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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:52 pm 
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Here is an example of the kind of detail you can get into when you start digging into this game. It is from a thread asking about the types of infantry.

Mostly from Captain_Orso (AGEOD Guard of Honor and AACW Beta Testor:

... okay, some of the terms and ability names have been changed around, so let's see... Bragg, Taylor, McClellan, Halleck, and Siegel were the Training Officers in AACW; King was Training Expert or something like that.

Training Officers used to TrainUp up to 2 conscript elements to regular "line" infantry or early/late war cavalry.

Training Officers now TrainUp up to 2 of any type of elements which has the TrainUp parameter in it's model; generally militia (both infantry and cavalry), volunteer militia (if the unit say Volunteers on it) and conscripts (both infantry and cavalry).

Training Expert (King was the only one) would give each element under him in his stack (which means he had to be in command of the stack) 1 XP (eXperience Point) per turn.

Further, there is a penalty if militia leaves it's state of origin.
Yes, there is a 10% penalty to cohesion and IIRC movement.
...
The Union gets a whole slew of Volunteer units ([m][m][l]). The volunteer militia units can TrainUp to line infantry. The light infantry (a kind of precursor to sharpshooters) will not TrainUp and aside from their values are basically line infantry already.

Volunteer militia TrainUp to line infantry. Volunteer militia are only those units that actually state that they are volunteers on them.
Infantry elements can TechUpgrade to somewhat better units through events, but you cannot influence this and it has nothing to do with how long the unit has be in the field. In fact you are still building the same units in '61 as in '65, so the elements you buy in '65 will still have to TechUpgrade; the rate at which they do so in '65 is however higher IIRC.

I don't think the number of XP given has changed, but don't forget, every element with <Experience Leve 2 have a 75% chance at gaining 1XP per turn. So if you are monitoring units stacked with a "Training Driller" you will likely see that they gain 2XP per turn.

Also the tool-tip tells you how many XP you need to gain the NEXT EL (Experience Level). How many you need double for each subsequent level.
...
AFAIK there is no such thing as "Volunteer Cavalry" with respect to upgrading directly to early or late war cavalry without going through the conscript stage. Sharpshooters are similar to militia in that they are also penalized for being out-of-state, but only if they are not within a division. Once inside a division there is no penalty regardless of where the division is.

Unless my brain is going completely off kilter, militia CAN capture and hold locations in regions with <50% loyalty, but they must enter the location to capture it and remain in the location to control it. If they subsequently leave such a location, but not necessarily the region, the location will revert to being un-controlled and there is a chance that partisans appear and take the location.
Early war cavalry and raiders cannot even do that. They can however enter such a location with militia and then remain inside the location to maintain it being captured. As soon as they leave, if there is no line infantry or late ware cavalry in the region, the control will be lost, the same as with militia.


And now we have only about hundred more unit types to study. :) :mrgreen:

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AoT II/1/3 (CSA)


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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:32 pm 
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Turn 23 - Early Mar

AoM took Salem, Il cutting a major rail connection to St. Louis.
Militia and Partisans moved to cut off rail connections from the NE.
Retook Charleston, WV.
Events - First CSA Draft Law passed - hope this means recruits.
Got a blockade Runner Cecile. Have to see if I can get it to do something.
The Union finally stirred in the West sending Buell with a force of 672 moving down the Ohio River from Cincinnati.
Butler with the AoJ moves toward Richmond stopping in Hanover.

Turn 24 - Late March

Needed money bad so started the presses. Old game I never had to do this. Partially because this game doesn't generate enough money for the South and partially because the penalty for printing isn't as severe.
Sent Joe and AoS to Hanover.
Ordered Beauregard and the AoP to Fredericksburg by rail but something didn't work. He only moved over one region from Manassas.
Starting shifting the AoM to the west in preparation for crossing the Mississippi south of St. Louis then marching on the city.
Van Dorn retakes Springfield.

Still no sign of the Corps formation being available. Thought it was suppose to be in March. Hopefully didn't get broke by upgrades. Latest is Version 1.01. I had the RC installed earlier.

