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 Post subject: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:55 pm 
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This thread is intended to clarify some passes of the manual, I hope this will also help other members especially new ones so they keep on going.
I'm glad that the engine seems to be a bit easier the Napoleonic series and I found less problematic passages compared to it but still some things are not clear to me, hopefully someone can step in and help.
I took the Overland manual for reference as it is the latest but just to be sure any knows what I talk about I added the passage I refer to in Italic text.

1. Page 26 of the Campaign Overland manual
"Each defending Artillery gun counts as one third Stacking Point (this depends on Parameter Data but would normally work out to 8 men per gun)."
Is it Stacking Point or Strength Point?
Stacking Point would be 50 per gun but Strength Point depends on value in PDT, that is usually 25 in Overland so 1/3 of it would be 8, so seem Strength Point is meant and not Stacking point.
Can someone confirm this?


2. Page 33 of the Campaign Overland manual
"When a unit suffers casualties due to combat, it will take a Morale Check to see if it Routs or becomes Disrupted at the end of the Phase."
1st question: Will it maybe or definitely take a moral check?
Page 40 indicates maybe, based on the calculation:
loss / (loss + 25)
2nd question: What if playing without phases, when is the Moral Check done, instantly?
3rd question: How often can a Moral Check be triggered in a turn/phase?


3. Page 33 of the Campaign Overland manual
"The resulting Morale value is compared with a random Die Roll from 1 to 6, and if the Die Roll exceeds the Morale value, then the unit fails the Morale Check. A unit that fails the Morale Check during a Defensive Fire Phase becomes Disrupted, while a unit that fails the Morale Check during any other Phase becomes Routed."
1st question: What happens if it passes the Moral Check during any other Phase, a fail leads to a rout but does a pass lead to disrupted or simply no effect at all?
2nd question: Does an already Disrupted unit that fails the Moral Check during Defensive Fire Phase stay Disrupted or will it now Rout?
3rd question: What if no phased gameplay is done, when does a unit disrupt and when does it rout?


4. Page 35/36 of the Campaign Overland manual

If a unit has Medium Fatigue, then
• 1 is subtracted from its Morale value during Morale Checks.
• 10% is subtracted from the melee strength when the unit participates in a
Melee attack.
• 10% is subtracted from its fire value when the unit fires.

If a unit has High Fatigue, then
• 2 is subtracted from its Morale value during Morale Checks.
• 20% is subtracted from the melee strength when the unit participates in a
Melee attack.
• 20% is subtracted from its fire value when the unit fires.

If a unit has Maximum Fatigue, then
• 40% is subtracted from the melee strength when the unit participates in a
melee attack.
• 40% is subtracted from its fire value when the unit fires.

Artillery Rule
The Fatigue affects described above are doubled for Artillery Units. See the section on Design Notes for an explanation of this rule."

Does it mean that the effect on Melee, Fire and Moral are all doubled?
So an artillery unit with max fatigue would have -80% Melee Strength, -80% Fire Value and -4 on Moral?


5. Page 36 of the Campaign Overland manual
"Recovering Fatigue
A unit may be eligible to recover Fatigue at the beginning of a player’s Movement Phase provided it has not Moved, Fired, participated in Melee, or been Fired upon with any effect from the time of the player’s previous Movement Phase. For each such unit a random value from 0 to twice the applicable recovery rate, determined by Parameter Data associated with the current battle, is subtracted from the unit’s Fatigue value. See the Parameter Data Dialog in the Main Program Help File for the recovery rate values."

In the PDT is just a percentage listed, how is that calculated?

So that is it, at least I hope so.
Sorry for so much stuff to read but I wasn't sure if all the manuals from all the games of the series are really identical and so I copied the passages from the Overland manual to be sure everyone knows what I'm talking about.
Thanks for anyone who takes time to works through this.


PS
Stumbled over another thing not mentioned in anyway in the manual.
Elevation movement cost seem to be twice as high when going from lower to higher ground.
Just tried it on the Antietam "Getting Started" scenario and when going with an infantry reg. in line formation from a clear hex down to a clear hex the costs are 3 points(2 clear hex + 1 elevation) but when reversing this movement it costs 4 points(2 clear hex + 2 elevation).
Elevation costs are 1 in the PDT so it seems they are doubled for going from low to high ground.
Can someone confirm this or do I miss a different modifier?

