steelwarrior77
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Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:33 pm

Really great job - looking forward to it ;-D

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JacquesDeLalaing
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Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:28 pm

Okay, a big decision needs to be taken. I'm still intrigued by the idea of an even more detailed scope and can't quite accept the 7 days per turn-intervalls. In other words: I'm still toying with the idea of turn intervalls of single days. In game terms, 7-day-intervalls are the maximum, but I could simply declare that a day represents an hour and create the map accordingly. Whereas formerly, the distance between two regions represented a two-three days' travel, now it would represent a two-three hours' travel (each day would simply have 7 intervalls/hours). The drawback of this workaround is that seasons would not work anymore, so that no campaign could last longer than a single campaign-season (and there would be no noticable weather-patterns for spring/summer/autumn/winter), which would be fine for me (even though the 1740/41 scenario suffers a bit from it). On the other hand, to a certain degree weather will be more realsitic because it might change every day, not just every week.

The advantages would be: the overall, more detailed feeling; more precise positioning of units, e.g. you would be defending a concrete bridge, not the border between two "regions" - thus you also need to find where the opponent is in a more detailed manner (which opens room for small war/screening and masking of movement, lots of interesting tactical decisions - where to cross rivers? when to concentrate forces?, etc.); smaller units (all specialists will be company-sized); fine-tuned supply (units can carry supply for two days with them, e.g; the check for supply is made every day, not every 7 days), works better with my supply system (both in terms of UI/resolution and mechanically: differentiation between road- and terrain-regions, supply primarily produced by all terrain-regions), proper scaling of movement speed per unit-type (was problematic with 7 day turns in combination with small regions), fine-tuned cohesion, no MTSG neccessary.

Some left-outs that would be nice to have on this scale: building/destroying of bridges, masses of troops blocking roads - eg. bogged down bread/supply wagons should pose an obstacle on a road, order and information-delay; differentiation between horse fodder (to be found in the land) and supply for humans.

Of course, such a change would come with a lot of work, as the map needs to provide the adequate level of detail. For all the post 1760-Habsburg-territories (Bohemia, Moravia), this is no problem at all, since the Josephinische Landesaufnahme leaves nothing to be desired (although it has not been produced by careful measuring but "à la vue", it shows practically every single house and minor path - for further details see post nr. 20 - slightly updated). So, for these regions, it would not be such a great effort. Unfortunatly, I lack a map of the same level of detail for Silesia. All I could come up with was the map of the "Großer Generalstab", which is not detailed enough, and the "Atlas Silesiae" which seems to be pretty detailed (not sure if all "viae regiae" are supposed to be chaussees) but does not show terrain features. I think I could come up with something, but it would not be that reliable and require more work.

So, any opinions? Should I stick with 7 days per turn, or adventure into the unknown? It's so tempting.

Screenshot 1 shows another "f***!" moment (detailed Silesia map). Matching maps is a quite ungratefull task at times...

Screenshot 2 shows the current state of the map. I've been working on Bohemia and matching my current map (based on the "Großer Generalstab") with the "Josephinische Landesaufnahme", adding a few names of towns and villages on the road-network. There were a few deviations, as the Generalstab showed some roads where the Landesaufnahme shows no chaussees. Green: roads according to the Großer Generalstab (will be deleted/not be part of the road network), orange: chaussees according to the Landesaufnahme.

In general, I try to count only chaussees for my "road-network". Other road-networks will be presented by terrain-regions that are comparatively fast to enter in clear weather. In rain, everything should get severely bogged down on non-chaussee-roads.
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JacquesDeLalaing
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Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:44 pm

In fact I think can't make due without the proper map for Silesia. Unfortunatly, the Silesian cadastre is not available online, it seems. :( Does this work for anyone? I can click on one of the sheets of the overview, but the detailed map does not load. http://oldmaps.geolab.cz/map_root.pl?z_height=70&lang=en&z_width=0&z_newwin=0&map_root=1vm

EDIT: Oh my, it works! You need to click on settings first to determine the zoomify-window size which is by default set to 0x70 or so. How stupid is that! You gotta hate zoomify but now I hold the golden key in my hands! :) The first military survey map of Silesia.
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Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:24 pm

Okay, for intervalls of 1 day, I need a better map of Silesia. Unfortunately, the maps I need are not available online:

Christian Friedrich von Wrede, Kriegs-Carte von Schlesien (war map of Silesia) - drawn 1747-1753, 1:35.333, the atlas comes in a handy format and comprises 195 sheets. It was supposed to be used by Frederick himself. So this would be the real deal as far as maps are concerned. It has been republished in 1992 (ed. Klaus Lindner, Monumenta cartographica et topographica 1), and it's available in the national library here. But I can't simply copy it as I only get access to microfiche (and even if I had access to the maps themselves, I would not be allowed to take photos). :/ Some information on it here: http://maps4u.lt/en/maps.php?img=CH.Wrede_maps&w=600&h=400&cat=86

Then there is also a map of Silesia drawn 1760-1790 (1:50.000) drawn by Schmetta and Schulenburg-Kehner. Can't find it online.

Another map for Silesia (only the part to the west of the Oder) had been drawn by Ludwig Wilhelm von Regler 1764–1770: "Schlesien links der Oder ohne die Grafschaft Glatz"

The "Schroettersche Landesaufnahme" (ca. 1800) isn't available online either.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The situation for Saxony seems to be quite good: http://www.deutschefotothek.de/cms/kartenforum-sachsen-vor1850.xml (Militärkarte von Sachsen und Böhmen, 1:35000, 1778!), http://www.deutschefotothek.de/cms/kartenforum-meilenblaetter-alle.xml
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Under these circumstances, as long as the german archives don't digitalize their maps and make them available online, I feel tempted to choose a different scenario, focused on Bohemia or Moravia. Any good suggestions? The Chotusitz-campaign 1742 would be nice and adequate (map would reach from Prague to Olmütz only) but it was quite short historically speaking, the escape of the French corps from Prague in the same year would be interesting but extremely assymetrical. The Bohemian campaign in the winter of 1744 /Second Silesian War could be interesting, even if slightly one-sided. Otherwise, I'd need to reconsider the third Silesian War. :) 1757/Kollin and Prague sounds very interesting as the Prussians invade Bohemia in several columns, the Habsburgs need to decide whether to try to prevent a unification of the columns or wait for their own reinforcements, and we can expect sieges - just a lot of interesting stuff and even conditions. The only problem is that I can't squeeze Bohemia (on a one day per turn basis) onto a 12.000 x 12.000 map.
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Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:19 pm

Here is my experiment - a check to see how detailed one can go with a map that shows almost all of Bohemia, thinking about a 1757 Prague and Kolin scenario. Its size 13.000 x 11.500 pixels which is the upper limit of the recommended size for RoP. The second screenshot shows the whole map, the first one the maximum level of zoom. I'm not sure whether this is detailed enough for 1 day-turns.

The distance of the coloured part of the first screenshot is, north-south ca. 15 km. As it seems reasonable and practical (to offer a well calibrated level of (un)certainty) that forces move ca. 3 regions per turn (faster units a bit more), I have to split up a days' marching distance into 3 chunks. If we assume a marching speed of 25 km per day, we end up with regions/street sections of 25/3 = 8,3 km length. So, I'd need to cut the road shown on the screenshot once to create two regions. (I always think in road-section-lengths, everything else will be "filled in".) I'm not quite happy. I'd like to go just a little bit closer.

