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 Post subject: Soft ZOC's
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 6:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2002 3:11 am
Posts: 311
Location: North Carolina
I've recently discovered that soft ZOC's remain "hard" to the front for retreat purposes (as in, a unit losing a melee still cannot retreat to its front if that lies in an enemy ZOC). I'm sure most of you already knew this, but my ignorance is always looking for new heights! [:p]

Is this something that is easy to change so as to allow "forward" retreats? And do others think it's necessary?

This comes from the point of view of wanting to reduce the normal casualty count, which normally dwarfs the historical one. To an extent, this will always be so when we know who and what and where about a particular battle. But the soft ZOCs are a great step forward IMHO (despite the fact they ruined my normal tactics! [xx(]), but can we move a bit more in this direction?

Or to take the more radical road, how about allow all retreats (except isolated routed units, or out of ammo units, or even give a unit a morale check to see if it retreats out of trouble or surrenders) and give the units it retreats by a free full-power flank shot? Or if a unit is surrounded, allow it to retreat through a hex that is occupied by an enemy of smaller size (again, with a morale check to see if it retreats or surrenders?)?

Just thinking out loud as for the first time in months I have an hour to kill and no one is awaiting a game turn from me! [8D]

Maj Gen Sean Turner
3rd Cavalry Division, "Yankee Thrasher"
I Corps
Army of Alabama


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 6:42 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 2:25 pm
Posts: 190
Location: USA
It is my opinion that as the games attmept to go more historical, the Rebel player's chances of winning decrease. Without the opportunity to make an opponent pay for the mistake of not supporting his units with the ZOC kill, how can the Reb offset what are usually superior Yankee numbers?

If the games were truely ideally historical, what lengthy battle could the Rebel win? It is not as though our Union Generals fight with the same reluctance as McClellan, Pope, or Meade.

That is one man's take anyway. [8D]

Lt. Col. Brad Slepetz
III Corps
AoG
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 6:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:52 am
Posts: 952
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Hi, Sean,

I also found out the hard way that forward retreats aren't allowed, way back when Corinth first came out. Apparently, it was that way in the Battleground games as well, but I never picked up on it. My research indicates that very few units surrendered during a pitched battle, or if they did, it sure isn't indicated in the unit histories in the two compendiums. In Panzer Campaigns, the penalty for being isolated is a reduction of one level of morale. If any unit gets a retreat result in a melee but can't retreat, it pays a price in prisoners in addition to its normal loss. This makes more sense to me than our current system. Also, I don't think units ought to be prohibited from retreating forward if that is the only open hex. Just my two cents.

MG Mike Mihalik
1/III/AoMiss/CSA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:18 am 
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Posts: 952
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Hi, Brad,

My experience is that the current rules don't help the Rebs in most battles. When my opponent Kelly Ross has superior numbers, he simply extends his lines, forcing me to extend mine or retreat before he surrounds me. When I extend my lines, he concentrates on the inevitable weak point. If I attack, he lets me wear myself down by playing a soft defense and then continues with his original plan. When I have beaten him, it is usually in scenarios where the Rebs are even or have an advantage, such as the Ozark campaigns. I'm not sure what effect the proposed rule changes would have, but I know it would prevent an army being rendered helpless by being surrounded by a weak screen of enemy units.

MG Mike Mihalik
1/III/AoMiss/CSA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2001 5:01 am
Posts: 564
Location: USA
How about no ZOC's now that we have ADF. Force the players to protect gaps with firepower. As an OPTIONAL RULE of course. I think it would be fun.

MajGen Al 'Ambushed' Amos
3rd "Amos' Ambushers" Bde, Cavalry Division, XX Corps, AoC
The Union Forever! Huzzah!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2002 3:11 am
Posts: 311
Location: North Carolina
Al: I'm all for no ZOCs. I grew to like that in my early days with the La Bataille games where you just got shot at as you walked by.

Mike: sounds like another argument for leader "personality" ratings and strict command control rules. And then an orders system. And then... [:I]


Maj Gen Sean Turner
3rd Cavalry Division, "Yankee Thrasher"
I Corps
Army of Alabama


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 9:45 am
Posts: 414
Location: Ireland
Gents!

I couldn't help but smile reading of "Retreats" . . . . errrrrm . . . . forward!

