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 Post subject: No More ADF
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:43 pm 
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OK! I'm finally biting the bullet. I refuse to play another HPS contest with the ADF option "ON." I refuse to sacrifice what I feel is both my studied and common sense knowledge of Civil War field tactics and combat realism to a spurious game code.

Like many another newer player I was lulled into thinking that faster file exchanges were preferred. ADF was billed in my mind as the miracle option that could reduce the drudgery of PBEM plodding. Well it sure does that, but it also rips the rug right out from under you when it comes to simulating Civil War combat. This ADF thing has been pounded about within this forum a number of time since I've been an ACWGC member (and probably much earlier than that), and it evidently has both its supporters and opponents. If I'm reading the posts correctly the ADF supporters will always find a ligitimate sounding reason (rationale) why those 14 guns produced only 25 casualties when the two 2XX regiments appeared in their front prior to the melee that took them out! The opponents are usually left standing there in the dust with their hats in their hands, looking off after the supporters as they go galloping off to another glorious victory.

But no more for me! Its all NON-ADF play for me from this point onward until HPS finally gets around to fixing what can only be described as a gamey, fake of an option. I'll finish out all of my current games in ADF, but after that its "Meet me on the <i>real</i> field of combat!"

Col. Jos. C. Meyer

Col. Jos. C. Meyer,
4th "California" Brigade,
"Cumberland Sabres" Cavalry Division,
14th Corps, Army of the Cumberland


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:53 pm 
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What is the rationale behind the ADF being so weak?

<center>Image
General John Corbin
Commander in Chief
Army of The Shenandoah
USA</center>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:10 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 John Corbin</i>
<br />What is the rationale behind the ADF being so weak?

<center>Image
General John Corbin
Commander in Chief
Army of The Shenandoah
USA</center>
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

The ability to fire multiple times is why I think they halved it.

General Mark Nelms
6/3/IX/AoO
"Blackhawk Brigade"
Union Military Academy Instructor
Union Cabinet Secretary


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:12 am 
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(Just to add fuel to the fire)

I just want the Full Melee Defensive fire to work. Why, during the new melee phase approach (no melee until all other movement complete and turn advanced to melee phase we have in Antietam, for example) that once a melee is chosen, the units don't get their last shots in with the Full Defensive fire option, is beyond me. That was going to be a good compromise in my mind, but it's not there. You can't have the melee phase AND the full defensive fire - it's one or the other, it seems, so you are left to chose the blitz tactics of melee on the fly (something I'm guilty of taking great advantage of, I know![:D]) or watching your troops not fire at approaching enemies and allow them to take guns with nary a hazard to the attacker.

Neither is a good option, but a combination of the two would be pretty darn close...

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General Jeff Laub
Union Chief of the Army
ACWGC Cabinet Member
http://www.geocities.com/laubster22/UnionHQ/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:35 am 
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With ADF and MDF on, what exactly happens, it seems to be the same to me as just having ADF on. What am I missing?

MG D. Groce
AoP
V Corps
2nd Division
"Into the breach"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:28 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 David Groce</i>
<br />
With ADF and MDF on, what exactly happens, it seems to be the same to me as just having ADF on. What am I missing?
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Actually when you *don't* select MDF ("phased play", it should better be called), ADF does nothing at all.

Only when you *do* play in phases, ADF makes the computer conduct the Defensive Fire Phase for the non-phasing player. So that you don't have to send the file back to your opponent just so he can fire his units defensively.

So I believe the original poster here actually wanted to say he would henceforth want to play in phases, i.e. with MDF on. Hopefully not with ADF off, or else he'd have six file exchanges per full turn (both players), rather than just two.

Gen. Walter, USA
<i>The Blue Blitz</i>
3/2/VIII AoS
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:57 am 
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<font color="pink"><b><i>"If you want to go back to fully manual play you are going to have a hard time finding an opponent."</i></b></font id="pink">

That's the rub, isn't it?! Most players <i>would/do </i>play with as few file exchanges as possible; so most players are forced to deal with the ADF vagaries and even adopt atypical game mechanics, as General Laub has manfully confessed, just to remain competitive! Something important, combat realism, gets bent around the pole in the interest of speed.

