AACW – Shiloh AAR – Turn 9 (FINAL)

Turn 9 (FINAL)

The end is in sight. The final battle plays out. Wallace storms Fort Bragg with overwhelming forces, 22000 men against a mere 650 Militia and General Johnston’s HQ.

I was surprised there wasn’t a bigger force stationed in or around Memphis, but I guess a similar process of organising your Corps and sending them out happens with the AI.

With both objectives, Corinth and Memphis, secured the welcome sight of the Victory screen appeared before me and declared we’d won a glorious victory! I’m not sure McClernand would agree. However the final score of 96 vs -17 sounds pretty good.

I have to admit that this was played on the Easy difficulty, and the AI did put up a good fight in places, executing some rather nifty manoeuvring completely encircling my rather defensive troops and attacking the Fort near my HQ early on in the scenario.

Here are the details from the Objectives pages of the Ledger.

From the National Morale scores it seems we just tipped the scales over our win level of 150, and the Confederate Morale was still above their defeat level. Which sort of conflicts with the blurb on the Victory screen that the enemy’s National Morale was shattered. I’d wrongly assumed that meant their Morale had fell below the defeat level.

The combat losses indicates that we lost a lot less than half of what the enemy did, which is reassuring. I don’t fully understand the tally of 96 Victory Points though. From the Objective cities we get 60 (50+10) and it says 8 accumulated each turn from Cities. So thats 68 in my books. Perhaps theres something I’m missing there?

Nice to see those flags flying…

Here’s the state of the Northern map at the end of the scenario.

And the Southern map with the two objective cities captured. Despite the tussel around Humboldt.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my first foray into AACW, and that I’ve been able to shed some light on the game for those who’ve found the interface to be quite obtuse to begin with. I’ve learned a lot from folks making comments on various forums and in the comments here on my blog.

I’ve certainly enjoyed my short time with AACW, now that I can finally grasp a lot of the basic concepts to play the game. The beauty of learning an AGE engine game, is that now the playing field has opened up for me, with the other titles AGEOD offer. They all employ a similar mechanism to a degree, with varying levels of evolution and refinement, and the only limit is the era you want to game in.

I’ve made some mistakes along the way, assumed things when I shouldn’t, but I hope you can see that there is entertainment and drama within this army shuffling game and that most importantly it sits you in the middle of the Historical period you’re so interested in and gives you the tools to play out what-if scenarios and campaigns, and generally experience some of the decisions you have to make as you react to quite a powerful and reactive AI (even on Easy!).

I’ve played this scenario about four times now, and each time I’ve faced different challenges from the AI. I’ve had them race up the right hand side and overrun Nashville, I’ve had them swamp my center around Humboldt, and then this variant where they made a play for my HQ’s from the start, exploiting my defensive nature to gain maximum ground. I’ve lost, drawn (stalemate) and won (two times now!). I’m sure I could play this scenario another four times increasing the AI difficulty and still get more mileage from it.

I’m hoping to do an epilogue of sorts, which collates any tips and advice from the various sources, and I’ll post that as soon as I have time to do so.

AACW was a game I always WANTED to play, but could never crack its cold and remote UI shell. Until now. I hope I have chipped away a little of the frosted ice surrounding the game now. Give it a chance, theres a beauty of execution there.


5 thoughts on “AACW – Shiloh AAR – Turn 9 (FINAL)

  1. Very nicely done, sir! Writing an AAR about a game will really help your learning experience I’ve found. Makes you think and reconsider.

  2. I really enjoyed reading the AAR. Honestly, reading this blog is getting expensive for me, because I want to buy everything you do an AAR on. At least AACW is only $8.99 (with free shipping in the US) if you order a physical copy from newegg.

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Ian Bowes / spelk