MBX

Mount&Blade Expansion => Mod Graveyard => Mesoamerican Mod => Topic started by: Ron Losey on February 07, 2007, 08:48:28 PM

Title: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 07, 2007, 08:48:28 PM
For those who have not been reading the suggestions thread, I am attempting a test project to port the now widely popular "Combat Realism Model" to the Mesoamerican Mod.

Guspav will be getting me the Python source soon, and I can start.  However, I need a couple of things.  The first are testers - PM me with e-mail addresses where I can send the modified item_kinds1.txt files.  This is going to move fast - I need some testers with some free time.  (I figure I can have most of the changes made in two days or less.)

Second, I need some preferences on history and gameplay:

One - does everybody want obsidian weapons to be deadly or blunt?  History says that the Aztecs generally fought to disable their opponents and take them as prisoners (usually to be sacrificed later).  The obsidian weapons could be quite deadly, and were murder against the Spanish armor (which did not stand up well to obsidian at all) - but they were really intended to be semi-lethal.  I'm thinking they should be deadly, at least on the stone-studded sides, as is currently modeled - but since I really haven't been a major part of this mod's development, I would like other opinions.

Two - the Aztecs used two types of arrows.  One was simple sticks with fire-hardened tips - light and cheap, but not very effective for anything but hunting squirrels.  The other were obsidian or flint tips - much more trouble to build, but much more deadly.  With the Spanish also came the option of arrowheads using copper or other soft metals, or imported Spanish steel.  Which should I model, or all of the above?

Three - Aztec padded cotton armor was light.  This is going to show a lot more when weapon damage becomes more realistic.  It may require a rebalance of faction strength, to give the Spanish a realistic numeric disadvantage.  I know nothing about how that code works, so somebody else will have to look into that.

Four - I know generally about Aztec weapons, but unlike the Japanese weapons I modeled in Onin-no-Ran, I'm certainly no master with them.  It would be best if, after I get something together, someone who has done some test cuts on meat with obsidian blades could look over the results for feel.

Post here, or PM me with an e-mail address if you would be interested in helping test this.  For any PM or e-mail, be sure to mention this is is for the Mesoamerican Mod, and not ONR or one of the others planning to implement this model in the near future - I want to make sure to get you the right files.

Ron Losey
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: The Pope on February 08, 2007, 12:33:09 AM
A lot of Spanish troops also had quite light armor, and very few wore full plate. It could be interesting having to target the lightly protected legs as an Aztec.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 08, 2007, 01:06:46 AM
A lot of Spanish troops also had quite light armor, and very few wore full plate. It could be interesting having to target the lightly protected legs as an Aztec.

Ironically, the extremely hard obsidian weapons were historically quite effective at penetrating the Spanish steel armor.  Much more effective at penetrating armor, actually, than they were at cutting meat - giving them many of the armor-piercing properties traditionally associated with axes, maces, and military hammers/picks.  The Spanish feared them, and for good reason.  That's also why the Spanish didn't wear more armor than they did - because the weather was too hot, and any reasonable level of armor wasn't really helping them that much anyway.  (No army could afford full plate for everybody.  That would be absurd, like putting everybody in your army into a tank.)

The problem with obsidian is that it is quite heavy, making the weapons a good deal slower than their steel counterparts.  This is a pretty painful weakness, especially if your armor is too light to take a hit.

That, and the Aztec missile capability was centered around the atlatl dart.  The killing power of an atlatl dart is quite amazing, actually (like it will reliably put a bear on the ground, if you hit him anywhere vital) ... but its accuracy leaves MUCH to be desired.  That gave the Spanish a substantial advantage in ranged capability, since both crossbow and arquebus are relatively easy to use.  (I can teach just about anybody to shoot pretty straight in a few hours.)  Ever tried to use an atlatl?  You can practice for a week, and you'll still miss a human-sized target half the time at thirty paces.

(As I said, I'm no master with the Aztec weapons, but I do know SOMETHING about them.)

But no, I doubt selective targeting would be your biggest problem.  I rather suspect that horses and long pikes, supported by a hail of annoyingly accurate missile fire, would create bigger problems for you than the armor.

Are you volunteering to test?
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: The Pope on February 08, 2007, 01:34:43 AM
I'll give it a go, but I'm already putting a lot of my time into modelling and texturing so I doubt I'll be able to test it thoroughly.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 08, 2007, 01:49:07 AM
Yeah, well, I don't have the source code yet either.  Guspav said something about cleaning something up over on the suggestions thread ... I said send them anyway, because what I was doing probably wouldn't affect other bugs one way or the other.

PM me an e-mail address where I can mail the modified files. 

And, as I said, this is going to move fast.  I'm on break for Chinese New Year at the moment, so I can work this stuff 16 hours a day for the next week or two.  (After that, I might have to actually teach some classes again.)  From the time I get the files, we're talking 48 hours to make the changes and initial tests, and have it ready for review for incorporation into the finished mod.

(Speaking of finished mods, this model comes out in Onin-no-Ran as soon as Fujiwara finishes with a couple of unrelated bugs ... it is astounding.  I am extremely encouraged by how well it has turned out, especially considering how fast we threw it together with minimal personnel.)

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on February 08, 2007, 01:00:43 PM
OK let's talk about those points you made a bit:

I I don't think obsidian bladed weapons were very effective against steel (or iron), a heavy blow from a macuahuitl or an axe against a steel plate would result very likely in the weapon's blade shattering or at least chipping

II obsidian is actually lighter than most metals (or maybe all) having a density of about 2.6g/cm3 and most metals over 5 (steel and iron about 7.8g/cm3, or copper about 8.96g/cm3)

1.- I think the damage types are all right.. at least for the macuahuitls: cutting for swinging and blunt for stabbing. Some more opinions would be fine though. I think the damage for obsidian weapons should be pretty high, sharp obsidian is like glass and that cuts a lot better than any metal.. it is, however. very brittle.

2.-  Fire hardened arrows are ok to be included(they'd have like a -3 damage or something), about soft metal arrows (like copper) I'm not so sure, the aztecs (mexicas) didn't use copper that much, the tarascans however did a bit and only to make large tools, I think it was much too precious to turn it into arrows when obsidian worked fine. Steel tipped arrows are completely out of place, none of the natives had the means or the knowledge to work steel or iron (there's a rumor about moctezuma having a meteoric iron dagger, but like I said it's just a rumor)

3.- you are right, the cotton armor was light and Cortes himself prefered to wear one most of the time (that he wasn't going on a big battle) because he said it deflected arrow better.. now I'm not sure it would, but of what I'm sure is that it would be A LOT more confortable to wear than plate.. so to correctly model it, I'd give it light armor stats (like they are right now, but might be tweaked) and a very low weight to be able to move faster.
Faction strength is balanced right now.. could be tweaked a bit more  I guess.

4.- like I said before obsidian is very much like glass(it actually *is* volcanic glass), you could try with a broken bottle :D.. also obsidian is usually referred as one of the sharpest materials in existence if not *the* sharpest of them all since it can reach almost molecular thinness (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsidian)

anyway I'm cleaning the items files a bit right away, just tell me where to send them, Ron


Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 08, 2007, 06:38:53 PM
E-mail address on my profile.  RonLosey@hotmail.com.  Send the files there.

I know I have read that obsidian cuts steel.  It's like a diamond cutting glass.  Nothing short of heavy plate will stop it, and then it is more because the attacker is not strong enough to drive the obsidian through the metal - not because it would not work given sufficient force.  It will cut chain armors and most scale/lamellar constructions to shreds - they're just not heavy enough to stop it.

And by the way, a steel axe will cut a tremendous amount of metal.  I have done the test cuts on that, and so have others.  A four-pound axe will go through European chain armors like paper, and up to 1/16 inch hardened steel plate (a good deal heavier than most armors) will either cut/shatter or crease to the point of penetrating the target.  Granted, it takes a really solid hit to do that ... but still, it makes quite a mess.  From what I read, obsidian blades have many of the same properties.  I unfortunately can't give you the sources on those at the moment, because it's just been too many years since I saw that material.  I'll try to find them again.

Obsidian itself is sharp and relatively light, but a string of stones on the side of a wooden club is both heavy and not too sharp.  The ragged edge produced by various oddly-shaped stones has nowhere near the slicing properties of a smooth razor edge.  The stones themselves tend to drive in and hang in meat (and armor), creating excess resistance.  The same problem appears with modern serrated edges - they're fine for slicing bread, but not worth a dime on a fighting knife.  They leave an ugly wound, but nowhere near the killing power of what a heavy sword with a smooth razor edge will do.  (You're from Mexico - I thought all Mexicans knew how to fight with a knife.   :green:  ::) )

Obsidian weapons are also heavy, because while a steel blade is maybe a quarter inch thick and two inches wide, the Aztec clubs were a heavy board an inch and a half thick and four inches wide, lined with stones an inch thick.  For similar length, the total volume of the weapon is about 20 times greater - so mass per unit volume tells you nothing.

I'll start by modeling the arrows using either obsidian or heat-treated flint.  I think the current mod only uses the "barbed arrow" model.  We can add the others for variety later.  Although Spain had a strong archer tradition in the Roman period, I doubt they did much with longbows in the Americas - so Spanish steel-tipped arrows were likely quite rare.  (Unless, of course, someone got hold of their crossbow bolts and reused the tips in longer arrows, or traded for such supplies.)

And as for this rescale, I don't think you have any idea how much I intend to change.  I'm talking about a rebalance around European long swords doing cut damage between 50 and 65 points.  Plus or minus 2 or 3 points is going to be nothing.  I'm not tweaking things - I'm rebalancing the whole game... hopefully to a point where unarmored humans don't take 10 arrows and keep fighting.

(For preview, Onin-no-Ran should be releasing this combat model soon.)

Standing by for the files.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on February 08, 2007, 08:23:51 PM
OK I'm sending you 2 files
one is the source code, still pretty messed up, but the items should be fine (you might have to change module_info.py so that the mod is correctly compiled where you want it, but I suppose you already know how to do that :D)
the other one is the compiled mod, you'll need it for all the textures so that it gets more or less playable, please note that you can't enter any town save veracruz (zendar) because of that stupid menu I can't fix yet.

hmm all you said is pretty interesting, but no, I don't know how to fight with a knife as 99% of we mexicans  :lol: I do know how to fight with a katana and a jo, but that's another story :P
 I also have cut tons of meat with knives and scalpels (I'm a veterinarian, go figure haha) and yes, I am aware that serrated knives totally suck when cutting meat, even chainsaws don't work too well, nothing like an axe or a well sharpened knife (please note that I have used axes chainsaws and knives on DEAD animals, don't get weird ideas)
i hope the mod in it's maimed state doesn't bother your tests too much.

About the macuahuitls, it is true that their blades were oddly shaped (they had to be since they were sharpened by hitting them) but even so there are accounts (which might just be tall tales) of their blades being tremendously sharp and deadly:
In Bernal Diaz's Chronicles he says they are sharper than any of the swords they brought and that in a battle a horse was killed with a single blow.
There are also codexes where arms and heads are severed by obsidian weapons in battles.. those might be exaggerations, but who knows?

I'll ask my beta testers if they're interested in testing your damage model and will contact you as soon as I find out.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 08, 2007, 09:15:52 PM

A fellow student of kenjitsu ... my favorite.  Although I always thought the jo was over-rated.  You really should add the tanto to that list - it's much more useful for self-defense situations.

Hope you appreciate the Mexican jokes.  I teach in China now, but I was born in Oklahoma.  Most of the Mexicans there are illegal immigrants, and so don't represent the best or the brightest ... if you get my drift.  They are, however, unusually quick with a knife - even by the harsh standards of cowboys and indians up there.  Comes with the territory, I guess.

(Personally, I'm part Cherokee - they call us the civilized tribes, because our warriors are slow with a scalping knife.)


Now, to be realistic:

I did NOT say that the obsidian-bladed weapons were incapable of removing your arm.  They can be quite deadly on the initial strike, if you are relatively strong (i.e. the power-strike attribute in the game) and good with one (which I am not).  However, they still severely lack the killing power of, say, the aforementioned katana.  You can slice a man in half with one of those without even trying.

Statistically, in the absence of power-strike or high skill bonuses....  You're looking at about a 30% chance of immediate incapacitation on the first strike with the katana (based on test cuts, practice combat, crime statistics and personal experiences, and historical anecdote), and I figure about half that with the Aztec obsidian weapons.  I figure I can simulate this by setting the obsidian weapons to pierce damage (as I did with axes), but it's going to be a balancing act.  That should get the fact that they cut armor as well as similarly sized steel weapons, but their performance against meat is greatly reduced.  As I said, I got a very accurate model for axes using this technique ... I think the same will work here.


I wish all of my test cuts had been on dead animals.  Unfortunately, far too many of them were done on live humans.  (At least they were alive when I started - although I was pretty much figuring I was dead.)  I hope I never have to draw a blade on another human again.  If you never have, keep it that way.


I'll see what I can do with this.  You say towns are disabled, except Veracruz?  Can do.  I'm assuming this is still for .751 - or is it maimed because of the port to .808?  (I do need that information.)
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: The Pope on February 09, 2007, 01:15:58 AM
I have doubts that any sword would have much chance of cutting people in half. A one hit kill, sure, but in half?
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on February 09, 2007, 01:55:28 AM
no, towns did work in 0.751 it's the conversion that has gone weird (I think armie did some weird changes that I have still not figured out) maybe you should download the 0.751 version and see for yourself :D

i don't think piercing damage would be very good for blades in general, what would you wear armor for if it can be easily bypassed?

and I agree with Pope, cutting a man in half with a katana is an exaggeration, you'd need to be incredibly strong to go through all that bone and tissue.. unless you're El Cid and can also pick up a lion with your left hand and throw it back into it's cage (no, really, that's what says on that book) oh and cut a man in half with your sword, (that's why I mentioned the lion thing :P)

oh well you do your thing and let's see how it turns out  :green:
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 09, 2007, 02:23:41 AM
I have doubts that any sword would have much chance of cutting people in half. A one hit kill, sure, but in half?

Well ... my test cuts on animal carcasses say they will.  So do a lot of other people's tests.  Cold Steel Inc. has demonstration videos of their blades hacking entire pigs in half.  They act like this is a good trick, but you can repeat it with a ten-dollar blade from a junk store, if you get a good sharp edge on it.

If you want a human example, both eyewitness accounts and archaeological evidence from the Japanese massacres at Nanjing, China (WW2) say that even the lousy machine-rolled steel parade swords they were handing out at the time would go completely through a human body.  Those were often parade swords, and not even really intended to be sharpened.  The Japanese officers took bets on if they could cut a person in half *vertically* (head to groin, just to one side of the spine)- and they sometimes could do it.  Those were witnessed and sometimes filmed, plus I have personally talked to people who saw it.  (I work in China - there are still many hard feelings toward Japan left over from that war, and older people who were kids at the time talk very freely about why they don't trust the Japanese.)

(Note to Japanese people - that is neither an attack on you or your culture.  I am a great supporter of Japanese traditional culture.  I only blame the perpetrators themselves for such atrocities.  The Chinese greatly over-react and blame an entire civilization for the failings of a few bad apples.  Although I have to give the perpetrators credit for their twisted sense of style - if you're going to have a massacre, you might as well have some fun with it.)

So yeah ... it doesn't even take a good sword, or a particularly heavy sword, to cut a man in two.  I suspect you could do it with a cheap machete, at a soft spot (like horizontally just above the belt).

Most people in the modern world confuse the word "sword" with rapiers, unsharpened parade dress swords, and those tinfoil WuShu thingies.  Those are swords the way a spoon is a digging tool.

I figure my tachi would go through at least five bodies horizontally, or easily one diagonally.  I base this on test cuts I have done on various materials with various blades, and I'm pretty sure it's accurate.

The difference between a "one-hit kill" and completely severing the body part is usually only about another half an inch of meat.

-----------------------------

A few animations to clean up, and I'll have the first version of the changes ready ... hopefully within a couple of hours.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 09, 2007, 02:46:47 AM

Guspav - I wrote that last one while you were writing.

The logic of the pierce damage is simple.  The computer figures pierce and blunt damage against only half of the original armor value.  Therefore, a weapon with damage of 60 cut and one with 30 pierce have the same chance of penetrating armor.  However, the one with 60 cut obviously has twice the chance of damaging meat.

This means pierce weapons with lower damage values can be used to represent weapons that have a greater impact on armor than on humans - such as maces and axes, and if I recall my physics right, obsidian.  Cutting weapons like being stabbed with a steel knife, on the other hand, are likely better represented by values like cut 45 than pierce 23 - the chance of piercing armor is the same, but being stabbed with a knife causes massive internal bleeding, and few people keep fighting with more than two or three such wounds.

It's just a question of balancing the numbers.

-------------------------------

Here's a question.  I'm trying to clean up the animations while I'm here.  How were the macuahuitl carried?  On the belt, or over the shoulder?
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 09, 2007, 04:37:31 AM
OK, guys ... alpha copy to you.  Check your mail.

Not perfect, but it gives a feel of where this is going.

The statistical chances of debilitation from the first, second, and following gunshot wounds is statistically accurate, according to the NATO study on combat injuries (back in the 60's - the one that caused everyone to put 3-round-burst settings on their automatic weapons).  I can back up that data. 

You will also find arquebus to be only moderately effective against plate armors - that matches surviving armors of the period that bear armorer's "proof marks", where they would fire a musket into one corner just to see if it was good before it was sold.

The obsidian blade injuries are based on the assumption that the study I saw on obsidian being relatively effective against light to medium steel armor was accurate, plus what I know of industrial lacerations (i.e. car accidents and such) made by similarly ragged edges.  I really need data from test cuts by obsidian-blade weapons against animal carcasses and armors, but I'm using a lot of assumptions and anecdotal evidence until then.

The steel blade numbers (both swords and axes) are based on test cuts by myself and others, and their accuracy is not in question.

Bows seem a little weak, still - I'm thinking how much I want to up them, and exactly how.  The power draw function throws me off quite a bit - it creates a lot of variation.

A lot of assumptions on the atlatl as well - the first being an attempt to adjust to the huge variation produced by the power-throw perk.  That was not easy to calculate.

Anything else you notice, tell me and I'll check on it.

---------------------
Unrelated note:  your menu problems are caused by the way .808 differentiates between towns and castles.  For this mod, they need to be set to towns for now ... as they are, it handles them as castles.  I don't know how to fix it, but I see what it is doing.



----------------------------------------------
Edit:  Your menu bug:

The module_parties.py file lists two locations as "castle".  The module_game_menus does not have an entry for "castle"... the closest thing is something about "castle_outside".  I don't know where it should be, or what you plan to do about it, but that's the error when you try to use "build" and is says something about no reference for "castle".  It's preventing the module_parties file from building properly, and therefore screwing up the menu options.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 10, 2007, 12:35:43 AM
Update for anyone interested:

Initial test versions are ready, for anyone interested.  I'll have to repackage the changes to the menu system, but I can send a copy to whoever wants to help test.

The benefits were not as dramatic as the changes to ONR, but they do give a slightly more realistic feel to combat.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: The Pope on February 10, 2007, 03:15:54 AM
I've been testing it out a bit, and it makes atl atls very dangerous. I'd say every class should be given either a shield or a bit better starting armor if this is to be kept up.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 10, 2007, 04:06:57 AM
The atlatl dart IS very dangerous if you get hit, but you will also find it to be highly inaccurate (even if you're pretty good with it) and suffering from limited ammunition.  Therefore, it is quite ineffective for responding to ranged attack by crossbow and arquebus - who can effectively engage at greater ranges.

Most of the people who actually expected to get close enough to be hit - the Spanish footmen and most of the other natives - do (and did historically) have shields for this very reason.

And it would take extreme levels of armor to survive a hit from that.  In tests by atlatl clubs and groups like ARMA, these darts continuously out-perform arrows and swords for their ability to penetrate armor and meat... assuming you can hit anything with one.  I was really being a little bit generous to the Spanish, requiring someone to have several points in power throw to really get the full benefit of the weapon.

Just don't think you can run around out there like you're superman, like you could with the native version of M&B ... it won't happen.
 

-----------------------------------------------

Edit:  Guys, I have been unable to locate the references to the obsidian blades penetrating armor.  I found some interesting material on the value of the macuahuitl as a blunt-trauma weapon even if the blades did not penetrate the armor, but we can't really simulate that.  I still can't find any actual test cuts that have been done against armor with these things.

Question - does it feel right currently, or should I reset them to a higher damage value, but reset to cut, like a sword?  That would result in the weapon being a little more damaging against exposed targets, but a little less effective against armor.

Logically, anything with a row of sharp points like that should have some armor-penetrating properties ... they should punch holes better than they actually slice.  However, working within the limitations of this game engine, the "pierce" attribute may be over-doing that effect.

-----------------------------------------------

Edit again:  I mailed you a version that has the aforementioned weapons set to cut.  I can't really tell - I think it plays a little better.  There are a few fewer sequences where someone obviously takes a devastating hit and then walks away - which was sort of the intended feel.  I think they will still perform adequately against moderate armor - they seem to.  Anyway, try that version.  Decide which one you prefer.

And yes, the large number of missile weapons among the native forces (both factions) do tend to make things kind of hot, especially for horses.  The individual weapons are not unreasonable, but walking or riding into a hail of them rather complicates the issue....  The historical response is to suppress them with your own missile troops, and that works pretty good here too.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: LCJr on February 10, 2007, 03:32:11 PM
Ron can you provide a source for handheld obsidian weapons piercing Spanish armor?
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 10, 2007, 06:52:03 PM
Ron can you provide a source for handheld obsidian weapons piercing Spanish armor?

It's something I read long ago ... I can't seem to find the source now.

