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 Post subject: Antietam woes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2001 1:45 pm
Posts: 164
Location: USA
I am currently playing HPS Antietam historical scenario. So far this game is the most one sided I have played from any of the games. My opponent has used artillery and rifle fire exclusivley and I have no counter. He didn't begin his attacks on the West Woods until about turn 18 and it is now turn 25 and the Union has a minor victory. What I am seeing is that my small regiments have no ability to engage in fire combat against his larger units. Despite defending from many entrenchments our casualties at this point are 5301 infantry, 438 Cavalry and 25 guns to 3557 infantry, 5 cavalry and 5 guns. Most of my guns have been lost to counter battery fire. In his last turn I lost 591 men to fire combat to 32 for him. I am better off not even firing during my turn. For my 1 and 2 gun batteries to get a significant hit they must be within small arms range and as a result I have 2 crews killed. I have tried firing as a stack and with units solo and the return fire has almost always been more damaging. With BG Antietam it was hard for the Rebs but with the losses in increments of 25 they did stand a chance. I give the Rebs credit in that they don't rout but 25 men sure don't pack alot of fire power.

I am sure some of the Yanks are enjoying this post. But I cannot really believe that this game can be all that fun for my opponent either since all he does is move into my vacant hexes and shoot. Anyone who wants to see the last union turn send me a message and I will send it to ya. Finally I want ya'll to know that I'm not just whinning cause I'm getting creamed. I have been beaten as often as I have won. I have lost due to my bungling and due to the superior play of my opponents. That said, I think that I have offered the best defense available. My opponents patience in setting up his attacks allowed me to entrench a lot of positions so I would expect to offer at least a little bit of a challenge.

Lt General Jon Thayer
III Corps
Army of Northern Virginia

jonathanthayer@bellsouth.net


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:48 pm 
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Location: USA
Up Date: Next Union turn after my post:

Rebs 479 Infantry Union 75 Infantry
92 Cavalry 3 Cavalry

Lt General Jon Thayer
III Corps
Army of Northern Virginia

jonathanthayer@bellsouth.net


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:54 pm 
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Posts: 1642
Location: USA
Are you playing it using "Turn" or "Phased" play?

I am still at the start of my game so can't comment yet on balance. I believe the Union starts with more Corps released than the BG although more of the Rebs are released too.

Players using "Turn" based system will have a problem since those small units firing will trigger huge responses from Yankees.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1/1/III AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:38 pm 
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We are playing turn based. My eighty men fire and get shot by 500 or their 500 shoot and my 80 fire back. Either way they lost 5 and I lose 25. Perhaps phased play would be the way to go.

Lt General Jon Thayer
III Corps
Army of Northern Virginia

jonathanthayer@bellsouth.net


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:46 pm 
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This scn was playtested many times with wins by both sides. No two games will play the same. The south will need to be aggressive and not sit back waiting for an attack. But it can also be play defensively by the south. I myself have used a successful defensive strategy.

But I would like to see your game file.

Send to

richardw@multipro.com

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:39 am 
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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 Jon Thayer</i>
<br />We are playing turn based. My eighty men fire and get shot by 500 or their 500 shoot and my 80 fire back. Either way they lost 5 and I lose 25. Perhaps phased play would be the way to go.

Lt General Jon Thayer
III Corps
Army of Northern Virginia

jonathanthayer@bellsouth.net
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

I wouldn't recommend playing this one in "Turn" format. The fact that fire triggers the AI to check for defensive fire will pentalize a large number of small units over the side with large regiments. The only thing you can do is stack everything and fire as a stack. Also because Turn based game halves the defensive fire and tends to cause it to occur as opportunity fire at longer distances, you will find it heavily the attacker over the defender. There also may be a problem with the effectiveness of Rebel fire since they are mostly armed with smooth bores making only the adjacent fire effective. The Union can avoid closing with you until they are ready to take something (staying two hexes out) reducing your defensive fire to almost nothing while maximizing their rifle fire.

The HPS system makes artillery crews and guns particularly vulnerable to casualties. If you put your guns in the front lines they will take a lot of losses particularly crews. Again Turn based works against you allowing large enemy stacks to move adjacent taking weak opportunity fire (due to distance and halving), then fire to kill the crew from adjacent hex.

