ACWGC
* ACWGC     * Dpt. of Records       * CSA HQ    * VMI    * Join CSA    
   * Union HQ    * UMA    * Join Union     ACWGC Memorial
CSA Armies:    ANV    AotW
Union Armies:    AotT     AotC      AotP      AotS     Union Army Forums
     Link Express
American Civil War Books, Magazines and Games for sale (See other items)
Club Forums:     NWC    CCC     Home Pages:     NWC    CCC    ACWGC
It is currently Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:36 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 66 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:46 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:48 am
Posts: 345
Location: United Kingdom
J. Ferry wrote:
Well to answer my own question, you must be playing one of the versions of "To Cold Harbor" but correct me if I am wrong. I'm curious to know what happened to the other bridgehead, at Hanovertown, and if you pressed forward and then got pushed back to the cul-de-sac? I would be pleased to play this scenario as the union against any adversary. Not saying I'd win--probably just lose in a different fashion.
By the way, HPS or JTSW did not come up with those rebel "supermen". I did it all by myself.
And if you never said you were a great general, you generally give that impression of your opinion of yourself.


Yes, "To Cold Harbor". The version on the bigger map.

Bridgehead at Hanovertown. Having to examine the start situation to recall how we got to where we are now but I'd say I left that crossing unoccupied. Reaching it took about 5 turns more for my reinforcements than the crossing to the north-west so I would have settled on the nearer crossings as more reachable & holdable? (I don't peek at the scenarios on this new disk). I always assume to have *some* numerical superiority.
Wouldn't describe it as "pressing forward". Probing movements while I wait for reserves to come up. Opponent sprung (Another! 2nd time he has done so to me) tactical ambush on my Cavalry (inadequate recce) initially from where the current situation has developed.
"pushed back into the cul-de-sac" is a fair description.

Not sure about any great general status or the presumption of it in any of my posts/messages. My service record shows a greater number of defeats than victories. If any arrogance comes across in my statements ...then I'm sorry about that but I guess it's just unfortunate given the nature of online contact. Playing excellent opponents like Kennon Whitehead and Ross McDaniel taught me a great deal about the relative balance and what can be achieved by either side. I'd describe myself as competent and more than competent in some situations. The quality of play is pretty good amongst all members. New recruits make mistakes that we've all made and learn to avoid after a few games.
I would hate it if voicing an opinion, right or wrong, is mistaken for me having an arrogant or conceited nature. I own all 12 titles in the civil war campaign series and at about £25 pounds each I think I have a right to debate things on an open forum with fellow players. If I'm wrong then I'm sure the other members will tell me I am.

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


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1643
Location: USA
The Rebel and Union armies have different strengths and weaknesses. HPS games aren't like chess where everything is exactly equal except who goes first. The optional rules throw a whole new set of variables into the mix which makes comparison of the armies difficult. Each has greater capacities in certain areas and different situations will favor or disfavor these. The player must know what his strengths and weaknesses are and what the other sides are in order to control these situations.

For example, in the maps that Gen. Wilkes posted earlier his flanks are weak and more importantly in the open where the opponent can "see" they are weak. How good or bad this is depends on what optional rules are in effect. In particular the Isolation rules. If isolation can occur the Rebel player has the potential to cut off and isolate the majority of the Union army and should move every available unit to achieve this by attacking those flanks.

As to does having large number of "A" units give the Rebels and advantage? Yes. Just like having those 6 rifled gunned batteries makes the Union artillery kick Rebel artillery's ass. And having 10 to 30 percent more troops makes defeating a Union army no small task. These are ultimately games and it is pointless for the scenario designer to make games that are impossible for one side to win although sometimes it is necessary for "historical" accuracy. The downside of a "historic" based game versus a "pure" game like chess.

Can the designer justify the quality? Yes. In the case of the Army of Northern Viriginia it had a winning reputation. It's member had complete confidence almost worship of its leaders. This is what makes A and B troops out of C and D. The tougher question to answer is which units deserve such a rating and how many? There the game designer uses both history and the need for balance in the game.

