AGEOD’s ACW: Feature 25

by Brett Schulte on December 18, 2006 · 0 comments

AGEOD is developing a new Civil War game based on their excellent “Birth of America” engine. Lead developer Pocus has been slowly unveiling various features of the new game over at the AGEOD Forums.

Feature #25 : Defensive Fire & Trench Warfare

As you know, the end of the Civil War contained many characteristics that would become typical of the style of warfare experienced by armies during World War I. The most notable example of this was the Petersburg Campaign which lasted 9 months, and saw both sides facing each other, installed in a network of trenches. As the Civil War progressed, defensive fire became more and more lethal relative to the firepower that could be generated by a brigade on the attack (eg Pickett’s Charge, one of the most notoriously useless slaughters of the war).

In AACW, trenches play a big role. Armies will construct dug in positions in a matter of days, the first level being done in very short time (the Strategic ability of the general will influence this time, and some abilities provided by either commanders or troops can hasten the process significantly). Infantry can have up to 4 levels of entrenchment, each being more and more effective in providing cover. What’s more, artillery units can go up to level 8, with the highest level being considered as permanent field fortifications, like the positions around Washington, Island 10 and Vicksburg. (in addition to the fort of the city)! Starting at level 5, artillery can even fire on ships passing by and prevent the passage of riverine supply in adjacent regions. Last but not least, the artillery fire also increases in power when the unit is entrenched (in addition to the strong protection provided).

Starting in late 1862, your troops will start to upgrade equipment. We went with some automation and abstraction here, as we did not want the player to get bogged down in attending to each regiment in order to change rifle types. We thus distinguish between early infantry and late infantry. Both have a defensive fire which is stronger than the offensive fire, but the late infantry is even more one-sided in this respect. The same process applies to cavalry, with the Union having a big advantage over the Confederacy, with a faster upgrade rate. This is to simulate the Union cavalry’s possession of the Sharps Carbine late in the war which was able to fire several shots in a matter of seconds. This is reflected by an increased fire rate for the unit. Also, you may see the appearance of some Gatling guns on the Union side, even if the machine was very experimental and did not impact significantly on major battles.

Trench levels are shown graphically, on map, as an optional indicator. The gun indicates that each army has significant artillery support.


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Check out the Siege of Petersburg Online for daily posts on battle accounts in newspaper articles, diary entries, letters and more!

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