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Some observations from a long time player and historian

 
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Some observations from a long time player and historian - 4/2/2011 5:29:06 AM   
patch1413

 

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Just my 2 cents - feel free to disagree!

1) Light ships are just wrong. They are already accounted for in the heavy ships (each of which represents roughly one ship of the line, one frigate, and two smaller ships such as brigs and cutters). Double the number of heavy fleets. Transports are a neat idea but WAY too slow - make them speed 6. (why doesn't the computer EVER build a ship?) Cut fleet sizes to 15 for ALL powers - roughly the size of a major squadron. Fleet battles were tiny compared to land actions. Allow fleets a 1 in 6 chance each turn to escape a blockade - happened numerous times during the war.

2) Switzerland. No corps. The Swiss hired themselves out as mercenaries to nearly every court in Europe. They were loyal, skilled, and good infantry. France had 16,0000 of them, Spain about 12,000 (probably the only reason to give Spanish regular infantry a morale of 3.0). Remove the Swiss corps, or make it 4.0 morale.

3) I can't get ships to attack other blockading ships when entering from outside the port. I get an error message. Anyone else get that?

4) Can we get the AI to put more troops in corps and less in garrisons? And can we get them to put their armies in the game rather than in the far corners of the map? I've seen the entire Turkish regular army in Cyprus, the Prussians in Cyrenaica, the Russians in Abo, the British in Dublin, etc.

Thanks for listening,

Old Patch
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/2/2011 1:40:44 PM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Some good input. Here are my comments:

For (1): could nto agree more. Play one of the classic scenarios, instead. Unfortunately these are not officially incorporated into the game yet.

For (2): I don't think this will fly with many EIA players, and when Switzerland is conquored, it more or less simulates this.

For (3): Interesting. I have not seen this. Can you provide some more details? We can look into this, if we get enough details to re-create the situation. Ideally, you can provide a save and dupe instructions on the Mantis bug tracker.

For (4): Marshall is very interested in ideas to improve the AI. Any more observations on the AI?


(in reply to patch1413)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/3/2011 1:34:36 AM   
no_dice

 

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Good points, how about some others...

1) Russian inf moral should be 4 (perhaps 4.5 or 5 when in mother russia!

2) Give Pomerania back to Sweden as per historiy.

3) Let Prussia absorb any factors captured from any other (minor) german nation that surrendered to it.

4) Turkish feudal moral should be about 1.0 and treated like militia not 2.0 and regular infantry.

5) How about a maximum army size for minors? Say corps strength + 50% or perhaps 2-3 for those without corps

Cheers!

No Dice

(in reply to patch1413)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/3/2011 9:46:48 AM   
gazfun


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Goodness me guys!
Next thing you want is a tech change so that the French have submarines or something ridiculous as that.

The best thing to do is use the editor and see if you get people to play what you are suggesting, and you will score a big fat............NO THANKS! no one will be interested in these especially doing away the Light ships!

Make the changes yourself then try and get the players.....thats the real test.



_____________________________

Create your own history at www.thegeneralshq.org

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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/4/2011 12:48:01 AM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Gazfun. Good points about suggestions to deviate from the original game, but seriously, do you like light ships? I think they an abomination.

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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/4/2011 1:16:30 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

Next thing you want is a tech change so that the French have submarines or something ridiculous as that.


No the French had hot air balloon tech.  It was the Prussians with early U-boat tech.

quote:

but seriously, do you like light ships?


In the current state of the game, they don't do much.  Down the road if we ever get an advanced naval combat option where there are some fleet differences, then it could be more interesting with smaller skirmishes at sea.  The current naval game being mostly limited to Britain blockading France isn't very exciting.

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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/4/2011 3:36:35 PM   
NeverMan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: gazfun

Goodness me guys!
Next thing you want is a tech change so that the French have submarines or something ridiculous as that.

The best thing to do is use the editor and see if you get people to play what you are suggesting, and you will score a big fat............NO THANKS! no one will be interested in these especially doing away the Light ships!

Make the changes yourself then try and get the players.....thats the real test.




