ACWGC Forums

Draft Simultaneous Movement System Suggestion
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Author:  Richard [ Sun Mar 06, 2005 1:43 am ]
Post subject:  Draft Simultaneous Movement System Suggestion

Here are my thoughts on a we-plot, we-move Simultaneous Movement system.

1./ Each player plots his 20 minute turn in advance. He moves all his units just as in a turn based game (ie. no different from now, except there's no guarantee that all the units will actually be able to make these plotted moves)

2./ Each 20 minute turn is sub-divided into 4 distinct sub-turns. The players may issue different orders for each sub-turn within the 20 minute turn, but this is all done in advance. (So the players can only see the ongoing situation and influence the game at 20 minute intervals)

3./ A unit may move, fire, change formation, melee or rest in each sub-turn. So a stationary unit that does nothing else may fire 4 times, while a unit that moves or does some other activity (eg change formation or melee) for all 4 subturns can't fire.

Order examples (set in advance by players, either per whole division / brigade or even each individual unit if required)

A = advance
B = fall back
C = charge (cavalry) (gains automatic fatigue)
E = build earthworks (gains automatic fatigue)
F = fire
G = guard (eg. infantry to guard & protect supply or artillery)
H = halt, hold ground (also counts as rest, unless the unit's digging in or comes under fire)
L = turn & move left
M = melee
P = repair bridge (pioneers)
R = turn & move right
S = deploy skirmishers
T = change formation
X = reaction (react to nearby enemy action)
Z = rest

So Unit Order example - A,T,F,B would mean Advance in 1st subturn, change from column to line in 2nd subturn, fire in 3rd subturn and fall back in 4th subturn. (Of course if there are no enemy in range the unit can't fire and will just rest instead)

4./ A unit that doesn't rest for at least one of the sub-turns gains fatigue. A unit that rests for 2 or more sub-turns loses fatigue. A unit that spends the whole 20 minutes resting loses double fatigue. Perhaps every single action should cause some fatigue, as this would help to slow down the pace of the battle and deter units from racing about the map.

5./ Troops may be held in reserve with reaction orders. These just "lose" any sub-turn that they don't have anything to react against (they won't gain any fatigue but they won't lose any either since they're alert), although they can have fire reaction orders at any enemy within a certain range. But the main purpose of reaction orders is to allow units to move forward to plug a hole in the line or protect an exposed flank. Alternatively, troops may be held in reserve to exploit a situation - but they don't get a full 20 minute turn, only the remaining sub-turn allowance.

6./ Artillery would automatically attempt to limber up and fall back if unsupported and threatened (no need for players to actually issue orders, but this would override the existing orders). Similarly, Nappy, but not ACW, infantry would attempt to form square if threatened by cavalry. Also units would automatically turn facing - using up a sub turn - to face a threat from the flank, unless ambushed in woods, etc, or if there are also enemy to the front. No ACW (or 18th century) unit would remain in column once coming within infantry firing range of the enemy, but would automatically use up a sub-turn changing into line. So players will need to command (non-British) Nappy troops if they like using column melee attacks, as the engine would otherwise prevent it.

Col. Rich White
3 Brig. Phantom Cav Div

Author:  Richard [ Sun Mar 06, 2005 2:31 am ]
Post subject: 

A further observation on how this would work tactically - if a player sends his troops forward to melee a completely static defender in a direct frontal assault, the defending units will get a <i>guaranteed</i> 4 volleys at the approaching attackers, albeit at different ranges, meanwhile the attackers would be lucky to have sufficient sub-turns spare to get in a <i>single</i> volley in return, especially if they also intend to melee.

Author:  tony best [ Sun Mar 06, 2005 3:42 am ]
Post subject: 

Rich here, and some other guys really have some cool ideas on simultanious movement. What I am still wondering is the difficulties doing this in a design sense. I imagine that a lot of designs are doable because they are predicated on games previosly done ie, HPS Gettysburg still uses the bones of BGG. Each new endeavor of course adds (IMO) more to the system. Now though, it would seem that we are making a leap. It does seem that some WWII games have this design technology but it needs applied to new Civil War design. I would think that this would require a LOT of effort, incorporating a new system yet keeping thinks Historical and then figuring out all the bugs- a daunting task!! We need 1000 more game designers to dedicate their lives to this for little or no financial gain.[:D]

Major General Tony Best

Author:  KWhitehead [ Sun Mar 06, 2005 12:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have been thinking somewhat along these lines. That is, using a 20 minute time interval. This gives a good balance between micromanaging the battle and having so little control you just as well not give orders. Allowing the player to plot a move and give the regiment/brigade and order to carry out (advance, charge, etc.). Then after both sides make their plots/orders executing the "turn" so that the units attempt to carry out their "orders".

The actual carrying out would be dependent on many factors. A defender wouldn't necessarially blaze away at 3 volleys/min as soon as an attacker got in range. Infantry can cover 100 yards in one minute but if they start shooting at say 500 yards they could use up a quarter of their ammo (40 rounds) before the enemy closed to affective range (100 yards). And, an attacker wouldn't necessarially march the 500 yards without stopping and firing costing it movement.

I've been slowed down by computer problems for the last month but hope to get back to testing all this. Actually the biggest obstacle is that I don't want to use a hex map, but with no map to precisely identify where every thing is how do I record and replay the turn?

