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Whats wrong with the Guards?

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Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  Didz on Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:21 pm

One thing that I've noticed when playing SOWWL, and it was driven home with a vengeance in our last game is that for some reason guard units seem to be extremely fragile. Not just in our last game, but it appears to be true in general. I've been playing WL19-La Garde Recule! using the standard game engine and mods, rather than the KS Mod, and I've noticed the same thing.

It's not just that they suddenly seem to panic and scatter for no good reason. I've had a Foot Guard battalion suddenly scatter without being under any obvious threat and leave a Dutch Militia battalion next to them scratching their heads wondering where their going. But as in the case last night I find that once they break they rarely rally. Not one of my guard battalions in last nights scenario rallied after they had broken. And yet I've commanded light infantry and dutch militia who have rallied several times after being broken.

Strange behaviour, I'm just curious why Guards would be so fragile using this system. It's certainly not specific to the KS Mod, its far more general.
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Re: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  rschilla on Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:26 pm

Perhaps they are smarter than the militia?

Wink

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Re: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  Didz on Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:45 pm

Perhaps! But it's counter-intuitive. One would expect elite units to be more reliable and tougher. The same thing happened in the last game with a division of Russian Grenadiers, it was like herding cats to get them to do anything useful. One of them even broke and ran away after being approached by one of my couriers. I've already said that in future I'm going to refuse any command that includes units with the words Guard or Grenadier in the title. Give me militia any day, at least they do as they are told.
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Re: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:33 pm

It is odd. I've encountered similar weirdness before. British Foot Guards running away after quite small losses. I much prefer fighting with Exp3 Cossacks than Exp8 Cuirassiers. I wonder if a certain combination of factors confuses the game?

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Re: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  Didz on Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:04 pm

I actually wondered if it was a deliberate scripted behaviour built into the game engine to make the French Imperial Guard easier to break in the standard Waterloo scenario. Perhaps it just sits there and gets triggered regardless of the scenario. If it was badly placed the code might affect any guard or elite unit regardless of its nationality or the scenario.
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Re: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  rschilla on Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:05 pm

The British Guards seem to be the largest units on the board. Maybe there is a math problem with them being too big?

Maybe not but I have not noted other units behaving that way, quite the opposite really, most stand there well beyond the point where normal people would say "to hell with this." Generally speaking, the are usually much smaller.

You could run a test using the scenario generator. March a couple of British units, one Guard, one Line out towards a couple of French batteries and stop 500 yards away. Let the French bang away and see what losses are taken before they run.

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Re: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:26 pm

I'm very happy to take the cuirassier side of that contest.

I think part of the problem is perception.  We tend to think that guard troops are almost supermen and they will always outperform troops of lesser experience.  Therefore we push them into situations where no one would do very well.  When they break quickly, we're always amazed.  In general, in fights against similar sized units, the unit with the higher stats will usually but not always prevail.  If a unit breaks quickly after a few casualties it is always from low morale.  Don't use the morale bar as an absolute indicator, it doesn't always reflect the true level.

Let's use the 1807 Russian Guards at Friedland as an example.  When Senarmont implemented his artillery charge, the Guard was sent forward to halt the breaking of the Russian line troops.  Within minutes, they too fell back in disarray under fire from 15 guns.  When more Guard were called upon to defend Friedland itself and charged the advancing French, Dupont sent forward  the 9th Legere who routed them very quickly.

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Re: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  Didz on Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:33 am

I'm not convinced, I think Norbsoft have included a 'self-destruct'  script into the game engine that forces elite troops to panic under certain conditions so that the WL19 scenario works as the player expects it too.  Something that tries to mimic the shock effect of Maitland's Guards rising from the rye in front of them.  That would explain why the Dutch Imperial Guard Grenadiers in my second battle simply took to their heels as soon as the cossacks came near them rather than trying to form square as ordered, and why the Russian Grenadiers panicked when approached by a galloping courier.

It makes sense as in game terms two battalions of British foot guards would never be able to beat the four Imperial Guard battalions they are up against in a straight fight, even taking them on piecemeal.  So, i think Norbsoft have slipped in a random panic button to make WL19 easier, it's just that it seems to work on every unit of this class in the game regardless of scenario.  Even the dutch militia in the Bylandt's scenario have more resilience than the guard battalions.


Last edited by Didz on Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:01 am

Not sure if you are being tongue-in-cheek or not, but the only way a unit is defined is by its stats in the OOB file. There is nothing special in it's name. Its why I think there may be a combination of stats that are causing the issue, and I definitely think *something* is weird as I've had too many incidents, both with high-quality cavalry and high-quality infantry for it to be my imagination.

Morsey even says the Exp7 RHA in my new Peninsular and 1815 OOBs are not as good as the more average batteries.

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"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  Miko77 on Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:13 am

I think there may be a combination of stats that are causing the issue, and I definitely think *something* is weird as I've had too many incidents, both with high-quality cavalry and high-quality infantry for it to be my imagination.

I might have explanation for the heavy cavalry under-performing. The edged weapon translated in KS mod exceeds value of 255 - which is the maximum value of unsigned byte... if this is this field has this type of data for calculations in the game then values over 255 will just start from zero again... so edged weapons 400... will be in reality 145...
When checking what would cause French Cuirassiers being rubbish, I only came up with this theory...
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Re: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:27 am

Interesting... Kevin might know more. I hope he chips in when he gets out of bed.

How would the calculation work in getting to a 255 value threshold?

Our heavy cavalry straight swords "edged" factor stats are 20, 21 and 22.

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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: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  Didz on Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:00 am

Mr.Digby wrote:Not sure if you are being tongue-in-cheek or not, but the only way a unit is defined is by its stats in the OOB file. There is nothing special in it's name. Its why I think there may be a combination of stats that are causing the issue, and I definitely think *something* is weird as I've had too many incidents, both with high-quality cavalry and high-quality infantry for it to be my imagination.

Morsey even says the Exp7 RHA in my new Peninsular and 1815 OOBs are not as good as the more average batteries.
Well I'm not a programmer and I don't know how this game engine processes such situations, but I do see a definite pattern in the way so-called elite troops behave in the game.  And in the past, in real life, I've found as an Analyst rather than a Programmer I've been able to highlight errors in code simply by looking at patterns in the programmes outputs, and theorising as to where in the code the error must be to cause those results.  Programmers I found were often so close to the code that, they were looking for the errors line by line, without seeing the clues in the bigger picture that indicated where the error must be hidden. In fact, the first indication of acceptance from my IT colleagues at my first placement was having programmers come to me with their print outs of source code and asking me if I can help them find the missing full-stop.Wink


Last edited by Didz on Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  Miko77 on Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:59 am

Our heavy cavalry straight swords "edged" factor stats are 20, 21 and 22.

no, this is just a code that is used in OOB table...

in "unit global" or another "attributes" - can't remember which file it was (can't check now from work)... you've got the translation to the real value...
I think the vanilla game had maximum under 255 ... thus I thought programmer might be tempted to cap the range with data type... otherwise these days with memory in abundance, millennial coders just use Integer (2 or 4 bytes) for variables that wouldn't exceed single digit Rolling Eyes
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Re: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  Uncle Billy on Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:48 pm

The edged weapon translated in KS mod exceeds value of 255 - which is the maximum value of unsigned byte... if this is this field has this type of data for calculations in the game then values over 255 will just start from zero again... so edged weapons 400... will be in reality 145...
The numbers are read in as integers, not bytes.

Well I'm not a programmer and I don't know how this game engine processes such situations, but I do see a definite pattern in the way so-called elite troops behave in the game
The French Guard in WL19 are scripted to retreat. For single player, stock scenarios, the AI is not used to any great extent. They require the scenario's author to substitute his planning and judgement for the AI's in order to achieve the desired result. If you want to see how a scenario will play without the scripting, relying entirely on the game's AI, play it in MP. That will disable the scripting.

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Re: Whats wrong with the Guards?

Post  Didz on Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:07 pm

I'm still not entirely convinced that there isn't something weird going on with guard/elite troops. I've recently been playing a sandbox game Division v Division, where I selected a Young guard division consisting mainly of Young Guard Tirailleurs and Voltigeurs and found myself balance against the Brunswick Division. The awkward thing being that they had cavalry (Again), but at one point one of my Young Guard light battalions in close order found itself toe to toe with a Brunswick line battalion at a range of 62 yards, and to my surprise the Brunswickers shot the shite out of them, and sent them packing.
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