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Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

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Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  FlashmanKBE on Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:03 am

Gentlemen,

I just had rather an intriguing thought for future campaigns that I would like to see discussed.

If we assume that one side had many more recruits than the other (e.g. let's say the North has 10 players, and the South 20), and if (as has been pointed out elsewhere) the North is also heavy with veteran GCM players, who are more used to commanding divisions, then why not offer each North player a small division, and each south player, a large brigade?

I think it would be rather fun to offer different command formats to each side.

Also, to be honest, I believe the GCM players are way more experienced at commanding large-scale SOW battles than the more regular HITS players, and I wonder if this sort of asymmetry could be used to even things up a bit? Also, I wonder if the GCM fellows would enjoy the challenge of a larger command in HITS mode, and they would be coming up against large brigades, which are harder to fight anyways.

Certainly this asymmetry really existed in the Eastern campaigns (my knowledge of the west is sparse. Braxton Bragg. There, that's about it). I just think it would be rather an interesting approach.

PLUS - given that the Northern players gave us Southerns a whooping in this campaign, it would seem appropriate to offer them all "promotions" anyway, so moving from brigade commands to division commands fits once again.

In my head, it all fits perfectly.

What do other people think?

Ollie
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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  Father General on Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:48 am

FlashmanKBE wrote:Gentlemen,

I just had rather an intriguing thought for future campaigns that I would like to see discussed.

If we assume that one side had many more recruits than the other (e.g. let's say the North has 10 players, and the South 20), and if (as has been pointed out elsewhere) the North is also heavy with veteran GCM players, who are more used to commanding divisions, then why not offer each North player a small division, and each south player, a large brigade?

I think it would be rather fun to offer different command formats to each side.

Also, to be honest, I believe the GCM players are way more experienced at commanding large-scale SOW battles than the more regular HITS players, and I wonder if this sort of asymmetry could be used to even things up a bit? Also, I wonder if the GCM fellows would enjoy the challenge of a larger command in HITS mode, and they would be coming up against large brigades, which are harder to fight anyways.

Certainly this asymmetry really existed in the Eastern campaigns (my knowledge of the west is sparse. Braxton Bragg. There, that's about it). I just think it would be rather an interesting approach.

PLUS - given that the Northern players gave us Southerns a whooping in this campaign, it would seem appropriate to offer them all "promotions" anyway, so moving from brigade commands to division commands fits once again.

In my head, it all fits perfectly.

What do other people think?

Ollie

Campaign ain't over yet, bud... Very Happy
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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  Father General on Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:49 am

Personally, I like asymmetry.

In fact, it's one of the reason I don't regularly play GCM. GCM is always well balanced, but sometimes I like the challenge of being outnumbered!

-Neal
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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  FlashmanKBE on Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:03 am

Father General wrote:
Campaign ain't over yet, bud... Very Happy

Perhaps we need terminology for the "Sub-Campaign" that is currently winding down, and the larger "Super-Campaign" that it is part of?
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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  WJPalmer on Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:42 am

It’s true that regular GCM games are balanced by the program (within a few hundred soldiers, typically). That is, I suspect, because many GCM’ers emphasize the game experience over the historical aspect. But it doesn’t have to be so. Any sandbox variant or historical scenario can be played just as easily with Garnier’s bells & whistles. Like you, I also appreciate historical asymmetry – especially the challenge of taking a nearly hopeless military situation and trying to do better than an historical counterpart, for example. Lots of satisfaction in beating the odds and pulling off the upset…

I don’t necessarily agree that GCM play develops the experience commanding larger formations that translates easily to larger HITS command. HITS is, I find, MUCH more difficult (I am personally very ill at ease commanding a full HITS division). That said, a frequent GCM player might have a slight advantage in "game-interface" confidence that comes from the sheer number of games played. Many of us go at it almost every day.

-Ron
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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  FlashmanKBE on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:10 am

WJPalmer wrote:
I don’t necessarily agree that GCM play develops the experience commanding larger formations that translates easily to larger HITS command. HITS is, I find, MUCH more difficult (I am personally very ill at ease commanding a full HITS division). That said, a frequent GCM player might have a slight advantage in "game-interface" confidence that comes from the sheer number of games played. Many of us go at it almost every day.
-Ron

Precisely. Which is why I think this form of asymmetry might work well as a good "handicap" for the HITS players. I could be wrong of course, GCM players rarely let the AI take control of brigades (I think), and may baulk at being faced with the prospect of needing to do so, or risking being caught at the wrong end of their division! I get the impression however, that they would prefer to command a larger formation. If it's difficult - good, right?!

Personally, I enjoy the challenge of Division (or even Corps) command, but with KS rules. It's just a question of finding willing subordinates, as using the AI to perform Brigade and Division commanders is not so fun!
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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  WJPalmer on Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:06 pm

You may be right. Direct command of an entire HITS division would certainly make for an intense experience and take a number of players out of their comfort zones! Shocked
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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:28 pm

The fear of taking a larger command by almost everyone in KS has been apparent since the first game I played here. I've often wondered how my opposite in scenario games is chosen. Short straw? However, if people aren't comfortable in that role they shouldn't be pressured into it. Still it would be good if we could somehow entice a few people to step out of their comfort zone and willingly take up the yoke of command. It would add a refreshing change to our battlefield strategies. So if having larger brigades is the first step on that path, by all means let's try it.

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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:02 pm

Flashman seems game for it. Stefan often commands. Martin seems keen to avoid the blame for his screw ups by taking the corps commander role! Very Happy

I suppose its what you want out of each battle. I have commanded several times and even won a few battles from that position, I just don't enjoy it as much. I find myself far more involved and engrossed when I have 4 or 5 regiments to look after and have to concern myself with my immediate friends to either flank.

