Latest topics
» SOWWL KS----Scaling Down Waterloo Map by 2/3rds
by Mr. Doran Today at 12:26 am

» Gore or Glory: A brief ACW, AAR, 22/10/17.
by Martin Yesterday at 6:15 pm

» Impromptu Games
by MRM Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:49 pm

» Set Up for SOWWL NAPOLEON GAMES For Kriegspiel style
by risorgimento59 Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:08 pm

» Trying to Make Scaled Down Waterloo Map
by Didz Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:12 pm

» British OOB and troop ratings
by Didz Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:31 pm

» 2017 k/spiel game schedule
by Martin Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:17 pm

» World War One - AAR
by oldfaithful68 Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:20 am

» Just posted part 3 of my DARPA research presentation on tactical AI
by Dr Ezra Sidran Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:52 pm

» Gettysburg map, can be scaled to KS size
by MRM Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:11 pm

» Southern California Kriegsspiel Society
by Father General Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:59 am

» IL-2, Cliffs of Dover
by Grog Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:55 pm

Statistics
We have 993 registered users
The newest registered user is mugendo

Our users have posted a total of 24199 messages in 1931 subjects
Log in

I forgot my password


Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:03 pm

NY Cavalry wrote:I wanted to make a comment about the morale that infantry units have in MTG courier mod.

It was tough on troops advancing into enemy fire and I'm sure we can agree on this. I am just wondering what is the standard that is being used in the mod? It is not as clear cut as you might think. Over the course of the war, as soldiers learned and adapted to battlefield realities the fighting prowess changed. If you look at the units that fought at Brwaner's Farm there is a marked difference from the way units behaved later in the war. At Brawner's Farm it was a stand up fight that took a terrible toll on both sides and yet the troops stood there and took it and gave as good as they got. Can you compare that fight(and similar such fights) with the 5th Corp attacks on Laurel Hill? Soldiers later in the war learned what a hopeless charge was and would just go forward enough to be able to fall back. Other times they would charge ahead. My point is what period of the war are you trying to simulate? The Brawner's farm fight and Pender's charge at Seminary Ridge or the later war engagements from the Wilderness onward; because they are two different realities.

Withdrawing troops from combat is one of the hardest things to do. In SOWG battles this is the way it is. This is another reason that I think the game is so good. It is damn hard to disengage troops.

I bring this up because I took a brigade into an attack with this Mod and I knew it was going to be a tough fight and when it failed, and I had to withdraw, it was as good as over for me. There was no withdraw. The troops were worthless and doing the things we all hate like standing with their backs to the enemy. The regiments were unable to fall back in any order where they could be reformed and rallied. The solution to this would be to not have attacked. A failed attack should not mean the end to the brigade unless it was sent in as Pickett's Division was.

I respect what you guys are doing over here with HITS.
NYC, I quoted your post into a new thread because I think its addressing more issues than just arranging games.

Yes, last nights battle was odd in that the Union attack seemed to collapse very suddenly and their troops were worthless after that.

In the past I have had units run away 2 and 3 times and been able to rally them but I always do my best to be a 'good general for my boys' and look after them. I keep some regts always in reserve, resting them or having them rallying. I rotate these with those that are tiring and losing spirit. When I'm in combat I concentrate that part of my brigade that is doing the shooting and try to place my general right behind the line, constantly checking that the men have the general bonus, or if I can't affect more than one unit at a time, I move constantly between units. I also try hard to get them a woods/fence/wall/anything-that-helps bonus and an uphill bonus. I rarely overlap units but I do place them so they get the support bonus.

In MTGs morale mod a unit on its own is useless. A unit always needs support.

I've seen AI units that we often fight in our co-op games fall back, only to rally and come forwards again, though the AI seems to make a lesser effort of having its general right beside its troops.

Maybe there is a flaw in the mod in cases like yesterday where you had a general with a unit causing it to stay in the fight longer than it otherwise would, so when the break and run-away happened it was a more catastrophic collapse.

