Manpower Losses - Too Variable?

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Modify calculation of Manpower Losses

Poll ended at Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:20 pm

Change Manpower losses to be based on Bell Curve
27
64%
Leave as is
15
36%
 
Total votes: 42

mceochaidh
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Manpower Losses - Too Variable?

Post by mceochaidh » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:20 pm

There have been many posts on this subject (including one of mine). However, I have not seen a poll taken, so here goes. I think combat results have too much variability (luck). I propose that an easy fix is to reduce the chance of the smallest and largest manpower losses. I am going to use the Impact and Mele combat result of receiving 5 hits as an example.

5 hits can produce a range of 17% to 27% loss. At the top end, 27% is larger than the 25% produced by attacking a routed unit! Since I presume this is a table in the code, it should be easy to change. If each possible result has an equal chance of occurring, and there are 11 percentages (17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27), then each percentage has 1/11 or about 9.1% chance of occurring (11 x 9.1 =100 after rounding). I propose this is changed to a bell curve. 22% is the mid-point in the range and should also be the average result. 17% and 27% should occur less often. Without trying to calculate the actual curve, a result of 17% and 27% would happen about half as often as a result of 22%, thus reducing the frequency of variability. So my poll is simple. Bell curve or stay as is.

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Post by omarquatar » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:57 pm

i think it would be sufficient to avoid the second die roll. A hit should give a fixed percentage of loss, say 5%. If you are very strong and very lucky you can give 20% losses to the enemy in a single combat, i.e. 60 men on a 300 men per unit base. Most of the time you give in the range of 15-45 losses or less if the unit is already reduced, it seems reasonable. I never understood the need for the second die. I also don't understand why losses are percentage of the receiving instead of the giving unit.

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Post by CheerfullyInsane » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:40 am

omarquatar wrote: (snip).....I also don't understand why losses are percentage of the receiving instead of the giving unit.
Well, there's the frontage of the unit to consider.
With a 100 man target unit, there are only so many people you can send in to fight them simultaneously, no matter if you have 20k cavalry and 400 pacs :wink:

One note though; while I think the bell-curve is a good idea, I'd add modifiers to the calculated losses.
E.g. rear-attacks should garner higher numbers. As it is, rear-attacks 'only' results in a ++POA, which IMO isn't enough to simulate the chaos of ordered lines being screwed over from several directions.
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Post by Scutarii » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:24 am

I see D units with all malus in his side killing 20% of enemy troops with all bonus and isnt strange see units in very bad situation doing true massacres in enemy units... my vote is for change the casualties formula.

I dont say that a unit with all negative for him loose allways, i only can see in this situations when attackers have a very bad dice loose with a more rational result for example if enemy unit suffer 2% of casualties you with all in your side except dices suffer a 3-5% defeat not a 20% or more defeat :roll:

I start the "unfamous" "The power of dices" and finally i find that the problem with the game isnt in the dices, is in the casualty system were you can find very strange and extreme results... i think that reduce casualties % and do them less extreme is a good add to the game, even can use then as an optional rule like other wargames have to limit excesive extreme results :wink:

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Post by frankpowerful » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:09 pm

CheerfullyInsane wrote:
omarquatar wrote: (snip).....I also don't understand why losses are percentage of the receiving instead of the giving unit.
Well, there's the frontage of the unit to consider.
With a 100 man target unit, there are only so many people you can send in to fight them simultaneously, no matter if you have 20k cavalry and 400 pacs :wink:
frontage is already built in in the terrain/hex ratio, isn't it? i mean, you can fight an enemy with a maximum of 6BGs (and never simulataneously), so i find your example inadequate.
the problem is now somewhat tempered by the fixed strength of units in DAG battles, but remains if you try a historical simulation. really don't understand why fight 300:100 or 100:100 should give identical results to the second unit.