I did find good references on flint and obsidian-tip arrows and atlatl dart, both from the time and in more modern tests.  (Apparently Cortez had some old breastplates shot with arrows, to find out why they were getting slaughtered - the results were pretty scary.)  Anyway, I know that obsidian is capable of piercing at least some steel some of the time - which translates pretty badly for most body armor.  Might be pretty hard on the stone as well, but that isn't really modeled in-game.  Impact speed on arrows or the end of a long club are not that different - if one goes through, so does the other.

I've seen what a stone axe can do - there's no question that those would be murder on armor.  (The one in question was flint, actually a reproduction of a Cherokee hatchet, but close enough.)  They do pretty much the same as their steel counterparts, despite being much heavier and slower, and becoming dull much faster.  The issue is with the thinner and better balanced blades of the macuahuitl and tepoztopilli.  I'm not sure which way they will go.


---------------------------------------

Also, everyone note that this combat model is now up and running on Onin-no-Ran.  Everyone should check it out, to see the kind of changes involved, and how the rescale changes the game.

I think it has been an enormous success so far.  Of course, I might be extremely prejudiced by the fact I created it ... out of annoyance at how the weapons didn't really work in vanilla.  But a lot of other people think it's a good thing too.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on February 10, 2007, 07:38:44 PM
ok i have played a bit with your damage model and it seems to be working quite nicely, I like the fact about "people" getting cut down with one or two blows instead of 6 or 8 or whatever it took in vanilla

i didn't like the 99 accuracy on arquebuses, since that makes them very slow sniper weapons and they really weren't accurate at all, I think lowering the accuracy to 85 or something (like before) would make them better
Also some weapons and shields look a bit weird when showing on the body, but as someone already said, better to see them than not. My next move will be creating some sheaths so blades don't have that gothic (i,II,III) "magnetic" appearance
all in all good job, dude!   :D
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Brigadier Hussey on February 10, 2007, 08:11:17 PM
Let us work together to combat realism. If we try hard enough we can destroy it utterly!
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 10, 2007, 08:11:59 PM
I've played with black-powder weapons quite a bit, back growing up.  (Primitive firearms are popular in the United States - they even have hunting seasons for them.  Although most of them are rifled percussion-cap, a few hard-core enthusiast-types still shoot smooth-bore flintlocks.)  The smooth-bore muskets are not as accurate as modern rifles, this is true.  However, at under 100 paces, you can still put round-ball on a human body if the target will hold still.  They're at least as accurate as bows, or more so, at short range - and quite effective out to 100 paces or more.

(Compare that to effective ranges over 1km with a good modern sniper rifle, and your first thought is that smooth-bore muskets are painfully inaccurate.  Compare them to modern automatic handguns, and you'll think the old smoke-poles shoot pretty good.)

("Smoke-pole" - literal translation of the Cherokee term for firearms.  My dad speaks a little bit of Cherokee, and he always called the black-power rifles that.)

The scale and range in M&B never really gives you a shot more than 150 paces, even on totally flat treeless expanses ... beyond that, human-sized graphics are not visible.

I thought the feel was about right.  The 85% thing, where they shot a pattern about the size of a car at 30 paces, was certainly not.  That's the atlatl where you get patterns like that.

Where the guns will get you killed is in the reload time.  (I couldn't really use them at all ... not after the first shot.)  They can put four arrows on you per one round with the arquebus - and now, unless you're wearing a LOT of armor, arrows bloody hurt.  As late as the American Revolution (starting 1776), Benjamin Franklin said the Continental Army should have been armed with bows and crossbows, just for their higher rate of fire.  (His proposal was rejected because the New England colonies had no developed industry for producing bows and arrows, and they would have needed to produce thousands of them quickly.  In contrast, most of them already had muskets, and could steal more muskets and ammo from any Redcoats they killed.)

Anyway, I thought the feel on the guns was about right.  Might increase the reload time a little, to make them even more historically frustrating.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 10, 2007, 08:12:43 PM
Let us work together to combat realism. If we try hard enough we can destroy it utterly!

Excuse me?  ???
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on February 10, 2007, 08:27:27 PM
hmmm alright I am not so sure about the arquebus' 99 accuracy, but will test it a bit more.
Another thing, I do agree on increasing horses' speed, but manuever is just way too high, even a poor rider can achieve amazing maneuverability and that can't be right...
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 10, 2007, 08:47:03 PM
hmmm alright I am not so sure about the arquebus' 99 accuracy, but will test it a bit more.
Another thing, I do agree on increasing horses' speed, but manuever is just way too high, even a poor rider can achieve amazing maneuverability and that can't be right...

The speed is accurate.  I compared actual game output to realistic speeds of horses.  The speed range around 20 translates to a gallop of about 30 miles an hour.  I didn't model a flat run, which could be almost twice that for a strong horse, because a lot of horses don't get that kind of performance with a rider.  (The original work was for the little Japanese mountain ponies in ONR.)

The maneuver is rather based on my observations/experiences around rodeo barrel horses, back growing up on Oklahoma.  You would be surprised how tight a horse can turn, even at relatively high speeds - with or without a quality rider (and sometimes without even the rider's permission, as often happened to me).

Generally, you will find that horses turn fast, but they're not very precise about it.  That's kind of how I feel about horses.  Unfortunately, the game doesn't model what happens when the horse runs under a tree branch and leaves the rider in the tree, or just decides to jump a fence when you're not ready, or in the case of combat, absolutely refuses to charge a forest of spear points.  That would put the reality of horses into the game.

If you know a lot about horses, by all means, explain where I missed ... I haven't actually been on a horse in a lot of years.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Brigadier Hussey on February 10, 2007, 09:22:52 PM
Let us work together to combat realism. If we try hard enough we can destroy it utterly!

Excuse me?  ???

It was my daily act like an idiot phase.

I've played with black-powder weapons quite a bit, back growing up.  (Primitive firearms are popular in the United States - they even have hunting seasons for them.  Although most of them are rifled percussion-cap, a few hard-core enthusiast-types still shoot smooth-bore flintlocks.)  The smooth-bore muskets are not as accurate as modern rifles, this is true.  However, at under 100 paces, you can still put round-ball on a human body if the target will hold still.  They're at least as accurate as bows, or more so, at short range - and quite effective out to 100 paces or more.

Too true, I have a rifle (1858 2 band enfield) and a smooth bore (brown bess) and up to the 150 yard target off of a bench rest I can consistently hit a man size target in the head and chest area with both, but If I want to shoot nice tight groups or at that long range from standing the rifle is best. I'd say the smoothbore is great to 80 metres standing then all right to 150 kneeling or lying down.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 10, 2007, 09:39:29 PM

The old Enfields are fine weapons, by any standard, ancient or modern.  A lot of guys make shots of 300 meters or more with them pretty consistently.  (Considering how much time the M-16 spends jammed, they sometimes get a rate of fire as good as a modern assault rifle too.  ::) )

The matchlock arquebus wasn't quite so reliable as the weapons you mentioned, but I still figure that M&B's "99% accuracy" is not too far off.  Anything less than that, however, would be murderously underestimating the biggest advantage of early firearms - the simplicity of training people to use them.

And yeah, now that you mention it, combating realism does sound like a good idea.  I think that's part of the whole computer game thing - escapism.  The trick here is trying to get "suspension of disbelief", so people will stay in the game rather than going back to reality.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on February 10, 2007, 09:45:37 PM
ok, yes but those are more modern rifles, matchlock arquebuses were much older and much more inaccurate, mainly because of varying bullet sizes and powder quality.. and because they would sometimes blow up (poor metal quality) :D

now about the horses here's the thing: setting their stats too high will effectively make crippling negligible.
Riding skills will also become useless because you'd only need them to get better horses, the increases in maneuver and speed skills would no longer be useful.
If we want to give a reason based on realism, an experienced rider will always know how to take better advantage of his/her horse's abilities, while an inexperienced rider might actually have trouble with even a very good horse (not because the horse can't do it, but because the rider can't make the horse do it). Since mount and blade can't simulate horse disobedience in any way, I think we should just stick to horse stats similar to those from vanilla, a higher speed is in order, but not too high (I'm talking about 50% increases or something similar, not much more)

EDIT: about crippling I have a live example right now, my sumpter horse has just been crippled and still can run like a hunter from vanilla
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Brigadier Hussey on February 10, 2007, 10:02:17 PM
The old bess has been used since the early 1700's though, when it was a doglock (first type of flintlock musket)
I agree the Enfield is a magnificent beastie, It has a nicer feel that the Zouave (with the thicker stock and wrist) and I just aint too fond of the springfield, it seems less balanced in the grip and in the recoil it seems to twist more, which admittedly doesn't matter in a single shot it just irritates me having my rifle swinging around everywhere once i have fired. ROn do you own any black powder weapons?
/Offtopic

I hadn't heard about muskets blowing up in the Spanish expedition, but I wouldn't put anything past that shoddy Don workmanship  :P
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 10, 2007, 10:17:32 PM
The guns in question were a little more modern, yes, but the basic premise is not.  Any setting under 99% in M&B will reduce their accuracy to a pattern that is as likely to hit your own foot as your target.  That undermines the logic of using firearms - that they are easy to use, but tragically slow to reload, and their damage not always reliable at stopping targets in spite of good armor penetration. 

The "bazooka o' randomness" model you had before was like something out of a cartoon.  Don't do that again.

--------------------------------

On the horses, forget about the horses in vanilla.  I've seen snapping turtles who could outrun those horses.  They had all the cornering ability of a municipal stadium.  A real horse - even a lousy one - could out-perform one of them while dragging an automobile.

On the maneuver numbers I gave, improved riding skill will still help a lot.  It greatly improves performance on difficult terrain (like climbing steep inclines), which this mod is full of.  It also improves cornering at speed ... not really critical when only one side has horses, but it played a huge role in balancing ONR (where the greatest power of the samurai was their role as horse archers, and horse-to-horse clashes were too normal).

Granted, the whole "lame" thing doesn't entirely disable the animal.  We might be able to edit that.

However, we do not want to cripple their performance.  They would be utterly sitting ducks in the new damage model.  They already go down with annoying regularity.  The horses MUST have realistic (possibly plus benefit-of-the-doubt) performance, or they will be utterly useless.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 10, 2007, 10:30:27 PM
The old bess has been used since the early 1700's though, when it was a doglock (first type of flintlock musket)
I agree the Enfield is a magnificent beastie, It has a nicer feel that the Zouave (with the thicker stock and wrist) and I just aint too fond of the springfield, it seems less balanced in the grip and in the recoil it seems to twist more, which admittedly doesn't matter in a single shot it just irritates me having my rifle swinging around everywhere once i have fired. ROn do you own any black powder weapons?
/Offtopic

I hadn't heard about muskets blowing up in the Spanish expedition, but I wouldn't put anything past that shoddy Don workmanship  :P

The earlier weapons (1400's, especially heavier weapons like early bombards) had a bad habit of cracking when fired.  By the Spanish expeditions, the rate of such failures had dropped off to reasonable.  (On par with swords breaking, bows cracking or bowstrings breaking, or any other critical equipment failure.)

------------------

I currently teach in China ... firearms are greatly regulated.  (More for safety reasons than anything else - there are just too many people and too much concrete.)  I do have some nice hand-made swords.

Growing up in Oklahoma, we always had some black powder pieces among the hunting rifles.  For deer primitive firearms season, my dad carries a .54cal rifled percussion cap that he built himself.  He shoots a 110 grain load of mixed FF and FFF powder.  I saw him blow a can out of a river with that thing at over 300 yards one time. 

I spent a lot of years around the black powders.  They're a lot of fun to play with.

Never actually fired a matchlock, though.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on February 11, 2007, 12:04:36 AM
just to make another point about arquebus accuracy, here's a fragment form http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arquebus

"In terms of accuracy, the arquebus was extremely inferior to archery. However, the arquebus had a faster rate of fire than the most powerful of crossbows, had a shorter learning curve than a longbow, and was more powerful than either. An arquebusier could carry more ammunition and powder than a crossbowman or longbowman could with bolts or arrows. The weapon also had the added advantage of scaring enemies with the noise it (and most other firearms) makes."

so in mod terms what would you propose?
- 99 acc is still too much I am thinking maybe lower it to 90?
- Since it's a low velocity firearm it could cause blunt damage instead to not be as effective against armor as if it were piercing (I'm not sure you would usually knock people out if you shot them with an arquebus, but oh well the m&b engine has limits)
- a slow firerate but not as slow as the one of an arbalest or sniper crossbow
- damage comparable or maybe greater than that of an arbalest
- lots of ammo (already there) you adjusted it at 60 per ammo pack, right?
- the scaring factor.. I'm not sure I can include it somehow with a trigger.. could try, though

another thing, halberds (just like any polearm that can be swinged) shouldn't be used horseback, that is absurd, the halberd is a footman weapon
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 11, 2007, 12:48:58 AM
just to make another point about arquebus accuracy, here's a fragment form http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arquebus

"In terms of accuracy, the arquebus was extremely inferior to archery. However, the arquebus had a faster rate of fire than the most powerful of crossbows, had a shorter learning curve than a longbow, and was more powerful than either. An arquebusier could carry more ammunition and powder than a crossbowman or longbowman could with bolts or arrows. The weapon also had the added advantage of scaring enemies with the noise it (and most other firearms) makes."

I question the validity of these sources.

According to the NATO study on combat injuries (1960's) and studies done by wildlife conservation departments in a number of places, plus my own personal observations, I will most certainly say that arrows have better penetration and killing power than black-powder round-ball ... and better than many modern rifle bullets.  Their ability to kill or disable quickly far exceeds the performance of full-metal-jacket military ammunition - which is why wildlife departments tend to allow arrows for big-game hunting, but require rifles to use expanding-type ammunition.  Arrow performance in stopping bear and wild pig has far exceeded even the heaviest of hunting rifles for years, and a lot of hunters have seen and noted this.

The problem with arrows IS accuracy (and even more so with thrown weapons).  This from someone who has killed a number of little furry things with arrows (including one whitetail deer) - power is NOT their problem.  They deliver power like a train wreck.  Arrows will go through MODERN body armors that will stop a rifle - I've seen it tested.  However, putting them on a moving target with any kind of regularity takes years of practice.  Even then, you sometimes just plain miss.  Long travel time on the arrow makes leading a moving target into a real pain.  Hitting anything at more than 50 paces is either amazing skill or an act of God.  That's why the ancient world frequently just fired into the air and let the arrows fall at random into enemy formations - if the bow gives you power without accuracy, use it.

I will agree with the ammunition issue - you will note I upped the ammo bag to 60 rounds, compared to about 24 for arrows/bolts.

Reload speed on the "most powerful crossbows" is a dumb statement - the arbalest was reloaded by windlass, and in reality it took about two minutes to reload.  A more reasonable crossbow reloads in a more reasonable time.  About this time, China produced a lever-reload light crossbow (about 45 to 55 pound draw weight) with a 10-round box magazine - it could go through 10 rounds a minute.  (Those things were still in use until the beginning of the 20th century.)

And I promise that even the primitive "handguns" of the 1400's (a pipe-gun by modern definition) had equal or better accuracy to bows, after a similar period of time spent in practice.  In spite of its primitive firing mechanism, the matchlocks were pretty modern-looking weapons - most even had decent sights.  (The Spanish arquebus in the J.M. Davis Gun Museum in Claremore Oklahoma, which dates to Cortez or somewhere very near then, has pretty modern-looking sights.)

The ONLY reason bows had an accuracy advantage over very early guns was because a lot of boys grew up putting food on their table with bows, and they were good with them.  In contrast, guns were new military technology.  Like saying rifles are more accurate than guided missiles, because a lot of people can shoot pretty straight, but very few can effectively target a missile.  In terms of the game, they were comparing archery skill 200 to firearms skill zero.  By the time of the Spanish explorations in the Americas, enough guns were in circulation to greatly reduce this difference.

I don't know who wrote that article, but I suspect he was neither an archer nor a black-powder shooter.  Nor a hunter.  Nor a soldier.  Because all of these people will question some of those conclusions.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: LCJr on February 13, 2007, 10:26:52 AM
Ron can you provide a source for handheld obsidian weapons piercing Spanish armor?

It's something I read long ago ... I can't seem to find the source now.

I did find good references on flint and obsidian-tip arrows and atlatl dart, both from the time and in more modern tests.  (Apparently Cortez had some old breastplates shot with arrows, to find out why they were getting slaughtered - the results were pretty scary.)  Anyway, I know that obsidian is capable of piercing at least some steel some of the time - which translates pretty badly for most body armor.  Might be pretty hard on the stone as well, but that isn't really modeled in-game.  Impact speed on arrows or the end of a long club are not that different - if one goes through, so does the other.

I've seen what a stone axe can do - there's no question that those would be murder on armor.  (The one in question was flint, actually a reproduction of a Cherokee hatchet, but close enough.)  They do pretty much the same as their steel counterparts, despite being much heavier and slower, and becoming dull much faster.  The issue is with the thinner and better balanced blades of the macuahuitl and tepoztopilli.  I'm not sure which way they will go.


---------------------------------------

Also, everyone note that this combat model is now up and running on Onin-no-Ran.  Everyone should check it out, to see the kind of changes involved, and how the rescale changes the game.

I think it has been an enormous success so far.  Of course, I might be extremely prejudiced by the fact I created it ... out of annoyance at how the weapons didn't really work in vanilla.  But a lot of other people think it's a good thing too.



I won't deny the atl-atl piercing a steel breastplate.  I wouldn't even be too surprised if it still could with just a fire hardened tip.  If you'll excuse my vague memories I saw a PBS program on prehistoric hunting, Nova IIRC, that had an impressive atl-atl demonstration.  The scientists set up an impact gauge(ft/lbs) and had one of their college javelin throwers come out.  He took a running start and made a throw at probably around 25 yards.  Impact was in the 50-60 ft/lb range.  Next one of the scientists casually stands there and launches an atl atl.  The dart went through a 3/4" or 1" piece of plywood and broke the gauge.  Once it was repaired and reinforced they tried again.  Impact was in the 200-300 ft/lb range.

I just have a hard time picturing obsidian melee weapons piercing steel.  But then again I'd say the question is pretty much academic since the Spaniards seem to have ditched their breastplates for  native armor.

Regarding the accuracy of primitive firearms scroll down this page to see the author shooting a handgonne/polegun at 25 paces.
http://www.musketeer.ch/blackpowder/handgonne.html

Just keep in mind his ammo is probably very close to the bore size of the weapon.  In practice the lead balls would be smaller than bore to speed reloading especially as the gun became fouled.  Before the bore starts clogging up with powder residue the ball is literally going to be bouncing down the barrel.

I'll add this one even though it's from the 1790's.  I've seen these same tests posted in several places without the authors realizing the size of the targets involved.  http://www.miniaturewargames.com/musketry.htm  scroll down to Accuracy section.
Take note the first test uses a target 6 ft high by 50 yards wide for infantry.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on February 13, 2007, 12:09:29 PM
Hey LCJr! I have noticed that you've always been closely following meso's developement, would you like to be part of the team or at least help us test Ron's the combat model?


Now to my comments about the combat model(after several hours testing) :

- I have been reading about old firearms and they aren't supposed to be accurate at more than 50 paces (they didn't have sights, they relied on volley fire, the flash and smoke produced by the matchlock system made it harder, bullets were of varying sizes which made them bounce inside the gun's barrel and not be shot very straightly), still they are sniping weapons in the current combat model, I still believe the acc should be lowered a bit

- arquebus damage is too low or maybe helmets and armor values is too high in comparison, I shot several spaniards on their heads and got 0s many times, shooting breastplates always yielded low numbers (14-30 or something) so the best tactic was to shoot their legs

- swords produced very low damage values vs breastplates (often even  0s) against lightly armored oponents they were killers (which I like a lot)

- horses turning abilities (aka manuever) is too high, I know horses can be very nimble, but just the way it is right now, they seem like they were immune to all kinds of inertia

- I see you made all swords' damage the same, making them just cosmetically different.. I guess in damage terms they would work like that, so I agree

- some items still have to be removed, forgot to deactivate them :P
they include: foil= they just didn't exist yet
                   black greaves = failed experiment of transforming a texture
                   khergit arrows = they shouldn't be there
                  less axes = didn't know which ones were used and which ones weren't so I left almost all of them there

so far this is what I have figured out.. I'll keep you posted

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Apollon-04 on February 13, 2007, 06:46:35 PM
I'll happily testm If I can, pm me and I'll pm you my e-mail adress.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 13, 2007, 07:47:03 PM

If you check the ranges in M&B, you will find that there is almost never a shot at more than 50 paces.  Do some tests.  Have your little guy walk across an expanse in town, and count the paces.  Or measure in lengths of a horse.  It comes out that shots you thought were 50 paces are actually 10.  It's a graphics bug caused by the fact computer screens are not as big as reality.

(On the Holy War mod, trying to get arrows to shoot right, I guessed a shot at a merchant sign to be 25 paces.  When I checked it against the size of a horse, it was *8*.)

Also, mis-sized shot is not a valid complaint.  With black powder, you wrap the ball in wadding when you load it.  With two extra patches, you can fire .45 cal ball from a .54 rifle and still get pretty good accuracy at short range.  (It increases your pattern size by maybe a foot at 100 paces - I've tried it.)  That's the worst shot mismatch I can think of, like trying to load .38 special into a .44 mag - and even then it shoots pretty good.  Only modern bullets, which lack soft wadding, have to be precision made.  The old-timers had this figured out too.

Even 99% accuracy on this game won't keep all your shot on a body at 50 paces, even with high skill.  Most guys I know who play with black powder shoot better than that, even with primitive weapons like smoothbore flintlocks.  (They have all the same problems of the matchlock, except that you don't have to keep your fuse lit.)  And the Spanish arquebus I have seen from this period were relatively long-barrel weapons with fair-to-decent sights - based on having fired a lot of ammo through muzzle-load black powder weapons, I figured they would shoot pretty good.  There is no "sniper weapon" on M&B, because you can never see more than 100 paces or so.

