Weird evade

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

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stevesykes
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Weird evade

Post by stevesykes » Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:47 pm

I was playing a Swedish-Polish skimish and charged some Swedish horse at Polish cossacks whose backs were to a lake; the cossacks evaded towards the direction of the charge ending up behind the charging horse; the Swedes then turned 180 degrees to face the new position of the cossacks, setting themselves up to be charged in the rear in the ensuing Polish move. I have to say this seems a really unlikely outcome.

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Re: Weird evade

Post by kdonovan » Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:16 am

Agreed. But maybe not so odd if you consider it a swirling melee evade where the horse charged through the cossacks who flowed around them and then the horse turned around to come back at the cossacks, with everything getting confused in midst of action.

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Re: Weird evade

Post by flatsix518 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:43 pm

kdonovan is absolutely correct.

Our war-games often portray an orderliness that simply didn't (and doesn't) exist in battle. This is particularly true of cavalry on cavalry combat.

As players, we are put in more god-like multiple command roles that create unrealistic views and expectations. Panic-stricken men fearing for their lives run to what they *perceive* as daylight. They lose their logical orientation and sense of direction and flee. Generals have very little control over their behavior.

Pursuers also get caught up in emotions and do what appear as stupid, illogical and reckless.

War is messy.

John
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ravenflight
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Re: Weird evade

Post by ravenflight » Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:58 am

I just had a vs computer game of Lutzen as the Swedes. I caught some commanded shot in the rear when they evaded my commanded shot. The combat ended in the very back corner of Lutzen (away from Swedish edge on the corner of the Lutzen fortifcation) the with a fortification wall against their side. My Det Horse then charged after several turns of melee and eventually broke the commanded shot. Did the Commanded shot rout toward their line? No, they basically routed THROUGH my commanded shot squeezed in between a wall and a unit of determined horse so that when my determined horse pursued they would end up with their back and flank toward the enemy line. In my next turn I couldn't move them. The enemy then charged PAST another unit of Determined Horse (who probably waved as they went by saying 'yes, we never liked those boys anyway, go flank charge them) and my det horse got charged in the flank.

It's a crock. It really is.

You can talk your way around this 'oh yes, the routers would go into Lutzen because it's the safest place for them' (as if routers have any thought in their mind except get the flock out of here AWAY from the enemy (not towards).

I'm sorry, I was keeping track of all combats with that game, but I've totally lost interest.

I gave it the benefit of the doubt. I think the game sucks and wouldn't buy it again. I'm in the middle of a game against a mate, but that will be my last game. Unfortunately we both bought the game because we thought it would be a good way of getting games because getting together for FTF games is difficult.

To me, it's not worth it.

Good luck to those who enjoy it. I say play what you enjoy, but it's a waste of time for me.

(for the record, the mate who I'm in the middle of a game with has lost three games in a row to me... at least is in the middle of losing his third game... so it's not like I'm saying this because I'm going 'oh, poor me, I'm losing'. Against humans I'm yet to lose a game... against computers I'm yet to lose a game... It's just not enjoyable when you don't think you've WON a game... you just think 'yeah, well, what do you expect severely advantaged swiss are meant to lose 68 to 6 against a severely disadvantaged enemy'. You see that too many times and you just don't feel like you've done anything. You've just played roulette and won. Big deal. No skill. I just happened to put my chips on the right colour)

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Re: Weird evade

Post by TheGrayMouser » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:06 pm

ravenflight wrote: (for the record, the mate who I'm in the middle of a game with has lost three games in a row to me... at least is in the middle of losing his third game... so it's not like I'm saying this because I'm going 'oh, poor me, I'm losing'. Against humans I'm yet to lose a game... against computers I'm yet to lose a game... It's just not enjoyable when you don't think you've WON a game... you just think 'yeah, well, what do you expect severely advantaged swiss are meant to lose 68 to 6 against a severely disadvantaged enemy'. You see that too many times and you just don't feel like you've done anything. You've just played roulette and won. Big deal. No skill. I just happened to put my chips on the right colour)
I wish I could randomly pick a number/colour etc. in games of chance and win every time,
poor you :D
Seriously though, if the evades and zoc rules arnt to your liking, change em so they are absolutley predictable.