I think I will produce a small testmap and testscenario to see if and how everything works before I commit fully. I hope to get the "demo" ready in January.
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:00 am

I've done some reading and I think that May/June 1757 will be quite the perfect scenario, as the area of operations in this time was neatly restricted to the area between Prague and Kolin, and the operational situation was very interesting. The Prussians siege Prague and at the same time need to keep the Habsburg relief army under Daun at bay to the east. This offers a very nice scope for half-day (!) turns, which is the level of detail that really allows to go down to the level of individual villages and crossings, with a reoad section corresponding to ca. 3 km. If we go for 2 months, the scenario will have ca. 120 turns. Historically, all interesting aspects were present: the terrain and situation asked for a lot of reconnaissance, there were supply shortages and some troops were living off the land, and there were also several smaller engagements as well as a large action (Kolin). I'm curious to see if my mod produces similar results.

I'm pretty excited about this micro-scale experiment. Solely the fact that finding the exact postition of the opponent (a larger army will most likely be streched out over several 3km-regions) will be more challenging (lots of light troops swarming around the army) is honey to my ears. And as you don't know exactly where the opponent is, you're more likely to split up your army - each part of the army has the task to at least delay the opponent so that you can re-position your main force accordingly.

Things I still need to consider:

1) The mod touches the link between the "operational" and the "tactical". The scale is so small that the historical battlefields are larger than a single region in game terms. I don't think that this is a problem since there will be MTSG or perhaps battles need to be balanced accordingly - one turn (= half a day) of battle is not that horrible, on the second half of the day, reinforcements can arrive. What cannot be done, however, is to give stacks that "enter" a battle from a different region some kind of "flanking" bonus. I also need to watch out a bit since theoretically, artillery could have a reach of more than 1 region!

2) What can be more of a problem is that the engine has no mechanic to punish large masses of troops in a single region (well, because it was not meant for such a small scale). Reduced frontages (additional troops don't matter in a 1-turn-battle) and reliable MTSG give incentive to split up troops over at least two regions. But there are no negative effects for not splitting up troops. Ideally, massing troops in a single region should severely slow down all stacks present. Historically speaking, crossing the marching routes of several corps was an error to be evaded at all costs! Ideally, all units present in one region should be automatically stacked together (inflicting a huge lack of CP).

3) I don't think that delay of orders and information is a big problem. That's because the scale chosen works on a half-day-basis which means that the "brain" (Frederick/Daun = the player) gets an information-update for each half-day. Given the scale of the map, it's not that plausible. Sure, it's a compromise, but generally speaking, a courier could probably reach either end of the map in a matter of 1-2 days. In the middle, where the action will be concentrated, half a day seems to be fine. In other words: turn-intervalls represent the delay of information. Moreover, since you will be able to screen movements even if very close to the opponent (the Generalstab mentions some very interesting stuff. In fact, Friedrich did not know what was going on 3 km further to the right flank of his army, because a wood, occupied by Grenzers blocked all reconaissance) and because armies will be much more split up, information will be far more incomplete than in the vanilla game.
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Herr Doctor
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Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:31 am

Yes, the 18th-19th centuries cartography isn't ideal when dealing with such detailed topography, just found it myself couple of weeks ago comparing the maps of the minor locality created just within fifteen years in early 19th century (and most probably even by the same person). Some abstraction would be good when you meet such moments.

I really wish some of the developers could help you with adding any basic minor tweaks to the code to allow manipulations with turns time and seasons. Shouldn't be that hard probably? The game was largely contributed and improved by the community back in time, so I hope such request won't be considered as something extremely extraordinary.

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JacquesDeLalaing
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Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:12 am

Herr Doctor!

I have to say that the level of detail of the Josephinische Landesaufnahme ist really astonishing. Plus you can also compare it to the later cadastres: http://mapire.eu/en/ . There is really nothing left to be desired and I find it kind of charming to actually use these maps now, 250 years later, as they were intended, as military maps, that is, in a game. I'm still going through all kind of calculations and considerations to set the scales right (2 or 3 turns per day).

I don't think I should bother the devs. First, they're totally busy with WoN, and second, I think that manipulating seasons is in fact no small thing, as they're hardcoded. Moreover, I'm fine with having no seasons now as they're not really needed at the scale I'm currently looking at. I'm aiming at a campaign that takes a month. Anything else is not doable on a scale this detailed due to map- and my own time and work-restrictions. The size of the map that I use for depicting the area between Prague and Kolín is already scratching at the maximum map size for RoP.

I'm going to post a historical account on the Kolin-campaign very soon. Then I will be finishing a small part of the map (between the Elbe and the Prague-Kolín chaussée) and see if I can really handle exmap.

Thanks for your interest! :)
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JacquesDeLalaing
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Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:47 am

Even though my map-updates might get boring, here is another one! The tiny test-map is almost finished. I'm really excited to see whether I'll be able to handle it in exmap!

[ATTACH]36391[/ATTACH]

You need to "cut off" the right and left border, only the "middle part" is actually fleshed out. Just some further aesthetical embellishment needed. I'm not really happy with regional borders, and the chaussées and water still needs some work. Villages, which will bring some more colour to the map, are not shown as they're structures and will be added later on.

Deciding where to put region-borders was not as easy as I thought. I took rivulets and chaussées and major terrain-features as my natural borders and filled up the space in between them with regions with a diameter of roughly 2,5 kilometers (chaussée-sections are 2,5 kilometers long each). I determined the terrain-type of each region by looking at the Josephinische Landesaufnahme and judging how many hills and defilees are shown. If there are lots of them, I set the terrain to "hills". In general, I plan to use the following terrain types (excluding special terrain such as river crossings):

flat, clear: indicated by fields / no combat modifications
flat, difficult: indicated by swamp, wood, lots of rivulets running through the region / + defender; + light troops, - cav, - art
steep, clear: same as flat, clear + hill / + defender; - cav
steep, difficult: same as flat, difficult + hill / + defender; + light troops, --cav; - art
chaussée: indicated by the chaussée running through the oblong region / ?
city: not sure yet - Prague and perhaps some other larger towns might be represented by city-regions (which, in turn, contain a structure)

As you can see, most of the terrain on my tiny test map is flat-clear of steep-clear. There will be a flat-difficult region in the southeast (lots of small ponds) and to the southwest (many rivulets running through a region). All terrain types can feature (minor) roads/paths, which I might draw on the map once the location of the villages is fixed. I fear it might look a bit crowded though.

[ATTACH]36392[/ATTACH]

Everything seems to be going well in exmap! I've already defined my 30 test-regions, set their names, added locations for cities, defined their terrain and added jump-links/river-crossings. The resulting files (rgn-textfiles, image files, csv-file) look just like the original RoP files. Now I need to take a look at weather and grand regions and then set up a small scenario!
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JacquesDeLalaing
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Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:51 pm

Aesthetical enhancement.

[ATTACH]36414[/ATTACH]
100% zoom (red dots = spots for villages)

[ATTACH]36413[/ATTACH]
Work in progress, full size of the demo-map. I'm trying to get a small demo-scenario going on this reduced map (Elbe in the north - chausée leading to Kolin in the south) before I start to extend the map for the full "Kolín campaign"-scenario.
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Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:57 am

The map for the demo is progressing fast. I'm really looking forward to creating the small demo-scenario. I still need to come up with a new title for the mod. The demo will have the subtitle "En debandade!", which refers to the contemporary term for acting in skirmish order. The demo will feature a small scenario (ca. 4 days/12 turns) in which players will probably fight for a magazine or perhaps, if I can pull that off by scripting appropriate events, the Prussian player needs to bring a supply-wagon into safety/to the border of the map. It's a hypothetical situation, with parts of Nadasdys' light corps operating against Beverns' corps.