I actually have a working system where regiments will move and fire but I don't have things far enough to verify I can make it playable by email and I consider this a must.

Col. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
III Corps, AoM (CSA)

Author:  KWhitehead [ Sun Mar 06, 2005 5:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

Five minute turns in email game pretty much limits you to small tactical engagements. It would take you years to play full battles like Gettysburg.

Col. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
III Corps, AoM (CSA)

Author:  Richard [ Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:14 pm ]
Post subject: 


I already created some company level ACW scenarios using the EAW scale and 5 minute turns last summer for Blackburn ford & Big Bethel. It certainly makes sense for a smaller engagement to use this scale ... but, as has been pointed out, it wouldn't be very practical for a 3 day Gettysburg.

Perhaps the closest we can get to a simultaneous movement system without a massive engine change would be to play an umpired game where the players make 20 minute turns and then the umpire converts the moves of both players into 5 minute segments before returning the file to the players at the end of the full 20 minutes. But again this would be far better suited to small company rather than large regimental actions.

Regarding the 10 minute Nappy turns, have you also altered the map scale to 1 hex = 50yds? It would be rather a pain to have to redo all the maps for the existing games, but I'd recommend considering this map scale for any new projects. If you're interested in seeing something at this scale I can send you my draft Kolin map & scenario.

Col. Rich White
3 Brig. Phantom Cav Div

Author:  Dirk Gross [ Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:02 am ]
Post subject: 

>Perhaps the closest we can get to a simultaneous movement system without a massive engine change would be to play an umpired game where the players make 20 minute turns<

Sounds like Ken Miller's Stones River battle that we just finished.

Major General Dirk Gross

Author:  dmallory [ Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:30 am ]
Post subject: 

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Dirk Gross</i>
<br />>Perhaps the closest we can get to a simultaneous movement system without a massive engine change would be to play an umpired game where the players make 20 minute turns<

Sounds like Ken Miller's Stones River battle that we just finished.

Major General Dirk Gross

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

General Gross,

I agree. And Ken said up front that he would be performing melees in a certain sequence (from left-to-right across the map, I believe) with no regard to ZOC kills. This removed most of the 'gaminess' that is so tempting when we have micro-management capabilities without resorting to the Command and Control option. (I've seen the way the A/I handles ADF and I sure wouldn't want to trust it with the movement of my troops as well [:)] !)

Perhaps the simplest answer for now would be for two players to agree to all melees in this manner? Of course, this would only apply to those using the phase-based method. I'd have to give some thought to how it would apply to turn-based. (Colonel Peters may have already considered this in his 'embedded melee' methodology.)

Your humble servant,
LGen 'Dee Dubya' Mallory

David W. Mallory
ACW - Lieutenant General, First ('Grey Line') Corps, AotM
CCC - Corporal, Georgia Volunteers, Southern Regional Deaprtment, Colonial American Army

Author:  Thomas Callmeyer [ Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:55 am ]
Post subject: 


My two cents. Simultaneous execution is a great idea. However, implementation requires, not a patch, but an entire new game engine. One I'll bet, that will bump up the system requirements for playing these games that John Tiller designs. I for one have found the minimal system requirements of Tiller's game engine a blessing in that I do not have to constantly upgrade my PC to chase requirements every time Mr. Tiller releases a new game or series. If a simultaneous execution game is to come, it should come as an entirely new game series, as an alternative to, not a replacement for, the current "I Go You Go" HPS ACW Campaign game system (whether played by the Phase or Turn rules.)

As for trying to implement an umpired game system, I myself do not want to umpire anyone elses' games. Nor do I want to coordinate with and depend upon a third party umpiring my games, while trying to get through several turns per week in order to complete a 100 plus turn game at Gettysbug or Corinth in a somewhat reasonable time frame. It it takes long enough with just the two combatants involved. This approach just sounds way to complicated to maintain progress in these longer scenarios. And what about people who are unhappy with the way the umpire implements the pseudo-simultaneous orders from each side? It seems likely that before too long someone will complain that an umpire did not implement the turn "fairly" or in the same manner the actual player would find "logical".

We need simpler solutions to our gaming concerns. Complicated house rules and third party involvement may work for some folks, but I'd be reluctant to use such methods. In most cases, I just want to sit down and concentrate on the tactics of the game as it runs on my PC, zip up the file, e-mail it out, and hope it returns by the following evening.

General Thomas Callmeyer
4th Bgd.
1st Div.
XV Corps

Author:  Richard [ Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:50 pm ]
Post subject: 

True ... and this is of course how the Norris-Frost BG system works. But if you have time to create maps at the 1:50 scale instead of 1:100 that would also automatically double ranges and halve stacking - both extremely useful methods of encouraging fire tactics over ZOC melees without requiring any engine changes. Which is why I felt it was essential for representing SYW battles using the Nappy engine. But it would also be beneficial to ACW and probably for Nappy too.

The "only" real drawback of using the 1:50 scale is that each hex at the 1:100 scale becomes 2 x 2 or FOUR hexes at the 1:50 scale - so the map takes four times as long to create. So, unfortunately, quite a big drawback!

When I've got sufficient time I'll try and do a small ACW map at the 1:50 scale so everyone can see how it works. In the meantime, you can always try out one of the company level scenarios (ie. at the EAW scale) I did last year.

Col. Rich White
3 Brig. Phantom Cav Div

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