Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by stockwellpete » Wed May 20, 2020 9:56 am

desicat wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 12:07 am
I also think they should be unpredictable. Do you want to revisit a range of 3? This would cause both sides a lot of consternation and require extra thinking on both sides.
I think we will need to look at ranges at some point, but for now we should just use the vanilla charge range to get the basic system working. Already there are situations in the game where units do move further than expected so it would not be creating a new precedent to have a degree of that happening with "anarchy". Moving to a shorter "anarchy" range of 2 squares for cavalry and 1 for infantry might be viable and help remove daft tactics such as turning your battle line completely away from the enemy to negate "anarchy".

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by stockwellpete » Wed May 20, 2020 9:57 am

Schweetness101 wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 1:44 am
76mm wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 1:43 am
But acting in an impulsive manner does not mean suicidal; they charge because they think they are going to, or at least might, win. Take this out and you'll see all kind of silly charges, such as lancers, irregular foot, etc. right into the front of a phalanx. That's exactly the kind of thing I don't want to see.

In my view the point of anarchy charges should not be to cause senseless, suicidal charges, but to remove some degree of perfect control from the omniscient player. Sure, for many of the resulting anarchy charges the player might "do it themselves", but many times they would not, or would do so in a different sequence or manner, or the next turn, etc.
that is also how I see it. I also think with something like this that isn't even in the vanilla game we should lean towards not disrupting gameplay too much. Do enough anarchy to add flavor and remove some of the weirdness with micro without forcing stupid decisions.
Yes, I think this is right.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by desicat » Wed May 20, 2020 10:41 am

keyth wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 9:10 am
I'll start by saying that I don't really have a dog in this fight but did sometimes enjoy the anarchy-prone armies in FoG1; that frisson of fear and excitement as your army got to the point where it may just self-destruct :)

Genuine open question: by tying unexpected/unauthorised charges up in a lot of detailed logic, are you not watering 'anarchy' down so much that it becomes an irrelevance or solely an inconvenience? Does this suggested mod reduce it to a bookkeeping exercise where you can play the percentages so not really reducing control in any way?

History is littered with examples of people who thought it was a really good idea to charge when with the benefit of hindsight it really, really wasn't :)
I am with you on this. I don't need a sub AI General on my side, attacking just a bit before I would anyhow because I can figure the odds as well.

If I want to prevent "suicide charges" then I will assign a General to that unit(s). I think Anarchy units should first and foremost be fun, unique, unpredictable, and have both and upside and a downside. A POA bonus on the charge would be the plus and the negative is the possible lack of control.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by 76mm » Wed May 20, 2020 3:26 pm

keyth wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 9:10 am
Genuine open question: by tying unexpected/unauthorised charges up in a lot of detailed logic, are you not watering 'anarchy' down so much that it becomes an irrelevance or solely an inconvenience?
Personally I think it should be an inconvenience, and not something that decides games on a regular basis, as it would otherwise be (see my last point below).
keyth wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 9:10 am
History is littered with examples of people who thought it was a really good idea to charge when with the benefit of hindsight it really, really wasn't :)
Sure, but it is even more littered with people that didn't. In my view making it otherwise in the game is putting the cart before the horse.
desicat wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:41 am
If I want to prevent "suicide charges" then I will assign a General to that unit(s). I think Anarchy units should first and foremost be fun, unique, unpredictable, and have both and upside and a downside.
I've seen this kind of comment about generals several times. Personally I only play XL battles and in many XL battles--especially those involving barbarian armies that would be especially subject to anarchy charges--large portions of an army are not in command range of a general. In this kind of situation you could have several units anarchy charging per turn, making attempts to form a coherent line absolutely useless. Tried this in FOG1, didn't find it fun at all.
Last edited by 76mm on Wed May 20, 2020 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by Schweetness101 » Wed May 20, 2020 4:22 pm

Quivis wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 8:38 am
Great ideas here. I’m really looking forward to your work!

I definitely think that all the units should be prone to anarchy charges (of course with different chances of occurrence) and that winning chance of the impact phase should be taken into consideration. Otherwise the anarchy rule could be abused. Let’s take an example of phalanx in the open next to medium foot standing in rough terrain. Unless there is a high chance of winning the impact phase/there is no commander/one of the units is under heavy missile fire/etc., no unit should be willing to leave its favorable terrain. Player should never be certain that if he moves close to the opponent, that his unit will not charge and the other sooner or later will.
there is a from FOG1 rule I've implemented where no unit will anarchy charge into terrain that disorders it, and medium foot will not charge from rough or difficult terrain into open terrain, basically to address the problem you mentioned. It's listed in the steps on the previous page.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by travling_canuck » Wed May 20, 2020 6:34 pm

