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Use of combined phases for players at peace, and double game speed

 
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Use of combined phases for players at peace, and double... - 5/17/2009 1:19:34 PM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Hi Marshall
I was recalling that when I used to play the board game, we often let players complete all their phases for one month in one go, immediately after the diplomacy phase. This way, that player could then run out for pizza, beer, etc., while the rest of us slogged through some war or another. It worked well, and nobody thought twice about it.
Can we do the same thing for the PBEM? It would speed things up a lot during those relatively boring months when there are no wars. After the first 6 months or so, most nations are at peace, and are simply marking time. It is a lot to ask players to log in religiously just to keep the game moving. Why not let the players at peace have an option to do all their phases at once?
What I am suggesting, is that during a players reinforcement phase, let them do their naval, land and eco phases together, even before the next players reinforcement by selecting an option from the skipping pull down menu. The existing skipping function would then skip these phases when they came up in the regular rotation. This solves the problem of trying to do some sort of simultaneous phasing, i.e. having a non-phasing player do their turn (i.e. you are off the hook for doing simultaneous phases).
Assuming that 5 players are at peace during any month, and use this function, it knocks out 36% (10) of the phases during any month (when only GB and France were at war, this would actually increase 46% (almost double) to because the number of back to back turns GB and France could do). This is an enormous jump in speed.
Spain for instance would do her diplomacy phase at the end of the phase, then jump straight into a combined reinforcement, naval, land and eco phase, and be done for the turn, which makes playing Spain pretty painless. For everyone else, there is no more waiting for this player to do their turn, so the game goes faster.
Obviously there are some limitations. For instance, you could not include diplomacy, a player at war could not do this, and loaning corps to a player who has already combined phases would not be possible, but these are not great problems. Am I right in thinking this would relatively straight forward (at least compared to simultaneous phases)?
What’s everyone else’s opinion? Is this a relatively easy way to zip through those long periods of enforced peace (at the players option, of course)?
Post #: 1
RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/17/2009 3:50:41 PM   
borner


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I still think doing reinf, Dp and eco at the same time for all players is the way to go. Yes, it's different than the old game, but considering how much else changed, I feel it's workable. ANYTHING HELPS. However, seeing how many ugs still come up, probably better to focus on that first.

(in reply to Dancing Bear)
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RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/17/2009 7:46:20 PM   
Dancing Bear

 

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This option would basically let players toggle between all 4(5) phases when at war, to only 2 phases when at peace.

After the first few months, almost all players would have the option to do 2 phases per month (or only one if they skipped diplomacy), without any real change in play.

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RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/18/2009 12:28:18 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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Dancing Bear:

I don't think that would work well here??? It would take players playing phases ahead and then only some ... hmmmm? That might be a little tricky???

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RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/18/2009 2:31:00 PM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Hi Marshall
Do you mean tricky in terms how other players see the moves? I was thinking that the other players would see/load the combined moves immediately. Let’s say Prussia did a combined reinforcement, naval, land and eco turn. All the other players could immediately load all those phases, and see the results, even before the next player, Austria does her reinforcement. This means the Prussian units would actually be moved right then and there, with what ever the garrison-foraging conditions that existed during the Prussian reinforcement, and is different from saved "orders" suggestions made in the past. i.e. it would prevent errors should the Prussians, for instance, try to put troops into a garrison into a city with some sort of saved “orders” for the land phase, that was filled to capacity between the Prussian player’s reinforcement and land phases by another player.

Letting all the phases be viewed and loaded by the others players immediately, is much cleaner, and not that tricky. The other part is just skipping those phases when they come up, the code for which already exists.

Compressing/combined/changing the order of phases for players who are at peace (including all their minors) is of little or almost no consequence in terms of effect on play.



< Message edited by Dancing Bear -- 5/18/2009 8:11:31 PM >

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RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/18/2009 4:17:03 PM   
NeverMan

 

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Make this game playable first (ie. fix the game stopping/changing bugs)!!!

