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MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  kg_sspoom on Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:46 pm

I would go so far as to say the "rangefinder" could just be the experienced hunters or sargeants in the regiment calling out ranges to the men. Let's not scare away anyone by upping the ante past a pretty restrictive set of game playing parameters as they stand now. There needs to be a good balance rules/restrictions wise. Hell I even turn my trees off occasionally to check and make sure my men are still road marching behind me and haven't turned off into a farmers field to boil some coffee or forage. ( It did happen to me a few times while learning hits) And nothing would run a new guy off like " losing" his brigade on a road march.


Last edited by kg_sspoom on Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Cleburne on Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:28 pm

Being new myself to the kriegsspiel group , although having fought before in HITS with most of its members from time to time,i dont want to voice much on these discussions.
In this case tho it seems there is a fine line.The ruling proposed is very sensible and makes perfect sense to veteran users.However it will have negative effects on the new guys as Steve points out.I think that is very important to the group as the new blood as ever needs to be maintained.I like kevins idea regarding a window of introduction or induction.This seems to be able to satiate both sides of the fine line and merges them. Very Happy
just imo
sorry to butt in
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Baldwin1 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:36 pm

We know at least the artillery guys called out ranges.
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Father General on Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:42 am

Father General does not give a hoot about ranges.

He's attacking anyway.
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Father General on Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:44 am

Seriously, I agree with Steve.

Let me ask this, what harm does it do to have it on? Does it yield any advantage?

And for the record, I will be turning mine off, since I prefer to play as hardcore as possible.

I sometimes even keep stale crackers around the house to gnaw on during marches.

-Neal



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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Uncle Billy on Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:12 pm

The only unfair advantage that it gives is prior to first contact. Many times I have ridden through a forested area when the range finder suddenly pops up and alerts me that the enemy is near. Although I can't see them, I know they are near and if they are coming nearer. Once the battle is joined, it only has minimal use. I shut it off some time ago, because of the first contact issue. For players new to this style of play, I can see that it is important for moving regiments in or out of range of the enemy. I can tell the difference between 400 and 800 yd. easily. But determining the difference between 150 and 250 yd. is very difficult. That's why I advocate a grace period. It's quite a step going from the Goodyear blimp style of play to ours.

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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:44 pm

The magic rangefinder that tells you enemy are 800yd away over hill and dale isthe main reason why I suggest we turn it off. Its a completely unrealistic thing to have. In combat it really has little effect - one simply fights one's troops as one thinks best and it is of little use.

But for the stated reason I ask players to switch it off. The spirit and concept of Kriegspiel is to remove any unrealistic hints or aids for players and to deepen the FOW. That fact alone (considering the forum and society that hosts our games) requires us to not use it.

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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Father General on Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:13 pm

So I guess we can't use this for battles anymore?

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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Baldwin1 on Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:58 pm

What about 'flag icons'? Commanders didn't have those either to remind them which regiments are in their command.
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:26 pm

I turn them off too - and road markers Very Happy I turn off EVERYTHING that I find adds clutter to screenshots and which reduces immersion. I never used those tick things to find my regiments anyway Wink

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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
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  kg_sspoom on Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:26 pm

Hits and couriers is pretty restrictive as it stands without limiting any other
playing aids. Much more and people won't play as much or at all with this group.
Forcing me to turn off the range finder, flags and road march icons would likely stop my participation in hits/courier games and may scare a lot of potential new players away. The H/C group is pretty small to begin with(atleast active players) I like playing H/C as it is and don't have issue with those who want to have a more immersive experience but please don't force it on the rest.
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Blaugrana on Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:26 pm

I hope you don't mind the thoughts of a recently AWOL player...

I think the rangefinder (particularly in early recon) can be a significant source of info that would not have been available to the commander in real-life and is therefore counter to the spirit, as I understand it, of kriegspiel.

I will switch it off in future, if I can work out how.

IMO, it would be good if these parameters could be set, either in the HITS & Couriers mod or by the host of an MP game.

