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Courier by Brigade

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Courier by Brigade

Post  Baldwin1 on Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:19 pm

The question is: is it realistic?

In reality, the brig commanders did not send out lots of couriers to tweak the regiment this way and that, it was the regimental commander who did so or the brig commander was right next to them giving formation orders. In a sense we could change it to courier/div. This may be a slight handicap to the div commander, but they are usually the more veteran players anyway.

I just think this could enhance the flow and enjoyment of games. I don't think I'm the only one that tires of reading endless couriers on screen via pop ups - and wants to actually see what's going on, especially on the front lines.

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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:54 pm

I wouldn't want to change what we do now. Instant obedience from your regiments who might be several hundred yards away doesn't seem right.

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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: Courier by Brigade

Post  Baldwin1 on Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:22 pm

Well then brig commanders need to stick closer with their regiments for the most part. In reality they wouldn't wander off and go scouting. They stayed very close to their men whether it was marching or in line of battle. They usually had barely any aides, if any. So they wouldn't be able to send out lots of couriers.
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Father General on Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:28 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:I wouldn't want to change what we do now. Instant obedience from your regiments who might be several hundred yards away doesn't seem right.

Father General enjoys instant obedience!
--

I say weigh it out based on the following criteria, ranked greatest to least.

1. Do the spawned couriers have an impact on the game? If so, less may improve stability.
2. How much historical flavor is impacted by switching them one way or another?
3. How often are regiments out of earshot of their commander? Remember, drums, trumpets and occasionally flags were used to transmit orders over greater distances. The drum was common and effective during relatively quiet spells. During heated combat, it didn't matter because everybody's trying to fight. I know this based on my experience as a Civil War reenactor. Flag signals were rare or non-existent, used instead to signal to high-level officers over great distances. We used them to signal to our artillery and supporting battalions, but that's less historic.
4. Will adjusting the setting somehow create confusion amongst players/programs -- dropped connections?

My thoughts. Personally, I think unless they harm game stability, I'm overall with Digby.

-Neal
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Blaugrana on Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:56 pm

I am in favour of Couriers by Brigade.

Brigade commanders may not have sent couriers as such, but they somehow sent orders to regiments a few hundred yards away. The in-game couriers represent the delays and possible problems involved.

Brigade commanders wouldn't have wandered around scouting like we do. However,
I am very persuaded by (the other) Martin's description of these things as abstractions which represent things we can't do other ways in-game. Hence my preference for allowing us to scout to our hearts' content, and for keeping couriers as they are.

Jeff
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  FlashmanKBE on Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:06 pm

Baldwin1 wrote:The question is: is it realistic?

In reality, the brig commanders did not send out lots of couriers to tweak the regiment this way and that, it was the regimental commander who did so or the brig commander was right next to them giving formation orders. In a sense we could change it to courier/div. This may be a slight handicap to the div commander, but they are usually the more veteran players anyway.


I think this is a very interesting discussion. I think the vast numbers of couriers at the brigade commander's disposal does seem completely implausible. On the other hand, it wouldn't be right if a brigade commander could give a specific instruction instantly to a regiment hundreds of yards away (even if you had a particularly skilful bugler!).

I think what I'd like to see is regiments reacting only if the brigade commander is close enough. That would mean a lot more work for the brigade commander, constantly riding up and down his regiments giving orders where necessary - that to me seems quite a lot more realistic than sitting back and firing off couriers left right and centre.

However, does the game support this mode?
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Father General on Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:36 pm

I bet we could request this in NSD and see it in a future patch!
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Blaugrana on Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:49 pm

This is in the game now.

If you are close to a regiment (I can't remember the yardage) it responds immediately. You have shouted the order.

If you are beyond shouting distance (pretty close in the noise of battle) then you have to send someone with an order. A runner, an aide, a courier ... someone. These are all represented in game by a bloke on a horse.
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:16 pm

If we remove couriers at brigade level, then in order to maintain the correct sense of inertia and confusion and delay, each player would have to command a division.

Baldwin1 wrote:Well then brig commanders need to stick closer with their regiments for the most part. In reality they wouldn't wander off and go scouting. They stayed very close to their men whether it was marching or in line of battle. They usually had barely any aides, if any. So they wouldn't be able to send out lots of couriers.
I'm sure we've had this conversation before.

SoW contains no means of representing picket lines, cavalry patrols and so on. So, when our avatars ride out far ahead of our units they are representing that intelligence-gathering function and no longer represent the brigadier himself. Its my understanding that we've been using this logic for a long time to allow players to ride far in advance of their brigades, should they choose to do so. If these riders actually did represent the brigade commanders, we'd have put a firm stop to this practice months ago because its blatantly unrealistc, as you correctly say.

However, in order to give some kind of penalty to a side that does this with their officers over a side that does not, keeping couriers at brigade level adds a long tactical delay to any order changes for a player who is miles ahead of his regiments. This seems fair and good to me and is a good enough mechanism to have in place considering that SoW lacks so many pre-battle scouting elements.

Lastly, SoW generates horsemen sprites when you give an order, sometimes several. Clearly this is not realistic and you rightly say that no brigadier had a staff of 10 or 20 lieutenants he could fire off when giving orders. In reality if a brigade commander told a regiment's colonel to move his unit here, face this direction, act defensively and use the roads to get there, one single courer would be sent. Thus the multiple couriers in SoW are a game function only and do not exist in reality. Norb could have coded each sprite to carry multiple orders but he chose not to. The fact he chose not to does not then mean that there are actually 4 riders galloping across that field instead of 1.

I ignore the multiple couriers. They don't exist. Only 1 is ever sent.

My playing style is such that I interpret much in the game's systems differently to what is actually shown on the screen, or invisibly number-crunched behind it. For me fatigue isn't fatigue, it's unit cohesion and command control (since no unit gets tired after climbing a few fences); melee isn't actually melee with fists, bayonets and rifle butts, but is a violent, brief and point-blank ranged firefight, with perhaps just a few physical scuffles. It must be this way because there were not that many melees in ACW battles. My mind allows me to deny that these fake melees are happening and its all musketry instead. The result in-game is the same but my mind is satisfied that realism is maintained.

So you see, you have to look at what the game is doing in a series of grey tones and never in black and white. Once you do that, couriers at brigade level make all kinds of good sense.

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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: Courier by Brigade

Post  Father General on Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:55 pm

Digby, I like your take on this. Very astute!
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Martin on Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:30 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:However, in order to give some kind of penalty to a side that does this with their officers over a side that does not, keeping couriers at brigade level adds a long tactical delay to any order changes for a player who is miles ahead of his regiments. This seems fair and good to me and is a good enough mechanism to have in place considering that SoW lacks so many pre-battle scouting elements.
This hits the nail on the head for me too. It's a nice self-balancing mechanism.

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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Baldwin1 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:33 pm

I think the 'instant orders' range needs to be expanded somehow because I can be ~5 yards away and it still makes me send out couriers. I will find a way to fix/mod this or get NSD to do so for their next patch.
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Blaugrana on Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:40 pm

I, too, like your way of thinking on this, Digby.

Baldwin - I assume the distance taken into account is between commander and the unit's flag.
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Baldwin1 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:00 pm

I'm sure it is, but it needs to be a radius surrounding the regiment, because sergeants on the flanks would most assuredly inform the regimental officer of the command being shouted. Just a slight increase would be reasonable I think, it would be worth trying if it was modable. Or invisible couriers at the brigade level, that's a thought. Very Happy
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Blaugrana on Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:30 pm

Baldwin1 wrote:I'm sure it is, but it needs to be a radius surrounding the regiment, because sergeants on the flanks would most assuredly inform the regimental officer of the command being shouted. Just a slight increase would be reasonable I think, it would be worth trying if it was modable. Or invisible couriers at the brigade level, that's a thought. Very Happy
But again, a sergeant on the flank would need to run to the regimental officer or get someone else to nip over. A series of shouted 'Chinese whispers' would not be instantaneous or infallible.

Invisible couriers at brigade level could be the answer. I imagine that coding this could, however, be more trouble than it would be worth.

Jeff
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Baldwin1 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:52 pm

Yeah I would think gentleman's rules would be the only solution, but it's hard to enforce so perhaps we should keep it the same we just have to view it as a time delay I suppose.
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:02 pm

Baldwin1 wrote:I'm sure it is, but it needs to be a radius surrounding the regiment, because sergeants on the flanks would most assuredly inform the regimental officer of the command being shouted. Just a slight increase would be reasonable I think, it would be worth trying if it was modable. Or invisible couriers at the brigade level, that's a thought. Very Happy
All regimental motions and orders must originate from the colonel, if they didn't, chaos would result, so measuring to the flag in-game is the correct way to do it. A subordinate or non-commissioned officer on the flank of one company has no power to affect the direction or pace of the advance of the whole regiment, nor set it in motion if it's stationary. These lower level (company?) officers jobs are merely to ensure that their company acts in accordance with what the colonel tells the regiment to do.

I would be okay with extending the insta-order radius a small amount but when you consider the pace of a whole battle, adding a few yards to this distance is not going to make much difference. I can't see NSD agreeing to make such a minor change for so minimal a benefit, when they must have already considered all this when setting up the insta-order radius that's there now.

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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: Courier by Brigade

Post  Baldwin1 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:39 pm

I was just brainstorming, but since there is no current solution I will stay the course.
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  FlashmanKBE on Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:55 pm

It looks like we've come full circle, but I feel better informed, and happier with the present state of affairs. Very interesting!

Demonstrates how damnably obsessed we all are with getting a game as realistic as possible!
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Grog on Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:36 am

I seem to remember some time ago seeing a mod which removes the courier sprite at brigade level.

As I understood it, this was just the sprite and not the mechanism so therefore there remained a delay in transmission.

AAARRRG, damned if I can find it on the SOW site.

Perhaps I dreamed it up.
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Re: Courier by Brigade

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:20 pm

I personally would still like to see the sprites so that I know my orders are going out okay. You can sometimes also see if they are intercepted - another reason to keep them.

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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: Courier by Brigade

Post  Martin on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:52 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:I personally would still like to see the sprites so that I know my orders are going out okay. You can sometimes also see if they are intercepted - another reason to keep them.
That's particularly the case when your brigade is in combat. If you are close to the frontline, the courier taking orders to a regiment off to the flank can sometimes be shot. So you have a choice - going forward may be good to stiffen morale, but is perhaps not optimal for command purposes.

IMHO that's the way it was, and actually another reason for not changing the command radius.

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