When issuing the Order for a Forward Retreat, would the Section CO holler,

" Brigade! By the Right! Advaaaaaaance . . . . backwards! " ????[?] [:o)] [:D] [:p] [^] [:D] [:D] [:D]

OR p'raps a lá Monty Python:

" Brigade! By the Right! RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! "

Sorry . . . it just tickled Me Funny Bone! [8)]

Pat.

P.S. - ZoCs SUCK! [:(]

Colonel Patrick G.M.Carroll,
Commanding
II Corps,
Army of Georgia.
"Spartan Southrons"
C.S.A.

" When My Country takes it's rightful place, amongst the Nations of the World, then and only then, let My Epitaph be written. "


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:52 am 
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Hi, Al,

I'm for no zones of control also, but I think it would have to be in conjunction with more realistic hex restrictions. By that I mean that while a hex can physically hold 1000 men, anything over, say, 500 would be superfluous for fire and melee. Similar restrictions on artillery. According to "Arms and Equipment of the Civil War" by Coggins, the prescribed frontage for a six-gun battery was roughly 100 yds. I realize that often more guns were probably crammed into 100 yds, but I doubt it was as many as sixteen. In conjunction with this, impose density penalties. Maybe the current effects for 500 men with 10% added for each hundred over that, and 10% subtracted for each 100 under that. Of course, those large units would have to be able to deploy in extended line. And the two-hex command range that currently only applies to the Yanks for brigade commanders would apply to all.

MG Mike Mihalik
1/III/AoMiss/CSA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2001 12:13 am
Posts: 335
Location: USA
Oh, no ZOC's are a must. No ZOC="Blitzkrieg" moves. Any "hole" left in the line automatically becomes a road to your rear. No defense other than an every-hex defense would have any viability.

Even with losses, I don't want to think about what cav-abuses would come out of the woodwork...



Brig. General Gary McClellan
1st Division, XXIII Corps
AoO,USA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2001 5:01 am
Posts: 564
Location: USA
Gary,

...and you hit the nail on the head. The problem with us gaming is we cheat. We don't play as historical commanders would move in real life. We do what the engine allows. Now if the historical commanders were to come back and play these games, they would do what the engine allows.

Its the engine's fault. [:p]

MajGen Al 'Ambushed' Amos
3rd "Amos' Ambushers" Bde, Cavalry Division, XX Corps, AoC
The Union Forever! Huzzah!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:13 am 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 5:41 am
Posts: 873
Location: Somewhere between D.C. and the battlefield
OK It is possible to play reasonably historical. I recall a series of battles in the CCC with Al Amos (who else?) where we just both did only what we considered historically plausible, *without* pushing the envelope of that paradigm. Our companies were aligned shoulder-to-shoulder and nobody would do any suicide missions in the enemy rear with isolated companies. I do recall we could even leave leaders alone in hexes behind the lines because we knew the other guy would not interfere with them. It was a very rewarding way of playing. However, you need to find someone whose style matches yours closely, and more importantly, you must not care if you lose.

Gen. Walter, USA
<i>The Blue Blitz</i>
AoS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2001 5:01 am
Posts: 564
Location: USA
"Oh, no ZOC's are a must. No ZOC="Blitzkrieg" moves. Any "hole" left in the line automatically becomes a road to your rear. No defense other than an every-hex defense would have any viability." -Gary

The first line of battle would need to be a solid as possible, but the second and third lines would have to have gaps to funnel troops to and from the battle.
----

Has anyone seen the movie Gettysburg? (hehehe[:p]) Did you notice the Rebs formed up with regiments in line formation to cross the mile or so gap in Pickett's charge? Now how do most of us cover the same ground in that situation? Let me guess, in column until about 6 hexes then line?

I still tell you all, the majority of the abuses mentioned with these games lies as the feet of the player who refuses to learn and practice the procedures of the era they game. Instead, evey game is a colorful version of 'easy play WWII'.

Are they wrong? Only if they then complain the engine does not model the time era properly. If they are just wanting to 'play' a game without holding themselves to the 'rules' of the game, then they should not expect a realistic outcome.

