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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:29 pm 
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Doug's original description of the cavalry brigade becoming isolated with its back to the river ford begs some more explanation from the JTS designers. I can easily imagine a Civil War river ford fully capable of passing supply wagons to and fro without too much of a problem, thereby acting more like a non-bridge hex without some of the movement restrictions. But I would definitely qualify such a ford as having some additional, associated movement point costs.

It would seem that we're getting stuck on the definition of a ford per se. Is it enough to simply say that a ford always acts like a bridge hex? Why, then, would we even want to make the distinction? I totally agree that there were fords of various types, some suitable for cavalry only. Maybe we need to further distinguish the various ford types with an eye to supply path potential and unit type usage. And this is obviously something applicable to the entire Civil War Campaign series.

Doug used the word "clear" to suggest treating a ford hex as a supply-capable hex, and I understand and agree with his thinking. But in point of fact we've never discluded a forest hex at the edge of the board as being a pathway for supply.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:04 pm 
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If I am interpreting the original post correctly, it is a "Custom" scenario not one of the ones that come with the game. It may not have been defined correctly in the scenario editor. Need to open the file in the editor and take a look at the hex in question to see if both sides of the hex were properly defined so the game would "know" there is an actual crossing there for supply purposes.

I've seen a lot of "bad" fords in scenarios. Usually the units can't cross them though. I haven't seen one where you were able to cross the unit to the other side and then have it become isolated.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:25 pm 
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To be honest, we are in a code freeze right now. There will be no changes to the code -- bug fixes or any other changes -- until after the current round of 3.0 updates is finished. It is our intention that all 3.0 releases will be at the same coding standard. We will not be revisiting earlier 3.0 releases to retroactively apply new bug fixes. Any bug fixes now would violate the "same coding standard" policy. At this point, any bug fixes will just have to wait.

Clarification: Although bug fixes in the code are on hold, fixes to individual game data for impending updates are still possible. (Is it possible that the observed problems are data related?)

In the meantime, please post a save game file clearly demonstrating the issue. Please also indicate the game version.

We will look into this after all 3.0 updates are concluded.

Thank you for your patience.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:10 pm 
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C. Hecht wrote:
Again examples I can't follow.
I surely do not know all scenarios but read complains about the usual cavalry regiment not really being able to act as recon because it's just a single unit and not even split in battalions.
So in what scenario does one side of soooooo many cavalry companies that it can surround an entire army or just on corps?

And Appomattox?
According to maps the ingame isolation rule would not have been triggered, there was no cordon that cut the army off, there was always the road Richmond-Lynchburg road to go back to the northern bank of the Appomattox, not that this would have been any help but ingame there wouldn't be any isolation of the ANV.

PS and with examples of WWI you're drifting off further and further from how warfare was in the CW. I'm sure you can pull out even more examples from Vietnam but such do just not matter for the Civil War.

And where are your examples?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:09 pm 
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You're the one dogging the rules, not me.
You're the one who thinks 2 special examples can justify to never use the isolate OR, not me.

Even the manual recognizes:
"Why have the Isolation Optional Rule which causes Isolated units to
defend in melee at 1/4 strength? This rule is intended to have two effects.
Commanders were always very cautious of their flanks. They often withdrew
from a position before they had been overwhelmed simply because their flanks
were threatened. This rule is intended to motivate the player to think in these
terms. Secondly, units that had been surrounded would often surrender and
not fight to the death. The 1/4 modifier to defending strength is intended to
reflect the tendency of the Isolated units to surrender when pressed."

Is there really any doubt the this was the more common behavior of units in the CW???
And, as I already pointed out, the rule is there to force the player to behave correctly. If you really have problems with this rule it's just because you seem to fight CW like Vietnam.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:10 pm 
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Yes, Gen Whitehead, that was the first thing that I thought also. Since it was a custom scenario maybe the ford hex was improperly input into just this scenario. Therefore I ran tests on regular scenarios straight off the game engine. I found the same results in a couple of Gettysburg tests. That is why I am putting this post out to everyone. I would love for some additional tests from other players to see if this occurs on their versions of Gettysburg. Maybe there is something off with just my version. I would also like to know if this situation occurs on other game engines. The problem is that there are not a lot of scenarios that have river ford hexes. I must have opened 50+ Gettysburg scenarios to find 2 or 3 that could be tested. If anyone wants to pick a game engine to search and test out this situation feel free to do so. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:18 pm 
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Thanks Berto for your comments and letting us know the situation with updates. We are just at the beginning of the "debugging" process for this situation and there is still much that we can test out ourselves to narrow down the problem. It may be just a data problem and not a code problem. I do not think this is a major problem since it may have taken a decade or more to discover it in the first place.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:47 pm 
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Approaching this from a scenario designer standpoint, if I had a custom scenario, and I saw this happening - I would probably just edit in some supply sources for the armies' crossing points at the fords in question. That should prevent any isolation effects.

I guess if it is an engine feature that should be changed as it was not intended to work that way is a different question.

Edited: changed supply dumps to supply source....

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Last edited by S_Trauth on Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:38 am 
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Douglas E Shaw wrote:
Yes, Gen Whitehead, that was the first thing that I thought also. Since it was a custom scenario maybe the ford hex was improperly input into just this scenario. Therefore I ran tests on regular scenarios straight off the game engine. I found the same results in a couple of Gettysburg tests. That is why I am putting this post out to everyone. I would love for some additional tests from other players to see if this occurs on their versions of Gettysburg. Maybe there is something off with just my version. I would also like to know if this situation occurs on other game engines. The problem is that there are not a lot of scenarios that have river ford hexes. I must have opened 50+ Gettysburg scenarios to find 2 or 3 that could be tested. If anyone wants to pick a game engine to search and test out this situation feel free to do so. Thanks.