When I have units run, its always a regiment somewhere along the line where my general isn't! I spend a lot of my games seemingly galloping across the countryside rallying units and I think making that effort pays off.

I must be honest and say that almost all our games are co-op vs the AI and we also beef the AI up by giving it more thinking time which makes a big difference - I think MTG ups the value from the vanilla 40% to about 60% and it's very noticeable how much tougher the AI is. Our experienced team of 4 or 5 players has been crushed by the AI a good few times.

However in the co-op games we do usually win and so perhaps our experience of having to husband and fight on with a collapsing army is too little. We need more practice in that.

We should try some games with a player team vs an AI side that is much stronger, or do more player vs player games to see if there is a problem.

Mind you, last night I do think your task was hopeless. Gallantly executed though the plan was, attacking uphill against a significant knoll of high ground, conveniently fenced on all sides except the south and with a battery of Napoleons on the fences in the front line was really asking too much of an equal-sized force. The interior lines position allowed me to shift Collum's reserve brigade across from my centre right to our threatened far left quickly and the bent-back nature of our line allowed my general to almost sit in the middle of that wood and give a commander bonus to all the units around me. I would never have attacked at all, but probably would have entered into a long bombardment while working around the east side of the position, to either try and crush those Reb guns sat in that cornfield on their own on our far right (some of them for some crazy reason prolonged far forwards, more than I wanted) and to eventually attack from the covered ground of Spangler's Orchard from the SSE. There's also a good line of fences for cover there along that creek (which I think is a tributary of Pitzers run).

By the time your far right regiment got onto the fence to hit the left flank of Jack's left hand regt, I had a fresh brigade in the woods putting fire into yours from their right front. You went at it in the right way but it was just a hopeless thing to ask troops to do IMHO.

Remember that unlike the GCM battles that span 90 minutes, our HITS ones span a minimum of 120 and often 150, so you don't have to butt your head against the enemy when you first find him. You've got more options for long-range maneuvers.

We could also experiment more with custom OOBs like Baldwin created yesterday that have one side clearly weaker and the stronger side takes an offensive stance.

I'm open to all kinds of ideas to generate more fun and variable games and also to investigate if MTG's (on this forum it's Uncle Billy) mod to see if it is having unexpected effects.

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
avatar
Mr. Digby

Posts : 4912
Join date : 2012-02-14
Age : 58
Location : UK Midlands

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:26 pm

NY Cavalry wrote:I'd like to add one more thing. On the final drive to Richmond many AOP officers commented how the Southern Armies attacks no longer possessed the magnitude of force that they were used to. From my reading of the civil war this was also true for the AOP. There are three things that I attribute this to.

One: the largely volunteer armies were receiving lots of conscripts. The south was conscripting maybe earlier, but their quality of the army remained higher longer.

Two: Losses in regiments were really starting to add up and brigades were organized not with 3 and 4 regiments, but 5, 6, 7, and 8 regiments. The US Army has concluded that moral begins to affect the combat effectiveness at 10%.

Three: The soldiers had learned. They were more careful especially in the AOP about advancing(attacking). Again, I will use for an example the 5th Corps attacks against Laurel Hill.

It is not as clear cut as it may seem. There was a definite change of the fighting ability of the individual soldier(willingness to risk his life) in the eastern theatre. Gettysburg is a good example of the determined fighting of the prewar years and also the good use of breastworks which were by this time becoming standard. Armies learn and adapt.

I hope I am making my points clear.
Yes, very clear. In all wars troops get more reluctant to get themselves shot at the longer they serve. The graph that shows "gung-ho-ness" vs time is I think quite well known.

I don't know that the morale/expereince/ability numbers in SoW are subtle enough to show such different types of troops and I can't comment if Uncle Billy's mod has any effect on that one way of the other.

It would be interesting to be able to plot out the average responses of the different morale point/experience point values against various tactical threats like casualty rate, lack of support, being flanked, losing in a firefight at X rate of men a minute, and so on. I just don't see that SoW is that clever a game and I imagine its a very simple straight line graph or curve without any way to represent the 'green and happy boys' of 1st Bull Run vs the Old Grognards of Appomattox.