76mm wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:26 pm
I've seen this kind of comment about generals several times. Personally I only play XL battles and in many XL battles--especially those involving barbarian armies that would be subject to anarchy charges--large portions of an army are not in command range of a general.
This is an interesting observation. I started out playing Medium sized battles, but found they had too much tactical fiddly-ness for my tastes. Recently I've been playing Very Small armies exclusively to - ironically - get more of a Grand Battle feel to the engagements, with less of the gameplay based on the maneuvering of individual units and more on the big picture army layout and positioning. It's a positive thing about FOG2 that it allows players to customize their gameplay experience to their own preferences by scaling the army sizes.

The way C&C scales, however, from Very Small to Very Large does mean that any rule that depends on being in- or out- of command radius has the potential to play very differently for different players. When structuring the mod, it may be worthwhile to consider other options that aren't depending on distance from an unengaged General.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by desicat » Wed May 20, 2020 8:36 pm

76mm wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:26 pm

desicat wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:41 am
If I want to prevent "suicide charges" then I will assign a General to that unit(s). I think Anarchy units should first and foremost be fun, unique, unpredictable, and have both and upside and a downside.
I've seen this kind of comment about generals several times. Personally I only play XL battles and in many XL battles--especially those involving barbarian armies that would be especially subject to anarchy charges--large portions of an army are not in command range of a general. In this kind of situation you could have several units anarchy charging per turn, making attempts to form a coherent line absolutely useless. Tried this in FOG1, didn't find it fun at all.
It is fairly difficult to find historical examples of Large Warband centric armies where discipline was maintained and crazy charges were prevented. Caesar pretty much counted on the discipline of the Gauls and Germans to break down, and it is hard to comprehend how the Romans defeated some of the huge armies they encountered in Brittan.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by Ludendorf » Wed May 20, 2020 9:48 pm

I would be interested in play testing this. A good player may be able to manage their army's positioning so that anarchy charges don't affect them as badly. You could slightly adjust the cost of undisciplined units to reflect their tendency to go off the deep end. A player would have to only move a barbarian army into combat range when they were ready to commit to a charge. This may be something that an experienced player can manage; players often match their units to enemy units way before a fight actually begins, and by the time the two sides are in range, actually ordering the attack can be a formality.

Where this doesn't necessarily apply is when you're counting on a warband (impact foot; solid defensive pick) to hold a hill or other vital position. This would render warbands who aren't kept under direct command completely unsuited to that role. But generally, if you're reconsidering whether a charge is a good idea when the enemy is within two tiles of you, you've mismanaged your advance.

You could position your warbands behind the hill, and only move them up at the last second. This would be another way of managing unruly troops on the defensive. You could also manipulate things so that your undisciplined units end up facing something that is scary enough that they behave themselves. It would be a brave bunch of hairies that threw themselves into the waiting jaws of a veteran phalanx.

Long story short, I think there are ways of dealing with anarchy charges, and it would be a very interesting thing to try in a mod. But it would require playtesting, and possibly some adjustments to the pricing of units.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by stockwellpete » Fri May 22, 2020 1:06 pm

Schweetness101 has cracked this. :D Just played a test game against the AI (Gauls v Romans) and the "anarchy" function is working very well in the mod.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by stockwellpete » Sat May 23, 2020 9:19 pm

Just to give an idea of the testing that is being done for the anarchy part of the mod . . .

I set up a test involving shield wall units (offensive spear) versus shield wall units (offensive spear) who are provisionally rated "low" for anarchy (because their formation requires them to stick together with shields locked). They all remained in command radius throughout. I moved Side A's line to within 2 squares of Side B's and then, on Side B's turn I did absolutely nothing and ended the turn. So all of Side B's units were in charge range and were open to the possibility of "anarchy". I then did the same thing on Side A's turn. The point of this test is that I was actively seeking to maximise "anarchy" and I was not trying to mitigate it in any way.

Of the 223 tests for "anarchy", 23 were positive representing 10.3% of the total. So we can say that an offensive shield wall unit (in command range) will make an unauthorised charge roughly once on every 10 occasions it is within charge range of an enemy unit, but is not moved into contact with it.

The figures will be the same for most Roman units who also are provisionally rated "low" for indiscipline. The next test will look at shield wall units out of command radius to test the effect of the "out of command" modifier.