But there are also a lot of other variables that have far more impact on the game balance than whether the Rebel's have to many A's. Just a few are:

Phased play versus Turn: This one is probably the most dramatic because it turns the game from one that favors the attacker (Phased) to one that is an attacker only game. If a scenario is designed so one side is that attacker and the other is expected to be driven back then "Turn" play can dramatically unbalance the game.

Hard Zones versus Soft: This one can be dramatic in shifting the balance. I suspect the Overland campaign will be very sensitive to this one. The reason being if you use hard zones you can create a defense line by occupying every other hex that can not be broken except by head on melee. If those stacks can be entrenched and occupied near the stacking limit they can not be defeated. This would essentially double the length of your entrenched line turning the battlefield into true WW I. Turn on soft zones and this same line become so full of holes as to be a joke.

Now back to the balance issue. Which side has an advantage due to its strengths or disadvanatage due to its weaknesses depends on the situation. Here are some of the advantages/disadvantages and how they affect things:

Quality - Those A & B units do give you a 10% advantage if you are using the optional rules. More importantly they give you the ability to take more damage without routing or disrupting but that doesn't mean they can't be disrupted or routed, just that you have to take that into consideration to do it. Also, once disrupted or routed they operate under the same rules as E and F units to recover from it. For those that have A & B these units give you the ability to engage without having to worry your attack will get stalled because they get disrupted from fire. For the side without them remember those E's can melee those A's with a slight disadvantage but really good troops will become casualties while you lose really bad troops. Also melees automatically disrupt "A" just like "E".

Command Chain - Something few realize but the Union has a much better command chain. Command chain determines how quickly disrupted units rally and number of high level commanders determine how many routed units can have bonuses for their rally checks. And, the Union side has the best command chain and more high level leaders. The disadvantage of the Rebel's having only two Corps and very large divisions.

Artillery - The Union has the most, the best and ammo to use it. For the Union player they should always be looking for ways to maximize its use. For the Rebel player they should be always looking for ways to avoid.

There is more but I am getting tired of writing for now.

_________________
General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
AoT II/1/3 (CSA)


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:18 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 4:51 pm
Posts: 2809
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Quote:
If any arrogance comes across in my statements ...then I'm sorry about that but I guess it's just unfortunate given the nature of online contact.


Jim: That can happen, but I do not see your posts in that manner, at all.

Quote:
I would hate it if voicing an opinion, right or wrong, is mistaken for me having an arrogant or conceited nature. I own all 12 titles in the civil war campaign series and at about £25 pounds each I think I have a right to debate things on an open forum with fellow players. If I'm wrong then I'm sure the other members will tell me I am.


Again, that should NEVER be an issue. Discussions are great and we always have many (MOST are) excellent ones, regardless of the content.

You are NOT wrong and there is no opinion that is right OR wrong; an opinion is just that.

_________________
General Ernie Sands
President ACWGC -Sept 2015
Western Theater, Commander, USA
Image
Image
ACWGC Records Site Admin


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:38 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:26 pm
Posts: 529
Borrowing a bit of Ernie's post, as I recently stated in a post to a fellow member, I would generally rather be kind than be right. If I find that my opinion is not broadly supported by others, then it is time to dissect my opinion to see if perhaps this is one of those (numerous) times when I am not right. What is exasperating is that I had all these discussions with my testers over a period of years, and what y'all see laid out before you is the best we could come up with. No less exasperating is that, contrary to my testers' input, alongside these few criticisms there is no list of ideas on what we could do to correct a supposedly faulty situation. I am open to ideas, but if you have none to "fix" it, perhaps it is up to the player to explore his game. Incidentally, Dickens hated the American term "fix" Another fellow member of "The Isles" once said, "What a gift would glory gee (give) us, to see ourselves as others see us." Lunch at Gettysburg to the first member who knows the author.


