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Post  Charmead Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:18 pm

Oh

That was NOT very clear. And my fault for not making sure it was clear

It is one thing to separate the Corps and have them figure it out on the fly and another thing to explicitly say neither can have overall command. Clearly you assumed I understood THAT intent. Definitely not the case. And going through the chat in this string only told me we would have a tough challenge being on either end of the field, so I thought that was the intent.

Giving Ehey and I to talk through it ahead of time - remember neither one of us were there on Tuesday - means we are going to figure out on the fly. And one solution to the challenge is getting a unified command one way or another.

So I feel quite bad for having acted out of sync with the scenario intent. And I apologize for any negative impact that had on the scenario. But it was in no way an intentional slight to what the scenario was about. So I will take the blame for not making sure I knew the limits and intent. And next time I will make sure I am clear about that. If that hurt anyone’s experience I am sorry about that

The better way, now knowing this, should only be separate Corps level conversations on tactics with explicit instructions that the ONLY chance the 2 corps commanders will have on the field to coordinate will be via courier. But that is my fault for not taking the time to ask, and just assuming based on what I read

Again - my apologies for that.
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Post  Mr. Digby Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:39 pm

I am sorry that it wasn't clear. I'm not sure how that happened. It wasn't clear in the first game either but I then I suppose (I can't recall exactly) that someone asked and got the answer!

I have to say that all the discussion in this thread has been about "2 corps commanders" and not "1 army commander and a subordinate". I suppose it wasn't 100% clear, but even then an army commander should never give orders to the commanders of divisions, only to commanders of corps. If that army commander is also a corps commander then obviously they need to talk to their own divisions, but the comms to all the IV corps divisions should have been via Ehey. As it was Ehey just became a division commander and the game turned into 1 corps of 7 divisions which I think was clear was not the intent even without specific information to the contrary?

We were trying a new thing and it went awry. The idea that a player can only say "I Corps go here do this" and "IV Corps go here do this" is a completely new level of command we have not previously tried. Then below that command level its up to the two corps commanders where how and why they commit their assets (divisions) to accomplish the orders given to their corps.

The problem is that the Army commander really then has no great job to do - he really needs to only give 1 order in the whole game, which is why I think a more fun game results from having 2 equal corps commanders with no C-in-C. Alternatively, if we ever get enough players we could do 3 corps with the 3rd one being just a single division and maybe being the Garde under the army commander used as a reserve.

Like this:

Napoleon/Garde Corps/Garde Division
-
I Corps/Division - Division - Division
-
II Corps/Division - Division - Division

That would be 7 players with a "/" denoting one command and " - " denoting different commands.

10 players (which we have very nearly had several times now) would get us a 3 corps army! A ten mile map would now really come into its own.

9 players could get us an extra division in each corps, or separate corps commanders, or a second garde division (cav and inf?), or a third smaller corps.

There's lots you can do with this many players.
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Post  Charmead Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:01 pm

I agree - and am excited about - the possibilities

Philosophy first then a game recommendation:

To be realistic, and be consistent with history, a commander at all levels needs to be faced with the challenge of balancing the whole system (staying back and giving one order) with acting at a critical spot (traffic cop). The trick is the balance.

Because while there is a dynamic at a brigade or division level, there is ALSO a dynamic at a Corps or Army level. When a division commander faces a bad situation in his division - and it almost always comes out in the game — he generally assumes (1) his situation is the corps priority and (2) if his day is starting to suck then clearly EVERYONE must likewise be having the same bad day.

But one division commanders suck might actually be a joyous event for the corps.Or it might actually be an indicator of a bad day for everyone

The only player who is in best position to make that call is the next echelon up. Be he corps or army. And sometimes- sometimes that higher echelon commander needs to act fast and sometimes not in response

In cases where the corps or army commander needs to act fast then indeed it is absolutely appropriate— in fact required — to jump echelons and bypass intermediate commands. A high and low balance. The trick is to do this only as long as the crisis requires because the moment the army commander does that he has lost situation awareness of the overall field.

Examples of poor balance at Antietam in 1862:
Summer and Hooker focused too low for too long. McClellan stayed too high for too long. Lee struck that balance quite well. As did Longstreet, Jackson and Stuart.


