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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:53 am 
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"COLUMN PASS THROUGH FIRE: ON
While this rule really goes back to the Napoleonic games (and thus, Napoleonic style column), it does discourage using column within artillery range, especially if you put multiple columns in one hex. As this game is using column to represent “Column of March” that's a good thing overall."

Multiple lines in the same hex also suffer the pass through fire by default so its only fair to have the rule on. :)

I can already see that this series will take me back to the days of the 1776 game. Lots of linear combat and the main thing is to wear the enemy down long before you melee. The fire losses must be enormous. Cant wait to see the game and check out the fire values.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:00 pm 
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Bill Peters wrote:
"COLUMN PASS THROUGH FIRE: ON
While this rule really goes back to the Napoleonic games (and thus, Napoleonic style column), it does discourage using column within artillery range, especially if you put multiple columns in one hex. As this game is using column to represent “Column of March” that's a good thing overall."

Multiple lines in the same hex also suffer the pass through fire by default so its only fair to have the rule on. :)

I can already see that this series will take me back to the days of the 1776 game. Lots of linear combat and the main thing is to wear the enemy down long before you melee. The fire losses must be enormous. Cant wait to see the game and check out the fire values.


Truth be told though... you don't do a great deal of stacking here (at least not of infantry). That stacking limit of 1000 tends to put a damper on such things :)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:17 pm 
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I'm not sure if the "NO MELEE ELIMINATIONS" rule runs differently in the M&P series but I just play a large scenario with it turned off and can tell something about it that may fit for M&P too:
1. With manual defensive fire on, like it is proposed for this title too, we play in phases and any kind of blitzing isn't possible at all.
2. The elimination in melee isn't easy at all because one has to block all retreat hexes. I still don't look through what is an eligible retreat hex as it seems to matter from which direction a unit is attacked but in general blocking both front hexes and rear hexes seems enough, that still means that I have to use 4 units to eliminate a single enemy unit. In my eyes this difference in attacker vs defender men power is more than enough to make a unit surrender if it loses a melee. And that is needed in my eyes as the attacker never has any way to achieve any "cheap" kills like it historically happened, the attacker never gets any kind of prisoners and has to achieve every enemy melee casualty with own casualties. With the "NO MELEE ELIMINATIONS" rule off the attacker can at least achieve some cheap kills but this only under beneficial situations. If the defender exposed himself in that we he surely deserves to lose units that way.


The "WEAK ZONE OF CONTROL" rule is also no problem, one still is stopped if moving into a ZOC and he can only move a single hex per turn from ZOC to ZOC. That allows the defender to dish out much fire and if it's that good(especially for the Prussians) one will think twice about moving through ZOCs as any kind of "infiltration" seems futile especially with skirmishers being seldom on the battlefield.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:25 pm 
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Almost all of my testing was done with Klaus Kuhlmann (I might have played a couple against Rich White), and the last one was against Gary just within the past couple of weeks. Aside from that last match it would have all been done in 2012, I think -before there was a formal testing team.

I believe there are different ratings for Prussian and others' musket effects. Klaus used to always take the Prussians, and regularly beat me (yes, I know testing is not about that really... and anyone who has seen my written reports know that 8) ) At any rate the one time he allowed me the Prussians was Kolin (a Prussian loss ... ) - and Nick Bell's maps don't generally have roads running through built up areas (or towns, if you will). I did a cross country march down the Austrian's left flank, and went all in there. I drove the Austrian flank in -however, I didn't really like the thought of assaulting up hill. I guess with good reason.

Now in the one I played Gary in, he gave me the French/Reichsarmee side in Rossbach ... and in this one the French side is pretty disorganised and basically strung out in an extended march formation. I never did get my command's sorted the way I liked to (it would be better if the color coding was view by brigade probably ... I can tell you in the next title I don't think it matters so much, just based upon the OOB's were not structured in the same way anyway, so you have to basically work out the leadership hierarchy before you create an OOB anyways ... it is kind interesting that the color coding that you do get from that looks to be linked by where you have units within the OOB -and I don't mean in the same 'Division' as I have coded OOB files where different divisions right next to each other end up with the same color ... kind of annoying, but you copy and paste that org elsewhere within the army structure on the OOB... different color. That being said, if I think about it I will see if they are willing to add in different colours or different amounts; what with hexidecimal coding, you got a fair amount to choose from.

