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 Post subject: QUESTIONS ABOUT ATLANTA CAMPAIGN ORDER OF BATTLE
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 10:43 am 
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During a recent play of the new HPS “Atlantaâ€


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 12:34 pm 
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OK, further checking yields some disturbing results. In the Rocky Face Ridge scenario with the Historical set up, 11 Confederate batteries are missing from Hindman's Corps. I have not even checked Hood's yet. Checking the pdt file shows that the batteries are listed but they are not in the set up!

Gentlemen, this is pretty serious.

It looks like the pdt files might be OK but the scenarios seem to be hosed.

Somebody out there please find a source that states I'm wrong!!


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 1:24 pm 
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PDT files are a totally seperate animal from an OOB file. It will only show what type of weapons are available to the game engine.

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


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 3:36 pm 
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You are right Al, the pdt files are more concerned with the weapons data and supply etc. but that means that the .scn files or the OOB files are in error. The scenarios can be fixed via the editor, but correct me here if I am wrong. You can't create a strength for a regiment in a scenario that is larger than the size indicated in the OOB file. If that is the case then the OOB file would have to be altered for some regiments if you wanted to correct the scenario. The 63rd Georgia for example.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 4:09 pm 
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Gentlemen,

Your comments and concerns are always welcome.

First, let me say that HPS' main function is in the production and distribution of their games, they do not concern themselves with the game details. They do not contribute in any form or fashion to the game mechanics, design, or playtesting. We, the designers, are soley responsible for the scenarion design, OOBs, MAPs, PDTs, Campaign files, Org files, etc...

Second, you make the assumption that a major battle was fought at Rocky face ridge. This is not correct. You will not find an official OOB for the individual battles. The batteries that have been omitted are not placed for several reasons. First, my main source for unit placements came from Scaife's Book titled <i>The Campaign for Atlanta.</i> The missing batteries are not mentioned and must be assumed to be in reserve or otherwise left off the map. However, I found examples where corrections could in fact be made, and they will be introduced in a later patch.

I will be glad to research each needed correction. Just send me an email.

OOBs are very tricky. Jim Dunnam and I went over each O.R. report, but not each article written about the campaign. The OOB is O.R. based, not article based. Also, keep in mind that our OOBs do not show artillery crews, only tubes, so thousands are missing because artillerist are left out.

The "what if" scns were much more liberal with using most available units, but historical scns only used units that were shown to have participated. But as I mentioned, some units could have been present and in reserve, but since this cannot, in most cases, be officially shown, they were omitted. The editor will allow you to add them, but this will cause balance issues.

Anyway, keep the comments coming, I'll make notes and corrections as needed.





Lt. Col. Richard Walker
I Corps
Army of the Mississippi
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division
"Defenders of Tennessee"


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 11:10 pm 
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Rich, thanks for your comments. That explains some things, but I can't say I necessarily agree with the logic.

Because a book does not mention a particular battery or unit does not mean that the unit was not present. An author writing a book on lets say "Pickets Charge" if he fails to mention a particular regiment or brigade it is a non sequitur error to assume the unit was not there.

You mentioned that "the editor will allow you to add them, but this will cause balance issues". Good Golly! I sure hope so. Presently the Confederates are fighting with one heck of a disadvantage in numbers. If I was playing Union or Confederate I would like to think that a victory won or lost was at least based on what units were actually there. If my opponent is lacking 11 batteries that I know were present and deployed, how can I feel it was a fair simulation?

This reminds me of an error that I saw when I checked up on the "Chancellorsville" scenario that is presently being offered in the Cartography Office. The scenario as offered is missing two entire Union Divisions! Now what is the logic there? Is the assumption "well, the Confederates are already outnumbered nearly two to one so why don't we just subtract two divisions to make it even". Or is it just an honest keying in error or an oversight.

As a Reb player, even I don't want the games to proceed that way. I want to at least explore the historical situation that the commanders faced. Balancing issues can be addressed in a more equitable way through the mechanism of % chance arrival, or freeing up frozen units.

The club members have been terrific in the past in offering suggestions and improvements in the HPS game system but in my opinion a correct Order of Battle is absolutely necessary if we are to simulate the battles of the Civil War.

If you like I can send along some examples I have found or maybe we can compare notes.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 1:46 am 
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One of the reasons I haven't jumped in and bought Atlanta is my concern that the HPS Game Engine can't handle such a disparity of forces. It's standard pdt parameters and game mechanics highly favor the offensive so the best a game on the Atlanta campaign can do is declare the Rebel the winner if he can hold Atlanta until the November elections. There is nothing terrain as defined in the current pdt files can do to compensate for Sherman having over 100,000 troops and 254 pieces of artillery against a Confederate force of only 65,000 (after Polk's corps joined it).

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
III Corps, AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 4:27 am 
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Sure,

As I said, if you have evidence of missing units that were in fact present and deployed, send me an email. I will be glad to make corrections. On the other hand, there are many examples of units that were deployed elsewhere. Also, abstracts can't be taken as gospel, especially when there is a week or two interval. Very often, units were almost halved after a forced march during summer. Many simply could not stand the march and simply dropped out. There are many cases, where a regimental report differs from a brigade report in terms of numbers.