If we were to TRULY enable that difficult choice space in KS in multiplayer then we would enable the Army or Corps commander to order and even TC -any- subordinate commander at brigade and regiment level. That would be the most realistic option.
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Post  Uncle Billy Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:32 pm

Not to worry, I marked the battle as a loss. I on the other hand had a fun time with very good cavalry and a guard horse battery that almost never missed. cheers Although not having any idea at all as to what was going on, as the two Corps were thoroughly intermixed, added a Kafkaesque quality to it.
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Post  Charmead Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:41 pm

Kevin

Disastrous loss noted. Interesting that YOUR artillery could not miss. I wonder how common that modification is to all players? :-)

Question

What is the possibility for a corps or Army commander to give direct orders to a brigade or regiment that is currently under a player command?

This would be more realistic than a corps commander “taking a brigade” with him and deal with the dynamic I noted above. Is that a code thing you do not have access to? And is it possible to do that via the courier message system and auto commands?

Curious
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Post  Mr. Digby Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:51 pm

I would prefer we didn't have that option. It might be realistic in real life but it is not fun in a game we are supposed to be playing purely to relax. Much more fun is the friction of having to ask a payer to do that job at his command level. Yes its not correct but then we are gamers and not officers in an army where our careers are on the line.

In the first version of this game Phil was the same division and misunderstood Grogs orders (Grog was I Corps boss, I was Villaine, I Corps cav); Phil got involved in a private battle N of Eylau and wouldn't move so Grog and I just abandoned him and went after the NW objective. As it turned out Phil tied down and destroyed a lot of Russians so in the end it worked out okay; at the time though it was very frustrating for Grog and me - but then that's the fun side of having a human there without the ability of a higher commander being able to take over his troops. If Grog did have that ability and simply TC'd all Phils brigades to make them go where HE wanted them to do, that would have been no fun for Phil.

That garde horse battery was under my command last time and it was an epic unit, annihilating all before it almost instantly (until I parked it on a silly piece of ground where it couldn't see a square 250yds in front of its nose).
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Post  Charmead Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:25 pm

Understand & appreciate the realism and playability conflict there. Wanted to float the question.

Interestingly my 6-player Quatre Bra scenario is designed to exploit command arrangements like we are talking about. Built that a couple weeks ago and I have Kevin in mind for one of the commanders :-)
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Post  Vincent6691 Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:37 pm

Good game last night.

I'm not in MP game since a long time, but I'm wondering why we only operate at corps level and not army level ? I mean why each player don't play 2/3 divisions instead of 2/3 brigades ? I used to play with 4/5 divisions on SP games, and it wasn't impossible to manage, just more random and more dedicated to give orders and anticipate.
You guys are playing since many years, then I guess you experimented a lot and probably corps level is the best or at least funniest way to play.

But in a way, operating at army level would change the rules a bit. Currently we indeed have division command, but concretely we play more as brigade commanders since we often give orders to regiments in detail. With 3 divisions under command, rules changes as the challenge will come from the fact that you must rely on brigade commander and sometimes division commander. I don't know if it would be better, just asking if you tried this in the past. Maybe it leads to too many sprites and become a big mess with several players Very Happy .
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Post  Mr. Digby Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:07 pm

For me it is the HITS setting which we all must have on (that is a Kreigsspiel requirement as without it the fog of war is almost entirely removed, and it is Kreigsspiels that we play, not "just" online wargames). Note that we don't play any other computer wargame because no other game offers the level of FoW that SoW does. While some players can command more than a division most prefer not to so our games just naturally stayed at the level of command we're mainly comfortable at. I wouldn't want to command more than 1 division unless perhaps it was a very small 2-division corps not much bigger in frontage to our usual big single divisions because managing it in the way I prefer becomes too difficult for the game to be enjoyable.

We have done a game or too where 1 player took command of all of one side and a player team opposed them and if you are up to commanding a corps, then we can certainly do that. Maybe two players each commanding a corps could face six players each commanding a division?

Our divisions are huge as well, much bigger than most historical ones. Some are really a small corps, or very nearly. So in some ways we are cheating to balance things up a little.

