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 Post subject: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:35 pm 
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The longer I stay in this club and play these simulations, the more surprised I become at how much I still don't understand! One of these recent revelations on my part involved the discovery of fatigue value calculations within the HPS game engine.

You can spend a great deal of time within the User's Manual trying to find out how fatigue results are calculated, and you will eventually find the answer under the combat results section. There you will find this short and seemingly innocuous entry:

"Fatigue results are calculated as random values between the casualty value and 3 times the casualty value!"

And, of course, this is exactly how HPS distinguishes between firing casualties and what they refer to as "combat fatigue." Thus a unit will always acquire at least the same increase in fatigue level as the number of casualties taken in any one turn, quite often more!

But that's certainly not the entire story. When we get around to melee, we find that all meleeing units will suffer double the fatigue increase as in normal fire combat! And to make matters even more disconcerting, in the case of the melee loser, fatigue losses are doubled again! So if you understand how combat losses are calculated, you can see how with these fatigue calculations a unit may suffer relatively light to moderate casualty losses over the course of a battle, while suffering completely debilitating fatigue levels.

And it behooves every commander to understand the effects of fatigue levels upon his units.

There are three levels of fatigue: Low (green, 0-299), Medium (yellow, 300-599) and High (red, 600-899). A unit with a fatigue value of 900 is said to have reach Maximum fatigue!

At Low fatigue a unit will continue to function normally.

At Medium fatigue a unit will have 1 subtracted from its Morale value during Morale Checks. It will have 10% of its strength subtracted when it participates in a melee, and 10% will be subtracted from its fire strength.

At High fatigue a unit will have 2 subtracted from its Morale value during Morale Checks. It will have 20% of its strength subtracted when it participates in a melee, and 20% will be subtracted from its fire strength.

At Maximum fatigue a unit will have 40% of its strength subtracted when it participates in a melee, and 40% will be subtracted from its fire strength.

These are the effects of fatigue as described for infantry and cavalry. Artillery suffers double the fatigue effects described. Fatigue levels can be subsequently lowered in a unit, provided that it has met some stringent restrictions in any one turn; but the recovery value is usually only 5% per turn, as found within the Parameter Data.

On top of all of that, there is nighttime movement fatigue, which can be researched within the MDT for all sorts of comments! But any commander who takes the field against an opponent without at least some idea of what fatigue is all about, is asking for a thrashing! Believe me, I know that experience first-hand!

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:14 pm 
Brilliant write up, Joe! Fatigue is one of those little written about or understood things.


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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:54 pm 
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I am too tired to read it.

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General Ernie Sands
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Western Theater, Commander, USA
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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:54 am 
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I nominate General Ernie Sands as one of the driest wits in the ACWGC!

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:53 am 
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There is also a flip side to fatigue, fatigue recovery. In any scenario that last more than one day and the players are using the Optional Fatigue Recovery rules, managing fatigue through fatigue recovery can be a game winning strategy. Most units can fully recover from fatigue during the night if they are not allowed to accumulate more than 600 fatigue during the fighting. Players who have the discipline to pull regiments out of the line before they exceed that number will find they have an army as ready to fight on day two as it was on day one. Players who don't will find their army melting away before the enemy on the second day of fighting.

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General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:41 pm 
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Joe,

Excellent post! Although you are quoting from HPS' own documentation (often ambiguous, sometimes incorrect), my own recorded observations suggest that the "problem" is somewhat greater that it appears. By "problem" and "greater" I mean that fatigue accumulation as described in the documentation is not as cut and dried as it may seem.

I have been developing a Fire Effectiveness scheme for artillery to be used in Turn-based games. Its impetus is MP games, which have little recourse other than to use Turn-based play and its faulty AI defensive fire. This, however, is not the point of my post. In order to conduct testing of my ideas I have been using Wheatfield to Roundtop as the scenario. It is perfect. I can move CSA infantry against USA artillery and observe the AI's firing pattern (totally random, but virtually never at 1 hex), casualties inflicted, and fatigue accumulated. I must point out that FATIGUE ACCUMULATION was never something I really cared about other than to test it against what the documentation states should happen. I noted some interesting things, however.

I ran nearly 200 test cases (movements of individual CSA against the USA line and subsequent fire against USA regiments). I drew two conclusions. First, either the documentation is wrong, or the game engine has bugs (imagine this) when it comes to Fatigue Accumulation from artillery fire. This I recorded as fact. Second, for a given fire result (5 hits, for example), a lower-rated unit (D, for example) is more likely to accumulate fatigue at the higher end of the spectrum (3x), than a B-rated unit. I can't really say that 200 test cases is valid for making this assertion, but I don't really care to conduct 2,000. At any rate, this is not documented.

Nearly 10% of my observed fatigue results suffered from artillery fire were beyond the 3X upper limit as defined in the documentation. One CSA regiment suffered 7 hits from artillery fire and nothing more, but incurred 52 fatigue points. Anyone have an explanation for this? While I am all for CSA regiments being tagged with massive fatigue points, the whole credibility of the game engine as opposed to its documentation is brought into question.

