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Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Martin on Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:08 pm

True. We'd have been toast but for that.

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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:59 pm

Why does the cavalry behave like that? I thought this latest patch had fixed it? Does the vanilla AI just never use a mounted cavalry charge? It always thinks cavalry should dismount?

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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: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:08 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:Why does the cavalry behave like that? I thought this latest patch had fixed it? Does the vanilla AI just never use a mounted cavalry charge? It always thinks cavalry should dismount?
Nothing was fixed, that was just propaganda. The AI cavalry will engage and charge if it moves to within the auto-charge distance. It did do some damage to us. It inflicted 189 casualties and may have captured one of our battalions. It suffered 642 casualties in return, nearly 15% of their numbers. Did they charge a square?

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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:15 pm

Hm. NSD are a bit naughty claiming things were changed then.

I spent a long time shooting up the cavalry that was trying to work behind my left flank along the south bank of the river, I did quite a bit of damage to it. I think Grog's last pair of guns spent a good while popping off shots at the same guys too.

Is there any mechanism to make cavalry break off from melee with a square, or would we have to do a global change to everyone breaking off at a certain casualty rate? I had a solo game on Sunday where an AI French dragoon sqn charged a Spanish square and the dragoons were so insanely determined to fight that in the end the infantry square captured them! I was very surprised! That seems a pretty crazy outcome seing as really the cavalry wouldn't be making contact at all, just riding around getting shot at.

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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: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:41 pm

Unfortunately there is no way to break off the charge. Once they are meleeing, any courier you send to them to order a retreat will just be killed.

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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:04 pm

You can't set a value of losses or a speed of rate of loss at which they'll break off? I thought that was how melees were supposed to end anyway. I guess these guys were just sucidal. Its not a huge deal, its the only time I have ever seen a square capture a cavalry squadron, its just an event I'd really rather not see at all if there was some way to tweak the numbers.

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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: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Martin on Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:21 pm

Actually I think I can live with that.  Even though no French squadrons actually closed with a square at Waterloo, the experience of riding around them and getting shot at, left them worn-down and mostly useless for the rest of the battle.  So the effect is broadly the same, even though the process is different.

I feel the bigger problem is the lack of willingness to charge by the AI.  I can understand why the cavalry has been designed this way.  Most ACW cavalry didn't charge, and those that did only seem to have done so rarely.  So you really don't want them too frisky in the basic game.

But in the Napoleonic period, charging was cavalry's only battlefield role.  The difficulty was sometimes holding them back.  So some more fundamental change is needed to make the AI do that reliably.  I've tried adjusting the aggressiveness of their commanders in OOBs, but that doesn't always do it.  With human players you can override the passivity, but even then you sometimes do need to stay on their back.  

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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Grog on Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:47 pm

Great game fellas, and thanks to all who played.

Appologies if I was a bit removed during the game. I was having real problems with TS and started the game with a cracking headache, which just got worse with every Austrian Brigade that came over the hill!

I was left with just them two guns in the end but the game was such a spectacle that I enjoyed it even then.

Did anyone save the replay? I would be very interested to see what happened, especially after I left the battle.

On the discussion about cav: we might just have to wait to see what the next engine is like ;-)
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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:59 pm

I agree to an extent Martin, and in a stand-alone game what happens isn't terribly important but cavalry trying to get at squares would not suffer heavy casualties. They'd be blown and mostly useless for the rest of the battle but numbers would not be greatly dented. The immense losses they suffer in melee vs square would mean disproportionate losses in a campaign, and there's few enough cavalry in our campaign already. If a cavalry unit gets captured that's even more of a strange event.

I have a replay, Mike. I'll upload it and give a link. The vast numbers of Austrians is scary, but we were lucky that only half of them slammed into us at the start; the other half went right down to the south end of the map, then doubled back. No wonder your division got steamrollered Grog, the numbers of troops the Austrians threw at your sector of the line was ridiculous.