With more sprites on the map the game cam also slow down too. Every living sprite in the units is actually 5 or 6 men and will deposit on the ground 1 dead sprite for every 1 actual real man killed: a 200 sprite unit at 5:1 ratio will deposit 1000 sprites when it is wiped out. This means towards the end of a big battle the game can be drawing 3 or 4 times as many sprites as it was at the start so that can affect frame rates, etc.

The game engine is not efficiently written for MP. Its a lot more efficient in SP, using all of a PCs cores in SP but only 1 in MP Sad That being said the recent Eylau game had almost as many men on the field as Waterloo so it was by no means a small battle.
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Post  DumpTruck Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:38 pm

In regards to the command conversation I generally agree for the sake of simulating the command positions that direct command from Napoleon to a division should be a bit of a faux pas.  In my head the way we discussed it came across as as two corps commanders, one of them with an asterisk next to him.  I was anticipating a situation where Pat would just be ordering me around in a 'I think we need to move over here and I'll attack this direction you attack that direction." kind of way.  The maneuver was certainly a tricky one to pull off without full map knowledge, so it made sense to me to take direct control.  I think that given good enough orders I could have done it mostly the same as an independent corps.  Implementing the proximity voice chat rule would ease the difficulty of a complex maneuver and of command in general.

I do think that in the same way we allow the corps commander to be a division commander, we can too allow an army commander to be a corps commander of his own corp and also boss around another corps commander (but only by giving the other corps commander orders).


In response to army scale I think it could be interesting.  I haven't commanded AI divisions very much.  I always felt like I was just a little too out of the loop to really properly manage them.  Riding between my division and theirs to get a picture of the situation they're in takes too long sometimes, but just sticking with my division and not knowing what the AI divisions are doing isn't very effective commanding.  I'm all for giving it a shot at some point though.

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Post  Vincent6691 Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:41 pm

Riding between my division and theirs to get a picture of the situation they're in takes too long sometimes, but just sticking with my division and not knowing what the AI divisions are doing isn't very effective commanding. I'm all for giving it a shot at some point though.

I agree with it. The courrier reports provided by AI are not sufficient so we need to ride from a division to another to have information which is not accurate historically, or rely on score/casualties interpretation.
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Post  Earl of Uxbridge Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:07 am

Does the game actually use multiple cores in SP? My impression (based on the NSD forum) was that it only uses a single core regardless of the mode, so (to paraphrase) a dual-core 4 GHz CPU would run it better than a hex-core 3.5 GHz CPU. That was said to be ingrained in the game engine (mostly in graphics). But I could be wrong on this.

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Post  Charmead Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:32 pm

I plan to be there today.

I have a 4v4 dawn scenario and a 6vAI on Quatre Bras. And to give another shot at a 1v7, with me being the “1” might be rather entertaining. I think that would be the only circumstances for today I would feel like being corps commander. Otherwise hankering for a division or brigade. And as always I will happily jump in any other scenario.
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Post  Mr. Digby Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:21 pm

Given Vincent's recent thoughts maybe you and he would play vs the rest of us? I think an army that's mostly AI but with 1 or 2 players would still need to be numerically stronger, or in a better tactical position.
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Post  Uncle Billy Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:00 pm

I can play today at the usual time, 14:00 EST, 19:00 BST.
Does the game actually use multiple cores in SP?
SP does use multiple cores, but it was not implemented correctly. There is no benefit and in some cases is actually slower than single core MP.
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Post  Charmead Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:49 pm

I like your idea Martin. I should have time to set up a large PvP 2 v 6+ and offer it as an option.
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Post  Charmead Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:04 pm

So I just created a 6v2 French vs British (1815) in German 10 mile. French on defense. Each side 2 Corps. It is there with the others for variety.
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Post  Grog Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:24 pm

Can't play today fellas. Have a good game
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Post  Grog Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:50 pm

Ehey, thanks for the Stream from Friday's game.
Well done in achieving both objectives. A very different game to ours on Tuesday. It seems to me, from the Stream, that the divergence from the intentioned scenario Command arrangement was an understandable oversight.
Our games scenarios can vary in command structure, especially when player numbers are low, (some games are even played without a Commander).
In games where the there is a clear structure of command, I think it is reasonable to allow Generals from higher levels to give direct orders to a formation belonging to a lower echolon General. That said, he should ideally do it for good reason and in a respectful manner. Ideally, requesting or informing the subordinate commander first or in a timely fashion.
Insisting on no flexibility in movement between Corps (for example) is a little too rigid, unless of course, the scenario requires it.
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Post  Miko77 Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:48 am