Anyways -back to Rossbach ... I basically gave up trying to organise within the army, corps, div structure once I saw it was a race for position. I wanted lines on high ground, along with arty to shoot over the top (mind you I got some feedback that this was not always done such in a lot of time periods ... so that also looks to be something that might need a little change down the track -probably as an optional rule, since you can use the Musket/Pike engine to do a lot of different periods -it is all in how you adapt it.

...I put my cav out on both flanks (sorta ... as I had two armies I guess I used the Reichsarmee side as a reserve -one that was out of line of sight ... they are generally pretty poorly rated, morale-wise ... lots of E rated units in that scenario). Cav to basically protect against other cav -and to provide a threat that needs to be covered at the same time.

And Gary had to assault from lower elevation - in Rossbach, the Prussians are outnumbered (in real life they still won) ... in this case it was a little like trying to take on Cemetery Hill at Gettysburg -the way I set up. It was an attritional trade off, and one that did not go well for Frederick.

The thing about games that use enforced cav squadrons - you will find that they get used to surround forces -I don't know if it is something that is considered gamey or not, but it still will happen.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:03 pm 
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I'd like for this thread to be more about how Nap players can adjust to the M&P engine, so a few more little things under the hood you may not have noticed. Some of these may have snuck into NAP when I wasn't looking (I haven't followed as closely as I should for a few years...) but to wit:

1) Melee pre-disruption. One of my old pet peeves was the fact that meleeing across a disrupting hexside didn't create disruption until after the attack. In other words, say you've got horses charging a unit that is right behind a creek. One of the changes from REN is that the units disrupt BEFORE the melee is resolved.

2) Heavy gun setup. This has been in since REN, but people may have missed it. Heavy guns (24lb and up in this case) can actually take a few turns to set up. There aren't a great number of heavy pieces in play in this game, but that's what's up.

Oh, not exactly the same, but while I'm on arty. If you play one of the Russian scenarios, you'll run into a beast called the "Shuvalov Howitzer." The Russian in charge of all the arty just before the war was a bit of a crank and had some real ideas of how to do things. Some of them worked (he's the one who brought the Unicorn into Russian service.) Some of them, not so much so. The Shuvalov "howitzer" was a weird gun which had a oval (yes!) bore, which was optimized to fire canister. They could be quite nasty at close range, but otherwise, were more trouble than they were worth. As soon as ol Shuvalov died, the guns were taken out of service :frenchcharge: (setting pdt values for that one was... amusing)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_howitzer

3) Visibility. This one isn't exactly a change, as it's just a simple pdt fix, but max visibility is set at 18 hexes (more or less 1 mile). If we wanted to be really fussy, it should actually start relatively high and then be staggered down (powder smoke) but that would be weird to have a game where the two sides are slow to make full contact and yet their "smoke" started closing off the field. Either way, you'll still get a pretty decent view of the field, but rather more limited than it was. (Frankly, this balances out the cell phones all your hussars have a tiny bit.)

4) Army/Wing/Corps command ranges. Yep, even the upper levels of command have distinct ranges (even if they're generally fairly long.) This is to simulate things like say Prague where a fair bit of control of the fight was lost when Frederick disappeared for a time (no one is still entirely sure where he was, heh.) Likewise, at Torgau, Frederick was separated from about 1/3 of his army but the entire Austrian army, and couldn't give direct orders.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:33 am 
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I'd like more on your scaling design concepts. From pictures it looks like you limited your units to 400 men per frontage? I think that is excellent if so (100m / 0.75 [cm] = 133 [men/rank]). I see 15 movement points so I doubt you're using realistic movement rates but, what are they basically?

Did they expand the hexside modifiers to include melee? Not just for pre-melee disruption calc but, hexsides like wall or fort only modify firing resolutions. That is a major flaw in NB.

