Union. They have twice as many (27 to 13) division and higher leaders to rally their troops with. I'll save that one for a later study.

Assuming you are using the optional quality rules for combat it is easier to figure the equivalent strength due to them having a 10% bonus, negative or positive. I plan to do a more accurate calculation of this but just for quick comparison the Rebel 0.5 quality advantage should result in about a 5% equivalence in manpower. Raising the pseudo numbers to 67,646 to the Union 78,500. The Union still out numbers the South but now by only 16% instead of 22%.

There are some other factors to work in which I hope to do later. During the battle at various times both sides have unbalanced forces on the field. The Union starts with their best and worse Corps. The Rebel starts with their worse one but they don't have the extremes in quality that the Union does. However, if you look at the Rebel side at the division level there significant variation, from 3 all the way to 6 in quality. The Rebels also suffer having their best Corps, Longstreet, come in late.

When you factor in the Cavalry, 12,000 Union to 10,000 Rebel, and the Artillery which I don't have numbers for, I think the Union has little excuse for not winning.[:D] Which I will be happy to demonstrate anytime wearing the blue.[:D]


General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
2/3/IV AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:46 pm 
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Kennon,
good work. When you add to this the Rebel supply problem (as detailed by Ross last year), the yanks corps/division organization gives them another advantage.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:02 am 
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Interesting post thanks for sharing. [;)]

I would be very interested in seeing the balance shift day by day and even half day by half day.

<font color="green">
<b>BG David Guégan</b>, Brittany Volunteers,
<b>Army of the Cumberland </b>
</font id="green">


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:58 am 
I attepted to post praise for your work and the work of the designer as based on what I have read, I think he got it about right.....I wake up this morning and it was not there.....Hmmmm, must have been removed by the censors!!!!! (Joke)

BG Hank Smith
Army of Georgia
Smith's Corp Commanding


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:39 pm 
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As one of the voices complaining bitterly over this supposed imbalance, I feel I must add some findings/figures of my own to augment Kennons welcome research:
Using the June 30th OOB as Kennon did, I attempted to further breakdown the particulars of the Infantry on either side.

The Union AoP fields a total of 77625 men in 239 Regiments across 51 Brigades / 19 Divisions / 7 Corps. This gives a simple average Regimental strength of 325 men.

The quality of these units is divided as follows:
A & B quality Infantry: 9700 (30 Regiments across 12 Brigades)
C quality Infantry: 39450 (123 Regiments across 34 Brigades)
D quality Infantry: 27200 (82 Regiments across 21 Brigades)
E quality Infantry: 1275 (4 Regiments across 2 Brigades)

(I have omitted from my calculations the Provost guard Infantry, Corps & Divisional level Infantry detachments and those of the Artillery Reserve. This explains the discepancy between my own and Kennons figure for total strength present) This may be problematic, as these ad hoc Infantry give the Union in total an "extra" 1800 men in 15 different units present for duty. I find their inclusion in the OOB's irregular but extremely welcome from a personal gaming point of view. Their impact and influence on any game outcome is worthy of discussion?

The AoNV fields a total of 64375 Infantry in 174 regiments across 37 Brigades / 9 Divisions / 3 Corps. This gives an average regimental strength of 370 men.

The quality of these units is divided as follows:
A & B quality Infantry: 28000 (72 Regiments across 20 Brigades)
C quality Infantry: 31675 (88 Regiments across 23 Brigades)
D quality Infantry: 4700 (13 Regiments across 5 Brigades)

My contention is that the Infantry of the AoNV, being both qualitively better AND qualitively DIFFERENT (in arrangement) makes up for the fact that they are outnumbered by the AoP ...and it is this fact that I believe allows Reb players to stage in "unfair" play to their advantage. (For "unfair" read unrealistic, gamey or stylised. The Reb can commonly rout a Union line (part of at least) at first contact and maintain pressure subsequently). I fear that the large number of A & B quality Infantry make this possible.
This is a claim I have made previously about a number of scenarios on the different HPS games, but which I say is noticeably problematic on Gettysburg. Most of my games on HPS Gettysburg end in defeat or my withdrawal from the contest as a result of my rebel opponent being able to rout and disrupt my Infantry to such a degree that counters my numerical advantage. These claims are mostly based on the experience of turn based play, I find phased based play not as problematic.
I feel that the Union AoP at Gettysburg has been designed as a bludgeon, with the limitation in application of such a weapon. The only option to the Union commander is to defeat the Reb by overwhelming him through weight of force. Sensible play is rendered secondary to this fact. Positional play is largely irrelevant ...the input of the commanding officer is largely inconsequential = poor play will be punished, good play is not rewarded.
The Rebel AoNV on the other hand has been modelled as a much more lethal weapon: the larger average size of the Rebel Regiments and their higher quality allows them to employ an economy of force never achievable by the Union and most importantly to "ignore" the effects of disruption that would historically limit the offensive ability of a force from this period.
It seems that the only way to satisfy my complaint will be to play as the Reb side at Gettysburg and prove it ...one way or the other.