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Post by CheerfullyInsane » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:48 pm

frankpowerful wrote:
CheerfullyInsane wrote:
omarquatar wrote: (snip).....I also don't understand why losses are percentage of the receiving instead of the giving unit.
Well, there's the frontage of the unit to consider.
With a 100 man target unit, there are only so many people you can send in to fight them simultaneously, no matter if you have 20k cavalry and 400 pacs :wink:
frontage is already built in in the terrain/hex ratio, isn't it? i mean, you can fight an enemy with a maximum of 6BGs (and never simulataneously), so i find your example inadequate.
the problem is now somewhat tempered by the fixed strength of units in DAG battles, but remains if you try a historical simulation. really don't understand why fight 300:100 or 100:100 should give identical results to the second unit.
If the frontage of a unit is already calculated due to hex-sizes, a 300 man unit would have the same number of men in contact as a 100 man unit, was my point. Think of it in TT terms, where you can have an 8-base spearman BG in combat, but you only get dice for the units in actual contact. The rest is fed into the battle when casualties occur.
Admittedly, PC doesn't simulate overlaps, but we can't have everything.
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Post by frankpowerful » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:10 pm

CheerfullyInsane wrote:
frankpowerful wrote:
CheerfullyInsane wrote: Well, there's the frontage of the unit to consider.
With a 100 man target unit, there are only so many people you can send in to fight them simultaneously, no matter if you have 20k cavalry and 400 pacs :wink:
frontage is already built in in the terrain/hex ratio, isn't it? i mean, you can fight an enemy with a maximum of 6BGs (and never simulataneously), so i find your example inadequate.
the problem is now somewhat tempered by the fixed strength of units in DAG battles, but remains if you try a historical simulation. really don't understand why fight 300:100 or 100:100 should give identical results to the second unit.
If the frontage of a unit is already calculated due to hex-sizes, a 300 man unit would have the same number of men in contact as a 100 man unit, was my point. Think of it in TT terms, where you can have an 8-base spearman BG in combat, but you only get dice for the units in actual contact. The rest is fed into the battle when casualties occur.
Admittedly, PC doesn't simulate overlaps, but we can't have everything.
or, as i prefer to see it, if a 300 unit occupies the frontage of a hex, a 100 unit occupies the third of a hex... and then there is the possibility of rear ranks that also shoot and fight, i mean depth would also count :-)
i really found relative losses in combat are one of the weakest point of the game system

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:17 pm

frankpowerful wrote:
CheerfullyInsane wrote:
frankpowerful wrote: frontage is already built in in the terrain/hex ratio, isn't it? i mean, you can fight an enemy with a maximum of 6BGs (and never simulataneously), so i find your example inadequate.
the problem is now somewhat tempered by the fixed strength of units in DAG battles, but remains if you try a historical simulation. really don't understand why fight 300:100 or 100:100 should give identical results to the second unit.
If the frontage of a unit is already calculated due to hex-sizes, a 300 man unit would have the same number of men in contact as a 100 man unit, was my point. Think of it in TT terms, where you can have an 8-base spearman BG in combat, but you only get dice for the units in actual contact. The rest is fed into the battle when casualties occur.
Admittedly, PC doesn't simulate overlaps, but we can't have everything.
or, as i prefer to see it, if a 300 unit occupies the frontage of a hex, a 100 unit occupies the third of a hex... and then there is the possibility of rear ranks that also shoot and fight, i mean depth would also count :-)
i really found relative losses in combat are one of the weakest point of the game system

Ahh but the you are asking the game to consider unit stacking within a hex because 3 depleted units of 100 shoud be able to occupy the same frontage as a full strength 300 one, and this of course could also be by choice not causalties, , ie what if you want 3 full strength units to occupy one hex and simply have them in column, so then we would need formation changes...
In the end it would resemble fog anymore

Basically I am not so hot on the idea of a bell curve, which is what this thread is about, jsut dont see the benefits of it as , in the above example, more often getting 22 % on 5 hits isnt really going to effect combat than if there is an equal distribuation or % chance of getting 17-27%
No other calculation within the game uses a curve or an average so why this one??
(also, what circumstances can you get 5 hits anyways? Scythed chariots or support fire @ impact?)

To be honest i would almost (with some reservations) rather see the game get rid of the % killed altogther and just assume all units have four bases... Units would need to roll "death rolls", as in the TT game. This would mean superior or Elite units wont get the gradual atriition even when they defeat(win) all their combats vs unit after unit of low quality spam troops (see the Horde Army/ bigger army is better thread)

Of course this isnt a solution either as there is no mechanism to compensate for missle fire, which if going to bases for casualty caclulation, which would necesatate "Converging " or combined missle fire on the target battle group(which means a new UI or even a phase based aproach...)

i guess if a bell curve was used for ALL the range bands for $ causalties taken, in the end on average would that not mean units would likly take a steadier but also a quicker line to auto break? Wouldnt this increase the value of larger armies(ie BG's) even further?

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Post by deeter » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:41 pm

I'm not crazy about a bell curve either but favor the earlier suggestion that each hit inflict a set number of losses such as 5%. I have to say some friends of mine who were initially excited about the game have stopped playing because of the way losses are inflicted. I know of others from this forum who quit playing for the same reason.

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Post by frankpowerful » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:43 pm

TheGrayMouser wrote:Ahh but the you are asking the game to consider unit stacking within a hex because 3 depleted units of 100 shoud be able to occupy the same frontage as a full strength 300 one, and this of course could also be by choice not causalties, , ie what if you want 3 full strength units to occupy one hex and simply have them in column, so then we would need formation changes...
In the end it would resemble fog anymore
no, i ask that a unit of 300 men gives more losses than one of 100 men...so simple

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:49 pm

deeter wrote:I'm not crazy about a bell curve either but favor the earlier suggestion that each hit inflict a set number of losses such as 5%. I have to say some friends of mine who were initially excited about the game have stopped playing because of the way losses are inflicted. I know of others from this forum who quit playing for the same reason.

Deeter
Problem I have with a set % is the game becomes very predictiable... You will know exactly when an enemy or your own battle group is going to auto route and play /resolve combats accordingly. An example would be a unit that has 50% men left and will auto rout at 45%... Well you know for certain just one hit is going to destry that unit (if a hit is automatically 5%) and can pop poor light foot javelin fire into it knowing it be be guaranteed if you just get a hit.

I dont know how many times I have faced superior dismounted knights who are at 48% and you beat them in combat and they get bumped to 46% and live! I think that adds a nice elemnt to the game, the edge of the seat syndrome.

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Post by deeter » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:51 pm

You still have to roll the dice to get this hits which can be unpredictable.

Deeter

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Post by Scutarii » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:54 pm

Well, i dont search a relation between unit number of soldiers and casualties because the game is based in %, number of soldiers is a cosmetic feature (i think that isnt a good way to do it because bigger units have a better damage recovery but...) but the question here is if the % is good or bad and i find that this % of casualties has in the dices his true owner, bonus like quality/rear-lateral support/in commander range... means nothing when dices say "you loose" ok, i can asume this BUT isnt the same suffer in this situations a 3-5% of casualties (suffering winner 1-2%) than suffer 20% or more casualties, this is the question specially when looser isnt D and winner is D.

Other point is that i see the % of casualties a little excesive, sometimes you can see units loosing 25% or more of their strenght in a single turn and is a little... fast??? but here reduce the number of casualties maybe force to add a new feature to disengage units in melee to prevent another bonus to horde armies VS quality armies (if now secure flanks is hard if contact line dont break as is now you loose flanks+camp allways).

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Post by mceochaidh » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:05 pm

The intention would be to use the bell curve for all combat results. On average, casualties would be inflicted at the same rate. In the example used, instead of frequent results of 27%, there would be more frequent results of 22% and less frequent results of 27% and 17%. A result of 25% or greater causes a -1 on the Cohesion Test, so fewer results like this would tend to allow combats to last longer, which I believe is more historically accurate.

I see heavy foot lines very frequently break up quickly due to these extreme results. The bell curve approach would still allow this to happen, just not as frequently as it now does. Heavy foot lines would tend to stand and fight a bit longer; these infantry fights would have more ebb and flow instead of more frequently seeing a plus 25% result in two fights on the first turn of impact or mele break up an entire line!

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Post by mceochaidh » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:25 pm

To clarify my previous post, the -1 for Cohesion Test is for below 75% initial strength, so a result on the first impact of 25% or above is an additional -1 for the test. The fewer negative mods on the test, the better chance to pass the test and the longer the combat will probably last.

Perhaps a better example is receiving 2 hits. The range for the is 5% to 14%. Under the bell curve system, getting to below 75% would probably take at least the initial impact plus 2 melees, although it would still allow it to happen after one impact and one mele, just not as often.

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:28 pm

frankpowerful wrote:
TheGrayMouser wrote:Ahh but the you are asking the game to consider unit stacking within a hex because 3 depleted units of 100 shoud be able to occupy the same frontage as a full strength 300 one, and this of course could also be by choice not causalties, , ie what if you want 3 full strength units to occupy one hex and simply have them in column, so then we would need formation changes...
In the end it would resemble fog anymore
no, i ask that a unit of 300 men gives more losses than one of 100 men...so simple

Why? Only the men in the front ranks fight and since we are forced into a hex systmem with only one unit per hex, you have to assume both units ( one w 100 and one w 300) have the same frontage. Actually this couldnt exist in game terms because the 100 man unit would have autorouted since its taken 67% casualties and even elites autorout at 65%

I know what i think you are looking for though and its the more tradditonal method that most games have were the men killed in the target unit is based off the # of men in the "attacking unit"
Fog indirerctly does this though because an attacker with less than 100% will get less dice thuus less hit s and thus caualties infliced , although it is at discreet intervals not absolutes ie lose a dice at 25%, another at 50% etc

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Post by frankpowerful » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:44 pm

TheGrayMouser wrote:
frankpowerful wrote:
TheGrayMouser wrote:Ahh but the you are asking the game to consider unit stacking within a hex because 3 depleted units of 100 shoud be able to occupy the same frontage as a full strength 300 one, and this of course could also be by choice not causalties, , ie what if you want 3 full strength units to occupy one hex and simply have them in column, so then we would need formation changes...
In the end it would resemble fog anymore
no, i ask that a unit of 300 men gives more losses than one of 100 men...so simple

Why? Only the men in the front ranks fight and since we are forced into a hex systmem with only one unit per hex, you have to assume both units ( one w 100 and one w 300) have the same frontage. Actually this couldnt exist in game terms because the 100 man unit would have autorouted since its taken 67% casualties and even elites autorout at 65%

I know what i think you are looking for though and its the more tradditonal method that most games have were the men killed in the target unit is based off the # of men in the "attacking unit"
Fog indirerctly does this though because an attacker with less than 100% will get less dice thuus less hit s and thus caualties infliced , although it is at discreet intervals not absolutes ie lose a dice at 25%, another at 50% etc
well we seem to see things differently...the rationale of calculating losses as percentage of the receiving unit still eludes me; and forces to build units of same strength, which is not always desiderable, especially when recreating historical battles

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:08 pm

frankpowerful wrote:
TheGrayMouser wrote:
frankpowerful wrote: no, i ask that a unit of 300 men gives more losses than one of 100 men...so simple

Why? Only the men in the front ranks fight and since we are forced into a hex systmem with only one unit per hex, you have to assume both units ( one w 100 and one w 300) have the same frontage. Actually this couldnt exist in game terms because the 100 man unit would have autorouted since its taken 67% casualties and even elites autorout at 65%

I know what i think you are looking for though and its the more tradditonal method that most games have were the men killed in the target unit is based off the # of men in the "attacking unit"
Fog indirerctly does this though because an attacker with less than 100% will get less dice thuus less hit s and thus caualties infliced , although it is at discreet intervals not absolutes ie lose a dice at 25%, another at 50% etc
well we seem to see things differently...the rationale of calculating losses as percentage of the receiving unit still eludes me; and forces to build units of same strength, which is not always desiderable, especially when recreating historical battles
I dont think we see things differently, although i stand by two units in melee with the same frontage regardless if overall #s of men in the 'way in the rear ranks" of one unit are going to have the same combat power and inflict the same causalties on each other as only the front ranks fight,

As for the rational for the way the game is designed, i didnt say it was more or less desirable than any other system. i think they took this apraoch as a stopgap measure in converting over a base loss system from the TT to the PC where bases and units sizes become problematic in a hex environment.... Likly it is less ideal.........

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Post by deeter » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:32 pm

The old system of 1500 men in HF, 1000 in MF, and etc. was much better at reflecting unit density than making every BG 300 men. As for losses, they are not calculated as a percentage of the receiving unit, they are just expressed that way.

Deeter

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:47 pm

deeter wrote:The old system of 1500 men in HF, 1000 in MF, and etc. was much better at reflecting unit density than making every BG 300 men. As for losses, they are not calculated as a percentage of the receiving unit, they are just expressed that way.

Deeter
I too liked the old #s, however I dont think your second sentance is accurate. I unit of 300 men takes a 10% loss, or 30 men and drops to 270, it then again takes a hit which causes 10% losses. The unit AGAIN loses 30 men (and not 27) because the original value is what the % multiplier is based against . This is the fundamental reason why a 1500 man unit is the exact same thing as a 300 man unit in this game system.

I think in the wish list players asked for the ability in the scenanio editer to place units that start the battle at less than the notational "original value" so to have units start at less thenn optimal combat power/moe brittle to simulate march attrition etc, and also the ability to have units start fragged or disrupted etc.
I would like to see this as well.

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