For those worried about number disparities, there are many examples of defenders having the advantage. I pity the Union at Kennesaw. Also, victory conditions are adjusted to help balance.

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by gcollins</i>
<br />Rich, thanks for your comments. That explains some things, but I can't say I necessarily agree with the logic.

Because a book does not mention a particular battery or unit does not mean that the unit was not present. An author writing a book on lets say "Pickets Charge" if he fails to mention a particular regiment or brigade it is a non sequitur error to assume the unit was not there.

You mentioned that "the editor will allow you to add them, but this will cause balance issues". Good Golly! I sure hope so. Presently the Confederates are fighting with one heck of a disadvantage in numbers. If I was playing Union or Confederate I would like to think that a victory won or lost was at least based on what units were actually there. If my opponent is lacking 11 batteries that I know were present and deployed, how can I feel it was a fair simulation?

This reminds me of an error that I saw when I checked up on the "Chancellorsville" scenario that is presently being offered in the Cartography Office. The scenario as offered is missing two entire Union Divisions! Now what is the logic there? Is the assumption "well, the Confederates are already outnumbered nearly two to one so why don't we just subtract two divisions to make it even". Or is it just an honest keying in error or an oversight.

As a Reb player, even I don't want the games to proceed that way. I want to at least explore the historical situation that the commanders faced. Balancing issues can be addressed in a more equitable way through the mechanism of % chance arrival, or freeing up frozen units.

The club members have been terrific in the past in offering suggestions and improvements in the HPS game system but in my opinion a correct Order of Battle is absolutely necessary if we are to simulate the battles of the Civil War.

If you like I can send along some examples I have found or maybe we can compare notes.


<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Lt. Col. Richard Walker
I Corps
Army of the Mississippi
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division
"Defenders of Tennessee"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 4:29 am 
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Sure,

As I said, if you have evidence of missing units that were in fact present and deployed, send me an email. I will be glad to make corrections. On the other hand, there are many examples of units that were deployed elsewhere. Also, abstracts can't be taken as gospel, especially when there is a week or two interval. Very often, units were almost halved after a forced march during summer. Many simply could not stand the march and simply dropped out. There are many cases, where a regimental report differs from a brigade report in terms of numbers.

For those worried about number disparities, there are many examples of defenders having the advantage. I pity the Union at Kennesaw. Also, victory conditions are adjusted to help balance.

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by gcollins</i>
<br />Rich, thanks for your comments. That explains some things, but I can't say I necessarily agree with the logic.

Because a book does not mention a particular battery or unit does not mean that the unit was not present. An author writing a book on lets say "Pickets Charge" if he fails to mention a particular regiment or brigade it is a non sequitur error to assume the unit was not there.

You mentioned that "the editor will allow you to add them, but this will cause balance issues". Good Golly! I sure hope so. Presently the Confederates are fighting with one heck of a disadvantage in numbers. If I was playing Union or Confederate I would like to think that a victory won or lost was at least based on what units were actually there. If my opponent is lacking 11 batteries that I know were present and deployed, how can I feel it was a fair simulation?

This reminds me of an error that I saw when I checked up on the "Chancellorsville" scenario that is presently being offered in the Cartography Office. The scenario as offered is missing two entire Union Divisions! Now what is the logic there? Is the assumption "well, the Confederates are already outnumbered nearly two to one so why don't we just subtract two divisions to make it even". Or is it just an honest keying in error or an oversight.

As a Reb player, even I don't want the games to proceed that way. I want to at least explore the historical situation that the commanders faced. Balancing issues can be addressed in a more equitable way through the mechanism of % chance arrival, or freeing up frozen units.

The club members have been terrific in the past in offering suggestions and improvements in the HPS game system but in my opinion a correct Order of Battle is absolutely necessary if we are to simulate the battles of the Civil War.

If you like I can send along some examples I have found or maybe we can compare notes.


<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Lt. Col. Richard Walker
I Corps
Army of the Mississippi
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division
"Defenders of Tennessee"


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 4:57 am 
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I'm going to have to echo Kennon's comments to a degree. I have been very disappointed with some of the HPS Civil War titles. ie: Vicksburg and Franklin in particular. Way back when Franklin first came out I was astounded that that title had been chosen. Franklin is frankly a massacre, there is almost no way the Confederates can win any kind of historical victory that is going to mean anything.

I sensed trouble areas in Vicksburg and Atlanta when I found that terrain was not doing enough for the defense. Entrenchments could use some work too. At "Cold Harbour" for instance no Union unit was even able to close on the confederate fortifications. The attackers were disrupted long before they hit the Rebel defences. This can't happen in HPS Civil War if you go in with maximum stacking.

But, I'm wandering from the topic which was the Order of Battle. Going back to my old board war game days, 'if the Order of Battle is not right, then nothing is right'.