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:46 pm 
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Quote:
2. Page 33 of the Campaign Overland manual
"When a unit suffers casualties due to combat, it will take a Morale Check to see if it Routs or becomes Disrupted at the end of the Phase."
1st question: Will it maybe or definitely take a moral check?
Page 40 indicates maybe, based on the calculation:
loss / (loss + 25)
2nd question: What if playing without phases, when is the Moral Check done, instantly?
3rd question: How often can a Moral Check be triggered in a turn/phase?


Unless there is a change in Turn play handling I am pretty sure the "or" is wrong. Units that have casualties due to defensive fire can only be disrupted by it. Units that have casualties due to offensive fire or melee can only be routed by it.

Whether a unit will conduct a morale check is determined first by a die roll using the "loss / ( loss + 25 )" calculation. For example, a unit losing 25 men will first undergo a random check with a 50% chance of having to make a morale check. If they fail this check then they have to make a morale check.

The difference between Turn play and phased play is when the checks are made. In phased play they are made using the total loses at the end of the Defensive Fire phase or at the beginning of the Turn's administrative phase.

In Turn play the checks are made at the time the casualties occur. So it is possible for a moving unit or one that is trying to melee to get disrupted by defensive fire before they finish. Whether losing 5 men five times while moving in turn play has the same overall odds as losing 25 men in phased play I will leave to someone more statistically inclined.

The key points are that a unit must fail a check based on the number of men lost before going on to the actual morale check. That is why "E" units seem to be able to take hits and not fail like you would expect. They don't have to use their low morale rating unless they fail the first test. The second is the result of a morale check failure depends on whether it was caused by Defensive or Offensive fire. Attackers just get disrupted. Defenders will route.

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:01 pm 
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KWhitehead wrote:
Unless there is a change in Turn play handling I am pretty sure the "or" is wrong. Units that have casualties due to defensive fire can only be disrupted by it. Units that have casualties due to offensive fire or melee can only be routed by it.

Thanks for the input, I saw that on my move the defensive fire from the enemy can disrupt my units but I always thought that multiple offensive fires were the cause of units that routed as they had simply failed more than one moral check and went from OK to disrupted to routed in one turn.
Also as I(at least till now) was always the first in a turn and I had because of my movements already some disrupted units that were routed in the next turn and so I also simply thought they failed one more moral check and got routed. That the outcome is based on whether it is Defensive or Offensive fire is new to me.

KWhitehead wrote:
Whether a unit will conduct a morale check is determined first by a die roll using the "loss / ( loss + 25 )" calculation. For example, a unit losing 25 men will first undergo a random check with a 50% chance of having to make a morale check. If they fail this check then they have to make a morale check.

Yes I thought, I guess the passage in the manual should be rephrased to make that clear.

KWhitehead wrote:
The difference between Turn play and phased play is when the checks are made. In phased play they are made using the total loses at the end of the Defensive Fire phase or at the beginning of the Turn's administrative phase.

In Turn play the checks are made at the time the casualties occur. So it is possible for a moving unit or one that is trying to melee to get disrupted by defensive fire before they finish. Whether losing 5 men five times while moving in turn play has the same overall odds as losing 25 men in phased play I will leave to someone more statistically inclined.

As mentioned I saw that in my own moves the defensive fire can disrupt my units, and as everything I do with a unit can trigger defensive fire it's rather bad to fool around in range of the enemy, trigger his defensive fire again and again and so maybe end up disrupted.
How the process works with offensive fire would be interesting, that is why I asked how often these checks are done because I wonder whether the casualties from offensive fire are counted together and after that the test is made to see if a moral check has to be done or not, or that for every separate offensive fire from that the unit has taken casualties this chain of "test if moral check has to be done" and if failed "do moral check" is done.
I guess the later is the case as it's closer to how the process for defensive fire is.

KWhitehead wrote:
The key points are that a unit must fail a check based on the number of men lost before going on to the actual morale check. That is why "E" units seem to be able to take hits and not fail like you would expect. They don't have to use their low morale rating unless they fail the first test. The second is the result of a morale check failure depends on whether it was caused by Defensive or Offensive fire. Attackers just get disrupted. Defenders will route.

