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Properly Presenting SOW Waterloo

5 years 9 months ago - 5 years 9 months ago #1 by NY Cavalry

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  • It seems that among a couple threads over on the Matrix site that some questions have been raised concerning this game. The best way to address these concerns is to show them just how the game plays. My solution is to get 10 guys together for MP and record the game. That way it will be shown what the game is and by that I mean a full battle experience. Not just some screen shots of weird behavior, but the big picture of armies clashing in battle.

    It will be important to those veterans of SOW that we show how to set up our divisions and corps.

    It will need to be unlimited viewing as we would want to show the entire battlefield and couriers can be an option.


    Can the battle be uploaded straight to the matrix site or do we need to place it on youtube.

    It would be nice if Norbsoft helped us out with a few things.
    1) more damage from canister
    2) less aggressive cavalry
    3) rifle range reduced to 80 yards.
    Last edit: 5 years 9 months ago by NY Cavalry.
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    5 years 9 months ago - 5 years 9 months ago #2 by RebBugler

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  • Excellent idea, and thanks for volunteering you and your group for promoting Waterloo. MP play will definitely make the game shine brighter as the SP screenshots of troops overlapping are dimming it's positives and serve as negative fodder for the perennial naysayers that tend to frequent the Matrix boards.

    However, doubt if any of the requested changes will be considered, with patching and such I hope you'll understand why. The SDK is due out soon and will include all the tools necessary I would think to reshape gameplay as you requested. So please wait for that or go ahead and 'fraps' an MP game as is, either way would be a plus for highlighting SOWWL's merits, and with experienced MP players, troop congestion is virtually all but eliminated.

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    Last edit: 5 years 9 months ago by RebBugler.
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    5 years 9 months ago #3 by IronBMike

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  • NY Cavalry wrote: 3) rifle range reduced to 80 yards.


    Rifle or musket...?

    CWGII -> SMG -> SMA -> WNLB -> ANGV -> TC -> TC2M -> SOW

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    5 years 9 months ago #4 by Saddletank

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  • Musket range should be about 100-140 yards.
    Baker rifle out to about 180 or 200.

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    5 years 9 months ago #5 by NY Cavalry

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  • As I am still learning Napoleonic tactics please feel free to set me straight. Here is my question. From what I have read so far and heard from discussion; rifle or musket fire did no damage at those distances. That effective distances were like 40 yards.


    If you have infantry units blasting away at those distances does anything get hit? If the game uses those setting isn't it a civil war battle and not Napoleonic?

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    5 years 9 months ago #6 by Jim

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  • We had an extensive discussion on this during development. The bottom line is that troops did open fire from those ranges despite the poor effect. The team was able to cite significant historical support for this choice. Mitra did add into the AI that more veteran troops will hold fire until the ranges are shorter.

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    5 years 9 months ago #7 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • We had an extensive discussion on this during development. The bottom line is that troops did open fire from those ranges despite the poor effect. The team was able to cite significant historical support for this choice. Mitra did add into the AI that more veteran troops will hold fire until the ranges are shorter.

    The exception is not the rule. Undisciplined or untrained troops might at times fire at long range, but even that was uncommon. Prussian troops, no matter how green would never, ever fire at long range. Their physical punishment system was severe and the men would not risk the consequences of firing before ordered.

    In the game, the troops usually begin engaging at ~10 yd. below the maximum weapon distance. That matters little since the game can be modded to reflect reality and musket ranges can be shortened to proper distances. However, the infantry reaction range is based on the maximum weapon distance. Also, events such as when a unit has enough time to form a square is based on the cavalry to infantry distance which happens to be at about the historic maximum musket range. Basing the reaction range on the weapon range was a huge blunder. It makes it very difficult to create realistic battlefield conditions. To do so will require combing through all the code and replacing instances of this system with a better one.

    I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.

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    5 years 9 months ago #8 by IronBMike

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  • I am perfectly fine with how muskets are handled right now.

    There are other things to worry about rather than that, which can be easily modded anyways.

    The biggest thing right now is creating a huge, positive player base and making these devs some money and creating a huge player base!

    CWGII -> SMG -> SMA -> WNLB -> ANGV -> TC -> TC2M -> SOW
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    5 years 9 months ago #9 by RebBugler

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  • Also, events such as when a unit has enough time to form a square is based on the cavalry to infantry distance which happens to be at about the historic maximum musket range. Basing the reaction range on the weapon range was a huge blunder. It makes it very difficult to create realistic battlefield conditions. To do so will require combing through all the code and replacing instances of this system with a better one.


    Pretty sure it's 200 yards, but Davide will clear it up.

    Personally I think it works well as is. And I tested it a lot since I designed the cavalry scenarios. I think I'm a pretty good player and found it quite a challenge to get to battalions with my squadrons before they formed a square.

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    5 years 9 months ago #10 by Saddletank

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  • I think what MTG is saying, Reb, is that with the square and cavalry reaction range set to a distance linked to infantry weapon range, modifying the weapon ranges has unfortunate consequences. Modders now have to dig that much deeper to discover these interlinked tactical relationships and change these also or else any mods could throw up weird and ahistorical side effects.

