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Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

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Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  WJPalmer on Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:47 pm

HITS MEETS GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap (HG2)
Game Day: Saturday December 22
Sign-Up at: http://www.doodle.com/9yvr2tbex73n3qdf

Overview
This contest will settle control of the vital Cumberland Gap once and for all! HG2 builds upon the experience of our first HG game played on 8 December, with several changes to game set up plus a bit of experimentation. Like the first HG game, our goal is to explore methods for playing Kriegspiel HITS-style games using Garnier’s GCM system tools. The game experience, while not exactly HITS and not exactly GCM, should have something for everyone!

What’s new in HG2 ?:
Players may pre-choose whether to play for the Union or Confederacy (Sign up at http://www.doodle.com/9yvr2tbex73n3qdf);
-Army commanders have adjusted roles;
-Armies will begin grouped together making it easier to develop initial strategies
-Each side will conduct a pre-game Council of War;
-1 in-game objective (control of the Cumberland Gap) with opportunities for strategic and/or tactical victory
-Expanded game time
-An experimental change to courier orders

The HITS (Headquarters in the Saddle) approach developed by the Kriegspiel/HITS group provides the umbrella of governing principles for the game unless otherwise specified. By joining the game, players agree to abide by these rules and guidelines as supplemented by any special rules adopted for the particular game. For more background on KS/HITS see http://forum.kriegsspiel.org.uk/f32-scourge-of-war

Players who did not participate in the first HITS MEETS GCM game should:
1) Register (if you’re not already) on the GCM website (http://www.sowmp.com/) and create US and CS divisions. (Please do this well in advance of the game);
2) Read in advance “A Few Player FYIs” below;
3) Consult and follow the “Game Checklist” below

NOTE: New GCM functionality that will give individual players additional options to select and lead customized divisions of just infantry or just guns, is anticipated for future games, but will not likely be ready for HG2. This same functionality will also make it possible to create asymmetry of resource-types between the sides, so stay tuned…

Player Checklist:
-Register on GCM website (http://www.sowmp.com/) and create divisions (if you haven’t already)
-Adjust your GCM player settings (on the GCM website) for random divisions of up to 2,500 men and up to 6 guns
-Read the Player FYI’s
-Decide whether you want to play for the Yanks or Rebs
-Sign-up with your preferences on “Doodle” at: http://www.doodle.com/9yvr2tbex73n3qdf
-Practice in advance with SoW’s “Send Courier Message Screen” (See the Player FYI’s below, and page 62 of the Game Manual)
-Run the GCM Launcher before game time
-HITS players confirm that any "Couriers & Maps" mods are disabled and that "GCM GamePlay 2" is activated in the Modifications screen
-Plan to arrive -- join GCM TeamSpeak (http://www.sowmp.com/gcm/home/teamspeak) -- 15 minutes prior to game time

More Detail on HG2 Settings:
Game Time: 120 minutes;

Set Up: The OOB will be generated using “GCM Historical” units on one of the GCM Large Random Maps;

Starting locations: will be set to “least scattered” i.e., respective armies will begin grouped together. The starting locations of each army will be unknown to the enemy;

Army Commanders: will control their leaders only, with no direct command of troops or guns. Army commanders are charged with:
1) Developing an initial strategy for victory
2) Conducting the Council of War meeting at game launch
3) Coordinating battlefield operations among their units
4) Calling the game when, in his opinion, there is no prospect for either strategic or tactical victory for his side

Objectives: 1 objective (its location will be known to all at Briefing time); This VP represents symbolic control of the Cumberland Gap, a natural invasion route in the Appalachian's where Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky come together. The Gap was coveted by both sides throughout the war and changed hands several times. The army in control of the objective at the end of the fighting wins a strategic victory. The army that inflicts 1000+ net casualties (not points) is the tactical victor http://www.americancivilwar.com/cumberland_gap.html

Council of War: Immediately after game launch (i.e., when their own unit placements and map position are available to the armies), Army C.O.’s will each conduct a “Council of War” in separate TeamSpeak channels. Army commanders will decide on and communicate preliminary strategies, answer questions and give initial direction to their division leaders. During this time (expected to be 10-15 minutes, or by agreement of the Army commanders) players may not give any orders to their troops.

Couriers Adjustment: For this game an adjustment is being made in how orders are given to regiments. In standard HITS games, players use “point & click” to direct their regiments. This, in turn, generates couriers which set off to deliver the orders to regiments. In multi-player games, this process has a significant by-product in that a programmatically-generated AI courier confirmation message is created for each point & click message delivered. Some believe that these return messages disrupt game flow and slow performance. In HG2 an adjustment will be attempted intended to reduce the volume of these confirmation messages with minimal impact to the historical realism that is the foundation of HITS.

