graydingo
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Random generals

Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:32 pm

For starters, this post isn’t for everyone as it doesn’t deal with strategy. And I’m definitely not denigrating the work that the team put into this game as it is THE best Civil War strategy game out there. But here goes.

I’ve been reading a variety of posts on here that stretch back quite a few years. One topic that piqued my interest recently was a discussion about what I’ll call the “McClellan Problem.” We know he’s trash (similar situation with Banks, Butler, Fremont and Halleck), but historically he was THE prominent general for a time, therefore, he gets a NM event and high seniority.

Now, many of us shuffle him, and those like him, off to train troops, recruit conscripts, and to generally be out of the way while we protege known quantities. This got me thinking. If we have these high seniority generals AND we know they’re trash so we figured out gamey ways to get around it, doesn’t it kind of defeat the immersion of playing as either government? Specifically, I’m referring to being in the dark as to any particular general’s attributes?

I’ve tried the randomize setting and it’s lacking, IMHO.Wouldn’t it be better to have an option to actually and completely randomize generals. Random start dates? Random seniority? Random, but reasonable, ratings (no 0-6-6s or 6-0-0s)? Random traits? Wouldn’t this be a more immersive experience? Actually finding yourself in a position to see who’s up to the challenge of commanding your armies and corps. Having to put different commanders to the test and juggle different seniority each and every time you play. Who knows, you might start off with a great captain of war, a real loser, or a mediocre general who is able to hold the line while you keep searching for “the one.”

I do realize that they’re is no upcoming patch to this game, as AGEOD has moved onto a newer engine, but was just letting my mind wander and, I guess, just thinking out load. I know this post isn’t for everybody. I just thought I’d ask if anyone else thought it would be cool to have to start from scratch each time.

graydingo
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Re: Random generals

Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:01 pm

To add: I guess it comes down to one’s definition of historicity. When I play the game do I want to reenact the war as it was or feel what it was like to be either government during the war.

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Gray Fox
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Re: Random generals

Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:28 pm

Athena or a human opponent are not going to follow a scripted historical campaign of your design. Even if you could arrange this from the start, random chance will change things until at some point you are going off script. Then you have to reason out your next move. So, sooner or later, you have to do what the rest of us do. Choose to play a strategy game by reasoning for yourself what is best and finding a way to do it. Random Generals might cripple the CSA if they end up with Burnside instead of Lee. It's interesting to play a "what if" scenario, but even then, you play the hand you're dealt.
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

graydingo
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Re: Random generals

Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:36 pm

I see your point about playing the hand you’re dealt. And I understand the uniqueness of having to adapt to playing each game. This is true of any historical re-creation game (especially, when playing against another human). And I appreciate you’re response, but surely there would be a way to “script” it so that the first CSA general of high rank & seniority in Virginia wouldn’t be a complete boob. I don’t know much, but I know that stepping up to Beauregard at Manassas in July/August is a bad idea. I am familiar with your All East strategy and admire it for PBEM games, but isn’t a small part of it based on the fact that you “know” that Grant/Sherman is eventually going to be a factor? And isn’t that where the CSA playing naysayers usually point out your “Un-historic” faults? Saying “but you know WHO is good,” while forgetting their CSA god-generals?

Maybe I don’t understand the point of your response (these things happen), but having to figure out who you can trust to lead your armies to victory by holding off the Confederate army at Manassas while I “accidentally” take Nashville with an average general who then gets promoted with a surprising boost to stats seems pretty cool to me.

Like I said, I’m just thinking out loud. You guys are the experts.

graydingo
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Re: Random generals

Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:41 pm

My god, after re-reading that, I realize I come off as a complete knob. Definitely not my intention.

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Captain_Orso
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Re: Random generals

Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:11 pm

The player's omniscience of the game has often been the subject of many discussions. Currently there is only one option to address this issue -- 'random' leaders. GF already described how it could make the game unplayable, but simply the way random leaders are generated--the characteristics of generated leaders--I can only describe as schizophrenic, and certainly not a step forward.

I would welcome a well thought out rule for 'unknown' leaders, which takes balance, and to some extent history, into account, but I have seldom heard any rational thoughts on how this might be implemented into the game, let alone the feasibility of such an implementation.

graydingo
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Re: Random generals

Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:51 pm

“but simply the way random leaders are generated--the characteristics of generated leaders--I can only describe as schizophrenic, and certainly not a step forward.”

I noticed this. Some odd-ass combinations that the game comes up with, but the seniority was the same regardless if I’m not mistaken. What got me thinking about this was a related comment of yours on a post from possibly ‘17 or ‘16 I think.

It is probably outside the realm/ability of what the team could do, but, like I said, I was thinking out loud.

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Gray Fox
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Re: Random generals

Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:42 am

If you attack a stack commanded by a 6-6-6 General with a stack commanded by your own 6-6-6 General, their leadership effects totally cancel each other out actually. So Lee or Grant don't always win because they're you know who. That's why I advocate good infantry Divisions supported by an artillery Division. Everything matters and we've agreed that CW2 may be a game of inches. If a "future expert" has an interesting idea, then go for it. We clever gray critters need to stick together. ;)
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

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Captain_Orso
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Re: Random generals

Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:10 am

.. IF both leaders have the same rank. The rank influences frontage greatly. But otherwise, correct.

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deguerra
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Re: Random generals

Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:27 pm

I think you're right, Captain_Orso, that there isn't really a feasible way of getting this into the game currently, but I do have to agree that a dimension of not knowing who your best leaders are straight off the bat would be quite interesting.

My two cents:
- I think the 'randomizing' was an attempt to provide that dimension within the possibility of the game engine, but for the reasons mentioned, it doesn't really work.
- In fact, I think it goes further than is necessary. My suggestion would be to have exactly the same leaders we have in the game already as far as their stats are concerned, but simply to mix up which name and face those stats are assigned to. Have a Banks with the stats of Grant or a Beauregard with the stats of Lee, but always have some leader with those stats present, for balancing reasons.

The two main questions that would need to be resolved:
- from an engine perspective, how does one handle the 'not knowing' - are stats simply revealed over time, or over the course of battles, or is the player left to figure out who his 'Lee' is purely on intuition. Could possibly have multiple options for a player to pick from here
- from a concept perspective, is it feasible to allow any CSA leader to get the 'Lee' stats (etc. for all others) or e.g. only the existing *** leaders, or only those with high seniority, or only those which come into the game no later than 1862. This would be something to be resolved by some playtesting, I would assume.

Like I said, just my thoughts on how this could work.

-deguerra

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