I agree except on the light ships part... they are just dumb. Light ships are stupid, period. Transports are equally as useless. Though, of course, I really enjoy playing Empires in Arms, not it's bastard ugly computer copy.

(in reply to gazfun)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/4/2011 3:44:14 PM   
bongina

 

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Aye! Get rid of light ships and transports!!!!

No to any morale increases.

If anything, decrease English land morale to 4 and French to 3.5

And how about using the advanced naval battle charts?

(in reply to NeverMan)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/9/2011 5:17:13 PM   
Murat


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quote:

ORIGINAL: gazfun

Goodness me guys!
Next thing you want is a tech change so that the French have submarines or something ridiculous as that.

The best thing to do is use the editor and see if you get people to play what you are suggesting, and you will score a big fat............NO THANKS! no one will be interested in these especially doing away the Light ships!

Make the changes yourself then try and get the players.....thats the real test.




This. Test out your theories as to how popular your idea is before you start loading programming of new features ideas on to a group that is already having to do enough to fix bugs just to make the game actually work the way the current rules say it should.

(in reply to gazfun)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/15/2011 9:13:28 PM   
borner


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It's the EiH changes that made it into this version. I agree on the light ship comments made at the start of the thread, and in a perfect world think they need to go away. Still, in the big picture they are not all that hard to deal with. Especially given where this game started and the things that are still being worked on.

(in reply to Murat)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/16/2011 12:03:12 PM   
delatbabel


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It's not true that a significant fleet of any size escaped a tight blockade at any time during the war between 1803 and 1815. There were many small fleets (10 or so ships) that did, also Brueys' fleet from Toulon in 1798 to its greater detriment, but one could argue that the British fleet there was stationed in the Gulf of Lyons sea area (and failed an intercept roll) and not actually in the Toulon blockade box.

From a sailing skipper's point of view, having piloted both square and sloop rigged ships into and out of a windy harbour under sail, I can tell you that no ship's captain would stand a chance of bringing a broadside around to an enemy fleet standing hove to close off the harbour and also be able to maintain sufficient steerage and control not to end up either in irons or on the rocks, either of which means death. Certainly not a 1 in 6 chance.

The other major problem when exiting a harbour, especially any river port, is that you do so bow first and in single file. An enemy fleet sitting "in the blockade box" is simply just going to pick off each ship one at a time as it leaves harbour. It's maybe a 1 in 50 chance of success if you try it, but it's a 49 in 50 chance of death if you try it and it doesn't work for you. So a blockade doesn't mean you can't sail, it just means that if you do sail you die, and your ships' captains don't all want to die.

In game terms allowing France a setup with 3-4 corps in Brest along with the entire French navy, and letting France have a 1 in 6 chance of breaking the blockade, forcing a British unconditional surrender and ending the game, would not fly with most players.

Napoleon said if that if the French were "masters of the Channel for six hours, we are masters of the world". The simple fact is that the French were never masters of the Channel and had no reasonable chance of becoming so.


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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/16/2011 12:09:27 PM   
delatbabel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: no_dice

Good points, how about some others...

1) Russian inf moral should be 4 (perhaps 4.5 or 5 when in mother russia!

2) Give Pomerania back to Sweden as per historiy.

3) Let Prussia absorb any factors captured from any other (minor) german nation that surrendered to it.

4) Turkish feudal moral should be about 1.0 and treated like militia not 2.0 and regular infantry.

5) How about a maximum army size for minors? Say corps strength + 50% or perhaps 2-3 for those without corps

Cheers!

No Dice


(1)

my troops are moral == they don't steal, they pray in church, and they help little old ladies cross the street.
my troops have morale == they are brave in battle, even with the Russian artillery firing at them.

(2) Swedish Pomerania was in fact Swedish territory, that little one area bit of Pomerania with one city in it marked on the map as "S Pommerania" (note the spelling error). The rest of Pomerania was Prussian.

(3) This occurred a bit later and snowballed around 1870 of course when Prussia absorbed all of the remaining German states to become Germany. You also find a lot of French-speaking German forces in the French army (Westphalian corps, etc) too. So I'm not sure why Prussia should be treated especially differently. Austria claimed historical hegemony over most of this area too.