Taken from the Civil war battles users manual, section on morale:

"Morale refers to the mental state of the fighting units and the effect leaders have on restoring that state in the forces under their command. Units with good Morale and with inspiring leaders will fight better than units with low Morale or uninspiring leaders. Often a smaller force can overwhelm a larger one if it has superior Morale."

This in game terms is very important in understanding and agreeing on what should be possible with the forces at hand. We should be looking to see "clever" play and "daring" play being duly rewarded or punished depending on the factors involved. All too often I am seeing Reb players staging up to my prepared position in open order, extended deployments and evicting my forces from that position through frontal assault relatively easily. It is extremely difficult to equate this with what we understand from the pages of history. There is no "shock" or flanking/timing factors involved (In fairness the game engine doesn't really support the nature of factors like this anyway, even abstractly).

I would be interested to see a comprehensive list of ALL the hundreds of scenarios on the 11 game titles detailing which are actually "biased/unfair" (one way or the other) and which are truly "balanced" as gaming situations.



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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:00 am 
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As I have both won and lost battles in the Gettysburg Campaign(chiefly the 3 day battle scenario, i can only attribute this to the quality of play between opponents rather than any inequity in the make-up of the armies. There are many Union players who consistently win on the Gettysburg field of battle and this has to be because they know how to play the game. I have consistently lost against some of my opponents because frankly they "outplay " me. I hate to admit it, but they are simply better players than me. If I have any complaint against the Gettysburg scenario, it is the position and value of some of the objectives which force the Union to deploy in unadvantagious locations which can be easily outflanked.

Maj.Gen. Drex Ringbloom,
AotS Chief-of -Staff,
2nd Division Cmdr, "Corcoran's Legion", VIII Corps
Army of the Shenandoah
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:40 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 Drex</i>
<br />As I have both won and lost battles in the Gettysburg Campaign(chiefly the 3 day battle scenario, i can only attribute this to the quality of play between opponents rather than any inequity in the make-up of the armies. There are many Union players who consistently win on the Gettysburg field of battle and this has to be because they know how to play the game. I have consistently lost against some of my opponents because frankly they "outplay " me. I hate to admit it, but they are simply better players than me. If I have any complaint against the Gettysburg scenario, it is the position and value of some of the objectives which force the Union to deploy in unadvantagious locations which can be easily outflanked.

Maj.Gen. Drex Ringbloom,
AotS Chief-of -Staff,
2nd Division Cmdr, "Corcoran's Legion", VIII Corps
Army of the Shenandoah
Image



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

Well, if there are many Union players who consistently win on the 3 - day Gettysburg I don't doubt that it is entirely because they "know how" to "play the game". I'm willing to bet that most Union victories at Getty are achieved over Rebs who seriously mess up somehow or generally play poorly throughout. On the other hand, I insist that many Union players fight tooth aand nail for the full 3 days and still get beaten by the Reb ...simply 'cos of the quality of Reb Infantry creating an anomaly (call it what you will) in the gameplay. I'm a reasonably competent, experienced player but I get consistently taken apart on the field at Gettysburg in a manner that raises questions in my mind, because it does not happen in a similar manner on any of the other titles to such an extent.
The entire game engine is a combination of mathematical calculations that will reliably generate one of a limited number of results. Certainly there are members of this club, on both sides, who understand this expertly and know how best to exploit it to effect. I admire and salute their competence and intelligence in doing so. They are without doubt better "players" than I am. However, I didn't originally come here to "play games" ...I was hoping rather to "simulate tactics & strategy". I guess the bottom line is that it is simply not possible to do so adequately within the environment available? So it's "play-the-game" or nothing?
Being beaten, even heavily, is one thing ...and I come here fully expecting it to happen ...but I question the amount of "kudos" that be granted to an opponent in doing so when the playing field is skewed, if indeed it is so.

I'm willing to state here that I think the standard of most Rebel play is quite poor and they benefit from the single most weighted factor found in these games: Infantry quality. Most Reb play I find to be horribly simplistic and incredibly aggressive. Most Rebs above new recruit level often undertake offensive action regardless of the supposed tactical/operational situation simply because the quality of their Infantry allows them to ...and they do so in a manner just not reflecting the historical limitations of the troops involved.
I think that if some strange stroke of fortune transported us back to the days of the ACW, then most club Rebs would receive a rude awakening if they attempted to do for real what they accomplish with forces in game. I mean that quite seriously and sincerely.
So, whilst I find plenty of Rebs that are better "players" than myself, I'm not willing to agree that anywhere near so many are better "Generals".


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


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:02 am 
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I haven't checked why there would be any difference in my numbers and Wilkes' but I include only brigade infantry (no artillery crews, provost guard, etc.) that are unfixed on the battlefield. The numbers are all from the June 30th historic oob. They should be close but I still have to verify if every regiment is really on the field. Also, any of my opinions on relative stength of troops in a fight are based on phased play not Turn.

