Author Topic: Additional Line Settings  (Read 361 times)

JeVondair

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Additional Line Settings
« Topic Start: September 19, 2018, 06:48:48 PM »

Title: Additional Line Settings

Summary: As much as we are given to Roleplay, this game and all the plots within it revolve around a single aspect of play: Warfare. I want to expand game tactics by Adding a new dimension to combat in battlemaster by upgrading the line settings to include Left, Right, and Center. Flanking. Commanding Officer Morale bonus with associated Honor/Prestige benefits. Adds Flanking to battle calculations/report with associated +/- for units involved.

Details:
This is an idea to enhance one of the primary focuses of this game: battles. As it stands, we roleplay our place on the battlefield and imagine how we lead or units to victory or suffered defeat. We can improve this by adding a new dimension to combat in battlemaster by upgrading the line settings to include Left, Right, and Center alignments for units. This would be in addition to and located with the Front/Middle/Back/Rear settings we already have. In considering this feature, we’d also have to add the status of FLANKE(R/D). For example, take a scenario where a single unit of Rogues are being attacked by three human units (Groups A-C). For the sake of argument (and perhaps implementation) let’s say that the Rogues are default aligned to Center opposite Group B. Both sides proceed toward the other. At contact, Group B will have encountered the Rogues and begun fighting. Group A and C, however, being in different Rows, would continue to proceed forward until their sides contact the Rogue Group. The Rogue Group will then be considered FLANKED and be given minuses to morale. Groups A and C will be considered FLANKERS and be granted bonuses to Attack. HOWEVER, say the Rogues had 3 groups to match the humans, then upon contact neither group would be able to flank until on group on the opposite side was forced to withdraw. See where I’m going with this?


With this dynamic, I would argue that Honor/Prestige for battles needs to be looked at as well. It’s not hard to find examples in history where those on the front lines received the most honor, while those in the rear (usually the higher-ups) would gain more prestige. Arguably, this could be a separate post, but since I’m on the subject, the current BM system does not work this way and I believe that players should be able to vie for the positions they want based on whether they want more honor or more prestige for their characters. Naturally, units that do manage to flank other units should be (and historically were) awarded more honor and prestige. For example, in big battles, a noble commanding an infantry unit can expect to get up to +2 Honor/Prestige. Now, if that same unit managed to flank an enemy, I think they should get an additional A/P award. I also believe that should stack to better adequately express the coolness of one unit managing to flank multiple others in a single battle, but I digress.


Finally, I would say that if wherever a Ruler, General, Marshal, Or Vice-Marshal are arrayed (Left/Right/Center) in the line of battle (Front/Mid/Back?Rear) That any other units sharing that alignment should receive a morale bonus corresponding to the symbolic officer rank. Further, i would tweek these same algorithms so that enemy units are more likely to target units that are commanded by a titled officer or ruling council member. In war, this was often the case. While I'm at it, i would award players additional H/P for wounding a titled officer, but again, I digress.


In Conclusion, adding Left/Right/Center and associating attack as well as H/P bonuses for flanking units would enrich this game in a plethora of ways. With this feature, even the standard way that generals think about line settings will be revolutionized. Battles would require longitudinal planning and having a player that is a great general could be worth more on the battlefield than, say, having a wealthy stronghold or great recruiting centers. A small force can overwhelm a big one not simply by having better equipment, but better tactics. This addition would emphasize fighting smarter in this game.

Benefits: Marshals will be able to greatly increase their control of the battle. Grant players more control of the honor/prestige they can expect from a battle. Adds greater depth for tactically-minded players and more cinematic action descriptors for our roleplay-minded players. It would also make spying a lot more important, and a lot more difficult to rely upon. There are so many ways that this addition could enhance our game.

Possible Downsides or Exploits: I am uncertain with how this would conflict with the Marshal settings. From what I can see, it really should not have any impact on them at all? Regardless, I imagine that this would be a massive project to code. Technical difficulties aside, there is no way for players to abuse this feature that aren’t already established parts of the game (like intentionally sabotaging your own side by ignoring line settings and such). In addition, I don’t know how unit targeting algorithms are determined during battle so I am assuming its just random. So we would have to define if a unit is considered flanked simply by having an additional enemy unit in its same Line (front,mid,back,rear) Or if they are only considered flanked when engaged by two or more melee units. Presently, it seems like any melee unit in the same line can attack any other melee unit in the same line. If the Right/Left/Center change is implemented, that would have to redefined as well.