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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/16/2011 5:29:03 PM   
NeverMan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: delatbabel

, but it's a 49 in 50 chance of death if you try it and it doesn't work for you.


I think it's a 49 in 49 chace of death if you try it and it doesn't work for you.

Just had to, sorry.

(in reply to delatbabel)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/17/2011 12:55:32 AM   
Mardonius


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Del:

Nice try but you are, in your hard and fast conclusion, wrong. You give perfect conditions to the blockading fleet. This perfection is often not the case. Remember that Brueys slipped past Nelson on the way to Malta and for most of the Med chase. Blockades can be scattered by storms, communications can be fouled, etc. Napoleon had a chance and just because that chance did not manifest into success does not mean it was impossible. I would not get wrapped up in the Blockade Box vs Sea area debate... it is a red herring. Have fun sailing! If you want to come and visit me at the US College of Naval Warfare next year, do so. They have lots of books on sailing ships and the like...

_____________________________

"Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant" -- James Madison
"Yes, you will win most battles, but if you loose to me you will loose oh so badly that it causes me pain (chortle) just to think of it" - P. Khan

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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/17/2011 1:05:09 AM   
delatbabel


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So what you're saying is that there is in fact about a 1 in 6 chance of a blockaded fleet breaking the blockade each month?

Can you show specific evidence of where this happened to the Channel fleet? So where did the French troops land in Britain, where were they opposed on the way to London, and in what month and year did Napoleon stage his victory march through Trafalgar Square? Sorry but that's not in any of the history books I have, you must be reading different ones.

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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/17/2011 2:08:41 AM   
borner


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It never happened as France and Spain did not try it, and with good reason. By this time period fleets had learned how to stay on station even in bad weather, opposed to what could happen the previous century. Also, such weather would have possibly made it hard for fleets to leave port themselves. What the rule does, to state the plainly obvious, is give the weather gauge to the blockading force when the battle takes place. This is quite realistic as the rule does not prevent a fleet to attempt a sortie out of port, but rather gives the advantage in the fight to the fleet already at sea and waiting for them.

< Message edited by borner -- 4/17/2011 3:45:09 AM >

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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/17/2011 3:18:43 AM   
Mardonius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: delatbabel
So what you're saying is that there is in fact about a 1 in 6 chance of a blockaded fleet breaking the blockade each month?


I don't think that is an unreasonable starting point. One should want to take into account admiral's experiences and season
Remember, too, that there is a real risk of attempting this breakout in that failure necessitates engagement, barring a non-intercept attempt
DEL
Can you show specific evidence of where this happened to the Channel fleet? So where did the French troops land in Britain, where were they opposed on the way to London, and in what month and year did Napoleon stage his victory march through Trafalgar Square? Sorry but that's not in any of the history books I have, you must be reading different ones. END DEL

You are asking me to prove a negative. There were none in our period (though just before, and several, at least, in earlier years) Moreover, we were discussing a rule that applies to all ports and I did show you an occasion where the French managed to slip out against Nelson. I can mention another, too, when the French slipped out before Trafalgar and headed toward the Caribbean. So we have established that breaking a blockade and evasion against Nelson is possible; though even if we had not this hard evidence, we should not subscribe to the "because we have not witnessed it, it must not be true" logical chicanery. History is not prescriptive. And who dares, wins.

Further, It was not too long before our period (June 1779) when the French and Spanish managed to put a combined fleet together from different ports into the channel. So do not make the mistake of taking France, at its naval nadir with its noble officers guilloteened or proscribed, and say that it was impossible for them to have come around and beaten the Brits. It certainly would have taken time for training, focus, and money but can and could have been done, given a little luck.


< Message edited by Mardonius -- 4/17/2011 3:21:09 AM >


_____________________________

"Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant" -- James Madison
"Yes, you will win most battles, but if you loose to me you will loose oh so badly that it causes me pain (chortle) just to think of it" - P. Khan

(in reply to delatbabel)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/17/2011 3:47:55 AM   
borner


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If you do consider this change to give a 1/6 chance to get away, then you I think you need also need to have the rule in place that a normal breakout battle takes should the attempt fail as the fleet attempting to run the blockade would then be out in the open.