Most units except for ordinary infantry battalions will come at company-size. Naturally, the habsburg force will have an advantage in light troops, in fact I think it should be entirely made up light troops. WIP OOB (excluding commanders):

6 coys II./Warasdiner Creutzer grenzers
1 coy II./Warasdiner Creutzer sharpshooters
1 coy II./Warasdiner Creutzer grenadiers
1 coy grenadiers IR Botta
1 coy grenadiers IR Leopold Daun
4 coys = 2 sqns Baranyay hussars
4 coys = 2 sqns Karlstadt grenz-hussars

I'm not sure yet if I'm going to add some ordinary infantry. Of course all units will have their proper uniforms. ;)

The prussian force is not fixed yet. It will feature hussars, grenadier-battalions and perhaps some oridnary line infantry battalions.
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Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:40 am

Okay, so after I've started what feels like 100 maps of various scales and sizes, I think I've made my final big decision as far as map-design is concerned. I've succumbed to hexes which will come at ca 1 km size (diagonally).

Advantages
- Hexes are the best way for abstracting movement. Please don't make me explain this mathematically. Movement is more precise than when using squares or other forms. On my micro-scale, this is quite important.
- Simply using hexes puts a lot of pressure off me. I can't tell how arbitrary it felt to draw region-borders in any other way.
- Hexes always share a common borders, never touch in a single point, which is needed for exmap.

Disadvantages
- Hexes are aesthetically not that pleasing (the bigger the hexes, the worse it gets) IF you actually adjust terrain and rivers to run along them. Right now, I'm using an unorthodox method: I left the terrain as it is on the historical maps and then simply lay a hex-grid over it. The effects of the terrain (river-crossings) are a compromise between hex-grid and historical map. Naturally, since this makes it harder to read the map, I'm giving players visual helpers (see image - if there is a river crossing between two hexes, there is a sublime blue line at the hex-border). Any opinions on that? Should I rather adjust terrain to make it strictly follow hex-borders? Other than special crossings, there will be but a very, very soft hex-grid-layover visible to the player. Since the whole map is covered in hexes and regions glow with mouse-over, I think the player can anticipate their borders.
- Not neccesarily related to hexes, but since I've got such a large amount of small regions, naming them is quite a challenge. Even with so much historical data available from the Landesaufnahme, I end up with lots of unnamed regions. Therefore, I think I will use an ordinary, boring hex-schemata to name regions. (row/line-numbers)

[ATTACH]36466[/ATTACH]
100% zoom level; Yes, I've added every single f***** path

[ATTACH]36467[/ATTACH]
same as above, with the river-crossing helpers which give you an idea of the size of the hexes

I'm planning to use jumplinks for all kinds of river crossings, but also for defensive hills (of which there seem to be very, very very few). Crossings/jump links have the advantage that they are directional, which is dearly needed on this scale which touches the link between the operational and the tactical - a major engagement will last several turns (remember there are 4 turns per day) and span over several regions (1km). Actually, it's a pity we can't have flanking. One thing I really need to figure out is to give players incentive not to crowd all their troops in one hex (alas, "overcrowding" is bound to structures). Indirectly, it may help that combat (esp. frontage) parameters are set accordingly so that only a very, very small fracture of an army will be able to take part in combat in a single hex, so that for a short time (2-3 turns), a smaller force can easily fight a larger (overcrowded) force. The maximum size of stacks will be very very small compared to vanilla-RoP. A stack will be at max a brigade of 4 battalions (then CP-mali set in).

That being said, I'm looking forward to creating my scenarios which will be based on heavily modded mechanics. The map I'm currently working on will support at least two scenarios, both of which come at 4 (!) turns per day and will last but a few days:
1. small war scenario (habsburg light troops try to capture a magazine in Böhmisch Brod from Prussian regular forces)
2. battle scenario (lots of troops concentrated on the small map)

For a real "campaign"-scenario, I need to enlarge the map. What I'm especially looking forward to in the small war scenario is the detailed scope of battles. As the turn-intervalls are so short, also battle-intervalls are very short, which means that combat will be very lucid and clear, with very few elements taking part. Thus battle reports will be much easier to understand. Much easier than the ordinary 150 vs 150 elements battle reports. It will be more like: "Come on, hit them, grenadier company!"
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Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:38 pm

Okay, haha, one very last change of mind as hexagons whose borders do not really match the terrain actually shown on the map suck big time. So, even though hexes might be more precise, I'm back to individually shaped regions. In the end, presicion-measuring and hexes only really matter if the game-elements are completely free in their movements. This is not the case with troops/people, as they move along paths and roads. Therefore, military movement has to be a movement along given sequences of way-points, not free movement. Only in the very last moments on the battlefield did units actually move independently of roads/paths. So, my solution was to lay down my region-borders with the following considerations in mind:

1. rivers
2. chaussées (major roads)
3. cities/villages and difficult terrain (woods)
4. paths (minor roads) - always start at crossroad/"knob" and form a single region around it
5. divide the remaining space if necessary

I'm not sure if my result is fine. I will need to test it ingame.

Image

Here is the finished map for a very small demo. The map I originally planned for the demo is about 4 times larger. Cudos to the very talented military engineers who put together these masterpieces back in 1764!

Most of the small lakes are actually reservoirs. The bohemian villagers seem to have built a lot of dams! All the rivers represented on the map are for the most part very small rivulets. Nevertheless, they posed tactical obstacles. It's easy to see that the map will feature a ton of jumplinks (river-crossings). Unlike vanilla-RoP, I even want to consider the terrain of the crossing, not just the size of the river. So, for example, crossing over a bridge in a village is something different from crossing a river over a bridge in the countryside/fields. I might add some small symbols over the bridges/crossings to give players a hint.

Apart from river-crossings, jump-links can also be used to give certain regions "directional" advantages/combat boni vis-a-vis other regions. At this small scale, I consider this to be quite important. E.g. a cliff or a steep slope can have similar effects as a river. There are hardly any real hills on this map-extract though.

The largest town in this map-extract, Planian (the battle of Kolín took place just south-east of it), might get its own terrain (not just structure; "city" will be a terrain just like hills or woods). The other villages will be represented as a structure only. As the houses are already on the historical map, I will use some unflashy symbol for the city-structures, probably a dark red elipse onto which you can drop your stacks.

One thing I really need to consider is whether there is some way to represent the building and destruction of bridges in AGEOD's engine.

I'm not too happy about the visual representation of region-borders, but I've run out of creativity for today. It will do for the demo. Do you think I should delete the historical town-names? I actually like them, but they add too much chaos. I might just keep some of them.
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Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:10 pm

I must be missing something. My exmap does not generate a regions-alias/ini file? Only region-graphics, region-definitions, regions-csv-file, and map.ini.
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Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:53 pm

JacquesDeLalaing wrote:I must be missing something. My exmap does not generate a regions-alias/ini file? Only region-graphics, region-definitions, regions-csv-file, and map.ini.