Like in the first passage mentioned, till now I thought that moral checks on defensive and offensive fire are handled the same way regarding the result of it. I have to play closer attention to that in the game, thanks for that Info.

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:10 pm 
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Quote:
1. Page 26 of the Campaign Overland manual
"Each defending Artillery gun counts as one third Stacking Point (this depends on Parameter Data but would normally work out to 8 men per gun)."
Is it Stacking Point or Strength Point?
Stacking Point would be 50 per gun but Strength Point depends on value in PDT, that is usually 25 in Overland so 1/3 of it would be 8, so seem Strength Point is meant and not Stacking point.
Can someone confirm this?


I haven't had time to verify to make sure things work the way I say but here goes anyway. The guns at least use a crew strength of 25 per gun. This number was used as their apparent melee strength. One of the updates changed this to a parameter in the PDT file so it varies now depending on the designer. I have seen as high as 50. What I haven't checked is whether they are using the file parameter for stacking, melee or target (chance of crew kill). Or maybe all three. It is easy to verify the stacking since you can just check the total stacking number in any hex with guns. But I am pretty sure the guns still melee like they had a crew of 25 per gun as defenders and the parameter file number is used more to increase the difficulty of getting a crew hit (something very hard to verify).

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:37 pm 
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I just tested it with Ozarks Getting Started scenario and the melee odds shown to me are:
144 to 16, Modifiers 10/0
The setup for the melee is a Confederate infantry unit with 144 men and a Union artillery unit with 2 guns, the stacking for the guns is 50 per gun and so it can be assume that a gun counts as 8 men in each melee what fits with the 1/3 strength point.

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:28 am 
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Quote:
3. Page 33 of the Campaign Overland manual
"The resulting Morale value is compared with a random Die Roll from 1 to 6, and if the Die Roll exceeds the Morale value, then the unit fails the Morale Check. A unit that fails the Morale Check during a Defensive Fire Phase becomes Disrupted, while a unit that fails the Morale Check during any other Phase becomes Routed."
1st question: What happens if it passes the Moral Check during any other Phase, a fail leads to a rout but does a pass lead to disrupted or simply no effect at all?
2nd question: Does an already Disrupted unit that fails the Moral Check during Defensive Fire Phase stay Disrupted or will it now Rout?
3rd question: What if no phased gameplay is done, when does a unit disrupt and when does it rout?

Take another item and get a discussion going on it. But I think this one is pretty straight forward. It happens like they say. Defensive fire can only cause a Disrupt result whether Turn or Phased play. Offensive fire and melee can only cause a route. A few specialize exceptions like a routed unit retreating through a unit Disrupts it but there is really no morale check on this one. Also, adjacent units to a route have to check morale for also routing.

I wish it did work the other way like many other board games. They usually use a second check to see if the failed morale check leads to disrupt or route. The HPS system gives attacking an edge because it can only disrupt while defenders route.

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:39 pm 
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Thanks for the info.

Maybe there is a deeper sense behind the fact that attackers can only be disrupted while defender can only be routed.
Assuming the first player is the attacker, if he now moves in for the offensive he can be disrupted by the defenders defensive fire before being able to do any harm to the defender, if disrupted melee is impossible to conduct and the attackers offensive fire will only be conducted at 50% so not much the attacker can do in front of the defensive line.
Furthermore considering that the defender sits in a better position he will take less casualties and be less likely to fail a moral check at all.
So if the attacker could also be routed by defensive fire and the defender only be disrupted by offensive fire or melee I guess the advantage would lay too strong on the defenders side.

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:52 pm 
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That's an interesting insight, Lieutenant! It might not be applicable to every historical instance, but it would certainly seem to be reflective of a majority of them. In most of my readings and study, the attackers either levered (routed) the defenders out of their position in a melee action, or they were repelled and retreated. If the defenders then assumed the offense and became the attackers/pursuers, I suppose then that the orginal attackers could be subsequently routed. But in our simulations that would encompass one full game turn!

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:45 pm 
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Well would one full turn be too much or little, I personally don't have read any accounts that are so detailed to get a clue of how much time certain task consumed on the battlefield.

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:33 am 
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The problem in game terms is that the defender only fires at one attacker not all. So it is easy to game the defensive fire making disruption of little value. You just attack with more than the stacking limit so you have a replacement if one is disrupted.