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    5 years 9 months ago #11 by mitra76

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  • For the square there're two distances of checking:

    - a long distance at 250 yards where is checked if the nearest enemy is a really dangerous cavalry (sufficient strong to charge me)
    - a short distance check at weapon range which checks the cavalry danger in all the quadrants.

    The checking distance is reduced if the cavalry came from behind or flanks.

    A checking of all the enemy around you can be done, but repeat this every loop for every unit can be heavy, because it as to be done both in the target and no target flow.

    Of course because of LOS on the enemy is influenced from the ground that distance is always relative. The cavalry can come against me unseen until late.

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    5 years 9 months ago #12 by Saddletank

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  • What I have noticed Mitra is infantry staying in a square a long time with only minimal cavalry threat. We played a Prussians-v-French game a couple of weeks ago where just a single Chasseur a Cheval squadron kept about 4 or 5 Prussian battalions in square even though I had 2 Uhlan squadrons manoeuvring towards the enemy cavalry.

    Could infantry in square be made to check and come out of square if nearby friendly cavalry is seen to be equal or stronger to an enemy cavalry threat?

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    5 years 9 months ago #13 by mitra76

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  • Yes but my suggestion is to work inside the fearcheck routine which is used also for determine if cavalry going to charge and in the long check of square formation order (now I don't remember if also for the short, I'm in office).

    This is the most sure system to be sure a situation where infantry feels it isn't right to form the square, also block also the cavalry from charge: friend cavalry cannot countercharge in time or have the path or LOS blocked by the ground.

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    5 years 9 months ago #14 by HoldTheLine

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  • I have downloaded the SDK and confess in the past couple days I've been looking at these routines - such as infantry in danger from cavalry - and I can see that the kinds of changes being discussed are possible with a modded AI dll. However as has been alluded to there could be unintended consequences from adjusting the reaction distances. It would absolutely be possible to alter the criteria used to determine reactions to threats - or how close a unit is to a friendly etc.

    All of this I must say is due to the generosity of the devs providing the actual code, project file, headers etc to do this work. Of all the games I've bought this is unprecedented and I applaud it. I have been able to successfully compile alternative AI libraries without trouble. Thank you NSD!

    However this is getting off the track. Perhaps a separate thread is warranted.
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    5 years 9 months ago #15 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • I'm fairly certain my description of how the game treats infantry and cavalry threats is accurate. In an MP game this weekend, using the KS mod, where musket ranges are shortened to 110 yd., average Russian light cavalry had their way with the French Imperial Guard.

    One of our Russian divisions was heavily engaged by the Hollanders. The rest of the Guard began marching towards his flank. I moved a regiment of uhlans and hussars forward to intercept the Guard. My intention was not to engage them, but merely slow them down and allow our 2nd infantry division time to move up and engage.

    The cavalry commander deployed his squadrons forward, (great cavalry AI by the way), to menace the enemy. Occasionally the Guard would form squares, but most did not. The result was a cavalry romp, riding down Old and Middle Guard units that did not form squares. Nearly all of these attacks were frontal so the Guard had plenty of opportunity to see the cavalry and react, but given the shortened musket ranges they did not.

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    5 years 9 months ago #16 by mitra76

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  • I have a doubt: isn't that the Guards were without a stance set at Brigade level when the spot the cavalry for the first time? Stance if not set manually or from the division play, is triggered at musket range, but without a stance the more complex and autonomous orders of battalions are not processed (like for the square->leave square).

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    5 years 9 months ago #17 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • The French side was controlled by the AI. So the division and brigade AI does not set a stance?

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    5 years 9 months ago #18 by mitra76

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  • yes they are set, they are specifically important for the AI, but like for Gettysburg they are triggered or at the engaging distance (weapon max range) or when the division send the battle orders (when the first of brigade\batteries of division is engaged, all the others receive their battle orders (place + stance)).

    In Gettysburg the consequences of a stance still not triggered were less visible because they did less and less complex actions.

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    5 years 9 months ago #19 by Marching Thru Georgia

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  • Was it likely that the shorter musket ranges caused the Guard not to form square as often as they should?

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    5 years 9 months ago #20 by Saddletank

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  • ...and is it possible to disconnect that link between musket range and reaction distance?

    One thing this might allow to be represented is if you can set a reaction distance longer for poorer quality troops so as to represent them forming square early out of fear or lack of good officers, etc. A cavalry threat could then pin poorer quality troops into square from further away, making them less "reliable".

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    5 years 9 months ago #21 by mitra76

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  • Marching Thru Georgia wrote: Was it likely that the shorter musket ranges caused the Guard not to form square as often as they should?


    Indirectly, because the stance is set at musket range, but if the stance is already set (for the above cases) there's a check to 250 yards for the nearest enemy

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    5 years 9 months ago #22 by mitra76

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  • Saddletank wrote: ...and is it possible to disconnect that link between musket range and reaction distance?


    You can use enemybeg() but how much this can impact on the performance repeated every loop I don't know.

    Saddletank wrote: One thing this might allow to be represented is if you can set a reaction distance longer for poorer quality troops so as to represent them forming square early out of fear or lack of good officers, etc. A cavalry threat could then pin poorer quality troops into square from further away, making them less "reliable".


    There's something similar but stance related; in teh AI you cannot access directly the skills point but read the values of unitattributes.csv, so you can link this distance to some columns logically similar like wheeling locked

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