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Questions about scenario generator

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DumpTruck
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Post  MarshalJean Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:00 am

Friends,

Hi, I am new to this forum. I have followed Scourge of War Waterloo on and off for quite some time. I still don't own the game, actually. I used to play HistWar Napoleon, before it went off the rails and fails to work properly on Windows 10 (at least on my machine, for some reason).

Anyway, all that to say I am a big fan of large-scale, army-level Napoleonic battles. I enjoy commanding several corps at a time against an army of a similar size commanded by the AI. The reason I have not purchased SoW Waterloo is because I am fed up with Waterloo! Even though I am a huge Napoleonics fan (even table top games of great complexity), Waterloo is so overdone and it really wasn't all that important to the overall outcome of the Napoleonic Wars, anyway (like the Russian and 1813 campaigns, were). So, I haven't invested in a game that is basically only going to let me play a million variations of the same campaign in which I am not terribly interested, anyway.

BUT, now I see that you gents have created something that looks wonderful...a scenario generator! This is what I always liked about HistWar...the ability to build OoBs and fight battles on a wide variety of maps. But I have some questions about the scenario generator...

1. How large are the battles that can be created with the SG? Is it only a couple of divisions/a single corps? Bigger?
2. Does the SG only load pre-fabricated OoBs, or can you choose an existing OoB and edit it by removing or substituting other units and commanders?
3. Related to the last question, does the SG let you create OoBs from scratch? If so, how long does it take, generally, to create an OoB? (sorry if this question sounds infantile, but as I said before, I have not played any of the Scourge of War games before).
4. What time frames and nations from the Napoleonic era are included with the SG?

I think those are the questions I can think of at the moment, but I may add more later as they occur to me. Regardless of whether or not this ends up being "my cup of tea," it is clear from what I already read and seen on this forum (and YouTube) that you gents have created something amazing. So, thank you for all your work!

Sincerely,
MarshalJean
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Post  Uncle Billy Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:01 pm

First welcome to the forum. I too enjoyed Histwar in spite of the UI. However, fixes and improvements were so slow in coming, I finally gave up on the game.

The scenario generator is a standalone program so you can download it and try it for yourself.  It comes with a pdf manual.  You won't be able to play the battle you create, but trying different things will give you an idea of what is possible.

To answer your specific questions:
1. How large are the battles that can be created with the SG? Is it only a couple of divisions/a single corps? Bigger?
You can create a battle as small as a brigade and as large as an army, (several corps).
2. Does the SG only load pre-fabricated OoBs, or can you choose an existing OoB and edit it by removing or substituting other units and commanders?
The SG comes with a large number of existing OOB from 1800 to 1815.  You can modify them however you like.  You can create your own OOBs and use those too.
3. Related to the last question, does the SG let you create OoBs from scratch? If so, how long does it take, generally, to create an OoB?
No, you have to create an OOB yourself.  They are csv files, (comma separated values), so it is easy to do.  Just open up and look at one of the  OOBs that come with the SG.  It is best to use Excel or Open Office.
4. What time frames and nations from the Napoleonic era are included with the SG?
Austrian 1800, Prussian 1806, Russian 1807, Austrian 1809, Russian 1812, British-Spanish-Portuguese 1808, British and Prussian 1815.  As I said above, you can create others.

I should point out that the SG was designed to work with the KS Napoleon Mod. The game is far, far better with the mod than without it. It too has a manual you can read to find out what the game is capable of. The best way to find out is to buy the base game, install the mod, get a feel for the controls and then join us for a co-op game, (humans vs the AI). Then you can ask questions as they come up and people who are very knowledgeable about the game can help you out in real time.
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Post  MarshalJean Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:57 pm

Uncle Billy,

Thank you so much for your fast response. This sounds truly awesome in scope. I already spend a good deal of time researching and creating OoBs for TableTop Simulator Napoleonics (usually Blucher and hopefully Bataille Empire, soon). So taking the time to create an OoB is not a problem.

Is the basic unit a company or battalion or regiment? I know that HistWar used regiments with configurable battalions attached.

I will definitely download the SG and start reading the PDF and fiddling with it. Then, I look to buy the game soon.

Also, is it helpful to buy all the expansions (Ligny, QB, Wavre)?

Again, thanks so much for all your considerable labor on this.
MarshalJean
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Post  DumpTruck Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:41 pm

Hello!