Phased play allows the defender units to fire full strength at the closest units before they get to fire. This will tend to create higher casualties and, in the case of Antietam with its lower quality Yankees, more disrupts.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1/1/III AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:20 am 
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Just so you know, ALL game are playtested in "Turn" format.

I for one, always fire the complete stack.

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:22 pm 
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Location: USA
Its never a good idea to get into counter-battery duels with the Union guns...get your guns into a safer position and set them up to be a strong defensive asset. This holds true for any version of Antietam you are playing, BG or HPS.

I didn't playtest the full battle, but in the smaller sub-scenarios I was stopped cold as the Union, playing in Turn mode, so it certainly can be done.



LGen. Hamilton
II Corps
ANV, CSA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:15 pm 
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Location: USA
My counter batter activity was mainly when I had flank shots. I did leave guns in harms way in order to draw the enemy fire away from infantry I had digging in and I accept those losses. Still, I am unsure how I could have done anything different unless it was to fire all my stacked unit combined. I have started doing so in order to reduce his defensive fire. My intent in firing seperatly was the hope of disrupting more of his units. But what I got was more defensive fire. Perhaps I should attribute my demise to my opponent's tactics. He has been very patient and basically moved adjacent to my units and traded rifle fire.

Lt General Jon Thayer
III Corps
Army of Northern Virginia

jonathanthayer@bellsouth.net


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2001 6:59 am
Posts: 266
Location: USA
Rich,
I too only fire by stacks, but the problem comes in the Union offensive fire, when the two 400 man unionm units fire on a 600 man Reb stack, and a 125 reb unit is the only one that returns fire. Add this up over a whole battlefield and 2 hours and the yanks have a huge advantage...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:30 am 
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Posts: 564
Location: USA
Sorry for your loss, but I think your experience only reinforces the idea that Antietam (and several other actions) was lost by the Union at the highest level of command, not at the musket/bayonet level.

I'd recommend you enter into a house rule agreement with your next Union opponent that he commit his forces only as they historically (hysterically) were. Then your chances for victory will rise.

[: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: Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:30 am 
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Location: USA
I think we need to come up with a rule like Avalon Hill's "Hooker rule". They recommended in their magazine, The General, that the Union player should have to sit quietly accross the table from their Rebel opponent while he took a 2x4 and hit him upside the head about mid way in the game to simulate the near miss Hooker had at Chancellorsville house. The Union player would have to finish the game without medial attention.

Maybe to simulate McCellan at Antietam we need something similar, like maybe a Lobotomy.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1/1/III AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:27 am 
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I think some of you are being a bit judgemental. None of you have even finished a game, judging from this thread.

In the past, most of you complained that the opportunity fire used in Turn based games was too weak to be effective. But now, those of you on this thread are complaining that it works too well.

However, this one thing that I would like to see changed. Units that change formation will trigger Opp fire.

As for the Antietam Historical scn (#31). I assure you that the South CAN win. It may take more than one try, but it CAN be done. I was crushed as the Union and won as the South. I'll be happy to play anyone brave enough!

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 Apr 16, 2008 7:16 am 
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Location: United Kingdom
I do think it is a bit unfair to heap too much criticism on the designers for the balance of this one. Historical Antietam as a game scenario MUST be seen as almost a certainty for a Union victory? The factors that combined to make the real battle such a bloody draw are simply not present in a computer game version of the day. Union efforts in reality were poorly coordinated in a way that no competent Union player is likely to repeat. The Union advantage in all arms is very significant for this one and the game engine starts to look very clumsy when the big set piece battles are recreated.
The Rebs are seriously outnumbered and every Union player KNOWS this from the outset. The only real answer is to not play it, or as Rich Hamilton says...try playing it in an alternative style.
I think that historical Antietam is still a rarity, there are dozens of scenarios that favour the Rebs in comparison to the few that favour the Union.

Capt. Jim Wilkes.
2nd Brigade, Cavalry Division, XX Corps.
AoC. U.S.A.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:25 am 
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Gents,

I am John's opponent in the historical Antietam. I must admit that I enjoy it immensely. We have many turns left and I have much more in store for John!

Rich I will take you up on your challenge, if you want play!

I must say that the HPS ACW series only get better. The new optional melee rule is fantastic. HPS Antietam is a superb title. Run and buy it now!

2nd Lt.
Ola Berli
XX/1/5
"Artillery of death"
AOC
Image
THIS IS THE END REBEL!


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