I also started a PBEM with Mark Hagen.
Mostly found out that the game has changed how PBEM works but hasn't changed the instructions in the manual.

The old game required one person to host and that person always executed the turn. The non-host player would be sent a turn file (.trn) and they would generate an orders file and send it back. If they wanted to "see" the turn the host had to send a very large replay file.

The new game uses a host file (".hst") which is sent along with the Orders file (".ord"). Neither player is a true host any more. You receive the two files, .hst and .ord, add your orders then execute the turn. You then make your orders for the next turn and send the other player the two files, .hst and your .ord. The result is that each players gets to see a full execution every other turn.

Here is my Late March Strategic Map from the game:

Image

It shows all of my forces as little whitish squares. If you pass the cursor over one a detail window like the one shown on the right will give a summary of what is there. You can see union positions but not necessarily all or correctly since fog of war is on. Notice the lack of blue around the Kentucky border. Some forces are now showing up but they are very weak relative to the length of front.

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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:28 pm 
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Turn 25 - Early April

Trying to build up my infrastructure with Increase to Rail Pool and Armories in Ga.
In the West I am doing good sending K. Smith to assault Lexington, Ky.
In Virginia Butler is acting like a Lee. He seems to always have initiative and use it. I am sending both the AoP and AoS toward Fredericksburg but here is where lack of unified command and Corps limit me. They will probably arrive separately and get defeated.
Send Jeb Stuart on a raid into Pennsylvania to see if I could distract the AI.

Lexington wasn't taken but was weakened.
Beauregard and then Joe were soundly defeated by Butler.
Unfortunately for my limited troops McDowell is on the move again toward Suffolk and Norfolk where I now have small garrisons.

Turn 26 - Late April

Joe stayed in Fredericksburg region but Butler easily drove him out completely. I have lost about 7 MP for these battles over the last two turns. Which most proves its better to wait and get your forces concentrated before going in. I had hoped that Butler wouldn't have initiative to bring on battle but apparently he had no problem.

But I now have reinforcements headed that way.


A couple of events I had expected haven't occurred. If they don't in the next two turns I will probably have to restart the game again.
Primary one is formation of Corps. My understanding was it would happen in March and didn't. This event could have been corrupted by the Update to 1.01 which I installed not to long ago.
The second one is Lee being made active. This one could still occur in May.

Something to watch for when playing this game particularly if you have more than one game going. The Options don't appear to be stored with the game file. This means you can change the Options at any time. I haven't tested if this is just some or all. I just noted when I started a game with Mark and used the default options that when I went back to this game against the AI the options stayed at the other games settings. If you have more than one game going using different options you might see the problem.

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AoT II/1/3 (CSA)


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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:35 pm 
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In the game, does militia ever go away? After the first six months, militia per se did not play much of a role. Got called out a few times during invasion scares in the north, but was pretty much mobilized into the Confederate armies.
Can states raise regiments directly from the population? I can see a state raising a regiment and then presenting it to the national government, along with a bill. If the national government does not pay the bill they would remain state troops. Are there ways to sell cotton to speculators to raise money?
John F
Dang it, I will buy this here game yet!


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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:44 pm 
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John, you will have to buy the game. Just like me resistance is futile...... 8)

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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:12 pm 
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J. Ferry wrote:
In the game, does militia ever go away? After the first six months, militia per se did not play much of a role. Got called out a few times during invasion scares in the north, but was pretty much mobilized into the Confederate armies.
Can states raise regiments directly from the population? I can see a state raising a regiment and then presenting it to the national government, along with a bill. If the national government does not pay the bill they would remain state troops. Are there ways to sell cotton to speculators to raise money?
John F
Dang it, I will buy this here game yet!

I haven't been watching its handling closely but I think they automatically trains up to become volunteers. I know in the old game they became regular infantry after a while just very small regiments. I had gotten into the habit of making as many of them as the game would allow because they eventually became cheap infantry. I know they still take only a single turn to become functional rather than the month required for volunteers. All units in the game undergo quality improvements through training then experience. Some like cavalry undergo upgrades to reflect better weapons and tactics as the game progresses.

