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Orders to subordinate Human Players

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Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Blaugrana on Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:22 pm

Dear all,

How should we send these?

Free text, or point and click (either the Command Map or on the battlefield)?

The problem with free text is that some of the maps have no (legible) place names on, so it is VERY difficult to tell a subordinate where to go.

The problem with pointing and clicking is that it makes the human subordinate redundant - he (and his troops, I think) move automatically to the location they've been ordered to by their senior.

Your thoughts, gentlemen?

EDIT - the troops will move if command map is used, NOT if point-and-click on the battlefield is used. Then you just get a surprise as your horse starts moving ...

Blaugrana

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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Uncle Billy on Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:56 pm

Blaugrana wrote:
The problem with free text is that some of the maps have no (legible) place names on, so it is VERY difficult to tell a subordinate where to go.
That is a problem. It can be minimized by having a 'group set' of maps which have numerous, legible names, printed on them. These would be used by everyone who plays in the group. It is unfortunately necessary to have it this way so there are no crashes due to incompatible maps.
The problem with pointing and clicking is that it makes the human subordinate redundant - he (and his troops, I think) move automatically to the location they've been ordered to by their senior.
It depends on which couriers.csv is used. If the stock version is used, then only the commander will move. If mine is used then the entire unit will move. However, if no formation is selected, all the units will move to the exact same location. Very ugly. I agree, this is a pain, but without useful maps, or verbally explaining the destination to each subordinate, it's the best we can do. Norb would have to rewrite the code to fix this, but I doubt it would be a very high priority. The alternative is to immediately look at the mini map to determine your destination, halt your units, and then order them as you would normally.

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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Martin on Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:30 pm

Blaugrana wrote

The problem with pointing and clicking is that it makes the human subordinate redundant - he (and his troops, I think) move automatically to the location they've been ordered to by their senior.

If I’ve understood things correctly, my personal feeling is that things shouldn’t work like this. In real life the commander would have normally obeyed orders, and sent orders on to his regiments. Even in this case there would be some delay, while he digested his orders and looked at the map.

But supposing he had information not available to the senior commander? He would surely have felt justified in not immediately acting on the orders. He might have referred back for fresh orders, with details of the reasons. In some extreme circumstances he would have done something entirely different, and sought post-facto authorisation.

As you've identified, in a game sense it's not satisfactory either.

Martin

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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Blaugrana on Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:48 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:Blaugrana wrote:
The problem with free text is that some of the maps have no (legible) place names on, so it is VERY difficult to tell a subordinate where to go.
That is a problem. It can be minimized by having a 'group set' of maps which have numerous, legible names, printed on them. These would be used by everyone who plays in the group. It is unfortunately necessary to have it this way so there are no crashes due to incompatible maps.
The problem with pointing and clicking is that it makes the human subordinate redundant - he (and his troops, I think) move automatically to the location they've been ordered to by their senior.
It depends on which couriers.csv is used. If the stock version is used, then only the commander will move. If mine is used then the entire unit will move. However, if no formation is selected, all the units will move to the exact same location*. Very ugly. I agree, this is a pain, but without useful maps, or verbally explaining the destination to each subordinate, it's the best we can do. Norb would have to rewrite the code to fix this, but I doubt it would be a very high priority. The alternative is to immediately look at the mini map to determine your destination, halt your units, and then order them as you would normally.
*Do you mean with your couriers.csv, or with either? I have tested this with no mods enabled and just clicking on the command map, without clicking on any formation, results in all units being sent to the location clicked on.

Of the alternatives currently available, I would prefer to try and use maps with names on and use free text courier messages to human subordiantes. Failing that, I think halting your units and then ordering them oneself is good, IF you catch the destination on the command map. I think it appears only when your whole brigade is under orders and it is not there indefinitely ...

If our run of solid games continues, this is something we can explore more. Can't bewith you tonight, am revelling in Barcelona's & Messi's glorious football Very Happy


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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Leffe7 on Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:54 pm

I don't like point and click march orders. For me this doesn't fit to playing realistic/HITS. For most maps there are minimaps with enough names to use.
And for those without names you should describe the order (verbose or written) to your subordinates. Think of it as fighting in an unknown area.
In several games I played, the commander would call up some of his generals to ride with him forward to assess the terrain/situation and give orders there. Other generals can then be ordered to assist and follow those instructed generals.

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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Uncle Billy on Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:20 pm

Blaugrana wrote:
*Do you mean with your couriers.csv, or with either? I have tested this with no mods enabled and just clicking on the command map, without clicking on any formation, results in all units being sent to the location clicked on.
I was referring to use of the command map via the courier screen. I don't use the 'N' key in the main screen at all, so I do not know how the game behaves in that case. In the case of the courier screen and the stock courier.csv file, only the leader will move. His troops will be left behind. With my mod, both commander and troops will move. The 'go to' location should stay on the command map, as long as you do not stop or click another location to move yourself to. That's why I suggest that if you find yourself suddenly in motion, the first thing to do is call up the map to see where you are headed.

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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Martin on Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:35 pm

Leffe7 wrote:I don't like point and click march orders. For me this doesn't fit to playing realistic/HITS. For most maps there are minimaps with enough names to use.
And for those without names you should describe the order (verbose or written) to your subordinates. Think of it as fighting in an unknown area.
In several games I played, the commander would call up some of his generals to ride with him forward to assess the terrain/situation and give orders there. Other generals can then be ordered to assist and follow those instructed generals.

Good points. In reality, there weren't lots of maps available to write on and send to subordinates, and I don't believe the map grid system was in use in the ACW, so using named locations in a text message is much more historical. The map method is undeniably convenient however.

I do like the idea of riding forward with some of your generals and then giving verbal orders.

Martin

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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:59 pm

I think we as a Kriegspiel group, now that the game is stable, can begin to address other issues like any mods we all agree to use or any gameplay adjustments. This issue falls into that category and so for this purpose I suggest we all have the same set of maps. The nice thing is these do NOT have to be the set we have in the game but a set on our PCs which we can print off and have beside us on our desks. The priority for these maps is they must be the same for every player and have enough named locations on or easily describable features on to be useful.

I will upload a set of maps to my image host tomorrow, every game map is included, even all six variants of Garnier's Random Map and for may I have a period/historical map and a variant which is a modern coloured map (but much easier to use). Not all have named locations on; this is a project we should as a group take up, I feel.

Stefan - now that we have a stable game, would your couriers group like to get together with ours and either form a bigger group or meet up and play with us on a casual basis? Monty and the other gentlemen are all welcome here, at least we have a forum that's a good plaace to discuss things.

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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Martin on Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:05 pm

Mr. Digby wrote: Stefan - now that we have a stable game, would your couriers group like to get together with ours and either form a bigger group or meet up and play with us on a casual basis? Monty and the other gentlemen are all welcome here, at least we have a forum that's a good plaace to discuss things.

Yes indeed. Monty and the rest would be very welcome to post here and it would be good to have joint games too.

Martin

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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Blaugrana on Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:15 am

I'm glad I started this discussion. Thanks for your replies - lots to mull over.

Re the game mechanics, I had not included the use of the command map from within the courier window in my post as I have pretty much stopped using that. Thanks Uncle Billy for reminding me and for detailing how that option works. When referring to the command map, I was talking about using the 'N' key. Again, goes to show how many options we have and how tricky it is to describe them absolutely unambiguously so that everyone knows to what one is referring!

On my wish list for game development would be greater transparency and consistency as to whether orders affect just individuals or individuals and their subordinates and troops. This is all pretty esoteric and would be very difficult to explain in a manual or to a new player!

In the meantime, if we want to scout as generals, ahead of our troops, then we need to use methods that will not have our troops following us.

I too would prefer us to use free text for orders to subordinate human players.


Blaugrana

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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:28 pm

I am seeing two issues that require NSDs attention at the moment. One is Blaugrana's "subordinate and units response issue". This set-up is not ideal at all, nor even wanted, with human subordinates. To me it seems obvious that this is the function that should be working with AI subordinates. NSD might even have confused a few line sof code here? I hope NSD make some changes. It rather kills a big part of the fun and immersion (and confusion of war) with human subordinate players. Can we continue to pleaase push this issue with NSD.

My second issue is couriers using roads, which is a feature the community did not ask for but which seems to have appeared during the recent sequence of courier-fix patches. If a general is now beyond 600 yards from his troops any courier he sends, or which is sent to him, first goes to the nearest road, then follows the shortest road network he can to deliver his message. This might seem okay and reasonably historical as ADCs would always use roads and not go galloping across walls and fences and fields but within the context of gameplay the rigid coding of the AI causes problems, in that if a general is well ahead of his troops (something we all do when out on personal recon), then the nearest road may well be ahead of your officer and thus any courier you send will go riding off AHEAD of your general into terra incognita and then find his way along roads to his units.

This can be terribly frustrating and the source of much wasted time as I found on Tuesday night when I spent almost the whole 90 minutes of a battle trying to get 2 batteries and an errant brigade who had taken a very weird road route back to our main line. Sending them couriers when the units I wanted to talk to were in plain sight a few fields away and the couriers going off in opposite directions to the nearest road, then faithfuly following that into the clutches of an enemy regiment and being shot was extremely annoying!

Some code logic for 'if the recipient is in sight go direct' or 'go direct to recipient but when a road is reached, follow that road' would be more sensible.

Thoughts?

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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Martin on Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:34 pm

Blaugrana wrote: I too would prefer us to use free text for orders to subordinate human players.

Another advantage of this is that it would give message interception its correct effect.

At the moment, messages going astray are an inconvenience, but those involving a marked-up map don't give away information, as the intereceptor does not see the map. Or at least I don't *think* he does. In the historically somewhat unlikely event that the courier was carrying a marked-up map, this would have been available to the other side.

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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:49 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:
If a general is now beyond 600 yards from his troops any courier he sends, or which is sent to him, first goes to the nearest road, then follows the shortest road network he can to deliver his message.
Getting the distance lengthened to 600 yd. was quite a struggle. It started out at 100 yd. Norb and his team are very much wedded to the idea that controlling the road system is an extremely important function of any battle. Even though this was not the case in most battles, it is an article of religious faith with them. It's something that everyone will have to get used to planning for whenever they send off a message.

With regard to the, "subordinate and units response issue", I doubt that Norb will be too interested in modding this feature to distinguish between AI and human controlled subordinates. It was no small task for Norb to get the code to work correctly when he added this feature. Every change he made to it resulted in numerous unintended consequences. That's why I don't think he'll want to revisit this part of the game. I could be wrong though. Smile I would suggest that player just not use the 'move to' function when writing orders to human subordinates, unless absolutely necessary. I have several more maps I never released, that are well annotated with place names that we can use. I'll send them to Martin so he can host them with the others.

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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:56 pm

Good news on the extra maps, Kevin. We don't need them in-game, but if we all have hard copies available as we play we can write text orders referring to locations on them which is a more realistic process anyway.

I too dislike the point-and-go-here process.

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Re: Orders to subordinate Human Players

Post  Blaugrana on Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:43 pm

Leffe7 wrote:I don't like point and click march orders. [...] And for those without names you should describe the order (verbose or written) to your subordinates.
Uncle Billy wrote: I would suggest that player just not use the 'move to' function when writing orders to human subordinates, unless absolutely necessary.
Martin wrote:Another advantage of this is that it would give message interception its correct effect.
There seems to be a consensus to use free text when sending orders to humans subordinates. Very Happy
Uncle Billy wrote: I have several more maps I never released, that are well annotated with place names that we can use. I'll send them to Martin so he can host them with the others.
Thank you. Sounds great!

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