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  • Napoleonic update proposals

    Dear All,

    having greatly enjoyed the Battlegrounds, HPS and JTS Napoleonic games for many years, I have come up with some changes to the engine that might add to the game. I have been posting it at Gamesquad Forums, some disscussion was sparked.. anyway, since this seems to be The Forum, I will post here.

    1. Cavalry should NEVER get disordered by crossing streams. Currently cavalry is emasculated on any battlefield crossed by a tiniest waterway. It is odd that currently in the game an artillery battery, with guns, limbers, caissons and the like is, in practice, much more maneuverable than a squadron of light cavalry. To counter this I would regularly reduce the changing
    face cost for cavalry to 1, but still it is a unsatisfactory workaround, not a solution

    2. Skirmisher screens should be tied to the battalions, like in the American Civil War games. Just to reduce micromanagement. The ability to detach skirmishers for a specific task should be retained, though.

    3. Artillery should get fatigued by firing during player's turn. This way the totally unrealistic situation when a battery is unlimbered at dawn at some high ground and fires each turn until the sunset. This applies to the Civil War games, too.

    4. There should be some "defensive" formation, allowing infantry to defend villages. Deploying infantry in line or column does not really work, as there are still flanks to worry about.

    5. What happened to "Uncrewded artillery"? I have never been able to get the result described in the manual...

    Comments welcome

  • #2
    P.S. Noone answers... Having run a few tests I believe that No. 4. could be achieved simply - by giving fire and melee terrain benefits only to skirmishers. By the way, the melee modifier for village terrain is currently hard-coded at -20%. Changing the relevant value in pdt file affects only fire results.

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    • #3
      Well, I'll answer but I only really do the OOB side of things so I'm no more able to implement game coding than you are. However, it strikes me on your first point that the answer might be to make the artillery less able to cross streams than the cavalry more so. That said, I'd also suggest an element of abstraction here, in that it would seem to be a longer and harder job to get a cavalry regiment across a stream and then re-formed on the other side all neatly dressed by troops and squadrons, than it would to cross an artillery battery, and that this is what the disorder penalty is representing.

      Your second point I don't actually understand because it sounds like the two things that you want are mutually exclusive - can you explain a bit more just what you have in mind? On your third point, I would suggest that result is better achieved by limiting artillery ammunition. Your fourth one, I like your solution of giving defensive bonuses to skirmishers in village terrain although, that said, a unit in line with skirmishers covering the flanks ought also be a workable solution even with the current set-up.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Andrew View Post
        Well, I'll answer but I only really do the OOB side of things so I'm no more able to implement game coding than you are. However, it strikes me on your first point that the answer might be to make the artillery less able to cross streams than the cavalry more so. That said, I'd also suggest an element of abstraction here, in that it would seem to be a longer and harder job to get a cavalry regiment across a stream and then re-formed on the other side all neatly dressed by troops and squadrons, than it would to cross an artillery battery, and that this is what the disorder penalty is representing.
        For me disorder is too punitive: since reforming within the game depends on the unit being within command range, I feel that it simply kills light cavalry as a fast reconaissance force in larger scenarios. After all, a stream is usually something a few meters wide maximum, with some muddy banks, maybe, but a 80-horse squadron of hussars should cross it with reasonable. I agree, that should be solved with the movement point cross. Or might be dealt as a optional rule.

        Originally posted by Andrew View Post
        Your second point I don't actually understand because it sounds like the two things that you want are mutually exclusive - can you explain a bit more just what you have in mind?
        I feel there is a difference between a skirmisher screen deployed in front of the battalion, and a skirmisher company detached to occupy some position. Having to control all the skirmisher screens (which were tied to their mother battalions anyway) manually simply increases the number of clicks each turn without any added benefit, imho. There is a marked difference between voltigeurs screening a battalion and a light company manning a chateau.

        Originally posted by Andrew View Post
        On your third point, I would suggest that result is better achieved by limiting artillery ammunition.
        Could be, but it leaves players with ahistorical situation, when a heavy battery deployed somewehere on the high ground would shoot on every turn from dawn till dusk, as if the crew had a huge pile of ammo next to their guns and were on steroids. I am no programmer myself, but it would seem to be easier to implement than the perfect solution of applying ammo limits to every battery.


