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

batesmotel
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Post by batesmotel » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:24 pm

The TT system on which the digital version is based used the design assumption that each base in a unit represented roughly the same number of men as each other base, regardless of troop type. The BGs in the digital version of FoG essentially act as the equivalent of 4 stand BGs from the TT rules. Given that the entire combat system in the digital version is based on the TT one, it does not have a way to usefully represent different numbers of troops in a full strength BG. The combat engine is implemented to use % losses when resolving combat and the display of number of men lost is purely cosmetic and has no relvance to the combat results calculated in the game.

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:38 pm

batesmotel wrote:The TT system on which the digital version is based used the design assumption that each base in a unit represented roughly the same number of men as each other base, regardless of troop type. The BGs in the digital version of FoG essentially act as the equivalent of 4 stand BGs from the TT rules. Given that the entire combat system in the digital version is based on the TT one, it does not have a way to usefully represent different numbers of troops in a full strength BG. The combat engine is implemented to use % losses when resolving combat and the display of number of men lost is purely cosmetic and has no relvance to the combat results calculated in the game.

Chris
Thanks for the info Chris, i thought that a BG was 4 bases by guesswork in that most units get 4 dice.... Would it not have been better then to simply have 4 bases for casualties be the rule in the PC game and have death rolls etc like the TT? (of course again missle combat would be difficult to resolve properly then, and also the power of the computer to keep track of lots of neat data is wasted)

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Post by deeter » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:54 pm

If that's so, it's stupid. I'll have to pay more attention to this because I never look at anything other than percentage lost.

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:37 pm

deeter wrote:If that's so, it's stupid. I'll have to pay more attention to this because I never look at anything other than percentage lost.

Deeter

I assume you mean the % lost is based on the damaged units original value, being the stupid thing ?
If so i must admit when i ist bought the game a year ago was the most perplexing thing (and it is still causing confusuion amonst players new and old)

I am not saying i support the oddity for its own sake, but I i think it works as intended as sort of a hybred of what the TT does... after all, dont TT bg'S "TEST" various things based on the # of bases remaining vs original bases? This would be the same as the % the pc game uses . ie #men remaining / original men
It is very abstract though, and i still wonder why they just didnt have every unit have 4 bases for casualty purposes (maybe that would give the appearance of being too abstract or that the game is a panzer general clone wrapped up in an ancients game)

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Post by deeter » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:07 pm

It's stupid to inflict loses as a percentage of the defending unit. It should be based on how many men are attacking.

Deeter

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:22 pm

deeter wrote:It's stupid to inflict loses as a percentage of the defending unit. It should be based on how many men are attacking.

Deeter
Yeah but the entire comabt system for FOG doesnt factor that in (meaning dice , dice reductions or POA charts) so it would be impossible......


Hmm, I must admit this is troubling thing.. I think i have a grasp on why Slitherine did it this way(and it makes sense in that context) but i must admit , it is non intuitive, leads to a lot pf player frustration and kinda steps the game back into the "abstract". Also it doesnt allow for "realistic" set ups when using the scen. editor.

If i could waive my wand of power , i would have Slitherine reprogram the game to have the % go away and simply have the causualties inflicted on the target be actual men hors de combat based on the dice roll by the attacker

There would still be a random and there would needs be charts for diffent line ups
example heavy infantry vs heavy infantry chart: attacker rolls 4 hits, target takes 40-60 causalties absolute
If the same target was a medium, maybe slightly more etc etc

Now i know slitherine would never redo all the lists to have differnt #'s of men in the units and the balancing would be a nightmare, however you could have some good historical battles using the editor
So if you wanted to have a cohort level game with Ceasars legions, you could have some bg at full strength 500 men, while others are set to 300 to account for attrition etc. Unlike it is now, when the the smaller bg's take causlaties they will reach auto rout that much quicker, lose dice that much quicker (dropping below 75%) etc etc. The way it is now it doesnt matter at all a 1500 unit will reach 75% at the same exact pace as a 300 man unit

I do disagree that the attackers # of men should influance casualties directly the way you suggest , again do to frontage, only the men in the front rank fight etc. FOG, whether TT or pc game has no mechanics to deal with this.

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Post by mceochaidh » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:14 pm

Under the Combat Mechanism section of the rules, Impact Combat, 3. Modify the number of attacks for battle group losses, it states "Modify the number of attacks for battle group losses - Quantity of attacks = attacks x current strength/initial strength. Applies only below 50% of initial strength."

I presume this is for the attacking BG, so the effective number of attackers in the BG is sort of accounted for. At 50% if you have 4 attacks, only 2 attacks are used?

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Post by Morbio » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:34 pm

I'm not a TT player, but I believe the whole FoG system is based on good, simple, rules (and dice rolls) that made playing the game fun and easy. This is why it did so well compared to many other more accurate, yet more complex, systems that lost a lot in playability.

