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Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

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Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  mitra on Mon May 12, 2014 7:14 pm

I' thinking about it since some time, now I wrote a hypothesis about this in form of draft. I think it can be checked initially with one standard oob and two maps for see if the mechanism work

Here the draft:

"
Context: parallel battle on three maps, every match will represent the parallel action of same battle with sequential repetition till the final victory

Maps: three maps, every maps represent a part of same battlefield (left\right wing and center), two maps for battle under the 50000 men in the oob.

map objectives: every map will contain three tactical objectives, representing more or less the critical points of battle line and they have to be placed near the centrsl line of map. These objectives will give 500 points every 30 minutes. Every army will have a entry zone represented by a major objective, this objective has to be a waypoint and give 2000 points for 1 hour.

OOB: every side will have a oob with all the the troops for the parallel battle

Placement points and troop setup: every CiC will have a disposition an amount of placement points, which represent the effort necessary for place 10000 men (rounded commercially ex. a corps of 15000 is equivalent to 20000, 11000 to 10000) in one of three maps. The CiC has to decide in advance how to distribute the troops between the three maps and the placement points are splitted as well on the basis of men numbers. The total sum of placement points cannot be higher than those assigned. A CiC can decide to hold a number of troops in reserve (not assigned to any map)

Battle type for map and movement points: the battle types can be attack\defend or meeting engagement, in the first type the defender is already placed in one ore more of tactical objectives (the attacker start from the entry point), in the second one both the armies start from the entry zones. FOr determine if and who is the defender the movement points have to be used. Each CiC subtracts from his placement points amount for this map, a value of movement points he decides (if one of two side has a superiority of 2 to 1 in cavalry on this map he received a bonus of 1); this operation represent the difficulty of a bigger force to move more rapidly respect a little one and the effect of delaying action of a cavalry force in the area. The difference between the values for side determine how much of my force is already in the line of battle at the start of action: a difference of 1 means that a third of force is already on the line, 2 half of force, 3  all the force (cavalry has the priority between the troops to deploy).
A difference of 0 means that the battle will be a meeting engagement.

Ex. one CiC set in one map 5 placement point, the other CiC 3 placement point. Both set 2 movement points for the battle; the first CiC has a result of 3 the second 1; the difference is of 2. The second CIC will have the possibility to deploy on the obj area half of his force the other half in the entry zone, his adversary will start at the entry zone with all his force.

Recon points: every CiC has at his disposition a amount of recon points to use on every map; the difference between the recon point of both the CIC on a single map (a cavalry superiority of 2:1 give 1 bonus point) permit to have pre-battle info on three level: 1 -> presence of enemy on the objs yes\no 2 - divisions numbers (or equivalent dimension) on the obj.area 3 - divisions number on the full map, in the case of more than 3 of difference the loser could also receive false information. Of course the CiCs don't know who are the recon winner over a map.

Win a map battle: A battle on a map is won when one side decide to retreat in another map or the entry obj. is conquered; a inconclusive battle on a map can continue on the successive phase of parallel battle campaign, taking in count the losses

Win the campaign: the campaign is won when two entry zones on three are conquered.A entry obj is conquered when there is not enemy troops between the two entry zones of map ina  ideal direct line of connection. In this case the enemy troops till present are forced to leave the battle, and the victorious troops can move freely to the nearest map.

Reserve and troops movements between the maps: reserve troops can be moved on one of three maps pre-battle phase at the cost of 1 placement points for 10000 men; troops already set on a map can be moved at the cost of 1 placement point and 1 movement point for 5000 men (all of this always in the adjacent map, two turns are necessary for move of two maps, only the reserve can move directly in every map).

Points gain: points (placement,recon or movement) can be gained according to battle results: you can gain a point every 5000 points gained in battle

Entry zone raid: a part being conquered a entry zone can be raided (occupied without have a free direct road to the other entry zone) at example from cavalry. If occupied for at least 1 hour the waypoint will disappear and the movement and placement points cumulated from the army will be reset (to simulate the logistical damage inflicted by the raid).

