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Pocus
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One feature a day serie: #2 More than two hundreds units types

Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:38 pm

Because a game on the ACW is not just painting soldiers blue and grey, we have established a solid data base of units types to serve you! With more than two hundreds units types, you will have the pleasure to enlist Ohio regulars, partisans of the Shenandoah, Texas Rangers or cavalrymen from the deep south. Most of the units belong to a state and can get some bonuses if they fight at home. Also, each state can only provide a limited number of units at any given time (Force Pool is the term grognards would use) so don't expect to levy a score of regiments in Florida (140.000 inhabitants in 1860, half being slaves) because it would be convenient to raise them here...

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Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's law."

Frank E
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:35 pm

You went back in time and posted this 2 months ago? :niark:

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Henry D.
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:16 pm

Lovely Unit-Icons! I like the idea of linking availible force-pools to seperate states population, too! :hat:

Will Units be able to gain experience and, with time, upgrade themselves to a better unit type (like from raw recruit militia in 61 to battlehardened veterans in 63)?

And, btw, how about combat losses? Given that, at least in the North, State Gouverneurs preferred to form new "volunteer" regiments (and thus give out more officers commissions to political friends) instead of drafting unwilling people to reenforce already existing ones, Union regiments already in the field got only relatively few (and often quite incompetent) replacements and were thus often very depleted after a few hard battles. Will the new replacement system reflect this or will You keep the somewhat simplified "elements will get refitted if rested and not entirely annihilated" system of BoA?
Henry D, also known as "Stauffenberg" @ Strategycon Interactive and formerly (un)known as "whatasillyname" @ Paradox Forums

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"Nee, Fritze, aber für fuffzehn Pfennije is' heute jenuch!" (No, Freddy, but for 15p let's call it a day!) - Retort of one passing Grenadier to the above :sourcil:

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Pocus
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:38 pm

Frank E wrote:You went back in time and posted this 2 months ago? :niark:


Do not meddle with the Forces of Darkness!
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Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's law."

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Pocus
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:45 pm

We took this historical fact into account and the Union recovers hits in his regiments far slower compared to the CSA, because of the fact you cite.
And now, each hit (= 50 men) lost has to be paid by the nation, no more freebee :)

A thing to say though: we still allowed the Union to have its units recover during campaigning, albeit slower compared to the Rebs, mostly for gameplay and fun purpose. True many Union regiments were down to 300 or even less men after a while, and often agregated in 2 companies for example (or simply dismissed).
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Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's law."

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Ayeshteni
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:33 pm

*Looks at the units*

So can we expect Colonel Robert Gould Shaw? :sourcil:

Ayeshteni

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Le Ricain
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Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:28 pm

Ayeshteni wrote:*Looks at the units*

So can we expect Colonel Robert Gould Shaw? :sourcil:

Ayeshteni


I would guess yes as Unit 5 would have to include the 54th Massachsetts Regiment.
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Jonathan Palfrey
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Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:39 pm

Nice pictures, but I wonder how such large pictures of individual soldiers are used in a strategical game of the whole war. I suppose they're mainly decorative.

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Pocus
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Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:11 pm

Artists always do things in big format because it allows them to add details.

A drawing near scale shown is used in the unit detail window, here is the BOA one (our previous game) along with the 2 others variations in format, for the same unit type (a British Regular):

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Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's law."

Jonathan Palfrey
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Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:40 pm

Thanks.

There are at least two schools of thought on unit symbols in strategical games: some people like realistic pictures, while some people like simple symbols that are easily to identify and distinguish from one another.

Realistic pictures are nice in a way, adding to the atmosphere of the game; but it's also important that players can easily identify the units by looking at them (without needing to be experts on historical uniforms).

By the way, I note rather mischievously that these soldiers are all very neat and clean and ready to go to the ball. When they'd been living outdoors and fighting for months, they probably looked rather different.

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Pocus
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Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:50 pm

yes, and during the Petersburg campaign and in many others places and time, instead of pretty Confederates soldiers in grey, we should see starving men in rags :) . But its 'only' a game too...
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Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's law."

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Generalisimo
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Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:39 am

Jonathan Palfrey wrote:Realistic pictures are nice in a way, adding to the atmosphere of the game]
I do not think you need to be expert in uniforms... after playing for some hours you will easilly identify them by just looking at the map. :niark:
I think it adds a lot of flavor to the game... and you can identify more deeply "with your units". :niark:

Jonathan Palfrey wrote:By the way, I note rather mischievously that these soldiers are all very neat and clean and ready to go to the ball. When they'd been living outdoors and fighting for months, they probably looked rather different.

I think for gameplay purposes it is better this way... changing the "look" of the unit after they have been fighting for sometime will add a lot of hours to the graphical artists that surelly could be use in another place. :niark:
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Remise
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Realistic Uniforms

Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:21 pm

The game itself looks as if it is going to be great. My small quibble is with the "realistic uniforms" as depicted here. They may in fact have come from early war sketches or official specs as to what a uniform might look like, but few of the uniforms, and virtually none of the poses, are realistic.

In particular:

* The muskets all seem to be two-banded, instead of three-, and are more representative of carbines than the Springfields, Enfields, and other muskets and rifle muskets most of the infantry carried.