The PC version of the game is close clone of that fun, playable system. It was probably a cost-effective way of creating the game without developing a set of game mechanics from scratch and then having to play-test it for ages.

The problem is that the simplicity that gave TT playability gives some anomalies. The simple clone approach missed the opportunity to benefit from what computers do best - crunch numbers.

Ideally you'd have well-developed tables that give 'realistic' combat results taking into account every variable; How many troops, amount of armour (maybe down to the item level), size of shield, weapon type, troop training, troop experience, how tired they are (how far have they run in all their armour, how long have they been fighting), what ammo they have (new ammo or are they recycling?), what are they fighting, terrain effects, etc..... the list goes on. there would also need to be a small random factor too. In this way the strange results would pretty much be avoided.

However, we don't have that and never will (with FoG).

Personally I don't worry about the numbers anymore (I never really did). I just play the game for what it is and enjoy it. I judge the game at the macro level and yes there are some anomalies now and again, but overall it works well. I find the other factors like my tactics and my opponents generally have a bigger effect than micro results.

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Post by Gersen » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:17 am

I am one of the few who voted for keeping the current system. Yes it is frustrating when your horse charge some MF in the rear and somehow get slaughtered for it, but I am sure that reflects a lot of the frustrations and anomalies in a battle situation. But the game still almost always favours the best player/army in the end.

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Post by Scutarii » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:09 am

The point here is change from a totally illogical "rape" to a more acceptable defeat, see 20% of your high quality unit strength dissapear when are attacked by a not special MF unit is more than frustrating specially when all bonus are in your side and the only thing that you dont have is "the power of dices".

More than change casualty system is made more strange rape results, this prevent see superior units raped by inferior units but prevents the opposite situation (loses over 10% are in melee frequent), actual system has the same logic as play Russian roulette, you dont know if your superior units+tactics+bonus can defeat your enemy because finally all depends of lady lucky :roll:

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Post by little » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:45 pm

I'm with Gersen on this one. Although I doubt it has been factored in, the wide ranging results help prevent the game from becoming too mechanical and in favour of "number crunchers and odds counters" No offence is intended by this, but my math skills are not up to it and I favour a more intuative appoach!

As it is you have a reasonable idea of what the result should be, but no certainty...adding to the fun. When that unit of poxy light spear MF hold off your three units of shinny cataphracts for 2 turns against the odds and SNAFUs your plan it may be because an Errol Flynn / Kirk Douglas / Mel Gibson / Russel Crowe (select depending on age) is in charge of it! Even poor or average troops have achieved remarkable feats through the years with the right leaders or motives. Maybe the unit is a bunch of poor farmers hastily recruited, but if their farms and family are in the next valley their motivation will be pretty high.

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Post by Skanvak » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:36 pm

I have leave at it is because as long as the unit represent same number of people it is ok.

Though, I would like a way to more historically simulated death/wounded especially in a campaign way of thinking.

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:40 pm

mceochaidh wrote:Under the Combat Mechanism section of the rules, Impact Combat, 3. Modify the number of attacks for battle group losses, it states "Modify the number of attacks for battle group losses - Quantity of attacks = attacks x current strength/initial strength. Applies only below 50% of initial strength."

I presume this is for the attacking BG, so the effective number of attackers in the BG is sort of accounted for. At 50% if you have 4 attacks, only 2 attacks are used?
This is true, although dont look at is only for the attacker, both active and the target battle group would go by this to determine their "quantity of attacks" ie how many dice they get in that combat

What is not clear is if it works the same for melee as for impact.. In impact you appear to only get a reduction once you are below 50% strength. That line is absent in the melle section but then it states it doesnt apply to knights elephants etc unless at or below 50%

So i guess in melee a unit at 75%(or 74%??) would lose 1 out of its 4 dice

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Post by mceochaidh » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:40 pm

The Mouser said:

So i guess in melee a unit at 75%(or 74%??) would lose 1 out of its 4 dice.

I think this is true; the point I was originally trying to make was that the combat mechanism does take into account the current strength of the attacker to determine hits, which then determines which manpower loss table is used, assuming attacker wins impact or melee.

My question is relating to the above, what happens at 60%? Does the system use 3 dice or does it round down to 2 dice in melee?

Either way, the Bell Curve change would reduce the frequency of extreme results but still allow them.

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Post by CheerfullyInsane » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:44 pm

mceochaidh wrote: (..snip)
My question is relating to the above, what happens at 60%? Does the system use 3 dice or does it round down to 2 dice in melee?
Well, the helpfile says: "Where a percentage is involved, while the display shows the nearest whole number for the number of attacks, the combat system will actually use the net percentage."