Initial points: the placement points for army are calculated on the basis of N + 1 where N is the army number of men in 10000 scale (commercial rounding); movement and recon points for side are calculated as 2 * number of maps in the battle (so a three battle maps campaign will give to each CIC 6 movement and 6 recon points).

So resuming the phases:

Setup
1 - Each CiC distribute the placement points (troops of his oob) on the campaign maps and define the eventual reserve
2 - Each CiC distribute the movement points
3 - Each CiC distribute the recon points on each map
4 - calculation of battle type for each map (placement  - movement points)
5 - the CiC defender (if present) can setup the troops location for each map

Phase 1
6 - calculation of recon winner for each map and distribution of information to each CiC
7 - To play battles on every map, points won, point reset, eventual total loss on one side in a map


phase 2
8 - verification if one side loses completly the campaign, if one of CiC want retreat his troops from a map in the adjacent
9 - setup of reserve or movement of troops between the maps
10 - new recon check
11 - setup on the maps of troops of previous clash (more or less along the end of battle line) and calculation of % of losses recovered
12 - repeat step 7

phase N
repeat from 8 to 12

mitra

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Re: Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  mitra on Tue May 13, 2014 8:38 pm

Opinions? additional ideas?

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Re: Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  WSH Baylor on Wed May 14, 2014 5:51 pm

One simple question: WHY?
J
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Re: Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  mitra on Wed May 14, 2014 6:09 pm

Why not? Testing new concepts is always a fun thing

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Why not?

Post  WSH Baylor on Wed May 14, 2014 8:32 pm

Why not? Because you are creating a fantasy world of rules that does nothing to duplicate/replicate the American Civil War! Four objectives on one map??? Asinine, to put it succinctly! Capture and hold a "star" for the duration of the game? Nothing prototypical in that design. American cavalry performing like Nappy Cavalry? Didn't happen...totally different missions (as I understand Nap cavalry...which, I admit, I have never studied!). One thousand points for this; 500 points for that. Good grief, one would have to be an accountant to understand that concept. To put it in plain, cowboy terms, of which I spent a few years in the saddle, this is all simply BULL S**T!

Yes, you have produced some earlier games that were really good - Secessionville was not your "finest hour." And others in this group have produced some very good mods and games: Diggers, Martin, Kevin, Niall, well, there is a large list. While I have enjoyed playing the Friday and Saturday games, and am probably in the minority in saying this, they have degenerated over the past several weeks with all the unhistorical nuances you have added to the game. I am hopeful you will return to the historical scenarios you once produced or someone, who is more intelligent than I, will begin producing game scenarios for the Friday and Saturday time slots that are historically accurate! Let's return to the basics of the game. Perhaps a "Doodle Poll" could be arranged to people to vote, probably best to be a secret poll, to express their preference for the way the K/S games are going. If I am wrong, then I will graciously accept the majority opinion. If not, perhaps we can reach a compromise where fantasy can played on one day and historical on the other....and denote each as such!

As for testing new concepts "because they are fun", not on my time. If you want to test "new concepts", do it on your time. For example, if you want to put your latest proposal into effect, schedule it at a time other than the regularly scheduled games. Invite those who support your proposal to join in, but, please, don't try to stuff it down the throats of the others who are too polite to object.

If I have offended you, I humbly apologize. I have taken a few hours to "cool off" after your "flippant" reply to an honest question....thank God for Colorado Koolaid!

Jack
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Re: Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  mitra on Wed May 14, 2014 9:03 pm

I appreciate the honesty, Jack but I don't understand what you expected I could reply to a "Why?".

If people prefer return to play the classical random scenario for me is not a problem, to make scenarios is very time expending (of my time) and the biggest part of games I have to restrict myself to passive role because I'm the designer, and sure I lost a lot of fun knowing in advance the context, so if people don't like it or want change concepts or ideas or have their scenarios to play I prefer to know this in advance without any risk I will be offended by this.