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RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/18/2009 10:14:13 PM   
bresh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dancing Bear

Hi Marshall
Do you mean tricky in terms how other players see the moves? I was thinking that the other players would see/load the combined moves immediately. Let’s say Prussia did a combined reinforcement, naval, land and eco turn. All the other players could immediately load all those phases, and see the results, even before the next player, Austria does her reinforcement. This means the Prussian units would actually be moved right then and there, with what ever the garrison-foraging conditions that existed during the Prussian reinforcement, and is different from saved "orders" suggestions made in the past. i.e. it would prevent errors should the Prussians, for instance, try to put troops into a garrison into a city with some sort of saved “orders” for the land phase, that was filled to capacity between the Prussian player’s reinforcement and land phases by another player.

Letting all the phases be viewed and loaded by the others players immediately, is much cleaner, and not that tricky. The other part is just skipping those phases when they come up, the code for which already exists.

Compressing/combined/changing the order of phases for players who are at peace (including all their minors) is of little or almost no consequence in terms of effect on play.




Sorry, i dont see this happening, unless the DB was designed for different phases happening out of order.
Beside non-sequential land-movement could corrupt the game design.
Example
Of problems in land phase if not sequential.
Several depots in same area (own/or somewhere with access)
Several depots in same sea area.

Forage calculation fails, several players could move to the same neutral minor, or have access to same MP-owned area.

There are only 2 phases ,that dont need to be sequential
Diplomacy and Eco.
Reinf-phase could be argued about if no-wars only.


Regards
Bresh

< Message edited by bresh -- 5/18/2009 10:16:51 PM >

(in reply to Dancing Bear)
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RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/19/2009 2:28:46 AM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Hi Bresh, I think it could work and be pretty easy to do. Hopefully I can explain my logic clearly enough.

First to your point about the DB maybe not being designed for different phases out of order. I’m going to guess that this is not a problem because as the Marshall has often said when we submit files for him for correction, that he can correct any mistake from any phase as long as he has a turn from the phasing players turn. The limitation for the Marshall to change the database is who is phasing, not what phase the game is in. This implies that phase order is not that important to the database.

(It also highlights the real roadblock to simultaneous phases, in that, even the Marshall can only manipulate the database with the phasing players turn, so changes to the DB made by non-phasing players, a requirement for simultaneous phases, is difficult).

For the second point about non-sequential land phases won’t be a problem either. I am suggesting that the player who wants to combine his reinforcement and naval and land phases (let’s call him player A), simply do the naval and land phase right away, i.e. any moves he makes/depots he places, changes the database immediately, so that the next player who is next, loads player A’s reinforcement, naval and land phases, prior to placing any reinforcements himself. So if player A has placed a depot in an area already, the normal rules would not allow player B to also place a depot there, and it would be impossible to place several depots in the same area.

The same applies to forage calculations. Player A would have already used up the forage allowance (or placed a depot), so player B would be operating at a very slight and easily neutralised disadvantage. There are two circumstances where this might affect forage rolls as you point out. First, two players with access to the same MP controlled area, both with corps wanted to forage in the same space. This is a) not likely to happen, b) Player B can see what player A did and deal with it, and C) in the rare circumstance Player B can not compensate, can be worked out between the allies with a cash transfer. I can’t see this rare circumstance being a real problem. Second a player might jump into minor neutral ahead of another player just to use up the forage allowance for the minor. This can happen already without combined phases in very rare cases, and is not new or unique to combined phases, so I can’t see this being critical.

Some players might try for instance to forstall a British invasion of France by placing a line of fleets with depots on them off the coast of France, so GB could not do so. But GB would just wait a turn, wipe out the offenders fleets, and then do the invasion. The threat of subsequent annihilation would be enough of a deterrent to prevent this (placing depots like this is also somthng that can be done without combined phases as well, so not unique to this situation).