Lead round ball from arquebus should sometimes deflect from steel armors.  Armorers of the period would "proof" armor by firing a musket into a corner, usually the lower right hand corner of the breastplate, to prove that they worked.  Many surviving armors of this period contain these "proof marks".  It's not a bug.  It's just that bullets don't go through everything like magic.  (My tests with modern handguns say this is not rare - modern pistol rounds won't go through much metal either.  High-velocity rifle bullets will - but the arquebus was not one of those.)  The armor and bullet penetration numbers are pretty accurate.  Test them if you don't believe me.

I'll stand by the horse numbers for two reasons.  One, they are accurate.  Horses do that - they're not cars that have to turn a wheel and roll.  They spin on their feet the same way you do... do you need a large turn radius when running, or do you dig in your heels and basically run right back up your own tracks?  Hard to stay on one when he does that, but we can't simulate that.  Two, if they are lower, horses will be useless - they already get torn to shreds by the arrows.  They need all the advantages they can get, or else they are just target practice for the enemy.

The sword damage thing was done quickly.  Put a one  or two point variation between them if you want.  Don't make it more than a couple of points.  That will deliver the message that they are a little different, without changing the basic function.

And the foil did exist, just that nobody considered it a weapon.  The closest thing to a weapon foil was the estoc - which is present.  You'll notice I removed the cutting edge from the estoc - they are square cross-section, and can be used as a minor club but have no cutting edge.

---------------------

And as for the question about melee weapons piercing steel ... test some hatchets on several layers of auto-body weight steel.  See how many layers a cheap hatchet will go through - it's pretty amazing.  They penetrate more metal than many modern handguns.  A flint axe (despite being heavier and a little clumsy) will perform almost as well as a steel hatchet - I've seen it.

----------------------

I say the numbers are generally good.  (Put some variation in the swords if you want - every sword is a little different.)  The armor and missile weapons values will stand up to tests.  And check that first link that LCJr posted - it shows a lot of what I said (the reasonable accuracy at short range, even from the hip with no practice, and the mediocre armor penetration), even though the weapon is much older than the ones we are simulating and had no way to aim it.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: LCJr on February 14, 2007, 11:21:43 AM
Wouldn't claim to call myself an expert in early firearms but from what I've gathered during this period the ball wasn't wrapped in a patch.  The few period excerpts I've read seem to indicate that wadding was used and if forgotten the ball would roll out if aiming downwards.  I'd say it's safe to say this was a learning period:)

Quote
'A Musqueteer may fail of his shot by sundry accidents, as by rolling out of bullet, an badde matche, an matche not right cocked, by evill powder or wet powder in his pan; and I have often times seen an ranke of musquetiers having presented and given fire that three or four of ten have failed of their shot'

Quote
The experienced soldiers were insistent about using wad, Orrey stated  'Besides all this, whoever loads his musket with cartridges, is sure the bullet will not drop out, though he takes his aim under breast high, for the paper of the cartridge keeps it in; whereas those soldiers which on service take their bullets out of thier mouths ( which is the nimblest way ) or out of their pouches, which is slow, seldom put any paper, tow, or grass, to ram the bullet in; whereby if they fire above brest high, the bullet passes over the head of the enemy, and if they aim low, the bullet drops out ere the musket is fired; and 'tis to this that I attribute the little execution I have seen musketeers do in time of fight, thought they fired at great battalions and those reasonable near'

http://www.fairfax.org.uk/main/soldiers/musket.htm

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 14, 2007, 05:33:39 PM
Not putting in any wadding?  Having the ball fall out of the weapon?  Boy, now those guys must have REALLY been incompetent.

Did it say anything about people who got their spears turned backwards?
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Hellequin on February 14, 2007, 05:48:57 PM
Incidentally, Ron, the volley of arrows fired up at 45 degrees was not always a "let it fall where it may" thing.  That's a myth.  I've watched archers at my local SCA chapter (I know, I know, no perfect resource - but in the wrong direction, they'll not be as skilled as, say, an English longbowman of the War of the Roses period) put arrows consistently into a ~2' diameter hula hoop at 250-300 yards, using a high arcing indirect shot.  Like anything else, that's a knack, and one which can be practiced.  So I would not at all be surprised if those arrow storms often contained shots which were much closer to being aimed than we realize.  Certainly the hissing sheet model which has the fire being concentrated onto the front few ranks is very likely.  You can kill the guys further back with the next arrow.

None of which has a very great impact - but don't use "they fired at long range with a high arc" as an argument for inaccuracy.  Quite the reverse - they were just pushing the envelope of a quite accurate weapon and, more to the point, skill.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 14, 2007, 06:25:06 PM
Well, I and others I know have killed a lot of little furry life forms with arrows.  I can honestly say that an aimed shot against a single target is not going to happen at over 50 paces or so.  Arrow travel time is just too long to hit anything that's trying to evade.  High-arc shots against massed or group targets can, with a little practice, get pretty close... but firing into a ten-foot radius is still area-effect targeting at best, or at worst, just highly inaccurate when it comes to hitting a person.

But yes, targeting of squad-size or larger massed groups is an accepted military practice.  Be it volleys of arrows or laying down machinegun fire, you still have to hit the general area.

M&B doesn't really have any places where you can shoot more than 100 paces, so indirect targeting can't really be added to the game.  Human graphics only appear at maybe 150 paces, as a speck.

The real point was that early guns and average bows shoot about the same pattern, but it takes years of practice to be decent with a bow, while musketeers can be trained in days.  The early guns should not be given a pattern so bad that you can miss a standing man 10 paces away for 15 shots in a row.  At a hundred paces, maybe, but not ten.  The game's 99% accuracy still won't keep shot on a body at 100 paces, even with extremely high skill ratings, so that's a moot point.

Wait and see the mod - the bows are accurate enough.  I've split too many of my own arrows in practice, from stacking groups too tight... I know what archery is capable of.  I think I did a fair job of simulating it, both on ONR and here.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Riptokus on February 15, 2007, 06:01:30 PM
As a Marine Machine gunner, i've got a little to say on Machine guns and Indirect fire.

Firstly, I was required to qualify with my machine gun. I had to fire tight, controlled bursts into targets about the size of a quarter. A Machine gun is NOT a "Spray and Pray" Weapon. If it wasn't accurate, then why would people bother to get under cover when it is fired. Machine guns aren't as accurate as say, a Sniper rifle, but their inaccuracy mostly comes from the vibrations caused by the gun repeatedly firing. I personally can put a 10 round burst through a space the size of an inch at 100 yards. Further it's a little harder to keep it as small, but up to 800 yards I can put 7 out of 10 bullets from a burst into something the size of a human. One of my fellows could do 10/10 in a target the size of a human head at 800 but at that range for me I can't even distinguish the head ;) (If none of you realize what the hell that means, go measure out 800 yards and have someone stand at the end. You'll be suprised at what they look like at that range ;))

Something I never did, but certainly was trained at, was using the Machine Gun for indirect fire. By elevating the gun, you sent the round on an arc that was able to hit targets over hills or in ditches. Depending on how much play you give the gun depends on the size of the area your bullets land in. You can very easily target for "The front rank of that formation" and rain fire down, but Firing indirectly with a machine gun, the same problems ron states pops into view. 3 Seconds of delay, even if you can put a round or arrow through the center of abe lincolin's head in a penny through indirect fire, nothing stops that guy from moving. Formations do something strange though, which is something I don't think Ron understands. When you are moving in formation, you are moving at an exact speed with an exact distance from the guy to your left and your right, and usually you don't change heading at all. Seeing this, You can time your shot to hit your target perfectly, which I am sure the Veteran English Longbowmen would be able to do.

So what does it all boil down to? It doesn't. It's just extra information you might not have.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 15, 2007, 08:34:55 PM
My brother was 2nd Marine Division on this recent move into Iraq, so I know what you're saying.  The USMC trains very hard to get its people to aim their fire, even with medium machine guns - but they seem to be the exception to the rule.  In the First World War, however, the primary function of machineguns was suppression fire - a practice that many armies still train extensively.  It wastes a lot of ammo, but it does serve a purpose.

Indirect arrow volleys (and slings, if you go back to Roman period) are the same thing.  You might kill somebody like that, maybe ... but the real function was to keep them cowering behind their shields or dragging off their wounded, instead of maneuvering or returning fire.  They had time to get behind their shields, that's for sure.  However, it kept them neither in a position nor a state of mind to fight.

Still, pretty much all the combat in M&B happens at 100 paces or less.  Regulated formations do not exist.  This makes it a moot point - we can't simulate that, nor do we need to.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Riptokus on February 19, 2007, 01:20:45 PM
I still Disagree with your assessment. Here is a proposed experiment for you. Get 60 Tennis Balls and get 20 kids. Give each kid 3 tennis balls. Divide them up into 4 groups of 5. Place them at corners to a square, tell them if you get hit by a tennis ball to sit down, and the team with the most people standing in the end wins. Watch how they throw. Next combine them so it's just 2 groups, and repeat the experiment. Again, watch how they throw. Next a group of 5 with 12 balls each and have the rest stand in a big mass with no balls, and again watch how they throw. And finally, do the same thing as the previous one, but tell the mass of 15 kids if anyone of them manages to tag one of the 5, the 5 group looses and the 15 wins. Watch how the 5 group throws then. Finally, Divide them back into 2 Groups 3 balls each and set them at 500 feet from each other. Watch what happens then.

What you will see is more precision when they only have 3 balls, less with 12 each, but every time you will see one constant, and that is that every individual kid is aiming at another kid in the formation. If you are going to fire a volley, you HAVE to make at least some of it accurate or the desired reaction, pinning them down, will not happen, as the last part will show. Like you said though, Moot point, Formations don't exist so volleys won't work, and you can't even make your people's morale break in the middle of combat nor can you get them to be pinned down, So this conversation really does nothing, except encourage you to play with kids! ;)
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 19, 2007, 07:07:08 PM
Yeah ... without formation or morale in the game engine, the whole logic of breaking an enemy line or suppression fire are lost.

I'll pass on kids and tennis balls, thanks.  I've seen games like that before.  You would be surprised how hard a tennis ball can be, when thrown by some kid determined to injure another.


Edit:
And yes, I would agree that aiming at an individual target is the best way to get close to the individual or group.  I would agree with the USMC emphasis on aiming every shot ... I was raised by cowboys, after all, who are known for hitting what they shoot at.  (People say I'm one of those guys who never misses - not with firearms or bows or swords.  Not entirely true - I've missed my share of shots that I should have made blindfolded - but I do give off that image.)  However, my statement that many armies still train for zone fire still stands - many do.  As I said, it wastes a lot of ammo ... doing what a couple of really hard individuals with sniper rifles could accomplish in a dozen rounds or so.  Of course, ammo is easier to get than hard individuals, hence the logic of that.  People do a lot of things that I think are mistakes.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 21, 2007, 11:39:43 PM
In response to numerous requests, a retrofit of the RCM to M&B Native is now available on the File Repository:

http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=8&lid=419

Disclaimers with the download apply - this is intended as a resource to mods using the system, and is not a complete "mod" ... although it is playable.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Lord Adler on February 22, 2007, 09:23:14 AM
Have I ever said I love you?

I'm not about to say it now, but I will say thank you!
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 22, 2007, 11:01:11 AM
Have I ever said I love you?

I'm not about to say it now, but I will say thank you!

Good, because, since your handle suggests you are male, I would be somewhat concerned with the implications of the former.


Actually, I did that retrofit for Hellequin's "Shattenlander" mod ... most of his weapons are stock, and he said he would take care of the rest, because his code is kind of funny.  Then I posted it because of the popular demand for such.  (Also, Maw wanted it for "Maw's Murder Mod".)
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Lord Adler on February 22, 2007, 05:46:37 PM
Male, and happily attached to a 'ball and chain', if you get my meaning. You may rest your concerns. :P

I'm sorry if asking this makes me look foolish, but is the Python program required to use this?
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Wood on February 22, 2007, 07:08:43 PM
You don't need python to play the mod. Just make a copy of your entire "native" folder and rename it to "Realistic Combat Model" or something. Then extract ONLY the .TXT file to the folder. Then you can select the mod from the menu.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 22, 2007, 08:47:28 PM
'ONLY" is a strong word.  If you extract the .py file as well, it will just sit there ... it's quite harmless.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Lord Adler on February 22, 2007, 08:53:36 PM
All right, thanks. I had just wondered what the hell I was supposed to do with the .py folder. Cheers, I'll check it out.


Edit: Works fine now, well worth the brief wait. Good work again Ron.

Though it might be a bad thing, seeing as it'll distract me from playtesting Mesoamerica.  ;)
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 23, 2007, 10:57:08 PM
All right, thanks. I had just wondered what the hell I was supposed to do with the .py folder. Cheers, I'll check it out.


Edit: Works fine now, well worth the brief wait. Good work again Ron.

Though it might be a bad thing, seeing as it'll distract me from playtesting Mesoamerica.  ;)

Don't feel lonely about being distracted.  I've got, counting that retrofit and Mesoamerica, four betas or recent releases waiting for me to test or tweak them, plus three other mods considering or working on converting to the RCM that will be ready for me to work on them some time soon, and the possibility of one more (TLD, if AW ever gets around to answering his mail).  I've got WAY too many irons in the fire.

I've never seen anything like this, in all my years of messing with computer games.  I started the RCM as a tweak for Onin-no-Ran, so the swords would actually act sharp, and in two months it has become the standard for the mod community.  I'm not even a programmer, and now my name is on the credits for several of the biggest M&B mods, and virtually everybody has heard of me ....  I could have never predicted a response like this.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on February 28, 2007, 08:42:49 AM
I have 3 comments on the RCM (noticed that after a few minutes playtesting)

- halberds and tepoztopillis or any other polearms shouldn't be swinged on horseback(they were being treated like greatswords btw), that can't be right, so in my WIP set them back to behave like poleaxes, that is you can swing and stab with them unmounted, if mounted you can use them like lances, but not swing them.

- padded armor and leather jerkin have still vanilla stats which makes them almost useless

- gloves and gauntlets only give vanilla stats and that makes them almost only of cosmetic value and certainly not worth the money
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 28, 2007, 09:48:53 AM
And I have responses to that:

Padded and soft leather armors should read low.  Soft leather won't stop much.  It's minimal protection at best.  Trust me - I've hacked through enough of it ... the numbers are pretty accurate to my test cuts.  The Spanish padded armors of the period were mostly just arming garments worn without the outer layer of armor - not a true padded armor with reinforcement, like the Aztec war suits (which don't read much better).  It is better than nothing, but that's about all.

Gloves simply don't cover that much area.  In ONR, the Japanese "kote" include the whole arm and the shoulder, except for the hard shoulder plate - and the ratio of body and arm armor reflected this.  In the European armors, gauntlets really only include the hands, and the arms are part of the body armor.  Therefore, their benefit should not be that much.  As for cost ... well, I never said the economy was balanced.

Now, that other point is bad.

Halberds should be used with a swing from horse.  The Lucerne hammer and bec-de-corbin (two French pole-axe class weapons) were well documented as being used from horseback in this way - the lucerne hammer actually being designed for such.  In contrast, trying to stab with a heavy-head polearm requires very solid footing, and I'm pretty sure I could not do so from horse.  In general, dragging something through the air in a large arc requires less strength, speed, and precision than a quick jab.  The conventional way of using any heavy weapon from horse was to make a wide sweep to the side, and let the speed of the horse deliver the weapon.  The heavier the head of the weapon, the more this is true.  I worked very hard to get the speed and attack types to simulate that ... rather than the very clumsy-looking "stab somebody with your stick" look in Native, which would certainly cause me to fall off of the horse, and could never, ever damage anything, even if by some freak chance you managed to hit your target like that.

Either set the halberds back the way I had them, or add about 15 pounds to the weight and lower speed by 30 points, and make them entirely un-usable from horse.  Of course, the only weapons fitting that second description are the purely ceremonial halberds used around the British royal family today - but that would be an excuse to make them not usable from horseback.  Or foot, for that matter.  Otherwise, they need to be back the way they were.

As for the obsidian tepoztopilli, a swing to the side is the ONLY way I can think of to use that ... I was being generous to the player to allow the couched lance attack.  A stab from one of those is just not effective (many didn't even have stones on the tip - the jab was a draw-cut, not a straight thrust), and a stab from horseback would be a complete joke.  These were slashing weapons, pure and simple, and could really not be effectively used any other way.

For future reference, please consult me before making any more changes like that.  I tried very hard to get these things as historical as possible, very much in contrast to the rather cartoon-oriented weapon use in Native.  (The "greatsword" thing was just the collection of moves it needed - I went through the list and greatsword moves plus carry_itm_lance included everything it needed, without having to spell them all out.)

I may not be building a resume off of this thing, but I have a little bit of a reputation as a historian and a warrior to uphold... I would rather not see weapon moves that would only work in cartoons attached to the combat model that I worked quite hard to design.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Lord Adler on February 28, 2007, 05:27:37 PM
Ok, but I might have found a real balance problem:

I got a headshot on a guy (with 200+ crossbow skill) with a light crossbow. The damage for all crossbows (except heavy and sniper) is lower than Native, and I'd actually be interested to know why. But with this headshot, I did a whopping 3 damage to a Vaegir man-at-arms. He had a helmet (segmented?) that didn't cover the face, and I'm pretty sure the bolt didn't hit the actual helmet. Is this a problem?
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: The Pope on February 28, 2007, 06:03:04 PM
And I have responses to that:

Padded and soft leather armors should read low.  Soft leather won't stop much.  It's minimal protection at best.  Trust me - I've hacked through enough of it ... the numbers are pretty accurate to my test cuts.  The Spanish padded armors of the period were mostly just arming garments worn without the outer layer of armor - not a true padded armor with reinforcement, like the Aztec war suits (which don't read much better).  It is better than nothing, but that's about all.

Gloves simply don't cover that much area.  In ONR, the Japanese "kote" include the whole arm and the shoulder, except for the hard shoulder plate - and the ratio of body and arm armor reflected this.  In the European armors, gauntlets really only include the hands, and the arms are part of the body armor.  Therefore, their benefit should not be that much.  As for cost ... well, I never said the economy was balanced.

Now, that other point is bad.

Halberds should be used with a swing from horse.  The Lucerne hammer and bec-de-corbin (two French pole-axe class weapons) were well documented as being used from horseback in this way - the lucerne hammer actually being designed for such.  In contrast, trying to stab with a heavy-head polearm requires very solid footing, and I'm pretty sure I could not do so from horse.  In general, dragging something through the air in a large arc requires less strength, speed, and precision than a quick jab.  The conventional way of using any heavy weapon from horse was to make a wide sweep to the side, and let the speed of the horse deliver the weapon.  The heavier the head of the weapon, the more this is true.  I worked very hard to get the speed and attack types to simulate that ... rather than the very clumsy-looking "stab somebody with your stick" look in Native, which would certainly cause me to fall off of the horse, and could never, ever damage anything, even if by some freak chance you managed to hit your target like that.

Either set the halberds back the way I had them, or add about 15 pounds to the weight and lower speed by 30 points, and make them entirely un-usable from horse.  Of course, the only weapons fitting that second description are the purely ceremonial halberds used around the British royal family today - but that would be an excuse to make them not usable from horseback.  Or foot, for that matter.  Otherwise, they need to be back the way they were.

As for the obsidian tepoztopilli, a swing to the side is the ONLY way I can think of to use that ... I was being generous to the player to allow the couched lance attack.  A stab from one of those is just not effective (many didn't even have stones on the tip - the jab was a draw-cut, not a straight thrust), and a stab from horseback would be a complete joke.  These were slashing weapons, pure and simple, and could really not be effectively used any other way.

For future reference, please consult me before making any more changes like that.  I tried very hard to get these things as historical as possible, very much in contrast to the rather cartoon-oriented weapon use in Native.  (The "greatsword" thing was just the collection of moves it needed - I went through the list and greatsword moves plus carry_itm_lance included everything it needed, without having to spell them all out.)

I may not be building a resume off of this thing, but I have a little bit of a reputation as a historian and a warrior to uphold... I would rather not see weapon moves that would only work in cartoons attached to the combat model that I worked quite hard to design.

The bec-de-corbin and Lucerne Hammer are both significantly smaller than a halberd. Those two weapons do seem usable from horseback, but all the reading I've done indicates halberds were an infantry weapon. I'd say the most you should be able to do with one from horseback is carry it.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 28, 2007, 08:01:42 PM

The bec-de-corbin and Lucerne Hammer are both significantly smaller than a halberd. Those two weapons do seem usable from horseback, but all the reading I've done indicates halberds were an infantry weapon. I'd say the most you should be able to do with one from horseback is carry it.

The Halberd in-game doesn't look to be a large ceremonial weapon.  It appears to be a basic northern European pole-axe.  In which case, I figured it to be exactly the size of the bec-de-corbin, or close enough for calculation purposes.  It only has a reach of, I believe it was 180 ... 1.8 meters past the grip, that's six feet.  The halberd I made for my brother was a 12 foot pole, and I doubt it could be used from horse.  (Amazingly, it was stunningly nimble from foot.)

If it was a 12-foot halberd, I would say to make it unusable from horse.

Maybe what it really needs is to be re-named - call it "pole-axe", so as not to conjure images of the really heavy halberds.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on February 28, 2007, 08:34:38 PM
Ok, but I might have found a real balance problem:

I got a headshot on a guy (with 200+ crossbow skill) with a light crossbow. The damage for all crossbows (except heavy and sniper) is lower than Native, and I'd actually be interested to know why. But with this headshot, I did a whopping 3 damage to a Vaegir man-at-arms. He had a helmet (segmented?) that didn't cover the face, and I'm pretty sure the bolt didn't hit the actual helmet. Is this a problem?