Indeed, it does not...must be made by "hand", using the Regions.csv file that your splitter produces... was never fixed and we used to go along with it because make the file the 'old' way (= by hand) is not that hard :)
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Sat Dec 26, 2015 8:24 pm

Alright, thank you for the info! I've already created my region.ini file by hand. For the demo-map (140 regions), it's not a big problem, even though czech names (Zrbstlpot!) freak freak me out. For the large version, it will take a few hours though. ;)

I can report the first success! I've managed to load my map in the game (still F9/debug-view). There still seem to be a ton of bugs (and a lot of irregularities that can be seen on the screeny), but actually seeing this thing ingame for the first time is a happy moment. ;) It's learning by doing. Lots of things need to be de-bugged, and lots of things need to be improved for the next "version".
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Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:29 am

Bravo !!
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JacquesDeLalaing
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Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:37 am

As I'm trying to figure things out and reduce bugs, I tried to play a few turns. However, I get a lot of these errors in the main-log-file and don't quite know what I'm supposed to do with these as the description is not very explanatory:

10:30:19 [Error ] TGameSim.GetCoo Exception caught Indice de liste hors limites (-1)

It usually comes up when I drag a stack to a neighbouring region and/or let the turn process.
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Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:30 pm

Remarks on conceptualizing my combat system:

If there are two forces in a single region, I want to differentiate three types of situations, which are represented by the different Rules-of-engagement (="stance") settings:

1) skirmish situation (both sides in defensive ROE)
2) battle 1 (one side in offensive, one in defensive ROE)
3) battle 2 (both sides in offensive ROE)

@ 1) skirmish situation

Here, I want to have drawn out engagements with few casualties and no assault situations ("forcing a position"). Specialists (hussars, grenzers, grenadiers) perform better in skirmishes. Artillery is less effective (artillery is not flexible/mobile enough for skirmish-warfare - it's good for defending positions = assault situations)

To simulate these desired results, I came up with the following settings:

1. ROE-coefficient for all defensive ROEs is: own 0.5 / opposing 1; That means a force in skirmish-mode (defensive vs. defensive ROE) has their fire- and assault- hit-chances reduced.
2. Troop Quality across the board for most units is set very low; That means that hardly any "assault" (forcing a position) will happen
3. Defensive fire damage is set very low (both in terms of cohesion and hit-damage)
4. Specialists in skirmishing are characterized by a high defensive fire value

@ 2) battle 1

Here, I want to have one side approach and attack the position of an opposing force. This is a pitched battle in which one side tries to break the cohesion of the other side and force it out of the region. The attacker has low fire power, but high chances for assault. The defender has a high fire power (he might reduce the approaching attackers' cohesion and thus halt the attack) and medium chances for melee (dependent on cohesion). The attacker might suffer more casualties than the defender and still force the defender to withdraw (assault combat results in very high cohesion damage).

1. ROE-coefficient for all offensive ROEs is: own 0.75 / opposing 1.5. Note that 1.5 for the opposing side is needed to switch a defending force from "skirmish" mode to "battle" mode. It's own defensive ROE-coefficient is 0.5, so that the offensive opposing coefficient of 1.5 raises it up to 0.75. Thus both sides should fight with 0.75 effectiveness
2. Troop Quality is strongly increased for units in offensive ROE (can be set via terrain effects). This means that an aggressive force is very likely to seek close combat and force a position/assault.
3. Offensive fire value is set medium across the board - attackers try to use "melee", not fire power, to dislodge an opponent.
4. Specialists in battle are characterized by a big TQ-bonus if in offensive ROE (higher chance to assault, lower chance to be shaken) and by high cohesion values (charge/countercharge, chance of routing).
5. Unlike other units, artillery (low defensive fire, medium offensive fire, high assault value) gains a big TQ bonus if in defensive ROE! This should make defending arty very likely to assault, which represents its effect when defending a position (in contrast to skirmishes, where the defensive fire matters).

@ 3) battle 2

This represents a kind of "meeting" engagement. The characteristics are pretty much the same as in battle 1, but the ROE-coefficient is increased to 1,12 for both sides (no chance to circumvent that).
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Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:01 pm

CONCEPTUALIZING MY COMBAT SYSTEM

Here are some notes on my combat-concept. They are usefull for me as an overview, but everyone interested can reat them too, of course. If this is all gibberish to you, then you may consult the ageod wiki (“combat explained”) and Narwhals tutortials on fire and close combat in the AJE section of the forum.

SOME BASICS
A “day” has 3 rounds of battle (vanilla RoP: 6 rounds)
A round of battle represents 10 minutes of action (vanilla RoP: ca. 120 minutes)

vanilla RoP: 7 days = 1 turn = 7 pulses/days = 42 combat rounds à 120 minutes
mod: 1 day à 12h/720min = 4 turns à 180min = 28 “pulses” à 25min = 84 combat rounds à 10 min

Frontage will be very small (very few elements per battle compared to vanilla RoP). No concrete numbers yet.

An element represents a company – usually 20 hits à 7 men = 140 men.

DECLARATION/INTERPRETATION OF ELEMENT-STATS

Offensive fire
Chance to engage and hit an opponent to some effect (see fire damage) with low intensity (dispersed formation, formation in movement, etc.).

Units good at skirmishing and – to a lesser degree - well drilled units have high offensive fire values, close-order troops (especially if they’re badly drilled) have a low offensive fire value.

Defensive fire
Chance to engage and hit an opponent to some effect (see fire damage) with high intensity (closed order, formation stationary). Especially when defending a position.

Units that act in close order have a high defensive fire value, units that act in open order have a low defensive fire value (unless in favourable terrain).

Fire damage
Describes the effect of successful offensive and defensive fire. This one stat needs to cover both, offensive and defensive fire damage. Therefore, even though it’s not an optimal solution, we need to differentiate damage-types per unit, not per situation (defensive fire/offensive=skirmish fire).

Units that are more likely to act as skirmishers will deal skirmish fire damage (1 hit + low cohesion damage). Units that are more likely to act in closed formation will deal defensive fire damage (1 hit + medium cohesion damage). Thus, a skirmishing element will be less likely to disrupt and halt an advance than a close-order element. (Lower cohesion for an offensive element means a lower chance to charge and assault).

charge/counter-charge process
To determine whether an element tries to assault (seek shock action, force a position), it needs to run through several tests. First, it needs to pass a TQ-test (vs. d10). If it does not pass, it will not try to assault in this round. If it passes, it next needs to see whether it carries out a mere “assault” or a “charge” (most elements will have the charge-attribute). In my terms, only a charge resembles a real shock action, whereas an assault is but some high intensity engagement (see assault damage). The charge-test (TQ*current absolute cohesion vs. D30; I want to lay weight on cohesion rather than TQ). Thus, if an element has suffered from effective defenders’ fire, and is low on cohesion, it may be unfit to press the attack at range 0 (which is bad for now the defender with his higher defensive fire has the advantage). If the charge-test is passed, then the defender gets a chance (TQ*current absolute cohesion vs. D20) to “counter-charge” (deter the attack). If successful, the attacker is switched back from “charge” to ordinary “assault”. In my terms, this means that the attack is not pushed, rather there is a face-off at close range. Moreover, a counter-charging defender has a slight bonus in damage. Once the assault-mode (assault, charge, counter-charge) for both elements is clear, they (attacker first, defender second, if not routed?) see if they actually hit (Assault*TQ*etc.etc. vs. D100). The damage they inflict with a successful attempt depends on the assault-mode.

Assault damage
Luckily, the game let’s us differentiate three situations/modes here: 1. ordinary assault damage; 2. charge-assault-damage; 3. counter-charge-assault-damage.

