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kephra

Discipline, Morale, Role

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Moin,

I started wargaming in pre-computer era, tin soldier tabletops with books full of army list and rules. And I'm missing 3 aspects of ancient warfare:

Discipline: This value tells how a unit follows commands. How fast they group into formation. If they obey stand and defend orders in seight of an enemy and the like. Typical values could be Regular, Irregular, Drafted, Barbarian, and Fanatics.

Morale: This value tells how many casualities a group of can stand before they retreat or flee.

Role: The role reflects how a unit will behave in combat. Typical are Skirmish (e.g. Peltast), Archers (e.g. Archemenid Bows), Block (most spear and shield troops), Shock (legionaries), or Momentum (hoblites).

Does 0ad plan to add those 3 aspects?

ciao,Kephra

Edited by kephra

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totally agree...

even if 0 AD isn't a realistic simulator of ancient warfare, these 3 aspects was fundamental. Many battles were decided by one of these aspects.

Others aspects are more strategic than psycological:

  1. height: the capture of the top of a hill was decisive
  2. position of the sun: fight in front of the sun was a great disadvantage
  3. direction and strenght of the wind: especially for archers and siege machines
  4. regularity of the battle field: compact formations like greek phalanx or roman testudo didn't like irregularity of the terrain, because break their formations
  5. width of the battle field: squadrons of cavalry need wide and open battle fields to operate better
  6. temperature: one tactic that romans used against celts was to let tired celts with their chaotic assaults, because celts suffer warm temperature

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height: the capture of the top of a hill was decisive

This is a planned feature IIRC, I'm not sure about the others though. IMHO other aspects like the sun or wind direction will be nice to have if the weather get implemented.

Regarding the morale idea, an entry from the offical FAQ: clicky :)

Edited by hhyloc

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I think that for the purposes of this game it would be best to just assume that all soldiers will obey orders 100% of the time and that the mind set (moral) of soldiers will not play a role in the outcome of battles. Things like the obedience of soldiers would have to be determined by very complex issues including social factors, political factors and various other things, most of, if not all of which are way beyond the reach of o ad or any other rts game in the near future that i am aware off. I also feel that it is not necessary to incorporate such detailed factors such as the direction of the sun in a game that only partly focuses on military, especially considering o ad is yet to completely balance out all units in battle. We must be realistic, o ad is not going to be the most technologically advanced rts game of its time.

I guess you could have wind speed affecting the accuracy of bowmen but i mean how is a player going to take advantage of this? make less archer units when there is high wind? even assuming ancient civilizations had methods of accurately measuring wind speed it would still be unlikely that it would play a large part in the outcome of battles... with the exception of sea battles or if you were Hannibal ( genius Carthaginian general ). There are other exceptions to what i have said, you could have soldiers be stronger in some cases like if they are fighting in their own territory or if they are in the aura of a hero/commander. I suppose these sorts of things would fall under the category of moral but i think for the most part if a player wants to take Hitlers Germany and or the Spartens general approach -

no retreat, no surrender, fight till the last man no matter what the odds of victory are,

then he should have the option even if its to the players own detriment.

I would maybe be open to the idea of players being advantaged if they are playing a faction on a map that is within the homeland of the faction when against a faction that would not of been customized to fighting in that region which is a more broad idea to temperature. Width of battle field i know will be a factor on some maps and the player will be free to use that to his advantage, that's already a factor in o ad and a lot of other rts games.

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I think that for the purposes of this game it would be best to just assume that all soldiers will obey orders 100% of the time and that the mind set (moral) of soldiers will not play a role in the outcome of battles. Things like the obedience of soldiers would have to be determined by very complex issues including social factors, political factors and various other things, most of, if not all of which are way beyond the reach of o ad or any other rts game in the near future that i am aware off. I also feel that it is not necessary to incorporate such detailed factors such as the direction of the sun in a game that only partly focuses on military, especially considering o ad is yet to completely balance out all units in battle. We must be realistic, o ad is not going to be the most technologically advanced rts game of its time.

This is getting into the realm of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and their portrayal of moral, which is the kind of thing that would be very tricky to implement. However, terrain advantages and disadvantages should definitely be implemented.

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I guess you could have wind speed affecting the accuracy of bowmen but i mean how is a player going to take advantage of this? make less archer units when there is high wind? even assuming ancient civilizations had methods of accurately measuring wind speed it would still be unlikely that it would play a large part in the outcome of battles... with the exception of sea battles or if you were Hannibal ( genius Carthaginian general ).

Because the timescale in 0 A.D. is different from our real world timescale, a week in 0 A.D. will probably be the same to 1 hour in our timescale, so I believe it'll come down to when and where to use your archers instead of how many archers to recruit since wind direction will change very fast either in your favor or your opponent's. Wind direction will also alter the accuracy of siege projectiles so it can change the outcome of the battle but not very significantly.

Edited by hhyloc

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yer i was being half sarcastic when i suggested that a player could change unit production for the wind, my point was how do you have a player take advantage of high or low wind speed, the only answers are hold of an attack until the wind changes or as i jokingly suggested above. So your saying a player would have to reposition his archers to take advantage of the wind? are you saying the wind will be stronger in some areas of the map than others? just how advanced do you think rts games such as this will be.... Lastly, if you change the outcome of a battle even ( slightly) as you put it, that's very significant, a single unit can mean the difference between defeat and victory, there's no such thing as an insignificant change in the outcome of a battle. The only reason for putting wind speeds in would be to increase the role that chance plays in the game, chance is something that the o ad don't want as a significant factor in determining the outcome of games.