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Why?

Post  WSH Baylor on Wed May 14, 2014 11:20 pm

When I asked "Why?", I was looking for the reason behind making things so complicated. I should have been more succinct....my mistake.

I never had any doubt that you put in an extensive amount of work designing the scenarios. I think that was a "given." Also, to learn that the amount of time you expended in designing the scenarios resulted in a decrease in your enjoyment in playing the games is not a surprise. When we were playing last Saturday in the Secessionville game, I asked myself, "How can Mitra be enjoying this?" I am still puzzled by that question, but now may have the answer. I admire the fact that you are willing to sacrifice the fun of "active" participation to provide entertainment for the other members of this group. Your selflessness is to be applauded!

I would also presume that there is a certain enjoyment in the designing of scenarios as well. The question that you must answer is, "Which provides the greatest enjoyment for me?" Of course, we/I can't answer that.

Nevertheless, I would urge you, if possible, to simplify the designing process and jump back in, with both feet, to being an active player! I can only speak for myself, but I do appreciate all the work you have contributed to the success of this small group. Now, sit down, grab a piece of hardtack, a slab of pork, some good Yankee coffee, whip up some "skillygalee", find a warm spot by the fire, kick back and "let the good times roll" one more time! It is almost game-time, buckaroo!

Jack
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Re: Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu May 15, 2014 12:07 am

You're being unfairly harsh to Davide, Jack. He is at least putting in a lot of work for the group recently, on top of doing testing for Norb's new game. We have lost a good number of our regular players recently and exploring ways to entice people back can only be a good idea. casual turn-up-and-shoot games do bore me and I feel objective-based games are the way to go. A gold star on the map doesn't not represent a random piece of grass, a good scenario designer will make it represent a tactically logical location (such as the beachead objective oin the Seccessilnville game we just played). You were cussing about how silly objectives were but without them there cannot be any structure to the battles - people just wander about and kill each other. Battles always have a reason and a 'shape'.

If you don't want to waste your "valuable" time testing new ideas, then don't, feel free to sit on your own while those who do wish to, go ahead and explore new methods of getting interesting MP games out of NSDs software. I'm sure you can find a couple of players happy to turn up and have an ad-hoc bash at other times.

If all you have to say is negative remarks, without making critically useful points, the rule of the internet should apply - say nothing.

Davide - I think this idea along with your other linked battles idea with their tightly styructured rules for deciding outcomes, reinforcements, etc are too finely detailed and too complex. I think handling the general idea with a more broad brush approach is the way to go. Personally I don't think anything less than a "proper" map campaign would fully satisfy me, all of these linked battles etc are just reasons to have battles, while a campaign can often boil down to finding reasons NOT to have battles and so the map startegy phases of them are the most fun parts.

I think you could stick to much simpler ideas for your scenario designs or linked multi-battle 'storylines' and the players would get just as much enjoyment from them.

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"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

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Re: Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  Leffe7 on Thu May 15, 2014 11:10 am

I like Davides idea of interlinked battles, where actions on one wing (battle) do have impact on other parts of the overall battle and an overall CinC does have to split his forces for each part of the battle. But crunching detailed rules is not the fun part of the game for me. I think the in-game itself is already complex enough so I would like to have external rules as easy as possible.

I like scenarios which have a short background story (Why am I here, what Information about the enemy do I have, where are my forces on the map and what are my orders?).
Objectives are useful to determine if one side is able to meet their objectives, but I prefer the ruling of a scenario designer/umpire after a battle over the numerical result of an accounting sheet.

