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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:10 am 
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How about allowing Rebel units to deploy Napoleonic style detachable skirmishers and adding in some "chateaux" hexes for key strong-points - that way they be able to hold off the bluebellies at 10:1 odds.

Maj. Gen. Rich White
2nd Div, III Corps "Swamp Legion"
ANV


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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:56 pm 
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All this discussion about ratings makes me think about Ozark. My favorite title hands down because of the lack of Rebel supermen.

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2nd Brigade
Hindman's Division
Stewart's Corps
Army of Tennessee
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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:51 pm 
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That is why the Ozaks is more of a fictional campagin - no Rebel Supermen :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:50 pm 
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There is a reason that the CSA failed to retain Missouri even after winning at Wilson's Creek. Sure it probably was Fremont ran the show out there for a while. :)

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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:26 am 
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I should start a new thread for designer notes on Campaign Overland but let me pick up the conversation here:

1. Rebel Supermen (A Quality Units) - What this really comes down to is playability. Historically, the ANV generally held their defensive positions even when facing extreme odds. There were occassions where the Rebels routed but they generally did so only when grossly outnumbered or suffering from extreme fatigue. Leadership and positive morale had a lot to do with the south's performance. So the challenge was... how do we get the ANV to stand and fight in long battles or multiple battles without running? Answer: up the quality. Now the ANV will stay in the trenches and fight. The Union army will not have much success with brute force and frontal assaults -- the historical reality. Personally, I think we modeled the situation fairly well.

2. Campaign Overland was unlike any other campaign in the war. After the Wilderness, both sides started digging immediately upon reaching a chosen position. Trenches were an essential part of the game. We researched and tested trenching times and capabilities and modeled it as best we could. Lets see how it plays out on a grand scale and we can tweak the trenching speed in the pdt files if necessary.

3. The design of this Campaign followed a long and winding road. There were more than a few versions and changes and inevitably things get missed. We are already working hard to fix any errors - large and small - that we have overlooked. If you find something, please drop us a note. As far as we know, the campaigns play out well and the individual battles were all well tested. But again, if you find a quirk, drop us a note and we'll be sure to get it fixed in the first update. Our apologies for any oversights.

4. Strategy. When playing the campaign it will not be possible to "hold to the last man" or "fight to the death" in any single battle. Players will have to pick and choose their fights and conserve the strength or their army or they will not be there at the end. This is especially true for the ANV. The casualties carry over from battle to battle. A player must know when to abandon the field and fight another day.

We hope you enjoy the Campaign. If you have questions, just ask and we'll try to provide some insight into our madness.

KJones

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5th Brigade/Old Reliable Division/XV Corps/Army of Tennessee
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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:04 am 
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Hi, Ken,

First, I would like to congratulate you and John and the other folks involved in this project on a job well done.

I have mentioned the lack of conformity in weapons effectiveness and my reservations earlier in the thread.

I am curious about the difference in game terms between a trench and a breastwork, and whether the trench-building capability was included because of an additional historical capability it confers upon the defender or strictly for historical value.

When I get home from Christmas travels, I will go over the game and pick out specific things that caught my attention. Would you rather that be in the thread or by email?

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MG Mike Mihalik
Forrest's Cavalry Corps
AoWest/CSA


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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:49 am 
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As to the A quality reb units, in every one of my battles, I have 500 man, A quality rgts routing even with 0 fatigue and other areas having to completely wipeout D and E quality yankee units fighting to the last man. I have no idea why it is always happening. It makes me think there may be a hidden tweak or two in favor of the yankees in order to offset their crap officers overall. It seems most of the actual players today play like they invented the blitzkrieg in the 1860s and since these are games, are nowhere near as timid as most of the yankee generals were so it would be difficult in the first place to get a balanced play going on. Plus there are plenty of people who have the advantage of being able to study scenarios noting reinforcement times and entry hexes etc. I cannot stack my units like the yankee players either because almost always outnumbered that would leave me a shorter line which means unless there is total restrictive terrain, both flanks could be easily overlapped. I also hate obj hexes because all the fighting ends up around those...wouldn't it be nice to have battles where you determine your own objs or have them random for each battle only to be revealed at the end of the game so no scenario plays the same? I play everything either blind or off of memory if previously played and as historically realistic as I can remember which means I will probably never win another game but at this point, I don't care as I just have fun playing period.


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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Mr. Wales:

I commend you on your mode of play. I also like to play blind with minimal intelligence of the scenario. It makes it all the more fun. Campaign Overland provides the Rebels with protective terrain and defensive works that provide them a fighting chance at a victory. The big battles have only only minimal value objective hexes. We all agreed that Grant's objective was Lee's army. So we went with that. Smaller scenarios have objectives but those battles are limited in scope.