Edit: following the same procedure, using the same units, and again actively seeking to maximise indiscipline, but this time with them all being out of command radius, 25 times out of 103 chances did an "anarchy" charge occur, which is 24.2%, or roughly once in every four occasions. So the lack of command makes a big difference, which suggests that we have got the values in roughly the right area.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by 76mm » Sun May 24, 2020 3:15 am

stockwellpete wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:19 pm
Of the 223 tests for "anarchy", 23 were positive representing 10.3% of the total. So we can say that an offensive shield wall unit (in command range) will make an unauthorised charge roughly once on every 10 occasions it is within charge range of an enemy unit, but is not moved into contact with it.

The figures will be the same for most Roman units who also are provisionally rated "low" for indiscipline.
So is this 10% in one turn, or 10% for the whole game of standing looking at each other? To me, 10% in one turn seems extraordinarily high for a "low anarchy" troop type, under command.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by stockwellpete » Sun May 24, 2020 6:00 am

76mm wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 3:15 am
stockwellpete wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:19 pm
Of the 223 tests for "anarchy", 23 were positive representing 10.3% of the total. So we can say that an offensive shield wall unit (in command range) will make an unauthorised charge roughly once on every 10 occasions it is within charge range of an enemy unit, but is not moved into contact with it.

The figures will be the same for most Roman units who also are provisionally rated "low" for indiscipline.
So is this 10% in one turn, or 10% for the whole game of standing looking at each other? To me, 10% in one turn seems extraordinarily high for a "low anarchy" troop type, under command.
This was a test done over a series of turns that resulted in an average of 10%, but as I am sure you have read, the ratings are provisional and I was actively seeking to maximise "anarchy" to find out what the top end of the range was with the current numbers we are using. A good player will probably be able to manage this degree of anarchy down to nearly zero.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by stockwellpete » Sun May 24, 2020 8:24 am

stockwellpete wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:19 pm
Just to give an idea of the testing that is being done for the anarchy part of the mod . . .

I set up a test involving shield wall units (offensive spear) versus shield wall units (offensive spear) who are provisionally rated "low" for anarchy (because their formation requires them to stick together with shields locked). They all remained in command radius throughout. I moved Side A's line to within 2 squares of Side B's and then, on Side B's turn I did absolutely nothing and ended the turn. So all of Side B's units were in charge range and were open to the possibility of "anarchy". I then did the same thing on Side A's turn. The point of this test is that I was actively seeking to maximise "anarchy" and I was not trying to mitigate it in any way.

Of the 223 tests for "anarchy", 23 were positive representing 10.3% of the total. So we can say that an offensive shield wall unit (in command range) will make an unauthorised charge roughly once on every 10 occasions it is within charge range of an enemy unit, but is not moved into contact with it.

The figures will be the same for most Roman units who also are provisionally rated "low" for indiscipline. The next test will look at shield wall units out of command radius to test the effect of the "out of command" modifier.

Edit: following the same procedure, using the same units, and again actively seeking to maximise indiscipline, but this time with them all being out of command radius, 25 times out of 103 chances did an "anarchy" charge occur, which is 24.2%, or roughly once in every four occasions. So the lack of command makes a big difference, which suggests that we have got the values in roughly the right area.
Further test, same m.o. - this time with warbands that are out of command radius, which is among the most "anarchy" prone situations that can occur in the game. 133 tests were done and on 41 occasions unauthorised charges occurred, which is 30.8%, or 3 in 10. The sample sizes are quite small so I will need to test some more. Some of the sequences (i.e. turns) in the test were interesting. On one turn there were 4 out of 9 units making unauthorised charges, while on another 1 out of 14 did.

So, at the moment, a low rated troop type that is out of command will make an unauthorised charge 24.2% of the time, while a high rated troop type will do so 30.8% of the time. that seems quite a narrow differential to me, but I know there is significant support for a more nuanced scale, so perhaps this is not too far off what we are looking for. Medium rated will be in-between, but I need to test very low-rated which are archers/missile types, because they should only very rarely make unauthorised charges.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by stockwellpete » Sun May 24, 2020 9:04 am

The provisional values in use at the moment are . . .
high "anarchy" = 20 (warbands, beserkers, falxmen, Irish and Scots/Irish foot, slaves, mob)
medium = 15 (lancer/spear cavalry, offensive spears, HW infantry, impact foot not in "high" (except Romans), chariots, camels, elephants)
low = 10 (Romans, pikes, defensive spears, light spear/sword*, shield wall, javelin skirmishers)
very low = 5 (missile troops (foot and horse), bow/missile skirmishers)
zero = 0 (baggage trains, artillery)

Modifier for "veteran" troop type is minus 10, for "raw" is +10 at the moment.
Modifier for out of command is at about +20 at the moment (need to check with Schweetness)

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by stockwellpete » Sun May 24, 2020 10:12 am