(Note to anyone confused - he's talking about the RCM for Native.  The Vaegir are not in Mexico.)

Unfortunately, M&B does not make helmets directional.  That is, head shots are assumed to hit the helmet.  Protection values for all armor are between armor value and half that, randomly.  Regardless of what the graphics show, the game engine says you hit the helmet.  The only way to do open-face helmets is to somewhat lower the armor value, and let probability take its toll.

As for the damage on crossbows, I've spent a little time around modern crossbows ... I don't find them to be that much more efficient than conventional bows, except in being easier to aim.  The light bolts don't penetrate any better than heavier arrows, sometimes less.  (Same problem with short ultra-lightweight arrows and overdraw bows - higher speed, but no inertia, so they deflect easily... and damage against really tough targets like bear or wild boar is sometimes less than stellar.)  Now, it is possible to build extremely heavy crossbows, which you cannot do with conventional bows ... and they do hit a little harder.  (Probably not enough harder to justify the trouble, but harder anyway.  Enough harder to pose some danger to really heavy armor.)  However, "light crossbow" that can be drawn from horse does not appear to be one of those - it's probably about 60 to 70 pound draw.  That's going to translate to fair armor penetration at best, and its damage roughly the same as a conventional bow of similar draw weight.

Native obviously confused crossbows with the phasers from Star Trek.  I always wondered about that, since every other weapon in Native appeared to be made of rubber.  What were those crossbow bolts, anyway?  Depleted uranium?
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: The Pope on February 28, 2007, 11:44:15 PM

The bec-de-corbin and Lucerne Hammer are both significantly smaller than a halberd. Those two weapons do seem usable from horseback, but all the reading I've done indicates halberds were an infantry weapon. I'd say the most you should be able to do with one from horseback is carry it.

The Halberd in-game doesn't look to be a large ceremonial weapon.  It appears to be a basic northern European pole-axe.  In which case, I figured it to be exactly the size of the bec-de-corbin, or close enough for calculation purposes.  It only has a reach of, I believe it was 180 ... 1.8 meters past the grip, that's six feet.  The halberd I made for my brother was a 12 foot pole, and I doubt it could be used from horse.  (Amazingly, it was stunningly nimble from foot.)

If it was a 12-foot halberd, I would say to make it unusable from horse.

Maybe what it really needs is to be re-named - call it "pole-axe", so as not to conjure images of the really heavy halberds.

Thats probably a good idea, as the term halberd implies the 8+ foot heavy bladed weapons used by landsknechts and the like.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 01, 2007, 12:25:19 AM

The bec-de-corbin and Lucerne Hammer are both significantly smaller than a halberd. Those two weapons do seem usable from horseback, but all the reading I've done indicates halberds were an infantry weapon. I'd say the most you should be able to do with one from horseback is carry it.

The Halberd in-game doesn't look to be a large ceremonial weapon.  It appears to be a basic northern European pole-axe.  In which case, I figured it to be exactly the size of the bec-de-corbin, or close enough for calculation purposes.  It only has a reach of, I believe it was 180 ... 1.8 meters past the grip, that's six feet.  The halberd I made for my brother was a 12 foot pole, and I doubt it could be used from horse.  (Amazingly, it was stunningly nimble from foot.)

If it was a 12-foot halberd, I would say to make it unusable from horse.

Maybe what it really needs is to be re-named - call it "pole-axe", so as not to conjure images of the really heavy halberds.

Thats probably a good idea, as the term halberd implies the 8+ foot heavy bladed weapons used by landsknechts and the like.

Not necessarily. 

George Silver, "Paradoxes of Defence" 1599, said that "Of the black bill, battleaxe and halberd, and such weapons of weight, there is no fixed length, but they should be or commonly are five or six foot in length, and cannot be used much longer, for reason of their weight."  (I did that from memory ... I may have misquoted a word or two)

The Middle English term does not describe any particular length.  It could apparently be used of an axe or hammer as short as five feet overall.  Only in the last hundred years has it been used to describe only the longer weapons, and then usually more by popular entertainment than historical study.

I only suggested a name change in the interest of non-historian types ... not because it was technically inaccurate.

----------------------------------------

Still, I don't know of any M&B mods that use the longer halberds.  ONR models a couple of the Japanese long spears, and Holy War uses slightly longer spears, but I have not seen a long pole-axe yet.  Not like that thing I built for my brother ... It was kind of scary.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: The Pope on March 01, 2007, 01:17:56 AM
The M&B situations look ridiculous on a 6 foot halberd, and will only get worse when used with longer ones. Anyway, the point of the discussion is whether these things should be useable from horseback. Seeing as it was quite rare and never notably successful, I'd say that they should at least have serious horseback penalties (if possible). Things like battleaxes and lucerne hammers seem to have been mostly for use after a knight lost his horse - the primary weapons for heavy cavalry were couched lance or the sword. To put it another way, I've heard of units of horse archers, mounted crossbowmen, carabineers, pistoleers, lancers, kontos* wielding companions, single handed mace/axe wielding cataphracts and sword wielding heavy cavalry but never mounted halberdiers. I have seen contemporary illustrations of large two handed weapons being used from horseback, but rarely by more than one person in an entire battle scene. This leads me to think it was something done by particularly mad individuals, but not really an effective way of fighting. Kind of like daul wielding.

*essentially a 2 handed lance, in case any non history buffs are reading.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 01, 2007, 03:14:26 AM
All heavy weapons in the model get the same penalty - speed.  Long things like halberds get huge speed penalties, which make them difficult to use from foot, and truly troublesome from horse.  From horse, the low speed combined with the relatively high horse speed makes timing a decent attack truly inconvenient.

If you want a large-scale example of heavy polearm use from horse, check out the Japanese practice of arming heavy horse with naginata.  The naginata is a very different-looking device, but its size and weight are similar to the European pole-axes, and its use more similar than many martial-arts types would lead you to believe.

Europe seldom made any truly heavy weapon standard ... the only ones who used anything like that were the few individuals who thought they could handle it.  If you try to use the halberds in this model, you will very quickly understand why - the low speed is quite crippling, unless you formulate your entire strategy around it.  The damage is terrifying, but only if you can hit them.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: The Pope on March 01, 2007, 04:31:50 AM
There were quite a lot of infantry in Europe who used heavy weapons. Swiss halberdiers, zweihander wielding landsknecht doppelsoldner and billhook armed English knights just to name a few. Never cavalry, and I'd say its rarity was for a reason. Their weaknesses become a lot more drastic without stable footing, and providing that on horseback requires a different sort of saddle/stirrups to the type used in Europe. Mounted polearm use did show up a bit on the steppes, where horse archery saddles had the rider sitting much higher - almost standing - but even there it wasn't common. None of the groups who won empires went for it. I can see how the hitting power and reach would be great in a duel or even the loose formations used on the steppes or by early samurai (who weren't very different from steppe horse archers), but using it in a boot to boot knightly charge from a saddle designed for another purpose seems impractical to say the least.

On top of that, it looks truly absurd with the M&B horseback animations. Even if it was possible, I'd want some new animations before putting it in game.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 01, 2007, 04:47:23 AM
Still the basic point remains.  If we're going to have this thing in the game at all (assumed we are), we have two basic choices.  One is to make it completely, utterly unusable from horseback ... which seems extreme, and doesn't really hold up to history either, considering the examples given.  The second is to retain the slashing attack to the side, plus couched lance position, and let the speed penalties make the point that these were highly inconvenient weapons to use... which was my original plan, and seemed to hold up pretty well under testing (both here and with the larger naginata in ONR).

Neither one includes the preposterous stab-him-with-a-club-from-horseback spear animation used in native.  That would be the worst way imaginable to use such a weapon, not to mention virtually impossible.  That's got to go... immediately.

Maybe someday better animations will appear (like a real two-hand attack from horse), but we will all die of old age waiting, so either way we have to make the best of with what we have to work with now.  That's the long and the short of it.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: The Pope on March 01, 2007, 07:00:31 AM
Removing them does seem accurate for European armies, which is what we're talking about here. When combined with the horrible animations and general counterintuitiveness of the idea, it makes me want to remove horseback halberds entirely. Plus it's good from a balance point of view.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 01, 2007, 07:42:01 AM
Removing them does seem accurate for European armies, which is what we're talking about here. When combined with the horrible animations and general counterintuitiveness of the idea, it makes me want to remove horseback halberds entirely. Plus it's good from a balance point of view.

Two issues with that.  One, they are already not used by any horse units - only player or possibly NPC's could use them from horse at all.  It doesn't seem specifically logical to make it so that players could do *nothing* with this weapon from horse, except carry it around like a flagpole.  I mean, if you're strong enough and crazy enough to try...

The issue of speed already has the balance issue.  I took care of that.  They will prove no more useful than any other weapon, and then only in their very limited application (anti-armor) ... which will not prove to be all that useful, all considered.

Also, what about the tepoztopilli?  You want to make them flagpoles from horse as well?  Tell players that they just have to sit there holding this paperweight while someone beats on them?  "I'm sorry - you can use a sledgehammer from horse, but this is too long, so you may only use it as a lightning rod."   ???

The game still has to work.  Therefore, if players want to do something somewhat illogical, the key is to make it so inconvenient that they will soon come to understand why this was seldom done historically.  That's a much more playable approach than arbitrarily forbidding them to use the weapon.

I had them balanced.  They didn't feel that bad in game ... it was working.  I tested it myself, and it had the look and feel necessary to be playable.  The low speed made them highly ineffective from horse, unless you had a large flat area and a target who was not defending himself - both highly unlikely.  As a couched lance, a longer polearm would be better.  I had them worked into a very specialized application, as the halberd really was.

Then, changes were made which made them absolutely absurd - stabbing attacks from horse which would be both ineffective and physically impossible - to which I object vehemently.

--------------------------------

Pope, do you have the beta on this thing?  Have you seen exactly what we're talking about?

Guspav: change back the damn halberds and tepoztopilli.  I worked bloody hard to get them to balance in game (they were the only thing that really gave me any trouble), and I don't want to see that work derailed.  It was some of my best work, to get them both useful and inconvenient at the same time.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on March 01, 2007, 11:23:35 AM
ok i see your point, Ron, but I actually used both tepoztopillis and halberds while playtesting and they were VERY good horse back weapons: they could, with a single swing, hit 2 or 3 foot soldiers and deliver very high damage, so in game terms a foot soldier sweeper.. do you really thing that'd be correct?
the last beta I sent you has not got those changes and I can easily change them back, but i want to discuss this a little bit more, maybe if all testers play around with it a bit and tell us what they think
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 01, 2007, 12:06:37 PM
As previously stated, the lucerne hammer, bec-de-corbin, and o-naginata WERE used from horse in this way.  They could be very effective, or they could be very ineffective - it was a hard gamble.  Against an enemy who did not see it coming, any weapon hung out to the side of a horse could be terrifyingly effective.  In contrast, if someone did see it coming, it could be blocked or parried away - since the rider really didn't have that much control over the weapon either.

We played with this a lot on the naginata in ONR.  When they worked, it was very impressive.  However, the long time to draw back the weapon for the attack gave the enemy plenty of time to block it when it arrived, or to fire on your horse while you set up the run.  In contrast, fast weapons like lighter swords could make an attack fast enough that relatively few targets seemed to see it coming.  Any heavy blade from horse is potentially powerful ... but it can be a liability just as quickly.

Any long, slow sweeping move to one side of the horse exposes you to attack from the other side and front, so you have to be very careful about your tactics when doing this.  Without shield, this is highlighted even more... a serious penalty of these heavy polearms, when your enemy favors missile weapons - as both the Spanish and Aztec seem to do.

I didn't find them to throw off the balance ... not any more than any other single weapon, provided you develop good tactics for using it.  Any mounted armored fighter with heavy weapons is somewhat formidable... I suspect comparable results could be gained with any relatively high-damage weapon.  I tried both, and tended to favor the sword-type weapons - Spanish or obsidian, it didn't make much difference from horse.

-------------------

Also, are you sure it got multiple targets in a single stroke?  I didn't think M&B would register damage against more than one target per attack.

------------------------

I'll play with it more tomorrow (it's 2AM here at the moment), and double-check to see if it might be un-balancing.  Give me a bit to think about it.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on March 01, 2007, 07:05:32 PM
hmm I haven't been able to reproduce multi-troop hits, maybe i was just hallucinating or something haha
anyway tepoztopillis and halberds are still very effective when mounted and I'm not sure I like that, but don't worry too much, Ron, your countless hours testing won't go to wasteif we make them infantry weapons, they still work just fine on foot.

another thing I noticed, atlatl darts, while powerful seem to be almost useless since they hardly hit anything, I think they need a little revision, I think the shoot speed (40) is a bit low, remember those things can travel at about 100mph (160kph) so they can travel pretty fast (http://www.atlatl.com/mechanics.html) this atlatl obsessed guy explains them pretty well :D
he also says that they can accurately hit something at 30-40 yards away and if someone knows about them I believe this is the guy we should trust, anyway, just my 2 cents :)
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 01, 2007, 07:45:35 PM
I noticed that on the atlatl.  I was trying to relay that they take a lot of practice to get good with one, but I think it's a bit overdone.

It's not the speed - it's the accuracy.  Set it up a few points.  (I forgot what I set it... if it's 80, make it 90, or if it's 90 make it 95.)  I was accounting for speed and power, but I nerfed accuracy a bit too much.

BTW, 40 meters per second (speed 40) does come out to 144 KPH.  I didn't just pull that number out of space - that's clocked speed on the heavier atlatl darts currently used for sport hunting.  (Several U.S. States now have deer atlatl hunting seasons, and several more allow atlatl during the archery seasons.)

The atlatl really is a pain to get good with one... but once you do get good, they're potentially sort of accurate, as far as thrown weapons go, some of the time.  Same with a sling - enough years of practice, and you can get pretty good... first time you pick one up, God help you. 

----------------

I'll test the halberds today.  Extensively.  If they do unbalance the player's capability, I'll put together a solution.  Since no standard units use them from horse, it's only the player's capability that we're worried about.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 02, 2007, 02:49:02 AM
OK, I found the halberd problem.  Problem is speed.

My fault.  I needed the stone weapons to be a little slower than their steel counterparts, to represent being clumsy.  To prevent getting weapons totally stopped, I decided not to cut the speeds on some heavy weapons as much as I did in the other RCM versions.  Good idea, bad plan ... I left some of them (halberds, greatswords, guns and heavy crossbows) a little too fast.  That's why they're too difficult to block when used from horse.  Not terribly unbalancing, but an issue that has to be fixed.

I'll get the accuracy on the atlatl darts where I want it too, while I'm at it.

I just worked this thing up too fast the first time - that's all there is to it.  I tried to cut corners and do something for game balance, instead of doing it right and sticking with exact reality.  I should have taken my time and been a lot more careful.  I know better than to rush myself, but I do it anyway.

Send me the new module system ASAP - with the names for new models and such already in place.  I'll edit a few things ... may take a day or three, as my life is about to get real busy, but I'll get it.  It will balance when I finish.  I won't quit until it does.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on March 02, 2007, 12:41:18 PM
Alrighty then I just sent you the link to download the source via PM
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 06, 2007, 03:41:55 AM
Everybody:

I just sent Guspav the updated item file with the new heavy weapons speeds.  I'm sure he will get it distributed to anyone beta-testing this thing.

I know some of these numbers feel painfully slow, especially on the stone weapons.  That's why I set them up a little bit before ... and that's what unbalanced the game in favor of the heavier weapons.  I'm not going to repeat that mistake.

It means that slow (low AGL) characters will have a lot of trouble using pole-axe type weapons (including tepoztopilli).  The penalties for using a two-handed weapon from horse will make them horribly inconvenient when mounted ... although it is possible to use them, if you have plenty of space to line up your attack.  (It's not really a swing - it looks more like holding the weapon out to the side and riding past the target.)

Also, most heavier weapons had to be slowed a bit.  That greatsword will be a lot less convenient now.  If there's such a thing as too much realism, we're getting much closer to it.  However, I promise these numbers are playable - this is back to my original scheme from ONR, which was deliberately trying to be realistic to the point of frustration (to combat the popular misconceptions about the "martial arts" and Asian weapons).  They played well there, if you were careful.


As always, there may be typos.  Check with me if something seems wrong.  That's why we do beta tests.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on March 06, 2007, 10:24:57 AM
thanks, ron, just updated my module_items.py, I didn't just ovewrite it because I had cleaned it up for a coding experiment (which isn't working yet).. hmm if somebody knows how to make merchants selective of the suff they can sell (eg. only native weapons or only european weapons), please give me a hand :D
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: broodwarcd on March 06, 2007, 06:23:28 PM
while on topic of lances and spears...would it be possible to have spears inflict damage to charging horses without any forward thrust?
not spear men lines were used to repel cavalry but they didnt thrust at um when they closed in they would plant third feet and let the horses momentum skewer both horse and rider....its kinda angering sitting on the sidelines watching my spearmen try to thrust at a horse 3 feet away then get stabbed in the ass by the spearman next to him trying to whirl around and stab the horse that just ran past him....absolutely frustrating >:(
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on March 06, 2007, 06:33:06 PM
nope, sorry, that can't be modded, spears and pikes work like that: thrusting
while I would love a "set to receive a charge" option, it isn't possible.. at least for the time being
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 06, 2007, 06:35:25 PM
thanks, ron, just updated my module_items.py, I didn't just ovewrite it because I had cleaned it up for a coding experiment (which isn't working yet).. hmm if somebody knows how to make merchants selective of the suff they can sell (eg. only native weapons or only european weapons), please give me a hand :D

Make sure you got all the changes ... I think I changed the speed on half the weapons, at least by a little bit... some by a whole lot.

Edit:  Seriously, the more I think about it, I don't even remember how many things I changed in that file.  I monkeyed with that thing for two days.  I don't know exactly how you "updated" the file, but if it wasn't cut-and-paste, you probably missed a few things.

Also, let's post something over on the programming tips section about merchants and their inventory.  I'll write it up, and see who on the rest of the board has any ideas.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Lord Adler on March 07, 2007, 07:54:36 PM
This pertains more to the Native version of the RCM, but I have a seriously hard time believing that getting shot by four simultaneous light crossbow bolts, in the chest and at a range of no more than ten feet, would do 0 damage. The crossbows seem to have been too seriously nerfed. I was only wearing a chain hauberk, and I was shot at the same time by four Swadians and took no damage at all. This goes back to what I said about a headshot only doing 3 damage. Is this an intentional part of the RCM?


EDIT: Let me point out that the same thing regularly happens with the Mesoamerican RCM.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on March 07, 2007, 08:50:01 PM
yes I have noticed that too crossbows and even firearms are not very useful against metal helmets, maybe their defense could be lowered a bit, Ron?
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 07, 2007, 09:13:03 PM
This pertains more to the Native version of the RCM, but I have a seriously hard time believing that getting shot by four simultaneous light crossbow bolts, in the chest and at a range of no more than ten feet, would do 0 damage. The crossbows seem to have been too seriously nerfed. I was only wearing a chain hauberk, and I was shot at the same time by four Swadians and took no damage at all. This goes back to what I said about a headshot only doing 3 damage. Is this an intentional part of the RCM?


EDIT: Let me point out that the same thing regularly happens with the Mesoamerican RCM.

"Light crossbow" is not much of a weapon, man.  We're talking about something that can be reloaded from horse... it can't be stronger than conventional bows, and get away with that.  Combined with the fact crossbow bolts are normally lighter than arrows, you probably shouldn't expect much out of them.  (Steel crossbow bolts will help.)

A good riveted-maille hauberk should be able to stop at least some arrows.  Reports from the Crusades described European knights with arrows stuck all in their maille, who were themselves not particularly hurt.  More recent tests have proven equally noteworthy.  I never actually made any riveted maille myself, but the word is that the stuff really is hard to put an arrow through.  Don't underestimate it. 

Try that with longbow or heavy crossbow, and see if it repeats.  Heavier weapons should increase the chances of a penetrating hit pretty substantially.  Also, if you think of it, try to collect some data on exactly which armors seem to penetrate and which ones do not.  If something needs to be tweaked, we'll need to know exactly what to change.

Yeah, that was sort of intentional.  The numbers may be off by five points one way or the other, but the idea that armor actually works some of the time was deliberate.  The armor was mostly just decoration in Native ... now it's really like shooting through several pounds of metal.

Although I suspect four in a row not penetrating may have just been luck.  Same with the head shot deflecting and leaving only three points of damage.  Also consider that no attempt to balance the troops was made in the Native retrofit ... infantry crossbowmen should have been given slightly heavier weapons than the "light crossbow" that can be used from horse.

Anyway, collect some more numbers ... see if you think it's just occasional dumb luck, or if there is a pattern.  I'll look at it too... I don't normally play with the crossbows much, but I will for a while.



Guspav:  the helmet thing was based on surviving helmets of the period bearing "proof marks" - scars from where they were deliberately tested to see if they would turn a musket ball, before they were sold.  It would really be the 1800's, with the development of the minie-ball, before black-powder weapons would really shoot through armor.  (Armor fell out of favor before then, mostly because of artillery.)  It goes against popular "guns shoot through anything" thinking ... but it did happen.

Check out the works of Fairbairn and Stykes on use of metal shields and helmets to turn pistol and submachinegun rounds in the 1920's.  It's pretty impressive... says bullets really shouldn't go through helmets.  (Modern smokeless-powder hi-power rifles excluded.  They do penetrate steel quite nicely.  But that's World War One, not 1600.)

Get some numbers, and we'll look at them... decide if they need to be tweaked, and if so, how much.