The 'Rules' of the game I refer to is how armies actually fought in that era, not the engine capabilities. IF historical commanders were trained to maintain two battle lines with a certain distance between, then we should. IF units were taught to form and manuevre in line, then we should.

There are drill books and regulations available on line for players to study. Did historical commanders follow the book exactly, everytime? NO, but they used it for a reference point. The method of forming up for battle was the norm, and the base for exceptions to be made from.

Leaders rose up through the ranks learning thier trade as they went. They learned how to deploy a regiment, and use a regiment in battle, the the brigade, then the division, the the corps and then the army.

We jump right in at the army level, not using the regiments, brigades, divisions and corps properly, and being greatly dissappointed with the end results. We say the engine is bad, and needs this or that adjustment.

Well, I disagreee. When a scenario is about to be played there are three groups bringing things to the table to make that scenario: the programmer, the designer and the players. If any of these groups have not done their research properly they short-change the experience.

I have been in games where all three groups brought an appropriate level of understanding of the era, and guess what? The game played out as the historical battles read. The outcomes were different from history, because different strategies were used, but these different strategies where conducted within the proper framework of historical army doctrine, training and practice.

I think if people would stop trying to be army commanders and take the time to play several games where they are only a brigade, and then division commander they would find once they went back to army level the games would be more 'realistic'. They would have learned their trade at the lower levels as their real life counterparts did.

This is my opinion. Learn the time period. Study and practice the art of war in the era of your choice from the lowest levels. Then try being the head chief. If you don't wish to take this time, that's okay, just hold back critizing the game engine then, because the flaws you percieve in the games you play could be a result of your own errors, not the game engine's.

MajGen Al 'Ambushed' Amos
3rd "Amos' Ambushers" Bde, Cavalry Division, XX Corps, AoC
The Union Forever! Huzzah!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:12 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 9:45 am
Posts: 414
Location: Ireland
Seán,

As a matter of curiosity, where did You learn of the "Hard" ZOC's to the Front of a Unit? I mean which Game Engine? [?]

I recently started my 1st Battle in Peninsula, as the 1st in the 7 Days Campaign.

We agreed a Draw after 12 of 23 and have moved on to Gaines' Mill.

In Turn 9, I had a 300 man Unit Rout, and Run forwards - a distance of about 6 Hexes - in amongst the Yankee Defences. Needless to say - They won a Holiday up North for the Rest of the War, for their Efforts! [xx(]

They <i> were </i> flank meleed . . . p'raps that made the Difference? [:o)] [8D]

Pat.

Colonel Patrick G.M.Carroll,
Commanding
II Corps,
Army of Georgia.
"Spartan Southrons"
C.S.A.

" When My Country takes it's rightful place, amongst the Nations of the World, then and only then, let My Epitaph be written. "


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 9:06 am 
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Posts: 952
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Hi, Al,

I disagree with you because I believe that, to the extent possible, the game engine ought to reward proper tactical doctrine and punish improper doctrine. Perhaps some things can't be helped, such as being able to immediately respond to events happening two miles away. But I think there is some room for improvement in the game engine, and a couple of suggestions are included in my last post on this thread. I propose to continue making suggestions on ways I think the engine might be improved, and to pretty much play the way the engine allows me to play,
within what we consider ethical parameters. Some of the suggestions made on the old Talonsoft board have come to pass over the years, so there is always hope.

MG Mike Mihalik
1/III/AoMiss/CSA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2001 5:01 am
Posts: 564
Location: USA
Mike,

With the engine we have YOU, the player, can control the stacking limits to the levels you mentioned. Players don't have to stack to the max, and move all units every turn to their max move points, or melee with max fatigue units of 20 men. They can exercise self-control over how they use their troops which could, maybe, increase their enjoyment.

The way some approach the games seems to me like chugging a bottle of wine, then complaining it must be bad wine cause there was no taste. I'm trying to say, "Sip the wine. Enjoy the flavor."

The engine needs work, there is no perfect game engine, and the scenario designers can do better with OOB, PDT and SCN files, but I still think the 'weakest' of the three elements that make a good game (programmer, designer, player) is still the player in a vast majority of cases.

MajGen Al 'Ambushed' Amos
3rd "Amos' Ambushers" Bde, Cavalry Division, XX Corps, AoC
The Union Forever! Huzzah!


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