(in reply to Mardonius)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/17/2011 4:23:09 AM   
Mardonius


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Yes, indeed. Also, if I recall in the Advanced Naval Rules, if one used a decoy fleet to force a battle then the odds went up to 2 in 6. But I may be misremembering.

_____________________________

"Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant" -- James Madison
"Yes, you will win most battles, but if you loose to me you will loose oh so badly that it causes me pain (chortle) just to think of it" - P. Khan

(in reply to borner)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/18/2011 3:15:47 AM   
borner


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All this being said, the Royal navy was far better than others when it came to this, (and everything else) and if such a rule was put into placeyou would have to have a different success rate for GB to hold the blockade than with all other nations.

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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/18/2011 1:28:51 PM   
Mardonius


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Dunno. 1 in 6 is a very large abstraction already. I can readily observe a few examples of weather being such a large factor in blockades being dispersed (the other hole being time on station and revictualling/maintenance requirements) that I don't think that the quality of the ship crews would be the deciding factor in the blockade. I think this advantage is already fairly captured in the naval combat advantages that GB enjoys and to double count this advantage is not equitable.

_____________________________

"Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant" -- James Madison
"Yes, you will win most battles, but if you loose to me you will loose oh so badly that it causes me pain (chortle) just to think of it" - P. Khan

(in reply to borner)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/25/2011 4:54:13 PM   
bongina

 

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I think the entire naval game needs changing. it is completely unrealistic. Fleets are too big and naval looses too bloody. Also, ships carrying troops should be penalized on movement.

(in reply to Mardonius)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/26/2011 2:06:14 AM   
patch1413

 

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My apologies for jumping all the way back here. And thanks for posting a thoughtful response - makes the debate much more pleasant.

1) Significant Fleet Escapes: The Dutch got out at Camperdown in the face of close blockade, the British being driven off station by weather and supply problems. The French got out at Toulon in January of 1805 and promptly went back in, not leaving for the Trafalgar campaign until March. The rebuilt Toulon fleet sortied briefly in 1808 or 1809. It didn't happen often, but it did happen. That the French never got much out of any of the escapes is why we play wargames - "What if?"

2) I'm well aware of the problems of moving a group of anything anywhere. The game give the Blockading British first shot and a +1 to damage. But right now that is ALWAYS what happens. You cannot, in EiA, simulate the Nile Campaign, or even Camperdown. France can't get out. Transports can't even get from Toulon to Malta in one turn, much less to Egypt. I use the 1 in 6 chance for two reasons - the first is that it was proposed in an old The General article, and two because we are only using a d6.

3) I should have been more specific - breaking the blockade just means you are at sea, along with the blockaders. There is still at least one interception roll in the area, plus another if you move away. It is intended as a calculated risk, not a given; again "What if?"

4) Napoleon's famous six hour quote was nonsense, even his army officers knew that (a small test landing on friendly shores drowned several hundred men), and I'm sure there were a lot sighs of relief when Austria attacked in 1805. The British navy ruled the waves, and no argument here, but only at tremendous cost in blood, treasure, and resolve, and unless the British are forced to consider the same problems I feel the naval game becomes a meaningless excercise in factor counting.

quote:

ORIGINAL: delatbabel

It's not true that a significant fleet of any size escaped a tight blockade at any time during the war between 1803 and 1815. There were many small fleets (10 or so ships) that did, also Brueys' fleet from Toulon in 1798 to its greater detriment, but one could argue that the British fleet there was stationed in the Gulf of Lyons sea area (and failed an intercept roll) and not actually in the Toulon blockade box.

From a sailing skipper's point of view, having piloted both square and sloop rigged ships into and out of a windy harbour under sail, I can tell you that no ship's captain would stand a chance of bringing a broadside around to an enemy fleet standing hove to close off the harbour and also be able to maintain sufficient steerage and control not to end up either in irons or on the rocks, either of which means death. Certainly not a 1 in 6 chance.