        Originally posted by Andrew View Post
        Your fourth one, I like your solution of giving defensive bonuses to skirmishers in village terrain although, that said, a unit in line with skirmishers covering the flanks ought also be a workable solution even with the current set-up.
        The big problem is the fact that every unit deployed in the village seems to be getting this bonus. I do not really see how soldiers standing in a line or a column, or artillery could utilize cover. Either the packed infantry formation is visible to the shooter, and then it is as good a target as in open field, or it is not visible, and can't be shot at. Only units in loose formation were able to utilize houses, fences, barns, wells, trees as cover, and not too many of them at the same time, too. Theoretically it should be rather difficult for a 'restricted' infantry battalion to clear skirmishers from built-up area. In current setup such a battalion do that with ease, and they don't even suffer too many losses.
        .



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        • #5
          I'm not on the Nap crew, but I wanted to pass a few thought on in regards to the Cav/Stream issue.

          You're focusing on the limitation on movement for extended scouting units, and that can be true, but on the other hand, to do what you're suggesting would also improve Cav's ability to move in close contact with the enemy (especially if this change would also preventdisorder from happening during Charge movement). I would consider that tradeoff a net loss, especially as scouting is already way too powerful in the game, with every single cav unit being equipped with an iPhone with a high resolution camera and reliable cell connection
          Scenario Designer
          Midway

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          • #6
            Not to mention how many actions were actually fought in towns and villages with army level formations? Didn't they generally tend to avoid built up areas, apart from using them as flank anchors? Otoh that might be variable by period.

            To be fair though a lot of this seems to have to also do with scale.
            JTS Graphics Coordinator/Scenario Designer

            Webmaster:
            http://hist-sdc.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Gary McClellan View Post
              I'm not on the Nap crew, but I wanted to pass a few thought on in regards to the Cav/Stream issue.

              You're focusing on the limitation on movement for extended scouting units, and that can be true, but on the other hand, to do what you're suggesting would also improve Cav's ability to move in close contact with the enemy (especially if this change would also preventdisorder from happening during Charge movement). I would consider that tradeoff a net loss, especially as scouting is already way too powerful in the game, with every single cav unit being equipped with an iPhone with a high resolution camera and reliable cell connection
              Good point about the recon abilities. Maybe the visibility should be reduced?
              My biggest issue with disorder is that reforming depends on command, not on the quality of the unit. Theoretically a squadron of elite cavalry could become slow and useless in combat for a number of turns (an hour or more of real time) just because it crossed a petty waterway, and one does not really need a general present to micro-manage the redressing the ranks of a cavalry squadron. As I said, it is a very significant penalty applied to units which should be the most mobile on the battlefield. High movement cost to cross a stream would be better, in my opinion.

              Originally posted by S Trauth
              Not to mention how many actions were actually fought in towns and villages with army level formations? Didn't they generally tend to avoid built up areas, apart from using them as flank anchors? Otoh that might be variable by period.
              That is exactly my issue.. I've read that formed infantry would not deploy in the village, but BEHIND the village, so that the buildings would shelter them from observation and artillery fire. To utilize terrain features in combat was not a job for lines or columns, but for light infantry/skirmishers/jaegers, whatever you call them.

              Light infantry is somewhat lame in the game, because in obstructed terrain it fares worse against formed infantry than in open ground. They cannot cause too many losses by their fire (because the column benefits from the fire modifier), and they are easily dislodged in a melee, cause their low number makes them vulnerable, save in a chateau. The only advantage they currently have is their ability to cover formed units from incoming fire, and their ability to block movement and get beaten and routed in a melee with incoming columns (ahistorical, too, in my opinon).


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              • #8
                There might be a few ways to tackle the village/town issue then ... I tend to agree with what you have read as I have read it as well.

                JTS Graphics Coordinator/Scenario Designer

                Webmaster:
                http://hist-sdc.com

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