---------------------
This is going to be a tough call.  We don't want armor to stop everything.  We also don't want armor to be purely for appearance, like it was in native.  A change of as little as three or four points can go from one to the other.  We want guns and crossbows, not toys and not anti-tank weapons, and likewise a change of a few points can go from one to the other.

Time to make my head hurt.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 07, 2007, 10:21:56 PM
OK, I checked some numbers.  I ran these in my head ... they're not exact.

The arquebus is already probably too effective.  The odds of a morion helmet stopping one is roughly zilch.  The odds of an armet helm completely absorbing the hit is less than 40%, and so the odds of a debilitating wound through the helmet are at least 40%.  That is giving the matchlock more than its due credit in history.

The Maille hauberk in Mesoamerica is rated at 70.  I think I used 65 in Holy War, which was probably a better number.  Some of the other armor may be a little high too.

The crossbows seem weak by maybe five points or so.  Unfortunately, if we set them to pierce, they will either be too effective against armor or too weak against meat... if we leave them set to cut, they will be too effective against unarmored targets or too weak against armor.  I can't decide which one hurts worse.  I'm thinking to leave them set cut, and add five points or so... but I'll have to test that.

I'll experiment with that for a bit.  (As I said, I seldom play the crossbows.)  See what I can learn.  I'll send you something to test as soon as I decide how much to change them.  This is definitely a bug.


-------------------------------------
Edit:  Guys, opinions...

Do we want to try to model broadhead crossbow bolts, and take a chance on them being weak against armor?  Or do we want to model conical-type anti-armor points, which would calibrate to pierce damage and so offer greatly reduced damage against meat?

Since conventional arrows are modeled to cutting broadheads, I'm tempted to say to convert the crossbows to anti-armor - just for game balance.  However, that will make them effectively the same as the guns.

Either way, the crossbows are going to feel "not quite right", I'm afraid.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on March 08, 2007, 11:04:49 AM
well I don't know then.. hmm make them anti armor I guess :D
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: LCJr on March 08, 2007, 09:30:07 PM
while on topic of lances and spears...would it be possible to have spears inflict damage to charging horses without any forward thrust?
not spear men lines were used to repel cavalry but they didnt thrust at um when they closed in they would plant third feet and let the horses momentum skewer both horse and rider....its kinda angering sitting on the sidelines watching my spearmen try to thrust at a horse 3 feet away then get stabbed in the ass by the spearman next to him trying to whirl around and stab the horse that just ran past him....absolutely frustrating >:(

The AI's timing is off regardless of what level you set it to.  Even fighting on foot they almost always release their first swing too soon.    I don't think I'd want perfect timing on their part but it could definately stand to be improved.

For Adler, Guspav and Ron  some data on the construction and ballistic resistance resistance of various helmets and body armors from the Civil War to Korean era.  This chapter is part of larger  US Army Medical report on wound ballistics.
http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/wwii/woundblstcs/chapter11.htm

For example
Quote
Following the decision in 1917 to equip the American Expeditionary Forces with a helmet, 400,000 helmets were initially procured through the British Quartermaster’s Department. Subsequently, the same type of helmet was manufactured in the United States under the direction of the Ordnance Department, and approximately 2.7 million helmets, M1917, were produced by Armistice day, 1918. The American helmet was a slightly modified version of the British MkI helmet. The helmet was made of 13 percent pressed manganese steel alloy, 0.035 inch thick, and could be ruptured only by a blow of 1,600 pounds or more. The British helmet had twice the ballistic strength of the French helmet. The helmets of British design produced in the United States had an overall ballistic strength 10 percent greater than that of the original British helmet. The ballistics specifications of the M1917 helmet required it to resist penetration by a 230-grain caliber .45 bullet with a velocity of 600 f.p.s.

The .45 ACP retains it's velocity pretty well so I'm guessing 600fps would be at 200 yards.  The WW2 M1 was able to stop a .45 at around 25 yards so big improvement.

 A very big IF but you might be able to use this info get an idea of armor protection vs. bullets.  Assuming of course you have data on the quality of Spanish steel, thickness and matchlock ballistics.  Anyone seen any data on the proof loads used?

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 09, 2007, 04:59:47 AM
Thanks for the resource.  I had seen that study before, incidentally, but it's good to have the link for future reference.

Unfortunately, it doesn't help us at the moment.  Spanish steel and lead round ball have so little to do with the alloys used in those helmets and copper-jacket FMJ rounds that it makes comparing them quite difficult.  Too many variables changed... thickness, material, construction method and shape ... it would be a nightmare to reverse-engineer an equation from that.

It does, however, make my earlier point that metal armors should be quite bullet resistant.

And BTW, that 600 FPS was probably all they were getting out of the .45 ACP, even at point blank.  That is a subsonic round, even if you use light bullets and overloaded powder charges... and 230 grain is not a light bullet for anything, much less a .45, and the military never takes a chance on damaging a weapon with hot powder loads.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: LCJr on March 09, 2007, 05:08:29 AM
Standard muzzle velocity for US military .45 ACP from a 1911A1 is ~850 fps.  820 fps for Match.  Speed of sound varies with altitude, generally it's assumed to be -1050 fps.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 09, 2007, 05:33:46 AM
Standard muzzle velocity for US military .45 ACP from a 1911A1 is ~850 fps.  820 fps for Match.  Speed of sound varies with altitude, generally it's assumed to be -1050 fps.

Uh... today.  I'm not so sure about 1917.  Smokeless powder was relatively new at the time, and it wasn't so hot... and the high demand during the war meant a lot of it wasn't refined or processed extremely well either.  Whenever using calculations from pre-WW2, I generally assume the worst about the quality of their powder and/or explosives, fuel, or anything else that has to be refined.  Chemistry and/or chemical industries in 1917 were sort of hit-and-miss.  By the 40's, it was good enough to ensure pretty reliable explosives and fuels.

I also rather assumed that neither the metal nor the black powder used in the mod were up to modern specs either... I'm betting Cortez didn't exactly have DuPont turning out his gunpowder supply. 

Maybe I'm a pessimist that way - but it usually doesn't steer me too far wrong.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 09, 2007, 06:19:11 AM
well I don't know then.. hmm make them anti armor I guess :D

Just ran a test on this.  Oh, they feel gutless against light/no armor.  The lighter ones are going to end up as zero chance of putting a man down in the first shot, unless it's in the head.  We may have to go that way, but how I dread it ...

Still testing this.  Stand by.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on March 09, 2007, 09:25:30 AM
ok then
I'll upload a new beta later today so you can start working on the new arranged py file (sorry, but it had to be done for the mechant thing)
I'll tell you later what the new changes are, stay tuned
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: LCJr on March 09, 2007, 06:58:30 PM
The WW1 .45 ACP was loaded with the same Bullseye powder that's been made for 100 years now.  I've seen photos of WW1 vintage .45 ACP boxes from Frankford Arsenal labeled at 800 fps +/- 25.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 10, 2007, 12:03:55 AM
The WW1 .45 ACP was loaded with the same Bullseye powder that's been made for 100 years now.  I've seen photos of WW1 vintage .45 ACP boxes from Frankford Arsenal labeled at 800 fps +/- 25.

Interesting.  I wouldn't have guessed that.  All the reloaders I used to know adjusted their powder charges all the time to deal with new formulas, and got changes of more than 200 FPS every time they adjusted something, so I sure would not have figured the military to be using the same load and performance specs for that many years.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 10, 2007, 12:11:51 AM
General announcement:

Update to the RCM for Native.  (Fujiwara will be posting it for me.)

The official description:
----------------------------------------
Realistic Combat Model retrofit for Native

- includes item_kinds1.txt and module_items.py files
-fully playable, but not balanced for long-term playability.  Provided as a mod resource.

Updated 10 March 07:
-all crossbows now set to emulate conical anti-armor tips, to differentiate them from the hunting-type broadheads on conventional bows.  This is an accommodation for playability.  Hopefully some pending future version of the M&B engine will allow true selectable ammunition types and damage type determined by the projectile, and this compromise will no longer be necessary.  Until then, this will provide players with some tactical choice between higher damage and greater anti-armor capability.
------------------------------------

Guspav - I will get this into Mesoamerica in the next few days.  (Expecting a slight delay due to real life.)  I will also check over all specs in the reorganized item file, at the same time.  Stand by.

I survived much of the "gutless on low end" feel by reducing the differences between stronger and weaker crossbows.  A cheap trick, really, and probably unfair to the heavier crossbows ... but the best I could do with what I have.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 10, 2007, 03:58:22 AM
I just sent Guspav round one of the fixed crossbows and/or weapon speed tweaks.  It may have errors - I threw it together fast with a lot of cut-and-paste.  Presumably he will be getting it to the Beta test group.

Same deal as before - look for errors, people.  Look hard, and be critical.  If there's a mistake, we need to know about it.


The new crossbow numbers reflect conical anti-armor points ... good against armor, but less overall damage than broadheads.  Heavy armor should still take a lot of the bite out of the weaker crossbows, even if it doesn't completely stop them.  The arbalest is actually more powerful than the guns, but it is also MUCH slower to reload.  On that note, all reload speeds on crossbows and guns are lowered to more reasonable levels - making it realistically difficult to break a charge with gunfire.

The halberds, greatswords, and other very heavy weapons should behave more reasonably now ... they were MUCH too fast before, which was causing balance issues.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: LCJr on March 10, 2007, 04:37:16 PM
The WW1 .45 ACP was loaded with the same Bullseye powder that's been made for 100 years now.  I've seen photos of WW1 vintage .45 ACP boxes from Frankford Arsenal labeled at 800 fps +/- 25.

Interesting.  I wouldn't have guessed that.  All the reloaders I used to know adjusted their powder charges all the time to deal with new formulas, and got changes of more than 200 FPS every time they adjusted something, so I sure would not have figured the military to be using the same load and performance specs for that many years.


It's improved a little bit but not by much.  The data I've seen on military loads usually shows 5 grains.  With the Bullseye you buy today you'll get around 905 fps from a 5" barrel with a 5 grain charge @ 16,200 psi according to Alliant Powder's website.  They don't specify if that's a real gun or test barrel though.  I don't know if the more modern 850 fps figure for military loads is the result of better powder or if they boosted the load a little for use in SMG's.  Alliant advertises Bullseye as introduced in 1913 and "unsurpassed for .45 target loads".  But the reloaders I shoot with have been reccomending Clay's shotgun powder for accuracy.  I've been shooting some military surplus 70's match(Winchester, 820 fps) and even out of my 3.25" barreled auto it's extremely accurate.  Especially when you consider 1.1" of the barrel is taken up by the chamber.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 10, 2007, 06:45:33 PM
That sort of figures, I guess.  Most of the guys I knew who play with that stuff were mostly working hi-power rifle ammo... and sort of considered the .45 to be a joke.  I always liked the .45 ACP as a defensive round (a LOT better than that stupid 9x19mm), but it's useless for hunters, so I never collected the hard data on them.

The bullseye powder came out in 1913.  That's about 10 years earlier than I would have guessed.

----------------------------------

Too bad we don't have such good data on the Spanish arquebus.  I'm basing them off of what I know of modern black powder, nerfed slightly to account for poor manufacture of weapon and powder.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: LCJr on March 11, 2007, 05:19:12 PM
.45 ACP is fine for deer. 9x19mm is  acceptable for self defense with the right load which in my personal opinion is the 147 grain subsonic.  Penetration first, expansion second.  I'm not ashamed to say I'm a "Fackler-ite".  But of course every shooter has there own opinions and most tend to be extreme to say the least.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 11, 2007, 08:50:38 PM
.45 ACP is fine for deer. 9x19mm is  acceptable for self defense with the right load which in my personal opinion is the 147 grain subsonic.  Penetration first, expansion second.  I'm not ashamed to say I'm a "Fackler-ite".  But of course every shooter has there own opinions and most tend to be extreme to say the least.

.45 ACP is not legal for deer in most U.S. States - certainly not in Oklahoma, where I grew up.  I don't know much about game laws in many other countries, but I suspect they are likely along those lines as well.  It might work, if you got a clean shot ... but if it's not legal, what's the point? 

Of course, my personal tastes turn toward heavier firepower - I don't like having to track wounded animals.  It's both unnecessarily cruel and incredibly frustrating, when going to something like .270 Winchester will pretty much ensure a quick, clean kill (unless you just completely miss ... which is also much less likely with a good scoped bolt-action rifle).  I figure to save the pistols for shooting snakes.  Comes from being raised among cowboys, I guess.

Penetration is usually the big problem with handguns.  Most people greatly over-estimate their penetration.  Fairbairn and Stykes did a lot of work on bullet-resistant police riot shields and such in the 1930's, trying to disprove the myth that bullets would go through anything.  The FBI study "Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness", 1989, also came back to this point.  This is a major issue, if you're talking real weapons or designing computer games.

Related to this mod, most people forget the page of history where many armors of the period bore "proofing marks", where the armorer deliberately tested them by firing a musket into one corner.  Computer games tend to forget this, and buy into the popular myth.  I tried to stop that.

Hopefully, when this beta is ready for public release, it will contain firearms that behave like firearms.  That was a major goal, replacing the "bazooka o' randomness" with believable matchlocks... and I think it's going to be very close.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: LCJr on March 11, 2007, 10:49:37 PM
Speaking of proofmarks have you ran across any specific data on them?  I'm guessing they varied wildly by maker.  I'm more than a little curious as to what caliber, powder charge, range, etc. was used in proofing.

As I'm sure you know deer laws vary widely.  When I lived in Indiana and they finally allowed handguns they didn't specify specific cartriges but used the dimensions for a .357 Magnum.  Of course the caliber and case length dimensions ruled out a lot of more than adequate cartridges.  I know this was later appended but I haven't followed it since I've moved.  Where I live now they only specify centerfire ammunition with no other restrictions.  As for penetration the .45 ACP has a high sectional density so that's not a problem.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 11, 2007, 11:12:54 PM
Can't remember the specific data on the proof marks.  I've seen a couple of them, in museums, and pictures of several more.  Something tells me the Spanish monarchy had a standard on the ones issued to their military (i.e. Cortez and crew), but I can't remember what the standard was.  Seems like there was a government standard for a little while in Japan as well.  Not sure about anywhere else.

Heck, testing standards are always that way.  When they tested the M3 Bradley to survive an RPG hit, they used a cheap rocket from somewhere in Eastern Europe.  No surprise that the Bradley survived.  The door off of the storage building also survived a hit from one of those rockets, in a follow-up experiment by somebody who didn't trust the test.  Needless to say, the Bradley can NOT stand up under fire from a Russian-made RPG-16, or any other reasonably well-constructed anti-armor rocket.  The test done by its manufacturer was pure Hollywood.

No doubt the proof marks on armor were a lot the same story.  If the armorer did his own test, no doubt it was hyped as much as possible.  If it was a government test for equipment they were supplying to their military, it was probably the other way, and over-spec by as much as they could get away with (in the hopes they might get a huge discount if several failed).

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: LCJr on March 13, 2007, 05:24:39 PM
How are determining how effective firearms should be against armor?
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 13, 2007, 05:59:57 PM
I'm estimating from bullet hits I have seen/tested on metal in general. 

Then I'm guessing about what kinds of loads the Spanish were shooting, from arquebus I have seen, and black-powder weapons I have played with.  Then I'm guessing about the exact protective qualities of the armor, based on armor I have made/played with, compared to the previously mentioned metal.

Plus the M&B engine only offers cut and pierce, with pierce value figuring for half armor value.  All damage and armor values are random between the rated number and one-half that, plus or minus any bonus.  That said, I can't really fine-tune it.  I just have to get close and hope probability covers for any miscalculations.

Yeah, it's thin ... but I don't know too many people who can do better.  It's just a numbers game.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: LCJr on March 14, 2007, 10:06:12 PM
As for Spanish loads the general rule of thumb was the weight of the powder charge matched the weight of the ball.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 16, 2007, 02:49:43 AM
As for Spanish loads the general rule of thumb was the weight of the powder charge matched the weight of the ball.

We always tested them on newspaper.  Set up a newspaper about ten feet from the barrel and fire, increase powder load and repeat.  When it sets fire to the paper, that means a fair ammount of the powder is burning after the ball leaves the barrel... and therefore increasing the load will do nothing but make smoke.  The relatively low burn rate on black powder limits how much can be used effectively.

By those tests, matching powder to ball weight would probably be more than maximum effective charge.  That's about what I was figuring.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Stemmers? on March 18, 2007, 12:03:34 AM
Wouldn't it be nice if the game engine allowed weapons to do multiple kinds of damage, like '10 cutting - 10 piercing'? I think that would be a good abstraction, and still keep things simple enough for it to be easy to understand. It would definitely help your crossbow problem.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 18, 2007, 12:37:46 AM
Wouldn't it be nice if the game engine allowed weapons to do multiple kinds of damage, like '10 cutting - 10 piercing'? I think that would be a good abstraction, and still keep things simple enough for it to be easy to understand. It would definitely help your crossbow problem.

No way to set that up. 

What it really needs is custom damage type.  For example, "cut" is base damage.  "Pierce" is normal damage to target, and 1/2 armor value.  If we could set up unique damage types - say "crossbow" that was normal to target and figured 0.7 armor value.  Or "soft" damage type that was non-lethal to target but armor value times 2.0 (to simulate things like your fist ... which is going to do badly against most armors).  That would allow for tweaking of weapons that didn't fit the model.

That plus damage type based on projectile instead of weapon, so we could get multiple arrow types - broadheads, conical anti-armor tips, blunt tips - all fired from the same bow.

Tragically, we must wait until future versions of M&B support such things.

Until then, we make do with what we have.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: borianm on March 21, 2007, 05:16:53 AM
First I want to thank you all team for this mod. I realy have enjoied playing it.
I have little suggestion about firearms in the game - I think that 60 shots a too much especialy for that period, even two-three centuries after soldiers normaly carried about 30 rounds... in game it makes crossbows and crossbow soldiers absolete and no need... and spanish arquebusers/musketeers of 16-th century realy carried less than 20 ready-to-load rounds in bandollier,
most standart number was 12 and soldiers ironically named it "The 12 Apostles" ... and also it could be great to show amunition on body of model using such a bandollier.   For example look the link

http://foto.mail.ru/mail/boris.mikhailov/529/i-537.jpg

 Also I think arquebuse/carbine ROF even now is too high ...
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 21, 2007, 05:56:49 AM
You don't have to post stuff in two or three threads ... some of us do check the mail.

For game purposes, the ammo thing is just pointing out that gun ammo is much easier to carry than arrows or such.  I picked the number based on a flask of powder and a smallish bag of round ball. 

Even the troops who carried a dozen rounds or so in paper cartridge/leather sleeve also carried a bag of ball, flask of powder, and enough paper or cloth wadding to keep shooting and/or prepare more cartridges as soon as they got a break.  The dumb ones might have left that stuff with their bedroll and such, and just carried the ready-wrap cartridges, if they knew they were only going to fire three rounds and then fall back ... but I doubt anyone tromping around Mexico surrounded by hostiles would make that mistake.  Might take a little longer to reload after you ran out of pre-prepared charges, but it's not like running out of ammo.

I can't get the rate of fire much lower.  The arbalest has to be slower than guns to load (more powerful, but much slower), and it's already getting close to zero.  Game engine just won't support numbers lower than maybe 3 rounds a minute.

Don't underestimate the crossbows.  The lighter crossbows have a higher rate of fire than the guns, and against minimal armor, will prove just about as deadly.  The really heavy crossbows will at least compete with them for damage and rate of fire.  The guns' only real advantage is lighter weight ammunition, and therefore more ammo.  It's more a personal preference than a tactical choice.  This was true of the period, and even later.  (Benjamin Franklin suggested arming the American Colonial Army with crossbows 1776, but was out-voted because they did not have a substantial crossbow industry at the time... even though everyone agreed that there were certain military advantages to his plan.)
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: hayate666 on March 23, 2007, 08:22:00 AM
What seems a bit odd to me is that the Mesoamericans don´t seem to have any advantage over the Spaniards. Weapons are about equal, but there´s a huge difference in armor efficiency. I noticed this when fighting Valesquez´ army with my arquebusier. How does the combat model account for this imbalance? Do the Mesoamericans have something that performs exceptionally well against plate armors or are they supposed to outnumber the Spaniards? What´s the advantage of having to use obsidian weapons?
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 23, 2007, 08:42:41 AM
The Mexia Empire outnumbers the Spanish by a lot... not sure exactly how much, but a lot.  That plus the much higher rate of fire on their bows and atlatl, and they can give the Spanish a pretty good challenge.  Add in that Cortez is about to get hit by the Velasquez army, and strategically speaking, the Mexia have a very good chance of out-lasting him.

The only real advantage of the Tlax. is the possibility of allying with the Spanish.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: dulahan on March 23, 2007, 09:32:35 AM
It's kind of a shame there is no way to set the Leadership stat to perform differently based on faction.  Since that would be a good way to let the PC have a larger force as the native groups to offset the armor imbalance. 
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on March 23, 2007, 09:49:14 AM
It's kind of a shame there is no way to set the Leadership stat to perform differently based on faction.  Since that would be a good way to let the PC have a larger force as the native groups to offset the armor imbalance. 
that is an interesting suggestion, I cannot change the effects of leadership, however, I can give native factions higher charisma scores to allow them to have larger armies
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: dulahan on March 23, 2007, 02:08:28 PM
Speaking of ability scores, why do some of the Native Units (Eagle Warriors, I think) have high Ride Scores?  But little for things like Power Strike or Throw?
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on March 23, 2007, 02:43:08 PM
that's randomly assigned (unless fixed manually) i did notice they had a 1 riding skill and changed it to athletics, the rest is m&b engine's fault :P
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: night raider on March 23, 2007, 09:22:37 PM
do bullet speeds have to be that low to avoid the collision problem in native?  It's just annoying to see guys throwing spears at the same rate guns fire bullets.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: dulahan on March 23, 2007, 10:04:38 PM
that's randomly assigned (unless fixed manually) i did notice they had a 1 riding skill and changed it to athletics, the rest is m&b engine's fault :P


Ahh, stupid engine!  Ride of Four!?