1. (Ordinary) assault damage:
This represents the damage that the unit inflicts in a situation of high intensity (close formation, close distance, stationary). This will be indentical with most elements' fire damage.

2. Charge-assault-damage:
Equals the ordinary assault damage multiplied by x. This represents the effects of a successful shock action and the defender being pushed out of his position. The multiplicator will be set very high, so that the target looses a lot of cohesion (and also hits, can’t be prevented).

3. Counter-charge-assault-damage:
Equals the ordinary assault damage multiplied by x. Most likely, the multiplier will be 1-1.5. I imagine these actions (an infantry formation not giving way when facing an advance, a square keeping steady when threatened by cav) as a stand-off rather than a massacre. The primary effect of a successful counter-charge should be to prevent the charge-assault-damage of the attacker, not to massacre him.

Assault
The chance to engage and hit opponent to some effect (see assault damage) with high intensity once the element has decided to assault and has been given an assault-mode (assault/charge/counter-charge).

This will be set very high for all units, as the effects and decisions of shock-combat are handled primarily via assault-modes (assault, charge, counter-charge).

Troop quality
This is a difficult one as it has a lot of uses. It’s effect on fire combat can be ignored. But it’s the only shock-combat-related stat that can be modified by terrain and stance (off/def) and unit type. As I generally don’t want defenders to seek shock-action, troop qualities will be set comparatively low across the board for all units (except perhaps cavalry) and only be raised to reasonable level by terrain effects for the attacker. This should make units in defensive stance unlikely to seek shock action. However, as the counter-charge test is taken against a d20 (unlike the charge-test which is taken against a d30) and cohesion will weigh heavily in the counter-charge-test, elements on the defence will still be able to defend well in shock combat (if their cohesion is okay).

Another effect of troop quality is the shaken-test. If units have suffered casualties in a battle, they need to pass a shaken test (TQ vs d10). If they fail, they suffer from slight negative effects (-1 rate of fire, -1TQ) for the upcoming round.

In other words: troop quality resembles the temporary “spirit” of an element. Naturally, the attacking force has chosen the moment of attack and has the moral advantage of the attack. Thus, a elements on the offensive are meant to (and mentally prepared to) advance and force an opponents’ position. Cohesion, on the other hand, resembles overall long-term morale and tactical cohesion/order on the battle field.

cohesion
As I’m making use of the charge-/counter-charge mechanic to represent all kind of shock action (I don’t like to use the assault-value for it asit leads to both sides damaging each other), cohesion is the primary stat for shock combat. Each x absolute points of cohesion left gives an element a bonus on its test whether it charges (take a position by shock) or counter-charges (fend off a shock-attempt).
Therefore, cohesion stands for (among other things) the chance to risk a shock-action and to withstand a shock action (i.e. not give way).

Rate of fire
Can be largely ignored for my purposes. All units will get the same RoF. The qualities of units are represented by offensive and defensive fire values and by initiative. Rate of fire could be used to reduce randomness (more attempts but lower hit-chances). I don’t think I need it.

Range
This can also be ignored for my purposes. The only purpose is to give artillery a slight range-advantage.

Initiative
If certain parameters are set accordingly, initiative represents the overall surprise-potential of a force. The surprise-potential (very one sided and strong result) is higher if 1) hit chance is high, 2) fire damage is high, 3) a considerable amount of elements of the force has a higher initiative than a considerable amount of the opposing forces’ elements.

Since these conditions are not really met (I have comparatively low hit-chances and low fire-damage), initiative can be largely ignored. Skirmishers will have a higher initiative, but there is no big effect.


SETUP OF UNIT-STATS PER UNIT-TYPE
wip

SETUP OF FRONTAGE AND TERRAIN EFFECTS
wip

COMBINATIONS OF UNITS, COMMAND, TARGET-SELECTION
wip

HYPOTHETICAL SITUATIONS, THE SYSTEM IN PRAXIS
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Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:22 pm

Small update on my mapping problem:

The problem still prevails. I've set up a very small test-map (4 regions) and a very small scenario. The scenario itself is fine, no errors in it, but I still I get a ton of these TGameSim.GetCoo-error messages. So it must be related to the map. There is something I must be missing on a fundamental level. It seems that any movement of stacks produces these errors. All other things work fine (combat works, movement works if you click away all the error messages). In the exmap debug-window, there is some information on "current region nearest point, index" etc. All it does is to show which vertex of the current region is closest to the cursor at the moment. Maybe this is somehow related to my problem?

I'm thankfull for any tip I can get.
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Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:12 pm

Oh my god. It was so easy. You need to define an object point (the coordinates where a city-structure will be placed) for each and every region, not just for the ones where you actually put cities in the scenario. I feel like an idiot, but a very happy one. ;) The hors de limite issue is fixed for me.

I can now carry on my mapping and combat tests in the most challenging and interesting operational environment:

[ATTACH]36583[/ATTACH]

PS: There is an oversight regarding model families: the family $famLightInf is supposed to count as an irregular family type, yet the battle logs prove that it actually counts as a regular family type. Family $famSkirmisher works fine as an Irregular family type.

PS: Observations from my very controlled tests: charging seems to work fine. Counter-charging, however, is extremely rare. The test for counter-charging does certainly NOT work as described in the wiki. I have not tested the effect of a defensive leader yet, but the chance to succeed in counter-charging seems to be totally independent of troop quality. I've tested it with ridicolously high TQ values. The higher the TQ, the more charges we see, but the amount of counter-charges stays the same (almost 0). The disfunctional counter-charge means that I have to re-think my combat system. PS: Leader stats don't change a thing either. Even with very high leaders values, the chance for units to countercharge does not increase. It seems this feature is really dysfunctional. :(

PS: It's a real joy to experiment in a labor with 2 elements per side, studying the battle logs. Another thing that I discovered will be quite different from vanilla RoP will be the fact that most battles will result in a draw, which means that both sides stay in the region. An actual victory, forcing one side out of the region, should be seen as a victory. I achieve this by making battles very short, so short (1 round) that they're indecisive most of the time. This means that players can actually "react" to an ongoing battle. Troops from outside are likely to arrive "during" a battle. Also, since it often occurs that two stacks will stay in the same region, stances become more interesting (when to attack/switch from defensive to offensive?) and the whole control/evade-aspect really starts to shine. A skirmisher screen actually acts as a real screen, preventing units from moving "through".

PS: Another very interesting aspect: Cohesion affects for how long units can engage in battle. If I use very short and comparatively indecisive rounds of battle, then the loss of cohesion from fighting (not casualties, but engaging in battle - everytime an element fires, assaults or gets assaulted, it looses some cohesion) becomes important. In my test, Grenzers (low cohesion) kept up the fight for ca. 4 rounds of battles before they were running out of cohesion and stopped their attack. This opens up very interesting options! The engine is such a beauty!
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Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:52 pm

CONCEPTUALIZING MY COMBAT SYSTEM

Since the counter-charge mechanic is somehow dysfunctional, I had to come up with a new concept. This one is actually far more elegant!