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Re: Weird evade

Post by Miletus » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:40 pm

ravenflight wrote: You can talk your way around this 'oh yes, the routers would go into Lutzen because it's the safest place for them' (as if routers have any thought in their mind except get the flock out of here AWAY from the enemy (not towards).
Routing troops didn't behave rationally, and certainly didn't have the armchair general's overview of the whole battlefield...

Earlier today I was reading Charles Oman's account of the battle of Ravenna (in his Art Of War In The Sixteenth Century). It's a classic instance of troops ending up scattered all over the battlefield - pursuing, evading, getting into unexpected secondary skirmishes, routing in odd directions, making very foolish decisions (e.g. Gaston de Foix's suicidal charge when he'd already won the battle), ending up behind enemy lines, and so on. Bodies of troops - amongst both the winners and the losers - did some quite strange things...

Warfare is messy, unpredictable and chaotic. As Flatsix put it: "Our war-games often portray an orderliness that simply didn't (and doesn't) exist in battle".

Pike & Shot strikes an excellent balance imho (certainly it's a class above poor old FoG). And of course just about everything in it is moddable...
Cheers,
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just answer the door already!"

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Re: Weird evade

Post by ravenflight » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:34 am

Miletus wrote:Warfare is messy, unpredictable and chaotic. As Flatsix put it: "Our war-games often portray an orderliness that simply didn't (and doesn't) exist in battle".

Pike & Shot strikes an excellent balance imho (certainly it's a class above poor old FoG). And of course just about everything in it is moddable...
Yup, that is your opinion. My opinion is that it's stupid. I'll choose to not play it.

And again, I stress, it isn't because I can't win. I've won the games I've played. I just don't like the WAY I've won. I do 't feel anything I've done has contributed to the win. I've just had 'random weird crap' happen. Maybe that 'weird crap' happened. In fact, probably it did... but not in EVERY BATTLE.

Here's a quick list:

Light Horse standing to receive a Gendarme Charge (even if they are a nano-dick apart, they have got an INFINITELY better chance of 'getting away' than winning the fight
Winning on BOTH WINGS as the Royalists at Marsden Moor (oh, and probably would have won the centre too, but the game was won before we found out).
Steady pike keil FRAGMENTING against P&S.
Swiss pike being shot down to break point from skirmisher shooting.
Pursuing Cavaliers thrning 45 degrees to continue pursuing commanded shot instead of going straight into the flank of P&S
Disrupted Raw P&S being charged frontally and in the flank by Superior Cavaliers and fighting for a large number of turns despite (supposedly) being severely disadvantaged.

The above list is JUST the memorable 'wtf's' from 2 games.

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Re: Weird evade

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:03 am

Sorry you don't like these aspects of the game.

I should mention that some of your "wtf" moments are probably not as "wtf" as you think. For example:
Steady pike keil FRAGMENTING against P&S.
Assuming that the keil vs P&S thing was an Italian wars game, the only P&S are Early Tercios or Colunelas, both of which are Superior and count as (partial) keils themselves.
Pursuing Cavaliers thrning 45 degrees to continue pursuing commanded shot instead of going straight into the flank of P&S
The pursuers may have started their pursuit not behind the flank, in which case the flank contact would not count as a flank attack and therefore would be suicidal.
Swiss pike being shot down to break point from skirmisher shooting


This is pretty much what happened at the battle of Pavia.
Disrupted Raw P&S being charged frontally and in the flank by Superior Cavaliers and fighting for a large number of turns despite (supposedly) being severely disadvantaged.
I know you don't like this, but it just represents disadvantaged troops holding out for longer than expected - which certainly happened quite often historically. They were always doomed, and had no chance of actually winning the combat overall (and by that I mean drive the enemy cavalry off) unless they had succeeded in rallying.
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Re: Weird evade

Post by flatsix518 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:48 pm

I figure every battle in history, great and small, had at least one "wtf" moment...

