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 Post subject: WAR BETWEEN THE STATES - Who's Playing?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 3:15 am
Posts: 180
Location: Canada
Hey Guys:

Kennon and I have been playing this thing for awhile now and while I'm getting my rear end kicked as both sides I'm wondering how others are doing? Can we get some answers to these questions. I realize players have probably not had a lot of time to complete full games but I'm also interested in play against the AI. I have logged 22 games as the Union against the Confederates and have been beaten 22 times. Yup, 22 times and I'm not embarrassed to say so. I'm on my 23rd game now against the AI and it's looking good but the AI is a tough fighter in my opinion and doesn't give up ground easily. This game is hard!

Questions:

1.) How are players finding play balance?

2.) Any concerns about the size of the armies the confederacy is able to produce?

3.) Any geographical or map concerns?

Love to hear your feedback on this.

PS: Still love the game

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 24
Location: USA
Gen Collins,

I absolutely love the game but I feel the verdict is still out on balance.

1) As above, at the moment I think the Union is a little too strong, but I am not sure yet.

2) My concerns are more about the size of the armies the Union can produce. Currently there is no reason not to call a first turn draft and overwhelm the CSA player. I feel that there needs to be more risk v reward balance.

3) No real map or geographical concerns, except that I found there is about a 70% chance that the Union can bring in cruisers and block the Mississippi trade on turn 1. This is too early and too harsh imo.

Most of my observations are playing against a much better and more experienced player, so it's hard for me to say how the balance is.

My other concerns are with the amount of amphib invasions and Kentucky rules. I tried a game with some house rules that were brought up on the Matrix forum on Kentucky and they seem to have worked well. In my current game we have been finding some random bugs like Kentucky becoming aligned after already being a permanent State of the other side, and an exploit with cavalry scouting and replenishing transport capacity. These can be seen on the Matrix forum.

Regards,

Lt. Bill Stokes
Army of Alabama


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1639
Location: USA
After the first two games as each side against the AI I have come up with some pretty solid strategies against the AI. So far I am winning every game against it and have stepped up from Easy to Normal setting. I suspect that like HPS games if you use the balance slider eventually the AI becomes unbeatable but I haven't tested this.

The game does have bugs in it. The ones Bill mentioned as well as one I found that allows the moving player to destroy enemy resources in regions without actually having to win the region first. Most of these are ease to recognize and just agree to not take advanatage of. Hopefully a bug release will be out soon.

What I haven't tested is how well my strategies work against players so I don't know how balance will shake out. I think I have stronger strategies for the Union than for the Rebels but that isn't tested.

I have seen some posts on the Matrix forums for some really strange strategies like the South making 48 ironclads or heavily industrializing by making factories. I suspect these extreme tactics will fall on the wayside once people come up with the flaws in them. If not this would be a flaw in the game.

One weakness, or strength depending on your view, to Grisby's game is the simplified production system. It makes the game move along much faster than say Forge of Freedoms system but allows tactics like building 48 ironclads. The player doesn't have to worry about planning long term to build infrastructure for later cavalry, artillery or ship building like the other games. The flip side is he can build things the South never would attempt just because he can.

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:59 am 
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Posts: 1200
Location: USA
1 - I have won as the Union against Easy AI, CPU production control for both sides. But it was tougher than I expected for the Easy setting!

2 - Yes, it seems unlikely the Union can fight a war of attrition and win, as I posted in one of the first AAR strings you and Kennon had going. If the Union gets lucky with initiative early, that's something the South likely can't recover from, but in the later war years, the Union struggles to make up ground.

3 - Haven't thought much about this, but it's tough for the Union to move in Virginia, and we get stretched out West. I can't imagine re-creating Shermans march on Atlanta, either. Not very practical in this game. I think having an option of choosing to come at Virgina from the South, or march to the coast would add strategic choices for both sides, but the Union doesn't get enough initiative to go through those rural areas, and it costs too much to be there.

In general, I can see issues with balance, but I'm not sure how to reconcile that balance. Your 3 questions certainly lead one down the path, though (nice job!), as it would likely take a combination of things to even it up a bit.