In HG2, when a player’s leader is within close proximity to his regiment (defined as roughly 100 yards), he still may use his familiar point & click method. However, the orders will be executed immediately without generating a courier and the attending confirmation response. Player-leaders beyond the 100 yard proximity range of their regiments are expected to give regimental movement orders using the more rigorous SoW “Send Courier Message Screen.” For more information on this method of giving orders, see “A Few Player FYI’s” below and page 62 of the SoW Player Manual. There is no change to how players use couriers to communicate with each other.

Selecting Sides: Players may express preferences for sides in advance by signing up on the Doodle page (http://www.doodle.com/9yvr2tbex73n3qdf). Every effort will be given to honor the side preferences of those signing up ahead of time. However, it may be necessary to make game-time switches if the sides are unbalanced.

Walk-ons: Last minute walk-ons are welcome if familiar with this briefing and have previously performed all checklist items. It’s our fervent hope to begin promptly, so there won’t be time to wait for the uninitiated to come up to speed.

Other Rules: KS/HITS protocol places some restrictions on the roaming of human player leaders in game. They cannot ride by themselves within rifle range (200 yards) of enemy infantry and if they find themselves alone behind enemy lines, must withdraw by the same route. Non-human leaders in the game (e.g., objective holders, AI-controlled brigade or battery commanders) are not allowed to roam and are expected to remain within 100 yards of friendly infantry or batteries. (exception: objective holders/subordinate leaders may remain to hold a vp after friendly troops move on.

A Few Player FYI’s
For HITS Players:
-There are 2 ways to issue orders to your units in HG2
1) Point & Click method -- only when your leader is in close proximity with his regiments -- within ~100 yards.
2) Send an SoW Courier when your leader is more than 100 yards away. (Note, this is different from the usual HITS method)
-press “C”
-select recipient of the order
-in the “orders” section, select the combination of movement and other instructions you intend to send
-click “End Message & Signature” when finished
-For more information on how to send orders and communicate using couriers, see “The Send Courier Message Screen” on page 62 of the SoW Manual.
-TeamSpeak voice communications is prohibited after the Council of War closes unless 2 leaders are within 50 yards of each other. In this case TS whisper keys or dropping down to a special TS channel is permitted
-Leader movement: A player’s leader cannot ride by himself without his units within rifle range (200 yards) of enemy infantry. And if a player’s leader finds himself alone behind enemy lines, he must withdraw by the same route. Non-human leaders in the game (e.g., objective holders, AI-controlled brigade or battery commanders) are not allowed to roam beyond 100 yards of friendly infantry or batteries. (exception: objective holders/subordinate leaders may remain to hold a vp after friendly troops move on.)-GCM musket and canister ranges are 200 yards
-Union and Confederate artillery are standardized (both sides are the same)

Things to know about the GCM environment:
-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
-Make sure any “Couriers & Maps” mods are deactivated while “GCM Gameplay 2” is turned on

For GCM Players:
-There are 2 ways to issue orders to your units in HG2
1) Point & Click method -- only when your leader is in close proximity with his regiments -- within ~100 yards.
2) Send an SoW Courier when your leader is more than 100 yards away. (Note, this is different from the usual HITS method)
-press “C”
-select recipient of message or order
-in the “orders” section, select the combination of movement instructions you intend
-click “End Message & Signature” when finished
-For more information on how to send orders and communicate using couriers, see “The Send Courier Message Screen” on page 62 of the SoW Manual.

Things to know about HITS play:
-TeamSpeak voice communications are prohibited after the Council of War closes unless 2 leaders are within 50 yards of each other. In this case TS whisper keys or dropping down to a special TS channel is permitted
-Do not use “T” to turn foliage off. Trees, fences, etc. should remain on/visible at all times
-Don’t intentionally stack regiments close behind each other for the purpose of obtaining fire superiority
-Don’t intentionally overlap regiments
-Don't place guns immediately behind infantry in the line that would cause them to fire through friendlies
-Limit intentional melees to one regiment per brigade at a given time. Successive single-regiment melees are OK
Communication by courier with fellow players in game is easy. Just:
1) Press “C” on the keyboard
2) Select “Free Text” from the tab/menu
3) Select the recipient
4) Type your message
5) Hit enter when done or you need to enter a second line of text
6) Click “End Message and Signature” 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 with wide troop dispersals, the message may be a bit stale
-HITS play allows more freedom for player-leaders to roam about the field than when using GCM uses the “200 yard rule.” However, a player’s leader cannot ride by himself without his units within rifle range (200 yards) of enemy infantry. And if a player’s leader finds that he is alone behind enemy lines, he must withdraw immediately by the same route. Non-human leaders in the game (e.g., objective holders, AI-controlled brigade or battery commanders) are not allowed to roam and are expected to remain within 100 yards of friendly infantry or batteries at all times. (exception: objective holders/subordinate leaders may remain to hold a vp after friendly troops move on.)

