Big Battle Lesson from OCMOD3

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Ftoomsh, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    Daddio soundly defeated me in a large battle recently in OCMOD3. This was a big battle with at least 10 x 400 infantry formations and over 2,000 hussars in each army: over 6,000 troops per army. Our armies were roughly equal in size. Daddio's Prussian infantry had equal numbers but a slight quality advantage (they shoot slightly further and have slightly better shot power). My cavalry slightly outnumbered Daddio's cavalry and our artillery batteries were equal. So how did Daddio achieve a crushing victory with a 2 to 1 advantage in inflicting casualties? His battle array or dispositions were superior before the start of the battle. Then he delivered concentric, concentrating attacks at the main battle front.

    von Clausewitz states: "Forces are more effective in a concentric rather than in a parallel attack; attack concentrically without having decisive superiority in an engagement."

    Daddio used infantry columns for the attack - those dense, solid squares. These move fast and deliver concentrated firepower. He had them arrayed almost side by side on a narrow battle front with a second array of reserve formations behind. Some of his reserve and wing formations were a bit too widely spaced. This did not matter in the end as my battle array was much worse. I had parallel lines set with depth, one line behind another, behind another and so on. If we look at Clausewitz's maxim we can see how Daddio followed it and made a concentric attack whereas I made a parallel attack. Indeed, I made a parallel attack with separate waves which was even worse.

    Let's see if I can make a diagram with text. My lineup is top and Daddio's line up is below. These show a few examples of lines and columns but not the whole setup or numbers of the actual battle.


    ==== ==== ==== ====
    ==== ==== ==== ====

    Unfortunately, even this diagram does not do the arrays justice. Imagine the columns more compressed. I can't reduce the return space. Then imagine my line formations coming straight forward in parallel and Daddio's columns all attacking concentrically at the center of my front line. The real battle was larger and more messy than this but this illustrates the basic principle.

    The mod actually seems to support line tactics in some situations and column tactics in some situations. These huge, mass battles at the end of a long build seem to favor column tactics with infantry. The reasons are that columns;

    (1) Move faster: mobility is an asset.
    (2) Have no flank: they can fight in any direction.
    (3) Can stay apart but in supporting positions to get a wide front of view and terrain control (but not too wide).
    (4) Can re-concentrate rapidly to support each other.
    (5) Can deliver effective concentric attacks from their concentrated front.

    Because OCMOD3 does not implement friendly obstruction to fire, these columns can still deliver massed fire from the whole body of the column. Only if we implemented friendly obstruction to fire (which is technically difficult to mod properly in C3 though Cavalli has a good implementation of it) could we bring line tactics back into their own at this mass battle level. Friendly obstruction to fire would also stop any deliberate stacking of musket formations because most of the muskets would not fire when formation stacked.

    Fire rates, fire power and kill rates are also too high currently in OCMOD3. These battles are over too fast. We could look at slowing down these mass battles so that players get time to see a battle approach is not working and to organize a retreat to limit the disaster they are facing.

    UPDATE: TRIAL of Cavalli Realism Mod

    I just did a basic trial of Cavalli Realism Mod in the in-Game Editor using 17th C musket formations with no upgrades. I really like this system. It makes line formations and linear tactics with muskets much more usable. I like the increased range too. I would like to use this fire system in OCMOD3. At the same time, I would want to keep a relatively high headshot system (General WVPM's system) in the mix but currently I think headshot percentages are just too high in OCMOD3. I am pretty sure General has been telling me that for a long time... until he gave up trying to tell me. :)

    The longer musket range from Cavalli Realism mod would work well with General's range damage system too.

    Summing Up

    It's time to take all realism mods to the next level. We cannot mark time. Much more needs to be done. There is still the morale issue too.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
    General WVPM and Burak Damgacı like this.
  2. Burak Damgacı

    Burak Damgacı Well-Known Member

    I think OCMOD3 can be good with other mods best parts. Ftoomsh, Do you think this concentric attack worked well whole open battlefields? I think every tactical formation can have negative parts. I think this tactical formation can impress a lot geographical or other conditions. ( count of enemy soldiers, ammunition count or using artillery wisely).Can you defeat Daddio with the same concentric tactic? Maybe you should try with two concentric next time.
  3. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    The Mods

    In some respects, Cavalli's Realism Mod and OCMOD3 have converged quite a bit. They both have General WVPMs Flexible Formations and Reload System. Cavalli's Realism Mod also has merged into it much of OCMOD3's economic system and some parts of OCMOD3's military system. At the same time, Cavalli's Realism Mod has a different graphical look for colors and buildings and it has Cavalli's fire system which prevents firing through friendlies. This latter is a very important difference. Also, these two mods have very different balances. Cold steel is still very strong in Realism Mod. Musket fire power is very strong in OCMOD3. I am coming to think that the correct balance of cold steel to musket fire power should be somewhere between the two mods.

    OCMOD3 will eventually moderate fire power a bit and strengthen up cold steel a bit. I say "eventually", because I want to test this new balance exhaustively. I guess I mean this will take a few more weeks at least.

    I am considering adding Cavalli's fire system (no firing through friendlies) to OCMOD3 but again this will take extensive testing and re-balancing once again. Every big change profoundly affects unit and nation balance right through the game.

    If I make these proposed changes to OCMOD3, then OCMOD3 and Cavalli's Realism Mod will converge a bit closer again. However, I doubt I will be changing flag colors. I doubt I would implement buildings as large as in Realism Mod. And the unit and nation balancing will very likely remain considerably different in the two mods. Will the two mods ever fully converge and become one mod? It's far too early to say but it's unlikely in the foreseeable future and it would depend on both modders agreeing on everything which again might be unlikely. :)

    Concentric Attacks

    There is so much I could say about this. The whole OCMOD3 model (especially troops being able to fire through friendlies) tends to favor concentric attacks at the center of the enemy front at least in the late 18th C. It's just the way it is. There was no design intent to over-favor concentric center attacks. The Cavalli fire system (no firing through friendlies) probably would enable flank tactics more but concentric attacks to the center would still work in Realism mod too. It would depend on the situation. In theory, a fire-by-ranks system would be best and the Cavalli fire system gets the game model at least halfway to that in effects if not in graphical rendering (which is much, much harder again). Both mods (all mods actually) still lack morale and that would be needed also to enable more realistic tactics.

    I should add that concentric attacks on the center are easiest to organize when both armies are fully concentrated in one part of the field and with open plains terrain not difficult terrain. Having bases stone-walled also enables the luxury of concentrating the army in one zone in the open field. At least stone walls completely stop hussars.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
    Kamilow, Loner and Burak Damgacı like this.
  4. Original-Cossacks-Player

    Original-Cossacks-Player Active Member

    It seems like your mod really takes advantage of tactically placed formations, unlike the original version, most players these days just blob every unit in one big mass, set them to stand ground and wait until the enemy comes to them, and its the same result everytime, the approaching enemy has no chance because as soon as they come into range they are shot in mass numbers.

    Do many people play your mod, I never really see it in the lobby so I am guessing game times are pre-arranged by players?
  5. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    There is more formation play but blobbing and stacking does occur in very large battles at times. I am working on that. When the kills were reduced in the vanilla game for cannon and howitzer hitting blobs this brought blobs back as a possibility. Vanilla patch changes can come into the mod unless they are deliberately blocked in the merge, which I oftentimes do. I let the cannon changes through and I might have to revisit that. When cannon mash blobs it does reduce the blobbing incentive. Cavalli's fire system is another way to stop musket blobs. Ideally, units should need some minimum elbow room but this is proving difficult to set up.

    A number Old Cossacks and some visitors to our games play OCMOD3 online. Please join us if you see us. We have members in USA, UK, Australia and Europe so times are varied. We are trying to restart our week-end arranged games. I am in Australia, if I log on by 7:00 am it is 9:00 pm in the UK. I also log on at 7:00 pm very often and that is 9 am in UK. I am on the PC just about every day and night but you might need to send me a message by Steam. I am Crazy Cossack on Steam.
  6. Francesco_Cavalli

    Francesco_Cavalli Active Member

    You're more than welcome to use my system, Ftoomsh, here's how:

    1. You need a new musketball that will be subject to accuracy; to do this, copy the cannonball projectile and tinker with the size, damage and arc of fire. Remember you'll need to 'sync' it with the musket flash and damage being applied to the target like so:

    _weapon_SetWeaponSyncWeapon('PPOINTT2', 'SHOTMUSKET', 'NUCL2P2', '', '');

    Ppointt2 is the projectile (the bit the units.script recognises when you add it to the weapon type for each unit, and triggers damage when it hits its target) shotmusket the flash and smoke and NUCL2p2 the bullet. Previously, I've made the bullets invisible, however adding a damage AND model for them allows them to damage whatever they hit, better simulating real musket fire.

    Next you need to make units recognise other units as obstacles when firing. to do this, first go to the misc.script and search for:

    if (gObjProp[cid, id].bBuilding) or (gObjProp[cid, id].media=gc_obj_media_water) then

    Change it to:

    if (gObjProp[cid, id].bBuilding) or (gObjProp[cid, id].media=gc_obj_media_water) or (gObjProp[cid, id].media=gc_obj_media_land) then

    And lastly, you need to change the line:

    var mmask : Integer = (1 shl gc_obj_material_building) or (1 shl gc_obj_material_wood) or (1 shl gc_obj_material_stone) or (1 shl gc_obj_material_woodwall)


    var mmask : Integer = (1 shl gc_obj_material_building) or (1 shl gc_obj_material_wood) or (1 shl gc_obj_material_stone) or (1 shl gc_obj_material_woodwall) or (1 shl gc_obj_material_body) or (1 shl gc_obj_material_iron);

    This means that all entities, not just buildings and ships, are classed as obstructions.

    I'd quite like to (I mentioned this months ago) unite our work - using your mod (now you'd like my physics model) as the basis for a submod adding my colours and uniforms, and in turn using that to feed back other mechanic changes to you for vetting - currently I'm hoping to change random map terrain to be more realistic and refine how trees can offer troops cover under fire. I don't see the point in runing two separate mods when we're after the same goal!
    General WVPM, Kamilow and Loner like this.
  7. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    Yep, it's starting to look like that. This will take a bit more thinking about. I don't want to rush into it but it does look like a good mid-term goal. We'll have to think carefully about it. I will probably have to add your fire system to a test-bed copy I have of my mod and see how it goes as a first step.

    What I have realized in a recent test change to my test-bed of the mod, not the live mod (and it's nothing big, just making my 18th C musket battles last longer) is that if I change one part of the balance then the whole game needs to be re-balanced from beginning to end. So, adding your fire system will cause a great need for re-balancing right through OCMOD3.

    I have some other ideas, very broad and vague ones at this stage, but I will run them by you in a conversation here... after I check files and get my ideas written down.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
    Kamilow likes this.
  8. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    With reference to the new musket weapon I think I am missing at least 3 points. This will no doubt be due to my lack of real programming knowledge.

    (1) You say : "You need a new musketball that will be subject to accuracy; to do this, copy the cannonball projectile and tinker with the size, damage and arc of fire." Where is this done? And do you do a musketball graphic? I am a bit confused if you do this or not.

    (2) Where is objbase.accuracy defined? When I use it in the unit.script I get a compile error and I can't trace where it should be defined.

    (3) You have left all the code in for Wesley's range damage system in miscext2.script. I imagine it is simply non-operational since a different weapon and/or projectile is used.

    (3A) Following on from point 3, could parts of your system and Wesley's range damage system be run in tandem? In other words, I want to avoid firing through friendlies and buildings (or hit the buildings) but I want to keep a range damage headshot calculation system, rather than use your dispertion model. But this could be contradictory, I am not sure. Does your system model headshots at all? Does it vary accuracy by range? The dispertion might do this so set me right if I need to be set right.
  9. Francesco_Cavalli

    Francesco_Cavalli Active Member

    1) here's an example of a new weapon: you'll see a) a projectile (the game's smallest, the howitzer frags) b) it's size (15) and two other numbers - testing these is difficult but interesting.

    _weapon_AddWeapon(ind, 'NUCL2P2', cFXNone, cProjHowitzerBallFragment, 180, _misc_PixelsToTiles(15), gc_weapon_gravity_2, gc_weapon_propagation_angle, 3, gc_weapon_time_cInfinite);

    2) you can cut the accuracy out (it's in classes) it was fron some script that hungnt wrote for me that I couldn't combine effectively with mine/Generals after the update

    3) It still works, but as I mentioned results in every shot killing, at any distance, which it didn't do when I perfected the combination back in August. I'm still looking at what might have happened. They should and have run together - I'm sure General will know in 5 seconds of seeing it, if I don't spot it tonight
    Kamilow likes this.
  10. General WVPM

    General WVPM Member

    It does this because it takes the distance between the projectile impact and the target when using projectiles.
    When not using projectiles, it properly uses the distance between the attacker and the target.
    It would be nice if that could be fixed, but I don't know how.
  11. Francesco_Cavalli

    Francesco_Cavalli Active Member

    So I noticed! Think I've worked out though that changing by bullet projectile's trajectory from 'angle' to 'fly' makes distance play a much greater role in accuracy - will need to test quite a bit more to be sure, though
    General WVPM likes this.
  12. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

    This is the sort of thing that the 'Developers' should be jumping in on and helping like they promised in the first place.:mad:
  13. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    I imagine the developers could implement arcade mode and realism mode if they wished to. Realism mode would see real physics flight for musket balls, morale effects and fire-by-rank effects. People could play either mode by selection. I don't imagine this will happen though so the modders must soldier on.
    Kamilow likes this.
  14. Francesco_Cavalli

    Francesco_Cavalli Active Member

    It’s a shot in the foot not to have a realism and arcade mode. They could get ££££ from a realism addition that is toggle-able, as they’ll be able to interest total war veterns and new audiences looking for something complex without alienating the crowd that is more keen on developing a strategy and rinse-repeating it
    Loner likes this.
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