  • A “day” has 2 rounds of battle (vanilla RoP: 6 rounds). A round of battle represents ca. 15 minutes of action (vanilla RoP: ca. 120 minutes)
[INDENT][INDENT][INDENT]vanilla RoP: 7 days = 1 turn = 7 pulses/days = 42 combat rounds à 120 minutes
mod: 1 day à 12h/720min = 4 turns à 180min = 28 “pulses” à 25min = 56 combat rounds à ca. 15 min
[/INDENT][/INDENT][/INDENT]
  • Frontage allowances will be very small (very few elements per battle compared to vanilla RoP). No concrete numbers yet.
  • An element represents a company – usually 30 hits à 4 men = 120 men.
  • The fire phase (!) is meant to represent a pitched battle action (hereafter called "battle")
  • The assault phase (!) is meant to represent a skirmish action (hereafter called "skirmish")

This totally counter-intuitive setup is neccessary to make the game differentiate two types of situations and end up with this setting: Skirmishers should be able to evade a battle, but noone should be able to evade a skirmish. Now, if I set the game up as usual (with the fire phase representing skirmish and the assault phase battle), then I would end up with the problem that "battle" cannot be evaded by skirmishers. There is no way (counter charge doesn't work as intended) to make individual elements reduce the assault-stats (TQ, assault) of opposing elements. Thus even skirmisher units would be attacked in battle easily. I don't want that as it makes skirmishing impossible and by far too risky. So I switch my "battle"-situation over to the "fire phase". Here, the stat protection can be used to make elements invulnerable to battle, or, in other words: to make them evade battle-situations. Note that this also comes in handy for artillery. Artillery belongs to the sphere of positional battle, not to the sphere of flexible skirmish.

BATTLE (fire phase)

Relevant stats and their interpretation
  • Offensive fire: the capacity for offensive shock action. Should be high for grenadiers, battle cavalry; medium for regular infantry; medium-low for most skirmishers. The better drilled an element, the higher its offensive fire.
  • Defensive fire: the capacity for defensive shock action. Should be high for all regular infantry.
  • Protection: the inclination of units to evade situations of high intensity. Skirmishers should get a high protection value (can be set in terrain in order not to distort calculations of PWR). Units with a high protection value should come with smaller combat signatures in order not to make the opponent "chase after" them in vain. Also, cavalry units (even though they're less likely to be targeted) could be given some protection if neccessary.
  • Fire damage: the effects of successfull shock action, expressed as loss of hits and cohesion points inflicted on the target. I want to keep hits low and work primarily via cohesion. Hits will be inflicted on pursuit. Inflicted cohesion damage should be very high for battle cavalry.

Modifyable stats
  • offensive fire: per individual element; per terrain/weather/stance per unit family
  • defensive fire: per individual element; per terrain/weather/stance per unit family
  • protection: per individual element; per terrain/weather/stance per unit family
  • fire damage: cannot be modified
  • ROE ("stance") & TQ ("troop quality = discipline") are ruled out as the first affects both, the fire phase and the assault phase, and the second is more important for the assault phase. I'm solely concerned with variables that affect the fire phase here.

SKIRMISH (assault phase)

Relevant stats and their interpretation

  • TQ: a high TQ means that the element seeks skirmish action and aggressively looks out for opportunites to skirmish.
  • Assault: represents the skirmish-effectiveness of an element. Elements that are engaged in skirmish (initiated by the opponent) can still fight in a skirmish situation, they might be bad at it, however.
  • Assault damage: the results of successfull skirmishing action.
  • Charge attribute: can be given to units who are capable of ambushing/surprising an opponent and inflicting a big loss of hits/cohesion. The chance is coupled with TQ, which fits just fine.

Modifyable stats
  • TQ: per individual element; per terrain/weather/stance per unit family
  • Assault: cannot be modified
  • assault damage: cannot be modified except for the charge-mechanic (multiplies inflicted damage if TQ-test vs. D30 passed)
  • charge attribue: can be set on/off per individual element
  • ROE ("stance") is ruled out as it affects both, the fire phase and the assault phase.

SETUP FOR LIGHT INFANTRY
  • high protection (does not engage in battle and/or avoids damage in battle)
  • low-medium fire values (does not perform too well in battle)
  • medium fire damage (damage in battle)
  • high TQ (seeks skirmish situations)
  • very high assault (performs well in skirmishes)
  • low assault damage (damage in skirmish)
  • may "charge" (ambush/surprise)
  • counts as screener (reduces pursuit casualties suffered)
  • cohesion: low (but relatively unaffected by marching, etc.)

SETUP FOR HEAVY INFANTRY
  • no protection (does engage in battle)
  • high fire values (does perform well in battle)
  • high fire damage (damage in battle)
  • low-medium TQ (does not seek to engage in skirmishes)
  • medium assault (does not perform too well in skirmishes)
  • low assault damage (damage in skirmish)
  • cohesion: high

SETUP FOR HEAVY CAVALRY
  • medium-high protection (does evade damage unless charging)
  • medium fire values (chance of causing disorder/charge successfully) --> performs badly against skirmishers (high protection values), but it may happen that cavalry manages to charge them, which will rout skirmishers (high cohesion damage); but in pursuit, skirmishers don't suffer as much as ordinary infantry (screener attribute); cavalry may also engage skirmishers in skirmish (see assault values)
  • high fire COH-damage (disruption caused on successfull charge - note that casualties inflicted by cav will be handled primarily via pursuit and rout)
  • low-medium TQ (does not seek to engage in skirmishes)
  • medium assault (does not perform too well in skirmishes)
  • low assault damage (damage in skirmish)
  • Does not count as "disruptor". Their higher speed in open terrain will still let them perform better in pursuit than infantry though.
  • cohesion: low-medium

SETUP FOR LIGHT CAVALRY
  • high protection (does evade damage even more than heavy cavalry unless charging)
  • low fire values (chance of causing disorder/charge successfully in battle)
  • high fire COH-damage (disruption caused on successfull charge - note that casualties inflicted by cav will be handled primarily via pursuit and rout)
  • high TQ (does seek to engage in skirmishes)
  • high assault (does perform well in skirmishes)
  • low assault damage (damage in skirmish)
  • may "charge" (ambush/surprise)
  • counts as disruptor (additionall casualties inflicted in pursuit)
  • counts as screener (reduces pursuit casualties suffered)
  • cohesion: low (but relatively unaffected by marching, etc.)

SETUP FOR LIGHT ARTILLERY (battalion guns)
  • high protection (does evade damage in battle)
  • medium-high off. fire, very high defensive fire (chance of being deployed in a good position at the right time; battalion guns are flexible and mobile, thus they have an okay offensive fire)
  • low-medium fire COH-damage (disruption caused - these are small calibre guns)
  • Supprt units are very unlikely to engage in assault phase


SETUP FOR HEAVY ARTILLERY
same as light guns, with lower offensive fire but higher damage
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Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:58 am

The final map for the demo (ca. 200 regions) is almost finished.

Here is my latest and probably last crazy map-idea:
Also on the grand-tactical/micro-operational level, rivers are probably the most important tactical features of the map. They provide natural defilés that can be defended easily (better combat) and/or can be held by few troops (small frontage --> leads at least to a delay). Therefore, I need to pay a lot of attention to rivers crossings. I've declared all rivercrossings between two regions to be of quality 1-5 (for combat parameters and frontage) based on their quality and to be of mode "bridge" or "no bridge" (for movement speed). I've come up with the following rough schema to determine the quality of the crossing (1=easy to cross; 5=very hard to cross, good defensive position):

  • base: 3
  • each bridge between the two regions: -1 (unless bridge is in village)
  • difficult terrain: +1 (steep riverbanks, woods)
  • narrow/short border between two regions (yes, this is arbitrary and based on how I've painted the region-borders, but it adds a bit of variety) and other, natural defilés: +1 or +2, according to my own judgement


The jumplink mechanic can also be used to represent other defilés, not just rivers. In fact a bridge is just a special kind of defilé. The advantage of jumplinks over "terrain" is that jumplinks work in a directional manner (the bonus/malus only sets in if you attack the region from a certain other region) whereas terrain worksregardless of the direction of the attack.

