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 Post subject: Battle of Antietam
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2024 9:00 pm 
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I just watched Episode 12 of A Game and A Chair, “Just My Opinion” Campaign Antietam, where the points value of the victory point hexes was discussed. It was thought that these were too low and would not force the opposing forces to bother taking or holding them. I have done only very limited reading about the battle but I don't see where either General Lee of General McClellan had set the capture of any of these hexes as the goal of their armies. I think the goal was to inflict a major defeat on the enemy. Lee wanted such so as to possibly open the way to an invasion of Pennsylvania or at least cause some angst for the Union. McClellan, after the capture of Lee's orders, thought it a great opportunity to inflict a major defeat on the Confederacy.

Burnside's bridge shouldn't need victory points to become a goal of either side. The tactical advantage of controlling it is what is important.

The town of Antietam? What did it offer to either side during the battle?

Now, the bridge across the Potomac at the southwest corner of the map is very important to control at the end of the day. Either to trap the Rebels for the Yanks, or to provide an escape route for the Rebs. What points to give it? I think it should be significant. 1000? 2000?

Anyway, just wanted to open some discussion about this to see what other opinions are out there.

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 Post subject: Re: Battle of Antietam
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2024 2:02 pm 
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Valid points. I think when the Objective Points for hexes are set so low that they become "worthless" by default, they may as well not even be on the map. Objective Hexes should either matter enough to where they create an element of strategy and complexity for the scenario - or they should just be left off the map.

In the case of Antietam, I agree, Lee's escape route back over the Potomac should probably be the most valuable hex on the map - and maybe the only Objective Hex on the map.

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 Post subject: Re: Battle of Antietam
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2024 3:29 pm 
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As most scenarios are currently implemented it is a little hard to set reasonable VP hexes. Since they are all or nothing. If you have a VP hex on the ford worth thousand plus points the game get thrown out of skew as both sides center their battle around the VP hex rather than the terrain blocking the crossing of Antietam creek.

Other areas like the town are important as well since if controlled by the Union significant numbers of Rebel forces north of the town are cut off from the ford. The problem is the game VP handling isn't robust enough to give this value based on whether the Rebel has forces north of the town.

The scenario designer then has to make a choice of how much weight to give the various possible VP hexes. Does he want the Rebels to be force to hold the line they historically held or give them the flexibility to do something else.

Another interesting thing is the VP system has been significantly enhanced in later revisions but most of the scenarios were written before they were available. It would probably be hard to get enough people to support using alternate VP conditions to modify the scenario to use them but it is an interesting possibility.

Here are the new rules:

Exit Objective
-1 - This creates an Exit Objective. An Exit Objective is assigned to a side and given
a value of -1 in the Editor. An Exit Objective should only be placed on the boundary
of the map. Exit Objectives award points to the side assigned to them when units are
removed from the map while occupying the Objective hex. For example, if an
Objective is given the side Union and the value -1, then it becomes an Exit Objective
for the Union side and the Union side in the scenario will be awarded points equal to
the points that would be awarded for eliminating the unit for removing Union units
from the map while occupying this hex. Note that Exit Objectives never change side.

Standard Objective
# - The first side only, accrues these points immediately (i.e., the Victory Dialog in the
game notes this immediately and doesn't wait until the end of the turn) upon
occupying the hex. These accruals are one time only (they don't continue to pile up
from turn to turn). If the opposing side occupies the hex the first side loses these
points.

Variable Objective Points
t-t[#] t-t[#] t-t[#] ... – these are basically Standard Objective Points that can vary from
turn to turn.
Where # is some positive integer, for example 5; and t-t is a range of turns, for
example, 1-8. Example 1-8(5)

You can have a single t-t[#], in which case the first t should be 1, the second t the
scenario maximum turn. Or you can have a sequence of t-t[#], where the turn ranges
must be ascending, with no gaps or overlaps. The turn ranges need not be uniform,
the number of turns in each range may vary.

For example, assuming there are 30 turns in the scenario, this is valid:
1-4[10] 5-8[15] 9-10[20] 11-20[15] 21-30[30]

Note that the varying objective values need not ascend, or descend. Unlike the t-t
turn specs, the objective values can be anything you want (so long as they are nonnegative).
The objective values can rise, fall, go to zero, etc. They can be completely
arbitrary.

As noted the t-t (turns) value must cover the scenario turns and cannot overlap.

If it's still not clear, the t-t[#] ... objective hexes function much like traditional singlenumber
objectives hexes - with one-time awarding of points that are lost if you lose
the hex -- except the point values can vary by turn.

Per Turn Accrual
#/# - Where the # are positive integers, the first # applies to the Union side, while the
second # applies to the Confederate side.
One or the other of the #/# may be zero, but not both.
For example: 3/5.
This is a new type of objective value, where accruals add up each turn, and may
accrue to either the Union or the Confederates.

In the example 3/5, for a ten-turn scenario with the Union as Side 1, if the Union holds
the objective for the first 4 turns, while the Confederate seizes and holds the objective
for the remainder of the game, the net effect of this is
3 + 3 + 3 + 3 - 5 - 5 - 5 - 5 - 5 - 5 = -18

Important: Unlike the earlier objective value types, which take effect immediately, the
per-turn accruals only happen at the end of the turn. If you take an objective of this
type, there is no immediate change in the Objective Points box in the Victory Dialog.
The change will only be reflected at the end of the second side, as the turn passes on
to the next provided you don't lose the hex before then. Once the points are accrued
you don't lose them although your opponent's points can modify your total Objective
Points.

Variable Per Turn Accrual
t-t[#/#] ... - Like the preceding type -- Per Turn Accrual -- but varies by turn segment
like the Variable Objective Points. Like the Per Turn Accrual type, points accrue with
the variable t-t[#/#] ... type only at turn's end.

For the turn specs, the same rules apply (ascending, no gaps, no overlaps, last t in
the sequence is the scenario file ending turn).

Likewise, the same rules apply for the #/#: One or the other, or both, must be positive
integer(s).

However, this is permissible:
1-3[0/0] 4-6[0/5] 7-10[5/5]
This says, for turns 1-3, neither side accrues points for holding the objective. For
turns 4-6, the Confederate player (only) accrues 5 points each turn for holding the
objective.

For turns 7-10, both sides accrue 5 points for each turn they hold the objective.

So in the above example, if the Confederate were to hold the objective for the first
five turns (and if they are the first side), while the Union hold the objective for turns six
through ten, the total effect would be:
0 + 0 + 0 + 5 + 5 - 0 - 5 - 5 - 5 - 5 = -10

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 Post subject: Re: Battle of Antietam
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2024 10:13 am 
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Since I very new to these games I'll wait awhile but will eventually have to try a major battle maybe using something like Blake does in his multi-player double-blind games. Set a maximum points a side can accrue before it suffers a military defeat but set VPs based on what was important to one side, not VP's set to recreate the way the battle actually happened.

Thanks for the replies!

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Lt Jim Pyle
2nd Bde, 1st Div
XVII Corps
Army of the Tennessee


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