* The poses do not resemble anything I have ever seen in Casey's or Hardee's, the drill books most common among the Union (the former, which was really just a rewrite of Hardee's) or Confederate armies. Infantry 5, 6, Marine 1, etc., are all holding their weapons in a manner that vaguely resembles something called "shoulder arms, rest," but if that were it, the men would be standing at attention, and the lock would be in the crook of the arm, not facing outward.

* The hat brass on Infantry 6, not to mention the hat itself, would not have been a likely sight anywhere.

* What is that on the front of Infantry 1 and Ranger 1's belt? A sporran? Haversacks were worn high over the left hip, and cartridge boxes high over the right hip. It is not clear what this item might be. Speaking of, I don't recall any Federal "Ranger" units anyway, and there were never entire regiments of Pioneers, to my knowledge, unless these had (possibly) been brigaded from various platoons taken from other units. Most of the men, by the time the war was well underway, were their own "pioneers,"
with more than adequate skills of entrenchment and fortification.

I am sure this is all nitpicking, but I have always felt that it is just as easy to do things right as to do them wrong, in a case such as this. Lest I seem to harsh, I will add that BOA is one of my favorite games, and I am very much looking forward to this one, too. I am sure I will survive the art boo-boos!

B.C. Milligan

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Fouche
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the Zouaves...

Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:16 pm

Hello,
I cannot wait for this game to come out :niark: ....as it is I have been playing to death BoA. Anyway...question...you have the Zouaves listed as light infantry. Was there such a thing as light infantry in the American Civil War....otherwise, they were just volunteer units (unless that is the intent to have certain volunteer units given the moniker of 'light' infantry for gaming purposes).
By the way there were, I believe, in the American Civil War, more than 70 volunteer Zouave units that fought for the Union, and 25 that fought for the Confederacy.
As I have said I cannot wait until this game comes out! Fantastic! :niark:

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Remise
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Slight correction to my nitpick

Sat Dec 02, 2006 6:46 pm

That should have been, "Shoulder arms, attention," not rest, but anyway, the drill books are all online with good sketches, and perhaps for a future version your artists might take a look at them.

As far as light infantry in the Civil War, I am unaware of any regiments with that designation, though some of the early war, militia-based regiments might have called themselves "light infantry" the way others labeled themselves "grenadiers" or "guards."

Zouaves were, in large part, originally militia units based upon French North African units, but apart from their uniforms, they were essentially equipped and functioned the same as everybody else. Many of them did indeed manage to keep their exotic and expensive uniforms throughout the war, and because some Zouave regiments (such as the 5th New York, for example) had stellar reputations in combat, new Zouave regiments were indeed raised later.

Having admitted this, I have never heard of a Civil War "light infantry" unit -- when all you are carrying into battle is a haversack, canteen, musket, and 40 rounds in your cartridge box and (maybe)an additional 20 in your pockets, everybody is pretty much light infantry. And unlike infantry of a previous generation, every infantryman in the American Civil war was drilled in both close order and skirmish formation, with the latter becoming far more the norm as the war continued.

B.C. Milligan

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Sandra
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Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:09 pm

Thanks for the comments !

We did not mean to draw soldiers in military poses. You know, I was seeing myself sitting in the middle of the tents, with a watercolor box, and painting the guys around. :) I've looked at many photos, and I like the natural poses of the men. We didn't want either to have too realistic pictures with dust and blood...
I hope you'll like the way we made them. :)

I'm sure many historical details will be wrong... But I think the uniforms were not that much codified at this time... And above all, it would have taken far too much time to make the historical research... We are too few ! But as it was said, the in-game pictures are quite small and the details won't be very visible. ;)

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Remise
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Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:08 am

Sandra --

You are a very good artist indeed, and I think your drawings are very nice, too. I am sorry I criticized your artwork. I have sat in many camps filled with scores, hundreds, or even thousands (I was at an event where there were 14,000 of us) of Civil War reenactors, who spend many, many hours, and a lot of money, doing their best to look like real Civil War soldiers. It was from what I have seen on those occasions, as well as my own reading and research, that I made my comments.

I wasn't imagining you would want to add dust or blood to your art -- just, perhaps, uniforms that more closely depicted the uniforms that would have been seen during the American Civil War -- with less plumes, feathers, and multi-colored uniforms, weapons that were the same as those that were actually carried, and poses that might have resembled something you would have seen in the manual of arms, which was a daily factor of any soldiers life. If you were in uniform holding a weapon, you were probably in a formation and at a military position. But this is really a very minor quibble, and probably not worth anyone's time.

As I said at the outset, I know I will like the game no matter what the uniforms in the icons look like, and I guess I will just leave it at that. I know you are doing your very best to make the game look good. Keep up the good work. I know your Civil War game will be a great one!

B.C. Milligan

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Sandra
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Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:16 am

No problem, it's always interesting to read what people think of your work. ;)

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Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:10 am

Fouche wrote:you have the Zouaves listed as light infantry. Was there such a thing as light infantry in the American Civil War...


Fixed! :cwboy:
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