I remain a big supporter of simultaneous phases, but as the Marshall has repeated pointed out, getting around the issue of having a non-phasing player change the database is a very difficult problem. The advantage of the above approach is that it is the phasing player that does all the interacting with the database, so it delivers real advances in game speed and neatly side steps the major difficulty of simultaneous phasing.


(in reply to bresh)
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RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/19/2009 7:24:56 AM   
bresh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dancing Bear

Hi Bresh, I think it could work and be pretty easy to do. Hopefully I can explain my logic clearly enough.

First to your point about the DB maybe not being designed for different phases out of order. I’m going to guess that this is not a problem because as the Marshall has often said when we submit files for him for correction, that he can correct any mistake from any phase as long as he has a turn from the phasing players turn. The limitation for the Marshall to change the database is who is phasing, not what phase the game is in. This implies that phase order is not that important to the database.

(It also highlights the real roadblock to simultaneous phases, in that, even the Marshall can only manipulate the database with the phasing players turn, so changes to the DB made by non-phasing players, a requirement for simultaneous phases, is difficult).

For the second point about non-sequential land phases won’t be a problem either. I am suggesting that the player who wants to combine his reinforcement and naval and land phases (let’s call him player A), simply do the naval and land phase right away, i.e. any moves he makes/depots he places, changes the database immediately, so that the next player who is next, loads player A’s reinforcement, naval and land phases, prior to placing any reinforcements himself. So if player A has placed a depot in an area already, the normal rules would not allow player B to also place a depot there, and it would be impossible to place several depots in the same area.

The same applies to forage calculations. Player A would have already used up the forage allowance (or placed a depot), so player B would be operating at a very slight and easily neutralised disadvantage. There are two circumstances where this might affect forage rolls as you point out. First, two players with access to the same MP controlled area, both with corps wanted to forage in the same space. This is a) not likely to happen, b) Player B can see what player A did and deal with it, and C) in the rare circumstance Player B can not compensate, can be worked out between the allies with a cash transfer. I can’t see this rare circumstance being a real problem. Second a player might jump into minor neutral ahead of another player just to use up the forage allowance for the minor. This can happen already without combined phases in very rare cases, and is not new or unique to combined phases, so I can’t see this being critical.

Some players might try for instance to forstall a British invasion of France by placing a line of fleets with depots on them off the coast of France, so GB could not do so. But GB would just wait a turn, wipe out the offenders fleets, and then do the invasion. The threat of subsequent annihilation would be enough of a deterrent to prevent this (placing depots like this is also somthng that can be done without combined phases as well, so not unique to this situation).

I remain a big supporter of simultaneous phases, but as the Marshall has repeated pointed out, getting around the issue of having a non-phasing player change the database is a very difficult problem. The advantage of the above approach is that it is the phasing player that does all the interacting with the database, so it delivers real advances in game speed and neatly side steps the major difficulty of simultaneous phasing.




I say no.
There is no reason to uneven who gets what forage rolls in areas, yours suggestion can be abused, say depot placement/forage rolls/supply lines.

Your anti Invasion is flawed, what if GB has peace-restrictions against those who set the depots at sea ?
What if its GB who deploys the strategy ?
Btw, it doesnt have to be GB, thats thats involved in the naval-depots.. A nation could prevent other nations placing depot-supply for a invasion vs a minor, in some cases 1 sea-area is all it takes.


Regards
Bresh

< Message edited by bresh -- 5/19/2009 7:26:36 AM >

(in reply to Dancing Bear)
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RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/19/2009 12:38:17 PM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Bresh
GB can already move first and depoly depots all around an invasion target. Any nation movng before another can exhaust the forage capacity of an area. I understand why you would not like such a tactic, but its use has nothing to do with the suggested combined movement.
Have you played the PBEM, and do you know how slow it is?
Simon.