But I would really like to know two things. First, how many club members are actually aware of the ADF effects upon game play, and, second, how many prefer the ADF "OFF," six files per turn alternative! I recently had a high-ranking, rebel opponent tell me flat out that he was just as fed up with the ADF maladies as I was and was ready to can all of his HPS titles, going back to the old Battleground games. So I know that there are long-term members who are chafing under the system just as much as I am. Maybe instead of rationalizing the continued faulty use of the current ADF on the basis of stating that no one will put up with a longer game, the ACWGC should make a little louder noise about fixing the problem! That makes a lot more sense to me than climbing into the saddle with twisted swords and atypical tactics just because everyone else is doing it.

This apparently is an old problem that just keeps coming back. Why has the ACWGC suffered with it this long? Why should we continue to suffer with it?



Col. Jos. C. Meyer,
4th "California" Brigade,
"Cumberland Sabres" Cavalry Division,
14th Corps, Army of the Cumberland


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:21 am 
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I'll agree with the point that if you use melee phases (as Antietam does) the "final defensive fire" should be full strength. I'm not sure why it isn't and that needs to be looked at by Rich W and company.

However, the flip side of this discussion, aside from the "6 files per turn" thing needs to be looked at. That is, that if you go strictly to phased play, the old bugaboo of Panzerbush syndrome begins to haunt you again. Putting Cannon in position to cover the approaches of a position (as an example) becomes far less useful, because it can only shoot at a single unit that happens to stay within its firing arc/LOS.

One thing, I think that would be both helpful and is needed is to increase by a fair margin the chance of Defensive fire putting D status on troops that are moving or committed to melee. That's more effective than simple bodycounts. If a unit tries to move to contact and gets "shaken", it'll be stuck there for some Offensive fire in the next turn. It also breaks up the melee.

In any case, it is 6 one way, half dozen the other. I don't mind playing in phases (though the "change formation at the beginning of your move" thing irritates me to no end). Both methods enhance one aspect of realism, while robs the other.

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:22 am 
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Joe:

I'm guessing here, but what I really think you meant to say was 'no more single turn play'. This is the issue that has been with the club for years and there are so many different 'settings' in the options screen that it is very confusing to many.

General Walter explains all this in a document that was in the War College.

I'm going to simplify here because I'm biased towards the 'phased play' camp (which is where I think you are heading).

But basically in "single turn play" each unit fires and moves completely independently of each other and fires multiple times. The big down side I have seen hundreds of times is that some units don't fire at all, or fire at units distant several hexes and ignore adjacent hexes AND NEVER fire at full value.

To me, it looks much more like Squad Leader than the American Civil War.

There is this "mis-information" out there that phased play causes multiple mailings for one move. THIS IS NOT TRUE. All my opponents and I have ONE MAILING but the AI takes care of the enemy defensive fire when I move and it doesn't do a bad job there. It does fire FULL VALUE in phased play.

The club members that defend single turn play always come up with the same tired defence that the reason they don't like phased play is because they can't stand it when a unit moves right up to them or around a flank and they can't fire back. Holy Cow! Give me a break. That kind of phased play has been in board war games since 1958 and in just about every other good computer game that I have ever played.

If single turn play worked, I would use it. But it doesn't, plain and simple. The ONLY FEATURE that I wish John Tiller would consider for phased play is the option to change formation anytime during the turn and not just at the beginning.

Personally, I wish 'single turn play' 'would just go away'. It's a mess, a waste of time and causes needless division in the club. It doesn't work. Let's forget it, remove it and move on.

In order to play phased play with one single turn mailing set your options to this:

MDF ON and ADF ON

The game will play like the old Talonsoft Titles and in my opinion is the only way TO play.



Bg. General Gilbert Collins
Army of Alabama
III/I/2nd Brigade


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:39 am 
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I thank you for your comments, General Collins. Perhaps I should expand my experience by giving the "Phased Play," MDF ON - ADF ON option you describe a trial run. I think I would be satisfied if the HPS games played as the BG games do, although I still feel that HPS could and should give their ADF an overhaul.

As an aside, why would an enemy unit decide to <i>repeat</i> its ADF fire against an opposing stack simply because a leader should ride up and then dismount?!!!

Col. Jos. C. Meyer,
4th "California" Brigade,
"Cumberland Sabres" Cavalry Division,
14th Corps, Army of the Cumberland


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:03 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 Joe Meyer</i>
<br />I thank you for your comments, General Collins. Perhaps I should expand my experience by giving the "Phased Play," MDF ON - ADF ON option you describe a trial run. I think I would be satisfied if the HPS games played as the BG games do, although I still feel that HPS could and should give their ADF an overhaul.

As an aside, why would an enemy unit decide to <i>repeat</i> its ADF fire against an opposing stack simply because a leader should ride up and then dismount?!!!

