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1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units etc
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Author:  cameronm [ Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:41 pm ]
Post subject:  1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units etc

I have played the 1390 turn Campaign once (got to 169 turns and was done like a dogs dinner) and on the second go now. One of my observations is that the fixed CSA units at Hanover Junction and the CSA reinforcements coming in near Lindsey's Deport on 19th May tend to put a spoke in the strategy of the CSA. In the 1390 turn game it is my view that there should be no fixed units and all reinforcements should come in next to Richmond, otherwise it is just giving the Union free points. Anyone else have an opinion?

Author:  John Ferry [ Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

Cam and y'all
Here are the reasons things are set up the way they are:
Johnston's Bde, of Early's Div near Hanover Junction, is a wholesale replacement for Johnston's Bde, originally in Rodes' Div. I placed them there to spare the player the tedium of bringing them allll the way up from Richmond. (There is enough of that, already!) They activate on May 8, I believe, which is pretty early, and they are supposed to relieve the original, which is required to exit. They are not stand alone reinforcements. They are replacements.
The Maryland Line, located in the same area and activating on May 20, are another story. They ARE reinforcements. Again, sparing a little tedium, their location simulates them getting off the train at Hanover Jct instead of making the long hike. I can fix that in the future. May 20, however, is a long way off. I would imagine in the other MP game that Ken Miller is playing, and where the Yanks are at Richmond, that those units got activated early due to proximity of Union forces. I'd welcome the opinion of the rebs in that one. (unless that is your game, and in that case you already stated your opinion.)
That brings us to Breckinridge's Division out at Lindsey's Depot. Breckinridge defeated Sigel at New Market and that freed him to reinforce Lee. He came from the Shenandoah, not from Richmond, and again, it is further down the time line than anyone has proceeded so far, (May 19) so who knows what the ramifications will be.
I welcome the comments. It is the main reason I joined the club. Keep em coming. I hope my reasoning makes sense to you, and I am open to any changes that would make for a better game.
John Ferry
Overland co-designer

Author:  nsimms [ Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

We are at turn 184 in a game where I am playing the Rebs. The score is at about -15,000 which is a Reb major victory - so far. I was able to extricate Johnson and the Maryland Line units by forming a defensive shell around them until my opponent released them by coming close enough. We haven't gotten to the point yet where Breckinridge arrives. I would prefer that they arrived in or south of Richmond because in this game the Union forces know that they are arriving up there which is the same as Breckinridge sending a telegram to Grant announcing where and when he was going to arrive. Sometimes it is just difficult to be historically correct. The same goes for those supply wagons that come in up north - bring them in at Richmond. The only way that I can see that the Rebs can win this game is to fall back on Richmond - immediately - and start digging in with two lines of breastworks. Its a great game but I'll be a 100 years old by the time we reach turn 1390. I may have to train my grandkids to take over. But I'm having fun!

Author:  C. Hecht [ Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

I haven't toyed around with the AI moving my units but aren't these far away units that have to be moved for many turns just the perfect candidates for handing them to the AI till they are close enough to the main are of operations so that the player takes control?
That would take the burden of moving them off the player and still allow the units to be placed far enough back.

Author:  KWhitehead [ Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

I can't tell whether you are playing an opponent or the AI. If an opponent about all the South can do is try to delay the Union advance at river crossing while retreating back to Richmond. But I am not sure whether the ANV is large enough to hold the outer fortifications. If they can delay long enough without losing to many points they can build a short fortified line inside the city around the primary objective. It will be a race between entrenching and the Union army arriving. Once entrenched they can't be defeated. But then it is no longer the Overland campaign and I don't really see any point of playing it that way.

Against the AI, just go destroy the Union army. The AI is to poor to prevent it.

Ken

Author:  cameronm [ Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

I was only referring to non AI play. I can understand that most of the historical battles we fight are set in a very short time frame of a few days at most and there were a wide range of external circumstances/issues that impacted the battle. But with this campaign being over a couple of months it hard to ratonlise as Lee I would send supplies to deports behind enemy lines or fix units in place so they were destroyed etc.

Author:  John Ferry [ Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

The AI would NEVER in a zillion years make a playable opponent in the campaign scenario. I doubt if you could even count on the AI to move selected units for you, as Chris mentioned. Don't know if an update would come out any time soon, but I will make some changes for the next one. Meantime, you can always use the scn editor and make any adjustments in placement and timing that you might like. Make sure your opponent knows about it. Another interesting trick is to let the rebs make some secret changes within reason and send the scenario's first turn but not the master scn. file for that scenario.
John Ferry
Overland co-designer

Author:  C. Hecht [ Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

I didn't mention the AI in any way as opponent, I just wanted to point out that there is no need to worry about the distance that some formations have to move when the player can assign them to be moved by the AI
John mentioned:
"Johnston's Bde, of Early's Div near Hanover Junction, is a wholesale replacement for Johnston's Bde, originally in Rodes' Div. I placed them there to spare the player the tedium of bringing them allll the way up from Richmond. (There is enough of that, already!)"
There should be no tedium for the player if he lets the AI make the moves for such formations.