Uncle Billy has definitely tried to make units start looking over their sholder much sooner than in the vanilla game because we were disappointed in our HITS co-op vs AI games of casulaty rates of 90%+ and we knew this was silly so we made morale more fragile to try and make units run away much more often before they died in heaps. That was the logic of it.

We did 3 things:

1) Made the rate of fire of all muskets slower so casualties should be inflicted much more gradually
2) Made the break points of all morale levels lower so units would run away sooner (the combo of 1+2 meant firefights should still last as long
3) Made the morale effect of flank and rear fire much heavier on a units morale.

The issue should be that units break sooner, collapse back a short way behind the firing lines, stop and come back. They should come back several times before finally heading for the hills.

I think all of this seems reasonable and tends to make me feel like I'm in an ACW battle but maybe we have been missing something because we almost always play co-op vs the AI and we almost always win.

Maybe we need to ramp up the AI to be even tougher. It would be good to have you join us one day for a co-op vs AI battle where teh AI is really beefed up or numerically/qualitatively significantly stronger.

I know there's a Harpers Ferry garrison OOB going about that came with the Antietam add-on. I think that has some really cruddy Union troops facing the ANV, so playing Union with that OOB could be fun (it has cavalry mixed in too).


Last edited by Mr. Digby on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:34 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
avatar
Mr. Digby

Posts : 4912
Join date : 2012-02-14
Age : 58
Location : UK Midlands

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:18 pm

NY Cavalry, your observations about the change in battle performance of both armies as the war progressed are spot on. You are also quite right about how hard it was to disengage from a fight. Indeed, SOW recreates this effect very well.

Digby described the mod's changes and goal very well. My goal was to have regiments stop fighting when, on average, they reach 30-35% casualties. Using Livermore as a reference, I looked at casualty rates for various regiments during Dec. 1862 through 1863. That would be when both armies came closest in caliber to the professional European armies. To do that, I simply increased the morale loss a regiment takes each time a casualty is taken from frontal fire. It is still true that veteran troops will stand longer than green ones but they will all tend to break sooner than you see in the stock game. When a unit actually breaks is a dice roll. For instance, last night in a co-op game with Jack, I had one veteran unit rout after taking 75% casualties while another veteran unit became very twitchy after taking 25% losses.

Although we have been playing the game with the same value for about 6 weeks, I am not claiming that it's the right number to use. I am happy to move it up or down depending on player's perceptions. As Digby said, the goal was to try to get away from the Pyrrhic results we were seeing.

Not being in the battle you had yesterday I only know what I've read here. The collapse of the attack may have just been the effect of bad dice rolls. Or as Digby has suggested, the attack was a long shot given that both sides were equally matched and the terrain favored the defender. Being relatively new to this style of play, it's a shock to find that techniques that work well in a stock or perhaps even GCM games don't anymore. Or it may be that the number needs further adjusting.

I'll copy out a list of morale losses vs casualties taken for various modified experience levels.

_________________
I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.
avatar
Uncle Billy

Posts : 2882
Join date : 2012-02-27
Location : western Colorado

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:37 pm

Billy, just to make sure - your new morale/flank fire/rate of fire changes are in the Couriers and Maps mod aren't they?

I'm just wondering if they are not, then last night we were playing with a fully vanilla game.

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
avatar
Mr. Digby

Posts : 4912
Join date : 2012-02-14
Age : 58
Location : UK Midlands

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:13 pm

Good question. The latest frontal fire change is not on the NSD site. I thought I sent a private one around to the KS'ers. To check, have the game host open the \Logistics\Battledef.ini file. In the middle of the file you should see these 3 lines:

CMPctFrontFire=300
CMPctRearFire=1290
CMPctFlankFire=1150

It's the first line we have been discussing. If it is 150 rather than 300 then that is the old value we started using in March. The stock value is 100.