We have a small group that with the help of our programming overlord, play this Kreigsspiel mod for Scourge of War together on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday at 2:00 PM EST, or 7:00 GMT. We usually play co-operative against the computer, and sometimes will on rare occasion play against each other. Usually we are small in number though so for the sake of having a larger battle we tend to play against the AI which is by far the most impressive AI for a real time historical strategy game I have come across. If you wind up purchasing the game do feel free to come play a match with us if you can make it (usually takes 3-4 hours to get the whole thing done from start to finish). We don't usually fight Waterloo, with the scenario generator we play a scenario someone has created which is only limited by their imagination. We've even done some sillier things like Russians in Spain from time to time. Sometimes the scenarios are more historical, sometimes they're more fictional, but the beauty of it is its entirely up to the scenario creator!

If you have Steam Scourge of War:Waterloo tends to go on sale there, if a bit rarely. I have a high confidence that it will be on sale for the winter sale that usually takes place in December. It will likely go down to 10 dollars, and there will probably be a sale on the whole collection including the DLCs. If you aren't at all interested in doing Waterloo related things then the DLCs aren't probably going to add much for you, but if you were interested in playing some games with us we do use the maps that come with the DLCs as they're quite nice and provide a good variety of locations to fill out our other maps that were made for the mod. To that end, if you are planning to play games with us we also occasionally use Scourge of War: Gettysburg maps from the game and DLCs of that game, which probably also go on sale in the winter through the publisher's website.

Understandably that's a lot to grab on a whim in a niche game you've never played and based on a mod you've also never played. We understand completely if you just want to get the base SOW:Waterloo game and dip your toes in to test the water first. We use plenty of base game maps while we play too so don't worry about collecting all the DLCs right away if you don't want to. It's a good time to become interested though as the sales are on their way!

Anyway, if you wanted to get an idea of what our multiplayer games look like I have been keeping a video collection of our battles on YouTube. The first bit will be us making a plan for the mission, then we get into the game. The beginning is where we plan the mission and the end is where we review the replay and talk about the battle.
Here is a video of our game Tuesday where we had a new player, time stamped to his opinion on his first game. If it seems like something you'd enjoy you're welcome to come play with us.

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Post  Uncle Billy Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:44 pm

In the KS mod, the basic unit is infantry battalion, cavalry regiment and artillery battery. In the stock game the basic cavalry unit is a squadron.

You do not need to buy the DLCs to play the game either with or without the KS mod. However, in our MP games we do use those maps occasionally. It's up to you, but I would wait until they are on sale.
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Post  MarshalJean Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:21 am

Uncle Billy and DumpTruck,

Again, thanks so much for all your help, here. I downloaded the SG and looked at the OoBs and what it looks like to create a scenario. Very cool and somewhat intuitive, even.

I will say that I haven't been much of an multi-player in the past, mainly because whatever game it is there are always a group of people who never do anything else with their lives but learn how to beat everyone else at that game and they are always online and always unbeatable and...you get the picture. But, the idea of participating in some co-op versus the AI sounds very intriguing, at some point. The only downside is that I live at GMT +2 because my family is currently in Sofia, Bulgaria. So time zones will definitely be an issue.

Also, another quick question hit me as I was perusing the excellent OoBs that come with the SG. Can you scale the creation of your OoBs? In other words, even though the game is able to handle things at the battalion level scale for infantry, could you create an OoB at the regimental level, if you didn't want to write out all the battalions involved? I would assume, then, that it would just mean fewer units per corps on the battlefield, each one being a regiment or brigade or whatever, instead of a battalion. The player would then just have to be willing to abstract what he is seeing, at that point. But I guess my question would be: does SoW's software handle it if it doesn't see notations for battalions in the OoBs? Aren't they just names, as far as the software is concerned? Or is there something deeper happening below the surface than that?

Again, I'm floored that you all have accomplished this. The maps look simply fantastic and there are so many of them!
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Post  Miko77 Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:23 am

Hi MarshalJean,

We used to play campaigns were OOBs were scaled up a bit if I remember correctly. So, I don't think you can change the structural names in game engine but you can name the units whatever you want. So even if it shows as Division you may call it a Corps. in terms of handling - I don't know if there is a max number of men in battalion - it wouldn't work well though if you put 3k men unit as forming the square would take forever... - any change of formation, actually. You can maybe redesign the OOB so the battalion is a regiment and 1 men in game engine equals 10 men in reality, so to keep battalion sizes below 1k...
you'd have to do some quite harsh approximations with British units though.... how do you name units in a brigade that consisted of 4 battalions each from a different regiment?
it's easier with Austrian, Russian and French as they kept regimental structure usually...

