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Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Martin on Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:18 pm

Hi Ike

Yes I've got your email and responded. Thanks.

In other news, our pool of potential players is up to 18, but we have not been as successful in getting games played. I have tentative on-line games agreed with 3 first-time multiplayers in the next week or so, so hopefully we will pick-up speed soon on that front.

I've also made contact with a member of the Norbsoft team who seems particularly interested in further developing Gettysburg:SOW along k/spiel lines. He is encouraging me to post any ideas for improvements in that regard on the Norbsoft forum. Here are a couple that occurred to me, and I would welcome any comments on these, plus other suggestions from anyone else....

1. At the moment players have access to a mini-map of the battlefield, which shows whether any of the objectives are possessed by either side. In reality you would only have known if the enemy held somewhere if someone rode over and saw them. I'm suggesting that this information is removed from the map at 'Historical' difficulty.

2. Players currently have a constant read-out of friendly & opposing casualties. Again in actual battles casualty information would have needed to come up the chain of command from brigadiers, even if they had it. In the absence of computers, and in the heat of battle this was just not possible in 1863. Here the suggestion is to eliminate any casualty information for say division commander & above at 'Historical' difficulty. Nothing to stop senior officers riding over to a brigade commander and checking his OOB of course, but you're not going to be able to do that consistently for every brigade in a corps or army. Indeed I may be being too generous, and perhaps casualties should only be available at regiment level?

Thoughts anyone, before I go back to him?

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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Ike on Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:05 pm

I agree with your first with one qualification: we add a brigade or two - depending upon the size of the battle - to each side's OOB to give us the some ability to scout out the enemy's positions. Note that the size of this cavalry attachment ought to be small enough to avoid flooding the battlefield with scouts thereby defeating the purpose of this first amendment.

I agree with your second, with one qualification: the player - regardless of his level of command - ought to know or have some idea however dim as to the extent of casualties in his subordinate units ... well, at second thought, perhaps not. The "... riding over to a brigade commander and checking his OOB .." seems to deal with that. Occasionally, I forget that Gettysburg's attraction is the 'fog of war' which includes information on one's own troops. So, unqualified agreement with your second.
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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Martin on Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:26 pm

Ike wrote:I agree with your first with one qualification: we add a brigade or two - depending upon the size of the battle - to each side's OOB to give us the some ability to scout out the enemy's positions. Note that the size of this cavalry attachment ought to be small enough to avoid flooding the battlefield with scouts thereby defeating the purpose of this first amendment.

Good point Ike. I've been playing around with OOBs for a few weeks and often do do this. I've found you need to treat the detachment as a brigade (or above) in the OOB, as regimental commanders do not send messages. Of course you can call him anything you like. In one divisional OOB I added a spy company of just 30 men which appears in the game as commanded by a captain, although in the OOB he is a brigadier (all OOBs are on spreadsheets btw).

That said, the lack of scouting is less of a problem in MP, even with the small 2 & 3 player games which are all we've played so far. Having more than one pair of human eyes makes a big difference.

Ike wrote:I agree with your second, with one qualification: the player - regardless of his level of command - ought to know or have some idea however dim as to the extent of casualties in his subordinate units ... well, at second thought, perhaps not. The "... riding over to a brigade commander and checking his OOB .." seems to deal with that. Occasionally, I forget that Gettysburg's attraction is the 'fog of war' which includes information on one's own troops. So, unqualified agreement with your second.

Yes, the CinC can do the riding around thing, but my guess is that he would have no time for anything else if he aimed for completeness. When we get to larger games with, say, human corps commander, 2 divisional commanders, and some human brigadiers, I think we will see a partial flow of info up the chain of command, and it won't all come at the same time. The big man will no doubt do some riding around, but will also be dependent on his divisional commanders giving him information. And of course they won't be able to spend all their own time collecting it for him. Even if their human brigadiers report regularly, they will have to ride to their pc-ones and collect in themselves, or make a guess from what they can see from some way away. So overall, a bit of a messy process, which I think is what it was.

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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Ike on Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:10 pm

I agree with your assessment of how things will work when we have Corps-level MP games with nearly a full roster of generals. Especially if we have TS channels set up whereby players have to stay in the channel for their division and one must send a courier to provide info to the Corps, unless of course one's avatar general is near - how far, by the way? - the Corps commander.
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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  CoB4thTEXAS on Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:37 pm

I also agree with the 2000 yard sight distance. Most of the time, unless your on a high hill, you generally can not see that far.

It is true that the fact that you get way to much info from clicking on the enemy flag, if I sight the IX corps I will do one thing, if I sight the 1st Corps I would do something else. It would be nice if you got something like “U.S.A. Regiment”or “C.S.A. Regiment” when you click on distance flags, depending on what color out-fit your wearing of course.

I'm sure Binoculars would extend line of sight a lot farther.

As far as casualties goes, this could be fixed by tool bar mod, with-out the need of patch or the like,
but there a limit of one (1) mod running in MP games at the moment, so will have to pick and chose, one mod or the other.

In earlier post about use of roads, roads should be used simply for the no fatigue bonus, but a unit moving across country pays plenty in time lost, ½ to ¾ of a mile a unit will lose half its fatigue points at the double-time, depending on number of fences and creeks to cross.


The use or non-use of objectives on the map are not that big of deal to me, and agree that they should not turn any color when occupied by one side or the other. That said the timing should be longer than 45 minutes for a unit to secure the objective.

I would ask one question now, what rifle range would everyone like to use?

*S*
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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Ike on Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:11 am

Well, since one of the defining military metrics of the ACW is that the infantry rifles outranged most cannister/grape, how about just a bit longer than cannister range ... what would that be, about 220 yards? Whatever exact distance that would be, that's what my choice for rifle range would be. Also helps keep the cavalry at a respectful distance. Smile

Also, using the in-game Binoculars for too long takes you away from your command and its immediate problems and opportunities, just as it does in real time, so I don't think 'Binocular' use will be much of a problem in terms of players knowing too much about enemy dispositions.
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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Tim Carne on Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:02 pm

Just a thought about roads. Units on roads have a long column length (see the Baring translation of KS for some examples).

The way I understand it a corps would be on the march and then have to assemble into something more suitable for imminent combat. Once assembled it is more sensible to use field columns to move into combat areas. This is more manageable for the general than a long snakeing road column.

For some miniatures I have 4 states, road, assembly, column of manoeuvre and deployed. Assembly is good for packing the corp into a small space before decisions are taken for deployment. Reserves are also held in assembly state (close columns with little or no intervals between regiments).

The decision to leave road mode (or to enter it again) is potential a key generalship skill (as well as many others).


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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Tim Carne on Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:06 pm

Another one. My main interest is Napoleonics and I am aware of a level of reliance on visual and audio information for the commander to judge the progress of the battle. Napoleon is quoted as following the progress of Davout at Wagram by noting the change in position of the smoke.

The sound of the guns is also another consideration. Can the commander become aware of the arrival of a flanking corp by sounds in the distance.

Where I am going with this is that reports and orders have their place but there is more besides.

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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Martin on Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:44 pm

Tim Carne wrote:Another one. My main interest is Napoleonics and I am aware of a level of reliance on visual and audio information for the commander to judge the progress of the battle. Napoleon is quoted as following the progress of Davout at Wagram by noting the change in position of the smoke.

The sound of the guns is also another consideration. Can the commander become aware of the arrival of a flanking corp by sounds in the distance.

Where I am going with this is that reports and orders have their place but there is more besides.

Excellent points Tim. I think the game reflects some of this, but not all.

There is definitely smoke on the battlefield, but I haven't really noticed whether you can use it from a distance to make deductions. I'll been on the look-out now.

You can certainly hear cannon fire from quite a long way away. Indeed this is often the first indication you get that action has started somewhere. I don't sense that you can make a judgement of distance & direction of fire however (at least I seem unable to), and that is something that Napoleon et al could sometimes do, depending on wind direction etc.

You do hear the approach of marching troops, sometimes before you see them, depending on LOS.

What you don't see is dust clouds, which could sometimes be seen from further away than the troops, again dependent on weather conditions. Supposedly, on a good day, skilled observers could even distinguish between infantry dust & cavalry dust.

Happy to put something forward, but it would need to be fairly specific I think.

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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  DavidC on Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:51 pm

Ike wrote:Well, since one of the defining military metrics of the ACW is that the infantry rifles outranged most cannister/grape, how about just a bit longer than cannister range ... what would that be, about 220 yards? Whatever exact distance that would be, that's what my choice for rifle range would be. Also helps keep the cavalry at a respectful distance. Smile

Ike,

Max Canister range was nearer 350 - 400 yards. The essential difference was that in the Napoleonic period not even rifles were good enough to take on gunners at that range, let alone the muskets the majority were armed with. Whereas in ACW skirmishers could be 100 - 150 yards further out than that and still win a prize!

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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Ike on Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:59 pm

David C: Yes, I recognize that the real world ranges were different. I was referring to - without saying so, of course Embarassed - ranges in the game. Apologies for not being clearer on that. The ranges in the game for the various weapons are not the same numbers as their real-life prototypes, you see.

Martin (et al): Part of the difficulty in seeing dust and determining direction for cannon fire in SOW is that your location is sitting on your horse. If you are on a significant rise of ground - relatively higher than the immediately surrounding terrain that is - you can see some dust and I have been able to distinguish the apparent direction of the sound of cannon or musketry on occasion. I'm using headphones and a they have a stereo capability or at least something of that; for instance, in Red Orchestra, I can tell from footsteps whether my enemy is approaching from my right or from my left. I suspect that a similar thing is occuring in SOW. That said, one needs to be a bit higher in order to do that, because if one's surrounding terrain is higher, then the sound is scattered by that higher terrain - or something like that, eh? - and that makes direction-finding by sound quite difficult. (Not game mechanics, that observation, but from my military service. Wink )
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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  DavidC on Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:26 pm

Ike wrote:David C: Yes, I recognize that the real world ranges were different. I was referring to - without saying so, of course Embarassed - ranges in the game. Apologies for not being clearer on that. The ranges in the game for the various weapons are not the same numbers as their real-life prototypes, you see.

Martin (et al): Part of the difficulty in seeing dust and determining direction for cannon fire in SOW is that your location is sitting on your horse. If you are on a significant rise of ground - relatively higher than the immediately surrounding terrain that is - you can see some dust and I have been able to distinguish the apparent direction of the sound of cannon or musketry on occasion. I'm using headphones and a they have a stereo capability or at least something of that; for instance, in Red Orchestra, I can tell from footsteps whether my enemy is approaching from my right or from my left. I suspect that a similar thing is occuring in SOW. That said, one needs to be a bit higher in order to do that, because if one's surrounding terrain is higher, then the sound is scattered by that higher terrain - or something like that, eh? - and that makes direction-finding by sound quite difficult. (Not game mechanics, that observation, but from my military service. Wink )

Ike,

No problem, apologies for being a 'button counter'! Smile

Regarding sound. Most important thing is to have it turned on! Switched off my speakers by accident yesterday and nearly got captured wandering into a fire fight I hadn't seen!


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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Ike on Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:44 pm

David C: Yes, I have the same problem with my ears ... have an allergy to mountain cedar and in the winter here in Texas, it's something fierce and my ears plug up a bit. Unfortunately, there's no 'on-off' switch for that, though. Laughing No apology necessary, sir!
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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Martin on Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:36 pm

Ike wrote:I agree with your assessment of how things will work when we have Corps-level MP games with nearly a full roster of generals. Especially if we have TS channels set up whereby players have to stay in the channel for their division and one must send a courier to provide info to the Corps, unless of course one's avatar general is near - how far, by the way? - the Corps commander.

The method we've been using in our small trial games is that you have to ride right up to the other general to chat directly, Ike. In general, when in doubt, our guiding principles are what happened historically (or what do we think happened) and what would we do in real life. Difficult enough to shout a conversation from several yards away, but in battle with cannon-fire etc it would often be impossible.

It occasionally presents a problem when you ride towards a colleague, but he doesn't see you and gallops off in another direction. Still, that's life I guess Very Happy

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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Martin on Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:54 pm

CoB4thTEXAS wrote: As far as casualties goes, this could be fixed by tool bar mod, with-out the need of patch or the like, but there a limit of one (1) mod running in MP games at the moment, so will have to pick and chose, one mod or the other.

What a good idea! Also I didn't realise about the mod limit in MP, so thanks for that, CoB4TEXAS. My initial feeling re mods was that we should try and avoid them for the MP games, as agreeing mods and ensuring all players had them downloaded & enabled was another technical hurdle. But maybe I'm being too cautious?

CoB4thTEXAS wrote: In earlier post about use of roads, roads should be used simply for the no fatigue bonus, but a unit moving across country pays plenty in time lost, ½ to ¾ of a mile a unit will lose half its fatigue points at the double-time, depending on number of fences and creeks to cross.

Ah I begin to see the light. I ran some tests a few months ago on the Alpine map and found there was little difference in speed between road & cross-country over a 5-6 mile march. Your reference to fences may be the key point, as there are none of either on the Alpine map, and plenty of wide open spaces. I can imagine you're quite right re the Gettysburg maps, which are stuffed full of fences & walls.

CoB4thTEXAS wrote: The use or non-use of objectives on the map are not that big of deal to me, and agree that they should not turn any color when occupied by one side or the other. That said the timing should be longer than 45 minutes for a unit to secure the objective.

Agreed re 45 minutes. What we will normally be aiming to do is use one of the larger maps, to allow space & time for manoeuvre, rather than getting straight into action. I had envisaged a minimum game length of 2 hours for such a game, and we may sometimes need 3 or 4. But all that would depend on what players are happy with. In our trial game on Thursday, we played a small sandbox game for about 90 minutes, with just 10 or 15 minutes manoeuvring, and it was still great fun.

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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Ike on Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:32 am

And this Thursday (19 Jan), Martin and I tested the 'Trans-Atlantic Cable' and played for nearly 4 hours (including set-up time and his walking me through the set up and connection using Hamachi etc) without difficulties. The scenario was a sandbox of two weak Corps. He and I were both Confederate Division CO's - possibly a mistake as our Corps CO put Martin into reserve and sent me chasing around to find the Union Corps - a great deal of time was spent coaching me through the use of couriers and the mechanics of that as well as of issuing movement orders for the entire Division at one time. Also time was eaten up with my attempt to reach the rear of the Union position - well, of the objective, but it seemed reasonable to approach it as if it were occupied and it was! - as well as trying out our notions of how couriers ought to be used while chatting about this and that via TeamSpeak. We were trying not to discuss the tactical situation using TS using the couriers for messages relevant to that, while we discussed other things and ideas about Gettysburg. It was an unqualified success as we had no issues with connection or lag and by the way we used MTG's work-around for the courier issues discussed on the SOW forums; why do that? Because it saves the one mod we can use with MP for something else. My troops did well until they were climbing over the back of the low mountain to come upon the Yankees' rear; I failed to rest them sufficiently and deploy them into line before contact.

Regarding finding out the casualties of other player's units, I think that ought to be reported to the higher HQ by courier, using the free text option on the messages. Not very accurate? True, but neither were the casualty reports during any real battles from Sargon the Great through at least the ones I was in, in Vietnam. Have to wait for the after-action reports to get anything resembling accurate figures. During our battles, I should think that a CO would keep an eye on his regiments' Morale and Fatigue states as well as their numbers and would be more likely to message his superior "My boys are about played out, General, and I request relief and if that's not handy then reinforcement with fresh troops.", rather than "My casualties are 1,095 men and we're exhausted and our morale is near Broken." There's quite a bit to do as a Division CO - and I expect as a Corps CO - in Gettysburg; keeps me too busy to have more than a very rough idea of casualties, as I'm watching my flanks, how my attack is going, how my opponent's attack is going, and how my regiments are holding up in terms of morale and fatigue rather than strength. Smile

For what it's worth, I've posted on my Gettysburg blog about Martin and my ideas for starting out with a set of random scenarios for the game - inspired by and a bit like the Twelve Scenarios for Kriegsspiel that Bill Leeson wrote up some time back and that can be had from Too Fat Lardies - and the other ideas were were brain-storming during our Thursday game. That url is http://ccnabbol.wordpress.com/ and comments are both welcome and open on that post. I've emailed a shorter version to all those in the Gettyburg Group here at these fora.

Just an update. Maybe a new thread for the Gettysburg Group? Dunno, but take a look at the blog and see what you think.
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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Martin on Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:39 pm

Many thanks Ike. Excellent game on Thursday with no technical hitches, even though we are several thousand miles apart.

Some interesting ideas on your blog too. Am really quite excited about what we can do with this game.

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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  hammurabi70 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:29 pm

Martin wrote:Many thanks Ike. Excellent game on Thursday with no technical hitches, even though we are several thousand miles apart.

Some interesting ideas on your blog too. Am really quite excited about what we can do with this game.

Martin

It looks like we can link machines on a global basis. The possibilities for this are massive and very exciting! cyclops bounce
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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Ike on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:04 am

Yes, Hamachi makes it much easier. When I was playing Blood Bowl, I had games with people from Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Denmark, Russia, Italy ... I think Singapore as well. And BB is a much simpler program, so you're right that things have improved. Looking forward to it, myself.
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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Callum on Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:25 pm

It all seems jolly good, Im just wondering as to when we can begin to have games. Smile

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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Ike on Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:14 pm

When can we begin to have games? Let me see ... (1) do you have the SOW:Gettysburg program and have you installed it and patched it to 1.4? (2) Have you downloaded Hamachi and installed it and patched it (don't recall the version #, but it has an auto-updater)? (3) Have you completed at least the infantry brigade tutorial in the SOW:Gettysburg, so you have at least a basic idea of how the units are controlled in-game? (4) Have you downloaded TeamSpeak and connected with our Gettysburg Group's TS server? (Don't have the IP etc? PM me.) Now go to the blog that I mentioned in my last post and read the most recent post there; I'm trying to get teams of 4 together to play Division level against the AI in a tournament. Here's the blog url again: http://ccnabbol.wordpress.com/ . All are welcome, but you need those four things to begin with: up-to-date game program, Hamachi program, a basic idea of how to control your units in-game and the TS program. Or, you can go to the SOW website, url http://www.scourgeofwar.com/index.shtml and click on "Community" that takes you to the forums. Check out the Multiplayer Category there and join the GCM. There's a separate sub-category for it and a "Recruitment" thread with links to all the stuff you'll need for that. Not a lot, just follow the links and explanations. All aboard! Very Happy
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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Blaugrana on Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:07 pm

A regular time to meet in the TS server is, IMO, essential.

I 'popped in' last night and there was no-one there, had a look at the GCM server, where there were people, and had a game. Ike was on the opposing, and winning, side ;-)

I need to learn how to be in two TS servers at the same time (if this is possible), so I can 'loiter' in both places.

GCM has games every night, of 6-18 players, because there are a number of people there, between certain times, pretty much every day.

HTH,

Jeff / Blaugrana

PS - am in the Gettysburg TS server now, on my lonesome
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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Martin on Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:38 am

Blaugrana wrote:A regular time to meet in the TS server is, IMO, essential.

Ok let's try it and see. What about 7.30 pm UK time. I'm tied-up this weekend, but will try and go on our T/S server Monday-Wednesday evening.

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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Blaugrana on Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:53 am

Ike has said, on his blog, that he will try and be on the server at around 8 pm GMT as often as possible. Is that OK too?
I can't tonight but will try when I can. I have pointed two other players of the game (who have expressed interest in more historical MP play) to Ike's blog.
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Re: Finally a kriegsspiel on the PC? Gettysburg: Scourge of War review

Post  Martin on Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:10 pm

Blaugrana wrote:Ike has said, on his blog, that he will try and be on the server at around 8 pm GMT as often as possible. Is that OK too?
I can't tonight but will try when I can. I have pointed two other players of the game (who have expressed interest in more historical MP play) to Ike's blog.

Ok let's say 8 pm then.

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