I disagree with Wilkes' assertion that the difference in quality is signficant. The difference is small and the effect is small. It does require that the low quality troops be fought different from high quality. Low quality are great for attritioning the enemy but they can't hold a position or sustain an offensive. One has to allow for the time it takes to rally them and get them back in the fight.

The HPS game system isn't a good one for reproducing the defense of Cemetery Hill. In that since it doesn't reproduce the historic flow of the battle. The Confederate player rarely lets Pender's division sit out the whole morning and the Union player rarely tries to hold a line as far forward as historical.

As to the balance of the game I don't believe I have ever lost as the Union. I have actually won the battle as the Union by 3 PM on the first day but this required a Rebel mistake. That is why I offer to take the Union side in the Historic or 007 scenario any time to prove my point. I also love their artillery and having ammo to use it.[:D]

The key to Union victory is the third day. Only then does the full weight of their numeric advantage come into play and only then can they win. However, the battle flow will seldom follow historical results. Any Rebel player that hasn't taken Cemetery Hill by night of day 1 has lost the battle. A smaller force can never drive a stroner force off a defensive position (height, woods, fences) position unless the quality difference is more than one level ( B versus E ). I have won more battles due to early surrender of the Union than due to actually defeating them.

General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
2/3/IV AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:12 am 
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And, let me add a challenge to any Yankees that really feel the battle balance is significantly toward the Rebs. I will happily take the Union side in 007 or the historic scenario. I think once you have played the Rebel side you will see why their weaknesses far out weight the quality advantage. Expect to play a three day battle so have plenty of time for quick turnaround of turns. Game with all options selected which will help the Rebs on quality and ammo. Artillery rules can be looked at since there are some problems with capture rules. Phased play of course. Turn heavily favors the attacker. I haven't looked at Turn play regarding quality.

We can post an ongoing commentary of the battle in the forums with maybe and nine turn delay so we don't give away plans.

Any takers?

General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
2/3/IV AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:22 am 
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General Wilkes: I don't believe Tiller ever meant for this game to be a "simulation" as you wish it to be. the game is tweaked and moidified to be played as a game. No wonder you are disappointed with the results. If someone wins because of a mistake by the opponent as opposed to a brilliant field manuever, then ,by God, that is war.
Also, I'm not going to agree that the other side is filled with terrible generals who can only win because the game is skewed in their favor. That is insulting not only to the Rebel side but also to your fellow officers who lose to them.
It is also apparent that some scenarios are unbalanced but this may because History rarely provides its participants with equal opportunities. The fact is, this Game has been played thousands of times for many years and is modified as needed to make it better but I do not want it to become a Union walk-over.

Maj.Gen. Drex Ringbloom,
AotS Chief-of -Staff,
2nd Division Cmdr, "Corcoran's Legion", VIII Corps
Army of the Shenandoah
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:27 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 KWhitehead</i>
Any takers?
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

007 phased play with all options. send me a file albert_amos@yahoo.com



MG Al "Ambushed" Amos, Commanding Officer
1st Div, I Corps, AoP, USA

http://albert-amos.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:01 am 
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Two takers which is probably all I can handle right now and keep a good email turn around rate.

MG A. Amos
BG Jim Wilkes

Al's is phased play with all options
Jim's is phased play with all but Route Limiting option.

Jim brought up a valid point since his comments were specifically directed at Turn play. The Turn system in HPS does heavily favor the attacking force. It also has an additional benefit from quality although I haven't verified it. Opportunity fire I believe requires a morale check to occur. "A" units will tend to shoot you to pieces as you approach them. "E" units just watch. I haven't played Gettysburg using the Turn system enough to make a judgement on how much this favors one side or the other. In theory it will average out since the Rebel is on the offensive half the battle and the Union the other half. This doesn't always work out that way since the Rebel is the attack during the first half and if they do enough damage the Union doesn't have the ability to do their half.

I am going to start a post(s) following these two games here and in the Southern Raiders. The SR one obviously will have more details on tactics. The ones in this forum I will use to expand and verify my spreedsheet analysis as I go.

General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
2/3/IV AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:17 am 
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Not to tip my hand or anything, but my plan is to not have a plan.

Hey! It worked for Lee, didn't it? hehehehe....[:p]

MG Al "Ambushed" Amos, Commanding Officer
1st Div, I Corps, AoP, USA

http://albert-amos.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:52 am 
I hope ya'll will keep us up to date.....This will be interesting....I am betting on Genril Whitehead......

BG Hank Smith
Army of Georgia
Smith's Corp Commanding


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:23 pm 
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I'm playing in an MP game against Kennon right now and I know he's giving Dierk Walter fits so Kennon is no slouch. If he loses to either Wilkes or Amos, then the Rebs might indeed have the advantage. Although this battle has been played so many times, there just might be a winning Rebel strategy.

Maj.Gen. Drex Ringbloom,
AotS Chief-of -Staff,
2nd Division Cmdr, "Corcoran's Legion", VIII Corps
Army of the Shenandoah
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