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Cavalry Issues

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Re: Cavalry Issues

Post  Grog on Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:56 am

Another Great game last night, chaps.Thank you Very Happy

One thing that might need addressing, though, is cavalry charging in column through friendly Infantry battalions, some of them in square/battalion mass. It seemed that cavalry was able to enter the fight for the town too easily.

Would insisting that cav cannot charge in column help?

Mike
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Re: Cavalry Issues

Post  CaptainAndrew on Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:04 am

Whether it's in column or line changes little in terms of their abillity to completely ignore friendly units standing in front of it. It's a really inconsistent and flawed part of the game that nobody in NSD seems to see as needing to be changed. As far as I know, the reasoning behind such a design was to allow units to march on roads in more compact formations. Without that, getting a whole division to take the road in road columns would mean that they spend a good part of the game just doing that. Traffic congestion would be a big issue which would mean that players would be unwilling to use roads especially since the standard map size is only 5x5 km.

Cavalry charging through squares if that square wasn't their primary target initially is something that also can happen but it has no rational reason behind it that I know of.

Both issues could have been fixed by NSD if they wanted to spend some time doing that.
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Re: Cavalry Issues

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:10 am

Cavalry columns are nevertheless quite a lot easier to manoeuvrer than lines in these tight spaces and I did see one of my lines take a weird route into an attack. While we cannot fix what NSD have left unfixed we don't have to ignore it. We already have a negative modifier for cavalry columns in melee vs lines. Maybe we should make that greater so players are encouraged to use lines more - in fact make the penalty for melee in column so great that players stop using it except as a travel formation - the lines certainly like small spaces less than the columns so that may help.

Part of the problem is also of our making with the big regiment units. At these low levels of tactics the cavalry regiment would charge with individual squadrons, never the whole regiment (unless they were British of course).

On a happier subject it was a fantastic game yesterday with some epic panoramic views. I am sure I saw Christopher Plummer and Rod Steiger in there a few times. It was a very tough fight for me in the centre with a pretty iffy division including only grenzers and a freikorps regiment. well played Phil in taking one town easily and occupying the second briefly before the tide turned against the French.

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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: Cavalry Issues

Post  CaptainAndrew on Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:59 pm

Then what's to stop anyone from forming a column, marching through friendly lines and only then forming into a line?

This is one of those things that woud have to be agreed upon by everyone to not be done. If it happens then people have to remind that it shouldn't be done. As silly as it seems to have to "shake your finger" at someone for that it's the better thing to do in my opinion.
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Re: Cavalry Issues

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:07 pm

That's okay. A cav regt forming a column to pass through a friendly formation (or a small gap) then reforming into line to charge is very realistic.

Nothing would stop players except that you'd have to actually do it which would take time and effort and therefore in the heat of battle it probably wouldn't happen, especially when cavalry is close to an enemy and couriers die. I don't want to stop players making choices, I'd rather we had a set of rules that encouraged them to use formations that were more difficult to send through friendly units, which I am pretty certain cav lines are (over cav columns).

I think cavalry columns suffer a -15% melee effect vs cavalry lines at present. I think we should try making it higher for a few games and see if it makes any difference to how players form their cavalry up.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"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: Cavalry Issues

Post  Martin on Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:36 pm

That sounds like a good move. I'm surprised the deduction is only 15%. I would have thought something more like 80% would be nearer the mark.

Did Napoleonic cavalry ever engage other cavalry in column, out of choice?

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Re: Cavalry Issues

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:46 pm

I would assume the column is a column of squadrons, each in line deployed one behind the other with some manoeuvre space between. That is what the formation looks like in the game, though it possibly should be deeper. It isn't a march column. I think it should be fairly effective, but I think the 15% penalty should be greater.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"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: Cavalry Issues

Post  CaptainAndrew on Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:45 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:That's okay. A cav regt forming a column to pass through a friendly formation (or a small gap) then reforming into line to charge is very realistic.

Nothing would stop players except that you'd have to actually do it which would take time and effort and therefore in the heat of battle it probably wouldn't happen, especially when cavalry is close to an enemy and couriers die.

With the cavalry now being in regiments, I can't imagine it's difficult to pay that bit more attention to commanding them. You gain an advantage over someone who's not doing this and might even escape their counter charge since it would take extra time for their cav to reach yours. Why not do it then?

The bonus gained from attacking in a line or a column is applied at the moment the order is recieved, as far as I remember. You'd have plenty of time to send a courier to the regiment telling to form in a line and charge before these couriers would be getting too close to the enemy.

Another thing to note is that the cavalry's effectiveness in the last game in the town when I was there wasn't dependant on the casualties they dealt to the infantry, but rather their ability to charge again and again pushing troops back or making them form squares. That's why a reduction to the effectiveness of their melee wouldn't matter as much as it might seem to at first. It's the infantry that has already been weakened that suffers most from those extra casualties.

The change can be made but I doubt that it'll do much good.
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Re: Cavalry Issues

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:47 pm

As Andrew said, changing the melee penalty won't have much if any effect on the infantry. However, it would show up in cav vs cav, where one is in line and the other is in column of squadrons. There are examples of this type of attack in battle. The column usually but not always lost because the cavalry in line could wrap around the flanks of the column and wreak havoc. I assume it was because the horses in column were jammed together and could not easily turn to face the flank assault when contact was made. We can try to increase the penalty to 25% which would make it very unlikely that the cavalry in column would prevail. But again as Andrew said, as soon as the order to change into line is received, the regiment is assumed to be in line, regardless of what it looks like on the field.

It's a problem only NSD can fix. Since they are not inclined to fix anything, we really can't do much except put up with it.

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Re: Cavalry Issues

Post  Grog on Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:01 am

Thanks lads

It is a difficult one . I would be in support of a 25% reduction.

Perhaps a Gentlemans rule to discourage charging cav into infantry that is already in melee and never to charge through one's own units?



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Re: Cavalry Issues

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:15 am

The problem there is cavalry will often go off in an unintended direction when you issue the order to charge. I had such an occurrence in the last battle when one of Phil's battalions was emerging from the wood between the two towns and I ordered cavalry to charge it but they swung almost 90deg right and charged against a skirmishing unit that was south of the easternmost town area. If I'd had a friendly unit directly on their right I have no idea if they'd avoided it or not; I suspect not as the charge move always seems to take a direct line to the target.

One of our problems is we do try to pack too many troops into too small an area making these instances more likely and we do often seem to want to have cavalry right behind or among our infantry. I have the impression that in the majority of Napoleonic battles cavalry operated separately from infantry but the game doesn't have a mechanism to enforce anything of the sort and its almost impossible to police it in battle due to a players limited field of view and how the AI likes to move units among others.

This whole "boundary of operations" around brigades and divisions is something I think a corps-level Nap simulation really needs and I have mentioned it to NSD but got no response of course.

In reply to Andrew - yes I take all your points, but if we change the rules with an intent to alter the game, it's expected of players to then play by the spirit of those rules: yes a player could do as you say by making a column become a line at a critical time if they wanted to flout the rules but of course no-one here would do that because we've had this discussion.

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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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Cavalry Issues

Post  Miko77 on Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:57 pm

Grog wrote:Perhaps a Gentlemans rule to discourage charging cav into infantry that is already in melee and never to charge through one's own units?

Sounds like NBC discussion Smile
It's not TW, though... there's no god-like, absolute control over units. We need to relay on some AI behaviour if we were to maintain HITS with couriers game style. I found it hard to follow that no charging into the woods is allowed. In a game where cavalry was split into squadrons, my units don't know the rule, and when I ordered whole brigade to charge, I hoped squadrons will attack what's in front of brigade frontage... but 2-3 squadrons turned 90 degrees into the woods where Mike's battalion was standing. Then I'm accused of breaking the rule...

So that's exactly what Digby said:
The problem there is cavalry will often go off in an unintended direction when you issue the order to charge.

I'd add that not only when ordered to charge - depending on stance it may charge at will...
What I'd like to see is that cavalry charge is possible only in direction it is facing - that would eliminate lots of nonsense... but I guess this is hard-coded somehow?

Line vs Column in Cavalry melees not necessarily resulted in win for the line formation... and Line was hard to keep - the longer the line the more trained riders/horses were required.


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Re: Cavalry Issues

Post  Uncle Billy on Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:19 pm

I put this discussion into a separate thread.

Whenever a button is pressed, the action is performed. The melee/charge logic can be modded and it does include code so that units in woods or heavy woods cannot be attacked by cavalry. The problem arises when the the distance between the cavalry and the target are so close that this piece of code does not have a chance to be processed. In that case the attack will begin. If the code is processed during the charge or melee, the attack will halt. The time delay between the button being pressed and the code being processed can be as great as 5 sec.

I think we can stop units from charging at targets not directly in front of them, say within a 30 degree cone. If that can be done, it would eliminate some of the unrealistic behavior.

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Re: Cavalry Issues

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:29 pm

Thanks Kevin.

Both the woods and direction issues sound promising. Please make it so!

I am sure the game knows about length of time to change formation because there is some code that stops a square being a square from the point the order is received to the moment the last sprite is in place... so can we use this code to not make a cavalry line a line until the last sprite is in place?

The game uses tiles to determine if units have a path to a target location... I am not sure why we still see units passing through each other therefore. Can this be adjusted?

I think it would also help if our units were not so tightly packed. Can we set the brigade and division formations to cover wider depths and frontages and create more space between units? I can see arguments as to why we should not exceed historical frontages but I am willing to bend reality if it gives us a better game in other ways.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"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: Cavalry Issues

Post  Uncle Billy on Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:55 pm

The code for not charging units in the woods has been in the mod for some time now. It's that 5 sec. delay that makes it imperfect.

The code that determines if a square is fully formed is not available to us, so it cannot be replicated for other formations.

We can widen the initial distance between brigades in a division, but the AI will ignore that when it starts moving them to engage the enemy. This is also true of players.

Indeed the AI does know about paths blocked by other units, but it is not absolute. This cannot be modded.

1.A valid path is found when the unit is given a move order. Later, if another unit moves and blocks that path, the first unit will usually just double time through that unit. It will not stop and find a new path unless the distance between the two is very large.

2. A charging unit ignores units blocking its path.

3. if a unit is very close to another it can advance through the blocking unit as if it is not there.


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Re: Cavalry Issues

Post  CaptainAndrew on Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:54 pm

It might be more work than it's worth but I just wanted to throw it out - what about making a button that orders a charge on a manually selected target? It would work just like the "Select Target" button for artillery but it would then also give the charge order. A courier being sent out with 2 seperate orders just like the formation orders under the Move or Combat submenus.

Mitra put this in his toolbar but it doesn't work particularly well because it only gives the order to change primary targets which lasts for a very short time. Sometimes you would get only a split second for giving the charge order before the AI switched the primary target again.
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Re: Cavalry Issues

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:06 pm

Could be a good idea. Also on a similar subject can we have a button to "target cavalry" on the artillery combat target options?

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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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