Exactly what this means is, at least to me, a little unclear.
Scutarii wrote:More than change casualty system is made more strange rape results, this prevent see superior units raped by inferior units but prevents the opposite situation (loses over 10% are in melee frequent), actual system has the same logic as play Russian roulette, you dont know if your superior units+tactics+bonus can defeat your enemy because finally all depends of lady lucky Rolling Eyes
Scutarii, are you using some kind of auto-translator?
I don't mean to offend you, but you're using a sentence-structure that borders on the bewildering.
I have absolutely no clue as to what the above is intended to mean., let alone how rape suddenly entered the picture. :?:

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:54 pm

CheerfullyInsane wrote:
mceochaidh wrote: (..snip)
My question is relating to the above, what happens at 60%? Does the system use 3 dice or does it round down to 2 dice in melee?
Well, the helpfile says: "Where a percentage is involved, while the display shows the nearest whole number for the number of attacks, the combat system will actually use the net percentage."

Exactly what this means is, at least to me, a little unclear

I think its ALOT unlcear :D
Scutarii wrote:More than change casualty system is made more strange rape results, this prevent see superior units raped by inferior units but prevents the opposite situation (loses over 10% are in melee frequent), actual system has the same logic as play Russian roulette, you dont know if your superior units+tactics+bonus can defeat your enemy because finally all depends of lady lucky Rolling Eyes
Scutarii, are you using some kind of auto-translator?
I don't mean to offend you, but you're using a sentence-structure that borders on the bewildering.
I have absolutely no clue as to what the above is intended to mean., let alone how rape suddenly entered the picture. :?:

Lars
Translation: "Due to the spread of possible casualties in the current system, a player cant know if a superior unit is going to bowl over a low quality one or lose significant #s of men, even if winning the combat , say vs skirmisher (I believe the superior unit has at this junction, been, ehem raped)"

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Post by CheerfullyInsane » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:14 pm

TheGrayMouser wrote: Translation: "Due to the spread of possible casualties in the current system, a player cant know if a superior unit is going to bowl over a low quality one or lose significant #s of men, even if winning the combat , say vs skirmisher (I believe the superior unit has at this junction, been, ehem raped)"
Ah....So this is the Sacred Band we're talking about here. :wink:
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Post by TheGrayMouser » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 pm

CheerfullyInsane wrote:
mceochaidh wrote: (..snip)
My question is relating to the above, what happens at 60%? Does the system use 3 dice or does it round down to 2 dice in melee?
Well, the helpfile says: "Where a percentage is involved, while the display shows the nearest whole number for the number of attacks, the combat system will actually use the net percentage."

Lars
Hmm i just read, and reread this part of the manual and come to only 2 conclusions:
1 it is a typo or relic from when the game was in development (I hope)
2 There is an internal combat system at play that we no nothing about ie an attack ( a dice ) isnt really a dice at all but maybe: 10 dice? a % ? an algorith?

I am surprised this has never come up before, and would be very curious to hear from the developers what this actually means.....

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Post by Scutarii » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:39 am

Sorry for my bad english but is hard think in english and usually do a literal translation from my head to the screen :oops:

I want say... well, a little example i see yesterday:

Elite unit, with lateral and rear support (HF units, all at 100% and ready to fight), heavy armored, heavy weapon, in commander range in clear terrain, attacked by a single HF unit armed with defensive spear, armored, average in commander range and no support.

Well, in 3 melees the elite unit lose 47% of his strenght and attacker loose 8%, the heavy loses for the elite unit was in the impact attack and next melee (in my turn) lose 44% in this 2 melees and attacker only lose 3%, in the third melee when attacker has the support of another HF unit suffer 5% of casualties and elite 3%.

I see to often how alone units attacking a strong line rape units in defensive... really i find sometimes more difficult defeat a crazy alone unit than break enemy´s line :roll:

For me made bonus a thing really usefull reducing the power of the dices is a solution, other is do as in other games where you can select an alternative way to calculate casualties (for example in HPS games you have some options to see casualties results in the middle of 2 results) and extreme results are really marginal... and this dont made surprises rare, only prefent extreme results in strange situations :wink:

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Post by Igorputski » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:20 am

I disagree with any kind of "fixed" combat results as that turns it into a gamey game instead of a realistic historical battle. Every charge into another unit didn't yield a 22% damage ratio of course neither did it 17% or 27% but luck whether you like it or not does play a big part in events and situations. I like it the way it is now and it's not important enough to muck with or change right now there are a lot more pressing things that need to be worked on like AI and random battle MAP generators.

And besides only 32 votes doesn't come close to representing the whole of the gaming community (according to Iain that is) so it's hardly a representation of the whole just a representation of a very small handful of people that come to THIS forum and post ridiculous suggestions to change the game.

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