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HITS Meets GCM: A Game

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HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  WJPalmer on Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:25 pm

As a GCM player have you ever wondered about HITS but thought the restrictions looked a bit daunting? Or maybe you've considered joining a Kriegspiel Campaign but wanted to see what it was like playing in the saddle?
As a HITS player, have you thought it would be interesting exporting your preferred style of play to one of Garnier's wonderful Random Variant Maps with their enhanced road movement, artillery and other adjustments? And be able to meet other MP enthusiasts?

Now's your chance. Let's get together for a game that blends aspects of both styles and brings the two communities together for a couple of hours.

Date: December 8
Time: promptly at 20:00 GMT (3:00 pm EST/12:00 pm PST). Please try to arrive a few minutes early so we can avoid the confusion always accompanying restarts;
Where: We'll get together on the GCM TeamSpeak server (http://www.sowmp.com/gcm/home/teamspeak), and join the "Battle Queue" on the GCM website since it's easier for me there to manage channels, etc.;
Map: One of Garnier's Large Random maps, scaled down to a suitable size (probably 2.5 miles across), with full GCM map enhancements
Style of Play: Random GCM divisions of 2,500 or less; standard HITS limitations (2 yard view from saddle; movement and communication by courier)
Game settings: Unranked; 3 random objectives within 50% of center of map; objective value set at 30% of total troop strength. Objective points will be accumulated throughout the game and weighted more heavily later in the game); Starting locations of player divisions will be random, but with a 30% "scattered" setting
Sides: Randomly chosen at game time by the GCM; Cooperative play with no pre-structured leadership unless players come to an arrangement after the game starts
Other items: With HITS limitations in play, there is no need for the usual GCM "200 yard rule" -- players will have plenty of incentive to remain near their troops! ;-) Also, in the HITS-style, please refrain from deliberate "stacking" and overlapping of regiments. A maximum of 1 regiment per brigade at a time may be engaged in deliberate melees
TeamSpeak: During the game, we'll all stay in the same channel, which will be mostly quiet except for game-wide communications.

For current HITS players:
1) If you haven't already done so, register on the GCM website (http://www.sowmp.com/gcm), install the GCM Launcher and create US and CS divisions. Please do this at least a half-hour before game time;
2) On the GCM website adjust your player settings (Settings/Random Game Troops Limit) to 2500 men or less and (Settings/Random Game Guns Limit) to 6 guns or less (save these settings)
3) Run the GCM launcher an hour or 2 before game time to be sure you have the latest version;
4) In the SoW: Gettysburg/Modifications game menu, temporarily disable any Couriers and Maps mods (i.e., "SmallCouriersAndMaps" or "CouriersAndMaps1-5")
5) Also in the Modifications menu, be sure "GCM_Gameplay2" is activated (this, and all GCM mods necessary to play should be activated automatically when the GCM Launcher is run)

For current GCM players:
1) Run the GCM launcher an hour or 2 before game time
2) On the GCM website adjust your player settings (Settings/Random Game Troops Limit) to 2500 men or less and (Settings/Random Game Guns Limit) to 6 guns or less (save these settings)
3) Your mods settings should be OK as they are

Should be fun and interesting for all. Why not give it a spin!

-Ron (WJ Palmer)
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  kg little mac on Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:29 pm

I'll be there.
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Blaugrana on Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:02 pm

This sounds very good, Ron. If I can, I'll be there. Very Happy

Jeff
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:10 pm

This is a great initiative Ron, I'll support it.

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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Martin on Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:28 pm

Yes excellent idea Ron. Wish I could be there tomorrow, but I fear my wife has other plans. Still it will hopefully be the first of many.

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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  kg_sspoom on Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:42 pm

I will play
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  MajorByrd on Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:32 pm

Excellent idea Ron!

Maybe I'll convinve the woman to let me in on this one Wink

I think there should be an overall commander to direct affairs and a chain of command, otherwise, judging from the GCM Hits games I've played so far, utter chaos will break out with no structure whatsoever.
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Muleskinner on Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:29 pm

Agreed on predetermined chain of command. That is something that can be done in the staging room, once we see how the OOB randomization falls. And in the likely case that the 1st division commander doesn't want to take Army command, we could add an agreement that the first 10 minutes of the game is devoted to finding our troops and organizing the armies, with no offensive-oriented movements. Just a thought.

