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Last nights HITS

Post  7thGalaxy on Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:01 am

Who won this in the end?  It was a long, laggy battle, and I ended up with no troops after an Austrian division steamrollered through my brigade, so went to bed and missed the end of Marks lengthy plan.  

I was under the impression that melee steamrolling was frowned upon?  My men were well set up behind a ditch, firing away, and there's no way a column would have continued at a run straight into my lines in real life.  I really hope that this is sorted in Waterloo.

I feel that the Austrians could have pinned us

So I have some thoughts about how the battle turned out:

The arty - we had some trouble extracting it as they all decided to suddenly unlimber whilst retreating.  This was frustrating.

I had some thoughts about the melee - is there any way of increasing the morale hit from close range fighting, whilst also tying victory in melee closer into the morale?  

This would mean that you'd have to overwhelm a line with firepower before charging in, which is, AFAIK the consensus in this group as to how melee should be handled. It doesn't feel realistic to see units mobbing through other units and straight at a run into lines - from a forest.  The columns would have been so disrupted by the forest, then by having to push through a firing line, down and up a steep ditch, that they would be barely coherent by the time they were even under fire.  

Anyway, I had a reasonably fun experience - although it wasn't my favourite battle by any means - I'm kinda hankering after a set piece one at some point soon, with a bit less marching around maps.
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  SolInvictus202 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:08 pm

I cannot talk about game mechanics - but since I designed what appears to be a "failed" scenario I think I should make my intentions clear.


The scenario was meant to force the French side into sacrificing part of their troops to save the rest - thus the elaborate explanation that the orders got lost and now the Austrians know exactly where the French were and where they were going...

Since a certain then "invincible" and now at least a "asymetrically thinking" CinC  decided to take the main force on a hike through the countryside, the obvious thing happened: the superior Austrian forces pinned what was in front of them and destroyed it - that was Morand's Division.  Conflicting orders for myself (being the sacrificial rear-guard) and unlimbering guns didn't hlelp either - but if one watches the replay it is painfully obvious that the rest of the French were nowhere near us when we made our final stand.

edith says: not sure what happened, but when I was ordered to turn to secure the guns, all the Austrians would have had to do, was push a little bit harder, and my Brigade would have been toast long before the last stand - I was standing there and couldn't believe my eyes when one division gave up pursuit and then eventually the other one in my flank stopped as well and let me escape with 4 of my 5 bataillons intact (one was lost entirely and one had to regroup and was combat ineffective, but still)

I have to admit I specifically designed this scenario to deal with "player-ego" - I wanted some to sacrifice themselves and their troops to save others - it obviously failed miserably, since the CinC - well, shall we say - "interpreted" the situation in a different way and decided NOT to unit the forces, sacrifice Morand and save the other two divisions, but instead decided to split up even more...the result speaks for itself.


surprisingly enough I think Kevin implemented my intentions in a brilliant way: the French would have had the options to slip by the Austrians, had they taken the direct route and leave the Map to the North... the fight would have been over within 1.5 hours or even less... with Morand and perhaps some cavalry still dying - but that was intended in the first place...

Like it played out it ended in a decisive Austrian victory, where the attacker took full advantage of a divided enemy force, pushed them back, gained the tactical as well as the strategic initiative and crushed the French.
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Guest on Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:42 pm

Roland I enjoyed your scenario, it was not designed to just duke it out .  It was a Chess Match as to who could move their troops the best to meet the victory conditions.

I know most like to line up and fight it out, this to me was more like the movements behind the scenes after or before a big war decisive battle. More than once in history this exact scenario played out in one form or another.

I would enjoy another scenario where the odds for one team to win are small (I would volunteer to even be on the probable losing team, to me that is some fun gaming by trying to beat the odds), this should bring out the best of a player and his ability to adapt and overcome or show him something outside the box.

Different strokes for different folks.

Once again a great scenario.

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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Mark87 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:58 pm

Got to try it different ways! hahah


7th, the game is a bit gamey, what I try and do is find my largest battalion, in this scenario it was the Tirailleurs de Crose with like 1,100 men, and I use my other battalions to pin the enemy with firepower. I judge what enemy battalion is the smallest and I attack it with my Corse battalion. It is simple numbers. The enemy unit routs, all friendly units get a huge moral bonus and are able to pin. I attack the next enemy unit. It routs, again moral bonus.