Don't want to discourage you... but no one mentioned a big elephant in the room - which is that the mod is designed for play in HITS mode (Headquarters in the saddle), which I anticipate may be not your cup of tea... of course you can use the KS mod in whatever way you like as I don't think Uncle Billy - the creator, would mind...
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Post  MarshalJean Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:08 am

Thanks, Miko.

And I really appreciate your comment about HITS. Are you saying, then, that using the SG with the KS mod won't work well unless you are playing HITS?

And the changes of formation issue is obviously really important for scaling, too. Thank you for shedding light on both of these things.
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Post  Miko77 Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:21 pm

There are no technical obstacles for using KS mod without HITS.
SG is just a tool for quick scenario creation so it will work same regardless of your final aim.

From what I understand you want to play grand battles against AI... so, although it is technically possible, I think AI is not great opponent to put it lightly...

now you'll say - "wait a minute but you play Co-op versus AI" - yes.. but they are specific scenarios in which AI always got significant advantage and even then sometimes it does something so stupid it makes our battle very easy. So, often scenario is designed on verge of impossible so we need to exploit every AI weakness in order to win it.

My advise would be - wait for a deal on steam for just a basic game so you don't have to spend too much on it, and try KS mod in a way you want to use it.
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Post  MarshalJean Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:37 pm

Miko,

Again, this is very helpful. Thanks for following up so quickly. I can tell that the game club you all have is made up of dedicated, friendly chaps who enjoy history and being helpful to one another just as much as gaming. I would guess that this is rare to find.

I've gotten great advice on this thread that I plan to follow.

MJ
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Post  Uncle Billy Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:35 pm

You can call the units whatever you like. However, many brigades contain only 1 regiment. That's OK, but it may look funny on the battlefield. Also there is a hardcoded limit of 200 sprites per formation. We play at a ratio of 5 men per sprite. So a 1000 man battalion fits nicely. A 3000 man regiment will still be represented by 200 sprites so it will look small. If you change the ratio to 15 men per sprite the cavalry units will look very small as they usually are less than 1000 men. However, nothing prevents you from doing this.

You don't have to play in HITS mode. The helicopter view with instant communication will work just fine. However, that gives the player an enormous advantage against the AI. The AI fights at ground level and can only see what is in view at ground level. It doesn't own a helicopter.

The game was originally written and developed to be played with the AI following scripted behavior. Scripting is fairly easy to do and is the only way to simulate set piece battles, (Wagram, Waterloo, etc.). Open play, (sandbox mode) was an afterthought. That was a very poor decision, and unfortunately it cannot be changed. As a result, the AI is only a good opponent in meeting engagements, with the KS mod, since this kind of battle doesn't require a grand strategy. In fact, it is better than most humans in this type of battle. It takes a team of 3 or more humans to consistently defeat it. Even then, the AI will win ~30% of the time. A good single player, in helicopter mode with instant communication, should be able to win such a meeting engagement most of the time, in a 3 division vs 3 division battle. In HITS mode such a player would be fortunate to win 30% of the battles.
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Post  MarshalJean Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:32 pm

Very good, Uncle Billy. All very helpful to know.

Quick question. What is the difference between a "meeting engagement" other types of battle to which you are referring? Not a big map? Instant view of the enemy at the battle's beginning?

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Post  Uncle Billy Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:21 pm

A meeting engagement is one where the two armies are not in contact with each other.  They are moving to their objectives.  These could be the same geographic locations or different ones for each army.  In the sandbox mode of the game, this is called Hunt Them Down.
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Post  rschilla Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:17 pm

In reply to Miko's post above - Slitherine has a sale going on for the Scourge of War Collector's Edition.

https://www.slitherine.com/game/scourge-of-war-waterloo-collectors-edition



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Questions about scenario generator Empty Waterloo on Steam - advice please

Post  Blaugrana Sat Nov 28, 2020 3:13 pm

DumpTruck wrote:
[...]
If you have Steam Scourge of War:Waterloo tends to go on sale there, if a bit rarely. I have a high confidence that it will be on sale for the winter sale that usually takes place in December. It will likely go down to 10 dollars, and there will probably be a sale on the whole collection including the DLCs. If you aren't at all interested in doing Waterloo related things then the DLCs aren't probably going to add much for you, but if you were interested in playing some games with us we do use the maps that come with the DLCs as they're quite nice and provide a good variety of locations to fill out our other maps that were made for the mod. To that end, if you are planning to play games with us we also occasionally use Scourge of War: Gettysburg maps from the game and DLCs of that game, which probably also go on sale in the winter through the publisher's website.