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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  WJPalmer on Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:02 am

Sure, if teams want to come up with a hierarchy once we're in staging and selecting Division CO's, etc. that's fine. We can take a minute or two to get that set up. But obviously, we won't be able to set that all up more in advance.

Chaos is highly underrated though, don't you think? Wink
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:32 am

I've just realised this is tomorrow so its likely I cannot make it as I have my daughter visiting this weekend.

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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: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  WJPalmer on Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:39 am

OK, how about this: Once we're in staging and the game has been created and officers selected, we'll break out into separate Yank/Reb TS channels for a few minutes to organize leadership. When that's accomplished, we'll commence the game.

As to the need for a formal chain of command: depending on the number of players, it may not be essential to have an overall (and perhaps unwilling) "Army" commander who is potentially far removed from the various corps. On the other hand, since the elements of each GCM corps tend to spawn close to each other, corps commanders able to exert some coordination among sub-units and at least loosely cooperate with other corps leaders could come in pretty handy.

Oh, and one more thing. Since we're using the full HITS style, players are honor-bound to refrain from using "T" to toggle off foliage. So, think twice before plunging into those woods! ;-)
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Grog on Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:13 am

Sounds great. Been meaning to try out the GCM system for some time.

I will try to make it.

Mike



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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  WJPalmer on Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:55 pm

GCM Meets HITS 12/8/2012
A Few Player FYI’s
For HITS Players:
-GCM musket and canister ranges are 200 yards
-Union and Confederate artillery are standardized (both sides are the same)
-The most effective battery configuration is solid shot with orders to fire at infantry
-artillery will become fatigued when moving cross-country through woods
-GCM maps have a significant enhanced road movement bonus over stock maps
-Combat bonuses have some slight adjustments from stock and Couriers & Maps:
* Woods and fences carry similar defensive bonuses with a slight edge to woods
* Stone walls still give the best defensive bonus
* Rifle fire elevation bonus extends to the full 200 yards – the higher the elevation, the greater the bonus
-Units maintain their marching formation over long distances, i.e., they don’t automatically revert to road column formation over extended distances
-Road column is the quickest march formation when not near an enemy
-Within 300 yards of an enemy, road columns become slow. Battle column is then the fastest formation
-When the GCM creates a game, units are placed in random locations in conformity with host criteria. However, players within a corps typically spawn within a fairly tight group. Different corps may spawn significant distances from each other

For GCM Players:
-Movement and communication is all by courier
-Movement orders may be executed by the same “point & click” as you typically do – but your order creates a courier who then must travel to the receiving unit for the order to be recognized & executed. This is obvious incentive to remain reasonably close to your troops
-Communication with fellow division commanders, corps commanders, etc., is easy. Just:
* Press “C” on the keyboard
* Select “Free Text” from the tab/menu
* Select the recipient
* Type your message
* Hit enter when done or you need to enter a second line of text
* Click on “End Message and Signature” on the lower-right area of the screen to send your courier with the message
-Don’t forget that depending on the enemy’s position relative to the intended recipient, your courier may not make it – and your message could be intercepted by the enemy!
-When receiving a message, take note of the time it was sent. On a large GCM map the message may be a bit stale!
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  mitra on Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:16 pm

I will join too, is a nice test. Perhaps also Suchet will be present.


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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  kg_sspoom on Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:36 pm

Sadly I won't be there for this as I thought it was on Sunday. I'm away from the house working on other house. Bummer
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  MajorByrd on Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:35 am

So how was it guys?
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Blaugrana on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:22 pm

It was very interesting. All the tools Garnier has built to facilitate games are amazing and it was very easy and quick to get the game going. It took about 5 minutes once everyone had done what Ron had asked us to do 2 hours before the game Razz

Because each side's divisions were a bit dispersed and there were objectives, three separate fights took place, I think. My division were very poorly led Embarassed After initially being ordered to support Muleskinner in the NE I arrived when the fighting was dying out (to our advantage) and moved back to the left to support Ron. I arrived near him to see hordes of Reb troops and left my infantry alone for a few minutes in what I thought was an OK position while I tried to get my battery up alongside. It took longer than expected, there was that horrible metallic sound of canister and when I looked I saw that some of my infantry had taken massive casualties. Ron was hugely outnumbered and despite Kevin's best efforts his division and mine were driven back. I ended with a score just shy of MINUS 1K.