While it is true that the defender either stands his ground or fails, this is not the same as route. Most results of an attack was that the defenders didn't feel they could hold their ground so fell back voluntarily or not. This is pretty well reflected in the melee combat. If the attacker wins the defender retreats and is automatically disrupted but still undergoes a morale check to see if it routes.

The problem comes in when it is strictly a fire fight. Two regiments blazing away at each other at 1-2 hexes. Here one is considered an attacker even though he is doing nothing the defender is doing. He can be firing at full strength just like the defender if he hasn't moved. But one can be routed (defender) and the other only disrupted by a morale check.

In short, Melee combat seems to be logical, Fire combat illogical in its handling of the morale check.


From what I have gleaned from multiple books on small unit tactics during the Civil War things happened very quickly once they started happening. Rarely did both sides stand very close and continue firing. Usually one side or the other decided things weren't going their way and broke off. In game terms all these are lumped together in a 20 minute turn. Fire combat probably only required a few minutes ( under five) to resolve one way or another. 20 minutes is long enough for a regiment to fire every bullet they have but the reality was most battles averaged only 8-12 shots per man. Most likely in game terms there was five minutes of combat and fifteen minutes of trying to sort things out and decide what to do next.

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:24 pm 
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KWhitehead wrote:
The problem in game terms is that the defender only fires at one attacker not all. So it is easy to game the defensive fire making disruption of little value. You just attack with more than the stacking limit so you have a replacement if one is disrupted.

Well at least with turn gameplay and the automated defensive fire there can always be triggered a lot of it, usually not when you need it but at least there is a chance for it to happen, so you can even end up with more damage than manual defensive fire could achieve.
OK that is not the fact in phased gameplay but here I guess the enemy sits on a plate and you can pick them off perfectly as you like, I doubt that the defensive fire was in reality so "perfectly" distributed, I guess defensive fire from a defending regiment would usually be fired at that enemy unit that is marching to them and not for example to the neighboring regiment.

But indeed the handling of stacking seems a bit strange here, in the Napoleonic series you have most of the time problems stacking battalions together either because of optional rules(Column pass through fire) or normal game mechanics(only first unit in line can fire after that you have to "rotate" to fire the others). OK having 1000 men in a hex of 125 yards and 20 minutes turns I would say that the CO of that unit "manages" his troops to bring all these men to fire somehow but with multiple units it may be better to do it like Napoleonics and let only the first in the stack fire and then you need to rotate the others in to let them fire, that would at least for turn gameplay & automated defensive fire be another chance to trigger defensive fire.


KWhitehead wrote:
While it is true that the defender either stands his ground or fails, this is not the same as route. Most results of an attack was that the defenders didn't feel they could hold their ground so fell back voluntarily or not. This is pretty well reflected in the melee combat. If the attacker wins the defender retreats and is automatically disrupted but still undergoes a morale check to see if it routes.

Well it can route not must rout, a defender that is pushed out of the hex is disrupted but still would have to fail a Moral Check to rout.

KWhitehead wrote:
The problem comes in when it is strictly a fire fight. Two regiments blazing away at each other at 1-2 hexes. Here one is considered an attacker even though he is doing nothing the defender is doing. He can be firing at full strength just like the defender if he hasn't moved. But one can be routed (defender) and the other only disrupted by a morale check.

Well every side has its defensive and its offensive fire so isn't that equally?
You may can say that the one that is first to move in a turn has an advantage but on the other side the one that moves after him has the advanatge to react on what the first player did.


KWhitehead wrote:
In short, Melee combat seems to be logical, Fire combat illogical in its handling of the morale check.

Here I may say that the "momentum" may also be a factor. I remember reading something about Austerlitz where the defender fell back simply because his defensive fire did not seem to have an impact on the advancing French unit.
So you could say that the "momentum" lays with the attacker, his attack may stuck as his units turn disrupted but the defender could take so much beating that despited his thought of having the advantage in position & cover that all this isn't going to help and he falls back.