The other major problem when exiting a harbour, especially any river port, is that you do so bow first and in single file. An enemy fleet sitting "in the blockade box" is simply just going to pick off each ship one at a time as it leaves harbour. It's maybe a 1 in 50 chance of success if you try it, but it's a 49 in 50 chance of death if you try it and it doesn't work for you. So a blockade doesn't mean you can't sail, it just means that if you do sail you die, and your ships' captains don't all want to die.

In game terms allowing France a setup with 3-4 corps in Brest along with the entire French navy, and letting France have a 1 in 6 chance of breaking the blockade, forcing a British unconditional surrender and ending the game, would not fly with most players.

Napoleon said if that if the French were "masters of the Channel for six hours, we are masters of the world". The simple fact is that the French were never masters of the Channel and had no reasonable chance of becoming so.



(in reply to delatbabel)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/26/2011 2:12:04 AM   
patch1413

 

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LIGHT SHIPS:

My concern with Light Ships is that they become damage shields for the more expensive ships of the line. In all the vast [Major Battles, sorry: 1st of June, Camperdown, Nile, Algericas, Trafalger, Calder's Action, Aix Roads . . .] sea battles of the period you can number the lost frigates and smaller on the fingers of one hand. As for 10 frigates dropping a 5 factor corps somewhere, that is just fantasy. I'm all for abstractions in a strategic campaign, but there have to be limits and the Light Ships and Transports are clearly outside the pale here.

< Message edited by patch1413 -- 4/26/2011 4:01:17 AM >

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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/26/2011 1:17:37 PM   
Mardonius


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Light ships, as encorporated in this game, are not an asset. One could use them for interception/evasion bonuses or something to that effect...

The gravest violation of common sense in the Naval Rules is the limited maintenance costs in a blockade box. As the Blockade box is the sea, its cost should be the sea. An if anyone tries to tell you that sustaining a fleet at sea close to the coast is easier than further from the coast they really have not reviewed the historical record. A blockade of an enemy coast line is very, very costly and, indeed, porous. For example, half of the ships that sailed from the Confederacy were able to escape the US blockade... Plenty of other examples from earlier periods.

_____________________________

"Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant" -- James Madison
"Yes, you will win most battles, but if you loose to me you will loose oh so badly that it causes me pain (chortle) just to think of it" - P. Khan

(in reply to patch1413)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 4/27/2011 3:23:54 AM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

My concern with Light Ships is that they become damage shields for the more expensive ships of the line.


This is a valid concern and could be resolved by implementing naval retreats for light fleets when alone versus heavy fleets and by implementing proportional losses when mixed fleets are involved. Marshall needs to relook this; no telling when something might happen. In the meantime, the editor works perfectly fine enough for customizing the campaigns to not have light fleets and/or transports. (Hint.)

quote:

Light ships, as encorporated in this game, are not an asset. One could use them for interception/evasion bonuses or something to that effect...


As incorporated in the current game, yes. Fix the light fleets issue above and they should be OK - maybe not an asset for naval warfare but still something many players may want in their games. The primary role for the light fleets should be the piracy and anti-piracy missions, which could probably be enhanced some to make it more interesting. The other possibility is for more light versus light naval skirmishes between the lesser powers.


(in reply to Mardonius)
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RE: Some observations from a long time player and histo... - 5/16/2011 4:20:52 PM   
Murat


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The entire Invasion of Egypt started with a slipped blockade and ended (mostly) with a failed slip, but 1 crucial ship did escape and Nappy got home. John Paul Jones ruled the English coast for 3 years starting with 1 ship and building a small fleet. Oceans are big, some ports are big, some ports cannot be effectively blockaded, some can. In the end it is a game and some sacrifices to history must be made for playablity or we will be rolling percentile dice and consulting charts with advance algorithms to even play for the dozen or so of us that would get into that much detail and Marshall would be even more broke from this project because of low sales. The ideal port of this is Emperors of Europe which is basically EiA merged with A&A with A&A being almost all of the rules. That would be a better seller since while most here would hate it, the masses would eat up such a beer and pretzels thing they could finish in an afternoon.

wow my typing is getting worse

< Message edited by Murat -- 5/16/2011 4:21:31 PM >

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