It seemed to be quicker and bloodier than our HITS & Couriers games and less co-ordinated than the last two games at least. I don't know if this is due to the different gameplay, to the tactics of the players, to chance, or is just a perception of mine, no doubt coloured by the sound beating I took. I'd be interested to hear other people's views.

Thanks again to Ron for organising this and to all involved. I think I'll be back on the GCM site soon for another battle, a 'normal' GCM one this time, for variety.

-Jeff
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  MajorByrd on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:35 pm

I'd say it was faster and bloodier because you dont really have to look for our enemy very long. Everyone will go for an objective in the end. Also a new gameplay, new people and HITS and GCM newbies might be causing some confusion, but I kinda like the idea of this mix...
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  WJPalmer on Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:01 pm

Thanks again to everyone for joining. It was a great experience and hugely interesting – although, for our Yanks, it may have been "hugely interesting" in the same sense Chancellorsville was hugely interesting for Gen. Howard's XI Corps! Wink In my case the game was a humbling education in what it must have been like at times for actual ACW leaders. My division began nearly upon the first of the 3 objectives, which I knew would be a magnet for any Rebs in the area – and it wasn’t long before they began to show. Operating in a wooded area, I caught a glimpse of Suchet’s division about 900 yards to my north and east moving into clearings. Perhaps 10 minutes later Obstacle 2’s men appeared in my front left moving to engage my left brigade (and yes, I WAS getting quite nervous). Jeff (Blaugrana) was moving up to my support from the southeast, but there was really no way to know that early how close or how soon the rest of General MTG’s force would arrive. I took a chance that someone would appear on my left where heavy woods effectively obscured the situation. Well, someone did arrive on my left – and in my rear – in just a few. Sadly, it was Garnier’s division wearing the butternut! For a few seconds, through the trees I thought they were fellow Yanks come to bolster my flank, but no. And, to make matters even worse, these showed up about the time Col. Neal’s Rebs added to the force to my front -- and all in a fractious mood. My destruction was no longer in doubt.

In any event, I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly perfect “fog of war” experience and hope all the HITS guys come back soon. Everyone is welcome ANYTIME to either join in regular GCM games or set up more HITS encounters. Battles can be scheduled and players collected via the “Schedule Battle” and “Battle Queue” functions on the GCM website (http://www.sowmp.com/gcm/). All this makes hosting very easy – it literally takes only minutes to get one going. Play randomized, balanced sides (as we did yesterday), Sandbox, historical -- just about anything. It is also possible to play virtually any map you’d like: Garnier’s new Large Random Maps: historical; historical variants; Antietam, Pipe Creek, Chancellorsville -- even stock.

IMO Garnier’s setup carries some real advantages for HITS play where players typically won’t fully understand what’s going on around a battlefield until after the shooting stops. The “Battle Reports” carry a wealth of information quite helpful in answering the question, “What the Heck Happened?” For instance, check out the one for yesterday’s game: http://www.sowmp.com/gcm/battles/battle/13189
Notice each player is listed with their statistics, troop and casualty rates for individuals and complete sides, more detail about the map, game, objectives, etc. Scroll down further to see a mini-map with player starting locations and objective placement. A link to the battle replay download is automatically posted (where the host clicks to save it at the close of the game). Also, you’ll notice that a link to any screenshots taken and posted by players during the game is also there. A very complete package of battle intel.

Hope everyone had a good time and looking forward to seeing you all soon!
-Ron


Last edited by WJPalmer on Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  mitra on Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:27 pm

here the replay video


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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Father General on Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:51 pm

GCM to me means fast, furious, and fair gameplay. Chain of command is virtually non-existent, and there are no plans to be laid. It's action, reaction, wash, rinse, repeat.

From a gameplay standpoint, it is excellent.

What's missing is what I enjoy the most, which interestingly is not the gameplay so much. You see, I'm an oddball; I enjoy the hour-long road marches as much as I enjoy the fighting. I love the battle planning and strategy even more.

GCM is all tactics, for the most part. My affection is for the strategy.

What would be very enjoyable, would be a continued development of GCM, to facilitate more strategy. Right now, we do that ourselves, by creating and adding another level to the game. The game is simply where our decisions play out.

I really enjoyed my GCM game and was mightily impressed by Garnier's work.