Replay of von Helm's Deep.

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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: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Martin on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:03 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:I agree to an extent Martin, and in a stand-alone game what happens isn't terribly important but cavalry trying to get at squares would not suffer heavy casualties. They'd be blown and mostly useless for the rest of the battle but numbers would not be greatly dented. The immense losses they suffer in melee vs square would mean disproportionate losses in a campaign, and there's few enough cavalry in our campaign already. If a cavalry unit gets captured that's even more of a strange event.
Yes, fair point Diggers.

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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:30 pm

I'll have to keep an eye on things and reset some losses manually, that might be easiest if there's no way the game itself can handle it. *sigh*

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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: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:51 pm

On the other hand, charging fresh troops is not a good idea in any case. I suppose having the squadron destroyed for such rash action is appropriate. If they charge tired and shot-up troops in square or not, the cavalry most likely will prevail. After all, we are discussing vultures here, not eagles. Laughing 

Martin did the sporting thing in the battle, he charged the Austrians at the beginning of the battle and was rid of his cavalry command in 5 minutes. That left him the time to make such tactical masterstrokes as ordering my command to advance and present my flank to that grand battery and enemy cavalry division. affraid 

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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Martin on Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:59 pm

But here's the odd thing.  Our cavalry somehow racked-up a terrific score.  

I can take no credit for this, as some kind soul set up the Austrians so they attacked us while I was still sending out initial orders.  By the time I joined the cavalry, it was already heavily engaged.

Just looked at the replay.  It spotted an Austrian division in column of route just outside Paysdorf, and pitched straight in.  After about 15 mins, it had lost about 1,100 troopers, but inflicted c6,000 losses on the Austrians!  I was in time to order a couple of squadron charges, but the AI did the rest.  Perhaps we're worrying unnecessarily about it.  It looks as if it saved our bacon!  

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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:10 pm

Surely that was human control though, you ordered them to a location, presumably via road and the Austrians were marching along that road, so...

Whatever the cause the replay shows the cavalry capturing 3 Austrian battalions on the ridge road and routing 2 by about 18 minutes into the action.

The issue I have is that cav vs square rarely resulted in any melee. Its the same annoying failing the game engine has yet again. Cavalry would gallop up, the horses would shy away from the wall of bayonets and then the cavalry would gallop around a bit before retiring. A few would be shot, yes, but there was no actual melee to speak of. The game just fails in representing what happened so often in horse-and-musket warfare. Its the same with the ACW, there were very few melees, it was mostly one side or t'other giving ground before it got to that point.

I really hope someone who reads this can advise NSD that their 2nd version of the game has got to do away with melees almost completely but introduce severe negative morale modifiers for approaching an enemy into hand to hand distance. 19 out of 20 charges should result in the attackers grinding to a confused halt or the defenders running away.

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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: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Martin on Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:31 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:Surely that was human control though, you ordered them to a location, presumably via road and the Austrians were marching along that road, so....
I'm not sure.  I ordered them to march S down the Laab Strasse, which is roughly perpendicular to the Paysdorf Road, but they did not start on a road so would have had to go for a few hundred yards cross-country.  Going via the Paysdorf road was certainly one option.

From the replay they received their orders almost 8 minutes into the game, by which time it looks to me as if the Austrian infantry were already in their commander's sight.

Did you also notice Wrede's Division marching assiduously away from the sound of the guns?  Tsk tsk bom 

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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Uncle Billy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:13 am

Gen Vandamme wrote wrote:Did you also notice Wrede's Division marching assiduously away from the sound of the guns?
Unlike the cavalry, suicide wasn't on Wrede's 'to do' list that day. Wink  Your cavalry brigade commanders were all quite good and had a daring style. That may have been why they chose to attack. What sort of stance did you give them?