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When I'm saying where to use your archers, i don't mean the wind will be stronger in some areas of the map than others but I mean if the archers are firing at the same direction of the wind they will have a bonus to the range of attack so the player can position his archers to exploit this. This image below should demonstrate this.

QvTwB.png

While I agree to you that chance shouldn't be a significant factor in determining the outcome of games. I also think that chance also increase the depth of strategy, it's not like adding a dice into the game to decide which army will win, it require the player to plan ahead, ready to exploit good luck (wind direction in this case) and prepare backup plan in case of bad luck. Maybe the wind direction is a significant factor, but it's not a deciding factor, a player decent enough can still overcome bad luck and a noob can't win with just good luck only.

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Well since archers could only fire at close range the wind is not going to change the accuracy of them, the bows of this time period were not like the long ranged powerful ones that the Brits used in the late middle ages. So let me get this straight, you want to add wind to purely increase the role that chance has? To be honest i think you have no idea what your talking about when you say players will be able to exploit the wind. Why dont you actually go into details about how you intend for your idea to be implemented, your speaking in very general terms and i am not at all buying it. Back up plans for wind change? this is an rts game, players don't have the luxury of spending weeks meticulously planning every battle.

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Morale could be interesting in my opinion. There would have to be some positive modifier to morale when units are fighting within their own territory (that is, fighting defensively) and perhaps mercenaries would have less base morale.

But I don't see how wind and sun-glare would improve the game.

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Moin,

Others aspects are more strategic than psycological:

The discussion drove away from the more important psychological aspects of a battle to small numbers. These small numbers have only a linear influence on the outcome of battles, while the sheer number of troops has a square influence and psychological aspects out weight both (*). This is perhaps because most people here do not come from a wargamers background but from computer games. So lets try to focus back on psychological aspects.

A cavalry charge against infantry with long spears will certainly fail, if the infantry are regular soldiers, and likely succeed if they are drafted peasants. Regular soldiers will stand and block the cavalry, while peasants will fail the moral test and run. A game that does not implement those basics of ancient warfare might be still nice to play, but it does not feel right.

Also discipline is an important point. How does a unit react, if skirmishers attack it in short hit and runs. Will they stand in formation, or try to catch them? How does a troop react that is ordered to hold position, if attacked by a smaller unit, who flees after first contact. Will they stand or pursue? Is it possible to kill the enemy by pulling his troops into traps?

Next come to the role of a unit. Ranged infantry might be skirmishers or archers. The first prefer a hit and run, the later a stand a deliver approch. Greek momentum hoplites have distinct fighting style to Roman impact legionaries and a total different outcome of the battle(*). Currently both are only differented in ranged and close combat.

One thing I did not mention in the first post was the fog of war and the chain of command. There should be a general on the field, and the player should only see those parts of the map directly that are in line of sight of the general. He could only order troops in line of sight directly, and must use messengers to communicate to other troops. I did not mention it, because implementing a chain of command would result in a total different game, while implementing morale, discipline and role would improve the existing game.

ciao,Kephra

(*) To be precise Hoplites fight under Lanchester's Linear Law while Legionaries fight with Lanchester's Square Law.

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For the first release none of this is likely to be included, at least not the more psychological aspects of it. Personally I prefer it that way as I see RTS games more like a "what would happen if everything was "perfect"" kind of game than a "what would happen if everything worked as in the real world". That's not to say that more realistic aspects and more psychological aspects will not make it into later parts of the game though. If nothing else that will mean that we know better what in the current game design work well and how to best add this type of features.

Don't be discouraged to discuss these things further, just don't expect to see them in the initial release :)

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As an RTS, the game has to bow to certain core conventions. One of those conventions is the 100% direct control the player has over his units. Once you start adding morale, routing, etc. you start getting into a very different type of game. I really enjoy Rome:Total War, but 0 A.D. isn't that type of game. In an RTS, it's up to the player to fear for his units and to withdraw them from battle when they are in danger of being slaughtered, rather than relinquishing that kind of control to a morale simulation. I think most of our fans agree with this interpretation. :)

"Realism" can fall into two styles. Accuracy and Authenticity. Some games have neither, some games have a lot of both in different blends. We err for Authenticity over Accuracy. We are striving for Authenticity sweetened with little Accuracy here and there. We want the general authentic feel of the period with accuracy up to a point where it conflicts with the core style of gameplay we've chosen for the game.

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As an RTS, the game has to bow to certain core conventions. One of those conventions is the 100% direct control the player has over his units. Once you start adding morale, routing, etc. you start getting into a very different type of game. I really enjoy Rome:Total War, but 0 A.D. isn't that type of game. In an RTS, it's up to the player to fear for his units and to withdraw them from battle when they are in danger of being slaughtered, rather than relinquishing that kind of control to a morale simulation. I think most of our fans agree with this interpretation. :)

"Realism" can fall into two styles. Accuracy and Authenticity. Some games have neither, some games have a lot of both in different blends. We err for Authenticity over Accuracy. We are striving for Authenticity sweetened with little Accuracy here and there. We want the general authentic feel of the period with accuracy up to a point where it conflicts with the core style of gameplay we've chosen for the game.

Thanks for saying things better than I did Michael :)

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That is strategic..... nothing to do with morality. Common sense is you don't loose units for no reason however regardless of what you want to call it i do agree the ai should not suicide its units.

Edited by edwardlongshank

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