_________________
I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.
avatar
Uncle Billy

Posts : 2882
Join date : 2012-02-27
Location : western Colorado

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  NY Cavalry on Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:25 pm

In our fight of yesterday, I knew it was a strong position. There was a miscommunication between Mitra and me. I didn't understand his intentions and thought that he ordered an attack. Real battlefield confusion. If struck quick enough I thought there was a chance of success, but the brigade on my left moved to my right. Mitra never told me to stop so I continued.

If it was me I would never had ordered the attack. That was why Mitra didn't order it, but because of miscommunication it was. I really fault myself in this one.

The performance of my troops really surprised me. After taking a few casualties they were dropping suddenly in moral.

I really feel bad about how that one played out.

NY Cavalry

Posts : 29
Join date : 2012-07-08

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:41 pm

Well unless Baldwin had those changes in his Battledef.ini, then we were playing a vanilla game!

Uncle Billy - where in the game files is the extra quick thinking attribute for the AI put? Does that just get input in the main options screen?

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
avatar
Mr. Digby

Posts : 4912
Join date : 2012-02-14
Age : 58
Location : UK Midlands

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Baldwin1 on Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:13 pm

Well it was the old values from March (150). I can change it to 300 for future games.
avatar
Baldwin1

Posts : 184
Join date : 2012-05-06

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Uncle Billy on Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:31 am

The command to change the AI thinking time is placed in the sowgb.ini file which is in the \work folder. The value I use is: aicount=55 It goes in the Initialization section. The default value is 40. If you increase this too much the AI becomes overly aggressive. At values of 75 and above, I have seen the AI soldiers drop their trousers turn and give me a full moon. They then took the rest of their clothes off, poured blue paint over themselves and charged. Very messy.

_________________
I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.
avatar
Uncle Billy

Posts : 2882
Join date : 2012-02-27
Location : western Colorado

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Khryses on Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:16 am

Does the AI coordinate better when they're Wallacing at you?

Biggest failing I've seen was the AI attacking my divisional advance with one lone bde at a time, while the others stood back and watched. Wasn't overly challenging...


Last edited by Khryses on Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:21 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Bed bugs)
avatar
Khryses

Posts : 281
Join date : 2012-04-26

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:11 am

But some of those enemy beds can be pretty tough, the four-posters in particular. And the Louis Quinze drapes on the rocco ones are a real bi*ch. Had my Iron Brigade running for the hills.

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
avatar
Mr. Digby

Posts : 4912
Join date : 2012-02-14
Age : 58
Location : UK Midlands

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Uncle Billy on Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:49 pm

Khryses wrote:
Does the AI coordinate better when they're Wallacing at you?
If the setting is increased to 65 or above, the AI units begin to loose cohesion in their effort to get at you. Regiments tend to spread out too far in an attempt to outflank you. There is definitely a sweet spot at 55-60 region. Division sized units tend to work in closer cooperation. At 40 divisions seem to operate independently, so it is more likely to have two or even three separate battles.

Digby observes:
But some of those enemy beds can be pretty tough, the four-posters in particular.
Ah, but to find one with a feather mattress is to know heaven.

_________________
I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.
avatar
Uncle Billy

Posts : 2882
Join date : 2012-02-27
Location : western Colorado

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:06 pm

Yes, at 40 (the old value) the AI would send the divisions of its corps off all over the map in a very strange way. We'd get to the end of a battle and see that some enemy division that we never had contact with had clearly been in a very tough fight with either a very high or low score and we'd scratch our heads and wonder where that fight had been going on.

At 55 the enemy does seem to co-ordinate it's divisions better and march them to the sound of the (player) guns. We've sometimes been in a battle on one of the big maps when, an hour or 90 minutes in, more friendly or enemy divisions begin to show up. That has quite a realistic feel to it, a very "first day at Gettysburg" style of things.

