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Thread: Approach to >16 units/battle, larger battle areas

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    Member Member candidgamera's Avatar
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    A while back, ages ago in forum time, discussed, developed this some with Puzz3D, Tone. Throwing it out again a little, as food for thought, if not for Shogun, maybe for a follow-on, or maybe the next generation, expansion on the basic STW game model. This runs in parallel some to the principles of Didz’s recent “Napoleon Total War” thread - trying to address similiar problems.

    1.0 starts this, 2.0 uses, selectively modifies 1.0. Have a 3.0 in mind working general rank into an operational rating or something similar to Didz’s initiative points, but figure this is enough for now.

    Fully expect I haven’t thought of everything here, and that some of the points might require further explanation. This is meant as a draft to be bled on.

    1.0 RAISING THE 16 UNIT LIMIT PER BATTLE.

    1.1 Would begin with the assumption that the huge hordes of the past will be fixed as promised, but maybe still we see up to 6 armies (mons hereafter) max on a side toward game end. Propose making 6 mons per province, per one side a stacking limit, recognizing it may have some trade off effect on late game troop maneuvering such as out of Shinano province.

    1.2 Expand the number of mons allowed in battle per side to a maximum of 3 but, no more than 4 counting both sides. Mons can be up to 16 units in size as is now. A change: mons deploy as organized at the campaign map level whatever state they are in.

    1.3 The limit of troops in battle at any one time is equivalent to a 2 v 2 custom or online battle.

    1.4 When an invading army enters, a ratio is determined, attacker:defender, worst case would be 6:1, or 1:6 odds.

    1.5 All opposing mons must engage in at least one battle, in a season, in a province. When a side is eligible to have 2 mons on in a battle, either side (AI/player) may elect to make one of their mons a reinforcing mon per current practice.

    1.6 If 1.2, 1.5 above can’t be satisfied in one battle, then additional battles are fought until 1.5 is satisfied, before returning to the campaign map - should be able to keep it to no more than 3 battles mostly.

    1.7 The number of battles fought should favor the side with the more numerous total army in the province. Example: 6:4, attacker:defender, attacker has two battles 2 on 2, and then one or both of the defenders mons has to fight the other remaining 2 attacking mons.

    1.8 The defender can choose how many mon groups he defends the province with subject to the number of mons he has in province in whole ratios to the number of enemy mons attacking, subject to 1.2 and 1.3.

    Examples (all mon ratios attacker:defender):
    3:2: defender could chose to defend in 2 groups: 2 battles one 2:1, one 1:1; or one group of 2: one 2:2 battle with remaining attacking mon reinforcing the other two.
    4:2: defender forced to defend in 2 groups: 2 battles each fought 2 mons against one mon.

    1.9 Extreme Examples:
    Worst odds would be 1 16 unit army fighting two battles, each battle against a group of 3 armies.
    Longest maybe would be a 6 mon to 6 mon engagement: 3 battles, each battle fought 2 mons verses 2 mons.

    1.10 Limit this game structure to default army choices up to 80 men.

    1.11 Prior to battle allotments, resolution, player gets the reaction phase like the AI does now, but both are subject to the limitation that the reacting mon can’t have just moved into the province on the turn just ended: A reaction reinforcement to Kawachi from Harima can only happen if the reinforcement started the season in Harima. Reaction reinforcements must observe stacking restrictions, and can be used per all above.

    1.12 Prior to battle resolution, a semi-tactical allotment screen pops-up: defender places his mons subject to above and then attacker reacts - a little like chess in theme - might be cool to stylize the allotment screen as a kind of game board, like chess, go, or some such, appropriate to period.


    1.13 So that AI isn’t always moving last, auto getting to react, randomize by faction who goes first in a season.

    1.14 Each battle fought is considered to happen at the same time - they don’t impact each other except at the end of the season per 1.15 below.

    1.15 Finally, not necessarily in order, subject to the number of battles and their results the province could remain contested at season end. The defender can stay or leave as long as he wins one of his battles.
    A defender that stays having won one or more of his battles, gets to keep some fraction of the troops from defending mon groups defeated. Vice versa for the attacker. Think of contested status like an “in the field siege”. There would now be campaigns in provinces, not just sieges. Ownership of the province required to get the province koku as is now. If Attacker or Defender lose all their battles games proceeds as it does now - a castle siege, or the attacker is ejected from the province.

    1.16 In provinces that become contested, 1.13 triggers two battle segments per season, one for each side, essentially an opportunity to attack. Sides in contested provinces are not required to attack though.