Could you post an example, scenario name and hex location. If so I will take a look at it to see if I can see the reason it is triggering isolation,

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:42 pm 
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Try scen 286 Forcing the Potomac. It is setup to test fairly easy. I suggest testing the ford at hex 97,186 near Falling Waters. There are two Union cavalry on the east side and a bunch or Reb's on the west side. Move the two Yankee cavalry to block the road over the canal and to block a supply line sneaking between the canal and the Potomoc. Then move some Reb's across the river and see if they are isolated during their next turn. Every time I run this test the Reb's become isolated. Please check this out and let me know if you get the same results. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:38 pm 
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Evidently movement cost across a ford hex is dependent upon both elevation change and an undocumented 2 point cost! Within the Overland Campaign, where fords abound, a unit is charged it's normal, downward, movement elevation change into the ford and an actual 2 point cost for the ford water hex. Upon leaving the ford the unit is charged the upward elevation change plus the normal cost of the new hex. All mounted and column unit types are charged in this way. When you stop and think about it, that's a pretty elegant way of doing it, as it takes into the account the varying steepness of the banks. And I'd like to hear some more designer comments about this.

Since a supply unit has a movement parameter and an elevation change cost, it ought to be considered fully capable of crossing any ford within it's movement capabilities. In Overland version 1.01 such a supply unit could make such a move, but was immediately labeled as "isolated" once it crossed. This does not occur in the latest version of Overland, 1.02!

Based upon this it seems clear that if a supply unit can successfully cross a ford hex in one movement turn, then the hex should remain an open avenue for the determination of supply isolation.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:57 pm 
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Thanks Joe for the info on movement costs over fords. Your data looks very accurate but please do not get movement costs confused with isolation effects. The isolation rules have nothing to do with supply wagons. Isolation occurs only if a unit cannot trace a path of hexes to a board edge or a specific supply source hex, not supply wagons. I agree with your conclusion that supply for isolation effect should be traced across fords but not because of wagons. It does sound like you had one test in Overland that showed supply lines could not be traced over fords. Thanks for your input on this topic.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:27 pm 
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Ok, I can confirm that supply can't be traced across hex 97,186. What is happening if a unit crosses that ford to the other side is that it traces supply to the ford at 117,227 which is why you can't isolate it unless you block the area between the canal and Potomac. Blocking both above the unit and the ford at 117,227 will also isolate it. Putting a supply source on the Rebel side of the river, hex 96,185 won't break the isolation either.

Unfortunately fords are place by the Map file and we don't have access to a Map editor to verify whether the ford is properly defined but it looks correct based on the graphics.

Possible causes which for the most part I have no way to test:

1. Supply can't be traced across a river ford through north side hexsides. If we can find an exception to this in some other scenario we could eliminate this possibility. Since the ford at 117,227 works it will have to be a directional problem if both fords are defined the same way.

2. There is an error in how the ford is defined on the Map. We can't "see" a problem based on the graphics but that doesn't mean there is something missing in the ford definition.

1 is a bug in the supply tracing logic.
2 is a error in the Map definition which the scenario designer would have to fix.

Very little the players can do other than drop supply sources all over the map so no one gets isolated unless they are surrounded by ZOC's. That would require at least putting a supply source on the Union side of the river at every ford.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:02 pm 
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Don't go by the graphics alone, also look at the terrain by right clocking on the Terrainh/v.bmp to confirm its path. This is particularly true of some titles. No need for a map editor to do that, but admittedly the acronym that would come to mind is PITA. ;)

The question at that point might become, why might a graphic differ from the path of the ford on a map; that's a question I wouldn't have an answer for (I was on the asking side of the project involved as opposed to being on a the answering side).

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:34 am 
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S_Trauth wrote:
Don't go by the graphics alone, also look at the terrain by right clocking on the Terrainh/v.bmp to confirm its path. This is particularly true of some titles. No need for a map editor to do that, but admittedly the acronym that would come to mind is PITA. ;)

The question at that point might become, why might a graphic differ from the path of the ford on a map; that's a question I wouldn't have an answer for (I was on the asking side of the project involved as opposed to being on a the answering side).


There are trails leading into the ford from both sides. The unit has no problem using column movement to cross the ford so that part is defined correctly. Without a map editor there is no way to verify whether the ford that works and the one that doesn't are defined the same. I wrote a program that could read and modify the map file a long time back but somewhere in my last two house moves I lost the documentation. I think there are a few people out there with a working copy but I don't remember if I included decoding the ford flags or not.

However, it may not be the ford definition that is causing the problem. I would put my bet on the combination of it being a ford crossing a river rather than a creek and the tracing of the path off the NW hexside rather than a south facing hexside. It would require finding some other situations that trigger the error to look for a pattern. But hopefully someone at JT with an editor can take a look at the two crossing and see why one works for supply and the other doesn't. If it is the ford definition error it is an easy problem for them to fix. If its a supply tracing problem, it will probably have to wait for a major upgrade to fix.

If someone just needs that one scenario fixed for whatever they are using it for it is easy to do in the scenario editor. Just find the hex on the Union side and drop a supply source on it. Then every ford will become a supply source for isolation rules.

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