(in reply to bresh)
Post #: 10
RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/19/2009 12:42:13 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bresh

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dancing Bear

Hi Marshall
Do you mean tricky in terms how other players see the moves? I was thinking that the other players would see/load the combined moves immediately. Let’s say Prussia did a combined reinforcement, naval, land and eco turn. All the other players could immediately load all those phases, and see the results, even before the next player, Austria does her reinforcement. This means the Prussian units would actually be moved right then and there, with what ever the garrison-foraging conditions that existed during the Prussian reinforcement, and is different from saved "orders" suggestions made in the past. i.e. it would prevent errors should the Prussians, for instance, try to put troops into a garrison into a city with some sort of saved “orders” for the land phase, that was filled to capacity between the Prussian player’s reinforcement and land phases by another player.

Letting all the phases be viewed and loaded by the others players immediately, is much cleaner, and not that tricky. The other part is just skipping those phases when they come up, the code for which already exists.

Compressing/combined/changing the order of phases for players who are at peace (including all their minors) is of little or almost no consequence in terms of effect on play.




Sorry, i dont see this happening, unless the DB was designed for different phases happening out of order.
Beside non-sequential land-movement could corrupt the game design.
Example
Of problems in land phase if not sequential.
Several depots in same area (own/or somewhere with access)
Several depots in same sea area.

Forage calculation fails, several players could move to the same neutral minor, or have access to same MP-owned area.

There are only 2 phases ,that dont need to be sequential
Diplomacy and Eco.
Reinf-phase could be argued about if no-wars only.


Regards
Bresh


BINGO!


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Marshall Ellis
Outflank Strategy War Games



(in reply to bresh)
Post #: 11
RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/19/2009 1:22:47 PM   
bresh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dancing Bear

Bresh
GB can already move first and depoly depots all around an invasion target. Any nation movng before another can exhaust the forage capacity of an area. I understand why you would not like such a tactic, but its use has nothing to do with the suggested combined movement.
Have you played the PBEM, and do you know how slow it is?
Simon.

Simon, i just put up examples.
Lets say Russia wants to invade Dalmatia, then Spain/Turkey/France who normally would not be able to, could ruin the sea supply, by your suggested method..

I joined some 7-10 pbm-games so far. All 24h/turnabout, is it slow sometimes...

Speed has alot to do with players in the group.
I had one game where 4-9 files where submitted pr day, while others it just seldom got more than 1.

Regards
Bresh


< Message edited by bresh -- 5/19/2009 1:25:49 PM >

(in reply to Dancing Bear)
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RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/19/2009 5:28:17 PM   
obsidiandrag


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I see Bresh's point and agree with him..

example -
Say Spain delcares on Naples and is planning the invasion from its forces in Portugal..  ANYONE (whoever gains control) can opt to move first.. weather normally before or after spain just by doing this combined phase move.  Now they can set up the forces for Naples and take the naval AND land phases to remove the home depot on the Spanish port prohibiting invasion supply all together and do what ever is needed to keep Spain from making it to Naples thus causing a Lapse of War..

OD

(in reply to bresh)
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RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/19/2009 11:22:12 PM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Well, the Marshall's bingo, may have made this a mote point, although, Marshall, when you say bingo, does this mean the DB won't let any phases be combined (by which I mean done one after another not truely combined), or just some phases, with diplomacy and eco being the exceptions?

OB, I was going to limit your type of example, by making combined phases only possible by players at peace, including any minors they gained control of.

Bresh, yours is a valid point. Is this the only objection, however? Your comments about non-orthodox dip, eco and rein phases, suggest flexibility. If your type of example about Russian naval invasions is the only objection, there are other ways to deal with it. For instance, more than one naval supply could be allowed per sea area (this always struck me a stupid rule), allow depots to be built in blockade boxes which by otehr rules only warring parties can enter (I thought you could be dposts on blockade boxes in the original game) or what about making the naval phase the combined phase instead, so that the combined phase happens in the order of naval movement?