-Ron


Last edited by WJPalmer on Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  kg little mac on Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:21 pm

Well done, Ron.

Perhaps this week we should do some play testing with these rules.
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  Blaugrana on Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:16 pm

Thanks Ron. I'd love to play but can't make it this Saturday.

I'll be there for the following one, I hope.

Jeff
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  FlashmanKBE on Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:03 pm

I believe I can make this, and am very much looking forward to it. I hope there is a good turn-out!
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:42 am

Unfortunately the 22nd is going to be so close to the mayhem of Christmas that I doubt I'll be able to make it.

I have a question though - can a player point and click his units if he wishes in the event he's happy to dismiss the "message received" popup? I am so used to these now that I click them away without knowing I'm doing it and they no longer distract me at all. The alternative method you propose seems like it will take a good deal longer to do and is alien to me.

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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: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  WJPalmer on Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:07 am

Mr. Digby wrote:Unfortunately the 22nd is going to be so close to the mayhem of Christmas that I doubt I'll be able to make it.

I have a question though - can a player point and click his units if he wishes in the event he's happy to dismiss the "message received" popup? I am so used to these now that I click them away without knowing I'm doing it and they no longer distract me at all. The alternative method you propose seems like it will take a good deal longer to do and is alien to me.

Not sure I'm clear what's being asked. For purposes of this game, the "message received" popup will be disabled for all "point & click" movement orders -- which in turn will only be permitted for close-in control of regiments. It isn't possible, within my knowledge, to turn the popups on for some but not others.

Using SoW's Messenger Screen for long-range orders will, I suspect, be a (minor) adjustment for nearly everyone, at least in MP. I'm not aware that anyone uses this method in either GCM or HITS -- it takes more time, but is logical and easy to get used to. Also in mitigation of the adjustment, I'd suggest that 1) this more formal method of giving orders is likely to be used only during approach marches (rather than in combat) when leaders have time to consider just what they're doing, and 2) this seems to be the method preferred by SoW's designers for grognard-level historic game play. In a sense, we return to SoW's roots by giving it another look.

As mentioned, the courier change is just an experiment. It may fall flat on its face and never be attempted again, but I think it's worth a go in a game.
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  Blaugrana on Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:01 am

Mr. Digby wrote:I have a question though - can a player point and click his units if he wishes in the event he's happy to dismiss the "message received" popup? I am so used to these now that I click them away without knowing I'm doing it and they no longer distract me at all. The alternative method you propose seems like it will take a good deal longer to do and is alien to me.

Couriers will be set, I think, at side, not brigade, so you are honour bound to send a courier 'manually' to any unit over 100 yards away. You can point and click units within 100 yards of you and they will react immediately.

Jeff
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:19 pm

WJPalmer wrote:Not sure I'm clear what's being asked. For purposes of this game, the "message received" popup will be disabled for all "point & click" movement orders -- which in turn will only be permitted for close-in control of regiments. It isn't possible, within my knowledge, to turn the popups on for some but not others.
Uh... I'm not aware it CAN be turned off. We have tried countless times and it won't. Has Garnier discovered something new?

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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: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  WJPalmer on Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:45 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:
WJPalmer wrote:Not sure I'm clear what's being asked. For purposes of this game, the "message received" popup will be disabled for all "point & click" movement orders -- which in turn will only be permitted for close-in control of regiments. It isn't possible, within my knowledge, to turn the popups on for some but not others.
Uh... I'm not aware it CAN be turned off. We have tried countless times and it won't. Has Garnier discovered something new?

The message confirmations in HITS are tied to the brigade-level courier setting in the sowgb.ini file used by the host. If the level of that setting is changed from "brigade" to "side", point & click orders don't create either a courier or its follow-up message confirmation. Orders are executed immediately. That's why for our purposes in the upcoming game, it's important to limit the use of point & click orders to close-in commands. Anything more would no doubt significantly impact the HITS experience.


Last edited by WJPalmer on Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  MajorByrd on Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:52 pm

Need some more people for Saturday.
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:00 pm

The only confirmation messages that are a pain are the ones that come from regiments. The ones from AI brigades are useful in battle because it lets the player know that he got the message. As a division commander I look for a spot where I can view as large an area of the field as possible. I don't want to have to ride down to my brigades and give orders. Using couriers by division gets rid of the regimental couriers but keeps everything else.

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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  WJPalmer on Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:27 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:The only confirmation messages that are a pain are the ones that come from regiments. The ones from AI brigades are useful in battle because it lets the player know that he got the message. As a division commander I look for a spot where I can view as large an area of the field as possible. I don't want to have to ride down to my brigades and give orders. Using couriers by division gets rid of the regimental couriers but keeps everything else.