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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:01 pm 
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I have run the Test game back from the start under 1.01 update for a full year. Here is a short summary of what happened:

It looks like the AI played more conservative this time especially for the April through September portion. This is probably a side effect of not having divisions. The game now allows divisions to be created in Early October. This means any fighting has to occur between forces containing only brigades which means most of the force can't be committed. The AI apparently decided to let almost all its forces sit these months out. This has an advantage because units that don't move or fight will train up to higher quality.

The AI did well until September when for some reason it decided to make an attempt on Richmond with McDowell's AoNEV. It initially moved to Hanover similar to the moves it made in the old game but this time it turned an attacked Richmond. Note for any Union players: Don't attack Richmond during the first year unless you really, really think you can take it. That attack released Lee and the ANV who would have stayed locked in Richmond until June 62.

October comes andBeauregard's AoP moves on McDowell but lacks initiative. Lee forms ANV but has no real forces but those in the Richmond defenses. With October comes division formation which actually weakens all the armies as they reform into a division structure. The AI apparently realized its error and McDowell heads down the Peninsula but runs into Magruder's little force that actually gets a stalemate. Magruder goes on defensive in Late October and both Beau and Lee target McDowell. McDowell escapes without a battle but did it by heading west clear past Richmond into central Virginia.

Lee absorbs a good portion of the AoP to form a full strength ANV and follows McDowell out westward. The year ends with McDowell and Lee playing cat and mouse.

Elsewhere Beauregard with a much smaller AoP goes and besieges Ft. Monroe. Joe, who I had sent out west much earlier, assaults Cairo. Besieged but not taken. A. Johnston and the AoT take Louisville. AI seems to be ignoring the west again.

On thing that came out of this was how the game handles Kentucky neutrality. The old game either player could violate with penalties or wait for it to end by an event. The new game also opens and event in September but the penalty is high (5 NM and 30 VP). Apparently though the Union is given more options. They can apparently enter part of Kentucky without the rest of Kentucky losing its neutrality. This state can last into 62. I will have to start a game some time as the Union to see how this is presented on their side.

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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:58 pm 
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It seems unrealistic, logistically, that two major armies would be running around in central Virginia at this time--or at any time--during the war. What rationale would keep especially the Union army supplied this far from sources such as Washington or the coastal river inlets?
Mobility of all armies seems a stretch from reality, IMO.
John Ferry
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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:08 am 
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J. Ferry wrote:
It seems unrealistic, logistically, that two major armies would be running around in central Virginia at this time--or at any time--during the war. What rationale would keep especially the Union army supplied this far from sources such as Washington or the coastal river inlets?
Mobility of all armies seems a stretch from reality, IMO.
John Ferry
LTC 2/20th Corps

Only the AI would do this. It has always been the problem with computerized board games. The amount of effort it would take to make an AI capable of playing as well as even a novice is extremely difficult and expensive to program. The army running around in central Virginia will eventually starve to death but the CSA side won't get any points for that. But Lee should catch them next turn and it will be a slaughter when it happens.

A good example of what happens to forces that don't have complete supply lines is demonstrated to what happen to my Floyd Force. I had sent it into NW part of West Virginia to destroy the rail net and generally attract enemy forces. It had two supply wagons which was quite good for a forces of about 4,000 men. Plus they captured a number of small towns which resupplied them. Then I started withdrawing them back toward Charlestown, WVa. Things started to fall apart when the weather changed. Movement rates dropped to taking a month per region due to lack of roads and weather. Then supplies started running out which causes the units to start taking hits like they were in combat. Cohesion started falling rapidly which started increasing the movement costs. They got to Charlestown but by then Charlestown didn't have enough supplies to support them. Last seen they were headed eastward into Virginia but now losing entire Units. Worse for the South one of the supply wagons disappeared and the other one probably will too. Wagons cost $50,000 plus 20 conscripts and 20 War Supplies. Losing them really hurts.