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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Martin on Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:13 am

Uncle Billy wrote:
Gen Vandamme wrote wrote:Did you also notice Wrede's Division marching assiduously away from the sound of the guns?
Unlike the cavalry, suicide wasn't on Wrede's 'to do' list that day. Wink   Your cavalry brigade commanders were all quite good and had a daring style.  That may have been why they chose to attack.  What sort of stance did you give them?
Yes that may have been it, although I've found that making commanders bold and daring in the OOB does not reliably get them to charge.  I gave the division a 'No orders' stance, as I thought they were in reserve. Hee hee Very Happy 

It does illustrate how fortunate we were that the Austrian cavalry held back.  It would be interesting to see what style their commanders had?  If I have can I'll have a look on the replay, but I'm bit short of time today.

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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Martin on Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:29 am

Curiosity got the better of me, and have just looked at the scenario.csv file.  The French cavalry divisional commander style was 5 and so was one of the brigade commanders.  The other was a 4.  All the Austrian commanders were 4.

On another tack.  What sprite ratio did you use for the battle, Kevin?

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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:09 pm

I definitely noticed a differene in my three brigade commanders. I could hardly get the French guy to do anything while both my Bavarian brigadiers wouldn't hold back, which is why I used them in the counterattack up the hill towards Paysdorf in the second half of the battle while I kept my French brigade in reserve.

I have been testing the Peninsular OOBs in a few sandbox fights too, to check if I have got the troop quality balance right and I can tell you that getting '0' rated brigade commanders to do anything is a real job! At first I thought my game was broken as I sent one a courier and he did nothing for about 20 seconds or more. Only when I was getting really worried did he finally send some couriers out to his units.

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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: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Uncle Billy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:32 pm

Martin wrote:Curiosity got the better of me, and have just looked at the scenario.csv file.  The French cavalry divisional commander style was 5 and so was one of the brigade commanders.  The other was a 4.  All the Austrian commanders were 4.

On another tack.  What sprite ratio did you use for the battle, Kevin?

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I use a ratio of 8 for our nappy games.

I tried a couple of repeats of our scenario in SP as the Austrian this time. As corps commander I just gave the division commander orders to move to certain locations and sat back and watched. The Austrian cavalry division was quite aggressive as were the cav. brigades attached to some of the infantry divisions. The key seemed to be to put their line of march near the enemy. They do not have to run into them, just pass within ~300 yd. They attacked enemy battalions that they deemed a threat. This is with the division commander's stance set to hold which of course is relayed to the brigade commanders. Since these are bold commanders, it does not surprise me that they still acted aggressively.

In one game, after the cavalry division rested from savaging some hapless french brigade, I gave the brigade commander the prey on weak targets stance. I had to move him near the enemy before he would act. But when he got close, he sent for his squadrons and off they went and made a mess of broken enemy battalions and a nearby arty battery. This was late in the fight and they quite literally swept the field from one end to the other. Very impressive.

As I said, putting the cavalry in relatively close proximity to the enemy seems to trigger them if they have an aggressive commander and you have left them slack reins. With this knowledge, it is little wonder Wrede ignored his commander in Saturday's game and gave the cavalry a very wide berth. No good comes from kicking a hornet's nest.

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Re: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:26 pm

There has to be some other mechanism not working for a 100% AI controlled side then. We have all seen AI cavalry do nothing. I've even walked up to it with infantry and shot it to pieces until it ran away. Cavalry AI brigades and divisions given orders by a human seem to follow those orders, its just that the orders the AI itself issues from the top results in them sitting there doing nothing.

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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: Brandy Station Map - Nap Game - Sat 29 June 19:30 UK

Post  Uncle Billy on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:56 pm

Yes, they do act brain dead at times as does the infantry. They stand around being shot and do not move either forwards or backwards. How many times have we seen infantry getting hit with canister and they simply lay down. It's as if the AI passes over them as it cycles through all the units. It is more noticeable with the cavalry since their weapons have a range of 0. They can only fight back by charging.

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