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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: Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:36 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1639
Location: USA
For those who want to see Georgia burn.[:D][:D][:D]

Situation Nov 1863 (me as Union versus AI at Normal setting):

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:46 am 
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Posts: 410
Location: Canada
I have played a full game as the Union against the AI at "normal".

The North won a decisive victory (1200 pts) but it was close as the South ran to 0 point in June 1865. The AI made a real good job, especially in the East and I didn't capture Richmond.

I'm playing a second game at "normal" as the CSA and I have secured a good lead in points: USA 675 CSA: 1100. But in mid 1863, the Yankees are already in Chattanooga and are beginning to put pression around Memphis. They just made a strong amphibious invasion in Texas and the situation is becoming critical in the West. In the East, we are outnumbered 2 to 1 but we hold the ground firmly.

In my opinion, the game balance seems to be good.

Concerning the size of the CSA, it will eventually be limited by the amount of supply that the South can produce to support is troops. If the CSA have too much men to feed, attrition should takes is toll.

I enjoy this game very much and rate it as excellent.

Col. Harold Lajoie 2/I/AotM, CSA.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:01 am 
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Yowza, Ken!

How has your supply held up with that?

Any sense as to whether you had good/average/poor initiative results to accomplish that?

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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: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:29 am 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 8:05 pm
Posts: 846
Location: Panhandle of Texas
Just finished a couple of games with Rob Field. I still struggle with the Union though I know it can be done. As soon as time permits I'll get back into this game again as it is just too darn much fun even when you are losing.

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:24 am 
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Location: USA
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by laubster22</i>
<br />Yowza, Ken!

How has your supply held up with that?

Any sense as to whether you had good/average/poor initiative results to accomplish that?

General Jeff Laub
Union Chief of the Army
ACWGC Cabinet Member
http://www.geocities.com/laubster22/UnionHQ/
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Supply for the Union is rarely a problem. Winning against the AI is a matter of avoiding a head on fight and sidesteping their good positions. The AI for the South tends to try to hold regions especially high population ones like Memphis, Nashville, and New Orleans as well as strategic ones like Vicksburg and the Ports. You can bag hole armies by going around and then taking the regions behind these so they are isolated before you attempt to wipe them out. I captured 30,000 man armies in Nashville, Vicksburg, Mobile and New Orleans this way. The South doesn't recover from losing some 100,000+ men and their leaders. Unlike regular head on combat these people don't go back into the production cycle for rebuilding.

The strategy has some odd side effects. One is you may never win a Strategic Victory so you can't get Emancipation. Even though you are wiping out entire armies the game logic is like to rate the battle a Minor one because the starving troops fought so badly. The other is you control so many regions by mid 1863 your garrisons have reduce your main armies to artillery armies (hardly any infantry). By the end of the game shown I had 330 infantry units but only 16 in Grant's main army. But I had 135 field artillery units and 40 cavalry units to distribute between my four main armies since they aren't useful for garrisoning.

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 7:07 am 
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I had noticed the same thing on the South AI. Just ran into problems getting initiative to bag those cut-off areas until late 1864...

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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: Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:53 am 
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Posts: 33
Location: USA
How do I get more info on this game?
Col. Ed McGrath
3rd Corp
4th Div-Artillery
3rd Brgd.
AoA
CSA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 8:05 pm
Posts: 846
Location: Panhandle of Texas
Here's the link to the forum:
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=484

....and here's the link to the info page on the game.
http://www.matrixgames.com/products/357 ... The.States

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 24
Location: USA
One thing I am experiencing is a "slippery slope" in this game. The two games I currently have going, both as CSA, were both pretty much decided early on and have ended up as just "going through the motions". One game I am winning easily and the other I am getting trounced. Both games have fizzled out with loss of interest.

The game I am losing, the Union player is extremely good, and used a strategy of holding damaged infantry until he called a draft, then unleashed them in a flurry. Look at the overwhelming numbers I face [:D]:

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Lt. Bill Stokes
3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, I Corps
Army of Alabama


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:58 pm 
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Location: Panhandle of Texas
Even with the fog of war that is some huge numbers!

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:51 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 1200
Location: USA
Thoose are big numbers! I need the name of that Union player so I can get some learnin![:D]

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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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