MTG's right, of course, about the regimental orders being the really painful ones. Players in HG2 will all be at division level (except for the Army C.O.). In my experimentation it takes a courier level setting of corps or greater to be rid of couriers to regiments when point & click orders come directly from a division leader.

For purposes of our game, division leaders shouldn't be hampered in their ability to ride ahead to survey the field, etc. and don't need to ride back to their brigades to give movement orders -- just send a manual courier back to brigade leaders who will be close to their regiments.

While message confirmations from a player's AI brigade leaders will be a casualty of these settings, I suspect/hope that will only present a command problem when a division's component brigades are operating at significant distances from each other with an enemy in between -- a difficult situation both in SoW and the Civil War.
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  WJPalmer on Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:00 pm

No one else plans on playing Saturday? Might be embarrassing if the GCM walk-on crowd shows up in big numbers. I was counting on this group to demonstrate the advantages of HITS to the uninitiated.
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  Blaugrana on Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:02 pm

WJPalmer wrote:No one else plans on playing Saturday? Might be embarrassing if the GCM walk-on crowd shows up in big numbers. I was counting on this group to demonstrate the advantages of HITS to the uninitiated.
http://www.doodle.com/9yvr2tbex73n3qdf. -Ron
I'm sorry, Ron, I can't make it this Saturday. Two Saturday evenings in a row would not make for a happy household. This close to Christmas, that is not a risk I wish to take ...

My availability on weekdays is better than normal this week and the next fortnight, fwiw. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  kg_sspoom on Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:39 pm

I won't know till Friday whether or not I can play but I am planning to be there
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  Martin on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:08 pm

It is a problem for me too Ron, and for similar reasons to Jeff. It's very near xmas and family commitments are looming large.

I know you have put a lot of work into this, and would like to support you. There is an outside chance I could make it, so it's not a definite no from me, but it is unlikely.

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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  WJPalmer on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:36 pm

Not a problem at all. Everyone's lives get crazy this time of year! Smile
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  mitra on Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:09 pm

I think I can play saturday and much probably also Suchet (but I don't know if he can attend in the case of 19:00 GMT).

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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:16 pm

As I said above, too close to Christmas and cannot make it.

I'm also doubtful about the mechanism/rule chosen to do away with regt pop ups, to me this is not the way to go so I cannot support this initiative.

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"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  WJPalmer on Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:33 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:As I said above, too close to Christmas and cannot make it.

I'm also doubtful about the mechanism/rule chosen to do away with regt pop ups, to me this is not the way to go so I cannot support this initiative.

Nobody's asking you to embrace it. Just try it.
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:47 am

I have no problem with the current methods we use. Its not broken so it doesn't need fixing.

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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: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  kg little mac on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:06 am

Mr. Digby wrote:I have no problem with the current methods we use. Its not broken so it doesn't need fixing.

Palmer is not talking about HITS/Couriers group games. He's talking about his outreach program HITS/GCM games. The one's he's putting together to try to find some common ground between us.

Your being inflexible regarding how these games should be played is not surprising.

To each his own.
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  MajorByrd on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:08 am

Nobody said anything is broken or needed fixing. And this is not supposed to fix nothing. It's a new style of play, trying to combine, experiment and improve a merger of aspects of GCM and HITS. Nobody's trying to change the way HITS games are played.

It might be fun after all. A new style of play, the best of both worlds, which I find interesting and will support no matter what - if only to respect the effort he put in. I just think that the date is preventing a lot of us to play. Its christmas after all isn't it.

Of course everybody has the perogative of choice. If you or anybody else does not wanna play, well, that's how it is.
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:10 pm

I'm fairly certain now I can play. I'm interested in seeing how well the change in the initial positioning of the armies and using one objective works out. Having the CinC's just coordinate and not command regiments will be a nice improvement and should lead to a better battle.

Since more people may be using the written courier system, I can create a small mod that just has the Courier&Maps courier.csv file. I used it in the last GCM/HITS game without any problems. It makes moving around brigades and batteries much easier. The errors in the stock version have been fixed and the orders have been grouped into a more logical order.

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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

Post  WJPalmer on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:37 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:Since more people may be using the written courier system, I can create a small mod that just has the Courier&Maps courier.csv file. I used it in the last GCM/HITS game without any problems. It makes moving around brigades and batteries much easier. The errors in the stock version have been fixed and the orders have been grouped into a more logical order.

That would be terrific! When you have the mod file ready, would you mind posting it along with any instructions that might be appropriate? If you don't mind, I'd also like to make it available over in the parallel GCM forum thread to make sure all the players will have access to it.

Many thanks,
-Ron
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Re: Sign-Up for HITS Meets GCM Game 2: The Cumberland Gap

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