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Custom scenario design with grog.
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Custom scenario design with grog. 6 months ago #1

  • 52ndOx
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I am trying to come to grips with the scenario editor.
Being able to create new scenarios is an area of the game with potential for me.

I also like the features of the Grog, thanks!

I know that Grog toolbar mod comes with its own versions of the games stock scenarios, so my question here is how do they differ from standard to make them compatible, and can the scenario editor handle it, or do the csvs have to be manually edited? Or are there other issues?

Any enlightenment appreciated.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 4 weeks ago #2

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52ndOx wrote:
I am trying to come to grips with the scenario editor.
Being able to create new scenarios is an area of the game with potential for me.

I also like the features of the Grog, thanks!

I know that Grog toolbar mod comes with its own versions of the games stock scenarios, so my question here is how do they differ from standard to make them compatible, and can the scenario editor handle it, or do the csvs have to be manually edited? Or are there other issues?

Any enlightenment appreciated.


The stock scenarios included with the Grog Toolbar are identical to the stock versions, only their names have been slightly altered so they will appear in User Scenarios and be mod friendly.

Can't help you with the scenario designer app. I kinda knew it four years ago from a tutorial by the author. However, I felt more comfortable designing scenarios my old manual way so never got into learning it by using it, the only real way to learn an app.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 4 weeks ago #3

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RebBugler wrote:
The stock scenarios included with the Grog Toolbar are identical to the stock versions, only their names have been slightly altered so they will appear in User Scenarios and be mod friendly.


Sorry, can you explain this a bit more?
I was under the impression that Grog couldn't be used with some scenarios (like the stock ones) and that is why there are different versions of them in the mod?

And if only names are changed, then how does that make them "mod friendly"?

Questions, questions.

Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 3 weeks ago #4

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52ndOx wrote:
RebBugler wrote:
The stock scenarios included with the Grog Toolbar are identical to the stock versions, only their names have been slightly altered so they will appear in User Scenarios and be mod friendly.


Sorry, can you explain this a bit more?
I was under the impression that Grog couldn't be used with some scenarios (like the stock ones) and that is why there are different versions of them in the mod?

And if only names are changed, then how does that make them "mod friendly"?

Questions, questions.


Scenarios named the same as stock scenarios won't show up in User Scenarios. And, only scenarios in User Scenarios are mod friendly, stock scenarios played with mods generally have issues and crash.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 3 weeks ago #5

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Thanks again.
But I need to ask again I am afraid, sorry.

stock scenarios played with mods generally have issues and crash.

But your Grog toolbar is a mod, so it can't be used with stock scenarios?

The stock scenarios included with the Grog Toolbar are identical to the stock versions

So what is it that make them support the Grog?? Just the location in a User Scenario folder?

The reason for asking is that I want to design scenarios that can use the Grog, and I need to know what is required to make that possible. What am I missing here?

Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 3 weeks ago #6

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But your Grog toolbar is a mod, so it can't be used with stock scenarios?


Correct, that's why it totally eliminates the WL Scenarios section and any links to it.

So what is it that make them support the Grog?? Just the location in a User Scenario folder?


Well, kinda, a Scenarios folder. No such thing as a User Scenarios folder. That's just the window's (section) name.

The reason for asking is that I want to design scenarios that can use the Grog, and I need to know what is required to make that possible. What am I missing here?


Just build your mod, include your scenarios in a Scenarios folder, and they'll work with the Grog Toolbar (showing up in the User Scenarios window). You're starting to overthink stuff.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 3 weeks ago #7

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Ok, I'll stop asking. Thanks for taking the time to answer.

Just for the record, its not overthinking, its trying to make sense of conflicting information.
Correct, that's why it totally eliminates the WL Scenarios section and any links to it.

But the ones it does link to are identical.

Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 3 weeks ago #8

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But the ones it does link to are identical.


Correct, I already stated that. It's the name change that throws stock scenarios to User Scenarios.

Do this...

Open the Grog Toolbar/Scenarios folder. Pick a stock scenario and delete the final character (_) in its name. Adding this character is how the stock scenarios were renamed. Then open the game and go to User Scenarios. That scenario that you altered will be gone because now it has the same name as its respective stock scenario.

Sorry if you're still confused, but that's the way this part of the game works.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 3 weeks ago #9

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RebBugler wrote:
But the ones it does link to are identical.


Correct, I already stated that. It's the name change that throws stock scenarios to User Scenarios.

Do this...

Open the Grog Toolbar/Scenarios folder. Pick a stock scenario and delete the final character (_) in its name. Adding this character is how the stock scenarios were renamed. Then open the game and go to User Scenarios. That scenario that you altered will be gone because now it has the same name as its respective stock scenario.

Sorry if you're still confused, but that's the way this part of the game works.


I think what he's confused about Reb is that if the stock scenarios and their user scenario counterparts are identical in all but name, then why wouldn't the grog toolbar work with the stock scenarios the same as it does with it's user scenario counterparts.
He's not taking into account all the changes the grog toolbar makes to the game itself, and just looking for differences between the two versions of the scenarios themselves.
It's not that the scenarios are different. It's the grog toolbar,(or any mod for that matter)that changes things. The grog toolbar has different formations, different appearances of different formations and a host of other things that conflict with the base game. You can crash the stock scenarios on purpose with the grog toolbar just by doing something that you know isn't in the base game.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 3 weeks ago #10

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I think what he's confused about Reb is that if the stock scenarios and their user scenario counterparts are identical in all but name, then why wouldn't the grog toolbar work with the stock scenarios the same as it does with it's user scenario counterparts.
He's not taking into account all the changes the grog toolbar makes to the game itself, and just looking for differences between the two versions of the scenarios themselves.
It's not that the scenarios are different. It's the grog toolbar,(or any mod for that matter)that changes things. The grog toolbar has different formations, different appearances of different formations and a host of other things that conflict with the base game. You can crash the stock scenarios on purpose with the grog toolbar just by doing something that you know isn't in the base game.


Thanks Rob, you understood me better, but even so not completely.
As usual, I am just trying to understand how the game works.

I know the Grog is a mod, and it changes the way the game works by including modified files that have higher priority than the default ones, like any other mod.
But a scenario consists of just 5 files (one ini, 2 csv and 2 txt).
If those 5 files are identical in the mods scenarios to the ones accessed in the stock game, then it goes against all logic that one crashes and not the other!
And if they are not identical then I would like to know what the differences are, so I can be sure that any scenarios I build will not crash when Grog mod is active!

That was the question, and I feel that it is not answered. Sorry if I am dumb.

EDIT:
I'll have a go at answering myself.
If the scenarios are not just data, but actually launch the game, and use relative paths not absolute ones, then their location can affect things because a different version of the game is then run with the same parameters.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 3 weeks ago #11

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52ndOx wrote:
I think what he's confused about Reb is that if the stock scenarios and their user scenario counterparts are identical in all but name, then why wouldn't the grog toolbar work with the stock scenarios the same as it does with it's user scenario counterparts.
He's not taking into account all the changes the grog toolbar makes to the game itself, and just looking for differences between the two versions of the scenarios themselves.
It's not that the scenarios are different. It's the grog toolbar,(or any mod for that matter)that changes things. The grog toolbar has different formations, different appearances of different formations and a host of other things that conflict with the base game. You can crash the stock scenarios on purpose with the grog toolbar just by doing something that you know isn't in the base game.


Thanks Rob, you understood me better, but even so not completely.
As usual, I am just trying to understand how the game works.

I know the Grog is a mod, and it changes the way the game works by including modified files that have higher priority than the default ones, like any other mod.
But a scenario consists of just 5 files (one ini, 2 csv and 2 txt).
If those 5 files are identical in the mods scenarios to the ones accessed in the stock game, then it goes against all logic that one crashes and not the other!
And if they are not identical then I would like to know what the differences are, so I can be sure that any scenarios I build will not crash when Grog mod is active!

That was the question, and I feel that it is not answered. Sorry if I am dumb.


You're not dumb my friend. I've been playing this game for 4 years and even I know very little about what goes on "under the hood".

I've found in many cases it's not actually necessary to know how it all works, just that it works. Reb is basically saying your scenario will work fine with the grog toolbar so long as it ends up in a scenario folder that appears in the user scenarios.

I might not know what the real difference is between the Waterloo battles tab and the user scenarios tab. Hell, Reb might not even know. But for years now, it's been enough for us to know that there is a difference. One works with mods, the other doesn't. Maybe it doesnt need to be any more complicated than that.

Mitra could probably tell us what's what from a programming perspective. But it would all be Greek to me.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 3 weeks ago #12

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But a scenario consists of just 5 files (one ini, 2 csv and 2 txt).
If those 5 files are identical in the mods scenarios to the ones accessed in the stock game, then it goes against all logic that one crashes and not the other!

This quote explains your confusion.

Yes, the renamed scenarios are identical to the stock scenarios. The issues and crashes occurred when folks loaded a stock scenario (located in the Waterloo Scenarios section) with the Grog Toolbar activated. As they were playing it's when they selected a formation or function unique only to the Grog Toolbar that caused issues or crashes. Because, WL stock scenarios (located in the Waterloo Scenarios section) can only accept stock formations or functions. This is why the Grog Toolbar was eventually upgraded to eliminating any links to the Waterloo Scenarios section but still included the renamed stock scenarios accessibility through User Scenarios, where they accept mods with non-stock formations or functions.

Historically, starting with TC2M through SOWGB, the games were designed so mods couldn't interfere or help with scoring while playing the stock games. Players were rewarded by being promoted to a Generals' List with TC2M and later with Generals' Honors Graphics displayed with their avatar (you may have noticed these with some veteran players) with SOWGB. Those designs were foolproof (mods were completely blocked) insuring that 'Bragging Rights' were earned without cheating with mods, only stock scores counted.

With Waterloo the game changed dramatically because of the incorporation of the 'My Gui' system. Norb tried to set things up the same way so mods couldn't interfere with stock scenarios but the My Gui system didn't cooperate. I guess invasive is the word, since stock functions work with mods and custom functions don't. Regardless, this is now a workaround area for modders, otherwise their mods will crash the game, IOW, beware of the stock scenarios offered in the WL Scenarios section.
Bottom line, the Grog Toolbar has a solid workaround: Bypass the WL Scenarios section and offer the stock scenarios in User Scenarios...Issues Solved!

Now you're probably more confused than ever, my explaining stuff gets wordier as the years pass, and probably foggier.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 3 weeks ago #13

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RebBugler wrote:
Those designs were foolproof (mods were completely blocked) insuring that 'Bragging Rights' were earned without cheating with mods, only stock scores counted.


What kind of dirty, underhanded, devious player would ever try to exploit the game that w..............errr, nevermind. That actually sounds like something I would try lol.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 2 weeks ago #14

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DarkRob wrote:

I've found in many cases it's not actually necessary to know how it all works, just that it works. Reb is basically saying your scenario will work fine with the grog toolbar so long as it ends up in a scenario folder that appears in the user scenarios.

I might not know what the real difference is between the Waterloo battles tab and the user scenarios tab. Hell, Reb might not even know. But for years now, it's been enough for us to know that there is a difference. One works with mods, the other doesn't. Maybe it doesnt need to be any more complicated than that.


I guess I am weird.
If someone tells me something works this way and I don't need to know why, it never reduces my desire to know why.

I choose to understand in my own way.
I had considered that the game runs and then loads data from the scenario. Which would mean loading the same data from somewhere else couldn't make any difference even if the game was modified
.
Now I prefer to see the process as the scenario initialising and then launching the game. Which clears up my confusion in a satisfactory way. It's the same scenario but the game is launched in a form that is compatible with the active mods.

This could of course be wrong, but I am happy.

A nice side effect is that wonky scenarios can easily be corrected without hacking the game itself.
For example the excessive reward for holding LHS waypoint can be reduced to reasonable levels in Charlet and d'Erlon's scenarios, or a regiment of lancers can be set to guard the Grand Battery in Uxbridge's.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 2 weeks ago #15

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52ndOx wrote:

Now I prefer to see the process as the scenario initialising and then launching the game. Which clears up my confusion in a satisfactory way. It's the same scenario but the game is launched in a form that is compatible with the active mods.

This could of course be wrong, but I am happy.


Sounds like a plausible explanation to me.

52ndOx wrote:

A nice side effect is that wonky scenarios can easily be corrected without hacking the game itself.
For example the excessive reward for holding LHS waypoint can be reduced to reasonable levels in Charlet and d'Erlon's scenarios, or a regiment of lancers can be set to guard the Grand Battery in Uxbridge's.


I think in the LHS brigade scenario the value of the objective is probably a mistake. Its probably supposed to be 50 points a minute, and not 500 points a minute. Someone hit zero one to many times lol.
I think there is a similar problem with the Namur Road objective in the French Battle of Ligny. In a battle that's almost all made up of waypoint objectives, somehow this monster 5000 point objective is a hold objective that cycles every 20 minutes, in a scenario where you need 19,000 points for a major victory.

As for other wonky scenarios, well I think you have to ask yourself if they are really wonky, or maybe Im just the dirtiest player to ever play the game?

Yes, I make scenarios like Count D'Erlons attack or By Saber: Attack and pursue look incredibly easy. But if they are so easy than why didn't anyone ever do stuff like that before me?
Probably because almost everything I do is completely outside the realm of reality when it comes to real Napoleonic tactics, or the real tactical and strategic situation. It takes someone thinking way outside the box to even come up with stuff like that.

Theres really nothing wrong with a scenario like By Saber: Attack and Pursue, other than the fact that a player like me got to it, and broke it. No one ever did that before me, and if I didn't exist, no one ever likely would have done it because its just so far outside the realm of plausibility. I cant blame a scenario writer or playtester for that one. No one could have seen that one coming.

The La Haye Sainte scenarios, well, Im certainly partly to blame. I am cheap, and the engagement distance games I play with the KGL units in the orchard are really cheap and really unfair. But in this case its not all my fault. La Haye Sainte is worth to many points in all three of the scenarios its featured in(LHS Brigade, Count D'Erlons Attack, and the French full battle of Waterloo) and its to lightly defended as well.
Even someone not thinking outside the box/playing to win is going to get a ton of points for capturing it. And because its so lightly defended, it will fall quickly in any of these scenarios.

I remember awhile back this guy Hook actually did a rewrite of the French Waterloo scenario that turned all the forts(Hougomont, LHS, Papelotte) into waypoint objectives, and to compensate he put more objectives deeper into the Allied lines to encourage the French player to keep attacking. The problem of course is that nobody really cared, it wasn't playtested, and since it was never officially released, it was forgotten about.



The only way a real fix could ever happen is if it was done by Norbsoft and released as an actual patch.
At the same time, you cant balance a scenario purely around the cheap stuff I do. You also have to consider different playstyles. Lots of scenarios in this game are pretty easy when you have a camera that can fly across the battlefield and you can see everything that's going on all over the field. Its easy to control your forces when you can click on any unit and have them instantly respond to commands you give them. Its easy to know at a glance what all your forces are doing everywhere when you can open a mini map and see everything.

What about someone playing HITS? No orbital 300mph camera, no instant control of units because everything is sent by courier, couriers that can be killed. No idea whats going on outside your immediate area because you are stuck to your horse. Now that easy scenario might not be so easy.

And that's just the two extremes of play. Theres lots of in between in there. Making a scenario more challenging to win playing the game normally could make it impossible to win playing HITS. All stuff to consider. Not that I don't think there are some scenarios that could use some work, but it might not be as simple as just getting rid of the cheap stuff DarkRob does.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 2 weeks ago #16

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That's all fine.

I am not talking about fixing the game for all users, just for myself.

If I play a LHS scenario I reduce points per minute from 500 to 50.
Its a trivial fix and for me makes the game more enjoyable.

Some of the other loopholes you have found, allowing you to play the game in a way that you want, but the scenario designer didn't, are also simple fixes.

Don't need to hack the game, just make very minor edits to the scenarios.
I think that's a very positive thing to be able to do.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 2 weeks ago #17

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Theres really nothing wrong with a scenario like By Saber: Attack and Pursue, other than the fact that a player like me got to it, and broke it. No one ever did that before me, and if I didn't exist, no one ever likely would have done it because its just so far outside the realm of plausibility. I cant blame a scenario writer or playtester for that one. No one could have seen that one coming.


That scenario (mine) should have been scored up to at least 2000 MV, and still then it's a not so difficult 'Turkey Shoot'. It was originally set at 500 MV (averaging testers scores) but I pushed for at least the 1000 MV level that applies now. Those were difficult times with testing and scenario design as there was no toolbar, only context menus with a skeleton amount of functions were available, and some functions were misassigned. The Grog Toolbar was only a twinkle in my eye, or it would have helped at least testing and design procedures during those early stages of the game's development.

:pinch: Warning: Spoiler!
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 2 weeks ago #18

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RebBugler wrote:
Theres really nothing wrong with a scenario like By Saber: Attack and Pursue, other than the fact that a player like me got to it, and broke it. No one ever did that before me, and if I didn't exist, no one ever likely would have done it because its just so far outside the realm of plausibility. I cant blame a scenario writer or playtester for that one. No one could have seen that one coming.


That scenario (mine) should have been scored up to at least 2000 MV, and still then it's a not so difficult 'Turkey Shoot'. It was originally set at 500 MV (averaging testers scores) but I pushed for at least the 1000 MV level that applies now. Those were difficult times with testing and scenario design as there was no toolbar, only context menus with a skeleton amount of functions were available, and some functions were misassigned. The Grog Toolbar was only a twinkle in my eye, or it would have helped at least testing and design procedures during those early stages of the game's development.

:pinch: Warning: Spoiler!


That isn't really why it's broken. It's broken because once D'erlons corps advances to engage the British, there's no one left on the French line to defend the guns. All it takes is one cavalry brigade to swoop down into the gap between papalotte and the French gun line and all that French artillery is just lined up like a chorus line for a few cavalry squadrons to run them down. At 30 points a gun, you don't even need half the French guns to hit 1000 points. Even if it were 2000 points, all it would mean is you have to run down more guns. Which is pretty easy when there are no other troops defending them.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 2 weeks ago #19

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That isn't really why it's broken. It's broken because once D'erlons corps advances to engage the British, there's no one left on the French line that defend the guns. All it takes is one cavalry brigade to swoop down between the two between papalotte and the French gun line and all that French artillery is just lined up like a chorus line for a few cavalry squadrons to run them down. At 30 points a gun, you don't even need half the French guns to hit 1000 points. Even if it were 2000 points, all it would mean is you have to run down more guns. Which is pretty easy when there are no other troops defending them.


Yeah, that too! This is one scenario that would really benefit from the 'True LOS' mod. Approaching cavalry would have to indure 200 'real distance' yards of canister fire, making guns 'not so easy fodder for cavalry'.
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 2 weeks ago #20

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RebBugler wrote:
That isn't really why it's broken. It's broken because once D'erlons corps advances to engage the British, there's no one left on the French line that defend the guns. All it takes is one cavalry brigade to swoop down between the two between papalotte and the French gun line and all that French artillery is just lined up like a chorus line for a few cavalry squadrons to run them down. At 30 points a gun, you don't even need half the French guns to hit 1000 points. Even if it were 2000 points, all it would mean is you have to run down more guns. Which is pretty easy when there are no other troops defending them.


Yeah, that too! This is one scenario that would really benefit from the 'True LOS' mod. Approaching cavalry would have to indure 200 'real distance' yards of canister fire, making guns 'not so easy fodder for cavalry'.


Actually that isn't the problem either. The problem is the gap between papalotte and the extreme right of the French gun line. The cavalry can approach from the northeast without ever taking a shot of canister. The cavalry disappear behind a house and reappear on the guns flank. By the time the guns can either turn to face them, or try to limber up, it's to late. The cavalry has them.

youtu.be/cOSy-GouzSU
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Re: Custom scenario design with grog. 5 months, 2 weeks ago #21

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Actually that isn't the problem either. The problem is the gap between papalotte and the extreme right of the French gun line. The cavalry can approach from the northeast without ever taking a shot of canister. The cavalry disappear behind a house and reappear on the guns flank. By the time the guns can either turn to face them, or try to limber up, it's to late. The cavalry has them.


Well, maybe. Just remember, with 'True LOS' the cavalry 'sees' the enemy sooner, and as a result of not being guarded by infantry or cavalry, the guns will limber and retreat sooner. Still, the real fix for true historic play, as this scenario is set up historically, would be to have it scaled not only for true battle distances, but also for true battlefield distances. I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.

Bottom line, the game is scaled for sprite ratio necessities. This scaling makes true historic simulations problematic and a challenge to simulate realistically. So, the workaround or goals of historically based scenarios are generally to just make them entertaining and competitive. This scenario fell well short of the competitive part.
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