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Clovis
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How It Works

Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:33 am

Starting this thred to collect all bits of information about gameplay present here and there.

Tamas explained how the battle screen worked in a AAR

Image


Lets stop at this screenshot, and let me explain battles for you a little.

This is the screen which opens up for every battle. You can see it is a minor battle because only the left half of the main part is used. When both sides has 4 units or more at the start of the battle, it becomes a major battle, and the area with red crosses also get used. Those are basically two parallel battles, but they do add complexity because you have to allocate your units for one of the sub-battles, and get a "flanked" penalty for the 2nd battle if you lose the 1st.

So, as you see, each unit has 3 attributes, which are pretty straigthforward: attack, defense, movement. Similarly important are the little flags because these show you the morale and training level of the unit. For example, the yellow ones are active duty soldiers, grey are reserve conscripts, etc.

The orange flag means an elite unit . Yellows are veterans (soldiers which were about at the end of their military service and/or units with considerable experience), greys are conscripted reserves which received training. There are also purple ones which are the normal active duty units, and whites, which are the conscripts hurried into battle without proper training. (yes, the artillery also has a white flag but support units do not participate in the battle the way regular units do, so color of flag is of no significance)

You can also see the nationality of the unit, when it is applicable, ie. it is not the "native" of his army. This does have consequenes, in form of morale check modifiers. For example, as the Dual Monarchy, you want to avoid sending your Slav conscripts against the Russians or Serbs, since their morale is low enough even without them being forced to shoot at their fellow Slavs.
But, as Germany, you want to send your Bavarians against France, and Saxons against Russia.

You may have noticed, that the artillery has no combat values. Thats because the arty units provide a substantial advantage in form of column shifts on the CRT (combat resolution table). It is decisive to have this advantage (to have artillery while your enemy does not). However, each round of combat where you have an artillery unit costs one ammunition. Ammunition gets scarce around the end of 1914, and during big fights in trench warfare, it just melts away.

The "Reserve" also worth mentioning: these are with your HQ unit, which can provide them to the battle if within range. It is wise to have your artillery as HQ reserves, most of the time.

The attacker's strength is put against the defender's, and after all modifiers (artillery, terrain, events, etc), you get a result. The simplest loss flips your unit. However, in case of a bigger loss, or a flipped unit suffering one, there is need for a morale check. The morale check can have different results, from removing your unit for a single combat round, through removing it for the entire combat or turn, to downright elimination, or the dreaded Panic, in which case the routing unit's panic spreads to your whole force and they run.

So these are the basics of combat, now lets get back to the war!
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Clovis
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:40 am

ABOUT THE TURN STRUCTURE by TAMAS

One thing I can bring up (since the list of differents is extremely short, luckily) is that there are two game modes: the "strictly turn based" one is the exact mirroring of the phases of the boardgame, ie. you activate army by army etc. Really, it is like a computerized client to play the boardgame.

The other "not so strict turn based" is basically how the other AGEOD games with Pocus' engine works: you give out orders for all armies for the turn, then resolve them.

To be honest, despite being a big fan of the boardgame, I prefer the latter for single player - it is faster while not giving up anything on the details. The movement part is actually more realistic due to the AGEODish turn resolve.
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Clovis
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:45 am

from Tamas about events

At the bottom left part of the screen, below the info window, you may see these small white-grey cards peeking from below the screen. :D Those are your events. Each card has an icon in the middle of it representing the nature of the even (espionage, political, battle, etc.), and this icon is greyed out if you cant play it in the current phase, and black if you can. Play the battle event at the start of the battle.
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Clovis
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:50 am

From Tamas about mandatory attacks:

Check for flags on top of certain stacks. If they are red, you still have to move them for mandatory offensive. If green, you have already done so.

You get the target as tooltips, and usually its pretty straightforward.
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Clovis
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:52 am

From Tamas about rail conversion in a conquered region

These signpost appear where the railline for a given power ends, usually because of being cut by advancing enemy. You need to turn on the "convert railroad" option for a stack moving through the area to have it connected to your rail network. Obviously it costs movement points so you dont want an entire army doing this. But it is crucial for your supply lines.
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Alan_Bernardo
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:18 pm

Clovis wrote:Starting this thred to collect all bits of information about gameplay present here and there.