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Anaris

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Re: Additional Line Settings
« Reply #1: September 19, 2018, 07:37:36 PM »
Adding flanking isn't just a matter of line settings; it's a major change to the combat code. It's something we've been considering for years, and still are. We may be able to implement something of this nature when we tackle a rewrite of the combat script, but that's beyond the current dev roadmap.
Timothy Collett

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Stabbity

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Re: Additional Line Settings
« Reply #2: September 19, 2018, 07:42:24 PM »
If Delvin had a dollar for every time flanks have been requested...
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JeVondair

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Re: Additional Line Settings
« Reply #3: September 19, 2018, 09:00:05 PM »
If Delvin had a dollar for every time flanks have been requested...


Must've missed that in the Often Suggested's :-(
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JeVondair

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Re: Additional Line Settings
« Reply #4: September 19, 2018, 09:01:28 PM »
Adding flanking isn't just a matter of line settings; it's a major change to the combat code. It's something we've been considering for years, and still are. We may be able to implement something of this nature when we tackle a rewrite of the combat script, but that's beyond the current dev roadmap.


And here I thought I had an original idea  :'(
Silver lining: Glad y'all are already talking about it! I do hope we can circle back to this after the current dev cycle!
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Stabbity

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Re: Additional Line Settings
« Reply #5: September 19, 2018, 09:02:16 PM »
Back in my day, before we had a forum, we had the d-list, which was an email list where feature requests could be made.

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Anaris

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Re: Additional Line Settings
« Reply #6: September 19, 2018, 10:13:04 PM »
To explain a little more, the combat map right now is really just a single dimension—units are X units to the defending or attacking side of the center of the battlefield. It doesn't comprehend the idea of them being also spread out in space along their line.

What I want to do is give it that extra dimension (literally) so that it can be more of a grid. That will enable a number of cool things, but I'm a little concerned about the complexity it will require for players who want to have any meaningful control over how their units use that space.

The simplest I can think of is, indeed, something along the lines of setting your unit to the Center, the Left Flank, or the Right Flank.

(Of course, it'll add a lot of complexity in the code, too, but that's my problem, not a problem I'd be handing to the players.)
Timothy Collett

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Bluelake

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Re: Additional Line Settings
« Reply #7: September 19, 2018, 11:20:41 PM »
I think as long as we can still see it in something of a graphical manner, as long as behaviour is a little coherent instead of undetectable (like, today, you pretty much can't know which units will be more targeted by archers, or which lines will move first, so many random aspects end making the battle game more a game of strength than strategy)...

I mean, we'll have to know how to estimate which direction archers will choose to fire at, or maybe we choose it ourselves (like line will shoot more to front, while box shoots to all sides, though.... I could go hours discussing this :P )
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Re: Additional Line Settings
« Reply #8: September 20, 2018, 12:07:08 AM »
So basically combat code would need to be rewritten from scratch?
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Anaris

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Re: Additional Line Settings
« Reply #9: September 20, 2018, 12:27:58 AM »
So basically combat code would need to be rewritten from scratch?

Yep.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Gildre

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Re: Additional Line Settings
« Reply #10: September 20, 2018, 02:22:18 AM »
I think you can kind of already achieve the effect of a flanking using current mechanics. You put a small force in region A, with your large force in region B which is behind region A. Enemy in region C can't scout region B. They attack region A, and your large force moves into region A as well.

Boom. I made a bridge.

It is then up to you to be strategic and figure out if it is a misdirection.

Seriously though, this is never used. Aside from being a bit complicated and relying on player activity, are there any other downfalls to it? It seems like a good trap to me...
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Bluelake

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Re: Additional Line Settings
« Reply #11: September 21, 2018, 03:48:25 AM »
We have been trying to use it, but most often when situations like that arise, the enemy is uncertain of the position of the backup army, and take the cautious route.
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Re: Additional Line Settings
« Reply #12: September 21, 2018, 08:50:59 PM »
Yup, it's a nice little tactic. Up until the moment when enemy makes a half-day move when you expect full day move and you basically lose your entire alliance's army trying to be clever one too many times...

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