IMHO having detailed rules and objective conditions does not enhance the in-game fun, they can detract from realistic actions and lead to "gamey" actions.
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Re: Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu May 15, 2014 3:42 pm

I agree with Stefan. The idea of having interlinked scenarios is a good idea and not so complex and time consuming that people will not try their hand at creating them. But I too think that trying to micro manage the initial disposition of forces and battle results with with numeric formulas is not a good fit for this group. It may be fine for Norb to base his games around that concept in order to tempt people into buying them, but for long term interest, the best part of the game is the free-style sandbox type interactions, where the AI can do it's thing. A parallel argument can be made for MP games. Keeping them as open as possible where the players have plenty of opportunities to misinterpret the situation, even with a star on the map, have always been the most interesting scenarios we have played.

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Re: Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  Berthier on Thu May 15, 2014 6:55 pm

Hi (I am Berto),

I hope to make a small contribution to this discussion (my 2 cents).

Honestly since I started to play with you, I have often been puzzled by the little weight given to the objectives (the "stars").

During several matches I asked myself: "Why do I have to go to the star and find myself in a disadvantageous ground (good tactic!)? The star is not worth anything, better put me in an advantageous position and wait"

Certainly it is also question of loyalty, but when you lose heavily without any return to the ob!

The meeting engaged does not exist.

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Re: Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  mitra on Thu May 15, 2014 7:35 pm

Jack the fact I could drink a coffee different from an espresso.....now I'm offended for real...

I appreciated the points expressed, here below my points:

I agree, Digby, a campaign with strategic map with deep operations will be the best (and have more appeal to the players also), but you know better than others how difficult and time expending is to manage it without a software substratum (I read also tabletop wargamer now use softwares for manages extrabattle situation like logistics, movements, etc). I checked in the past months but the only strategic game which permit to import external battle result is Empire in Arms and in any case a good part of manual work for translate the data in&out is required. I checked also VassalEngine which is free and seems possibile to modify battle results on the save files, there is one or two modules on Jackson Valley campaign which could match with the OOB of Zeke, and many napoleonic wargames, but it will be need much time for understand how the engine works and how to mod the save file.

Scenarios with a briefing are a easy and rapid solution, because gave a minimum of story and the possibility of a briefing, but of course I think try to organize something more complex occasionally could be interesting too.

The description above perhaps gave the idea the players need to make these calculations: no in reality they are rules for simplify my calculations, players needs to know only the concepts behind the things but they will speak in terms of troops number and deployments area (a part recon and movement points but they need only to be assigned like fiches if one CiC doesn't want the default, not different from many wargames which use cards, the scale of points in 1-10) and receive feedback always in logical terms not math formulas. The description above is to show what should be possible to ask, what effect this determine, and why the "designer" can tell: no you cannot do this, yes you can do this, but the calculations are out of scope of players or CiCs.

The consecutive campaigns scenarios (or battles), I saw, have a big problem: it is sufficient a mistake in one battle for make the successives unilateral event (if you manage the transfer of losses). This is historically correct, but when happen in the first battle this creates an already dead campaign. I tried to manage the problem with the concepts of reinforcements\points, also for give a more "ground ground" (italian terminology for "practical") benefit to take and conserve the objectives, but I see this can generate also anomalous situations if not perfectly balanced, and with humans is difficult to determine what can happen during a battle.The alternative is the improvisation but it is never a good thing, games need to have shared rules simples or complexes

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Re: Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  WSH Baylor on Thu May 15, 2014 11:01 pm