If it turns out that jumplinks need to be more obvious (if the shift key is not enough), the quality of the river crossing between two regions can be shown on the map, with the colour of the "pins" indicating the quality of the crossing, and a little ring around the "pin" indicates if there is a bridge or not:
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Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:31 pm

A big step has been taken! The demo map is active and working. A small preview will be available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnOUXFygjg0 (upload takes forever, according to youtube 190 minutes! :( )
All the jumplinks and terrains for the regions are defined. The next step will be to work on combat resolution, marching aspects (cohesion loss, movement speed), supply, terrain effects on combat, and, last but not least, the scenario(s) itself. ;) Now I need to set up appropriate test scenarios (any kind of unit versus any other kind of unit, any kind of terrain, etc.).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

These are the terrains I am using:

  • clear_flat
  • clear_steep
  • clear_buildings
  • difficult_flat
  • difficult_steep
  • difficult_buildings
  • very_difficult_flat
  • very_difficult_steep
  • chaussee_clear
  • chaussee_difficult
  • chaussee_building
  • city
  • fort
  • (lake)

I'm not sure yet if I actually "need" the chaussee-terrain (depending on how my road-level works - right now, the chaussee is defined as "major roads", all other paths as "tracks"), but I wanted to keep this option open.
The building type refers to a village or houses in the region. Structures can still be sieged as usual, but the terrain does also affect battles in the region (because regions are comparatively small, you can't evade settlements). The defensive bonus will be comparatively low, however.
Note that the great majority of regions are either clear_flat or building_flat. That does not mean that the map is boring. Quite the contrary! I dare say that reading the information of the map is the key to victory! The border between two regions (river crossings, defilés - I differentiate 5 levels of defensive-ness) are at least as important as the terrain within regions. So, even though most regions are clear and flat, getting into the region will sometimes pose a problem ;) .


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, here is a screenshot giving you an impression of how the Prussians are supposed to feel at the start of the scenario in terms of recognaissance. There will be small prussian outposts in front of a corps, not suspecting the bold attack of a small habsburg detachment that will attack from Planian (right) towards Böhmisch Brod (left) and try to capture smaller supply stocks or even the depot in Böhmisch Brod. Not sure about the length of the scenario. Perhaps 4 to 5 days (= 16 - 20 turns). Assuming that the Habsburg troops carry supply for two days with them, and assuming that they cannot find enough supply on their way (will be difficult if the detachment is ca. 2000 men strong), then the scenario will be more interesting for the habsburg detachment needs to keep a link to its own supply, providing opportunities for the Prussians.

[/LIST][ATTACH]36599[/ATTACH]


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Any suggestions for a new name for the mod? My working titles were:

  • Silesia Inrupta (obviously outdated, we are in Bohemia now)
  • En Debandade (the term used at that time for acting in open order - since everyone was proud of speaking French, it also fits to the scenario)
  • Harceleur (the french, germanized term "harcelieren" was used by contemporaries to signify "skirmishing"; A harceleur would then be a stalker/skirmisher)?
  • Piquet (This would emphasize the reconaissance aspect)
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JacquesDeLalaing
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Wed Dec 30, 2015 8:15 pm

And since I'm never running out of crazy ideas, here is a quite extreme idea to represent the delay of orders/information (other than activation status of commanders). I've been thinking about this because I consider it a neccessity on this small scale.

  • Each faction gets exactly one "commander" unit which moves at light cavalry speed. This unit spawns one "order/info/courier" unit. There can be only one "order/info/courier" unit at any time. If it is destroyed, a new order/info is spawned by the commander.
  • Commander and courier units are the only units in the game that have a decent detection value (commander gets a higher detection value than courier). Yes, even hussars won't be able to deliver detailed information to you, but at least they spot enemy stacks. Without your commander or courier unit present, you don't get any information about the opposing stacks (apart from the presence of the enemy stack).
  • In combination, this means that you'll have to move your "commander" or your "courier" to those spots where you want to get information about the opponent. Both move at light cavalry speed and run the risk of being intercepted/killed. Another nice task for your hussars! ;)


Of course, once there is an engagement, the battle-report reveals the opponent (unfortunately even those elements that have not actually fought in the battle) even if there is no commander or courier present. However, this is but one more reason to actually split up troops over several regions and make use of an advance guard or skirmisher screen!

The system can also be enhanced further if you're okay with a higher level of abstraction. E.g. the movement speed of commanders and couriers could be altered to represent a badly organised and led army (slow flow of information). There can't be a lot of differentiation though because I need movement-classes for the differentiation of troops. Another modification-idea: You could alter the commanders' probability to spawn courier units. This is a very interesting option. A "good" commander might re-spawn couriers more reliably. A "bad" commander, by contrast, might take 1-2 turns to respawn a courier.

PS: Note that I circumvent the detection-mechanics that I don't need. Loyalty, military control and structures generate detection-values (2)/reduce hide values. I plan to give all territories a hide bonus of 3 to counter that mechanics. You need troops (and probably commanders/couriers) to spot the opponent.



Note to self: The rule that a stack which consists exclusively of elements of family "Irregular" (family "famLightInf" does not count as such, as pointed out in post #49) does not automatically switch to offensive posture when entering an enemy controlled region is actually true! Very nice! Offers nice options for skirmishing!
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JacquesDeLalaing
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Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:58 pm

Terrain:
light green: clear (clear_flat, clear_chaussee)
dark green: clear, defensible (clear+building, clear+steep, chaussee_building)
brown: difficult (difficult_flat, difficult_chaussee)
dark brown (hard to tell from brown!): difficult, defensible (difficult+building, difficult+steep)
reddish-brown: very difficult
dark reddish-brown (not existent on this map): very difficult, defensible (verydifficult+steep)

So, the colour tells you the overall terrain-quality (green/orange/red) that affects movement and battle, whereas the brightness (light/dark) informs you about ADDITIONAL defesibility (either a hill or buildings). All types of "defensibilities" differ from type to type (effects on overall frontage, frontage malus for attacker, modification of battle stats of models).

Now the terrain shown here only informs you about absolute defensibility. Relative, that is to say: directional, defensibility is handled via crossings ("jumplinks", the border between to regions, so to speak) that are not shown here. For this smaller scale, I think that a heavy focus on directional defensibility is very adequate. A position might be good, but it can be turned and flanked. This gives players more incentive to split up troops, which in turn, enhances all aspects, especially reconnaissance. I need to add the information on crossings to the actual image-file of the map.
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Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:03 pm

Analysis of jumplinks (crossings between two regions; e.g. river-crossings)

What happens when a stack crosses a border between two regions that is defined as a crossing/jumplink, and the target region is not under its control (<= 10% military control) and occupied by an enemy enemy stack that engages the crossing stack?

