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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:15 am 
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I'll start a thread pretty soon following the two games. Also will include a more detail workup of the forces and their quality as the game progresses. Over in Southern Raiders I will put a thread for the CSA side detailing my strategy since knowing what you enemy can do to you goes a long way toward coming up with a counter strategy.

So far with Wilkes the Union has gotten first blood. Al will probably be feeling my artillery next turn as well. Mostly my tactics are "Roll or bowl a ball, a penny a pitch!" down the Chambersburg Pike. Love them Yankee cannon when they are mine.

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


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:26 pm 
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Just my 2 cents but I think by far the best way to play the Gettysburg battle is not to play the actual battle itself but the much more challenging "Collision in Maryland" what if scenario.

Much more room for grand strategy and wide ranging operations. I think it's the only way to really match up these 2 armies and bring out the General in all of us (even those of us still below the general officer grade) [8D]

Col Mark van der Hagen
2nd Brigade/2nd Division
XIV Corps/AoC


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:11 am 
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This will be a good game. I'm watching the movie again to pick up some tricks. [;)]

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

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


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:45 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 Digglyda</i>
<br />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.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

I agree with General Wilkes on this. Also, on a scale of 1-5. 0.5 difference is statistically very significant (in reference to Kennon's numbers). Playing either side requires vastly different playing styles. I don't think that's a bad thing but sometimes I want to be the rebel who gets to form up and charge the lines and not the Union General who has to keep reserves to plug holes and run around rallying troops all the time.

General Don Golen

I Corps /Army of the Potomac
"The Iron Corp"

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:19 pm 
The thing I would say about the quality differences noted, is that in virtually every book I have read, the authors (Even Yankee slanted ones) keep stressing the the rebel infantry really was superior, and the Union artillery was superior.....Sounds to me as if the designer got it about right.....Further, both sides are whining about how difficult the scenarios are for their side.....To me it sounds like he got things about right......

BG Hank Smith
Army of Georgia
Smith's Corp Commanding


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:57 pm 
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Gentlemen <salute>

Okay, each army enjoys an advantage somewhere. I won't rehash arguments for or against either, I'll address how we take advantage of the system (in my opinion). We stack as many units in a hex as possible, and then use every one of them in massed fire at a single target (usually with pretty significant results)

I don't know that this was historical in many instances, as if you have say 3 regiments of infantry in a hex (maybe not all from the same brigade) without any "leader" present, who would give the order for everyone to fire together on the same unit?

I'd like to see how scenarios would play with a game rule that every regiment or battery was required to fire individually. That's how automated defensive fires are conducted by the AI, I believe.

My regards,





Col Neal Hebert
2nd Division, I Corps, AotM
Deputy Commandant, VMI

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:44 pm 
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Sirs
I hear my brothers claim yankee advantage in artillary. I disagree; put fire on them hills young man. Round one goes to the yanks, but round two and three go two me. Rebel cannon iz very strong. The quality in ratings A&B for rebel cannon reflects the Honor these men had standing their ground and returning fire.

Colonel Reynaldo Tavison
Old Jack's "Foot Cavarly"
Brigade.
4th Brigade/2nd Division/1st Corps/A.N.V.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:54 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 Neal Hebert</i>
<br />Okay, each army enjoys an advantage somewhere. I won't rehash arguments for or against either, I'll address how we take advantage of the system (in my opinion). We stack as many units in a hex as possible, and then use every one of them in massed fire at a single target (usually with pretty significant results)

I don't know that this was historical in many instances, as if you have say 3 regiments of infantry in a hex (maybe not all from the same brigade) without any "leader" present, who would give the order for everyone to fire together on the same unit?

I'd like to see how scenarios would play with a game rule that every regiment or battery was required to fire individually. That's how automated defensive fires are conducted by the AI, I believe.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
General Neal,

First, I wish we had the option to go back to individual unit fire in ADF. Now everything fires by stack in ADF, if you have installed the latest updates. If a 10 man unit happens to be closest to a stack of twenty guns, that means the entire twenty guns expend ammo to kill the ten men. Maybe Yanks can afford that kind of ammo expenditure, but Rebs cannot.

I infer that you play turn instead of phase, because firing infantry by stack should have no bearing in phase play. I have played a couple of scenarios awhile back in which my opponent and I moved and fired each unit individually, including committing each to melee individually, using the turn system. It evened out the game some but proved too cumbersome in large scenarios.

Historically, the amount of cannon and infantry that can fire from a hex is unrealistic from both a physical and a tactical standpoint. It works as a game though. I also believe that among veteran infantry, which comprise the bulk of the soldiers on both sides at Gettysburg, fire control after the initial volley was nonexistent, and the soldiers fired at will until ordered to cease fire.

MG Mike Mihalik
2/4/I/AoMiss/CSA


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:21 pm 
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As I see it the problem with Gettysburg (and keep in mind I like playing the game), is that the course is so well set. The Union does its best to retreat, the Confederates do their best to engage. And depending on this, much is determined.
In the real battle, it wasn't so set in stone. Would the Union have advanced so far, would Heth and Pender have had a certain amount of hesitation if the story had already been scripted?
Seems to me to best portray this alot of randomness would be needed. Entrance points and even better moving objective values. Uncertainty should be the key of the day. It would sort of be interesting if one could get victory points at the end of each day dependent not only on territory held, but the numbers on the field (the less committed the more points).
As for sides, I suspect that much of it is dependent on the commander and how they intend to use their troops. Sadly we don't often replay the actual battle, as the system doesn't portray it too well.
LTG Laabs
4/I A of M


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:48 pm 
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"The Union does its best to retreat, the Confederates do their best to engage."

Man Kennon, I wish I would've read this post BEFORE our game started. hehehe.... [:p]

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

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


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:46 pm 
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Permit me to point out one issue plaguing most of TS and HPS games, namely the rule of double penalty.

The side with inferior officer quality will get inferior troop quality to boot. In Gettysburg the Confederate army enjoys a double edge of superior officer quality (brigade, division, corps) AND superior troop quality. Consequently the Confederate artillery is double penalized by having on average lower ratings than US artillery while suffering from inferior weapons.

Yes, the argument can be made that mediocre brigade commander will have mediocre regimental commanders how that was not always the case and by 1863 most of the AoP units were seasoned veterans under bumbling brigade commanders.

Now HPS actually did solve that in its Napoleonic series. In the Eckhmul campaign for example the Austrian regiments are as good (and often slightly bigger) as the French but the overall quality of higher ranking Austrian officers (with few notable exceptions) is poor and far inferior to French commanders.

In short it is my opinion that, especially in the case of Gettysburg, the game would be more historically accurate if US infantry and CS artillery was on average of higher quality. The US would still be penalized by inferior officers (George Sykes anyone?) while CS artillery would still suffer from inferior guns.

Lt. A. Trommel
"Motley Foreign Ranks"
5th Bde/1st Div/XVIth Corps, Army of the Tennessee, USA


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:43 am 
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Ah, but are they? I plan to take a look at that claim later but the Confederate high command was at its worst at Gettysburg and the HPS ratings follow. Lee and Longstreet have good ratings but Ewell and Hill are mediocre. Their division commanders are a mixed bag too. These are the people that determine of bonuses are passed down to the brigade leaders so any of them can break the chain from Lee. I have a feeling that when I look at ratings at each command level we will find even less difference between the two armies than quality showed. But this will have to wait for me to have time to do it.

But there is one very important leader advantage the Union has over the South. They have twice as many high level leaders, above brigade. These are the people that determine how much frontage your army can have and still be in command. They also the people that can rally routed units by stacking with them. This gives the Union the ability to keep their army in combat while the Rebel army tends to degrade quickly due to routing.

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


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:46 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>
This gives the Union the ability to keep their army in combat while the Rebel army tends to degrade quickly due to routing.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

That's something I have yet to see ...

<center>Gen. Walter, USA
<i>The Blue Blitz</i>
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<i>"... and keep moving on."</i>
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 2:53 am 
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I've set up a couple of test scenarios on Gettysburg to investigate the subject of recovery from rout and disruption by units and the influence of leaders on the results.

The first Rout Test study involves ALL Infantry Regiments being present on the map, stacked at map-edge in Brigade stacks ...with a fatigue level of 350 (medium) and making use of all leaders to provide as much assistance in rallying. I conducted the test a few times to check for comparison purposes. I found the following results over the course of 3 attempts:

Test #1 (leaders present) - Trial #1,2,3:
First turn;
<font color="red">Rebel: 126,130,123 units rallied out of 174 checked.</font id="red">
<font color="navy">Union: 153,171,162 units rallied out of 239 checked.</font id="navy">
Second turn;
<font color="red">Rebel: 35,32,38 units rallied out of 48,44,51 checked.</font id="red">
<font color="navy">Union: 52,43,41 units rallied out of 84,68,77 checked.</font id="navy">
Third Turn;
<font color="red">Rebel: 8,10,9 units rallied out of 13,12,13 checked.</font id="red">
<font color="navy">Union: 22,14,24 units rallied out of 32,25,36 checked.</font id="navy">

So rallying from rout seems a fairly even affair. It took about 7 or 8 turns on average to get ALL units finally rallied AND undisrupted on both sides. The Rebs normally get there first but only by the margin of a few units.
Rates of recovery from disrupted to undisrupted are remarkably similar under test conditions also.

Next I conducted a Test scenario again featuring all Infantry units on both sides routed in map edge stacks but this time with NO leaders present anywhere on the map for either side ...and obtained the following results over 3 test runs.

Test #2 (no leaders)- Trial #1,2,3:
First turn;
<font color="red">Rebel: 94,95,102 units rallied out of 174 checked.</font id="red">
<font color="navy">Union: 114,125,94 units rallied out of 239 checked.</font id="navy">
Second turn;
<font color="red">Rebel: 43,39,33 units rallied out of 80,79,72 checked.</font id="red">
<font color="navy">Union: 46,58,70 units rallied out of 125,114,145 checked</font id="navy">
Third Turn;
<font color="red">Rebel: 20,22,18 units rallied out of 37,40,39 checked.</font id="red">
<font color="navy">Union: 26,23,38 units rallied out of 79,56,75 checked</font id="navy">

Time taken to get all units rallied and undisrupted without the assistance of a stacked leader is rather longer as would be expected ...with both sides almost completely reordered after 20 or so turns.

So it appears that both sides are very evenly matched in their ability to rally & recover. The greater number of Union leaders balanced with the larger number of units requiring "supervision".
However, one must wonder how balanced the field is when it comes to the actual likelihood of routs happening in the first place? It must be safe to bet that the generally higher quality of the Rebel Infantry will see routs happening less often than in the Union ranks?

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


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 6:43 am 
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Number of leaders and quality of leaders affect different things.

When a player is on the offensive, locally or battle wide, he is usually the attacker and the other player is usually on the defense (or he made a big mistake). When you are taking most of your casualties from defensive fire you units only disrupt, not route. Here the most important factors are leader command ratings and keeping all units in command. For example if the Army leader, Corps leader and division leader pass their command checks it will add +3 to the brigade leaders test and if he passes, very likely even if mediocre, it will add +4 to the units recovery from disruption.

When on defense your main concern is with recovering from route. Disrupts also affect since it is what routed units turn in too but routed units can't fight so they are the bigger concern. Here the Union has an edge since they have twice as many higher level leaders to dedicate to this work. The rating of the leader doesn't matter. It is purely how many stacks can be adjacent or with the leaders. The Union can be working on twice as many as the Rebel.

I am later going to do a quality check on the leaders of both army to see if either has any real advantage there.

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


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