I also recall, soon after Uncle Billy set the value to 55, that we had a terrible battle in the steep-sided valleys below Gist Hill on the Pipe Creek 1 map that felt like being on the wrong side in the Battle of the Crater. Boy, the AI was vicious that day!

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
avatar
Mr. Digby

Posts : 4912
Join date : 2012-02-14
Age : 58
Location : UK Midlands

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Baldwin1 on Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:17 pm

You sure it's not #optailvl? Because I can't find aicount=40 anywhere within the sowgb.ini folder. If you tell me what section it's in like #opt, etc. that would help.
avatar
Baldwin1

Posts : 184
Join date : 2012-05-06

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Uncle Billy on Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:58 pm

Yes, I'm sure. It's an undocumented command. As such, it does not appear in the ini file with a default value. You have to add it yourself in the Initialization section. I don't think this is a secret command any longer, but if it is, please give me your home address in case I have to come over and kill you. Very Happy

_________________
I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.
avatar
Uncle Billy

Posts : 2882
Join date : 2012-02-27
Location : western Colorado

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:11 pm

Well... after last night I am not sure what to make of this mod! Jack, Kevin & I played the Union Harper's Ferry Garrison (4 brigades and 6 batteries, most of the brigades included a cavalry regiment but also in each brigade all the infantry were rubbish - 0 rated conscripts - except a smattering of 3's and 5's here and there). We were fighting all of Jackson's Corps from the Antietam OOB - 14 brigades and I don't know how many batteries. We played on the Antitam map and were defending, facing south at Piper's Farm...

... and we won! I honestly don't know how we did it. All the enemy divisions were heavily engaged... but the enemy just semed to melt away in front of us.

Kevin placed his batteries well and we had some advantage of ground and cover but I honestly expected us to get steamrollered and we chose the imbalanced OOB for that reason, to play out the part of the game where your command is collapsing and you can't hold the line. Somehow though we managed to.

I think the cavalry units might still be heavily unbalanced. Kevin said they did wonders in the centre where I wasn't paying much attention - he said it was more like a Napoleonic battle with them charging around everywhere.

Our units being green were huge - we had several units up in the 800-1000 men bracket and I suppose even if these boys can't hit a barn door at 50 yards, they must put out a lot of lead against the typical much smaller ANV regts of that battle.

There was a lot of units falling back, rallying, coming back again, falling back again, etc and in that aspect it was a very fluid and realistic feeling action and I could definitely sense the mod working differently to the vanilla game. I think I had one or two units run about 3 or 4 times each, but each time they just about came back and clung on if I gave them a fence to hide behind and let them rest for a few minutes.

What surprised me was how much running away the Rebs did. Perhaps the AI had been marching them across country a lot and they were too tired?

When I checked the casualty counts at the end our guns hadn't caused that many casualties but perhaps the morale effect is just greater now? Also the cavalry casualties, inflicted and suffered seemed low too, but each time I'm assuming a cavalry charge wins its melee and causes the enemy to run back a while and when they return they are that bit more fragile each time.

My line did get pushed back about 400 yds over the course of the fight and it was epic in places but a very strange and unexpected result!

We could really use some of the plaayers who used to play regularly to play more so that we get their reaction to the new mod. Blaugrana, Khryses, Stuart, SamSmith... It'd be good to have your input too.

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
avatar
Mr. Digby

Posts : 4912
Join date : 2012-02-14
Age : 58
Location : UK Midlands

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Khryses on Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:58 pm

Potentially available most nights until the end of July; just need to know when I should be getting the latest mods and coming onto teamspeak.
avatar
Khryses

Posts : 281
Join date : 2012-04-26

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Blaugrana on Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:25 pm

Apologies again, Martin and all, for going AWOL. Footy, tennis, cycling and soon the Olympics, all on a new HD telly, are keeping me off the battlefield. I will try and get away from the sofa ...

Jeff
avatar
Blaugrana

Posts : 293
Join date : 2012-01-21
Location : London

Back to top Go down

Re: Uncle Billy's Mod & the balance of HITS games generally

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum