Caracole II -- Phase 2

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

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cavehobbit
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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by cavehobbit » Wed May 20, 2015 8:20 pm

Pod A result

Cavehobbit (Scots Covenanter 1639-41) 56% won vs Tiopepe (English 1634-41) 60%

As the result shows, a very close game. Even though my left flank collapsed I managed to win thanks to some units rallying in the last few turns, so I'm not sure I deserve this win. Thanks for a great game, and well played! I'm sure I'll need the same amount of luck in our next game if I'm not going to be overrun...

TheGrayMouser
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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by TheGrayMouser » Wed May 20, 2015 11:02 pm

Vadim has failed to report his crushing victory with his Swedes vs my Imperial army.
So horrific was the loss I tried my hands against the AI was was beaten yet again!

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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu May 21, 2015 11:52 am

TGM Turks won versus Iandavidsmith's Poles

Swirling battle of cavalry with heavy losses on both sides, thanks for a great game Ian!

iandavidsmith
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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by iandavidsmith » Thu May 21, 2015 11:58 am

TheGrayMouser wrote:TGM Turks won versus Iandavidsmith's Poles

Swirling battle of cavalry with heavy losses on both sides, thanks for a great game Ian!
I Enjoyed it as well , Cheers

flatsix518
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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by flatsix518 » Thu May 21, 2015 4:16 pm

Results posted to here.

John

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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2 -- Looking Down the Road

Post by flatsix518 » Thu May 21, 2015 5:52 pm

All,

Reminder: Scoring will be wrapped up on May 31. So please try to complete as many games as you can by then and report your scores. Also -- double check scoring that I've captured all reports and did my math correctly. Get in your corrections before May 31. Results/corrections submitted after May 31 will be excluded.

Taking a Break: I am going to take a break from running Caracoles through the summer. Tentatively I'll start the next one early in September. This opens opportunities for other tournament formats. If someone wants to run a "Caracole" branded tournament this summer -- that's fine by me. I think it would be better if a Caracole veteran runs it. I can delay my next turn at the till until after that completes.

Format Changes: Not sure if the next Caracole will be run using this past format. But not sure what to do. I like how we ran Caracole II with the "distributed" seeding for a phase 1 and then "grouped" by results seeding for phase 2. However -- it seems to be a very long time -- almost an ordeal to play through that long a tournament format. I'm considering an LoEG-like solution to set up three or so pods with veteran strong players in the top pod, next best in the second and so on, with newbies at the bottom. Like LoEG I'd use a European soccer league like promotion/demotion for subsequent Caracoles. The one thing I don't like about doing this, is I believe there is benefit to playing strong players, even when totally out classed as a learning experience. I'm hoping to get some feedback on this.

Scoring: The new scoring system seems to be working. It encourages playing games -- even losses -- and rewards winning. It seems to deal well with players who drop in and out and don't complete all their games.

Army Match-ups: Clearly there are some army match-ups that are going to disappear from tournament play. I've been trying to think of tournament rules that could address this. For example, I really like the French/Italian matchup from the Italian Wars. But it's pretty well understood that if the Italians take all lights/mounted they can easily win. So only a crazy like me will propose the match-up. One idea I've had is to propose a "condition" for a game. An example could be for the French/Italian match-up to require both armies take a minimum of 3 pike units. Just a thought. Again, comments are welcomed.

Best regards,

John

Aryaman
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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by Aryaman » Fri May 22, 2015 9:47 am

Regarding the unbalanced match-ups, I think a solution could be to have the force selection on auto, so that it is the AI that selects units, that usually means a balanced and historically more accurate force, it is detracting from the player the slection phase, but right now there so few balanced match-ups that games are getting repetitive, so that could be a solution for more variety in battles.

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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by pantherboy » Sat May 23, 2015 2:30 pm

In response to "Looking down the road" posted above.

Format Changes: I'd prefer smaller initial pods of maybe four where the players get seeded into 3 larger second round pods. Taking this Caracole as an example you'd have an intial round of 6 pods of 4 which would allow a mix of experienced and new players to compete and would significantly shorten the drag of the round. Then the top player advances into pod A with the two best scoring second places joining them. The remaining second places go into Pod B with the best 4 scoring third places and then the last 2 third places join the bottom players in pod C. Bar coming first or last you won't know your 2nd round pod until all scores are in thus creating interest in how other groupings are going.

Scoring: I don't feel it works at all. If one player doesn't complete all his games then convesely his opponents suffer aswell since they forfeit even the meager 1 point should they lose since a match wasn't played. All games need to be scored not only those played. If a player doesn't meet their obligations then they should have none of their matches scored effectively forfeiting to all other players otherwise the unplayed games should at least be forfeits. In such a case it needs to be ajudicated by the umpire based upon overall performance and player feedback as to why the games weren't completed.

Army Match-ups: I think applying conditions isn't an effective measure. You simply shift the advantage to other lists. As an example if both sides need to field 3 pike units then it may turn on the fact who has the cheaper ones so that they may still face the enemy with greater light forces. If you allow the AI to auto-select then once again based upon how it selects you will have a clearer picture of what to expect and no surprises. In addition it removes the whole element of strategy which is involved in examing the battlefield and taking the best forces available to fight on it or anticipating your opponents disposition and building in an endeavour to counter it. Anytime you remove meaningful decision making I feel you undermine the whole experience of the game. The great Captains like Alexander or Hannibal were in charge of such details thus shifting the advantage to their forces by the greatest extent through strategy. The problems at hand are more to do with the inadequacies of the game engine to realistically model such warfare rather than the lists themselves. The LI with arquebus are ridiculous, artillery holding in melee, the evading by lights who then can move on their own turn etc.

Cheers,

Steve

shawkhan2
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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by shawkhan2 » Sat May 23, 2015 7:01 pm

I think forfeits are a logical solution to the inactive player problem.
Post the challenge, give it a week, then claim victory by forfeit.

Easy-peasy.

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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by shawkhan2 » Sat May 23, 2015 7:44 pm

Guess I have been negligent in reporting two victories.

My Swedes 34% shot thegraymouser's Danes 61% to pieces despite his excellent play.

My Poles 23% defeated iandavidsmith's Russkies 52% by some miracle. :)
Thanks for the games!

I also have some embarrassing losses but will let my worthy opponents report those.

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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by pantherboy » Sun May 24, 2015 12:01 am

Pod A results

My challenges:

Pantherboy (Covenanter 1639-1641) (33%) won vs rbodleyscott (Russian 1630-1648) (59%)
Pantherboy (Covenanter 1639-1641) (41%) won vs Aryaman (Russian 1630-1648) (62%)
Pantherboy (Covenanter 1639-1641) (26%) won vs Cavehobbit (Russian 1630-1648) (55%)
Pantherboy (Russian 1630-1648) (64%) lost vs Tiopepe (Covenanter 1639-1641) (49%)
Pantherboy (Covenanter 1639-1641) (45%) won vs batesmotel (Russian 1630-1648) (64%)
Pantherboy (Covenanter 1639-1641) (14%) won vs moncholee (Russian 1630-1648) (52%)
Pantherboy (New Model Army 1646-1660) (%) ? vs Dortmund (Scots Covenanter 1648-1652) (%)

Opponents challenge:

Pantherboy (French Huguenot 1577-1588) (10%) won vs Aryaman (French Catholic 1562-1588) (47%)
Pantherboy (Royalist 1645-1648) (50%) won vs Cavehobbit (New Model Army 1646-1660) (60%)
Pantherboy (Dutch 1610-1639) (22%) won vs rbodleyscott (Spanish 1610-1620) (53%)
Pantherboy (Dutch 1590-1609) (26%) won vs Tiopepe (Spanish 1600-1609) (57%)
Pantherboy (Ottoman Turkish 1560-1609) (22%) won vs batesmotel (Russian 1560-1597) (50%)
Pantherboy (French 1550-1559) (10%) won vs moncholee (Spanish-Imperial 1543-1559) (59%)
Pantherboy (?) (%) ? vs Dortmund (?) (%) - no challenge yet

I have one game ongoing with Dortmund which started over a week a go that has reached turn 2 so I expect it won't finish in time nor will any of his others I suspect should he have or does start them. I think for simplicity he should be withdrawn from the round without prejudice as it is obviously due to his work (insinuated from PM's with him). To that end I'm finished so thanks to all my opponents for some great matches. Until next we cross swords!

Tiopepe
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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by Tiopepe » Sun May 24, 2015 9:29 am

I support both ideas about match ups explained by Aryaman and Pantherboy. I think too that Auto-select forces is the best way to have more balanced games.

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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by rbodleyscott » Sun May 24, 2015 3:08 pm

Tiopepe wrote:I support both ideas about match ups explained by Aryaman and Pantherboy. I think too that Auto-select forces is the best way to have more balanced games.
Note that the AI chooses troops randomly from the list, weighting the chance of each unit type being selected according to the frequency of that type in the list. It certainly won't produce the same army each time.

It is certainly more realistic than letting players choose the exact composition of their armies. Real generals almost never had such a luxury, and they certainly could not choose the composition of their forces after seeing the battlefield terrain. Unfortunately this sequence of play is forced on us by the engine, but it allows gamers to try to pick the best army for the job, which is an activity that many enjoy. But let's not confuse it with a realistic element of battlefield strategy.

Letting the AI choose the armies is certainly more realistic, but of course the random element may sometimes disadvantage one player if the OOB it picks for one army is more suboptimal than the other.

But that can be part of the fun of the challenge, trying to make the best of an apparently suboptimal Army.
Richard Bodley Scott

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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by batesmotel » Sun May 24, 2015 3:45 pm

Pod A

I've gotten too far behind this round, but for anyone who wants to try to get some rush games in this week, my proposal for my remaining Pod A opponents is Russian 1560-1597 vs Ottoman 1560-1609.

Chris
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shawkhan2
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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by shawkhan2 » Sun May 24, 2015 5:26 pm

Rumguff, your challenge has been accepted.

I reluctantly take the Transys over the Poles.

PW, as always, khannnn

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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by shawkhan2 » Sun May 24, 2015 5:30 pm

Rumguff, if you are active, will you please consider accepting my challenge from May 4?

rbodleyscott
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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by rbodleyscott » Sun May 24, 2015 7:20 pm

batesmotel wrote:Pod A

I've gotten too far behind this round, but for anyone who wants to try to get some rush games in this week, my proposal for my remaining Pod A opponents is Russian 1560-1597 vs Ottoman 1560-1609.

Chris
I pick Russians. PW: crimea
Richard Bodley Scott

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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by pantherboy » Mon May 25, 2015 1:19 am

rbodleyscott wrote: Note that the AI chooses troops randomly from the list, weighting the chance of each unit type being selected according to the frequency of that type in the list. It certainly won't produce the same army each time.

It is certainly more realistic than letting players choose the exact composition of their armies. Real generals almost never had such a luxury, and they certainly could not choose the composition of their forces after seeing the battlefield terrain. Unfortunately this sequence of play is forced on us by the engine, but it allows gamers to try to pick the best army for the job, which is an activity that many enjoy. But let's not confuse it with a realistic element of battlefield strategy.

Letting the AI choose the armies is certainly more realistic, but of course the random element may sometimes disadvantage one player if the OOB it picks for one army is more suboptimal than the other.

But that can be part of the fun of the challenge, trying to make the best of an apparently suboptimal Army.
I can't really agree with your view on realism as you ignore certain factors. The composition of the army was based upon their doctrine of warfare and what they felt would give them the greatest advantage. In essence the army was built with a vision in mind. To this fact a general would maneouver for an advantageous battlefield to best utilise his forces and limit his opponents. In addition what portion of his army he would commit would be based upon his rendering of the battlefield. Obviously none of this applies in ambuscades or chance meeting engagments. To wit how does one know if the battlefield generated by the AI is one selected by one of the commanders to optimise his success based on current troop dispositions. Also, based upon the period of history, would the opponent accept battle if the field was completely against their own troop composition. Most likely not the further you go back in history. Modern warfare has seen the fight brought into more varied locations.

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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by rbodleyscott » Mon May 25, 2015 6:25 am

The army list is already based on each nation's doctrine of warfare. It would be rare that a commander had the degree of influence over the composition of his forces that the force selection process allows. You can make a case for it having an element of realism, and I like it myself, but it certainly isn't _more_ realistic than letting the AI choose.

It would be fairer to say that both methods illustrate different poles of the spectrum of reality. Sometimes it was possible to leave the worst troops in garrison but rarely would this include leaving behind properly trained troops just because they did not fit an idealised concept of the optimal composition of the army. Usually more was better, so, aside from the need to leave behind garrisons in captured towns, all available troops would be brought to the battle. One of the skills of the truly great general was to make the best possible use of whatever forces came to hand. The modern idea of a "task force" would be an entirely alien concept in this period when it came to pitched battles.
Richard Bodley Scott

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flatsix518
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Re: Caracole II -- Phase 2

Post by flatsix518 » Mon May 25, 2015 2:27 pm

All,

I was busy this weekend with my grand kids. I'll catch up on the tournament management responsibilities and games this week.

I really would like to see someone else take a turn at running a Caracole type tournament. It might give a chance to try some other ideas on organization, scoring, and match-making.

If anyone is out there who wants to do that, please drop me a PM -- might be good to cc Richard on it.

Best regards,

John

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