Tamas explained how the battle screen worked in a AAR


All this is fine, but it still doesn't explain what units or how many you can committ or deploy and what exactly is the role of reserve units. I'm guessing that only one counter of each type of unit is permitted at the front line (e.g, infantry and artillery), and as many as you want as deployments. But it doesn't explain the advantages of not committing or deploying certain units or what the exact role is of the reserves.

I'd like to see a more complete explaination of the different types of stategies to employ during battles.


Alan

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PDF
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:37 pm

What's unclear for me is how works the deployment box series Reserve-Rear-Commited-Front.
Currently I put in Front units from anywhere, incl Reserve IIRC, but they usually can't get back to "commited", or to Rear, I don't know why..

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Tamas
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:05 pm

Alan_Bernardo wrote:All this is fine, but it still doesn't explain what units or how many you can committ or deploy and what exactly is the role of reserve units. I'm guessing that only one counter of each type of unit is permitted at the front line (e.g, infantry and artillery), and as many as you want as deployments. But it doesn't explain the advantages of not committing or deploying certain units or what the exact role is of the reserves.

I'd like to see a more complete explaination of the different types of stategies to employ during battles.


Alan


There is always only a single unit committed in any given round of a minor battle, or a sub-battle of a major battle. This comitted unit can have two kinds of support unit: an artillery, and/or one of the other kind of support: aircraft or tanks.

None of the support units have a combat value on their own. They only give bonuses to the regular unit comitted to this round of battle.

There is no practical difference between the "Rear" and the "Deployments" zones in a minor battle. In these, after a round is over, you can send a unit to Commitment from both.

The difference comes into play in case of a major battle, when both sub-battles (the second one being crossed by those red X-es on the screenshot) are active. Here, once you have sent a unit to the Deployments or Commitment zone of one particular sub-battle, it stays with that sub-battle for the remaining battle rounds. So, if you manage it badly, you may end up 3 or 4 damaged, but usable corps sitting in Deployment for the left-side battle, while you lose the right-side battle because you dont have any units left to send to it. Needless to say, if the enemy wins one of the sub-battles (meaning he has a unit comitted to it, but you dont), you receive a penalty for the other sub-battle, for being flanked.

As a sidenote, losing or winning a major battle comes with a National Will penalty/bonus.


As for the usage of Reserves: in my opinion, their primary function is the simple fact that in most cases, you can not be sure in advance, where to concentrate the full force of a given army. But, you can send in the Reserves to any battle which happens in the command radius of the HQ. This is true tenfold in Trench Warfare, where you simply have to form your frontline throughout the map, because there is no Interception any more. But you will hardly have enough units to build a strong defense everywhere. Reserves save the day in these cases as well.
You also want Reserves for Breakthroughs: only units which stayed in Reserves can perform a Breaktrhough.

Alan_Bernardo
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:12 pm

Tamas,

Thanks. That is much more detailed. These types of posts are of great help.


Alan

jmjjmj
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:15 pm

This is great, keep it coming!

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calvinus
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:29 pm

Tamas is doing an excellent support job! You have my apologises for my absence, but I'm working like never before in order to fix the HW incompatibility issue... Six volunteers are testing the patch proposal, that is becoming better and better every hour.

Still somebody has problems on one PC over two (yes, somebody has a laptop and a desktop PC). I really want the game runs smooth on every PC, and I'll do my best to achieve such a goal!

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PDF
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:43 pm

Btw, can I install the game on my laptop in addition to my desktop ?
I'm not sure it'll work (it has only 1GB RAM and a crappy integrated graphics card), but in case...

ctwino
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:50 pm

Clovis wrote:From Tamas about rail conversion in a conquered region

These signpost appear where the railline for a given power ends, usually because of being cut by advancing enemy. You need to turn on the "convert railroad" option for a stack moving through the area to have it connected to your rail network. Obviously it costs movement points so you dont want an entire army doing this. But it is crucial for your supply lines.