:D :D :D

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Re: Weird evade

Post by ravenflight » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:18 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Pursuing Cavaliers thrning 45 degrees to continue pursuing commanded shot instead of going straight into the flank of P&S
The pursuers may have started their pursuit not behind the flank, in which case the flank contact would not count as a flank attack and therefore would be suicidal.
No, the pursuers went directly to the flank. The only turn they made was the 45 degree turn to AVOID the flank charge.

And about the Swiss... yeah KINDA that's what happened historically. Except for the fortification bit. Oh, and the disrupting terrain bit. Oh and the steep slope bit. Other than that it was identical.

And my point isn't that any one of these things happened... it's that they ALL happened. I think they all happened within 2 games as well!

If this had been the case over 20 or 30 games, sure you'd just go 'random shit happens' but it wasn't like that at all. I'd say EVERY SINGLE TURN there is something where I go "WTF?"

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Re: Weird evade

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:32 pm

ravenflight wrote:And about the Swiss... yeah KINDA that's what happened historically. Except for the fortification bit. Oh, and the disrupting terrain bit. Oh and the steep slope bit. Other than that it was identical.
It is Pavia we are talking about.

No fortifications, no steep slope involved in the defeat of the Swiss. There were scattered copses of trees, which helped the arquebusiers to avoid the Swiss, but we have no reason to believe the Swiss actually entered these.
No, the pursuers went directly to the flank. The only turn they made was the 45 degree turn to AVOID the flank charge.
The game caps the chance of charging at a maximum of 90%, because nothing is ever certain in war. Is a 10% chance of not charging fresh enemy (however good the tactical situation) really unreasonable? Over-excited troops can't always be expected to have advancing the masterplan as their main concern.
I'd say EVERY SINGLE TURN there is something where I go "WTF?"
Different people have different expectations and different thresholds for "WTF". Clearly you prefer a game with more certainty. But that does not mean that the degree of uncertainty in the game is wrong, it just doesn't match with your expectations/preferences.
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Re: Weird evade

Post by TimW » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:06 pm

Light Horse standing to receive a Gendarme Charge
Just because the game doesn't show a counter-charge doesn't mean it isn't assumed. Sometimes outmatched troops would counter-charge or end up in close combat rather than try and evade, especially if over-confident, caught by a charge they weren't expecting or charged at a point when they couldn't do anything much in an organised, commanded way. If shooting "light" horse would not be in a single formed block but caracoling or otherwise manouvering - maybe the command to "run away in that direction" didn't get passed through the unit in time. Maybe they fancied their chances? "Light" horse of the 16th/17th century were frequently pretty well armoured and armed. "Light" describes their function more than their equipment in many ways - the horse of the English civil war would have been classed as "light" by continental armies of the 1580s and as heavy cuirrasiers by the 1750s.
Steady pike keil FRAGMENTING against P&S.
If 17th century, well that is exactly the effect Maurice of Nassau and Gustav Adolf organised and trained their pike and shot battalions/brigades to achieve. Heavy close range fire shock into the tercio/keil then an immediate charge home into the resulting chaos by the pikes while the shot if possible hung back, avoided close combat and continued firing at point blank. Historically it worked so well that the Imperialists, Spanish, French, English and everyone else west of the Ottomans copied the idea in one variation or another. If anything my complaint about P&S is that the Swedes find it too difficult to break Imperial tercios, especially the huge superior early ones.
Swiss pike being shot down to break point from skirmisher shooting.
What's so unbelievable about that? Close combat infantry have always been vulnerable to skirmishers with missile weapons. History is full of examples of the finest close-combat troops being destroyed by sustained fire from opponents they could not catch. The great Swiss vulnerability was to being shot at while prevented from engaging in close combat. As demonstrated at Marignano (pinned by Gendarmes and pulverised by artillery) and Bicocca (pinned in deep ditch then shot to pieces by arquebus fire from field fortifications). Charles the Rash had worked that out in the 1470s, but thanks largely to his remarkable ability to be caught by surprise he never managed to pull it off.
Disrupted Raw P&S
Sometimes raw (which perhaps means inexperienced more than it means completely untrained or unenthusiastic) troops pull off remarkable things. The Iron and Stonewall brigades at 1st Bull Run for example. Or, on the other side of the world, the Ikko Ikki defeating their Samurai "superiors" far higher trained and better equiped armies. At the opening of the English Civil War all units were pretty much "raw" in the sense they'd seen little or no fighting and had been civilians before the war, yet they still managed by and large to put up a decent fight on both sides.

I agree that pursuit in particular can at times have frustrating and apparently illogical effects as pursuers seem to frequently magically end up exactly where the AI can best destroy them. Another problem is that as it takes multiple Swedish battalions to destroy a tercio, when they all take off in pursuit that immediately swings the local balance of forces to the Imperialists and makes the kind of success Gustav Adolf had in sweeping away tercio after tercio pretty much impossible to achieve. Winning a melee can (and often does) have far worse consequences than losing one.

Having said that, my suspicion is that the balance between the Swedish foot and horse and their Imperial counterparts might be skewed towards making the Imperialists more effective (or the Swedes less) than they historically were. Defeating Imperial cuirassiers with Swedish horse is extremely difficult, yet historically the Swedes seem to have won their cavalry fights against trotting cuirassiers in deep formation in a fairly short time, with contemporaries giving the credit to the Swedish aggressive willingness to charge home. Similarly commanded shot mixed with horse rarely achieve much against cuirassiers other than causing a dozen or so casualties before the cuirassiers charge home, no disordering as claimed by contemporaries. Commanded shot once charged seem harder to beat than the Swedish horse though.

Any thoughts Richard, if you're reading this?

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Re: Weird evade

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:18 pm

TimW wrote:Another problem is that as it takes multiple Swedish battalions to destroy a tercio
Which, of course, is why Gustavus Adolphus organised them in brigades of 3 battalions each. He did not consider each battalion strong enough to operate on its own.

Of course, if you can shoot the tercio down to Disrupted before charging them, it is very likely that charging them with a single Swedish salvo battalion will take them out, thus avoiding all three battalions pursuing.
TimW wrote:Having said that, my suspicion is that the balance between the Swedish foot and horse and their Imperial counterparts might be skewed towards making the Imperialists more effective (or the Swedes less) than they historically were. Defeating Imperial cuirassiers with Swedish horse is extremely difficult, yet historically the Swedes seem to have won their cavalry fights against trotting cuirassiers in deep formation in a fairly short time, with contemporaries giving the credit to the Swedish aggressive willingness to charge home. Similarly commanded shot mixed with horse rarely achieve much against cuirassiers other than causing a dozen or so casualties before the cuirassiers charge home, no disordering as claimed by contemporaries. Commanded shot once charged seem harder to beat than the Swedish horse though.

Any thoughts Richard, if you're reading this?
Our view is that the main advantage the Swedes had was in being (a) willing to charge despite being equipped as lightly as Harquebusiers, (b) in smaller shallower units and hence able to outmanoeuvre the Kurassiers in their large deep (expensive) units. It is actually very easy to defeat the Imperialist left wing at Breitenfeld, for example, despite the frontal superiority of the kurassiers, because it is so easy to keep them occupied with part of the horse and the commanded shot, while outflanking them with the rest of the horse.

I know there is a school of thought that the Swedes should be pretty much invincible head to head against everything, but where would be the fun in that? - it wouldn't make much of a game. (And like all famously effective troops, their legend usually magnifies their actual historical superiority). They have their advantages and disadvantages like other army types. They are certainly very hard to beat.
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Re: Weird evade

Post by ravenflight » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:44 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
ravenflight wrote:And about the Swiss... yeah KINDA that's what happened historically. Except for the fortification bit. Oh, and the disrupting terrain bit. Oh and the steep slope bit. Other than that it was identical.
It is Pavia we are talking about.

No fortifications, no steep slope involved in the defeat of the Swiss. There were scattered copses of trees, which helped the arquebusiers to avoid the Swiss, but we have no reason to believe the Swiss actually entered these.
Sorry, got my battles mixed up. It's 3:00 am here! For some reason I thought you were talking about Bicocca.
rbodleyscott wrote:Different people have different expectations and different thresholds for "WTF". Clearly you prefer a game with more certainty. But that does not mean that the degree of uncertainty in the game is wrong, it just doesn't match with your expectations/preferences.
ravenflight wrote:Yup, that is your opinion. My opinion is that it's stupid. I'll choose to not play it.
As said above. I've got one final game to play (which I'm probably about to win - I'm saying this not to brag, but to stress that it isn't because I'm not winning, it's because I don't enjoy it. I don't enjoy winning when my opponent really hasn't done anything 'wrong' and so I haven't beaten him intellectually. I haven't done anything brilliant so can't take any credit. Seriously - I might as well watch "Saving Private Ryan" and say 'Oh, I beat the Germans in that final battle by having my army arrive in the nick of time'. I feel like I'd have equal amounts of control of the game.)

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Re: Weird evade

Post by flatsix518 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:48 pm

raven flight,

Just curious -- what Slitherine games have you played that give you the sort of play challenge and enjoyment you want?

John

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Re: Weird evade

Post by ravenflight » Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:00 am

flatsix518 wrote:raven flight,

Just curious -- what Slitherine games have you played that give you the sort of play challenge and enjoyment you want?

John
This is the first (only?) Slitherine computer game I've purchased. I'm not a huge computer gamer.

I used to love FoG:AM (v1) but was losing interest as v2 came to the fore. I TOTALLY lost interest when it was announced that V2 would be soft copy only, and whilst this disaster was quickly reversed I was a casualty of that and have only played a few games (maybe 10-12 games? I played in 2 comps that a mate organised and wanted to support that).

I play FoG:R regularly, and think that there are some faults with it, but an generally happy with it.

I've played one game of FoG:N and am not sure at this stage. Conceptually I like it, but prefer 'Napoleon's Battles' (but nobody seems to play that any more). I'm planning on a few games before I commit to building an army for it.

Just an aside, it seems to me that AI randomness is more extreme than real life seems to be. I'm not sure why this is, but I've always seemed to see dramatic numbers surface in random number generators, although my first hand experience with this was during my programming days in the '80's, so no doubt improvements have been made.

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Re: Weird evade

Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:37 pm

We are looking into the issue of weird evades/routs for a future patch. Some are reasonable but others probably are not.
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Re: Weird evade

Post by fogman » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:20 am

there are certainly issues with rout/pursuit routines. it's difficult to see how a pike square of 2000 men can run after a fleeing enemy and keep formation at the same time. that they automatically pursue is also problematic, the first instinct on a battlefield being to keep compact in own unit and in line with friendly units; certainly most commanders have better control of their men than that. i would much rather have broken formations 'disperse' the way artillery does and maybe reform off map and re-enter as reinforcements if successfully rallied, and the winning formation lose a % of men who supposedly went berserk after the routing enemy. i have a serious problem with battlefield simulations where there is no semblance of a front line with troops all over the place after a while, all of which having exceptional initiative and able to coordinate with precision with each other. what commander can pull that off, even in the radio age? battle line integrity is the reason i ban light troops.

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Re: Weird evade

Post by TheGrayMouser » Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:01 pm

Im sure all commanders hoped to maintain a cohesive front but doubt it was often the case especially after hand to hand combat. Units zipping all over under radio control of the "commander" ie YOU the player, is a hallmark of all turn based games. I have yet to see a turnbased game represent actual command and control so to speak, except via various things like "command radii" etc or formations that must be in the same proximaty of assigned commanders etc. However with out exception the penalties for breaking such rules are more about leadership and morale rather that loss of command initiative (or unwanted initiative outside of the commanders wishes, ie YOUR control as the player. You would need a game that has unique AI personalities for every formation commander in your army(grumpy, stalwart, hyper aggressive), and as such you would be watching a simulation rather than playing a game.

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Re: Weird evade

Post by fogman » Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:28 pm

there are ways to keep a frontline in the flow of the battle without 'watching a simulation'. the present situation of aerial dogfight is not acceptable, no more than light troops commando behaviour in fog is acceptable. but maybe it's just me.

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