To complete the tests for now I tested the "very low" category using Indian archers versus Indian archers, out of command radius, using the same procedure as above. In 200 tests the Indian archers made unauthorised charges on 36 occasions, or 18% of the time. I think this is a bit too high.

so to summarise so far . . .

high anarchy types (20) will make unauthorised charges about 30% of the time
medium anarchy types (15) - not tested yet
low anarchy types (10) will make unauthorised charges about 24% of the time
very low anarchy types (5) will make unauthorised changes about 18% of the time
zero anarchy types (0) will make unauthorised charges less than 1% of the time (I did a separate test with Indian archers where their value was set at zero instead of 5)

To me that doesn't seem at all balanced yet. And what we don't know what the numbers would be after player mitigation. I good player may be able to cope with anarchy rates of 25%+ quite comfortably unless they start to lost their leaders. More testing is required.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by travling_canuck » Sun May 24, 2020 11:48 am

Is there historical evidence of massed bowmen:
a) charging other massed bowmen?
b) charging other non-shooting troops?
c) doing either of the above while their ammunition levels are still high?

I'm curious as to how these types of troops actually behaved. If they had lots of arrows left, would they ever charge any enemy, even enemy shooters, or would they just keep shooting? At what point would they toss the bows and charge into combat? And should this depend on their secondary weapon?

By the way, this is another topic for anarchy: shooters not holding their fire, and instead using ammunition on a threatening enemy unit within range, even if their General wants them to preserve their shots for another target, later.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by travling_canuck » Sun May 24, 2020 12:13 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 10:12 am
To complete the tests for now I tested the "very low" category using Indian archers versus Indian archers, out of command radius, using the same procedure as above. In 200 tests the Indian archers made unauthorised charges on 36 occasions, or 18% of the time. I think this is a bit too high.

so to summarise so far . . .

high anarchy types (20) will make unauthorised charges about 30% of the time
medium anarchy types (15) - not tested yet
low anarchy types (10) will make unauthorised charges about 24% of the time
very low anarchy types (5) will make unauthorised changes about 18% of the time
zero anarchy types (0) will make unauthorised charges less than 1% of the time (I did a separate test with Indian archers where their value was set at zero instead of 5)

To me that doesn't seem at all balanced yet. And what we don't know what the numbers would be after player mitigation. I good player may be able to cope with anarchy rates of 25%+ quite comfortably unless they start to lost their leaders. More testing is required.
I'm not sure whether this is possible, or if possible whether it would be considered desirable, to lop off chances below a certain threshold, say 10%?, and reset these chances to 0%?

The idea being to remove the most unlikely situations, and thus better focus the game play impacts on the more probable events. Having the course of battle changed by a random, low odds event is quite different than having it swing on something you should reasonably have been able to foresee and account for a risk. I know in theory you should account for a 1% risk, too, but in practice most people probably wouldn't.

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by stockwellpete » Sun May 24, 2020 12:24 pm

travling_canuck wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 11:48 am
Is there historical evidence of massed bowmen:
a) charging other massed bowmen?
b) charging other non-shooting troops?
c) doing either of the above while their ammunition levels are still high?

I'm curious as to how these types of troops actually behaved. If they had lots of arrows left, would they ever charge any enemy, even enemy shooters, or would they just keep shooting? At what point would they toss the bows and charge into combat? And should this depend on their secondary weapon?
I think you could say that battles like Agincourt saw archers join the melee, but quite specific conditions applied then (the muddy morass). I think having plenty of arrows left is a good point and maybe we need a negative modifier for that, if it is possible. I need to check with Schweetness, but presumably once a unit has fired that turn then there is zero chance of anarchy in the mod. The situation that we are looking at, therefore, is archers not firing and then standing still within charge range of the enemy at the end of the turn. And we are only talking about open terrain as they will not charge out of rough or difficult terrain into the open. In terms of secondary weapons, I would imagine that archers without a secondary weapon shown would be carrying and/or picking up all sorts of lighter weapons to fight with. Archers who were part of late medieval retinues quite often had swords, so there is a range there. Maybe another small negative modifier is appropriate for units with no secondary weapon shown. That 18% figure we have at the moment is definitely too high.
By the way, this is another topic for anarchy: shooters not holding their fire, and instead using ammunition on a threatening enemy unit within range, even if their General wants them to preserve their shots for another target, later.
I don't know if Schweetness has the situation covered. He will be along later, I expect. :wink:

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by stockwellpete » Sun May 24, 2020 1:28 pm

travling_canuck wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 12:13 pm
I'm not sure whether this is possible, or if possible whether it would be considered desirable, to lop off chances below a certain threshold, say 10%?, and reset these chances to 0%?