I'd give light foot artillery the horse artillery attribute so they could fire immediately after setting up. If it's possible to give them foot artillery speeds still. Well within the game's parameters to fire for half effect after unlimbering and preperation in a 15 minute turn. Annoys me in NB that it takes 40+ minutes to relocate over 200 meters and attack with a 6lb. battery on open ground. Which brings up why wasn't the redeveloped REN engine used instead of NB for NB's progress since it has such basic design advantages?

I don't agree with your critique on NB visual ranges. Hundreds of men are a large object and the earth curves 5km on the plain for a 2m individual (only 1.2m drop at 9km) so max visual range should be at least 50 hexes. Horse messengers can carry reports at 70kph or 175hex/15min. 18 hex range would definitely bottle up the playing field though if that is the effect you really wanted. Worked for PzC but naturally that was 10x scaled to this system. Part of the reasoning for army open field battles was due too the inability to easily evade or hide without high speed ambulance, so you might as well bring it on the field and settle it. Historic sudden meeting engagements and ambushes weren't due to 1 mile visibility on a clear day.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:28 am 
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The stacking is set at 1000 men/hex, but as a rule, most battalions are from 400-600 men, and SYW has the same rules as NAP about lines being one "behind another" effectively. It's actually still packing a few too many men in per frontage (especially for a big battalion like you might see at the start of the campaign year.) That said, even with that known compromise, I found that when I put units on the game maps and compared them with the historical maps, the larger frontages tended to work much better than you would think. In other words, if I had a line of 14 battalions that historically stretched from Stream A to Town B, they usually fit pretty well.

Movement rates: They're an updated version of the MP system found in REN. One thing SYW allows is to set individual units MP, and in effect, they're set to allow a unit in line to move
Russian 4 hexes
Most others 5 hexes
Prussian 6 hexes.

This is less because of prescribed step speeds, and more because of the overall ability the units had to move effectively. The Prussians were more practiced (and thus a bit snappier) while the Russians were limited by a number of factors.

Light Artillery. In this game, the "light" movement class is still given to 12lb (mostly to prevent the aforementioned multiple turn setups). Horse arty exists in this game, but is very rare, but it certainly wouldn't be fitting to make light arty here more mobile than in the NAP games.

Finally, visibility. Always a bit of a touchy ground. As I said, the real issue is powder smoke which can take a bright sunny day and turn it into a smoggy morass in a fairly short period of time. However, something I touched on a bit before is the greatest inaccuracy in all of these games by a wide margin. It's not anything to do with step regulations, or questions about how the ranks knelt/fired or any of that. It's that the information cycle and army responsiveness are way, way out of wack.

Your scout Hussar that is 40 hexes from your CO spots an enemy column that's another 30 hexes out, and suddenly your entire army is aware of that, and your CO is able to instantly give orders that react to that sighting. Realistically, there's going to be a very real lag there. The word has to get to the CO, he needs to make a decision, prepare orders, send them out to the necessary units. (Even if the orders are as simple as writing down "pull your line back W to prevent being flanked" or the like.

It's even worse in the SYW because the army organization was much less refined and less responsive than the Corps system the French developed later. So yes, cutting the vis range is inaccurate in one sense, it also helps to limit another problem. That kind of thing goes back to design philosophy.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:42 am 
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I hope that with progressive patching M&P and NB will be brought into similar order for the best design solution. Does M&P have hexside melee modification? In line with hexside coding a height attribute is needed. Seems like a real oversight if someone went back to include a pre-melee disruption check mod.
I calculate 75cm/pace * 75 pace/min * 15min = ~844m. Thats the drag ass sweeping step pace of most line regiments through the era. 108pace*15min = 1215m. 120pace*15min = 1350m.
You shouldn't limit 7YW artillery to unrealistically long battery setup for NBs ineffective state. I was a mortarman and always laud the professionalism of artillery through the ages versus the grunt bullet sponges.
Instant spot reports aren't as game breaking as you let on. The player must still move his units to the location and maybe tricked into doing so by diversion. The '40 hex from CO' hussar could gallop back and forth 4 times and still take a swig of water in 1 turn!

I will one day convince someone on this bulletin board of something.