    1.17 In contested provinces with more than 2 combatants, the “already there” sides allot their defense, ignoring each other, first as defenders, and then the “new comers” place as attackers, choosing which “already there side” to attack. Seems like newcomers would have to be limited to attacking only one side at time - open to opinion here. 1.16 applies only now each side in the province generates another battle segment - 3 factions in a province 3 potential battle segments.


    2.0 BIGGER ENGAGEMENT AREAS: AT LEAST 4 GEOGRAPHICALLY ADJACENT “DISTRICTS” IN EACH PROVINCE, EACH REPRESENTING A TACTICAL MAP FOR BATTLES TO OCCUR IN.

    2.1 Proceeds on the premise that game has to deal directly with only one tactical map at a time - the hard graphics part - running out of video memory, but like above, just more can go on in a season. Additional load on program would then be mostly in keeping track of more places and how many troops in each place, within a season: more number crunching - a simpler task. Mainly just trying to offer a concept here, understanding that program “may not do it this way". Think that the current battle area of the maps is believable, especially if in province there's more places that fights could take place. Rules from 1.0 apply except where modified, superceded, or addressed below. To limit the demands on the program AI, an attempt has been made to limit geographic relationship between districts, and in impact on battles themselves, but of course geographic relationship would be a good ultimate goal. Also, in most except the biggest provinces, all districts would have exterior borders.

    2.2 One of the districts is the castle district, if a province has a castle. The castle owner is not required to make an allotment to the castle district, but if the castle district is not defended, the owner can’t retreat into it if defeated.

    2.3 Reaction reinforcements of 1.11 available for use in any district the owner is eligible to allot to in a province, district stacking must be observed per 2.5 below.

    2.4 The “stylized” allotment board of 1.12 above becomes a pop-up map showing the province in question, its districts, and the provinces adjacent provinces, allotment now has some geography. Defender places forces in province districts, attacker places forces in defender occupied districts to attack, at least one mon attacking each defended district - a modification of 1.5 above. In districts the defender has placed two mons in and the attack only one mon, the defender may choose use the extra mon to oppose the attacker in a district the attacker is trying to occupy unopposed. The attacker can place mons in any district in the attacked province unless the defender can protect a district by isolating it with defended districts from any common border with the province(s) the attackers mons come from, or the same in contested provinces by denying a common district border.

    2.5 1.2 map restrictions govern per district allotments, 1.3 principle sets a stacking limit for districts.

    2.6 1.4, 1.5, apply modified by 2.4, however it is possible that 1-2 districts may not be fought over in the first season of battles in a province, these unfought over districts remain the province defender’s for allotting troops to in future seasons of battles, until the province defender loses a battle in them, they are occupied unopposed per 2.4 above, the province defender gets ejected entirely from the province, or only the province defender has troops only inside the castle under siege.

    Other 1.0 clarification:
    1.6, 1.7: The more numerous army can exercise the option to force additional battles on the defender to the limits of 1.6, 1.7 or to occupy undefended districts.
    1.8 Applies, consistent with 2.4.

    1.9 Premutations would change.

    1.10 Applicable.

    1.14 Applicable, only read at the end of a segment, and per 2.7 below.

    2.7-2.9 generally replace, supercede, modify 1.15,1.16,1.17: 2.7 When battles have been resolved, and a contested province status results, victories determine which districts opposing sides can allot to when battles continue in following battle segment. In the next battle segment, a side can place in/start with the districts it won in last segment, and per 2.4 above. Otherwise, mons don’t have district location in province, except at pre-battle allotment to battle resolution, and except per below in 2.10. Units of course can be driven back into the castle as is now. Defeated mons give up the district they were beaten in for their side’s allotment eligibility purposes and the districts stacking capacity, and may stay in province only if they can recombine with other mons in successfully held districts or if there are other owned, not fought over districts with enough stacking capacity that they could allot to at the beginning of the next battle segment. Other ramifications, clarifications: If an invader loses some of his foot hold, he can always initiate additional attacks from outside the province. Likewise the defender of the province can initiate attacks from beyond the contested province.

    2.8 In contested provinces 1.13 above determines who is the attacker and who is the defender in each of two battle segments. In a battle segment, in a contested province, the segment attacker can choose not to place armies in defended districts, so as not to attack, and just hold what he has.

    2.9 In contested provinces with more than 2 combatants, the “already there” sides place in eligible districts first as defenders, and then the “new comers” place as attackers. 2.8 applies only now each side in the province generates another battle segment - 3 factions in a province 3 potential battle segments.