  • For their own offensive actions (fire, assault) only, the elements that are crossing have their stats modified: 1) by the terrain in the target region (according to their stance) 2) the "terrain" of the jumplink itself (also according to their stance). For example, if an element of light infantry in offensive stance crosses over a jumplink into a region ("difficult flat") and fires, then first it has its fire-rating modified by "difficult terrain" (e.g. for offensive stance: a 120% fire bonus and +2 Troop Quality), and then this bonus is modified by the terrain defined as the jumplink (e.g. 90% fire malus and -1 Troop Quality for offensive stance). 120*0.9 results in a total fire bonus of 108% and +2 - 1 TQ results in +1 TQ. When modding jumplinks, it's important to understand that the "defender" is not the side that defends the crossing. Instead, only the side that actually crosses receives the boni and mali that you set up in the jumplink terrain. A crosser might very well cross in defensive stance (if a stack consists entirely of irregulars) and receive the defensive boni/mali that you set up in the jumplink-terrain.
  • For their own offensive actions only, the elements that are defending the crossing have their stats modified only by the terrain in their region (the target region). Note that the protection bonus/malus that the crossing elements might receive from the "jumplink"-terrain does NOT apply! It seems as if you can leave the protection boni/mali in jumplink-terrains alone as they're not used.
  • The crossing-penalties/malus for the crossing elements last at least the first two rounds of battle (haven't tried it out with 3+ rounds yet). Also, the bonus/malus stayed active on day 2 (stack crossed and fought against the defenders on day 1 - draw - on day 2 the battle continued, and the bonus/malus was still active. Very nice! So it seems as if the bonus/malus is only dropped once the battle is decided (no draw) and/or military control for the crosser rises to 10%? OR the round is over.
  • For frontage-calculations, I'm not 100% sure yet, but it seems as if the defender of a crossing always uses the terrain of the target-region (I assume according to his stance, but I haven't checked). The crosser, on the other hand, always uses the terrain of the jump-link - according to his stance. So a stack that crosses a river in defensive stance will use the defensive-frontage of the jumplink-terrain. A crossing stack in offensive posture will use the offensive-frontage of the jumplink. The defender always uses the off-/def-frontage of the terrain of the target region (not of the jumplink!).
  • As for power- and therefore retreat-will-calculations, I'm not sure if the crosser takes into account the modifications of the jump-link-terrain. I'd hope that he does, but I don't think so.



Summary:

"CROSSER"
Frontage according to his stance as defined in the jumplink-terrain
Battle bonus/malus according 1) to the terrain of the target region, 2) to the jumplink-terrain, both according to his stance.

"DEFENDER"
Frontage according to his stance as defined in the target-regions' terrain
Battle bonus/malus according to the terrain of the target region only. The stats of the crossing target-element are NOT modified by the jumplink-terrain (no protection malus sets in).

So, generally speaking, if you want to give crossers a disadvantage, you need to give mali to both, the offensive and the defensive modes in the jumplink-terrain (a crossing in defensive stance is rather rare though). Moreover, you need to set the frontages for both, offensive and defensive modes, low in the jumplink terrain. It does not affect the actual defender of the crossing, who gets his frontage from the actual target region, not from the jumplink.
You cannot give the defenders a "bonus", you can only make the crossers perform worse, both in terms of fire combat (fire value malus) and in terms of assault combat (TQ-malus - however, if attacked, they still strike back with their unmodified assault-value). Protection is unaffected by jumplink-terrain.






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To make things easier for players, I plan to add information to the image-files of terrain or to their tooltip-description. Players should be able to see how many elements (for calculation-purposes, we take ordinary infantry elements) are needed to fully "cover" each type of terrain and what effects on battle will be in effect. This will be very, very essential information. For jumplinks, I need to put the information somewhere on the map (some flavour region with a legend, informing you about the frontage and effects of all kinds of crossings: quality 1-5, bridge/no brige)

Generally speaking, I think that on this scale, 5 battalions = 25 elements/companies will be the maximum frontage in the game (clear-flat terrain). Defiles will be much easier to defend, however, probably perhaps down to less than a battalion for the most defensible crossings. That's not to say that it will be impossible to cross. Just that it will take more time (depending on the cohesion of the defenders) and casualties. A defensive position lets you delay the opponent.
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JacquesDeLalaing
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Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:05 pm

Crossings in "Silesia Inrupta"

Here is a screenshot (sorry, can't upload, filesize too big!) of the whole map including the information on crossings. If you zoom in, you can see a lot of numbers along the rivers. Wherever two regions border on each other along a river, there is a number. The number tells you the "defensibility" of the crossing (1= not very defensible; 5 = very defensible), and the colour tells you whether there is a bridge or not (primarily for movement purposes; red = no bridge; white = bridge). The level of defensibility has been set by me. I make no excuses - it's quite a bit arbitrary! However, the level of depth added to the game and to the map outweighs my judgement and as long as the numbers are visible for everyone, they shouldn't pose a problem. Basically, the longer a river-border between two regions is, the lower the defensibility of the crossing. I consider defensibility as a mixture between distance/frontage to cover, terrain-difficults (how fast can the river be crossed?) and "cover" from enemy fire for the defender (e.g. a village/houses). Since this probably sounds a bit strange, here is an example of how the system is supposed to work and come together:

[ATTACH]36654[/ATTACH]
(100% zoom level)

For clarity, the region-borders are highlighted in red. As you can see, there are a lot of numbers along the rivers. Let's take a look at the crossing between region167 and region168. The number is a white 2, which tells you 1) that there is at least one bridge across the river in this section of the river (indicated by the white colour) and 2) that the overall defensibility of this river section is relatively low (2; the scala reaches from 1 to 5). Why is the defensibility low? Well, there is not just one, but two bridges in this river-section, plus the section is quite long, and the banks on both sides are clear. In combination, this means that you need quite a lot of troops to secure the crossing - and the number of troops needed to fill the "frontage" of the river crossing is the primary effect of crossings. I'm not giving crossings many modifiers to the actual battle-stats of units (except for cavalry). Defending crossings and defilés lets you cover terrain with fewer troops, and - in some cases - gives you a slight advantage in numbers over your enemy.

If you take a look further to the right hand side, at the crossing between region 169 and 155, you can see a white 5. This means that there is a bridge, but since the border is that small and the terrain defensible (houses, narrow terrain, hilly river bank), the crossing is very defensible. A small force can easily delay a larger force here. A few companies can easily stop the progress of a brigade here. Of course, a force with the intention to cross might just "flank" this crossing by taking a route via region 158, where the crossing will be easier (white 3). This, however, means an extra march that comes at the cost of time and cohesion. In general, the "random" effect of the arbitrarily drawn region-borders that may lead to lots of short (thus high-quality) river-sections is countered by the fact that if the river sections are short, then there are many river-sections available for crossing in a small space. If the opponent wants to cover them all, he needs appropriate forces.

The same system can be applied to other defilés than river-crossings.
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JacquesDeLalaing
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Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:26 pm

Fuu! Jumplinks seem to be hardcoded somehow? One jumplink works, another one doesn't! I copy the code of the functional jumplink into the file of the non-functional jumplink, and yet it still doesn't work. I have to figure out which terrains actually function as jumlinks and then redo all my jumplinks :( .

Judging from the vanilla files, there are only 10 crossings available? Terrains 17, 18, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 34

Okay, after testing them it turns out that 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 and 34 don't work either. This leaves me with:

17, 18, 24, 25

So my scala of crossing-qualities will be drastically reduced from 1-5 to 1-2. :( Or, what seems more reasonable, to 1-4 if I drop the differentiation between bridge/no bridge. This means that supply wagons and guns will be able to cross rivulets without bridges. :wacko:
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