NOTE: For help with this mod, refer to the proper MMG forum thread.
Mod Name: Fredricksburg: Stonewall’s Flank OOB
Last Updated: Updated on August 6, 2008
Author: Gary Laga
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NOTE: You MUST HAVE Community Mod Pack 3.0 to use this OOB.
I apologize for the length of this post – but I need to explain in detail the things I have been thinking on and revising. This will also act as a README.DOC for the six OOB’s that I have revised.
For the past month I have been playing CMP 3.0 and checking out all the new maps, flags, etc..etc.. ADukes has done a fabulous job in creating CMP 3.0!
So, I had decided to rework my old OOB’s to take advantage of all the extra’s that are available in CMP 3.0.
In addition to that I have tested different concepts to make Open Play more realistic. I have played and played and played…………
When I play an Open Play battle – I usually one take on the character of a Division Commander. I like to be able to move, fight and re-supply my units down to a fine detail. Anything more than a Divison is to much to handle. I know that some players like to be an overall commander or be a Corps commander. Nothing wrong with this, but I find that while playing in this fashion gives much less control over the battle. Sure you can move Divisons and Corps to where you want, but alot is left up to the AI -and while you may have time to intervene on placements of artillery and brigades etc.. at one point on the battlefield – at another part the troops are charging, moving over the top of each other and blocking each others field of fire.
I have thought about this long and hard…………….
I think I have come up with some solutions for making the AI play much better
Fixes that will:
Make the AI less suicidile – including Commanders.
Division Commanders less likely to march into hopeless situations where they are vastly outnumbered and outflanked.
Make your artillery a REAL force on the battlefield – able to actually take out another battery with Counter-Battery fire!!
Actually have reserves readilly available for counter-attacks.
There are six of my own OOB’s that I have vastly revised. I’m sure some of you have played them. They were originally made over a year ago.
REMEMBER – THESE WILL ONLY PLAY ON CMP 3.0 (with the latest patch)
Sharpsburg – (a.k.a. Antietam) – hey I was born in the South
General Lee: 37,415
General McClellan: 58,775
Stonewall’s Flank – (Fredericksburg)
General Jackson: 38,424
General Franklin: 36,700
Carlisle – (a ficticious battle that I made up on a what-if whim, with General Reynolds given orders to intercept (with all possible speed) Ewell’s Corps that had reached Carlisle in late June 1863.)
General Reynolds: 20,668
General Ewell: 19,017
General Jackson: 25,750
General Hooker: 36,090
Maryes Heights (Fredericksburg)
General Lee: 35,138
General Burnside: 64,141
(NEW) – Gettysburg-2nd Day
General Lee: 45,681
General Meade: 58,979
COSMETIC CHANGES THAT I MADE:
I am real FLAG lover, so I took the liberty of making use of all the new State Flags (mostly Confederate) that ADukes had added. If you see a unit from Mississippi – they will have a Mississippi flag etc…etc….
Got rid of all middle initials and middle names of all Army, Corps, Divison and regimental commanders. This took a LONG time as I had to do alot of research on the net to find out what the actual first name of a commander was. For example – Colonel E.T.H. Warren is now Colonel Edward Warren…etc..
A great tool that I used was a personel finder on the site “Antietam on the web” – http://aotw.org/officers.php?officer_id=all – of course ranks changed and not all the people that fought at Antietam were on this name finder – but I did get about 80% of my finds on this site. the others I researched by looking at unit histories and searches etc..
Changed the info that you see when you click on a unit: (I was tired of having to guess what Brigade, Division and Corps a particular unit was attached to. The standard info on most OOB’s – and that goes for my earlier releases was for example:
1st line – 19th Indiana
2nd line – (1st Brig / 1st Div / I Corps)
3rd line – Col Samuel J. Williams
So if you clicked on that unit you had to guess or either memorize each division commander, brigade commader ..etc..
My revised wording is now (for example):
1st line – 19th Indiana
2nd line – (Meredith’s 1st (Iron Brigade) / Wadsworth’s 1st Division / Newton’s I Corps)
3rd line – Colonel Samuel Williams
This extra info does fit on the screen very nicely and gives you a wealth of information with just one click. This stops you from looking all over the place for the units commander etc…
The same way for Battery’s and Ammo Wagons:
my new way:
2nd Maine Light Battery B (#1 Gun)
(Wadworth’s 1st Division / Newton’s I Corps)
3 Inch Rifled Cannon
Wadsworth’s Ammo Wagon
(1st Division / Newton’s I Corps / Army of the Potomac)
no third line
I also changed all Union Sharpsooter battalions/regiments to wear the green sharpsooter uniform. And all Confederate Sharpsooter battalions/regiments to wear the “Butternut” uniform. So they will be more easily found on the battlefield.
Changed the Battle Flag of top Commanders to match the period in which the battle was fought.
Changed uniform types to reflect if the battle was fought in warm or cold weather.
These kind of some of the Aesthetic changes that I have made.
CHANGES THAT AFFECT ACTUAL GAME PLAY:
One simple thing that had made a drastic change in the disorganized AI fights was by just changing (lowering) the STYLE rating of each commander. I did very little change to the style of the overall commander – but I changed the rest of the Corps, Division and Regimental Commanders values.
I know what you may be thinking. That changing this value will have a detrimental effect on the game and be unrealistic. But I can tell you that by changing it – it greatly changes the non-sensical charging and overlapping that you get normally. It also decreases the stupid moving of Commanders on the battlefield to march directly into an enemy unit and be killed.
Please believe me that these changes DO make a difference. It does not eliminate all the non-sensical deployments and senseless suicide’s for commanders – but IT DOES greatly reduce them.
