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HITS Meets GCM: A Game

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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  MajorByrd on Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:37 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:Is that Captain Flashheart I hear?


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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:55 pm

You'll need your dustpan and brush and toy soldiers for that!

On a serious note, I didn't play in the first HITS & GCM game but if I was to play SoW under any format than the Couriers & Maps mod, I'd find it awkward now because I'm so used to the C&M.

Musket vs Canister range
Morale penalty for flanking and rear fire
Rate of fire and rate of casualties
Morale break point retreat & rally mechanism

These four points have become, for me, a more realistic and preferred means of representing ACW combat using this engine. Playing without them would feel very odd.

It would be good to have the great convenience, speed and functionality of the GCM set up with the rules of play of C&M.

Any possibility of combining both?

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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Garnier on Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Musket vs Canister range
Morale penalty for flanking and rear fire
Rate of fire and rate of casualties
I've looked at the files for MTG's mod. The only gameplay changes from stock that I find are that regiments lose more morale from casualties (as well as even more morale loss from flank fire) and musket rate of fire is decreased.

I could include a host-optional mod that makes musket range 160 and reduces the musket killing rate, and is compatible with GCM. This would obviously make charging much more viable -- charging is extremely rare in GCM games currently. But charging still wouldn't be as strong as in stock/C&M. (I say stock/C&M because they appear to use the same unitattributes.csv and statetables.csv which is where most of GCM's melee and morale changes are.)

I can see where these differences from from my gameplay mod could make sense when playing 2yd HITS with couriers -- you want the battles to take longer since it takes more time to give orders.

The amount of casualties a unit must take to rout is an open question -- in GCM they lose morale 6 times faster from flanking fire, while in MTG's mod it is 8 times faster, plus 50% faster morale loss in general. But GCM also decreases the commander bonus (to make stacked commanders less powerful in a charge) -- so the morale differences between the two mods are complicated. At what percentage of casualties do regiments rout for you guys, if you don't pull them off the line to rally?

The other gameplay changes in GCM are things like improved road movement, less effective charging, harsher affects of fatigue and morale on regiments ability to fight, consistency with the limber/unlimber and stand-up times, artillery having problems moving through woods, improved high-ground bonus to combat regiment stacking, and changes to formation movement speeds to encourage proper use of formations. I effectively rewrote much of the unitattributes and statetables files that control most of this stuff. I don't think most of this is immediately noticeable -- and I think anyone who understands the changes will appreciate them.

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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Uncle Billy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:58 pm

At what percentage of casualties do regiments rout for you guys, if you don't pull them off the line to rally?
On average, it's about 30%. I wanted to lower it to a value that was supported by the historic record. I searched the 1863 OR for regiments that engaged in one fight and at some point broke and retreated due to losses. Although there were not many reports that gave the details I was looking for, of the ones I found, 30% was the average.

The rate of fire was lowered to make the fire fights last as long as they did before I changed the frontal fire morale hit. It was also done to again reflect historic rates of combat fire, not parade ground rates. It is still too high for longer fire fights, but one round every 1-1.25 min. is much closer to reality. Again I used the OR to supply information on rounds expended and length of time of combat. In this case the data were much more plentiful.

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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Garnier on Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:09 pm

The reason I keep a high rate of fire is to prevent charging. With the stock rate of fire, it's far too easy to close with the enemy while under fire.

In GCM I say that the casualties in-game reflect "effective strength" of a unit. So to me, when the game says a regiment has taken 40% casualties, that doesn't mean 40% of them are dead/wounded on the field, it means only 60% of them are still fighting. In the after-battle report, I think about 30% of the in-game casualties are returned to the ranks.

This way, instead of fighting perfectly well and then suddenly routing at around 30%, they can fight with decreasing effectiveness. So units that have already been fighting are actually significantly less effective, rather than only being closer to rout.

I think this is useful for getting better gameplay, and if you interpret the numbers this way, it's reconcilable with your historical numbers. What do you think of this idea?

