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Thoughts on the Scenario

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Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  MajorByrd on Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:53 am

While I value the amount of work that is being put into this campaign, especially by Neal, I still would like to voice my thoughts, expecially on the scenario we played today.

- The map offered no chance for maneuver whatsoever. One could see flags from town right to the edge of the map.
- A crazy imbalance in quality of infantry. (Union 7, 6.5, 5, 4.8 - Rebs 5, 4, 4, 4)
- Absolutely no advantage in numbers. Having to attack superior forces of equal number on ground like that without the chance for maneuver really is pointless. I considered not attacking at all and considering how it all went downhill from the start, I probably shouldn't have. But that would have spoiled everyone's chance at fun so I did it anyways.
- The Union being offered advantages prior to battle for moving their troops historically, meaning in two seperate columns on the strategic map while the Confederates did the same exact thing from the start while being offered nothing but the short end of a stick.
- Not even knowing from which side the Rebs were to enter the map.

To sum it up, this just does not seem balanced to me at all. Not saying that there are no such thing as imbalanced battles. There is a place for em'. No doubt. But I can not see how that place would be the first battle of this campaign.

P.s There needs to be a rule for restricted movement of officers. I underestimated that myself prior to battle but being spotted by a Brigadier 500 yards out isn't as much fun as I thought it would be.
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  kg little mac on Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:25 am

It was the first battle.

We should refrain from being too competitive: this is not the GCM.

I enjoyed the game. A tough chore for the rebs, no doubt.

On that map, even restricting officer scouting to the GCM 200 yard rule wouldn't help; there is no cover.

But I see where you're coming from, Sven. It's really hard to attack on the big GB map. You needed a couple of more regiments. Also, that was like Lee at Gaines Mill, trying to lead a new command in an attack is really challenging.

We GCMers are used to being able to move unseen rather easily. That battle on a GCM random map with a normal amount of woods would have been much different.

My opinion is that we should restrict brigade commanders and battery commanders to 100 yards from their men/guns. And army/corps/division commanders to 300 yards from friendly men/guns.

This would make the cavalry more important. Also, cavalry commanders should stay within a 100 yards of their regiments too. Scout with the cavalry, not the cavalry commander.

I'd really like to see this campaign be successful. It only will if we can get past the winning and losing part and just play the battles as hard as one can. Be honest when it's over in a constructive way.

Good effort, Neal.

Let's play on.

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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  Father General on Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:34 am

I applied the results and as I learned a long time ago, even bitter defeats do not destroy your effective ability to fight. The Confederate division has a bloody nose, certainly, but there are no broken bones. The Union, in fact, did not fare too much better after the gamedump was applied, so they shouldn't crow too loudly about their success.

The Confederate stats were imbalanced a bit worse than I wanted, but this was an oversight on my part. I've already identified a few mistakes I have made, all related to the construction of the OOB. It is my first time actually building an OOB and it required a lot of help from others, especially Hays. Thank you again!

I have made some adjustments in the numbers, but the campaign continues. There's a battle coming next Saturday.

This campaign has some surprises in store. Perhaps I should share the first one today? We'll see...

It's still early in the campaign and there's a lot that can and will happen.

-Neal
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  MajorByrd on Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:49 am

Fortunately, cooler heads than mine managed to milk something constructive out of my ill-worded post.

I can not repeat often enough how much I appreciate the work related to this campaign and I do know that getting it right will take some effort from all of us. This is not the GCM and I should leave my sometimes snarky competetiveness where it belongs I suppose. I came here to produce enjoyment for all of us. I should remember that more often.

Think nothing of it Neal and don't feel like you have to mollycoddle my overly sensitive feelings. Defeat has a taste I sometimes fail to swallow. I'm aware of that and so is Soldier it seems Very Happy I'll work on that.

We're gonna get it right and I'm gonna enjoy it even if we don't.

I bid you all a good night and I'm anxiously awaiting the next turn.

The Confederacy shall strike back!!!
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  Uncle Billy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:55 am

I'd like to try that scenario from the confederate side sometime. Although the Union had better quality troops, the confederates had 11% more men and the initiative. The rebs could be rated as underdogs in this fight, but not overwhelmingly so. The open ground actually benefits the attacker. He can watch while he maneuvers the defender onto less favorable ground and then pick a weak spot to deliver the killing blow. Open ground combined with the initiative is no small thing.

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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  MajorByrd on Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:50 am

I'm sure we're gonna get the opportunity to find out how well a 10% superiority in numbers and open ground do against an enemy on formidable defensive ground, interior lines and troops of vastly superior quality if those numbers are right.

I'm not arguing that it can't be done.

I certainly made the wrong choices. There is no doubt about that. I should have split the burden of command more and I should have limited my attack on the low ridge instead of sending two brigades around what I expected to be the outer edges of a flank, not the crater of their demise.

But I am arguing that those odds are more than 'could be rated as underdogs'.
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  Father General on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:14 am

Byrd and Baylor were both right today. I overlooked the quality of the troops stats.