OK this just doesnt work for me. I have a unit stationary in Malmedy for example, newly taken by Germany from Belgium. That unit I click convert rail. next turn still unconverted. I've done this many times, I've used a unit moving through the region, I'e used units starting in the region and moving out, etc. Happened on greece/serbia front too. Is there a check or fail roll possible? To be honest I havent converted one yet. Infantry units, whole armies, etc. You say moving "through" the area is that a clue on the trick to this? It's really bugging me!

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Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:04 pm

PDF wrote:Btw, can I install the game on my laptop in addition to my desktop ?
I'm not sure it'll work (it has only 1GB RAM and a crappy integrated graphics card), but in case...


Yes, you can!

I'm able to play the game on my poor laptop where I have 512MB RAM, shared with the integrated video card! But the CPU chipset is compatible... :D
But... smaller scenarios, no sounds, no musics, no intro video, low color depth... very minimal config.

ctwino
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:07 pm

ctwino wrote:OK this just doesnt work for me. I have a unit stationary in Malmedy for example, newly taken by Germany from Belgium. That unit I click convert rail. next turn still unconverted. I've done this many times, I've used a unit moving through the region, I'e used units starting in the region and moving out, etc. Happened on greece/serbia front too. Is there a check or fail roll possible? To be honest I havent converted one yet. Infantry units, whole armies, etc. You say moving "through" the area is that a clue on the trick to this? It's really bugging me!


I'll add in that as i do my orders I select the button to repair the rails, but if i then do some other orders, and click on the same unit repairing, the button comes up de-selected

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Tamas
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:12 pm

ctwino wrote:I'll add in that as i do my orders I select the button to repair the rails, but if i then do some other orders, and click on the same unit repairing, the button comes up de-selected


Select a unit which is not in the target area (being adjacent is the safest way, since it costs movement points to convert, so the unit wont get far, or won't have enough MPs left to convert when it arrives), click on the convert button, and drag and drop it for movement.

This works for me all the time (except when it arrives from further away and has no MPs left to convert, but if I remember correctly, it converts when leaving as well).

This may seem like hard work, but the attention demanded by it is justified (except maybe for the convert button turning off if you dont plan the move before clicking away from the unit), since the line of supply is crucial, and organizing your units to keep it up should be an important task (for example, to make war in Russia realistic).

ctwino
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:14 pm

Tamas wrote:Select a unit which is not in the target area (being adjacent is the safest way, since it costs movement points to convert, so the unit wont get far, or won't have enough MPs left to convert when it arrives), click on the convert button, and drag and drop it for movement.

This works for me all the time (except when it arrives from further away and has no MPs left to convert, but if I remember correctly, it converts when leaving as well).

This may seem like hard work, but the attention demanded by it is justified (except maybe for the convert button turning off if you dont plan the move before clicking away from the unit), since the line of supply is crucial, and organizing your units to keep it up should be an important task (for example, to make war in Russia realistic).


Thanks. so as long as there is a movement of some sort into, out, through, etc it will tryand convert. got it will try and will update

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calvinus
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:25 pm

Rail conversion should work also in the area where the movement starts.

Patch 1.0.4 will bring also the following improvement: rail conversion will work also if you click on the "convert rails" button after the stack has been dragged and dropped for the movement order.

Johnnie
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:03 pm

Clovis:

You explain that in a major battle you must allocate units from the rear to deployment carefully on each flank. In a minor battle you can send a unit to commitment directly from the rear. I assume you can not do so in a major battle. If you could do so, why would you deploy to either flank ??

db99
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:29 pm

Do aircraft do anything in the battle screen?

You can move them to the Deployments box but not the Commitments box. Can't tell if they add anything or not.

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Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:07 pm

Tamas wrote:There is always only a single unit committed in any given round of a minor battle, or a sub-battle of a major battle. This comitted unit can have two kinds of support unit: an artillery, and/or one of the other kind of support: aircraft or tanks.
...


Actually there are also the Assault Troops that can be used as support and you apparently can't directly commit them (at least it did not work for me):
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Tamas
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:11 pm

[quote="WhoCares"]Actually there are also the Assault Troops that can be used as support and you apparently can't directly commit them (at least it did not work for me):


Oops you are right! :wacko:
The assault troops are also support units, not regular combat ones.