    2.10 If in a contested province after resolution of a battle segment, a side owns by victory a set of districts that are not all continuous - ie pocketed, then in the next segment the side with pocketed mons, has to place his mons in the pockets they got stuck in as a result of the last battle segment if the defender. If the pocketed player is the attacker he can place attacking mons per the intent of last part of 2.4 above: he can place anywhere as long as not placing in a district beyond a district defended, without a common border from his pocketed location. Idea here is to reflect a loss in defensive/offensive flexibility in getting split up, and so that mons don’t get to just jump over other mons by magic.

    2.11 To get the koku, the whole province must be owned.


    [This message has been edited by candidgamera (edited 05-20-2001).]
    “You know the sound of thunder Mrs. Garret."
    "Ofcourse"
    "Can you imagine that sound if I asked you to?"
    "Yes I can Mr. Hickok."
    "Your husband and me had this talk, and I told him to head home to avoid a dark result. But I didn't say it in thunder. Ma'am, listen to the thunder.”

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    Senior Member Senior Member Krasturak's Avatar
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    This is kinda complicated, but I was thinking of something along the same lines ... I like the idea.

    But it will take me a while to understnad these details.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    Member Member candidgamera's Avatar
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    Krasturak:

    Thanks for the feedback. Quite understand this is a bit dense. May be a case of the complexity being in the writing it down part.
    Am hoping that once the logic is understood it would be somewhat intuitive. If you mull this some, and can think of breakdowns in the thinking or inconsistencies, would be interested in hearing them.
    “You know the sound of thunder Mrs. Garret."
    "Ofcourse"
    "Can you imagine that sound if I asked you to?"
    "Yes I can Mr. Hickok."
    "Your husband and me had this talk, and I told him to head home to avoid a dark result. But I didn't say it in thunder. Ma'am, listen to the thunder.”

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    Member Member Tone's Avatar
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    1.1 stacking limit - oh yes

    1.2-1.8 I like most of this. Don't know whether anything like this would ever be done. It would make the game more complex and probably longer, while I would relish this, devs would perhaps shy away from alienating those with a shorter attention span.

    1.9 The horde really would have to be fixed for this. Lets see what the xpac brings, i'm sceptical of CA's claims. I don't see how the AI can ever challenge a human on the battlefield.

    1.11 Equal reactions yes.

    1.13 Perhaps there could be a series of rules for who gains initiative.

    1.15-1.17 Yes

    2.2 2.4 better

    Not sure about forcing additional battles

    2.7-2.9 I like

    It's dificult to picture how smooth the game-play would be, but I think it would add realism. You could get rid of the way armies are always on opposite sides of a river for e.g.

    So when does version 3 come out.

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    Senior Member Senior Member Kraellin's Avatar
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    i did a little snooping around over the long weekend and i believe, that will a little intelligence work, you can modify the ai yourselves.

    it's not really my cup of tea so i didnt bother going further, but someone might be so inclined to take a look.

    K.

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    Member Member candidgamera's Avatar
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    Tone:
    1.2-1.8 Think the secret here would be to do what Rail Tycoon II does - give the player choice on the level of play desired in several ways-easy, hard, expert
    like now, AND simple, complex level of play. First to admit I'm biased toward deliberate, hard wargaming point of view, but all interest must be along for the ride.

    1.9 Assuming horde fixed too. More than even new units, Mongols looking forward most to improvements, how they play out, to the original basic game.

    1.13 That's part of part 3 - using general rank.

    2.4 Might think of making deployments, reactions general rank initiative based - again part of part 3.

    Part 3: got to do some thinking, working out first, am at a different point than I thought I'd be after putting together the above.

    You last comment: some.

    Kraellin:
    Curiosity more than am-going-to-do:
    Dumb question: what's the programming language used for STW?
    Which files would modification require getting into?

    Premises on the graphics being the hard part, temporary file compression, how well program could digest the above: your opinions?

    Finally, related to Didz's post again - thinking about a point to point system, each point a battlefield, only some points connected, point sets define a province, province depicted like now - moves canalized-Japan appropriate especially - would become part 2a - might work even better, very simple. GMT has a game called "Paths of Glory":WWI am playing with a friend now that uses this. Its also a trove of nice concepts for STW on other stuff too - diplomatic, event stuff especially.
    “You know the sound of thunder Mrs. Garret."
    "Ofcourse"
    "Can you imagine that sound if I asked you to?"
    "Yes I can Mr. Hickok."
    "Your husband and me had this talk, and I told him to head home to avoid a dark result. But I didn't say it in thunder. Ma'am, listen to the thunder.”

  7. #7
    Senior Member Senior Member Kraellin's Avatar
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    candidgamera,

    like i say, i was just snooping around a bit and not really looking for ai mods or routines, but i did notice some text files that might be being used as database input files. simply altering those might alter the ai...but, dont quote me on this being the way it really is, for i was just poking around.

    K.

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