Mr. Mihalik: I'll have to get back to you on the trenches vs. breastworks question. I want to be certain before I answer.
Quote:
I have mentioned the lack of conformity in weapons effectiveness and my reservations earlier in the thread.

The Overland1 pdt file is pretty close to the standard used in the other games in the ACW series. The other versions of that standard pdt just reflect situations and conditions specific to particular scenarios. We played with a variety of pdt files to gain realism -- sacrificing standardization.

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BG Ken 'Muddy' Jones
5th Brigade/Old Reliable Division/XV Corps/Army of Tennessee
USA


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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:07 pm 
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My dislike of large numbers of "A" quality units is that it is almost impossible to command top quality units "badly"?
"A" quality units rally and undisrupt themselves fairly reliably without the aid of a leader even though they may be widely dispersed and detached from command. We haven't seen such an elevation of Reb troop quality to such a level as may be seen in the Overland game.
To me, the nature of the Union Army has been designed very realistically. The benefit of hindsight means a Union player can achieve much better results than was ever historically possible. That is an unfortunate fact.

The pursuit of playability means that the designers have had to enforce a measure of parity somehow ...but I very much dislike the notion of the Reb player commanding legions of "supermen".

The Reb may be overwhelmed by sheer numbers through simple attrition and there seems to be little that we can do to escape this fact ...It's the main worry I had for deciding whether to bother buying this game or not.
The Reb player may choose or be forced to squander his inferior numbers to an unwinnable battle of numbers ...but I feel it has become impossible for me to punish bad play in military terms: So I may strive to lead my troops to deliver a blow against the rear or flank of an exposed and unsuspecting foe BUT I am always going to find these units being judged as "A" quality Regiments ..and of inherently powerful status.

These are grand tactical simulations but I feel that operational and strategic considerations have been forced upon us for the sake of game playability?
I can destroy my opponent through application of numbers but I cannot beat him through better play?

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2nd Brigade, Cavalry Division, XX Corps.
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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:39 pm 
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Digglyda wrote:
I can destroy my opponent through application of numbers but I cannot beat him through better play?


Sir:

You may remain unconvinced that the ANV's high quality rating leads to better outcome without sacrificing historical reality. But I can assure you that Union Army's role as the aggressor in 1864 will provide you many opportunities to outmaneuver your opponent--and that the Rebels will be able to resist your superior numbers, err, generalship.

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5th Brigade/Old Reliable Division/XV Corps/Army of Tennessee
USA


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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:33 am 
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I purchased this game because I like large scenarios. Have not played any yet, however the information in this forum has given me a lot to explore before I do. You guys are a great source of information to us "newbees" Keep it comming. Capt Tony Medoro


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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:58 am 
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This is a quick FYI on recovery from Disruption since that has come up in the thread. Morale only affects whether a unit routs or recovers from a rout. Morale does not affect disruption. This solely rests on the immediate leadership of the unit in question. Thus, a lot of A units without an effective leader will become a brave but disorganized mob. A units won't undisrupt faster than an F unit and in fact an F regiment will undisrupt faster if well led!

That being said, I wonder if it would be more effective to give a morale bonus to units behind works or in trenches rather than simply giving them permanent higher morale. The fact is, while the ANV held their works with undaunted courage during the Overland Campaign, I doubt if they would have been so brave out in an open field.

Still, I've seen plenty of Reb units below A quality so I don't think the Confederate Army in Overland is superhuman. Just another tough nut to crack with some imagination.

In regards to disruption, here is what the player manual says:

"Recovery From Disruption
After all Leaders have been through the Command Test, they are used to determine if Disrupted units become un-Disrupted that turn. A Detached unit is given a value of 1 for the Test for Disruption Recovery. A non-Detached unit whose Leader has passed his Command Test is given a value of 1 plus the current numerical Command Rating of his commander. If a random die roll is less than or equal to this value, then the unit becomes un-Disrupted."

PS - The new Trench rules are superb! For the long scenarios, this will allow the Rebs to offset the Union numbers just as they did historically.