Would an option for players at peace (including all their minors) to combine eco phase with the land phase be acceptable? What about combining land, eco and the diplomacy phase of the following month? This would help somewhat and might be easy to do.

I'm looking for ways to get around the problem the Marshall is reportedly having with implementing sim phases, in that it is hard for him to allow non-phasing players to manipulate the Data Base. Allowing the phase sequence to be temporilary adjusted might be less of a programming challenge than sim phases. Any comments Marshall?

As to game speed in general. I'm still playing and having fun. I just think the game is falling short of its potential. Speed is an issue, and I can't believe that as a group of clever individuals, we can't think of/implement a better way of doing things.

< Message edited by Dancing Bear -- 5/20/2009 3:22:02 AM >

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RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/20/2009 3:26:31 AM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Marshall, have I explained this right? I don't mean for you to create a truely combined phase. What I mean is that a player does the rein phase, creates a rein file which he sends to the other players, then does his naval phase, sends out his naval phase, and etc for the land and eco phases. Then the next player can load all those phases, before he does his reinforcement. Will the DB not allow this type of coding?

(in reply to Marshall Ellis)
Post #: 15
RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/20/2009 12:11:11 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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I believe so. Combining phases or moving them out of order EVEN if only for some players would be a nightmare. The accounting and phase tracking would be crazy! I hate to say this but the IGO-UGO format of the engine is very strict and not as flexible as I would like it to be but that is for another mod/engine at another day...

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RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/21/2009 2:16:26 AM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Hi Marshall
I guess that is the end of this line of investigation.

On another track, would it be possible to trick the program into thinking everyone was the phasing player? For example after loading the last turn of the land phase, the game told everyone they were phasing as the first player in the diplomacy phase (i.e. everyone from France to Spain would be asked to do their diplomacy phase during as the first player in the diplomacy phase). However, when they sent their files to the other players, the other players would not see them as first in the phase (they can't all be first), but loaded them in the regular sequence. i.e. all players create turns like they are first in the diplomacy phase, but the files go out telling the other players that they are actually second, third, fourth, etc in the phase. This way all the files are created simmultaneously, and only loaded in order. The diplomacy actions would then be resolved during the first reinforcement (same as if Spain skipped diplomacy).

(in reply to Marshall Ellis)
Post #: 17
RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/21/2009 12:54:25 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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That would be more realistic.

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(in reply to Dancing Bear)
Post #: 18
RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/22/2009 3:11:22 AM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Does more realistic, mean realistic? Maybe not today, but is this the solution for sometime in the not too distant future?

I can't think of any problems for an eco phase working this way. For diplomacy, there might be a problem in that Spain may not be able to skip diplomacy (I say this because I'm not sure what happens if Spain has skipped diplomacy and reinforcement, but during resolution of the diplomacy phase gains control of the minor with troops. How does the game know to cancel the Spainish skipping of reinforcment?). Even with this limitation it is still a big jump ahead.

(in reply to Marshall Ellis)
Post #: 19
RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/22/2009 4:43:11 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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I think not too distant future would be OK BUT currently I am just too packed to do this right now! I would like to see the general release of 1.06 get me over the hill for the PBEM issues then we can work this kind of stuff BUT this is a goal and not a statement :-)



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Marshall Ellis
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(in reply to Dancing Bear)
Post #: 20
RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/22/2009 10:58:46 PM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Understood Marshall. There's a lot on your plate, and I'd like to see the proposed 1.06 fixes first too. As long as there is a feasible approach and it is on the list somewhere.

< Message edited by Dancing Bear -- 5/23/2009 3:08:23 AM >

(in reply to Marshall Ellis)
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RE: Use of combined phases for players at peace, and do... - 5/23/2009 1:59:34 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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Understood!



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Thank you

Marshall Ellis
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Post #: 22
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