McDowell's force in Virginia probably has a large number of Supply Wagons to keep it going so long. Unfortunately the AI wasn't smart enough to send them east or north back to supply sources.

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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:26 pm 
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The situation you just described smacks of real life. Armies cut off from support were defeated more decisively by the elements than by enemy action. I think it happened someplace every winter.
I don't want to be understood as being hyper-critical of this game. The amount of layers built into the it are simply awesome, and some have probably taken on a life of their own, where even the designers don't quite understand how it does what it does.
Very cool.
J


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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:01 am 
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Some observations from the first year of fighting with a disclaimer. Don't make broad assumptions about how to play the game from playing the AI. Just like in most games it is easy to exploit logic holes in the AI. It can lead to habits that against a real player will destroy you.

Late in the year the AI attacked Richmond. The Union should never do this until they are sure they can take the city. Especially before June 62 since it will activate Lee and his ANV. Not someone you want running around Virginia in early 62.

I took some status snap shots for the first of July and end of f1861 to look at how things changed.

CSA National Morale went from 101 to 113 while the Union went from 93 to 80. Most of this change was due to events and economic/strategic decisions rather than combat. NM is the coin in the game for buying many things like Drafting men and Printing Money. Most of the rise was due to events in the year. Keeping it high was done by only spending on things that matter. The Union has a tougher time keeping theirs high because their are a number choices they have to make with negative NM consequences. Probably invading Kentucky was their worse NM hit.

National Morale is more than just a measure of who is ahead in the game and if it hits 200 you win automatically. It is used to purchase friendly events like Partisan raids and riots. But more importantly it is used in calculations for other critical things like how many recruits you get automatically each turn. Which is why the next stat is so favorable to the CSA.

The Cbt factor for the USA went from 128 in July to 108 at the end of December. The Cbt is a relative factor. The CSA value is always 100 and the USA value reflects the relative strength of its armies to the CSA. Going from 1.28:1 to 1.08:1 is major damage to the Union. Since this is an indirect measure of relative manpower the probable cause was the Union's low morale reduced recruiting while the South's high morale improved it significantly.

Victory Point are another odd measurement. The CSA went from 252 to 848 while the USA went from 284 to 837. It always increases as the game progresses. The relative number is used to determine the relative victory at the end of the game in 1865. It was broken in the old game so I don't know if they fully fixed it in the new. But it is also like the NM a currency which you can use to buy things favorable to your side. So having more than the enemy gives you some flexibility in using these events.

Foreign Intervention is another parameter in the game. It represents the chance that France and/or England will intervene which will be decisive if it happens soon enough. The value went from -32% in July to -27% in December. South can't depend on this one. It depends on die roll events like Cotton Embargo and Union Blockade. If you when all these events it might get high enough you can consider it in your strategy and try to raise it further. In my case I lost both initial rolls so it is hopeless unless there is a significant event that happens later I don't know about. It is also an odd number. It is displayed as a percentage but it isn't the percentage chance of intervention each turn. Have no idea what it really is. In the old game it had to be very close to 100% before it would occur.

Losses: The game reports the losses for each side but I think they represent only combat losses. At the end of year the CSA was 21,000 and the USA was 24980. The CSA also showed a small number of captured. The USA number is probably much lower than it really is because I don't think it includes McDowell's loses due to starvation that have sent his army from a power rating of 1800 (representing some 28,000 men) to 46. But this is by observation. I can't verify how the game records loses due to lack of supplies, exhaustion, and disease even though it uses these throughout the game.

The next group of values I only know for the South and also didn't record for July so only have the end of year. They are the various economic factors in the game and measure how well the South is doing at maintaining its war effort.

My cities are producing $177,000 per turn. How much they produce depends on the size of my cities and my level of industrialization. And obviously whether I control them. Which means taking cities especially in Tennessee is a major Union objective. Coastal cities are also major Union objectives because they also tend to be the larges cities in the South. Cities also provide supply sources and recruits to the armies. One way for the Union to win is simply eliminate the South's ability to produce.