I may return for more, especially when I just feel like fighting something. :-)

But for the cerebral heavy lifting, there's still nothing like a lovingly-crafted Kregisspiel scenario.

-Neal

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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  kg little mac on Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:17 pm

I think, Neal, if we used a smaller deployment spread, say 10% instead of 30%, it would be easier to have a more organized battle plan. As it was, I spent most of the game marching, trying to get to Palmer and give him support. However, when I finally got there, I was too late and Garnier's division showed up on my flank so I couldn't do more than hold the left and give Palmer's battered boys somewhere to retreat to.

But that 30% spread is something we really like in GCM games. We play so many games that the randomized starting positions make for interesting battles because you never know if you're going to deploy out front, alone, and surrounded by the enemy.

As far as game-play goes, I do not enjoy the movement by couriers, mostly because of all the damn spam return couriers which hurt immersion in my opinion.

In the next GCM/Hits & Couriers game, I suggest we keep the 2 yard HITS and communication by courier only and ditch the courier movement but make a rule that you can't move more than 100 yards from your nearest infantry regiment.

Honestly, I felt like a full 1/3 of my time was spent closing courier spam messages.

http://www.sowmp.com/gcm/battles/battle/13189

That's a link to the battle report. You can download the reply file there and see the screen shots.

Mark
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Father General on Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:57 pm

The replies you get (when your orders are received by subordinate units) are entirely fictitious and destroy immersion. They are a problem. I can send a courier yes, but I should not see the instant a message is received. Those are annoying.

However, by and large, I like using the couriers.

I do like having an initial briefing and feeling like I have some purpose rather than merely destroy the enemy to my immediate front. I like strategy and as such, SOW can only be half of the experience I most enjoy. I like administrating, scheming, discussing, and implementing a plan that aims to go beyond a single battle. I think it would be cool if a campaign could be built that marries the amazing convenience and fun of the GCM with the plotting, planning, frustration and fog that comes with kreigsspiel.

-Neal
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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Comrade Chernov on Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:17 pm

Father General wrote:GCM to me means fast, furious, and fair gameplay. Chain of command is virtually non-existent, and there are no plans to be laid. It's action, reaction, wash, rinse, repeat.

From a gameplay standpoint, it is excellent.

What's missing is what I enjoy the most, which interestingly is not the gameplay so much. You see, I'm an oddball; I enjoy the hour-long road marches as much as I enjoy the fighting. I love the battle planning and strategy even more.

GCM is all tactics, for the most part. My affection is for the strategy.

What would be very enjoyable, would be a continued development of GCM, to facilitate more strategy. Right now, we do that ourselves, by creating and adding another level to the game. The game is simply where our decisions play out.

I really enjoyed my GCM game and was mightily impressed by Garnier's work.

I may return for more, especially when I just feel like fighting something. :-)

But for the cerebral heavy lifting, there's still nothing like a lovingly-crafted Kregisspiel scenario.

-Neal


Oh, trust me, when we do games with TS in use, the strategy element increases tenfold. Attacks are furious, with entire brigades massed in assault columns, charging forward through forest and field to crush the enemy; players coordinate strategy, establishing who is where on the battlefield, asking their nearest comrades for help. Sometimes divisions march from one flank to the other, sometimes there are wide-sweeping flank marches, sometimes there are gigantic melees that bring about a game-long stalemate, the only losers being the thousands of dead and wounded that said melees produce. And sometimes, entire flanks (2-3 divisions) are crushed and bent back, and Billy Yank goes home a few guns short! Very Happy

But GCM games always involve the players working together, strategies are formulated, cast aside, and reformulated with every cannonball fired. Battle lines are as fluid as water and as solid as brick walls. It's really just an amazing experience.

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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:45 pm

Talking in TS though isn't what these games should be about. Players should do all that co-ordinating by courier. Perhaps the GCM/HITS mix game could be improved if the two sides started further apart, with the component divisions of each close together and a clear chain of command. This would enable a plan to be agreed beforehand and for divisions to co-ordinate their moves and even conduct flanking moves in support of one another.

Road marches could be conducted more usefully as well.

Armies tended to start battles arrayed in mostly linear positions and mostly together with an enemy a good distance away and also together. If you command a division, you should know where your friendly divisions are, to a good degree.

If a system could replicate that kind of deployment (in fact the sandbox option we mostly use in our HITS games pretty much does this) it might produce a more realistic feeling game.

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