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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:44 pm

Garnier wrote:The other gameplay changes in GCM are things like improved road movement, less effective charging, harsher affects of fatigue and morale on regiments ability to fight, consistency with the limber/unlimber and stand-up times, artillery having problems moving through woods, improved high-ground bonus to combat regiment stacking, and changes to formation movement speeds to encourage proper use of formations. I effectively rewrote much of the unitattributes and statetables files that control most of this stuff. I don't think most of this is immediately noticeable -- and I think anyone who understands the changes will appreciate them.
All of these sound like sensible improvements to the vanilla game and I can see good reasons for including them.

While I don't agree with making CSA artillery as effective as USA arty, I can fully understand why you did that. For campaigns though, and our scenario battles, I'd rather see the CSA artillery being less effective and their infantry more so.

I suppose the HITS guys are okay with the lower firing rates and such because we never went through that long trauma of the mass charge problem. Almost all of us are non-competitive people so the "need to win" just isn't there, plus we fight the AI much of the time. I'd say the majority of our melees are accidental bumping together of the autocharge rule due to it being hard to place a unit precisely with the 2yd view height.

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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: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Garnier on Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:07 pm

The CSA vs USA artillery thing is barely relevant because it only applies to shell and shrapnel. Solid shot is so much more effective that even in stock the guns are pretty much equal. (This wasn't true when the game was first released, because at that time shrapnel was the most effective ammo.)


I'm curious what Kevin thinks about the idea of calling the in-game casualty count a reflection of the regiments' effective strength. GCM's settings and C&M's settings are effectively the same if you change how you look at that number.

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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:53 pm

It came about after we'd done dozens of co-op battles vs the AI and every game ended like a Total War battle with very few enemy left standing. We wanted the armies to drift apart through exhaustion and a lack of willingness to fight rather than having everyone shot.

As to the artillery, whenever I have guns under my control, which is very rare, I TC the commander and tell him to use solid shot at enemy infantry and leave him to it. I think most of the HITS players know about the fact that solid shot is inappropriately effective in the game and we almost all use it.

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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: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Uncle Billy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:47 pm

With the H&C mod, troops will rarely rout off the field the first time they break. On average, they need to retreat 3-4 times before they leave for good. Those retreats take a toll on the fatigue of the regiment. So their combat effectiveness decreases accordingly. Unless a regiment gets caught in a hornet's nest, it's very rare to see a regiment rout while their fatigue level is high or fresh. My only experience with the GCM settings are from one game, but what I did notice is that once a regiment broke, it headed for the hills. With the H&C method the player is given advance warning, by virtue of their breaking and returning, that his men are in some difficulty and it might be time to change tactics. To answer your question, I'm sure there is more than one way to get the casualty rates down to more historic levels. One way is to use your method and decide that some fraction of the men wounded will return to the ranks after the battle. But I don't believe that was how the numbers were tallied during the war. A wound was counted as a wound regardless whether some of those men returned to their units the next day.

Increasing the rate of fire when an enemy charges or advances very close is a good idea. If Norb had actually implemented that feature, a number if issues could have been addressed. With respect to charging, KS just doesn't do it except in rare occasions. It doesn't address the auto charge problem but it does work well in our games. Our solution in itself is ahistoric since there were numerous regimental charges in CW battles. It's just that melees almost never happened. Unfortunately in SOW, you can't have one without the other.

The problem with having a high rate of fire set as default is that the entire battle is fought that way. As I understand, GCM battles last 60-90 min. A high rate of fire may well be necessary to finish a battle in that time. Again, KS battles are 2-2.5 hr. long.

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Re: HITS Meets GCM: A Game

Post  Garnier on Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:01 pm

I did notice is that once a regiment broke, it headed for the hills.
This is a good point. I think I should increase the chances for regiments to fallback/break at the shaken/wavering/panicked level. It's something I didn't pay enough attention to.

One way is to use your method and decide that some fraction of the men wounded will return to the ranks after the battle. But I don't believe that was how the numbers were tallied during the war. A wound was counted as a wound regardless whether some of those men returned to their units the next day.
There are two independent ideas here, and my actual point didn't get across. Yes, in GCM some wounded do return after the battle report is printed, but what I was talking about was something completely different. I'll try to discuss this on TS some time since that will make it much easier for us to understand each other.

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