I did go in and adjust a few to make things a little more even, but caution is still advised. Even the best troops cannot carry an assault on deadly ground.

I am leaning towards a GCM map for the next battle, I need to read up on how to put the maps into the editor.

-Neal
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  MajorByrd on Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:18 pm

I believe that even the smaller Gettysburg maps like Mac Map, Mc Pherson, Culp and whatnot would make for good games albeit smaller ones because they are not nearly as barren as the big Gettysburg map. There could even be games on Chancellorsville or Antietam or Pipe Creek. People who don't have the maps would then either buy them or play a second battle on a different map. Since forces are being split up on the map, that might be an option at some point.

But like I already told you by PM, I reviewed what I did last night and it seemed that by letting Carter and Knight shift to the right I passed on the chance to roll up the Union right flank. Instead, by sending them to what I believed to be the Union left, I put them into a horrible spot. By the time they got on the right, Palmer and a Battery of guns were set up by Kevin and both my Brigades were caught in the lowground below Cemetary  while our left was deprived by the strength to crush their right.

So I have to admit that maybe I was more at fault than the Scenario I chose to blame instead. If I hadn't decided to pull Carter off the left shortly before he wanted to strike, it might have gone different. At least both corps are still in fine shape to commence the campaign in style which is the most important thing. I will do some further analyzing of my own performance and try to do better next time. I was way too focused on what I thought were impossible odds. But maybe they really weren't. I should have focused more on how to overcome them instead of busying myself with anger.

Oh well.
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:03 pm

I commanded the CSA cavalry brigade in the action of yesterady. I was issued clear instructions from the beginning and felt able to complete my orders without someone breathing down my neck or ignoring what I was passing back up the line. We began the battle way down the Hagerstown Road and my brigade headed off at once at a smart pace towards town. I rode far ahead and soon saw two groups of Union officers on Seminary Ridge watching to the NW and SW. I spurred my horse on between these two enemy scouting parties (they were some 300 or more yards apart) and getting into the gardens of a large brick house by the road junction afforded myself a good view of the valley beyond. I sighted two enemy brigades and a battery S of town headed NW towards the ridge I was on, a third enemy brigade apparently headed N into town with a fourth brigade and some cavalry behind these.

I then vacated Seminary Ridge and never returned as it was crawling with enemy scouting parties and would soon be occupied in force.

Reporting what I had seen I rode back down the road to the next rise to the W which was SE of the Harman Farm and E of Willoughby Run. My brigade now began to come up. I dismounted one regiment astride the road in a skirmish line atop the ridge and held my other three back below the crest, concealed. I could see the leading infantry brigades of our corps coming up behind.

Soon I was able to see three enemy infantry brigades deployed on Seminary Ridge with two batteries. These latter opened fire on my skirmish line with a rather galling and accurate long range fire.

I could see the enemy left extended S to the Macmillan Farm but his right didn't extend far beyond the Hagerstown Road, I therefore advised my commander that an attack around the right or N end of the enemy line was probably the best direction to attack the town; the enemy would have no good defensive position between the ridge and the town.

Unfortunately my commander had already committed himself to a wide right flanking march S of Spangler's Farm to turn N and come up to Bliss Farm and E Trostle Farm. I felt this was the wrong avenue of approach but did not say anything. I also felt that high command had made a decision where to advance before receiving proper reports from his scouting cavalry.

I was then ordered to extend my line SE to screen our right flank march and did so by bounds with my four regiments until I entered and occupied Spangler's Wood and turned to swing my line to move NE almost reaching the crest of the wooded hill to the S of Macmillan Farm. In the low wheatfields E of here and towards Bliss Farm one of my regiments skirmished with a full brigade of Union cavalry but these chose not to close the range and rode off with some haste to the far ESE, disappearing over the hill towards Leister Farm.

My cavalry almost got to the top of the wooded hill S of Macmillan but we were stopped by the enemy far left infantry brigade swinging left to face us. By now our infantry was coming up with haste behind me and a general attack started. I could see that the enemy had swung his line from facing W to facing S and Macmillan was now his extreme right. I pleaded with my commander to attack this location in force with a brigade from the S as well as one from the W if practical as an enemy brigade here was facing two ways and a battery of guns was quite exposed.

I then drew my cavalry back W and N and swung them around behind the enemy right to dismount again and attack from the N, taking up a position among the barns and enclosures of Macmillan's Farm. The enemy on the wooded hill was soon seen to fall back NE but the Confederate attack I had hoped to see sweep over the hill never materialised and while I thought we were winning and pushing the enemy back, it seems our right had over-extended and gone in frontally against a new S facing enemy line where they were repulsed with some loss.

I now found myself cut-off entirely N of the Union Corps with our infantry all S and falling back to the SE. I was under pressure from enemy infantry, especially Mark's which pushed my cavalry back and back further north until we passed through the town and the college and finally retired to Oak Ridge where three of my regiments rallied, exhausted, in the late evening. My fourth regiment had become dispersed in the town and fled away N towards the Almshouses.