I remember Ed Williams(Designer of the First World War series) mention something like that for the big campaign scenario of France 14. The reinforcements there arrive at the map edge and it takes many turns & a lot of work to move them to a point where the player can utilize them.
Of course if the AI is even unable to get that properly done my idea is futile.

Author:  nsimms [ Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

You are on target, Ken. The historical outer line is too long and that is why a shorter inner line needs to be built. I was able to delay the Union forces long enough to finish the outer line and then get the inner line constructed. He burst through my outer line but it cost him and we'll see if he has enough steam left to do the same to the inner line. I also agree that this strategy isn't like the historical Overland Campaign, but didn't Lee lose that one? I'm trying to win it. The delaying rear action on the way down was challenging, getting enough troops into Richmond to build the breastworks was challenging, resisting his offensives against my works has been challenging, and all of it has been fun. I couldn't ask for more, although my opponent probably wishes that I would regain some momentum in how fast I do my turns nowadays.

Author:  KWhitehead [ Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

nsimms wrote:
You are on target, Ken. The historical outer line is too long and that is why a shorter inner line needs to be built. I was able to delay the Union forces long enough to finish the outer line and then get the inner line constructed. He burst through my outer line but it cost him and we'll see if he has enough steam left to do the same to the inner line. I also agree that this strategy isn't like the historical Overland Campaign, but didn't Lee lose that one? I'm trying to win it. The delaying rear action on the way down was challenging, getting enough troops into Richmond to build the breastworks was challenging, resisting his offensives against my works has been challenging, and all of it has been fun. I couldn't ask for more, although my opponent probably wishes that I would regain some momentum in how fast I do my turns nowadays.

When things deviate that much from historic it mostly is saying the game didn't simulate the situation. While it is the way to win it isn't the Overland Campaign any more. What is missing is the penalty for retreating back into the Richmond defenses which Lee viewed as just a stretched out surrender. The scenario designer just didn't plan for such an out come. A few 1000 point VP hexes scattered around outside Richmond would have killed this strategy.

I also suspect that if the Union player catches on that it is a full retreat they can lock the game into at least a Draw by not attacking. If they can get lucky and trap some units before the release and get to Richmond they might be able to get a marginal. But I suspect the game between two players would quickly degenerate into a rather boring strategy of one side retreating and the other not attacking. Most players won't commit suicide by attacking full strength (900 man) hexes that are fortified and allowing the Rebs to run up the score. They will stand off with artillery and see if they get some easy kills.

Author:  C. Hecht [ Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

Well besides adjusting the scenario, does such a huge scenario need some rules to keep it closer to history?
I'm just playing Civil War II and my opponent and I agreed to some rules to just not allow anything that is possible.

Author:  John Ferry [ Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

I would more than gladly entertain any general or specific suggestions to bring the Monster closer to the mark. One problem with the way objectives points are awarded is that there is no difference in points if you lose, say Spotsylvania, on May 8th, or if you held on to it until May 20, as historical. A CSA player, being realistic, will say he's going to lose it anyway, so might as well hie out now and save my men rather than get decimated and still get kicked out. Other games, from other companies, award points per turn for an objective. The longer you hold it, the more points. Way to go.
(Requires an engine change. Above my pay grade)
As the designer I'm going to refrain from injecting more artificial "rules" into the scenario. I believe some of those rules that I already put out get short shift in the playing. They are not enforceable, and there is no penalty for ignoring or modifying them. What opponents come up with between themselves is fine, of course.

John Ferry
Overland co-designer

Author:  nsimms [ Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

"Most players won't commit suicide by attacking full strength (900 man) hexes that are fortified and allowing the Rebs to run up the score. They will stand off with artillery and see if they get some easy kills."

I wish that were the case but the Rebs don't have that many men. In the outer works I was just trying to get a minimum of 100 men in each hex. In the inner works, I have 200-400 men in each hex with a corps left for offensive action, and only because his attack is concentrated. Artillery is useless against breastworks but can decimate those units not in breastworks. I am of the opinion that Lee was a far greater tactician than me and if he couldn't win it then I don't stand a chance to win it his way. I love Gettysburg but you'll never see me recreate Pickett's Charge so I will win it a different way. I think that our main difference of opinion is because you are trying to recreate a historical event and I'm just playing a game and nothing is wrong with either view point. The publisher will accept the money from both of us.

Author:  C. Hecht [ Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

Regarding victory points per turn. I remember in the TOAW game series if the victory conditions had to be special, it was often done by setting "switches". That was simply a location that had some kind of trigger and a unit in it that could trigger it.

So if you want to reward the players for holding a location longer you could setup such switches somewhere at the edge of the map and allow the player to set them if the held a location for a considerable time longer than historical.
Of course it's a bit work for the players but if properly layout in a readme it does seem to be a problem, not for persons that chose the play a 1390 turn scenario.

Author:  John Ferry [ Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1390 turn Campaign Overland May-June 1864 Fixed Units et

Any such change is done at the home office. It is not something that I as the designer can modify. Requested changes to the engine, if they happen at all, take one or two years. Requests go thru Rich Hamilton at JTS support.

John Ferry
Overland co-designer.

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