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:45 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:53 pm
Posts: 73
john i am going to guess robert burns as the author of that quote.

general wilkes, i didn't mean to imply arrogance on your part, perhaps i could have put a smiley face after my comments. :mrgreen:
how i take care of the reb level A units is to kill them, stand off if you have time and use the superior federal artillery. i also find that the army of the potomac is very brittle, not only in overland but the other titles as well. best to keep reserves ready and you have to try and get around the rebs flanks, make them extend their line until it's broken.
as far as commenting on your screenshots, well we can only comment on what's shown, and what was shown in my opinion is faulty dispositions, we've all been there, no shame in getting beat. hell even scott ludwig beat me once.
i think john ferry is looking for more detailed feedback and what can be changed to make overland better. until we get some results tallied in who is winning the battles that are being fought we don't know how balanced it is. we might find a month from now the rebs are winning the bulk of the battles, which can then be tweaked to bring more historical results. until they get enough data on play balance they can't tweak anything based upon one person observation.

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:26 pm
Posts: 529
Sir Dave:
Lunch at the Lincoln Diner on me!
From the necessarily cursory examination of screen shots and other info, I think I can see where Jim may have gone astray. Again, I would love to assume command of the yanks in that scenario and see what I could do. I have said before that I am better at designing than playing, and it may yet be proved that I equally suck at both. Others seem to be more successful than I in almost every aspect of playing the game.
I started working on a patch on the day after Overland hit the streets, and I have built quite a pile of corrections, of errors of omission and commission, and I am counting on the membership to not only tell me what is wrong but how it might be improved. I prize input a lot more highly than complaints. So keep up the good work.
J D Ferry
2/20th Corps


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:58 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:53 pm
Posts: 73
sir john,
i prefer o'rourkes myself, unless we are having breakfast. seein and doin in gettysburg is thirsty work if you know what i mean :mrgreen:
hopefully within the next month we will have enough results posted for you to tweak the balance, if that's necessary.

regards

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:26 pm
Posts: 529
As I said, I am amenable to constructive suggestions
J D Ferry
2Lt 2/20th Corps


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:02 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:15 am
Posts: 296
Location: Australia
Digglyda wrote:
S_Trauth wrote:
Maybe a more relevant question would have been which optional rules were selected -as some of those can lead to mass routs (in all of the grand tactical scale series).


Pretty much all options except those listed above. Painful if any game has ever been won or lost because of an optional rule being selected. There are no optional rules I have any particular dislike for.


I know what you mean ...

anyways, where I was coming from, since most people play with the rout limiting box ticked, it was important for other readers to know that- if only to eliminate that possible comment.

_________________
[*]#72 LW Northern Apaches Hockey Team (2017)
[*]JTS Graphics Coordinator (one of them).
[*]JTS other duties as assigned...
[*]http://hist-sdc.com


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:24 am
Posts: 58
Location: Virginia
I am Jim's opponent in this scenario On to Cold Harbor. I decided to test a theory put forth in a 1976 PhD dissertation on Lee's last chance to destroy Grant was not at N. Anna but here at the US crossing at Hanover Town.

Now, while Jim is bitching about my A units, I must contend that he just kicked my ass in N.Anna scenario, where he forced me out of my works and into the open (where he pushed back the I Corps) south of S. Anna river. So, you cannot win every game, but learn from the ones you lose. I generally lose games because I took a big risk or even a gamble (that is what makes wargaming fun, the ability to experiment with what if-and the CS player in many games must do this to at least try to achieve a victory).

I must also admit that in this scenario, wanting to beat Jim badly, and studying his past play, I made sure that I kept my command and control tight (I am very bad at losing brigade and division commanders from units), keep my artillery and supplies in proper support positions.

I was also able to identify from contact, the weaker units in the Army of Potomac that had just arrived and were rated weaker. Where he had better units, such as II and V corps units, he held or even pushed me back. So, while A units have helped me, I also allude to the fact that this is one of the first games I have played in two years where I paid attention to detail (50-one hour moves per turn-easier now at night in Afghanistan MWR tent with no wife or six dogs to contend for my attention-must have helped with the attention to the game part as well).

So, I was able knowing the real situation very well, having studied the Overland campaign in detail over the last 20 years, I knew that I would have mass against the US most of the day until the evening when the IX corps came up. So, I took the risk and did what the dissertation recommended, and attacked with the I, II and III CS corps in echelon, willing to take losses up front in order to achieve the culiminative effect by the end of the day when all my divisions would be on line to attack at the same time.