I wish I could tell them to ride some of those extra horses in my train. ;)
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 23, 2007, 10:08:55 PM
do bullet speeds have to be that low to avoid the collision problem in native?  It's just annoying to see guys throwing spears at the same rate guns fire bullets.

If your system is a little bit low-end, then yes.

Ironically, black powder rounds don't realistically have that much higher velocity than bows or crossbows... you can pretty much see a musket ball come past you.  (We played with this, back when I was a kid - shooting at right angles to the sunlight, so you could see the ball in flight.)  They're really a little faster than what the game is now running, but not so much as to feel totally unreasonable.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: night raider on March 23, 2007, 11:45:34 PM
Respectfully, I will disagree.  You already mentioned that you have to position yourself in the right light to see the bullet.  You can shoot a bow, even a compound bow or crossbow, and see the arrow flying yourself.  Modern muzzleloaders have muzzle velocities of anywhere from 1500 to 2500 feet per second.  Modern crossbows don't even reach 500 fps.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 24, 2007, 12:14:54 AM
My point was that the lower shot speed in-game does not seriously hurt the game.

I would really like to see a black powder weapon that gets a 2600 FPS muzzle velocity.  That's going to be a very long barrel and a very hot load.  (That's hotter than some modern military rounds.)  Maybe a lightweight ball and super-fine powder ... but that's not the Spanish Arquebus of the 1600's.  The Spanish guns were like .60 to .68 caliber, and the powder was generally not the finest grind in history either. 

You can see an arrow in flight because it's 30 inches long.  Light handgun rounds (like .32 short Colt) often come out with lower actual velocity than crossbows, especially if measured at any range beyond the end of the muzzle, but they are still either invisible or just a streak in the light because they are so darn small.

Still, yes the lower speed is purely because of fuzzy physics in the game engine.  It was easier to lower the speed and live with it being a little bit unrealistically slow, than to live with the bugs.  Speed is still high enough to make them shoot flat at reasonable ranges, so it doesn't really hurt.

And actually, gunshot speed is still a LOT higher than the atlatl darts.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: sneer on March 28, 2007, 03:38:31 AM
very nice mod
one important remark
bullets shouldn't be stopped by shields - especially leather+ wood
firepower made this piece of equipment obsolete
carabine and arqebuis has bonus to shield dmg  - i don't know mechanics but they should be able top destroy shiled in 1-2 shots - if nothing else is possible
also as sb stated earlier - i'd say that bullet speed is slightly too slow
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 28, 2007, 03:59:40 AM
Unfortunately, the game engine does not include the ability to actually penetrate a shield.  It can either destroy the shield, or not ... and shields have hit points.  "Bonus against shield" will not make them go through the shield - it would only reduce the shield's resistance (same as pierce damage on armor).

Metal shields should probably turn round ball pretty well.  (Fairbairn and Stykes did some work with this in the 1920's.)  Round ball should go through wood shields.  I agree.  Either way, however, a round hole in the shield should not destroy it ... it should just go through if it's going to go through.  (To "destroy" a shield, you would need to crack it in a way that it could not be used - even 50 bullet holes would not get this effect.  It could be riddled with gunfire and still be used to stop incoming blows from swords.)

Unfortunately, the game engine is not so helpful.  We cannot program a bonus "goes through shield".  Too bad - it would be helpful for high-end crossbows as well.

I am aware of this ... but there's nothing I can do about it.

And the bullet speed thing is necessary for lower-end computers, to prevent skipping.  Unfortunate, but for now, necessary.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: sneer on March 28, 2007, 05:54:23 AM
Unfortunately, the game engine does not include the ability to actually penetrate a shield.  It can either destroy the shield, or not ... and shields have hit points.  "Bonus against shield" will not make them go through the shield - it would only reduce the shield's resistance (same as pierce damage on armor).
/// i know i play M&B from ver .700


Metal shields should probably turn round ball pretty well.  (Fairbairn and Stykes did some work with this in the 1920's.)  Round ball should go through wood shields.  I agree.  Either way, however, a round hole in the shield should not destroy it ... it should just go through if it's going to go through.  (To "destroy" a shield, you would need to crack it in a way that it could not be used - even 50 bullet holes would not get this effect.  It could be riddled with gunfire and still be used to stop incoming blows from swords.)
/// about metal shields i agree to some extent , about wooden and leather it is diffrent story
old firearms had high caliber - as sb stated .6-.7 inch and were relatively soft - modern equivalent would be dum dum - however besides solid ammo for shotguns we had no equivalent to compare - but my bet is / and i used 15 century powder weapon by myself / that holes would be much bigger that bullet caliber and it means it would be much more destructive to the shield
50 holes you write would from low caliber AP- like shots in modern terminology as modern 20+ century weapon has much higher velocity of bullet and lower caliber   
together with the fact that shields to be useful had usually lower weight than many people thinks they should be much easier to destroy from at least arqebuis

Unfortunately, the game engine is not so helpful.  We cannot program a bonus "goes through shield".  Too bad - it would be helpful for high-end crossbows as well.
///i know

I am aware of this ... but there's nothing I can do about it.

And the bullet speed thing is necessary for lower-end computers, to prevent skipping.  Unfortunate, but for now, necessary.
///if so i can live with this


one more thing estoc shoud be much faster weapon  - now piercing weapon is almost at par with older , heavier times
it should be much faster- now it is close to useless weapon and it wasn't
sabres should be somewhere in the middle beteen them but still faster than more classic swords
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 28, 2007, 06:34:37 AM
I've fired a fair number of rounds of black powder ... many of them through plywood.  (You have to back your paper targets in something - old or damaged plywood is a common solution.)  A sheet of plywood can take dozens of bullet holes without seriously compromising its strength.  Such holes would not prevent a shield from being used.  A .540 cal. round ball makes an entrance into plywood at the size of the ball, and exits a sheet of half-inch plywood at just under 3/4 inch diameter (as a result of the wood splintering - the ball is not actually deformed, and will still make a .540 inch hole in paper on the other side).  Even shooting the length of medium-sized animals (i.e. deer) will not significantly deform a round ball - we've pulled some such round ball out of targets.  Round musket ball does not seriously deform... not the way soft-tip rounds from high-velocity rifles do, and not even if fired through steel (where one side will flatten slightly, but not enough to increase the ball diameter).  It just doesn't happen.

I thought I had the swords pretty well graded by length, weight, and approx. balance.  I'll look at them again when I get a lot of time, but most of them were very close to my test-cuts with real weapons.  The length of rapier, estoc, and some sabers actually work against them for speed, and I tried to put a little of that into the game.  Anyway, I'll look again later. 

Reality is that the rapier and estoc are not very useful weapons for anything but a one-on-one duel against similar weapons.  I've tried extensively to find ways to use them as combat blades, and I can't do it... every training exercise I have set up said that the rapier was no match for any other weapon on earth (not even a tire iron).  I keep thinking that someday I will find a justification for carrying them (because a good rapier just looks cool), but so far I've come up with zilch.

Weights and speeds should also not be that different.  An Olympic epee is 28 ounces.  Two to three pounds is pretty normal for European-type cutting swords under 36 inches of blade.  (A good Japanese katana goes three pounds, and that's heavy by sword standards and intended to be used with both hands.)  Anything over 36 inch is certainly a two-handed weapon ... and so could actually be faster than its single-hand counterparts.  The idea that "older" cutting swords were slow and heavy while rapiers weighed nothing ... that's a myth.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: sneer on March 29, 2007, 01:44:13 AM
Ron i spent above 5 years recreating combat techniques - not only training with my group but also much more "free" group battles and duels with unknown people - i know myths and i know advantages of diffrent types of weapon  :D

weight of weapon is no mystery but it is not always the most important thing - weapons have diffrent balance
sabre is close in weight to short sword but techniques are so diffrent that sabre will be much much faster to use - balance and usage  technique matters

2h weapon/ my favourite for a few years /  is fast but not faster than rapier or sabre - it is a reach of weapon that allows you to strike faster / earlier  and range allows you often to keep enemy out of you but certainly it is not faster - but still rapier offers you additional range  / not availble in M&B engine/

rapier was often contested with sabres  / I'm polish origin - our history is full of such battles between east and west types weapon /
these 2 weapons push everything out of the field for a long time because they were fast
sword had to go away - at least as far as mounted combat is concerned - tercios and landsknechts or maurician inf is diffrent story as it is for mass inf units - we don't have anything similar in use - but still seeing how pikes were getting longer and how 2h sword were diminishing you see that range was everything with heavier weapon

as far as shields - too often it was not a plywood but simple wood and be sure that current plywood is much stronger than old one  / preassure  techniques of fabricating
as for black powder weapon - my friend used it once with admiring effect - he missed target a lot - it went through a van and still destroyed a brick in the wall after that

good question to finish is : did measoamerican indians use plywood ??? I'm not expert but i doubt
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 29, 2007, 02:47:20 AM
The statement of how bullets pass through plywood was a general observation.  Single sections of wood will perform similarly.  The only real advantage of plywood is that you can make it a little thinner than single-piece wood without it splitting down the grain.  That's irrelevant when you're talking about round-ball holes.  (Could matter a LOT if you're talking about hitting it with an axe, but that's another point.)

Problem with the rapier is balance.  It doesn't show with blunt weapons in "fencing", but when you actually try to cut something with a sharp one - well, then you realize immediately why many older swords were shorter or had a two-hand grip.  Many later sabers suffer from the same.  It's like when guns were invented, the art of swordsmanship was twisted into some bizarre sport.  (One research project suggested that European swordsmanship began to decline with the first widespread use of plate armors.  I can't confirm that, but it's an interesting theory.)  Either way, the "lighter" (i.e. narrow blade) swords don't gain as much speed or reach as one might think, and their damage potential is hurt more than what would be obvious.  Their recovery times after a strike are no better than a heavy short sword, maybe worse.  You don't really notice until you lay one into a block of ice or a pine board.

And I've spent WAY more than five years studying blades.  As I said, I'll look at the speeds again ... but I think I had them about right.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: sneer on March 29, 2007, 02:59:07 AM
destroying shields in a few shots is my concept for this mod rather than deep study of history - you don't have many chances to stop anybody with shield having firearms - what is wrong
ability to destroy shield is less "faulty" by me from game mechanics point of view

i  need to check but i wouldn't be surprised if mesoamericans shields weren't of wood but of leather on wooden skeleton - if so their stopping ability against bullets  should be minimal if any
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 29, 2007, 03:17:46 AM
Again, tragically, we still don't have the ability to set weapons to penetrate shields.  If we set the shield hit points low enough to destroy them with guns, the first arrow hit will take them out as well.  If we set gun damage high enough to destroy a shield, they will be anti-tank guns.  The "bonus against shield" flag just won't do enough to matter.  Making shields that shatter like glass would still not prevent them from stopping the first bullet, but it would make them disintegrate the first time a spear touched them.  There's just no combination of numbers that work.  The current physics of M&B just will not simulate high-velocity projectiles against light shields.

And the Aztec shields were wood, as far as I know.  That was the Zulus in Africa that used leather stretched over a wood frame.  A few of the more westerly North American tribes (Sioux, Apache, Cheyenne) used leather shields, but mostly because wood was scarce in those areas (while buffalo hide was in great abundance).

We just can't make guns and shields work right with the current game engine.  Maybe, if M&B ever gets finished, all of these features will be possible... but as of .808 - this is the best we can do.

Doesn't make me like it.... :(
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Phoenix on March 29, 2007, 04:08:29 AM
well can't you make it at least more realistic by making so that shields don't protect against firearms? I mean it's better than stopping a bullet with a wooden shield
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 29, 2007, 04:25:30 AM
well can't you make it at least more realistic by making so that shields don't protect against firearms? I mean it's better than stopping a bullet with a wooden shield

No, we can't.  That's what I've been saying.

There is no "penetrates or bypasses shield" function.  The way the M&B engine is hard-coded, any object that hits a shield WILL stop.  It can damage the shield, but it WILL stop.  There is simply no code to prevent this.  It is not an option.

That's what we're unhappy about.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: sneer on March 29, 2007, 05:35:58 AM
how "bonus against shield" works ?
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 29, 2007, 06:01:24 AM
how "bonus against shield" works ?

It reduces the shield's resistance rating.  It allows a weapon to do more damage to the shield's hit points than would otherwise be possible.  Great for simulating axes, useless for bullets and crossbow bolts.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: hayate666 on March 29, 2007, 08:13:12 AM
Wouldn´t you be able to simulate this by upping the resistance of a shield and greatly lowering hitpoints of said shield? Then the shield will be though against weapons that don´t have the bonus against shield quality, but will break in a couple of smashes from an axe or firearm. Or you could take the bonus damage against shields away from firearms so they won´t cut through shields too fast, but the lower hitpoints still mean that with some luck they won´t do you much good. Perhaps the "breaking" of a shield can mean that it´s riddled with arrows or bulletholes in such a manner that it becomes ineffective as a means of defense.

Hope I´m making sense here, communicating in English is a bit hard sometimes. :-\
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on March 29, 2007, 04:48:31 PM
Communicating in English is hard even for those of us who were born in the English-speaking world.

What you're saying makes sense, except that the numbers just don't add.  Compare gun damage to damage from axes or bows or the like, and you'll see what I mean.  (Bonus against shield gives the same 50% against armor bonus as pierce damage does on body armor.)  Many weapons are higher damage than firearms, such that the shields would be destroyed by the first arrow.  I played with this some, but never could make it work.  The shields either broke like glass, or could not be damaged.

I'm still thinking about it.  If I do come up with some numbers that work, I'll surely tell everybody immediately.  Just don't hold your breath while waiting ... because I suspect it's impossible.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Sqeecoo on June 18, 2007, 12:11:05 PM
The balance in RCM mesoam is bad. If I get decent armor, which is very cheap, I am immortal, even on foot, and even against experienced spaniards (and why do they all use estocs?). Horses perform horribly. They might be more "realistic" in individual turns and speed. Ponies can turn around barrels quite well, but not with an armored man swinging a sword at the same time. They can not also keep executing such sharp turns for several minutes. In the scale of M&B (size of battlefield+relative speed of footmen) these horses are terribly unbalanced. They can also turn without slowing down, and ride through infantry as if they were not there. You can also kill 1 enemy per swing, and swing very fast: this is unrealistic, unless you are supposed to be slicing them in half. All in all, the old native system feels more realistic (even if single blows are not), and is better balanced.

Ron, your RCM works somewhat well in ONR, but not here.

I am sorry to see this promising mod messed up.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on June 18, 2007, 05:12:21 PM
The balance in RCM mesoam is bad. If I get decent armor, which is very cheap, I am immortal, even on foot, and even against experienced spaniards (and why do they all use estocs?). Horses perform horribly. They might be more "realistic" in individual turns and speed. Ponies can turn around barrels quite well, but not with an armored man swinging a sword at the same time. They can not also keep executing such sharp turns for several minutes. In the scale of M&B (size of battlefield+relative speed of footmen) these horses are terribly unbalanced. They can also turn without slowing down, and ride through infantry as if they were not there. You can also kill 1 enemy per swing, and swing very fast: this is unrealistic, unless you are supposed to be slicing them in half. All in all, the old native system feels more realistic (even if single blows are not), and is better balanced.

Ron, your RCM works somewhat well in ONR, but not here.

I am sorry to see this promising mod messed up.

Nobody else has complained.  Give specifics on what you think is off.

Also, it's rather supposed to be unbalanced.  Remember the Spanish are attacking a neolithic society.  The Aztec armors are supposed to be totally inadequate.

But for the record, nothing about the Native model looks or feels realistic.  You might like the balance better for a game, but don't tell anyone it feels realistic.  It feels absurd - which is why we changed it.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Sqeecoo on June 19, 2007, 01:23:58 AM

Nobody else has complained.  Give specifics on what you think is off.

Also, it's rather supposed to be unbalanced.  Remember the Spanish are attacking a neolithic society.  The Aztec armors are supposed to be totally inadequate.

But for the record, nothing about the Native model looks or feels realistic.  You might like the balance better for a game, but don't tell anyone it feels realistic.  It feels absurd - which is why we changed it.


I did give specifics, and they have nothing to do with Spanish vs. Aztec. You might want to re-read my post, but in case you have trouble scrolling up, I'll say it again here.
Once you (the player) get good armor, you can't die, even on foot. You just have to run backwards, and get the occasional swing in. Horses swing around and run through infantry with total disregard of inertia or obstacles. A single turn or their top speed might be more realistic, but the total impression is gravity-and-game-balance defying. Because 1 hit is a kill, and M&B does not factor pulling weapons out of enemies, you can kill as fast as you can swing (on foot), as if you were cleaving each enemy in half.

As I said, native is less realistic if you look at a single swing, or the top speed/turning of a horse. But as a combat model, it works much better: better balance, and more realistic feel (less twitchy, AI performs better). What you did in RCM was change a few variables that you could according to what you think is realistic. However, the general combat mechanics have not become more realistic, especially in Mesoam. mod. Instead, they are unbalanced, and feel *more* artificial than native. This is because any game is an abstraction. M&B was a good abstraction, but by radically changing some core variables, you have made it less good.

Unbiased people (not you, Ron) should try going back to native from RCM. This is how I realized RCM was not good. I played RCM in ONR, where it works much better than here, and then went back to native. I was initially irritated that I couldn't kill stuff in one swing, but 15min later, I felt native was much better.

Ron, I approve of your efforts, and M&B could certainly use a mod that takes some steps to make it more realistic. However, radically changing the things you can and leaving other stuff untouched just messes the game up, not improves it.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on June 19, 2007, 04:20:34 AM
A fair enough assessment, if you think so... but the number of people disagreeing will likely put you in the minority.  A number of people have said that, upon doing as you suggest, they immediately quit playing all mods using the Native combat model and now will only use the RCM mods.  As far as I know, you are so far the only one who suggested going back.  That is why I find the point curious.

The horses do rather plow through infantry, until the infantry manage to get a weapon against them.  That's because a horse weighs a LOT more than a man.  Having been run over by a few cows growing up, I can honestly say that, game balance or no, a man on foot cannot really slow down something the size of a horse.  Not unless he gets a weapon against it. 

And the turn rates are not unreasonable ... most horsemen have seen horses (with riders) turn a lot faster and more often than what I modeled.  I was trying to be conservative.

Even with good armor, you can die ... it's just less likely.  (Unless you're playing on skewed difficulty, in which case it is possible to become invincible - but this was also true in native.)

And not every hit is a kill, unless it lands real solidly (high skill, high power strike, and/or the speed of a passing horse).  It's just that it may be possible to accomplish these things a lot, should your energy be turned to such.  The irony is that, in native, only the player seems to be able to kill anything.  That was one of the things we set out to change.  And you don't have to cut someone in half to make them drop and twitch ... most people will do that with as little as a good kitchen knife wound.  Without armor, almost any sword hit should leave enough of a wound to put most average people into shock.  (I figured about 50% of sword wounds to be debilitating, before bonuses and armor - again conservative, accounting for the occasional very poorly delivered blow.)

Much of your issue is also still Spanish/Aztec.  Fighting heavy armor, your one-hit-kill effect would be lost.  You only get to do that if your enemy uses little or no armor, i.e. the Aztecs.  That is an issue of the setting - also seen in the ONR relationship between samurai and peasants.  A huge advantage in weapons and equipment really can prove quite overpowering.  The only way to cover this up would be to make all armor completely useless (as in Native), such that all you had to do was trade hit points. 

M&B is an abstraction ... but many of us thought the native version sucks.  It's a stupid airhead abstraction that makes armed combat look like a fight with boxing gloves ... no tactics, and all the equipment is the same, just go out and trade damage.  Since we tested this and everyone in the development agreed that the RCM (or almost anything) was better, I'm thinking your opinion of what the balance should be is likely in the VAST minority.

If you really hate it that much, either do your own mod, and/or get involved in one that does not use this model.  (I have not offered it to the mods still hosted on Taleworlds.  Talk to them.)  You can take a poll, but first you will be hugely out-voted, and then Guspav will ignore you because he likes the RCM model.  I think you're out of luck, man.

I mean, I hear what you're saying ... I just don't agree, and most of the mod community here doesn't agree with you either.  That's why all the major mods here are switching over to RCM versions... I offered it, and most everybody took me up on it.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Sqeecoo on June 19, 2007, 07:31:29 AM
Well, I do dislike your mod, but that does not mean you need to change it: it is *your* mod. I'm just trying to provide some feedback in the hopes some things will be improved. The fact that I feel your combat model has mostly ruined the balance in some mods, and the fact that I feel you are condescending bullshitter might be coming through in my posts. If this is true, I apologize, because I intend my post here to be a bit of constructive criticism (and I don't intend the bullshitter thing as an insult - it's just how you come across through the forum from my perspective, I have no idea if this is true). My stance has nothing to do with whether my criticism is actually warranted, although I openly admit that I am biased (but then who's not?).

Regarding everyone agreeing that the mod, check this topic out, the reception is not overwhelmingly positive, but quite the opposite: http://forums.taleworlds.net/index.php/topic,22470.0.html

Even if we disagree at a fundamental level,

(you want to make single blows and a few other attributes strictly realistic, but are not compensating for the level of abstraction unavoidable in M&B, and I think native worked very well in this respect, although it could use a few tweaks)

some of the things I say are objectively true: if you get good armor, you *are* immortal against the AI. It takes packs of even high-level soldiers literally several minutes to kill you, especially if you are running backwards. Again, this works somewhat better in ONR, although the problem is still present.

