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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:06 am 
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Exactly right, Steve. That is what I was looking for: Given the vast collective experience of all the forum members, and given the limitations of the engine as it exists what are the suggestions to increase the effects of fatigue and lower casualties?
John Ferry
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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:30 pm 
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I don't see that the designer can do more than adjust the PDT and there you have a section on fatigue and all the weapon values that can be adjusted.
For anything else it seems that hardcoded sections need to be modified, so maybe the most important change would be to add as many values as possible to the PDT so that they could be adjusted by the designer.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:14 am 
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Post started as a wish so one can wish away. :)

A richer set of Victory Hexes to be added to that list. VP hexes that reward VP/turn occupied for example. VP hex that immediately granted VP when first taken rather than held. VP hex that had to be occupied to receive VP. I am sure there are other possibilities. This would give the scenario designers a richer set of conditions to handle victory.

Some things can be handled through the existing HPS systems. Some would require only making them variables in the PDT file like fatigue recovery rates. Some might require minor additions to the game engine like the above victory hex changes. Others might require significant changes to the game engine. Regardless, it is usually easier to modify an existing game engine than to write a whole new one.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:46 pm 
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As these games are mainly "moral" games I would like to see that the designers are able to:
- Define the range of fatigue gained by combat, fire combat(that is currently hardcoded 1-3 times the casualty figure) and melee combat(the melee as 50% higher fatigue and the looser gets double fatigue losses.
- Shift the probability of triggering moral checks(currently there is a 50:50 chance when 25 casualties are taken).
Putting values to achieve these points into the PDT would allow to adjust many scenarios to give better casualty results but also a better run of the scenario itself.
Overall I imagine that early scenarios, especially in 1861 should see triggering of moral checks more easily compared to later stages of the war so that you see a rather easily "horrified" forces in Bull Run while you see rather "numb" units in something like Spotsylvania's Muleshoe.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:52 am 
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C. Hecht wrote:
As these games are mainly "moral" games I would like to see that the designers are able to:
- Define the range of fatigue gained by combat, fire combat(that is currently hardcoded 1-3 times the casualty figure) and melee combat(the melee as 50% higher fatigue and the looser gets double fatigue losses.
- Shift the probability of triggering moral checks(currently there is a 50:50 chance when 25 casualties are taken).
Putting values to achieve these points into the PDT would allow to adjust many scenarios to give better casualty results but also a better run of the scenario itself.
Overall I imagine that early scenarios, especially in 1861 should see triggering of moral checks more easily compared to later stages of the war so that you see a rather easily "horrified" forces in Bull Run while you see rather "numb" units in something like Spotsylvania's Muleshoe.


I am not aware you can change the morale check trigger in the PDT, but that ability could certainly be useful. Currently, the differences between green troops of 1861 and veterans of 1864 is the morale value. There is a tendency I think to base morale values on historical performance in a battle rather than experience and training. Some of that performance is based on the performance of the opposing units in that particular battle. Also, leadership definitely played a part, something that doesn't affect a morale check in the game but does affect rally and recovery. Based strictly on training and experience, probably no unit in 1st Bull Run should be rated above C, and most rated E. But another problem is in a campaign game morale never changes, although in some circumstances there is carryover of fatigue, which affects morale checks and effectiveness in general.

An interesting feature of the old Talonsoft Russian campaign was starred units, which were harder to rout even with a low morale value. I think they got a two-level morale shift when checking for rout. But I don't think that bonus applied to rally. And I don't know if that feature is in the HPS version. But it was another way to add some nuance to the morale situation.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:19 pm 
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1 - Fix it so that during column movement supply wagons follow in column on a road the way that infantry, cavalry, artillery, and leader units do. Currently if you have more than 2 supply wagons in a column and you come to a hairpin curve then they do not stay in column but try to cut corners.

2 - We shouldn't have to load an outside program in order to make the roads, trails, and creeks show up better as that should already be in the game programming.

3 - The wording in the terrain boxes for JTS Overland when I right click on them is very hard for these old eyes to read. Maybe a different color background?

4 - When I set the way that I want to view my game (the View Dropdown Menu), I should be able to lock it in so that I don't have to do it again every time that I open a game turn.

5 - Standardize movement costs among the various ACW games.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:55 pm 
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Ned, see my post, "Hey, MULE!" (http://wargame.ch/board/acwgc/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=20127)

And I totally agree about standardized movement costs throughout the entire JTS/HTS Civil War Campaign series. Its fine to be able to privately change things around in the PDT if you and your opponent(s) want to do so. But for the rest of us standardized movement factors and costs keep things simple and in focus.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:22 pm 
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I would like to see an added Zoom In to the View - 2d.