So the status so far is up in the air, but it is not due to the game that the CS got the advantage, because Jim did an outstanding delay, but due to a plan coming together. This is not a knock on the game system or the US player, but some times plans work. If I had achieved this outcome in every game I had played him (my fourth one), then I would agree with him. Jim is a great player, and sometimes the outcome does not work your way.

_________________
Your Obediant Servant,

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


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:13 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:48 am
Posts: 345
Location: United Kingdom
The basic building block of the civil war armies was the Brigade, constructed from Regiments. The theoretical establishment of these formations was very similar on both sides throughout the war. The single main factor was manpower effecting both sides ability to field and maintain forces in the field. But right through the war both sides are trained, equipped, organised and commanded in a similar manner to each other. These Brigades varied from the very good to the very bad and everything in between.
Horrible fact if a Reb player has to face each situation knowing he is gonna be outnumbered. Unfortunate that the benefit of hindsight is of far greater use to the Union player in pretty much every scenario.
All troops throughout history, whether they are green conscripts or elite special forces are susceptible to the effects of shock and surprise in combat.
My fear is that Brigades of "A" rated Infantry are largely immune to the effects of being misused in combat (and that is what I have found to be the case). You cannot lead these units badly? You can squander them unwisely but they do not react in a realistic manner to the effects of combat that I believe would be noticeable. Is the belief that Veteran Reb Infantry should not be or were not ever victims of panic? The fog-of-war does not lend itself to any surprises or upsets here. I feel I would be betting on a certainty and it's that predictability I dislike.
And being a victim to things like shock and surprise were a definite factor in shaping the course of events in battle.
example: Hit "A" rated units in the flank and rear after working to achieve surprise from an advantageous position and the game rating is of greater effect than "human" responses that could reasonably be expected?
Obviously there is far greater ability to command intricately in these games than in reality. It is very unfortunate that the Union player often gets enough men to fight two battles while the Reb only gets enough to fight one! Personally, I'd rather see the Union units shrunk is size to make things playable rather than see the Rebs elevated (in my opinion to a too high level).
Therefore surely there is no benefit to a Union player attempting to do anything beyond treating each new situation as a numbers game? All other Union players except me appear to be happy with things as they are? Perhaps it is me incorrectly expecting the wrong thing from these games. Maybe I would find more enjoyment playing the squad battles series or other.
I know I quit the Napoleonic club in disgust after only a few games as I found that no matter how good I played the super high rated French units (A+, A++ and A+++ in some cases) were impossible to beat through superior tactics.
Think about the various WWII games where the Russian T-34's in 1941 are modelled as they were in theory rather than they were in practice. They were impossibly tough in game as no human player was ever gonna be as inept and problematic as historical Russian doctrine rendered them.
I'll be interested to see how any MP games turn out. I fear Union Corps are individually always going to face an inevitable defeat when matched against an equivalent enemy.
It seems to just be me but I have no wish to win the battle but lose every fight on the way there. It appears to be numbers, numbers, numbers reducing every engagement to an attrition fight (get the counting beads out...) and I just think it's an uncomfortable position to be in.

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


Last edited by Digglyda on Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:32 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:53 pm
Posts: 73
Quote:
Therefore surely there is no benefit to a Union player attempting to do anything beyond treating each new situation as a numbers game?


The Overland campaign was a battle of attrition, that's how Grant fought it. It is what it is.

Quote:
I know I quit the Napoleonic club in disgust after only a few games as I found that no matter how good I played the super high rated French units (A+, A++ and A+++ in some cases) were impossible to beat through superior tactics.


Well the French guard can be beat and the opposing armies have A rated units to go up against them. Perhaps your superior tactics aren't that superior after all?

General Wilkes with all due respect it seems that when you win it's through your superior tactics, when you lose it's some fault in the game.

regards

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1643
Location: USA
CSA units tend to have better ratings. This reflects a number of factors but mainly their situation. They were fighting on their own soil under the eyes of their own people. This motivates. The Union soldier was usually in the position of an invader. There is less motivation to die for ones country versus live to fight another day. This was one of the problems for Lee at Gettsyburg but his army still carried the benefits of being a winning army. In the West you mostly see this reversed. The Union armies are usually as good or better in quality. Which makes western battles doubly hard for the Rebs since the Union still has the numbers.