Horses are able to run through mobs of enemies (staying inside them, not passing out on the other side, which you could do in native too), and turn at 90 degree angles while the rider is swinging a weapon for almost infinite amounts of time, all the while not losing almost any speed.

Your mod screws up the balance, but does not add much. Combat is a bit more tense and dangerous until you get armor, but then the AI is too stupid to kill you, and it gets too easy. Returning to native, I found that the combat model there worked much better. This last bit is, of course, subjective, but I am not the only one who thinks so, as you are trying to say.

Once again, this is intended as helpful feedback. If I come across as hating the mod, this is because I do dislike it, and don't have a high opinion of you, Ron. Of course, I could be wrong - it is easy to get the wrong impression over the net, although I took my time in forming it. However, this is not important here, as my criticism can still be objectively analyzed, which is Guspav's and your job. Good luck.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on June 19, 2007, 09:02:43 AM
It's odd.  I've heard exactly the opposite in a couple of places.  For example, Fujiwara's description of the RCM conversion on ONR was that it made players "no longer invincible demigods".  The whole "good armor makes you invincible" logic, to my reading and that of many others, is that the "good armor" thing makes a lot more sense than "hit points make you invincible" ... which is the other major possible outcome.

The speeds and turn rates on the horses are realistically quite conservative.  M&B has weak graphics to show what an actual horse turning looks like (they don't lean right), but decent horses in the real world actually out-perform what I modeled.  The rodeo ponies where I'm from would make my M&B horses look like the attack of the walrus army.  However, usually I get the other complaint, that horses get killed too often and there is no way to get close to the enemy.  Armored horse in some of the Beta mods help that, but in both Mesoamerica and ONR, I've been asked repeatedly how to keep the horses alive.

And no, you're not the ONLY one to wonder about it.  There was great debate during the creation of this system.  I was not initially optimistic that it would work, but since I considered the native model to be so utterly insipid that it was either think something up or abandon M&B entirely ... well, some of us put our heads together and came up with this thing.  I never claimed it to be perfect ... maybe about as close as you could get using simple M&B stats, but that will never be perfect either.

As for game balance, this was supposed to be the "realistic combat model" - it was based on medical data and test cuts, not the impressions of gamers.  That was done because the ONR team initially wanted historical realism first and in everything.  The popularity of the model came later, and for various reasons.

Again, your personal dislike for this style of play is understandable.  However, I offered to make the changes for any mod who wanted such, explained what I did, and a number of dev teams have requested these changes.  In the case of Mesoamerica, we did two versions during the beta tests, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the RCM version.  The entire ONR team helped develop and test the system.  TLD will soon have two versions - one native-based and one RCM-based.  After testing both, we'll see what happens, but most of the feedback on the forum suggests at least 80% in favor of the RCM version without having even seen it yet (although there are concerns of how it will affect balance ... I share those concerns).  Still, your vote against the model is in the vast minority here.

Most of the major complaints I've heard about the model came from people who had only seen the Native Retrofit version ... it was not a mod, just a demo / developer's tool.  It was not supposed to be well balanced or playable.  That was very clearly announced, but no one read that post.

Your concern is noted.  Many of us had the same concerns during the development of this model.  However, while it may be that your criticisms might make sense from a video-gamer perspective ...  among a number of people who are horsemen, swordsmen, historians, and street fighters on these forums, most everybody over here thinks the Native combat model is the most idiotic thing we ever saw. 

If there are balance issues with Mesoamerica - like, as you claim, the AI can never hit you ... well, there may be balance issues.  The horse advantage may need to be offset by, say, even greater numbers of Aztecs, higher missile weapon skill, or some such.  Nobody said there weren't balance issues.  However, those are probably not specific to the damage model.  (Mesoamerica had strange balance issues before the RCM conversion too.  It's inherent to the setting.)

And I don't care what you personally think of me.  I've seen too many men die to give a damn what you think of me ... so don't sweat it.  Your post over on Taleworlds got just about everybody who has disagreed with this model since its beginning... but those guys aren't currently producing much, and the dev teams over here keep asking for RCM conversions, so a handful of malcontents just doesn't really affect things.  So don't give me that personality line.  Your posts make you sound like a spoiled brat arcade gamer who is ticked off at any game that doesn't play just like he expected, doesn't know crud about reality or tactics, and cries when he doesn't get his way ... so if I sound condescending, consider the source.  I'm pretty sure you are probably a lot more intelligent and reasonable than your posts make you sound, but still ... your point about personality not being relayed over the net - it goes both ways.

I mean, if there is a specific number you think needs changed ("x swings too fast", or whatever), say so and why you think so, and I'll look into it immediately.  If you just hate the system because you hate the system, you can either play something else, or come up with a system you do like and convince the dev teams to adopt it.  (They won't - they just got through throwing out a system just like you describe because they thought it sucks, but you're welcome to try.)

I mean, I hate to just cut you off ... but I don't know any other way to respond to "I hate your system".  What can I say, besides "Fine, now go away."
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Sqeecoo on June 19, 2007, 09:47:20 AM

street fighters


As a street-fighter-gamer, I am sure you know much more than me about how realistic a certain strike or armor value is. As a humble arcade-gamer, however, I can tell you that weird things are happening in your mod, like 20+ enemies beating on my armor for half a minute but being unable to kill me. I feel that in reality they could have wrestled me down and stabbed me in the armpit or face within seconds.

Horses look and behave unrealistically when they are controlled by the AI. When you control them, you can wade through masses of infantry and execute sharp turns, staying within the mob without losing speed. A horse can't repeatedly ride down 20 people and not slow down, at least not in the arcade games I have played.

If you look at the topic at taleworlds, I posed the question in a very neutral way. Some of the people that gave a negative evaluation are quite knowledgeable in questions of history and combat, and some might even be street fighters.

My "personal dislike for this style of play" is not mentioned in my posts. I say the game gets too easy later on (and I said it's more tense until you get good armor, or a horse). Although I will admit that I "personally dislike" a combat model that makes you immortal and allows horses to run through humans like grass.

My specific complaints are that horses and armor are unrealistic and overpowered. If you like, I can put it like this: "I think x needs to be lowered", where "x" is any armor or hose speed/charge/mobility value. Does it qualify as a complaint now?

TLD will soon have two versions - one native-based and one RCM-based.  After testing both, we'll see what happens, but most of the feedback on the forum suggests at least 80% in favor of the RCM version without having even seen it yet (although there are concerns of how it will affect balance ... I share those concerns). 


Thank God it will have two versions. However, *most* of the feedback suggests at least 3% of those 80% are not street-fighters! I don't see why their opinion should be considered. So in reality, most of the feedback in facts suggests that as little as 77% percent qualified street fighters support your mod. This concludes my "personality line" of criticism.


I mean, I hate to just cut you off ... but I don't know any other way to respond to "I hate your system".  What can I say, besides "Fine, now go away."


I see. So what you are saying is that I bring up no valid points, and that I am just being biased. You may be right. However, you could have tried answering like this:

The speeds and turn rates on the horses are realistically quite conservative.  M&B has weak graphics to show what an actual horse turning looks like (they don't lean right), but decent horses in the real world actually out-perform what I modeled.  The rodeo ponies where I'm from would make my M&B horses look like the attack of the walrus army.  However, usually I get the other complaint, that horses get killed too often and there is no way to get close to the enemy.  Armored horse in some of the Beta mods help that, but in both Mesoamerica and ONR, I've been asked repeatedly how to keep the horses alive.


As for game balance, this was supposed to be the "realistic combat model" - it was based on medical data and test cuts, not the impressions of gamers.  That was done because the ONR team initially wanted historical realism first and in everything.


Your concern is noted.  Many of us had the same concerns during the development of this model. 

If there are balance issues with Mesoamerica - like, as you claim, the AI can never hit you ... well, there may be balance issues.  The horse advantage may need to be offset by, say, even greater numbers of Aztecs, higher missile weapon skill, or some such.  Nobody said there weren't balance issues. 


That would have been nice. But seeing as how communication is completely impossible, I will follow your advice of "Fine, now go away", and do so.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Duuvian on June 19, 2007, 06:34:06 PM
Well, first, if it takes 20 minutes to kill you in heavy armor in the RCM (in my experiance), your either fighting guys with sticks and knives or you have the in-game options set to make it easier (prolly both, if it really takes 20 mins and its not an exaggerration) Also, horses are EASIER to deal with in the RCM, as they take one swing from a heavy weapon to bring down. Two if you fuck it up or use a lighter weapon. Granted, they'll run you and your guys over more often, but that seems to be balanced by the ease of killing them.

As for the argument on the taleworlds forum, of COURSE you can't make it freakin perfect, but you can make it BETTER. I stopped reading that thread when the RCM was criticized because there is a chance in real life a meteorite would impact and kill someone and it can't in the RCM. He was using it as an extreme example, but c'mon. How the hell can you cite such a ridiculous thing, and then hate on the RCM for trying to be more realistic?

As for Ron himself, all he is trying to do is inform us of the history we ourselves never took the time to learn, so I think we should thank him instead of being a dick and calling him condescending. That's like calling your dad condescending when he tells you to wear a rubber.

Also, street fights (not boxing, not ufc, not etc) probally have 3 classes using my inherant powers of common sense:

Criminal (Mugger loses his weapon, arguably riots too)
Stupid (Hey dude, I saw you with my girl last night! *smack*)
Hobbyist/professional (fight clubs etc)

Now using that common sense, where do your street fighter games fit in? Or should I believe people travel the world looking for fistfights?

I guess the point I'm trying to make is this: I agree that RCM affects the way the game plays. Do I think its all positive? No, once in a while RCM will screw balance up in the interest of realism (plate armor vs peasants for example) However, in vanilla, the same thing happens when you have very tough armored warhorse and plate armor using knights.  Now in vanilla, weapon types would matter very little, the peasants would likely still get whooped even waist deep in a river. But in RCM, if you gave the peasants glaves and axes and put them in a river or trees, they do very well vs cavalry because they can 1 or 2 shot the horse and swarm the rider. Please tell me this isnt true so I can laugh at you and tell you to play Mesoamerica on the aztec side. Virtually no armor vs plate armor, and the aztecs do alright. Now granted, 20 horseman vs 20 infantry in RCM, I would still bet on the horsemen, but only if it wasn't higher tier infantry, because they would be more likely to have the tools for the job.


I guess to sum it up, IN MY OPINION AND EXPERIANCE with RCM, I feel not only does it "feel" right when I stab someone in the face and he goes down, but I feel it actually HELPS the balance because it keeps it from being such a cavalry game. It does make the player more powerful than the NPCS, but it's that way in vanilla where the player can mow down ARMIES by HIMSELF (see TLD .751 version where people can solo Great hosts of 400+ by themself) In RCM mods, it increases how dangerous infantry is not only to each other, but actually makes them dangerous to horsemen also.

Also, even though archer AI still sucks and keeps them from shooting most of the time, with RCM the one or two shots they get off actually mean something, whereas in native the arrow would do a crummy  10 or 20 damage without headshot ON AN UNARMORED GUY. As an example again, in Mesoamerica, get a group of archers together and start a fight. Now, if it's against spanish, heres what happens: Horsemen get there first, the horses get shot out or the player takes them out since he (hopefully) is better prepared than the archers. After the riders are down, the infantry will run at you while the spanish crossbow and musketeers stay behind and shoot if they can. Now, the infantry are wearing heavy plate, which DRASTICALLY reduces arrow damage to about native level, but that heavy plate makes them walk slowly up the hill and they tend to be pincushioned, making them easy with RCM's piercing damage axes. They will of course take out a number of your archers, but when they finally drop the Spanish ranged opens up as they have no allies blocking them. Too bad for them they dont wear armor and they can't reload as fast as a bow...

So that, for me, is why I like the RCM.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on June 19, 2007, 07:09:58 PM
There were two or three very valid points there.  Again, I disagree, but your points are valid enough that I feel I should address them.

Horses are and should be quite powerful.  They are a huge advantage in combat.  They are big heavy animals that can run over most anybody on foot.  The native horses that stopped every time a man walked in front of them were, in the opinions of myself and others, pretty absurd.  I have been run over by cows and horses in a farming environment, and they CAN pretty much run through humans like grass - unless the human manages to get some weapon turned against them.  (Cowboys carry walking sticks and cattle prods to give themselves a chance when this happens.)  Real horses can also run a 360 around a barrel, tight enough for the rider to touch the barrel, and not drop below 25 MPH... they do it all the time, in fact.  I tried to model the horses conservatively, considering actual horse speeds, strength, and turn rates... some could probably be faster than they are.   Now, considering that in Mesoamerica only one side has horses, this is pretty unbalancing.  That is part of the setting, not part of the model - and it's intentional.

Armor, also, can get some surprising results.  The full-plate armors of this period were nearly indestructible.  I've seen tests where two guys with plate armor and real maces tried to hurt each other ... they couldn't do it.  I've also seen video clips of modern riots where cops were dragged to the ground and beaten with sticks for a couple of minutes, and their armor was good enough that they walked away as soon as their attackers quit pounding on them.  (You would think they could have found a weak point, but as long as he was fighting back, it never seems to work out for them.)  I've also tested various armors against impact on my own body, to see how it feels to get hit in armor.  Hollywood generally draws most ancient armors as purely decorative, but that stuff will absorb incredible levels of damage.  (Sometimes it won't, too - but I tried to get the stats to show those times too.) 

Now, M&B does not include the function of sitting on you and trying to get the armor off - but that would be harder to do than you might think (at least until the target was incapacitated anyway).  It does a good job of modeling how even zero-damage attacks can be quite stunning, so a mob can knock you down and beat on you until they eventually kill you, no matter how good your armor or how poor their weapons.  That sort of gets the effect of being dragged to the ground and then hammered into the dirt.  Usually at least someone in the group will have a weapon that penetrates more armor than average... and if they don't, well, you are talking about a mob of low-level types.  It may be frustrating to gamers, but it does look a lot like the video of modern riots, previously mentioned.  So, I will stand by that.  It's as good as we can get, considering the limitations of M&B.  (Doing a model where your nose can absorb four times as much damage as plate armor can, as in Native - that creates other problems.)

Although I've seen some real violence, I never really claimed to be a "street fighter" (I generally try to avoid further confrontation, myself) ... but some people who have seen a lot more trouble than I have also helped with this model, either directly or indirectly.  I have done a lot of study into the effects of certain weapons and armors, for reasons of both historical research and potential modern applications.  So, unless you've been cutting up animal carcasses, splitting blocks of ice with swords, and trying to stick arrows through varying thicknesses of metal, or training cops to survive knife attacks, just don't tell me what feels realistic.   

I do wonder about how fast you can back up in M&B ... but that, to my reading, is minor.  Also, it is quite beyond my capabilities to mod that... it's hard code.  That makes the "back away while fighting" tactic a little more effective than it likely should be... but not that much.

Now, if you still say that horses are too fast, get me numbers and video of how fast a real horse should run and turn.  (If your numbers are more accurate than mine, I'll be happy to make adjustments.)  You say the armor is over-powered, get some tests of various weapons against armor, to show how often certain weapons should penetrate certain armors.  That's the way this system was put together, and everyone involved will be happy to consider the addition of new data to further refine the model.

If you just don't like us basing a system off of real numbers, because you think it unbalances the game ... a lot of us thought the game was even more unbalanced before, so you're going to have to come up with a complete model that is more balanced and more playable.  (And, well, you have to take into account that Mesoamerica is deliberately unbalanced, and try to match the desired degree of non-balance as well.)

If you just don't like the way Mesoamerica is deliberately unbalanced ... that is the nature of the mod.  It was Guspav's vision to try a deliberately one-sided situation (one side at the high point of armoring, with horses and guns, and the other neolithic).  If you think it's too easy, play as the Aztecs.



-----------------------------------------
EDIT:  Oh, and Duuvian - "street fights" are always armed.  Knives, beer bottles, chairs, rocks ... poor weapons, but often deadly enough.  There is no such thing as an unarmed fight, unless there were sport rules of some sort (official or unofficial, or just "we'll separate them if anybody goes for a weapon") governing the match.  Unarmed is what you are when the other guy sneaks up on you before you can find a weapon (which happens with tragic frequency, ironically).

But thanks for the vote of confidence.  The RCM mods are here to stay, even if a few people don't like them.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Forral on July 01, 2007, 09:31:31 PM
I think that quite possibly the largest hiderance to the "Realism" bit of RCM is the AI.

As realistic as the values might be on armor, weapons and horses, the whole battle still ends up a lot like two groups of drunken men with lawnmowers, simply rushing towards eachother - the difference from vanilla is just that the lawnmowers are way bigger and sharper.  :P

Honestly though, I don't personally know what battle model I like better. I do know though that they are significantly different, and I'm glad for it. Simply because the diversity helps to keep the game fresh longer. The experiences are simply so different that there should be space for them both, and neither can really be considered optimal.

Variety is just great, yeah?

-Forral-
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on July 01, 2007, 10:17:22 PM
hmm there is truth to all those points RCM isn't perfect and vanilla certainly isn't either, perhaps we could include a few user made stats flavors to mesoamerica (and maybe other mods as well) so people can choose the one that best suits their taste. Before the last Mesoamerica version I actually had a vanilla based combat model but deleted it.. i could easily bring it back though if a good amount of people are more interested in playing that way.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on July 01, 2007, 10:22:31 PM
TLD is about to release a patch with two item files ... identical except for the statistics, one RCM and the other based on the original native system.  It's easy enough to do.

But I would put up a survey first, to see how many are really interested.  Even if both versions are released, other balance issues need to be tailored to one or the other.  You would want these issues to revolve around the one that most are using.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on July 01, 2007, 10:41:52 PM
Alright a new poll is ready. http://mbx.streetofeyes.com/index.php/topic,675.0.html
Let your voices be heard, because every voice counts ;)
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: nijis on July 02, 2007, 09:50:21 AM
One thought on horses, because the way that they're implemented is my main gripe with the RCM. I have no doubt that a very skilled rider on a very good horse can turn on a dime. In the RCM, however, you ride like a saddle-born steppe nomad from the get-go, even on a relatively ordinary horse. The riding skill, I'm pretty sure, does add to horse maneuverability. There should be a reason to invest in it. There should also be a reason to make trained warhorses a highly desirable commodity, while lame and non-cavalry trained horses should be fairly close to useless in combat. I'm in no way a skilled rider but I'm not a complete novice -- I can make a horse go in the right direction, at the speed I want it to go, and most of the time will stay on if it jumps over an obstacle -- and I know that I couldn't begin to pirouette like I can at riding level 1 on an RCM saddle horse.

One other thought on the damage model -- that policeman who was battered to the ground, even if he got up unharmed a few minutes later, should probably count as "unconscious" in an M&B battlefield. Someone who is battered to the ground is likely to be at the very least too demoralized to continue the battle, even if he ultimately suffers no lasting damage.

That being said, a mod based on the Spanish conquest of the Americas is much better off overplaying the effectiveness of horses and armour than underplaying them.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Daergar on July 02, 2007, 01:32:20 PM
The riding skill, I'm pretty sure, does add to horse maneuverability. There should be a reason to invest in it. There should also be a reason to make trained warhorses a highly desirable commodity, while lame and non-cavalry trained horses should be fairly close to useless in combat.

Just cutting a chunk out there to point out that riding skill is also tied to which horses you are allowed to ride, which on top of actually boosting the speed and maneuverability (or so I'm led to believe/feel) of the horse, should achieve your point. Just a matter of tweaking the low-end or high-end horses a bit until they are "just so". ONR has pack horses with a speed and maneuverability of 10 each I believe, where as the high-end horses have around 20 in each. You can definitely feel the difference between the two and it makes perfect sense to me. Been a while since I played mesoamerican and I didn't even use a horse, so perhaps it needs tweaking.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: nijis on July 03, 2007, 12:37:49 AM
I realize that, but a maneuverability 10 horse allows me to do with ease anything that I need to do in mounted mounted -- engage whom I want without having to really worry about speed and direction, then turn on a dime and do it again. I don't think that's necessarily unrealistic for a trained cavalryman on a good horse, but not for an amateur on a nag. There's no reason to worry about upgrading to a maneuverability 20 horse if any old lump of flesh on four hooves will do the trick.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on July 03, 2007, 12:41:16 AM
There was some deliberate overplay of horses in Mesoamerica.  The horses in ONR were intended to represent little Japanese mountain ponies - tough little animals, but inbred little ponies nonetheless.  What the Spanish brought with them were mostly warhorse breeds, intended for combat - either straight from the military stables of Spain, or bred from such horses in Cuba or somewhere similar.  That was a tweak in favor of being historical, that some people may not have noticed.

Also, note that the way M&B handles horses is not perfectly balanced to reality.  The horses spin pretty well from a stop, and turn much slower even at low speeds.  Attempts at realistic maneuver numbers will always result in them being a little over-maneuverable when stopped, and a little under-maneuverable from low to moderate speeds.  That's hard-coded.  I can't fix it.  I rather based the numbers off of an average at several speeds, and guessed.  I thought the guesses were pretty good, but they are still limited by the M&B engine.


And the performance difference is noticeable, even if not at first.  In the newest version of ONR (being tested), bandits and such are tough enough that a maneuver 10 horse will get you killed immediately.  Same with the RCM version of TLD (slated for immediate release).  You may not see it if you've been playing native (horse speed zero - a walrus moves faster), but you will.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: mtarini on July 16, 2007, 03:19:05 PM
I am amused by that Obsidian-cutting-Steel thing. I understand that it is very old news around here, but as a newcomer I can't take my mind out of it. More info! More conclusive evidence! Please!