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MG Robert Frost
Army of Cumberland


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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:42 pm 
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Wouldn't it be neat to get this information to someone who could do something with it! I used to say in the army that one should never complain to someone who cannot do something about one's complaint. It is pointless and only lowers morale. As one of the premier clubs playing with the HPS system, channels need to be opened between the club and the game company.
John Ferry
Maj 2/20th Corps


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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:39 pm 
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Bob, thank you for that reply! You certainly raise some interesting points from your investigation.

It appears that there may be more to the game engine's fatigue formulas in use than understood: and, if as you say, there may be aspects of a unit's morale which tends to modify the effect, or irregularities in fatigue occasioned by artillery fire, then more investigation needs be done.

I'd like to have you clarify, however, what you meant when you said "7 hits" and a 52 fatigue point reduction. Did you mean to say that the units being targeted received one hit from an artillery unit that resulted in 7 casualties, or that it received 7 different hits of various amounts?

The other thoughts I had in reading your reply was whether there may be fatigue calculation differences involve with the use of the Automated Defensive Fire (ADF) option or between the Turn-based and Phase-based play.

And, of course, John is pointing us in the right direction to explore these questions with the source, although I do not think your reply was so much of a complaint as it was/is an investigation.

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:52 pm 
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Just to clarify, I certainly didn't view Bob's post as a complaint, but was making the point that sharing these findings only amongst ourselves will never lead to any improvements or corrections.
John
2/20th Corps


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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:06 pm 
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John, you are quite correct, and I am hopeful that someone within the club would be willing to further and specifically experiment on these items so that we might approach JTS/HPS with good cause, if the data permits it.

How about it, people? Anyone out there who'd like to conduct some additional fatigue accumulation tests in a comprehensive manner? Perhaps a team of examiners would be appropriate.

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:05 am 
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In regards to the current fatigue recovery rules, the User's Manual states that a unit is eligible for such if "it has not moved, fired, participated in melee, or been fired upon with any effect from the time of the player's previous Movement Phase." The manual goes on to say that "for each such unit a random value from 0 to twice the applicable recovery rate, determined by the Paramenter Data..." is subtracted from the unit's Fatigue value.

This would mean, if the daytime Fatigue Recovery value in the Parameter Date was given as 5%, and the unit under consideration was at a Maximum fatigue of 900, that it could receive on its first turn of recovery a reduction of anywhere between 0 to 90 points! Thereafter, of course, the numbers would change based upon the actual Fatigue points recovered. In the same circumstances a nighttime recovery rate of 20% would equal between 0 to 180 points per turn. The random element clearly does not make the fatigue recovery process a reliable exercise. But it is the only exercise available.

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:07 pm 
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The "7 hits" refers to 7 total casualties from one artillery fire. Given the randomness of fatigue calculations, a unit taking 7 casualties from one hit will likely produce a different accumulated fatigue from a unit which takes seven casualties from multiple hits. The total, in either case, should never exceed 21 according to the documentation. So, why did I note and record 52 total fatigue points in one specific case? My query concerning "anyone having an answer" was tongue in cheek. Of course there is no answer. Either the documentation is wrong or the game engine has bugs. In either case there is little chance that HPS would address or even reply to an inquiry pointing out the problem. They especially will not respond to any questions involving the functioning of the game engine. I tried a few years back and was greeted with total silence. One will normally only note the bugs when one tries to change parameter data, because the game engine reads and executes using the PDT. Although some things are listed as parameters, changing them will cause erratic execution by the game engine.

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MG Robert Frost
Army of Cumberland


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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:41 am 
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Robert Frost wrote:
Either the documentation is wrong or the game engine has bugs. In either case there is little chance that HPS would address or even reply to an inquiry pointing out the problem. They especially will not respond to any questions involving the functioning of the game engine. I tried a few years back and was greeted with total silence. One will normally only note the bugs when one tries to change parameter data, because the game engine reads and executes using the PDT. Although some things are listed as parameters, changing them will cause erratic execution by the game engine.


I am surprised that Rich wouldn't/didn't answer support queries. You could try again and see what the results are. I guess that engine changes are difficult to get implemented, but you never know when the situation might change. JTS is still doing more (I do NOT KNOW this, but...) ACW games, then there is always the possibility.

Support@johntillersoftware.com

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General Ernie Sands
President ACWGC -Sept 2015
Western Theater, Commander, USA
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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:45 am 
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Joe Meyer wrote:
John, you are quite correct, and I am hopeful that someone within the club would be willing to further and specifically experiment on these items so that we might approach JTS/HPS with good cause, if the data permits it.

How about it, people? Anyone out there who'd like to conduct some additional fatigue accumulation tests in a comprehensive manner? Perhaps a team of examiners would be appropriate.



If one has a look at the credits in the user manual for the series- a fair number of club members have been play testers over the years.

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 Post subject: Re: HPS Fatigue Calculations
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:29 am 
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Steve--
that is true, but the issues need to be addressed from a perspective different from tester or designer--from the folks who buy.
John Ferry
Maj 2/20th Corps


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