The idea being to remove the most unlikely situations, and thus better focus the game play impacts on the more probable events. Having the course of battle changed by a random, low odds event is quite different than having it swing on something you should reasonably have been able to foresee and account for a risk. I know in theory you should account for a 1% risk, too, but in practice most people probably wouldn't.
This is what I put before (the number in brackets is the P column variable in the Squads file) . . .

high anarchy types (20) will make unauthorised charges about 30% of the time
medium anarchy types (15) - not tested yet
low anarchy types (10) will make unauthorised charges about 24% of the time
very low anarchy types (5) will make unauthorised changes about 18% of the time
zero anarchy types (0) will make unauthorised charges less than 1% of the time (I did a separate test with Indian archers where their value was set at zero instead of 5)

And now I am thinking . . .

high anarchy types (20) will make unauthorised charges about 30% of the time (warbands, beserkers, falxmen, Irish and Scots/Irish foot, slaves, mob)
medium anarchy types (10) - will make unauthorised charges about 24% of the time (lancer/spear cav, off spears, HW inf, impact foot not in "high" (except Romans), chariots, camels/elephants)
low anarchy types (5) - will make unauthorised changes about 18% of the time (Romans, pikes, defensive spears, light spear/sword*, shield wall, javelin skirmishers)
very low and zero anarchy types (0) will make unauthorised charges less than 1% of the time (missile troops (foot and horse), bow/missile skirmishers, baggage trains, artillery)

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Re: Should pikemen be exempt from anarchy rules in the mod?

Post by Schweetness101 » Sun May 24, 2020 3:31 pm

to help with the discussion in this thread I'll provide the basic numbers in the chance to charge algorithm I've now sent to Pete:

The close charge to chance values between the tiers are probably because the modifiers in the chancetoanarchycharge() function are typically of a greater magnitude than those base anarchy values. Here is a list of what affects chance to anarchy charge and by how much. Perhaps if we hash out what all of these values should be, then we can get a better starting point:

**Charge chance set to 0 if:
target is foot defending obstacle, or charger is foot defending obstacle, or target is non-fragmented elephants, or charge would disorder charger, or target is in open and charger is medium in rough or difficult terrain, or charger is mounted and target is non fragmented spears or pikes, or charging would put charger under flank threat. Also added if target is broken to have zero charge chance (maybe it should be non zero but for testing purposes and to avoid some potential bugs I have that as zero for now)

1) base chance from 'Anarchic' attribute
2) if less than 50% chance of winning, charge chance goes down 5%, if at significant disadvantage in combat, decrease by an additional 10%, for max -15% chance to charge from combat disadvantage (this is already zeroing out charge chance for bottom three categories)
3) if greater than 50% chance of winning, charge chance goes up by 5, if at significant advantage in combat, increase by an additional 10%, for max +15% chance to charge from combat advantage
4) if target is ranged and you are not, +10%
5) if you are ranged, regardless of enemy, -10%
6) If at major shooting disadvantage, regardless of whether I am ranged, and I still have some hope of victory in close combat or better, then +20% more likely to charge
7) if foot vs mounted shock troops, -40% chance to anarchy charge
8) If mounted and steady and target is fragmented, +10% chance to charge
9) if superior or above, -10% chance, if raw or below, +10% chance to charge
10) If out of general's command range, +20% chance to charge (so this one for example alone would make low anarchy units more anarchic than high anarchy units within command range with base values of 20,15,10, and 5)
11) If you are better off receiving a charge than making it, anarchy charge chance goes down 10%, and if much better off receiving than making a charge, it goes down 20%

So you can see those values were mostly chosen in the context of base anarchic values of more like 20,40, and 60. Right now they are so large relative to the base values that you don't see much difference between different anarchy tiers of units. Perhaps think about which of the above conditions should be kept, and at what values relative to whatever new base values seem appropriate.

One way to do this would be to say 'ok, a high anarchy unit outside of a general's command range and facing a target it could easily crush should be getting like a 50% chance to anarchy charge, but a low anarchy unit inside command range and on a nice hill where it would rather defend than attack should be getting like a 1%-5% chance to charge. A normal anarchy unit that is receiving fire and is not ranged itself should perhaps be getting a pretty high like 30% chance to anarchy, even if it is otherwise at like 10%, etc...' just making up numbers there, but the point is if you list a number of hypothetical situations like that, we can tweak the numbers to produce those outcomes retroactively, and then test if in practice it works and is how you would like it. Kind of start from the desired end state as it were, rather than inputting different starting values until you get the desired output.

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