Having last played SOW years ago, I am tempted to get back into it, and very tempted to buy the Waterloo bundle.

I have seen it on sale on Steam:
https://store.steampowered.com/bundle/3168/Scourge_of_War_Waterloo_Collectors_Edition/

but it is labelled 'single-player' and has this note:
"One or more products in this package may require a 3rd party user account from Slitherine PBEM++ for Multiplayer."

Could anyone please tell me what this means?
If I bought this bundle, would I be good to go, or would I need to buy something from Slitherine to enable multiplayer play.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Hello to anyone I played years ago.

Best regards,

Jeff


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Post  Uncle Billy Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:24 pm

Hi Jeff, welcome back, it's been a long time.

The game is for both SP and MP. It doesn't matter where you buy it, it's the same game. We play MP 3 times a week with people who use one version or the other. We don't have any problems unless Steam does an update in the middle of a game. I know Matrix is having its Xmas sale now. I'd recommend getting both the base game and the DLCs. The maps in the DLC are pretty good, much better than some of the maps that come with the base game. Of course the KS mod has added many more. We even use the maps from SOWGB.

When you get it, I hope you'll join us for a game or two.
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Post  DumpTruck Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:37 pm

"One or more products in this package may require a 3rd party user account from Slitherine PBEM++ for Multiplayer."

There is an in-game multiplayer system run by whatever Slitherine PBEM++ is. Think like Game Spy Arcade if that means anything to you. It's just a third party lobby/server system that is supposed to make it easier to join your friends' games. Most games these days plug right into the Steam Friends servers, or use their own like GTA Online does or something. We (the KS Multiplayer group) don't use this function as the alternative is just as easy, or easier. You won't need to buy anything outside of the game or register an account on this Slitherine thing to play multiplayer.

Hope to see you on the field some day!

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Post  Blaugrana Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:53 am

Thank you, Uncle Billy and Dump Truck for your replies. They are very helpful and encouraging.

If I can get Steam's 'customer support' to stop insisting on me recalling stuff from 8 years ago, I'll be buying the collector's edition from them.

I'll need to then try to get back up to speed (which was slow at the best of times) before joining you grognards in MP.

Thanks again, and hope to see you before too long.

Jeff

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Post  Martin Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:02 pm

Hey Jeff!

I remember you. Good to see you back.

Martin J

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Post  Blaugrana Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:34 pm

Hi Martin !

Thank you!

I've bought Waterloo, installed it and tried a tutorial. My muscle memory seems to be hard-wired to other games' mouse controls so it is a tad tricky so far. I shall persist and may yet join you on a HITS battlefield.

Stay safe all.

Jeff

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Post  Martin Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:11 pm

Hi Jeff

I must admit that I rarely player the Waterloo version, much to Kevin's disapproval.  The GUI is part of the reason, although to be fair, that's probably just because I'm more used to the GB one.

I haven't played anything for much of the year due to family illness, but all's currently well on that front, and I've recently gone back to modding, and playing various GB mods with one or two others, typically on a Thursday evening to avoid any clash with the regular Waterloo games.  Do let me know if you're interested in a game.  We have a wide variety of mods now, from Marlburian right through to Custer at Little Bighorn.

Martin J


Last edited by Martin on Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:47 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Uncle Billy Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:37 pm

Bah. Real men play SOWWL. Those in high heels play the other one. Mad
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Post  Martin Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:08 pm

..........lots of feathers too, if you're playing 7th Cavalry.  Usually too many, in fact affraid

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Post  Blaugrana Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:12 pm

Good to hear from you Martin & Uncle Billy.

I shall persevere with (re-)learning the basics and may, one day, be able to fill some subaltern role in MP.

I do eat quiche ...

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