The South is producing 59 recruit elements each turn. This is the number controlled by National Morale and a bunch of other factors like number of cities, regional support, etc. It is critical to sustaining the war effort since all other sources of recruits cost NM and VP as well as money.

My War Supplies are up to 61 per turn. This is the number that is improved by building infrastructure. WS are used to build everything from infantry regiments to ironclads. It is necessary to maintain the war effort but can be destroyed by invading armies.

My RailRoad capacity is now up to 183 from 111 in July. These was primarily due to my investment in RR expansion. Unfortunately it is still below the capacity the game indicates is needed to move all the supplies in the South which is 246. As my armies grow this number will increase. When the RR is below it the South isn't able to move all the supplies it needs. Someone may starve. Worse the RR is a tactical weapon allowing me to move troops quickly around the country at the expense of not having enough available for supply movement. I just used that troop movement ability to quickly cut off McDowell from the best routes into West Virginia.

My River Transport capacity is relatively low at 30. That is because I have made no long term investment in it. If I continue to control the Mississippi I probably will but generally RT is a Union thing and a major way they supply their armies.

One more digression:

In 1862 a number of very useful so called "Regional Decisions" opened up. Here are some of the ones I use or may use soon:

Draft: Will get 45 Conscripts which isn't bad since the expensive Call for Volunteers only gets you 150 and can't be made but once every six months. The bad is it costs 15 VP and 10% loyalty of the region you use it on. But places like Richmond have 100% loyalty so you can hit these pretty regular. Unfortunately, like most "Regional Decisions" they only give you a couple to use before you run out.

Plunder: Gets you $35,000 at the cost of region loyalty, development and 5 VP. Since you usually use this in enemy regions the 5 VP is the only real cost. Union will use this a lot if they get their VP high enough to absorb it.

Build Defensive Works: Troops entrench better and loyalty increases 10%. There is no cost but you only get a few per year so have to use wisely.

Scorched Earth: Like Plunder. Each has different restrictions on how and when you can use them.

Partisan Raid: Can destroy a depot if not to well defended. It says it cost nothing but it looks like it might give the enemy a +1 NM but it is poorly worded.

Partisan Ambush: Can cause the enemy to take a cohesion hit on up 15 elements. Again has that +1 NM reference which I don't no who applies too. Both these partisan activities require a partisan unit near by.

Partisans: This is how you create them. It costs 5 VP. They can only be placed in somewhat friendly regions which usually means Maryland and Missouri.

Copperheads: You can raise two militia units in a semi-friendly region in the North. Costs 5 VP.

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Chatham Grays
AoT II/1/3 (CSA)


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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:10 pm 
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Summary of the Campaign through July 1862

AGEOD has issued a new update, 1.02, which addresses a number of problems but being not backward compatible, it forces another restart. They made some changes to Kentucky neutrality but probably still not enough. I will restart the game a the North this time but will not do a blow by blow. I think this time I will do some strategy and tactics as well as how to play.

As I said in the previous post the AI made a major error in sending a Union army to attack Richmond then retreating it West after ticking off Lee. The only surprising thing that came out of this was the fact I couldn't catch them. Whenever I have had forces caught without lines of supply they quick lose their ability to move. The Union retreat west worked in that they did finally reach West Virginia. Much depleted but intact.

This ability to remain intact is very important in the game. You can take a lot of damage and have your force reduce considerably before you start permanently losing units. McDowell's AoNEV started with over 85,000 men. I forgot to record the power number for that but it was probably 3000. By the time it left Virginia it had dropped as low as 150 before starting to recover. Trouble was it was almost July before this army made it's way through West Virginia and back to Harpers Ferry.

Meanwhile Lee used the rails to move back to Manassas to join Jackson. In April Lee attacked Alexandria and the AoJames (Butler). Then I funneled every lose unit from all over Virginia into the ANV and crossed the Potomac. There Lee defeated Butler's main army forcing it to retreat to Annapolis. By then Butler had 90,000 but part stayed in the Washington defenses and part retreated. Lee had 70,000 but lost about 10,000 in a series of battles with Butler some won some lost. During June I continued to reinforce Lee while he besieged Washington reducing its fortifications some.