You realize, of course, that (at least to western standards) there is almost some 10.000 years technology difference between the two materials (obsidian, steel). I mean, obsidian was big in the stone age (when for example civilizations prospered in small islands north from Sicily -- the Eolies -- otherwise hostile to human settlements). Stone age. Neolithic. As in: the dawn of time, before cities, before anything. In contrast, to make good steel you need a full blown civilization, and to wait for the middle age to end, and still can be tough as the pre-contemporary endpoint of the race for more and more effective piercing/resisting materials. Am I wrong? And then, Obsidian is effective against steel armors. It is like, well, a Commodore64 outperforming a NVidia Ge-Force 8800 as for computer graphics capabilities. No, wait, that's only 12 years, here we are talking around ten thousands here (i know, I know, technology pace goes exponentially, but still).

True, limits of obsidian lie not its immediate cutting performance (or, at least, not only in that), but on durability (hence you need to take around a lot), tendency to shatter (hence you need more weight for it to be effective), etc.

But still.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on July 16, 2007, 08:43:15 PM
Back on a small farm when I was a kid, I played with a couple of flint axes that we made.  You would be surprised how much steel a stone axe will cut.  (Never tried obsidian, because flint was what we had.)  Obsidian is harder than steel - if you get enough of it not to shatter, it will go through most anything.  Modern tests confirm that.  Notes taken by Cortez and party confirm that.

Check out the journal of Bernal_Diaz_del_Castillo, "Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva  Espaina" - he describes a lot of the stuff obsidian would do.  The book is rather famous for its throwaway line, "we went there to serve God, and also to get rich".  It is still in print, although I'm not sure you can find a full copy on-line, or in what language it might be.

Try also "The Broken Spears" by Miquel Leon-Portilla.  Not sure where you can find that.

Also check out the rather large number of sport atlatl groups in the United States and Canada.  Many of them have returned to making the points of their atlatl darts from obsidian, claiming it is sharper than steel.  They hunt deer with these things, and get quite a few, from what I hear.

Obsidian is still used industrially, particularly for medical scalpel blades and various steel-grinding tools (drill and milling bits, grinder disks, etc.), where it still performs quite well.

So don't underestimate the neolithic.  It may take more wood to hold a stone point in place, making the weapon a little heavier and slower, but the weapon will be fully functional when completed.  Don't think of it as being 6000 years behind on technology - think of it as parallel development.  While Europe and Asia were developing metalworking, the Americas were refining their stoneworking to a level unseen in the old world.  Ultimately, the metals came out more effective - but not 6000 years more effective.  The Spanish advantage in technology was really rather slight (except for the horse - which wasn't really a tech item, but gave them very substantial military advantages).

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on July 18, 2007, 08:32:20 AM
You are right Ron, they weren't more or less civilized they were just two parallel ways of developing.
While Eurasia had steel, shipbuilding, navigation and  gunpowder, Mesoamerica was highly advanced in astronomy, herbalism and agriculture. Saying something like they were cavemen vs knights is highly unfair...

Obsidian was useful enough for Mesoamericans and it proved to be effective against even steel and horses; again I quote Bernal Diaz del Castillo where he says they were attacked by the Mayans and received a shower of "those nasty sticks" (atl atl darts) that could easily pierce their breastplates. Also he says one of those swords (macuahuitls) hit one of the officers' horses and killed it with a single blow and almost severed it's head.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on July 18, 2007, 08:52:38 AM
Calling the atlatl obsolete at all is really out of place.  Pound-for-pound, they'll deliver more damage than anything ranged, even modern rifles.  A terrifying weapon, by any standard.  The only problem with the atlatl is that they are just really inconvenient to learn to use.  Sport groups are going back to them for deer archery seasons in North America today - a lot of people consider them more effective than modern cable-compounded bows (which translates to "similar to modern rifles").

Also, the modern world is going back to glass and ceramic in many applications, because it IS harder than steel.  In one respect, obsidian (natural volcanic glass) was almost ahead of its time. 

Had the Aztec known about steel armors in advance (just known about them, not had the ability to produce them), it is very likely that they could have selected their weapons and ranges to highlight their strengths, and been at the advantage.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Kissaki on July 24, 2007, 01:50:11 PM
A fair enough assessment, if you think so... but the number of people disagreeing will likely put you in the minority.  A number of people have said that, upon doing as you suggest, they immediately quit playing all mods using the Native combat model and now will only use the RCM mods.  As far as I know, you are so far the only one who suggested going back.  That is why I find the point curious.
It all depends on where you look. From what I've gathered, most who oppose your ideas do so in other places, such as here:
http://forums.taleworlds.net/index.php/topic,22470.0.html

I stand by what I wrote in that thread, and would also like to add that while one or two hit kills are perfectly realistic, it is also perfectly realistic to keep fighting after several hits, even when unarmoured. In the original native engine you could achieve one-hit kills with good consistency -- once your weapon skill was high enough. And I think it is reasonable to let a character's skill determine the weapon's effectiveness rather than simply the sharp edge.

I still haven't gotten around to truly playtest it, though, as Onin-no-Ran is annoyingly playtester unfriendly. After a long and futile search for engagements the last time, the game finally crashed on me as I made the mistake of purchasing a bow from a travelling merchant. I did notice what the "realism" was about, though: exceptionally high weapon stats, and exceptionally high armour stats. I'm not sure I need to actually try it to deduce how it is going to work out. It seems as if it is unreasonably easy to kill unarmoured or lightly armoured targets even for an unskilled character. In actual conflicts, however, people have survived the most grievous of injuries, or at least long enough to keep fighting for a bit. Even if you are dealt a mortal blow, it will rarely be immediately fatal. Therefore, I think it is not unrealistic at all for someone to be still kicking after four, five, perhaps even eight or more ugly wounds (although a wounded warrior will sometimes, if not often be inclined to play dead rather than make a more heroic effort).

My main criticisms are in that other thread, though. However, I will address something in this thread here:

Quote
And I don't care what you personally think of me.  I've seen too many men die to give a damn what you think of me ... so don't sweat it.
I can only speak for myself here, but this does nothing to improve on your credibility. It certainly appears as if you intend to impress with your experience, but this sort of talk actually has the opposite effect on me. It could be my culture, but I see this as an astounding lack of humility that here, at least, is viewed with disgust. "The nail that sticks out will be hammered down," and all that. The reason I say it is debilitating for your credibility is that I am used to reality-based boasting to be more reserved, more... humble. And I'm not sure it's just my culture, because I feel this is exactly the sort of thing that makes your opposition go "oh, please", and subsequently avoid debating with you. Which in turn contributes to giving you the impression that your opposition is a tiny minority. Now, I am not going to decide to believe whether your experiences are real, perceived or fabricated, as I still don't know enough about you and would like to give you the benefit of the doubt. But even if you have seen many men die in fights, in war or otherwise, is really largely irrelevant to the discussion and certainly irrelevant when addressing how little you care of what he thinks of you. I don't dislike you, Ron, but you have a swaggering style that is unpalatable to many. I'm telling you all this because I don't think you realize all the time how you come across.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: ElHaggis on July 24, 2007, 02:58:34 PM
I pretty much agree with everything Kissaki said.  I'm mostly only a lurker, but it's quite obvious to me that Ron is batshit insane.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on July 24, 2007, 07:16:22 PM
Are you people going to try to help contribute anything useful to either this model or others (statistics, research, anything)?   Or do you just enjoy trying to start flame wars?  Because if posting angry statements about me is all you like, there are about a dozen more over on the Taleworlds board who like making personal attacks against me (and others) more than they like M&B.  Feel free to join them.

If you're just going to call me names because you think it is more reasonable to have unarmored guys running around with three arrows sticking through their heads ... I don't think you will find a very appreciative audience here.

------------------------------------------------------

Kissaki:

You just said you didn't really get around to playtesting it ... that you are concluding from estimates and the fact that you got a bugged release ... that you are estimating.  I'm sorry you got a bugged release (try the latest one ... only a couple of technical bugs left).  Seriously, if you try it, you will find that the speed and reach penalties still make it possible to take several minor injuries without going down.  Really solid hits against little or no armor are more effective, and lesser hits against armor are less effective.  Skill and strength still play about the same role - greater skill and strength increases the chances of a less substantial weapon being effective.  This is offset by more noticeable speed differences on the heavier weapons (instead of whipping around an axe the size of a stop sign like it was made of cardboard, like you could do in native). The difference is that armor actually does something, and that you don't have to be the strongest person on earth to actually put somebody down (unless they are wearing said armor ... then you might need the extra strength).

In a number of posts, I also said that the RCM was based on wounds likely to be debilitating, and that I was letting the surgery skill determine what was fatal or not.  Most wounds that were combat "kills" did not kill immediately, and that is still true today.  While it is possible for an amazingly determined person to take a horrible injury and keep fighting, it is unlikely.  For now, M&B graphics do not support the disabled crawling around and trying to slow their own blood loss, screaming and thrashing about ... but that doesn't disable the model.  Assuming a person will keep fighting until they are 100% clinically dead, however, seems a lot more absurd.

As for how many ugly wounds a person can take, the NATO study on gunshot wounds said the first rifle hit was debilitating about 30% of the time, two rifle hits about 90% of the time, three went up to 99% debilitating.  You get about the same kind of numbers with edged weapons.  I have never heard of any combat wounding research that suggested anyone could take more than about three solid hits from anything larger than a scalpel and keep doing much of anything (except bleeding) for more than a few seconds.  Fairbairn and Stykes, in their work with military special ops in WW2, seriously suggested that an unarmored man taking more than a couple of knife or bayonet stab wounds and continuing to fight for more than five seconds would be statistically almost impossible.  Minor scratches, very narrow puncture wounds, shallow slashes from pocketknives and straight-razors ... you could probably take six or eight of those and keep fighting, if the opponent didn't know what he was doing.  The point of a rapier?  Well, that's about like "very narrow puncture wounds" above.  A hatchet wound against anything solid?  No... nobody takes more than a couple of those.  Simple mechanics says that, even if you live, you won't be able to keep doing much of anything.  A real sword?  Get real.

And I am not "boasting" about reality.  Reality sucks.  I've seen a few things that I really wish I could forget about.  A lot of people have, and most of them won't talk about it ... but I've found that refusing to think about it does not help.  (Military psychologists have been discovering the same thing about treating post-traumatic stress in combat vets ... the old thing about never telling the bad stories seems to be part of the problem of PTSD.)  I encourage people who have seen violence to talk about it - sometimes it makes them feel better to face their fears.  It helps me.  But if you think it is "boasting" to say that I've seen bad things, then your perception of reality is very badly skewed.  There is little pride in being alive because you were lucky - if anything, it makes you feel vulnerable.

When someone says they have lived through actual violence, the correct response is not "you're boasting" ... it's "I'm sorry."
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: guspav on July 24, 2007, 08:49:46 PM
hmm it's seems it's time to get the red marker out

If you wish to discuss with Ron you can do so in a friendly way and if it will be on these boards I expect you BOTH Kissaki and ElHaggis to be at least respectful, now it is ok to disagree, but personal attacks won't be tolerated, especially like the one you wrote ElHaggis; consider yourself warned.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Wood on August 12, 2007, 06:22:58 PM
Moving on...

The only major problem I have with the RCM is with the accuracy of thrown weapons. I'm not sure how much of this is deliberate, or else the result of the hard coded link between damage and accuracy. Thrown weapons (including the atlatl) clearly need large numbers for damage but currently it is near impossible to reliably hit with them, at any range. The bows are acceptable because most of the damage is assigned to the arrows instead of the bow, but I cannot think of any such work around for thrown weapons. I'm not saying that atlatls should be as precise as crossbows, but as the atlatl is one of the few advantages the indigenous peoples have over the spanish it seems a shame to have it squandered.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on August 12, 2007, 07:15:29 PM
Actually, the thrown weapons do not have the accuracy/damage link like the bows.

The accuracy of the atlatl is based on what I know of them.  (It's been a lot of years since I played with one, and I was never much good, but I did check on some groups that use them for hunting deer.)  The atlatl dart is a devastating weapon (it will go through just about anything), but trying to hit anything smaller than a barn with one takes YEARS of practice. 

Other thrown weapons are also based on my own experience - I used to be able to split playing cards with a tomahawk, back when I was in high school, but a few years without practice and now I probably couldn't stick one in a target the size of a door.  Even when I was playing with them, it was still a weapon for ten paces, not thirty...

If there is a balance issue concerning the skill of the locals in using them, it should probably be addressed there.  However, my readings on the subject suggest that the atlatl was militarily effective because they were used in large numbers, not because the individual darts possessed great accuracy or flight characteristics.  I never tried to use them in a military application (unless you count targeting rabbits in your garden as war), but this seems likely and reasonable to me.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: mtarini on August 20, 2007, 12:57:02 PM
Thank you everybody and especially Ron for all the info. I really enjoyed reading this.

Just a clarification: I never meant to suggest that it is a "modern knights" against "primitive cavemen" thing.

I am aware that natives populations where very advanced under some aspects, sometimes even more so than european counterparts.
But in other aspects, like materials, they were visibly lagging behind, by thousands of years (I suggest reading Diamonds "Guns, Germs and Steel" for very interesting hypothesis's on why it was so).

Take the obsidian VS steel thing, once again. In Europe, obsidian weapons where known and used since millennia. Then the bronze age came and went (say, Egyptians and the like). The iron age sweept in (read: greeks civilizations and stuff). Then romans, etc... Centuries after century, war after war, more deadly weapons with more robust materials are designed and used, as well as countermeasures (defensive technologies). Each time, older alternatives soon spelled doom for their users, became obsolete and useless. After millennia of this relentless weapon race, in mid 1500s, the resulting defensive technology delivers the best steel armors that the most advanced metallurgy in the world can give you. So, you cross the atlantic, and the obsidian weapons on the other side cuts your steel apart like butter, closing the circle. I know, I know... but still I find that amusing!
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on August 20, 2007, 01:25:43 PM
For more amusing twists on that theme, consider these oddities:

Cloth armors were replaced with metal ones, because metal provides more protection.  Guns came and made metal armors highly inefficient if not obsolete.  What do they use for modern bulletproof armors?  High density cloth.

Ironically, arrows and knives will go through Kevlar vests - so they have to put metal back into the ones used by prison guards or anyone expecting edged weapon attacks.

Speaking of which, in spite of there being something like a billion firearms floating around in non-governmental possession, the knife is still the most popular weapon for violent crime in most of the world.  Rates are even higher with premeditated assaults, as the attacker will likely be considering such things as noise and convenient weapon disposal.

After the tight-formation shield walls of the Greek and Roman period were considered obsolete for over a thousand years, what do modern riot police use?

I'm sure I can come up with some more such oddities.  The fact that obsidian, in spite of being inconvenient and difficult to work with, will cut steel ... that's just one of many such things.


Realistically, stone weapons are obsolete not because of their penetration, cutting or killing power, but because they are heavy and clumsy.  The macuahuitl will cut about as much as a steel sword, but by the time you get a board with all those stones in it, it's much heavier and harder to use.  Add to that the problem of the stones chipping and having to be replaced, and it's a headache.

Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Agent Griff on August 22, 2007, 07:30:58 AM
Yeah, I saw some guys at a Discovery documentary demonstrating the cutting power of a club with pieces of obsidian stuck into it, much like the Aztecs used. They used it to cut a large piece of pork and it was quite effective, just as effective as the steel sword they had just used before. The bits of Obsidian also got chipped and stucked in the meat. One thing which surprised me though was the killing effect of Aztec weapons. Aztecs, as far as I know, didn't really kill their enemies in wars, they ussually captured them so they could be sacrificed later. Anyway, they still got the job done when fighting so it doesn't really matter.

I just love the addition of RCM in this mod, much like in Onin no Ran. Things can seem a bit overpowered when you're a Spaniard and slash at an Aztec from a horse, killing him instantly but once you receive an Atl Atl dart in the chest things won't seem that overpowered, considering the power and speed with which Aztec warriors throw those darts. Also, generally, when a human being is hit with a sharp piece of metal moving at speeds of up to 50 km/h you wouldn't really expect that human being to remain standing wouldn't you? The RCM does just that, and that's why I love it.

Archers can be damn devastating as well. One time, I was charging a line of Tlaxcalan auxilliary archers head-on, on foot, along with a line of about 6 other men. When the archers fired their second volley, about 4 of my men were cut down instantly and the other 2 were badly wounded. I was lucky because I was carrying a shield.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on August 22, 2007, 08:32:53 AM
Yeah, well, most people don't realize the killing power of ANY weapon until they've seen it.  (Except maybe handguns - they tend to badly over-rate those.... expect a howitzer to come out of a shoulder holster.)

The Aztecs took prisoners if they could ... this is true, and the sacrifice routine is intended for future versions of the mod.

Oddly enough, the RCM is based on debilitating wounds, not fatalities ... I let the surgery skill figure out the difference between the two.  M&B, the way it is set up now, does not give medical care to wounded enemies ... not even enough to take them back for a sacrifice.  There might be a way to tweak that, but I don't know what it would be, short of a random script like "you capture some of the disabled enemy who look like they will survive long enough to be sacrificed" and it gives you some prisoners that look like "disabled prisoner" that really slow you down and have zero combat skill even if someone rescues them or lets them go.  That would be a pretty cheap-looking way to deal with it.

But also, the Aztec used a lot of non-edged wood clubs for their prisoner raids.  The obsidian-blade stuff was really for when it got hot.  After an opposing force broke, the younger warriors would run down the fleeing enemy with clubs and try to get prisoners then.  If you will notice, the no-rank warriors tend to carry blunt weapons in the mod ... that was intentional.

Cortez actually had a story about obsidian arrowheads going through their armor, so they set some up and tested it - most of their armor would not stop a solid arrow or atlatl dart hit.  Stone cut steel like it was paper.  The Spanish, who were quite proud of their steel-working skills, were not happy campers.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on September 26, 2007, 11:53:54 PM
General announcement:

Alpha release of RCM-Native for .891

http://rapidshare.com/files/58546359/RCM-Native-891.zip.html

This is an alpha version with the primary intention of gathering data for the RCM work on the major mods.  Most of the new features have been nullified or are not being used, in order to retain previous balance.  (We may play with them more later.)  I had to guess at horse speeds, as they have been completely reworked and no new data could be found on how the computation works.

This was obviously done very quickly (the module system only came out a few hours ago), so there may be some bugs.

I need to get some eyes on this thing ... get me some feedback.  The RCM versions for a number of major mods depend on what we learn here.


------------------------------------------------


Edit:

Everybody:

Got a bad bug.  The module.ini file should read:


armor_soak_factor_against_cut       = 1.0
armor_soak_factor_against_pierce    = 0.5
armor_soak_factor_against_blunt     = 0.5

armor_reduction_factor_against_cut       = 0
armor_reduction_factor_against_pierce    = 0
armor_reduction_factor_against_blunt     = 0

Due to confusing descriptions, I got these backwards in the distributed version, and it was why armor was acting real funny.

There are still some odd bugs with extremely high damage numbers where they should not be.  I noticed that the bows were up to 12% bonus per point of power draw, up to three above required.  That's a lot of variation to work in.  Strike damage is also way too high in places, even at the 1.0 speed multiple.  I'm still trying to run that down.

Stand by, everybody.  We will get this working.  By the way, any insights would be appreciated.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edit again:

Here we go again.  Alpha 2.  Check it out, tell me what you think.

http://rapidshare.com/files/58818909/RCM_Native_891_alpha2.zip.html

I think I got the bows back to reasonable.  There is a lot of variation because of PD skill, but at least it's within a reasonable range now.

Also lowered speed bonus again.  It was still too high.

Plus that backwards armor number thing, noted previously.

This is still Alpha test ... help me test it, don't assume it's ready for anything just yet.

And, as before ... we need some eyes on this thing.  The more people who help test it, the sooner we can get it debugged in time for the major mods porting to .89x ...
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on September 29, 2007, 09:34:00 AM
(sorry about the double post, but announcement threads tend to get that way)

Everybody:

Alpha 3 of RCM-Native for .89x

http://rapidshare.com/files/59091695/RCM_Native_89x_alpha3.zip.html

This version is playable.

The numbers look strange, I know.  The whole calculation system was redone - in .89x, a fully extended attack is 125 to 130% of listed damage (before the previous base calculation of random .5 to 1.0 of base damage).  That means everything that was 40 before is 30 now, in order to make the final numbers come out the same.

Bow damage is still a little odd ... the higher power draw bonus, plus the fact I can no longer hide points from the power draw by assigning them to the arrow, is creating a computational problem.  It's mostly functional, but it means that you generally have no need to move up to a larger bow until your power draw goes beyond the maximum of the previous bow.  It's the best I could do with the tools at hand.

Anyway, this one is playable ... although we are still hunting bugs.  Everybody try it out.
Title: Re: Combat realism model
Post by: Ron Losey on October 01, 2007, 09:20:57 PM
RCM for Native 0.892 Semi-Final.

http://rapidshare.com/files/59655420/RCM_Native_0892_semi-final.zip.html

(Semi-final because I'm not going to bother putting it on the Repository until we're sure there won't be any more bug-fix releases from Taleworlds.)

This is 100% playable, as far as Native goes.  Thanks to everybody who helped me debug it.  The download includes the source code and module.ini, for anyone using it in other mods (which is really what this is about ... I don't really expect that many people to play Native that much).

-----------------------------------

The Native bugs of a number of armors and weapons having no strength requirements - those were left, since changing them could result in some troops being unable to use their equipment.

The bows are a little freaky ... you don't generally benefit from moving up to a larger bow until your power-draw exceeds the limit of the smaller one.  The slight benefit in arrow speed does not make up for the loss of accuracy caused by stiffer requirements.  This is not entirely unrealistic, but it's a little odd for the game.

A lot of changes to AI in M&B .89x - for one, troops actually target horses now.  Makes it a little tougher to use unarmored horse.  I didn't really do that ... I have no control over the AI.  I actually like it, but I didn't do it.

And, as always, questions and bug reports ... send them in, I'll deal with them as I can.