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MrPoopypants

Critique my combat model

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Hello everyone: A few weeks ago i started on a project, I wasn''t sure what it was going to be, much less how i was going to write it. Anyway, I''ve ended up now with a fully functional 2d hex engine and game (all text based, the graphics are the last thing to be done). I''ve decided that this will be a world war 2 wargame but I''m running into problems deciding how the combat will work. Ive never really played a turn-based hex wargame before, so I''m making all this up line by line as i go. I know some wargames use dice as a means of deciding the outcome, however, i dislike that idea a lot. While i do like the idea of a little randomness, i think it should only be a minor factor. Anyway this is my system, each Unit (~regiment sized) has several characteristics 1. Men --All of the below doubles between 0 and 1 2. Ammo 3. Fuel 4. Command 5. Morale 6. Armor 7. Speed Numbers 2 through 7 are averaged together and multiplied by the number of men in the unit. This gives the unit its "force power." If the unit is defending, depending on the type of terrain it gets a 5-30% "force power" bonus. For the attackers, if both Command and Armor are above .5 they get a bonus of [force_power * (1 + (armor + command)/5))]. Conversly, if both morale and command are below .5, the attackers take a loss in "force power." The way casualties are determnined uses a ratio, but essentially, if the defenders and attacker''s "force powers" are roughly the same it will yeild relatively high casualties on both sides. If there is a large difference in "force power" the unit with the higher "force power" will suffer few casualties while the lower one will suffer much more. I''ll post the code if anyone wants to see it. Thanks

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I think you should add something so the attackers get an advantage if you hit someone''s flank or rear. That''s how it is in real war. And just so you know (because i''ve read a lot of strategy books) having too many men can be a very bad thing. It reduces the paths an army can take and this makes it easy for the defenders to expect the attack. You might want to add something like that.

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Hmm... just a quick question that I came up with while reading this thread: how does being attacked from the flank or rear affect anything at all in real life battles? I mean, in theory all you have to do is turn around to face the enemy. I don''t see how that would screw up the formation, and even if it did? If we could model this realistically it would be a great benefit to any war game (as anyone familiar with emergent behaviour knows).

My guess is that when soldiers are arranged in lines, they''re counting on the men on their sides to protect them so they can focus on a narrow area on the front. Take that away and their focus is lost (flank attack - the men at the sides of the formation don''t have anyone protecting them; flank or rear attack - they have to rotate to face the enemy so that they aren''t really aligned, so basically they don''t have anyone to the sides protecting them). They now have a much wider field of view to pay attention to, which must be confusing to say the least.

So when soldiers have friends in line with them they could have a bonus to reflexes and attack if the attacker is in a narrow "view cone" in front of them. They could also suffer a penalty for being so focused if the attack is coming from another direction in this situation. Is this a good idea? (BTW to stay on topic: MrPoopypants you can use this in your game =P )

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The purpose of a formation is that all he soldiers face and move in the same way, if a soldier in the front is killed one behind steps up to take their place. By attacking the rear or flank the formation loose its cohesion, and thus its benefits. Flank and rear assults where crucial strategies used against formations for centuries. Formations centralize on organization the soldiers are trained not to fight as indviudals but as unit. The britsh red coats form the thin red line in which each line in the formation would fire in tandum and the member of the line would fire in unison. So first line fires, while they reload the second line fires. They wouldn't aim at a specific enemy they would aim at the enemy formation and rely on the other members of the unit to fire at the same target.

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Writer, Programer, Cook, I'm a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave


[edited by - TechnoGoth on April 3, 2004 4:36:29 PM]

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Or better yet, attack the corner of the formation. Miyamoto Musashi and Rudyard Kipling both wrote about the devastating effect that this tactic had. If you hit the corner of a body of troops, then the men farther back won''t even have a solid idea of where the attack is coming from, and chaos will ensue. Kipling called it "breaking the square".

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Consider finding a book by Jim Dunnigan called The Complete Wargamers Handbook. It has some excellent rules of thumb that might help you if you want to make your game more believable. In it I remember a rule of thumb that attackers generally have to have nearly 5-1 odds versus an entrenched defender if they hope to come out with only decent losses. So I think your combat bonus for defending might be too low.

OTOH, you have to decide if you want things to be realistic or not. The book mentions that for game design, you want a balance appropriate to your setting. Making defense stronger than offense, as with castles and siege warfare, made warfare more frequent and drawn out. But making defense stronger than offense makes conflict less likely and more decisive, meaning that when you strike you''d better be right.

He has some good WW2 stuff in there, btw.



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Just waiting for the mothership...

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Last post was a bit longish, so I thought I''d break it up...

quote:
Original post by MrPoopypants
1. Men
--All of the below doubles between 0 and 1
2. Ammo
3. Fuel
4. Command
5. Morale
6. Armor
7. Speed

Numbers 2 through 7 are averaged together and multiplied by the number of men in the unit.



Are you sure you want to average them together? If a unit is almost on empty, or has no armor, or has a shattered command structure, this should be much more devastating than an average can give.

Consider:
Fuel @ 0.01 and everything else at 0.99; the average is 0.85, but these guys are on fumes!

Maybe what you want is a more geometric scale? Consider making the multipliers for each dwindle drastically as they approach zero.

quote:

This gives the unit its "force power." If the unit is defending, depending on the type of terrain it gets a 5-30% "force power" bonus.



Does terrain matter vs. type of attack: Bombardment / airstrikes / artillery, versus armor in forests, etc.?

quote:

The way casualties are determnined uses a ratio, but essentially, if the defenders and attacker''s "force powers" are roughly the same it will yeild relatively high casualties on both sides. If there is a large difference in "force power" the unit with the higher "force power" will suffer few casualties while the lower one will suffer much more.



I like this, it''s realistic. Equally matched armies can often devour one another through attrition.

How, if at all, are you handling shelling / bombardment / airstrikes? I''d recommend allowing successful raids to increasingly decrease morale. Think of the bombardment on Malta and what it did to Axis troops over time.


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Just waiting for the mothership...

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