Game designers can factor this in two ways. They can give one army overal better quality ratings than the other. Or they can factor it into the numbers and just give the side with lower quality few men. Generally they shy away from this in "historical" games because players would immediately jump on such and such a regiment had 608 men in it not 510. I have seen a number of acient games use the numbers method though since few people know that the barbarian horde really had 10,000 in it instead of the apparent 2,000 the game gave them.

I have very seldom come across a scenario that is impossible for the Union side to win, usually easily. 2nd Winchester being one but it is an historically accurate simulation of an impossible situation for the Union. I will happily demonstrate as the Union player that I can stomp the Rebels into the ground at Gettysburg, 2nd Manassas, and Antietam (not as sure of this one since I have never played the Union). Just send me a note if you want to be the test subject. :D

_________________
General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
AoT II/1/3 (CSA)


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:08 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:26 pm
Posts: 529
I am really looking forward to the book coming out on the strength and casualties of Lee's army in 1864. I think some changs will be merited upon receipt of new information.
I just played the first day of the Wilderness as the rebs against John Dragan. By 6:00 pm half of Heth's and Wilcox's divisions on the Plank Road had been routed or decimated, with the survivors hanging on by the skin of their teeth, which is as close as you come, game wise, to the actual outcome. Of course, here we have the best Union Corps (2nd) against the worst CSA corps (3rd)
So I do not think I will be changing ratings any time soon, and I am certainly not sending half the Union army to sit in the bleachers. Still waiting for someone to offer to play the rebs against myself as the union in #404.
J D Ferry
2LT 2/20th Corps


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Complete & scientific results of Overland analysis.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:48 am
Posts: 345
Location: United Kingdom
Dave Stotsenburg wrote:

The Overland campaign was a battle of attrition, that's how Grant fought it. It is what it is...


Grant did NOT fight the Overland campaign as a battle of attrition. He may well have been aware of the balance of forces more than any previous Union commander had been and attrition may well have proved to be a decisive factor, but Grant never undertook to wear the Rebs down simply through relative losses. He manuevered constantly and repeatedly tried to outflank Lee so he could fight a battle on terms of his choosing with the Rebs at a disadvantage. His movements are more complex, more closely controlled and more ambitious by design than McClellans, Popes, Burnsides, Hookers or Meades had been. He differed from any previous commanders in that he was willing to carry on fighting after failures...ultimately making use of the Unions ability to sustain losses.
Cold Harbor gives him a reputation as a Butcher. Grant himself immediately said he regretted the Cold Harbor losses. The losses would have undone any previous Union commander, Grant appeared indifferent to them in a professional sense.
A commander seeking to fight a simple campaign of attrition wouldn't bother to employ complex manuvering and a search for advantage like Grant did.

Dave Stotsenburg wrote:
...Well the French guard can be beat and the opposing armies have A rated units to go up against them. Perhaps your superior tactics aren't that superior after all?

General Wilkes with all due respect it seems that when you win it's through your superior tactics, when you lose it's some fault in the game.



I never found a way to beat the elite French units (though I didn't try to too many times). I found my Prussian army at Jena-Auerstadt was both quantatively and qualitively inferior. I felt I'd been "suckered" into an impossible situation. I held the main French body with delaying action and caught and surprised a section of the French with a flank & rear attack. I found the French A+(+(+)) units pretty much immune to the effects of shock. There was little else I could do to gain tactical superiority further. That was my impression. It didn't seem right to me.

I can't remember the last time I won a battle through superior tactics. Likewise, I can't ever remember claiming that superior tactics were mine only. Any recent wins have been through a dogged application of superior numbers. Any clever movements by myself or my opponent have been rendered secondary to my bulldozing my way through the opposition calmly and always keeping in mind that I probably have thousands more men than the fella facing me.
I've moaned about Gettysburg (and been educated about details there) and I have moaned repeatedly about things on Overland (some OOB's only). I've never complained about the games I've lost at Atlanta, Antietam, Bull Run, Shiloh, Corinth, Franklin or Peninsula.
I have complained about various aspects of the game system but I don't think I've hid behind excuses when defeated.

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


Top
 Profile Send private message E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 66 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 22 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: