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Scheduling HITS game

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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  NY Cavalry on Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:51 pm

HITS takes time to get used to and then when the frontal fire adjustment is added then that is a lot of time. I would say for some of our guys who have never player HITS 6 months.

I know what you guys are trying for I am just disagreeing about the frontal fire changes. You are dismissing real history such as Barksdale's charge at Getty, Pender's charge at Getty, Brawner's Farm and countless other engagements. These are not possible with frontal fire being changed. Each individual unit can be adjusted for moral, the change of the frontal fire is in my opinion crude. It is a macroeconomic tool for a microeconomic situation, if you get my analogy.

I mean no disrespect and like and respect you guys over here at hits. I just think you are missing the mark with this one. It is a game and as much as we would like to see it historical as possible that cannot happen. We do not have the proper tools available if those tools were even possible.

I have read and studied much about the civil war and I will err on the side of historical, but if historical was my standard then I would have to walk away from the game. If possible, we must all find the settings that are acceptable to us. GCM lacks in a number of ways and I would like to play more historically(that's why I am here now), but even then GCM retains very much a flavor of the civil war and is not that far off.

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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:41 pm

Unfortunately great though this game is, and fun as well, there's a lot about it that is hugely inaccurate and I don't doubt that almost every single famous event in the war could not be replicated with these rules, so saying a rule change is ignoring certain famous events is a little disingenious - because its not the point of why we changed the rule, nor does it affect those kinds of results. The game without mods cannot replicate most famous attacks and stalwart defences.

A mod that affects both sides equally should not make any result different beyond making it less likely that intense heroics will be seen by some units. Remember also that in real history the outcome of any particular event was subject to the dice of fate rolled numerous times by the gods. Things could always have occurred differently in so many battles and to suggest that a modification to a set of wargame rules that makes certain results extremely difficult to obtain is a bad thing isn't really a useful measure of anything. In history, heroic attacks and defences that we know so well because they were not the norm, should be almost impossible in a set of wargame rules. If they become the norm, then there's something wrong.

Changing individual unit stats would not achieve, I don't think, what we want to achieve, which is overall fewer casualties. If it did it would be a vast amount of work, meaning a new version of every OOB.

What we were experiencing was games vs the AI with ridiculously high casualty rates - AI armies having 80-90% casualties were common which we thought was silly. What we are trying to do is lower the casualty rates by lowering the rate of fire and raising the point at which units fall back from the front line, to rest, and be put back in, and ultimately to withdraw from the battle sooner, with more men left with the colours. If you look at the casualty rates of the games, the losses are still too high.

In that respect though, the intended purpose of the mod, we think its working.

I agree with Uncle Billy that it looked very much like your experience in the game with the Italians was a spike event that doesn't fit the norm. We had units in a game last night fall back/retreat up to 4 times and still return to the fight.

I'd like it very much NYC if you stuck around and played more games with us. While I think you prefer player vs player, join us for some of our co-op vs AI games and I think you'll enjoy that. Its more relaxing since there's no competitiveness and you can take more time to think about your moves and improve your skills and try different tactics; see what works for you without the pressure of having to win or lose vs other humans. I'd like you to see the mod in action more and see the way units retreat, stop and "rally once again" to return to the fight. If you want to invite a couple of people over from the GCM crowd, that's fine. The more the merrier.

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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  Uncle Billy on Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:49 pm

It's interesting that you mentioned Barksdale's attack on July 2nd because I used that incident as one of my markers in trying to determine what realistic casualty totals should be. He went in with ~1600 troops and suffered 568 casualties or 35% when he was driven away. The highest regimental casualty rate was in the 17th MS at 43%. The lowest rate was in the 21st MS at 25%.

Even the most heroic of brigades at Gettysburg, the Iron Brigade, went in with ~1800 men and suffered 929 killed or wounded or 51% before retreating. Even with the numbers we use, these sorts of casualties are obtainable with troops of this quality.

People got spoiled with the stock game values that turned most regiments into Iron Brigade units.

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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  Blaugrana on Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:18 pm

Hi all,

Sorry I haven't played for ages, ever since Euro 2012 started a rather heavy diet of TV sport. The astonishing British strength in the Tour de France is currently absorbing me. Anyway, back on topic ...

Rather than abandoning your idea of some HITS games and possible GCM games, NY Cav, would it be worth putting up a Doodle page, with some possible times, and adding some items along the lines of:
I am happy to play using Vanilla game
I am happy to play using Kevin's mod in current version
I am happy to play using ________
etc

This could allow you to gauge how much interest and flexibility there is amongst Potential players. I would hope it didn't make things more complicated, but appreciate it could...

HTH

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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  NY Cavalry on Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:05 pm

Hey Blaugrana,

Good to hear from you..

Back to the discussion.

I am just not sold on the frontal fire adjustments. I am not here to promote GCM, but the average casualty per battle is 31 to 35 percent. Some times you will see casualties in the 50 percent for a division or two. In a lot of battles you will see casualties under twenty percent. GCM is not an arcade shoot them up game.

If you are designing a mod with the AI in mind how is that same mod going to work against human opponents?

Artillery in SOWG has unfair and unrealistic advantages. I can write something up on this if I must. Artillery is the king of the battlefield yes, but it does have limits such as an artillery battery just cannot be placed anywhere on the battlefield. The placement for a gun must be on a level surface with room to recoil and a clear field of fire. In SOWG a gun can be placed anywhere and does not need clear fields of fire.

I mean this to be a discussion and my intention is not to be argumentative. I hope this is how this is coming across.

Finally, in Barksdale's charge the charge came to end because of a combination of factors. The troops were tired after running the distance they had and had become disorganized along with the casualties taken. After the initial charge the 21st became separated from the rest of the brigade and headed east when the brigade shifted north to roll up the rest of the 3rd corp. The charge came to an end because the troops were out of gas and disorganized along with the casualties taken. It was a great charge.

We could use another example. Ramsuer's day 2 charge at Chancellorsville. His brigade took 50%+ casualties and took the position.

It is a combination of factors that must be looked at.

To hold infantry to complete historical constraints and not the same for artillery makes a very boring unhistorical game. I'm not saying frontal fire adjustment is a trade off, I don't think the game needs a frontal fire adjustment.

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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  Uncle Billy on Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:46 pm

Barksdale's men didn't run out of gas, they were routed from the field by the 125th and 126th NY with a little help from the artillery. Very Happy They had reached their limit as every unit will do sooner or later. The historic record doesn't support the idea that nearly every regiment is able to sustain 50% or more casualties and continue fighting. But the stock value assumes that to be true. Or perhaps they made it so for gameplay value.

I agree that the artillery needs a lot of work, although I doubt it will ever happen. Unfortunately, the NSD team does not see anything very wrong with it. But those shortcomings shouldn't result in our making the arty less effective. Instead we just need to position it in a more historic fashion. I am usually the division commander in our games, so I run the artillery. I always attempt to position it in a historic manner, either placing a battery in a gap between regiments, or on a hill up above the fighting. I am not always successful, but that is always my goal. I know that you are coming from a group that believes anything that can be done in the game is OK to do, but we tend to stick to certain norms of play. We use house rules to fill in for the lack of certain features in the game. For instance, we don't turn off the terrain to get a better view of things. When we fight in the wood or a cornfield, we are as blind as the 19th century soldiers were. Since none of us are hyper-competitive, we find that this method works well and gives us a pleasurable game.

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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  NY Cavalry on Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:29 pm

I am not saying that every unit can take 50% casualties, but I am saying that it did happen and to cut it off where no unit can changes historical possibilities.

I don't think anyone has ever called me gamey. I play historical even when others do not. Many of us players have been pushing for a more historical game since the games release.

Some people like to bash GCM and I am not here to defend GCM. I do believe in giving credit where credit is due and GCM has helped MP across the board. GCM has had it drawbacks when it has come to personalities. I don't fault Digby for not liking GCM his experience was not a good one. It was unfortunate as he is a good player and I like to see everyone get along.

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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:37 pm

There's always a die roll within the game to give a random result. I think Kerflummoxed had a unit the other night, the 60th Ohio from the Harpers Ferry OOB that defended a stone wall all game and took 60% losses. So the mod still allows heroic deeds to happen, just less often.

The main reason I left the GCM group was because of some super-competitive players prepared to do anything the software let them in order to win and the GCM itself having to be constantly evolved just to stop gamey tactics and unhistorical things until it got to the point where I simply didn't agree it was as good a representation of ACW warfare as the unmodded game. I would certainly like to play again with many people at the GCM group because I have some people there I consider good friends but it would be awkward because I wouldn't want to play with certain players and the group is a very all-inclusive unit. Usually it runs 1 or 2 games a night and everyone's expected to play in those games, but if different groups of people played different games according to their tastes at the same time, and one of those regular groups was a HITS & couriers group that comprised people with a more historical interest in the game, such as yourself, I would be delighted to play with you online again.

I just don't see the GCM group doing that though, since, well, a HITS & Couriers sub-group wouldn't be playing using GCM.

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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  Baldwin1 on Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:49 pm

Just played a fun HITS historical MP game with the Italians, Mitra and Suchet. It was a fun co op game with a division sized Day 2 scenario. Mitra was division commander (Barnes) and while he was far from his troops to start he made a nice recovery and called up his men for battle. Mitra sent his controlled brigade (Vincent) to LRT and secured it quite well while I (Sweitzer) fought it out on Devils' Den and secured that after some time. Suchet was on the far right flank past The Wheatfield and made the best of it with his brigade (Tilton). We gained a victory and pushed the rebels off all the objectives. The casualties were nearly even but we won in a landslide on points. I'm thinking of keeping it at 1 point per min rather than the bump up to 100 per minute at a certain time as was the case in this scenario.

I was mainly testing this out today, and it seems to be a nice variant from hunt them down. I shall brainstorm some future scenarios that are challenging and post the times that I intend on starting them.
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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:24 pm

Baldwin, we were talking at the weekend about playing some of the historical scenarios as co-op games with HITS/couriers. I think it should work well.

NYC - the game is broken in so many places its hard to claim that the artillery gets an advantage on balance.

I believe infantry moves far too rapidly.

The change of formation routine is a joke, with a unit 'fanning out' from a march column to a line while on the march to both flanks. A change of formation from column to line was a far more technically complex manouvre than we get in the game and took a lot longer. Units deployed to the lefrt or right wings, or wheeled into line along a planned frontage before left/right facing into line. When Davis and Archer of Heth's division deployed from approach march column to tactical line to assault MacPherson's ridge on the morning of 1st July, that deployment took 30 minutes, or more. It was one of Bufords prime objectives to force the Rebs to deploy in order to delay them. In the game infantry brigades can deploy and go into action in five minutes.

Infantry lines can spin in place like turbo-powered carousels. And around a central point too, instead of having to do it by the left- or right-wheel.

A whole regiment of 500 men can gain the cover of a stone wall, just by having one man holding the flag stand on it.

Where is the artillery advantage now?

Some argue that its wrong for artillery to fire from some of the steep slopes on the games hills yet the vertical scale of everything in the game is exaggerated by a factor of at least 2... I think it may be a bit more, in order to match the over-scale sprites. So those steep slopes are actually not steep at all and deploying artillery on them might well be fine.

With a game so confusing in its distorted scales of vertical vs horizontal dimension and also a distorted/compressed time scale it is hard to make any claim about what might be realistic or unrealistic. All we can do, as Uncle Billy says, is play within a set of what we think are reasonable restraints such as not turning trees off, turning off the range radar (I hope all our players do this!), trying not to park guns firing canister right behind our troops, not doing massed charges, not charging in column and hitting the 'form line' order at the last second, not multiple-punching the charge button in melee, and so on.

At least in our group we can all have a gentleman's agreement not to do those things, unlike the GCM group which contains players who refuse to, and then poor Garnier has to have his mod jump through hoops to try and discourage players doing it.

KG_Soldier was saying on the NSD forum that he found the brigade level courier rule silly and unhistorical. I agree with him that far too many couriers are generated by the game but you can see that a simple system of code was chosen - 1 order to 1 destination = 1 courier sent. Thus 3 orders to the same unit generates 3 couriers, when in fact one would go. NSD could have delayed sending the courier until after a player had amassed a sequence of orders and then hit a 'go' button but would the longer sequence of that been any more satisfactory to most players than their 'click and go' approach? But to not use this function of the game with the claim that its unhistorical should make a player just stop playing the whole game since so much else of SoW is 'silly' and 'unhistorical'. I am convinced that the lack of instantaneous control is what Soldier does not like but then SoW using HITS (with the lack of information this gives) and couriers (lack of control) is not for everybody.

Given all these problems and the massively unrealistic rate of casualties we see in our games I don't think its unreasonable to try and reduce these too-high losses by having troops waver and withdraw sooner. If we can come up with a system that achieves the same result as simply, I would be happy to playtest it but I think something comparable would require a lot of work adjusting weapon csv tables and the like.

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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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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  kg little mac on Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:55 am

Digby,

I'm not sure how you became "convinced that the lack of instantaneous control is what Soldier does not like." My point was made with complete honesty: I find it less unhistorical feeling to play Hits at brigade level without couriers than to play Hits at brigade level with couriers because of the amount of couriers one must send.

There are certainly some mechanical problems with controlling regiments, or I should say, getting regiments to where they should be able to get using their own judgement. But whether you're playing with couriers or without them, getting a regiment to stop on a fence or stone wall often takes multiple orders. I doubt these problems will ever be resolved, and I'm really fine with that.

And since your group can easily implement a "gentleman's" rule, I think you should try a Hits game with an agreement that brigade commanders will not give orders to a regiment more than say 75 yards away. That's how I've been playing Hits games against the AI using MTG's mod. And I've enjoyed them.

I love the big GCM games, and really, there's no way we would ever try to control a near 5,000 man division using Hits, but I have been trying to talk the guys into playing with one brigade and one battery of guns per division and playing Hits; no luck yet, but I'll keep trying. We've played a few games lately the way we used to: communication by couriers only. But the problem with that is we almost always have players who are not very experienced, and they really struggle without a veteran's direction.

One last thing. . . although what you say is true that Garnier has had to make his mod "jump through hoops" to discourage "gamey" tactics, the truth is that Garnier is the one who has promoted the idea that whatever the game lets a player do should be okay. Garnier was the inventor of the massed column charge, Seal just his protege. And while it's true the GCM doesn't use gentleman's agreements, it's because Garnier wouldn't agree to abide by any of them. It's rather strange that Garnier has put in so much work changing the GCM mod so that the massed attack is no longer an effective strategy, even though he was the biggest column charger of all. If I remember correctly, your last GCM game was the one where you quit the field because Garnier massed charged you. Garnier rarely plays anymore and Seal only plays a couple of games a week (probably because he gets beat up because he's not as adept at maneuvering and winning firefights as most other regular players).

I guess one more thing. . . . I fully support the Hits and Couriers group. I'm all for everyone playing however they choose. I made my post about the use of couriers while playing as a brigade commander in Hits because I tried it and found that I much prefer playing without couriers in Hits games as a brigade commander. I did not make that post to denigrate or criticize how you guys choose to play. I was simply expressing my honest opinion.

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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  Uncle Billy on Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:06 pm

I remember Garnier making the comment that, anything the game allows OK to do, on the NSD forum. I didn't know he was the chief architect of column charging. I guess he was finally convinced by the rest of you that it was an unacceptable tactic.

Speaking for myself, I always welcome different points of view. I understand Soldier's and your argument concerning brigade couriers. Except, for the endless confirmation messages, I don't find their use too frustrating. Human players like to micro-manage their regiments, so they send endless streams of orders. I confess that I am as guilty of this as anyone. I also notice that an AI controlled brigade commander sends out very few couriers. He is usually beside the regiment he wants to order somewhere. A useful lesson for us human players. I try to do this too, but find it is difficult to micro-position the regiments because of the poor perspective the player has at short distances. You're right that a smarter regimental AI would cure many of these problems. I'm more optimistic than you, that Norb will make improvements in this area. All his latest AI improvements are in the area of better tactical thinking.

Another place where we humans tend to make things hard for ourselves is that we bunch our regiments and brigades far too closely. They then spend an inordinate amount of time trying to untangle themselves when moving to new positions. All the while we are issuing a stream of orders and invectives to get the regiments to move where we want them to go. We do this so as to try to maximize firepower at one point. But this is more 20th century armor tactics than 19th century fighting. Regiments and brigades had gaps between them, twenty to thirty yards between regiments and even more between brigades. They did not fight shoulder to shoulder as a rule. The AI too commits this blunder, although much less frequently than we do.

Although nearly all regimental orders are given via the point and click method, I've been thinking of adding some short distance advance commands to the written orders part of the courier mod. Advance X yd. forward in 5 yd. increments up to 50 yd. One of those in addition to the advance towards cover may help with the micro-management we all dearly love.

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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  kg little mac on Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:42 pm



I play with courier messages turned off (an in-game option), esc, options, uncheck auto display courier messages. You still get pop-ups when you get a player generated courier message, but you don't get pop-ups from AI couriers.

Have you tried that?
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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  Uncle Billy on Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:26 pm

Yes, but I like to receive them when I order other brigades or batteries around. They are often some distance away and the confirmation message lets me know the order was received.

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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:00 pm

I think in MP the host has to have them switched off and we once attempted to do that, and couldn't. Possibly its a bug that doesn't affect SP.

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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  Baldwin1 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:41 pm

If that's true (what soldier said), brigade commanders should definitely use it.

Anyhow, I modified the First Mannassas OOB to a division sized battle if anyone wants to try that out today (July 21st is the battle anniversary). It would be 4 player co-op size battle.
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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  kg little mac on Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:13 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:I think in MP the host has to have them switched off and we once attempted to do that, and couldn't. Possibly its a bug that doesn't affect SP.

I play with mine turned off in MP all the time and never get pop-ups from AI couriers.
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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:42 pm

I beleive you, it just doesn't work for any of us. A whole crowd of us tried it a month or two back and it didn't work.

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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: Scheduling HITS game

Post  kg little mac on Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:20 am

Mr. Digby wrote:I beleive you, it just doesn't work for any of us. A whole crowd of us tried it a month or two back and it didn't work.

Interesting. . . the host's settings in regards to courier pop-ups shouldn't matter. Most players in the GCM turn them off and no one has ever had a problem.
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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  kg little mac on Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:22 am



Of course, I've never played a courier by brigade game in MP (well. . . not in years), but it seems odd that in the set-up where you would think it would me most useful it doesn't work.
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Re: Scheduling HITS game

Post  Baldwin1 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:31 pm

Bugles and Flags does work with the Couriers and Maps mod in MP. Hays, Jack and myself tested it successfully today. Very Happy
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