I am, and remain, etc, etc
Parsimonius P. Digby, Colonel, CSA


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"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  MajorByrd on Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:55 pm

Impatience has done me no favors so far. I shall not listen to it again.

I shouldn't have committed to the flank march and not shifted the two Brigades so hastily.

Too much thinking upfront, not enough flexibility later on.
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  Guest on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:56 pm

I have really enjoyed the way this thread has developed. It is giving me great insight and intel for future battles. Not that it will matter since Mr. Murphy always shows up and screws up you plans anyways.

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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  MajorByrd on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:59 pm

So do I.

Thorough reflection is half the rent.
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:04 pm

Impatience has done me no favors so far. I shall not listen to it again.

In retrospect I doubt a flanking move via a northern arc would have gained us anything. I think its a fault of SoW's basic engine that it is far too easy to shift a defensive line from facing one way, around to facing another way. I think historically a defensive line was easy to outflank but SoW just seems to have something not quite right in the timings of how long tasks take.

A division facing west on Seminary Ridge really should not be able to manouvre so rapidly to face a threat less than 750 yards distant seen coming in on one flank.

I don't know what the answer is to this except we could try, as stated, to keep commanders nearer to their troops.

I liked some of the ideas suggested and I think battery and brigade commanders must simply stay with their men at al times. Its hard to measure how far you are away from your own troops, but I fel that corps/army commanders should also stay back, probably BEHIND their own lines. Division commanders, representing various div-level recon elements could ride ahead but how do we limit how far they go?

I think as cavalry patrols are so poorly represetned in the game, then cav brigade commanders should be allowed to roam freely with the same restrictions as I mentioned a few days ago.

Last night, to see Kevin's commander about 1/2 mile behind the CSA cavalry line was... well... a bit inappropriate I felt.

Alternatively we let anyone scout anywhere but just tell them to go away when they get in musket range and try to be as tactically astute as we can. I think some of Garniers more wooded, flatter maps may help conceal units where the historical, open maps don't. Perhaps we could try one of those.

Pipe Creeks very steep hilly terrain allows some good hidden flank moves. Chancellorsville's dense woods likewise. I'm open to any suggestions but lets not over-react to the first battle. We should trust neal to address various issues and allow us a fun campaign.

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"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  kg little mac on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:51 pm

An attack on our right would have been very hard to deal with. Palmer was in reserve, near town. It was easy for him to move south. It took Michka a good while to move from our right to our left center. Jack and Mitra engaged me and Martin (Longstreet had dropped). There was a huge gap between me and Ron. In fact, Michka made it up just as the battle ended and didn't fight much at all. Knight could have had my left flank, but he hesitated. Martin moved a beat up regiment to my far left allowing me to use my left regiment to work on Jack's flank. Had Knight come hard to Jack's right, I would have been forced back.

Had Carter been allowed to attack Martin's right, we would have had to withdraw toward town. That was my biggest worry during the battle. I was very happy to see Carter marching to the rebel right, toward Ron, instead of hitting our right (after we shifted south).



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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  KCarter1 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:49 pm

I haven't read everyone's posts in here yet.... I'll respond after I do... but, I wanted to put this up first....

http://www.sowmp.com/gcm/battles/battle/9922

This is The Game Replay from Saturday. GCM has a function where you can upload the dumped replay file. I just uploaded it to an old battle that did not already have a replay attached. So the information above the replay window is not relevant to this battle, just the replay window.
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:37 pm

Very good, those replays are clearer than the vanilla ones.

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"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  MajorByrd on Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:19 pm

Longstreet saves the Union yet again.
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  kg little mac on Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:33 pm

"Longstreet saves the Union yet again."

No one ever appreciates the hard work done by Major General Martin "Goddam" Eden.   Rolling Eyes 

Well done, Carter.
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  MajorByrd on Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:45 pm

The Union does remember it's heroes.

I predict someone is gonna write a book about you in 50 years from now as a reward for your service to the Cause!
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  Leffe7 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:46 am

it says "Loading Replay" but then nothing happens... I am using IE9
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  kg little mac on Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:46 pm

IE9 doesn't like the GCM site.
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:21 pm

"Longstreet saves the Union yet again."

I agree, that hill at Macmillan was the key to the Union position. Longstreet and Soldier held on to it enough to make any push the Rebs made further east pointless.

The GCM replays are very clear and let you get an appreciation of the tactical positions better than the full-scale battlefield replays in the game. Someone ask Garnier if he'd be willing to offer Norb this version of the replays in the next release!

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"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  KCarter1 on Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:41 am

http://www.sowmp.com/gcm/battles/battle/9928

this is as good as it gets this week apparently... replay doesn't have terrain... I believe maybe because Garnier doesn't have a jpeg of the stock Pipe Creek Map on the website server or something?... dunno?...
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Re: Thoughts on the Scenario

Post  Martin on Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:58 pm

Many thanks for posting this. Even without the map graphics, it gives a great feel for how the battle unfolded.

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