2D Zoom out
2D Normal
2D Zoom IN

I like the Zoomed in 3D. . . . .I think I would like a Zoomed in 2D even better. I am getting old, I need to be able to duplicate hunching down over the board to see the pieces better. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:49 pm 
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Joe Meyer wrote:
Ned, see my post, "Hey, MULE!" (http://wargame.ch/board/acwgc/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=20127)

And I totally agree about standardized movement costs throughout the entire JTS/HTS Civil War Campaign series. Its fine to be able to privately change things around in the PDT if you and your opponent(s) want to do so. But for the rest of us standardized movement factors and costs keep things simple and in focus.


The problem that you have with that though, is that there have been several ( I think maybe 4 or 5) scenario designers over the course of the series (with I think Rich Walker doing the majority) and they (JTS) are not going to go back and redo all of the scenarios that have been put out in all of the titles leaving adjusting the scenarios privately as your only option. I am taking this from the way that they have done this in all of their titles; the only exception really is Bill Peters with some of his Napoleonic titles (although it would also need to be said that he is not the only scenario designer working in the NB series.).

I think too, though, the other thing is that there is not necessarily a standard scale either -the engine (if it is like the one that I am working in) is scale-able. (Note that I did not say it 'can be' scale-able, but rather it is that.).

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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:51 am 
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I would like to be able to enlarge the "Strength Dialog Box" so that I could see all the units and also be able to "copy and paste" that info.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:54 am 
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In Nappy games "K" short cut highlights command range I would like to see all short cuts the same for all the games of the Civil War and Napoleonic wars.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:29 pm 
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Quote:
The problem that you have with that though, is that there have been several ( I think maybe 4 or 5) scenario designers over the course of the series (with I think Rich Walker doing the majority) and they (JTS) are not going to go back and redo all of the scenarios that have been put out in all of the titles leaving adjusting the scenarios privately as your only option.


Hmmm, I don't pretend to know the inner workings of the game codes, but would it not be possible to construct what would be called a standard PDT file update for use in each and every game, structured as an optional plugin right along with all of the other optional selections? :shock:

It might be fun to have all of the club members work together in a special sub-forum determining the values for such an animal! I'm sure that given the gaming experience and wealth of studied expertise in ACW history that we'd be able to arrive at thoroughly acceptable consensus values for such a file! With the input and guidance of such notables as Rich Walker, John Ferry, Ken Jones et al, how could we possibly go wrong? And such a sub-forum would serve as a repository for the justification of each value discussed and voted upon. 8)

Heck, maybe it would be fun to do that even if the file's eventual use and implementation would be questionable! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:39 pm 
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The main problem, that you'll have is that you eventually (assuming that you want to use the weather features), need to develop separate PDTs to cover individual situations. They can have the exact same ratings *but* the issue will be the weather - this is coded directly in the PDTs.

I actually thought that there was one (a standard pdt) in a build when it is turned over to a designer -but, it looks like in CWB it would be whatever the project was built on originally - in other words, Overland looks like it had had Chancellorsville's -leastwise I have a test copy that has a Chancellorsville PDT in it, but the Overland published version did not. In the series that I am working in I think it was labelled as 'standard' - but like I said - 'standard' is only standard if all of your ratings relate to the same scale.

That being said, go for it, Joe :). It is integral to scenario design -and it is a great discussion point.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:56 pm 
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John Ferry wrote:
Exactly right, Steve. That is what I was looking for: Given the vast collective experience of all the forum members, and given the limitations of the engine as it exists what are the suggestions to increase the effects of fatigue and lower casualties?
John Ferry
LTC 2/20th AC

OK John, here is a thought on the fatigue question. Like Kennon mentioned earlier there are really two types of fatigue, combat fatigue and movement fatigue. What if we used the night time movement fatigue during the day? This way all units become fatigued as they move and fight. Units recover fatigue only when then rest by avoiding movement or offensive firing. Can you adjust the fatigue inflicted by movement so that it is a slow accumulation?

The 2nd part to this suggestion is that once a unit reaches a certain level of fatigue such as High Fatigue at 600+, then can we make these units operate like they are routed? In other words these "high" fatigued units would not be able to move toward an enemy unit and would not be allowed to fire offensively. I do not know if this would also prevent them from firing defensively. It would seem to me like you would just need to add a subroutine to check fatigue level and assign units to the routed subroutines. Is this something within the "Designers" control?

I think this would reduce casualties by preventing fatigued armies from closing on one another and engaging in battle as they get fatigued. Right now, you can still march a maximum fatigued unit right into the teeth of the enemy and fire away. If fatigue accumulation prevented units from attacking then battles could grind to a halt without either side achieving the complete victory that currently occurs.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving the JTS/HPS Games!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:06 pm 
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Us designers can only manipulate pdt numbers, same as y'all in the wider audience. Can't get under the hood. Your ideas might be taken to a certain point in what we ARE able to do.
Wanted to mention, Rob Frost is probably the most experienced in the manipulation of the numbers for movement and maneuver in the pdt.
And again, there is a standard pdt. It is Overland1.pdt in the game, which I took straight from the games which had gone before.
John Ferry
Overland co-designer


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