As for aircrafts, you really need to research advanced tools for them (light machine guns etc.) to make them effective support units. By default, they are very lackluster.

db99
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:43 pm

Ahhh. Use the 'tank' box for assault troops. :bonk: Assuming that's where aircraft would go to? Think the box picture should have a tank, plane and assault troop in it :-)

Playing 1918 scenario so I have all the researches for aircraft but I swear it wouldn't let me put them anywhere but the Deployments box. I will try again.

Is the following correct then as far as unit placement?

Into Left box go tanks, planes and assault troops, Middle box the main corps, and into the Right box is only artillery? Or can any type of support go in either the Left or Right box?
Meaning the Commitments boxes here.

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Tamas
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:25 pm

db99 wrote:
Into Left box go tanks, planes and assault troops, Middle box the main corps, and into the Right box is only artillery? Meaning the Commitments boxes here.


That is the correct answer. :)

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Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:26 pm

calvinus wrote:Rail conversion should work also in the area where the movement starts.

Patch 1.0.4 will bring also the following improvement: rail conversion will work also if you click on the "convert rails" button after the stack has been dragged and dropped for the movement order.


Ahh, I get it. You need to click on the 'convert rails' first and then drag and drop.
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db99
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Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:01 pm

Tamas wrote:That is the correct answer. :)


Much thanks Tamas.
Appreciate you being a living, breathing manual for us to reference :D

Sheytan
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Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:31 am

One note on the map, the left side dosnt clearly denote a artillery type unit. I was confused by this initally. The colour or graphic masks it.

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Clovis
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Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:18 pm

From Tamas

Grand Offensives use a difference combat resolution table, and you get to try nifty tactics with artillery or shock troops.
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Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:20 pm

From Ph Thibaut:

Why are wounded (that's what the horizontal white stripes mean, right?) troops showing up as reinforcements?


These are historical reinforcements, mostly in 1914. It means the unit was mobilized quickly but was not yet to full strenght (e.g. a corps with only 2 of its 5 divisions)... the recruits will help beef it up later on, but it's alway better to have a unit than no unit at all...
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Clovis
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Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:23 pm

About diplomacy:

From Ph Thibaut


Koenigsberg is a key strategic location in the game (see the star icon), and because it's loss is really a blow to Germany and the CP at large, a Turkey allied to the CP will 'suffer' from the defeat too (i.e. confidence in the strength of the mighty German ally suddenly erodes ;) )

From Tamas

There are lots of modifiers for diplomatic checks with any given country. Obviously the decisive thing is which side has more points worth of diplomats there, but there are also others. Speaking in boardgame terms (and I think CSS, you know this), number of diplomats determine the column used on the resolution table, while other modifiers modify the dice roll.

Most of those roll modifiers, you can't influence. You either have them or not. Like, capture of enemy cities, Belgrade for example.
There are a few which can be given attention to, and these are the national one. For example, no Austrian diplomat to Romania or Italy, if possible, and let the Russians handle Entente diplomacy in Bulgaria, if possible.

So, the unlikely results: I would not waste resources on Japan as Central Powers. It is an extremely hard task to get them off their British friends, and there is an event which simply makes them declare war on Germany regardless of diplomacy levels. So altough it would be extremely cool to have them, I would rather see them in a mod for the game, than to waste my way too precious diplomats on them.

Italy: your best bet as Centrals for them, is to get them in the beginning. Choose the Option "Diplomatic Poker" by Germany, during the Warplans phase, and you will have a dice roll determining if Italy will fulfill what is their legal binding by treaty to join Germany (since with the Poker option, Germany waits for declarations of war on her). Throw in the handing over of Trentin by Austria-Hungary, which is also an Option, and you have a very likely result of Italy joining you immediately.

But, assuming historical or near-historical warplans, the Italians will, by all likeliness, stay neutral initially, and be drifting toward the Allies, with unpredictable speed.

Italy will be a favourite target for AI diplomats, and as a matter of fact, should be a favourite target for any human player, Allieds or Centrals. As Entente, you just can't have them soon enough, and as Centrals, you need to delay them.
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