Grog, both star-points were reached but there were still enemy units in the town... I spent 2.5 hours marching from the far right to the far left flank... enemy hasn't suffered nearly as many casualties as in our previous attempt... Yesterday was opposite - I could hardly move once Russian batteries convinced me to stay in the woods my role was reduced to hopefully tie good chunk of Russian forces... as a Corps commander I couldn't advise too much either - I was hoping Ehey would flank/smash Russians from the west... my mistake was maybe not to tell Vince to definitely move further east-south - pulling the Russians deeper south and marching to my right - this way I could just keep frustrating AI in the woods while Vince and Digby would march on the northern objective.. anyway, AI has deployed in a way it was virtually impossible to achieve a victory us...
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Post  DumpTruck Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:03 pm

On Sunday my initial orders had been to march NE along the main street and deploy on the other corps' right. I wanted to shy away from the river area that was on the left. Also knowing my initial orders were going to inevitably change, I figured marching to a position nearby the other corps was likely best so that we weren't split. Miko informed me of his plan to move east and draw the enemy between our divisions, so I reasoned my corps probably wasn't going to deploy to the right of Miko's. When I arrived south of Assamen I found Vince NW of it with Russians bearing down on him from all angles. I bought some time with my cavalry for my corps to deploy on his left opposite the Russians. When it became clear we were beating them Pat and I started marching around the flank towards the only objective we could hope to achieve. Sakallen was just a bit too far for us. We did really put a hurt on the Russians though.

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Post  Miko77 Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:38 pm

On Sunday my initial orders had been to march NE along the main street and deploy on the other corps' right.

that would be mirror of Pat's 7Ds strategy - and could have worked to some extent... I think you would have taken the northern objective... but then the other one would be hard to take due to lack of time if nothing else...
obviously we didn't know where AI attack objective would be placed and unfortunately my initial orders to Vince were bad in overall context as he ended up attracting lot of Russians and we wasted time on defending this virtual objective instead of letting Russians take it (which would exclude at least part of Russian force) and then taking our objectives... probably I should include in my strategic vocabulary words like "avoid fight, disengage, etc..." as in recent Kevin's scenarios the force disparity is just too much, so we need to trick AI to do something stupid (like it used to do)... exclude couple of AI divisions from the fight and destroy the rest - all within 3h... easy cheers
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Post  Charmead Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:27 pm

I was part of Ehey’s command and my actual map starting location was farther east and south than what our initial planning map had. I was literally behind Digbys division and could hear the fight (Mikos) going on to my front-right.

When Ehey had me switch direction to NW to “support” Earls division on the left, I quickly found myself in a narrow corridor  with the rear of Vinces division on my right, the front of Eheys on my left, and Earls in my line of march. So I basically just marched thru it all — gotta like perpendicular marching columns — to get myself into an open space where I actually could support.

At precisely the time where I went “ahhhh” in breathing a sigh of relief to get my division clear of all that and into an open field I quickly yelled “AUGGGGHHHHH!” when I saw I was marching West into a Russian formation coming East. That’s when Ehey asked me to work around its flank.

Once my whole division got deployed against these Russians and as their flank in front of me collapsed it was pretty easy to disengage and move up the road to set up for the final push to the objective. I could even swing my artillery around further on my flank and rake the Russians flank and rear.

I was surprised to see Vince and Digby coming to that objective from the other side. On the one hand it was great because that guaranteed Russian collapse. On the other hand it drove me to double quick to get there simply because I wanted my division to lay claim to it, and not some pretenders from another Corps. :-)
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Post  Uncle Billy Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:19 pm

I can play today at the usual time, 14:00 EST, 19:00 BST.
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Post  DumpTruck Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:36 pm

Well my internet has gone out mysteriously and isnt immediately returning. I dont have discord on my phone so I came here. Apologies for the inconvenience. Dont wait up for me, I'm not sure when civilization is coming back unfortunately.

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