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Cast Iron Division
VI Corps, AofS


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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:11 pm 
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Gentlemen:
Having been only this day commissioned in the Union Army as an A.D.C. in Headquarters, I have taken the first train south to join you in the suppression of the rebellion.
I join Ken Jones in wishing you godspeed as you embark on the Overland Campaign. When we started on this journey James Buchanan was president and old Abe was not heard of outside of Illinois. If you have any questions about any aspect of Overland that I could answer, please let me know. I have followed your comments closely while awaiting my commission. Thought it was best to "lay low" all this time while the project was in the works, but I hope to get in a few licks for the cause of Union now that I am finally here.
John Ferry
2LT, USA


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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:47 pm 
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I will add a little bit, since Ken Jones has done a great job answering many of your issues. As well as Ken and John Ferry's great knowledge of the campaign, I am also a military historian, and I have walked and studied most of the ground of the campaign (say most because you cannot get to all of it, but I have walked as much as humanly possible without getting a divorce). The player testers went round and round working to make it as historically accurate as possible, while making it playable as well. We had a lot of great sessions arguing over streams, roads, bridges, terrain, etc...as well as unit quality and commanders.

I understand Digger's reservations, but believe me, and having played him and gotten beaten in an Atlanta campaign scenario I worked on, there is plenty of opportunities on the bigger maps of the US fixing with part of his Army and maneuvering with the rest to gain flanks and rear areas. A quality US player will have a lot of fun with Overland as will a CS player.

In regard to the A morale status of many CS units, and please believe me I am unbiased even though I belong in the CS Army. This is actually quite accurate.

Why?

First, the Army of Potomac received almost 50% of its numbers by May 1, 1864 were new units or replacements (drafts). There were also many new regiments, that had untried quality in leadership and cohesion.

Second, despite the presence of Grant, the Army of Potomac culture still reflected that of McClellan and actually remained so until the pursuit to Appomattox. Grant and others around him would complain of this continually in May and June. Little Mac developed a risk averse Army, and even though the players of the game represent the army commander, which filters down to regiments, there still has to be a representation of the quality of the new and inexperienced people as well as the culture of risk aversion. Add to this the IX Corps, not only was Burnside a lackluster commander, but his four division commanders were average at best, and poor overall.

The exception to these issues are the US Cavalry Corps and US Artillery.

In regards to the US Cavalry Corps, not only Sheridan, but the corps had the most aggressive, and in most cases the youngest commanders all the way down to brigade and regimental level. I contend that this corps became by mid summer 64 one of the finest units in US Army history: Aggressive and innovative commanders, well equipped with the latest weapons, as well as highly motivated and confident soldiers. The other exception is also the overall high quality of US Artillery, also reflected in morale and quality.

Third and finally, is moving through enemy country and fighting in one's own backyard. This always has an impact on morale and fighting effectiveness (confidence of junior leaders knowing the ground-how to get somewhere with little trouble).

Even with this, there are plenty of quality US units that always hold everything together in tough games.

John and I also played the campaign game around 350 or so turns. Both players have to think long term. It is a great opportunity, with the additional rules John has provided makes it playable. I really enjoyed it. I wish we could do something with the Atlanta campaign as well. As you all know, PBEM enables us to play a turn a day or even less, and keep the game going since we don't have to set up maps in a spare bedroom with dogs, kids and wife out to destroy it).

Trenches and breastworks (we had a great discussion on this a year or so ago in this forum). As the war went on in 64, the Soldiers began building traverses as well as alternate works providing protection in all directions. The works of 64 resemble the West Front in World War I with abatis in the place of barbed wire (at Drewey's Bluff Butlers troops used telegraph wire strung between chopped trees).

What is interesting is to walk the trenches built during Wilderness (May 5-6) through Spotslvania (May 8-18), at North Anna (May 21-24) and through Cold Harbor (June 1-12), the progressively evolve. The best trenches in existance today are at N. Anna park in Hanover Country, take the I-95 exit just south of N. Anna River where you go to King's Dominion Amusement Park. You see where the ANV built trench sections by company (of varying lengths all over the place with bunkers for commanders, ammo depots, and alternate positions).

I hope I can assist John and Ken in answering any questions.

Thanks, and have fun,
Don

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Donald Vandergriff
Brigadier General, CSA
Commanding 7th Brigade
Army of Mississippi


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 Post subject: Re: New "Overland Campaign" Opinions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:01 pm 
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Posts: 54
Gentlemen
<salute>

I am currently playing the extended campaign game. We just started the second battle and I have a problem with the map :
the bridge at Germanna Ford (38.18) is missing !

this is on scenario #117_Wild_A_3
I have checked all the other Wilderness battles including the large one : the brigde exists on all other battles except this one (with a value of 150 in A_1 and A_5 for example)

I believe it is a mistake as it just cuts Morris' brigade in 2 parts.
I don't mind re-building it but it needs to be on the map even broken ...

thanks if you can have a look

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CO XX Corps and Adjutant, AotC, USA
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