You're being unfairly harsh to Davide, Jack. I suspect that Mitra is a big boy and fully understands my points...at least I will take his word for that, not yours!He is at least putting in a lot of work for the group recently, on top of doing testing for Norb's new game. Did I not applaud his efforts even though I believe he is marching in the wrong direction?  There is not doubt his motivation is to improve the game-playing experience and he has undoubtedly spent many, many hours working for that end.  We have lost a good number of our regular players recently and exploring ways to entice people back can only be a good idea.  Yes, that is certainly true enough...but do you suppose the increased complexity and declining historical aspects could have possibly been part of the cause?  I don't have that answer but it would certainly be worth looking into. casual turn-up-and-shoot games do bore me and I feel objective-based games are the way to go.  Well, the solution may be the same for you as you described for me...."don't waste your ... time"!  By the way, Diggers, sarcasm is beneath you and if it is your desire for me to leave K/S, just say so, preferably in plain English! A gold star on the map doesn't not represent a random piece of grass, a good scenario designer will make it represent a tactically logical location (such as the beachead objective oin the Seccessilnville game we just played). You were cussing about how silly objectives were but without them there cannot be any structure to the battles - people just wander about and kill each other. Battles always have a reason and a 'shape'.  At least the latter statement is true.  As to requiring the holding of a point for the length of a game is just plain silly.  It negates the true point(s) of a war-game.....maneuver, tactical development, et. al.  As to the Seccessionville last Saturday, there were 4 stars on the map with only two seemingly important...and even the beachhead was questionable.  There was no reason to hold the beachhead once it was secured.

If you don't want to waste your "valuable" time testing new ideas, then don't, feel free to sit on your own while those who do wish to, go ahead and explore new methods of getting interesting MP games out of NSDs software. I'm sure you can find a couple of players happy to turn up and have an ad-hoc bash at other times.  Again, your sarcasm is unworthy of you and does not deserve any further comment.

If all you have to say is negative remarks, without making critically useful points, the rule of the internet should apply - say nothing.  Negative...Mitra asked for comments and/or opinions.  I waited over a day before commenting and provided my opinion as requested, as no one else had, recognizing my honest appraisal would result in "stirring the pot!"  Negative...Is the glass half-full or half-empty?  Mitra viewed my offerings as the former while you, Diggers, chose the latter.

Davide - I think this idea along with your other linked battles idea with their tightly styructured rules for deciding outcomes, reinforcements, etc are too finely detailed and too complex. I think handling the general idea with a more broad brush approach is the way to go. Personally I don't think anything less than a "proper" map campaign would fully satisfy me, all of these linked battles etc are just reasons to have battles, while a campaign can often boil down to finding reasons NOT to have battles and so the map startegy phases of them are the most fun parts.

I think you could stick to much simpler ideas for your scenario designs or linked multi-battle 'storylines' and the players would get just as much enjoyment from them.  Obviously we agree on major aspect, Diggers:  "...too finely detailed (and) stick to much simpler ideas.  As a former American football coach, I am in complete agreement with the KISS principle: Keep It Simple,Stupid!

Best regards,

Jack
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Re: Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  Father General on Fri May 16, 2014 3:57 am

Can't we just line up and attack all at once? With the bayonet? -Father General, July 3, 1863.

I applaud any effort to breathe life into the group. I am saddened by the fact that I just can't get into any games, or better yet, a campaign since raising the Baby Father General means I hardly have two hours of free time to put together. The War Department (a.k.a. MOM) frowns at me when I sit for so long on the computer these days. Still, I have optimism for the future and someday the little guy will join us. :-)

Anyway, the best experience I ever had with a campaign was a co-op campaign where we all beat up on the AI, back in the early days of scenario editing. Everyone got along and had a great time, attendance was solid, and battles carried over as we fought our way across a campaign map covered in the fog of war.

Baylor/Jack, I think you'll remember those days as you were there with the famous "Third Division!"

However, I prefer vs. scenarios with human opponents, fighting across a strategic map.

Realistically, we don't have the participation rate to manage that [looks in mirror at self].

In light of that fact, any effort to innovate should be applauded.

The only critique I have is of reaching for "stars" on a map, unless those stars are directly correlated to positions actually worth holding. Sometimes in war, you are tasked with taking an objective that appears immediately pointless, but is has value to the overall plan, to which you may not have knowledge. Sometimes orders don't make sense. But your duty is to fulfill your mission anyway.

Anyway, the more realistic and authentic the game is, and the more carryover and consequences your choices have, the happier I'll be with the design.

Of course, nothing beats humans vs. humans battling across the Shenandoah or Northern Virginia. If NSD could create that with tactical battles as a feature, then they'd have an amazing game worth those outrageous Matrix prices.