Soon the entire enemy force has fallen back because my troops keep having superior moral. Firepower in this game SUCKS. It's basically all cannon positioning. Don't worry about engaging in firefights at the brigade level because when you just command a brigade you can control a lot of the factors, unless you meet an opposition human brigade commander you will RAVAGE the AI. I could tell the division I was fighting with my brigade was using AI controlled brigades and I completely devastated them.

Obviously when you fight a human brigade commander it becomes a more intense affair but that's where the great equalizer, Terrain, comes into effect!
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  SolInvictus202 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:11 pm

I think one has to clarify one thing:

"thinking outside the box" and "doing what one feels like" are two different things.

When presented with a certain task one cannot always do what one wants - and more often than not one has to make the best of a terrible situation.

At least the scenario created the correct outcome also game-wise, when the French failed to unite and fight together.


as for "ravaging" the enemy forces - you may have killed more enemies with your brigade than you lost - but do not forget - your division was completely annihilated - and there is no sugar coating this...

the Austrians left the fight with plenty of strength, pushed through your forces and are now free to roam your "hinterland" - capturing depots, sacking towns and taking your reinforcements prisoner peacemeal.

the Emperor will not be pleased...
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  SolInvictus202 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:31 pm

as for Morsey: thanks mate - much appreciated.

I know that most people are in this just to show off their superior ability in game-mechanics. Personally I think there is nothing more boring that just having two lines fight each other frontally for 3 hours - and the side with more experienced players takes away the victory - what is the point? - why make different maps at all? One could just have one flat field and fight over it every single time...


I rather feel that it is more interesting, if people are forced to come up with ideas to get out of difficult situations - and not only by slugging it out and going head on through the enemy...

of course yesterday's battle was rather boring - that had very little to do with the scenario itself I believe however - Kevin and I agreed that it would be winnable for both sides.
Both me and Kevin already laughed our heads off once we were presented with Mark's plan - I never had a doubt that it would fail - but I only had a brigade (on purpose, since I knew about the scenario).

The fact that we did not stop, when it was 2 AM my time and it was clear that the French had lost, is another matter...
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Mark87 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:57 pm

If I had to do it again, I'd have send the cavalry around and Marched the Infantry to join Morands division. I think that woulda got the excellent results. Anyway, it was a nice sandbox to play in, I just make different sandcastles. C'est la vie. Very Happy
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  SolInvictus202 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:04 pm

and apparently you still think that you did the right thing  - all there is to say really...

at least we got that whole 7-0 stuff to end Wink - my task was fullfilled...
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Mark87 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:20 pm

What's the point in doing something that COULD WORK, IE there is a chance that even if everything goes right, the French probably lose.
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  SolInvictus202 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:30 pm

excuse me? - Both sides had a chance to win - what more do you want?

PS: I think the main problem here is that one option never came up in your mind:

you cannot win every single battle - but sometimes a battle that is only a minor defeat instead of a major and decisive one (like this one) is a victory in itself!
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Guest on Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:41 pm

The game was not boring!! But then again I have a little grunt in me and watching soldiers marching to battle, the music and Pepe/any CinC( telling to go here and there as we react to the moving battle lines is fun is just as good as mixing it up.

I think we need to remember the KS is a different format of game play, as where GCM is pretty much line them up and attack and have the battle over in 90 minutes.

Once you can separate one from the other it will be more fun.

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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:04 pm

As Mike pointed out, this battle was more in keeping with a KS style scenario. Fighting was just one aspect of trying to achieve a greater goal. Mark's strategy could have worked if Morand had retreated over the central ridge and then to the NE away from the objective. This might have drawn the entire Austrian force after him and allowed the 2nd French infantry division and cavalry to make it to safety. Of course Morand would be sacrificed in this case too. No matter what, Morand was doomed. The goal of this scenario was to recreate what must be the most difficult decision a real commander has to sometimes make.

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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Mark87 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:56 pm

As Digby can sure attest, I enjoy subdividing and marching on multiple axis of advance operationally....... I'm a big fan of maneuver. Very Happy
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  SolInvictus202 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:01 pm

edith: never mind - I am gonna stay out of this.. too much "I, I, I, I " for my taste...
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:05 pm

I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of the game. The initial Austrian attack was a bit fraught because we could only see a division yet we all know the battle briefings don't always give us the facts so I was wary of more French nearby, especially to the east where we were told more were coming from. The rush across the first big valley and up the hill as Morand withdrew was exciting - not being able to see over a crest 200 yards ahead of your whole division that is not moving tactically deployed but has to hug a narrow corridor astride the one usable road was nail-biting.

The view from the top though was spectacular and breath-taking as Morand's tail-end brigade tried to retreat and French guns were scattering away to the flanks and Mayer's brigade (MJP) was harassing their rear. I gave Mayer clear orders to push, push on, push hard and rout them but for some unaccountable reason he stopped, due I'm told to the Austrian C-in-C ordering him away to the west. Such is the frustration of KS games when apparent victory is in your grasp and things don't go as you'd like.

The long pursuit phase was also exciting and felt very real, French scurrying away in the woods and over the hills, turning to face us now and again and the whole landscape awash with white Austrian battalion columns flowing onwards like a foamy sea. It was very pretty to see and great fun to arrange such an advance.

I guessed where the missing eastern French division was quite early on when it didn't show to the east or north-east but a courier rode through my lines heading south. I realised the French were sending their detached division west along the south map edge and would then send it up the western side, hugging the map edge. I told Ron and Pepe this and when we got to the main French exit point and I learned this was a safe zone, I decided it was no use fighting them there since in reality a "safe zone" is a place off the battlefield where an opponent exits the game and can't be fought nor come back, so I turned my whole division around and went SW to where I absolutely knew the French would be coming.

All I then had to do was find the best hill I could and make my stand long enough for Pepe to bring everyone else down and squish the frogs.

In the respect that the map was limited to 25 sq miles and that the east half of the big ridge wasn't crossable the game had issues because it was easy to work out where the French would be. We also had issues with lag and people just becoming bored. I found the chit-chat in the text window really distracting, so much so that when I got into action with the south French force I was past caring how the fight went so made little attempt to properly co-ordinate a defence. The fact I was alone fighting 3 players was a problem too, enemy cavalry ran amok among my AI controlled brigades and caused me huge losses but by then it didn't matter as the rest of the Austrian army was arriving and the game was up.

It was a good scenario and I enjoyed most of it, but I feel it was trying to cover too much in too small an area. It was almost a mini-campaign and might benefit from being done via e-mails between the opposing C-in-Cs and maybe the division commanders with one or even two scenarios being created to play out the encounters the manoeuvring generates.

There were issues with troops moving over the big ridge and cavalry fighting atop it early on when as far as I was aware (certainly in our team) cavalry was clearly prohibited from using the ridge at all off road. It may be easier to restrict troop types in certain places in other ways, either to simply remove them from the OOB or to only allow cavalry to be released for action say, 30 minutes into the game or something like that by which time the initial infantry-only fight over the impassable terrain is over and it doesn't then matter how the cavalry arrive or where.

As to the charging thing I am now absolutely certain we need to fix this. It has never been a problem in KS games until relatively recently but new players to the group who are used to playing a certain way have exploited SoW's weakness. These players are not wrong, they just enjoy playing a certain way. It is up to us to tweak the mod so that this a-historical style of play does not work. Perhaps SoW can't be fixed in this regard, if so I sure hope the new game can be tweaked to stop this.

As for troops being restricted over certain terrain, etc maybe the new game will allow that in different ways.

We should never have 1,000 man battalions in our OOBs. This is asking for a player to exploit the magical ability of twice the men, muscle and firepower to fill the same space as 500 men. We ought to start capping battalions at around the 600 man mark and if a historical OOB has huge ones (e.g. Brits in the Peninsular) we split these into left and right wings. I know its not an ideal solution and does not align with history but in the sake of better gameplay its a sacrifice I am happy to make. The peninsular campaign OOBs have been amended on this basis for a year now.

If we can't stop people meleeing as the game allows them to we should do what GCM does and force melees to go on for ages with both sides exhausted afterwards. I can't see a better solution unless it is to slow down all movement in close proximity to the enemy as GCM does with certain formations.

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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:10 pm

Another thought - Kevin, can we make musket fire at very short ranges absolutely lethal by tweaking rifles.csv? This would mean that units charging into melee vs a firing defender would take heavier losses.

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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  kg little mac on Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:34 pm


Battalions move way too fast, so it's way too easy to close to melee without paying a heavy price. I'm still waiting to hear from Garnier on how to slow formation speeds while within 300 yards of the enemy. I think this would help a lot.

Perhaps we should consider some closing formation rules.

1. If you close with a battalion using assault columns, you must use the brigade command movement order and not give battalions any individual movement orders, only charge or change formations or such.

2. It's probably a good idea to use the same rule when closing in line.

3. Until Kevin gets off his ass and figures it out for himself or Garnier comes out of his coma and enlightens us as to how he slows movement speeds when close to the enemy, we should all refrain from running battalions while closing with the enemy.

My 2 cents.

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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Mark87 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:42 pm

I generally run my troops around the battlefield. Honestly, we all saw what "gentlemen's rules" gets us; confusion and disruption. I suggest unless its hardcoded into the game engine we all have to deal with it. My opinion of firepower was made months ago-its useless. I treat infantry as pawns to protect guns and pin opposition where I can destroy them with guns.

I apologize if I am one of the offending players that broke the mold here, it just seemed as though high ground and Defensive bonus really have no effect so I figured out a system that allowed me to have an advantage. I would spend an hour carefully placing each battalion only to have them blown off a key defensive terrain feature in 40 seconds hahah
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  kg little mac on Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:47 pm


"Honestly, we all saw what "gentlemen's rules" gets us; confusion and disruption."

Of what do you speak? We have never had a real problem enforcing "gentlemen's rules" in KS games that I've played in.

As well . . . Tom was on your side in the last battle, so I don't think he's talking about your charging practices.
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Mark87 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:20 pm

lol there was Austrian Cavalry in the middle of the impassible RIDGE haha
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  kg little mac on Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:21 pm

Oh. . . I see. . . you're confusing scenario rules with gentlemen's rules.
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Mark87 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:29 pm

probably because im not a gentleman
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Iberalc on Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:25 am

there was Austrian Cavalry in the middle of the impassible RIDGE

They got there following French cavalry uphill. Twisted Evil
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:24 am

we all saw what "gentlemen's rules" gets us; confusion and disruption. I suggest unless its hardcoded into the game engine we all have to deal with it.

Actually no. Until the recent group of competitive players joined us the KS group had no problem whatsoever with gentlemen's rules. The problems we are encountering now have arisen only very recently.

If you are playing in a KS game you WILL follow KS rules and MUST modify your playing style to suit. If you cannot, you really should not be playing in these non-competitive scenarios.

I hate to put my foot down but it really is that simple. Leave your competitive hat at the door and change your mental gears completely for our games please.

I agree that we should make SCENARIO rules as clear as we possibly can with concisely written rules rather than explanations spoken in TS minutes before the game as these can be nuanced and if given to the two sides in their pre-battle planning groups can even end up sounding quite different. I've run up against this problem myself when making scenario-specific rules for some campaign games.

Another really key point in KS games (both scenarios and campaign battles) is that you must be prepared to understand that different rules or different information may have been given to the two sides, sometimes these rules and information can be directly contradictory, so it is always wise in a KS game to NEVER complain about something a player is doing and to only allow the scenario designer to advise or clarify.

I had a campaign game last year where I allowed the French infantry to enter woods off-roads because their tactics were more adaptable while Spanish infantry could not, only in skirmish order (of which they had very few). This caused uproar in the planning sessions but in fact worked beautifully in the game. It turned out to be pretty much a non-issue when the fighting got serious but it was a rule that worked.

If units ordered via their brigade or division commander do things forbidden by scenario rules (like cavalry heading towards hills they shouldn't be on, then you must make the effort to stop them. Either order squadrons individually or TC them and order their route to change. If this wastes your general's time or gets your men killed, so be it. That is one of the considerations of a KS game you will have to accept.

Remember - we are not here to win. I would really like to see references to success rates in these games like scores, stop being used. This brings completely the wrong attitude to our games.

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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.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Last nights HITS

Post  Guest on Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:34 pm

Also KS usually have a game moderator, he should be the one that should be communicated with and he should make the final decision and we all live with it. Unexpected things occur that no one can predict it is the game moderators job to adjust the game while it is going on when this happens. That is how it was done when we played these games on tables and it should be the way it is done now.


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