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Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

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Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Martin on Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:39 pm

King Rufus alerted us to this Napoleonic game a couple of weeks ago. The buzz is that on first release it fell somewhat short, but it is now gaining plaudits following a series of patches. See here for a guide on what it can do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv6jPJGh21U&feature=related

There certainly seems to be a goode range of historical battles. There is also a battle-generator, together with a huge database of historical regiments and uniforms on which to draw. Unlike Gettysburg:SOW, you can also create your own maps.

His Royal Rufusness mentioned that you can play multiplayer. Does anyone know how this is handled?

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Tim Carne on Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:21 pm

Martin wrote:King Rufus alerted us to this Napoleonic game a couple of weeks ago. The buzz is that on first release it fell somewhat short, but it is now gaining plaudits following a series of patches. See here for a guide on what it can do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv6jPJGh21U&feature=related

There certainly seems to be a goode range of historical battles. There is also a battle-generator, together with a huge database of historical regiments and uniforms on which to draw. Unlike Gettysburg:SOW, you can also create your own maps.

His Royal Rufusness mentioned that you can play multiplayer. Does anyone know how this is handled?

Martin

err it was me but what does that matter.

At the player interface level someone hosts a game and the others select a side and join in.

At the technical level you can play MP using port forwarding or Hamachi

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Martin on Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:10 pm

Thanks Tim..........and apologies.

Do you know if the players in MP games use couriers, or do they just use a comms package to chat. Or something else?

Martin

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Martin on Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:33 pm

Found this fairly detailed description of the game. From the final paragraph, it looks as if the game was in final development when this was written. At that time, at any rate, MP was limited to 6 players on 2 sides.

Histwar: Les Grognards brings to life the pageantry, savagery and brilliance of the Napoleonic era like no other wargame before. From its innovative three tiered AI system, it's overwhelming level of editing and customization, its unflinching depiction of period combat in gloriously detailed 3D brilliance, and it's wealth of historical knowledge and accuracy Les Grognards is in every way the bleeding edge of Napoleonic combat simulation.

Les Grognards, designed and developed by Jean-Michel Mathé, is a tactical and strategic wargame, putting you in charge of a Napoleonic army on the battlefields of the early 19th century (1805-1814).
Les Grognards can be either played against the computer (solo), or Multi-player via LAN or Internet (TCP/IP) with up to 6 players divided into 2 sides with each player controlling either all or a part of an Army. Play by e-mail (PBEM) with 15 minute game sequences (turns) is also supported.

Tens of thousands of soldiers (over 50,000 animated figures), deployed in battalions are organized into individually controllable Regiments, Brigades, Divisions and Army Corps are awaiting your orders, and will carry them out in breathtaking 3D environments.

Les Grognards allows you to relive the famous historical (and countless what-if) battles between the French, Russians and Austrian armies as well as a multitude of secondary nations and city states (Wurtemberg, Saxony, Poland, Italy, Naples).

Les Grognards comes complete with ten major historical battles (including Austerlitz, Eylau, Friedland, Wagram, Borodino), as well as powerful game editors to create Maps, Orders of Battle and Unit Doctrines (AI scripting).

View the action and plan cunning strategies with 4 different camera modes: a 2D based Strategic Overview map, a 3D Symbolic Unit map, a 3D "real world" map with subjective (ground level) view, and a 3D Real World map with "bird's eye" view.

In the 3D views, every infantry battalion and cavalry squadron is represented in approximately a 1 figure =10 men scale. This means an average battalion will show 70 soldiers and a single Regiment could have up to 8 battalions plus attached staff units for over 500 individually animated soldiers!

Each type of infantry unit displays a wealth of unique and individually modeled soldiers including the battalion Major, Color/Eagle bearers, Sappers, Skirmishers, Grenadiers, Fusilierrs and Guards. Every artillery piece is crewed by 5 or 6 gunners and their team of 2 to 6 horses and attached limbers. Cavalry units will show their Colonels, Captains, flag bearers, Cuirassiers, Hussars, Chasseurs, Carbiniers, Lancers and more.
A number of realistic environmental options can influence the conditions of a battle, including different seasons and weather options like fog, rain, and snow. Various other realism settings allow you to customize the game to your own levels.

The heart of the game concept of Les Grognards is to put you in the shoes of an Army Commander, letting you define - with a few clicks of the mouse- a precise plan of battle, which is then carried out by the various artificial intelligence systems controlling your troops. You can also directly interact with the lower levels of command (Corps - Division - Regiment) to closely manage the implementation and execution of your orders. To allow for these 3 levels of command, Les Grognards was designed with a revolutionary and customizable 3 level AI system, similar in function to the system first implemented in the Combat Mission series of games.

The AI includes 3 basic hierarchical levels: Grand-Tactical (GT),Tactical AI and Regimental AI.

In solo mode, the player (and the Grand-Tactical AI as the player's opponent) create their tactical plans and arrange their troops using 5 general orders. The Link order allows to combine Corps in order to compose Army elements and coordinate maneuvers. The other orders (Deployment, Diversion, Defense and March) are used to define operational zones.

The intermediate AI level represents the Commander of Corps or Divisions that are controlled by the Tactical AI (T-AI). The T-AI is always active and translates the Commander of Army's orders into executable commands such as troop concentrations, battle formations, rallying of units and use of reserves. The player can also take control at this level at any time. In Multi-Player mode, the players that are in charge of the various Corps are partly taking the place of the T-AI.

One innovative game feature is the delay in transmission and execution of orders from headquarters to lower echelons. Orders can often times be delivered too late, or can even be intercepted when the enemy manages to capture the aide-de-camp.

Finally, the Regimental AI takes care of every Regiment on the battlefield. For example, an active infantry AI controlled unit will automatically send a battalion towards a threatened flank or order a defensive infantry square formation in the presence of enemy cavalry. The underlying tactics for the Regiments are mirrored from real historical engagements and tactics guidelines, and are customizable through the powerful Unit Doctrine Editor.

In addition to the impressive AI structure, Les Grognards also models the combat itself in impressive detail. All combat losses are calculated using complex mathematical models which take into account factors such as the geometrical arrangement of the physical unit formations, their training, their combat abilities, their fatigue, and their morale. Unit Morale itself is modeled to a great degree and affected by such diverse elements as the presence and status of the Army commander nearby, proximity of friendly units, fatigue, weather effects, sustained losses, and much more!

Les Grognards also provides you the tools to make your own massive battles and even construct your own Armies! This is accomplished via the three different editors included with the game.
The Map Editor allows to create custom and random maps, from a small 6 x 4.5 km landscape to a sprawling 30 x 22.5 km battlefield. That's a maximum battlemap size of over 660 square kilometers! The maps are created in real time 3D and the editor allow for a stunning array of terrain features and structures to be placed on the map including villages, farms, hamlets, castles, encampments and sprawling vineyards, rivers, lakes and deep forest.

The Order of Battle Editor allows you to create your own Armies and comes with several data bases including more than 4000 historical commanders' names (from General-in Chief's to Colonels), more than 1150 historical Regiments from fifteen different countries and include more than 550 historical military uniforms.

The Doctrine Editor allows you to manage and edit the behavior of Regiments controlled by AI. This powerful editor unlocks the very essence of the unit based AI and allows to truly customize how your units will behave, interact with one another and fight.

Les Grognards is being designed and developed by Jean-Michel Mathé, and is currently in development with a release date to be announced.

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Despatches

Post  Tim Carne on Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:37 pm

Martin, in answer to your question, the game uses a system for sending dispatches to and from HQ and to and from corps commanders. There is an in-game chat facility - this is visible to all players and is mostly used for game admin and domestics.

A word about the Fog of War facility. In 3D this removes the battlefield overflight capability. In addition on the map display limits what can be seen. This is not immediately updated which adds a little more uncertainty.

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Martin on Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:05 pm

Martin, in answer to your question, the game uses a system for sending dispatches to and from HQ and to and from corps commanders. There is an in-game chat facility - this is visible to all players and is mostly used for game admin and domestics.

Thanks Tim. I take it that one player on a team takes the army commander roll, the others are corps commanders, and they only converse by courier unless they are together. Is that right?

How do corps commanders give orders to their divisions, brigades etc? Is that also by courier, or say by clicking on a map? Also do the troops move immediately orders are issued?


A word about the Fog of War facility. In 3D this removes the battlefield overflight capability. In addition on the map display limits what can be seen. This is not immediately updated which adds a little more uncertainty.

Do you have the option of a blank map? I guess this is linked to how you give orders.

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Tim Carne on Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:58 pm

Martin, in response to one of your questions - how you issue orders.

I am focusing only on the Corp level here. It is possible to detach and order individual units but this is something I rarely consider as that is micromanagement that does not appeal to me (but it probably does to many gamers).

The mechanism is through the game graphic user interface. First you left click the commander then right click the order - deploy on line, defend on line, move to location, support etc. You then select the area of deployment again with the map and work through a series of options regarding the deployment.

I will experiment with posting images and hopefully answer some of the other questions in the next couple of days.

UPDATE - you can find the documents here

http://www.histwar.com/game/user-guides.html

Book I is the main game manual. Best to "save target as" rather than open the file in the browser (as this does not always work).

Page 6 mentions multi player, Pages 8 and 9 give information on visbility. Page 10, delays on orders.

This is a little out of date, Hamachi is used in the MP community as well as direct access through ports. Also the screenshots are mostly in French but these come out in English if you selsct the language for the game.

Multi-player is described in chapter 5.



Last edited by Tim Carne on Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:25 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Update)

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Tim Carne on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:06 pm

This is the player 2d interface (map view) at the start of a battle with full FOW. Nothing is visible of the enemy and the friendly forces are in known locations.

http://i45.servimg.com/u/f45/17/15/52/29/histwa11.jpg

In this later picture many enemy units are reported but this informstion is subject to delay. The "?" is a hint that seeing is not believing. Also the enemy unit information is not given in full.

http://i45.servimg.com/u/f45/17/15/52/29/histwa14.jpg

http://i45.servimg.com/u/f45/17/15/52/29/histwa12.jpg

Finally this is what you get as a report from a corps commander (AI driven).

http://i45.servimg.com/u/f45/17/15/52/29/histwa13.jpg

In practise you are become aware that you have enemy forces engaged to your front but there is sufficient uncertainty about composition and the state of the combat. Timing is everything if you want to exploit a breakthrough and this is difficult with FOW and delayed orders.

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Martin on Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:07 pm

Many thanks for checking this out Tim.

One thing I was not quite clear about from the manual. Is it possible to send a marked-up map by courier? The manual implies it is, I think.

My initial impression is positive, and I may well pick up the game. It looks as if the battlefields are potentially much larger than those in Gettysburg:SOW, allowing us to play a huge battle such as Leipzig. Have I got that right?

Martin

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Tim Carne on Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:40 pm

Martin, yes you can play the whole battle, just keep the level of command sensible (ie at corp level). One limitation at this stage is everything operates in a deployed state, there is no road column movement in an approach to the battle.

I am looking to set up a second copy (you are allowed to do this under the license) on a second machine and do some multiplayer over LAN so I can get some more screenshots. Unfortunately the other machine is the main machine for my good lady and she is busy preparing lessons for the next term so my time is limited to do this at the moment Smile

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Martin on Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:20 am

Yes some more screenshots sounds good Tim. One or two others have mentioned that they are thinking of getting HistWar too.

Many thanks.

Martin

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Streetgang6 on Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:47 pm

One or two others have mentioned that they are thinking of getting HistWar too.

Many thanks.

Martin
[/quote]

I picked it up last week, just haven't had a chance to try it out yet. Hopefully will be able to over the long weekend here in the US.

Mike

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Martin on Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:08 pm

Look forward to hearing how you get on.

Does anyone know whether there is a discussion forum for the game? And if so does it include AARs or other matarial relating to MP and bthe use of couriers?

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Tim Carne on Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Try this site

http://www.histwar.org/forum/

I thing a good amount is open to general read access

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Martin on Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:45 pm

Many thanks Tim. I'll check this out.

Martin

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  King_Rufus on Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:15 am

What is probably developers blurb pasted over to Jack O'Neills site: "HistWar : Les Grognards brings to life the pageantry, savagery and brilliance of the Napoleonic era like no other wargame before. From its innovative three tiered AI system, the overwhelming level of editing and customization, its unflinching depiction of period combat in gloriously detailed 3D brilliance, and it's wealth of historical knowledge and accuracy «HistWar : Les Grognards» is in every way the bleeding edge of Napoleonic combat simulation. «HistWar : Les Grognards», designed and developed by Jean-Michel Mathé, is a tactical and strategic wargame, putting you in charge of a Napoleonic army on the battlefields of the early 19th century (1805-1814). «HistWar : Les Grognards» can be either played against the computer (solo), or Multi-player via LAN or Internet (TCP/IP) with up to 6 players divided into 2 sides with each player controlling either all or a part of an Army. Play by e-mail (PBEM) with 15 minute game sequences (turns) is also supported. Thousands of soldiers (over 50,000 animated figures representing up to 500,000 men), deployed in battalions are organized into individually controllable Regiments, Brigades, Divisions and Army Corps are awaiting your orders, and will carry them out in breathtaking 3D environments"

There is a fantastic promo video on Youtube HERE and more videos HERE

The video also shows the capabilities of the map editor, including very neat hill creation, which may be able to create nice topographic maps for FTF games too.
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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:21 pm

I presume there is online play?

Perhaps a couple of us could invest and try it out?
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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Martin on Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:55 pm

This Napoleonic game came onto the radar some while back. I seem to recall that some intial problems were addressed in patches. I think I've also read that its scenario editor is in many ways more flexible than Gettysburg's.

Has anyone recent experience of the game? Specifically:

(a) Is this something our group could play MP? I have seen references to a courier system - does that work ok? What are the game's pros & cons for MP?

(b) Regardless of (a), is it worth getting for SP?

Martin (J)


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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Uncle Billy on Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:37 pm

Niall and I are playing a PBEM game right now. The current game can only be played by 2 players at most. A new version is slated to have division and corps commanders. Since the player is the CinC, he is mostly a bystander. He issues a few orders and the AI sub-commanders do the rest. The AI is weak by SOW standards. It doesn't show much imagination and is defensive minded. The game is more rule based so artillery and cavalry act more like their historic counterparts than in SOW. But the game has provided Niall and I with nearly limitless opportunity for trash talk. Very Happy

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Martin on Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:37 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:Niall and I are playing a PBEM game right now. The current game can only be played by 2 players at most. A new version is slated to have division and corps commanders. Since the player is the CinC, he is mostly a bystander. He issues a few orders and the AI sub-commanders do the rest. The AI is weak by SOW standards. It doesn't show much imagination and is defensive minded. The game is more rule based so artillery and cavalry act more like their historic counterparts than in SOW. But the game has provided Niall and I with nearly limitless opportunity for trash talk. Very Happy
Thanks Uncle Billy. Just so I'm clear.........

- Any couriers are effectively between the army commander and AI subordinates?

- SP not very challenging, so best played MP (1v1)?

I wasn't clear about the playing by email bit. Is the game played in turns, so you email files? Or have I misunderstood?

Martin (J)


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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  mitra on Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:06 pm

Martin wrote:
Uncle Billy wrote:Niall and I are playing a PBEM game right now. The current game can only be played by 2 players at most. A new version is slated to have division and corps commanders. Since the player is the CinC, he is mostly a bystander. He issues a few orders and the AI sub-commanders do the rest. The AI is weak by SOW standards. It doesn't show much imagination and is defensive minded. The game is more rule based so artillery and cavalry act more like their historic counterparts than in SOW. But the game has provided Niall and I with nearly limitless opportunity for trash talk. Very Happy
Thanks Uncle Billy. Just so I'm clear.........

- Any couriers are effectively between the army commander and AI subordinates?

- SP not very challenging, so best played MP (1v1)?

I wasn't clear about the playing by email bit. Is the game played in turns, so you email files? Or have I misunderstood?

Martin (J)



MP can be played 4vs4 (or 3vs3 i don't remember) where you can select who commands the various corps and the CiC. THe problem is that at realistic view the POV remain fixed on the CiC and the order delay is always that of CiC also when you give order as CC, so de facto you play as CiC with the FOW of CC. The orders to single regiments are always immediate also with historical realism. The 3D view is actually used in very limited mode because: 1 graphically is not clear and you have not binocular 2 you see also the unit in their old position (example they was here 30 minutes ago) if you have not their updated positions, so you really have serious difficulty to understand what is the real situation in the 3d.

I'm betatesting the next 03 patch: graphically improved and introduced some minor changes (waiting for bigger changes in the 04-05 versions) but actually I can tell LG is more a 2d classicla wargame with 3d addition and not a commander simulator like SOW. Now if really it will be possibile play Gunship mod in multi I think LG will have serious difficulty to regain space.

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Uncle Billy on Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:30 pm

All orders are done by "couriers". This is just simulated, no courier physically rides across the field as in SOW. But the farther away you are from the corps, the longer it takes for the order to be transmitted. The corps commanders periodically update you on what they are up to and what they observe from their position. You can also send an aide de camp to a corps commander for an update. One nice feature of the game, is that the units don't respond immediately. Depending on the condition of the troops and size, (I think), it takes some time to put a corps into motion. No instant gratification like we have in SOW.

The game is played in real time, actually slightly accelerated time. PBEM is played in 15 minute chunks. Orders,(replay save), have to pass 3 times, (don't know why), between the players before the 15 min. increment is finished and a new one begins. The player can then send off new orders if he likes. The new version of the game is suppose to reduce the number of turn passings to two. So the battle takes a long time. Niall and I have been playing since Oct. and we have only progressed 1.5 hrs into the battle.

SP is perfectly fine, certainly faster. The AI does a passable job, it's just not anywhere close to SOW. Where Histwar far surpasses SOW is its ability to simulate combined arms warfare. As I said, the artillery, cavalry all behave in a believable way. All three arms interact in a way a miniature player would find believable, not great, but passable. For instance, when a corps advances, it will periodically stop and allow the artillery to soften up the enemy. The whole time, the cavalry is roaming no man's land looking for vulnerable targets or repelling enemy cavalry. This can be very frustrating to watch. Many times you know the cavalry is going to get its head handed to it and there is nothing you can do. But cavalrymen were never known for timidity and cerebral abilities. Smile

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  FlashmanKBE on Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:11 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:But cavalrymen were never known for timidity and cerebral abilities. Smile

DAMNABLE slur Sir. Most Damnable thing I ever heard. Damn your eyes and blast your impudence.
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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Martin on Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:26 pm

Many thanks for comments guys. I think I have more of an insight now. A few more questions please:

(a) Time: is SP played in real time?

(b) Numbers: what is the figure scale?

(c) Demo: is there a good playable demo now? Downloaded the demo when the game was first released, and found it hard to use. I *think* I saw the comment that the demo did not do the game justice at that time. Is that still true?

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:43 pm

a. Yes. You can issue orders at any time. You can pause the action whenever you like.

b. 1:10. This can be changed. You can play at 1:2 & 1:1 but I believe there are gameplay problems at those ratios.

c.Dunno. I have heard that it is greatly improved over the initial versions but I don't know if it is the latest version of the game.

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Re: Another kriegsspiel on the PC? HistWar les Grognards

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