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La Grande Armée


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:54 am 
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Here's how John wrote the specific update for the melee issue:
Quote:
- Melee across a hexside or into a hex that would cause Disorder results
in the same Melee penalty as if the unit was Disordered.


So, it's not entirely what you were looking for, but a bit closer perhaps.

In terms of the bringing of the engines closer. I asked Rich White about that once (designer of REN and BPW), because I always figured that the NAP engine would be updated to the M&P standard, but he pointed out how extreme the update nightmare would be. (And John always updates all his games to the current standard) Every last .oob file would have to be rewritten in the NAP games, because the coding in M&P is more detailed and complex (just as a start). Now, would John take some of the ideas that are in M&P and port them over? It's entirely possible. I imagine a NAP designer would have to specifically request it (say, the hexside melee issue). That's just from my experience of how things work.

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Austrian Army

Scenario Designer:
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JTS Seven Years War


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:19 pm 
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Geoff McCarty wrote:
I will one day convince someone on this bulletin board of something.

Don't bet on it. :frenchlol1:


Gary McClellan wrote:
Here's how John wrote the specific update for the melee issue:

- Melee across a hexside or into a hex that would cause Disorder results
in the same Melee penalty as if the unit was Disordered.

So, it's not entirely what you were looking for, but a bit closer perhaps.

Isn't that enough? The unit is disordered for melee like it it would disorder if it had crossed the hexside by movement and not by combat.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:21 pm 
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Christian Hecht wrote:
Geoff McCarty wrote:
I will one day convince someone on this bulletin board of something.

Don't bet on it. :frenchlol1:


Gary McClellan wrote:
Here's how John wrote the specific update for the melee issue:

- Melee across a hexside or into a hex that would cause Disorder results
in the same Melee penalty as if the unit was Disordered.

So, it's not entirely what you were looking for, but a bit closer perhaps.

Isn't that enough? The unit is disordered for melee like it it would disorder if it had crossed the hexside by movement and not by combat.


It's enough for me. It's actually a bit more than I asked John for (I'd only asked for the hexside, not the target hex.) Maybe I misunderstood Geoff, but my sense was that he wanted a bit more.

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Portner Grenadier Battalion
Austrian Army

Scenario Designer:
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JTS Seven Years War


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:55 pm 
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Note: this is not an argument just an answer to a question.
Yes a specific modifier. Such as *0.1 for stream and *0.5 for high wall applied to melee strength as it is with firepower across the hexside. Think theres (or there was) a bug in that as well between adjacent and range fire across a hexside. The disorder and reorder system shouldn't be switched by terrain effects unless the men are jumping off a cliff. Representing loss of cohesion and higher command direction. Cavalry can actually ride through woodlands and cross streams without falling to pieces as a unit. They're only slowed. Men aren't necessarily out of order by climbing a fortress wall but, they are considerably disadvantaged.

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45ème Régiment d’Infanterie de Ligne,
2éme Brigade,
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1er Corps d'Armée,
La Grande Armée


Last edited by Geoff McCarty on Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:03 pm 
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Geoff McCarty wrote:
Note: this is not an argument just an answer to a question.
Yes a specific modifier. Such as *0.1 for stream and *0.5 for high wall. The disorder and reorder system shouldn't be switched by terrain effects unless the men are jumping off a cliff. Represent loss of cohesion and higher command direction. Cavalry can actually ride through woodlands without and cross streams without falling to pieces as a unit. They're only slowed.


I agree that movement shouldn't necessarily disorder, but that gets fairly complicated. There's a real difference between combat movement and ordinary movement.

To take the rule in question here, yeah, a small stream might not disorder a Cav unit too heavily if it's just on an ordinary march, but if it's trying to charge? It's going to break the momentum of the charge, and very possibly the cohesion of the unit if the horses are getting fairly close to the final stage of the charge as they picked up speed. So, charging an enemy that's just behind the stream is going to lose an enormous part of the force of the charge.

So, like many things, it's something of a compromise. A unit 800m behind the front line shielded from even roundshot by hills really shouldn't be seriously impacted by a small stream, and the in game effect likely is a bit punitive. But, unless the game's movement system were to be made more complicated by finding some way to differentiate those two forms of movement, it comes down to which one you want to highlight.

