Drambuie
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Good game but some frustrations

Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:06 pm

Hi,

Well i've played quite a lot of the game on various patches and generally am enjoying it a lot. However I have some frustrations that have arisen over time and would like to vent:

1) The 'raiding' activity behind enemy lines is to be frank tedious ... while I can appreciate it adds some realism and flavour the micro managing of chasing them down is a real drag - I have even had a wandering artillery battery pillaging my regions - not sure how one battery could deprive a whole region of the USA of food and supply in two weeks!

2) Combat results seem almost random sometimes - I am getting continuous outcomes that just don't seem to be justified by the battle display or numbers/situation- I can appreciate losing some battles even when the odds are stacked in my favour but frankly the results appear to be hit and miss. Fortifications for example appear to have little impact on anything and make me wonder why I bother digging in. I've played many games yet this is one where I really have no idea often why i've lost, often with such extremely one-sided results which seem pretty a-historic to the period.

3) NM points for battle results - how are these calculated? I seem to get very few rewarded to me yet the AI gets lots - is this a planned bias or am I imagining it? When tied in to the seemingly random battle results this gets very frustrating and often seems totally unpredictable.

I do enjoy the game very much but often find myself staring baffled at the screen when a battle result goes so far against how I imagined it would that I close the game in frustration. Just wondering if anyone else feels these frustrations or whether i'm being paranoid!

:sourcil:

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Banks6060
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Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:03 am

I've definately been there dude.

1. Anything that's raiding you besides cavalry is just the game taking advantage of some somewhat a-historical code within the program I think....but I must say....if the AI is sending whole batteries of artillery deep into your territory, I'm surprised you're not jumping with joy at the prize :niark: . But no I understand your frustration there....AI still has a long way to go in this game IMHO

2. This is a product of experience. I thought just as you do about 3 months ago. Once you learn more about all the little things that are calculated during a fight. You'll understand better how to prepare you field commands to succeed.

3. This was actually something I was going to bring up awhile ago. NM never seems to be awarded or taken away unless a battle is a massacre for one side or the other. I wonder if NM adjustments as the result of battles could be adjusted to reflect the significance of the engagement rather than the casualties inflicted. Perhaps any engagement between two forces of power 800 or more could swing NM....I dunno. I also would like to see battles have a little more impact on Foreign Intervention.....as they historically did.

gwgardner
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Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:11 am

For understanding the battle results, a more detailed battle report would go a long way towards helping players. It's been asked for quite often. Wonder why it hasn't been provided after all the patches.

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berto
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Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:18 am

gwgardner wrote:For understanding the battle results, a more detailed battle report would go a long way towards helping players. It's been asked for quite often. Wonder why it hasn't been provided after all the patches.

It's there, you just need to understand hieroglyphics. :niark:

(But kidding aside, I think that a verbal narrative would be a great addition.)
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StatboyVT
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Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:46 am

Banks6060 wrote:3. This was actually something I was going to bring up awhile ago. NM never seems to be awarded or taken away unless a battle is a massacre for one side or the other. I wonder if NM adjustments as the result of battles could be adjusted to reflect the significance of the engagement rather than the casualties inflicted. Perhaps any engagement between two forces of power 800 or more could swing NM....I dunno. I also would like to see battles have a little more impact on Foreign Intervention.....as they historically did.


I strongly agree with this. Take 1st Manassas for example. Just a few thousand casualties total, yet the victory skyrocketed Southern morale.

It should not only be about wins and losses, but about casualties. For example, if you win a battle, but lose 20,000 men in the process, I'm not sure that should be positive for NM. Take Grant's drive on Richmond for example. He was taking the war to the South, like he should have, but he was losing so many men in the process that the morale of the North was going down. Mothers in the North hated him because his total war style was costing them many loved ones.

Total battle casualties and NM changes from battles need major tweaking in vanilla, IMO. Sometimes it seems like I have to destroy half an army to get a NM increase. Sometimes not. Seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. That's not historically accurate, besides the fact that losing half the army isn't historically accurate either.

Clovis' mod does a great job with casualties, among other things, but that NM needs some tweaking. Just my 2 cents.

Either way, I'm not worried about it right now. I'm just worried about controlling myself until BOA2 is released. :bonk:

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Comtedemeighan
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Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:57 am

I agree with the you on the raiding being really annoying. I hate how the union cavalry sneak through my lines and infiltrate deep into my territory well I try to chase them with my own cavalry and they just keep alluding them and tearing up track very annoying.

veji1
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Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:32 pm

Agreed about the NM and battles thing, I deserves its own topic if Mods can create one.

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Clovis
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Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:50 pm

StatboyVT wrote:I strongly agree with this. Take 1st Manassas for example. Just a few thousand casualties total, yet the victory skyrocketed Southern morale.

It should not only be about wins and losses, but about casualties. For example, if you win a battle, but lose 20,000 men in the process, I'm not sure that should be positive for NM. Take Grant's drive on Richmond for example. He was taking the war to the South, like he should have, but he was losing so many men in the process that the morale of the North was going down. Mothers in the North hated him because his total war style was costing them many loved ones.

Total battle casualties and NM changes from battles need major tweaking in vanilla, IMO. Sometimes it seems like I have to destroy half an army to get a NM increase. Sometimes not. Seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. That's not historically accurate, besides the fact that losing half the army isn't historically accurate either.

Clovis' mod does a great job with casualties, among other things, but that NM needs some tweaking. Just my 2 cents.



I partly disagree on that.

First anassas was a very special case; the first major battle in a time when both sides believed in a short war. The boost here was tied not on the losses ratio but on the victorious or defeat status in what was seen as the almost definitive statement of the success of the secession move. Interestingly, one year later, CSA morale was very low after several failures.

But these failures weren't tied too to the losses. First, because losses by fire were just a minor portion of the military losses, plagues and illness being the major cause. So the decrease in morale didn't really come from losses on the battlefield but from all these deaths on the long run.

Secondly, real loweringsin morale was created by the capture of key or symbolic locations: Atlanta, Richmond, Vicksburg or yet invasion then repulsing of CSA invasion of Pensylvania.

Taking the 1864 example, low US morale came partly from losses but the primary cause was the incapacity to seize Richmond. On the contrary, Confederates kept resolution in spite of high loss ratio because Lee protected Richmond.

In the West, Atlanta capture gave to Union a boost.

So the AGEOD system may certainly be perfected and I partly agree on N question. BUt not to the point to transform battle losses to the primary factor in NM variation. This Clausewitzian point of view is irrelevant.
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boboneilltexas
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NM points

Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:57 pm

Yesterday, Polk got the Yankees in Paduka to surrender quickly and I (CSA) got one NM point - for 700 soldiers!

I seldom see ANY NM point being rewarded either way - even when the North takes 13,000 losses to my 1500. :grr:
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StatboyVT
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Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:50 pm

Clovis wrote:I partly disagree on that.

First anassas was a very special case; the first major battle in a time when both sides believed in a short war. The boost here was tied not on the losses ratio but on the victorious or defeat status in what was seen as the almost definitive statement of the success of the secession move. Interestingly, one year later, CSA morale was very low after several failures.

But these failures weren't tied too to the losses. First, because losses by fire were just a minor portion of the military losses, plagues and illness being the major cause. So the decrease in morale didn't really come from losses on the battlefield but from all these deaths on the long run.

Secondly, real loweringsin morale was created by the capture of key or symbolic locations: Atlanta, Richmond, Vicksburg or yet invasion then repulsing of CSA invasion of Pensylvania.

Taking the 1864 example, low US morale came partly from losses but the primary cause was the incapacity to seize Richmond. On the contrary, Confederates kept resolution in spite of high loss ratio because Lee protected Richmond.

In the West, Atlanta capture gave to Union a boost.

So the AGEOD system may certainly be perfected and I partly agree on N question. BUt not to the point to transform battle losses to the primary factor in NM variation. This Clausewitzian point of view is irrelevant.


I hear ya. I'm certainly not saying that it needs to be a major rewrite or anything like that. Just that it could use some fine tuning. I think it could be improved some, but it's definitely not a major complaint of mine.

Either way, I'll be out of the AACW mode for awhile, and 100% into BOA2, haha.

Edit: Actually, I did say "major" originally. My bad. I'm prone to go off halfcocked sometimes :bonk:

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Inside686
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Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:59 am

+1 for the more detailed battle report :innocent:

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GShock
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Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:11 am

It's one of the main things to be patched in the game (3rd in my personal ranking of importance). Battles won or lost with heavy casualties should have a serious effect on NM with the news spreading in the country and feelings of joy, gloominess taking over the population.
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SojaRouge
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Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:08 pm

The size of a town captured, the fact that it is strategic or not, the casualties (big or not), the delta between both casualties (one size losing much while the other didn't lose too much, take the fort Alamo story as example, they all died, but it is anyway a positive thing in USA moral :) ), even the fact that the place is a depot or not (depots should be treated as they are for supply management level, level 15 towns), all these should (and maybe are already, but it's probably not enough noticeable) influence NM gain or loss.
Even the previous % of control of the area (big turn over) should be taken into account, because retaking a place known as completely controlled by the enemy should be felt as good, no ?


For battle results, I also find that there is too much randomness in them. To test something we thought was a bug (river crossing when there are boats), my PBEM partner replayed a turn several times. St Louis fight, I was attacking with far bigger corp that his defending one, and later in the same turn, he had a big corp coming to reinforce.
There was really all kind of results. Me losing almost the whole attacking corp, me kicking the defenders but being kicked by the reinforcements, me kicking easily both and several results in the middle of these.
Of course, there must be some randomness, else we should play chess :) , but not that far, a 3 vs 1 engagement at same conditions (moral, supply, leaders, etc...) should lead to victory of the bigger side, with maybe a small percentage of chance that it's a draw and very little that it is a defeat, because sometimes it is not the day. But currently I don't find normal that the game is that random, I feel like just rolling dices with my opponent.
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Drambuie
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Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:57 pm

Well at least it isn't just me being paranoid and there are others getting confused/frustrated :sourcil:

The NM stuff is a difficult one, and for me it isn't so much what reason the game hands points out for (as that is very debatable) its more the apparent randomness of the awards themselves. If it was clear that x result=1 point, x result=2 then it would be easier to accept/understand.

Battle results are my main worry by miles though - I just hate it when I see that I had less men uncommanded, many more guns, fire at same range, better luck, and 100s of points of fortifications yet still lose somehow. Having wargamed for many years - tabletop, boardgames, computer games - and read widely you get a feeling that something should work or not.

I suspect part of my problems may be my use of the combat buttons, and setting them too aggressively or something. However I feel this is perhaps a bit of a strange area in that the game abstracts out combat to a set of 'die rolls' etc by the engine, reducing hugely the player's input on battles themselves (not a bad thing in itself), yet allows a setting to be made that can hugely bias the actual outcomes when those decisions on the battlefield would be down to the commanders on the spot and not some overall omniscient leader such as we are representing. Perhaps such options are a 'rock and hard place' for the developers in trying to satisfy our demands!

:bonk:

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Spruce
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Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:28 pm

what puzzles me most about the NM thing is the dramatic "swing" there is in results - and often these swings have a huge impact on the game - and basicly it's a very thin line. And often it happens in the last days of the 15 days of battle resolution.

An example to state that - if your turn is played out you'll have encountered some battles with large forces in regions that lasted for more days.

f.e. - first battle - 2 corps engage 2 corps - bloody battle - no units destroyed - a tie,

f.e. - second battle - nice victory for CSA for example - but losses are limited,

f.e. - third and final battle - a Union victory resulting in the massive destruction of CSA elements - lots of casualties but slighly higher casualties for CSA.

the result from this round is that the Confederacy loses a fairly large portion of their NM - altough if you add all things up during those 15 days - there's not much difference.

For the CSA this can cause a negative downwards spiral as NM impacts your recruitment capability - and this is the only constraint - others might disagree - for the CSA.

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Chaplain Lovejoy
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Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:31 pm

SojaRouge wrote:Of course, there must be some randomness, else we should play chess :) , but not that far, a 3 vs 1 engagement at same conditions (moral, supply, leaders, etc...) should lead to victory of the bigger side, with maybe a small percentage of chance that it's a draw and very little that it is a defeat, because sometimes it is not the day. But currently I don't find normal that the game is that random, I feel like just rolling dices with my opponent.


I agree with this, but I timidly propose that your sample size is not large enough to claim that what you propose is not what is indeed happening. If my memory of taking and teaching statistical method (of 10+ years ago) is still reliable, I think you need a "pilot" sample size of about 30 (meaning 30 replays). To reach tentative conclusions regarding the "validity" of the battle outcome. Then a statistical methodology applied to the pilot sample may indicate you need more replays (perhaps up to 70 or so more) to draw statistically reliable conclusions.

Is anybody out there more up to speed on statistical methodology than I?

SojaRouge
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Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:18 pm

I agree about the fact that a dozen of tries is not statistically enough to deduce a rule.
But it's enough in this case to see that the difference between the best and worst result if huge. Too much in my opinion.
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