Rich, you mentioned that if I could find what evidence there was that certain batteries were deployed to let you know where they were. That is the point. I can't necessarily do so. But they are listed in the Order of Battle as being in Hardee's Corps Artillery. I'm pretty darn sure that Hardee deployed his corps with his artillery. If the scenario deploys Hotchkiss Battalion BUT NOT Hoxton's battalion or Martins' or Cobb and Palmers' battalion then I think it incumbent on the designer to show us where they were.

The "Atlanta Campaign" I admit is one of the more difficult campaigns to study as compared to lets say "Gettysburg". We know a heck of a lot more information about Lee's army than we do about Johnston's. But if I had to 'round off' I would round off in favour of a unit being present rather than absent.

Check out this quote from General Hood himself that appears in the official records.

<i> On the 6th of May, 1864, the army lay at and near Dalton awaiting the advance of the enemy. Never had so large a Confederate army assembled in the West. Seventy thousand effective men were in the easy direction of a single commander.[i]</i>

Of course it is in Hood's interest to round off in favour of larger numbers but on the other hand it is in Johnston's interest to round off the other way. But the HPS figures are even lower than both estimates.

Anyway, if anybody can point me to some other sources I sure am willing to try and check them out.

Rich, I will send you a .jpg file of a copy of a report by that Major Dawes of the 53rd regiment.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 6:04 am 
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I would tend to agree that terrain doesn't give the defensive advantages that it should in any game in this engine, not only the ACW, though it seems to be most severe here. I suspect with the HPS engine as it currently stands, Fredricksburg would be a Union Walkover, even with the exact historical "tactics" used by Burnside.

In any case, back to the issue at hand, Gen Collins, since the OOB counts men only in Inf/Cav units, and not the gunners, would the number of gunners not counted make up for your "shortfall"? I'm not talking about the phantom batteries, which is a separate issue, but if you assume the number of tubes in game, how much of the gap does that cover?

Major General Gary McClellan
1st Division, XXIII Corps
AoO,USA


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 7:01 am 
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The artillerymen can't make up for the 'shortfall' because Johnston and others explicitly state infantry strength and guns separately. It seems important to them to do so, and I think it should be important to us.

Please don't get me wrong about the work done on the "Atlanta Campaign" disk. I think they have done a phenomenal job. I was very impressed with the designer notes that stated they tracked with a spread sheet the strengths of the various regiments all through the campaign. This is very impressive.

But, if your initial information is incorrect, subtracting a units casualties from what you believe is its original strength will give you skewed results. In that article by Major Dawes in speaking of the regiments that joined Johnston from the coast he says "All of these regiments had full ranks". I noted that the 63rd Georgia regiment is under strength by quite a bit in the historical scenario and this is the one that should be most correct.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 8:11 am 
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gcollins,

I suppose there are two ways to look at things. The maps I used were very detailed showing precise regimental locations, for both infantry and arty. So for any arty unit not shown on the map, I can say with relative confidence, that either a)they played no significant part in the conflict, or b) they were deployed and in reserve, or c) they were left elsewhere.

I generally don't like to deploy units that I am not sure were present. That's my philosophy.

The Atlanta Campaign was a very fluid one. Almost non-stop fighting for 100 days. Units tended to get scattered.

Lt. Col. Richard Walker
I Corps
Army of the Mississippi
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division
"Defenders of Tennessee"


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 12:20 pm 
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Ah! Rich, then I can certainly see a problem. Battle maps, even the very detailed ones often show units that were deployed but often leave out ones that as you say may not have been engaged. But that doesn't mean they couldn't have been engaged or were not in the immediate vicinity.

This is especially important for the new games with the large maps such as HPS is now producing. I noted that in the "Rocky Face Ridge Historical scenario there are only 36 guns deployed and yet Johnston had with him 144 pieces. That's 108 pieces of artillery missing and to me that is significant. My take is, that if they were not deployed on Rocky Face Ridge then they must have been in the immediate vicinity, certainly not much further than the headquarters at Dalton which of course is on the map.

I noted also that Vaughan's Brigade of Cheatham's division is not present nor anywhere on the board. Nor does he come in as a reinforcement. In fact for the historical scenario no reinforcements arrive for the Confederates. That's 4 more regiments. This also applies to Deas's Brigade of Hindman's division.

There are several individual regiments that are missing also. They are in the OOB file but not on the map. I refer here to the: 4th Georgia regiment, Smith's brigade and the 1st Georgia State Line regiment of Stovall's brigade.

So in summation if the missing units were at least 'on the board' the Confederates would have 108 more artillery pieces and at least 2,500 more infantry. This is significant.

From my experience with the campaign game (and I'm only on my third scenario) the Confederate regiments after losses are sometimes down to 24 men and less. And this is only the third scenario. Like Kennon was saying with this kind of disparity there will be nothing left to fight with by the time I get to the Atlanta scenario let alone Kennesaw mountain.

I think given the high number of missing units that they should be included in a future scenario fix up patch.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 1:18 pm 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by gcollins</i>
<br />During a recent play of the new HPS “Atlantaâ€


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