(On the other hand, at Prague, the Prussians got messed up pretty badly when they went to flank the Austrians, and found out the "dry ground" they'd spotted was recently drained fish ponds. Really took the steam out of the assault.)

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Portner Grenadier Battalion
Austrian Army

Scenario Designer:
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JTS Seven Years War


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:13 pm 
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if isCharging than Disorder else RideFreeMyFriend
Yeah the requirement to see and designate the charge victims is probably essential. Like how it's handled in Battles of Napoleon. Have you played that as an old school gamer? A better methodology might be to make firing and melee cost action points. While the charge should restrict wheeling it should probably also multiply movement rate. So, in moving a unit (perhaps by initiative since I'm being hypothetically stupid) and seeing an enemy after coming out of the woods through it's per move sight update, you can hit charge and gain a MP cost divider. One day we'll have program compilers we can talk too and mine will uninstall itself.

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La Grande Armée


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:30 am 
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Over at The Blitz, there were some questions asked about how to use Cavalry, and even some people wondering why Cav is so much less effective in SYW than in Napoleonics. I figured I may as well do a bit of explanation here as well.

The development of the tactics and details of the charge is one of the hidden advances in the 18th Century. While the "caracole" wasn't really a thing, even in the War of the Spanish Succession (which even I was a bit confused on until rechecking some stuff), it was common for horsemen to ride forward, fire their pistols and THEN launch into the charge. As you can imagine, this practice was murder on the momentum of the charge. So, as early as the WSS/GNW era, some armies (Swedes and British most importantly) had already gotten rid of that to charge simply with "cold steel". However, those troops still stayed in the trot until quite late in the charge.

After the humiliation of Frederick's Cavalry at Mollwitz in the WAS, he went into a very deep reorganization, which in the end meant that even as Prussian infantry was the best, so was their cavalry. At the heart of that was drilling in horsemanship which allowed them to launch into the gallop much further out, while still keeping cohesion.

So, for instance, in 1741, the Prussians only went to the gallop at 30 paces
March 1742 the new instruction was 100 paces.
1744: 200 paces
1748: trot 300 paces, gallop 400 paces
1750 Trot 300 gallop 400 Full speed 500 (All numbers taken from Nosworthy p 170)

None of the other armies were able to match this (which is why Prussian cav not only gets the standard high morale and quality melee bonus if used, but also a further melee mod in the oob)

Still though, by the time you get to the Napoleonic era, you'll have most Cav able to do a "Prussian style" charge (in regards to the distance at the gallop).

Add to that some of the odder tactical experiments, like this one from the French:
"These newer tactics were based on the principle that a few brave and experienced men would create the necessary gaps in the enemy infantry's line, and then the remainder of the squadron would exploit these. The fewer number of men initially exposed to enemy fire would mean correspondingly fewer casualties. Each squadron leader commanding experienced troopers would have 15-20 of his bravest men... positioned on each flank of the squadron, attack the enemy infantry in line while the remainder of the squadron advanced in an orderly fashion behind them. This first wave advanced at the trot until 20 paces or so away from the line then moved in at the gallop" (Nosworthy p218)

As you might think, this didn't work as well as they hoped. The idea was that someone from that initial "wedge" charge would be able to have his horse break a seam in the enemy bayonet line, giving a place for the followup troops to follow. A wounded horse plowing the bayonet line wasn't unheard of, but it was unusual and couldn't be counted on. Also, if you note that the charge was being launched from 20 paces... as opposed to the Prussians who might be at the full charge for a few hundred paces.

I can't find anything about the exact French tactics at Minden, but there, a single British infantry brigade pretty much held off the majority of the French cav in repeated charges.

All of that said, even the Prussian Cav didn't have much success in attacking good order infantry from the front. Their most notable cav charges (Hohenfriedberg and Rossbach) were flank charges.


So anyway, that's a bit of the thought process behind the relative "weakness" of cav.

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Portner Grenadier Battalion
Austrian Army

Scenario Designer:
JTS Midway
JTS Seven Years War


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