July Lee and the ANV started the assaults aimed at taking Washington. Power numbers for Lee were about 3000. I am not sure of the size of the forces in Washington but based on those surrendering it was about 25,000. Butler and his AoJ had about 2000 power rating but was in Annapolis and commanded by Butler. The AoNEV had a power rating of 1564 but was still in Harpers Ferry.

The assault on Washington consisted of four battles (days) in Early July. Washington was taken. Washington is only worth 5 NM (Richmond is worth 50). The four battles won generated 18 NM for the South. My total from the last two month rose from 115 to 168. Not enough to win but substantial.

But something else happened to the Union. They decreased from 93 to 29, a full 64 point drop resulting in an automatic Major Victory.

Why did this occur? Since I can't see the Union numbers I can't be certain but most of those points come from the surrender of troops. The surest way to rack up a lot of negative NM is to have an army wiped out because they were inside a fortification when it surrendered. Think Vicksburg. The game awards NM based on the number of elements eliminated in a battle. That is why you can see large battles being lost but because the units were reduced rather than eliminated there will be no NM lost or gained. But when ten to thirty thousand troops suddenly disappear in mass the NM hit sky rockets.

The Rebel can lose Richmond with it's 50 NM and still fight on if he doesn't make the mistake of getting a large army trapped in it. That is the ultimate goal of the Union. Not to take Richmond per se but to trap a large army in its defenses then take it. That will push the NM over the victory limits. Otherwise it changes but not enough. And, it immediately starts heading slowly back toward its median if you can't keep winning points.

The Union wins by getting a Vicksburg type victory. The South wins by keeping its armies intact to fight another day (and hope Lincoln doesn't get re-elected).

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Chatham Grays
AoT II/1/3 (CSA)


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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:02 am 
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Hey Kennon
We wondered where you had gone! Do you think you could have taken Washington this early on if playing against a capable human?
What about the other border states? Is Kentucky the only one with the neutrality issues?
J

John Ferry
LTC 2/20th Corps


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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:30 am 
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J. Ferry wrote:
Hey Kennon
We wondered where you had gone! Do you think you could have taken Washington this early on if playing against a capable human?
What about the other border states? Is Kentucky the only one with the neutrality issues?
J

John Ferry
LTC 2/20th Corps


No. When I am playing the Union I usually make major fortifications improvements around Washington so it could hold out for months against a siege. The new game does change how these fortifications are made so I don't know how it works yet. Old game required you to expend two artillery elements, some men, and a supply wagon to create a permanent fortification. New game has it in the Regional list.

Kentucky is the only one that doesn't have an automatic event bringing it in on one side or the other. The new event added in release 1.02 causes it to have a 25% chance of coming in on the Union side from March 62 on. Otherwise either side can "buy" the right to invade for 5 NM (for South) and 25 VP. The Rebel player usually doesn't want to do this. Kentucky acts as a wall protecting Tennessee from invasion. So the Rebel player seldom wants to bring this barrier down. I haven't experimented with what the affect of invasion has when the Rebel does it. If the Union does the Western part of Kentucky goes pro South immediately raising a militia unit in major cities like Bowling Green and allowing the Southern player to raise more militia and regulars. I usually put Joe or Beauregard just south of the border and move them to Bowling Green when this happens. Then I can start raising Kentucky troops to block the Union from that direction. This frees AJ and the AoT to counter Grant along the Mississippi.

Obviously an early invasion by the Union will strike before the South has the freedom to send one of their Eastern Generals west. Since Corps aren't available until March, Albert has a hard time covering both approaches to Tennessee.

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 Post subject: Re: AGEOD's ACW II
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:00 pm 
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Some states, like Arkansas and Tennessee, had tilted so far by the last year of the war that they were contributing major troops to the North and / or were legislating their way back into the Union independently, like Louisiana. Comment? Can you buy or conquer individual states to bring them back into the fold? I picture the game doing that until only South Carolina is left. And you know what they say about SC, even to this day: Too small to be a country, and too big to be an insane asylum :mrgreen:
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