KWhitehead wrote:
From what I have gleaned from multiple books on small unit tactics during the Civil War things happened very quickly once they started happening. Rarely did both sides stand very close and continue firing. Usually one side or the other decided things weren't going their way and broke off. In game terms all these are lumped together in a 20 minute turn. Fire combat probably only required a few minutes ( under five) to resolve one way or another. 20 minutes is long enough for a regiment to fire every bullet they have but the reality was most battles averaged only 8-12 shots per man. Most likely in game terms there was five minutes of combat and fifteen minutes of trying to sort things out and decide what to do next.

Well the engine must cover the "extremes" of what is possible, 20 minutes sound much but when I see that I can cover 5-6 hexes clear ground(625-750 yards), make my offensive fire and my melee it sounds like 20 minutes are OK for all this. Sure if I don't move at all 20 minutes are long but I can at least fire with 100% instead 50%.

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:51 am 
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Have to disagree with much of what you said but it covers a lot of territory so just going to pick a few points.

Quote:
Well at least with turn gameplay and the automated defensive fire there can always be triggered a lot of it, usually not when you need it but at least there is a chance for it to happen, so you can even end up with more damage than manual defensive fire could achieve.

Nope, that is not how it actually works. Because the way the AI handles defensive fire in Turn play it rarely happens. Combining this with the halving of the fire and the fact it usually occurs at longer distances than phased (which usually are adjacent) it rarely triggers the Morale check due to low casualties. You almost never cause as much damage with the Turn's Opportunity type fire as Phased fire Defensive Fire at full strength. As the CSA player I have found the best strategy usually is to turn it off by setting defensive fire to one hex in Turn play because it waste ammo relative to its effectiveness. Only a few battles give the CSA side enough artillery and infantry ammo to have it wasted getting one man hits. And, if the Opportunity type fire actually does cause a disrupt it is easily gamed. You just stop moving that unit and switch to the next good ordered unit. This allows you to reduce the chance of any attacking unit being disrupted while adjacent to your target to almost nil. These are part of the reason that we got HPS to add the embedded melee optional rule.

In phased play the AI also handles picking the target and firing. The difference is in phased play the defender fires full strength at the closest unit which is usually the main threat but not necessarily. The AI isn't very bright. But at least if fires at one of its real attackers.

Quote:
Well every side has its defensive and its offensive fire so isn't that equally?

Not really. Most scenario one side is the attacker and the other the defender. Also the one initiating the attack is favored by a system that routes defenders but only disrupts attackers. It allows something that rarely happened in the Civil War. An equal force can attack and break an equal defense line. That is why they refer, incorrectly though, to the Civil War as the first modern war where the force ratios have to be 3:1 for an attacker to win. In a Civil War era attack the attacking force has to move across an open area in front of the defender who is the only one who actually gets to shoot. If the attack ever stops to fire his attack will probably fail. Once it turns into a shooting match the defender will usually win unless they are unusually weak.

This kind of fighting would more accurately be simulated by any moving attacking unit being subjugated to Opportunity Fire until adjacent, then subjugated to full fire when attempted melee, and only then having Melee itself resolved. The attacker would lose the option to melee if it ever fired during this procedure.

But all this is irrelevant since the HPS simulation is the best we have so we fight under its rules.

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:32 pm 
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I would really like to discuss this further but as we are already off topic for the manual clarification I would like to move the last posts starting and including from this post ( viewtopic.php?p=104650#p104650 ) on to a new thread, something like "Historical Gameplay", any mod around that could do that?

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:58 pm 
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Ok I don't want to wait anymore, I don't now if any one capable of shifting post is around here at all so I've started a thread:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=19779

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 Post subject: Re: Manual clarification - HPS/JTS Civil War series
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:45 pm 
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Well this questions goes more into the internal mechanics of the game but maybe someone can answer this.

I had somehow the impression that making breastworks works similar to making trenches where 100 or a fraction of 100 will raise the trench value and so lead to constructing a trench faster.

Re-reading the passage about breastworks I think that assumption of me was simply completely wrong:
"• Breastwork Building - The scenario must have a non-zero Breastworks
Build Parameter Data value. To build Breastworks, an infantry unit must
be in Line formation, or a cavalry unit must be Dismounted. Use the
Make Entrenchments option of the Command Menu. The unit will
show up described as Breastworks. "


Well and here one must know how the test for breastworks work, is there a check for each unit in a hex constructing breastworks or a check for each hexside a unit is working on or how is it tested?
Does any value of the unit(men, quality, etc.) raise the probability?

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