-Neal
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Baby vs Babe

Post  WSH Baylor on Fri May 16, 2014 2:34 pm

Hi Neal,

Baby vs Babes......oh, wait, that humans vs. AI! A natural mistake as there are some similarities, right?

You are certainly correct in that the majority of us prefer human opponents as opposed to the AI. Still, there have been some very AI campaigns that I have been involved in, most recently with MTG, the "other" Martin, Stephan, etc. As to "campaigns", again some most interesting as well.

Yes, I do remember those days...and JJ as well...particularly when it came to getting along! LOL As a matter of fact, I have tried to get him involved with this fine group, but he decided against it.

As to increasing numbers, I think we all agree that should be a primary motivation for improving our games. Everyone from the most competent (read Martin James, MTG, Mitra, Stephan, etc) to the computer handicapped (read WSH Baylor) is greatly interested in that aspect!

Realism and authenticity....I most certainly agree! In my case, these are Priority No. One! Of course, playability has to remain at the top as well.

Now as to the wife, having been married for 53 years to the same woman, I can offer this advice. If you need more playing time, a wise man said, "It ain't gonna happen!" Gee, that has to make you feel better!

Best regards,

J
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Re: Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  Father General on Fri May 16, 2014 2:46 pm

"Ain't gonna happen." LOL Jack, you're right about that! But I'm still fighting the good fight. We have a huge house full of amazing things like electrical sockets, tall furniture, exciting chemical compounds under the kitchen sink, and one big, mean aggressive dog. I'm sure the Little Father General can give me the time I need to finish a proper game!

Actually, if we could just get a game started on time and finished in two hours, that itself would be a big help and increase my participation. However, every experience has the pre-game game, which involves getting the dang thing to work without dropping people, then if we win that game, there's supposedly a cool ACW game behind it. LOL Unfortunately, that runs at a 1.5:1 time ratio, which makes a two-hour battle last for 3. In all, it's a four hour commitment, and I just can't finagle that.

My lawyer frowned at the suggestion of divorcing so I could have more time to play SOW. Said the judge wouldn't like that very much if it were the only reason. I suggested the judge play SOW, but that didn't seem to sway my lawyer much.

I'd try to recruit JJ again. I haven't been playing with him for awhile myself, again for much the same reasons. He might be a little more hungry now for a welcoming community...

-Neal
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Re: Draft for a Parallel Battle campaign

Post  WSH Baylor on Fri May 16, 2014 3:01 pm

Neal, don't know about your daily schedule, but for what it is worth, Kevin (MTG) and I play a vs. AI game most days except Wed at circa 1630 USPDT and you are welcome to join us.  Of course it is vs. AI but we have some really good games.  If we could get a couple of more players, as occasionally happens, then it could easily be vs.

Understand the concerns about the time delays.  Always a map mis-match, a missing mod, a minor difference in the mod (1.8 vs 1.7) etc.  Fortunately that doesn't happen in the AI games that Kevin hosts, simply, I am sure, because there is only a couple or so of us and we play Sandbox with only a couple of mods.  Now, as Diggers has pointed, that is not everyone's "cup of Yankee coffee", but, at least in my opinion, it is better than nothing and we have had some great games.

As to the delays, I have "missed" a few games for the same reason recognizing that this is such a diverse community of players, there are bound to be some hang-ups. Probably the one that "frosts my ass" the most is the late arrival of players. Seems as if we are always waiting for someone to arrive. But that is probably the 21st century culture. When I was young, I was taught that promptitude was a virtue! That has probably fell by the wayside these day...just look at my 52 year old son...his "timely" arrival is a joke in our family. As the old saying goes, "He'll be late for his own funeral!"

Oh, yes, from the time Kevin puts the room up, we are underway in less than 5 minutes!  Can't beat that!  So, if you are around the village about 4:30 your time, drop in and join us.

Jack
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