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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  Martin on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:24 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:Flashman seems game for it. Stefan often commands. Martin seems keen to avoid the blame for his screw ups by taking the corps commander role! Very Happy
Sir. That is a d*mnable insult, and I demand satisfaction! My second will attend you at 11 o'clock in the morning, at your lodgings. Try to be out of bed, there's a dear fellow. I have told him to conduct the duel in my absence, as I am a busy man what with all these corps reports, health & safety issues, insurance etc.

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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:29 pm

I have told him to conduct the duel in my absence, as I am a busy man what with all these corps reports, health & safety issues, insurance etc.
Gen. Georgia has taught you well indeed. Very Happy

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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:32 am

FlashmanKBE wrote:I just had rather an intriguing thought for future campaigns that I would like to see discussed.

If we assume that one side had many more recruits than the other (e.g. let's say the North has 10 players, and the South 20), and if (as has been pointed out elsewhere) the North is also heavy with veteran GCM players, who are more used to commanding divisions, then why not offer each North player a small division, and each south player, a large brigade?

...

What do other people think?
I think both sides need as close to the same number of players as we can achieve for reasons of getting balanced sides in the online battles.

I would also like to see the HITS and GCM players intermingled as much as is possible.

My preference is not to assign "owned" formations to players as we did in Neal's game (Flashman's cavalry brigade, Neal's infantry brigade, etc) since so often that player isn't available to play their formation anyway, so my preference from a simple viewpoint of ease of organisation is to just have two sides and allocate players to commands as needed for each battle. The only players who would hold key posts are the two commanders in each action.

Players might command a division on the map and issue its movement orders but when that division comes to fight, the brigades would be commanded by whoever is available.

I've used this method many times along with some different ones, in various campaigns, both online and with miniatures, and this is easily the most flexible and least frustrating format for a multi-player camapign.

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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  Uncle Billy on Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:26 pm

I agree with Digby. Other than the two CinCs, the brigade commanders should be randomly assigned, if for no other reason than to prevent the natural tendency towards cliquishness. I too come from a background of miniatures and found that mixing everybody up made for much more enjoyable games. That would be especially true in campaign games. If one side begins to gain an advantage, there won't be usual loss of interest in the game by the side that is currently down. A change in players might very well change the fortunes of the campaign.

I'm not sure GCM players have a natural advantage when playing KS games. True, they are more proficient in rapidly issuing orders to their regiments. But they are not as comfortable with the restricted views and consequences of our artillery and infantry casualties. Overall, I think it's a wash.

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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  FlashmanKBE on Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:23 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:The fear of taking a larger command by almost everyone in KS has been apparent since the first game I played here. I've often wondered how my opposite in scenario games is chosen. Short straw? However, if people aren't comfortable in that role they shouldn't be pressured into it. Still it would be good if we could somehow entice a few people to step out of their comfort zone and willingly take up the yoke of command. It would add a refreshing change to our battlefield strategies. So if having larger brigades is the first step on that path, by all means let's try it.

Well, if it's of use, I would be over-the-moon at the opportunity to take Division or even Corps command in KS.
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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:07 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:I too come from a background of miniatures and found that mixing everybody up made for much more enjoyable games. That would be especially true in campaign games. If one side begins to gain an advantage, there won't be usual loss of interest in the game by the side that is currently down. A change in players might very well change the fortunes of the campaign.
Ah, I think you are taking this one step further than I planned to - you'd allow players to swap between USA/CSA sides in the MP games?

I'm not convinced of the wisdom of that since often the pre-battle briefing of a camapign game reveals why its being fought, so for me plaayers should always be either CSA or USA and not switch about.

Or did I misunderstand you?

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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: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  Uncle Billy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:21 pm

Actually I was suggesting that the sides be intermixed from time to time. The players that have a strategic role in the game would see the campaign through with whatever side they begin on. The players that form the tactical arm, most of the brigade commanders, would switch around from time to time. They would be sworn to secrecy concerning what they have learned when playing on the other side of course.

From the scenario games I've participated in, I've learned that despite Stefan's, Martin's and my own brilliant strategic visions, it is really the brigade commanders that win or lose the battles. If one side does gain a significant material advantage after a battle or two then one way to try to restore the balance without divine intervention, would be to reassign some of the fighters to different sides.

It really depends on the campaign author's vision. If he is looking to create a situation where there is one definitive conclusion then keeping everyone on one side or the other achieves that. If he wishes to have a long campaign where the fortunes can change suddenly, then mixing people up is a possible solution.

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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  Father General on Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:29 pm

As a matter of personal preference, I would much rather be locked Confederate. I also enjoy developing and fighting with my own unit, and stewarding my troops in a virtual career mode. My ancestors would not approve of me wearing the blue. LOL

Still, I recognize that tribalism is a thing and mixing up the players who don't mind is probably a good suggestion.

However, for those who want to play their own units all the way through, I suggest we wither give them a command position or allow them to lock their side.

My two bits.

-Neal
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Re: Asymmetry, GCM, HITS, and so on...

Post  kg little mac on Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:35 pm

I understand your desire for players to "own" their brigades or divisions and be able to have a hand in their gaining experience and such, Neal. But I actually agree with Digby ( Shocked ) and MTG on this one.

Garnier once made a weekly campaign engine where players would play on one side for a week, with a command structure and replacements and all that jazz, and then it would reset the next week, new commanders and teams and such. However, it was at the height of the game crash issues (before Norb put out the first MP patch), so we only tried a couple of games and they crashed. Thus, we never really tried it out. I've tried talking him into bringing it back, but he would basically have to start over, so, at least so far, he's refused.
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