I can understand your concerns, Steve, but I think that players new to HITS&Couriers would possibly not even notice these last few details if they were part of the default HITS&Couriers 'package'.
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  kg_sspoom on Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:00 pm

Simply put the rangefinder is to me someone on my staff calling out what they see. To think that there wasn't someone in almost every command group or even regiment that couldn't or wouldn't be able to call out ranges or spotted troops is crazy. I guess you guys want to make this group even more exclusive so I guess it looks like I'll be sticking with GCM. I'm pretty sure that Will put a smile on some folks faces. And I was just getting fired up about making scenarios again.
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Baldwin1 on Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:36 pm

How about this compromise. To prevent first sighting of troops through range finder, we switch it off at the start till we visually confirm spotted the enemy and prepare to engage then flip it back on to call out ranges. I don't like when it tips me off either to troops outside my view, it also makes it tougher to ambush the enemy. So basically whenever the enemy is out of sight entirely you turn it off.
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Martin on Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:09 pm

I 've enjoyed playing with & against you, Steve, and would certainly much rather you didn't go.

I also agree that it could easily represent someone on your staff calling out the range of something they can see. I do think using the rangefinder is a problem though. Not so much because of the range aspect, but because it can often alert you to troops you cannot see. Which does rather defeat the HITS concept, makes the enemy more predictable, and as Baldwin says, reduces the possibility of ambush.

His idea seems like a reasonable compromise for those who still want to use the range finder. But is it possible to flip during a game?

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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  kg_sspoom on Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:51 pm

A reasonable compromise is to tell people that when they are comfortable the group would prefer that certain aids are not used but let it be up to the user to decide when they are comfortable. How many people have been playing with these turned off?. Problably only a couple.. has the fact that everyone isn't using them affected the game adversly? I doubt it. Does it give a clear advantage..... That's very iffy at best. I don't particularly want to stop playing here but closed mindedness just does not sit well with me. I get enough of "my way or the highway" at work I don't like it at play.
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Martin on Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:15 pm

Don't know Steve. Can only speak for myself. I just used it for the first few times I played. So not for the last year or so.

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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Father General on Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:36 pm

I want to come out in support of Steve on this issue.

Tell people about it, turn it off for formal scenarios/games, and otherwise allow people to use their discretion. Besides, how can you police this except by collecting screenshots after every game? Not going to happen.

I, for the record have turned mine off after learning it was an issue at all. Frankly I've never found it very useful except for figuring artillery ranges. However, I think we should let players adjust. HITS isn't easy, which is kinda the point of why we play this way, we like the added challenge and the immersion. Still, this means there's a learning curve and allowing players to adjust to that on their timetable is a better way to attract new blood and retain old than to cut everyone off cold-turkey. --Not that anyone's advocating that either.

Question: Does allowing one player to use this aid spoil much for the rest of us? Sort of, your rights to play comfortably end where might rights to play fairly begin.

I support the cause, but I also understand there's a desire to retain and attract players. There is a bit of a courtship and foreplay process that should occur before going 100% HITS, IMHO. (Wait, are we talking about SOW here?)

-Neal

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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Leffe7 on Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:55 pm

I support a more immersive gameplay but the range-finder shoulnd't be a strict rule.

I've only played one HITS game without it yet, but I liked it! I think it makes quite a difference, depending on your line of sight. I lost sight on the enemy and ordered my brigades forward then some regiments suddenly stopped because they were shot at from close distance in a cornfield. The rangefinder surely helps to know where the enemy is and if he moving closer or away.
This makes it more difficult to command - especially for brigade commanders.
Therefor I would reccommend experienced HITS players to play without rangefinder, but do not enforce it for newcomers.

We should write a thread with "how to play HITS", house rules and used mods and make it sticky.
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Baldwin1 on Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:57 pm

@Martin, Yes it's possible to turn it on/off mid-game. I like the idea of veterans having it off, kind of a handicap to balance games out against the newcomers as well.
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:48 am

The Baldwin Compromise seems a reasonable midway point in this debate. Start the game with it off. When the enemy is visually sighted, feel free to turn it back on if it is of aid.

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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Leffe7 on Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:11 pm

How can the rangefinder be toggled when in-game. Is there a hotkey?
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:47 pm

I'm pretty sure you have to go into the options and I don't know what that would do during an MP game.

I'm writing the following with honesty and also with the fullest respect towards everyone else's preferences and discussion points. I do not mean this to annoy anyone nor for it to seem exclusivist.

While comments like "my way or the highway" are fairly strong, I am not suggesting this for no reason and also not suggesting it because I do it, nor does asking people to play with it switched off exclude them in any way.

I am asking people to turn the rangefinder off because we are playing under the umbrella of the kriegspiel group and because kriegspiels are played under the fullest FOW conditions that a wargame can provide.

If this were a table, map and counters kriegspiel wargame, you wouldn't have it.

It is the reason we play HITS & Couriers in the first place. We don't play HITS & Couriers because its a fun way to play SOW, we play it because it gives kriegspiel levels of FOW, which we happen to embrace.

Its also why we don't play any other computer wargame in this group because no other provides FOW like SOW does.

A few months back a group of other players came online here and suggested X computer game. In the end it was made clear that since X wasn't in any shape or form a kriegspiel, these players went elsewhere to play their game. I don't consider this a loss at all since I go elsewhere to play non kriegspiel wargames, but when I come here I like to have the fullest possible immersion.

And I think we owe the group whose umbrella we are playing under that respect.

To me that makes it black and white. I am certain that disabling it will not make a HITS game harder and will make it more immersive. To me those who have it enabled have an unrealistic advantage (small though it might be) over those who have it turned off. This means only that more players might be tempted to turn it on to try and overcome a perceived disadvantage (now that they know others are using it) with the result that a piece of FOW is lifted for everyone when it should not be.

I am not convinced by the arguments such as "in regiments people would be calling out the ranges". That may have happened in some circumstances but not for every unit, and in some circumstances these range callers (whoever they were) would make mistakes, or not be heard, or be misheard, or not see another unit moving round the flank in the woods, etc, etc, etc. So even at firefight ranges I do not accept the argument that its okay to switch it on. Once you've played just a few games without it you'll be placing your regiments where you think its best anyway and in fact most of us place units where we want them irrespective of range because a wall or fence or woodline is there and thus that's where we put the unit. I usually un-TC a unit and order it to advance and let the AI stop it when it gets within musket range. To me that is the better representation of someone in the unit deciding the right range to open fire.

Steve - honestly - try a few HITS games without it, I promise you that soon you'll not even notice its gone.

When I first disabled the road march markers, yes, I found it awkward but now I simply don't miss them at all and the game looks so much nicer without a line of ugly tick marks down the roads. Same with the ugly tick marks floating above units heads - sometimes I lose track of where some of my regiments are but then I think that is completely realistic and it never seems to be a cause of me losing battles.

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"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Martin on Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:33 pm

And now for something completely different. Well a bit anyway.

Our team had some fun in one of Stefan's early scenario games coming up with code words to use in courier messages, in case they were intercepted. As I recall we assigned letters to specific map locations.

I have this nagging doubt though, that this did not generally happen in the ACW, and may not have been practical a lot of the time. There was a shortage of maps (marked with X,Y, Z or otherwise), and those which were available were sometimes of poor reliability. Different maps of the same area were sometimes in use within the same army. As an example of this even some of the period minimaps used in G/burg:SOW have different farms plotted, or use different names for the same farm, presumably because farms changed hands between one map being drawn and the next. Also the lack of staff systems for agreement & disemination etc would have militated against the coordinated and secure use of code words.

Of course I could be wrong! Does anyone know the actual position?

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Re: MP Scenario 4: 1st Battle of Manchester (August 2012)

Post  Baldwin1 on Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:08 pm

We used to have a huge list of codes for basically using signal flags back in Shenandoah Club. It's a lot to keep up with and since we mix up the teams the code would be broken real quick.
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