Laernius
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Something About Jackson

Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:09 am

I've played through a couple of campaigns already and have browsed through the forums. I must say there is some very enlightening stuff that I would have never have thought to ask, such as the frontage of cannons per division being 4 in a standard battle or how to properly spread out an army and its corps to make the most difficult passage for your opponent. What I'm driving at is this: Why doesn't Thomas Jackson gain the Superior Tactician trait from WIA? He certainly qualifies for it and it would pad his genius trait beyond that of Lee and show why Lee thought more highly of him as a commander than he did of himself. It would also make it much easier for Jackson to achieve the first volley in any given battle. Now I know that some poor carpetbagger might complain that it would make an already formidable commander almost impossible to beat, but this is precisely it: Jackson remains one of the few civil war generals undefeated when commanding an equal or numerically superior force. I know he had to retreat in the Valley, but that was being outnumbered 3-1 so I think I am justified in qualifying Jackson. He certainly didn't Bragg it up.

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Ace
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Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:33 pm

This is more AACW2 wishlist stuff.

What is exactly bonus received by WIA Superior tactitian trait?

Laernius
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Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:23 pm

+1 to initiative for all units under the leaders command.

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Ace
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Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:08 am

He has the surpriser trait. Unfortunately, it doesn't function like it is supposed to. I think this trait and Patriot trait do not work.

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Captain_Orso
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Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:53 pm

:blink: How are you assessing that?

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Ace
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Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:19 pm

Captain_Orso wrote: :blink: How are you assessing that?


In the battle screen, you can see percentage of achieved surprise (first fire). It is always 0. In earlier patches (few years ago), it was working, you could see if surprise was achieved.

About patriot trait, I never saw any increase in partisan recruitment, but that may be my poor luck.

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Captain_Orso
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Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:51 am

I'm not sure exactly where you are looking and I might be missing something, but this is the only report that I find for the Surpriser Ability:
Image

But this only states the percentile 'chance' at surprising. Also the Ability itself only states that there is a chance at surprising; not that there is up to 20% affect for surprising.

Other than in the battle log I don't think you can see if Surpirse/First Fire is actually achieved: "09:41:31 (Reporting) Not enough surprise for group 1000693 Jackson's Corp Surprise %: 20 against CounterSurp of (%): 66"

The Patriot Ability is another question. I've often posted one of the Patriot leaders in a garrison on Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee or Virginia, but I cannot remember ever getting any militia or raiders or any other units I might associate with this Ability. It might well be broken.

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Ethan
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Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:52 am

Impeccable explanation Thom, as usual. :love:
[color="Navy"][font="Georgia"]"Mi grandeza no reside en no haber caído nunca, sino en haberme levantado siempre". Napoleón Bonaparte.[/font][/color]

[color="Blue"]Same Land. Different Dreams. - Photobook[/color]

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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Ethan
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Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:57 am

Captain_Orso wrote:But this only states the percentile 'chance' at surprising. Also the Ability itself only states that there is a chance at surprising; not that there is up to 20% affect for surprising.

Other than in the battle log I don't think you can see if Surpirse/First Fire is actually achieved...


I agree with you.

By the way, impeccable explanation Thom, as usual. :love:


Warm Regards!. :thumbsup:
[color="Navy"][font="Georgia"]"Mi grandeza no reside en no haber caído nunca, sino en haberme levantado siempre". Napoleón Bonaparte.[/font][/color]



[color="Blue"]Same Land. Different Dreams. - Photobook[/color]



[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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Ace
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Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:49 pm

Captain_Orso wrote:I'm not sure exactly where you are looking and I might be missing something, but this is the only report that I find for the Surpriser Ability:
Image

But this only states the percentile 'chance' at surprising. Also the Ability itself only states that there is a chance at surprising; not that there is up to 20% affect for surprising.

Other than in the battle log I don't think you can see if Surpirse/First Fire is actually achieved: "09:41:31 (Reporting) Not enough surprise for group 1000693 Jackson's Corp Surprise %: 20 against CounterSurp of (%): 66"



The icon right next to supply status in the battle report window (soldier charging out of the wood pic) indicates whether a surprise was achieved. When you hover over it, it says "percentage of achieved surprise", or something similar. I 've never seen any percentage show up there other when you set up an ambush, and ambush can be only set up with small irregular forces, not with corp size forces Jackson usually has in the game, or historically had under command.

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Stauffenberg
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Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:33 pm

Ace wrote:The icon right next to supply status in the battle report window (soldier charging out of the wood pic) indicates whether a surprise was achieved. When you hover over it, it says "percentage of achieved surprise", or something similar. I 've never seen any percentage show up there other when you set up an ambush, and ambush can be only set up with small irregular forces, not with corp size forces Jackson usually has in the game, or historically had under command.


Well said and it's something that has bothered me for ages. Given all the other arcane things going on in the entire combat results process here, I somehow assumed it was happening but wasn't clearly showing up for some reason. I would also agree with the general impression that Jackson is underpowered in the game; that said, however, it may just be that the surpriser attribute is null that causes this (it could justifiably be double the given 20% perhaps, anyway). Has anyone ever confirmed surprise in a particular combat one side or the other? Seems an obvious issue to miss for so long. :blink:

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Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:40 am

I may have seen it in a time that I actually tried to setup ambushes with sharpshooters in the woods and mountains of West Virginia. That was ages ago. Since then my attention has turned to strategy on a grander scale.

After some digging I found this post: http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?14944-Surpriser-Trait-Gone-in-1-14&p=153213&viewfull=1#post153213 In it is the formula to supposedly calculate the Counter-Surprise. I say supposedly, because I cannot get the formula to work with test-battles that I ran and compared against the battle-log. Maybe the formula has changed. Maybe it is taking transient factors into account that the game does not display. Transient values might be only valid the moment a unit enters a new region and before a battle, but change after it's been in the region or after a battle has take place.

Here's the formula:
"Counter surprise is (for the stack): (Hide Value + Detect Land) *10 - CP cost of stack + 3 * Leader Strategic Rating +1"
Here's the resultant counterSurp from the log:
"07:51:31 (Reporting) Not enough surprise for group 1000693 Jackson's Corp Surprise %: 20 against CounterSurp of (%): 63"

The attacking corp has (the turn after entering the region and after the battle has taken place):
Hide-Value = 1
Detect-Land = 5
CP-cost = 13
Leader Strategic Rating = 4 + 1 from Army Commander Bonus = an effective 5 Leader Strategic Rating

Already the first part of the equation makes it impossible to reach a results of 63 : ( 1 + 5 ) * 10 = 60. You would need a negative number to subtract from 60 to reach 63 and the rest of the formula does not allow for generating a negative number. Either the formula has changed, or as I stated, the values change between the stack entering the region (before the battle) and after the battle.

Regardless, unless the formula has change extensively the chance of a surpriser, Jackson or otherwise, achieving a surprise is very small; and vs a large well lead stack, impossible. This would explain why nobody is seeing the Ambush% in larger battles.

If you could screw the Detect-Land value of an attacker way, way down, you might be able to pull it off. For example if it were very harsh terrain such as mountain or swamp. Otherwise, it is a trait which disappears in the big picture of things.

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Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:34 am

Hmmm, I am sure I have seen Surprise get a value of 20% (ish) when fighting with Jackson and (top of my head) A.S. Johnston. This might have been a few patches ago though.
Murphy's Law of Combat: 'The most dangerous thing on a battlefield? An officer with a map'

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Captain_Orso
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Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:11 am

The 20% is affixed to the Surpriser Ability, which always gives the 20% chance. The CounterSurp value is really what effectively determines if Surprise can take place.

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Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:29 am

Captain_Orso wrote:
Here's the formula:
"Counter surprise is (for the stack): (Hide Value + Detect Land) *10 - CP cost of stack + 3 * Leader Strategic Rating +1"
Here's the resultant counterSurp from the log:
"07:51:31 (Reporting) Not enough surprise for group 1000693 Jackson's Corp Surprise %: 20 against CounterSurp of (%): 63"

The attacking corp has (the turn after entering the region and after the battle has taken place):
Hide-Value = 1
Detect-Land = 5
CP-cost = 13
Leader Strategic Rating = 4 + 1 from Army Commander Bonus = an effective 5 Leader Strategic Rating

Regardless, unless the formula has change extensively the chance of a surpriser, Jackson or otherwise, achieving a surprise is very small; and vs a large well lead stack, impossible. This would explain why nobody is seeing the Ambush% in larger battles.



I would say, either ability is broken, or the tool-tip for this ability should say 1 in a 10000
chance to surprise large leaderless stack (+60 CP - 15 divisions to be precise) without a cavalry in it, instead of 20% chance to surprise.

By the way, Johnston and Jackson were given this ability for historically surprising good armies with good leaders (Grant at Shiloh for example, Hooker at Chancellorsville for example)

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Stauffenberg
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Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:23 pm

Captain_Orso wrote:
Regardless, unless the formula has change extensively the chance of a surpriser, Jackson or otherwise, achieving a surprise is very small; and vs a large well lead stack, impossible. This would explain why nobody is seeing the Ambush% in larger battles.

If you could screw the Detect-Land value of an attacker way, way down, you might be able to pull it off. For example if it were very harsh terrain such as mountain or swamp. Otherwise, it is a trait which disappears in the big picture of things.


Thanks very much for that.
I wonder if Lodi (or even Philippe) has some thoughts--a way of redressing this.

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Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:48 pm

How did McPherson get those amazing stats? Oh, thinking AI benefit.....

Charles

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Pat "Stonewall" Cleburne
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Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:14 pm

Yeah, I'd say this needs to be fixed. It's odd that I've never noticed or thought about this. A good surprise attack is very satisfying in most games.

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Captain_Orso
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Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:47 am

Dang, I seem to have opened a can of worms here. I don't want anybody here to think that my assessment was meant as criticism or a call for redressing. My assumption is that it is physically and practically impossible to 'surprise' a large unit, because it would mean having practically most of your forces positioned as to be able to attack most of the enemy's forces unbeknownst to them, until the first volleys had been fired.

I don't consider Jackson's flank attack to be a 'surprise' in the context given here. The forces had already met. It was a classic flanking maneuver. You have to remember that a flanking maneuver works because it was unexpected -- unless the defending commander was simply stupid and ignored the danger of any such possibility. In the case of Jackson's flank attack I think actually both things came together. Howard left his flank open, and thus the army's flank, because he couldn't fathom an attack there.

Albert S. Johnston's attack at Shiloh was only a surprise, because of Grant's lax stance in his position. His unpreparedness did more to allow for a surprise than anything that Johnston did. Had he conducted proper security there would have been no surprise at all.

I think that giving A. S. Johnston and T. J. Jackson the 'Surpriser' ability may have originally been in the spirit of these two battles, but the idea that these two generals might actually 'surprise' a large host in the game terms of an 'Ambush' is simply not given.

In the light of this thought, the 'Surpriser' ability may have fizzled. Because of this it might be thought that Jackson should have a special flanking ability -- which doesn't actually exist. I'm not actually sure if this would even be possible, because it would be equivalent to breaking a battle into at least two parts. Using Chancellorsville as an example, Hooker's center would be the main battle and Jackson's flank attack on Howard's corp would be the second battle, at least in a limited sense.

What Jackson does bring to the table though in all cases is his speed, since the number of elements that a leader can put on the battle line per frontage is determined in part by how fast they are. The faster they are the more elements that can be squeezed onto the battle.

charlesonmission
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Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:07 pm

Jackson did truly have first fire at 2nd Manassas due to the railroad cut they were behind. However, I do see your point Captian Orso, in most situation, this was simply unlikely to be possible.

Charles

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Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:29 pm

Well, not really. Once Jackson knew that Longstreet was approaching he revealed his positioning by having his men move forward from the rail cut toward the pike, thus challenging King's division -- marching east on the pile -- to attack him. But they ignored him, continuing their march for Centerville to link up with the rest of Pope's army. When Jackson's demonstration didn't result in the attack he'd been hoping for, he opened fire on Gibbon's brigade with an artillery battery and Gibbon returned fire with a battery of his own. But at this time Jackson had already reveled his presence.

I don't think that from Jackson's position at the foot of Stoney Ridge he could have actually performed a surprise attack on any troops on the pike, because he was too far away from it, which is where King's division was. Moving forward from Stoney Ridge would have reveled his position too -- which is exactly why he did that -- so the only way he could have surprised from the rail cut would be if a column unexpectedly came marching up the unfinished rail line. But that would have been a surprise for Jackson too :blink:

But the speed with which his flank march was executed, suddenly appearing far in Pope's rear at Bristoe Station, that was a surprise of a major magnitude. So maybe Jackson's speed really is his surprise after all.

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Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:40 pm

As far as I know, the only case of "surprise", as per the definition of the trait as first fire by a large force, would be during the Battle of Bristoe Station. Meade was withdrawing north following a turning movement from Lee. AP Hill was chasing down some Union elements, the last of which appeared to be crossing a bridge. Hill threw what forces he had on hand, Heth’s two brigades, at them before they got away. However, the entire 2nd Corp under Warren was hidden behind a railroad cut, running perpendicular to the line of confederate attack, and they all opened up simultaneously, cutting them down in a matter of minutes. Imagine an entire corps coming out of nowhere, and firing directly into the flank of two attacking brigades. Devastating.

As far as the “surprise” trait is concerned, is it even possible to get it to work in dense forest or mountains? I don’t know how to run the numbers. Also, when it occurs, how effective would having first fire be? It shouldn’t cause anymore casualties, but should limit return fire some, but I don’t know if it would even make much of a difference at all.

On another note, how much more frontage could you get with a general that has “fast mover” versus an identical general that doesn’t? Is it much of an advantage in combat?

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Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:16 pm

I also have never been able to get the Patriot ability to function in all my years of playing this game. And i've tried many times to no avail.

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