What exactly can be modded ?

Byzantine Productions Pike and Shot is a deep strategy game set during the bloody conflict of the Thirty Years War.

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Philippeatbay
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What exactly can be modded ?

Post by Philippeatbay » Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:43 pm

Pike & Shot was at the top of my must-buy list until I watched the video.

Watching how the video portrayed the game's version of 17th century warfare with a WW II tactical engine was pretty discouraging. I'm having trouble accepting that what I saw in the video even comes close to what went on during a 17th (let alone 16th) century battle.

There was way too much movement, I could have sworn I saw formed cavalry moving into a wooded area (which basically shouldn't ever happen), fire combat seemed too effective, and the ranges for musket fire were too long and not appropriate for the period (and didn't seem right for the 18th century either, for that matter).

The costumes, however, were very nice.

I am probably going to stand on the sidelines on this one, even though it is probably my favorite period. I play Tiller games with weak AI, and the way around that is head-to-head against yourself, or pbem. So that's not the issue, though it's a big negative.

I'm essentially a graphics modder, but pretty costumes are not enough to make me want to play something.

But if it were possible to turn the shell of an inaccurate game that sort of looks right into a somewhat more accurate model of period warfare, I might be more interested (assuming I ever found the time to get around to modding the thing).

So what I want to know is whether I can mod the fundamentals of how units react with each other in order to play the historical scenarios under more convincing conditions.

I would want to be able to change movement speeds for most of the units (slowing infantry to a crawl, practically rooting the artillery in place and giving it poorer morale ratings, and slowing the cavalry down somewhat so it couldn't go whizzing from one flank to another in three turns), and drastically overhaul the firing ranges for infantry and cavalry (two and sometimes one square for infantry, one square directly forward only for reiter cavalry and the like, assuming its in the game). I would want to be able to apply these changes to the entire game rather than to individually modded scenarios, though I recognize that the historical scenarios would probably need to be tinkered with because they're probably balanced for blitzkrieg warfare.

What I've just described is a daunting amount of work that may make me decide not to bother, but before thinking about this any further I need to know if it's even possible, given the way the game is coded.

TheGrayMouser
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Re: What exactly can be modded ?

Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:52 pm

All I can say is IMHO it handles the genre BETTER than HPS Ren game ( and its my favourite Tiller title)
You can probobly mod pretty much anything, movement rates weapons ranges etc certainly.
This isnt just BA with tanks skinned to look like curassiers....

rbodleyscott
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Re: What exactly can be modded ?

Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:28 pm

Hi Phillipe.

We are aware that the shooting ranges in the game are somewhat overgenerous. However, experience has shown that most gamers do not like very short move distances, nor very short shooting ranges. In order to give the opportunity for several rounds of shooting against advancing enemy, the long musket shooting range needs to be equal to the mounted movement speed and double the normal infantry movement speed. To achieve this without reducing the infantry move to 1 square and cavalry to 2 squares, we have had to be generous with shooting ranges. Note, however, that shooting at long range is at half effect, so units will generally want to get closer to shoot effectively.

In fact it would be very easy to mod this so that the shooting ranges and movement distances are shorter. The movement distances are held with the unit definitions in an Excel spreadsheet, which is obviously very easy to alter. The shooting ranges are scripted, but would also be very easy to mod.

Cavalry are not prevented from moving through woods, but are severely disordered when doing so - so a few light infantry in the wood would defeat them.
Richard Bodley Scott

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FroBodine
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Re: What exactly can be modded ?

Post by FroBodine » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:31 pm

What determines long range for the half strength shooting penalty? I don't own the game yet, but will get it after work. How does the game show you so you know that you are shooting at long range vs. normal range?

rbodleyscott
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Re: What exactly can be modded ?

Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:33 pm

FroBodine wrote:What determines long range for the half strength shooting penalty? I don't own the game yet, but will get it after work. How does the game show you that you are shooting at long range vs. normal range?
It states it on the tooltip. There is a chart of long and short ranges in the manual.
Richard Bodley Scott

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Philippeatbay
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Re: What exactly can be modded ?

Post by Philippeatbay » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:50 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:Hi Phillipe.

We are aware that the shooting ranges in the game are somewhat overgenerous. However, experience has shown that most gamers do not like very short move distances, nor very short shooting ranges. In order to give the opportunity for several rounds of shooting against advancing enemy, the long musket shooting range needs to be equal to the mounted movement speed and double the normal infantry movement speed. To achieve this without reducing the infantry move to 1 square and cavalry to 2 squares, we have had to be generous with shooting ranges. Note, however, that shooting at long range is at half effect, so units will generally want to get closer to shoot effectively.

In fact it would be very easy to mod this so that the shooting ranges and movement distances are shorter. The movement distances are held with the unit definitions in an Excel spreadsheet, which is obviously very easy to alter. The shooting ranges are scripted, but would also be very easy to mod.

Cavalry are not prevented from moving through woods, but are severely disordered when doing so - so a few light infantry in the wood would defeat them.
Perhaps a more Solomonic solution in designing the game mechanics would have been to include a mode option toggle switch in the options section: a gamer's mode that allows you to zip around the battlefield and shoot it up with laser guns, and a more sedated historical mode that forces you to crawl around the battlefield and only shoot at what you can essentially reach out and touch.

One square per turn for formed infantry and two for cavalry sounds fairly close to right, by the way.

FroBodine
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Re: What exactly can be modded ?

Post by FroBodine » Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:02 pm

Philippe_at_bay wrote:One square per turn for formed infantry and two for cavalry sounds fairly close to right, by the way.
I agree. I'm not sure I understand the philosophy of making the movement and shooting less than realistic, for a wargame.

But, I have not played yet. It may be just right as is. I can't wait to get home and dig in!

maximvs
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Re: What exactly can be modded ?

Post by maximvs » Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:18 pm

Downloaded today. A great game, very enjoyable!

TheGrayMouser
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Re: What exactly can be modded ?

Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:23 pm

Thats a little extreme, no? 1 hex for infantry and 2 for cavalry? How would you acount for any hope of granualrity, ie heavy cavalry vs steppe cavalry? Forlorne hope light infantry vs a conscripted pike block? Your really limiting any sense of historical real movement rates.
Since the ground scale is somewhat abstarct, I dont see what the issue is with 4 tile range for muskets. Whats the frontage of a pike and shot unit with about 5 hundred men, say 6 ranks or 8 ranks deep anyway? 60-75 yards ? x4 is not an unrealistic range for the heavy muskets used during the period.

rbodleyscott
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Re: What exactly can be modded ?

Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:06 pm

Philippe_at_bay wrote:Watching how the video portrayed the game's version of 17th century warfare with a WW II tactical engine....
To correct a misapprehension, the BA/BA2 engine is actually NOT a WW2 tactical engine, it just covers the turn-based aspects of the game. It is, in fact, the Slitherine Turn-Based (STUB) engine.

All the BA/BA2 WW2 tactical stuff is in scripts, and these scripts have been replaced in Pike and Shot with an entirely different combat system.
Richard Bodley Scott

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