I have EXTENSIVELY play tested this (every day for past month) and I have seen things on the battlefield that I have NEVER seen before (in a positive sense). All units involved in following example were controlled by the AI. There was a Confederate Division marching down a road and coming down the same road was a Union Division. When the Confederates were spotted, the whole Union Division backed up into a tree line about 300-400 yards from thier previous position and got off the road. The Confederate Division stayed on the road (on the advance). when they reached the position of the previously spotted Union Division they deployed in proper battle lines and started to skirmish with the Union Division. All of a sudden another Union Division that was unseen on thier left came through a tree line and got behind the Confederate Division and they were then completely surrounded.
In all my time playing Open Play games I have never seen units behave in this fashion – and quite frankly I was flabbergasted at what took place.
This is just one of the surprising things that you will see as you play these OOB’s.
A note about Open Play:
Alot of players will end a game because the battle screen comes up and says: ENEMY ROUTED. This (I found) is very misleading. All you have to do is click on the CONFEDERATE BATTLE DETAILS and The UNION”S and you will see just how many troops you have and the enemy.
Early on I got this pop-up and then looked at the details and found out that I had 30,000 troops and the enemy still had 39,000. WELL – is the battle over at this point? Well, it shouldn’t be. More than likely the enemy has multiple divisions that have not yet even been deployed. I NEVER end a game when that pop-up screen appears. I end a battle when I have CONTROL over a battlefield – or I am hopelessy outnumbered, out-manuevered and defeated. Please try this – it will greatly enhance Open Play for you.
I, like everyone else am greatly dissapointed in the ineffectiveness of artillery in the stock game. They seem to have no effect at long range -firing at either infantry or enemy battery’s. And even at short range it does little, that is except when cannister fire is used.
Well, I fixed this by greatly increasing the Quality, Accuracy, Loading and Formation modifiers in the OOB code.
I have seen battery’s rout other guns that they are firing at from long range and kill infantry from incredibly long ranges. In one game I had a 6 cannon battery score a 229.00 – and that is without any cannister firing.
Don’t get the wrong idea – the arty does not rule the roost – it just makes it more effective – the way it should be. And by design I limit the number of battery’s in a game. Also keep in mind that I have tested these OOB’s till my eyes were buggin’ out of my head. It works great! And that 229 grade score was achieved from a battery that was in a perfect firing position overlooking many divisions on the move. Also the arty is more apt to save itself from sure annihilation by retreating (on it’s own) before it is destroyed from counter-battery fire or by direct musket fire. I believe this is achieved by an increase in quality and formation modifiers.
I have also decreased the quality etc.. modifiers for sharpshooter units. I once used one sharpshooter battalion (when the rest of my division was ordered to stay in place) to put down fire on the enemy from a safe distance 200-400 yards and that unit killed over 400 enemy, and had no casualties of it’s own. Not very realistic.
Another thing I do to increase the battle simulation is to try to use the correct map for the OOB you are using and more important the right placement of your troops on the map (to match it historically). I know that some of my OOB’s have no corresponding map. But try to envision what terrain the battle took place on and use different available maps. For instance if I am playing the confederates in Chancellorsville – I will set the game on ATTACK and use the Chickamagua map – or other heavily wooded maps (all at your discretion).
Remember these changes in game play I talk about are REAL and has been tested VERY., VERY intensivly by myself. Over the past month I must have played at least 40-60 open play games. Also please remember to give yourself a chance to continue “Return to Battle” a game when the “end battle” screen comes up. It is now more relevent in these OOB’s than others.
Of course you will still see the intertwining of regiments and some leaders killed stupidly – but you will see them greatly decreased in these OOB’s.
All in All – I have been having a great time playing these battles – and I hope you do to.
For anybody that does not know me (I have been absent for about a year – until recently) my OOB’s do not have any cavalry and have greatly reduced artillery. Usually one battery (per Division). I found out early on if you have too much arty – the computer will sometimes gather up to 3-5 battery’s into a small area and in effect make a bristling “Death Star” that is almost invulnerable to take out or disperse – it might take you two brigades to put a dent in it. The way I have designed these make the game more fluid and realistic. Maybe not in a purely historical sense. But if we wanted to be “purely” historical then we would have include alot of units in the battle that actually did not see any action…i.e. “Provost Guards” – “Reserve Artillery” etc…and other things I have noticed when doing research on Order of Battles for my OOB’s.
So, again sorry for the length of this post. But I wanted to make these findings clear (for your enjoyment) and also use this post as a README.DOC for all these changed OOB’s.
I am e-mailing these to Brett Schulte today (August 3rd) – available for download on his Harper’s Ferry Arsenal Website.
I do not when he will be able to upload them, but if you are itchy to play these, I will gladly e-mail them to you right away. You can e-mail me at glaga1 (at) comcast (dot) net. Or send me a private message with your e-mail address. Also please let me know which ones you want – particular ones or all of them.
On one other note. I have moddified my game to exclude the following things:
The “Right Wheel” etc…commands that are shouted when a unit does this and the drums etc..etc..
You see I like to listen to Civil War period music that I have on my Media Player. I think I have the most extensive library of Civil War songs of anybody. I simply open my media player – start a song in my folder – set in on “random” and “repeat” – minimize the media player – and my 30-40 ACW songs will play in the background as I do battle. I love music.
I also deleted the Paradox movie that starts when you open the game – you can do this simply by going to the directory that is labeled “movies” and delete what’s inside.
I am also willing to share my music with whoever wants it!
There’s nothing like seeing your Division marching down a road with the theme of “Gettysburg” playing in the background. The best thing is the music does not interfere (in any way) with the actual game sounds!
Thanks for taking the time to read this
Keep your muskets dry boys!