Col. Jos. C. Meyer,
4th "California" Brigade,
"Cumberland Sabres" Cavalry Division,
14th Corps, Army of the Cumberland

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

You are definitely playing "Turn" based. Check "Manual Defense Fire" and "Automatic Defense Fire" so you are in phased mode. The AI still handles Defensive Fire but it isn't halved and it take place after enemy movement so you hit adjacent units hard. You still get the benefit of a single email to cover your turn. There are still some problems with preventing units from wasting ammo but the gain in turn around of moves is worth that. Maybe some day HPS will gives us a little more control of how the AI makes decisions.

As to artillery put some infantry in there. They weren't meant to hold the line alone.

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:09 am 
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Single turn play for me. I will still play multi phase games if my opponent insists, but my aversion to that style of play is now just as strong as that of the enemies of single turn play.
I 'learnt my trade' on the phased based play of the old BG games, but when I have to revert to phased play on the HPS games now it definitely feels like a step backwards. Turn based play does feel more 'fluid'? I've never experienced the problems so many seem plagued by using it.
I don't agree that single turn play 'doesn't work'. It works, just like multi phase play works, they just both have different faults.

The biggest problem with any wargame ever designed, board or computer, is the very nature of the genre itself: TURNS. We are no further forward in gameplay really than 2 players sat at a chess board. Your opponent conducts the planning, preparation and execution of his move in splendid isolation, with no practical concern for what you may have planned in response. I disagree with the arguments that multi phase is more 'realistic' to actual civil war tactics. Neither style has the edge there, they are just two different gaming methods. I'm afraid realism disappears entirely the moment you turn on the power switch to the p.c.
Single turn play has benefits that I feel cannot be ignored. The turns take on a much more 'organic' feel as, AT LAST! we have made Artillery into something more than glorified fly-swats. In turn based play, siting of Artillery has become much more important as Battery's can now be targeted on stretches of road for fire during your opponents movement. Open hexes in front of a defensive line can become killing grounds with careful planning. Your opponent will have to worry about movement in exposed terrain and if he's worrying about that you might be able to force a mistake out of him.
I'd like to know what Joe is playing at anyway, leaving 14 gun stacks vulnerable to melee by <500 man Infantry stacks? Get those guns sensibly dispersed Joe, and/or cover them with supporting Infantry. I suppose you've got the 14 stacked together to fire them all at once as a 'super-battery during your turn? (and minimise enemy defensive fire) Well, that's not realistic either, so stop doing it! I think you need to looks for area's where you could change your tactics Joe, rather than rush back to multi phase play?

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:54 am 
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Jim,

The 14 guns I was talking about were in reference to a posting, <font color="pink"><b><i>Full Melee Defensive Fire in new system</i></b></font id="pink">, (Aug. 10th) made by General Laub. The situation he described was not specifically appropriate to my comments, but obviously had a direct bearing upon the current faults of ADF. The tactical situation was generic to the complaint.

I believe my actual battlefield tactics to be no better or worse than the average player at this point, but I do not think that they are the cause of my ills. Let me restate that! As I refuse to unrealistically conform my play to the spurious results of a bad game feature, my tactics would be woefully inadequate if I remained in that particular game environment!

Col. Jos. C. Meyer,
4th "California" Brigade,
"Cumberland Sabres" Cavalry Division,
14th Corps, Army of the Cumberland


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:46 pm 
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The problem I have with "Turn" based has more to do with how it simulates warfare. It is more fluid but this is a simulation type that describes modern war not the Civil War. Phased play much better simulates the lack of flexibility and speed of Civil War operations.

In "Turn" play it heavily favors the offense and mobility something that never described a Civil War battle. I have played both ways and won and lost using both. But only in Turn play have I ever seen a battle almost complete fought without living column formation. The new separate "Melee Phase" helps but does not fix the problem.

What it comes down to is "Turn" based system is a poor simulation of the tactics used in the Civil War while the "Phased" system does a better job. Game wise either system works since they affect each side equally but then so does chess and checkers but they aren't the same game.

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:00 am 
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As I've said, I think that they've both got strong and weak points. Perhaps the mobility and the like is too much without phases, leading to ahistorical play? On the other hand, advancing across a clear field in view of multiple units and cannon is a far more reasonable option in phased play, because you can scoot right across it, and only take defensive fire at the end of your movement. Depending on the specifics of the position and terrain, there may well be a number of units that would have had a shot at you that won't now.

As I said, six one, half dozen the other...

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


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